6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a pretty crowded city park, there is a pavilion at the start, a walking path by a few holes, some baseball fields, so there might be some spilloff onto the DG course. Shouldn't be major interference, but it's possible.
- Back half of the course is set in a wooded section of the park, which have some of the more interesting holes. The highlight is #10, a tight multi-shot hole with two hyzer routes off the tee, around trees on the left. It is important to finish left here, as the next shot has lots of trees on the right side to get around. Some water on the right halfway as well. Tough hole. A bunch of other holes need good accuracy, like a RHBH anny on #9, a RHFH flex line on #13, a hyzer around some water on #12, and some very straight shots on #14 and #15. #16 is another tougher hole, a valley shot through a gap that ends out of the woods.
- Most other holes are out in the open, with trees here and there to make things tough. The tricky holes also use dense rough to force lines, like a dogleg right on #6, and a much longer and tougher 557' dogleg right on #7. #8 is another bomber, a slight uphill hyzer off the tee, with a downhill valley finish around a huge tree. Some other cool shots like a blind hyzer on #2 and a blind anny on #4.
- Some healthy elevation changes on a few holes, like a downhill shot on #11 with a blocked RHBH hyzer line, a steep shot up a hill on #17, and the corresponding downhill bomber on #18. Good stuff. Some gentler ones are present in many other spots; like valley shots on #1, #5, #10 and #16. Downhill slopes on #2, #11, #12, #15, and uphill on #3, #6, #9, #13, and #14. A constant feature of the course, which definitely keeps it interesting.
- Decent amount of hazards here, with water present on #1, #10, and #12, that are all in play and definitely dangerous. Thick rough out in the open and some jail in the woods to get into, and also a few tricky basket placements like the pin on top of the hill on #17.
- Nice signs, good teepads, good baskets. Everything in good shape overall. Navigation can be a little tricky in spots, like #3 to #4, and #8 to #9. Nothing too bad, but the map helps out.
Cons: - One of the biggest cons is a crammed layout by some holes. #2 and #3 almost share a fairway; since #2 is downhill it is very easy to shank shots right, directly in the business of anyone on #3. #5 also feels a little busy, between #2 and #8.
- Half of the holes here are pretty wide open, with maybe one or two trees to worry about. The elevation changes help out a lot to keep things interesting, but they're still just grip and rip shots.
Other Thoughts: - All in all, a pretty fun course that has a nice balance of wooded and open shots. Constant elevation changes in and out of the woods, and both long and short holes in each as well. A pretty good variety of lines, righty and lefty, with some tough doglegs and multi-shot holes. Definitely plays on the easier side, even with some tougher holes mixed in, very well suited to beginners or intermediate players. Worth checking out at least once, for any skill level.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Very nice mix of open and wooded with a natural progression from open to wooded as the round goes on
-Nice, long concrete tee pads
-Garbage cans & benches at nearly every hole
-Dual tees on most holes
-Good signage that includes the shot shaping required, par, distance, and direction to next hole
-Fairly good erosion control throughout with wood chipping (some holes in the woods could probably use more though)
Cons: -No convenient bathrooms on the course
-Because it's good (and free) the course can be quite busy
-There are ponds on two holes, but it requires a pretty lousy shot for them to come into play, this is a little bit of a missed opportunity
-It's not too hard to find your way, but there is a little bit of a walk in between several of the holes
Other Thoughts: First off, I was quite impressed with this course as a whole. It is a very well taken care of course. These are some of the best tee pads I've ever played on, Blue Ribbon Pines included. There is a decent amount of wood chipping for erosion control throughout. The course was surprisingly clean, as busy free courses tend to have a lot of riff-raff at them and consequently more litter... that was not the case here. There are garbage cans & benches at nearly every hole which I would assume help greatly with littering.
The course flows from mostly open field holes with a few obstacles to some rather tight wooded holes starting around hole 9. The course also ends with two more open holes. There is a nice variety of shot shaping required as well as a lot of elevation changes throughout. There are no extreme elevation changes here, but plenty of variety. There is also a decent mix of distance throughout the course as the shortest is somewhere around 165' and the longest is darn close to 600'.
