New top 5 Michigan course!!!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great Variety! 2 tees and 2 baskets on every hole. Pink tees and pink baskets are shorter but create totally different lines and shots. Blue tees and baskets are the 'longer' version of Carly's. So, there are truly 4 different courses. And the color distinction of BRIGHT Pink and metallic blue ensure no confusion of which basket or hole you are playing. Short, medium and long holes testing all aspects of your game. Holes #2, 4, 6 and 7 are true par 4s (Blue to Blue) hole 18 with out of bounds left along the entire length of the fairway has to be a par 4 too (OB rope used for tournaments on the left edge of the fairway)
There are many different shots you have to make playing this course. Not only from the tee, but on upshots and putts. Elevation, a little wind off the bay, tree-lined fairways and excellent pin placements make this a super fun and challenging course.
This is in my top 5 fav courses instantly after playing it in the Grand Opening of Carly's Playground this past weekend.
Cons: Searching for some 'Con'..... Not really a 'con' but just a fact...The new layout/ redesign has a few new 'raw' areas w/ little trees and newly grown branches w/ leaves that need to be trimmed. it's not out of control..but a few holes have some hanging, thin branches. Not a big deal really.
Other Thoughts: They plan to maintain the course really well, tweak and continue to improve the course and install concrete tee pads in the near future, which is great to hear!! I love this place and can't wait to get back!!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful & Challenging
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: New Innova Flags on all the blue Baskets. Beautiful land with many views! A Pro and Am course running side by side but with 2 Baskets and dual Tee's on each hole make this a 4 course combo. The custom Carly pink baskets jump out of the hills!
Designed by 3 Time world Champion Gregg Hosfeld with the help of many many local volunteers to offer something for everyone.
Cons: Some big climbs but worth the view. Many locals like the set up with hole 1 and 10 starting of either side of the lodge offers a halfway break. To escape a second hilly walk and still get 18 holes in a shorter amount of time some of the players will play both baskets from one of the Tee's. Speaking of Tee's, no concrete yet. However, all carpet is staked down and time went into providing a nice level surface. The carpet tee pads are not bad at all. Course is seasonal and will be pulled in mid November.
Other Thoughts: New signage, Each sign features a different full color graphics @ a picture of Carly Jean Lewis in her memory. A gift to her school, friends, and community. For more information about Carly's Playground go to cjlplayground.com or visit Carlys Playground @ Mt Holiday on Facebook.
It is our hope this course will evolve to become one of the best in Michigan over time as steady improvements and beautification continue. Similar courses that come to mind is Flip City and Hickory Hills.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Carly's Playground: a guide
Pros: Now 18 holes with two sets of color coded tees and targets. Beer and food on site (part time) Wide variety of shots and distances. Please support this wonderful new course by sponsoring a tee sign!
3.5 rating from me. May go to 4.0 or 4.5 once the tee pads and signs are installed properly.
Cons: Some tough walks/climbs. The temporary nature of some holes (due to being a ski area) forced some design decisions that, otherwise, may not have come into play. Short (pink) targets are far more visible than the distant blues. (Bright flags are being considered)
The course is new and has a long list of projects before it can be considered complete, but the amount of work that has gone into the course in the short time since its commission is not to be ignored.
Other Thoughts: Carly's Playground disc golf course
The Mount Holiday dgc was redesigned in July of 2011 from a 9-hole course to an 18-holer with two sets of tees and two sets of pins and renamed "Carly's Playground at Mount Holiday". The course was produced primarily by local Traverse City player, Todd Lewis, as a memorial to his daughter Carly Jean Lewis, who was taken too soon, only weeks earlier. Sponsorships are being sought for all 36 tees.
Carly's favorite phrase was "Love Wins", which became her trade mark. Lewis was a very popular young lady and a disc golfer.
As with any new 'epic' course, it takes time to get everything in place. This review is intended to assist with helping disc golfers get around the course 'as-is' and also to shed light on future plans.
Pros: Two sets of tees (Pink & Blue) and two sets of Mach 5 targets (also Pink and Blue)
The brand new HOT Pink M5s are the first of their kind (Carly's favorite color). They were installed in late September of 2011 and are incredibly visible from quite a distance. Some alternate pin positions will also come into play using older sleeves.
