Oh the old rum village
Pros: It's a fantastic first course. It's technical enough to force you to pick a specific line with your shot, but you're not looking for you disc in super thick woods if you miss your line by a foot. The tee signs have multiple pars on them for different skill levels which is SUPER nice. You can be competitive and actually figure out how well you did and your buddies who have never played before can have fun too and not get demoralized. They generally do a nice job with the upkeep here too.
Cons: It's really nothing special. The course design is unimaginative and pretty basic. As long as you don't hit a tree, you should be looking at a birdie on most holes. I feel like the par is pretty realistic here for most of the holes, but there are still some iffy ones that make me scratch my head.
Other Thoughts: It's a pretty solid course overall. You won't be blown away, but it won't make you hate yourself either. I like it a lot compared to George Wilson.
The Rum isn't Gone!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
-Quality teepads with decent signs on every hole
-The park is kept up really well
-Almost impossible to lose a disc (no real rough/underbrush)
-A fair mix of easy and some tougher holes
-No clear indicator of where the course starts from the parking lot
-Course navigation can be confusing in a few spots for first timers. Some navigation signs would be welcomed.
-A few holes play somewhat close to roads but it's relatively minor hazard here
-The park isn't in the greatest of areas
Rum Village Park is a course I frequent when I'm in town because it's a quality course and its free to play. The elevation use and course layout are great, no two holes feel the same. It is a good place for players of different skill levels, there is something for every type of player/throwing style. It is challenging enough for better players and isn't too harsh on beginners. This course has the potential to earn an even higher rating with just a few upgrades such as, better signage, additional teepads, and a onsite course map/info kiosk. I absolutely would recommend playing this course if you are in the area, it will not disappoint.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Good Neighborhood Course
Pros: Overall I feel this course is a good one. Especially since the park itself is located in the city. I really liked the layout. The front nine I would say rates on the easy side of things and the back nine is a little more tricky. Every tee pad was concrete which I find is better then rubber mats. A few of the baskets are in the open, but a lot of then you have to throw between or around some trees. Another plus is the variety of distance on the baskets. Some short and some long.
Cons: One thing this course lacks is trash receptacles. There were more then a few baskets that had cans and bottles just thrown on the ground. Another thing I did not like is most of the signs at the tee pads were in bad shape. A few you could read, but most of them you could not. Because of this the course could be just a tiny bit hard to navigate for first timers.
Other Thoughts: Overall I would say this is a good course. I would recommend this course for anyone just starting out in the game or for someone who has played for awhile.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Great for the price
Pros: Rum Village is a very solid course. The course was busy but the flow was steady and there were no backups. The course is free to park and play - the disc golf parking lot is about 3/4 way around the circle and has a tiny little sign claiming, 'Disc Golf Course'
Hole 1 starts behind the pavilion by the parking lot.
Having played a variety of courses, Rum Village stands out as one of the only courses that has pretty much, ZERO, rough.Holes 1,2 and 3 run along the edge of the park and has a treeline with some scrub, but other than that - the rest of the course is wide open grass and trees. If you can shape lines here, you'll be fine.
Nice concrete tees poured for all the holes with gravel around them to reduce mud. The baskets are all in good shape and overall the course looks great.
The lack of rough here make this an excellent place to practice throwing all kinds of lines. Tree placement makes the holes what they are, you can see the basket from most of the tees, but tree placement makes straight throws difficult and you need to shape some lines through the trees.
The front 9 and back 9 are separated and the front 9 almost leads back to the parking lot. It's a little walk away form it, but not bad if you want to just play 9 and return to the car. Navigation between 9 and 10 was the only place we got 'lost'. 10 is over the road and 'up' from 9 basket.
There is a great mix of long and short holes - allowing some long bombs (if you can make it through the trees) and some short upshots. Along with the length, the course has some great elevation changes. There is only 1 hole under 200' in length.
Although there are some long holes here - 600' & 700' - this is nothing that I would steer a beginner away from. The trees might be frustrating if you are playing plinko - but the lack of rough makes hitting the tree your only punishment. There are great rewards for shaping some lines through the trees.
Cons: Course is very easy to navigate, but I wish there was a course map with hole lengths since the tee signs are pretty much useless (torn and vandalized beyond recognizable for most and just wrong on the front 9 since they moved a hole)
Hole 4 plays right along side the road and while I was teeing off on 5, I saw three people throw discs into the road and one across it. Definitely a concern for players that cannot control a throw.
It's hard to rate down a course for the neighborhood it's in, but I wouldn't want to play here at night. During the day it was fine, but night might be questionable. Not having been here at night before though, I cannot say for sure, but I'd be uneasy. Every play here has been during the day.
Besides having to weave around trees - there isn't a lot of left to right variation. Hole 11 is the exception, but other than that - most are just straight.
Other Thoughts: As stated by all the other reviewers - the neighborhood is shady, but it's not as bad as other parts of South Bend. The park sounds like it's regularly patrolled and was very busy with DGers when I was out there.
