Not Worth It
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -- Nice, large cement tees
-- Good baskets that are in good shape
-- Course map at the beginning is quite nice
-- Location. The city of Chicago really needs more courses that are fairly easy to reach via public transport. I live in the city and don't own a car so I thought that a 45 min train and bus ride was worth it to check this course out (read below to see how I was wrong). This location is reachable by multiple CTA routes depending where in the city you are
Cons: -- This park is long and narrow and the course goes in just one direction. Aside from the inconvenience of starting and stopping at two ends of the park, there is a very busy road on your right the entire time. With the park being so narrow, the possibility of an errant shot going into the road is very real. This seemed very dangerous and I was nervous throwing on several holes. This was compounded for me as a LHBH thrower by a strong tailwind. I was afraid to actually throw hard on the one long hole (450ft) because a slight mistake and the tailwind is taking my disc into a very busy road.
-- Wide open. There is very very little in terms of obstacles on most holes. Two holes are tucked behind thick bushes and trees, but are tucked in so close in such a location that there is no line to the basket (you can't even see the basket). Everything else is just a tee, a field, and a basket straight ahead. A 125 ft hole where you can't see the basket and there is no ace run possibility isn't much fun when the only shot is to go straight and long of a bush just so you can putt back to the basket that is tucked into said bush.
-- Very short. When combined with being wide open, there is no challenge or anything interesting being offered here.
-- Walking and biking path close by many holes. On a busy summer day, I can see a lot of potential of hitting someone walking or biking
-- It was very windy when I played, and given the fact that the long park and parallel street basically create a wind corridor, I feel like the wind is likely exaggerated here most days
Other Thoughts: At the time of this review I have played 140+ courses and can easily say I can't remember another one I disliked more than this course. A lot of this is due to the very real and dangerous road hazard along the entire park. I honestly didn't enjoy myself at all during most of the round (and I obviously LOVE playing this game) due to the road and pedestrian hazards in the back of my head. I have never played a course before that I just couldn't wait to finish and leave.
While I am all for more courses and especially more courses in Chicago, I feel this course almost shouldn't be there. The risk of hitting a person or car traveling 45 mph is just too high and such incidents would not help the reputation of our sport to the general public.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Course can be challenging if you play it with strict rules
Pros: This is the closest course to my house. Actually close enough that I can play it quickly on my own during lunch if I work from home. I have also devised (what I consider challenging) a full 18 layout for this course. As stated in other reviews, it is a one way course. I have made a new course guide with updated rules and pictures so players can use this to get more out of this small course.
Cons: Recently, for whatever reason, they removed quite a few of the trees. this includes the tunnel shot that was hole 5. Now its just wide open. Sometimes the bike/walking path is very busy and its important to be mindful of the others using the park. Also McCormick running the length of the course bothers some. It's not that bad if you select the correct disc and are mindful of the wind.
Other Thoughts: Course guide OB/strict hole rules coming soon for my full 18 layout.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Change the Channel
Pros: - North Shore Channel Trail DGC is located on a well-groomed narrow strip of park located between the namesake water channel to the left and a busy roadway to the right. The nine holes play through mostly open grassy areas dotted with the occasional tree, bush, or art sculpture.
- Baskets, tees, and general signage is sufficient enough. The tee pads are, like the majority of Chicago 9ers, ridiculously good for the short lengths. While no signage exists at each hole, the tee pads are all pretty much immediately visible and the flow is smooth enough to not really need signage. The course map at the beginning is really all one would need.
- Well placed pin positions help keep this course from being completely one dimensional. #1's basket has a pine bush backdrop that makes anything long and to the left a bit of a hassle to recover from. Bushes line the left of several fairways, preventing everything but the most unlucky or terrible shot from reaching the downward slope to the water, but also offering enough punishment for such a shot.
- #5 is a nice tunnel shot between a row of tree trunks, with a low ceiling provided by the leaves.
- The holes are open and short enough to be reachable by beginners, or suitable for a putter only round.
- #7 allows more experienced players to air it out a bit, clocking in well over 400 ft.
Cons: - This is a multi-use course all the way: expect to have to yield to pedestrians and bikers regularly throughout each round. The narrow nature of the park really accentuates the interweaving of course and pathways. Since the road is to the right, there's less chance of discs noob hyzering into the street, but I can still imagine the occasional turnover shot not coming back and getting blasted by traffic.
