5 Helpful / 1 Not
The True Beauty of Wisconsin's Northwoods
Pros: This is the kind of course that you take someone to who doesn't understand your passion for the sport and for certain courses and as soon as they are finished playing it will silence all their doubts. This course highlights the true beauty of Wisconsin's northwoods. This course offers up ample amounts of fun for both the beginners and the experts. Multiple pin settings are always a plus in my opinion and it also has some holes with multiple pads to add challenge for the better players. This course is a must play for me at least once a year if not twice. It truly allows you to step away from the real world and just enjoy nature and disc golf. The course also allows for a great exercise with all the up and downs among its terrain. I am a big fan of wooded courses that take you away from the real world and this course goes far and beyond succeeding in that. In the past few years a couple of new tee pads have been added to give a couple of holes even more challenge which shows me that the owners of the course are interested in continuing to improve the already outstanding course. This course has short holes, long holes, holes that finish up hill, holes that finish downhill, holes to the right, holes to the left...it has it all. If you are lucky enough to play it, especially in spring or fall, then you will be able to experience their two water holes. Hole 27 may be my favorite hole to date. 300+ along a beach line with the basket on a peninsula with a creek behind it. The biggest pro at this course is that every year I go there it seems to get better and improve and I love seeing that in a course. There is also a pro shop located right next to hole one for another plus.
Cons: Only cons here is that the water holes, 26 and 27, are not open all year so if you happen to stop there in summer you may miss out on two of the most fun holes there.
Other Thoughts: If you have the chance to make it there do not hesitate. This course is well worth the trip. There are cabins located on the property that are available for rent and if you get a group together it is well worth the trip. Also, if you get a chance to play in one of their tournaments do not hesitate either because they are always a great time. Typically a gallery of people enjoying the sun on the beach and watching people from other divisions throwing hole 27. Just an all-out great experience every time. Also the course changes a great deal in challenge from the short pins to the long pins and this is an added benefit.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very Nice course long enough to get some good walking in. Love the uphill throws. I am newer to discing but completely thought this was fun and challenging.
Cons: For people who don't know where to look for the "next tee" signs you have to look up in the trees. some are hidden a bit as I had to help some people figure out where to go. 2 holes I was looking forward to close for summer. could use more garbage cans and maybe porta potties.
Other Thoughts: Little confusing sometimes on pin position. Bring good bug spray. Don't wear flip flops or lose shoes and there are some spots you can slide easily.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Top Notch Woods Course!
Pros: The course at Sandy Point is set on the type of land you would expect to find in northern Wisconsin- beautifully wooded, a secluded feel, pristine nature, crisp clear air, and land made for disc golf with just the right amount of elevation mixed in. The course is very-well manicured and has that perfectly aged and mature look and feel. This is basically your shorter technical woods course, but is easily one of the best of this type anywhere. The is a perfect mix of left, straight, and right holes combined with elevation of flat, up and down along with a decent variety of hole distances allowing each hole to be different from the rest (not easy to do for 27 holes in the woods!) Most obstacles will of course be trees, and there is enough rough to punish errant shots, but not so stupid thick to swallow discs for good. I loved that both the fairways and paths to the next tee were well-worn making navigation a breeze. The baskets and tees are great. Tee signs were adequate.
I found this course to be extremely fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. There are lots of birdie opportunities, but no gimmees. The owners are what make this course special. It is obviously the love and passion they have for their course and the sport as a whole. The entire family works at the resort, they know disc golf and love to talk disc golf with you, and were delighted to have us come play. (I have to point out here the contrast to the owner of nearby Highbridge who does not actually play disc golf himself and it is easy to see the difference that makes in a course.) Be sure to check out the pro shop- they have an incredible collection of collector and out-of-production discs both on display and for sale. The pro shop was run by their daughters who also know their disc golf! SPDGR is also home to the Wisconsin Disc Golf Hall of Fame- but I did not check that out.
I did not stay here, but the resort offers luxurious cabins for rent. (Again in contrast to nearby Highbridge which offers housing options on the more rustic side of the scale, of which may be preferred.) There are other activities here as well including a swimming beach, boating, fishing, etc. The nearby town had lots to offer tourists- shops, restaurants, etc. This is a really nice place to bring the whole family.
