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Porter, IN

Hawthorne Park

2.125(based on 13 reviews)
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Hawthorne Park reviews

10 0
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19 years 265 played 256 reviews
2.00 star(s)

Decent 9 Hole Park Course With Some Length

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 19, 2023 Played the course:once


- well maintained park
- tee signs have maps and are serviceable
- incorporation of some minor elevation change
- some good mix of hole lengths
- older but solid Innova DISCatcher baskets
- numbers on baskets
- garbage cans throughout course
- some moderate obstacles in otherwise open park
- respectable for beginners, ok for practice if more experienced
- concrete tees


- several notable safety hazards in multi-use park
- tees could definitely be larger
- despite being a simple course, navigation is not always clear
- terrible design for hole 2 throwing directly over bike/walking path
- fair amount of vandalism/stickers on baskets
- not isolated enough from other park activities
- mostly open and fairly flat with low difficulty level

Other Thoughts:

I stopped by Hawthorne Park en route between Chicago and Fort Wayne, IN. This route really doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of solid courses. I played Hawthorne Park in a constant drizzle and still had a fun time, which I'd say is a good sign. It probably helps it was only 9 holes though!

For a 9 hole course, the mix of lengths is respectable here. While I prefer more technical, wooded courses, this one is fun enough and does have some so-so elevation change for an open park course. There are a moderate number of tree obstacles to add some challenge but overall this course is a pretty basic park course.

The navigation here could be a bit better but it can be figured out - as with most open courses, hole numbers on the baskets really help. Amenities are pretty limited here but typical of a public park. The only major con here is the safety issues - hole 2 throws for 300 ft over a bike/walking path, hole 6 throws straight towards the playground, and the fairways for holes 7 and 8 cross each other. There are several other walking path encroachments, which is always frustrating to see on a disc golf course. Admittedly, the course and park were deserted while I was there, but it was a rainy Tuesday afternoon so I'm not sure that was indicative of the norm.

Ultimately, I had a fun time here - definitely wouldn't seek this one out, but if you are en route to somewhere else, this is a nice little course where you can play a quick round near interstates and Indiana Dunes National Park.
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2 0
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 10.8 years 374 played 105 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Fun little course 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 14, 2016 Played the course:2-4 times


Was a fun course in a typical city park type setting.

Easy to follow- upright 4 x 4's with hole number and distance written on them. Pads, for not being concrete were ok- rubber mats with 4 x 4's ( a lumber yard donation, perhaps??) enclosing them on 3 sides- were flat enough.

Elevation was well utilized.
Couple of memorable holes:
#1 short (135) but protected by a tree- ace potential, but no gimme
#2 long over a hill with mature tree protection (see also cons)
#5 slight downhill with big left bend around a muture couple of trees needed
#6 downhill to a basket protected by a tree and positioned on the side of a hill. (twice rolled the disc down the hill past the basket!!)
#7 long flat hole which was down in a valley with hills as protection on both sides- kind of neat hole
#8 throw across same valley to a left bend basket well protected by mature trees. and
#9 300 ft throw down hill with two trees in fairway.


#2 throws over the small side street through the park

#8 throws over basket #7

#2 and #4 play to same basket- wasn't a problem as I was only one out there- but could be if course was busy.

Other Thoughts:

No complaints- nice 9 hole course in a rural area. Concrete pads move this to a 3, maybe even 3.5.

It was definitely a fun course to play!!
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1 0
Experience: 12.3 years 23 played 14 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Friendly Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 11, 2014 Played the course:once


Varied, interesting, sometimes challenging lines. Changes in elevation add to that.
Few hazards


Only one real long hole.
Hole 2 is gone, and 1 may as well be gone

Other Thoughts:

I had fun playing this course, but I played it with three newbies.I don't play every round like a tournament, so my reviews are different from others on here it seems. I judge by fun.

Park for other stuff to do.
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1 0
Experience: 15.2 years 39 played 9 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Good little park 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 26, 2013 Played the course:once


Nice baskets. Friendly locals pointed out #3. Easy to find. Plenty of parking. Easy to navigate. Good signage. Plenty of equipment for kids to stay busy. Near Indiana Dunes/lake shore. Nice layout. A variety of shots required.


