2 Helpful / 9 Not
I miss the upper course
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
where it started
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.
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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
If got em, Throw em!
Pros: This course was definitely fun. Many drives from different spots made the game very challenging and fun. Some drives along open fields made you have to bring it and some other shots threw the woods down a cliff, made you have to use finesse and acuracy. Shots over the river and along the rivers edge, made for a great challenge and stirred things up a bit. If you are looking for a course with a variety of shots, and a very nice scenic round of DG this is the one.
Cons: Some tee pads are kinda of beat up. The course maybe a little hard to navigate considering the markers are just big rocks painted orange with the hole number and the distance on them. But it wasn't really to bad. Some drives you throw across the bike path which seems a little odd. But just look out before you throw, and you should be alright.
Other Thoughts: This course was very fun, if you are ever in the area you have to check it out. If I was out in this area of town again I would definitely play again.
4 of 5 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.
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.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: it does have a challenge to it. very nice scenery and the river is swim-able. other than that nothing much to say. you can full drive on almost every hole but it is considered the best in the area.
i found it easy to lose a disc here
Cons: -tee pad are tiny
-there aren't signs that tell you where the basket is, it tells you the hole number and the par on orange rocks (ghetto huh?).
-the first cage is on the edge of a hill so if you miss the putt it will roll 100 feet away.
-if you lose a disc then the next time you go there there will be a kid there trying to sell it back to you.
Other Thoughts: not the best
more cons than pros im afraid
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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