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.
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.
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 / 2 Not
Pros: nice semi wide fairways and open shots, followed by doglegs going each way, mostly wooded but par is managable on every hole with some skill, has 2 tees(pro/regular). easy course to walk an play on, might even see some box turltes scuttling around the pathways.
Cons: mostly wooded so you may be looking for discs if you hyzer it too hard. in the thick pines later in the round, be sure to check if its "floating" in a branch first...ive found more discs there doing that than looking on ground, most wooded areas arent so thick but are a pain in some shots.
Other Thoughts: great place to play, minimal trash, some cool artwork on the tee off areas and a practice putting area as you approach #1 which is nice, parking is readily available.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Course you want to keep playing
Pros: Short and Long tees make this a good course for everyone. Mix of short and long shots, flat and uphill shots, and left and right placed tees. Course that everyone should try at least once.
Cons: Not taken care of as well as one would like. Trash cans are full and not many hole markers so if you are new to course can be difficult to navigate.
2 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.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
My Home Course
Pros: - Distinctive short and long tee-pads (concrete) make for a ton of replay value on this course.
- Full bag of tricks needed for most of the longs and many of the shorts.
- Wooded area, but has well-defined, grassy fairways. You rarely feel like you're chopping through Michigan woods. As a result, tree placement is both fair and challenging.
- Good support from local pros, leagues, and benefits from a positive relationship with the nearby Oshtemo branch of the nationally-recognized Kalamazoo Public Library.
- As of summer '12 the course will have brand new bathrooms, drinking fountains, playground equipment, basketball courts, and expanded parking.
- Free to play.
- Sees a lot of players through in the summer. Get out here at 6-7 in the morning and scrounge up some free discs that careless players lost in the waning twilight the previous evening. Put 'em in your bag as loaners, give 'em to a friend, or call the numbers on the back and breathe heavily into the receiver.
Cons: - Heavily played. Course favored by most of the disc-playing KVCC and WMU students who live in the area.
- Not a lot of elevation changes.
- Sadly has had several recent bouts with vandalism. Middle and high school kids largely to blame. As a result, picnic tables have been broken, directional signs have been smashed, and the aluminum garbage cans that were installed 3-4 years ago have been obliterated.
- Hobos seem to get a kick out of dumping the contents of trash containers out to search for cans for that sweet, sweet $.10 MI deposit. They rarely refill the trash cans when done.
Other Thoughts: I live about 3-4 blocks from this course and play it at least once a week whenever there's not snow on the ground. I've never gotten tired of this course. I largely play the shorts, but having improved my game recently, I've started to play the longs more and more and absolutely love the added angles, choke-points, and sheer distance.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Hope to play again!
Pros: Great layout, very challenging, good use of up/down and different foliage. Long tees offer much more challenging course. Requires many different shots.
Cons: Very muddy, not well marked (although trails make it fairly obvious).
Could use wood chips and better signs. Construction underway in park and it looks like some trails are being improved. Nice park!
Other Thoughts: This is a must-play course if you are in the area. It is probably much nicer in the summer and I hope to make it back and play again!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Good use of trees, to make the lanes wide yet very defined. Some very interesting twists and blind shots. Trees sometimes create unique hazards. Interesting tee offs with beautiful scenery. The playground/picnic area is nice to have when bringing non-players.
Cons: If we didnt print out the course map of this website, we would have been incredibly lost. Somewhat confusing layout. Two teepads per hole..and if your throwing from the long hole no way to see if anybody is throwing or sitting at the short hole. Trash, drunken locals, bugs. After awhile it feels like your playing the same hole over again.
Other Thoughts: I found the course interesting and challenging for the most part. But I'm so glad we printed the map for it. How trashed this course is..but i did see a couple that were nice, who were collecting enough bottles to purchase wine..
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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