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.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Extremely technical, mostly wooded course. All but a handful of holes are a clinic in missing trees and shaping lines. Tight doglegs and some s-shaped fairways make some holes almost laughable.
- Left, right, and straight mix in individual holes at times. Low tree canopy usually negates any overhand shots.
- A few holes by a narrow stretch of open land offer blind shots from the forest and back into the forest. RHBH hyzers or similar is a must on these holes by a sewer/creek, which is a huge risk for a decent reward.
Cons: - The sewer/creek is some nasty business. It's OK to land over it, as there are some logs to cross over, but I would not want to fish a disc out of there. If I couldn't see it, forget it.
- The open holes, five of them at least, all need a shot that fades left. Even for a RHBH player like me it gets a little repetitive.
- Walking path is present, but is mostly not a factor. Soccer fields also near to a hole, a bad shot could wander pretty close.
- Hard to navigate. Check map out, especially the 17 to 18 walk.
Other Thoughts: - The wooded portions of this course are some of the most intense I have ever seen. Almost to the point of being ridiculous at times. And that's what bumps my rating up to 3. I could see how some people might hate this course for that very reason, up to you.
- Bug spray a must in the warmer months.
- Supposedly a "pro shop" in the mini golf office, never been in there, not sure when/if it is open.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
43 Helpful / 3 Not
Kierkegaard would love this course
Pros: close to Chicago, very challenging, narrow fairways, forces you to use a variety of shots, playing here will likely make you a better player.
Cons: so many trees that it seems as though the gods of fate have more influence on how well you do than any amount of skill you may have.
Other Thoughts: Summit park is a must for any student of existentialism. Kierkegaard portends that individuals are responsible for giving their own lives meaning and that one should live that life passionately in spite of nontrivial existential obstacles and distractions such as despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom. Summit exemplifies these existential obstacles quite well. For instance:
Despair: Did you not happen to throw a perfect drive with your mid? The amount of error you are allowed at Summit is practically nil. After playing this course a couple times, you will become familiar with despair. Nearly every single shot will be affected by you hitting a tree. Where it bounces is anyone's guess - but more often than not, your disc will be in some nasty shule. Futility sets in when you get excited about a par, and then you realize that you were just incredibly lucky.
Angst: The general feeling of angst will creep in during the later holes at Summit park. You will remind yourself frequently telling yourself how boring disc golf would be if there were no trees... but the feeling of strife remains. Around hole 13, you no longer blame the trees, but a sinking feeling overwhelms you as you try very hard to find something specific to blame. You may believe you hit the perfect line, but when the disc inevitably hits a tree and then manages to avoid all trees and land 30 feet into the shule, your feelings will have a lot in common with a rich, white, emo kid from the 'burbs who paints his fingernails black - because that's what his soul feels like.
Absurdity: Look at the picture for hole 8. What you see is a wall with the largest "fairway" you've seen. The hole is not long - it's easy to overshoot... the problem is that there is an opening about 280 feet down the fairway with the pin tucked in about 50 feet. It is tucked in surrounded by impenetrable shule and is at an acute angle back from the "fairway". The only way to ace this hole is if you were to throw 40 feet beyond the pin - straight.. then use telekinesis to halt your disc in midair about 10 feet off the ground, then slowly bring it back 120 degrees for about 40 feet. You can't have the disc more than 10 feet off the ground or else you'd hit a tree. Hole 9 is not much better. See that picture... what you don't see is that the pin isn't over there to the left.... Oh no.. it's pretty much straight ahead 200 feet beyond that first batch of trees. If you are able to bend your shot such that you can park your disc within 30 feet of the pin on your drive - you will be my new messiah.
Boredom: I would be very interested to play this course with someone who can only throw back hand and is left handed. There are hardly any holes in which are left to right. After awhile, each hole begins to blend in to each other. What's this? You may ask... another "fairway" that is littered with trees? Another right to left hyzer shot? Didn't I hit this tree in the middle of the "fairway" already?
