4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hiestand Park is a nice, city course with some really fun holes. Its clearly a busy course that gets a lot of traffic but really has its great characteristics. Here are my pros:
1) Its always good to start out with a bang and I really liked hole 1. Its a sharply uphill hole that plays like 375 feet from the long tees (listed at 307 feet). It really just gives you the opportunity to air crash the first hole. Getting off of the fairway will still punish you but there's lot of room here and I just enjoyed this hole.
2) Almost every hole had two concrete tees and the difference between the long and short tees was about 1700 feet. This offered a really nice difference and really added value to the course. A lot of the longer tees are actually much harder than the shorter tees.
3) Hole 3 is a "pro" all by itself. Who doesn't love to throw a shot down a big hill to a green with a creek around it? Its a wide open shot and is a nice par 3. Its probably my favorite hole on the course. Hole 15 is also a nice hole that really allows you to crush a drive. Its 476 feet but probably plays more like 425 feet. Its a long and challenging par 3 that does have some pretty deep rough so make sure to keep it on the fairway.
4) The course is manicured very well. Its obviously driven by the $5 charge/$40 yearly pass to play the course, but the money is being well spent. There wasn't a lot out of place on the course and the grass was manicured extremely well. It wasn't country club feel but it was at least public golf course feel. And for disc golf that's a good thing!
5) The course actually offered a nice challenge from the long tees. The par 3's on the course were not easy by any means and the course featured many par 3's over 350 feet that really could offer some nice score separation.
6) Navigation on the course was pretty much perfect. I never got lost and everything flowed very nicely. The fun factor was also very high on this course.
Favorite feature on the course: The green areas of hole 1 and hole 14 had some overlap and contained some really neat rock areas. This was an awesome little feature that really stood out.
Cons: Honestly Hiestand Park is a course without a lot of cons. I think the park is a very nice course but lacks the grandeur of some of the top rated courses. Here is my limited list of cons:
1) In my opinion, nothing on the course stood out as putting this course into Excellent (4.0) or above. I honestly can't really think of a signature hole on the course, except for maybe hole number 3. Essentially this course had a lot of above average holes but nothing that blew you away. Because this course is in a public park it doesn't have the natural beauty that other local courses had, such as Vallarta or Birds Ruins. I actually rated all three courses the same (3.5) and had different reasons for arriving at that number.
2) The design of the course was solid but in my opinion the course had some tweener holes. Hole 5 was a nice hole but was definitely a tweener hole. A smoked drive on that hole will probably leave you with a 50 to 60 foot jump putt that really isn't that makeable over the retaining wall. Hole 10 was kind of the same way for me as it wasn't a par 3 and could barely be called a par 4. I think that ten years ago this course probably would have been a 4.0 but I think with players simply throwing further some of these holes have become obsolete distance wise.
3) The course is extremely worn. Two locals told me that the course could be closed for a portion of next year so they can reseed and replant certain areas. Multiple areas of the course were just dirt, as heavy play has eroded a lot of places in the park. It didn't really take a lot away from the course, in my opinion, but its just worth noting.
4) With any course and alternate pins, I would like to see some kind of indication of the current location of the pin. It wasn't always evident which pin was in the ground. Likewise, some of the distances on the sign were not correct even if the pin seemed to be correct. This may be because of outdated signs or new pins but the distances on the signs did not match up to the distances that were given out in the player's guide for the recent A Tier in Madison. For instance, Hole 3 and Hole 9's distances did not match the signs and were off by about 45 feet (sign had it listed too short).
Other Thoughts: Hiestand Park is a great compliment to the other courses in Madison. Its a solidly above average city course with a greens fee of $5. Normally a pay to play course keeps the chuckers away but there were multiple chuckers playing a round at this course when I did a practice round before the Mad City Open.
All in all, this is a nice course and WELL worth the visit. I would definitely recommend hitting this up along with the first 18 holes at Token Creek if you have a day to spend here. I would then recommend Glass Nickel Pizza! They are a huge sponsor of the local A Tier and most importantly have great pizza!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Solid city course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very well maintained course in a city park. Scenery is definitely above average.
Two concrete tee pads on every hole, almost all in good repair. Grippy and 12' long.
Tee signs have distances, minimal topography, and pin placements. Only thing missing is a way to identify which placement is in.
Nice use of elevation in certain places. Also, the different am and pro tees offer much different lines and distances. Very well done on this part of the design.
