One of the best in the area
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great variety, starts off with a few long shots, and then makes it's way into some tightly wooded areas, then finishes with some longer holes. The holes are marked great, and there are multiple tee pads on most of the holes. The fairways are kept nicely, and there is hardly any trash. You can tell it's a well maintained course.
Cons: The rough gives no mercy for the most part, if you lose track of a disc, good luck locating it. Not really that much a con, but worth noting. Also, definitely bring bug spray, as most of the course plays through wooded area, and near swamps.
Other Thoughts: Great course, wish it was there when I lived next to Merrill Field. One of my top five in the area, which includes both Hudson Mills courses. I enjoy the challenge of having to make some accurate tee shots, but it feels great when a hyzer makes it through the trees and 10 feet from the pin. Hole 14 is the mando hole, which is interesting and not for everyone. I don't care for it, but I wouldn't call it a con. It definitely is a challenge, and one of these days I'll be able to birdie it.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Great elevation and variety of shots. Signs help guide if new to course.
Cons: Disc golf course could use a few more signs out on road side as entering park from other entrances.
Other Thoughts: Tee signs are very informative including information as elevation up or down from tee elevation.
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
A Well Thought-Out Course
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Creative design - the practice basket allows for varied wind play - well-marked 10m bricks, painted blue&white - Nearly every single hole has a sharp difference - plenty of elevation changes - emphasis on accurate placement over distance - I love Chainstar baskets - The Ace Pole on 13.
Cons: I'm not a fan of thick summer brush - long drivers can only appreciate hole 17 - a few teepads could use a slightly longer run-up, excluding the tees limited by possible erosion - hole 15 tee sign isn't accurate, it's a straight hole.
Other Thoughts: I'm sad to see that someone vandalized the Ace Pole - it is $2 per round (I see it as money well spent) - you'd better be straight & accurate on 7 because the left rough is a sharp downhill - water levels can fluctuate quite a bit on 11 and 14.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Not worth the drive
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Creativity and flow of the layout is near perfect minus the two brief walks down the pedestrian path
-Teepads are good size
-The park itself is very nice
-Great use of elevation
Cons: -Longer drivers/discs not really needed and seem impractical on at least 75% of the holes
-Some of the signage depicting the layout of each hole was misleading
-Awkward throwing angles and lanes
Other Thoughts: I can't knock this place for what I perceived as a product of much creativity and effort. With that said, I ultimately agree with the lower rated reviews. The course felt monotonous and gimmicky with many short, awkward shots off the tee. I wasn't a big fan of the gulch shot, which requires a perfectly dead straight shot if you truly want to make the prescribed mando area. #17 really was a sort of question mark shape; I'm not against holes that are essentially tough 3's, but that felt way too gimmicky.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 6 Not
What a dissapointment
Pros: Easy entrance & exit of park
Course has a variety of different lengths
The mando hole is a nice touch
10m marks placed around baskets
Cons: Very poorly designed course:
most holes cannot be seen from the tees
many shots require impossible angles
trees are extremely dense in places
any tree knock has a high chance of resulting in an unplayable lie
underbrush is not properly cut around baskets
some holes are next to an extremely steep valley.
Some signs are not correct (worst being hole 15, a blind shot where the sign says its a dogleg left and its actually a dogleg right)
No chance for max distance throws, anything over 300 has an obscene amount of trees
The few holes that arent punishingly challenging are laughably easy.
Other Thoughts: Its a shame that this course turned out to be such a dud. The land is nice and there was a lot of potential for a really fun and interesting course.
