Secluded dedicated disc golf happiness - YES! Superb variety and balance - NO!
32 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Superb piece of property maintained and executed in a way only a true disc golf fanatic can. Risky greens as far as the eye can see - every other pin (if not every) was perched on a ridge, slope, or some other area that truly brought puckering into the thought of blowing by with a missed putt (adding to the pucker factor was the fields of poison ivy everywhere!). Seclusion and private use of the property was absolutely tremendous. I love being able to lose myself in a round, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, and get away from nuisances like road noise, lights, civilization, etc. Extra amenities that can only be found (and respected, not vandalized by worthless and useless chuckers) on a private course add a great dedicated disc golf feel. Ridge to Ridge holes across the valley are always fun to play, and adding a sharp dropoff past the pin on the mid-range holes adds some additional needed skill to your round. I like to be challenged, and while the overall shot selection for my drives here was really easy with midranges and fairway drivers, how they landed or where I wanted them to land was a big consideration. Not only was left-to-right accuracy needed to weave through tree obstacles, but distance accuracy was need to avoid blowbys on the risky sloped greens.
Cons: One pin placement, and although I like it from determining course record, and overall scoring perspective, I do appreciate how much extra variety a second pin position creates. Poison plants and monotonous setting - they're the biggest factors involved with keeping me from having the time of my life out here, truly living up to the hype surrounding the course, and having finally made it to play after a few years of longing and botched plans. I will continue to rate courses as a travelling player, often on business with limited ability to pack extras, and/or travelling on vacation with family where only the best of the best courses can be squeezed into family plans. I was appalled by the amount of poison ivy and oak. It was all over and it was in bad spots. With all the risky greens here and sloped terrain, the possibility to blow by and be surrounded by plants was tremendously high. Travelling on business, having to quarantine shoes and clothes, and immediately wash to avoid serious reactions is a huge deterrent in having fun, or even playing a course. I got into a lot of poison ivy and had to wash immediately, quarantine my shoes, and even be wary of my bag and discs. If you're severely allergic to poison oak and ivy, be cautious here! There are a few holes just for luck-chucking. Don't ever give Winter Park a hard time for having some 'fluck' holes - the pinball piece of junk hole at Flip (forget which number) coming back toward the body of the course after the long hole is absolutely nothing but fluck with no more than a 2' wide twisted gap the entire way to the pin. So is the second hole after that, throwing into a green protected by a wall of trees.
Other Thoughts: I was just horribly underwhelmed playing at Flip. It was a great solid course, I'm not knocking the fun factor, design, or owner pride and dedication whatsoever, but there just wasn't the complete variety and balance that I crave in a course. I wouldn't necessarily feel like I had to play this course again when I head back to the area to pick other courses off my wishlist. For that reason alone it does not meet expectations. That being said, the solid design, risky greens, and neat terrain were extremely well utilized. But like Leviathan, all in all, the holes look the same, same type of foliage, same type of scenery, I just don't know how to describe it - the whole course just "looked" similar. I've heard stuff like "every stone and stick is exactly in its place at Flip", and thus entered my round with huge expectations (predisposition was a negative impact for me), and although the caretaking of Bill is obviously evident, feeling that every rock is exactly as it should be leads me to believe some clouded judgment exists from every brain cell being laced with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. So, all in all it sounds like I'm coming across harsh, yet the course settled out as a 4.25 in my spreadsheet. Due to intangibles of fields of poisonous plants, lack of gorgeous vistas and varying terrain and foliage, I'm gonna round down here (not really necessary anyway). The solid design, secluded setting, and number of holes introduces enough variety to score very high in my Design Category, but I'm going to stay consistent with my system and round down due to lack of great variety. This course in no 5.0. I know I did this to myself, expecting more from such a highly touted course. It's my fault. Flip isn't the only one to suffer not meeting my expectations, Leviathan suffers as well.
32 of 38 people found this review helpful.
34 Helpful / 2 Not
Go ahead and bash me . . . it is not #1, but it is awesome!!!
Pros: 1) Bill is a hardworking and giving person to allow his property to be used like this for decades. He works extremely hard on the course and is always making improvements and doing maintenance. It is hard to say anything bad about this place because of how dedicated Bill is to the course.