Each fairway can be played 4 different ways at any given time. Pink tee to pink pin is the shortest configuration and is intended to play fairly easily for recreational players. Blue to Pink and Pink to Blue are a bigger challenge. In many cases, the blue pins are intended to be par 4s. Blue to Blue was designed to allow a high-level player to push his/her game.
The lodge is open, but only part time. Restrooms and a tavern (beer & food) are available during operational hours. Feel free to mention (nicely) how cool it would be if they were open on a more regular basis. Please stop in and support the bar. It can only help our cause.
Both the front (shady) and back (sunny) start on either side of the lodge and end at the base of the hill behind the lodge. A practice basket has been placed in the grass by the parking lot.
The front 9 is mostly shady for afternoon rounds. Back 9 is mostly sunny for evening rounds.
For morning rounds, it is suggested to play the shorter, back 9 first, so you can finish in the shade in the hotter part of the day.
The possibilities for "gorilla" or "safari" holes on this course is simply mind-boggling. WCDGD is currently working on a "sick" 9-hole Championship 'skins' layout for tournament play.
The tees are a work in progress. Many are still 'natural' and not yet leveled. Carpet is being collected for the tee areas. Some tees will be affected by winter skiing activities and will have to be removed during those months.
The tee sign backings are currently recycled from the older layout. Temp signs have been printed, laminated and placed while waiting for the new signs, which are in the works. Until then, some distances are merely guidelines. Apologies.
Big climbs. Yes, it's true. But…it IS a ski slope. If you want long, downhill throws, you'll have to hike up the hills to do so. The course was designed under the impression that the ski lifts would be running for another amenity, so we did not use the biggest, most inviting fairway on the property, which would have been dangerous to those on the lift. A CTP hole is being considered here.
There are a couple of (hopefully) minor proximity issues with a couple of fairways, specifically 9 & 18. 12 & 13 are also a bit close. A highly errant shot from the blue tee of #7 could encroach on the #5 pink tee. And an over zealous approach on #4 blue pin could encroach on #5's blue tee. A netting barrier is being considered for the 2012 playing season.
The course might have stayed away from all ski areas, but that would have required cutting a LOT more trees, which we thought best to avoid.
(Some positions have been modified since taking measurements)
Front 9: The Shady side
#1-PP230'/PB305'/BP320'/BB390' Welcome to Carly's Playground. The Pink tee goes off directly west of the lodge's back patio. The Blue tee goes off from the parking area, through a wide opening of a new fence. Both pins are fairly open, forgiving, down hill shots. A gold pin will likely rest on the far side of the trail & up the hill. Pink tee may move a bit starting in 2012.
#2 (formerly #3)- PP255'/PB450'/BP300'/BB480' The Pink pin position remains the same (straight & open), while the pink tee has been backed up a bit. The Blue tee remains the same, but the Blue pin becomes a tough par 4 located 200' right of the pink pin, down the road and up to the left. Watch for blackberry thorns by tree at road entrance! Thorn area may become O.B. to reduce bleeding & disc loss.
#3- PP165'/PB225'/BP195'/BB255' Pink tee up a hill to the left; a straight shot to pink pin and blue pin is directly behind and down the hill. Blue tee is on the road. Primary route is a hyzer into the woods, but a tricky anhyzer/flick is also available. Expect the occasional "gray ace" when thowers crash the pink as they go for the blue. Pay up!
#4- PP125'/PB315'/BP180'/BB365' This is where the climbs start. The pink tee is on the side of a hill and requires a very short uphill shot (miss that stump!) to the pink pin with a drop off behind. The Blue pin is considered a par 4 for both tees. An aggressive shot on Blue pin from the Pink tee will have to fly over "the abyss". The blue tee demands a tough UP shot to set up a placement shot at the top of the hill. A well-executed drive will net a putt at the Pink pin and a clear upshot to the Blue. An alternate blue pin with a drop off is under consideration.
