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Kearney, NE

Cottonmill DGC

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45(based on 28 reviews)
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Cottonmill DGC reviews

1 2
Experience: 11 played 5 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Has so much potential. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 20, 2021 Played the course:once


*Fun challenging shots.*Multiple tee pads for longer more difficult shots and shorter easier, respectively.*Beautiful scenery.


*Extremely difficult to navigate. No indication where the next hole is and no map is available. *Most shots are in the blind.*Baskets don't have numbers on them and at times you'll be able to throw a multiple baskets.

Other Thoughts:

I would give this course 4 if it had a map and some signage. The first is easy to find, simply follow the road past the swim area until it comes to a long end and it's beside the parking lot.
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5 1
Experience: 15 played 15 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Very interesting course! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 19, 2020 Played the course:once


I agree with everything posted.
Lots of variety
beautiful park
Elevation adds a lot
Clearly a championship level course


Just had trouble finding where to park and hole #1.

It is well past swim area. The first lot gets you to the hole #1 basket but a crazy amount of stairs to tee pad. Keep driving past this lot to next lot (sort of a bus stop looking thing and playground area). Then walk across to edge of trees which is past shelter building. #1 is a great downhill shot, plus stairs to get down.

Other Thoughts:

Amazing to find this course along I-80 in NE!
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5 0
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 13.2 years 344 played 195 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 15, 2020 Played the course:once


- new veteran baskets
- good tee pads
- good variety of distances ranging from 150' to 700'
- great variety of shots you'll need to throw
- decent amount of elevation change
- beautiful park setting


- no numbers on the baskets, I was always unsure if I had thow to the right basket
- tee signs are ok, but could really use an upgrade
- navigation of this course could really be improved on

Other Thoughts:

Put numbers on your baskets. Great course but could be upgraded to a 4.0 easily.
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0 0
Experience: 33 played 2 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Hidden Gem 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 7, 2019 Played the course:once


Awesome course. Good blend of technical and distance shots. Water traps are a concern on a few pins, but even at bethe primary tees it'sb easy to get over or around them, and alternate tees make them moot. Infrastructure and maintenance are all great.


Tee pads are a bit small, but not a huge issue. Might benefit from arrows on the basket to the next tee.
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9 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 21.2 years 551 played 429 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Cottonmill Fits the Bill 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 18, 2018 Played the course:once


It could be argued Cottonmill DGC is the best the state of Nebraska has to offer. It has versatility, with multiple pin locations on nearly every hole, and short tees on a couple. The layout is challenging, featuring elevation change, water in play and some thick rough that can be punishing. The tee pads are concrete, and they have signs posted for each hole with all of the relevant info.
The baskets were fit for play.

There are a few of really amazing holes, and the quality is consistently very good throughout. Hole 2 is the first real doozy. It's downhill steeply toward the water, with the basket cutting into the woods on the left before you reach the bottom. The fairway is pretty wide, but if you leave it you will be in very thick woods and brush. 3 is the first play over the water, but there is a short tee if you would like to reduce the risk. 4 is a good tunnel shot. Hole 6 plays similar to 2, and features a similar steep drop with heavy rough on either side of the fairway. The pin was placed in a risky spot to the right on the waters edge. Hole 9 plays across the water again, with a couple of good lanes up the hill on the way to the basket. 12 and 14 are shorter holes that are downhill and kind of fun. 12 is steeper and more heavily wooded than 14. 18 gives you a final chance to pick up a birdie with a short hole, but don't overshoot it too much, or you will be coming back out of the woods.


This course is not for the faint of heart. I was surprised by how thick the rough was, and spent a fair amount of time fighting my way out. This and the lake will both be able to steal a stray disc. Not the place to take a noob.

Hole 15 plays next to the swimming area, but it was drained. I don't know if this is refilled for the summer, but if it is there is likely to be lawn chairs, beach towels and children running around not far from the basket.

Other Thoughts:

Cottonmill DGC gave me a hard time, but I would play there often if I lived in the area. It takes a sharp game to play at or below par here. The birdie opportunities are there, more of them on the back nine, but giving shots back is easy to do. I finished at 69, with only one birdie on the day, on hole 15 (in the short position).