2) Incredibly rolling terrain. There are some extreme elevation changes and they help to make this course what it is. Without the elevation the course would still be fun and beautiful, but the elevation is integral to make this course one of the best I have ever played.
3) Excellent concrete tees on the long pads. Without these the tee areas would be rough and rutted. Short tees are marked by stones and are grass tees.
4) The tees are marked with a small painted post in the ground with a copper flashing on top. They have the Hole # on them to help with navigation.
5) Excellent rain shelters on the property and before you go on the course. It is a nice place where I could see hanging out all day. Playing a couple rounds would be a tough walk, but with a nice place to sit down and take a break a few times a round. . . it would be much more manageable.
6) Rock formations all over the course. I asked Bill if he just started stacking rocks to get them out of the way of the mower and he said no . . . that was all the disc golfers. It is unique and a little Blair Witch like but I think it makes the course more attractive and gives it a special kind of feeling. It isn't really a function, although my wife did hit one of the smaller towers knocking off the top rock . . .I immediately walked over and put it back up to preserve the integrity. I am sure new rocks are always coming out of the ground!
7) Forgiving fairways because they are all mostly mowed in the grassy areas. The woods are fair but tighter than the open holes.
8) DGA baskets are in pretty good condition. I wish they were more visible in the woods.
9) 24 holes of goodness. Having 24 holes actually makes this course better than if it was just 18 holes. Why? Because it gives people the options to play all 24 or just the standard 18. It allows for a wider variety of player to use this course.
10) Some extremely challenging greens on this course. You need to know how and where to land your disc. You also do not want to hit the top of the basket or the tray or you will risk some serious roll-a-ways. I had a 15' putt on one of the extremely sloped greens. I hit the basket and it rolled about 90' back down the hill so I turned a 2 into a 4. I just had to laugh it off, but it is a good thing to use from time to time on a course. It is all part of your risk management!
11) Camping is allowed on the property and there looks to be plenty of room for people.
12) Scorecards are available at the first tee right next to the pay box. I gave Bill $5 for my wife and I before even seeing the course because I honestly felt like $1 per person per round is not enough.
13) Garbage cans, benches, and rain shelters add to the list of amenities on this course. Throw in a couple directionals that help with navigation and a few pieces of artwork on the course and you have a completely new level of amenities. Port-o-potty is also available at the first tee area. Brooms at every tee for removing the sandy soil off of the concrete. This is probably necessary pretty often because of the compaction of the ground around the tees and the erosion that is likely happening after any rain.
14) Distance variation is excellent with a wide range of hole distances. There are a lot of fun short holes, some moderate ones where you play for par, and then some challenging ones where you will be happy to walk away with a bogey.
15) The tall prairie grass peripheral area do have mowing strips weaving in and out to assist in disc location. It also helps to avoid the undesirables like Poison Ivy and the irritation of walking through tall grass looking for discs.
16) This course is an incredible mix of beauty, disc golf, challenge, property, amenities, seclusion, etc etc etc. It has everything you could ask and is therefore one of the best of the best.
Cons: 1) Some of the openness on some holes takes away from the beauty of the course. I am not a huge fan of the mowed fairway through a prairie, and this happens on a few holes out here. It adds to the variety but takes away from the beauty in my mind. We will call it a wash.
2) There is some serious compaction and erosion happening on many holes. This is unfortunately a big eye-soar and also a huge detractor from our sport. I know it is bound to happen on this property because of the extreme rolling terrain, but if there was a way to prevent it we would all be better off.
3) Some of the peripheral areas are dense and punishing. I wish these areas could be maintained, perhaps charging $5 a person would make it easier for Bill to attack the next 20-30' of the rough areas. I understand he does a lot of the work himself (and he was busting his butt to prepare the course for an upcoming tourney while I was there) but to bring the course up to the next level of perfection maybe that is necessary.
4) There is a lot of Poison Ivy on this course . . . no signs that I saw making people aware of it, which I think is essential. I feel like the top course in the country should have everything including educational postings to make the users aware of the issues. I know it is a lot of work to maintain and eradicate, but again, the top course in the country should be taking care of this big issue. Perhaps a higher fee would allow Bill more time, or even allow him to pay someone to focus on some of these things.
5) Not beginner friendly. Doesn't necessarily need to be, but it is worth noting.
