4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This more 'established' course does what it does well: provide a beautiful, civilized, wooded round of disc golf for a range of skill levels, and is obviously well-loved and heavily trafficked. Having had the opportunity to visit during a beautiful stretch of weather for the 2015 Amateur World Championships, I was thrilled to play a mostly level, shady course with tremendously well-defined lines of flight, and 'rough' that has been beaten back and weathered in to the point where you might never need a spotter (though the volunteers who helped out for the event were fantastic!), and your chances of a recovery shot are pretty good.
Two sets of incredibly huge, level, concrete tees were supported by landscaping where needed, and there were enough trash cans and seating to make this a comfortable place to play. Baskets were in good shape (except maybe the really old one near the course kiosk, to the right as you enter the parking area).
Hole distances from the long tees range from 221' to 524', with a decent assortment of required flight lines. Intermediate to Advanced players with decent accuracy nearing 350 off the tee will have a realistic shot for up to a dozen deuce opportunities, so the long tees here are probably pretty much right in their wheelhouse. The short tees looked like they might be fun for Recreational players, and I'm sure this course gets its share of casual players, as well. Though played mostly 'in the woods', none of the flight lines felt too tight for the distances involved: even when the fairway turned sharply (to the right on hole 6, for instance), there was a logical flight line through.
The park has a good quantity of parking, restrooms, newer shelters, a nice playground, and other attractions for the non-playing members of the family. And yet, the disc golf course played well away from everything but the walking trail and the tennis courts.
Cons: An extremely popular course, I'm guessing it can get tremendously crowded. We even had some casuals seeking to get a round in on a weekday afternoon with an obvious Major event going on. The high level of foot traffic over the years here has gotten not just the greens, but even some fairways, beaten in to dirt through erosion. That means dusty when dry and muddy when wet. Choose your time to play.
The course doesn't have much going in the way of elevation, there is no water to challenge or force a gut-check, and there were a few times when it felt like the course might get a little repetitive (the first four holes from the longs were 347 feet, 347 feet, 347 feet, and 346 feet, but it got better).
Navigation might be an issue for first timers. Aside from the excellent (temporary) Worlds signage, I didn't see a lot of signs, either at tees or for 'next tee'. I glanced at the kiosk, but don't remember if I saw a course map there or not (I had the map from Worlds). Granted, it's a pretty easy flow once you've been through, but, like a lot of older courses, signage tends to get overlooked after a while.
Speaking of which, my nav/gps took me to the main road in front of the (fire station), and I did not see a sign indicating the park until I drove around behind.
Other Thoughts: Enjoyed the course, and can see a lot of rewarding play for those who get to visit frequently!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Solid old school design, plain and simple
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Plays through a semi-DG-dedicated section of a busy, multi-use community park. A walking path winds around/ near some holes, but is sufficiently buffered by the woods so that if walkers/bikers/strollers stay on the trail, disc vs. pedestrian encounters are quite unlikely. Fairways are moderately wooded in that they are comprised of nicely grass lined clearings that are sharply defined by dense woods on both sides and somewhat sparsely treed up the middle. There's no guessing as to where fairway ends and the rough begins, or what line was intended by the designers.
• Variety: Nice variety of lengths from either set of tees (but can be augmented in that regard if you're willing to mix shorts and longs during a single round). Most fairways are relatively open from the short tee to the pin, and very densely wooded on either side with a smattering of trees in the fairway (often with more trees guarding the basket). One or two holes have tight fairways, but most of them offer a decent amount of room to operate, making them pretty forgiving of small mistakes, not so forgiving of big ones...IMO, that's how it should be.
Dual tees on every hole do an excellent job of accommodating beginner to advanced players. The shorts are far from overwhelming for beginners and provide lots of birdie opportunities for intermediate players. The longs add about 100 ft per hole, but more importantly, do a really nice job of creating different challenges, often bringing more trees into play, substantially tightening windows and restricting lines. On some holes, the long/short tees are set at different elevations or different angles to the main part of the fairway.
