12 Helpful / 0 Not
Long Bomber Course Done Right
Pros: This course plays through a diverse collection of hills dotted with a maze of scattered mature trees, some wooded areas, and a large open field. Terrain is in play on almost every hole, and every hole has ways of punishing bad shots.
This course will stretch your drives and give you plenty of opportunities to really unleash it, but it also punishes mistakes. It demands both distance, but it rewards shot placement. This is not a tightly wooded, highly technical finesse course like UW-Parkside. This is longer and more open, but still technical in its own right.
For me, the key to this course is long, controlled drives. The scattered trees give choices of lines, but to score well you will still need to pick which gap you want to thread. This course is challenging but fair. You can get tons of birdies here, but it'll take a pretty well placed drive, and probably a longer putt. This course doesnt give freebies. The abundance of terrain, and thus hillside pins, means that risk/reward is always a fact, even on putts.
Generally, I prefer tightly wooded, technical courses over longer, more open ones, but this course is quite well-done. It constricts your shots in many different ways: doglegs, low overhanging tree branch, narrow gap between two trees, even one perfect hyzer line thru a tree avenue to an opposing hilltop that a lone tree branch very effectively shuts down, forcing a straight shot that hugs the right side of the fairway and breaks right very late to get a possible birdie.
The wide open field holes on this course keep it interesting as well. The 600 ft hole has thre trees along the fairway to the left, and a line of shule to the right, ready to punish errant drives.
This course, IMO, is just the right level of difficulty. You have to drive fairly well and have good mid-game to get par, and birdies are very attainable if you can weave a long drive through the trees, but any hole on this course can trip you up for a stroke or two if you really fudge it up. The par 4's and par 5 are tough, and deserve their higher par, but birdies are possible here to. This course is a nice balance between distance and accuracy, with lots of cool holes that will keep you on your toes.
I feel like my distance increased after a day of playing both these two courses, because I got so many chances to just let it fly, versus teeing off with midranges on on every other hole like on some other courses. See for yourself if these two don't help your game in a similar fashion.
Pieces of particleboard have been elaborately painted with hole maps and distances and affixed to posts by every (long) tee, which would be great if anything but particleboard had been used. As it is, the signs on holes 4, 6, 7, 16 and 17 have disintegrated, through natural or other means, leaving bare posts. Holes 12 and 13, the 2 holes in the open field next to 600+ ft Hole 11, do not even have posts next to the tee, for whatever reason, and thus no signs either. Consequently, many people accidentally skip those two holes.
In fact, there are a few areas on this course where its easy skip a hole or two without realizing it. In particular, the transition from hole 7 to hole 8 is an easy one to miss. From basket 7, follow the path through the woods to your right. You'll see holes 2 and 3 in front of you, but Tee 8 is to your left.
A few holes have "short tees" displayed on the tee signs, which are dirt pads not marked in any way (except 3 short, marked with a wooden pole) so don't bother looking for them. It takes too much effort to figure out their approximate location, which usually isn't even a flat area, and since only about 7 holes have short tees, its really not worth it anyways.
Though usually you can see the basket form the tee, or at least see where the fairway goes, the thing that would benefit this course the most is signs directing you to the next tee, to help newbies out.
I almost wanted to rate this course as merely "good" due to the signage issues and the virtually nonexistant short tees, but as it stands, its still a very entertaining and reasonably challenging course with lots of terrain, which is just fine with only one set of tees. Also, from what I gathered, the locals are figuring out what kind of signage will stay in place before they replace anything that's already been broken, so hopefully people will respect the course and the signs will get better sooner rather than later.
Other Thoughts: This park is huge, and apparently they are in the process of designing a third course, "South" in this park, to be opened at some point in the future. When I asked Bear, one of the local players, what it would be like, he told me West would be just a warmup for South, meaning a much longer, championship course. If the new course is as fun and well-designed as West, with great signage like East, there is no doubt in my mind it will be an Excellent course, but only time will tell. In the meantime, enjoy this course. The more people that play here, the more reason to build a third course, so check this place out if you're in the area.
With a third course in this park, it would really make things interesting, like a stairstep from East to West to South. Also, its so unusual to have more than 36 holes on a free public course, that this spot is worth checking out for that reason alone.
If you get tired of your discs hitting trees on West, head over to East for a break. If its your first time playing here, I would suggest warming up at East before playing this course. Since West has more terrain, trees, and distance than East, it will ease you into it, and you'll appreciate the superior course design of West that much more. I agree with previous posters, you will love one and hate the other. After my initial "warm-up" round on East, I stayed on West the rest of the day. I like West. East, not so much.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Anna Page, part deux
Pros: Bring your A game! This one will test just about every facet of your game!! There is a wonderful mix of shots for both lefties and righties. There are open shots, clear shots, and near-clear shots that should all make you stop and think about your next shot.
Anna Page East is just across the road. Please play that one first.....you might need the confidence boost.
There are some decent elevational hazards on this one that makes thing rather interesting. #4 will force you to throw uphill and 5 has an awful "downhill roll" threat as you approach the basket. Hole #17 makes you pay the valley/dip (can't think of the proper term for it!) that's in the middle of the hole before it turns upward, which is where the basket is. I'm not accustomed to many elevation changes, so I find this very challenging and interesting.
