Wood Pile Galore
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Kenwood Trails DGC is an interesting course with a bit of potential. At the start of the course there is a nice map showing the entire course's layout. The first tee is directly next to the tee. From that point on navigation is never an issue. There are next tee signs on each basket and whenever the next tee is not visible from the previous basket there are multiple next tee signs along the walk to show the way.
The course does a nice job of incorporating elevation in almost every hole even though there are no really big hills on the course to work with.
The holes feel fairly balanced with straight, right, and left break holes. With the tight fairways in the wooded sections of the course precise shot shaping is required. The distance on the holes is fairly short and most of the holes are right around 200 feet in length. For the better players the course could be played with a putter or a midrange disc until the last couple of holes that are around the four hundred foot length. It felt like the designer of the course really thought about how to lay out the course to create a fun and interesting course to play.
Tee area was clearly marked and most holes had a blue and red tee that were easy to identify. The footing was not great since most holes had wood chips placed in the tee area.
Cons: The course has some major problems as it currently stands and one could argue that some of these problems really should have been addressed before the course was open for play. First my biggest issue with the course is that almost all of the fairways in the wood sections have stacked piles of wood in the fairway. These piles are clearly not there to enhance the course and seem to be waiting for someone to haul them out. On hole 5 for example there is three or four foot high pile of wood that is about eight feet wide that is stacked about 40 feet in front of the basket. I threw a drive off the tee that was the exact throw I wanted but instead of parking it within 10 feet of the basket for a birdie I struck the wood pile and got stuck in the wood pile and had to settle for par. There were three of four other holes where my drive was negatively impacted by these woodpiles. On hole four the blue tee is unplayable because of the massive wood pile stack on the tee. In my mind, these woodpiles are unacceptable.
Another issue with the course is the tee area of each hole. The problem is that the tee areas have been wood chipped. I detest wood chick tee areas. Wood chipping does not provide any traction and usually causes a person to stumble or slip on a run up to throw. Most of these holes are extremely short so solid footing on the tee is not as important as it is on most courses but it is still a problem. Until concrete is put in the tee areas should just have been left as dirt.
The course was extremely crowded with the type of disc golfer that you do not want to see on the tee in front of you. There were many large groups of teenagers who did not understand the proper etiquette of disc golf aka throwing multiple shots, not letting faster players play through, and standing at the pin after completing a hole to chit chat amongst themselves or on their phones. The course should be easy to play in an hour or less since the distance is so short but instead it took us an hour and forty minutes to play the course. This detracted from the overall enjoyment of the course.
While I enjoyed the technicalness of the holes the majority of the holes were to short in length. Only two of the holes were over three hundred feet in length and the rest of the holes were pretty close to the two hundred foot length.
Other Thoughts: The course is interesting to me because it has the potential to be a fairly decent beginner course. The length of the holes make it attractive to new players because they are distances they can actual throw. The technicalness of the course through will detract from the beginner friendliness of the course. If the major issues of wood piles being stacked in the fairways and the poor tees are addressed the course will be a fun short course to play in the metro area.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
First time there
Pros: First off the length and variety of the holes is great. Alot of elevation changes and some hole layouts that I haven't come across that much.
Holes 1 & 2 are a really nice way to start of your round. Not much for obsticales in them just open grass and some hieght change. Because after that you are fine shooting your tee shots with the trees.
I really liked #6 with the quick uphill to the right pin.
This course makes you throw and not just bomb every tee shot as you have to setup for the next shot to have a good score.
Cons: The main thing I was frustrated with was the pins themselves as they can be hard to pick out in the woods. Some reflective tape or bright topper flags would do wonders. I'm sure this will be changed so I'm not to worried.
Other Thoughts: Go throw this course, it's worth it. My home course used to be Calvary hill in St. Cloud where I used to live, but I will be at this course multiple times a week. It is a great design!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Will be a top 5 in the Twin Cities Area
Pros: 1) Nice big course map and kiosk at the first tee area.
2) Practice basket is tucked down the hill between #1 and #18. It is a smaller area but it also offers a few downhill shots to the basket.
3) Garbage can at the first tee area and a few along the way.
4) Excellent use of rolling terrain . . . both in the open and in the woods. There is a lot of elevation change even though the total rise and fall is a total of about 9' difference (spoken from the course designer).
5) Very helpful Next Tee signs on the underside of the basket (which is helpful for flow) and it doesn't interfere with how the basket plays and will likely not see vandalism or take the brunt of someone's anger because it is basically under the basket.
6) Excellent trees usage on the course. There are a lot of trees on the wooded holes and they shape a lot of shots specifically. There are options in a few places which is fun, but the trees definitely force a certain shot on some holes.
