Fair at best
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I travel to CU regularly and was excited to hear about an 18 hole course installed, as I designed the original 9 holer in CU, back in the mid 1980's at Florida and Lincoln, which was moved to Lohman several years later, unfortunately, as we had a good following at the old course. Dodd Park has nice features, is well kept, and the teeboxes are nice.
Cons: Frankly the design is so poorly done that I have no interest to play here again. None of the holes on the course were remotely interesting, the lines made no sense on most drives, and walking paths are in play, as well as other fairways. This could have been a pretty nice venue if an experienced player were in charge of the project, as is so often the case. A lot of time and money went into this course, but not much thought.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
18 Holes in Champaign/Urbana
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is in a nice, well maintained, multi-use park
- Large concrete tee pads with hole information incorporated into front right corner of slab
- Decent variety of hazards
Cons: - Plays very open with limited obstacles on many holes, very limited line shaping
- Course layout not great (overlapping fairways, confusing routing, long walks between a couple holes, backtracking fairways to cross streams)
- No benches/trashcans/tee signs
Other Thoughts: I was very excited when I heard that the Champaign-Urbana area would be getting a new disc golf course. Lohmann is a great beginner's course, but a full 18-hole course with some actual length and challenge for more advanced players in the area would be awesome. Unfortunately, while Dodds is definitely a step in the right direction, there still isn't a course catering to those players seeking a more technical or challenging round in the CU area.
There is some decent length on this course, but it is almost completely open, and players with even 300' of power can simply throw over many of the trees that would otherwise force more interesting lines. There are some good hazards in play here, OB sidewalks and streams provide some risk/reward, and there are a couple baskets with dangerous sloped greens. Ever-present wind will also add difficulty on the mostly open holes, but bad shots frequently go unpunished with fairly easy recovery for par. Some of the holes just seem like filler, flat, wide open holes around 200' are pretty boring.
The tee pads and baskets are very nice, the older incorporated signs that apparently faded quickly have been replaced with ones that seem much more durable, but they only provide hole number and distance, and with multiple pins, a hole map and a way to indicate which pin position is in play would be nice.
I was initially excited about the idea of having multiple pin locations, and while some of the holes offer interesting options at both pins, many of the short pins (almost all of the baskets were in short positions when I last played) are little more than approach shots. Attempts have been made to mark the tines on the baskets to indicate the direction towards the next tee, but I found many of these to be incorrect, likely due to moving the position of the basket and not re-installing properly. This just added to the navigational issues on the course. The lack of tee signs means you have to be practically standing on the tee pads to know what hole you are on, and many holes finish with multiple tees looking like they could be the next one. I would advise taking a picture of the course map near Hole 1, or printing one out beforehand.
This is a multi-use park, but other park users shouldn't usually impact play (sidewalks do border some fairways). There is a long walk from 18 back to one, with no stop back to the parking lot during the round. During this walk, I discovered a practice basket I had not seen upon arriving. This seems like an odd location, as you have to walk a considerable way away from Hole 1 to utilize it.
Dodds Park is a perfectly adequate disc golf course. Players in the area with bigger arms will enjoy some of the longer holes here that Lohmann doesn't offer, and there are enough interesting holes to make for a fun round. I just feel like a bit more could have been done with the land, and more advanced players won't be challenged for much of the course. There is room for improvement here, but I definitely wish this course had been around while I was attending U of I.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Easy to Play
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Long Straight Fairways
-Bright DiscCatcher Baskets
-Good course to practice all throws
Cons: -No Maps
-Very Confusing Layout
Other Thoughts: Today was my first time playing this course, and I have to say I probably wouldn't go back. Though the fairways were nice, and there were few obstacles in the holes, the layout of the course was very confusing. It took me approximately 15 minutes to find the first basket and then another 5 to find the tee to throw from. There are no maps or directional arrows to point where the course starts or where the next tee is. Looking at each concrete pad, I can see there used to be a number for each hole and possibly a map with it, but the paint has long since worn away.
I was a fan of the long course. There were a few trees in some of the holes providing cover to work both the forehand and backhand throws. The park itself is well cared for with the grass and brush mowed to a reasonable length.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Learn how to play some wind...
