2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great baskets!!!
Cons: Ticks!!!! Be careful and check.
Rough is thick thick thick. It is cut like a maze with 4-5ft high brush like hedge rows. This would make this course the exact opposite for beginners. Good disc golfers will make a few bad shots. Beginners make more. One romp through the nasty stuff and beginners won't wanna play dg for long.
Mosquitoes. Given the thick brush and stagnate rivet, bug spray is a must. It was almost not worth playing with that many mosquitoes.
7's tee sign was missing. 8 needs clearing to make it a fun hole. 9 was unnecessary. This could be an amazing hole. Given the current layout, the tee either needs to be moved or the overhanging tree branch needs to go. There could be potential safety issues during peek soccer season.
Other Thoughts: Glad to hear 18 holes may be coming but given the current layout and land used, I'm not sure it is worth playing. I was very disappointed making the drive from Port Huron.
Holes 7 and 8 stand out here. You are away from most of the heavy mosquitoes and thick rough. They were also the few legitimate ace runs with the exception of 4. This isn't a must but given the terrain the rest of the course was very limited to that "going at the basket mentality."
My suggestions for redesign: Hole 1 tee should be where 3's basket is (actually a little closer to the parking lot). Hole 1 basket should be where hole 3 tee is. Play hole 2 in reverse but shorten it and open it up more to eliminate searching for a disc for hours. Play hole 3 where hole 1 is currently but play it in reverse. Again, open it up or shorten it some. Cut back and play hole 4 in reverse from its current location. Play holes 5 and 6 as is with the exception to shortening up either or both of them. I'd personally move 5's tee shorter and left into the open field. Hole 6 I would cut out a little more brush and open up some viewing lanes to the basket. I actually liked hole 6, but it would be very easy to lose a disc there. Note: The area between 6 and 7 is beautiful with a couple picnic tables if I'm correct. I would of used this area for a hole but I can see that it may have been off limits. Hole 7, with the tee sign post up, looks like a sweet hole. I would clear some overhanging brush and underbrush but otherwise bravo there. Hole 8 needs some lanes cleared and some underbrush cleared but otherwise I like that hole as well. Hole 9 needs a clear launch path to the basket. Remove that overhanging branch or move the tee up to the corner of the soccer field, eliminating the safety concern. (Putting the tee right behind the overhanging branch, throwing underneath it would be super cool)
Again, only my suggestions. The other option for holes 1-6 is to clear out some wider lanes, shorten a few tee boxes, and spray the heck outta that place with mosquito killer. My suggestions for 7-9 are valid and doable in the foreseeable future.
I'm a course designer and understand the frustration with parks departments and such. It takes constant maintenance because we play a sport where the arena we play in constantly grows. My buddy laughs at me and says: Once a course designer always a course designer. That means I'm constantly scrutinizing courses I play. Whether it is clearing brush while I play or looking at ways to improve a hole, I'll always do it. I do it every time I play my own course.
This course disappointed me but given a few tweaks it could be solid. I hope to be back visiting family and play it again, hopefully with changes.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: donnyv
Thanks for the help JBryant. Some of your suggestions were in our original designs but we had to adjust quite a few things to cater to the park's requests. When I get the green light for 18 holes, I'll have to change it up a little anyways to make the flow work with the other areas I'll be allowed to work with. Being a course designer, I'm sure you know of the gives-and-takes that go with building something on public land.
The park dept has been great to work with and understanding, but also has other plans for the park and activities to cater to. Limited budgets and an under-staffed crew makes it difficult to do everything else in the park and help the disc golf course too.
I wasn't supposed to, but I cut-back a lot of the thorny rough you mentioned and made a couple "Flip City" type paths in areas that I couldn't quite cut totally. I did recieve a little heat from the park manager for cutting through the native berries but luckily they appreciate the effort I put in and let me slide this time.
It's slowly getting there and I've seen more and more people playing each time I can get out there to donate my time and money/supplies. They do appreciate the hard work and are doing their best to help us out. The also realize I live a hour away and can only stop by once in a while.
I was a little shocked to see the soccer nets in the way on hole 9 but it was just temporary and they moved them out of the way again just a few days after your visit.
I understand your frustration with the tee areas as well. I was planning for 2 teepads per hole but have to make due until funds become available. It was best to leave the natural tee areas and holes longer for now so we'd have more space to work with when the final tee pads were installed. The tee posts also had to be out of the way for the huge mowers to pass through without hitting them.
Thanks for the input and please don't hesitate to let us know of any other issues so we can address them to the park commission.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great addition to St. Clair area
Pros: Played this course for the first time yesterday (May 04), and I was impressed by the variety and challenge of the holes given the space provided. To score well, you need an accurate drive on most holes and many have different throwing lane options. It definitely exceeded my expectations, and I commend the creator(s) for their hard work and design.
Cons: Hole 8's basket was nowhere to be found, and I picked ticks off myself, my dog, and my friend. Wear long pants and check for ticks. The rough will be very thorny as summer progresses, which is good for challenge but not so good for disc retrieval. It looked like a lot of it could be cleared or matted down with a good crew or a Bobcat.
