Worth the $8
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Navigation is not bad. A lot of "next tee" signs . Get lost here and you aren't paying attention. The only real issue I had was going from #2 to #3. That was a little...odd.
- Nice Innova baskets with the yellow band on top.
- Well kept up park.
- A variety of holes. Big arms will love it and so will the noodle arms like me. There are long/short and open to very tight.
- Nice use of elevation where available. #5 and #6 come to mind along with #13 through #17. Those were really fun.
- Trash? What trash? This park was so well cleaned up I had to wonder if I was really on a DG course...Nice!!! Kind of unexpected considering the rough nature of some of the surrounding neighborhoods.
- Signs at the tees were nice and informative. Although I am not completely sure but some of the distances seemed a little off...
- Nice use of water hazards.
- I liked the use of old spools as benches. I like to see things reused like that rather than being thrown into a landfill.
Cons: - While I said navigation was not bad there are some pretty ridiculous walks between holes. From #12 to #13 and then #17 to #18. #18 was just confusing. From 17 you have to walk a long ways down the road and go to the other side of the pavilions.
- There are some safety issues here. #4 is probably the worse and #12 is a close second. The tee shot is required to go between the lake and the road and down the middle of the fairway are benches.
- I did not care for #2 and #3. Wide open bomb shots...yawn.
- The tee pad brick surface used on many of the tees is nice and grippy but in many instances is waaaaay too small. On some tees there is nothing to tee off of.
Other Thoughts: NOT A CON but be aware there is poison ivy off the fairway on some of the holes. I noticed small patches of it near 8, 9 and 10. While I did not specifically look for it there is very likely some on the 13-17 section of the course as well.
While there I noticed a plethora of new DG baskets that were not on the course. After talking to some locals there is apparently a redesign in the works for this course. A lot of this appears to be filling the gaps between the long walks between holes. In particular, the stretch between 17 and 18. Some of those look VERY interesting. I will definitely be coming back and while the $8 may seem steep for some to me the ability to play in such a kept up park was worth it to me. Once the new baskets and tees are set up this course, Rogers Lakewood and Lemon Lake would make for an EPIC disc golf roady.
I am going to give this a 3.0 for now because I just can't justify a 4.0 considering that this isn't on par with places I've played like Hickory Hills in Traverse City, MI. Although, I will happily return to this course once the new holes are complete to revamp my review. ;)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hidden Lake park is a fairly new disc golf location in Merrillville right off Broadway.
There is a wide range of hole types, but the variety leans towards wide open field. There is also a nice selection of long and short - left and right holes. The open holes are fairly boring - for instance hole #2 is 700ft where 600+ft of it is wide open field and the last 100ft have a creek and a lower overhang of trees that adds some interest.Hole #9 has a 20 wide window right after the tee, but wide open field after that - there are holes like 3, 11 and 18 that are nothing but field.
Some of the holes are great - I love that 4 is right along the side of the lake with an OB road on one side and lake on the other. #17 is close to the same as 4, but on the other side of the lake. 10 and 15 are short, but requires an exacting paths down an alleyway.
13-17 are tucked away behind the ball diamonds and are nicely shaded and have some nice old growth trees and 17 is a cool tunnel shot down through a window, over a creek to the basket.
Holes 5 and 6 are a really cool duo where 5 is short up a steep hill and 6 is a short bomb down the other side of the hill and this is where the course transitions into a few wooded holes.
Cons: If you're travelling and going to pay - I would suggest stopping at Lemon Lake before here. This park charges $8 for out of Ross Township people. But still $5 if you are local. For a buck less I'd rather Rogers Lakewood or pay the same and get 4 courses at LL.
The girl at the lake asked why I was coming to the park, and I told her disc golf, but she didn't mention anything about where the course was or if there were scorecards or a map. We ended up driving around the lake once since we didn't know where the course started and we passed tee 1 the first time around. I had no idea what the black spoke was on the basket - didn't know until I read someone elses review here. Would have been nice to have something at the front gate.
There are huge signs forbidding entering the lake. If a disc goes in you are not allowed to enter the lake to get it. With all the geese around, I wouldn't want to enter the water, but I am not about to leave a disc in there. It looks like there was a beach and lifeguard chair there, so it must have allowed swimming at one point.
Someone did mention safety issues - this park was definitely packed with people when we were there. We seemed to be the only DGers there though. People were walking all around by 1, 4, 11, 12, 18. There was a little girl playing on the 17 basket while her dad was fishing. I overshot 12 and my disc ended up on the entrance road and multiple people ran over my disc before I got to it. RIP Starlite RR. 13 and 14 are through a picnic area with a grill, so I could imagine that being used too and having to skip those holes.
Other Thoughts: Tee one is back by the soccer fields and the sign points to Ball fields 5,6,7,8 - the first tee is right off the parking lot from there.