The City of White Bear Lake has put a good amount of effort into this course and it shows. It is easily one of the best, if not the best, free course I have been to in the Metro area. I don't have a lot of courses left to visit in the area, so I'm comfortable in saying that this is one of my favorites in the area. This course is worth a visit and is a good destination course during a day of disc golfing. I didn't need a map the first time, but it may be beneficial to print one off if you don't have the chance to follow a group playing in front of you as I did. I will definitely come back to this course even though it is 30 miles away for me.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Really nice course
Pros: I havent played in about 15 years and I found this course quite challenging and really fun. I only played at acorn which totally changed for the bad but thats a different review. This placed was packed today people lining up at the first tee but then that was also the problem. Really good selection of holes and different shot selections. i was really impressed on how nice the people i ran into where.
Cons: I mentioned the long wait at the first tee. I am a avid ball golfer and one nice thing about the more expensive courses are the players and their care towards the course. I ran into a lot of teens just hanging out being more in the way than anything else They were also just combing the lakes for free disc. I had a really hard time finding hole 10 and finding myself out near the apt building. Hole 17 is a weird and difficult shot but leads you up to a great view with 18. MAPS MAPS MAPS I wish there were maps. I realize that cost money but donations could be awesome or a concession stand. Watch your step when your in the woods. I stumbled on about 20 sawed off stumps. Could be some nasty falls.
Other Thoughts: If nothing maybe put a kiosk out there so we can donate money to the upkeep and improvement on these courses. Or even donate material to the sign making or we can keep spray painting hole numbers. Overall...I would definitely come back. The tees are really beautiful with gravel and raised concrete. Great job white bear lake
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good holes, hard to follow
Pros: The course plays through a large park with some park style areas and some wooded areas. The wooded holes offer some tight technical lines to hit, and enough trees and underbrush to make you work to recover from an errant shot. The park style holes offer wider grassy fairways with enough mature trees to make you think about shot placement, and occasional bushes or thick rough to contend with. There is some elevation, and it's used well to add some fun and challenge. The final hole down the hill is a lot of fun, and it's always nice to end the round on an empty your bag type hole.
There is good length variety, with some reachable shots and a few par 4 holes along with some other nice long par 3s that let you air it out a little more. Though there isn't a ton of hole shape variety, at least this course is unbalanced toward right turning holes unlike many courses. The concrete tees are nice and big, and the erosion control around the pads is an excellent solution for high traffic courses.
Cons: The signage is nonexistent, and the flow of the course isn't obvious at all. That makes it frustrating for first time players who will have to wander a bit to find all the holes, especially with a recent addition of 4 holes. It also means that on the handful of blind holes you'll have to scout ahead to figure out the length and shape of the fairway. There are a lot of right turning shots, and not a whole lot of left turning ones to balance it out and test a variety of line shaping skills. I'm not a fan of long grass rough that adds frustration and not challenge, and there are some areas of the course where the fairways are lined with it.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find this course pretty challenging, with some legitimate par 4s and several other longer holes as well as some tight wooded shots that could be frustrating for less accurate throwers. More experienced players will find some really nice tests here, but the layout and navigation combined with some nasty disc eating long grass and rough could provide frustration at times for that set of players as well.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Leftwood Hills is OK
Pros: Nice concrete tees, nice chainstar baskets. Good mix of open bomber and tight woods.
Cons: The newer teepads are set on top of the ground instead of dug in (although that may slowly be getting fixed) meaning there are some throws where going off the teepad is a drop off of like 10 inches. A couple of the new holes are very pinbally in that there is no real clear window through the trees, so you have to aim for one possibility and hope.
Weird layout, there are 2 baskets pretty near each other, and some weird walks. Feels like it could flow a lot better with a different layout.
Other Thoughts: Played here a few times when it was 14 holes, went out yesterday and played the new 18. The issues that made me not really care for it are still there, lots of right turns, as a forehand player it plays really well, but it gets old. The new holes need some trimming still, and the tons of small stumps in the woods is a trip and fall waiting to happen. The course isn't bad, it just isn't that good, I think a 3 is about right for a rating.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good free course
Pros: This course is in a suburban city park with a mix of open and wooded holes. The course layout includes some elevation changes, with multiple blind shots over hills.
The park is nice, with a large parking lot and restrooms. The start of #1 and end of #18 are both near the parking lot, which is nice.