#5- PP217'/PB200'/BP235'/BB250' Blue tee is a bit close to the #4 blue pin, but you'll see why. A couple of nice downhill lobs into a fairly tight tunnel. Pink pin has a clear anhyzer. Blue pin is actually a shorter tighter hyzer. Red tee requires a walk around the back-side of the Blue tee. There is a very tight sight-line to the blue pin, but a high spiking hyzer is the preferred shot. The pink pin requires a slightly hyzered shot to level out downhill. From Blue tee, please walk back and around toward the red tee go to reduce erosion damage.
#6- PP???'/PB???'/BP370'/BB495' Blue tee is located a few feet from the previous red tee but goes off in a different direction through a newly created corridor, with a slow 90 degree left turn up hill. The red tee was shortened and, IMHO, does not take advantage of the strong personality of this fairway. (Needs new measurement) The pink pin is up the slight grade to the left. The blue pin (par 4 for both tees) requires another 150' carry up the path.
#7- PP250'/PB475'/BP310'/BB535' Blue tee is flat and requires a slow right-turning shot to the pink pin. The pink tee is located on a nice little mound in the woods to the left of the Blue. Picnic bench planned. The shot on the pink pin is straight, but must split the "goal-post" trees. The blue pin(s) are over a rise and down the hill to the same position as the earlier #7 pin. A blue alt pin is left, more in the open but closer to a hard drop-off behind. There may also be a gold tee up and behind to the right of the Blue tee.
"Stairway From Seven" The walk to # 8 is the toughest on the course. To ease the burden on your legs try a less severe walk through the woods. From Pink pin…don't go toward the blue pin, but rather, up to your right. Follow the path around and into the woods. There should be "next signs" to guide you. From the blue pin, start up the hill and veer right into the woods. There should be a nice bench soon to rest your weary legs and enjoy the scenery.
#8- PP215'/PB245?'/BP225'/BB260?' Both Pink & Blue tees are fairly open. The Pink pin sits behind the crest of the hill. About 1/3 of the pin is visible from the Pink tee and only the very top is visible from the blue. The Blue pin is farther back and to the right. Short and you're on the hill. Right and you're in the woods. Too long and you are down a 15' drop off and will have a challenging upshot. Blue pin requires new measurement.
#9- PP340'/PB495'/BP400'/BB545' Blue tee to Blue pin was left exactly as it had been… a long, open downhill shot. Pink tee and pin are both shorter and to the left of Blues.
Back 9- "The Sunny Side"
#10- PP249'/PB299'/BP340'/BB370' The Pink tee goes off directly behind the left side of back patio and the Blue from directly left of the patio, with an open downhill drive. The Blue pin is about 50' longer than the Pink. Both are about 25' from the large lone pine.
#11- PP229'/PB???'/BP315'/BB370' The only water hole on the course. The Blue tees over the pond and up the hill. The Pink tees from the right side of the pond and goes under the pines to the Pink Pin. The longer Blue pin is a tough birdie. Few will drive this uphill hole. Blue tee still requires some expansion.
#12- PP215'/PB250'/BP240'/BB280' Walk toward the maintenance shed. The Blue tee will go off near a telephone pole toward Holiday road. The Pink Pin is tucked into an alcove in the woods and can be approached from the left or right. The Blue pin is farther around the corner and a birdie can be had by approaching with an anhyzer or power flick. The Pink tee has a far shallower angle to both pins and goes off from behind the maint shed.
#13- PP220'/PB222'/BP263'/BB265' The Blue & Pink tees align on this tunnel shot out of the woods to a slight downgrade. The Pink pin sits to the right of the large tree and the Blue sits to the left and behind on a mound. WATCH YOUR STEP on the mound!
#14- PP190'/PB325'/BP217'/BB353' Both Pink & Blue tees go uphill from different angles to the Pink pin on a steep rise. The Blue pin (blind from both tees) sits in the open about 150' farther up the fairway and is considered an easy par 4.
#15- PP112'/PB142?'/BP165'/BB177?' One of the shortest holes on the course, primarily to take advantage of the limited shade on the "sunny" side. The Pink tee punches through some tight woods for an ace run on the Pink pin, but provides another 'gray-ace' opportunity when shooting for the Blue pin, which is on the same line. The Blue tee requires a finesse anhyzer to park the Pink and a straight to hyzer shot to reach the Blue pin, which is in the open on the far side of the trees.
