Caution! Disc Golfers May Be Lost In The Elephant Grass!
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: As I played # 16, I discovered a brand new Discatcher basket. My theory is, in the entire history of this course, no golfer has reached 16 with any discs left in their bag. I only made it this far owing to my 38 years experience and sheer disc golf craftiness. How I completed this historic accomplishment was true genius. I threw only my tried and tested classic Rock, and never more than 100 feet. It only took me 71 throws to get to # 16 but I managed to stay out of the elephant grass rough.
This course will appeal to a very small segment of the disc golfing public. Only those players who are able to throw 250' straight as an arrow drives.
The mowed walkouts between holes were mostly easy to follow.
I thought the three wooded, technical holes were very pretty.
The on-line map was perfect. The best I've seen in the 35 Illinois courses I've played on this trip thus far. Very few courses in these parts even have a on-line map.
Cons: In late June, the grasses were taller than a man.
The fairways ranged from 6' wide to maybe 15'.
I didn't care for some of the unnatural basket placements.
The 15 ultra tight fairway holes all looked and felt the same to me.
The natural tee pads are a negative.
The course is a lost disc waiting to happen.
Other Thoughts: The rumor in Batavia is, a few years back a disc golfer named Mike "Buck Buck" McDonald was playing the course one day in October and became so frustrated when he lost his 14th and final disc in his bag, his beloved beaten T-Bird, that he vowed not to leave until he found all 14 lost discs. He had only a gronola bar and half his water bottle. Unfortunately winter came early that year. Mike's remains were not found until spring. The wolves had feasted on his rotting carcus. Search and Rescue workers never could forget that scene.
Don't Be Like Mike!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Challenging but Fair
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Tight wooded fairways require a number of shots to score well
- Risk/Reward decisions are frequently available
- Good pacing with mix of lengths and shot types throughout the course
- Baskets and tee-signs are generally in good repair
Cons: - Natural tee pads are good in some locations, and almost dangerous in others
- Almost no elevation to speak of
- No water or other varied hazards
- Shared space dog park
Other Thoughts: I never got around to playing this course before the improvements of last summer, so have not experienced this course in its previously untamed state. As things stand now, West Main Park is challenging, tightly wooded course that manages to remain fair, and not disproportionately punish bad shots. The fairways are certainly fair, and the only discs lost during rounds I played were those stuck in one of the many pine trees. While every round was a challenge, I never felt unnecessarily punished, the bogeys were always my fault, and the birdies always felt well earned.
One of the biggest compliments I can give this course is that there are several holes were I faced a decision of either trying to reach the pin on my drive, or disc down and either hit a landing zone, or just make sure I put my drive most of the way down one of the narrow fairways to have an easier look for par. This kind of risk reward makes for great golf, allows for larger score separation in competitive rounds, and makes the strategic aspect of disc golf shine. I have played a number of these holes very differently based solely on how confident I was feeling walking up to the shot, or what the current round situation was.
The course can get a little redundant. By the end of the round it is very possible you will be completely sick of trying to throw laser beams through narrow fairways, and there aren't really any interesting features to add interest to the round.
All the trimming and mowing has resulted in many hidden roots, stems, and stumps in a number of the walking paths, which I and many others tripped over on multiple occasions during out round. There are also thorn bushes in abundance which can make getting some errant throws a difficult or painful endeavor.
The course could really benefit from concrete tee pads, and some of the tee-signs are missing or very poorly placed.
Overall, I quite enjoy my rounds at West Main Park, and I am sure repeated play will definitely help your ability to throw straight and accurately. Hopefully the current level of maintenance is continued, because as it stands, this course is a great addition to the area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
West Main After 2014 Changes
Pros: Batavia has one of the most interesting course designs in the area. Defined fairways make use of former tree farm and grasses. This course is hard. And longer considering a number of tunnel shots. I like this course when open air shots get boring.
