8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: A beautiful, forested area on what appears to be an abandoned ski range in the hills immediately west of Traverse City. Features some great downhill holes through defined fairways that look like ski hills, long and short (7, 8, 9, 19, 20). 19 is a signature hole; 671 feet from the top of a hill with a view of the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay, with a steep drop on the left hand side that can swallow discs off the tee. Hole 9 is a terrific downhill hole with woods on the far left, but plenty of room on the right, so just about anybody can walk up and throw hard with confidence. Probably my favorite over the frequently-mentioned 19/20.
Other highlights include Hole 15, a challenging but very fun downhill, transversely sloped tunnel hole through forest, and Holes 10 and 11, which are nicely defined, wide grassy fairways leading up a gently-sloped ski hill.
Excellent signs and good (slightly worn) tee pads, older Chainstar baskets. Decent navigation, though 8 and 17 can be hard to find. Benches and brooms at many holes. Few-to-average number of players. 24 holes offer two-plus hours of play. Lots of woodpeckers and black squirrels. Free admission.
Cons: Underwhelming forest holes on the front nine (1-6). Hole 6 is a little too short at 132 feet-this wouldn't cut it at some other top notch courses. Hole 13 also seems like a 'cheap' hole (very short hard left turn).
Holes at the end after 19/20 are flat holes with mandatories, but do add to course diversity. Maintenance in some areas is lacking, which leaves you wishing there was more sun to grow some more grass.
Other Thoughts: A somewhat windy and chilly area, as one would expect in the Northern lower peninsula. However, the fresh, clean air can be a benefit to the geographic location; I'd imagine an early October morning would be best. Long walks up the hill on front nine is best for those in average or better physical condition. Uphill slopes on some front nine holes makes them seem longer than the distances posted. Though outnumbered by lesser holes, the very best holes here are as good as the best at any other course.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course featured many different styles of hole, from extremely challenging, to easy, from short distances, to long, and many different elevation changes. I particularly liked the drive from the top at hole 19.
Cons: Many times the disc has the opportunity to roll down into some very large ravines, or into areas that are extremely difficult to reach. This course is NOT intended for amateurs.
Other Thoughts: Be prepared to get a workout on this course climbing to the top. You will leave feeling wore out.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
-The best thing about this course is definitely the huge elevation! Not only do you throw up and down hill all the time, but some holes have big elevation drops on the outside of the fairways too. There's a few signature holes at this course that really utilize the hills.
-You can tell there's been alot of work put in here, it has almost every necessity a course can have. There's concrete tees, signs, benches & brooms on most holes!
-Hard to call anything here a con! The only cons have been said by every other reviewer. The tee pads can be dusty and slick, the last 3 holes are lame, and a couple holes might be hard to find.
-It was hard for me to not rate this course a 5, but Flip City & Idlewild were just a notch better overall in my book (please don't take that as a con).
-It can't be said enough times, HIT UP TILLEYS PARTY STORE!!
-As far as people saying "the hike" is a con, we managed to play Hickory Hills, Mt. Holiday, Myles Kimerly, and Civic Center South in the same day no problem, so its manageable.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
-Cement Tee pads (exception of platform on one)
-Signs w/ map, number, distance
-Outstanding layout and flow
-beauty of the forest and age old trees
-risk/reward of most all shots.
-The VIEW of hole 19. One of the best ever.
-Tilleys Disc Golf Party store is right down the street (Randolph & Division)and has it all for a day of DGing...including a practice basket outside to test a new disc.
-the rough is fairly clear due to it being a forest of old trees.
Cons: -the cement tees are texture free. sand can be a trouble spot. some brooms provided at certain holes.
-a few holes bland, but serve as a transition due to the elevation change.
-no restrooms or water. MUST BRING WATER.
Other Thoughts: Man, talk about a destination course that will give you a run for your money! This course is all about elevation and risk/reward.
The moment you walk onto the course you are dwarfed by the majestic trees. You sense something special. For the first three holes you feel the elevation build under your feet. Basket placements that require all shots, left and right, straight and curved. By the fourth and fifth hole you know you are in a elevation lovers paradise and that this is another of West Michigan's gems.
Many up shots will require you to decide to layup or go for it, often resulting in your next shot rolling down a ravine. Hole 6 in particular is 130 feet with a basket that sits atop danger in every direction. Another signature hole is 14. A wooden platform allows a shot over a valley into a wood curtain with some tough lines to the basket. Just beautiful.
The signature hole is, of course, 19. This is when your aching calf's and mind sync and you know you are at the top of this old ski hill. You are rewarded with a great view of Traverse City and a 600'+ shot downhill to an awaiting basket. The temptation to unload your whole bag is high. Hole 20 follows up with this same concept to a lesser extent.
The last three holes play long and flat, but they are a must needed transition to get back to the parking lot.
Summary? A MUST PLAY WEST MICHIGAN COURSE. Right now as it stands Flip City is the goto course to the south, and Hickory to the north, with Mason County being the gold in the middle.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Hickory Hills #1
Pros: Hickory has every shot imaginable. Is a great hike. Gorgeous views especially in the fall. Sick elevation changes. Excellent course layout. Excellently managed.