#16- PP170'/PB256'/BP222'/BB295'/GP235/GB360' The Pink tee is in the open and the Blue is pushed close to the woods for more afternoon shade. The Pink pin is a very tricky position to the right on the down-slope of a hill. An ace run could cost you 2 strokes or more. IMHO, the Blue pin position could not be improved upon from the original layout and remains one of the most scenic pin positions on the course. The ground also fades away on this position. Not as steep, but twice as deep.
#17- PP???'/PB???'/BP???'/BB385' The Pink tee is slated for repositioning, probably a walk left under the ski lift to some pines. The Blue tee is at the top left of the ski lift. Both Pink & Blue pins are downhill, Pink being wide open and Blue requiring a bit of a right turn. Over-shooting can result in a long uphill return.
#18- PP219'/PB322'/BP390'/BB493'/GP622/GB725' Blue and Pink tees align down a steep corridor of trees. The Blue pin is a long-straight par 4. The Pink pin is currently off the path and IMHO does not offer a valid line to the pin. We hope to also have a Gold tee that will bring the hole to over 700' from Gold to Blue.
Have fun. Play safe!
Course design by World Champion Disc Golf Design & Signature Disc Golf Design.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
WOW!! What a change!!
Pros: *** NOTE ***
Review based on the red tee/pink basket combination only.
Elevation, elevation, and elevation!!
The variety and challenge offered at this redesigned masterpiece should elevate it to one of the top courses in the state in the near future.
Dual/triple tees and pins make playing multiple rounds or rounds with varied abilities a breeze. The signage (where available) was clear and well done. The flow of the layout was much better than previously and worked well, even in the areas where signage was missing/incorrect. There are lots of Next Tee signs for areas where it's not obvious. The current carpeted tee pads are a HUGE improvement over the tiny wood chip disasters that were used for the previous nines, and all the red pads except for #10 were flat, level, and well sized.
Do you dream of the huge downhill rip? It's here. Narrow, wooded fairways? Yup. Doglegs and S-turns? Check and check. Uphill? You bet. Elevation changes? In spades. Side hill and creative pin placement? But of course! On the Red/Pink tee/basket combination, there's only one hole over 400' yet very few are lacking in significant challenge or risk/reward situations. Even the shortest, at 112', was a bear with a super narrow, heavily wooded lane, a low ceiling, and a slight right bend around the side of the hill. Add basket placement on the side of that hill and my deuce run quickly turned into a 5 on a roll away with no way back into the woods.
I LOVED that the red (short) tees didn't remove the challenge from the holes. Some of the short tees are placed on or near the line from the blue tees, preserving the challenge while shortening the distance. Others are placed such that they change the entire flavor of the hole offering an entirely different set of challenges. As the "dumbing down" of most short tees is one of my pet peeves in course design, this delights me to no end. :-)
The custom pink baskets are SWEET and very, very visible!
Cons: Yup. Elevation, elevation, elevation.
This redesign has recaptured the original course's work-out factor so be prepared for a strenuous round with adequate footwear and hydration. In most cases the flow and elevation changes work well, but the hike up the face of the hill to # 8, in the sand, quite simply SUCKS. While not quite as awful, the hike to #10 isn't any great shakes, either.
The red tee for #10 is waaaay too short and the consequences for overstepping the front of the box are significant.
Problems that are being remedied as time/money allows (see other thoughts):
- The old signage from the first redesign has been recycled on the back nine, so the numbering is all wrong as is the distance printed for each hole.
- A couple of the new holes have been tweaked leaving the new signage incorrect as well.
- The carpets on some of the tees on the back nine aren't anchored so they may slide during your throw.
- Many of the side hill tees have no retaining wall underneath so the dirt may collapse as you enter, exit, or throw.
The custom blue baskets are almost impossible to see and should have been used for the short pin positions instead of the long.
Other Thoughts: This course was built as a memorial to the death of a local disc golf legend's daughter, Carly. All the work and materials is being done via donation and volunteer work crews. While the course is rough (very, in some places) at this time, rest assured that improvements are being made regularly throughout the summer and fall.
