Great course that utilizes its location well
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Fantastic use of the surroundings, which includes a river, stream, open prairie, and a hardwood forest. The stream running through the first four holes is utilized well, making you think about your shot selection from the tee. The open fields allow you to stretch the arm out, with some true par four hole distances
There are also some short, technical holes that reward shot shaping and control.
In addition to the the course itself, the amenities on the property are nice. There is a bathroom and a water pump located at the parking lot. I didn't get a chance to use the water pump, so I am assuming it is functional. There are also garbage and recycling cans scattered throughout the course, too. The tee pads are concrete, and are large enough for even the biggest of run-ups.
Cons: As others have mentioned, the rough is just that. I'm sure that as more people play, the rough will become more beat in. But hey, if you are driving straight, there's nothing to worry about!
Other Thoughts: All in all, this is a fantastic course that is well worth the short drive from the Madison area, or further. The combination of shots and distances required make this a challenging course that is a blast to play.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
The Beast in the East ( of Dane County)
Awesome course and layout. All parts of your game required. Big arms, accurate mids and great putting will score well here.
Cons: Rough is rough. Woods are tight. No other surprises here. It's all been said before.
Other Thoughts: Keep on keeping on here! All the improvements are just making this hidden jem that much better.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Change of Pace from local Madison Courses
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The first thing I noticed after playing this course, was the great variety of holes, with holes in the woods, holes in the open, and some elevation change. The course also has large quality tee pads, great signs, and new chainstar baskets. It was also not very busy when I played, which was a nice change of pace compared to that of Elver and Hiestand. There are many technical holes in holes in the woods that go both left and right and require the right line to avoid to brush/rough. There are also a variety of both short and long holes, which make for plenty of birdie opportunities, but also difficult par saves. A creek also comes into play on Holes 1 and 4. The elevated basket on Hole 13 is a great addition. Overall, this course allows you to work on a great variety of shots, lines, and technical aspects of your game, which is awesome.
Cons: If you miss the fairways on any of these holes, the course will become very difficult. The brush in the woods and the grass on the open holes is quite thick. I played on a windy day, so the holes out in the open had an added difficulty, but certainly added the challenge to stay in the fairway. I could also see the bugs being bad at this course, so the wind may have helped in that aspect. Conservative shots with a mid-range off the tee may be an option as well.
Other Thoughts: The course could definitely use some brush/rough cleanup. Wider fairways in the open would be nice and some tree trimming and brush cleanup in the woods would make the course much more forgiving, but still difficult. From what I have heard though and based off of previous reviews, this course is coming along quite nicely. Hole 19 is also great for tiebreakers and a great way to end the round over the water. Lastly, I typically play the local Madison courses, Elver and Hiestand and occasionally Token Creek, so this is a great addition to the area and certainly less busy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome Fall-Spring Course
Pros: Great variety of wooded and open shots
Great variety of long and short shots
The short tees, long pins are very challenging, even for pros
The long tees create a very different shot for some holes
Cons: The only gripe I have with this course is that the rough is too thick during the summer months. There are lots of thorns so please wear long pants.
Other Thoughts: I highly enjoy playing this course from fall to early spring. I try to get out there once a week. The course designers are great people who have done a great job with the course. Hole 19 is such a great hole and worth emptying your bag on to try for an ace.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of pros for me. Distance variety is great with a almost 800 ft hole(long tees) to 150 ft hole(not really even a gimmie birdy). Lots of technical shots and definitely long open bombers with slight elevation to change the shots just enough. The signature hole is probably 19 across the water or 4 a big rhbh anny with a creek you need to get over(your choice to lay up or go for it). I really enjoy the atmosphere on this course where you will be traversing through forests, on the edge of wet lands, and through a prairie. I would say this course is no pitch and putt course(although short pad to short pins has a lot of ace runs). The longs will favor big arms with 5 holes over 500 and 3 over 600. I live in the area and this is the best course to go to when madison courses are packed. Great
Cons: Tall grass would be the biggest con out here. Its nothing like what some of the earlier reviews tell though(lots of works been done). Hole 14 long needs a landing area larger then 30 ft wide surrounded by long grass. really this is the only spot that is unfair to me as far as the grass. Lots of little stumps that you can trip and stub your feet on in the woods(i wouldnt doubt if this is taken care of soon). maybe a little more clearing in some areas to open up recovery shots more.