Cons: Barely any- the course is just about as perfect as it can be with what the land has to offer. But the tee signs are older. And some of the next tee signs seemed to point slightly in the wrong direction, but with the worn paths and the course map, navigation was fine. It was really hard to find #23 and 24, which are the two holes set completely apart from the rest of course along the edge of the lake and the swimming beach- if Mrs. Owner had not seen us wondering around we probably never would have found them. These holes are not in character with the other holes and are not playable all the time. I would consider them more of a novelty, or bonus holes. The 2 baskets are right on the water, but it is super shallow and clear and easy to get your disc if not totally launched out to sea.
Other Thoughts: It is $5 a day to play, which may be a little high in my opinion, but not unreasonable seeing that the amount of work that goes into the course. If playing Highbridge again, I would actually consider staying here and then making the 1.5 hour drive, rather than staying in the Honka House, but I prefer more modern accommodations. However, the price of the cabins are on the high side from I am used to paying for comparable cabins.
Hole numbering- after 4, there is 4a - 4b - 4c, and then 5, which is how there is 27 holes. (Although since then there is a note on their webpage that the holes have now been renumbered 1-27).
I highly recommend playing this course if also coming to Highbridge. The course itself is probably more like a 3.5, but the resort as a whole, especially the passion displayed by the owner and his disc golf loving family made for one of the best disc golf experiences I have had, boosting my total rating to a 4.0. Be sure to read the excellent recent reviews of ZMan, TallPaul, and Mashnut as well as I agree with everything they say about this place.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Perfect Wooded Course
Pros: Seclusion: Sandy Point is located on a small resort property...but you feel like you are far away from everything. The course is calm and quiet. The air is fresh and crisp. It is an amazing piece of property and well cared for.
Design: While the holes are not long, there is an abundance of fairway shapes. There are tight anhyzers, long tunnel shots, and then a few open holes near the end.
Closing Holes: I suggest that if you play this course, try to make the trip before the busy season, during which 23 and 24 may not be playable. These holes offer a very unique feel in comparison to the rest of the course. #23 is a daunting tee shot....even though you are probably throwing a putter. As for hole #24: I have seen a number of shots that border a lake...but very few with a beach-type waterfront. The pin position is also incredibly challenging as it rests on a tiny inlet.
Score Dispersion: Any good course must have a solid score dispersion. When you are having a great day, you should shoot about 5 or 6 strokes better than your average day. When you are off, 5 or 6 strokes worse. I have played a number of courses where, after playing, I could go back and estimate my score to within a 4 stroke spread and be right 99.9% of the time. Sandy Point offers this without the length. The fact that most of the holes are short does not make them easy. I could see myself shooting a -10...or a +4. I like that aspect of this course a lot. Accuracy reigns supreme here.
Navigation: Maps are available but almost unnecessary. Navigation was very straightforward. While the course is almost exclusively wooded, paths are well-worn. It would be hard to lose your way.
Cons: There really aren't many cons. The course is almost totally wooded. If wooded courses are not your "cup-of-tea" then you probably won't like the course. Personally, I am not a huge fan of wooded courses, but this is the best predominantly wooded course I have ever played.
While most of the course is easily navigable, finding the final two holes is a little tricky. Just follow the road to the back of the resort and you should find #23 tee. This is just a minor issue.
Other Thoughts: Sandy Point Resort is a spectacular place with amazing terrain and great views of the lake. The course is solid using excellent variety and changes in elevation. Honestly, as I previously stated, I have never played a better course that was predominantly wooded. This place has a very special vibe.
I really struggled with this rating as I really want to bump the score up to a 4.5 due to the pro-shop, friendly staff and other resort amenities. However, since this is a "course" review, I feel confident in my assessment of Sandy Point as an "excellent" course.
We played this course on our way home from Highbridge. Highbridge has some amazing courses. If I was to compare this course to a Highbridge course it would be Woodland Greens. However, the Sandy Point course is much better in my opinion than Woodland Greens. Highbridge has the space for larger, more open courses. But Sandy Point is not to be overlooked if you are traveling through Northern Wisconsin and you have discs with you.