There is a 600' hole that is jaw-droppingly
wide open....until you get towards the basket. It sits pretty close to a pine tree that, if your approach is not long or straight enough, will make you (double, triple, quadruple, etc.) bogie. Nice pin placement on this one!
Cons: This course was closed for quite some time during the summer for construction. Unfortunately, the construction did not include the replacement of the multiple signs that are either missing or in total disrepair. That leads to major confusion.
For example, I had missed 2 holes on this course for years because I was unaware of their existence.......and so were the locals who had brought me there. They had long written off the 2 holes after the 600' beast as "gone". Alas, they were there, within plain sight, but the signs were missing.......
Signage is important. The signs on this course need to match the signs on the Eastern course. That would make things less confusing.
Other Thoughts: Anna Page is a quality day out for any and all disc golfers. The two courses offer enough variety and gameplay to challenge just about anyone.
When you get hungry or your cooler goes dry or empty, civilization is just a few miles east, and there is a Wal-Mart! It is realistic to think that you can hang out at this park all day.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Nice mixture of some wooded holes, some 500+ bomber holes. Beautiful layout. Multiple pin locations and a nice flow.
Other Thoughts: This is the course to play if you want to open up and test out some distance drives.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A tale of two courses
Pros: Anna Page West is the more professional of the two courses. It is tight and technical with holes that stress shot selection and execution.
It offers a lot of challenges but is still a lot of fun.
The park is very well maintained and has fantastic facilities near the parking lot including grills, bathrooms, water, and a field to practice in. The course is very well groomed and the gateway baskets there are probably the best I have played. Despite what it say in the course description all the tees are now concrete. The course is very easy to follow and it is difficult to lose discs even when you go into the schule. The course is easy to follow as you can usually see where you are teeing off next or there is a defined path to the next hole.
The course and hole design are fantastic. It starts and ends in the woods. There are holes that skirt the woods and then there are some long and open holes. The woods are tight and technical stressing hitting your line with a relatively low ceiling. There is almost always a good route to take and there is good lefty and righty balance. Most of the elevation change happens on the woodsy holes. The more open holes usually are well thought out with a well guarded basket. They typically will either have well placed trees that will limit the height you can choose for your line. On about half the holes there is well thought out risk reward with the opportunity to push for a bird or take a relatively easy three. There are a couple of par fours here as well.
Cons: The course has undergone some recent changes with the new tee pads and there is still some damage left from the old grass teeing areas. There aren't tee signs on every hole yet which can leave you guessing on distance. The one on 14 incorrectly says it is hole 13. Some are falling apart and could use an update. Some of the signs show am teeing areas that are not marked. There is only one set of pin placements and visually, the course has a clean but not very compelling look.
It is difficult to get to Anna Page. It is on the extreme north west corner of Rockford and it usually takes at least 20-30 minutes to get to from the interstate. Also, I could see that there could be people who could mistake the open holes as multiuse space.
Other Thoughts: With two courses in one park Anna page is a good place to visit even if it is out of your way. The West course is the best course in the park hands down. I find this course very fun and has a lot of variety. It seems like the park service gave them more space and let them do what they wanted with this one. I am concerned that it could face the same problems with erosion the the East course has in the future, but right now it looks great.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - Nice new teepads
- New alt pins
- ALWAYS well manicured
- Good baskets
- Great flow
- Easy to navigate
- Much improved tee signs
- Hardly any litter
- Garbage Cans
- Good amount of benches but poorly spaced
- Requires accurate shot placement
- Good mix of tight and open fairways
- Different wind directions really change the course. sometimes the wind is different at the tee and pin.
Cons: -Redesign removed some of the technical aspect of the course and turned it into distance (technical is preferred over distance, technical and long now thats good golf)
- Pin markers are always nice
- Some of the new alt pin are lame and some are really good.
- Equestrians are always a P.I.T.A. and think they have the right of way. They don't, multiple signs throughout both courses say "disc golfers have right of way"
- Although it hasn't happened to me personally i've seen peoples disc and feet go in horse poop
- Picnickers are sometimes in the way but usually are more than glad to move.
Other Thoughts: I'm not really a big fan of the changes that were made in the new layout. The 2 competely new holes are essentially pure distance shots and removed the more technical aspect of the course. I did think that those last 4 were short and easily dueced but they were fun and techincal. they should have remained as technical but longer.
Favorite Hole #14 (i think) - This is a long, right-curving shot down a fairway that slowly becomes a smaller and smaller tunnel. You can not see the basket from the teepad and the visible fairway appears to be slopping gentle down. The basket is actually slight above the teepad and is protected by a low-hanging ceiling. Half way down the fairway it starts to slowly work its way back up in elevation and seems to play up an old draw, so there is a gentle winding "valley" up towards the basket. (I use the term valley loosely, only to describe the shape not the size.) Taking a 2 is very rewarding.
Best Designed Hole #7- hands down. Only way to make good attempts at a 2 is to have a pretty good arm (400+) and be able to put a long high hyzer up there to get into the green area. The picture doesn't do it any justice. The basket is higher in elevation and is well protected by the trees and low ceiling.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 10 Not
Anna Page Park West
Pros: Awesome course here. Comparable to Plamann (in Appleton, WI) in that it has some nice longer holes including the 600 footer. Variety of elevation and terrain, highly recommended.
Cons: As a first timer, it was a bit confusing as to the layout of the course (I didn't know there were two courses at first).
4 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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