Good mix of open and wooded holes. The fairways are mostly pretty open here, so the beginning and intermediate players should not be intimidated.
Cons: There's not a ton to gripe about with this course.
The only bad feeling I took away from this course was the lack of differing lines. Everything seemed to be straight, or slightly left to right. I would like to play it with differing pin placements to see if it bears out there as well.
$5 pay to play is a bit steep, IMO. It's a nice course, but that much, for a city park, seems like gouging, especially if you factor in how much traffic there is.
Other Thoughts: This is a really solid course, even if it lacks somewhat in the tight lines and shot selection I prefer. It's definitely the sibling of Elver, and has much the same feel to it.
Glide disc golf shop is directly across the street from hole 1, and offers up a huge selection of fairly priced discs, as well as an owner (and employees) that are more than willing to help with your disc selections. Just don't get suckered into buying a Champ Viking.
Nice course to run, and if you mix it with Elver, will make for a great day of throwing!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A wonderfully maintained park on the outskirts of town, this pay-to-play is worth every penny. The fairways are grassy and wide with most of the peril located on the rough edges. Shank a shot and you may be pitching out for a lost stroke. There is elevation on every single hole but one, and of varying degree. The fairways are balanced from wide open, but those that have trees in them are rather modestly treed.
Variety is the key- two tee pads on each hole provide a basic/intermediate on the shorts and advances front the longs. I played the shorts and found them fun but really want to try the longs next time for a better challenge. The dual pin placements on many holes were a bonus.
Cons: This may be due to the current pin placement, but the course leaned a bit heavily on the right turning shot.
Other Thoughts: Friendly locals let me join their group for two rounds - an loaned me lights to play a night round wih them. Thanks guys!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Get To Try Some Good Rips
Lots Of Different Shots
Cons: Damn Long Grass
Trash Cans Full
Other Thoughts: This Course Is Awesome Just Wish They Would Mow Some Of The Long Grass So If You Have A Bad Shot You Dont Hunt For 25 Mins For Your Disc
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Well designed and challenging
Pros: 1) This course has a good variety in their holes. . . A handful of uphill holes, a few slightly downhill and some sidehill holes (where rollaways are possible) and one Big Downhiller. There are trees in play on most holes except the massive downhiller. There is also scrub brush on many holes that can eat your discs alive and if you throw into them you will get eaten alive by skeeters (And I do not mean the midrange discs).
2) Dual concrete teepads on all holes are nice and supposed multiple basket locations would provide this course with some varying play ever ime you went to play assumng the baskets get moved regularly.
3) Very well designed course for the property. This courses uses the elevation as a key ingredient to its success. It also uses the wooded areas on this course masterfully. Although there are no tight densely wooded alley holes, the trees are well placed and opening you must hit on a few holes that create the same type of feel as a tightly wooded course.
4) Course varies the shot required. There are a lot of left to right and right to left variations of holes. This makes the course tough on all throwing types . . . so if you can throw both ways sidearm and backhand you will be in better shape than a one direction thrower (like myself).
5) Baskets are in good condition and so are most of the concret teepads. They are large and allow you to find multiple spots to plant and throw your drive.
Cons: 1) Maintenance is a little lacking. . . fairways look like they do get mowed regularly, but some trimming work could be done on some of the trees and scrub in play.
2) Teesigns would be helpful . . . they already have the posts so it is at least easy enough to find your next hole, but there are no signs with distances listed or hole layouts.
3) Could use some more benches for those slow Madison Disc Golf Weekends due to overuse of only 3 courses in the area.
4) I would like to see more mulch applied to some of the green areas to diminish the amount of mud around the baskets.
5) Course is not really beginner friendly because of the scrub brush areas lining many of the holes. The short tees make the distances ok, but there is still a lot of punishing trouble along many of the holes.
6) Looks like garbage could be picked up more regularly as there were full trash bags by most tees and half filled bags still in the baskets . . . fortunately however at least they have the baskets in place to diminish the amount of garbage on the course.
