9 hole perfection
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Equipment: The teepads are large and offer plenty of space for a good run-up with great traction. Alternate astro-turf pads work well and look nice as well. New baskets catch well, and the just installed tee-signs are beautiful and helpful with all the information you could want on them. Practice basket with "HORSE" type markers in the ground is nice as well, and gives you a place to warm up when the course is crowded and you are waiting to tee off on 1.
- Landscaping: Course is already beautiful, and will only improve as more work and cleanup is done in the coming months. Wood chips on all fairways look great and provide a nice and somewhat unique playing surface. A decent amount of underbrush has been thinned out to aid in the already easy navigation and prevent inescapable tree-jail from the rough, though some locations still need a bit of work. Most fairways are well shaped.
- Good, technical golf: with the exception of one passable, and one possibly ill-designed hole, (2 and 7) I have enjoyed playing each hole on this course. Tight but generally "fair fairways" require well shaped lines, moderate elevation present throughout the course keeps things interesting, and the pond on the last hole is a nice feature to finish the course. Holes, 3 and especially 5 in particular stand out.
- Multiple tees and pins: Multiple tees on every hole but 2, with 4 (!) on hole 4, and 3 on hole 9. Many of these tees provide drastically different and not necessarily easier lines. Playing through this course twice from the various tees almost gives the feeling of playing a complete 18 hole course. Multiple pin position on several holes which should be changes somewhat regularly should keep things interesting for local players playing frequently as well.
Cons: - As others have said still a little rough around the edges in places, but nothing that really distracts from the golf.
- Doesn't bother me, but some may not appreciate the long walk from 2 to 3, and there isn't really a clear route from hole 9s basket back to the parking lot by hole 1 if there are games being played on the soccer fields.
- Hole 7 seems like a transition hole that the designers attempted to make more interesting with the tight set of trees not far off the pad. Unfortunately, the result is simply a frustrating hole, with 2 or 3 incredibly tight gaps (mere inches of clearance if properly navigated) that must be hit. The slender trees are already scared from being pelted by discs, and may not last all that long anyway. There isn't really anything that can be done to make this a "good" but removing one tree could make it better.
- It's too bad a soccer field backs the basket on hole 9, because a tee pad on the top of the hill would be great, I've had fun throwing from there anyway, but can see how it could present a danger if someone unloads and goes long with a high speed disc.
Other Thoughts: I've really enjoyed playing this course so far, and look forward to getting more familiar with it. I loved the old course, and am delighted the redeisgn has improved what was previously here. I'm sure it will help my accuracy and technical game, as the middle 4-5 holes provide the tight, wooded golf not present on most of the other major courses in the area I play frequently (Madison Meadow and Katherine Legge.)
I struggled on what to give this course. Giving a 4 or above on a 9 hole course, even one with a great number and quality of alternate tees and pins such as this Central Park, is hard to justify. For me it came down to a 3 or 3.5. Not having played a huge number of 9 hole courses (I concede I haven't played a staggering number of courses of any size at his point) I don't have the knowledge base to say this course is among the elite 9 hole courses. However, until I am proven otherwise, I can't see many 9 holes improving on what has been done here.
Perhaps I will re-evaluate later, but right now I feel giving this course 3.5 discs, basically the equivalent of 4.5 for an 18 hole course, is justified.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Oakbrook is back
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Variety of holes
Some remarkably solid holes, especially for a 9 hole course
Well isolated from rest of park
Hole #9 is an incredibly fun hole to play from the top of the sled hill.
Nice material for both sets of tee pads.
Cons: Course is still rough around the edges, no distances/tee signs, construction debris evident on a few holes.
Long walk between 2 and 3
A few of the holes are gimmicky, especially 7.
Since it is a 9 hole course, it can get a bit crowded. Benches would be a welcome improvement.
Difficult to see when people are on the alternate tees on holes 3 and 4.
