10 Helpful / 1 Not
I've loved East for nearly 20 years
Pros: IMHO this course asks one to shoot quite unique variety of shots.
I played a couple of my earliest tourneys here; in the early 1990s. I've been back nearly every year since; including 3 times in 2009; and I still enjoy the heck out of this course.
Land very well maintained and quite unique. Quite rare; in my experience, to be faced with such tall and thick schule; so near to most pins.
J shaped holes; while considered by some to force 3's; in my mind; require inventive shots to perhaps get a two; as well as smart play, to avoid a 4. If you come in early to some of these; there is BIG trouble.
You will need all shots here; including rollers, if you have them in your bag.
Elevation used well.
Anna West just on the other side of the parking lot.
Fresh water can be had at the bathrooms, located at end of parking lot. Good water; locals claim the water at this park, is better than city water.
Basket on top of the telephone/electrical pole quite a fun sculptural element. If you have a throwaway disc; give it a shot!
Two sets of pin placements; moved fairly often; which is nice for locals; but is another reason to print a map, for first timers.
Quite challenging course to long pins.
This course was designed, from the beginning, to challenge players over 900 rated. 6000 foot length; is fairly long (and, definitely was in the 1980s); especially, with all the schule near pins. My experience is that good shots are required to make 3s; very good shots to have a deuce opportunity; and good putts from the schule to save par.
#14 is one stand out hole for me....uphill, slight anny (rhbh), to what plays like 270 ft.; with some telephone poles and lines in play; as well as a big fall away hill to the road; on the left; if your anny line fades out left on you. So, you make it here; and now, you're faced with another 180 ft., straight, tunnel shot; over a bit of a ridge; to a pin you can just see the top of. If you don't make that first landing zone; you won't be able to see the pin.
Hole #5 (I think), in the long pin, is another very tall anny shot; requiring an excellent blind placement; for any chance at par. (the pictures for this course do it no justice; other than showing the nice looking landscape. Elevation not illustrated at all; there is good elevation here; especially to long pins.)
#4 (I believe), is a very interesting, poke and hope type of shot; that requires a tight drive to have a chance at the "hope." Very tricky green; with almost certainly force an unusual style putt; through, or around (or both) trees.
Cons: Tee signs not the best. You will see a number of pins from tees; and may have to walk a number of fairways to tell which basket is the correct one. I would suggest printing map beforehand, or meeting with a local. This course almost always has someone playing on it; it you don't have a map, ask if you can join up with a local for your first play through.
To next tee signs would be very useful. The number of blind pins, rather poor signage, and overall length of this course, can wear you out mentally (or, it does me, anyway). Take 10 minutes to figure out which hole you are throwing to, end up in the schule on your drive, play your way out; take a three or four; repeat this a number of times here; and the day can get long. I really suggest printing a map; or playing with a local. (The club is doing some nice improvements, late 2009; and they are attempting to have signs with pins noted and next tee markers, in by early 2010. This will certainly help make navigation easier.
No drinking of alcohol at this park; and there are stories of person in golf cart style vehicle, making sure of this. Be discrete. There are lots of secluded spots here; just don't be hammering beverages in the wide open.
Other Thoughts: Make sure to concentrate on hole #1 and get your deuce; as you will not see another easy one until #18 (long pins).
Greater Rockford Area Bush Masters has been name of club since the beginning....after playing this course; you will understand the "bush master" part; as I darn near guarantee you will throw a number of shots from the schule. Many pin placements here will force interesting upshots/putts from the thick stuff. At the same time; it is fairly tough to lose plastic; but keep an eye on your landings.
In my heart; I want to give Anna East a 4 rating; but, West is considered the better course by most; and, I can't see giving it a 4 rating; given, the other, better courses in Illinois. But, if you end up enjoying these courses as much as I do; you will consider them 4 rated. (I rate .5 or more lower than most reviewers here)
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1. The greatest "pro" for this course is the beauty. About as good as it gets for Northern Illinois.
2. Every hole offers a unique challenge with guarded and hidden baskets.
3. The grounds are very well taken care of. As of 11/14/09 the leaves had been mulched.
4. Very little chance to lose a disc.
5. Plenty of long holes with creative pin placements. They put a lot of thought into each pin placement.
6. Anna Page West is right across the road.
7. Decent signs and a good flow through the park.
8. People hiking or having a picnic are the only others who share the park. And, they picnic and hike there because it is a beautiful park.