I am in the double digits in Nebraska now, and this course is one of the best I have played there. It has superior tees and signage to my favorite NE course, Hummel Park in Omaha. It is far more versatile and difficult than my second favorite course, Kelley Park in McCook. I can see why it may deserve a better rating than the others, but I have to go with my heart. That being said, this is a marvelous course, and do not pass it up if you're in the vicinity. It is definitely unique, and I can not think of a course that is a great comparison off the top of my head.
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9 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 17.2 years 388 played 318 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Best in Nebraska? 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Aug 21, 2017 Played the course:once


-excellent terrain with big elevation changes, tight woods, and Cottonmill Lake in play on 6 holes
-the holes are designed well to take advantage of the land's features and challenges; lots of fun, beautiful but tough holes
-has a nice mix of shorter birdie holes and longer, tougher par 3 holes, especially when the baskets are in the long positions
-a few places to lay into a longer drive but accuracy is truly the test here; most holes requires an accurate line or a good placement; you will have to navigate tight woods on about half the holes; lots of risk vs reward scenarios
-concrete tees, signs at each tee, Mach baskets in good condition
-two pin positions on most holes
-a ton of other amenities in this huge park
-adequate parking


-the back 9 is a bit easier than the front; lacks the wow factor some of the holes on the front 9 have and leaves the round ending on a lower note
-the longer holes in the longer positions are tweeners, par 3.5
-navigation is definitely not obvious on this course; you will need to have a map or a local to follow; even then some of the trails can be tricky to spot
-i love the water danger but beginner players will be intimidated; this is not a good course for beginners as it demands accurate drives and water carries
-no indicators on the tee signs for the present basket position

Other Thoughts:

Cottonmill DGC is just one of the awesome features of Cottonmill Park, situated around Cottonmill Lake on the west edge of Kearney. The park complex is huge and there's a ton of other stuff to do.

But we're here to play disc golf and this course has to be a contender for the best course in the state. It's got big elevation changes in play through tight woods and the lake comes into play on 6 holes. Holes 3 & 9 have a short water carry over a small inlet of the lake. There are lots of holes to test your accuracy and while the course is mostly on the shorter side, there are a few holes that are stretched a little longer. The longer holes in the longer basket positions play like tweener holes though; not truly long enough to be par 4s except maybe 9 & 10 longs.

The course almost has a double loop design but hole 10 is a ways from both hole 9 and the parking lot. The back 9 doesn't quite live up to the level that the front 9 sets. Not as many elevation changes and a more easy birdie holes. The final two holes do tighten up a bit but they are pretty short, even to the long positions.

There are a number of really fun holes at Cottonmill and the course offers plenty of challenge for most players. It's situated right off I-80 directly in the middle of the state so it's a perfect place to stop for a round if you're driving across Nebraska. It's gotta be the best course on I-80 in Nebraska and probably the best course in the state (not that I've played them all... maybe someday). If you only have time for one course in Nebraska, make it this one.

**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
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4 0
Experience: 9 played 4 reviews
4.50 star(s)

A Must-Play Course! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 20, 2015 Played the course:5+ times


- Great variety: short, moderate and longer holes that offer unique challenges.
- Elevation: makes even the the greatest think twice about their shots.
- Beautiful layout: lake, swimming pond, foliage and plenty of vegetation to challenge every kind of player


- Water hazards.
- Some holes are hard to follow your shots so make sure you have a second pair of eyes watching.
- Navigation is a little tricky. There is a large gap between 9 and 10.

Other Thoughts:

This is a quality course that will test even the most skilled disc golfers. The layout and length may seem intimidating to a beginner but don't let that keep you from playing one of the best courses in the midwest.
If you can shoot under par on this course you have a pretty solid game. The elevation, shot variety and overall setup of this course makes it fun for all levels. If you have never played a course with elevation I challenge you to play a round at Cottonmill!
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10 0
Chained Evil
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.2 years 1131 played 232 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Quality discing 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 14, 2015 Played the course:once


This course has a good mix of short, moderate, and longer holes.
Excellent elevation changes providing you with both uphill and downhill shots.
Well maintained, adequate signage, and ample tee pads.
Disc golf exclusive course.
Dog leg L/R holes, tunnel shots, and low ceiling shots.
There are a few holes that are Aceable and there are a couple of spots to air out some drives.
Also there are 2 holes with a lake to give you a water threat.
If you don't want to throw across the water holes 3 and 9 offer an alternative pad.
Pine/cedar grinding to help with erosion. Other amenities nearby like hiking, fishing, etc. A kiosk to tell visitors which position the pins are currently in.
Multiple pins placements to keep things from getting stale.
There are benches and trash cans sprinkled throughout the course.
This course provides many lines that need to be shaped and it will test your accuracy and your mental approach as well as your distance and shot making abilities.
There is a lot of risk/reward on many holes.


