2 Helpful / 9 Not
B- = Be very nice but also a Bit funky
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution -- C+
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max -- B+
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- C+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A-
5) Bonus points for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- N/A
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me….that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Candy Cane-Shaped Fairways are Dumb
Pros: This course is well maintained. with nice facilities. The signpost you walk by between the parking lot and hole 1 tells you which position the baskets are in, and info on leagues and such.
Every hole has a nice concrete teepad, and very different A and B alt pin placements. The tee maps are some of the best I've seen, with the lines and distances for both A & B pins, next tee location, even showing contour lines for elevation changes, a great idea I haven't seen on any other course.
All of the baskets are correctly numbered and in pretty good shape.
The different pin placements drastically change the holes, in length and shape. Usually, one pin is to the left, the other to the right, with the next tee between them for a good flow from either. In fact, due to the close proximity of many tees with the previous baskets, this course flows pretty well. Thanks to the good markings, even if you aren't sure which tee or basket is the next one, you can always find out by getting a closer look.
The course is set on a mostly open park with rolling hills and several scattered clumps of trees. Though the course is mostly open, most baskets are concealed off the tee, and there are many instances of doglegs left or right through trees. What patches of woods exist are used on several holes as hiding places for baskets, or to bend the hole around.
Every basket on this course is protected in some way. Sometimes its enclosed in a patch of woods with a narrow path leading in. Oftentimes it is obscured behind such patches, forcing extreme candy cane-shaped doglegs that double back on themselves in many cases.
Though the baskets are often well-guarded, the openness of most fairways give you good opportunities to place your shots at the best angle for approaches and putts, and makes the short game much easier than the well-protected nature of the baskets would suggest.
Also, the terrain comes into play on almost every hole. This park was different that what I was used to, with more rolling, gradual hills, but few flat areas, so the elevation became a subtle factor in every hole, but not an extreme factor as on mountainous courses, or certain Wisconsin courses like Justin Trails or Baraboo. At East, it mainly means some holes play a little shorter or longer than the distance would indicate, and rollaway putts can happen.
Despite the high number of blind tee shots, this course is fairly easy, played as all par 3's (the listed pars on the tee signs are really high, just ignore them). Every hole is easy to get a 3 on with a solid drive, accurate approach and a short to medium putt. There are obstacles that keep it fairly interesting, but this is mostly just a forgiving, fairly open, fairly long bomber course in an idyllic park setting. Its kindof a happy medium, not wide open, but not super technical either
This course does require a little thought and some shot selection, and lots of good, longer drives, though still reachable for people with at least 250 max-D. Its a good place to warm-up for the more technical and challenging West course
Cons: Course Design. Evidently, this course was designed by a handyman/engineer who didn't really play DG, and though that makes many of its features more impressive, it also shows, in several areas.
Many teepads are very close to one or both of the previous pin placements, and in such a way that it would be easy to get hit by a drive from another hole. The holes seem very very crammed into this park, and though no fairways cross, there are several instances where another tee pad is just off to one side.
As a result, you will sometimes have to wait for groups to get off the tee on other holes before you can tee off, for safety reasons.
Also, despite the great signs and general openness of the course, this is a very un-FTF (First Timer Friendly) course. Due to the close proximity of all the holes, and the designers doing such a good job to hide (protect) the baskets, its very hard to know which pin you are supposed to shoot at. Many times, the numbered circles on top of the pins are faced away from the corresponding tee, and the faded red numbers on them are impossible to see until you get within 50 ft. After throwing at the wrong basket, and realizing my error, and rethrowing at a different wrong basket on hole 3, I had to walk almost every hole on the course before teeing off to find out just where the basket was. Despite the good sign showing that the "A" pin is a sharp left past that clump of trees, the baskets are so close together that that description fits at least three baskets on the left past those trees, and often the correct basket is the one that is hardest to see from the direction of the tee. It made it a frustrating round, since I had to keep scouting every hole before driving.
That being said, once I figured out where the pin was, the line was usually pretty obvious.
However, in an effort to protect the pins, this course ends up with many dumb holes. Specifically, the ones with candy cane-shaped fairways. Because the hole doubles back on itself, the best route to the pin is to thread the trees through the woods, yet this is not cleared out at all, leading me to believe that this isn't how you are supposed to play the hole. So, no matter how hard you hyzer the disc, you cant park the hole because it curves more than 90 degrees. For me, this basically meant a guarunteed par: Hard hyzer off the tee, long approach, gimmie putt.
Many of the holes on this course are like this, shaped in such a way that a 3 is very easy to achieve, but a birdie is next to impossible. As a result, I grew a bit bored with this constant lack of intrigue. Some holes are deuceable, but most are just easy 3s. Some of the longer holes take two good drives to get a 3 on, but all seem within reach.
I compare this to the course at Baraboo, where many holes are deuceable, yet also very easy to get a 4 on if you go in the trees.
On this course, its much easier to stay out of the trees, yet much harder to see how to get a 2 on some holes, regardless of how far you can throw. If I played this course ten times, I would still get pars almost always. If two comparable DGers played skins here, it would just come down to a game of sudden death, who is the first one to miss a short putt, every time. This is what a lack of risk-reward looks like.
Suffice it to say that I was not impressed with the overall design of this course, and didn't find it particularly interesting or challenging, even on holes I bogey'ed. This course is a decent rec course and an ok practice round for West. It's proximity to West is a plus, but if East were in a park by itself, its not high on my list of places I would rush back to.
The good tee pads and signage don't make up for the course being frustrating and dangerous to navigate. Some courses, like Papago park in Arizona, can be very un-FTF, confusing the first time you play them despite good signs and tee pads, but once you're familiar with the layout, they're great, well designed courses. However, this is not a GREAT course, IMO, but merely an ok, pretty one, not fantastic enough to justify the navigation challenges.
This course gets a 3.0 for condition, due to the cool alt pins, concrete tees and signage, but merely a 2.0 (passable) for navigation and course design. This is not to say you won't have fun here. Its not a BAD course, just shallow.
Other Thoughts: DISCLAIMER: Understand that I am biased toward more heavily-wooded courses, and I tend to mark courses down for being too open and not technical enough. If you are someone who prefers more open courses, then you would likely rate this course higher. You will probably enjoy the room this course gives you to "air it out", and the variety of the pin placements, but IMO the West course is a clearly better course, if you are up for the added challenge.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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