3 Helpful / 1 Not
Lots of Potential
Pros: A stream and cattails are in play on a few holes making this course a decent challenge. On more than a few holes, the stream and cattails make you question whether you should lay up or go for it.
The course makes good use of the little available elevation change. Hole 2 is downhill with the stream just behind the basket. The basket on hole 5 is located on a steep slope that you play along instead of up.
There is quite a few longer holes to really let loose on. Hole 15 is 739 feet.
Brand new concrete teepads.
Brand new Chainstar baskets have been put in and a lot of holes got new basket placements.
Cons: Signage for course is ok at best and it can be confusing if you don't have a guide. Alternate tees are almost impossible to find even with a guide as they are marked by two bricks in the ground.
Other Thoughts: The course is set back in a neighborhood. Backyards butt up against the edge of the holes at the edge of the park.
It can be quite soggy for a few days after a good rain.
There is a local club that is actively trying to improve this course. So, many of the cons could disappear within the next few years which would make it easily one of the better 18 holers in the area. Brand new concrete teepads and baskets are in and signs are on the way.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Risk/Reward opportunities galore
Pros: Brand new cement tee-pad added April 30, 2010.
Brand New Baskets installed as of July 13th, 2010. Some new and interesting pin placements are an added bonus to the new baskets!
18 holes that wind around a huge area, with very few overlapping holes.
Beautiful scenery with mature oaks and walnuts intermingled with huge swaths of 8-9 foot tall cattails. I find it to be a beautiful and expansive course that is actually made for disc golf. This course is not wrapped tightly around some existing park or softball field.
Lots of risk/reward opportunities.
Cons: Drains slowly so it is wet for awhile after a big rain.
Can be easy to lose your disc on a several holes.
Other Thoughts: Strongly reccomend this one to any non-beginners. Very fun and challenging course. The concrete tee-pad make navigation easier and really adds a ton to the playability of the course! Local club SDGU members tell me that new signs are on the way.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
one of the "better" courses around Chicago
Pros: Nice mixture of holes on this course.
There are quite a few open ones but also a few that will make you shot through the gap, just a few like this from what I remember.
There has never been to many people there when I have played this course. Just watch the schedule or the board to make sure you don't come on a tournament day.
Cons: This course is sometimes wet. They might still have gravel tee pads, but it has been over a year since I played it last, so they might have changed that.
But sometimes when it is muddy it can make your drive challenging.
When it is wet there are parts of the course "under" water
Tall grass in some spots, but isn't that everywhere?
Other Thoughts: Good course to play if you are in the area, better than many of the surrrounding ones. There are a few holes where you can lose your disc but you should be ok.
The "water hazard" that people speak of really isn't that bad, just a little stream that is avoidable, but if you happen to get your disc in there, it is easy to get out.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of potential
Pros: The course plays through a mostly flat large park, with a few hills. There is a mix of wide open areas, and areas with scattered trees, making for some nice variety. There are water hazards on a number of holes, which add a nice risk/reward element and make the course a little more difficult. Where there is elevation, it was used fairly well to make more interesting holes.
There are signs for all holes with distances for both tees and both pin positions, and a good hole map with direction to next tee. The tee pads are concrete, and in great shape. They are pretty large, and have some texture to them for a good throwing surface.
There is a nice mix of shorter ace run holes, and some holes where you can rip some drives, and overall the design keeps it interesting throughout. There are some nice challenges presented by some rough and water hazards that will test your accuracy on some holes.
Cons: There are some holes that involve backtracking to get to the next tee, including one where you have to walk back up the entire fairway after playing it. Depending on who you ask, baskets 3 and 18 seem to be interchangeable. We saw some groups playing to them in their original numbering, and some playing with them switched, I'm not sure what the deal is. There are some blind holes where you have to walk to see what pin position is in use, a marker system would be helpful.
There were a lot of pretty swampy spots on the course, and according to the (very friendly) locals, that's pretty usual here. This meant it was really easy to throw a decent shot, and still end up in water or mud, or lose a disc in a small but deep and cloudy pool you couldn't see from the tee, and that gets a little frustrating.
The course was pretty buggy, especially in the lower areas of the course where there was a lot of standing water. Make sure to bring bug spray when you play here.
Other Thoughts: The course presents a lot of fun challenges, but also has some frustration involved for a first time player. The random water on the course and the tall reeds present hazards that does more to make you lose discs than strokes, not my favorite kind of challenge.
