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.
Great city course
Pros: The course is well-balanced, with a nice blend of lengths and shot shapes. The course varies from open fields to tight wooded holes. Each hole has two concrete tee pads and multiple pin locations (though they don't seem to get changed very often).
Cons: This a popular city course, so it's usually very busy. The course also suffers from trash and vandalism, though the new pay-to-play requirement seems to be improving that. More than any other course in Madison, this one seems to attract the beer-drinking, pot-smoking crowd. This can lead to some slow groups and, on occasion, belligerent players.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course overall. I'd rank it second among Madison courses, behind Token Creek/Vallarta-Ast. The scenery of the course is pleasant, as are the views of the city.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Just an overview
Pros: - Very easy to navigate where each hole leads
- Very nice mixture of open and wooded
- Great course for anybody (Lefty, righty, Backhand, etc.)
- Good mix of distances
- Quality baskets
- Pro shop across the street
Cons: - Brush is tough to find discs in when it is fully grown
- Some teepads are very dusty which causes a lot of error
- Too much broken glass, cigarette buts, and grass pulled up
Other Thoughts: $5 to play for afternoon or $40 for a season pass
(Pay to play only for ages 17 and up)
0 of 1 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.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Very Legit Course
Pros: Variety of shots, I used every one of my "go to" discs in my bag. The course in right near downtown Madison so you can eat or shop just about anywhere you'd like after the course. It's also worth mentioning that there is a Disc store right across the street, the owner is pleasant and informative. He even let my gf borrow a 2 discs to take and throw a few times to see which one she liked! He also voluntarily serves as a lost and found. Definite plus for us.
Cons: Pay to play, $5.00 a day per person or $40.00 for a season pass.
Other Thoughts: We drove an hour and a half to hit a few courses in the Madison area and this is easily the funnest course we played today. Well worth the drive if your looking for something new and challenging.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The old go to course
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Good course, rotation of pin placement, and variation of hole type.This WAS the "Go To" course for our group, until we started going to Token. Off Peak hours are best: discing in the morning is pretty much the only way to ensure you wont have to wait behind large groups.
Cons: I don't mind if you bring a beer or even a few. I also don't mind if you prefer "herbal supplements" even though I don't. However, if your relaxation gets in the way or slows others down, let them play through. The course is too busy at times, especially once highschool is out for the summer.
Other Thoughts: I'm not too happy with the cost of the Madison courses. Originally I was ok with the cost of the season pass, but to find out it only covers Hiestand and Elver kinda sucks. I appreciate the fact that there is more of an effort to keep up this course, but I just assumed the $40 was to include other Madison "area" courses. A little variety would be nice now that the course is several years old.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Great Madison Course!
Pros: Has a mixture of flat lands, hills, and trees. The holes change up a lot making you utilize your different skills. A couple tee offs overlooking the city of Madison resulting in a great view.
Cons: Sometimes there's an abundance of people. It's in the city of Madison so on some days there will be other disc golfers or soccer players in the area. Best to go in the early morning to better avoid the crowds.
Other Thoughts: Probably the second best course in the Madison area but still a good course.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Year Round Course
Pros: Only course in Madison that is open during most of the winter months. When it snows, the short tee pads are shoveled by the players. There is a random draw doubles Saturday league during the winter months.
There are a wide variety of shots that make this course great. Some long pins are more for RHBH throwers while the short pins are more for LHBH throwers. This does create variety and a whole different shot when the pins are changed. Examples are holes 1, 2, 4, 7, 16.
The long tees are very challenging. On a few holes, the long tees create a whole different shot. Examples are holes 7 and 9.
Cons: Not much wrong here. My biggest issue would be that it is too overcrowded. Madison needs more disc golf courses to help alleviate traffic from Hiestand. Pay to play should also help with overcrowding.
Other Thoughts: Overall, Hiestand is a great course that will be fun for all levels of play. Madison is a great place to be if you are a disc golfer. There are four outstanding courses in the area and more will be on the way soon. The Madison courses are going to be pay-to-play in 2013, but that will only help make the courses better. MADC has done a great job with course maintenance and course upkeep. Thanks for all your hard work!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course offers a variety of holes and shots. There are many technical holes in the woods, some open holes, many birdie opportunities. The holes in the woods definitely require some technical and accurate shots, but are certainly fair. The lanes in the woods are quite wide with scattered trees in the middle of the fairways on many holes. This gives you the opportunity to chose between several different lane options and make the course quite unique. Trees definitely play a bigger role from the long tees. There are also a bunch of holes with nice elevation change, including 3, 15, 17, and 18, which offers a nice change of pace. Several holes, including 8, 10, and 17 have role away pin locations as well. Hole 3 is about 500 ft. downhill and is definitely the signature hole on the course. Personally, my favorite hole is 15. It's an awesome downhill hole with a wide open fair with woods on both sides. When it's calm, I love laying out a long, slow turnover shot. The maintenance of the course is also well done. I throw RHBH and the course offers many opportunities for throwing hyzers and anhyzer shots. It is a great course for both left and right handed players, regardless of whether you backhand or forehand. The city also does a nice job of moving around pin locations throughout the season, which makes for a nice change of pace. There is also a practice pin near the first tee pad, which is nice to warm up on.
Cons: The course is always busy. It also lacks quality landscaping to prevent erosion control, which makes many holes muddy after a rainfall. The signs could also be improved, along with adding some benches and more garbage cans.
Other Thoughts: I go to school at UW and this course is very comparable to the courses I play in Minnesota. The only odd thing is that everyone is Madison play the short tee pads, which was quite a change for me. I have played the course a few times from the long tees and it certainly makes the course a lot more challenging. I also can't wait until this course and Elver are pay to play next spring so that the things I mentioned in the cons section above can see some improvement. It will also help with cleaning up the course a bit and getting rid of some of the rift raft. The course has a lot of potential.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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