Other Thoughts: I get the feeling from reading the other reviews that they have reviewed this course based more on its potential than its current state. The course in its current condition is not a 3.5 - 4 disc course. The good news is that this course could easily reach that rating with just a few improvements.
1.) Hole #6 is a bit messy from construction still, with piles of dirt and brush in a few places. The rough on the right side can slow down play a lot when new players lose their discs in it. It could be cleared out a bit without affecting play.
2.) Hole 7 could be vastly improved just by removing one tree, which is currently restricting play to 2 narrow gaps on either side of it. This tree will probably end up dead in short order due to its position and slender nature though.
3.) If the brush were cleared out on 3-4 to improve routing on the course and to allow groups on one tee to see groups on the other tee play could be sped up and the chance of accidentally throwing on other groups could be decreased.
A few other thoughts: The grassy tees are actually more comfortable to throw from in wet conditions than the pavers, but I don't know how well they will hold up to use as a pad. It is probably a good thing they only used this material for the short tees.
Overall, a 4+ rating is going to be out of reach due to being a 9 hole course, but with a few minor improvements this course will probably mature to be rated a solid 3.5.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Not Your Fatherís Oak Brook.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Old Oak Brook was the perfect course for my skill level. It was tough enough to punish a recreational player if they played badly but easy enough to cough up birdies when they played well. The "punishment" wasn't severe enough to make you take more than a 4 in most cases, so most days you could hold together the semblance of a decent round. The park was (and still is) well maintained and the course fit well with the other park uses. It was a very nice recreational course.
New Oak Brook pushed me down and took my lunch money. It is a punishing design aimed at serious players. Holes # 1 & # 2 are similar to the old-style Oak Brook, but once you hit the tunnel for # 3 you are in for some serious wooded golf for the next five holes. Hole # 3 is an elevated tee with the pin tucked up to the right with a hellish 300'+ gauntlet of trees masquerading as a fairway. Hole # 5 is an excellent 300'+ downhill shot (from the longs) with the pin set up on a mound to the left. Hole # 6 is a tough uphill turnover shot (from the longs.) Hole # 4 and # 7 are shorter shots with a lot of trees in the fairway. Hole # 8 is an open shot with the pin set on a hillside and # 9 is a mostly open route with a water carry that is 400'+ from the longs.
The course has nice paver tees and signage at the longs. The shorts are turfgrass; I'm not sure all the shorts are in yet but some of them (holes #3-4 come to mind) move the angle of the shot quite a bit. Hole #4 appears to have an alternate placement but I didn't notice any other alternate pins. The course is less than a month old and work is still continuing so alt pins might be in the plans for other holes as well.
Being very new, the shule is rough. You can get in serious trouble when you get out of the fairway. The fairways are chipped in the woods (except # 6, which seemed unfinished.) The flow is natural; the transition from #6 to #7 was the only place I got lost. All in all, it's a challenging Advanced-level 9-hole with very good tees in a very nice park.
Cons: Holes # 3, #4 and # 7 had a lot of trees in the fairway. On hole # 3 in particular you could throw a decent shot and have it kicked away. Even if it wasn't kicked away, you could end up in the fairway with a very tough second shot. On holes #4 and #7 they might be able to argue that the pinball wizard effect on an ace run hole is decent design, but hole # 3 needs to be cleaned out to be fair.
There is a very long but well marked walk from #2 to #3 that really doesn't stand out once you get to #3. It might be a con to some; to me it is what it is.
Hole # 9 has a great elevated shot that is not used. As a golfer it seems like a missed opportunity at a cool shot. As a former parks guy, the elevated shot looks like a really good way to have chuckers flinging Nukes at the soccer field past the pin. So while I agree with the decision not to put a tee there, I went up and threw one from there anyway. It's a fun missed shot.