This course is not very beginner friendly in a lot of spots, with some long holes, and lots of places to lose discs in water or nasty rough. It does provide enough challenges and variety that more experienced players will find it interesting, and some good ways to mix it up with alternate tees and pin positions.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Doesn't feel like Illinois
Pros: Challenging layout. Good mix of long and short holes. Course flows pretty seamlessly throughout with varying hole difficulties. Hole #3 is a fun whole which you can really go for the shot, and if you happen to throw it in the water there is a disc retriever to get your waterlogged disc. One of my favorite courses in the area because it does offer a challenge and it isn't a simple pitch and putt course.
Cons: It can be pretty wet here which can be a challenge for newer players who have difficulty keep a disc on a line. The tall grass and water hazads offer a nice risk reward, but if you don't feel comfortable airing it out or going for that difficult shot, play it conservative because it isn't too hard to lose a disc.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area and need a course to play, Shady Oaks is the best available. It offers a good challenge, has a wetland feel to it, and allows you to practice accuracy and distance. There are alt tees/poles, but I have yet to play an alternate layout.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
I liked this one better than most
Pros: Stream in play on more than 5 holes. Cat tail areas in play on 3 or 4 others. In other words, you need to pick your spots to land. This is consistent with modern design. A partner and I played 10 courses in area over a span of three days and found this to be the best. This, of course, says something about the other courses in area; but also shows that this one is not bad.
Cons: As mentioned by other reviewers, this one pretty tough to navigate. We got spun around near the 9 and 10 seperation (by the school) and got stuck on the wrong side of creek with no way to get back across. Lots of extra walking there....A couple of locals helped us find and shoot from a cool hill side tee on the hole before the 700 footer. Nice shot we would not have found without their help. They also had us play from short tee (which is still 500 foot) on long one; and said locals shoot short most of the time. Again, we would not have known where this tee was without their assistance. The course was wet and seems to be constantly so. My buddy threw one in the reeds and had to take off shoes and socks to wander in; but, he did get that one back. There are multiple tees on this course; but, like many good courses that have been around awhile; the locals know where to go and don't seem to concentrate on helping newbies with good markings.
Other Thoughts: Because of the challenges from the creek and cat tail bogs, I thought this was a fairly challenging layout. Contact someone local and ask them to meet you there and I believe your experience will be a rewarding one.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Where do I go?
Pros: Large park and quite challenging. A good variety of holes. Has potential to be a player favorite in the area.
Cons: Can get pretty swampy after heavy rain. Tees and basket locations not marked well at all and can get confusing. Can easily lose discs in tall grass/cattails. Course would do well with a restoration.
Other Thoughts: Map is available at the community center but not very helpful as course is not well marked. I've only played there twice and would have probably had a better time playing with someone who has played it more to show me around.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Confusing first experience
Pros: Well laid out course. Some good long holes mixed with some shorter technical shots makes for varied play. Minor elevation changes keep things interesting.
Cons: Very confusing for someone playing there for the first time. Very easy to play towards the wrong basket on several holes, as you don't know where you are supposed to be throwing towards. All the yards in the area seem to drain into the park, so any significant rainfall will flood the lower areas of the course.
Other Thoughts: Bring a spotter. Several holes play along, through, or over tall grass in swampy areas. You'd best be covered in bug spray, old shoes, and long pants if you are going to venture into there to look for your disc. Overall a decent course that is much more entertaining once you have struggled through your first round and know what you're aiming at.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 12 Not
C+ = As average as the come
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- C+
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- C-
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 -- C+
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C-
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor…more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I say adds 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. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
1 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
fight, bite, bite, fight
Pros: Big arms will like the longer holes on this one. There are some technical, tight holes, but those are broken up by cattails and swampland.
There are some minor elevation changes here. It's just enough to get you used to the fact that not everywhere is flat like central IL.
There are a few baskets on the sides of hills. Good luck putting! That's a nice challenge I'm not accustomed to - it cost me a stroke each time.
Should you get hungry or need an emergency bottle of Off!, there are a lot of nearby options.
The layout is well thought out to the land. These holes are well planned, mixed, varietied, and kept up.
Cons: Bring your junk discs here. When it's summer and everything's grown, you can lose a disc rather easily.
Some blind shots will question your rationale.
First timers will, without a doubt, have a tough time figuring this place out. At one point, you will tee off from the backend of a grammar school's playlot.
Yeah, that's not confusing.....
Peoples' backyards back into this course. Bad, bad news, man...
Other Thoughts: Either I or my discing party has gotten into a fight here each time we've played. It's mainly due to cocky MF's who don't want others to play thru.
This place can get crowded, so beware. There are some ritzy neighborhoods nearby, and there are some less than ritzy neighborhoods nearby.
If this course was placed in a less dense area (i.e. you're not poking around someone's fenced in backyard for a wayward disc), it'd gain at least a full star.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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