31 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Made two trips here now and stayed for total of two full weekends plus. (Had the pleasure of playing with more than one person who had longer term insights.)
This course is in my top ten played for overall enjoyment; on all levels.
Roll away greens here are excellent; and force all but gold rated players (who will more than likely be parked on most holes); to make choices regarding layup or going for 30-70 foot putts.
In regards to praise for Bill and maintenance/improvements here: Despite the massive number of reviews; players have been able to add new praise; partially because new and exciting stuff keeps happening. The half size tee posts with the gold tops appeared in May....classy little addition.
This course is interactive; like a toy, in that you feel able to add to the many wonderful rock sculptures. In fact, should you knock one over with a shot; you will feel obligated to rebuild it. (A group sharing camp area had knocked one over; and noted that it takes quite a while to rebuild even a fairly small one.)
Should be noted that many of these rock sculptures are completed in ways that make you say, "Hard to believe those supporting rocks support." Yet, they are entirely sound structures.
The many sheltered resting areas are meeting grounds with other players; shady retreats on a sunny day; and also encourage interaction as regards reading signatures of visitors and adding yours to the mix. Each shelter is unique.
Benches throughout the course also varied.
Extra six holes are tough. This a plus from both the standpoint of adding difficulty; and that you can skip these if interested in quicker; or less strenuous/time related round.
Port a potties; while never enjoyable; are available. Toilet paper has been continually present (somewhat to my surprise). Bring a roll or two and leave extra.
Cool practice area; with full scale boat art.
You can play all night long if you wish...all night lonnnnng; all niiiiight; all night long; all riiiiight....Areba, Aruba....(I'm just making it up)
(For N.C. discers; artistic enhancements here on par with Ramcat Ridge X 60).
Should you happen to go in the very first garden bed by #1; beware the little hidden crocodile!
Various shot skills required. (I think the best possibility for #2 is a roller; though my roller game can't pull it off any more.)
Cow bell/hole clear, ringer is a nice touch.
On site play allows for easy, early morning rounds. Of course, if you were thirsty the day/night before; you can sleep in as well. In other words, allows for entire group to play as they choose; without conflict.
Cons: I think Am tees may be fairly tough to find (though I think 95% of everyone plays from cement tees and these are fine for beginners). Seems like I remember more than one set of rocks on many holes; which would seem to be confusing as to which to play.
At just over 5,500 ft. for numbered 18; the course is not up to most 5 star length standards. Extra six seems tougher; but compares in regards to footage average. Therefore, as noted, gold level players will have to get by on the fun factor; consider it a must score course, and will probably enjoy Leviathan and the Ludington courses more. Though for most players; I will rate L& L lower. Navigation much easier at Flip too.
There is no water in play here; and artificial o.b. is somewhat random. (Really only one hole where a big rock garden is a forced clear/choose layup; #11).
Other Thoughts: As has been mentioned many times; addition of Leviathan, Ludington courses (64 holes), Branstrom, and others in immediate area; makes this a top traveling destination spot. This adds to Flip's overall appeal.
I am getting towards 50 years of age. So, this is not the review of a brash young, long chucker. What disc golf has been about, at it's core, is well represented here: through design, landscape/art expression features and pure challenge in difficulty for most players. Roll away greens are one of disc golf's best answers to toughen putt attempts.
Bill knows what he's doing (Branstrom has his hand in it), and I imagine things will continue towards upside in all regards, for some years to come.
It is required that you contact Bill before arrival.
