Nothing much could happen, nothing we can't shake. Oh, we're absolute beginners, with nothing much at stake
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fel-Pro RRR is an interesting layout. It certainly is not designed with serious/competitive disc golf in mind; it is very much a beginner-friendly recreational course. The holes are mostly short and run back and forth across a mostly open area; there are a few trees but nothing that difficult to avoid. Holes #5 and #8 had some distance to them, but the rest of the shots were in the 200'ish to 250'ish range. The lightly wooded landscape really didn't force you into any shots; you can show up with one shot and throw it all day. The area that the course is in has a pitch to it, so you get a variety of uphill/downhill/flat elevation on the shots.
The area of the park that the course is in is very well maintained. The tee signs are basic and the tees are dirt. Once you get to hole one, the flow is very logical.
I've taught a kids disc golf program for years. When I finished playing Fel-Pro RRR, it really hit me that of all the courses I've played that this is the one I'd pick if I could magically teleport my kids program to any course I chose. It's a fantastic learning layout. It's got a little challenge, it's fun to play and the park is beautiful.
Cons: If you are not a kid or a beginner, the layout will be lost on you.
You have to walk the entire length of the course to get to hole #1. I was with my young daughter when I played the course, and she thought the little walk was nice to stretch your legs and get warmed up after riding in the car. Maybe she is right; it really wasn't that far of a walk. On a nice day it's just some extra fresh air and exercise.
Hole #3 shoots right at the pin hole #2. The two baskets are too close together; it's not all that safe and it's confusing.
Holes #4/#5/#6/#7/#8/#9 shoot back and forth; they all sort of overlap a bit with the hole on either side as they are all sort of crammed into a small space. If the course ever got busy, the holes are too close together for the deign to be considered safe.
The baskets are Innova DisCatcher Sports; they are not intended to be left outside and will start to rust and break down after a short time. The small center tube on hole #9 had already been buckled and the basket was leaning a bit. The baskets will need to be upgraded for this course to have a long life.
Looking at the overall site, I found myself thinking it was a shame that they didn't want an actual Champ-type layout because they certainly have the land for one. It's a really, really nice piece of property.
Other Thoughts: Fel-Pro was an auto parts company in McHenry; they owned a private park for their workers for "Rest, Relaxation, and Recreation." It was the ultimate company picnic site. When the company was sold to Federal-Mogul Corporation around 2000, the 220 acres of Fel-Pro RRR was deeded to a collaboration of The Nature Conservatory, McHenry County Conservation District, and Metropolitan Family Services. The now 277 acre site is largely undeveloped; it is more a home to nature trails and natural habitat than it is for active use developments like disc golf courses.
I can't rate Fel-Pro RRR very highly because in the end it's not designed to be a great disc golf course. What it is designed to be is a fun recreational/beginners course, and that it does very well. It would be a great place to take kids or introduce a friend to disc golf. If you are a recreational player who likes a fun, quick 9 hole round this course is a great choice. For that I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and rate it higher than most.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Feel like a Pro @ FEL PRO
Pros: 1) Beginner friendly course because it is mostly open and the hole distances are within the tolerable range for beginner golfers. Sure, they might not birdie many holes, but pars should be more regular than bogeys.
2) Signs have the necessary information . . . Par, Hole #, an distance . . . including a simple vinyl # on the backside of the tee to assist in navigation of this course. While there is no hole diagram or map . . . it is hardly needed on this course because the baskets are in plain view (except #5) from the tee.
3) Yellow ring is also numbered so you know you are throwing at the correct basket. I also can appreciate the yellow rim for visibility.
4) Decent elevation change on this course. There are some uphills, some downhills, and quite a few across the slope . . . where the slope definitely affects how you throw an approach shot to any of these baskets. if you do not park the hole, you better plan your upshot well!
5) There are a decent amount of trees in play on this course . . .suprisingly. For being in a mostly open field the designers incorporate quite a few trees into the design. #2 has trees protecting a high hyzer into the basket. #3 is protected from the same. #4 has a tree on each side of the fairway which frames your shot. #5 you can pick any of three gaps in the trees to try and get near the basket but there is a tree about 40-50' short and to the right of the basket. #7 has a couple more options for gaps. #8 is protected short and right of the basket, but stray too far left and you will have another tree in your way. #9 also has a couple of trees surrounding the basket which will affect your potential lines. SO for being in a mostly open field . . . you do have obstacles other than elevation to worry about.