My review and rating will be updated as needed changes are made.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
This Ain't Your Daddy's Playground
Whoa, Daddy, you had better get ready! Pulling up to the lot you are treated to a full view of a formidable hill (even if it isn't a formidable ski hill), raising your expectations, and Carly delivers. There are only a couple holes where significant elevation doesn't come into play, and those are invariably holes with super-tight fairways. While there are opportunities for big downhill bombs, most holes are undulating hills of challenging goodness.
Dual tees and dual basket positions:
While some secondary positions merely require an anny vs a hyzer approach, there are more than a few secondary positions that change a hole from just challenging to really unpleasant (in a good way). The baskets were in the short position for most holes, and when I saw the long position location, my reaction usually was "dayum!"
A notable one is hole 6, which is difficult enough after tacking 90° hard left following a long soft right turn, but then it adds 150' of distance and 20' of elevation (after a second 90° left turn) for the long position. Hole 14 adds another 200 uphill feet of distance on top of the initial 250-270 of uphill feet.
This is a course that lends itself to many custom permutations, promising to keep you from getting bored with repeated rounds. Each 9 starts off the parking lot, so a quick round can be had if time is limited.
Downhills range from hugely open to razor thin fairways, and uphills are a nice blend of full fairway to late in the hole. Lots of baskets are obscured from the tee, even in the short position, and while most of the woods holes are leafy trees, there are more than enough pines to keep things interesting during the spring and fall.
Distances range from about 125' on #15 short position Red tee to 600'+ on #6, #9, #17 & #18 long position Blue tees. Most holes are over 300' in the long basket positions.
You don't have to go into downtown Traverse City. (sorry Tilley's)
It would be bad enough if there wasn't adequate posted signage, but putting up signage that is FLAT OUT WRONG is pretty unforgivable. For some reason that eludes me, the signs from the old nine hole design were recycled and used for the new back nine. The result is not only that the holes are mis-numbered, but the ranges stated are completely incorrect. Stop-Gap Solution Fail.
The next tee signs on (what the map labels as) the front nine are nice, and the path was easy to follow, but the rest of the signage is a disaster. My rating will go up if the signage issue is addressed. Currently my rating is somewhat based on my confidence that it will be addressed, but if this is how it is left, I will absolutely lower my rating.
I am less enthusiastic about the future of the tees. The original course had lousy mats for tees, and that doesn't bode well for the future, but many of the tees I saw looked like they were designed as bases for cement pads. Definitely another bump in rating if cement tees are installed.
The only water hazzard on the course was effectively negated, as it is placed just after the tee, rather than just before the basket. When you only have one, you really should make the most of it.
The hike up to the #8 tee sucks, no two ways about it.
This is something that Traverse City desperately needed ---:another 18 hole course to alleviate the traffic on Hickory Hills. For those of you who don't get excited waiting for two groups every hole, Carly offers another (closer) alternative to Myles Kimmerly.
Even without the improvements stated above, I will often be choosing to play here instead of Hickory solely because I will have the place to myself. With the improvements, I will eagerly choose this one over Hickory often, not because Hickory is bad (hardly!), but because this will be shiny and new for many years to come.
There is a significant level of challenge here, and with the left-side 9 measurably easier than the right-side 9, you can tailor your round to accommodate many different skill levels. I never had the feeling of 'oh no, not another one of these holes' during any part of the round. Most of the time my buddy and I were expressing our appreciation of the secondary basket positions.
Last year I saw how they changed the layout to keep all nine holes on one side of the hill, and I hoped it meant they were going to install another nine. What they have done has completely exceeded my hopes and expectations from a design standpoint, and now they just need to complete the execution of this great design.
This is not a course for the faint of heart. You will be doing a lot of significant climbing, and there are many sheer faces if you go into the rough, as well. I strongly suggest sturdy hiking boots.
FYI, the blue baskets are damn near invisible from the tee.
There is a nice house that is about 300' away from the 7th tee on the new left-side nine. I would give up much to live there and have this course in my back yard.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: -Good variety
-2 baskets/tees on each hole. that rules
-Beautiful views of the bay from the top of the Mt Holiday ski hill
Cons: -carpet pads
-sandburs are bad. hope ppl pick them off so they dont spread at other courses
Other Thoughts: glad there's another high quality course in the traverse city area. the re-design of this place is amazing; much appreciated.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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