Utica, MI
River Bends Share
Uploaded By: timg Hole #13
3 / 285ft.   3 / 319ft.   3 / --   3 / -- Par / Distance:
Hole #13

Reviews: 33
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A great course screaming for some TLC

5+    9/3/2010   9/4/2010
Review By: BogeyNoMore
Played: 144  Reviewed: 111  Exp: 9.9 Years
This review was updated on 1/29/2014
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.


5+    6/20/2010   6/28/2010
Review By: Red Wings Fan
Played: 15  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 9 Years
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.


1    5/30/2010   6/5/2010
Review By: D21thorpe
Played: 13  Reviewed: 13
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: 24 Holes
Cons: I gave up before I played them all. I play 2-3 times a week in Minneapolis and if our courses were like this I wouldn't play at all. The fairway grass was almost knee high and becasue of it the bugs were un-barable.
Other Thoughts: The signage to let you know where the next hole was located was poor at best. Probably could have been a decent course if it was better maintained.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful.

 It be a good course

5+    5/5/2010   5/7/2010
Review By: jamal_jumpstart
Played: 4  Reviewed: 4
0 Helpful / 5 Not
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.


1    12/8/2009   12/15/2009
Review By: rscd20
Played: 50  Reviewed: 12  Exp: 10.9 Years
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.

 Good Times

5+    11/10/2009   11/14/2009
Review By: davidkzoo
Played: 2  Reviewed: 2  Exp: 15.1 Years
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Long challenging course. Not many beginners due to the difficulty of the course. Many fun water hazards to throw around. Picnic area very suitable for pregame activities as well as post game activities.
Cons: WalkingBike path. 2 holes have the path going right through it, so you have to wait for people sometimes. I have hit a person before, but i did yell four. they looked at me like i was crazy until my disc plowed him in the head. if you are the guy i hit and you are reading this, sorry again. but you are an absolute idiot and deserved to get hit :)

During or after large amounts of rain, the course gets flooded beyond all belief. I have played in 2 feet of water on some holes before. so bring a spare pair of shoes and socks if its wet out.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful.

 Good course, BUGGY!

1    8/27/2009   8/27/2009
Review By: rcd1649
Played: 10  Reviewed: 10
2 Helpful / 0 Not
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.

 Fun Water Hazards

5+    7/17/2009   7/21/2009
Review By: discin248
Played: 11  Reviewed: 6  Exp: 6.9 Years
1 Helpful / 3 Not
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.


1    5/19/2009   5/19/2009
Review By: waterhyzerd
Played: 27  Reviewed: 6
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Good mixture of long, short, wooded, and open holes. Nice water holes.
Cons: Course layout, too much standing water EVERYWHERE, and lots of mosquitos.
Other Thoughts: I would not recommend playing this course as it is currently. There is mud and standing water on almost every hole except of #1. The bugs are horrible and the place smells like sewage.

I also was not impressed with the layout of the course. The walking distance between some holes was longer and more confusing than i'm used to and it's easy to get lost in certain places.

But from a standpoint of when the course is dry (which at the moment seems not possible), it is not bad. There is a good variety of shots that you must use and birdies are not too easy to come by.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful.

 river bends- land of water

5+    3/17/2009   3/17/2009
Review By: dputt88
Played: 8  Reviewed: 4  Exp: 8.1 Years
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.

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