5 Helpful / 0 Not
One more time, with feeling...
Pros: South Elgin has taken another crack at the Village Center Disc Golf Course, and some of the issues with the old layout have been addressed. The course is still made up of two independent areas with holes, but the South area has been expanded to hold 8 holes and the course overall now has 12 holes. The old hole #2 which used to shoot blindly over a creek toward a road and parking lot has been re-worked; basket #2 is now on the same side of the creek as the tee, a hole has been added and the old #2 basket is now #4 with a new tee on the same side of the creek. In addition, the playground that used to be by the old #5 basket (it's now #7) has been removed and a new hole (#8) has been added that shoots down toward the bridge. That new hole cuts down on the golfless distance you need to walk between tees. New tee areas have been added (crushed gravel in a border) with makes it easier to find the tees, and there are posts by the tees that I was told will get signs. Holes 1-9 have flags on top of the baskets to help you find them.
Cons: While there have been improvements, this is still a classic Chicago disc golf course…flat, short, pretty wide open, not very challenging. It's an OK recreational design, nothing more.
The new #3 hole now has hole #1, #2, #3, the basket for #5 and the tee for #6 all crammed together. The last four holes are unchanged and old #6/new #9 has always had a problem with park users being in the fairway. The new # 4 plays down a narrow strip with a knarly creek to the left and a gravel road to the right, which will still be a conflict with traffic on the gravel road when the ball fields are in use. The new #8 hole has a bench very near the basket. The overall effect is a course that isn't all that safe; you have to watch out for other golfers and other park users here.
The new tee for old #5/new #7 was moved down to a spot that is hard to find and takes away a fun elevated tee shot. The tee for old #3/new #5 has been moved back; it makes a better shot but it also would be hard for a first-time visitor to find. There used to be a sign telling you how to get to the last 4 holes by the #5 basket, and that has not yet been replaced. All of those spots could use directional signs since the course does not flow particularly well.
In the end, the main gripe I heard from others was the split park and the long walk back and forth. That still exists. You still have holes #1-#8 in one area and a long walk under a bridge and past the police station to get to holes #9-#12. The new design gives you more shots (eight as opposed to five) if you are just going to play the first set of holes and skip the long walk, and the new #8 gets you a bit closer to the bridge. That's as good as it gets. If you played here before and hated the course because of the long hike between parks, you are still going to hate it.
Other Thoughts: According to the park department, the redesign is very recent and has not been totally completed. When I was there the old #6/new #9 did not yet have a tee, and the baskets still had the numbering from the old 9-hole course. There are posts for signs, but no information on them. I was given the impression that the park department is planning on addressing these issues.
I will give the parks department credit for working on the course and trying to improve it. The problem is that the site isn't really suited for disc golf, so no matter what is done to it the course is only going to be so-so. Despite that it is encouraging that improvements are still happening here. It's still not the kind of course you should go out of your way to play, but it's an OK recreational course for local play.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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