Most of the holes have benches, and some have trash cans. The long tees are nice large trapezoidal ones and are all flat. The short tees were all rectangular.
Even though the overall layout is nonsensical (see the cons list), the individual hole designs are nice. Except for having a lot of holes that curve right, there is a great diversity. I never got bored doing the same shot over and over again.
There isn't much underbrush in the woods, so finding stray discs is usually easy.
Cons: For a first timer, navigation is very difficult. Even with a map, it was sometimes hard to find the next hole (we got lost between 9 and 10). This course would benefit greatly by having more signage, but the layout is pretty nonsensical in the first place. The paths cross over themselves multiple times, and there's one spot with three baskets all next to each other.
Also the course designer included a lot of holes curving right (4, 6, 7, and 9) and none curving left. Being a LHBH thrower, I'm not complaining, but it does get a little repetitive.
There was also a litter problem in the park, with broken glass rampant in the wooded holes and some overflowing trash cans.
The wooded holes had a lot of 4" high stumps in the middle of the fairway which are very easy to trip on.
Other Thoughts: I didn't see any of the hooligans mentioned by the other reviewers. We went on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, and while there were many groups playing, it didn't seem overcrowded.
If you are going for the first time without anyone who has been there before, definitely print out the map and consult it frequently.
It seems like there is a current effort to improve the course landscaping. Some of the tee boxes have a wire mesh around them with gravel, and there is some nice rock landscaping in a few places. Mulch is being placed around most of the front 9's baskets.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome course with major improvments.
Pros: Lakewood is a fantastic and well kept park. I don't think the previous reviews reflect the quality of this course. With a redesign and major landscaping work this place is pretty cool. It has water, elevation, open, and heavy woods.
The tee pads are pretty awesome. They are plenty big. I have never seen a course with the diamond pattern around them. There is a diamond screen laid on the ground and filled with small gravel. It looks great and eliminates errosion.
The fairways in the open were mowed nicely and the wooded holes were very clean.
Awesome catching baskets. Chainstars are great.
They were not complete but on many holes they had the 10 meter circle marked and were going to fill in the circle with wood chips.
3 pretty nice par 4's that are tough to get your 3. Those are holes #7, 8, & 10.
The course starts and finishes strong. Hole #1 plays across the water onto a sloped green.
#18 is a very fun finishing hole. You play from the top of the hill with the road backstopping it. Great hole!
Some very interesting wooded holes with elevation coming into play.
Cons: Navigation was pretty difficult in a few areas. Some signs would make this much more enjoyable to play.
I could tell they were still working on the course in a few areas. Once complete this place is going to be sweet!
Other Thoughts: Lakewood was our final course before heading home. We had played 10 courses in the 3 days prior. I was heavily fatigued after playing Minneapolis/St. Paul best course. This course got me pumped up to finish out. It was fun! Make a trip and stay a week in the area. It has some of the best courses i've played. Great grouping of courses.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Improvements Being Made!
Pros: The course certainly starts out impressively enough at # 1, with it's extra large concrete teepad with the steel grating around it. And then you have the landscape rock outlining the bench and garbage can. Wow! On later holes, the parks dept. was out with heavy equipment building up basket areas and/or teepad areas. What great support you players get here from your parks and recreation people! Remember to thank them when you see them working in the parks. I'll give this this course another half point on it's rating just for their great support.
The holes through the woods are tight forcing you to hit your lines.
# 18 is a masterpiece here and would be on any course. At 345' downhill, it's a great finishing hole but what I really liked about it was, it's not just a "grip it and rip it" throw. It has a window there, it's fairly large, but it still makes you think about it.
Cons: Navigation was not easy for me playing alone the first time. It didn't seem to follow a natural path. This course could benefit from some next tee signs.
And there are an abundance of anhyser holes here. Lefties who are always complaining should find a little happiness here.
Playing on a hot, broiling day I guess I missed the crowds, including the disc-stealing vandals.
Other Thoughts: Nice mix of open and wooded technical holes here. Some excellent engineering work being done by the parks dept.?? (I think). It's nice to see a course that's being upgraded and improved upon instead of the many that I see that are slowly falling into dis-repair and decay.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
New and Definitely Improved
Pros: • New holes vastly improve the overall feel of the course!