Alienation: The person who made this course hates you. The designer wants to see you suffer. Sure, you will be tempted to come out on a nice day to play a free course with nice baskets. There aren't many courses close to downtown Chicago, after all. Remember bloody knuckles? The person who stops punching the fist of the other person "loses" - as if tolerating more pain than another is somehow desirable. Coming out of the woods, you will feel as though you've survived more than anything. Did you throw par? You most likely feel as though you were lucky rather than skillful.
Should you be able to rise above these existential obstacles, you will likely be rewarded with a fulfilling day of disc golf. If you really, truly enjoyed yourself and threw as well as I did - you either have no sense of competition or should check yourself into a mental ward.
43 of 46 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Tight, Wooded, Lucky, Repetitive
Pros: This park is very unique with it's close proximity to Chicago. It is one of the very few true wooded courses in the Chicagoland Area. Every holes plays down tight fairways lined with skinny trees. It is flat as a pancake.
Tee pads, tee signs, and baskets are nice.
Works on mid range and putter accuracy.
Cons: Course can be muddy after rain.
Super short and repetitive.
There are a few ridiculous and odd shaped fairways.
There are a few holes that have no route at all. To get the birdie you have to throw some crazy roller or pitch a 100ft shot to the corner, pitch up 100ft, and take a 3. That is not fun.
This course is really not fun for any skill player. It's going to be too tight for recreatoinal type players. It's too short and lucky for advanced/pro players to enjoy.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Local course for Chicagoans
Pros: I consider this course to be my local course as I can get there in about 30 minutes during traffic from downtown Chicago...15 minutes without traffic (or better). The majority of holes are heavily wooded. This can lead to the hunt for the "local route" by trying to thread the needle. Many of these holes require trying to get an S turn that perfectly finds its way from tee to hole. When you do find that perfect route, it is one of the truly most beautiful moments in disc golfing. This course will force you to learn some "get out of trouble" throws. The scoober roller shot came in handy for me many times as I was trying to find a way out of the bush that could actually progress my disc toward the hole... This course is an absolute blast with glow or light-up discs for a night game once you know the course... I actually played the back 9 in the dark with regular discs and surprisingly did not lose any plastic...I was very lucky! This truly is the best course for developing the approach and put part of your game. There aren't too many people around besides disc golfers but there is an asphalt pedestrian path that runs through the middle...mostly runners use this and some people walking their football size dogs.
Cons: The 3 par holes can be difficult to birdie and can easily go badly if you're having an off-day or an off-hole. Sometimes there is an oily smell in the air from either the nearby industrial park or perhaps the highway...I just try to ignore it. No alternate tees though we make them up if we see a more interesting path. Can be full of bugs and does have some poison ivy so wear pants or stay out of the bush. All of the holes are very short. The 3 holes with what can be called a drive shot are a little clunky and not too interesting.
Other Thoughts: Not a great course to go by yourself...it requires a spotter on some of the holes or you could be diving into the bush without much of a clue where your disc went in. Not really a great idea for beginners...could be very frustrating. I gave it a 2.5 rating but was thinking of 3. It is a great course for the approach and put game but I then shaved off .5 b/c the 3 more open holes are a bit boring and should be longer or play deeper into the woods.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
best in Chicago area
Pros: Nice and long challenging holes, some tight and some open. There is a little water. I had a great time and a high score at this course. This is not the typical Chicago pitch and put.
Cons: sort of dumpy, garbage around. Sort of swampy
Other Thoughts: Play it if you are in town.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
A beginners perspective..
Pros: This course has wonderful tees, great baskets, and provides a unique course for the chicagoland. It is a very challenging course for beginners who throw under 200' and have not learned proper control yet. The course seems to favor right hand players but it is worth the challenge. They made an effort on many of the hole to spread wood chips which is very beneficial. Its a great course to work on the tomahawk throw.
Cons: lack of waste receptacles and a few holes bounced around a bit, but manageable with a map.
