Got a ways to go
Pros: This is a tough course. Definitely not a place for people to start learning to play disc golf. Top intermediate, Advanced and Pro will like the layout, but will have some major complaints. I have played over 100 courses and this was one of the toughest. However, it was not because of the course layout, it was mainly because of the rough, which I will comment on extensively in the con section below.
This is a new course, and the overall layout is very nice. You can tell there has been some investment in clearing out some trees and finding some great lines and pin placements. There is a nice flow and course maps and score cards are in the golf club house. Be sure to sign in so the employees know who is out on the course. We didn't know this and only found out on our way back after finishing the course. The fairways are mowed wide enough for big landing zones and you can normally keep your disc in the fairways.
My wife and I played this course on our way back home. She has been playing for two years and I have been playing since 1999. We were very excited to play this course and from the reviews it looked like it would be a wonderful way to end our vacation. We found hole one and were disappointed to see a slightly uneven natural tee pad. The first hole was pretty nice, but it went downhill from there. Hole #11 was a very good example of what the holes should look like, but even that needs a little work with a giant thorn bush 20 feet past the basket.
Cons: #1 High talent, poor execution. This course has great potential to be great, but is currently a sub-par course due to a list of major problems that need to be address, and soon! My wife and I felt mislead by the current reviews & wanted to give our evaluation of the course. There is still some major work to make this a good course. The basic structure is there, it just needs a lot of hours of clearing brush and the fairway and just a few more trees taken out. The most obvious example of unneeded trees is hole#4 which has a small leaning tree 150 ft out, right in the middle of a tight fairway and groups of trees. It is right where you should be aiming. Also it way too close to the teepad to make it a legitimate landing zone.
#2 Disc deadly rough. How much of a rough is too much? There were huge thorn bushes 20-25 feet in circumference in the middle of a few fairways, hole #5 & #13. Ridiculous if you get a disc into. My suggestion is to make these huge bushes into four smaller bushes, or rows of bushes, not giant bushes you can't see through. I believe you should be able to at least see your disc if it ends up in the middle of the bush. Back when I started playing I threw a disc in a similar bush & spent 30 minutes with a 7 iron hacking at the bush & using heavy logs to make my way father into the bush to get back my disc. It pretty much ruined my day and that bush was never the same. Also the rough on the sides was way too crazy. I have played in some places where there are thorns all over, such as The Technical College in Bowling Green, KY or Big Creek in Des Moinesm IA , but this was like walking into a forest of huge thorn bushes all over the woods. It looked like all the trees they did clear out were simply piled up on the sides of the fairways, in huge piles, which included piles of thorns in some areas (#16). It was easy to lose a disc and look for a good 5-10 minutes when we saw where it went in, due to how thick the brush and the grass was. I let Tracy have casual relief a lot on this course due to the number of thick thorn bushes, right on the edge of the fairway.
#3 Unsafe fairways. Yes, that's right, the fairway! The bad lies with nowhere to stand and throw were not limited to the rough. There were tons of sticks, tree stumps and holes in the front nine fairways. None of it was marked with spray paint so you could see it. We were tripped up a few times just walking to our disc and the leaves were not helping. Running up on a shot was almost impossible on several of the first 10 holes and even standing still and throwing the ground gave way a few times. It needs some major help and clean up before winter sets in or first thing in the spring. Walking across the tree stumps on #18 was very dangerous. It would be really cool if you were able to line them up flat.
#4 Tuck around baskets. I'm all for the occasional tucked around the corner basket or 90 degree turn to get to a basket, but at this course over half are tucked around the corner at sharp angles, some very tightly tucked into the corner or behinds a group of trees. I am fine with the occasional three or four on a course, but this was ridiculous.
#5 Natural tee pads. I'm ok, with defined and flat tee pads at some shorter courses, but this course needs concrete pads and fast. If you want this to be a great course, you need some long, level concrete tee pads. I would not want to slide around on uneven pads of grass and mud, which they will be very shortly and are already starting to show signs or wear. Also the short tee pads are marked with white stakes, 3 ft high, just enough to make you feel like you are going to hit them on your follow through.
Other Thoughts: Trash cans are a must. Even if you only have a few out there, they will be needed to keep the course clean. I've seen what happens to courses that do not have trashcans, the whole course can become a trash can. There were some other minor things that would be nice, like the distance on the tee signs and maybe a little map of each hole. Not needed since you do have nice score cards at the club house, but nice to have. Having numbers on the baskets would also be nice, but not really needed since most of the baskets are not that close. Again I must stress this will be a great course if you can get it cleaned up and once it is cleaned up we will be back to play it. Good luck and try not to lose too many discs.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Where to start. If you like a challenging course then this one is for you. Hole #1 is an open field shot with a slight downhill ending in a clump of trees to the right. The rough to the right is brutal and the field mowing to the left can hide discs just as well. Congratulations, you just played one of the easier holes here at Hickory. And so it begins a two hour romp through one of the toughest courses around. As you meander through tight wooded holes and deceptively open holes you can't help but think man when does this get easier?
It does when you get back to your vehicle and realize you have just made it through alive.
I like the long tight wooded holes because they make you throw different -S- lines while still being fair.
The open holes with those pesky Berry Traps(these things are 20 to 25 foot circles of very thick sticker bushes 8 to 10 feet high)stragically placed make each shot a sphincter twitcher.