The most significant improvement occurred in summer of 2014, when the park district widened the fairways and cleared more defined landing zones. I have not lost a disc since. The course now only poses a slightly greater risk of a lost disc than other local courses. Treat the grasses like an out of bounds.
Cons: Can get muddy when wet. The ground cover below thick trees has little grass. Tee pads are needed, although a skilled tournament director has ample room on each hole to designate safe and flat tees. Certain trees could be removed.
Other Thoughts: Not every course needs to be easy.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Other Thoughts: The main reason that I "played" this course (Mostly just short straight shots to stay within the narrow fairways.) was to provide some more up-to-date photos than those taken last January when the weeds were not up.
Very narrow in spots. Heavy weeds. I had a tough time finding a disc even though it was only six inches off the fairway.
The front nine is easy to navigate by following the paths from basket to next tee. But the back nine could use a bit of simple signage. Which way do you turn when you hit the "T" intersection after 11? Flip a coin. (Right turn.) A few pieces of scrap lumber, paint and a stencil would go a long way.
The fenced in dog park is separated from the course except for the walk in from the parking lot. A sad commentary on this course is that there are many more dog walkers than disc players. Both times I've been there, I was the only disc golfer. Driving past the course in Geneva a few minutes later showed several groups playing.
Apparently no one from the Batavia Park District had been on the course recently since there were several trees down from a recent storm. One large one lay across the 5th fairway.
I would really like to watch some good players attack this course. Just to see what is possible.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The course plays through a prairie with scattered stands of trees. There is a mix of more open holes where shot placement is the main skill tested and some more technical shots that require some line shaping. There is a pretty good mix of hole lengths with some shorter ace run chances and a few longer holes where many players will need to pull out a driver.
The holes with more trees offer some low ceilings and some tighter shots with a mix of left and right turning fairways. You do need a pretty good set of skills to score well. The signage is adequate, with hole layout and distance and there's a course map at the parking lot.
Cons: This course seemed either intentionally designed to frustrate or just not well thought out at all. The major obstacle is tall prairie grass, some reaching waist to chest high. That doesn't add any real disc golf challenge, it just leads to lost discs and wasted time without making the next shot any more difficult. On top of this, the fairways aren't mowed to a reasonable width. 10' wide fairways without any real green around the basket makes for a lot of decent shots that still end up in the grass.
The course is fairly short and open on many of the holes which is the type of course that attracts beginners, but beginners won't be able to hit those narrow fairways and are unlikely to come back after one round here. A few of the holes are more challenging for better players, but don't always offer valid lines and still have ridiculously narrow fairways surrounded by nasty rough. That means this course appeals to nobody.
The tees are natural, and are already turning into large rutted out areas that are ill-definied and get muddy and slick when wet. As people continue to tee off next to the muddy spot, it's only going to continue to kill the grass in a larger area. There are a couple spots where navigation is not obvious, make sure to take a picture of the course map. The nature trail is in play on several holes, there could be some safety issues with blind shots into areas where there might be non-disc golfers walking.
Other Thoughts: As usual, the designers of this course have turned property that could have been a decent course into one that nobody will want to play. There are cool stands of trees and the potential for some nice shots and those were ignored in favor of wide open shots surrounded by prairie rough. If the park wasn't willing to mow enough to make real fairways, then a legitimate course designer should be willing to pass on the project rather than putting in a course that isn't an enjoyable disc golf challenge for any level of player.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
The land that mowers forgot
Pros: The West Main Park disc golf course is set on a rather spacious, quite flat and moderately wooded piece of property. There is quite a bit of potential to the site. The park has a nature trail and dog walk that uses the same area as the disc golf course. There is a nice, large sign with a map at the parking lot, the course has nice DisCatchers and there are adequate tee signs. The shots are probably pretty good (the probably part will be explained) and staying in the fairway is at a premium. The overall layout right now is pretty challenging with decent length.
