Pros: The Beauty was an excellent course. Well kept, great shots and wonderful views! Few people on the course, which kept the rounds moving quickly.
Cons: There is no course map posted for any of the 3 courses at Mason County, though the Beauty was the easiest of the 3 to follow.
Other Thoughts: If you see a guy mowing the lawn, make sure to say "Hi" to him, and let him what a great job he has done with the park!
Short and Sweet
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great mix of open air and more tightly wooded holes
- Good elevation in both fairways and greens throughout
- Provides decent challenge despite lack of overall length
- Part of a well maintained multi-course complex with good amenities
Cons: - Concrete tee pads are frequently much too short with occasional drop offs at the ends
- Non-descriptive tee signs provide only the hole number
- No water features
- Navigation can be an issue first time through
Other Thoughts: Beauty may be labeled as the "Beginner Course" at the Mason County disc golf complex, but don't let that fool you. This course delivers on the fun factor, and still provides decently challenging and technical golf, while allowing players without a long drive to get to the basket.
Beauty strikes a nice balance between more open holes with sporadic trees forcing slight line shaping, and holes in the woods requiring much tighter lines. The majority of the holes are not very long, but the ubiquitous elevation either lengthens the holes while throwing uphill, or gives an otherwise straightforward hole an interesting element with fast or precarious greens.
There is a good mix of left and right turning holes as well, so while you might only be reaching for your higher speed drivers a handful of times throughout the round, you will certainly use a number of different lower speed discs and variety of shots to hit the different lines. There are a lot of fun holes to be had here, and the park is pleasant to walk through, and includes a nice view of Lake Michigan from one tee pad.
Navigation can occasionally be an issue where multiple tee pads are visible from the last basket, and signage has either faded or isn't present. There are also a couple of extra loops that could be missed if you jump to the most obvious next pad. A handful of holes play along or over the road into the park, but traffic is so slight most of the time that this was never an issue.
While the baskets are in good repair and catch well, and benches are usually present, the rest of the equipment leaves a bit to be desired. Many of the tee pads are incredibly short. This is especially an issue at a handful of locations where there is a steep drop off past the end of the pad. While you won't usually need a big run up to to throw max distance, people with longer legs, and those like myself who have trouble throwing from a standstill, might have issues with the lack of real estate at the tee off area.
The tee signs aren't bad, just non-descriptive. If the scorecards and maps are available at hole 1, this isn't much of a problem, but on my last visit there were none available, and there are many blind holes from the tee where a distance and direction to the basket would be helpful.
No water obstacles to worry about here, but that can't be helped and they aren't really needed.
There are bathrooms, water fountains, and picknick tables at a pavilion near the parking lot, as well as a small playground with a slide and swings. As my group finished our most recent round, someone from the park district or other organization interviewed us for about 5 minutes about our experience at the park and thoughts on the amenities. The park is already well maintained, and it looks like whoever is in charge wants to make sure it stays that way.
Beauty is a great place to start your day at the Mason County complex, and $1 a day is a steal.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Don't let the name fool ya...
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Really nice 24 hole course set in Mason County park, with two other courses on site.
Nice Discatcher baskets, all in decent repair. All caught reasonably well. One pin position per hole.
Tee signs were adequate, even if rudimentary. Navigation was pretty easy, with the jump to the lettered holes being about the only real issue. Hopping back and forth across the road wasn't a problem.
Concrete tee pads were nice and grippy. There were a few that could use a bit of repair, and they teetered right on the edge of being long enough. One tee per hole.
Nice use of elevation for this course. While there was nothing drastic, it did feel like every other hole effectively used the elevation.
Quite a few of the pin placements were well though out, with roll a ways, shule, and other dangers a possibility. I thought this was the best aspect of this course. A few blind-ish shots, some nice tucked in baskets, etc.
Some open holes, some wooded holes. I loved the variety here. All kinds of different shots, and many of the holes offered several lines to the pin. Even with the shorter distances, most of the holes "felt" longer than the listed footage.
Cons: One tee, one pin position. I would think this would cut down on the replay factor...but with three courses on site, it might not matter all that much. Some of the tees were a little short.
No water to speak of, which I didn't really seem to mind.
No big bomber holes on this course. Lots of technical golf.
Other Thoughts: Just a really fun course. Not the toughest thing around, but not easy by any means. One of those places you could score really well on one day, and get your butt kicked the next day.
P2P, $1. A steal, so I won't list this as a con. Plenty of parking, with a pavilion with bathrooms, and a 1972 playground next to it.
To me, this course is the definition of a 3.75...but with the single pin/tee placements, I felt the lower score was warranted. There were some really nice holes, but not that "signature" hole. A little bit of tee pad maintenance would go a long way, as well.
