Black Bear is the other of 2 19 hole courses that start within about 100 yards of each other . The course starts near what looks like a kiosk , a little uphill and close to the #19 tee box . After #1 , which was a cement tee , you go immediately to natural tees with framed wood , almost never gravel . There are 3 tee positions per hole , some harder to find than others . The parking lot is small , so you may have to park on the side of the road if it is busy . I saw no bathrooms when I was here , but a nice shelter to relax between rounds or at the end of your day is near the 19th hole basket . The wall in the shelter has a nice kiosk in it .There is also a lost disc box here . A nice touch . The signage is much the same as Golden Bear . Wood , some faded with Black Bear on it , hole # par and distance . On some you can read elevation of the hole ( ? ) . The baskets are yellow banded Discatchers , which are my personal favorite for woods courses . They spray painted black on basket rungs to tell you where to go for at least some navigation . Print the map . If you don't , you will lose a lot of time between a few confusing basket to tee locations . This course is also fragmented . There are long walks between 11-12 and especially 13-14 , where you cross at least 1 bridge to get there . They did spray paint some of the trees to help keep you on track . be alert to where you are .
The course starts you off with a drive on #1 that wraps around a large tree to a hill that goes straight up to the basket .The next is a shorter downhill grade shot . Then #3 is a cool putter throw straight downhill . stopping your putter is another thing . That shot starts your journey through all woods holes until you pop out of it . after hole 18 . The 19th hole is a shared hole with Golden Bear . The holes range from a lot of up and down throws to throws on the sides of hills . This course is technical and will test your patience . The holes play short , even playing from the longs 177' to 303' . There are many midrange drives on this course . I would avoid going for a lot of aces here , just because of you clip a tree or get careless and throw too much speed on your putter , it may jump on its side and roll 100' away ( like mine did ) . Not an incredible amount of foliage on Black Bear , but the leaves , especially in autumn will hide your discs . I am not a fan of holes that start and stay on a hillside, so you may have to bend your putter shot here on occasion . There is a creek on a part of this course , but it is really not utilized like it could have been . There were no real memorable holes here . I enjoyed the downhill putter run and hole #1 the best . What you will get here is a hole by hole , elevation by elevation play. There is fun here , especially when there are a total of 38 holes on the premises . It took me about 80 minutes to play Black Bear , a group of 4 should take 2 1/2 hours . There are some nice bridges connecting you with parts of the course .
The course ends with an island hole , left to right with trees and brush swatting down any direct path to the basket .
----Safety . both for others and you . A few blind shots can hit someone looking for an off-course drive . Also , if the ground is wet , you will take chance after chance keeping your feet underneath you while playing this course . Wear sturdy shoes if you have them .
----Navigation ; The navigation is spotty at best . holes 11-12 and 13-14 divide the course up and will include long walks with them .
---- Equipment : I have to gripe on this . The signage is worn out and needs a replacement bad . It might be a longshot to ask for someone to haul cement or gravel up into the woods , but carpet or turf would do just fine .
----Disc Risk : lots of chances for rollaways here , and they can roll a lot . A spotter might be able to help the cause , but if you are playing alone , accept the consequences or watch your drive like a hawk . It will be terrible in autumn . I clipped a tree and had to go down an embankment over 100'
The course needs a Port O Potty here , and a bigger parking lot . No front and back 9 . You never get to the shelter until after hole 19 .
I may sound like I am unimpressed by Black Bear , but I just see some untapped potential here . There were a lot of players on both courses while I was here . The locals are friendly and seem to want th course to upgrade , too . Still , you can't beat 38 holes of technical shot disc golf after you parked your car . Fun Factor ? This course has it . As long as you keep your cool , concentrate and don't overplay the holes , you shoiuld score pretty well here . Risk/reward pin settings will test whether you want to go for it or play it safe . I kind of wanted to give this course a 2 1/2 , but when I look at the whole body of work , upping it to a 3 seems more logical . Bring a cold beverage or 2 after your round so you can sit in the shelter and make fun of errant shots to the #19 island green ( I tried that and got stuck pulling out a disc caught in a tree from some girl ) . Be mindful if you are coming here that they have a random doubles tournament here on Wednesdays from March through October .