Cons: I really can't think of a "con". The signs are not the best but I really don't care about signage. Beyond that I can't think of any reason to complain.
Other Thoughts: This course is an hour drive away for me, but well worth the drive. Drove up in the morning, played Anna Page East, walked up to the car and grabbed a new drink and played the West side.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Better of the two courses!
Pros: 1) Nice big concrete tee slabs with minimal erosion around most of them.
2) Good tee signs w/ alternate pins. Some of he blind baskets also have an A or B listed above the sign indicating which position it is in.
3) Awesome style of park for this course. This is a pretty big open park with small pockets of trees all around the park. This makes for incredible alternate baskets tucking them around corners and within 10-20' of wooded areas on most holes.
4) Shot requirements are tough. you need to be able to work the disc both ways so being backhand or sidearm dominant will hurt you unless you can anhyzer well too.
5) The basket on top of telephone pole on hole #15 was hilarious. WHat on earth do they use that for? If you hit that basket does it count as an ace? Either way I enjoyed seeing it up there and I even threw an extra disc to try and hit it. I missed the pole by only 5-10' but about 10' too low also.
6)Benches on most tees and garbage can placement seems adequate. Either the parks people or the locals do a good job of keeping this course clean of garbage. There is not much visible around.
7) Hole length is good. Apparently I played this course with all baskets in the easy positions as I played on the 1st of November. I enjoyed the basket locations, but would like to see it with all the baskets in the hard positions. I would imagine that is why my score was way better than the average on this site for this course. I am not that good of a player to shoot that much better than the average player.
8) Overall a good challenging course. It challenges mostly with its distance, because the holes are simply not reachable for the averag golfer (who throws under 250' normally) I can throw up to 275' and had a hard time getting any birdie chances after the first hole. The holes were just long enough or around enough of a corner that I had to throw a simple little approach under the basket for my 3's. I also two putted for bogie twice and had 2 errant approaches where I couldn't make my par, but I did birdie #1 and #17. LONG WINDED I know, but it helps to explain the distance required to do well on this course.
9) Every hole is unique, and although there are no super outstanding holes on this course, there are no throwaways.
10) This course uses rolling hills for their fairways and it does a wonderful job integrated what ellevation they have into the design. You go across hills, up over hills, around corners uphill and downhill which is a different challenge all in itself.
11) When I played the pins were all in easy positions so I didnt get to play some of the J shaped holes. I do not consider this to be much of a negative as it simply makes you wok your shot on every hole. It is better than allowing you to simply throw straight and rip it everytime. I think I would enjoy the challenge.
12) Maintenance in this park seems to be very high. There are not many erosion issues like you see on so many courses especially considering this course has been in the ground since 1986 and the rolling hills. There arent any dense wooded shot only pockets of trees so he turf also seems to be able to withstand the traffic it gets.
Cons: 1) Old baskets and some of them are inconsistent. Chain heights are different on some of the baskets. Some of the chains and baskets have been painted with something to protect it and it seems like it is peeling off. I have seen older baskets painted like this before so it must help protect the metal, and I would guess it may even make the chains catch better, but overall the baskets are old and not perfect.
2) Tough layout to figure out. I recommend bringing the course map as it shows the basket locations on each hole and will help you with the layout. It can be confusing the first time because you can see 2-3 baskets and tees from each tee or basket, so you may not know where you are supposed to go. On occassion the tee pad alignment might even mess you up because the baskets can be tucked around different corners. Baskets are also touhg to see in my instances too. Tucking the basket to the woodlines can be confusing, and since you can see baskets from every tee, you have to know where you are going.
3) Not real beginner friendly because of the length and the baskets that are tough to get to for the beginner. I would not expect this course was designed for beginners, it has been around a while and I can tell it is an old school course.
4) For a course that seems to be in great shape and received a lot of maintenance there were a ton of leaves that created some tough searches. I cannot fault the parks people much for this but it is somethng to be considered. Usually leaves are let go until they are all down so they do not continue to spend money on moving or mowing up leaves. Regardless I consider it a con, but no more so than any other course.