Nit-picky safety concerns: Hole #1 runs between a parking lot and a turfgrass soccer field. There is a healthy stand of trees to knock down a shot, but it is possible to flip a drive out on the soccer field. Not probable, though. I also saw a bunch of people walk from the parking lot across the fairway totally oblivious to the disc golf course. There should probably be a sign alerting people to the course there.
Other Thoughts: When I got done playing the new design, I wanted to hate it because it wasn't the old course that I had liked so much. Initially to me it seemed like a 9-hole recreational course trying to be something it wasn't. What stops me from hating the new Oak Brook is KLM, the course that went in 10 minutes away while Oak Brook was closed. KLM is a laid-back, lightly wooded park-style course with a lot of the recreational vibe that the old Oak Brook had. With KLM so close by, Oak Brook really doesn't have to be that recreational course anymore. The land was there to add more challenge to it and they did. It compliments KLM now rather than duplicating it; you can hit KLM for a warm up and then get some serious shots in at Oak Brook.
If you run into Serious Steve, be prepared to be shamed into course work. He is not shy at all about grabbing you and putting you to work.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Overall a very enjoyable 9 holes. Nice mix of elevation and woods. Paver stone tee box on every hole was very well built . Turf tees as alternate or short works well, seem sturdy but time will see. The wooded holes have actual real danger for bad throws..something not heard of in Chicago. As other people have said, this would be an amazing 18. The land just isn't there. With what they were given they designed the best possible course.
Cons: Long walk from 2 to 3...but it is worth it..see below.
No signs or map..as of yet.
Few holes are fillers, but still play ok.
I picture hole 2 & 7 opening up and than becoming boring like most disc golf in Chicago.
Other Thoughts: Hole 3 5 & 6 are the standout holes..hole 3 is favorite..and it has a line, it's just tight. I personally want a challenge and this gives it. I would have liked a bit more challenge but than casual or am players would not enjoy as much. Playing all as par 3 I'm happy with a few under par..nice course very pretty. Steve, skunk, and his crew did a great job. Thank them if you see them on the course. Keep it clean please use the trash cans. Hole 9 plays over water, and for a big arm it is a challenge but plays downhill so go for it.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I really wish that this site had a 3.75 rating... in my eyes, giving a 4-rating to a nine hole course is the same as giving a 5 to an 18 hole course, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it for this one.
That being said, this is one of the few nine hole courses that is a destination course. Suburban disc golfers often proclaim Adler Park in Libertyville as the best nine hole course in the Chicagoland area... well this one blows Adler out of the water.
*The lines here are incredibly tight, but fair. It makes for excellent shot variety, which is super fun!
*There are two to three tees for every hole, each of which offer fun/different shots. It was genius to decide to use different materials for the pro-tees to avoid the typical confusion that comes with alt-tees
*Practice basket was very nice
*Pin placements made use of weird elevation, which was very fun
*The last hole is a great signature hole, from the pro tee it's a huge bomb where you must decide to lay-up or go for it, because there's a small body of water about 50 feet in front of the pin. Great way to end a great course.
*I also liked hole 5 (I think) which was about a 300 ft super tight wooded shot with the pin to the left of the fairway up on some sort of mound. Excellent, excellent hole.
Cons: Several of these issues will probably be resolved as the course ages, so I didn't knock the rating to hard for these:
*Poor navigation prior to hole 1
*No tee-signs, which stinks in a wooded course
*Hole 6 was unplayable when I played
With those out of the way, these are the issues that forced me to bring this down from a 4.0 rated course because these issues are less likely to change over time.
*How did they fit such a nice course into this congested little park? While you're not in much danger of hitting people/getting hit by discs at this course, you are not isolated at all from the rest of the world. You're always either playing next to soccer fields/a highway/a swimming pool. A lot of disc golfers like being in their own little disc golf world when they play; this course does not offer that.
*The walk from hole two to hole three, even though it is well marked, is like 100 miles
*Although hole 9 was playable when I played yesterday, it sure seems like its pin position will be under-water quite a lot. I hope that I'm proven wrong on this
*The short tees use some kind of astroturf as a tee-off surface. This is not a bad idea, but it was a bit shaggy... kind of like teeing off in un-mowed grass!