- #'s 4 and 8's baskets are placed blind behind bushes, with the next tee about 30' further. Dangerous as neither the people playing to the basket nor the people on the next tee can see each other.
- Despite the attempt to mix up the hole lengths, overall the course plays very short and will not provide much of challenge to more experienced players (excepting perhaps one disc rounds).
- The course does not play in a loop, leaving you the entire length of the course to walk back to the car. See comments below re: safari.
Other Thoughts: - This is a pleasant enough park, with flowers, well-trimmed bushes, regularly mowed grass, a pretty smattering of trees, and the sculptures that pop up along (and in) the fairways. The main problem is the lack of a true challenge, any sort of real elevation change, and the masses of bikers and walkers.
- Definitely nothing to avoid if you're nearby, but not something to go out of your way for; the course is sufficiently designed to "scratch the itch" but it's not going to wow anyone.
- The potential to safari from 9 back to the parking lot is a possibility, but with anyone else on the course it might not be advisable.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Short mostly open holes, with hole 5 the signature hole - through a 220' foot tree tunnel. A 900 rated player -- I regularly shoot 3 or 4 under. The tees are excellent, and some holes are nicely tucked away behind protection by bushes and trees. The length keeps this course fine for beginners, but the proximity to a busy street requires accurate throws that beginners will find intimidating.
Cons: Many of the fairways and natural lines cross running and bike paths that can be busy. There are even park benches within 20 feet of some holes! These hazards make the course inappropriate for casual players. Experienced players need to yield to other park users, but will have no trouble avoiding obstacles. The left side of the course are heavy woods protecting a canal, and the right side is a busy highway with no barrier.
Other Thoughts: The course can be played in reverse with a nice variation and a tougher collection of 9 holes. This makes a nice 18 hole loop. Bottom line is that the course is a great plus for Chicago, and I enjoy playing it -- so I give it 2.5.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Dangerous, but OK practice spot
Pros: - Nice Concrete tees & New Baskets
- Free Parking north of course
- OK mid-range/putt practice
- Well manicured, easy to follow
- Fairly close to City
Cons: - Dangerous for beginners. VERY close to busy 4 lane
- No Tee markers with hole info
- 1 direction course, which means LONG walk back
- A couple baskets are just plopped right behind huge bushes, and with no tee signs with info, hard to tell where they are unless you walk to find it
Other Thoughts: - A beginner course, no doubt, that lacks any dimension at all. Most holes are short (one is even 90'..par 2?) and a mid-range (or even putter) can be used on all holes for the experienced player. Be careful using a driver as I had my XL turn on me and land in the median of McCormick (which I played obviously)
- Hole 5 is the coolest hole, but only because of the placement of the trees, and not the actual hole layout. (It's directly straight from tee to basket)
- Might play it again if up in the area, but IIT is a tad better IMO.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Not great but great for practice
Pros: The biggest pro is that it's a disc golf course in the city, which Chicago is in desperate need of more for people like me who want to practice without having to make a trek each time. I do realize this is a very small course with it's pitfalls but I feel it at least deserves a 1.5 out of 5 (passable) for the fact it is an easily accessible course within Chicago to play and improve at. As cramped as the course is, the premises are kept pristine and the equipment is kept in top shape. It's a very nice course and very fun to play around although a bit simplistic and minuscule in design.
Cons: There is no denying that it's a bit too small. It's also a bit dangerous for new players like me. If you release too far to the right at any given point, your disc is more than likely going to get ran over by a car going at 45 miles an hour due to the side road. A blessing and a curse, this is teaching me quickly how to throw straighter and figure out my technique.
Also the course going in one direction does lead to a long walk back but at least it's a pretty stroll.
Other Thoughts: I am glad to have the course around so that I can practice my game but here's hoping that Chicago can get a bigger and better one in the future. They could have easily put a few more baskets in going backwards to make it a full course and eliminate that long walk back.
Second Update: I have now played this course many a time and I am starting to see why it's lowly rated. After so many long walks back and having to worry about the safety of my discs, I am going to have to lower it down to a 1.5.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Holes are pretty straight forward as the land is flat.
Great place to practice RHBH hyzer lines of varying lengths between 90'-400'.
Plays within a sculpture park.
Couple of trash cans near teepads.