Nice mix of straight holes with several turning gently left or right to provide a pretty balanced feel overall. While the course is flat for the most part (there's nothing you could call a hill), the gently rolling terrain is just enough to keep the course from being completely flat and is undeniably a factor on a few holes, which makes things just a bit more interesting.
• More on elevation: They've built a few tee pads up above ground level (maybe 2-3 ft) to enhance the elevation in play, and elevated a couple of baskets to create additional risk reward on a couple of holes. I'd really like to see more courses on flat property do this, instead of simply accepting that "you can't do anything to change the terrain."
• Equipment: Concrete tees were in good shape and nicely boxed in with 4x4's sunk flush with the ground placed approx 18" out from the tee to combat erosion (seems to be working quite well). Baskets are a bit old but in pretty good shape (1 or 2 had slightly bent cages but nothing severe). Garbage cans at every hole.
• Routing and Navigation: Flows pretty intuitively from hole to hole most of the time, with well-worn paths guiding you to the next tee, but there are two spots where you could unintentionally skip a few holes and not even realize it (see cons).
• Aesthetics: I find the contrast between the grassy open fairways and the sharply defined woods quite appealing, and while it's not visually spectacular, I think Oshtemo is the very definition of a wonderful walk through a city park.
• Extras: Clean bathrooms after 18th hole, just off the parking lot. Minutes from all kinds of restaurants and convenience stores.
Cons: • While I noticed several indicators that the park has done some things to keep the course in good shape, Oshtemo is badly in need of replacement tee markers; nothing fancy - just hole number and distance would be great.
This can be a particular problem at a couple of spots where you could easily skip a few holes and think you've gone the correct way: from 9 to 12, and from 11 to 14.
The layout isn't the culprit here, and while a map would help, the problem is that most of the tee markers are missing. With no tee markers, you can't tell that you've walked from 9 to 10, or from 9 to 12. Same thing after hole 11.
• Can feel a bit repetitive towards the end of the round - more variety in terms of fairway types (i.e. wide open bombs + tightly wooded) as well as a few sharply turning fairways that requiring more acute hyzer and annie lines would compliment the subtle in addition to the gently turning ones) the more subtle curving fairways nicely.
• Although it's aging well, there's no denying volume of traffic over the years has made the rough less foreboding in some spots, and creating instances where you can card a par despite a bad tee shot. Some will appreciate this, but I'm not in that camp.
Other Thoughts: Oshtemo is a great course that's stood the test of time quite well. Keep in mind it was built when Valks and XL's were the longest discs of the day. The game has progressed, and while there are better courses out there, sound design principles never grow old - Oshtemo remains a very solid course even today.
I'd give it a 3.75 if I could. Enhance the variety with some sharper turning fairways and/or some bigger elevation changes and I'd easily call it 4.0.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Nice variety of left and right curves.
Variety in distance shots.
Little undergrowth in most rough areas.
Very narrow, accurate shooting required.
Cons: Very nice free course gets crowded often.
Cops search disc golfers bags since the course is behind a sheriff station.
Homeless dump garbage cans on course for can deposits.
Little elevation changes.
Other Thoughts: Hit this course during the day to avoid crowding.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Aesthetic--Nice piece of property on a multiuse compound with large playgrounds and other atheltic fields. bathrooms available in the parking lot.
Risk v Reward--This is one of the biggest factor here. the rough, sucks. you are more than punished for errant shots... almost merciless in places
Length--Nice variety of lengths with some long and some short and some midrange shots.
Teepads--nice and level. LONG. I only used 2/3rds of the teepads as they felt like your run up could go on for miles...Dual Teepads..
Longs--the long teepad positions are BRUTAL. almost every time you throw out of a tunnel before entering the true fairway (where the shorts normally are).
Routing--reasonably easy. normally there are two paths, one to the long and one to the short.
the two elevated baskets--nice touch!
Practice basket--Merciless homemade basket... spits out putters like a baby with creamed spinach
Cons: Baskets--nice mach 3's, some of the baskets were a bit loose or tilted
Tee signage--only on the longs and a lot of the hole "pictures" were destroyed. lengths were on all as they are "engraved"...