Other Thoughts: This course is similar to Elver Park in Madison in that it only would need a little more maintenance and infrastructure to make it excellent. I love this course for its variety and its design and use of elevation . . . but it is slightly lacking in maintenance. I would like to see some scrub trimming and washout area maintenance (They do a good job in helping to retain the washout areas by using timbers and gravel to fill in those areas to slow the flow of water runoff). They could however use some beautification projects to make the course look better than it does. Trim up some of the scrub brush . . . fill out some of the trouble green areas with mulch . . . add some more gravel to the washout areas to fill in the gulleys. I know these things are typically volunteer, but one good weekend of help from a dozen people would have this course in much better shape. It is still an excellent 3.5 disc rated course in my book. The extra work might make it a 4 disc rating.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in Town
Pros: As I played this course, and thinking back on it, it really had a little bit of everything. Uphill shots, Downhill, both tunnel and open, some doglegs, even a shot over a tiny creek covered by ice that I almost broke through while crossing!! Now, having played Elver Park, Token Creek, and Hiestand, each once, and having rated them about the same I have to say that I prefer Hiestand over the other two.
While Elver plays through thick woods up and over a large hill, Hiestand plays through woods with more rolling hills, and thus more interesting elevation changes. ie- some holes go down THEN up, or vice versa, instead of just uphill, downhill, or along the hill. Though Elver is more wooded, this course has a greater variety of wooded and open holes. Also, #3&4 bring a little water into play, an element Elver lacks.
Though token creek is immaculately manicured, with multiple pin positions for every hole, Hiestand has some tighter fairways that are more winding (with more trees in the fairway), and has significant elevation changes, unlike token creek, which is relatively flat with mostly wide, open fairways.
During the spring and summer, several of the baskets here would be blind shots around corners and/or over hills, but since it is winter, many of the baskets are visible from the tee.
Every basket has a diamond-shaped reflective sticker on the top of the pole, which also makes them much easier to see than some raggedy, frozen flag would.
The concrete tees, which all looked in good shape, were sometimes icy when I played, but the tee pads were easy to see, and clearly marked, especially when the short and long tees are down different paths in the woods from previous basket, which is fairly often.
This course has dual tees on almost every hole, and playing from the short tees was quite challenging. The great news is that the long tees are even moreso, and many of them give significantly different looks at the basket than the shorts. Unlike some courses, which have short tees, and all long tees 30-60 ft directly behind them, (boooring), this course tries to do it right, and actually makes you want to play a round from each set of tees.
Another thing that's great about this course is how genuinely challenging it is (from the short tees). Its challenging enough that most people seem to play from the short tees all the time, which is quite impressive.
Also, its the only one open in the winter, so 12 months a year of playing Hiestand versus only 7 months of Elver or Token Creek makes this park slightly edge out the other two for the title of overall best in Madison, IMO. The fact that Glide Disc Sports is right next door doesn't hurt either.
Cons: Most of the wooden posts found at all the tees had the hole distance and par on laminated paper stapled to them, while some were missing. #3 post missing as well
This is not the most FTF course. There are several spots where you can get turned around, and skip holes. Fortunately for me, I had help, both from the wonderful people next door at Glide DG, and a local who I met on the course and tagged along with for the round.
Other Thoughts: I'm going back tomorrow, but I think I will need to play this course a few times, and get used to winter golfing, before I feel ready to try the long tees out.
As previously mentioned, the Tees can be icy, so it might be a good idea to bring a bit of sand to sprinkle on the nastier ones. Usually, the locals are very good about keeping them swept, but better to play it safe.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Right accross the street from a disc golf pro shop~Glide..Challenging course with a variety of pin placements..Pro and Am boxes for nearly every hole..Really cool sleepy hollow trees on hole 6..Jaw dropping views of the Mad town Capitol Skyline..
Cons: Tough to walk more than 36 here..Lots of inclines to trek..real busy all the time..
Other Thoughts: Designed very insightfully for the viewer as well..The 3rd hole renders a gigantic chuck off a hill to a pin 400ft away. You have to walk back accross the valley providing a magnificant uphill viewer perspective..Aced hole 7 with a pink tee bird..
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Lots of fun
Pros: Long, Hilly, the leaves were turning and it was a beautiful day. Plenty of wide fairways. Challenging for a beginner like me.
Cons: Busy. We had people nipping at our heels the whole time. Nice people, but nipping nonetheless.
Other Thoughts: Perfect time of year for disc golfing in WI.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Hiestand Park DGC is a well maintained course on Madison's east side. There are garbage cans on every hole, that are maintained by hole volunteers. Hiestand offers recreational to professional players a challenge. Course has dual tees on nearly every hole as well as multiple pin placements.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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