I liked it.
Pros: Great beginner's course in a multi-use park. Even in January, there were an abundance of people jogging (or yawging, it might be a soft J) around the trails. Tons of Ice Houses on the lake, and even a pick up hockey game of sorts was happening as well. The course has Discraft baskets, a bit older but still trusty. I did have one bad spit out, but it might have been because it was relatively cold. The course is an intermediate course, no extremely long holes except 16 which is almost 600 and 18 which might be... 400? ish?. I think 7 was also about 425-450. Clean course. Teepads. No garbage cans (but it is winter here). Heavy auto traffic means this course could prove to offer our sport great exposure in a college/resort town.
Cons: Tee pad were a tiny bit small. I didn't have any issues finding any holes, but the trusty map from here helped as well. The design is... okay. You throw over paths, over the lake, and yes, if you'd like, over the road a time or two. Take your time and make sure nothing or nobody will get in your way.
Other Thoughts: I was in town for my son's hockey tournament, and I ran off to play this and West Park. I bogeyed two holes and still ended up two down. I saw on the local site that -10 is the unoffical course record (in league play). There are a lot of birdies out on this course, which can make it a fun place to play. I would see this as a great warm up course, not a destination course. My biggest complaint is that you stand in the city, surrounded by bluffs, and this course and West Lake Park are as flat as can be. It sounds like St. Mary's has elevation, but I didn't get a chance to play. One other thing to mention (and the reason for my edit) is that the tee pads are small, but they are level, and I had no issues teeing off from as far back as necessary. Also, the markers are really neat here, a 15X15 elevated square block with a plate on top. The plates are supposed to show the hole, but some of these are missing, and by replacing the missing ones, it would make this course easier to play.
Around the Lake
Pros: Nice stone block signs, good use of water and park space, many different shots and discs required, hot girls walking around lake with good views around lake.
Cons: Tends to be a busy area and park, plays through walking path and close to adjacent roads, missing signs on some holes, shorter tee's.
Nice area, multi-use park, close to food and worth playing if in the area. Warm up with the short 9 hole course next to this one. Average rating does not seem to do it justice as the course is fun to play and good use for the area provided.
Pros: The view being by the lake was impressive
Having to throw over water on hole 2 was pretty cool.
The course offers come pretty decent long shots, especially hole 16.
Cons: Many of the holes are straight and didn't offer much of a challenge
You need to watch out for traffic on the course, Cars, Bikers, Rollerbladers, and Walkers all come into play on this course. Make sure you look before you throw.
A lot of the markers are missing the maps and yardage.
Other Thoughts: Course has a great location on the lake with the bluffs in the background
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course along the lake
Pros: The course winds around the east side of Lake Winona, and utilizes the lake nicely on some holes. Course is very well maintained by the city parks and recreation department. Fairways were mowed and tees in great shape. Favorite was hole 2, which required a drive over the corner of the lake. Course had a good variety of technical shots along the water, along with a few open holes and several trees. Holes 5-8 hugs along the lakeshore, providing some tough but fun shots.
Cement tees are in very good shape, but a bit small for those who like to take a few extra steps in their run up. The rock tee markers and hole descriptions were very nice. With an open course area and a prevalent westerly wind, the course became even more difficult than anticipated. Easily accessible and a nice little parking area and map on a large sign at the entrance of the course. Plenty of trash cans and benches/areas to sit and relax after playing a round and to enjoy the views of the lake.
Cons: The course runs alongside a very busy road, and right through a bike path which requires careful attention to your shots. Bad throws (or the help of strong wind) will land you in the road on holes 11-15. Several holes go alongside and even over the bike path which is also quite busy. Always had to be on the look out for bicyclists, runners, and walkers etc.
The rock tee markers were neatly made, but some of the hole description placards were missing, which also gave directions to the next hole. It became a little difficult at times to navigate, but friendly local disc golfers helped me out. Overall, making sure all tee markers had placards with hole description and a few signs directing to the next hole would improve the course, and obviously the traffic is not something that can be controlled.
Other Thoughts: With the exception of a fun tee off on hole 14, the course is flat. The presence of Canada Geese and seagulls required disc golfers to look down while walking, as to not step into droppings. Winona is a neat community that sports three distinctly different disc golf courses, and enthusiasts will be treated to a full day of fun. With the exception of the busy traffic, (and a strong wind out of the west) I enjoyed my experience at the Willows.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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