Large concrete teepads. New Innova discatchers. Newly paved parking lot. Well maintained park and grass.
Cons: It's 9 holes going one way.
The holes aren't very challenging for the competitive disc golfer.
If you're not careful or inexperienced your discs may fly towards McCormick Blvd or the Chicago River.
Check for pedestrians, roller bladers and bicyclists along the path.
Other Thoughts: Having grown up in the Rogers Park area of Chicago I never knew disc golf even existed. After moving to LA and picking up the activity I'm pleasantly surprised to come back and see a course pop up close to the old neighborhood. This is a newly installed course as of Aug 2012.
I only brought one disc on my trip here but it was really great to get out and toss the disc and get some fresh air and exercise. Not a destination course but I had a blast playing here and trying my hardest to (unsuccessfully) birdie every hole.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
The 1 way course
Pros: Nice new innova discatchers with great concrete tees. The tree tunnel on hole 5 is cool although the hole is rather short. Hole 7 plays over 400 feet and is the closest hole to the road so be careful.
Cons: This course plays south between the trail and the road. Once you finish hole 9 you must walk or play all the way back towards the beginning if you parked at Dominick's across from hole 1. This course is short and open. Playing next to the road is an accident waiting to happen. This is an awful design.
Other Thoughts: Be very wary of the other park users while playing. Park at Dominick's across from hole 1.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Dangerous and not very exciting
Pros: The course plays through the sculpture park between McCormick and the river. There are nice concrete tees and brand new discatchers. The park is beautifully maintained, with mowed grass and no trash. The hole lengths have some variety, with a 90' hole and one over 300'. Hole 5 plays between two rows of trees offering a cool tunnel shot with a low ceiling.
Cons: The course is wide open for 8 of the 9 holes. There are RHBH hyzer lines on just about every hole, and LHBH hyzers on most. You don't need any line shaping skills to be successful here, nor do you need much distance. The course plays along and over a busy path, with lots of walkers, joggers and bikers and a few blind shots. This could be a major safety issue on a nice day. About half the holes play close enough to a major 40mph road, with nothing stopping errant drives from ending up in traffic. The course plays in one direction away from the first tee, leaving a ridiculous walk back to the beginning and making it so every hole has the same wind condition.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find this to be an approachable course, with reasonable distances, limited obstacles and almost no punishment for errant shots. More experienced players won't find much challenge or variety here, and the conflicts with other park users can add frustrating time waiting. I played the course backward to get back to the beginning, but that only works if there aren't other groups playing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: New baskets with nice big concrete tees is a great start for a new course, but it's downhill from there.
The first 5 holes range from decent to good with some obstacles and moderate challenge. The alley shot on 5 is really cool, but quite difficult and frustrating.
The course is in a pretty park.
Cons: I didn't factor this into my score because the park isn't finished (parking lot barely under construction) so I hope tee signs are coming, but for now they aren't there.
The biggest problem with this course is having flight paths running parallel to McCormick Blvd., a constantly busy four-lane road. On hole 6 a lefty backhand player like myself can effortlessly throw a shot into the street with moderate wind, which is what I dealt with when playing. I avoided the street, but beginners will find the street daily. The back 4 holes all have a chance of a stray shot going into the street.
The bikers/walkers are also a factor, though bikers were more prevalent when I played and they're at least fast.
The set up of the park forces a one-directional layout, which means a long walk back to the start. As a result multiple groups played some of the holes backwards to get back to the start. Some of the holes play better this way, but if the course gets busier this could have multiple groups playing the same basket from opposite directions.
Other Thoughts: This area needs more and better courses, but this simply isn't good enough. I wouldn't be willing to take a couple of my beginner/intermediate friends for fear of them tossing one in the street. Walkers/bikers are easy to avoid if you pay attention, but it's only a matter of time until a disc hits a car and causes an accident. I saw a disc go into the street while playing and I'm sure it happens all the time. Eventually that will cause someone to swerve and force an accident.
I believe the course's problems could be remedied if some of the holes were shorter to make it a truly beginner friendly course. There's already a 90 foot hole on the course and the first 5 holes really don't need to be changed. However, replacing the slightly longer 6-9 that bring the street into play with shorter, more technical shots would drastically improve safety.
I had a group come up to me asking where they can buy golf discs so having a course in this area will expose disc golf to new players, which is always great, but it needs to be done better.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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