31 of 35 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: First and foremost my hats of to Bill for keeping this course as pristine as it is, and for so long. Bill really has a passion for disc golf and to share this truly tremendous course with everyone is beyond gracious. You can instantly see when you pull up to the course, everything is meticulous, from the fairways to the paths cut into the rough for wayward discs. As your conquer Flip, it takes you on a visually stunning hike through some of the best that northern Michigan has to offer. The first three to four holes are deceiving to how the rest of the course unfolds. As your walking to hole 5's basket, you instantly see how breath taking this course truly is. Not only is this course visually stunning, but it tests your shot selection almost every hole. Just about every tee pad has a broom to clear away debris. Making your way from one hole to the next is easily done with out a map. Granted the Ams and Womens tees are hard to find, as they're just noted by rocks in the fairway. The pro pads are in great shape, and even have a foul and follow through built into the concrete. The signs that show how the hole plays out are very nice, I wouldn't say they are as nice as Idlewild, but they do a great job. I can honestly say while playing Flip, you almost have this feel about you, like a feel good mystique about this course. Another nice touch to the course are what I would call welcome stations, that allow you to catch your breath and take in the true beauty of the course. There is also the sign in shelter on 2A. Another fun aspect to playing Flip is the pin placement. As frustrating as they are they add yet another element to your putting game. Hole 4 is probably the best example of this, if your approach or putt hits wrong, you have a solid chance of rolling down to almost the tee pad. Hole 4 is just the beginning of the great pin placement. This course also has it's fair share of blind holes to throw on as well, my favorite was after finishing 17, you get to ring the bell to signal that you've finished. The landscape of Flip is through out a forest, and it takes full advantage of using the foliage to test your shot making ability. Never does it make it look like a pin ball shot and a great deal of luck is needed to have a good shot.
Cons: As others have mentioned having more defined OB would make this course a little more challenging. I really liked how Idlewild accomplished this. The rock sculptures are OB, and very creative at that. This isn't the hardest course I've played, but it will take it's toll on you in a fun and rewarding way.
Other Thoughts: I wanted to wait and review Flip to I was able to play Idlewild to have another top ten course to compare it to. Idlewild is hands down a championship caliber course. Probably one of the hardest courses I've played. I would rate Idlewild a 4.5, because it doesn't have the same feel to it as Flip does. Really what more can be said that hasn't been said in the hundred plus reviews before this. 45 minutes north of Flip is yet another 4, 4+ rated courses in the Luddington area, which I HIGHLY recommend playing!! Seriously do yourself a favor and make the trek, you won't regret this pure Michigan experience.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
26 Helpful / 56 Not
not that great
Pros: -Good elevation changes.
-Was well taken care of pretty good course but i've played alot better.
-With all the hype i was expecting something alot nicer and alot more challenging i shot -7 my first game and -8 my second. Had alot of really nice runs on holes here there sure are alot of holes that are easily runable.
-Fun to play.
-Looks pretty in the fall..
-Hmmm the grass was green?
Cons: -no water hazards at all
-Tee pads did not have a good enough brush they were rather slick when i played after some rain.
-It was just mediocre IMO
-People were extremely unfriendly
-Heard lots of profanity being screamed through out the course. It to me showed the type that frequents this course. DG is sometimes a frustrating game but people should be more considerate of others. I was also with my 8 y/o son and he does not need to hear that type of language.
-Flip IMO is a mediocre course that is dressed up nice, "a pig in a silk hat" if you will. You can always add amenities to make a course look deceptively nicer than it actually is ie Old structures, rocks, gazebos, etc. But a course still needs to be solid and challenging especially. I want to feel like I have to work for par which makes it even more rewarding getting birdies.
-Having only 2 holes >400
-Most holes were between 200-300ft most being at the low end of that totem pole.
-11 of the holes were 200ft or below.
-Too many holes that were almost completely open or offered very little obstacles especially 1, 2, 4 and 8 was pretty open but at least offered up some elevation change.
-This course is completely way too short to be considered anywhere close to a top tier course.
Other Thoughts: My thought is that this course has been reviewed by ALOT of locals who think its just the best thing since sliced bread. These locals bring more locals and this course gets more good reviews. But from an outsider looking in having played all across the country it just is not that good. Is the course 'fun" yea sure there are alot of ace runs and who doesn't like birdies but i personally prefer a longer more challenging course that makes you work for par.
26 of 82 people found this review helpful.
28 Helpful / 3 Not
Everything You Need - Just Add Water!
Pros: If you don't like long reviews, keep going. Didn't want to review Flip if I couldn't make it meaningful or add to what's already out there, and that simply doesn't fit into 250 words or less.