6) Some of the teepads had bumps in them. Apparently Bill had gotten some bad concrete. He did say that he is going to resurface those, so hopefully that solves the problem.
7) Apparently some of the locals or visitors playing glow left garbage on the course and mistreated it. Now the course has to shut down at 9PM. Man what a great place to play a glow round and it was ruined by some people who clearly could not respect the hard work or the fact that they were on private property.
Other Thoughts: This is a really tough review to write for me. I have already played the #2 (Idlewild) and #3 (Blue Ribbon Pines) rated courses on DGCR. I felt like Idlewild was there because of how extreme the holes were and the uniqueness of some of the things they have done on the course like the putting greens. I also feel like Blue Ribbon Pines is there because it uses landscaping to highlight the natural beauty of the property. Without the landscaping I wouldn't say BRP deserves a 5 disc rating on just disc golf, however I think that type of beautification is what is going to take courses to the next level. Couple that with the fact that my personal #1 course is an extinct top 10er from DGCR (Brackett's Bluff). It is a private course that is absolutely immaculate, challenging, unique, and just plain old fun and it has some nice landscaping work that was done. Those are three courses that will be hard to beat, and couple all of this with the fact that Flip has been consistently rated the #1 course for a long time and the banter about this course goes back and forth all the time. I feel like the rating of the course is slightly overrated, but I also think that it remains at the top because it has been around for so long and over time it was always a favorite course. It is also the most favorited course, in the top 10 in played courses, and most reviewed course. That kind of exposure makes it tough for anyone to knock this course without repercussion. Keep in mind . . . I may not think this is the #1 course, but it still is outstanding. I am going to have to put this in a tie with Idelwild. It clearly deserves to be ahead of BRP but I cannot say it is better than Idlewild or Brackett's Bluff.
The one other thing that this course might provide is an intensely beautiful fall season. Tomjulio has posted some pictures that make this course absolutely stunning. I imagine my feeling might change slightly because I played it in the middle of the worst drought in decades, but I imagine when the trees are turning colors that this course will have a different feel.
I think the $1 is too little to charge. I would ask for $5 a round or $10 for an all day pass. Season passes could be purchased for $50+ and then there would be more money available to pay someone to do some maintenance. In my opinion if Flip wants to remain #1 in the country some of these issues will need to be handled, or other courses will begin to pass it by because they are receiving more maintenance.
It is only my 9th course given the sought after 5 disc rating. While my review might sound negative, realize this is probably in part to having serious expectations of this course. I know Bill works extremely hard and I am by no means bashing his course, it is still a 5 disc course (I consider it to be a 4.9-4.95 effectively putting it into a tie with Idlewild). It is not perfect, but is pretty darned close. I respect his hard work and feel like he needs to charge more for the experience. If that is his way that is his decision. Perhaps he has it just the way he wants it. He obviously enjoys meeting people and sat down for a nice 20 minute discussion about the course afterwards. I know I would be the same way if it was my property, but I also would charge more to do more on the course.
34 of 36 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Exit 140 draws you out of the groove in the pine and hardwood forest that is highway 31 north of Muskegon, Michigan. You look out onto a terrain shaped by the last ice age and a few determined farmers. Untouched by the grower's machines, Flip City adds a few pads and baskets to the trees and plants that occupy this gift from a receding glacier. People who play here offer compensation for their grinding feet by erecting awkward columns from the rock-till exposed by recent rains or gathered by some past thrower who knew nothing of champion or esp plastic. Play at Flip City is both challenging as a sport and in harmony with the land. (Note: First in the order of competitive sports that disturb nature the least is Stone/Pond Skipping. Last? Pro-football)
Cons: People like me who started in the city/metro parks decades ago sometimes miss the beer and food stores down the block. Bring your cooler/supplies if you want to make a day out of it.
Other Thoughts: "Green Fees" are modest. Double pay; or triple pay for a whole day.
7 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 9 Not
+ Very technical layout: Shooting up hill, down hill, over hills, off a cliff.
+ Forgiving course: paths cut through rough made finding poor shots much easier.
+ Camping area: looked like a nice size area, although I haven't stayed.
+ Concrete pads: longer pads, well kept
+ Only $1 per round
+ 18 or 24 hole option: be a boy scout - PREPARE. It is a long course. Bring extra water, snacks, etc.
- Poison Ivy is everywhere.