• Nickname of "Lefty Hills" (due to the abundance of right curving holes favoring the backhand throw of a left handed player) is no longer quite as overpowering.
• The new holes:
1. Have a great variety of elevation
2. Add a feeling of a need for precision and technique.
3. Finally make this a full 18!!
• There has been a lot of work put into improving the tee areas and removing excess underbrush.(all holes now have concrete tees)
Cons: • As has been mentioned on prior posts there seems to be a few hoodlums present in the woods. I personally threw a disc on hole
# 9 which landed nicely in the fairway unfortunately before I managed to get to it to make my next shot it was swiped. It is highly recommended that on all blind holes (holes in which the basket isn't in plain view from the tee) that a member of your party run ahead to check that the hole is clear of both shady characters and parties that may be ahead of you. (this shouldn't detract from the course it is just an unfortunate reality)
• Not the most beginner friendly course with a few very long holes and a few very tight ally shots.
• Hole #10 is a plain and simple combination of the former 10 and 11. The basket of hole 10 was simply removed. This leaves the hole feeling unfinished and somewhat unpleasant to play. (Perhaps a new tee location is in order?)
• Rating of holes with pars other than 3 makes comparing scores with others confusing and skewed (Just make them all par 3's and man up!!)
Other Thoughts: • The improvements on this course have definitely bumped it from a low 3 up to a high 4 rating.
• The order of holes including the new ones is:
o Holes 1-9 as usual
o Hole 10 (modified 10+11)
o Hole 11 (old hole 12 from the tee in the trees out across the field towards the playground)
o New holes (Walk back up into the woods along the fence, first tee located a few feet down the trail)
o Hole 17 (old hole 13 big uphill shot)
o Hole 18 (old hole 14 and everyone's favorite downhill finish)
• I have heard many complaints about the difficulty of hole # 7. This hole is not hinging on the player having a huge arm it is about the placement of throws. I do not by any means have a big arm but with thoughtful navigation I'm able to play par (3) much of the time.
• Thank you to all of those who put the time and effort in to really making this course great!
P.S. If anyone sees or has someone try to sell them my light blue(turquoise) star sidewinder with a name on the inside rim (the disc that was snatched on hole # 9) please let me know. I miss her.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -A good mix of wooded and open field shots.
-Just added holes to make it a full 18.
-Major upgrades in tees and hole placements-they now have concrete pads for all the holes, and have used landscaping stones around some pins and tees. It looks much better than recent years.
-There's a new disc store about 3 miles from here.
-Mowed fairways and well maintained grass.
-Hole 10 is a challenging hole through the woods that really makes you hit your lines if you want to make par. My favorite wooded hole.
-18 is one of my favorite closing holes in the cities, with a long downhill shot that is partially protected by some trees. If you don't have anyone behind you, it's fun to empty the bag on this one.
-The woods make a cool respite from the sun on hot days.
-There are benches on the holes where things usually get backed up.
-The woods aren't terribly thick, so if you get a bad ricochet, you will find your disc pretty easy.
-All holes have nice baskets, with most holes having wood chips around the pin.
Cons: -Can get quite busy at times with people who aren't very courteous. You often have to ask to play through and groups of 8 or 9 all play together, leading to a very slow couple of holes.
-Layout can be confusing, so make sure to look at a map first. There are a couple times where the next teepad you see after finishing a hole is not the correct one. A couple "Next Tee" signs would make this course much better.
-If it has rained in the past week, chances are there will still be water on a couple of the holes.
-The new wooded holes are very unforgiving, with no obvious lines to the pin. You just have to throw and hope you don't get a bad ricochet off of the trees. They have also left a bunch of 3-inch high little stumps where they cut down trees, leading to plenty of tripping if you don't watch where you are walking.
-Called "Leftwood" for a reason-Plenty of doglegs-right and dead straight shots. Gets kind of boring throwing the same anhyzer shots over and over.
-Plenty of bugs, so make sure to bring bug spray
-No practice basket
Other Thoughts: I rated this course a 3, since it is a full 18 with not much else nearby. It's an alright course, but it gets repetitive after a couple rounds. Nothing special here, but stop by if you are in the area. The city has been putting some work into this course recently, which has made it much better. A good mix of holes keeps this course from being completely dull.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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