"Home Course" for nearly two decades
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: --Very wooded and bucolic setting; it is very common to encounter hawks and deer during rounds. The course is rarely crowded.
Cons: The entire course seems to be located in a flood zone and so early spring, late summer and soon after rain the course has poor playing conditions.Also, many of the baskets are old and in disrepair
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Tough Water Holes, clean, cement tee boxes. has some tough holes that make you feel great what you blast your drive down it. Has one of my favorite hole there. good variety
Cons: Hard to get your disc once your in the water, some tall grass. could have more upkeep. low elevation. very little elevation change but still has some.
Other Thoughts: if it rains you will be skipping some holes for sure unless you have some big boots and a bunch of towels
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
It be a good course
Pros: The whole thing dont seem very big, but it do
You get to throw over rivers and down big hills
There is a boat available if you lose your disc in the water
Cons: Sometimes there are bugs but if you been had bug spray or just come earlier in the day they aren't too bad
Creepy guy living under the bridge on hole #8
First few holes are crowded since there is other stuff going on in that area, after that it's all good
Other Thoughts: Bring a cooler and floating disc!
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Large and wide, space seems to be pretty devoted to disc golf except for one walking path.
Variety of shot, uphill, downhill, wide open, tight pins, water, blind pins, left and right curves. I really can't say enough about this. It really makes for a variety of challenges and makes every hole feel different
Well maintained, cut grass and bright tee signs (orange painted rocks)
Cons: Course map a little misleading on where pads and pins are
Pad signs indicate hole number and distance, but not location or direction of pin. Requires a little scouting ahead as many holes are far, and around curves
Very fast water flowing through the course, and apparently easy to throw into
Occasional alt pads, but not always
Multiple pin types, means you have to adjust your puts hole to hole
Other Thoughts: Just a little better with the signs (next tee signs at least) and it would be a lot more enjoyable. Occasional holes just seemed like they were tossed in to add more and not really to help the design, but just fill the massive expanse of space. I would love to play a 27 hole tournament here.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Good course, BUGGY!
Pros: Great layout. Mostly long holes with a few tight wood shots. Not sure if this is a recent addition but there are signs pointing to the next tee and without having played here since 98 we had virtually no problem navigating the course.
Cons: Unbelievable bugs, some of the worst I have ever seen. The grass is not mowed at all, this means no skips. There is also a lot of standing water.
Other Thoughts: Good overall course design, could really benefit from some maintenaince but still definetitly worth playing, especially in the fall when the bugs die off.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
river bends- land of water
Pros: very open lay out, definitely not cramped. will take at least 2 1/2 hours to play alone, but don't let that discourage you, its a really fun course for all skill levels. very clever water holes!!! watch out for the little kids pulling discs out of the water, they WILL steal your discs. also a very clean park.
Cons: mostly flat, too many holes going back and forth with the same shots over and over again. also a ton of boring holes in the open fields.
Other Thoughts: change it up a bit, make it 18 holes if you have to because shooting the same terrain over and over again is boring.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Riverbends Park is a large park within an even larger park network in Shelby Township Michigan. The land inside the park is rich in history dating back well into the 1800's and was part of the infamous Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal Project.
Riverbends DGC was built in 1988 and was one of the hosts to an AM and PRO World Championships in the early 1990's. The course was one of the largest in this area at that time and was the staple of what was to come. I had my first taste of DG at the Bends back in 1997 and was instantly hooked.
The course has gone through numerous design changes since its original layout 25 years ago. While some parts of the original courses remain, most have been altered or changed altogether due to other park activities/projects that sprung up over time in the area where the course was. Projects such as the paved walking path and pedestrian bridge made it difficult to avoid user conflicts since it weaved in and out of the courses fairways. With the parks dept already busy running a large network of parks, the course could not get the attention to be maintained as well as it should have been. Soon enough, rumors of the course being pulled were also becoming more common. I contacted the parks director to see what they were going to do with all the baskets if the course closed and he replied that it was not true and that there was still hope for the course.
Thanks to the local disc golf club, MCCG, starting in late 2012, the course is undergoing yet another layout change but this time with major improvements and an expansion to 27 holes to be completed by the end of 2013. Since my last visit in Nov 2012, they were already making the improvements to the course.
If the parks dept. can maintain the course and allocate money for course improvements (signage, benches, nicer tee pads, etc.), I believe the course can once again return to its heyday.
FREE TO PLAY!
VARIETY ~ The only thing missing from the course are heavily wooded holes. Other than that, Riverbends has everything else a course could want with a good mix of holes types. Hole length is appropriate for experienced players but there are a few longer holes with multiple tees for the beginner. There are equal opportunities for lefties and righties. Fairways are wide-enough to enable some movement with your discs, with mature trees dotting the landscape and still offering a challenge to the holes. You can count on using your entire arsenal of shots and discs on the course. Seems fair enough to Lefties and Righties.