Some local teens were hanging out, non-dgers, in the parking lot, which seemed strange since the parking lot for the DG course is separate from the rest of the park. The flow of disc golfers seems steady enough that no one seemed concerned about their vehicle. Just be sure to lock it.
Replacing the tee signs would go a long way to improving this course.
Not a lot of real 'remember-able' holes here - but they are all pretty good. There doesn't seem to be any 'let's place one here since we have to get 18 holes in' type holes. The land is well used and being one of the only free DG parks in NWI is a plus.
If you're passing though, I would hit this and Wilson up. Both are relatively easy to get to from the 31/20 bypass and on the south side of SB/Mishawaka.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Well, it's free, so there's a disc right there...
Pros: Rum Village is free, and is the only free course I played in that area. Granted, I only played three courses, but Indiana has spaced them out AND expects me to pay, so I didn't have as much of a chance to wear myself out while I was there as I would have liked. The upkeep of the course was top notch though. I don't know if it's the South Bend Parks Department or who maintains the grounds, but the groundskeeping was phenomenal. The baskets were all in great shape, and the concrete teepads were grippy and long.
There's plenty of challenge on this course. Unlike the other courses in the area that don't seem to understand what the word "par" means, they're spot on here. None of the holes are more than a par 4, and even those 4's are a good 600+ feet to the pin. The challenge I refer to is a mix of distance, elevation, and technicality. Although I would argue with this course being rated as "4/5 trees" for technicality, it still offered plenty of challenge. The fairways were undefined due to a lack of underbrush, so even hitting a tree won't hurt your score that much (unless you hit one 50 feet from the pad on a 600 foot hole).
I was very happy with the course design, as there's something here for everyone. Uphill and downhill (including an epic downhill bomb on the current 9), short and long, and right and left hand turning shots. As I mentioned, there's almost no undergrowth whatsoever, so the only way to lose a disc would be to go long on holes 1, 2, or 3 or to have one take off down a hill when you aren't looking.
I've never dealt with such a thing before, but I'm told that the other course in South Bend takes down half of their baskets in the winter. Rum Village stays up year round, so there's another pro that I probably wouldn't have thought of.
The locals I ran into were friendly and not like the "rabble" that I would expect in this semi-shady neighborhood and on the only free course within a short drive. Everyone let us play through and the guy who guided me through the course was very helpful.
I hit a good 100+ foot putt on one hole, so this place already holds a special place for me :D.
Cons: The neighborhood isn't exactly the best one. I say this from experience as I used to have friends living in the area and have been assaulted here as well. By "here" I don't mean Rum Village, but the neighborhood. This experience had nothing to do with my experience at the course, but I still had to throw the warning out there: It's not a ghetto by any means, but I wouldn't send your 16 year old daughter there at 8:30 at night either.
Navigation on this course is off. Many of the teepads are either missing signs or have the signs vandalized so much that they're unreadable. I didn't see any tape on the basket to guide us to the next hole either. I was lucky enough to run into someone there who knew the course or I would have rambled for another half hour. Hole 5 is gone completely due to erosion. I'm not sure where the erosion was, but there you go. They put in a new hole later on to make it a full 18, but the signage hasn't been updated. This is much like Dabney State Park outside Portland in the sense that they changed it up but didn't change the signs. Not a huge deal, but it might confuse someone playing for the first time or trying to show off the course to their friends on this site after playing there.
Some would complain that the short holes are too short. I liked that there was a mix though so that there's something for everyone and a few holes that keep you from wanting to chuck your bag under a car and go home.
Much of the course plays dangerously close to a road. Whether it's OB or not is beside the point. I managed to steer my discs clear of the road, but with this many trees kicking errant shots all over the place and hills trying to roll your disc for days, you're just asking to hit a car or get your disc run over.
Other Thoughts: I was very pleasantly surprised by this course. I expected a free course in a semi-shady neighborhood to be a waste of time, but I really enjoyed it. Most of the lines were pretty obvious, but that doesn't mean that they were easy to hit. If I were a local I'd be here every day and would shape new lines just to keep myself entertained... But I'd still be here every day.
I didn't explore the park further, but there seem to be many other available activities here besides disc golf, including a playground, hiking and mountain bike trails, and picnic areas.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Needs new signs but great course
Pros: This is the only free course in the Michiana area. Rolling terrain and mature trees with tucked-in baskets make for a challenging course.
Cons: Signs are vandalized/deteriorated so making your way around can be tricky if you don't already know the layout. The road through the park comes into play often.
