0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Manicured and in a park perfect for the family outings. Challenging long distances and multiple tees.
Cons: Pay to play. Worth it though.
Other Thoughts: A real pretty course in Madison. Although I prefer to play Heistand when in the middle part of the state.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice, but pricey
Pros: This is another great addition to the Madison disc golf scene, and adds it's own totally different flavor to the variety of courses here. The pay to play fee is clearly used at least in part for course upkeep, as it is beautifully manicured and kept up and really has the feel of a ball golf course. A lot of work has gone into this course with large dual concrete tees, nice signs with hole layouts and distances to all three pin positions at both tees, and lots of landscaping. It doesn't appear to get as crowded as the other Madison courses, which is one more benefit of the play fee.
With the multiple pin positions, there is a decent variety of shot shapes required to score well here, with a pretty balanced mix of left and right turning shots. There are a few shots that have more of a wooded feel to break up the more open prairie type shots with only a couple trees for obstacles. There is a pretty good variety of distances here, with some shorter ace runs and some longer air it out type holes, and the dual tees add more variety with the longs often adding a good amount of distance and a slightly different shot.
Cons: Normally I don't even mention pay to play as a con, it doesn't bother me to pay a few bucks to play a private course or to contribute to keeping up a fantastic course. Here though, $7 for 18 holes seems very steep. The maintenance is impeccable, but the course itself is just not quite challenging or interesting enough to be worth that. There are too many open holes with prairie rough that don't challenge you to make a good drive, you can easily get back to the hole for a 3 once you find your disc in the long grass.
With such nice signs and multiple pin placements, I was quite surprised to not see any marking for what position was currently in use. I'm not a fan of having to guess or walk up the fairway to know where the pin is, and it's not that hard to do something simple to mark the current pin set up. The course plays very close to park roads several times, which takes away from the feel of the course, as does the highway noise on the first few holes.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course, and worth a round if you're playing the Madison area, but I personally put it behind both Hiestand and Elver for fun factor, especially when you throw in the high fee here. It's got some challenges, but not enough variety, elevation or punishing obstacles to make it really feel worth the fee.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
pay to play working very well
Pros: Two sets of cement tees; offering two distinct courses for play.
Multiple pin placements.
As all reviewers note; course maintenance here is superb. Not only on a daily basis; i.e. trash removed, fairways mowed; tee areas beautiful and unworn as maintenance can keep things; but,
in addition to the wonderful job done on these daily maintenance issues; there is outstanding rock wall landscaping which makes for beautifully kept pin placements (hole #6 has three different pin placements located on the side of a hill; all are surrounded by raised pin with rock wall supporting basket area. You can be within a couple of feet of basket and still have an over your head putt). From the long tee on #6, an o.b. road also comes into play; short of basket locations.
Hole # 7 forces a choice around a forested area to a raised pin/ with a rock wall fall off behind; which again, may mean that you're a few feet from bucket; but putting over your head....also could mean you're level with basket; but forced to attempt a dangerous putt; that, if missed, will put you well below ground level; off the back side of green)....should be noted that while many courses do these types of green areas now; Token was an early innovator for this type of green.
Hole #5 is a signature hole for par 3 design.
Long tees really do make this course near a must play for blue level and below players. Definitely long enough to require good placement on drives; followed by a full round of quality upshots; to keep yourself in position to use any birdy chances for an under par round.
Good length from long tees.
Camping just off course at both group site, and individual sites. Bathrooms near group site and can be found along course. Showers available in park.
Rumors on the Madison board that this course may be expanding to 27 or even 36 holes in the near future.
Token Creek has been pay to play since it's inception; in 2001. Madison is perhaps the heaviest played area in Wisconsin (IMHO Fox Cites area not far behind; and Milwaukee not far behind that...I would not be surprised if these three areas are right up there with the most heavily played areas in the country). Pay to play here has made this course a must pay choice for locals not wanting to wait every hole to tee. Hiestand and Elver are both quality courses; worth playing; but they are both more crowded than here; due to pay to play; and enforcement (someone will very likely check at Token, to make sure you have paid your green's fees; heavy fine involved if you have not).
Cons: Course is fairly plain; especially short tee rounds. Primarily a flat course.
Yearly pass a good bargain for locals (@$50 for the year). For visitors; $7 per round is a bit steep; especially if you're using the group camp site and staying for two or three days....you end up spending $21 for three days; which is nearly half the yearly fee. IMHO; if you pay camping fees; greens fees should be included at a discount rate.
Other Thoughts: This course was somewhat ahead of it's time; but, just barely. The landscaped greens are a very nice touch; but many other courses began doing this about the same time as implementation here.
