Punishing rough, rewarding fairways!
9 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large park, with lots of space devoted to disc golf alone. There are some walking paths here and there, but they are well separated.
- Every hole here is set in the forest; every shot has to be somewhat accurate to keep on the fairways. The alternative is dense forest and/or extremely thick rough, which is nearly impossible to shoot out of. The lines are well defined, with constant trees to the left and right, and any trees in the fairway must be avoided in addition to staying out of the rough.
- Great mix of different lines to be found. The premium is always on a straight shot, but there are also some tight, shorter RHBH anhyzer holes as well as hyzer holes. With some long hole lengths, the line off the tee can often depend on how far the drive is supposed to go. An short anny for some may be a big flex shot for others, and a short straight shot can be a bomber hyzer.
- Some very well protected baskets with narrowing fairways and guardian trees, and a few sloped greens. Two baskets are also elevated on brick platforms, for additional challenge. Getting near the basket from the fairway can be the tricky part of some holes.
- Constant elevation changes to be found here, with a lot of valley holes, and uphill and downhill shots. Nothing too crazy, but it definitely felt like there were a lot of uphill upshots, and the downhill shots were definitely noticeable.
- Excellent variety in hole length, 200's to 500's. Lots of interesting shorter holes to complement the bombers.
- Good tees, good baskets, and good signage when present. Some missing tee signs here and there, but still easy to navigate.
Cons: - A lot of the holes feel pretty similar, being inside the forest with well-defined fairways. There are a lot of different lines to hit, but there are also a lot of straight up the gut or hyzer shots needed off the tee.
- Definitely nit-picking, but there aren't much extreme elevation changes to be found. Overall it is good, but there aren't any big downhill or uphill bombers.
- No water anywhere either; almost every hazard present is a clump of trees or a thick patch of rough, usually resulting in a pitch out.
Other Thoughts: - Overall, a fantastic course that uses the available terrain to its fullest. Spectacular diversity in shots that are needed, and constant elevation changes to make each shot even more unique. Some tough greens make nearly every shot matter, start to finish.
- Course is probably a little tough for beginners, even from the shorts. Everyone else should enjoy some challenging and enjoyable golf.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Oshtemo= Good times
Pros: So i was headed to meyer broadway in three rivers(2 of my favs) and i decided to go a little farther to the zoo and check out oshtemo,well im glad i did! This is a great, heavily wooded course, that has a very high fun factor. Most every hole is carved into the woods but has well defined grassy fairways that are fairly wide. Great use of trees to make you overthink your teeshots as well as approach shots.Baskets are well placed with some guarded and even a couple raised a few feet off the ground. There isnt a ton of elevation but they use it well. This course makes big arms want to try to birdie every hole but they will soon realize instead of getting birdies they are gettin bogies. Trouble if ur off the fairway but very fair landing zones. Holes seem purposely just out of reach. Best bet is to find the fairway with a mid, which makes for a fairly easy approach. Trees that are at risk of being hit in the fairway have plastic guards on them (great idea). The tees are huge slabs of concrete for both ams and pros. The tee signs are nice and informative but some show signs of damage. Trash cans on almost every hole.The baskets were in great shape. The course flow is awsome and i was able to find the next hole even though there was nothing showing me where to go. The course felt well broken in and was easy to navigate. All of the holes had purpose and made you throw every shot in your bag.The course was pretty busy for being a chilly day.
All in all i really liked this course,with good flow and pretty looking holes, it made for a fun easy goin round. If your near this course you should definitely play it.
This course would be the bomb for a best shot. One guy can put a shot in the fairway and one guy can rip a drive to see if they can reach those holes that are just out of reach.
Cons: My biggest con for this course is that the pro tee pads on most holes are almost directly behind the am tees,while this is normal,most trails leading to the next hole am teepad ,will put ams right in the firing range from people throwing from pro tees,the rough is so thick between holes that they most likely wont see it coming. I suggest if your in a group to have one person stand in the am trail leading to the tee pad, just in case.(i had casuals walk right in front of me to the am tee and not even look to see if someone was throwing from pro tee, dangerous)
Also this course was rather short but made you throw mid,mid,putt on alot of holes. It did feel like they should of added another 50+ feet to those holes to make those shots more of a challenge.
just a little repetitive.
This course also was very busy with "casual" players. It was a chilly day and i can only imagine what its like in the summer.
The holes also felt really close together which made u feel a little cramped sometimes.
Other Thoughts: This is a clean well layed out course that will help your line shaping game. Leave the nukes,boss,katana ect...at home cause even if there is a long hole , there isnt alot of room for the driver to work(bring your sidewinders,stalkers,teebirds for driving). Definitely a must play if your in the area and will make for a nice addition to other courses in the area(meyer broadway). The parking lot for the course is behind the fire station.
