Slim and shady fairways.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Suuuuuper tight fairways in a heavily wooded corner of a park
-Great place to practice your "Get out of jail" shots here if you don't hit your lines.
-Good/lucky shots will be rewarded
-Very shady and playable even when its very hot outside
-Lots of risk here as losing discs in these woods is a very good possibility. Some may find this to be a con, but that adds an element to the game that myself and others like.
-A good place to come break in some new mids
Cons: -This place can be very swampy, When I was here it had rained pretty hard two days prior and the place was a swamp. We actually had to skip a few holes because of this.
-Navigation is brutal, We had a very tough time finding our way around and to the next hole.
-This course is so wooded that you almost feel like in order to shoot really well here you need to wear your lucky underwear and bring your rabbit's foot. Luck is a big factor in how well you will shoot. Skill is obviously a big factor as well though.
-Some of the holes are so tough all you can do is laugh.
-There is a creek (if you could call it that) that borders a few fairways that is really nasty. I'm all for going in after a disc if need be but I think that if I couldn't see the disc I would just count it as gone and move along.
-A little bit too urban for my likings, The highway is loud and close by and there is also a nearby factory that was stinking the place up when we got there but it went away after a little bit?
Other Thoughts: I fancy myself as quite the outdoorsman and I like the scents and sounds and everything else that nature has to offer but this course offers almost none of that in my opinion.
I do, however, love how technical this course is. I have been meaning to go back for that reason and that reason only. It is a good change of pace instead of wide open fairways that can be found at many of the other courses around.
Bottom line is this: This course is weird, it smells weird and its in a weird location but it is worth playing at least once. Its another notch in the belt and because it is so strange you have to see and play it for yourself.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Quiet course in a multi-use park offering Putt-Putt golf, a water park, soccer fields, and walking trails. Somewhat of a dichotomy in that Summit is a densely wooded course located smack in the middle of a fairly commercial, urban neighborhood.
Overall, the tightest set of fairways I've ever played; challenging and then some. Places a HUGE premium on line shaping, precision and accuracy (perhaps to the point of absurdity), but playing this course on a regular basis would certainly help one develop the kind of control that few players have… if you can take that much abuse. This course will have you accepting that par isn't a bad score, and any birdies here are sure to be difference makers in a competitive round.
- Offers a surprising number of opportunities for all kinds of shots, all requiring control, control, control; hyzers, annies, FH, FH annies, flex/S-shots, even a low, straight overhand; all will serve you well here.
- Contains two or three holes where you can actually let loose to provide a very welcome break from the monotony of threading the needle hole after hole.
- Might actually age well in that even if several trees are lost to storms or vandalism, this course will still maintain its tight and foreboding personality.
- 75-80% of the course plays in very shady cover, so heat wasn't much of a factor, even on the 4th of July.
- Perhaps as much a con as a pro: missing your line by a few inches can land you in jail, with seemingly no way out except to take a stroke and to huck it back onto the fairway.
- Tee pads seemed OK - perhaps a bit worn, but footing was never an issue, and baskets were in decent condition. Simple yet effective tees signs show hole distance and layout, and combine with well- worn paths help keep you on track for the most part. There are a couple of tricky spots, but for the most part navigation shouldn't be too bad for first timers.
Cons: - Can feel monotonous; endless tight fairways with only a couple of open shots towards the end. Not that they could do much, about it, but the completely flat terrain only adds to the unidimensional nature of this course (although I shudder at the thought of rollaway greens here).
- Some of the fairways seem to require shots that defy conventional disc physics.
- Has a few blind holes with thick foliage that make disc loss a very real possibility, even if the distances aren't that far.
- I find it frustrating to execute exactly the line I want off the tee on a blind shot, only to have it land where you simply had no decent look at the basket - seems a bit random in that aspect.
- Not sure I see the balance between risk/reward here.
- Despite being quite densely wooded, you wouldn't call this course scenic or aesthetically pleasing. Located next to a factory, with a ditch full of nasty looking water running alongside one of the holes. Seemed peaceful, woodsy and quiet, but a pleasant walk through the park, not so much.