With so many better courses around the Ann Arbor area this is one that should be avoided.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Public with a Private feel
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Pleasantly laid out over hills, through woods, bordering a big park
+ Mixed, but balanced hole lengths and layouts
+ Balanced between tight and technical and fairly open (still technical)
+ Fairly easy navigation with necessary signage
+ Tee signs: #, distance, AM/Pro, and elevation change listed
+ Permanent blue 30' putting circle markers in ground
+ Other signage: ace post, nice course sign, #14's fences
+ Some good benches
+ Wood chips around baskets and in other needed areas as well
+ Nicely cleared fairways and walking paths
+ Pea stone, some gravel, and logs at tees to hopefully reduce erosion
+ Very clean and nicely groomed/mowed
+ No stumps left over from clearing
+ Some very scenic wooded areas, especially the last couple holes
+ The surprisingly steep hill bordering the left of #7's fairway helped me gain a few strokes on my competitor
+ Wind came into play on several holes
+ Practice basket
+ Lots of trash cans held in place by metal rods
Cons: - No par levels on tee signs
- Walking/biking trails nearby
- Hole #8 is a a beast: 350', heavily wooded, very rough on the edges, narrow, curving, with the basket tucked away
- Signature hole #14 was fun, but it would SUCK to retrieve discs in The Gulch - wonder if beginners will skip this hole
- #17: just a basket in the middle of an aesthetically pleasing bit of forest
- No signage directing visitors from the park's main entrance to the DGC
- Not a fan of tee signs with semi-accurate carved fairway shapes and pin locations - still requires looking ahead a lot
- Thorny bushes, a little poison ivy, and overall roughness is still bad
Other Thoughts: Two intermediate throwers played this course for the first time on a nice, warm fall Sunday morning. We threw from the Pro tees where available and felt very challenged since we thought the course was all Par 3's. FYI, it really isn't (see the Course Map/Rules under Links/Files). Regardless, we both threw 65.
The course is aesthetically pleasing because of how groomed it is and how nicely preserved they kept the grounds around the fairways. The amenities are everywhere and in great condition. While the rough is really rough in spots, the fairways are appropriately clear and there aren't any stumps to trip on. The forest isn't destroyed by discs yet, but I could see this being a popular option in the area as pay to play isn't enforced. Regardless, right now it's a very nice place to play disc golf.
The course flows from open with mowed fairways, then into some tight woods, and then back out into some longer, open wooded spots. Overall, I think The Gulch balances challenge well by mixing terrain/elevation with different hole lengths and curving fairways. Several holes were a frustrating combination of length, tree coverage, obstacles, and sometimes pin placement (#8). Some fairways are intentionally shaped oblong to force different kinds of shots (#4). A couple holes aren't rewarding to throw and can be quite frustrating (#17). A couple short and sweet holes felt a little lackluster (#10-14). Put me in the camp who thinks The Gulch hole (#14) is gimmicky, but I still enjoyed it. Overall, the mix of holes may be balanced, but the layout/design itself just doesn't qualify as 4.0/Excellent.
The Gulch has only been open a few months, so it came with a lot of pleasant surprises and some unpleasant disappointments. In terms of challenge and design, the course itself is a 3.5 out of 5.0. My rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 takes into consideration the obvious and much-appreciated efforts to maintain the course and elevate its quality with many amenities. A 0.5 disc boost is appropriate and well-deserved. Hopefully you can take a look at my Pros list, play the course, and consider the rating justified. If not, just trust that 4.0 is the most honest assessment I can give The Gulch.
Thanks for reading!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Two Track Disc Golf
Aesthetic--Wraps through a large park, intermingled with walking trails. Area is NOT disc golf exclusive so keep your eyes open.
Teepads- Nice, long and appropriate for the hole lengths, brooms on every pad.
Teesigns- Nice, basic, little carving of the hole layout on the teesign. Unfortunately, I think a LOT of the distances are grossly exaggerated.
Routing/nav- not bad, easy to move about with the "next tee" signs
Ace "pole"- between the two ace runs, it's a distractor for people who like to write on things.
Elevation- nicely used.
Variety- there is a nice balance of holes here.
Teesigns- some of the distances seem GROSSLY exaggerated. I played the short tees and one was listed at 220' and was well over 300' long. also, the elevation changes were awkward and seemed wrong.
Poison Ivy- I know this course is new BUT, the amount of poison ivy here is rediculous. There are aerial roots EVERYWHERE with no warning of it being there.. CYA folks.
Challenge- I used three discs here and never anything faster than a fairway driver. I honestly could have played this course with a mid and putter. The challenge here is to avoid getting poison ivy I suppose.
Rough- crazy rough, poison ivy, thorns, you name it, it's here.
Hole 14- Don't get me wrong, I parked it... but it was so out of place... I can't imagine crossing the fen when it is wet though... the drop-zone for 14 is ridiculously tight tunnel shot with a very low ceiling.
Hole 17- like a big inverted question mark. stupid stupid stupid.
For those of you who are comparing this course to ludington(?) seriously, they are NOTHING alike. there are many courses just like this in michigan. hell, it reminds me of some of the metroparks nearby. get off your high horses, it's a brand new course, it's not the top of the mark yet!
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Short and sweet
Pros: Nice course with good mix of shots. Great place to practice for shaping those lines and tricky touch shots. Very well kept, lots of love in care put into this course Cudos to the persons taking care of It. I dropped a 5 spot in the honor box.