Other Thoughts: I played this course back in the late '90's and just moved back to the area. I like the updated basket placements and the extra length on #8 and #12. This is a fun course with something for everyone - up/down, long/short - but even though the course isn't tight (contra other courses in the area such as Ox Bow, Maddie Bertrand, and Ferettie-Baugo) accuracy is still needed due to the well-thought-out pin placements. All in all a fun course - would get a higher rating if the signs were maintained and baskets were in better shape.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
My Tax Dollars @ Work
Pros: This is my second favorite course and for a few simple reasons: It's absolutely free and they keep the chains up ALL YEAR, (which adds at least +1.0 in my opinion.) Plus the city of South Bend does a great job of maintaining the grounds and minimizing the vandalism to the baskets. Nothing is exactly "new" but the baskets are not leaning and the cages are still welded on. Some may complain that the police are an irritating presence, but those same officers hold a doubles tournament every June that has TONS of free stuff sponsored by Innova. The last tournament I walked away with 12 stickers, three mini-drivers, a driver, flex-fit hat, and two tickets to a hog and corn roast the F.O.P. 36 holds later in the summer, all for just $30 plus they had a cash prize for the Pro and AM I divisions. The cops patrol the park to prevent people from committing lewd and indecent acts, and some people are brave enough to bring their family there. The course itself presents different challenges based on the season and since the course lacks a lot of good wind breaks a day can change fast. When the leaves are off the trees you can get a great view of the city from hole 10 (9) and the pad for 11 (10).
Cons: There is NO bathroom (which may be for a reason).. The first few times I played I missed 12,13, and 14. To get to them you must cross back over the road and 13 has a temporary pad made of paver blocks. During the winter the wind screams through parts that normally had no wind in other seasons and the kids slick down the hills with their sleds/snowboards where an errant throw can and WILL take your disc to the street. The city should really spend a couple bucks and update the signs, replace the practice basket, make the permanent pad with no basket go away, make the temporary pad permanent and do a top down map of the course at the shelter near hole one since they won't make maps.
Other Thoughts: DO NOT PARK NEXT TO A TRASH CAN. DO NOT LOOK IN THE TRASHCANS. Curiosity killed the cat and you may get more than you bargain for.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great TWEENER Course
Pros: This is a well mantained course nestled in the city of south bend. It gets mowed frequently and stays pretty clean due to local efforts.There are nice huge concrete tee pads u could build a house on. The baskets are also in good shape. The course layout is great for a beginner and pro,with short and long distances.I call this a "tweener" course because it makes u throw every shot in your bag but there is little risk to lose your disc. So you can improve ur shot making skills without having to search for days in the shule for ur disc of a tighter more challenging course. There are some holes that have O.B. risk with roads,which helps this forgiving course. The layout plays through the trunks of huge trees with little to no brush,mostly short green fairways. The design of each hole is great !!, giving you multiple lines on each hole. Alot of undulation which is rare for this area.Plus, the canopy above you makes this course have plenty of shade in the hot summer months. Also, the locals are recently helping to improve some holes and teepads to take this diamond in the rough to the next level. Thanks to all as this is the course i grew up on.
Cons: The tee signs are there but kids keep ruining them and it makes navigation for new players a little difficult.It could use a few more trash cans throughout the course. There is not alot of risk on this course which may make ur first time difficult but u will learn quickly how to man handle this course. Not in the greatest neighborhood so u can spot some added "artwork" throughout the course.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and i think the best in the area. It doesnt have the challenge and beauty of a higher rated course but it is fun and will improve you game. Thank u to everyone that helps keep this course updated and clean.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Tall oaks sprawl over rolling hills.
-This course was very clean and well maintained at the time.
-Cement tee pads and intact baskets.
-Several lengthy holes with elevation factoring in.
-Several blind basket placements.
-Lots of elevation to contend with.
Cons: -Very few trash cans on course.
-Several shots flirt along a road that gets used frequently.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course. Nothing I would travel 2 hours to play but if I were in the area I would stop for sure. It has hosted some big tourneys in the past and has potential to be a great park with a little love and maintenence.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Watch Out For That Tree
Pros: Rum Village is a pleasant walk through tall oaks over some lush green rolling hills. It is quite an impressive sprawl of land that would be ideal for a picnic with your sweetie and it also has the added benefit of being a satisfying disc golf course. This course seemed very clean and well maintained and has cement tee pads and fully intact baskets. There are a few lengthy holes here that utilize the land quite well. Several blind basket placements add to the challenge. Forehand and backhand shots are equally catered to if you can find the lines.
Cons: The layout seemed like it may have been confusing at times. Luckily I had an experienced guide who was familiar with the course. This likely saved me a fair amount of bumbling and trudging over hills in the wrong direction. The variety here is accomplished via stalwart sentinel trees that could arguably demand a fair amount of luck at times. I imagine that with repeated playing, lanes that cannot readily be perceived from the tees can be discovered through trial and error but for the uninitiated it has the possibility of being like throwing into a brick wall in some spots. Be prepared to smack some bark along the way.
Other Thoughts: Play this course if you are passing through this area of the world. It is easy on the eyes. For a free park there was very little traffic, even on a Saturday afternoon, and no hoodlum factor on the course which was a huge plus. Not bad overall. The hills beam with charm and make it quite a worthwhile stroll.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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