Not worth the drive
3 Helpful / 0 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 reviewers. 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 described mando area. #17 really was literally an inverted question mark; I'm not against holes that are essentially tough 3's, but that felt way too gimmicky.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 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.
3 of 7 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.
Two Track Disc Golf
6 Helpful / 3 Not
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!
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Short and sweet
1 Helpful / 5 Not
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 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 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 9 people found this review helpful.
6 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
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a round in Hamburg today...
10 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Well done for the most part:
• Nice mix of fairway shapes, elevation changes, and pin placements make good use of the land's natural elements to create a course that's challenging, visually appealing and fun to play. Elevation is well employed to add interest, variety, and challenge. Many shots play shorter or longer than posted distances (e.g. 15's uphill lie is deceptively long).
• Fairways provide ample chances for hyzers, annies, (some quite sharp), FH's, tommies/thumbers (likely to come in handy when you leave the fairway.
• Several pins placed near drop-offs and slopes with downhill approaches will have you thinking twice about going for it on longer putts, and really reward tee shots that get past the obstacles to set up quality looks at the pin as opposed to long putts that are makeable, but could easily go from birdie to bogie due to a nasty roll-aways or misses that carry way past the pin.
• Course will make you pay for leaving the fairway or missing certain putts long, or too far L or R.
• Navigation is pretty simple as most of the paths from basket to next tee are already pretty obvious and the tee markers are simple yet effective. Next tee signs are present in the few spots that are confusing, and along with the scorecard/map (available at the parking lot) should keep most people moving along nicely on a course that flows pretty well.
• Concrete tees are nice sized, fairly grippy, and are elevated just enough to drain well and keep water from collecting around the tee, but still allow for a seamless follow through without worrying about that first step off the pad.
• Solid benches and trash cans every 2-3 holes (I like the way they staked the trash cans to keep critters from tipping them over).
• Thoughtful extras: Blue paver bricks with a white "10" indicate when you're 10m out and tee posts that give the elevation change from tee to pin along with score card/map, pencils, etc., help to give the overall impression of a quality course - well done.
• Does a good job co-existing with the walking paths and while there's a decent chance you'll encounter non-player traffic, you're not likely to be throwing into it.
Cons: They got way more right than they did wrong, but here's what else I thought:
• No really open "grip-n-rip" shots (to be honest, I didn't really miss 'em because a few holes play open enough).
• The rough can be really rough, but it's not all that bad in some spots - it all depends where you miss the fairway and by how much. For example, it's actually not as bad as nearby Chilson Woods or some of the new holes at Stony Creek, or 19-27 at Kensington when those went in.
• 9 holes have dual tees, but half of them are just another 60 ft or so longer without really changing the look or shot very much.
• Not a fan of Hole 14: a short water carry over a swampy gulch that seems pretty easy, except for two sections of wooden fence that guard the green with maybe a 15 foot gap you have to hit to land on the green. Hit the fence, and your disc bounces into "The Gulch." Some may think it's cute, and no doubt many will throw tommies/thumbers, or spike Hyzers to get over it all and tombstone into the green, for a deuce, but I think it's contrived, gimmicky, and an unnecessary risk of disc loss, especially if the water level in The Gulch is high. That said, it quite literally is a quintessential "Deuce or Die" hole.
• I'm worried that in time, the sand around the tees will wash away, leaving more of a drop-off and ruts for water to collect in. A layer of crushed or pea gravel might help - but I can't really complain about something that hasn't happened yet.
Other Thoughts: Few new courses feel as complete or play as cleanly as this does. The fairways seem relatively natural, and while I'm sure a lot of work went into clearing underbrush, branches and other growth, the fairways seem quite natural and don't have the feel that numerous trees were sacrificed to establish them. I have no clue if that's actually the case - that's simply the impression I got playing here.
More technical than it is long, distance is not required to score well here (even from the long tees). This course is all about placement and execution. Miss your window off the tee, and what could have been an easy 2 or 3 could certainly turn into a 4 or 5. Despite how tight many of the holes are, there are a few holes that are "open enough" to keep you from feeling claustrophobic.
I have no problem with the $2/round donation - it's in line with the going rate in the area. Hopefully it goes toward course maintenance. I just hope people have the morality not to abuse the honor system, as it's simply a locked drop box.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This course is very challenging which is a good and bad thing as many have said. The first and really second hole were very nice and my friend and I almost aced it.
I love the way the course was professionally installed, it felt like a regular golf course. I chalk it up to being new, but there was no graffiti and that was a positive. (I don't need a "disc charger" on every bench). I loved the 10 meter brick and wished more courses around the area would install one (however I feel like someone would pull them out). The rough was overgrown and as my friend and I stated that it needs more traffic to stomp out some of that rough. But, the fairways were nicely mowed.
