6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a very hilly ski area/park that also has an abundance of forest. Seemed like there wasn't much else going on when disc golf is in season, maybe a stray hiker or two.
- Majority of the holes are set in the wooded section, which has a mix of tight lines and more forgiving ones. Good balance of light rough to serious jail, shot placement and line shaping are both helpful to stay out of trouble. Elevation changes are also a constant factor in a good amount of these holes, with some brutal rollaways (#6, #18), a sinkhole fairway, and a variety of sloping shots. The terrain automatically provides noticeable changes on almost every hole.
- Open holes also provide awesome looks, beginning with everyone's favorite, #19. Awesome downhill bomb (unofficial pro tee up top? It's a huck!). The distance, gradient, and scenery make this both a breathtaking vista and epic golf hole. Tricky basket placement, too long can mean dense forest or a descent into rollaway hell. Other open holes are solid as well, with a few more downhill shots and some length for bigger arms. Some road OB present here as well, and tricky basket placements bordering the forest.
- Good variety of lines overall, there are some obvious hyzers and anhyzers due to well defined fairways. Forest was pretty dense off the cleared path, so execution was important to avoid hitting trees. Line shaping key with some tricky/protected basket placements.
- Hole lengths of all sorts as well, from putt/approach to some real bombers for the big arms. Mixed up well throughout, a lot of back and forth.
- Good baskets, teepads are different but in good shape, great signs. Easy to navigate for the most part.
Cons: - Biggest drawback at this course is some repetitiveness in the woods. Some tricky lines, but the terrain, hazards, and feel do not change that much. A lot of straightish shots with similar challenges, of varying length and difficulty.
- A lot of the holes here are also pretty short, with five being under 226'. They have some tricks, but any halfway decent shot will usually guarantee a par. The longer ones can also be broken down into easy drive-approach with some wide open fairways.
- Later holes with road OB on flat ground are a boring way to end the round. Some fantastic looks at this course, and some forgettable ones.
Other Thoughts: - This course has an amazingly high fun factor, mostly due to awesome elevation changes as well as constant smaller ones. Great mix of long and short, open and wooded, with a decent variety of lines. Fantastic views of the surrounding area and the ski hill itself are an added bonus. Experienced players will look to score low here, yet everyone should enjoy it regardless of skill level.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Prepare to climb!
Pros: Good signs
Good Tee pads
Lots of technical shots and elevation shots
Cons: No water shots
Last 2 holes along the road I didn't really care for.
Other Thoughts: The view from #19 is stunning. Amazing course!
I went on a Saturday afternoon and it wasn't very busy at all. Not near as bad as people were complaining about.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Watch out for Rollaways!
Pros: - Hickory Hills has a great variety of gorgeous terrain. The course starts off in a moderately wooded forest with moderate elevation changes. Broad, well-defined, mostly open fairways cut through the woods. After a few holes, the course starts climbing up and down the hills and working in and out of the woods. Several open holes play near the ski hills. Eventually, the course climbs the largest hill and the major elevation changes come into play, including a HUGE downhill bomb (#19) to a pin located next to another large drop off of several hundred feet. Finally, the course winds down the hill, plays a couple of holes adjacent to an old roadway and finishes off back at the parking lot.
- Decent risk/reward. Most of the risk/ reward stems from the elevation, with several great pin placements (#6 and #19 stick out in my mind as particularly tricky). Go long on either of these and you'll be in trouble, especially #19.
- Good amenities: adequate signage, decent concrete tees, trashcans, and benches or logs upon which to sit.
Cons: - This course can get extremely busy. I don't normally consider this a con, but it bordered on ridiculous how many people we had to let play through (I was in a group of five on a road trip). Expect a steady procession of players on weekends and nice days.
Other Thoughts: - I wish Hickory Hill's wooded holes were a bit tighter and more technical. Several holes on the front nine were stunningly beautiful, but not much of a challenge golf-wise. The wide open fairways don't provide much risk, and even errant shots *usually* will end up someplace that gives a decent look at an upshot.
- Hickory Hills is one of the most aesthetically pleasing courses I've played. The view from #19 of the city is gorgeous, and in general the course exudes a peaceful secluded nature vibe.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -aesthetic--couldn't be better. Old growth trees with little to no low branches off of the fairways. Trees are tall which makes the fairways gorgeously wide. Views of Traverse bay and Traverse City. Lots of out buildings and othe challenges on the fairways.
-Navigation-Relatively easy. All tee signs have a "next tee" marker on them, but not being used to the challenge of this course, kinda forgot by the end of the hole. Paths are well worn and easy to follow.
-Teepads-most are full length and width (but on the last few holes the pads are trapezoidal and weirdly narrow towards the pin). a couple short pads if I remember correctly.
-Pins-Discraft, wonderful, great condition
-Variety-TONS of variety, long, short, up, down... a little of everything.
-signature holes-I can think of a couple, #15 (across the valley into a grove of trees) the tee box is wood plank, I loved this hole and #19, which I wasn't so fond of. the risk reward is very high on 19 so don't let your disc wander off of the fairway.
Cons: -#22 & #23- both long turnover shots along a road with very narrow fairways-just weak finishing holes (on the bright side, the creek and wildflowers along 23 are pretty)
-Long walks between holes-whatever is listed for distance for this course, double to triple that with the walks (especially on the front nine). I'm a self-confessed "flip-snob" and the physical challenge here is overwhelming at times.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful course, really, best use of possible land. Destination course, sure, who doesn't like traverse city?