Other Thoughts: I yanked my Blizzard Katana into the swampy area on hole 3, but the course was only a little wet overall. I recommend contacting Jason Stier at Riverview East High School to explore opportunities for projects with students. They have a big community project initiative right now, and that could be a good source for course enhancements.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: donnyv
The tick season finally cooled off by the 4th of July. Skeeters are still around though. Because of last year's late-spring frost and the above-normal rainfall this year, it has been bad everywhere. These issues were addressed to the park commission but the use of harsh-chemicals is not really feasible due to costs and the fact that the park is heavily-used for other sports. We'll just have to live with it.
Your suggestion of projects for Riverview East High School is awesome and the parks will be contacting them soon with potential ideas on special projects.
It's getting there...
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: East China Township Park is a large community park offering multiple recreational opportunities for all ages. The disc golf course is located near the southern end of the park away from the playing fields and trails.
FREE TO PLAY
Course Difficulty Matches the Areas Needs ~ Disc Golf is new to the area so the course needed to stay simple enough not to scare away first-timers, while still offering a challenge to the regulars. The course is mostly beginner-friendly as long as you can keep it on the fairways. The rough is still pretty thick from it being a newer course. Winter play is a lot easier without the foilage.
Fair Design ~ Course flows smooth from hole-to-hole but the longer walk from hole 6 to 7 can get confusing for the first timers without a scorecard map. There is an even mix of variety with 3 holes ending right, 3 holes ending left and 3 holes that are straight. Most holes range from 300-400 feet in the field, to 200-300 in the woods. The fairways are just tight enough to thwart off the chuckers who'll learn quick when they end up in the wild raspberry bushes with their errantly thrown warp speed drivers.
Minimal Water Hazards ~ The course plays along the Belle River, but not over it. This reduces the chances of losing discs. Water does come more into play in the proposed "back 9", but it will be across the smaller creeks that flow into the Belle River. Worst case scenario you'll be ankle deep in spots that are OB.
Tee Signage ~ Next Tee arrows and signage are on the small side but seem efficient enough to deter vandalism. Hole map, number and distance in feet are shown. The "Next Tee" arrows are here and there to help you at the trouble spots.
Bathrooms, Drinking Fountains and Shade ~ Bathrooms are just a small walk from the course, BUT only one by the sledding hill is open during WINTER. The course has plenty of shade trees near the tee areas to help keep you cool in the summers. Another bonus is that that the taller trees keep the sun out of your eyes when its low.
Possibility of Expansion ~ The disc golf course is currently a 9 Hole course. The tee areas are currently natural terrain. This will give the parks a chance to see what works best before the permanent tees are installed. There are possibilities of moving the tee areas and/or adding dual tees in 2013. The course could also be expanded to 18 holes/baskets upon the 9-hole course success. There is just enough room to make it into 18 holes if we can show the parks dept how DG will benefit the park and its users.
Since it is a busy park, the area for the disc golf course is very limited. Avoiding pre-existing trails and seasonal sports activities has been the toughest part in planning the location, design and flow of the course. The best hope is for the front nine to be successful in order to give us a little more to work with for the back nine.
Teepads are not installed yet. As of Jan 2013, the course has natural tees. Posts with hole number and hole map/length are the only way of knowing where to tee.
The posts were installed with the numbers facing on an angle and seem a little confusing at first. The parks dept are real nice and hard-working people, but were not sure how the posts were supposed to face. I can't really complain about it though because they did the digging for most of the holes. Just a little odd looking from other courses I've played.
Raspberry Bushes ~ Rough is full of wild raspberry bushes. Not a fun place to land in, but you can't chop everything down and make it too easy. I'm just glad its not the thorny crabapple trees I had to deal with when I was building the Ira Twp DGC.
Parking ~ In peak soccer or baseball season, the parking lots fill fast on late afternoons and weekends. Otherwise it's not much of an issue EXCEPT from Nov-May where the gates are usually closed and you have to park a long ways away. On the bright side, it does prevent the course from becoming a muddy mess during the wet months since it will keep the usage down.
Dead Trees ~ There are many dead trees throughout the park, especially in the woods. Quite a few are leaning on top of other tree's making it difficult to safely remove them. Half of the proposed back nine is in the woods and cannot be started until it is safe.
Missing Baskets ~ Two baskets were removed for the winter because someone, somehow, bent/tipped them over. They will be out of the ground until sometime in the spring.
Missing a couple other things...
Although the course is open and playable, there are still things that are not in place yet until spring. The tee areas still need woodchips spread on the high traffic areas, as well as some kind of benches and garbage cans to be put in place. The main course sign also needs to be installed near hole 1/ parking lot.
Other Thoughts: I'm doing my best to get disc golf out here in the sticks but it is a very challenging task. There are many great designs and ideas that would be great to implement here but the park is pretty established and space is limited due to everything else that is going on there. It's up to us disc golfers to embrace what we have and to respect the park, its visitors and their safety if we want to see it grow into a fun and challenging 18-hole course.
After a few fixes and finishing touches, the course has great potential to succeed over time and get a better rating.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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