RIVER IN PLAY ~ The course also plays along, over and around a river. There are not many courses around here that feature this much of a water hazard. While also a con in some eyes, it really adds to the experience. Even though the course has changed and some of my favorite holes are gone, the river holes really set the course apart from other courses. The danger of losing a disc in the river adds that extra difficulty that drives the experienced players to keep coming back. Too bad some holes had to be removed because of safety issues with the river banks collapsing from the undercutting currents and seasonal flooding. Hopefully the re-design can bring back some of the extinct holes.
LARGE COURSE ~While the original courses in the late 80's and early 90's had pretty much the entire park to utilize, today's Riverbends DGC still has a foothold on a large portion of the park. The bike/walking path does cut through the current course, but with a small re-design of a few holes that problem will be fixed.
SIGNAGE ~One of the two biggest cons for Riverbends is the lack of signage directing and informing players where to go. Vandalism and numerous redesigns are most likely the culprit for why there are no signs at the park. I get to play here a half dozen times a year and even I get frustrated when I find out the design was changed and I'm playing the wrong hole/basket. Newcomers will most likely lose their way to the correct tees and end up walking across other fairways while they search in vain for direction. Hopefully this can be addressed in the improvements for 2013.
MAINTENANCE ~ The other big con is the lack of maintenance the course receives. The grass is rarely cut because of the course being located in the lower floodplains. Water does not recede very well and ponding occurs constantly. Fallen trees on the fairways are an ongoing problem and are not cleared very often. To be fair to the parks dept, they do have their hands full with all the other parks they take care of. Just don't expect a manicured golf course when you get here because that won't exactly be the case.
Other issues to consider…
TEES ~ A few tees have been damaged, washed away, or are too small for the current hole. These are being fixed in 2013 by the MCCG.
BASKETS ~ Some of the baskets on the course could be the originals, but after 25 years of use, the course has become a hodge-podge of INNOVA, DGA, and DISCRAFT baskets. Some have been damaged or stolen over that time and replaced with what was available. The plan in 2013 is to move baskets around to and from other courses to make each course have its own model without a mixture of different targets.
Other Thoughts: River Bends is a real fun place to play and it's free. It does need some work to get a higher rating though. Still, you should give this older course a try.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a really fun and challenging course I definitely will play again,most fairways are relatively open for a michigan course,some nice elevation changes,good variety of shots and good pin placement will require you to bring everything you have,24 holes,water in play on a few holes,practice basket,
Cons: When I was there the half the course consisted of walking through 3-4ft. grass I would not recommend wearing shorts,kind of muddy/swampy be prepared wear junk shoes or boots,some of the holes were a little hard to find but worth the time once I figured them out,holes marked by big orange rocks some hard to see through grass but on the other hand it's hard to vandalize a rock,could see losing a disc in the high grass,course is pretty long could use some benches or a picnic table for resting,bring bugspray,bike course going through fairway could be a problem be careful,river is deep discs can not be easily retrieved unless your swimming,
Other Thoughts: If this course was better maintained I would up may rating to a 4
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A river runs through it
Pros: What really stood out for me here is the variety. Two holes play up the ridge, two play down. There are two holes were you have to play over the river and two where you can play over or alongside of it. Some of the baskets are out in the open, some are on the edge of the woods and some are tucked into the woods. I really had to think about how I was going to play my shots, and that added to the enjoyment.
Cons: The noise from the nearby shooting range echos through the valley, and disturbs what otherwise could be a peaceful round of golf. The tee pads should be bigger, and some are in disrepair. The alternate, shorter tees were perplexing - some holes had two sets of tees and some only had one. The hole info on the giant orange rocks is a good idea in that the rocks are too big to be stolen, but the info on them really is just the bare minimum. As such, navigating the course the first time through may take longer than it should, but follow your instincts and you should make it through.
Other Thoughts: Of the three courses I played on my recent trip to Michigan, the others being Raintree and Firefighters, this one seemed to be the toughest and the most interesting.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
We'll be back
Pros: From what we saw of this course, it looks like a good place to return to and revisit. We didn't get a chance to play any of the water holes, but what we did play was varied and interestingly laid out. Looking forward to a return visit and will update the review to reflect that.
Cons: There is a bike path that we had to shoot over on the 6th hole which seemed kind of dangerous, especially since part of it was blocked by trees and you couldn't see if someone were coming.
Other Thoughts: Disclaimer: We only had time to play the first 6 holes on this course due to time constraints and weather. Will be back to Utica again to give this course another try in the future.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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