I will probably be back at some point.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Diverse Course, Could Be More Challenging
Pros: Variety - The variety of holes is outstanding, the course started out inside with huge mature trees and a different shot from each tee. Then to some short, medium and long length holes which were generally more open and went in every direction (right-left, left-right, straight, etc.). The later holes had a wide variety of elevations and directions, some up most down. The finishing holes were all flat and generally straight, I felt like I never knew what would be coming next and that delighted me.
Scenery & Setting - I was in awe from the very first tee and continued to be so all the way through the course. Although the day I went was rainy and foggy, I could tell that the view from the 19th tee would be even more amazing on a clear day. The course had great elevation changes and was a good hike. The course is a seasonal course located at a ski resort, I liked the occasional ski lift obstacle in the fairways on some of the open holes.
Environment - I only ran into other disc golfers the entire time there, I am not sure if this was a product of the weather on the day I went or how the course always is (I am assuming the latter). The other golfers were friendly and welcoming. I dislike courses where other people walk right in front of you while you're waiting to shoot and just stand there like idiots. I do not think that would be the case here.
Signage & Navigation- Signs were easy to understand, informative and always showed where the next tee was. I had no trouble navigating this course without any guide and never had to look at my pre-printed course map.
Cons: The only con I have is that I feel this course could be so much better. There were several holes where I wondered why the chain was where it was, as there seemed to be a much better place it could be. It seemed to me that the course was made easier, almost too easy. I didn't play particularly well at times and still shot an even par. If a second set of chains were to be added or some of the chains moved back into more difficult areas on the holes, I feel this course could achieve its elite potential.
Other Thoughts: I was having such a good time at this course that by the ninth hole I had to call some friends and tell them about it. Hickory Hills reminds me of Campgaw in New Jersey, but just better. It's quickly and easily reachable from Traverse City and I will come here again if I am ever in the Traverse City area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Wish I lived here.
Pros: Absolutely beautiful to walk through, Superb fairways, great variation, couldn't be better in my book.
Cons: I can't think of any, but I've only played once.
Other Thoughts: I wish I lived in Traverse City just for this course, I will be playing every visit I make, Bring water, there's some climbing to be done.
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Winter 9 Review
Pros: Hickory Hills is keeping a 9-hole course up all winter.
Cons: It's pretty short, but they did the best with the space that they had.
Other Thoughts: I'm happy that Hickory Hills is keeping a 9-hole course up all winter long. It uses 3 or the original holes (hole #2 is now #4 and hole #3 is now #5). It's a very short course. Can be played in about a half hour, but hole #9 ends right where #1 begins so it's easy to just play an extra round if you want to. Lots of tree hazards on the 6 "makeshift" holes.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Very challenging course with tons of variety. Very nice mix of holes, open and wooded with a lot of elevation change. Beautiful scenery being that it is on an active ski slope. On hole 19 you get a lovely view of Traverse City and what I believe is West Bay.
Cons: The hiking up and down the hills may get a little old for some people but, for me that is part of disc golf and why I love it so much.
Other Thoughts: The only reason I didn't give this course a 4.5 is because they take the baskets out in the winter time because of skiing.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 24 holes of fantasic hillside chucking await you upon entering the forest at Hickory Hills! Good signage throughout helps you meander the alleyways carved through the trees. Lots of trash cans, concrete tees and shade. The shooting lanes at this course were tight enough to make you heave an honest throw, but open enough to keep you from getting too frustrated. Decent array of shot selections. Great view of the trees and the town/Bay below. Buy discs @ the liquor store nearby, on the way up the hill. Several old growth trees are something special to take in on hole 1.
Cons: People don't want to use trash cans so i found myself "cleaning up" the whole round. Vandalism found me picking up a tee sign from the trailside and carrying it up the hill, back to its rightful place where I propped it up against a tree. Lack of open hyzers and distance shots, except for the last few holes so not a huge deal.
Other Thoughts: Be prepared for quite a hike, lots of sand and no facilities. A must visit course if you are in the area!!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Only The Strong
Pros: Played this course today on one of the most lovely days I have ever breathed breath. Just amazing in its beauty, this glacier cut paradise took my breath away. Rights and lefts and downs and ups. Nice change in flow from up to down and then to flat for a few before progressing again into the wilderness for some fantastic hills and ravines and again to some flat and straightforward holes that you might find anywhere. A Very solid mixture. Visually stunning at many points throughout the round. Mine eyes hadn't seen such a magnificent piece of land with disc baskets installed until this day. This sprawl features twenty four holes that will make you realize how small you are in the grand scheme of things. Ravines and hills and natural formations that whisper of something greater will swallow you up and immerse you in their wonder. This course is neither long nor extremely difficult but it offers some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever laid eyes upon paired with a game that I love. Truthfully, the land traversed is of the most awe inspiring I have ever wandered but I don't get away much.. Disc golf becomes an added benefit really.
Cons: I have heard this place is heavily played, but an early arrival and some ambition allowed us to move about freely and absorb the scenery. It can be argued that variety is lacking in terms of technicality. This course offers up no water hazards, but it offers hills as major hazards. This is a looker course first and foremost, but it does offer some challenging shots and some well designed holes. It quickly becomes an oh my for the unitiated like myself.
Other Thoughts: Glad I brought ample hydration implements as suggested below. Glad I threw down some hardcore deet force field as I was getting dive bombed by flies that wanted me in the worst way. This place was something we made a trek for and it delivered. It is impossible for me to tell you in a review how fantastic of a destination this is. It smatters the elements of fun and challenge and stark beauty into an unforgettable experience. I wish that I was able to play this course whenever I want, but then it would lose it's majesty. The hills and landscape are an adversary and the reward is basket chains. Take time to visit Traverse City. Unbelievable. I am so glad I was blessed enough to get a chance to play at Hickory Hills. Thanks to God and the Bogmonster for making this journey possible.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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