Without exaggeration, Flip excels in nearly every conceivable facet. Wonderful terrain and excellent design over 24 well conceived holes provide exceptional shot variety and superb disc play, with a good mix of distances, lines, and fairway types (open, moderately treed and a couple of densely wooded pinball machines) to keep you engaged and entertained the entire round. Pretty much allows you to use nearly every disc in your bag, with a few to several (depending on your range) Ace and birdie runs, a couple you can bomb, and most falling comfortably in between. Elevation changes spanning the entire spectrum: fairly flat on a few holes, moderate on others, significant on some, truly major on at least three, with still others where you're throwing over depressions ranging from small gullies to valleys, and one where you throw over a rise. Several pins on or near slopes present risk/reward opportunities and favor those with pinpoint upshots and/or well honed putting skills. Challenging enough to provide score differential among advanced players, without being too tough for less skilled players to enjoy a round. Each hole stands on its own, never feels repetitive. Selecting a signature hole is like asking a kid their favorite flavor of ice cream. Standouts for me include: 7, 11, 2A, 6A, 12 and 18, YMMV.
Completely nails basics like: baskets in great shape, concrete pads, scorecards w/map & pencils, and easy to navigate. No two ways around it - the disc play at Flip is undeniably excellent, perhaps phenomenal.
If the above doesn't stimulate your appetite, you're not a real disc golfer. Stop reading and find another website. Based on nothing else, a rating of no less than 4.0 would be warranted, quite possibly 4.5. That being said, if you isolate and evaluate the disc play on its own, I'm not sure it would merit all the accolades or Flip's vaunted status all by itself - but it would certainly be worthy of debate. However, no single aspect of a course exists in a vacuum, and one should consider all the elements when evaluating the whole.
Evidence of TLC is everywhere the eye can see: The entire course is immaculately maintained with neatly groomed fairways and a few paths mowed into the rough to help find wayward discs. Brooms at most tee pads and seating at many. A gazebo and a shack are strategically located atop hills where several holes converge, encouraging you to sign in (on the walls), enjoy the scenery, interact with other golfers passing the other way, or even break for a snack to recharge before setting off again. Both times I've been here, the entire place was spotless - no trash to be found anywhere and while you might expect the benches or gazebo, etc. , to be grungy or grubby, they're anything but.
Every bit as aesthetically pleasing as it is enjoyable to play. Only a blind man wouldn't stop to appreciate the view on hole7. Other personal favorites include the view from tees 11 and 12. The rock sculptures add a nice touch, but what really shines is the terrain and just how beautifully green it is in the summer. Better than disc golf dedicated land in a well maintained public park, this place exists specifically for and because of disc golf. The seclusion that comes with being so far removed from other activities and the fact that everything you see and everyone you meet is all about the disc golf creates a sense of exclusivity and the feeling of partaking in something special that's only enhanced by it being a shared experience.
All this gives Flip a style all its own and appeal unlike any other course I've played. I've left a few things out - it' getting late, but you simply have to play here to see for yourself. If the ambience and ammenities aren't worth that extra 1/2 disc or so, sue me.
Cons: Nothing substantial, but to be completely honest, these thoughts DID come to mind. A couple are tangible, one is a "Yeah, but it'd be even better if...", and one's just my personal preference. Not much can be done about some of them, but facts are facts, and I'm not the only one who thought about these items.
Holes 1-3: First time I played here, started off wondering what all the fuss was about. That thought subsided a bit on hole 4, continued to recede through 5 and 6, and officially went 'POOF' at hole 7, never to be heard from again. Holes 1-3 are certainly decent and reasonably attractive holes, and each seems better than the one before, but they are among the weakest links in this chain. Good but ordinary stands out like a flaw on an otherwise spectacular gem.
Dirt Road: Some may feel it adds a special something - I don't.
No water: There's simply something about water that enhances natural beauty. Even a small creek or a pond (preferably in play) would make it that much better.
Porta-potties: Personally, I hate them. I realize they're the best solution under the circumstance, and in a way, I'm thankful they're onsite. But one thing I like about decent public parks is access to a halfway decent bathroom (not that all parks have 'em).
Perhaps more observation than con: Course offers plenty of challenge, but lacks championship caliber feel. Maybe it's the homey, relaxed atmosphere. Certainly not an easy course by any strectch, but I'm not sure if some degree of difficulty was sacrificed to make play friendlier to a wider range of skill levels.
Other Thoughts: First and foremost: THANK YOU BILL!
