Decent seasonal course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Great views, quiet part of town, no non disc golf traffic on the ski hill.
2) Only public course in town (as of the time of this review).
3) Two teepad locations; long and short.
4) Good use of available elevation, defined fairways (ski trails), and foliage.
5) Decent signage for seasonal course with pretty intuitive layout. It would be pretty hard to get lost here.
Cons: 1) Uneven long pads with outdoor carpet (think Disc Golf Park turf tee pads but on a budget)
2) Lack of trash cans (had 5 gallon buckets but hadn't been emptied in days and a couple were overflowing)
3) Hole 6 fairway crosses over Hole 9 downhill fairway, could be dangerous should this course see an increase in traffic.
4) Single chain traveler style baskets. Caught well enough but could be difficult to see at times.
Other Thoughts: Been wanting to play this course for awhile since it resides in my hometown and I was not disappointed. I really miss the area sometimes and Zion is an easy place to take a look out over town for a quick glimpse of the area's beauty.
BONUS: wild raspberry bushes in several locations for quick snacks along the way!
Course is not overly challenging but is quite fun for a quick 9 if you are in the area. I played from the long pads and these must be fairly new as no other reviewer has mentioned them. They were a little uneven but not terrible.
Layout as of the date of my review (being seasonal things may change slightly)
Hole 1-Wide open straight up the hill from the chalet. No obstacles, easy fairway driver shot.
Hole 2-Fairly short mid range or putter shot towards a centrally located group of trees. Try to hit the gap in the trees if you want a look for 2 or lay up right in front of the gap.
Hole 3-Another wide open shot, this time downhill towards the treeline and lift tower. Throwing downill this is easily reachable with a putter or mid.
Hole 4-Wide open downhill with a couple of lift towers and a shack in the fairway. Little longer than previous hole, still reachable with fairway driver.
Hole 5-Slight uphill from the tee, but flattens out around basket after the gap in the trees. Fairly short shot reachable with a mid. Gap in the trees makes it appear more intimidating than it really is.
Hole 6-Plays across the hill from near the garage. Wide open but should you go long to the right you will be in the thick stuff.
Follow "next tee" sign and accompanying arrow halfway between up the hill to hole 7.
Hole 7- Only bench on the course. If throwing RHBH: Short anhyzer with putter or mid. If throwing forehand, easy flick to right hand side of trail. Basket set back into the trees.
Hole 8- Really the only hole on the course that made me think of what type of shot to try. The teepads are positioned to dare you to throw through the gap in the treeline between two ski trails with an accurate drive but if you have the shot I found equal success by throwing a spike hyzer over the right hand side of the treeline. This shot takes some power but it also takes the chance of a bad tree kick out of it. Excellent basket placement here, slightly elevated on a natural mound.
Hole 9- A poor man's "Top of the World" type of shot if like me you will likely never get the chance to play DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz, CA. A 653 foot downhill bomb that follows the ski trail down to the service road at the bottom of the hill. Don't hyzer out early or you will likely be in some thick stuff.
This hole will definitely make you feel good about how far you can throw a disc if you're a seasoned disc golfer. The length on the sign would have most beginners and novices reaching for their distance drivers thinking they really need to mash one out there. However, the drop in elevation is so great that I was able to throw my driving putter down about 550' for an easy 100' upshot right under the basket.
Wanted to play the last three holes over again when I was done.
Overall, this course is worth a stop for your disc golf fix if you're in the area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Conquer the Lower Porkies!
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: • Aesthetics
I cannot overstate the beauty of our state. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is labeled as "God's Country" and it's easy to see why at Zion. The more you get away from the Gogibic County Community College campus, the more breathtaking the views. Our mountain ranges may be small, but they are gorgeous.
• Physical Challenge
This course is demanding. Plan for the weather. In cooler times, I'm sure it would be a blast. In hot summer days (played at 90 degrees this weekend) bring water!
Being from southern Michigan, I don't see courses with more than a few holes of decent elevation change. Mt. Zion Ski Hill offers a great challenge for those of us not as used to shooting up and down.
The use of the elevation is great, but the designer of this temporary - summer only - course uses berms, buildings, and trees well to shape holes as well. This gives a nice variety from hole to hole.
While it's a bit confusing to find where to start for visitors, once you get going, the signage has been improved since older reviews. Signs include Hole #, Suggested Par, Hole Shape, and Distance.
The ONLY legitimate DGC in the western Upper Pennisula from what I could find. Staying at Lake Gogibic, this was a good location and easy to get to. Iron River and the Keweenaw Pennisula both offer courses, but Zion is a great location for north western Michiganders. In a great town, just off US2.
