Holy Erosion Batman!
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Concrete tee pads are great. Perfect length and pads for both the longs and shorts.
- In a multi-use park setting but the course does not seem to interfere with other park activities.
- Variety all over this course from left to right fairways, right to left, dead straight and so on.
- Benches and trash cans placed all over the course. There is no reason to trash up the course.
- Someone is starting to address the gigantic erosion issues here (see cons below).
- Baskets are pretty old but look like they've been well kept up.
Cons: - Far and away to me the biggest con is the horrific amount of erosion happening here due to the large amount of traffic. It just takes away from the aesthetics of the course. But more than that, it makes some of the holes almost unplayable after a rain when mud collects around the base of many of the baskets. Just makes it a rather messy DG experience. I see someone is working on it (like on #18 fairway) but man, there is a lot more to do here.
- The tee signs used to be works of art but alas...they are now pieces of crap. Time to spring for some new signs folks.
- Navigation is a disaster. Most of the time, following the paths to the next tee works but in many spots it isn't clear where to go.
- Course courtesy...I rarely ever list this as a con on any particular course but Oshtemo is rife with hucking idiots. I think Western Michigan U is to blame for a lot of this nonsense. There really isn't much that can be done about it - legally - so when you play here stay patient and expect to spend a little more time per round. And if you are a hucking idiot reading this (you know who you are) please go get drunk and smoke your tree somewhere else. The rest of us DO NOT find your antics as amusing as you do.
- #15 is an abomination of a disc golf hole. I hate it...kill it with fire. I have nary a clue why this hole bothers me so because it isn't terribly difficult...maybe it's the ludicrously tall pine trees placed RIGHT IN FRONT of the tee box.
Other Thoughts: Oh boy...I am going to get raked over the coals for this rating...2.5. Save your nasty PM's to me and get out on that course and help whoever is working on it and make a difference. There is no reason Oshtemo should be less than a 3.5 or better course. With a high amount of traffic it's just going to need a high amount of maintenance. Sort of breaks my heart to see the course in such shape especially since this is the course I learned how to play disc golf on way back in '04.
After writing this review last night, one thing that would help immensely is to close the course for several months...maybe a whole year just so the grass has a chance to get re-established in many areas. Or maybe it's time to seriously consider paving parts of the fairways and paths and maybe the areas around some of the baskets. I don't know but to me it just doesn't seem like a good idea to leave it go in its current condition.
Osthemo reminds me of a 2001 Prelude where 12 years and 100,000 miles ago it was still a hoot to drive. Not the flashiest car on the road but it sure got you around. Now it needs a new motor, it shakes when you hit 63 mph and the tranny is slipping. It can be good again...just needs a lot of work.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 8 Not
B- = Be nice.....but be minus for frustrating
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18+ hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B
(This grade is strange.....just like this course is. You will get punished pretty badly on many many holes on this course if playing aggressively (or if you cannot land your disc accurately). I like that part (the risk).....but I do not like that fact that there is no point at all to play aggressively since there is nothing to be gained (the reward). See point 2 for more on this, but I have big issues on many of the holes since there is no route to the basket from the long tees due to fairway shaping and mid-fairway obstacles. Look through the pictures if you don't believe me. So, all it takes is midrange, midrange, putt. Not so fun.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == C
(The course starts out amazingly with holes 1 & 2 being the perfect challenge for me....and there are a few other good holes. Unfortunately things drop off precipitously after a great start. As just stated, there are a ton of holes that are impossible to deuce (barring crazy luck) but they are too short to be legitimate 2-throw holes. That is a formula for......booooooring. At every turn I was hoping for more legitimate/great holes but kept on being punched in the gut by lay-up, lay-up, putt holes.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B
(The course is almost completely wooded and there are indeed a fair amount of different shots required to navigate the course. But, they are almost all low power (60-80%) throws. In this regard, it is a really good place to work on the midrange game. Terrain is pretty flat with just a few slight hills.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B
(Seclusion is great! Beauty is quite nice in several places, but the feel of the place gets pretty monotonous after a while - so many of the holes feel the same when strolling down the fairways.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == D+
(I suppose that although it seems Michiganers traditionally call everything par-3, the 3 holes that are around 520' are legit 2-throw holes (par-4's). This is a bonus and boosts the score as these holes make for a more interesting playing experience. Problem is that at that length, they are pretty non-rewarding par-4's.....as in birdie 3's are routine and bogey 5's are unacceptable.)
Other Thoughts: While I rate this course pretty well below the norm, I can see where many players not seeking the same challenge as me will simply love Oshtemo.
It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (180+ 18-hole, 100+ 9-hole as of late 2010), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me.....and that's the fun of things here.
10 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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