7) The red tees are very beginner friendly and an appropriate distance for red level players. I love that course that suits Advanced players can also be experienced by beginners (albeit from a shorter less challenging tee area).
8) Nice Mach 3 baskets . . . some of the better baskets out there.
9) This is a fairly safe course keeping the course away from other activities. The only place you might get into trouble would be in the woods when you go near the walking trails.
10) This is obviously a really challenging course because it is not that long (in the grand scheme of things), yet it plays a lot tougher than the distance.
11) Incredible shot variety needed here and plenty of options to attack or play safe. I always love two shot holes forcing "placement" golf and that happens a few times here.
12) This is a positive only because I know it is going to happen fairly soon. There are going to be two permanently installed baskets on every hole. The short baskets will be off to the sides and out of the way of the path for the long baskets, but I do wonder how many "black aces" or fairway shots will end up in the short basket. I played The Brickyard in Menomonie, WI on my way up to MN this weekend which also has 2 permanently installed baskets in all the time, and they did an excellent job or making those baskets play completely differently than the others, which basically doubles the holes from 9 to 18 and when you add in dual tees, that makes for a lot of different shots and lots of fun, a place to spend an entire day and play every format.
13) Many signature type holes out here in my opinion. I cannot wait to see how the hole with the rock slide plays when that basket goes in. #15 is a great hole and very unique. A lot of the wooded holes also have a very unique feeling about them.
Cons: 1) There are many areas that need more clearing, but the course designer knows this and they only had enough time to do what they did last fall so I expect some of this work will be upcoming soon.
2) No concrete tees yet but those are in the plans and they wanted to give the course some time to get played before deciding on permanent locations.
3) No signs yet but I am sure they will be adding them to this great course.
4) Distance variety is only moderate with a big grouping of holes in the same general length and a couple of longer outliers. It isn't as noticeable because you have to think more about your line than you do distance on this course. That makes the holes play effectively longer.
5) No benches on the course yet, and it would be a good course to throw a few down. I am sure they plan on it in time and the course takes precedence right now, so I am sure this negative will disappear.
6) No bathrooms and I would
imagine the school will normally be closed or locked when this course is open for play.
7) Course is only available after 5 I think and weekends obviously because it is on school grounds. This is only a negative because if I lived nearby I would want to play it regularly, but it is what it is and it is their decision to keep it open on limited hours.
Other Thoughts: What a great course. I planned a meetup with Chuck Kennedy and E_Rock25 joined in the fun . . .to take a look at the changes they plan to do, so we were talking design the entire time. It was fun to hear Chuck's decision making process (with assistance from Steve West too) and see how the designer plans the hole. It puts a course in a whole new perspective.
When the course is finished it will be a top 5 course in the Metro area in my opinion and I have played just about all of the courses . I would put it on the same level as Kaposia but it has more variety. I look forward to returning when the course has been completed.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Great Course In Its Infancy
Pros: Kenwood Trails DGC is a great beginner to intermediate course with lots of potential to grow. I had the pleaser of playing with Chuck Kennedy the designer and it was great to have his insight and thoughts behind the course design. There are going to be some changes made in the near future to address some of the cons from other reviews that I think will make this course even better that it is already. Chuck also showed me where temp pads could go for Gold Level players during a tournament setting and the locations would make the course play much harder. The course is located at the Lakeville Middle School and there is quite a bit of property that is not being used. This may mean that 9 more holes could be added in the future which would be amazing. I had a blast playing this course and hope to go back in the near future when the ground dries out a bit.
1.--The design of the course is by far the best part. You never feel like you are throwing the same type of shot. Every hole has its own feel and the course is not boring at any point.
2.--Good signage with a GREAT map at Hole #1.
3.--The Layout has great flow and the only longish walk is from 2 to 3.
4.--Nice next tee signs attached to the baskets with arrows pointing where to go, very effective.
5.--The tee pads are wood chips right now and are serviceable, but as soon as all the course tweaks are done Chuck assured me that they were pouring cement tee pads.
6.--All the baskets were in good shape and seemed to hold putts well (I don't know what other reviewers were talking about).
7.--This is a great course for all ability levels. It is not too hard so a first timer will have a good time and the technicality of the woods will make things interesting for better players.
8.--The course has almost everything as far as shots go. There are lefts, rights (equal amount of both) straights, open, wooded, long, short, ups and downs. The only thing missing is water. (although when I played there was some seasonal spring melt off water)
9.--The course was well kept and clean when I was there.
10.--Garbage cans throughout the course.
Cons: There are very few cons to this course and the ones that are there are going to be fixed in the near future. I did not have a problem with the baskets as some others have but the Chuck told me that the plan is to have two baskets on each hole when the course is done so that should take care of that problem.