Navigation can be tricky in spots so taking the map is highly advised for the first time visitor.
Next tee arrows might help with the confusion for players not familiar with the layout.
Long walk from 15's basket(when it is in the B position) to 16's tee.
Some players might complain about having to walk around the lake on 3 and again on 9 to get to the other side of the fairway, for me this wasn't an issue.

Other Thoughts:

This is a quality course that will test even the most seasoned of golfers. Its not overly technical so lesser skilled players can still enjoy their round.
If you can shoot under par on this course you have a pretty solid game and can compete with most players that you will encounter.
The shot variety coupled with the elevation and then add in the terrain make for some excellent golfing. This course has pretty much everything that a disc golfer could want in a course.
I throughly enjoyed my round at this course. If you are close to the area, or like road trips, hit this course up. I'm sure you will find something here to enjoy.
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9 0
Experience: 20 played 20 reviews
4.50 star(s)

If you only play one course in Nebraska... 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 1, 2014 Played the course:5+ times


Great variety.
Excellent mix of left, right, straight, tight, and wide open shots with water hazards and alternate tees.
Great views. Scenery changes throughout the course with meadows, woods, shade, sun, sand, people, wildlife, wild flowers, water, etc.
Lots of good elevation changes.
The course is not at all repetitive or monotonous.
Nicely maintained.
The mature cottonwoods and other trees are nice.
You could have a tough time finding a couple discs and want to scream after a couple throws, but the challenge of the course is not so insane as to make you not want to play it; it is about ideal.


Tee offs and flow is confusing unless you have played it several times or have a map (print the one off this site before playing). This is sad, because it is a fairly big con, but about the only one I have of this course.

Other Thoughts:

This is my favorite course in Nebraska and the one we play most often. It never gets old and is the course that really got my wife and I into disc golf. Many avid players consider it one of the best despite the flow being awkward at times. If you want to make an all-day or overnight trip out of it, Kearney has nice places to stay and other things to do. You can also play Centennial and get a park pass and play Ft. Kearny while you are in the area. The Kearney community has an app (Kearney App) that also marks out the golf disc holes and tee offs as part of its "Disc Golf Tour" within the app. This might help locating tee.
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4 1
Experience: 14 years 36 played 9 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Challenging but fun 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 20, 2014 Played the course:2-4 times


Tricky shots and a variety of throws will be used. The scenery is great as this course plays around a large lake...which also means you will have some water shots for added challenges. Multiple walking paths. I thought the course was relatively well maintained and not a lot of trash, which is refreshing.


Since this is in a pretty popular park, expect lots of foot traffic from the paths. The holes can be a little tough to find if it's your first time playing.

A little biased, but wish there were a couple more open shots to really throw some long bombs.

Other Thoughts:

Overall a challenging course, but this can make for some great risk/reward shots. Definitely a must play if you are in the area.
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8 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.2 years 483 played 478 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Best in NE? 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 4, 2013 Played the course:once


-Nice baskets
-Easy to follow, especially with use of the map printed out on here.
-Some fun water shots that can be shortened or avoided by alternate tees which is nice. One of the water shots skirts the swimming pond so it was comforting knowing that I could safely hop in and find my disc if I threw it in there.
-Multiple basket positions on every hole.
-Good elevation, it starts out right away on hole 2!
-This course goes in and out of wooded areas the whole round and that kept it fresh and exciting for the whole round. There are shots that turn every way or multiple ways per hole. No super long or super short holes but lots of good variety.
-The designers did a really nice job fitting the course in here. It seems like a large area but it really isn't that big.
-Concrete tees were more than adequate.
-Provided a woodsy challenge without having too crazy of undergrowth.
-Good signage.
-This park has all the amenities you need. Other fun stuff to do in the park for the kids like playgrounds and swimming. Bike trails, amphitheatre, bathrooms. Just a nice quality park on the edge of town.