They always say that a good coach brings out the best in his players. The designers and crew at Sandy Point have gotten the most out of this property with regards to the disc golf course. I cannot think of a single design aspect I would change. It is truly a gem.
If you are in the area, definitely check this course out. I don't think you will be disappointed...unless you throw 600 feet and that is your only disc golf related skill. $5 is not bad at all for this cool secluded course.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Disc Golf Paradise
Pros: Every hole is extremely wooded with excellent use of elevation. The fairways are rather tight and technical with punishing roughs. 4 holes have alternate tees, with #4B and #12 (new as of 2010) adding considerable difficulty. Of the 27 holes, only 4 lack alternate pin locations, and holes 8,9,14,20, and 21 have 3 pin placements. During the summer, there is a good mixture of long and short pin placements that make the course enjoyable for serious and recreational disc golfers alike. The course is constantly changing, with new holes, tees, or pin placements being added yearly before the annual Northwoods Open.
Cons: Only 2 holes reach 400 ft (both of these are over 500 ft). Holes #23 & #24 are not playable during resort season (May - Labor Day). There are a couple of blind pin placements (4B short, 5 long, 11, 13, 20 long 21 mid).
Other Thoughts: This is probably the best maintained course I have ever played, and certainly the only one with a full time greenskeeper (props to Stu!). This is one course where you can instantly see where your $5 greens fee is going!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Without a doubt, my favorite
Pros: The land is beautiful. The course is kept up very well: tee pads are great, signage is great. Trash and recycling receptacles are available throughout the course. It is VERY obvious someone spends a lot of time cleaning up fallen trees, branches and other debris. Closest thing to a disc golf country club that exists. Other amenities are available as well
The course itself, requires one to use all the different shots you know. The holes tend to have a lot of trees, but defined fairways. Missing the fairway can be very punishing.
Cons: The 2 holes on the lake aren't up year round
Other Thoughts: If you get the chance, stay & play at Sandy Point. Nothing compares.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 1 Not
perfect middle of nowhere
Pros: Top of the line wooded/finesse course.
Two sets of tees. (I'm not sure why hole info does not show this; and I don't have info available to me, to add). Shorts will allow very new players to enjoy this wooded, northern Wisconsin gem. Both sets usually used for nearly all divisions during tourney play; meaning you need to score big from short tees. Sandy Point is one course that seems intent on keeping Steady Ed's philosophy of disc golf being a fun, recreational activity, in full force.
Multiple pin placements. See cons for possible ramifications of short course.
Maintained to the highest degree; brooms for sweeping of tees on all tees. (Sandy Point is sandy....though it does not really seem to affect upshots like other "sandy" courses I've played).
Two very nice water holes. (There are times when these two are pulled.)
Old car in fairway, a nice, sculptural, touch.
Couple pins secured into tree stumps a nice touch.
Elevation used very well. Many holes either up or down hill. With that said, there are few "killer hill climbs."
Recent times have seen a couple new, longer pin placements or tees. Some footage is being added.
Pine forest. Birch forest. Nice walks and play through both of these; as well as more balanced variety of forest areas.
Wonderful cabins of various price ranges available. Cheapest is very affordable for two or three guys splitting cost.
Game room...movie rental....awesome pro shop...boat rental....swimming area....sandy, beech area volleyball court....
Easy navigation with only a few blind pins.
Hole shooting to the huge American Flag on the back of the club house is a nice, patriotic touch; and a fun ace run.
Course is well designed from a shot balance point of view. There are a few, throw far holes; #s 4B, 8, and 21. These are some of the signature holes in my mind.
Beautiful hand crafted practice basket.
Disc golf only seclusion to the highest degree. (Much of this course is bordered by Native American land).
Hand crafted jewelry, made by owner, Michelle, (among others, I assume), available in pro shop.
This is a place you can bring your family or just your significant other, even if he/she doesn't play disc, and enjoy a very relaxing weekend. I have been here with just the guys, as well as weekend's with my wife; and both are wonderful.