Hole length, from long tees, also still forces good decisions in regards to lay up areas and approaches to pin. Players under gold level skill sets; will need to figure what route they want to get to pin. But, not in a wooded hole way; more so, an open field way; around a certain tree; with a direct line to basket. However, higher speed plastic and overall increase in player abilities have made this less than a championship layout (read 4 or above rating). Short tees; while a very nice alternative; and worth bonus points for lesser level players; will be considered relatively deuce or die for blue and above level players. Big arms (who throw @350 ft. on a regular basis) will find long tees to be largely a deuce or die course. Pins are decently placed; but nothing too technical for anyone that can reach them.
Vallarta-Ast is a "ball golf" look course; with somewhat rolling, grassy fairways. This course is perhaps the best loved in the Madison area; partially because of this "look," and partially because the pay to play cuts down on the pure playing numbers. Myself, and others, prefer Hiestand for it's elevation and larger number of risk/reward shots. I, personally, am also very fond of Madison's first course in Elver Park....more elevation than Token; and a number of pine forest shots as well. Hiestand and Elver are extemely crowded though. For a more relaxed feel at what is still a 3.5 level course; head here.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Country club of madison DG
Pros: This course is really taken care of well. The trash is removed very often. The grass is mowed regularly and is beautiful. You can drink on the course, glass is allowed. There are multiple pin locations and they are changed often. The different pin locations really change how u will throw on several holes. There are lots of woods but you aren't playing through tunnels.
Cons: There are little to no elevation changes, mostly flat. There can be considerable air tarffic overhead. You can really hear the highway on the first seveal holes.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Mad City course
Pros: BEAUTIFULLY maintained. The course is right off the highway, and very easy to get to. Two sets of great concrete teepads and multiple pin positions add a lot of variety in the length, layout, and challenge. Lots of different lines through manicured fairways. Holes average between 250-550' or so, and in the longest layout, is definitely a play-for-par type of course.
Playing here definitely feels more like a ball-golf round, due to the overall groomed feel, and beautiful landscaping.
The layout is very easy to follow, and offers good deuce opportunities, and rewarding par holes (#5 is the standout). The rough is pretty light, but the woods will definitely take away an easy shot if you stray out of the fairway.
Pay-to-play. This is the direction our sport should go in, and when the money goes towards keeping the course in this condition, it's well worth the price.
Cons: Mostly open, with very little elevation change. Some of the holes are similar at the 260-300' range. The course could use a few more good par 4 holes or doglegs.
Watch out for bugs in the summer, and bring some Off.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth checking out, and worth paying for! There are park people walking the course backwards on most days to check for the payment, to keep people honest!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Great to change it up sometimes
Pros: Edit(6/5/12): The new back 9 holes are amazing. They offer a very different playing field than anything else on the course, or even compared to all the Madison courses. Very open, which is something I'm not used to so it was very fun to play those for the first time.
Great course. Fairways and even the rough prairie area gets mowed. Three pin placements on most if not all holes. Definitely worth going to even for the money. I wouldn't spend the daily fee if I planned to go there a bunch though. It does have some elevation change, but not much. The fairways are still nicely plotted which does make up some for the mainly flat land. It's a pretty tough course, though not bad. The holes offer a good amount of variation for different throwing styles. Also from what I've seen, the pro tees look pretty challenging. It also seems that most of the times discs are easier to find than at Hiestand park.
Cons: With the $8 day pass you're best off buying a season pass. The Glide disc golf pro shop next to Hiestand park usually has season passes for sale, otherwise they can be found online or purchased through the regular day pass sheet/envelope. Bugs can also be an issue, but that's part of being in Wisconsin.
Other Thoughts: The nine extra holes should be finished some time in 2012, which I believe is the reason for recent price increases for day passes. I do agree that the fee is an alright thing since I hate seeing things like beer cans and bottles littered all over Hiestand. I still personally like Hiestand park better, but Vallarta-Ast is still a great course, I just like the variety and topography that Hiestand offers. I still plan to visit token creek a lot, and can't wait to see the new holes.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Good open fairways, kept up by the county parks dept. Some tight fairways.
Cons: Minimal elevation changes. Loud Interstate 90 noise.
Other Thoughts: Nice to play when Heistand is busy like during Tuesday league. Nice nature conservation area.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautifully Manicured - Not as much variety as the free courses in Madison
Pros: Immaculately manicured and upkept. Gorgeous park setting for a country-club like atmosphere. You will be impressed when you play here. There are elevated tee areas, terraced greens, and well kept up and wide fairwways. The rough is also nice and rough, enough to severely punish a bad shot. The concrete tees (both sets) are nice and large and not too badly eroded around the edges. 3 pin placements are a nice option, but a con is that they are not identified on the tee sign.
Cons: Pay to play is always a con, especially at a location with only 18 holes (private course aside). Plus pay to play brings an expectation that the course will have great amenities and grooming attention to detail. There is very little elevation here beside a few minor ridges around the property in front near the road. There are no good really wooded holes under a canopy (a tomahawk will get you past most trees in play here). There is no water hazard here at all and very little OB. One problem with the hugely manicured fairways is that you can be off course on your drive but still have a decent approach due to lack of obstacles. This reduces the 'necessary skill shot' factor.