Your vision and generosity benefit us all. If you ever play here, that goes without saying. But perhaps it should extend beyond those lucky enough to play here...
Flip City is so unique, so charming, so well maintained, so epic, and so well known that it's bound to make deep and lasting impressions on people who are active in their local disc golf communities. I mean the folks who get involved in designing new courses and making them happen. Even if they don't have the land Flip sits on, I can't imagine they won't be influenced by what they saw here, steal an idea or two, or be inspired to somehow try and top it. And whether they do or don't, we win. If someone putting in a course aims for Flip and falls short, you still probably have a helluva course.
Better than Idlewild, or Highbridge,or ____?
Can't say, I haven't played them - yet. But that's like comparing Shula's Dolphins, to Noll's Steelers, Walsh's 49'ers or Belichick's Pats. You can't talk about one without mentioning the others. If you want to join in the debate, enjoy. But if Disc Golf has a Hall of Fame, Bill McKenzie's bust has a place in it.
28 of 31 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: -amazing variety of holes
-totally original course
-my wife said i smilled almost the whole time
-rock gardens used for OB and rocks on all tree stumps was amazing.
-perfect piece of land for a course
Cons: I played with my wife and very tough to figure out the ladies tee. So many rocks around and they used rocks as markers for the ladies tee.
Other Thoughts: Even with the ladies tees im still giving it a perfect score. Although i know my wife wouldnt give it a 5. I loved it and hope i get to go back someday. Mark the ladies/rec tee with anything other than Rocks and my wife would also give it a 5.
7 of 16 people found this review helpful.
27 Helpful / 2 Not
An Outsider's Perspective
Pros: First, Flip City has one of the best disc golf atmospheres I have ever experienced. There are some courses that make you excited just to be around other disc golfers. This is one of those places. It is secluded, quiet, and serene. I have played a few private courses that give off this vibe. Bud Hill in the Memphis area comes to mind. Exclusive property for disc golf.
Second, the variety of the course was astounding. The land is perfect for disc golf, and it was used phenomenally. Elevation was used on a number of holes. There were holes that were long and holes that were short.
Third, the equipment (pads, tees, shelters) was in great condition. The shape of the tee pads took a little bit of time to get used to, but were not bothersome in any way. Brooms were available at certain tee pads to sweep off debris. There were plenty of benches and other places to sit along the way.
Flip City does not lack for signature holes. If I had to choose one for this course it would be Hole #11 with the rock art statues in the valley of the fairway. However, Holes #2, #7, #1a, #2a, #6a, and #13 could all be considered as signature holes at most other courses.
Cons: Holes #3a and #5a need to have some sort of clearly defined path to the basket. Both have the basket behind a wall of trees and require luck to get through. A few stairs would be nice as well as the paths are slightly eroded in places.
Other Thoughts: My goal in this review is to go deeper than the many drive-by reviews done of this course. With 107 reviews and what seems like thousands of message board posts, it seems as though one might know exactly what to expect at Flip City. Before I played the course, I read about 5 reviews and most of the message board debates regarding the course. This review is meant to be as objective as possible.
In my opinion Flip City is definitely classified as "the best of the best". It is the most enjoyable course that I have ever played. It is the best-maintained course I have ever played. For a player of my skill, the course was challenging. I shot a 77 on my solo round, which I felt pretty good about. There are many who have stated that there was very little elevation change...I have no idea where this claim comes from. There were a considerable number of hills. Many pin positions were situated on hills creating risky putts. Hole #4, #10, #6a, and #17 all have significant uphill elevation. There are a number of other holes that play slightly uphill (#2 and #16 come to mind). Hole #2a plays along rolling hills as well.
I played the course through twice on the day we stopped by. The first time, I went through with a competitive mindset. The second time through, I played relaxed and tried to soak in the course. I am glad I got to play it twice. I can remember each hole vividly, and I have no idea how some have left with the perception that the holes are repetitive. There is ample variety in distance, shot-shape, and elevation.
Flip City is enhanced by the amazing aura surrounding the course. The property is beautiful and pristinely manicured. The shelters are functional and provide good places to take a break. The whole place revolves around disc golf...and I loved every minute I was there.