1.--The tee pads which I talked about above. Tee Pads are my big pet peeve so this is an issue at the moment but will not be for long.
2.--There are a few places that are a bit dangerous for other park users. WATCH OUT FOR OTHER PARK USERS. A few of the fairways play close to each other so a bad drive or a bad tree kick could end up in a different fairway. This is not that big of a deal as long as you pay attention to where you are throwing and who is around you. I did have to ask some guys that were throwing a football around to move away from a basket and I had to wait for some joggers on one hole. Not a big deal but thought I should mention it.
3.--There is some water on the property and it would be sweet if it was incorporated into the design. This may happen if the course goes to 27 holes or during tournament rounds. I really like playing over water if it is available.
4.--The first two holes are wide open and not that interesting. I like a course that draws me in on the first hole and this didn't happen till hole three for me. I can see Chucks reason behind the design as far as introducing new players to the game goes so it's really not that big of a deal.
5.--There are no benches or porta-potties (that I saw) I hope they will be added as time goes on.
6.--Because the course is designed for all ability levels, that is who you will find on this course. This is not necessarily a con but be patient of new players that may not know proper disc golf etiquette.
Other Thoughts: I had a great time at Kenwood Trails and will play it again anytime I can. I can't wait for the course to be completed. I would highly recommend playing this course if you are in the area and when it is done it will be worth going out of your way to play. This course can only get better as time goes on so keep an eye on it for sure. Thanks again to Chuck for another great MN course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Reminiscent of Woodland Greens @ Highbridge
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My buddies and I tried this course out and were beyond pleasantly surprised with nearly every aspect of it, especially when we entered the woods. It reminded us all of the great technical course at HighBridge: Woodland Greens. The first two holes are out in the open and are great warm ups. Then you enter the woods and get technical. Accurate throws will reward you, like w any woodsy course I suppose. Hole 7 is the only hole in the woods, which includes holes 3 thru 12, that is still a tough birdie even if you hit the hole perfectly. if you do hit trees at this course,you can get rocked quickly...as it's very thick and leafy in the rough. Holes 13-18 are more out in the open and gave the first opportunities of the round to pull out my boss and rip a few drives...after 10 straight holes weaving in and out of the trees, it was a nice touch to the course to have some bombers in the open, but make no mistake, they still involve strategy for critical placement of the drives.
All in all, this is a very good course that is can provide a tough challenge for discers of every skill level....it's a course that involves a lot of strategy and rewards accuracy and "touch.".
It was not busy on a windy and brisk November day. That was a definite plus.
A couple of reviewers mentioned the Mach 3 pins and how the do not catch well. Absolute nonsense! If you are a good putter, it will show here just like anywhere else. Numerous putts all over the place were drained throughout the day, many 40 + footers, as well. If soft putts arents sticking, adjust! They were in great shape, as one should expect on a new course.
Course was very well marked and we found the holes very easily. There is also a huge map near the first hole tee pad, take a pic w your iPhone! ---tip of the day
Niiiiiiiiice layout. We had no complaints. ( no traffic either, though)
Cons: No cement tee pads are a con. Oh well, not the big o deal.
Lots of litter....what's up w that lakeville?
Definite con that this is patrolled at times.
Other Thoughts: It took our group of 4 about an hr and a half to play after we played round 1 and learned the layout. Due to the hills, it is a pretty decent workout.
This course jumps to one of my top local winter destinations. A great workout In a wonderful setting! And with holes not too deep, the certain substantial Mn snow fall to come should not be too much of an issue (for drives specifically).
There is also a huge map near the first hole tee pad, take a pic w your iPhone! ---tip of the day
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Nice but needs work...
Pros: ~ It's a new course for locals to play!
~ Great signage
~ Beginner friendly
~ Good place to work on short game
Cons: ~ mulched teepads have way too much mulch and don't allow you to plant your foot w/o sinking down almost a foot deep. (i know teepads will be poured, but temps should have been left natural)
~ a few holes are VERY dangerous (i was looking for a disc on one hole and was almost hit several times from ppl throwing on a different hole)
~ possible thieves already!!!! (threw my tee shot, it went only slightly off track and must have been grabbed by ppl on a different hole that plays right along side the one i was on). ON THIS NOTE: IF YOU SEE SOMEBODY WITH A GREEN BAR STAMP BUZZZ, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!!!
~ not that great if you want to open up, quite short (good for short game practice though)
~ lots of rec players that don't know about golf etiquette
~ dogs are frowned upon HIGHLY, i was told by another player before even getting out of the parking lot that dogs aren't allowed which it says nothing about on the main sign then after my round a guy said something as well. everybody that knows me, knows that my dog is one of the best behaved dogs ever on a course! makes me not want to go back!)
