Change the Channel
3 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Dangerous, but OK practice spot
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
4 of 4 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.
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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