Hole 2 is probably the only one (beside dunking one in the lake) for nasty OB - there is a fence on the right side of the fairway that borders railroad tracks that if you go over and cannot climb the fence, it might be a lost disc.
Transition from 17 to 18, unless we missed a sign was a little 'guesswork' of course the park was packed with people in the pavilions, so we just walked past the picnickers and when we saw a basket we hadn't used we just looked for the tee. For those who are reading this and haven't been there. Hole 18 tee is down the road from 17 next to the lake, past the beach.
Not really a con, but more an observation - there are a few memorable holes here mixed in with a lot of completely forgettable holes.
There was quite a bit of trash around the park - we finished our Gatorade after the first couple holes and ended up having to carry them for a number of holes. There aren't any trash cans around the tees, but there are plenty around the lake in the parking lots. They might want to think about mocing some around the tees since it looks like people are filling the wire spools up with trash now.
The wire spools as benches are nice as well as actual benches on some of the holes.
A lot of this course is wide open - so bring sunscreen and the layout wraps around the lake so once you are out there is no quick stop back at the car. Bring what you need with you.
Lastly - It looks like the holes have multiple pin positions - but I didn't see anywhere that indicated which position they are in. For the most part, this is a non-issue and it's nice that there is this added chance for variety.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Hidden Stream not Hidden Lake
Pros: 1) Nice new Innova Discatchers with numbers on the yellow band.
2) Signs have Hole #, distance and a map of the hole. All holes are pretty self explanatory but nice signs are always appreciated for the travelling disc golfer.
3) There are directionals in a few spots which really help with navigation.
4) More wire spools used for a place to set your bags. I like that they only used these for the holes in the woods because it would be an unattractive course accessory that would only look the course and park look worse. Disc Golf needs to step it up and if those were visible all over the park, people would wonder who dumped their garbage by the tees. Nonetheless I appreciate having a place to set my bag.
5) #17 is a great hole (even though I had to retrieve my disc from the stream. It wasn't an easy recovery either). Downhill, out of the woods to an open green area with a creek tucked about 40' to the left of the basket.
6) Distance variation is pretty good. There are some two shot holes, some simple park jobs possible, and some challenging upshots.
7) One metal rung on each basket is painted in black to indicate where the next tee is. Always a helpful thing for people to see.
8) Excellent variety here. Wide open distance, controlled shot distance through open mowed turf with spotty trees, tight wooded holes, etc. It had just about everything.
9) Elevation was used on a handful of holes. It isn't dramatic except #5 and 6 but a few of the other shots had moderate to slight elevation change.
Cons: 1) Grass tees always leave something to be desired. I just wish there was a perfect consistent surface that wasn't expensive. Concrete is preferred but it is also expensive.
2) The course is broken up into a lot of little sections of the park. You cross the road a few times in between holes and it breaks up the flow a little bit with some long awkward walks.
3) #18 is an extremely anticlimactic finishing hole. I see a different routing that would have made this course make more sense and it would have taken away one of the boring open holes.
4) It is called Hidden Lake because it is hidden from the main road . . . but it should be called Hidden Stream because I had no idea that river was so close on #17. I ended up throwing what I thought was a great shot only to find it in the creek. I know I wasn't supposed to go in after it, but I did anyways because it was my only other Roadrunner.
5) I know there is Poison Ivy in spots and the rough on those tight holes is pretty brutal in spots. It makes the course look ugly and play slower.
6) I think it was $6 . . . a little much for just disc golf, but the park is also nice with other activities. In the end it was worth it for the two of us, but if you are alone you might feel like you got ripped off.
Other Thoughts: All in all this is not a bad course. I am glad there was traffic from Chicago all the way to I-65 otherwise we wouldn't have stopped on our way back to WI. There are some good holes and it is fun and challenging all the way through. A couple of boring or simplistic holes but those were mostly for transitions between areas. I do think I could have resolved one of those holes by altering the design just slightly.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a sprawling multi-use park. Several of the holes play in the woods along the edge of the park, with a few nice technical lines and some dense brush to make you pay for errant shots. There are a couple that call for some tricky hyzers or anhyzers, and a few that make you hit a straight line through the trees.
The rest of the course plays out in the open, with scattered trees and some elevation changes. Two holes use a small but steep hill to add some fun and challenge, a few others have some minor elevation changes around the pond. Water comes into play on a few shots, adding some risk/reward decisions. I liked the basket placed on a small peninsula, there's plenty of safe landing area to go for an easy 3 but if you try to park it for a 2 you have a much higher chance of ending up wet. Hole 17 is probably the signature hole, with a downhill tunnel off the tee and water lurking on the left edge of the fairway. Some of the holes have some good distance, offering chances to open up and throw your drivers.
