5 Helpful / 1 Not
Classic Disc golf
Pros: This course is a must play for every disc golfer. It's great for beginners and still fun for pros. The holes are so scenic and well structured that it's like playing a video game. It's the best course layout I've ever played hands down, and you can take a good run at the basket from the tee on nearly every hole. I had my hopes up coming to this course and it exceeded my expectations. Not to mention the "Glide" disc golf store is right across the street.
Cons: The am tees are fun, but they present no real challenge. I shot a -6 first time playing. Next time I'll hit up the pro pads. Also, this course can be a little crowded, expect people playing through or groups in front of you.
Other Thoughts: I've played a decent number of Wisconsin courses and this is one of my favorites, if nothing else, because it's uniquely Disc golf. Some courses are just parks that also have baskets, and some courses are meant to mimic ball golf courses, this one is the kind of course that defines disc golf. You take one look at it and realize that all it could be is a disc golf course.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Great elevation and some awesome woods
Pros: Heistand offers play up, down, and around, a huge ridge in a city park and excellently utilizes the woods and open areas of the park. The park offers some terraced greens and elevated tees. Variety here is excellent with uphill, downhill bombers, across hill, tight woods, and wide open bombers all balancing left and right. Some memorable holes are the #3 downhill bomber, #6 and 7 wooded tunnels under a massive canopy of old oaks and maples, and many of the longer open holes that add immense challenge and distnace when playing the long tees (long tees here are WAY more challenging). The rough here can also severely punish you. Although there is a creek behind #3, it really doesn't come into play (con of no true water hazard).
Cons: Tons of glass and bums out there who vandalize and litter. Signs are often broken and do not indicate the many redesigned holes. The overall course design suffers from oldschool mentality that does NOT include risky greens. Almost all greens are wide open, flat, and minimal chance of a bad putt actually hurting you.
Other Thoughts: 4.5 is possible, but the amount of traffic, garbage, vandalism, litter etc really distracts from losing yourself here. The wooded holes are pretty tight and under a canopy but don't require extreme accuracy. Plus it is only 18 holes and there is no water hazard, so a 5 was not possible. Heistand is a great course, probably the best all around in Madison and the closest to receiving a 4.5 rating. It has amazing vareity and balance, lacks very little, and would be well worth your time to travel and play.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A- = Absolute Perfection!.....with a few blemishes
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == A (From the longs there are plenty of holes were I need to decide to go for birdie or play for an easy par. On my go-for decisions there is plenty of danger that will turn a desired 2 into a 4 or even 5. Nice! From the short tees, it is not nearly as good in this aspect.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == B- (Half the holes on the longs are not realistic birdie opportunities, but too short to make par rewarding. On the shorts most holes are too short to be rewarding.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == A (Great balance of right, left, up, down....with good variety of shapes too. Hole 3 is my favorite since it is the most fun....a downhill wide open bomb - with danger lurking in the form of water not too far past the basket.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A- (Very beautiful and well maintained. If not for the city park feeling on 4-5 holes, I would be tempted to go A+ in this area - easily an A.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == N/A
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me….that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
9 of 9 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.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
up and down and all around!
Pros: -ELEVATION change used almost to perfection
-ripper holes, short holes, technical holes:variety
-pro/am tee pads that change the lines and the course
-right across the street from Glide disc Golf shop.
-super fun course
-cement tees in great condition
-trees, small and large. rough that is there to make you think about risk/reward.
Cons: -SIGNAGE-extremely poor and lacking: both hole info and directions to the next hole. MAJOR con here.
Other Thoughts: Once again, ANOTHER Wisconsin course that falls into the 3.5+ range that could easily be a 4+ or a 4.5 course, in this case. BUT this is a great challenging and fun course perfectly designed for the hill it is built around. LOVED IT!
First off this course is about elevation changes. It is built around and on a huge hill and uses it to the absolute best of it's ability. Long shots with the pro tees, shorter technical tees with the ams. Up hill shots, down hill shots, rippers, technical, lefty and righty shots. This course has it all, seriously.
My MAJOR complaint about this course is the absolute lack of signage. When we played (early May) there were absolutely no signs at any hole, only brown posts that indicated that there used to be signs, or maybe will be signs. No yardage, no numbers, no next hole locations. The latter played a part in trying to find some next locations. Some are just not that apparent. A lot of the baskets were in blind locations, especially on longer dog leg holes, so a walk up the fairway was a very common occurrence. Once in a while there would be a painted yardage on a tee, but this was inconsistent. If this place had signage it would EASILY be one of my favorite places to play. Maybe since it's a public course they have had issues in the past with vandalism but I didn't get a feel for that being the case here.
This is a MUST play course in the Madison/Wisconsin area. Be prepared for uphill walks, and downhill strolls...and for searching for waward discs in unforgiving brush and trees...but that's the risk/reward this course serves up.
battled between a 3.5 and a 4.0, but this course got rounded up in my book. Give me great signs and a 4.5 is right the corner.
UPDATE 11/09 SIGNAGE!!! some new signs with hole, number, pin locations, and next hole locations. A super solid 4 rating!
11 of 11 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
Pros: Man,I love when a course brings it ALL ON. This course does just that. Good variation on all holes and tees. Tight and technical to a few wide and open.
Cons: Tough. Some holes are challenging in a very annoying way. I'm not going to get into exactly why,but lets just say this course is not easy at all.
Other Thoughts: I would love to play this course again next time I'm i n the area. Over-all good.
0 of 5 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.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
One of my personal Favorites.
Pros: This is a challenging course for either beginner or pro players. There is an interesting combination of hole placement and natural forest growth that create delightful obstacles. The terrain seems to change with every hole, so its not just a monatonus play.
Cons: Playing in mid July to late August can create a problem. Because it is in a wooded area, there is a certain amount of prairie grass growth that can swallow a disc for it never to be seen again.
Other Thoughts: Would recommend to any level player for a relaxing afternoon or for an intense head to head game.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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