After the Northwoods Open, CTP/Ace option is available where you are boated out to a floating tee (outdoor carpet on pontoons). This thing rolls with the waves on the lake and you shoot to a basket on the shore, @170 ft. Fun shot!, I've never seen this anywhere else.
Cons: This course is short, when pins are in short position. The one poor rating here must have played the course when this was the case. Quite short; when shooting short tees to short pins.
No camping on site.
Sandy Point is one course, that I have heard from at least one veteran who has been waiting for years to play here (for some reason?); that it did not live up to expectations. The particular person I am speaking of, happened to play the course when most pins were short; and found the course relatively easy. In fact, he got an ace during his first visit. Therefore, if you're a highly rated player; I suggest you email or call first to find out details; or, simply realize there is this possibility and you need to score big, if the course is set up this way. As I noted; pros usually play a short tee round during tourney play; they simply know they need to score big.
Other Thoughts: In Wisconsin, this course has had sort of a Flip reputation for many years. Largely, it has lived up to expectations. Annual tourneys fill; (S.P. has hosted the end of year; state tour finals more than once, as well).
This is a well loved course that some tourney players have been returning to for the better part of 20 years; including Barry Schultz most years. A team tourney, with players from all over the country was an annual feature here for years; and was enjoyed by all. Mike brought an early love of disc with him from NorCal and made this a destination spot immediately.
If you want to throw big, this may not be the course for you. If you want to see wooded disc golf at it's finest (unless you consider long wooded to be the best); this is a top notch place to do so.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
One of the Best in the World!
Pros: Extremely well-manicured course - fairways are well-defined and clean. Greens are well-defined and just as clean, if not cleaner, than the fairways. Garbages and recycling cans all over the course. Cement tee pads on every hole. Broom on each hole for sweeping tee off. Pro shop is awesome!! Tons of disc and other disc golf-related stuff. Cold beverages, too. Course makes you pull out many different shots/discs out of your bag. Probably the funnest course I've played.
Cons: There's only one 27-hole set-up. Not that this is really a con. It's better than eighteen holes, and eighteen is alright by me. Also, these are 27 great holes. Not one hole is 'weak' ... never was one hole created just because another one needed to fit in somewhere - if they wanted to pack 'em in, they could have 54 holes, easily.
Other Thoughts: Quite the technical course, but it also rewards distance off the tee from the long tees that are out there, as well as some of the long pin placements - Stu's Cafe (holes 4a, 4b & 4c) is a must-play. 4b from the long tee is awesome. Especially when the long pin is in!!! The owners, the Cozzens', are awesome, too. Great people who will surely make your experience there more than worthwhile. Also, Stu, yes, the guy who the Cafe is named after, is the course pro/greenskeeper/etc. He makes the course as beautiful as it is, year-round. He also has been adding new tees on some pre-existing holes...making some really long and tough holes out of what used to be good deuce opportunities...thanks a lot, Stu...
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome place to play
Pros: This beautiful private course plays through a heavily wooded and hilly piece of Wisconsin forest. More than half the holes have at least some elevation in play, and a few have severe ups or downs adding some great variety to the course. The majority of the holes play down wooded fairways with dense trees and brush waiting off the fairway to snag an errant shot and cost you a stroke. A few holes play in a more park style setting with scattered mature trees and no brush, and the last two holes bring the lake and docks into play. These last two holes are a lot of fun, and though they don't fit in with the rest of the course they definitely add to the variety and fun factor, especially with the last hole having the entire intended flight path over the lake.
There is an excellent variety of hole shapes here, with left and right turning shots, you'll need to hit lots of different lines to score well. This is even more the case when you look at the multiple pin positions and the few holes with alternate tees adding even more variety and in some cases more challenge. The course has some very unique holes, like the shot over the 50s Pontiac wrecked on the fairway (it's even on the course map!), or the flag hole shooting an ace run through some trees right at a large flag on the side of a cabin.
The course obviously puts the user fee to work here, with great maintenance and improvements. Every hole has at least one nice concrete tee, and several have two, all with good texture for grip. There is a broom at every tee pad to sweep the pad, nice touch. There are basic hole signs, that when combined with the course map make the flow extremely easy to follow, especially with some strategically placed next tee signs. The pro shop is well stocked, and the staff I came in contact with went out of their way to help. They opened up the shop an hour and a half after closing, then got a map and circled all the current pin positions.