The tee signs are decent, with hole number, distance and layout. Most of the natural tees were in fine shape. The baskets are new, and have painted spokes pointing to the next tee. The park seemed well kept, with no trash or vandalism and nicely mowed grass.
Cons: There are some major safety issues on several holes. You often throw over or along park roads, over benches and picnic areas or near ball fields. On a busy summer day it could be pretty dangerous to play here, especially for newer players with less accuracy and less tendency to skip holes when other park users are in the way.
Too many of the holes are basically wide open, offering little challenge beyond length and maybe fighting the wind. A few of the tees were slanted or rutted pretty badly, many of the others were starting to show signs of erosion. If the tees remain natural, most will end up pretty messy. There are several tricky navigation problems here, with long unmarked walks between holes that could get pretty frustrating your first time through.
Other Thoughts: The cost is a little high here ($8 per car), though that's a general use fee and not simply directed at disc golfers. Beginners will find the course pretty approachable, though the water and length on some of the open holes might be a bit much. More experienced players won't find a ton of challenge, but there are a few fun holes that make this worth a quick stop on your way to nearby Lemon Lake.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a big city park that has some ponds and woods. There is a lot of other activities here, with parks, pavilions, benches, roads, paths, etc. Definitely a chance for interference on a busy day.
- Roughly half of the holes here are set in the woods/trees to force line shaping of some sort. There are some smaller shots, like a low ceiling shot on #8 and a very tight RHBH anny on #10, which require good accuracy to avoid the rough. Others are more open, like a grassy meadowy shot on #7, a low ceiling shot on #13, a small hyzer around a grove of trees on #14, a RHFH hyzer around the woods on #15, and a RHFH or RHBH shot on #16. The best shot is #17, a downhill tunnel that opens up over a small ditch, with water on the left.
- The rest of the holes are out in the open, with a variety of challenges. #2 is a 600+ bomber with a long tee over a creek, and #3 comes back over the creek from an elevated teepad. #5 is a steep uphill shot through some trees, and #6 shoots back down the hill to a basket in front of the forest. #4 and #12 are RHFH hyzer shots, downhill, with water looming on the right.
- Elevation changes aren't too shabby overall. The shots up and down the small hill on #4 and #5 are short but steep, while #3 is long and gentle. Both shots next to the ponds, and #17, are decent downhill tosses.
- Water is used well here; the larger bodies of water are definitely in play on #4, #12, and #17, and the creek is in play on #3 and #5. It is easy to play it safe, if desired.
- Good mix of hole lengths, there are some true bomber shots out here over 500', some short technical shots, and many in between. Different lines as well, plenty of chances for backhand and forehand shots, and maybe an overhand or roller in a few spots with elevation or a low ceiling.
- Nice tee signs and baskets, natural tees aren't in too bad of shape. Navigation isn't too bad with some signs and painted baskets, some tricky walks after #12 and #17.
Cons: - A lot of shots here are pretty wide open, starting with holes #1 and #2. #6 is wide open, #9 is a shot out of the woods with few other trees, and #18 is also clear. They are all on the long side, at least, so it's fun to chuck some discs around.
- Layout is a little funky, the walks from #12 to #13 and #17 to #18 are very long and can be confusing the first time through. You're also playing near roads and fences, it's a very public place.
Other Thoughts: - Overall, a pretty fun course that has a good number of different shots. There are the wide open bombers, some tighter technical shots, decent elevation, and some water. Nothing is spectacular, but it covers a little bit of everything. Great for beginners to learn the game (as long as they don't throw in the water or at park goers), and good for intermediate players. Advanced players will be able to cruise through it.
- $8.00 is kind of steep... carpool to save costs!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Has a great start
Pros: It is in a well manicured park. They used a lot of shots that go both ways and have elevation and water. Brand new baskets that also have number plates and are marked to tell you where the next tee is. There are several long holes as well as shorter holes. There were some wooded shots as well. They use the lake very well but didn't make it too prominent that its all you think about. Holes 5 and 6 have baskets on a big sledding hill which makes putting a very mental game.
Cons: The concrete pads are not in yet and there is no signage at this point which makes it difficult to navigate the course at this point. Some of the wooded holes aren't cleared yet which is a pain but I spoke with the parks people and they are going to get on it when they can get the equipment back there. It seems as though a lot of the holes are 265ft which gets kind of redundant.
Other Thoughts: Despite having a lot of holes the same length they do make sure that they are different shots. Holes 5 and 6 have their baskets very very close on the same hill and an errant shot from either of those could actually strike a player putting on the other. I know they are already talking about making some changes based on what they have seen in the first few days which is good to hear. As the course develops and gets some play it will allow for people to really enjoy it and beat in the lines. I like the course so far and as the rest of the work gets finished I will update this review.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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