Hole 14 was a cool looking hole, but I disliked that you HAD to go through the gate. I feel like the average player would never get it through there. My buddy did but I was off to the left in the trees about five feet(OB).
There was also a nice mix of anhyzers, hyzers, long, and short shots. I didn't feel like it favored one type of player over another.
Cons: For the cons, I feel this course is very challenging for the average player. As we started towards hole 1, some older gents told us that they had lots of 4's and 5's, and no 2's. That had me concerned. My fears were received later in the round as the course went into the woods.
My main complaint is the somewhat ridiculousness of some of the holes. One hole was an uphill (up a car driving path) and even with a well placed shot, you were still about 40-50 feet away. Plus, two cars almost hit us as they were driving up the path! This main path connects about 5-6 holes. That was not very good. Plus, I don't really like throwing my discs on rocky drive way paths. Oh yea, and the shot was WAY up hill.
Another hole was almost a complete C shot, and I got a 7 on it. After that I was pretty cross about the course. That was hole 15 or 16 I believe. There was a lot of terrain changes, elevation changes, and tight shots too. Sometimes you were happy with a 4 even when the hole was 280 feet.
Several holes were very narrow, and would be very hard for beginning/average players to hit. I felt there should be more open holes where you can air out your shot. I think with a bit of tweeking and some trees being cut down, some of those wooded holes could be neat. This course reminded me of Holly Woods before it was changed and modified. The signature hole was great, but very hard to hit between the 15 foot gap between the fences.
Lastly, as others have said, even with a good drive on holes, you had little to no chance to get a two even from the AM tee boxes which we played. My friend had a good round, he had three twos with a few missed opportunities, and I had several chances as well. I think a good score on this course would be a -5 to -6. But, for all the missed chances, we had several 4's and 5's.
Other Thoughts: I think with some tweaking and cutting down trees for some of the narrower holes, this course could be a 5 star course. It was difficult sometimes just to say it was difficult. Some better course design and input could really help new players out.
I am also very worried that there was no one to monitor the course donation box, and I feel like this course could get really torn up from vandals. Courses like Hudson, Kennsington, and Seymour, all are kept up nicely thanks to a park person being there to monitor who comes and goes. Yes, those are Metroparks, but this course for as much time and effort that went into it deserves to be well-kept.
Time will tell about the course and I think that it has a lot of potential to be a great course.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Not intended to hurt anyone's feelings, just felt another perspective was due
14 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - Extremely well installed, especially for a grand opening. Usually courses aren't so ready when they open. This one already looks established on the first day. Cement tees, signs, message board, donation box, carved out fully, mowed.
- The holes in the field area are pretty good overall (1-3, 15-18).
- The challenging nature of the shots required is both a pro and a con to some degree.
- Super exposure for the sport, and will alleviate traffic at Kensington.
- Surprisingly little ivy, 4-5 holes are bad, but the rest is actually not.
- Potential with a little re-arranging to be 4-4.5 stars.
Cons: - The rough is ROUGH. Newer players will lose disc(s) every round, some holes have little landing zones for a new player, and punishing kicks down steep ravines.
- I can't get behind the short par-4 concept of the course, from the long tees, have not played the short tees.
- Basically, it felt designed to be tough for the sake of being tough. I see Pros shooting 49- 55's on this 5,000 ft. 18 hole layout. In my opinion, a course where those would be good score for a Pro should be closer to 6,500 ft. long.
- About half the holes left me laying up 200-250ft simple drives to then toss a putter 50-100 ft to lay up for an easy 3. I felt like there was no reward for a good drive- as no line was offered up to even allow you to run at a park job on holes that would otherwise be reachable with a midrange for many players. It was a round of 13 3's, and I didn't really miss any deuce putts.
- For examples: Hole #4 long tee- a 365 ft hole that basically requires you to hyzerflip up the gap (at first it looks good), but even an amazing shot by a skilled thrower will very likely never, or rarely, land within 50 ft, leaving you to have to nail a long putt every time to have a chance to deuce a not very long hole.
- Hole #5 long, I threw a champion Monster sidearm, hit the gap cleanly and watched if fade well to the right, yet it still landed 45' left of the basket, I can't see getting much closer with any disc I've ever thrown, yet the hole is only 280'.
- To sum up: It seems to lack reward for good throws.
Other Thoughts: Hopefully this can be taken as constructive criticism, and maybe I'm the only one who feels this way. I do appreciate all the hard work that went into this course, and it is fun to play.
I see a possible future of Cass-hole invasion out there due to it's location and no park entry fee, etc. Hopefully the good golfers can police the course.
Not trying to hate! I respect the work that went into it. I hope it wears in or can be altered a little to allow you to drive at the baskets.
Or, maybe I just suck at this game. There is always that.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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