Garbage--A lot of garbage and cigarette butts around on this course and a general lack of garbage cans
Routing to tee 1--Couldn't find it with the directions provided on this site. updated it to make it a bit easier (hopefully)
Variety--I think it lacks here. it seems like there aren't too many distinct or signature (type) holes here. It kind of seems like you are playing the same hole 10-12 times.
Other Thoughts: Don't get me wrong, I liked Oshtemo, but I would rather play at ColdBrook or Robert Morris. I got my ass handed to me at this course but haven't based my review on that fact. I tried to be objective as much as I could.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Punishing rough, rewarding fairways!
Pros: - Sprawling over the gently rolling, forest- and scrub-covered terrain of Oshtemo Township Park, this course tests mental endurance as well as disc golf skills. Oshtemo, especially when played from the long tees, challenges players to hit their lines, reach defined landing zones, and avoid the rough at any cost. Punishingly thick schule comes into play off all the fairways. Oshtemo is fair: if you're in the schule, you mostly likely did not execute a shot; however, once in the thicket expect to be brutalized by thorns, thick bushes, sapling clusters, etc.
- Excellent use of elevation throughout. The course rolls up and down, and while no singular elevation change stands out as even "moderate," in general many holes have some decent trick of elevation loss/gain. Mostly, these "tricks" take the form of slight slopes down from the tee to a tiny valley and then back up in as gradual a gradient towards the pin.
- This feels like a well-established course. The holes are well-defined, giving players plenty of opportunity to stay on neatly manicured grassy fairways. Vegetation provides the majority of spills and thrills here. Avoid the trees in the fairways, keep out of the rough, and a good round can be had.
- Long, level, concrete pads for both pro and am tees. Descriptive signage gives hole number, distance and a good map of each hole. Port-a-john as well as restrooms (locked when I played) on site. Trashcans throughout.
Cons: - The schule is incredibly thick with very few paths throughout. This provides the majority of the risk/reward here, but after a few times of trying to hack your way out, it can get a bit frustrating. This is the only course I've ever played where I quit keeping score due to the frustration factor, despite enjoying the course.
- Not really a "true" con, but a lot of the "essential" trees have been terribly chewed up by disc hits. Plastic protectors in several places try to mitigate the damage to trunks.
- Pay particular attention to the signs, as a couple of times it is not obvious in which direction to head, and other tees' locations can trick you into playing the holes out of order. One or two signs missing in places doesn't help, but also doesn't make the course hard to navigate.
Other Thoughts: - The area had recently experienced heavy rain and on the waterlogged fairway of one hole, the ground was snap, crackle and popping like a bowl of Rice Krispies. I have no clue what this might have been caused by, but it was certainly one of the most interesting natural phenomenon I've witnessed while discing.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pretty course. Challenging from the pro tees and fun from the reds. Offers a variety of shot opportunities from both tees. Well maintained despite high traffic. No fee to play. Discs for sale from a local league player a couple days a week just before you reach the first hole. Practice basket on site. Long enough holes, but not overwhelming. A solid 18 hole course that won't leave you dissapointed. Easy to navigate, and if you get lost the locals are usually friendly and will point you in the right direction. Harder to lose a disc due to well trodden paths and less extra space between links. Very well thought out course for the amount of space available, but doesn't feel cramped.
Cons: No truly "memorable" or "signature" holes, although all are pleasing to the eye and thought out. Can be crowded at times. Becomes very muddy after a rainy morning, especially on the front 9.