Other Thoughts: I was excited to play this course as i was out here with chuck when he was designing it but after playing the first time i don't even really want to go back... The design needs work before someone gets seriously hurt and the ppl need to learn etiquette and respect for others. I for one am going to wait until some changes are made before i return.... :(
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a beginner to beginning advanced level course situated in the slightly hilly woods and open areas around a middle school. It is in remarkably good shape for a new course. The majority of holes have red and blue level teepads and walking around I noticed marking that seemed to indicate plans for alternate basket positions.
Signage at the holes was basic but adequate given that the course is shorter and most baskets are visible from the teepads, giving hole number and distance. Baskets are in very good shape but, as mentioned in Mr Wests review, are Mach IIs and they don't catch very well. I am a soft putter and I had multiple bounce outs.
Teepads are either natural or wood chip. So far in good shape. Fairways are well trimmed. Garbage cans were spread around adequately. It is notable that the "next tee" signs are great, the best I have seen.
This course is a very good design to introduce people to disc golf and I have to admit I enjoyed playing it as well. It starts out with 2 short open holes, easily deuce-able for a good golfer. They are perfect for showing someone what the essence of the game is. It is followed by a couple of simple but interesting woods holes. Again furthering the introduction. It eventually works up to some longer holes ( 400+) that are simple but not easy.
I would say that this is a remarkable design and as I was playing I was reminded of a course I started playing at way back (Acorn park before all the remodeling). It is a fun place to learn and I think people that have it as a home course will be better for it.
Cons: There was an abundance of garbage strewn about. I am sure it is not from golfers. As mentioned before there are garbage cans. People use the woods trails for running so beware the silent runner when driving.
When playing hole 7 I was very nearly hit by an errant throw from someone driving on 9s teebox. In summer when the leaves are up it should be safer. On hole 17 I landed my first drive next to hole 18s teepad. It wasn't that bad a throw, it just didn't turn over. I'm not sure of the fix for that, maybe since mainly beginners will be playing it won't be much of an issue.
I personally hate wood chip teepads. Also I think the wood chips around the baskets in the open fields is going to drive the groundskeeper nuts. They should be recessed so they don't spread all over.
I am not going to ding this course on length because I think it is perfect for what it is.
Other Thoughts: I would love to see some concrete teepads put in and maybe a few benches. All in all for a new course this place is great though.
Chuck and Steve have done something here I used to think was as dead as Elvis. Design a very good course for the beginner that will serve most people as a nice playable course even after they get good at the game. I would give it a 4 but until I see the direction it goes next year I am going to stick with a 3.5.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Like an old friend you just met.
Pros: Excellent skill-level appropriate design, multiple types of shots needed, accurate tee signs, kiosk with a map, portable restroom on site, lots of elevation (more down than up!), and woods mixed with open areas.
Cons: Wood chip or natural tees, some fairways are on cross-country trails (safely, but you need to be aware), not open until 5:30 on school days. Some big arms will miss the chance to throw huge and wild, and those whose putting style is over-reliant on having the chains do all the speed control for them will say the Mach New II's don't have enough chains.
If you were already familiar with Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night, then the first time you saw Sunflowers you would recognize right away that it was done by the same artist - even thought the subject matter, composition, mood, and colors are all different.
In a similar way, this course will be both very familiar to Twin Cities players, and at the same time, totally different from anything else. I've played all the courses in the Twin Cities, and there aren't any holes here that make you think "Oh, this is just like X hole at Y course." Yet, it is instantly recognizable as a Chuck Kennedy design (even though it has only two or three holes that might be called "lefty").
Full disclosure: I assisted, but my part was limited to applying the base coat on a couple of corners of the canvas, and holding the blow dryer to make the paint dry faster.
The course will build up your game without beating you down. Experienced players will want to bring first-timers here, because everyone will have fun.
Beyond the design, Lakeville Parks put a huge effort into making the course the best it could possibly be. And, they plan to continue to improve it. But, those plans don't belong in a review. Until they happen.
Acres of overgrown woods were cleared of buckthorn, grapevines, prickly ash and dead, weak and trash trees. Everything from big noisy machines to hand tools were employed to get it just right. Chuck and the Parks department walked the course several times, selecting individual trees (even individual limbs) to open up desired flight paths, or force interesting choices. Plenty of discs will hit trees, but only because they didn't do what the thrower wanted them to.
Every step of the way, the Parks department kept asking: What do we need to do to make it the best it can be?
If this course had been in the ground for years and years, players around here might have become jaded to it, thinking it is only about as good as most of the very good courses that are around here. Easily a three-disc rating, but I'm giving it a half disc more for two reasons: One, there is some synergy to a course where no pieces of the package are missing. You can forget about the course and just play the game. Two, the way this course came about should serve as a model for other parks.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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