Give it a try, it's dry (right now)
Pros: Teepads, baskets were in good condition. Each tee area had a bright orange rock marking the hole #. Fairways were mowed. All holes were dry and playable. No missing baskets. Variety of hole types and throws needed. Good use of the river to throw over, around.
Cons: Limited signage.
The course could use a good course map. Maybe someone who frequents the course could make one.
I can be difficult to know which way a hole dog legs.
Other Thoughts: I honestly had low expectations heading to this course based on previous reviews on this site. I was lucky to meet up/play with some regulars to the course so navigation was not a problems. The course seemed to be well maintained and the actual course layout was interesting and kept me excited to see what the next hole had to offer.
I feel this course would benefit from some solid guides to help first timers. I also feel a course map (other than the poor one currently on the site) would benefit many first time players.
A great course screaming for some TLC
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great design and plenty of shot variety in a pleasant park setting.
Plays in and around the scenic Clinton River Valley, making nice use of elevation changes. Features five holes that have you throwing either down into the valley or up and out of it, but otherwise plays fairly long and flat. Mostly open fairways, with some light to moderately wooded holes, and a few densely wooded stretches. Several Ace/Birdie runs, many over 300' and a couple over 450 including a 700+ bomber that'll stretch your arm out. The mix here lets you use every disc from the tee: putters, mids, fairway and distance drivers. Great use of the river to ratchet up the challenge and eye appeal, with 2-3 holes over water (depending which tee you play 15th hole from) and another fairway running parallel to the river. Signature hole has you throwing through a tight window, nicely framed by trees, way down into the valley below. Throw in some nicely tucked pin locations and a few baskets located in a clearing off the fairway and Riverbends offers a little of everything.
Concrete tees with dual pads on quite a few holes, including safer alternatives on the water holes.
Although there are other visitors to the park, the land the course is on is all but dedicated to disc golf, not too many other folks come down in the valley where most of the course lies.
Nice pavilion with picnic table/benches near the first/last hole.
Cons: Course maintenance is truly a crying shame. Due to budgetary constraints, infrequent mowing means grass in the fairway can exceed 3 feet. Check course conditions - if grass has been recently mowed, course plays well, otherwise, it's probably not a great idea to play a round here when the grass is so high that shots right in the middle of the fairway can take 10 minutes to locate.
Maintenance nightmares extend beyond mowing: Pro tee on 15 has literally collapsed and fallen into the river. At least 4 different types of baskets employed on the course. Most are in decent shape, but some are ancient, and have really seen better days. Many have been stolen over time and replaced with whatever was available through the local club, but the hodge-podge of basket types only adds to the bastard child feeling of neglect this course has.
Navigation: Can't argue with claims that it's tough to find your way around here - can be quite tricky if you're not familiar with the place. The spray-painted rocks for tee markers idea is OK, but completely useless when the grass is 3' tall. Any type of vertical, numbered, tee marker along with some next tee signs would make things a LOT easier for new visitors. However, once you learn your way around, the course actually flows quite well from basket to next tee (17th being the sole exception).
Because it plays through a river valley, some holes can get flooded after a hard rain, and take a while to dry out - makes the local mosquito population quite happy.
Some of the tee pads are on the small side and area around many looks bare.
Other Thoughts: Riverbends is a truly great course that is dreadfully in need of help. Playing here is hugely dependent on the current conditions. If recently mowed, it's a great place to play (3.5), but if the grass is high, or it's rained hard recently, it's simply miserable (1.0). The low lying ground means it retains moisture and the grass really grows well.
When I first played here years ago, I was thoroughly impressed, and would have given this a 4.0, but this place has been sadly neglected. I'm certain it's because the tax base has eroded, and there's simply not enough funding to go around, but regardless of why or how understandable it is, the fact is the course upkeep sucks, and most definitely affects play. Never seen a course that could benefit more from pay to play than this one, but I'm not sure the local Parks and Rec agency thinks it's feasible.
That being said it's still a good round if the grass isn't too high.
Update 10/26/11: Course looking a lot better:
• fairways getting mowed regularly
• fresh coat of bright orange paint on tee marker rocks
• no missing baskets ( most are old, but all are OK).
• Still litter scattered about and 15's Pro pad is non-existent, but overall course is in much shape than I'd seen it towards the end of last season.
• Rating bumped from 2.5 to3.5...great place to play (except after it rains or when the grass in the valley hasn't been cut).
4/1/12: Still looks like it's being kept up.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Fun Water Hazards
Pros: Love the water hazards
Variety of shots
am and pro tees
I seem to find alot of discs there
Cons: No signs on holes
Lots of mud and standing water in the begining of the season
Baskets often stolen and no replaced for some time
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite courses around
the water hazards are very well thought out I often find myself swiming in the river
and coming up with my disc and some others. Tee on last water hole has fallen into river
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
One of my favorites
Pros: Challenging course mixing up short holes with some long ones and lots of open shots. The signature hole on this course is hole 15 which runs the entire length of the river and is one of the most challenging holes in disc golf I've played. It's consumed many discs but I never pass it by!
Cons: The river likes to steal discs from everyone. There are kids that will get the discs out and even if its your disc and has your name on it and phone number, they'll still try to sell it back to you.
Other Thoughts: If you like Stoney then you'll like Riverbends!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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