Other Thoughts: This is a championship caliber course in my opinion because of the basket location variability. It is mostly open (meaning no deep woods to throw through, just open fairways and around corners). I enjoyed it thoroughly and I think i liked it more than the west course because of the uniqueness of the holes and the course layout. Elevation, wooded area to avoid constantly, but rarely do you have to shoot through much of a wooded area, mostly just around.
There is a shared parking area between the courses and bathrooms located right by the parking which is nice.
I will definitely come back here sometime, probably for a tourney as I wont travel that far very often, but I certainly did enjoy this course a lot. I have had a hard time comparing between the two course and overall I think both courses are 4 disc course despite me enjoying this course more than the west course. Normally I like wooded courses, but this course was so uniquely designed I think I liked it more than the mature oaked west course. I am ranking them both 4's but this one was better in my opinion.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 5 Not
Difficult to play your 1st time here.
Pros: Holes have a variety of distance from 200 ft-500 ft. Holes are mostly open, but the rough will severely penalize you. Alot of good holes for roller shots. Hole 7 is a great challenge.
Cons: Mostly flat. Some of the pin placements are pretty goofy and offer no real route to the basket with the hole winding around the pine trees (180 degree hairpin in 1 instance). These placements do not create fun shots. Baskets are in bad shape.
Other Thoughts: A ton of blind holes that wrap around pine trees which makes playing here for the 1st time very difficult with all the extra walking to checkout the basket placement. Gotta play a few rounds here to get the distances dialed in.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
The open page
Pros: The course is in a very large park with rolling hills and a mix of open grassy areas and thick stands of trees. The park is very well taken care of, with nicely manicured grass on all the fairways and no trash on the course when I played. There are no holes with major elevation, but many of the holes play on at least a slight incline which adds some interest on many of the more open holes.
There is a variety of types of holes, from completely wide open holes where you can rip a drive to holes where accuracy is paramount if you don't want to be stuck in the woods. Most of the pins are tucked into or behind stands of trees, so that poor placement on drives and upshots is punished with tough looks at the baskets. There is a decent mix of straight shots and right/left curving holes throughout the course.
There are nice concrete tee pads on all the holes that provide enough space for most throwers.There are good signs on each hole with distance and lines to both pin positions. The sign board at the beginning of the course lists the current positions on all the holes, which is nice when there is a mix of A and B placements. The alternate pin placements really change most of the holes, and it looked like they would make for very different challenges.
Cons: One of my biggest beefs about courses with multiple pin placements is a lack of signage on the course that indicates the current layout. The sign at hole 1 alleviates this somewhat, but you have to write down the whole layout if you don't want to be scouting out many of the holes. Many of the holes are blind, which is a nice challenge, but is frustrating when the two pin positions require very different tee shots.
I would have liked a few tighter fairways on this course, as most of the holes were very wide open for much of their length. A few that had tighter fairways had very odd doglegs that seemed to make the holes have pretty poor scoring distributions (impossible to deuce, easy to 3, have to really screw up to 4), and these got a little old.
Though the design used the space well to keep fairways separate, too many of the tees were right in the flight path of the previous hole. If the course is crowded, you really have to watch out for drives coming at you from behind.
Other Thoughts: This course offered very different challenges from the West course, and I thought they complemented each other nicely. This course had more open shots, and is much more accessible to beginning players. It does have some holes that will challenge more experienced players, and is a great place to warm up for a round on the more challenging west course.
With two nice courses in one park, Anna Page is certainly worth driving out of your way to play. If you have time for both courses, play this one first, then tackle the West course. If you only have time for one, I found the West course more interesting and fun, and it provides much more challenge for more advanced players.
I enjoyed the "sacrifice" hole, and thought it was a neat idea. There is a basket mounted on top of a telephone pole, where if you somehow manage to shank a shot into it, you won't be getting your disc back.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
A decent course to play
Pros: The concrete tees and markers are very nice. The signs are definitely better than at Anna Page West, this is an easier course to follow. Very good elevation and lots of trees provide for a challenging round. Not a bad mix of longer and shorter holes, as well as open and wooded holes. Multiple pin locations provide variety.
Cons: While there are A and B pins for each hole, it doesn't seem like they have a consistent set in the ground. I definitely noted some A's and B's throughout the course. It's also a pain in some cases to have to walk toward the tee to determine where it is located, as it can be fairly time consuming. And while there is good balance on this course, many of the wooded holes seemed very similar. Lots of the holes also seemed to overlap, with tees and baskets very close together.