6) Hole distances range from 182' up o 386' with everything in between. This is atypical of shorter courses, normally holes stay within a smaller range with just a couple outliers to increase the diversity. Here a broader range is used with 2 holes that fall outside the normal range.
7) This course does not see any other park users that get in the way unless someone has no idea they are walking though a disc golf course. The only spot that might not be completely safe would be #9 to the right of the fairway, but it is totaly visible from the tee so I am not as concerned with this issue.
8) Portopotty was a welcome site at 6:30 AM after a 90 minute drive on icy roads . . .and again after the round! I KNOW TMI, but deal with it!
Cons: 1) Walk to #1 is something I have not seen before . . .a 300 yard walk just to get to the fist tee. I guess because of the land they used there was no way to run a long hole from near #8 tee down to #1 tee because it would have shortened half of the holes by 50-75' width would be fairly unacceptable on this already shorter course.
2) Grass tees always leave something to be desired in my opinion. I would prefer a consistent tee like concrete anyday to grass tees. Half of the tees were frozen when I played so they were really uneven and dangerous to the knees and ankles, the other half were either thawed do to sun exposure and slick (I know it is a seasonal concern only, in season these would probably do just fine (except the ones that aren't level)). There also was quite a bit 0of unevenness on these tees in general.
3) This course is a little bit repetative in that you just throw back and forth across this same portion of the park . .. you can see 3 or 4 other holes from any hole on the course and from Holes #4 and 5 you can see every hole. It doesn't use enough variety of the land available.
4) Discatcher Sport baskets are not intended to be installed outside and will most definitely see rust and wear due to weather over a much shorter period of time. They are also a single chain basket which I do not recommend for outdoor use (good enough for practice, but not for a course in my opinion).
5) There are two areas where fairways or baskets are too close to another hole. The two baskets in #2 and #3 are way to close . . . maybe 35-45' in between them and completely in play from the other tee areas. #7 fairway also crosses a little to close to #8 fairway in my opinion. #5
Other Thoughts: All in all this course is decent . . . there are enough design elements to make this course fun, but there are enough issues that it isn't a course I would return to over and over. Perhaps is some more of the prairie was included and holes were extended i would feel differently. I had fun including an ace run on #2 that hit off the top yellow ring. It seemed to be more solid than the outer band on the regular Discatchers as I ended up bouncing a good 15' straight back.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Beautiful Conservation Area
Pros: .Located in a picturesque McHenry County conservation area.
.The course area is dedicated to disc golf. Except for a walking path on the eastern perimeter and a horseshoe pit adjacent to the third tee, there shouldn't be any distractions from other park activities.
.Tranquil. Very little road (traffic) noise.
.Tee signs provide hole number, distance and square you up to each basket. Otherwise you wouldn't know where to stand (see con below)
Cons: .No tee pads. No markers. Just a tee sign on a pole stuck in the grass. However, being a new course this may be a work in progress.
.The baskets for holes 2 and 3 are way too close to each other. You basically can't shoot at either basket if players are at the "other" basket.
.The first tee is at the far end of the course. This means you walk to the far end and play back to the parking lot. To my knowledge this concept is unprecedented.
.The entire nine holes play primarily in a big rolling field. The fairways are moderately spaced but are nonetheless adjacent to each other. This could get uncomfortable, or even dangerous in some blind areas, if the course is crowded.
.The baskets appear to be the less expensive Innova Sport baskets marketed as portables. While not really a con, as they work just fine, it remains to be seen how they'll hold up on a permanent basis.
Other Thoughts: This is such a beautiful park that it's too bad disc golf is confined to one open field. Ideally, at some point the course can be redesigned and expanded to include some of the wooded areas and perhaps make this a top quality 18 hole course. Having said that and despite the negatives, I've played three rounds here and had a pleasant experience. Other than holes 2, 3, and 9, the remaining holes have a degree of difficulty that, for me, made it fun and challenging.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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