6 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.
6 of 6 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.
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.
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.
4 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?
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 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
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
great course, but too many people
Pros: challenging holes, I agree with most of the comments posted above. I have played this course atleast 50 times and its still fun.
Cons: Don't get me wrong I am all for new people learning how to disc golf, but why must they all come to oshtemo in groups of atleast 8 and play in front of me everytime?! No1 there listens to the no drinking or smoking rules which also irritates me when i see trash everywhere but in the trash bins.
Other Thoughts: Charging a small fee to play this course would be a great idea to weed out all the idiots.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Mastering the Sky
Pros: Lots of variation, no water hazzards
Cons: - Could use some nice benches
- Chances of losing a disc increase in the summer when foliage is thick
- Can get too busy in the later part of the day
- Homeless people turn over the trash looking for returnables for money and leave it scattered.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that is both challenging and rewarding. With the help of players to keep the course clean Oshtemo has the potential to become a top rated course.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Pro and Am concrete tees. Both tees create completely different courses.
-Most holes are well marked at the tee.
-Fun layout. Lots of holes where an ace is possible with a terrific shot, and lots of holes where getting a 3 feels like a birdie. Great variety of holes that fit backhand and forehand shots.
-Holes are tightly packed together but separate. You can play quickly and you don't get tired out by the end like with a ski resort course.
Cons: -Mud. This time of year (fall) the course is constantly muddy and it's not just a pain when your discs land in it. It's like walking on ice in between some holes.
-Always busy. It doesn't necessarily bother me that it's busy, but that nobody around here seems to have heard of letting people play through or picking up a single. None of my friends disc golf so I always go out alone and hope to get picked up by a group. Sometimes they invite me to join, which I prefer. Rarely people will let me play through. Usually by the 9th hole I've spent more time waiting than I have playing. Not a problem with the course design, just something you have to consider when playing here.
-Most holes seem to follow a traditional golf design with "tight" fairways. It's a necessary evil because of the lack of land to use, but I'm used to playing courses with five different approaches to the basket instead of just one or two.
Other Thoughts: Fantastic course. The only things that are really wrong with the course are the things that have less to do with course design than they do the location and setting.
If you see a group of three or more guys with one disc per player, be prepared to wait.
If you see a group of three or more guys with tourney bags, be prepared to be impressed with their skills.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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