Hole 3 has quite a bit of traffic noise from the interstate.
Other Thoughts: The country club look of this course just begs and screams for a higher rating, but I simply cannot. Don't let the 3.5 rating fool you, you will love this course and thoroughly enjoy your time spent playing. Plus, in conjuction with Elver and Heistand, you get huge bang for your buck in the Madison area. The country club setting does NOT get the extra points in this case becuase the course is pay to play - so I EXPECT IT! At Token, you don't get the elevation or really tight wooded tunnel holes you get at the other two Madison courses. Since Token is pay to play, and the other Madison courses are not, I rate the other two higher because I'd RATHER play them. While they are not nearly as nicely manicured as Token, sometimes manicured isn't always the best and big bush rules. But since the other courses are so nice, and Token is pay to play, and I rate courses relative to one another and how likely I am to play one over another, I have to rate Token just a bit lower than Elver or Heistand. But also by comparison to my other reviews, Token is probably the best of all the courses I rated 3.5 (3.75 would be ideal in my list of reviews).
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Variety. Plenty of semi-open holes with pin placements strategically tucked away, making some easy-looking holes play a lot tougher. Gentle elevation, but even this comes into play with these strategic placements (drop-offs immediately after basket, rock ledges). Lots of lefty holes.
2. Maintenance. Your $5 (UPDATE: $8) quite obviously goes into the upkeep out here, with beautifully manicured fairways and great-looking tee signs.
3. Concrete tees.
4. Dual tees.
5. Signature holes. I think the back-to-back scenery on Hole #5 and #6 really adds a lot to this course, but it lacks any holes where you step up to the tee and say, "Wow" and pull out the camera.
6. Trash cans everywhere. It's obvious that the Mad Town DG community respects their courses, as litter was scarce to nonexistent (save for the inevitable cigarette butts...lazy asses can't field strip 'em and put 'em in their pockets, I guess).
Cons: 1. From the long tees, you're looking at a lot of length, and several of the longs don't add to or change the feel of a hole; they simply add distance (one-half to three-quarters of a drive in my case).
2. No water hazards. Even a little man-made pond or two would add a LOT of challenge if done properly. Hole #1 would benefit immensely by putting one just left of the tree. Maybe some big landscaping boulders?
3. Mostly flat, but like I mentioned above, even the slight elevation is utilized to its fullest potential.
4. Slight navigation issues as to which path (sometimes there are several) to take after completing a hole. Fortunately, if you grab a scorecard/map from the permit area, you should be able to figure out the flow without too many problems.
Other Thoughts: I wish I'd had more time to play another round while out here. This was only my second time at Vallarta-Ast, and the first time was during the 2007 Mad City Open, which really took away from the enjoyment I get from a recreational round. This is a beautiful course overall, and most players should appreciate the surrounding beauty and upkeep. Really friendly locals. Make sure you pay your $5--not just to support the course, but because you run the risk of something like a $150 fine if you're caught without a permit, and you more than likely won't be able to finish up your round.
UPDATE: The pay-to-play fee is now up to $8. While $5 was "reasonable," this new fee, even though only a few bucks more, just isn't justified by the type of course this is compared to the other courses in the area. If paying results in this kind of impeccable upkeep, I'd get 100% behind ALL Mad Town courses going pay-to-play in order to transform the eroded and litter-prone Elver and Hiestand into lush green space like this. I have to adjust my rating here slightly in view of the other courses I've played since originally rating this, and the fact that the Parks Department keeps raising the fees, which is only going to drive down traffic if that continues.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
B+ = You Be Feelin' Positive After Playing This
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B- (The fairways are very wide and other than 2-3 holes it is hard not to recover for par after a mistake. With the fairways so wide, there is not a lot of decision making needed)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == B- (Almost all the long tees are too long for me to get a birdie and are too short for pars to feel rewarding. The shorts are mostly too short for me to not expect a park job all the time.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B (There is good variety and balance. Problem is, with the wide fairways the course gives you too much latitude on how exactly you need to shape your shots.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A+ (This is the aspect that boosts things way up. Even though my technical and competitive needs are not met by this course, I can not help but feel ecstatic and pampered playing here. The beauty, the maintenance and the amenities/small touches are amazing! Kudos to the designers and caretakers! Thank you for showing us how disc golf can be in this department!)
5) Bonus points for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == C+ (There are 3 holes from the longs that I consider real multi throw holes. Hole 5 requires decent distance and good placement on the drive to be a good shape to park an upshot especially when the basket is in the longest position. Great hole! Holes 2 & 15 are both 530' and as such are unreachable by mortals, but are nothing too exciting requiring only a 300' drive and a 230' approach. IMO, 50' more and they would be much better holes.....but, I am always way thankful to see several multi-shot holes of any type on any course!)
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.
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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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