Utica, MI 
River Bends Share
Uploaded By: Zinc_Alloy Hole #9 (Taken 11/2014)
3 / 269ft.   3 / 269ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #9 Tee

Reviews: 38
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 Good Times

5+    11/10/2009   11/14/2009
Review By: davidkzoo
Played: 2  Reviewed: 2  Exp: 16.1 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: 7.8 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: 29  Reviewed: 8
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: 9.1 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.

 I miss the upper course

5+    5/27/2006   2/20/2009
Review By: CaptainAnhyzer
Played: 81  Reviewed: 17  Exp: 29.8 Years
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Woods, open, water, & hills this course has it all. A "must-play" course if you're in the area.
Cons: Since the 1992 Worlds the course was reconfigured to 24 holes. It lost some great holes.
Other Thoughts: I met Ed Headrick at the 1992 Worlds.

2 of 11 people found this review helpful.


5+    10/10/2008   2/10/2009
Review By: milesdavis
Played: 19  Reviewed: 5  Exp: 13.9 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Really good layout!!! alot of medium distance holes here. Great opportunity to bomb it. Mostly wide open.

If you can drive it 350ft consistently and make your putts you can get yourself some rewarding birdies,and score well here

A few dangerous water holes here (lookout for the wind on #10) but you can retrieve your disc on most occasions if you're willing to get wet.

Hole #20 is a really, really cool hole from the top of a hill through the trees about 40ft up. Big hyzer shot 400ft away.
Cons: BUGS - bring the spray.....really wet early in the year and after any kind of rain.......tee pads are a little short.....some single chain baskets... can get pretty crowded at peak times.
Other Thoughts: A really fun course. Highly reccommend it. There is alot going on at this park people everywhere. A bike path is visible from 5 or 6 holes and I've seen deer on many occasions.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


5+    11/6/2012   12/17/2008
Review By: donnyv
Played: 25  Reviewed: 13  Exp: 17.8 Years
This review was updated on 1/30/2013
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.



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.
Cons: CONS:
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+    3/10/2008   11/25/2008
Review By: DirtyMittenDG
Played: 108  Reviewed: 55  Exp: 10.9 Years
This review was updated on 9/9/2011
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Hole Variety/Course Layout--
Good variety (favors big arms). Mainly a big open field with woods on the outskirts and a river that runs through it.

--This course has 2 signature holes! One is a throw "up-river", and the other is a bomb off of a big wooded hill into a field.
Cons: Course Navigation--
Hard! A map is a must for first timers (print it on here because they dont have any at the course). No signs, only big painted rocks with the hole # and distance.

Course Maintenance--
None at all, alot of baskets are very rusty. Every hole has concrete tee pads but they're a pretty small.
Other Thoughts: Course Atmosphere--
Big Park with lots of other activities and alot of people, it has a somewhat urban feel for being in the woods.

River comes into play on about 4 or 5 holes, and sometimes the main field can be too overgrown.

{Rating Update}-
My rating has dropped a half disc for this course, due to complete lack of maintenance in the past couple years. A couple more years of abuse with no repair and the rating will drop even more. This is very disappointing to me too, because when I first started playing this one one of my favorite courses. Now it's abandoned by maintenance and flooded with halfway serious players.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.

  where it started

5+    11/12/2008   11/15/2008
Review By: oscarmike
Played: 1  Reviewed: 1
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: the course has a nice distance with a nice mixture from hole to hole. enough parking. there's a practice basket near hole one.
Cons: the course could use a little more up keep with the fairways being cut more often in the summer. better maps for the holes and where the next one is would go along way for those not familiar.
Other Thoughts: there are a few water holes like the others have said. I've had deer walk not 10 feet away from me and had to wait till they moved to shoot. can become buggy during the rainy seasons

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

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