Overall, a really nice course at a facility with a couple other monsters. This place would make an awesome "home course", for sure!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Quality golf, I had a lot of fun.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Fun challenging holes.
Inside a huge park with lots of attractions
Cons: Poison Ivy, wow, knee socks people, knee socks.
Other Thoughts: This was coarse 8 on our epic summer vacation.
I really enjoyed the peace and quiet this coarse provided. had to get crowded with 72 holes coming off the same parking lot. I hope to return here someday.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tons of elevation changes
Tough, challenging holes that are still fair.
Nice mix of open and wooded holes
Fantastic convenience store nearby with a great selection of beer and discs.
Beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see on most holes
Cons: Far too many holes play near the road, and one plays over it.
Very basic signs (number only).
Tee pads are of varying lengths and are overall too short.
Park closes at 9,
Other Thoughts: Beauty is billed as the beginner course at the Mason County complex, but I watched it challenge the skills of a very good Am1 player, so don't feel like you will be bored here regardless of your skill level. Beauty combines uphill, downhill, tunnel shots and hard turning dogleg holes into a fun but challenging 24 hole course. There are a couple holes where you have beautiful views of Lake Michigan in the distance, and many where you are playing though a quiet, peaceful wooded area.
Don't make the mistake of treating Beauty as a warmup for Beast the way I did. The near constant walking up and down hills on Beauty will wear you out long before you reach the great uphill hyzer shot that closes this course out on 18. Beauty may appear short on the scorecard, but will wear you out quickly with the hilly terrain it plays through.
Now, the things that could make this the Beauty you kick to the curb, instead of the one you marry. The tees on this course are poor at best. They vary in length with little rhyme or reason. The shortest is less than 4 feet long, and most are only 5 feet long. Adding to the issue is that several of the tees are not level with the ground in back, preventing an additional run up. While the designers of Beauty may not have felt longer teepads were needed the short pads created an issue for at least 3 players in my group of 6.
The second major issue is the poor signage here. Basically it's just a colored post with a number on it. I'm willing to overlook bad signs at a place like Flip, where the cost comes out of one man's pocket. But Mason County could have a real disc golf destination here with
an investment in better signs and pads.
Also, several of the first few holes play near the road, and the last hole before you head into the woods plays over the main entrance road, so be careful until you get into the woods.
My final complaint (that the park closes before dusk) didn't come into play on Beauty, but did keep us from finishing Beast on the day we played Flip and Beauty.
Overall the Mason County complex could have at least two 5 star courses if they invested a little more in signs and pads. If you need beer or discs be sure to check out Pere Marquette Expeditions. They have a great selection of both, and a nice selection of premium cigars as well.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First off, let's just say the Mason County Threesome is the most ridiculous DG complex I've ever seen. The expanse is vast, and almost all of it is exclusive to the game. A long drive connects the road to the main parking area, where all the courses begin. Beauty stands alone, and plays back towards the road. Beast/Goliath head in the opposite direction, and offer a much different experience.
Beauty was my favourite. One of the most natural courses I've played, it was a nice touch to see how well it blended in with the surrounding forest. The first eight holes have you cross the road a couple of times, but this is the only time it takes you out of the element. Great line shaping is required here, making sure you hold true despite the open feel to these beginning holes. My favourite shot was #7, which has you firing over the road and into the woods, where you continue your round. If you don't land your drive just right, you will have a completely blind approach into the forest and will most likely play a safe shot, costing you a stroke.
Deeper and deeper into the pristine woodlands you go, feeling farther away from civilization. Some of the most breathtaking holes exist in here. Beauty is the most naturally scenic course I've had the pleasure to play through. #9 & #12 were my two favourites in here; the former an epic twister and the latter a forked adventure down and up to the pin. #17 is a bouncing trip over waves of land; I could hear Children laughing as they played by the nearby pavilion, adding to the Neverland atmosphere.
I really enjoyed the vignette of holes breaking up 17 & 18; much more technical and cramped, these three holes can really affect the outcome of the round, and are a helluva lead in to #18's massive uphill launch. Unless you've got a sizable lead, no score is safe here. And 18 is a great finisher, tying everything together as you are once more out of the woods. And since you're already half way up the massive hill that Beast begins on, you might as well keep on hikin'! Great setup all the way around.
Cons: Aside from the short tees, not a damn thing wrong with this place.
Other Thoughts: The course and hole design are A+ and it was such a great experience. We played Beauty in the AM and Beast in the PM. Like I said to start, Beauty is the best course in the best DG complex in the state. Obviously well maintained; these folks care about upkeep. Thanks for building these! Will definitely be back
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
24 Holes of Bliss
Pros: --The variety of shots that this course requires makes for a constantly entertaining round of disc golf. You will encounter 20+ holes that you've never seen anything like!