Other Thoughts: Tree haters and those intent on airing it out need not apply. I like short technical courses, but I honestly couldn't believe some of the fairways this course had, or the lines required for a decent shot at a birdie. Could swear I sensed Obi Wan urging me to close my eyes, telling me to use The Force on a couple of holes. Bring tough plastic or stuff you wanna break in (R-Pro Darts won't fly the same after a round here).
Some would say this course requires more luck than skill, but to score close to par here, you'd have to exhibit the kind of consistency that can only be attributed to skill. I'm sure this course would play a bit easier in the fall or winter, particularly for those who like to throw overhand. Not for everyone, but if you want to master precision and control, this is certainly the place to do it.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
repetitive but enjoyable
Pros: OVERALL FUN FACTOR (16% weight) - 3.5 - Pretty fun course even though the holes are repetitive. Has a different feel to it than any other course I've played.
SIGNS/MAPS/MARKERS (11% weight) - 3 - nice little signs that show the yardage and shot path, but no arrow signs pointing to the next tee and that made it difficult to navigate to the next hole on several different holes.
BASKETS (5% weight) - 4 - baskets in good condition
SHOT VARIETY (5% weight) - 3.5 - If you can hit all the intended flight paths, most every hole is RHBH hyzer through tight woods. However, it's very easy to get yourself stuck in the brush or behind trees off the drive, so a variety of shots end up being needed to get out of trouble.
OVERALL CHALLENGE (3% weight) - 4 - I found it very challenging of a course because it demands accuracy and the ability to get yourself out of trouble.
CROWDED? (3% weight) - 4 - I was there on a Saturday afternoon and it played quick.
PARKING (2% weight) - 5 - plenty of free parking
Cons: COURSE DESIGN (14% weight) - 1.5 - Course design is not a strong point. Most all of the holes favor a RHBH throw with tight fairways.
TEE PADS (8% weight) - 2 - rubber tee pads were nice, but it had been raining recently and they were not set up for good drainage - many were big puddles
ELEVATION (8% weight) - 2 - flat on almost every hole, but this is Illinois after all.
SCENIC BEAUTY (8% weight) - 1.5 - noting too scenic... it's an urban park.
EPIC HOLES (5% weight) - 1 - No holes stick out as an epic hole. Most holes are boring and a bit forgettable.
DISTANCE VARIETY (5% weight) - 1 - only 3 holes over 300 feet and just barely. Most are around 200 to 250, not much variety.
FOLIAGE MAINTENANCE (3% weight) - 1 - i realize this course is supposed to play tight through the woods, but even still there could be much more brush cut back.
BENCHES / TRASH BINS (3% weight) - 1 - A couple benches and trash cans in the main park area, but none in the disc golf course.
MIX OF TIGHT AND OPEN (3% weight) - 0.5 - All holes are really tight in the woods except maybe 2 that throw into our out of a field.
Other Thoughts: Easy to get to course for people living in the city. I used to live in Chicago, but didn't play disc golf at the time. If I did I would have come here a lot.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Fairways? What fairways?!
Pros: -Summit Park is a small wooded patch in an otherwise partially-industrialized urban setting. The course plays through this flat wooded area, interspersed with walking trails and fitness stations, and bounded on one side by a factory and on another by a highway runoff ditch filled with foul, polluted water. The schule is incredible: ridiculously thick and punishing, and more or less unrelenting throughout the course. Extremely narrow fairways make precision the main skill required to score well here, and even with a good amount of that, pray Lady Luck is on your side. Often, missing your line by an inch or less means the difference between a great shot and being completely screwed. Once off the walking path sized "unfairways," tree prison and short dense thickets do their best to prevent you from hacking your way back.
- A couple of open holes on the back nine provide some much needed relief and a chance to air it out a bit.
- Decent signage that provides distance and hole number, as well as the general shape of the fairway. A course map is posted at the beginning. The first hole has a concrete tee but most if not all the other holes are equipped with decent rubber mats.
- Many other park amenities on site: mini golf, walking trails, fitness equipment, etc.
Cons: -Despite the woods that comprise the majority of the course, Summit can't shake a distinctly urban feeling. Major highways whiz by close at hand, while the runoff ditch alongside one hole is downright disgusting. Filled with trash and a stinking cesspool of water, it is one place you certainly don't want to land. Two holes test your ability to avoid this hazard. Finally, a nearby factory periodically releases a foul stench that can easily spoil the fun.