Cons: [rant]TALL GRASS IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE DISC GOLF COURSE DESIGN ELEMENT. Some good courses like Lemon Lake Gold/Silver can get away with it for two or three holes, but an entire course based on tall grass challenge is stupid. The challenge is to find your disc; once you do that, there is no more challenge. In the end all you do is annoy everyone.[/rant]
In my opinion, the course was unplayable by a solo player the days I was there. There are tight (12'-15') fairways created by chest-high weeds on every hole. Even the holes that have actual trees defining the fairway had tall weeds growing in front of the trees. Within a few holes, I had given up playing golf and was just throwing putters and mids trying to stay in the fairway. Given the distance of a lot of the holes, they were not putter/mid holes for me. One hole in particular (#16) made me think "That might have been a cool hole if I had actually played it." It was frustrating. I went back the following day and tried again, but by the time I got to that hole I had long given up on playing golf and was back to pitching putters down the fairway. They are going to have to cut A LOT more grass on this course (like 4X more) before they will be providing adequate space to throw golf discs.
The course uses the same area as a nature path, and on #13 and #15 you tee across the path with a tall grass "divider" between the fairway and the path. The "duh" part is that the nature path is wider (easier to hit) and the tall grass is does not keep you from pitching over on your approach shot. It creates a safety issue that could be easily fixed by moving the tees up so that you don't throw over the path. Hole #17 is the kicker. You throw from off the nature path to a basket set across the path in a way that the nature path is actually where you aim. If the nature path is going to exist, then it needs to be avoided in the course design. There is plenty of land to avoid it and/or move the nature path (which is just a mowed path at this point.) Having three holes conflicting with the path is inexcusable.
Some of the pin placements are odd. Hole #11 is the easy example as you have to throw up to a spot pin high before you have an opening to the pin, so it's essentially a 90 degree turn to the basket. If the pin was right there for a putt or it was another 150' to the pin from the turn, it would make some sense. The basket is set back far enough that I wouldn't make the long putt, but not so far that there was any challenge to laying up. It's just an odd place to put the basket. There were several more pins like that. It's like they set up fairways, and then just shoved the basket to one side or the other without considering how the basket placement altered the shot.
The tees were natural, and that is always a concern.
There are a few places (#11 to #12, #16-#17, #18 back to the parking lot) where you get dumped back on the nature trail to get to your next tee. For the directionally challenged, there should be signs to help the flow in those three areas. There should also be better signage to tee #1 as the bark park path turns off and it's not very clear which path you should follow.
Other Thoughts: So I'm really going to tear into this one with a low rating, and here is my reason: With the tall weeds and hole distances, you are asking players to throw 300'-400' and hit a 15' target. If you can throw 300'-400' and hit a 15' target consistently, there isn't enough challenge to this course to interest you. The players who would enjoy the design can't play it because they will spend all day frustratingly looking for discs in chest-high weeds and then getting the birdie or par anyway since it's no harder to throw from tall grass than it is from short grass. The frustration, discomfort and extra time that wandering around in tall grass creates will make them skip it and go to West Chicago. So you take a potentially pretty good course and make it attractive to nobody. The course designers evidently did not clue the park district in on how much mowing the course would involve, and the result is a course that is only going to be playable when it's cold and the weeds die down. For that I rate this course an epic fail.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Easy to Nagivate
-Has decent length
This course was created on a piece of land on that is basically exclusively being used for disc golf. It is also partially a dog park, but did not interfer in any way shape or form. They installed brand new Innova Discatchers and are in awesome shape. The course featured some decent length. There are some opportunities for bigger arms to air it out on some of the holes. That generally comes as a premium in the Chicagoland area. I had absolutely no problem finding my way around this course. If course nagivation is not your forte, there is a map at the beginning of the course you can photograph with your phone. However, I would not bother. Someone has maked the basket with black marker for which direction to go if you need it.