Cons: One individual gave a bad review on this great course cause it's too hard. Boo hoo.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Need to go back
Pros: Hickory Hills is a 24-hole course set up across several ski runs. The hole designs are varied and challenging, and you never feel like you're playing the same way twice. It's also decently beginner friendly, because there is no water and several holes have open fairways. Tee pads are well-maintained, long, and usually have brooms near them.
The views and scenery far surpass any course I've seen. You can see down to the water at the top tee pad on hole 19 and it is awesome. The hole itself is about 650 ft down a huge slope, which helps you let loose. The first 9 are through the woods, the back 9 are varied between open fields and scattered trees, and the last 6 open completely.
Cons: As I said before, you will be in for a hike up and down ski slopes, so bring water and possibly a lunch. If you're out of shape, you'll hate this course. There's a gully along the left side by 4 and 5 that presents a problem retrieving your discs, but nothing too hard. It's kind of easy to get carried away on some holes and lose your discs (I lost my champion leopard on hole 23).
Other Thoughts: I went up to Hickory with a hangover from my birthday party the night before and it certainly cured it. This place is the best course I've ever played and I would love to go back and lower my score...
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Well worth it
Pros: - Great layout
- Concrete pads
- Brooms at *most* of the tee-boxes.
- Well maintained.
- I have to disagree with some of the reviewers about the underbrush. It really wasn't that bad until #19 and even then it isn't that bad because the fairway is so wide. Sorry but, until you've endured the torture of schule that is Oshtemo Township you don't know what you are talking about.
- Crowds? What crowds? I must have been there on the wrong day for that one...Maybe it was just too hot (85+) for the young un's when I was there.
- #19 - awesome view of downtown Traverse City. It is a nice reward for the punishment dealt on the previous brutally awesome 2 holes.
- Tee signs. Very nicely done.
- Very little trash. There are cans at every tee box. Nice!
Cons: - Holes 22 through 24 seem kinda bland and vanilla. But that probably has more to do with awesomeness that is #19. Too bad the course can't end with #19. If it did, you'd be no where near where you parked your car.
- Vandals. Someone put a lot of TLC into this course and yet idiots have managed to break half of the brooms on the pads and scribbled crap on the benches and a few of the tee signs.
- Looooong walks between holes.
- Not the easiest to navagate. It would really improve the course if there were signs pointing to the next tee. Maybe there were some at one time because I did notice a fair number of posts without anything on them.
Other Thoughts: This is a must play course for anyone in Michigan. Hands down the best I have ever been on anywhere. I spent more time looking at the holes thinking, "This looks like fun" more than I ever have on any other course. The hills are quite severe compared to other Michigan courses so bring oodles of water and comfy shoes.
Be sure to pay close attention to the "NEXT TEE" labels on the signs. There aren't always signs after the basket to show where the next tee box is and there are lots of hiking trails all over the place so it is easy to get a little sidetracked.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Great elevation changes. Has a bit of everything. Wide open holes to tight technical holes. Challenges every part of your game. Has some great views on a few holes, everything you look for out of a great course
Cons: Has a bit of a hike between a few holes, but if you enjoy the outdoors (as you should since your a disc golfer) you will have no issue with it. Can get crowded at peak times. If you play in the league though people are good about lettering you play through.
Other Thoughts: If you are a big golfer in michigan you must play hickory hills. I have played all over Michigan and this is my second favorite course. Happy discing.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Very close to being Elite
Pros: -safe, well built tee pads on every hole (#14 is slightly elevated and wood because of existing roots that would have been destroyed by a cement pad)
-quality pin positions on every hole
-every type of hole imaginable (long, short, open, wooded, uphill, downhill, left, right, etc)
-very nice tee signs
-small brooms are attached to EVERY tee sign for cleaning sand off the tees
-easy to follow, course flows nicely
-multiple entry/exit points (after 8, 15, and all 24) if you want to play a short round, or skip some holes
-trash cans are abundant
-many benches and places to rest
-no long walks between holes
-the local pro shop, Tilley's Party Store, is just down the street from the course and they have a great selection of discs and other merch
Cons: -one set of tees
-only one pin position per hole
-can be very crowded (this is Hick's biggest downfall) in the summer, especially during Cherry Festival due to lots of use by local teens
-lots of mosquitos, so bring your bug spray
-no water holes (there is a small creek that runs just inside the treeline on hole 23, but it doesn't ever come into play unless you throw a really shitty shot)
Other Thoughts: This course is my home course, its the course that I started playing disc golf on, so I'm a little biased... but all in all it's still sitting at #14 in my top 25 courses (of 241 that i've played) after playing most of the best courses in the nation. The only thing that really bugs me about it is that there aren't multiple tees or at the very least, multiple pin positions. Hickory Hills would be among the elite courses in the country if we were just able to change it up every once in a while.
And its missing a lake, or water of some sort. If there were one or two decent water holes on this course it would have a little bit of everything! Oh, and on the note of water, there are lots of hills to walk and it'll take a group of 4 a good two hours (+/- 30 mins) to play, so bring water of your own so you don't get dehydrated.
give me a call when you come to town and i'll happily meet you out there for a round! (231.590.0878)
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: open fairways, great elevation, scenic, nice tees w/ occasional broom, lotta bomber holes, very fun
Cons: last three holes are kinda weak(22,23,24), bring water! bring extra discs cuz if your a noob your GONNA lose your disc of hole #19
Other Thoughts: One of my top three favorite courses, prolly top two to be more accurate.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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