Other Thoughts: If you're looking for a good beginners' course that's not lackluster this is it. You get the true Michigan disc golf experience in about an hour and a half time frame, depending on how many you have in your party. Just a really fun course with good scenery whether you're a pro or am. Fun to play "best disc" teams with a group regardless of skill level. This is my "home course"... Definetely worth a visit if you're in the Kalamazoo area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Grand Central Station
Pros: This course is out in the woods of Kalamazoo and is well worth a visit if you are anywhere in proximity and have the love. The holes feature pro tees and ladies' tees. BogMonster and I played pro tees first go round and they were really quite challenging. Second round we decided to be like the locals and go from the ladies' tees. The experience was much more fun from these perches. Pro tees offered a very restricted view of the foreground fairways and added an additional bend to nearly every hole as well as about one hundred feet of length. They were tough and ill advised for the beginner. Very fitting for pro tees. The ladies' tees allowed the scenery to be better appreciated and the game to be much more enjoyable. I didn't see the greatness of this course until we engaged from the short boxes. Still a decent challenge but obtainable pars and intact pride. This course is really a nice little adventure when you are able to enjoy it. The course is flat for the majority of the holes. There are some varying elevations, but nothing too extreme. Definitely enough to keep a player interested. It is laid out well and offers you an arena to make some creative shots at times. Stay out of woods or you are in for some double bogey action.
Cons: This place was so busy it was unbelievable. On a Monday afternoon!?! There were groups upon groups continually filing through the woods. This can easily create an undue amount of pressure to move fast and rush shots. For the casual player this may not be so bad, but for those of us who are somewhat serious and savor every shot it can be a bugger. Also, playing pro tees while the vast majority of players behind you are shooting ladies' tees can be frustrating as there are discs being played up on you from start to finish. The congestion ahead offers no relief when the eager beavers are allowed to play through. It is just bottlenecked at every turn. I would definitely advise visitors to avoid a weekend visit as I am sure it is inundated with a perpetual stream of players nonstop. If you want to take your time and soak it all in and smell the roses so to speak, this place can be nerve wracking. I am happy that people are out playing and I am astonished that so many people enjoy the game in Kzoo, but when you are getting rushed it can ruin your good time. Just be forewarned to set aside enough time to allow for the heavy patronage. Don't get me wrong I am really happy that people are enthusiastic about the game and that so many showed up to play, but wow. Having discs come ripping through the trees behind you while you putt can aggravate even the consummate mellow mannered chillster. Other than that, this place was right on. Solid. Some of the hole descriptions were either defaced or weathered in many places, but most of the course was cut and dried. There is no water here. Bring some bug spray! I saw a tiny garter snake and was startled.
Other Thoughts: This course is definitely one of the better ones I have visited in my career. Getting close to nature during a round of disc is alright with me and this place offers a nice escape. I look forward to playing there again soon. I would stick to the short tees if you are looking for a good time and be wary of the people behind you or else you might get driven on. Solid...
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Oshtemo - Longs
Pros: Wide range of hole types. Challenging tee shots and basket placement.
Cons: In early spring, the fair weather disc golfers start crawling out of the wood work. During mid to late summer months the foilage is herendous, it's easy to lose a disc.
Other Thoughts: Overall a good course, but I would not say it's the best around Kalamazoo, not by far. That's just my opinion though.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: wide variety of shots required, not nearly as trash filled as most courses in the area, most tees and baskets in exelent condition other than a few missing hole signs, much more challenging than any other course i've played, although i have yet to play from the am. tees, due to length of the holes, even when its packed, it doesnt seem as bad as knollwood, or other smaller courses.
Cons: must have a pretty nice chunk of time to get all the way threw it (it wasnt untill my third time playing here i made it all the way threw) playing alone from the pro. tees it takes me about an hour when i dont run into any other groups, sometimes a little over two when its packed.
Other Thoughts: i didnt think it was as hard to find my way as people make it seem, however, there are a few spots where its easy to skip a hole or two.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun Variety course
Pros: Definitely a wide range of shots needed to play this course. Some tight fairways, but nothing too unmanageable.
Variety is key here, some shorter, some longer, some skinny fairways and some wide ones. Little bit of elevation change.
2 Tees that usually have different obstacles, not just a distance difference which is really cool.
Trash cans at every tee and lots of benches.
Cons: Kinda tough to find your way around, but since it was pretty busy, we could follow the group in front of us.
Other Thoughts: Great course, so much fun to play. Police are usually at the park, especially on weekends so mind the no alcohol policy.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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