-Playing here will difinitely help hone one's short range accuracy and precision, but unfortunately there isn't much here in the way of shot variety.
Other Thoughts: -Some players might knock Summit some for the "randomness" or "luck" factor, and I definitely can understand where they are coming from; however, my view is that everyone has to play the exact same course and, while the margin of some shots may be frustratingly small, skill does more often than not decide the final outcome. Thus, I consider the ridiculous fairways (or lack thereof) to add a fun "novelty" or uniqueness to this course that is difficult to come by.
- With the nearby standing water issues, I imagine the insects are terrible during the summer.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Bring out the Champ plastic
Pros: - A super tight, very challenging wooded course.
- This is the perfect place to practice your "get out of trouble shots".
- Rubber tees and signs with accurate distances.
- Mostly tunnel shots that force accurate RHBH hyzers with a low ceiling that makes overhand shots difficult.
- For many living in the city of Chicago this is the closest 18 hole course in the area.
- A ridiculous risk reward course that can be very frustrating and rewarding all at the same time.
- Almost no crowds or waiting around, if you go on a weekday you could very well be the only person there (this can also be a con)
Cons: Navigation can be very tricky, some holes double back or follow the paved path for a while with not clear next tee signs. When in doubt follow the most worn trail.
Lack of variety, it seems like every hole is a RHBH hyzer.
Some holes are so tight that it's hard to find a defined fairway.
After 18 holes it starts to feel really short and repetitive.
Other Thoughts: I have to agree that this course borders the line between a risk/reward course and a luck course. I guess it takes both.
When I lived in Chicago this was my home course because it was the closest 18 holer. It is a great course to play as a change of pace but it will drive you crazy after 2 rounds.
All in all a decent course if you are in the area but play it too much and it will make you want to go out into an open field and just let a few rip.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Nice rubber tees
-risk reward course, the holes were short but very challenging. You would expect to play alot under negative if you look at the hole lengths and the pars, however, you would be suprised how many times you are happy to get a par on a par 4.
-even though its very challenging because of trees the short distance still makes it possible to have a good day.
-birdies are possible on most holes but also unlikely on most holes
-decent flow from hole to hole
-On holes 7,8, and 9 even though you throw along some water there are logs that help you get accross
Cons: -When you get into the trees you might spend a couple throws getting out because the woods are quite dense
-the course can be very challenging and frusturating because of the trees
-there are alot of holes that are very similar dog legs to the left so the course can get a little boring
-not a good mixture of holes, it would be nice to see holes that have a little more distance
-the air at this part smelt pretty bad most of the course
Other Thoughts: Overall I liked the course. It definatly had its weaknesses but there were alot of things to love about it. It is a different style of play from most courses and thats why it would be worth returning to.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
extremely tight fairways
Pros: Course will test your short game/ line shaping abilities to the limit.
You will not find a course anywhere with this short footage, that will still have you saving threes and sometimes fours on holes.
Despite being right next door to the mini golf and pool area, as well as a walking path; this course allows for a nice, secluded feel; due to the denseness of the woods.
As mentioned in other reviews; overhand shots largely negated by foliage. If offered; I would throw tomajunk on many of these types of holes. However, at Summit, this option is largely not offered...and I am proficient at nearly all levels of shots of this type...they're simply not available.
Even when you can find a path through the woods; the finishing lines here; force something that discs just don't normally do. I found this very interesting; and again, will point out that for holes of this length; this style is an ingenious way of keeping scoring realistic. I ended over par and was best in my group of three. I would bet that most players, would have a difficult time scoring under 50% of the time.
Signs basic, but show route and length.
Amount of trees in the fairways here; should allow for vandals to break many trees and still have extremely narrow fairways. I know this sounds kind of crazy, but is one thing designers must contend with....
Activities available for other members of the family in the mini golf area (mini ball golf/not disc). Good amount of people present there, even at closing time (we played very late in the day and finished in the dark).
Cons: Rubber mat tees were very slick on our visit. I have come to the conclusion that this type of tee is one of the worst out there; and footing from tee is not a big deal in my book...but, for those that require plant foot perfection; you will not be happy here, if it's wet at all.