-A few spots where I was a little confused about the layout. It would be fine if I played again even without a map.
-The ever present problem with multiple pins; where's it at now?! You just have to run up the fairway a bit sometimes. Not a big deal.
-You could lose a disc, this isnt your average city park course but not too easy to lose a disc either.
-A few times on the course you might have to be careful to not hit other park users. A few trails run right around or through the course and the swimming pond borders one hole.

Other Thoughts:

This course was great. It had an awesome balance of fun factor and challenge for a player at my skill level. This course is just barely short of a 4.5 in my book and was by far my favorite course played on my recent road trip. This is easily the best course in Kearney and highly worth a stop if traveling on 80. If you only have time for 1 course, this is it. This course felt like a pay to play regional or state park or something but it is free! Thanks residents of Kearney!
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1 3
Experience: 18.3 years 54 played 21 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Extremely good course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 12, 2012 Played the course:once


Excellent course! Very professional design and maintenance. Great variety in holes with elevation changes, trees, turns, doglegs, and other obstacles. Surrounded by a nice park. Tee pads, signs and directions are present.


I can't think of many cons. This is a near perfect course. The water hazard can be a problem for losing discs or having to get wet searching for one.

Other Thoughts:

This is probably the best course I have played out of many throughout the country. It really makes you forget that you're in central Nebraska when you're surrounded by scenery that looks more like a forested mountain area. This is a place where you can expect many experienced players to be. University of Nebraska Kearney is also nearby.
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3 0
Experience: 21 played 2 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Pleasantly Surprised 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 7, 2013 Played the course:once


+Nice variety of holes, required a large variety of shots
+Made good use of a couple of the alternate pin locations
+Pro/Am tees
+Baskets in good shape
+Tee pads level and in good shape
+Well defined fairways
+Rough, wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be to find errant shots
+Excellent use of elevation and water
+Located in a nice regional park setting
+Signs were well done and accurate


-Only two pin locations per hole, and most of the longer pin positions make many holes par 3.5's and result in very easy upshots instead of 20-40' putts.
-Don't remember seeing many trash cans
-Only remember seeing one or two benches
-Flow was pretty good between holes, but you need to print a map, there aren't any on-course indicators of where the next hole is. With the map, it wasn't too difficult
-Many greens weren't viewable until you're halfway down the fairway, and there were no indications on the signs of which pin position was currently in use
-I could see this course getting easily log jammed or dangerous when full

Other Thoughts:

I was really surprised by this course. On my way back to Colorado from Minnesota I spent the night in Kearney and played this course first thing in the morning. It had many well-designed holes that challenged me to throw a wide variety of shots. I liked the scenery and park setting. All of the baskets were set in the shorter pin positions, and there was really nothing to complain about with regard to the golf itself. Tunnel shots, semi-open bombs, well defined fairways, and balanced number of lefty/righty holes made for a great time. There were a couple pucker-inducing drives near the water as well. I'm a lefty and I got to bust out my "work-in-progress" forehand several times on holes where a lefty backhand was clearly at a disadvantage. I lost an disc on one such forehand on hole 7, but I birdied three other holes with forehand drives in the 250-310' range.

The reason I don't give the course a 4 is due to the lack of variety in pin placements and the flow of the course.

If this were my home course, I'd get tired of the same two pin locations, especially because many of the longer pin positions make the holes boring pars (assuming par 3) or easy birdies (according to the course-specified par 4) for anyone in the 400-475' power range. IMO, the course is best suited in the shorter pins, and I'd like to see an extra pin placement or two in the shorter pin range.

The flow of the course is absolutely fine if it's empty and you bring a map, or have played there before. But in the middle of the day when it's crowded with other park-goers and disc golfers, this course could take forever to play with all of the blind greens. On many of the holes you can't only not see the green, but you can't see the path to the next tee as well, so you really have no idea when the group in front of you is done unless you hear the chains or they call 'clear.'

