Not as bad as I thought
Pros: Located in a rather isolated area outside of Dewitt just south of highway 30, Malone Park offers a scenic challenge to the average golfer.
Many of the holes are surrounded by the lake, offering a modest challenge. The toughest hole is number #3, where you are forced to throw on a plateau in between water that covers both sides of the landing. So don't throw a disc you are prepared to lose or retrieve in the lake.
At the time of this post, I encountered a fair amount of wildlife at the park in the form of geese and bald eagles. It makes you feel like you a part of a nature sanctuary.
Concrete pads are in great shape, providing a good platform to throw from.
Holes are a good blend of backhand and forehand lines which will keep you on your toes.
More than likely, you will have the whole course to yourself. You will not have to worry about this place being packed.
Cons: The biggest con to this course, is simply the fact that the baskets are so severely damaged. Many of the baskets 1,2,3,4 have pieces of plastic that have broken off so the disc will not land in the container. Basically, you have to count the shot as good if you strike any part of the disc catcher.
Furthermore, the layout of Hole 11, 12 can stand to be addressed and modified. As such, two very large trees growing right in front of the tee pad on 11, so there is no line available forcing a golfer to throw left over the railroad track or risk throwing over the lake. These trees should be removed or trimmed at a minimum to provide relief or perhaps move the teepads to another location.
The signs to do list how the hole is laid out, they only show the distance to the pin. Surely, these could be revised in some capacity.
Since, I played a few weeks ago, obviously the vegetation was not an issue. However, there are a few holes such as 7,8,9 that encounter trees and shrubbery. These holes show slight signs of needing to be cut, but they are playable for now.
Perhaps, one day I will bring some clippers and take some of the branches out that creep along the fairway.
Virtually, no infrastructure pertaining to benches to sit on.
Other Thoughts: This course reminds of me of West Lake Park minus the hills.
It could easily be a 3.5 course once the baskets are replaced. The signs are vague when it comes to hole location on the course and stand to be improved.
Course, goes along a farm. The homeowners were a bit startled by the fact that I was playing. I could see them eavesdropping, but they never said anything to me. I sense they do not get many disc golfers, but are more likely to encounter a fisherman. If you lose a disc in their field, I don't think they will make a big deal out of it.
I will be back again, but only after I get some clippers and make a few phone calls to the Clinton County Park Board to get this course the TLC it deserves.
Don't throw any disc you aren't prepared to lose
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -The holes themselves are actually designed pretty well.
-relatively challenging. Par is a good score here
-#12 in particular is pretty cool. It's the only water-carry shot I know of in the area.
Cons: Total lack of maintenance+native Iowa prairie=bad
Wanna know how bad? Go see for yourself.
Other Thoughts: But seriously...don't go see for yourself. Go to any one of the excellent courses in the area instead.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
waste of time
Pros: -Easy to find.....
-Nice signs...no map though
Cons: -Virtually all the fairways are tight (about 10 yards) with either a corn field, pond or thick rough where you cant see the ground on both sides of the fairway
-Train comes really close to course....close enough you could probably hit it with a shot
-Highway is also about 50 yds up the hill which you go along for about a third of the course.
Other Thoughts: To put in perspective, I played it safe and still lost a disc. Went in the tall grass no more than ten feet but it was so thick I gave up after 10 minutes. I enjoy difficult courses, but it loses all its fun factor when I constantly have to worry about losing a disc and spend too much time looking for a disc that shouldn't be hard to find.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Potential to be great, right now virtually unplayable
Pros: 1) This course has 12 fairly well designed holes in a part of Iowa I wouldn't think would have much.
2) A recent upgrade apparently is the new concrete teepads. They are massive and have fairly good grip for traction. This is a sign that they are planning on keeping this course around. Since the last review was almost a year ago and he still had grass tees listed, I would think this course is due for some improvements.
3) The chain on the baskets is actually pretty nice. It is heavy and does it's job in stopping the disc. The problema s listed in the cons is that the disc could so easily fall out because of damage to the entrapment devices (PVC) which many of them have pieces missing or cracks in them.
4) This course presents a lot of challenge for a course in the middle of nowhere. There is danger of losing a disc int he water on a couple holes, into a cornfield with a barbed wire fence stating "Keep Out, No Tresspassing", there is a pond located on a 60 degree dogleg so you better pick your line well, and if you turn it over too much to the right you are nestled in some thick punishing rough that is growing out of a wetland (I went in there and it is wet). I like that this course presents some challenge both in shot shaping as well as length.
Cons: 1) This course as it was when I played it is virtually unplayable. The fairways hadn't been mowed in months and the rough was even more punishing because there was no defined fairway to pick where you wanted to throw. The hillside of the expressway was about 3-4' tall thistle, vetch, and I would guess even Wild Parsnip and other assorted horrible weeds. You throw up there, there is virtually no way to find your disc. I lost 2 discs on the hillside on two different holes. While I like challenge I hate the punishment of constantly looking for lost discs. If only those areas could be kept at a 1-2' height it wouldn't be an issue. Perhaps this is due to the wet year they have had in the area and perhaps the wetland was higher than normal too, I cannot say. I just know if it was in this condition when I was in the area again I would not play it again.