Get you sum oshtemo....u michiganders are lucky to have so many nice courses....get out and play em
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
One note, but hit so well
Pros: -Rolling hills and lush woods make for a scenic and challenging course.
-Some excellent pad/pin placements make for some truly memorable holes.
-Decent variety in distance and shot type.
-Some very big shots, if that's your thing, but enough short holes for your mere mortal players. A number of true par 4s, but enough par 3s.
Cons: -It's all moderate fairways through woods on gentle slopes. Nothing wide open, not much super tight. It might get monotonous if it weren't so nice.
-Some really bad long tee placements that have you shooting blind into risky rough terrain, a few seemed so unpopular that even the big arms were choosing to throw from the shorts on some holes, as the pads were completely untracked.
-Seemed busy, even with a tournament going on at Coldbrook when I played, there were lots of tracks and all kinds of non-disc golf winter sport going on. I can imagine in peak season this course is overrun by WMU students.
Other Thoughts: I played this course right after the big blizzard of February 2010. It was a wonderful time, despite the foot and a half of snow, and makes me hope for the warmer weather and a chance to make it out to Kzoo again to experience this course in the summer. It seems like it will make for a very different experience then with a lot less open space to shoot through. Definitely worth going out of your way to play this, it really is a credit to Kzoo's underrated disc golf scene. Play this and Bluegill for a fantastic day of golf.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 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.
9 of 17 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 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...
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Challenging, long, cement tee boxes for longs and shorts, there is a great variety unless you want easy hole. elevation changes. accuracy is the key. lots of parking.
Cons: way to many people play the shorts and everyone gets backed up. tons of people. no water holes
Other Thoughts: don't mess up those woods on the sides for the fairway a rough to get out of and to find discs. this course will make you get better or make you broke. its in a college area so if you want to have a relaxed fun time play it early when there isn't a ton of people there yet
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Hands down, THE cleanest course I have visited. Extremely well maintained. No damaged signs/baskets. Brooms at the teepads.
Aside from the above, the course is extremely fun and offers a wide variety of different shots, though it does seem to use a lot of right hook designs.
Still being a beginner at the game of Disc Golf, I am trying to travel to area courses and have seen Flip City, Branstrom, Big Rapids, Hickory Hills (Traverse City) and pretty much any of the courses within a 30 mile radius of Grand Rapids. This will go in the top 5 of the courses I have played this year.
Cons: Wanted to play from the pro Tee Pads, but every time we tried, a group, or another player would walk up to the amateur tee pads and Tee off in front of us. The trails in the park seem to favor those pads and people don't tend to look to see if anyone is teeing off behind them.
Other Thoughts: Have I mentioned how clean and well maintained this park is?
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Choose Your Weapon Wisely
Pros: Flip City/Idle Wild...been there...and they're awesome....however...test your game and be HUMBLED at Oshetmo. The course from the Ams is awesome and scorable...but....the longs...my opinon...it is the Most Competetive (not Toughest) course I have ever played....
1) Many Holes just long enough to challenge every player in the game.
2) Nearly flat ground
3) Somewhat narrow fairways
4) Roughs are so thick, you may just want to toss out safely and take the stroke...or chance it and add two or three more.
5) Luck is a major factor that plays into nearly every hole
Most difficult courses...I have played...have long holes...big scenary...major challenges...elevation issues...etc....
You want success at Oshtemo....Tee shot placement is critical....fairway shot critical....if you have the chance to putt after the first two shots...critical
Never expect a "birdie"....and ALWAYS Play for par on 4, 5(my opinion toughest hole which ironically looks easy), 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, &14
Next....Do not underestimate 1, 2, 3, 13, 15, 16, & 17(all birdieable...but beware....very boggieable too)
Good luck squeezing birds out of 6, 8, & 18
Cons: College kids and disc golf ettiquette do not mix....spring time before WMU gets out is probably the worst time of the year...the same in the fall when they come back to classes...these players are generally terrible...may be (overly)intoxicated...and come with women (bless their hearts...but generally are bad too)...and have never heard of doubles or scrambles or letting smaller groups play through....questionable days are good indicators you will run into less of these morons who are bored of playing beer pong...and would rather come out and play only to slow down your round....which is sometimes best played when you have a rhythm going on.
Tons of places to lose your disc when the roughs are grown in....that does not mean to shy away from your shot...commit...and watch closely where your disc goes if it is not on the fairway.
Other Thoughts: I always tell my buddies who come from all over the state of Michigan and elsewhere...when you think you have your game put together....put it too the test...Oshtemo demands your BEST play...just to shoot even....
If I were in course designing....Oshtemo's layout style is something to take very seriously when trying to create just the right course for players who think they have "been there and done that"
I am sure many descent players can make "the shot" on many of Ostemo's challenges....now just put the complete round together....and you will see why it is easily in my top five in the nation
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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