Other Thoughts: I felt the need to rate this course because it is deserving of a rating larger then it has. If your traveling the area do yourself a service and play the birds ruins!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
rivals the madison courses
Pros: huge concrete tees plus am and pro
distance variation is great 150-700
the fairways are well groomed and are plenty wide
a good mix of tight wooded holes and long open bombers
the woods has extreme elevation change which is really fun
water present for an extra thing to think about
tee signs are awesome showing the distance, par, and both tees and hole locations
navigating from hole to hole is a breeze with all of the markers on the trees
challenging to make par on the longer holes but then gives you ample opportunity to make up for it on the shorter holes
never busy and it's free!
plenty of different shots needed to score well(even a couple overhand shots)
practice basket and a bathroom are right by parking lot
located in a beautiful family park right by the river, it feels very peaceful and scenic.
Cons: a couple of the wooded holes have a few too many trees in the way and require a little luck
bugs can be a problem in the woods but not terrible
off the fairway grass is very tall and thick but like I said the fairways are adequately wide to land your disc
Other Thoughts: Hiestand and Elver are the most talked about courses around the area but I think this course should also be in the conversation. Honestly, if I could only play one course, i would pick bird's ruins over the madison courses because it is not busy at all. This course is so much fun with all of the different lines you can take to the pin and all of the different obstacle you have to throw around. It really provides a stern challenge. You'll probably need just about every disc in your bag here. And if your frustrated with your round you can always get rid of some steam by playing #19 throwing across the river. In my opinion this course has it all and is very close to perfect. Getting rid of a few trees on some wooded holes (#9 especially) would make this a 5.0 course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Great variety; Long Open Bombers, Short Wooded Ace runs, Open Water shots and everything in between
-Extremely well laid out; Signage is clearly displayed and consistent throughout the course. As others have said, once you realize the 1st tee is across the road from the parking area, navigation is a breeze.
-Tee pads; Outside of #11, every hole has well place, well poured, and adequately large tee pads
-Great Use of Elevation; Considering the small amount of elevation changes throughout the park, the designer(s) of this course did a fantastic job utilizing it.
-Facilities; Plenty of Parking, Running Water, Bathrooms, Benches near every Tee and a covered picnic area.
-Frequent Pin Location Changes; All too often I play at courses with multiple pin locations that only get moved a couple times a year. They do a great job switching pins every few weeks here (from what I have seen in 15+ rounds in 2012)
Cons: - Can be extremely buggy at times. Bring Spray
-Plenty of Thick rough that can prove challenging when finding an errant drive
Both of these aspects do not affect my rating of the course, but can really play a role in how enjoyable your round(s) are at Bird's Ruins.
Other Thoughts: One of the better courses I have ever played, and probably the best free/public 18 in all of Wisconsin. Easily worth an hour+ drive to play.
19 well laid out and meticulously maintained holes, a Practice Basket, Bathrooms/Water on site, and free to play. What's not to like?
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Play this course
Pros: Great layout. New tees! Will challenge every aspect of your game. A couple of signature holes that you will remember for a long time.Not a pay to play either. Skip the 8 bucks on Valla and come here.Technical tight shots and few where you can let em rip!
Cons: Not to many. Course is in early development but this will be one of the best around the madison area with time.
Other Thoughts: Bathrooms and camping on site
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The land has quite a bit of variety which includes open prairie, woods, slight sloping terrrain, and water. You need a well balanced game here. ** Hole #1 is located across the street from the parking lot.**
Once we found hole #1 navigation was a breeze. The signage is very good. Both sets of tees have tee signs and there are tons of navigational aids on the course.
The equipment is great. Concrete tee pads and brand new chainstars.
There is wide varity of shots needed on this course with both long and short tees.From the long tees there are quite of few holes where you can just let it rip!
Hole #19 is a great finish throwing across the water!
The elevated basket was a nice addition. One of the most unique elevated baskets I've seen.
Cons: I have no problem with challenge but the rough at this course is just nasty. We got lucky and played it in the spring. I have a feeling during mid summer this course is a disc eating beast. It seems to get some traffic so it may wear in over time. Play with a friend and spot for each other.
