High potential, but many drawbacks
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful scenery in a nice wooded area of the park.
No real rough to speak of. Lots of trees, but the undergrowth around them has been removed so discs are easy to find.
Technicality of the course makes up for it's lack of length
Ability to play 9 or 18 holes easily is a great idea, and should be done by more course designers.
Navigation was flawless and easy!
Cons: The bugs! Holy crap! Bug spray won't cut it with these things, take long pants and sleeves and consider a beekeeper's headcovering!
The tees! They're too short, not always level with the ground, and slippery. Carpet turned upside down and staked to the ground is both cheaper and grippier.
The baskets are nice and new, but you'd better hit them dead center. Off center hits spit out due to the design of the Arroyo basket. Not the courses fault, but it did get frustrating.
Short and shorter holes.
Poor signs where present, and frequently missing both times I've played.
Other Thoughts: SMASH Park has the potential to be a 3.5 to 4 star course, but needs a little work to get there.
First, the good: The course is beautiful, with tons of mature trees, virtually no litter, and thoughtful challenging pin placements that strive to make up for a lack of length with somewhat artificial difficulty. The fact that there is a well marked transition where you can loop back to the parking lot is a nice feature I've not seen anywhere else. There are transitions, but they're usually only known to locals and not this well marked. Well done!
Now the bad. I wish I'd taken the transition the last time I played here. It would have kept me away from the "water hazards" which are actually just low lying stagnant swampy areas that breed an absurd number of mosquitoes. After reading the course conditions on this site I was prepared with 2 different insect repellents in my bag. One with 30% DEET, and the other with pyrethrum as the main active ingredients. Not only that, I'm usually the last person mosquitoes go after. I'll tell you right now, these suckers must be starving to death because they attacked me like a pack of starving hyenas, and went after my wife even worse. I'm really not sure what you could do to avoid them if the precautions I took didn't work. The city of Belding needs to consider treating these low-lying areas with something to kill mosquito larvae. Doing so would improve the course immensely.
One final negative is hole length: I could have played this baby with an Envy and a Zone, and done just fine. There are only 2 holes most players will NEED a driver on, and even those you might be better served to play a more controlled shot. I realize that this is partly a design choice, and partially a constraint enforced by wanting 18 holes on a limited piece of land, but I'd personally rather see 9 really good holes here.
For all the grief I'm giving it, SMASH Park really does have potential. The two longer holes show what the entire course could be if reduced to only 9 holes, and are totally amazing. However, the shorter length and more technical holes are definitely loved by some. Despite the bugs, my wife can't wait to play here again. She feels like this course puts us on much more even footing as it robs me of my major distance advantage over her. Kill the mosquitoes or at least reduce them, and get better signs and teepads and this is an easy 3.5-4 star course. The locals seem committed to improving it, so hopefully that trend continues.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Very nice course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well where to start?
The course uses a very technical aproch to the holes with both risk and reward for all but maybe a couple of them. Lines seem to be fair and maybe a little lefty friendly. (Didn't go and check this hole by hole)
Love the cross over so you can play all 18 or a modified 9 holes.
Plenty of benches and trash cans is a plus!!!
Few holes are memorable and couple could be labeled as recycled
Cons: My biggest con is the tee pads. I like the idea of the grass pads but first they are a few feet short and elevated. Even tho they are shorter holes it makes for a hard cross step. Biggest problem in my eyes is that they should be at the least be short grass not the long that it is currently. Three out of the four of us slipped on even a slow walk up.
Other Thoughts: I will definitely be back to play this course again anytime I'm back in Michigan. I would rate it a 3.5 if it was not for the tee pads. Don't let the low rating because of the pads fool you. It's well worst the trip if your in the area. Great fun little course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Scenic, well maintained and extremely technical
- 18 holes with an option to play 9 for a quick round
- Well laid out with minimal backups even on busy days
- Constantly improving and growing.