Other Thoughts: I worked in Oak Brook the entire summer. This week was my last week. The course opened this week/last week. Cruel...
Anywho, this one is well worth going out of your way to play.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Tight lines but great new course.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Tee Boxes, Having two sets of tees w/ different material was very interesting and will probably cater to different throwing styles. However the Astroturf tees are generally shorter or on an easier line, except for a few holes where I personally felt the lines on the turf tees was harder. The turf has the small rubber beads in it that is used on new sports/soccer fields. Very good traction, I would say better than natural grass.
Groomed woodchip fairways on many holes in the woods.
Putting green by hole 1 teebox has different elevation and markers setup for around the world.
Woods holes are challenging but well constructed where players are playing under the canopy.
Most holes are very difficult with narrow lines to follow. Makes players throw different types of shots unlike many courses in the area.
Cons: Really I don't have much negative to say about this course. There are some nitpicky things I could note b/c it is a new course but even still it is very well done.
This is a finesse 9 hole. Nearly every hole has a challenging line that you must navigate if you want a birdie. But every hole is birdie-able. Not really a complaint or con but the only hole that is really open where you can let it rip is 9, but a great hole for it.
In future seasons if the undergrowth isn't groomed it might be difficult to find discs that stray off track.
Hopefully the park district stays on top of the astroturf and replaces it when needed. Could see this stuff wearing out.
Other Thoughts: Great course, high difficulty, I haven't played a single course in the chicagoland area w/ as narrow and challenging of lines as this 9 hole.
Hole 9 with the pond is interesting, 3 separate tee locations so the water isn't as intimidating. The pond is shallow and shouldn't be too hard to spot a disc as long as it isn't in some of the deeper middle areas.
If you have any reservations with your discs taking some tree damage you might want to bring some old junkers.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
How does the new course stackup?
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Practice basket at the beginning of the course. Rest of baskets are in good condition.
-2 sets of tees. Long tees are of good length and composed of brick, while the shorter tees are AstroTurf.
-Good flow to course, easy to follow. There are no crossing fairways and although it doesn't loop back entirely to the beginning it's pretty close.
-Elevation utilized pretty well, with slight uphill and downhill shots.
-Hole 5 is my personal favorite.
-Overall a pretty good challenge, while still fun for beginners.
-Benches at holes 1, 3, and 7.
-Good mix of open/wooded. 1 and 2 start out fairly open, 3 to 6 is much more tight and technical. From 7 til' the end is more open again.
Cons: -Course is "rough" from all the tearing out this year in order to create the holes fairways. Next years spring growth should make the course more enjoyable.
-No trash cans at the moment. Sure they're coming in soon though!
-Maybe one more bench at hole 5. Not a real con but I do like someone to sit every few holes.
-7 and 3 rely a little to much on luck. I do have a way I take 7 on and it has worked out fairly good so far, but 3 just seems like no real good route to the basket IMO.
Other Thoughts: How does this course compare to the old OB layout? I think they have done a good job with the new layout. In a lot of ways it's even better than the old. Elevation is more utilized. 2 sets of tees now, and multiple basket locations. I think it's a step up in difficulty. In terms of fun to play this new version is about as fun as the old one. Still a solid course, always will be.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Multiple Tees and placements oh my!
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Multiple tees (beautiful brick pavers and turf tees), nice to see this in the chicago area because many courses do not have multiple tees and/or basket placements. There are essentially 27 different holes to play if baskets are moved on a regular basis (correct me if I'm wrong)
-Good variety of shots, great risk vs reward on 3,6 and 9. You must be accurate and smart to score well out here, but the beginner will still enjoy the course as there is really only one place (hole 9 water) where you can lose a disc.
-Doesn't interfere with other park activities in multiuse park.