-- "Beauty" describes this course well. It is beautiful in scenery, and beautiful in play.
--Hardly anyone was playing on a Saturday afternoon on a beautiful summer day.
--Navigation is easy with the scorecard/maps. You should be able to find them at the course, but you can certainly find them at the DG/convenience store a few miles away - where you turn at the corner of Pere Marquette Hwy and Iris Rd.
--When I played, I had absolutely no qualms with bugs, plants, or navigation. It was a very pleasant first round.
--The rough is maintained, the teepads are in great shape, and the holes are fair.
Cons: --A few tee pads were too short. Shorter pads kind of throw me off because I'm used to a full run-up regardless of how far I have to toss.
--The park closes at 9
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course in the complex. Consider climbing the mountain-like hill (you will see it) to get a breath taking view of the lake and the land.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
in the eye of the beholder
Pros: 1. The area is very picturesque on the whole, I can imagine how pretty he course is when the colors change.
2. It is short, but not at all easy...and a workout to navigate.
3. Baskets are in good condition.
4. Offers a variety of elevation changes throughout.
Cons: 1. The holes out of the woods are boring. The "Beauty" does not start until seven deep in the round.
2. I was shocked at how many times I had to cross the enterance road both to get to another hole or to play one. Rather absurd, and knocks this course down a full point because of it.
3. Good luck with a run up...the tees are mostly four to five feet long.
Other Thoughts: This seems like a case of trying to fit too many holes into a small area. I would cut out the first six or seven, and shorten the holes you need to throw across a road. This course did not give me the impetus to drive back up and play the other two, as I wonder if the design flaws are present on the other two as well. That being said, it had some of the most appealing woods holes I have encountered.
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Beauty Is In the Eye of the Axis-Holder
Pros: 1. Variety. While this is the "easiest" and shortest of the three layouts at this multi-course complex, don't let the name fool you; this is no beginner course, and even advanced players could find some enjoyment out of a round here (although Beast and Goliath are far better tailored to anyone intermediate or above). A variety of wooded and open holes lead you through some of the park's gentler topography, but you'll encounter quite a bit of elevation and should find yourself throwing many different shots. Being so near Lake Michigan, wind is also a near-constant feature on this course, and a frustrating feature at that (though definitely not a con!). Being from the Lake Michigan coast in Wisconsin, I felt like I was playing the Michigan version of a Silver Creek/Vollrath hybrid (which to people unfamiliar with those courses means I had a TON of fun here)! Many holes had various routes to the pin, which only adds to the fun factor when you're playing in a group here since you'll probably see people take the lines you missed or didn't see. Some great scenery on this course also, although the most spectacular views and elevation are reserved for the Beast/Goliath courses.
2. Maintenance. The county presumably takes care of a lot of the upkeep here, but the MCDGO is obviously very heavily involved. I got to experience this course during the 2012 AJ Open (my wife and I were traveling and decided to enter this tourney at the last minute rather than "play around" the event schedule, and I'm glad we did!) and it was in top-notch shape, but I understand that's pretty much the norm out here. Players seem pretty mindful of using the trash cans, and I'm sure the Michigan bottle deposit plays a role in keeping broken glass and plastic bottle litter to a minimum.
3. Pay to play. All of the Mason County courses, as well as Flip City, are a measly dollar (that's right, $1) per person per round. Even at this bargain, people still complain and/or refuse to pay ("disc golf should always be free" mentality, as well as just inconsiderate jackasses), but I guess those folks are everywhere. Pity. There's an honor system of "checking in" where you put your money in an envelope and sign it, and then during your round you may be subject to spot checks to verify that you have indeed paid (with the punishment of being kicked off for a year if you're caught sneaking).
4. Multiple courses on site. Two awesome 24-hole layouts (Beauty and Beast), as well as a very challenging reverse course (Goliath, which is Beast played backwards from unique tees) make this a disc golf destination, and with Leviathan a few miles up the road, the fun Scottville course nearby, and Flip City within a half-hour drive, you'd be advised to rent a house or camp somewhere and make a little disc golf vacation here (which is precisely what my wife and I did)!
5. Tee signs. New colorful signs have been added to all of the Ludington courses (including Leviathan). Beauty features red signs, Beast has blue, and Goliath has black. The signs have no depiction of hole layout, but feature the "mitten" of Michigan with the hole number and distance.
6. Tees. Nice concrete tees on all 24 holes. Some inconsistencies in sizes, but overall they were installed properly and level.
7. Baskets. I seem to remember Chainstars out here, although the course page lists DISCatchers. Whatever they were, they were all installed properly and still in pretty good shape.