Cons: The course is lacking a little length. The holes are almost all within range of a mid shot for better players, so there isn't as much challenge as there could be. It seems like that is slowly changing with the addition of long tees on many holes though, so this may not be a con for too long. Though the friendly staff marked our map with the current pin positions, without that there is no way of knowing, especially on the holes with new positions not on the hole signs (though it's awesome that they're constantly adding new tees and pin locations). This means if you don't have a map and some help, you'll need to scout on the many blind holes to know where to throw. The last two holes are a long walk away from the rest of the course, and are closed in the busy season, but are definitely worth playing if you have the chance.
Other Thoughts: This course is secluded and beautiful, and has some fun technical holes. It's definitely worth a stop on your way to Highbridge, and worth going out of your way for all on it's own. Beginners may find it technical and tough, with disc losing potential off the fairways. More experienced players won't find enough length to keep it from being a bit of a birdie fest at times, but it's a fun round nonetheless with some excellent shots.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 4 Not
Outstanding, not missing much
Pros: Woods, water, low traffic, tranquil beauty - this course setting is gorgeous. The owners/designers are true disc golfers who know how to design a course for disc golfers who lover disc golf with a wooded challenge. Each hole offers a few routes to the pin. Multiple pin placements vary the difficulty. The rough here is also not as bad as Winter Park or other extreme/wooded type courses. The course winds it's way through the property and utilizes many different ridges and valleys for great holes with varied elevation. Tees are concrete and well kept up and there is even a broom at each one to clean off for your drive. The tee signs are very nice and flow/direction of play is easy to follow. Some of the more memorable holes are long tunnel shots along a power line ROW, throwing to the penninsula green with the lake bordering the entire right side (special tournament hole only), and numerous holes that require threading the needed through all the trees. Amenities like benches are are nice as well. More than 18 holes here definitely makes it worth the trip to the remote (but scenic) location. Try a late fall trip up here - it is quiet and amazing up here in late October!
Cons: Water holes not always in play, and no huge downhill ripper holes - that's about all. Only that SMALL bit of balance and variety that is missing from this amazing course. I typically complain about the concrete tees because I feel erosion and a lip on any side of the tee can lead to rolling an ankle. And the tees are typically not long enough either. Plus, concrete is always slippery when wet. I guess the same goes for the tees here, but it's really a personal con of mine - I'm in the minority of people who dislike concrete tees.
UPDATE: Oh yes, pay to play here is a con. Not because I don't like to pay for a great course, but because I then expect a whole new level of unique landscaping, amenities, etc. A few more elevated tees, terraced greens, ponds, landscaping etc, would be what I expect from a pay to play course. In this regard SPDGR falls short and hampers getting that 5 disc rating (but it IS oh so close). And the resort is simply not a disc golf complex, such that the amount of property does not yield a course with amazing variety - LONG holes, wide open rippers, downhill bombers, etc, etc.
Other Thoughts: Would be a 5 without question if it had at least one huge downhill ripper hole, and a few more 'beautification' items. Plus, the water holes are only in play off peak tourist season or for tournaments. These holes offer the complete balance one would look for. Everyone loves to air it out on those. Otherwise this course is a disc golf lovers paradise (beside being at a northwoods resort where many patrons do NOT disc). Taking the time to play this course, along with a trip to Highbridge, is a GREAT idea. This course has quiet, tranquil beauty of the WI northwoods. You get elevation, tight woods, long, short, and water hazards here. Sandy point is EXCELLENT! I love this type of wooded wonderland. Don't take any of the cons or nitpicking the wrong way (especially the pay to play con) because I LOVE this course and would play it if I were anywhere within an hour drive. The course itself is amazingly well designed, the property is gorgeous and unique with ravines and ridges propogating through a wooded wonderland. It simply lacks all the variety (long open holes, huge downhill bombers, uphill brutality, more water OB, etc) I seek to rate it a 5. It is however a destination course and a wooded course lovers dream come true.
15 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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