2) Homemade baskets are busted and cracked. For the design of the basket it wasn;t bad at all, and they do catch well, but the fact that multiple baskets are broken leads me to believe they will always be a problem. I could imagine that plastic heating up or play in winter when it is brittle and it would just crack fro a disc even. Or perhaps it is vandalism. Either way I would fix the baskets first! One basket is shared which is a negative, but I wouldn't worry too much about it impacting your play as there is likely noone ever here. The plastic entrapment device is also a little smaller than regulation I believe. They were slightly warped in spots also, but I could see discs falling out easily that would have been caught by a normal basket.
3) Signs were missing for #2 and #3 and I think #7 was laying on the ground . . . probably due to the recent concrete teepad installation. They also don't have any kind of descriptive diagram, just length and par basically.
4) I doubt it was by design but there is virtually no fairway on Hole #11. There are two rows of evergreens that take up the entire fairway width. You try and throw to the right of them you risk water shots.
5) #9 is a virtually blind up and over type shot. I tried a spike hyzer, but if you have a thumber or tamahawk I would recommend those shots. While this adds variety, I am not sure what to think about forcing that type of shot. I like having those abnormal throws as options, but as the only option (since there is no fairway) I am not sure.
6) Not beginner friendly at all in its current status. I would imagine there aren't a high number of hardcore DGers out there, it would cater to more people and get more use if it had a better maintenance regime. They also might need to add some shorter tee locations if that was the case because the carry on #12 is too much over water, the tightness of 4 or 5 of the other holes would cause newbies to lose discs all over the place.
Other Thoughts: Basically what my review comes down to is this . . . would I go back . . . yes . . . but only if the maintenance were improved. It is a solid design on a pretty cool property, it presents challenge on every hole, but the rough is as punishing as any course I have been on in its current condition. I am giving this course a rating of 1, based solely on its potential, but the potential is based on a course recieving normal maintenance. If the maintenance isn't improved, nor the baskets repaired, I would likely not return. SO I guess I will leave it at this. They put concrete in in the last year or so, which shows they are investing in the course. They already have a cool property and a well designed course. They just need to improve the baskets and upgrade the maintenance and I could see giving this course a 3 and would always stop by if I was in the area to play it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
modified 55 gallon drums...what?
Pros: -course has a good variety of shots, rhbh hyzers, anhyzers, straight
-good variety of length, a couple over 400' a couple just over 200' and most are in the 300' range.
-Some tight fairways here with (probably) ob corn field on the first 2 holes, and then some tight lines dictated by trees holes 7, 8, 9, 11
-Hole 12 is a great finisher over the corner of the lake, about 280' or so to clear.
-Seasonal bathrooms by the parking lot.
Cons: -Grass tees
-Signage is poor with length and hole number only.
-Had to guess on holes 2, 3 as there were no signs.
-A couple of the catcher, plastic parts of the basket were broken.
-Hole 4 and hole 9 use the same basket, which is one of the baskets with broken plastic.
-Poorly maintained grass on the dg only part of the park, by the lake the grass was fine.
-A couple of throws along the interstate which breaks the concentration a bit.
Other Thoughts: Fun little course, I was a bit creeped out by a guy searching in the woods for something, I asked him if he was looking for a frisbee, he said he was looking for something else, then he was creeping around hole 12's basket, then peeing in a field...probably a fluke occurance, but creepy nonetheless
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
somewhat pleasantly surprised
Pros: Let's begin with the obvious; how are those "modified 55 gallon drums"? The top of the bucket is a cut off metal drum top and serves it's purpose well. Doesn't appear to be any troubles with damaging discs or treating shots any differently than normal bucket top. Bottom is plastic bucket and holds just fine. Chain assembly is always the most important issue and these hold truer than most when hit center pole. The outsides of chains are a little less forgiving than normal; but, nearly as good. In other words, buckets are fine. Remind me most of Titan buckets.
Overall, this course is challenging. Tight fairways, with very heavy schule; including a corn field; on the sides. Heiser and anheiser shots required; some pretty extreme. Half of the holes between 225 and 270 feet; but a few long ones that can be lots of trouble off the fairway.
Hole #12 is 315 feet across Lake Malone, to a bucket, just 40 foot from shore. No option, but to make it @260-270 to the bank. Scary finishing hole. This is a small, healthy looking lake.
Cons: Two of the plastic bottoms on the baskets were partially broken; #'s 4 and 11. This did not really affect play much; though, one of mine did fall out the side. It was a made putt; though, there could be situations; especially on a long deuce or ace run; where you would not know what the outcome should/could have been.
We couldn't find the tee sign for #2 or 3. The course is not played enough to tell by the worn ground method. We picked a spot that seemed correct, and enjoyed the shot. Was obvious, that these were both good holes; though the designers intent had to be guessed at. The signs may have been there; as we discovered one later on the edge of the fairway in very tall grass; which leads to the last con for this, otherwise enjoyable course:
The grass, even in the fairways, was quite high here. When we were there, you had to walk through ankle high or higher grass, even on the fairways. Off the fairway, the rough is very high, and will require some looking and/or very good spotting.
Other Thoughts: The swimming area is very inviting; and just to the right of tee #1. I thought this was a very nice little park. A hand full of people arrived as we were finishing; but otherwise, we had this little gem of an area to ourselves for our time there. Appeared to me that this would often be the case. The course is also in an area of it's own; and I imagine, except for the occasional fisherman; would not conflict in any way with other users.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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