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -18-holes with nice, big concrete tee pads
-nice, big DisCatcher baskets (I like these a lot, especially in windy conditions
-barely anyone on the course or using the park in general. I played during the week around 4pm on a windy day and saw 3 people
-good mix of headwind, tailwind, sideways winds
-utilizes the small amount of elevation available in Illinois
-creek in play on about 1/4 of the holes brings a little more challenge to the course
-some nice, mature trees on course making some shots technically challenging
-pretty easy to navagate hole to hole, especially without any signage
Cons: -if it's you're first time at the course, it's a little difficult to find the first tee--not well marked or marked at all
-no signage on the course... It looks like stuff used to be painted on the tee pads at one point.
-I would definitely like to see distances posted on a sign by the teepads
-had to throw hard every drive-- not a mixture of technical and open--be prepared to throw it far if you want to get a decent score
Other Thoughts: I have now played this course twice. The first time I was unimpressed and didn't think this course was much of a challenge. I went back yesterday and played in 20-30mph constant winds and it changed my outlook on everything. Holes that were easy to park the first time now required way different shots and disc selections. It was pretty much an Innova Star Max for the head winds or a Innova Blizzard Boss for the tailwinds for me.
I was pleased to get some practice in the heavy winds, it's definitely a part of my game I want to work on. So if you are someone who is a beginner or even AM1/AM2 player, trying I manage this course on a windy day--expect to learn some lessons, because I know I did.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Open, multi-use park setting that plays around a baseball complex and near a soccer complex.
- Very well-manicured park - which means cleanly mowed, pruned trees, and clear fairways.
- Ample parking.
- Great, brand new Innova Discatchers.
- Wonderful tee pads - installed nicely, and perfectly roughed up for grip.
- Practice basket splitting the difference between 18's basket and 1's tee (although it's installed a little low into the ground.)
- Pretty good use of vacant parts of the park without much activity.
Cons: - No kiosk or hole signage at all. Surely could be easy to miss holes 5-6-7 if you didn't have a map the first time through, which I nearly did.
- Probably very windy here quite often.
- Not a ton of elevation for the course designers to work with.
- Trash cans all over the park...but none located on the disc golf course.
- Lots of fairways are installed close to each other or overlap, which could be a problem. Particularly if it's windy. (3-4, 10-11-12, 15-16)
- Some tee pads are very close to other fairways (5 in 6's fairway, 9 in 8's fairway). These were a little disappointing from a safety aspect.
- The creek that runs along the length of #12 is surely a major disc-eater. It certainly provides a challenge, and requires some active strategy for players on how far to push their luck on where they cross over the creek. Unfortunately, it's packed with cat tails, which could make finding a disc ridiculously hard.
- Played a lot of spike hyzers instead of what looked like the intended line. (1, 2, 6, & 11, in particular).
Other Thoughts: - To local players, I would best describe this course as a sister-course to Maxwell Park in Bloomington/Normal. Very similar styles, shots required, scenery, and wind conditions.
- The addition of good signage would probably push this course up to a 3.5 for me, which is probably around its max, considering a few of my safety concerns, and the available trees and elevation to work with.
- Glad that Chambana finally got a full 18 hole course! It's been a long time coming.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Dodds Park is finally here!
Pros: -The course presents you with a good mix of shots off the tee with backhand and flick lines open on all holes.
-There is some risk / reward on a few holes with out of bounds in play. Esp. with sidewalks (on and over) as out of bounds.
-Course offers a variety of short birddie oppertunities (if you can get around the trees) balanced with longer holes.
-Excellent concrete tee pads. One or two were slightly slanted, but overall they are well constructed and spacious.
-The two pin placements on every hole make the course play much differently. In most cases they are not just longer versions of the "A" placement, but are entirely new lines.
-Good use of the available land features. There is not much topography change in east-central Illinois, but the little there is on the property has been incorporated into the design. The creek/weeds come into play on a few holes and will eat your disc if you go in it.
-Nice brand new Innova DISCatchers
Cons: -Deep weeds along creek will eat stray shots. You are lucky if you find your disc!
-Long walk from Hole 18 to Hole 1 / the parking lot.
-Course can get a bit congested on nights when they have softball games
Other Thoughts: The course plays on the outskirts of a softball complex among the available trees and along a weedy creek. There is a sidewalk that winds through the park and a street that boarders many holes. Playing pavement as out of bounds increases the challenge and is encouraged!
This is the best course in Champaign Urbana and the surrounding area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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