Cons: -Fairways too narrow
-Basket placements illogical
-Not beginner welcoming
-Poor use of space
This course is not beginner friendly. I feel a very small part of it is only the length. I don't feel it's crazy long and I do not have the distance of most. Most of the holes a beginner player has no realistic chance of duecing. Not really a big issue if you are looking for a true par 54 course. However, majority of the fairways are only mowed about 10 feet wide. If you do not have pinpoint accuracy, this will be a huge issue. The weeds/grass is about waist high and will lead you to looking for your discs. I played a solo round, and without having a second set of eyes, I used my experience to play my round. I only threw my Element, Buzzz, and APX the entire round with the except of hole 11, where I threw a Cyclone with the expectation for a chance at a duece. This gave me almost nothing but safe pars the entire round. A newer player does not know how to control a disc as well and will lead to many lost discs, based on the number of them I found just walking knowing my disc was in the fairway. So with the length of the course, basically my second shot would be considered a NAGS shot.
A few of the basket were in really strange placements. I prefer that basket are not on a straight line off the tee. But a couple of the basket seemed like they were tucked off to the left or right with no real thought of disc flight or strategy. Hole 11 comes to mind, blanking on the other ones. I remember throwing off the tee and walking up assuming that the basket was in one place, and then had to search for it a little. Also, the natural tees are a huge mistake. People will be slipping and falling as they wear down. Especially if they are trying to crank one out there.
This course could have been something wonderful. I stopped a few times and looked around. There are plenty of mature trees and pines where this course could have been awesome if the right designer was involved. It really felt like someone walked the grounds once and said, "That'll do". There was plenty of opportunity with this course. There are other designers in the area who work with each other and work towards something great for the entire community. It also feels like a unfinished product. It's got that we'll cut the wood and build the bookcase for you, we are just not going to sand and stain it. That's what a good designer does. I am kind of glad there is not cement tees yet. I hope the park district realizes that the need some improvements and find someone to work with them.
Other Thoughts: All and all, the course will not be too bad to play late Fall through early Spring. It is not something I will do in the summer again. In it's current condition, I can only give this course a 2.0 reasonable. It is not a 2.5 decent/typical course and it's definitely wouldn't be a 3.0 good course. However, it should be if it was complete. Doing some more clearing, and a little more wider mowing, as well as adjusting a couple baskets or tee locations I would give this course a 3.0 WITHOUT installing tee pads. Add the pads, and it would probably be a 3.5. I wish this was near my house. I would love to work with the park district to make this something special. Unfortunately, it is about an hour ride for me so it is not an option. If the park district desides to utilize their investment and decide to bring someone in for inprovements down the road, there is plenty of opportunity for greatness. This land could easily accommidate dual tees or baskets (really both), and some of the most interesting holes in the Chicago area. You could make shorters holes for newers players and families and add/keep longers holes for advanced players. With dual options, and tweaking this place really could be a 4.5. This course could be packed everyday. It is a shame I was the only one on it on a Friday evening while school is out.
Like I said, 2.0 in current state. Greatness is there, maybe in time someone will make it something special. For now, I would wait to play it until the ground freezes.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is located in a large multiuse park. It's pretty much secluded from all other activities. The rough is down right nasty! Tons of trees and thick vegetation. This is a challenge and you will be punished by errant throws. This land is very unique to the Chicagoland Area. The land is very flat.
There is a course map at the end of the parking lot.
Brand new Innova Discatchers.
Tee signs are plenty adequate with hole #, distance, & description.
We took a picture of the map and did not have to use it once. The course flow was pretty good.
There is some risk and reward. Staying in the fairway is a premium. There are chances to take out a distance driver and smash it.
Cons: I have the biggest issue with the tee pads. The natural tee pads were wet, muddy, & slick in places. With as much rough that comes into play slipping on a shot is super frustrating.
The course needs some more clearing. The tall grass and heavy rough is going to scare away newer players. Keep an eye on your shots!