- Trash cans on every hole
- Amazing up to date baskets
- Great course for experienced players working on accuracy with risk/reward factors based on disc selection. Punishing rough if you miss your line
- Every hole has a line so luck is only a factor if you're counting kicks off trees, avoid them and there is no luck needed
Cons: - Still in infant stages there are pleanty of stumps and small trees that still need to be removed
- Relatively short
- Not much for seating
Other Thoughts: This course is quickly growing into one of the better in the area. Friendly locals in a quiet area just outside of town. Course improvements weekly with pleanty of room for expansion
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: UPDATED ON 4/21/2015
Baskets - Nice New baskets that are easy to see from the tee. Green Poles
Park - Has bathroom at entrance, good amount of trash cans and beautiful course that is only used for disc golf in the area
Sings- Has tee signs that show where all the holes are and the distance. (They are small, but I heard they will get new ones)
Routing - easy enough but i noticed on some holes they had the next hole arrow(Not sure if all as some you didn't really need it)
Challenge - I had this as a Con on the 9 hole course, but with the added holes it makes it much harder and actually have to bring your drivers out.
Cons: Trees - This is on a tree sanctuary, which adds to the over all beauty of this course, however you can not cut down certain tree which makes some of the lines horrible. I want to let it be known that I think this is a double edged sword of this course, but makes for more of a Con. Maybe with a few more times out this will change, but it seems t be the biggest flaw.
Management - There are a ton of stumps that are being worked on getting removed, I am sure this will change, as this is a new course, but it's still a big flaw as there are a ton of them.
Tee Pads - They are better than Dirt, but the carpet pads are really the reason why this course isn't at a 4 to me.
Hole 6(Shorts) - This one is more of me just nit picking, but Hole 6 on the shorts is my favorite hole from the shorts, and it doesn't play in when you play the 18 longs.
Other Thoughts: The changes has made it much more than just the Pitch and Putt course that it was. Starts and ends that way, but has some nice length in the middle.
This has become one of my favorite parks in the Grand Rapids area, and is a very fun course. It seems to be getting worked on regularly and things will be changing in time, but still needs a lot of play and some TLC. It has 19 holes, and the pictures here need to be changed in order as they have a short 9 and an 18.
In a way this course kind of reminds me of Bertha Brook Mini.
If you do not like my review, please give me what I can improve to help. Thanks!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Smashing Awesome Course
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a new technical course that is already beat in pretty well for being only a couple months since the installment of the baskets. There is a nice variety of holes on the front nine, all mainly shorter holes. They have nice arroyo baskets that give this course a nice touch as well. There are some holes with elevation change in them and other where you throw blind. The layout of the course has a nice flow and easy to follow. It would be hard to get lost. Instead of dirt tee pads the course has artificial turf for tee pads. Every hole also has a garbage can so you can throw away your garbage instead of littering. Every hole with a sponsor sign has hooks to hang your bag. There is a practice basket next to hole one which is always a plus.
Cons: Some holes need some clearing to be done still. Other spots on the course are really thick but do have lines you can hit, i have been able to hit them.
Other Thoughts: This course is already really popular among the locals. There are about 3 leagues that play out at this course. There will be new permanent tee signs being installed very soon. The course is maintained by a good group of disc-golfers. The course has also been approved for the back nine. So keep an eye out for this course to soon be an 18 hole course.!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Onward and Upward
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Aesthetic-- plays through the east end of a small city park. Other facilities include hiking trails which DO NOT interfere with disc golf. Disc on!
Teesigns--nice for what they are. shows directionality of the hole if not a map along with distance. I like the aesthetic of the small piece missing to symbolize the guy the park is dedicated to? not sure if this is intentional or not.
Baskets-- ARROYOS!!! Super bright and visible in the woods. Love the added confidence of arroyos with regards to bounce outs.
Routing/nav-- easy easy. not a chance of getting lost here. next tee signs on every hole and branches/logs to guide the way
amenities-- garbage cans and "benches" are plentiful. Bathrooms are near the parking lot. though they were locked when we were there.
Challenge-- this course is extremely short. it can be played with one or two discs, no drivers required at all. I threw mostly a gator and a putter.
Variety-- meh, it's pretty bland honestly
Teepads- Honestly they weren't bad, the long turf provided some grip. would strongly prefer concrete in the future.
Other Thoughts: I am overly impressed with the amount of work that has gone on at this course in the last month or so. The improvements are amazing.
I honestly liked this course, very reminiscent of a longer Rycenga park.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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