All of the pros could be placed in the con section. I happen to find this style of course to be quite refreshing; Summit is a very unique course; but many will find it to be extremely luck based. There are no clear lines on many fairways; a lot of poke and hope....(I personally think this brings the "can you keep your attitude in check" factor into course design; but that's a preference of mine)
A couple of very scary holes; due to creek/sewer line on the right; are very rhbh bias (#7 and #8). Tough to find fairway as a right hander; lefties would be less than thrilled....These are not the only ones; the course in rhbh bias is general. I would easily see lhbh players down grading this one by .5; for this alone.
A couple other holes with pond (sewer?) in play, again favor rhbh. I went in on one with the reeds and was able to get my disc back, as it was near the edge, but that water was pretty gross. Another member of my crew lost one in their with a grip lock throw....
Some navigational issues. You won't get hopelessly lost; but we did take the wrong direction a couple of times and had to back track to find our way.
Other Thoughts: This course falls into the top ten bizarre courses I've ever played. It's not in the top five; but it is a strange course; forcing very interesting shots. I liked it, primarily for this reason. Overall rating will probably remain low; due to most feeling there is a large "luck" factor, and the rhbh bias. However, if you want to play something different than the norm, and see how to make a course with very short footage, function well regarding scoring; this is a place to hit. I believe, that were I a local, I would find myself here fairly often (may depend how often I was losing plastic in the gross water).
The rhbh bias really does bother me; and almost makes it a 2.5.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
*VERY* many trees
Pros: Holes are well-marked - tees with hole map, baskets with hole number.
Somewhat challenging due to narrow tracks through trees.
Cons: A bit monotonous, many holes with slight left or right dogleg through narrow tracks through woods.
A bit difficult finding next hole, could really use just an arrow indicating the direction one should walk in from basket.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has a LOT of technical shot required. It also has some very interesting shots that really make you think before you throw. Definitely a risk and reward course for sure. And I love wooded courses...
Cons: First timer navigation problems and some directional arrows would be a nice touch. Some of the brush can be thick. And the water in the area (which isn't much) is just nasty. And yes my putter went in....
Other Thoughts: All in all, this course was fun. I would definitely play this course again. Im just a big fan of tight technical disc golf sometimes. And risk and reward courses in general.
This course is NOT about super hucks or long bomber shots. Don't make a move on coming out here if you wanna throw bombs.. Its just not that style of course.....The only holes I seemed to have continued difficulty with were Holes 7 & 10. Both were tough for me but not impossible..
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 8 Not
D = Disaster....or Deal with the Disaster
Pros: I feel very conflicted about handing out my 2nd lowest grade for 18 holers (a 64 grade = a solid D) to this course. Summit is so quirky and random that it is actually "fun" in a sadistic sort or way (see point 3 below). I can certainly see where a certain segment of the DG playing population would rate this course higher than I did, but right near the bottom is where this course lands using my normal metrics for ranking/grading courses. As a point of reference, I am a pretty accurate thrower and feel fortunate to have scored a 55 here (and I am a LHBH player to boot).
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. == D
(Very few decisions to be made on most holes. Due to the severe narrowness of the fairways and the unflyable fairway shape of many holes, you can get burned just as badly by playing for a safe 3 as going for it on every hole. So, I find myself gunning at the basket every hole and laughing on all the pinballs and rolling my eyes at the times I park my drive under the basket).
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == D
(The holes are almost all very short - short enough where I would expect a birdie on every hole if it were any other course. But as alluded to, getting to the pin is too often based on luck….and that somehow never feels rewarding.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == C
(I want to grade this one higher as a lot of holes have interesting shapes….but that is counterbalanced by too many holes with dumb shapes. What this course does better than any I have played is provide a place to practice creative recovery shots. Between fairways that resemble being in the rough (on many courses) and having serious rough along the fairways on the others, I highly recommend this course to develop that part of your game - which is an essential part of scoring well anywhere with trees.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == D+
(I HATE Buckthorns. This invasive non-indigenous species is a blight on the upper Midwest. They are doubly nasty when they do not get enough sun and exist in a state of disease and half-deadness. They are all over this course and make it feel run down. I pity and admire those dedicated to keeping this course trimmed back and playable!)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == NA
(Many holes here turn out to be multi-throw holes, but you only plan to go putter-putter-putter off the tee on 2-3 holes to make your par-3.)
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 this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 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…..and that's the fun of things here.
16 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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