This course is still very ripe and needs some work. It needs some cleaning up. Watch your step out there. There a lots of stumps and tripping hazards.
There are a couple of wet and muddy areas you'll need to aviod after rain.
Other Thoughts: I get to Madison every other year or so to play Elver, Hiestand, and Token. This is a good addition to the area and was worth the stop.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Nice signs with Hole #, distance, map, and pin and tee locations. The map is somewhat helpful in overall hole shape. They are not perfectly shaped to the hole but it is close enough.
2) Chainstars are in great shape and installed properly. These are my favorite baskets by far.
3) Nice large concrete tees. Many of the holes have dual tees also which definitely alters the challenge on each hole. It makes the course a little more playable for people who are not top pros or long throwers.
4) #9 is a very unique hole. It plays along a severe slope but it starts out going down hill slightly, turning right, and then ends up going back up the hill. It makes for a really tough shot unless you have a perfect flick. I could easily see shots go way down the hill.
5) Hole #13 has a feature that is becoming more and more popular. It has a basket elevated up on a timber wall. This is possibly the highest elevated basket I have seen rising 11 timber levels above the ground (the base of the pole). The basket must be 12' up in the air, and this is definitely going to be a really windy part of the course because it is wide open prairie.
6) Water in play on a couple holes with the creek in play on #1, and #4 and the downhill shot on #7 (I think).
7) Incredible variety on this course between the first couple holes set in the prairie wooded section of the property. Then a few holes in the wide open rolling prairie, then a few in the dense woods, one in an opening but still wooded, a few more out in the prairie, and back into the old Oak woods for 1 hole and finishes in the prairie. It is nice that you don't play all the prairie holes in order and then all the wooded holes in order. The bouncing in and out of the woods and prairie is helpful to make you never get bored.
8) The Sumac in play on a couple of the holes creates a shot I have rarely seen on disc golf courses and I really like it. It is tall and twiggy and forces you to throw a high spike or an up and over floater. The only concern I have with the Sumac being used this way is that it is very delicate and if people throw into these areas they are likely to break off branches. The positive is that Sumac can really proliferate so hopefully those areas do not get damaged too the point that it alters the shot making. The Sumac really seems to be integral to the design of the hole.
9) Distance variation is enormous, ranging from as shot as 158 up to 715 and it has some of everything in between. The alternate tees and the alternate baskets also contribute to the variation in the course.
10) Balance of shot shaping is huge here. They require you to go both ways in the woods or at least offer both lines on multiple occassions, but the prairie you just need to play the wind however you can, so you can choose either throw, but try your hardest to get back to the fairway!
Cons: 1) The rough is rough. It is tall, it is thick, and it is a disc eater. I spent about an hour looking for 3 discs that were hiding from me, unfortunately the first one was my first ace disc so there was no way I was leaving without it . . . and I found it about 20' to the right of where I thought it was but after at least 40 minutes of searching. I am not sure if the prairie ever gets burned or if anything else can be done out there to make it more manageable. At the very least I could see mowing down some strips perpendicular to the fairway to help in spotting, or just always come to play with a friend or two and send out spotters to watch the drives land. I would imagine another 10-20' of a fairway will prevent a lot more issue.
2) The fairways that have been mowed through the prairie have some trippers still but those will disappear quickly with more traffic.
3) Raspberries on some of the wooded holes and I am sure there are some other troublesome weeds out there in the prairies and woods like Poison Ivy and Wild Parsnip. I am not 100% sure of this because they are tough to find right now, but they can be prevalent on unmaintained areas.
4) Not at all beginner friendly because of the length of the holes (even from the shorts) and the length of the tall grass creating a nightmare for lost discs.
5) I don't like blind holes and they have a few here where you cannot see the basket from the tee. This is only an issue once usually then you know how the hole is laid out, but still not a good idea in general. Sometimes the prairie fairways can deceive you in where you should be throwing.
6) A little too much luck needed on a couple of the wooded fairways, but that will level out over time.
Other Thoughts: Superb course, superb design, superb variety and balance . . . needs a little more maintenance or some more traffic to trample down some of those unmaintained prairie areas. Everything is just fine and I would come out here all the time if I lived closer.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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