Solid old school design, plain and simple
4 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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 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 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 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 7 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.
5 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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 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.
4 of 4 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.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Not Too Shabby
Pros: Even though this course is in the middle of a heavily wooded area, it has some pretty good holes with green grass on the fairways. Each hole has two tee pads - a shorter location and a longer location (the tee pads, by the way, are in really good shape). I don't recommend using the ones in the longer locations unless you're a more advanced player. Not only are they longer but they normally offer narrower tee shots. Most of the fairways are kind of narrow, but there's still just enough space that players can realistically land there discs on them and avoid the thick woods surrounding them. Some holes have trees on the fairways that can set you up for some tricky putts and approach shots depending on where your drive ends up, so accuracy is pretty important with this course. A few holes have blind tee shots that make them a little trickier to play. Also, the woods in this area don't seem to have a lot of weeds or bushes, just a lot of trees, so it usually isn't too difficult to find your disc if it goes in the woods. For the most part, this course is in pretty good shape.
Cons: It isn't clear where you're supposed to go to get to the first hole. It took me a while to figure out I had to go down this walking path that looked like it was there for walking only (it didn't look like it would lead to a disc golf course). There usually are multiple paths at the end of the holes and it's not clear which one you're supposed to use to get to the next hole. Sometimes each one will take you to the next hole, but that's not always the case. For example, the path from hole 15 to hole 16 is kind of hidden. I accidentally took a different path that led me back to the parking lot. Some holes seem a little too open and could probably benefit from having a few extra obstacles on the fairway like trees and bushes. are Some of the tee pads were real dirty when I played there, as if mud had washed up on them after the last rain. There are a few areas where the woods near the fairways are so thick with trees that it can take a while to find your disc if it goes in there. Some areas have roots sticking out of the ground that you'll want to keep an eye out for. There is poison ivy near some of the fairways, and the mosquitoes can be real bad throughout the course. Unfortunately, this course has had some issues with vandalism. A lot of the signs are in bad shape because of that. Also, because this course is pretty flat and located entirely in the woods, there are some areas that can flood easily when it rains and the ground can stay muddy for a long time.
Other Thoughts: It seems like a lot of the wooded courses I've played in Michigan have extremely narrow holes with little grass on the fairways, and it isn't always clear where you're supposed to aim because of the high quantity of trees between you and the basket. Sometimes it's seems like your only option is to just throw your disc and pray to the gods of disc golf that it doesn't hit a tree or fade deep in the woods. That's not the case at all with this course. It may not look like a good area for a disc golf course, but the people who built it made some nice grassy fairways and designed some pretty good layouts for what is overall a well built course.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Great wooded course
Pros: The course plays through thick woods with a few rolling hills. The minor elevation changes available are used well to add some challenging and interesting shots. The rough is thick here, but the fairways are wide enough for the lengths of the holes so it only punishes truly bad shots and makes you think about how much of the longer holes you want to bite off. There is a nice mix of left and right turning holes, you'll need a variety of shots to be successful here.
There are two concrete tees per hole, and they offer pretty different experiences. The shorter tees are great for newer players, with more open lines and shorter distances. The long tees often add more bend to the fairway or an additional pinch point to navigate, and usually add 100ish feet to the length of the hole. Both sets of tees have some decent variety of hole lengths, and the two layouts are different enough that it will keep your interest for multiple rounds.
Cons: Despite a few nice hills, the course plays pretty flat, and the holes do run together a bit at times. The signage is only at the long tees, and is in pretty sad shape. Many of the signs are missing or unreadable, it's a little frustrating to have to guess at distance and walk up the fairway to see the layout of the hole. There are a few spots where navigation is tricky, and this is compounded by lack of tee signs.
Other Thoughts: The short tees here offer a great layout for recreational players, truly new throwers will find the rough very thick and punishing when grown in. More experienced players will find the shorts to be a fun deuce or die course with nice technical ace runs. The longs are challenging enough that better players will have to bring a complete set of shots to score well, including some creative shots to get out of the rough.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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