8. Amenities. This large park is pretty dedicated to disc golf, but there is a playground, some picnic areas, restrooms at the pavilion, multiple parking lots (you may want to utilize different lots as a local depending on when you play, which course you're playing, and where you decide to hop on the course), and I believe dispensers for scorecards/course maps near the check-in. I highly recommend stopping at the Pere Marquette Expeditions supply store on the way in - great microbrew selection, as well as discs or whatever else you might need!
9. Navigation. Although I had the benefit of playing in a tournament, the course map and paths made getting through the course a breeze. It seems to be a very popular course, so anyone who finds themselves questioning where to go will probably be able to find locals to help.
Cons: 1. Design. Overall the holes are very short and averaged under 250' (I was throwing either my Axis or Rhyno for most tee shots), although the shot-shaping required keeps things interesting and it never really gets bland. One area of repetition I felt needed mentioning was three nearly identical holes - #11, #A, and #18, all a RHBH hyzer to a pin on a mound, although the holes all played different lengths and different heights, so again they weren't super-repetitive, and were fortunately broken up by other holes. The RHBH hyzer required on #5 is not impossible to execute, but may be seen as an unfair requirement off the tee by some.
2. Litter. I know I mentioned the cleanliness in the pros above, but this is worth mentioning - cigarette butts. Even during a sanctioned event with players who seemed to know their PDGA rulebooks, I observed countless players (from rec divisions up through open!) disposing of butts not on the ground, but IN it...the predominantly sandy soil in Western Michigan is apparently viewed as a large ashtray, and players tended to make a little hole with their foot, dump the butt, and then cover it up, as if this negated the "litter effect." Now, I'm aware that this is not "the norm" and that many Michigan golfers are respectful folks who don't litter, but I felt it was worth noting since even in the rec divisions I've played in Wisconsin, people KNOW that if you drop even a butt on the ground, you can be DQ'd.
3. Safety issues. These are minor, but cons nonetheless. Many holes play near roads (and one plays OVER a main entrance road), but with disc golf awareness being so high out here, it didn't seem to be a negative for the non-discers; in fact, there were people out for walks who would stop to watch people play a hole, occasionally cheering or asking questions. One other area of concern is crossing the tee area for #18 on your way from #17 to the #D-F loop. After playing a round or two out here it wouldn't be an issue, but the unassuming passerby or first-timer could potentially wander into someone's tee shot (and with #18 favoring a big RHBH hyzer to the pin on the hill, drives will more than likely be starting out more to the right, where the path first exits).
Other Thoughts: Mason County is a true Midwest DG Destination, up there with the Highbridge complex, Lemon Lake and possibly even Charlotte (I have yet to experience the latter two)! With 3 excellent courses here (I didn't even have time and/or the balls to tackle Goliath on this trip, but will definitely be back!) in addition to Leviathan a few miles away (which plays like 3 separate courses IMO), Flip City, and a brand new course that will rival all of them in the works at a nearby community college, as well as a few "okay" courses, plan a vacation here and plan to have a BLAST! The nearby state park makes a great side trip with some spectacular dunes and views of the Lake, and the entire city is very "touristy" and full of friendly people and lots of activities or just a chance to relax and soak in some great sunsets.
If you're coming from Wisconsin, plan a trip across on the S.S. Badger, which leaves from Manitowoc and lands right here in Ludington! And to all the disc golfers in Western Michigan, hop on the S.S. Badger and come check out our lakeside courses...we've got Silver Creek, Winter Park, and Rollin Ridge all within reasonable distance from port, and I guarantee you our locals are just as friendly!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beauty is the easiest of the Mason County Parks.
-Signs, they show the footage to the holes and are very nice looking.
-Teepads, they are nice and cement.
-Baskets - Nice with two rows of chains to catch the discs.
-Shot Variations. There is a lot of shots on this, a little bit for everyone. A lot of it's more short and technical, with good basket placement.
-Benches have been added to a lot of holes (from what a bunch of people had said) and also seemed to have trash cans almost every 3ish holes(better then some of the others)
Cons: -Throwing over the Road. There are a few holes that you throw over the road, scary to do sometimes and can make for a wait as cars will come by and people with dogs.
-Teepads , although they are there some of them are kind of short and can be covered in dirt.
-There is no service here, or anywhere near it.(atleast for verizon)
Other Thoughts: When I played this I had played it in a tourney(played doubles before had which also had the map on the score card) I never grabbed one of the score cards they had to check out, but this made it really easy to find your way around and see the holes. They do have a few blind shots, so grab a card.
It's pay to play but 1 dollar should never be to much for anyone here. it's defiantly worth it.
If you are looking for a place to stay the Mason County Camp Ground is about a 2 mile drive to the park. We stayed in the cabins and they fit four grown men on beds with a picnic table for about 13 bucks a person.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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