Cons: Pro Ts could be longer
Other Thoughts: Glad I got to play the course
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Amazing course unlike everything around here!
Pros: - Great layout one of the best 18 hole courses I have played in Michigan
- The Gulch Hole 14 looks like hole 7 of USDGC this year. This hole is a love it or hate it hole but if your a real golfer who has played in a top tier event things like this hole are the norm so nice to see it in casual play.
- Clean well loved you can tell by all the obvious raking done on the course on a forest floor.
- Benches and trash cans were there when the course opened why doesn't everyone do that!
- Different from 90% of the courses in michigan laudington is the only place to play a course like this
- Mixed shots I tossed disc regularly that I pull out once or twice at Hudson or independence, it will teach you how to use your disc.
- Mixed holes with some solid ani shots.
- Ace Pole I love that idea it's cool to see everyone using it to sign all there aces here great idea and something I am sure we will see on more courses soon
- 10m bricks are just awesome to see on every hole, and the blue is tasty
- Art is everywhere the fence sections on the gulch, the hand made donation box, the maps on the cards, the hole signs, the directional signs and my favorite the welcome sign is unbelievably cool on this course who does that its a hand carved sign just such an amazing detail to see on this course it took me from "nice course"to "best course"
- A great location its closer to Brighton than Kensington and right next to DQ and 10 minutes from 2 other courses and CJs
- Pads are the perfect size there not as long as Hudson but wider and longer than Brighton rec
- Pro pads are not just length extenders they make a different course turns some easy shots like 14 into a difficult at best shot
- Bottomed pines and olives hope it stays
- Elevation is used to its full potential and pays off big.
Plus unrelated to play but still worth mentioning
- Running trails do not interfere with the course and some serious good looking girls seem to love to run through there
Cons: - Mixed tees wish it had 18 pro pads
- Long walks between 4/5 and 14/15
- Eats disc
- Miss marked hole 15 there is a card on it but come on its a quick fix to fatten out the carving to make it straight a waste to see it weeks on and STILL not fixed
- Clear out the Left hand and sidearm route it's playable but to tight on a lot of holes my buddy loved the course but thought a lot of attention was paid to make ani routes but not sidearm ones he did like hole 9 clearing the top was trimmed out enough he was able to side deuce the hole.
- Few ripper holes which I like but for some may be a negative only holes 2, 15-17 let you do some big ripper shots. It's a technical course and rewards accuracy.
Other Thoughts: Compared to Hudson or Independance it's so different
With Hudson it's 1-4 extras, 14-18 you can tear your arm out ripping shots or Monster which is 1-7 easy 2 shots from am pad or last Indy which I love but 2 rounds of Indy your arm with melt off from the stress barely a technical course just big arms.
It's slick to see a course of this caliber in our area.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: I know that everyone will mark this as "not helpful" but here it goes.
-A lot of good work put in to the course
-Nice tee pads and baskets
-Benches and trash cans
Cons: -To me, it seemed that this course lacked variety. The majority of the holes had only one possible shot and if you didn't hit it, you get a 4 or 5
-I felt like I was penalized for a ton of great drives because of some pin placements, some of the hole layouts, basically tough for the sake of being tough.
-A lot of the holes were laid out like a "S"
-Predominantly a RHBH course
-To me the spots where the turns were, were messed up. Either the turn was way too early on a 350ft hole, so there's pretty much no chance for a deuce, or the turn was drastic way late for no reason.
-The Gulch hole was pointless, gimmicky, pretty much ruined what could be a nice short hole over water
-I think it was 16 maybe, the hole is a giant "C" shape that felt way out of place, and almost pointless.
-I wasn't a fan of the paths and roads everywhere, but I guess it's hard to find virgin ground
Other Thoughts: The 2.5 rating says "Decent/Typical" and that is exactly how I felt playing this. Not one single thing stood out to me. It was bland, boring, tough for the sake of being tough on the majority of holes, tiny gaps. I was tired of "S" shaped holes after about the first 4 of them. The Gulch hole was pointless and I'm sure the backyard fencing will be completely vandalized in a year or so. I'm glad Independence Lake and Hudson Mills is close by. Unfortunately with those 3 courses near by, I have no interest in playing this again. But then again, when it wears in, and more work is done, it might be able to come together. At this point though, thanks for the hard work, but no thanks when there are 3 other amazing courses so close by
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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