Playing two rounds through the course, we only saw one person. He was just GCC Campus maintenance. No worries at all of an overcrowded city course, even in a decent sized town like Ironwood.
Cons: • Navigation
As a first time visitor, there is no markings for hole numbers unless you hike to each teepad and find out where you are. Hole numbers on each basket or a small "First Tee" sign would be a great help to first timers.
While I loved the terrain and the hike, my S.O. did not. It was very challenging to hike up and down in high heat and humidity. Be prepared - bring water.
While I appreciate the nature of a summer only course, the single chain baskets tend to spit out weak side putts. Even hitting dead center at high speed from ~60' out, it bounced off the pole and hit dirt.
There were no trash cans or buckets anywhere in sight. We ended up packing our trash in my bag and picking up quite a bit as well. Lots of beer cans, cigarette butts, food wrappers, ect. A few 5 gallon buckets could help the appearance.
Some tall grass and dense brush/forest force carefully placed shots. While I immensely enjoy this type of course and was fortunate enough to find my errant throws, we also found five lost discs from others who fell victim to the Rough. This is a Pro/Con depending on your view, but be mindful.
Other Thoughts: Overall a fun, short course with some challenges and incredible views. If you're in the area this is well worth checking out and I plan to make this a part of my yearly summer vacation.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1.) Elevation and terrain: be prepared for a decent hike from some of the tees. Course is on a ski hill, so many of the holes go up and down throughout the lower portion of the hill. Hole 9 is a huge bomber down the hill at 653 feet. Terrain varied as well. Hole 1 was a straight shot to the hole, without any trees in the way. As you further progressed into the course, you were challenged by more trees and obstacles. Course utilizes the trees and terrain to their advantage.
2.) Navigation was relatively easy. I had my friend who plays there every day show me where each hole was. A course map would help.
3.) Tee pads were even, despite being natural pads.
4.) Signage was simple to understand.
5.) Course gave you the opportunity to use quite a bit of discs in your bag.
6.) Baskets were single-chained; however, they were catchy.
7.) A longer 9 hole course, which I enjoyed. It took my friend and me 45 minutes to play. Not too long, but also not too short.
Cons: 1.) If you are a newcomer and don't have a course map, it will be difficult to find some of the holes. A course map would help. Either that or "next tee" signs would be helpful.
2.) Tee pads were natural pads. I prefer concrete, but that's my own opinion.
3.) Baskets don't stand out. They can be difficult to find.
4.) No buckets for trash at the tees.
Other Thoughts: I'm biased, because my friend helped design this course, so I was pleasantly pleased with this course. This is a course that can expand, if they wanted by making an short, upper portion course. Scenery is beautiful, the further you climb up the hill. The only disc golf course in the area, so if you have some time, I recommend checking it out! Gogebic CC isn't far off of US-2.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Aesthetic-- temporary seasonal course on a small community college campus in the far western upper peninsula. I don't see there being many others out here during the summer.
Routing and nav-- relatively simple. The map helps.
teepads-- decent. natural pads, not uneven or rutted out. Although its said that the course is changed year to year the teepads are fairly well worn in.
Teesigns-- basic with the shape of the hole. No distances or any other info.
Baskets-- placed on slopes so they are leveled and placed on surfaces to help them be level. Traveler baskets with single chains only. Seem reasonable catchy though.
Variety--Fairly typical of ski courses, there are uphills downhills and bombers down hill.
Decent little course way way out of the way from any other michigan courses.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Challenging seasonal course
Pros: Variation of terrain and holes
Fun cliff type/drop off shots
Uses ski trails to advantage
Cons: Seasonal - baskets are removed for ski season, although play would be impossible during winter due to the extreme amounts of snow in the area
Only small dirt tee pads
Other Thoughts: This is the only disc golf course in the Ironwood MI area (as of May 2014), and has some great terrain on the ski hill that translates into some fun shots. I've set up the course this year and last year, and since it isn't a very well known course, I added some flyers around town advertising it.
Also added signage showing where pins are and hard-to-find next tees.
Keep in mind that I set up and designed the course this year, so I am biased towards it, but I also play this course almost daily, so take from this review what you will. Come and play it if you're in the area!
*UPDATE* Next season I plan on adding more durable, and visible wooden tee signs, which will also include distances and par. The second half of the course is good, but a few holes need some perfecting I believe. Keep up with this course in the future - I learn more about courses every day.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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