Other Thoughts: Im glad that summit has built a course giving it something more then just being the burrito hot spot!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
one of the few courses around this area
Pros: good signs at each hole and mats to throw from. very challenging winding course. favors rh/bh. i have played this course since it opened, i love it. it makes you a better player and you will have to learn how to throw in different challenging situations.
Cons: almost all holes are heavily wooded, easy to loose only about 5 holes where you can let it fly. there is a small poluted river by holes 6 and 7 dont throw past it there is RR tracks. do not play this course less than 2 days after it has rained it will be all muddy and impossible to play.
--if you do not know much about the city of summit, not the best neighborhood, i would recommend you do not play this course when it is getting dark
Other Thoughts: very challenging course not for beginers, the par is a 65 the best i have ever shot here was 59, i throw rh/sidearm, usualy i shoot around -1 or -2. i have some friends that refuse to play here because of the difficulty.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
One of a Kind
Pros: Extremely challenging course that tests your ability not only to throw straight as an arrow but also having the precision to thread a whole lotta needles. Not too many newbies or kids. One of the few courses around this area. This is a place I come to learn new shots; tomahawks, rollers, thumbers, etc...If you're in Chicago on vacation or business this is a must play if you're using Midway Airport, its about ten minutes away. All in all this is one of the most challenging courses in Chicagoland and I strongly recommend it to anyone who loves wooded courses.
Cons: Most of the left-fading fairways are very similar. Caters to right-handed backhand throwers. Leftys and sidearms may never play this course twice, but a left-handed sidearm thrower might enjoy it. The trees in the middle of each fairway are very dense and present extremely grueling obstacles and challenges. Holes 1, 9, 12, and 14 require just as much luck as skill with the trees involved. It does occasionally reak in this part of town but you get used to it after 10 minutes. Creek along west side of the course appears to contain sewage! Study the map hard! Drawing a little one for yourself is good for your first time out.
Other Thoughts: The locals here are way better than they're aware of because there isn't much around summit as far as disc golf goes. The challenge of this place is something you take home with you! Truely a course that is one of a kind.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice accuracy test
Pros: The course plays through a heavily wooded area in the corner of a large flat park. Nearly all the holes play down tight fairways with lots of small trees and some brush off the fairways. The course will make you throw accurately, or pay the price trying to get back to the fairway, which makes a fun risk reward decision between going for it, and playing it safe. There are a few holes that are more open, adding a nice break from the more technical holes and giving the course a little variety.
There are rubber tees on every hole, and they were all in really nice shape. They were leveled and installed well, so they provided good footing for teeing off. There are also hole signs at every tee with a basic hole map and distance, and they were easy to read and accurate. There is a nice course map and a practice/putting area by the first tee which are nice to have.
This course provides a real test of your mid and approach game, and I really enjoyed the challenge of hitting smaller gaps and trying to get the perfect line through the trees. A number of the holes offer different options to get to the hole with different levels of risk/reward, and I found myself wanting to throw multiple shots to try out the different routes.
Cons: The course can get a little repetitive, with many of the holes feeling similar even when they are not exactly alike. The course could have used more holes that played left to right so that it wasn't quite so RHBH friendly. There were a couple holes with silly fairway shapes that didn't really offer a realistic line to the hole.
The tees, though nicely installed, were too short and didn't offer enough space for a tee shot, especially on a couple of the longer holes. The signs could really use 'next tee' information, as there were some places where the course navigation wasn't entirely obvious. Make sure to check out the course map by the first tee ahead of time.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a fun little course that's worth playing if you're in the area. There are better courses in the Chicago suburbs, but there are also a lot of worse courses. It's a nice place to play on a hot day, as you're in the shade for most of the round, and there's mini golf and a water park for after the round. The office for the mini golf has a few discs for sale at decent prices if you need something.
I wouldn't recommend this course for beginners, as the tight fairways and punishing rough will likely be frustrating. For more experienced players, this course offers a real chance to test your accuracy, and definitely has enough difficulty to be fun and interesting.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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