I won't delve into all the, "This is the best disc golf course ever, and if you don't think so, you're stupid" debates. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion as long as their opinion is based on observed data and not heresay. This was the best disc golf course that I have seen to date. Therefore, in my mind, it deserves a 5 disc rating as "the best of the best". I fully expect to play other amazing courses as I travel around, but Flip City did not disappoint me...and I had anticipated amazing things. Some may have a different perception when leaving the course. Maybe it didn't live up to the hype. In my mind, it was everything I had hoped it would be and more.
27 of 29 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Absolutely beautiful scenery.
-Very well maintained. Mowed fairways, rock sculptures on most if not all holes. Broom on every tee pad.
-concrete tee pads for the pro tees.
-Great flow. You will never get lost or throw onto another hole's fairway.
-Amazing variety of long/short, up/downhill.
-The atmosphere feels really good. You are so far away from civilization that disc golf is all you care about.
-Just about every hole could be the signature hole at any other course.
Cons: -The signs at the tee pad have only the hole number on them. The score card has a map and the distance so it's not a huge deal. But I'm lazy and don't want to pull out the score card before I throw on every hole.
-Some of the rough is pretty nasty if you throw into it. Just don't throw into it and you'll be fine.
-Only the pro tees have concrete pads.
-some of the tee pads have rough spots and are uneven
-hole 2A is a very hard par 3, and 3A has absolutely no line to hit, just a bunch of trees. These holes back-to-back are frustrating.
-Lacks variety that I've seen on other courses. It has long/short and uphill/down hill; but not much left/right variety. everything is within 15degrees of "straight"
-No water hazards, which is a con for some. I am undecided on whether that is a con.
Other Thoughts: EDIT: the first time I played flip I rated it a 5. I live 10 miles away and have played it a bunch more since then and I decided to re-write my review and give it a 4.5. Is it "phenomenal?" yes. Is it the "best of the best?" no.
Flip is a phenomenal course and it is worth any amount of travel to play it. While in the area check out Whitehall Township DGC, Henderson Lake Nature Park, Branstrom Park, and all of the courses in Ludington, MI.
So I do this on all of my reviews:
favorite hole: #11. 344'. The rock sculptures are amazing on this hole. It was hard to pick a favorite but the rocks on this one convinced me to pick it.
least favorite: #3A. 306'. There are so many trees in the fairway that it is more "chuck and pray" than choose a shot.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: The Best course ever period. Tee pads are amazing. Fairways are beautiful. Bill takes amazing care of his property. Great use of elevation and trees. The course doesn't favor one style of throwing over another. Perfect balance. I played the Farm Classic and did not want to leave.
Cons: I really cant think of any. The course is darn well near perfect.
Other Thoughts: If I died today I expect this to be what Heaven looks like!
5 of 19 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 22 Not
IT'S ALL TRUE
Pros: FLIP CITY IS AMAZING. I can not put into words how amazing this course is. I couldn't even take picture to do it justice
Cons: Not closer to my house
Other Thoughts: Best course I have played besides the fact that it is groomed and beutiful it is a challenging course.
7 of 29 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 6 Not
I just can't give a 5-star review
Pros: Wow. What a great course. A fantastic adventure spanning all walks of the game of disc golf. Every challenge a disc golfer is looking for is absolutely found here. Dramatic elevation changes, long bombs, short precise approaches, hills, large valleys, tight tree-lined fairways, risk/reward, and heartbreaking roll-aways. Some of the holes are epic drives off the tee pad that exemplify the very reason we love to play disc golf. Hole 11 comes to mind with it's wide open valley 344ft drive, and hole 6A's basket placement with terrifying putts. Plan a day, plan a week, Flip City is hands-down the best course I've played.
Cons: I hate to nit-pick at the cons of such a great course, but a more standard par system sure would be nice. Hole 2A's 670ft par 3 is pretty crazy. A 3 feels great, but it's no easy task. Some of the holes push the limits of the upper 400s and mid-600s. The 3s for ease of score keeping is good, but a 4 on a 600+ foot hole shouldn't feel like a bogey.
Other Thoughts: Already said many times, but bring bug spray. The alternate holes in particular are a thriving metropolis for mosquitoes and deer flies.
16 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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