I plan on coming back to this course every time I drive through NE, it was definitely fun enough for that. Go in the morning before the crowds pick up and you'll enjoy an excellent round of golf, they've really done a nice job with the course. Add a couple shorter pin positions and pin location indicators and I'd gladly rate this course at a 4.
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8 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 17.2 years 275 played 236 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Kearney's best 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 17, 2013 Played the course:once


Nice small signs and concrete tee pads.
Course landscaping and maintenance is great.
Some water holes in play, alternate tees offered to reduce risk.
9 was one of my favorite holes out of the 123 holes I played in Nebraska. It was an over the water shot where you had to hit your line then play uphill to the basket. 15 was a cool over the water shot, but there is a picnic table directly in front of the A basket.
Loop of 11 and 7.
13 and 14 are back to back ace runs.
Some tight technical holes, a little elevation, some water carries, open throws, and variety in distance.
Average hole distance 306, but holes are either short or long. Half the course is under 250 and only 5 holes between 250-400 feet. (<200=1, 200-250=8, 250-300=1, 300-350=2, 350-400=2, >400=4)


Not a great beginner course. There were 26 kids playing when I started. By the time I got to hole 6 there were 14 kids on the beach because they lost all of their discs. Course is very punishing if you leave the fairway on some holes.
Extremely crowded. Lots of players and lots of random people on the course. Lots of people meant lots of litter. Several times I walked up to a piece of litter thinking it was my disc from a distance. 2 people were sitting on the picnic table just feet from 15's basket.
Several possibilities for disc loss, but the water is only a small risk.
2 pin positions on many holes, but now way to know which position the baskets are in. Some holes are totally different and you need to know which line to hit.
Signage needed. No navigational aids to hole 10. Hole 16 was hard to find even with course map.
Some baskets are unmarked or marked incorrectly
Course ends with a short little let down hole.

Other Thoughts:

I think this course is rated so highly because it is your only option for a quality 18 hole course for atleast an hour. Their is only one other 18 holer in NE with in 100 miles.
It was my second favorite of the 12 courses I played in Nebraska.
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5 1
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.3 years 57 played 37 reviews
4.00 star(s)

New Englander Impressed! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Apr 16, 2013 Played the course:once


I was blown away by this course. I've played almost all of my disc golf in Massachusetts and the only course I've seen that is better than Cottonmill is Maple Hill in Leicester, MA.
-The aesthetics of the course were phenomenal.
-There was an incredible range of holes, many of them easily separating the good from the great.
-The water is used well and it's hard to lose a disc in the water.
-The rough is also forgiving and it's easy to find errantly thrown discs.
-The concrete tee pads are excellent and the baskets are all in great shape.
-There was no one else on the course and parking was a breeze.
-It's free!!
-There were some dynamic elevation changes, tight technical shots, open bombs, dog legs, etc.
-Holes do not favor one type of thrower over another. Nice balance of left- and right-bending holes.
-Clean course without litter.


-We had to look at our printout of the course map twice to find our way.
-Multiple pins/baskets is what would take this course to the next level.

Other Thoughts:

I was thoroughly impressed by this course and it is a clear example of an excellent, 4-disc course. Improve the maps and navigation and add another set of baskets and it's a 4.5. The fact that it's free and close to town and the interstate make this course a real gem. I will play this course every time I'm back in Kearney. If you are driving by on Rt. 80, you have to stop by to play! It's only 10 minutes off the interstate.
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8 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 20.3 years 156 played 142 reviews
4.00 star(s)

The Best Kearney Has to Offer 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 10, 2012 Played the course:once


Cottonmill DGC is overwhelmingly better than every other course in the Kearney area. The well-maintained park has an interesting mix of foliage, elevation changes, water hazards, and tight lines. At just over 5000 feet the course feels longer than posted because of punishing lines and numerous blind shots. #3 and #9 are a signature holes where you must fly the water on your drive and position yourself well enough to get a look at the pin on a tough uphill approach. Par on these holes are hard fought for even great golfers.

The park has typical park amenities with campground, bathrooms (out of the way from the course) and beach play areas. A family could spend the weekend here while you hit the course. The tee areas are concrete and marked with small signage. Finally, I like when a course plays back on itself where you can choose to be done after the front nine and be near your car.

BEST HOLE/S: #3; & #9


First-timers can have some navigation issues due to the lack of good signage and dense foliage. Plus, my two favorite holes intersect off the drive, so watch for other golfers - not to mention the dangers of the many blind shots. Depending on your preference, a few holes could be thinned out a bit, and throwing in the rough can make for a miserable round. As always, bring the repellent - since the mosquitoes can get fierce in the summer heat.


Other Thoughts:

When it comes to playing Kearney courses, you basically have Cottonmill DGC and then the rest. And while Cottonmill towers over the others in distance, terrain, playability, and overall quality - having played all of the Kearney courses, I will give and ordered rating of what I viewed as the best courses as well as my personal favorite courses in the area.