There are a ton of holes where the pin is tucked on the left side or right side of the fairway. They are very sharp angles and not ideal for disc flight.
Hole #2 could have been a really cool looking hole. It has an awesome natural tunnel. The visual stimulation is killed by having the basket placed all the way at the end of the right side where it's not visible.
Other Thoughts: With proper tees I'd bump the rating up to 3.0. With a few pin position changes and some minor clearing/mowing it could go to 3.5. The land had 4.0 disc golf potential and is very unique for Chicago. A top designer could have created something special out there.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The holes are not overlapping and make good use of the terrain. The course is not for beginners and the distances for the holes vary quite a bit with a few a couple of par 4's on the front and the back 9. You will be required to use many different throws and it does not favor lefty or righty. The course is not well traveled and there are usually no other discers on the course even when the weather is nice. There is are many different varieties of trees due to this being a tree farm at one point in time. There are not many wide open shots including very narrow throws with virtually no possibility of an ace. There are bathrooms and a vending machine by the baseball diamonds.
Cons: There are no elevation changes. You will need to wear pants even in the summer due to the thorns and the rough terrain. During the summer it can be easy to lose a disc in the thick rough so be careful. No tees as of yet.. however it may be difficult to put permanent ones in good positions. As mentioned in other reviews, the thick rough during the summer months gives this course a bad rating. There is only one water hazard
WARNING: There are ticks at this course so check yourself afterwards. There seems to be less than last year.
UPDATE: This course is virtually unplayable during the summer months. The overgrowth is too long and they are a long way off at clearing it. Only come here when everything is dead! However it is one of the best courses if you avoid it June thru September.
Hole #8 is a fun hole but I believe it should be a par 4 since there is no clear line to the basket. They have cleaned it up a little but the rough is very difficult and there is no possible line to the basket. I have played here a lot and I have only witnessed a few pars. There is no water so bring your own.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and it's a nice course because it is quite different than the other courses in the area. It will be challenging even for experienced players and will probably continue to improve in the years to come due to the rough needing to be more worn down. Do not bring beginners here! It will be treacherous for them and you should take them to Wheeler Park or Jericho Lake instead. I understand the frustration other reviewers have with the tall grass. You will need a spotter in the summer months and it doesn't hurt to have one all year.
It is a little difficult to navigate on a few holes. After hole #11 take a right. After hole #15 follow the path to the right that curves quickly.
Hey Batavia Park District!!! Just because it is cold outside does not mean disc golf ends! Please put the trash bins back. This course is year round and I am tired of picking up mine and others trash with a bag only.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Check it out
Pros: - Brings a new type of course to the area
- Kind of hidden for now
- Low Traffic
- a good amount of holes are surrounded by trees so wind won't play as much as a factor
- what everyone else said so far
- new course = clean course with no one ruining the baskets writing their aces on them. Hope we can keep it that way.
-No water hazards except #15, but you'd have to over shoot the green and it's just a shallow creek.
Cons: - Needs teepads
- Although it's not that hard, it would be nice to have a marker to where the next tee pad is near/on basket (thinking about bring tape and doing what I've seen at wheeler and kress creek
- Still needs to remove some trees/ brush to make it less frustrating, but still difficult
- Thorns everywhere
- Pine trees eat disc (ended up getting a good cut on my arm climbing a tree on hole 15 for a disc stuck at the top)
- Ground is pretty uneven on paths to the next hole.
- No garbage cans, plenty of places to put them. I'm sure they'll come in time.
- as of right now it's difficult to figure out exactly where to tee off from as in which side of the post.
- Part of a dog park, owners won't pick up after their dogs so watch where you step.
Other Thoughts: Don't bring novice players to this yet. My friends were living in the thorns.
Keep a golf ball or slingshot in your bag in case a disc gets stuck in a pine tree.
Part of a park with soccer/baseball fields so you can do some field throws before or after in case you want to.
Can't wait to see what it becomes.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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