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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Rum Village, needs some TLC
Pros: -Free to play.
-Long holes with some good down hill shots.
-Hardly ever a wait to tee off.
-Can be very pretty in the summer with old trees that can make some good obstacles.
Cons: Unlike what some other people have said the city of South Bend has not done a great job of maintaining the park. The signs all need to be replaced due to vandals, and hole 4 is missing its basket. There is also trash everywhere.
Other Thoughts: If Rum was cleaned up a little then it would be a nice little city course to play, this does not mean that the course is a bad course to play. If one would really like to play a nicely maintained head over to Mishawaka to play on George Wilson.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large, hilly park that is littered with tall mature trees. Doesn't seem like any other park activities would interfere with the discing.
- Biggest pro here is the constant elevation changes found on nearly every hole. Lots of downhill shots that make for some fun longer holes, as well as some treacherous shorter ones. A couple uphill shots too, but nothing too crazy. A few sloped greens as well, with serious rollaway potential.
- Accurate line shaping is a must to avoid the large number of tall trees. Holes range from pretty open, with a few different lines, to very thick, with some obvious lines and other local routes. Considering how bare the trees are at hole level, large clumps or sheer numbers can take away lines very effectively. A good RHBH hyzer and anhyzer goes a long way.
- Great variety in hole length, with some shorties around 200', a lot in the 300's, and even two in the 500' range. Anyone but the biggest of arms will be using drivers on this course, guaranteed. Accuracy is needed to get the deuces, but nothing too hard.
- Good teepads and baskets.
Cons: - Major con at this course is the out of date signage. A minor redesign was done, but the signage was not changed. After the first few holes, they can't be trusted (though some have the "correct" hole number on them in sharpie). Getting around for the first time will take a lot of guesswork, and seriously detracts from a first time visit.
- This course can get a little repetitive after a while, as the terrain hardly ever changes. Hills with a lot of trees is the norm. The lines are tough at times, so it helps to make it interesting, but I would get bored playing more than one round here.
- Only other hazard here involves OB roads, which frequently have traffic. Playing next to busy roads is never fun.
- Heads up at some spots, with baskets close to teepads and some adjacent fairways.
Other Thoughts: - This course does one thing, but it does it very well. Lots of elevation changes and lots of trees make for some very tough and interesting holes. Choosing between the "easy" route and the sneaky route can be a lot of fun, and getting good distance without losing accuracy is key. Other easier holes balance it a bit, including some ace runs. Advanced players will like finding the lines, but will probably be able to hit them again and again. Everyone else should enjoy some challenging yet rewarding golf.
6 of 6 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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Other Thoughts: Maybe I had low expectations going in (I had read the reviews here before going to Rum Village) but I thought this course was great. It exceeded my expectations. I think the designers did the most with what they had here.
Let's start with the property.
Rolling grassy hills with old oak trees provide constant shade and no undergrowth. Elevation plays a part on pretty much every hole. Some erosion around the tees and baskets but not too bad. Wood chips around the baskets would really help and make this course much nicer, maybe even raise the avg review. The people / players seemed OK, it wasn't too busy on a weekday evening. I didn't see any shady characters.
The course design: After 8 holes I was thinking "is this it?" then I step up to 9 and wowowowow!! what a sweet hole. long downhill bomb through trees. The remainder of the back 9 keeps things interesting. Good job, I will be back.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Did that guy just steal my ace disc?
Pros: Decent length and difficulty for amateurs and pros, Basic bomb and putt course. Wind sometimes makes putting interesting on front 9. Hard to lose disc after first 3 holes. Decent parking space. Usually no backups on holes.
Cons: Very suspicious area, however it has gotten better in the past 3 years. City and local disc golf group are atleast making an effort to clean it up. Vandalized signs and baskets are not uncommon. Not alot of tables or places to sit and relax. Unfriendly patrons and tons of foot traffic on course can lead to problems. No scorecards on site which can make navigating course time consuming.
Other Thoughts: Place this course in a different area and it quickly goes up to a rating of around 4
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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