The best courses are ordered in what I believe are the variables other DG reviews would require to create a quality disc golf course. My favorite courses will vary a bit from the other rating just based on my overall playing experience and personal preferences. Take each with a grain of salt, and then go hit them all yourself and make your own list.

Overall Course Rating:
1. Cottonmill DGC - 4.0 discs
2. Fort Kearney State Rec. Area - 2.5 discs
3. Centiennial Park - 2.0 discs
4. Sunrise Middle School DGC - 1.5 discs
5. Kearney High School DGC - 1.5 discs.

Personal Enjoyment: (1 is best and 5 is worst)
1. Cottonmill DGC
2. Fort Kearney State Rec. Area
3. Kearney High School DGC
4. Sunrise Middle School DGC
5. Centennial Park
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7 0
Experience: 21.2 years 26 played 9 reviews
4.50 star(s)

May be Nebraska...But Not a Cornfield 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Nov 23, 2012 Played the course:5+ times


-Course is in a very nice, scenic local park/recreation area built around a fishing lake (which the course plays along in places).
-Well-kept and free of litter for the most part
-Decent concrete teepads
-Signage at the start of the course which shows which pins are in their alternate(B) positions (most recent trip it was not being used, though)
-Small signs at each teepad which show distance and rough pin location
-Nice use of elevation changes, significant in some places (#2,#6, #9, for instance)
-Variety of hole distances (200-ish to 400+ ft)
-Lots of mature trees add to the challenge
- "Secret" hole in the woods to the left of the fairway on #2.


-For those unfamiliar with the layout, it can be tricky to navigate in places. Some signage that directs to the next teebox would help.
-You sometimes may have to walk the fairway to see which position the pin is in
-#4 and #8's fairways play pretty close to each other
-Golfers teeing off on #3 and crossing over to #10 from #9 have to watch out for throws on #2. #3 and #9 do tee off crossways over the same finger of the lake, also
-The road can come into play in a couple of areas. Also, people seem to like to park at a turnaround near #5 which puts them in range of a drive off the tee there almost directly straight ahead
-Non-golfers like to hike around the course as well, so be mindful of that
-#15 plays very near a swim lake, and a sand volleyball course sits in the middle of the fairway when the pin is in the long position as well (marked OB)
-The rough is very thick in places
-While fun, could be very frustrating to beginners
-A long, hilly hike could be a "con" to some

Other Thoughts:

Cottonmill is challenging, at times punishingly so, but ultimately is a very fun course to play. Between the mature trees and the well-used elevation changes, along with sometimes very gusty winds (this is in the central plains, after all), a golfer will find their game tested. Accuracy is a must on this course, as a shot off of the fairways can quickly balloon your score.

I make it up to Nebraska maybe a couple times a year, and stay in the Kearney area. I make it a point to play Cottonmill as much as I can while I am there. I cannot say enough about this course. It is a blast to play, and I highly recommend playing this course if the opportunity arises.
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10 0
Hector Chain
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.2 years 222 played 191 reviews
4.00 star(s)

You'll take a cotton to it. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 4, 2012 Played the course:2-4 times


The course plays in and out of the woods along the shores of a beautiful lake. The tee pads are concrete, and every hole has two positions. Tee signs are small but adequate, showing the distances and paths to the holes.

Most of the holes are in the 200-350 range. To varying degrees, they all require accurate throws through a defined fairway. There aren't any ridiculously tight lines you have to hit, but you also won't get away with a really bad throw, either. The fairways tend to be lined with pine trees and the thick rough that accompanies them.

There is some nice use of elevation here. Holes 2 and 6 were nice downhill bombs, but on both you have to be sure you stay on the fairway. Hole 9 is a cool hole with a tee shot across an arm of the lake (it's only 150-200 feet across), and you need to land hit one of two gaps on the other side so you can execute a steep uphill approach.

There are several holes that are pretty short but have the baskets on a slope. I like these sorts of holes. Birdies are not simple, and a missed aggressive putt can mean a bogey.


The course layout is unconventional. There are a couple areas where you play a loop and then cross a fairway you already played. There are a couple areas where this might not be safe (after #9 you need to cross either #2's or #9's fairway to get to #10), and I don't know how this works when there is a tournament. Other times there is a basket pretty close to your fairway that is for a different hole. On #11 you see a basket about 150 feet away on the edge of the fairway, but it's for another hole (#16 I think?). Definitely study the map and pay attention to the tee signs.