-Holes 3,4,5, 6, are tight but fair holes, a definite delight for those who enjoy wooded courses.....staying on the fairway is a must.
-Par is based on red level so some advanced and pro players may find 3,6 and 9 (from the longs) a bit tweenerish.
-Hole 9 has a 400ft water carry, but plenty of room to layup for those whom do not have that kind of distance.
Cons: -The course is new and still not done quite yet so it is hard (and a bit unfair) to point out some obvious cons
Tee signs are coming
Message board is coming
Some minor clearing is yet to be done
-the 523 ft walk between 2 and 3 is a little long, but the parks department has a botannical garden planned behind the new maintenance building so that land was off limits for the course. Walks don't bother me too much on courses as long as I'm not backtracking fairways or walking passed land that could have been utilized.
-Hole 7 is one tree away from being fair, but there really isn't a realistic line from the paver tee (basically a luck shot). Hole 3 is less of a luck shot, but borderline IMO.
-9 for skilled players from the long paver tee will be an easy three as most people will not try to carry the water because it is blind from the tee. The turf tee on 9 to the long placement will provide more "pucker" effect.
-beginners will struggle in the woods so i advise them to put away the 13 speed plastic before the step on the course.
All in all I think this is a great course for the chicago area. I hope other parks departments in the area get a whiff of multiple tees and multiple placements and how it can appease all players in their community. I would like to give this course a 3.5, but I just can't because its only nine holes. if we could rate 9 hole courses on here seperately I would give it a 4.
Many people worked very hard and put a lot of time into the design/installation of the course, I would like to especially thank Steve Matul and the Oakbrook park district for keeping this project rolling. Steve spent more time out there than anyone involved so if you like the course, tell Steve thanks because it wouldn't be there without him!
PS. I will be updating this review regularly
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: WOW is my first reaction to this impressive 9 hole course. From the time you step onto the raised up, meticulously built first tee you realize this is NOT your typical Chicago area nine hole. First and foremost this course is heavily wooded and will make you think on every hole. Lots of low ceiling and tunnel shots that force you pick your line carefully. There are multiple tees and multiple pin placements on all but two holes which allow you to play two rounds of 9 and have 16 different looks with an even mix of straight, right to left and left to right shots required. The long tee boxes (with distances from 200 to 460 feet) are beautifully constructed, perfectly level and plenty large. The long tees are made of raised, timber framed stone pavers and will challenge any intermediate or even advanced player. The shorter tees are also raised, timber framed, AstroTurf and will again force the beginner/ intermediate player to pick a line and place shots accurately. There is not one single gimmy hole even from the short tees. There is a wonderful mix of rolling elevation changes and distances with five holes in the 200 to 275 range and four in the 330' to 460' range. At least 5 or 6 of the holes here would be signature holes anywhere else.
Cons: I'm kind of nit picking because there is not much to criticize and all of the below concerns should be corrected over time. There should be at least a few trash cans which have yet to be placed. The old course had small trash cans at each tee so I'm thinking that they will reappear soon. All the sign posts are in but no signs yet. Even so the natural flow of the course is very easy to follow. Finally the course still has a raw feel from the recent construction but by the spring of 2014 mother nature will have solved this minor concern herself.
Other Thoughts: After looking at the layout carefully it's clear that the long walk between 2nd hole and 3rd tee was unavoidable and ultimately the best use of the limited space in this remote corner of the park. I only mention it because I'm sure others will point this out. I personally play to get fresh air and exercise so an extra couple hundred feet of walking is of little consequence. All in all the designers and the Oak Brook Park district should be congratulated on a fantastic job. They made what was a great 9 hole course even better. I'm confident that this is now the best 9 hole course in the Chicago area and will only get better over time. As always please pick up your trash and leave the course nicer than you found it. (Even if there are no trash cans) May all your drives be true & all your putts (and the occasional drive) end with a satisfying clink of chain.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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