- Reputation is intimidating for beginners: Shouldn't be, but several players I throw with in my home town heard that FLIP is difficult and won't even try.
* Respect the course: Don't be a d-bag and bring a trash bag. This is a private course, be respectful to the guy opening his property up to us.
* Rock sculptures are awesome: Help construct one :D
3 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - Immaculately maintained.
- Uses the entire land area to create an extremely diverse field of holes. (private 88 acres!)
- Plenty of sitting areas and hole 1 has a small patio section for hanging out between rounds.
- The rock gardens are a true work of art.
- Bill, the course owner, is as nice as can be and his passion for the sport is shown with every little detail on this beautiful course. Please respect Bill's work!
A must see course.
Other Thoughts: Some people don't respect the course owner or game and throw their litter around the course.
Don't be one of these people!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 5 Not
Definately Worth The Trip
Pros: *Excellent Scorecard with course map, hole lengths, and more information than you need waiting for you at hole 1
*The course uses elevation changes extremely well to leave you speechless at most of the teepads
*Concrete "Pro" Teepads and alternate teepads marked with large rocks are easily found, navigation signage throughout the course will help you stay on the right track
*Plenty of trash cans, benches, shaded rest areas, brooms at teepads, and more at this course
*This course is full of amazing holes that will leave you wanting to toss more than one drive just to watch the discs fly down the fairways
Cons: *"Locals" using the course apparently were not happy that the course was "crowded" on a Saturday (They need to get over it) <- For a little clarification, my family didn't need to hear snide remarks about course crowding from locals who skipped holes to avoid the PIF Groups on the course.
*Too far away to make it a regularly visited course to play for me, but definately worth a trip at least once a year
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed my day trip to meet up with a bunch of DGCR PIF'rs and this opportunity to play Flip City. This course should be a guideline in how to build a disc golf course and maximize challenge and fun at the same time.
Bill (the owner) is a great guy! Thanks for sharing this great course with so many disc golfers!
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
24 holes of awesomeness
Pros: - immaculately maintained (even the brush has rows mowed through it to make finding disks easier)
- hole design is amazing. Every hole looks different and is beautiful to look at
- design of course incorporates many different kinds of throws
- great use of elevation
- benches spread throughout the course for resting
- map and scorecard available at beginning (my friends and I navigated the course pretty well without use of map which leads to next point)
- course flows very well and the alternative holes can be skipped with no extra walking to play the next hole after them -although there is absolutely no reason to skip them because they are some of the best holes on the course
- very fun and while not super easy the course is in no way frustrating. Beginners and Pros alike can play this course
- the maker of the course has all these stone statues placed around the course to add to its majesty
- it goes without saying but there are cement tee pads at every hole and the tees and baskets are labeled with the number of the hole
Cons: - it is nine hours away from me
Other Thoughts: My brother was traveling to Michigan to visit a friend and so i went with him just so I could play this course and it was well worth the trip. I played a few more great courses in the are as well. Hole 1-3 I was like this was pretty good but after that every time I stepped up to the tee I had to stand in awe for a couple of seconds just looking at the holes. This course is well worth a trip to Michigan and I can't wait to get there again
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
If perfect existed, this is the place!
Pros: Well-manicured, challenging, serene, clean, variety of holes.
Cons: The only con is the terrain is probably too difficult for children or people in poor physical condition. It is a long drive from the major cities but worth the trip.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful course, so much in fact you almost don't care if you play bad!
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Like No Place Else
Pros: Everything was like I imagined and then some. This is THE course to play. Whether you're a beginner or a pro this course will make your jaw drop. Meticulously manicured fairways and very forgiving trees populate this gem nestled in Shelby, Michigan. I recommend this course to everyone I see. Even if they don't play disc golf I tell them they have to go see it.
Cons: Not discovering disc golf sooner so I could have enjoyed this course a long time ago!
Other Thoughts: There is something very special about Flip City and you'll never know what IT IS until you go play there. One round will hook you into planning multiple trips to play this course. I guarantee it!
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 30 Not
Pros: great course with a variety of shots. cool stone scultures and scenery. loved the mowed paths through the rough made finding discs alot easier.
Cons: teepads need work very small and very beat up. a few holes are just poke and pray. Personally wouldnt put this course in my top 5.
4 of 34 people found this review helpful.
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