Cons: Beginners and beer drinkers are going to think this is just an awful course and probable not return. It is not (NOT) a fun course for leisure play. No trash cans, no concrete teepads,one short fairly easy hole(15),no benches,no teesigns and lots of places to loose plastic.You have snakes and poison Ivy and nettles(this is just in the fairway)and stickers/thick brush roughs on both sides of narrow fairways.
Other Thoughts: This is a work in progress and will take lots of upkeep but it has a potential for being one of the best courses around. This could end up a 4.5 rated course when it gets beat down and concrete pads are in.
Pros and Advanced are going to love this place. It rewards excellent and precise.One nice throw on a par four and you are putting for an eagle. Miss early and you could be looking at a 5 or 6.
You have another course at Campus Lake that the hackers can have fun on and there are very good restuarants here in Carbondale that cater to almost any taste.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Bring your Game!!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Brand New Baskets. Lots of risk vs reward holes, that make you pay for an errant shot but makes it a great feeling when you hit that line. Secluded in the woods but shares a club house with a ball golf course. So after a long hot round you can get a cold drink and a burger.
Cons: Much of the rough is not just rough it is brutal. Thick vegetation, brambles and berry vines. Many small stumps and roots that need to be cut out for safety. It still needs some signage, and could use concrete tee boxes. The low ground on 17 needs a path you can get across on. Lots of Poison Ivy.
Other Thoughts: This is a brand new course and they are still opening it up and clearing the fairways. I gave it a 4 for its potential. It will be a solid 4 maybe higher with some work. Tee signs with distances, this way to next hole signs and good tee pads will Make this a great course. This is not a beginners course, it could use a shorter 9 hole that is more forgiving. What I can see here is some great tournament play!!! C'Dale you hit an Ace with this. It is the best course in Southern Illinois. You 900+ players need to come play this!! SOON.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
New and ready!!!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Mowed fairways, variety of shots, hard pin locations, woods, open space, tunnel shots.
Cons: Course is brand new. The grand opening is this Saturday, 6/15/13. So the course needs a lot of breaking in. I have 2 big cons that I can't ignore. The course flow makes it impossible to play just 9 holes. You pretty much have to play 18 holes, 'cause holes 9 and 10 are miles from the club house. There's a way to play an alternate 9 holes, (1-5, 15-18). So you're in for the long haul of all 18 holes. My other complaint is that a lot of stuff needs to be cut down to make some shots even possible. Pin locations are hard enough, but on a lot of holes, you're just throwing between trees and hoping. Not enough big windows.
Other Thoughts: With a few changes, and a bit of wear, this course will be outstanding, and World's-ready, easily. It's got tons of scenic changes. Holes 1,5,12,13,14,15 are wide open, and the rest are in the woods, with especially 6,7,8,9,10 being almost rain forest-like. Lots of tunnel shots! The mowed fairways are a HUGE plus, but the rough is 5' tall prairie grass, so even 1000 rated players are gonna lose a few. This is definitely a championship course, not beginner friendly. And in just a few months of play, or a year, this course will easily be 5 stars, and THE best course in Southern Illinois.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Grueling during the summer, Amazing in the fall
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1.good baskets
2. unique holes
3. Great mix of open and wooded holes and both on a few different holes.
4. Pretty decent course flow
5. Chances to air it out and spots you gotta be short and technical
6. challenges all parts of your game
7. Fairways are now clear in the woods for the most part
Cons: 1. A couple of holes are designed around sticker bushes. one with them in the fairway and the other right by the basket
2. Sticker bushes are throughout the course in the rough and woods
3. Lots of chiggers during summer
4. Still some spots where they have cut down trees and left brush piles which makes it hard to find your disc in but there is not nearly as many of those spots now
5. cocklebur. Wear jeans or you will be covered in them. Likely to still get on your shoes.
6. Natural tee pads. Most are not bad but a few holes are somewhat difficult to get a good runup and good footing.
Other Thoughts: I went from being very frustrated with this course to absolutely loving it!! I believe the main 3 reasons for that are with it being fall obviously there is not nearly as much overgrown areas to deal with or chiggers. They've also made some improvements since the course was first put it which is great and then I've just improved my game as well. I only first started playing disc golf in April. Love this course right now! will see if I'm still saying that next summer or not.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Carbondale gets a real course!!!
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Innova Discatcher baskets
Stumps to sit on at most tees
Cons: Only natural tees
Signage still in the works
TICKS EVERYWHERE BRING SOME OFF!
Best part is that all of these cons can be fixed in a relatively short amount of time, and for only a little bit of money. Get concrete tees and good signage, This course is a 5!
Other Thoughts: I truly believe this may be one of the best courses in Southern Illinois. I will actually put it up there with Foundation Park in Centralia, IL. This course has all sorts of different shots so bring the whole bag.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Great layout
Cons: Needs more clearing
Other Thoughts: I think that as the course progresses and becomes more refined the course will just keep getting better. I would love to see concrete tee pads in the future.
Just playing in the first tournament at this course. The overall consensus was that it was a good, challenging course,that is going to just keep getting better.
The superintendent of the carbondale park district would like to have all 18 holes in by may and to put on a big opening tournament so keep checking back for more info.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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