On several holes you need to walk the entire fairway to see what position is in use. According to other reviews, the sign at hole 1 tells what positions are in use, so take a look. I wish I had.

A couple holes are pretty close to the road, and I ended up in the road at least 4 times (that's partly because there were 40mph winds this day, and partly because I'm not very good!).

Other Thoughts:

Although there are two shots across water and several others near the lake, I don't think the risk of losing a disc here is very high. The holes across the lake have alternate tee pads to avoid throwing over water, which is a nice feature for beginners.

Even in spite of the windy conditions wreaking havoc on my drives, this course was a joy to play. None of the holes are boring, and the views are great. It's rightly regarded by many as the best course in Nebraska. It's not too far off of I-80, so if you are itching for a round between Omaha and Denver, this is your course.
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5 1
Experience: 53.8 years 19 played 19 reviews
4.50 star(s)

A Signature DGC for Nebraska 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jan 1, 2012 Played the course:once


This course would be challenging for most everyone if the holes are all in the B location which they were for our first outing but even in the A position a player just starting out or learning how to play could become very frustrated in a hurry. If you're just starting out don't keep track of your score and just take in the experience of playing at such a good course. I see this as a positive because after playing this course with two others who were new to the course we quickly had absolutely no fear of any other course we've encountered because they all seem a lot more friendly compared to a course like this that is intended to give an experienced player a challenge.

Beautiful scenery all year round and something different to look at each time. This would be a great place for the whole family to spend an afternoon while you put your arm to the test.

This course will force you to learn to throw different kinds of shots because without them it will cost you strokes. The different holes will force you to throw straight shots, hyzer shots, anhyzer shots, and even tempt you into throwing rollers on certain occasions if you have a consistent roller in your bag. It will even force you reevaluate your approach/putt game because some of the B position pins are right near the waters edge.

Some of the shots you'll take here are nothing like what you'll find anywhere else in central Nebraska, it really is a unique experience especially on a windy day when the pins are in the B position.

The course had great signage including a scoreboard at hole 1 which indicated the positions of the pins so you know which are in the A position or the B position. Make sure to write this down before heading out on the course.

The course had good teepads which were level with the ground and usually placed in a visible place from the previous hole. All of the tees are in great condition and very well kept.

All of the baskets are in good shape and well maintained. They are moved around at various times of the year for different events.


All holes are listed as par 3 which is not reasonable for most average players but then again this may not be a con because again this disc golf course was not designed to be a normal run of the mill (no pun intended) DGC.

Some of the holes are not always clearly laid out the first time around so it might be confusing the first go round.

The first time you play this you are bound to end up making a lot of bad shots because you have no idea how close or far you are until you are right on top of the hole in some cases. This course could use more detailed maps like those at Tierra park in Lincoln or possibly a printable map/scorecard.

Other Thoughts:

I would highly recommend this course for even the casual player if they live in the state because it really is an amazing course at all times of the year. During the winter the swimming lake is drained and most of the water hazards are frozen over which reduces the fear of loosing a disc. During the summer this is a beautiful park with a lot to take in while you walk the course.

I would recommend walking the full course before playing it the first time. I would also recommend not going alone because on at least 3 or 4 of the holes you need a spotter to watch your disc because you are throwing blind over a hill or down hill between a narrow path of trees were you could loose a disc or hit someone. This normally would not be a concern on some disc golf courses that are out in remote parks like this but while we were playing there were a lot of people walking their dogs in the park or running along the fairways which could result in an unpleasant experience if you were to hit someone on a blind shot.

This is a MUST PLAY course for anyone who has the chance to play it and is well worth the drive even for someone passing by along the interstate. If you have a trip passing by Kearney and are from out of state make plans to stop and take in the course because it will certainly not let you down.

On a side note I have heavily revised my previous review since the original date it was wrote. Hopefully it gives a better portrayal of what Cottonmill has to offer.
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1 5
Experience: 15.2 years 94 played 56 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Will return for more 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 18, 2011 Played the course:once


Great use of trees and mixture of left and right hand holes. Great layout for the most part. Pretty easy to follow. This course is beautiful!


Not much outside of a little confusing finding some of the tees and baskets on first time through. (i.e. the back 9)
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