Fun Little Pitch n Putt
Pros: - Nice park setting is pleasant to play through
- Baskets, tee pads, and signs are in good repair
- Decent hazard variety for such a small course (elevation, water, trees)
Cons: - Very short and largely open, most holes at/under 200'
- Lack of variety through the middle section of the course
- Tee signs not in the best location (explained below)
Other Thoughts: O'Brien Park is a nice, typical suburban park with playgrounds, sports fields, and walking paths. The disc golf course is mostly removed from the other areas of the park, and I have not had any conflicts with other park users.
The course starts and ends relatively strong, with holes 1 and 2 presenting fun uphill and downhill shots that are two of the three longest holes. Hole 3 starts the series of 6 short holes, but has a retention pond directly behind the basket to add a bit of interest. Holes 5-8 play back and forth over a drainage ditch which, along with the sporadic tress, provide enough of a challenge to keep the course from being completely boring. The course finishes with one more chance to actually stretch out your arm with it second hole over 300'.
This isn't a bad course to work on your short game if you are a more seasoned player. Most of the middle holes have lines where you can just toss up a high forehand or backhand hyzer shot over/around the trees, but there are tighter, lower ceiling lines up the middle that are nice to work your putters through.
This is a nice course for beginners as well. My wife puts up wonderfully with the longer more challenging courses she usually plays with me, but her 200-250' max drive felt at home here. She enjoyed the change of pace and managed to shoot under par. So if you are new to the game, have friends of family you want to introduce to the sport, or just want an easy change of pace, O'Brien is a great little park.
Concerning the equipment, the teepads are perfectly adequate, and the baskets, while a bit rusty, are otherwise in good repair and catch well. The tee signs are fine though mostly unnecessary as navigation is trivial and you can see every basket from the pad. My issue with the signs, however, is that they are placed at the front right side of the tee pads. This is a perfect location to accidentally wack the back of your hand on a right-hand-backhand follow through. Even if it isn't terribly likely, once you realize it as a possibility, it can get in your head and screw up your form trying to avoid the sign. I have hit my hand on a sign during a follow through before (different course) and it is no fun. I would rather the signs be placed at the front of the pads.
O'Brien Park is nothing special, but that doesn't mean it is no good. I enjoy my rounds here, and wish I had a course like this in my backyard, I would play it most days after work. So if you live nearby, bring a friend or family member and grow the sport!
Fun, but not challenging
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tee signs are nice quality and the park itself is nice and tucked away between houses. En route, I almost missed the park entrance because it was that tucked away. This is a good course for beginners and young kids.
Cons: The course needs better maintenance as each basket has a large amount of rust. There are no teepads, just tee ditches. Unfortunately, there's no real way to tell what counts as part of the tee and what doesn't, as there's about 10-15 feet of dirt patch with the tee sign about a third to a half of the way between the rear of the patch and the basket. The tee ditches seem easily rutted and seem quite a large pain if the weather is wet. Depending on weather, I may try to return tomorrow since it's been rainingstorming for the last several hours.
For experienced golfers, this course has little challenge. Of the 3 holes marked as par 4, only 1 (hole 9) seems like a legitimate par 4 candidate (for amateurs, not pros). In fact, I had a kiss-of-death interaction with the chains for ace on one of the par 4's. Several of the par 3's seem like they shouldn't even be a par of 3, though I've never heard of a par 2 hole. I kept having to pull up on most drives to keep from overthrowing or even crushing it past the basket and still had problems at times.
This could be a seasonal thing or just a problem the day that I went, but there was also a very large gnat problem to the point where I was having to swing wildly for 10-15 seconds prior to most throws.
Other Thoughts: Even with my atrocious putting abilities, I honestly think that I could get sub-20 on a good day. If I had played here when it was 30 degrees F cooler...I'm pretty sure that I would have thrown ~20.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
O'kay, Good For Beginners
Pros: - This suburban niner is located in a grassy, mostly open park. The course plays up (#1) and then down (#2) a small hill, and then works it's way back and forth through a smattering of mature trees (#'s 4-8) before ending with another completely open hole (#9).
- A nice balance between open shots and the scattered trees; the course is definitely beginner-friendly, but has enough variety to give a good taste of what disc golf is about.
- Elevation is used to great effect, especially #'s 1, 2, and 6. #1 starts off with an open uphill shot. #2 throws a mini bomb off the hill. #6's a miniature "over the gorge" shot, with the pin protected by trees.
Cons: - The tees, while far from the worst I've seen, are in pretty bad shape. Basically comprised of large rutted-out gravel patches, they don't provide terrible footing, but they certainly don't help.
- A few of the holes feel very similar in nature (#'s 7 and 8 look suspiciously like #6).
- A lack of any significant distance relegates this course to an "entry level" caliber course. A pair of holes (#'s 2 and 9) stretch past 320', but just barely, and one of those is downhill. Both are wide open.
Other Thoughts: - #3 was as dry as a bone when I played the course. Perhaps seasonal flooding or some other factor brings water into play, but I saw nothing obvious.
- While nothing spectacular, O'Brien does a solid job of mixing up elevation, trees, and open land to create an accessible and fun introduction to disc golf. Really, the hill is the saving grace here, as otherwise it'd end up being just another flat and boring Chicagoland niner.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course makes good use of the available terrain. A small sled hill provides an upshot and downshot, both of decent length. Fun way to start a round off.
- A few of the shorter holes use the trees well to force some line-shaping and shot selection.
- Okay mix of hole length. A couple over 300', a lot of short ones.
- There is water behind a basket, but only a ridiculously overthrown shot would reach it.
- Good signs and baskets
Cons: - Middle holes of the course are pretty bland, repetetive, and short. Majority of the holes are less than 200', and are just throwing back and forth over a small ditch. Even with the trees in play, every hole is easily reachable by anyone who has had minimal practice.
- Fairways are constantly next to each other, wayward discs can easily end up on the wrong hole.
- Ditch will hold water after a rainfall; not fun crossing it 5+ times.
- Tees aren't good, but they could be worse. Which they soon will be.
Other Thoughts: - This park is too small to hold a serious disc golf course, and the course itself is crammed into a small area. The longer holes, #1, #2, and #9 are actually decent, but the rest are just too small and similar. One or two of the short, trees-in-play holes would be OK, but not six in a row.
- Good place to practice different shots if nothing else. The uphill and downhill slopes aren't bad. Maybe OH or FH practice for someone with little experience with those shots as well. Would be very hard to lose a disc, so it's easy to experiment.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: For casual players and people learning to play the game, this is a very good course to get a feel for disc golf -- it's short, easy to shoot under par, there are very few places to lose a disc, and some elevation change.
For more experienced players, this course won't be much of a challenge, but it's still very easy to navigate, the baskets/signs are fairly new, and while it's an easy course there is still a decent variety of shots given the length. However...
Cons: Other than 1, 2 and 8, this course is just basically taking shots back and forth over a ditch
This ditch gets sloppy during the spring, so be prepared to get muddy if it has rained recently.
The tee pads here are brutal, there are lumps and holes in every single one making them almost unusable.
Other Thoughts: You can play a round here in 20 minutes easily. Like I mentioned, this is a pretty good course for new players, but for more skilled players it offers little more than a chance to rack up an ace or two.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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