Other Thoughts: I didn't enjoy this course as much as the Anna Page West, but both courses have their flaws. In regards to the East course - it was a bit easier to follow, but some of the wooded holes got to be fairly repetitious, which was disappointing. Anna Page is also a huge park, which is clear considering it houses 36 holes of disc golf. However, there are also numerous parties, picnics, and general gatherings. We had lots of issues with people wandering through the course, which was a big pain. That said, Anna Page East was a pretty good, challenging course, despite its flaws. Definitely take a day to head out to Rockford and play all 36.
7 of 7 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.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Open fairways are good practice for driving. Hills add extra challenge (compared to Florida courses that I'm used to). Some difficult doglegs and long holes make what could be an easy course much more challenging. Variety in length and hole design. Several holes have a few options for best route to the basket, giving good opportunity for strategy. The slopes and openness allows the wind to affect the game some, which adds some difficulty.
Cons: The idea of open fairways with some tighter shots nearer the basket repeats itself a lot, which can be repetitive. Some weird shaped holes are impossible to deuce, so it removes some of the fun from those holes. I can't say there are any holes where a very technical, accurate DRIVE is required. It's not always obvious whether baskets are in the A or B locations. That plus mediocre signage means it's not an easy course to figure out for people unfamiliar with it.
Other Thoughts: I've played on this course since the mid '80s, although I don't get there often anymore because I moved to Florida. It's a beautiful course and well established over such a long time. But having played in a variety of courses over the years, I now realize that the design of Anna Page East isn't as technically challenging as it could be.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Sacrificae to the disc gods
Pros: Big arms will like this one; there are quite a few open, grip n' rip holes. Not much creativity, tho, until you get near the pin. That's where the plantlife comes to play. Pins are placed very carefully and trees will come into play on nearly all of the holes.
This course is in quite contrast from the other 18 holer at this park, Anna Page West. If your score was a shipwreck due to West, you very well could salvage your day on East.
You will love one and hate the other. Your score will probably reflect that.
This is a challenging course in the sense that the groundskeepers do a good job of mixing up the pins (in addition to mowing!). That makes things very interesting.
There is a fieldhouse at the park. Grills are scattered throughout, especially at West. If you need something at the last minute, Wal-Mart and some fast food places are a few miles down the road.
Overall, this is a very pretty park, and you will forget, quickly, that you're in IL's 3rd largest city. If you skip the fieldhouse and need to pee, there are plenty of trees.....
There is, on the opposite side of the road of holes 1 and 18, a practice basket. There is plenty of space to throw your brand new, untested driver, without worry of hitting anyone. I think every course should have a practice basket!
FYI - Bring a disc you do not mind losing/offering as a sacrifice to the disc golf gods! On holes 13 & 15 (please correct me if I'm wrong) you have the opportunity to throw your offering disc about 30 or 40 feet in the air at a faux target. The telephone pole it is placed upon clearly marks that it is an offering to the "Disc Gods", so this is purely voluntary. There are a few discs up there and I've overheard a few guys say aloud "...I'll bring my spikes and climb that thing!".
Might not be worthwhile to disrespect the disc golf gods....
Cons: The main problem I have with this course is that I have discovered, the hard way, that the signs are not always accurate. Either the signs have not been updated or hooligans come along and switch what hole it is (A or B) that is being played. It's rather embarrassing and frustrating to lead some Anna Page newbies on this course only to discover, at the last minute, that you were throwing at the completely wrong direction.
For the most part, you are walking in the open, so that can be rough when it's really hot. Bring plenty of refreshments!
Watch your disc! Quite a few holes require flight plans that hug treelines, and, if you're not careful, you can wind up trying to tomahawk it thru a bunch of pine trees, praying for double or triple bogie.
Other Thoughts: There are tournaments held here, so check the listings before you set out with your buddies. If you arrive at about 8 a.m., the place is to yourself (unless I'm there, too!).
If you're planning a DiscGolf Day, start here, then do Kraape Park in Freeport and then Sinnissippi in Sterling. If you play each course just once, that's 72 holes thrown in less than 2 hours of driving time.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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