Hadn't been mowed in a while. Natural tees with rubber placemats. Holes 1 & 2 have been removed due to construction of a walk/bike path. Multi use park so beware of pedestrians. Noise: trains, trucks, construction equipment.

Other Thoughts:

I wish the course update had been updated. I was unaware of holes missing. Nice park to stop and play with the family. I wouldn't make a special trip just for this park again, but if you're camping in the area it is a must play.
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3 0
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 20 years 114 played 105 reviews
1.50 star(s)

Meh... 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 21, 2013 Played the course:2-4 times


- There are some interesting tees and basket placements here.
- I like how there are 2 pin positions for each hole.
- No two holes are exactly alike - not even close.
- Nice mowed park.
- You get to the end of #9 and are fairly close to where you started.


- Tee pads or lack thereof. This is hands down the biggest issue for me. These gravel monstrosities are a recipe for a twisted ankle at worse or a good way to induce OAT into your throws as your feet slide around looking for grip. This course is in DIRE need of some concrete pads. The rubber pads on some of them seem to make the issue worse.
- #2 has you throwing right next to a asphalt drive which is supposed to be OB.
- I did not care for the placement of #6. This is way too close to the playground equipment there.
- If this park is ever busy with DG'ers then I think the #8 pad throwing over the #7 basket is also a bad idea. However I really doubt this is ever an issue.
- Navigation is not bad but finding #1 is a pretty big issue. There's been some construction so the #1 pad is gone. If you are looking at the Community Center go to your right to where the new asphalt is next to the woods. You will see a trash can there and that apparently is the tee.

Other Thoughts:

I noticed today that there are a lot of construction stakes in the grass area in front of the community center which probably means an upcoming construction project. At which time it may be a good time for course designers to get in some concrete pads and maybe redesign some of these holes.

I am not going to sugar coat this...I would love to have a course like this near may house. It would be a great way to work on many aspects of my game. On the other hand it just isn't terribly challenging are there are some pretty significant design issues particularly #6. If you are in the area hit it up but I do not recommend going out of your way to get here.

Something to consider - as with many DG courses in the midwest, the bugs can get pretty bad on #1 so bring bug spray (I am not counting this as a con BTW.)
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2 0
Experience: 12.2 years 11 played 5 reviews
2.00 star(s)

Decent Beginner Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 29, 2012 Played the course:once


Decent course for a beginner: a good mix of short, long, straight, and not so straight.

Good location for those visiting the Indiana Dunes area. About 5 - 10 minutes from Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore.

Good for kids. If they get bored, park includes a playground.

Good Innova DiscCatchers.


Holes 1 and 2 are right next to the park road, then the other 7 are more typical of a public park.

An experienced player will not be challenged. You have to go about 10 miles south to Rogers Park in Valparaiso for that.

Other Thoughts:

When our family goes camping at the nearby state park, this is a good way to get 9 holes in without having to drive too far. While not a destination, bring your family and you will do OK.
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1 0
Experience: 42.4 years 26 played 12 reviews
2.00 star(s)

Social course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 26, 2012 Played the course:5+ times


It's short, it's in a multi-use park that gets a lot of non disc golf use but it's a fun, free, social course to play.

The holes wind around Hawthorne park in Porter and other than holes 1 and 2 there is not much chance of losing a disc or being punished by rough.

This is a good course when out with friends and want to relax and don't want to have to worry about your game or deal with a rigorous round at Rogers which is the next closest course.

There is a nice use of OB to help make some holes a little more challenging and there are some mando's defined that force you to shape a line or two on a couple holes. Most of the holes are wide open, so you can just throw w/o worrying about landing zones.

The first two holes - have woods bordering them on the left hand side, so any overstable discs thrown have a good chance of hitting the woods. Playing it safe on those leads to 3s and over the entire course any non-beginner will be shooting for deuces here.

Holes 3-7 and 9 are basically straight shots across fields

8 is a nice dogleg left with a mando over around the trees to keep out of private property.

Nice Ace opportunities at over half the holes for most normal arms, longer arms probably at all the holes.

You're never more than a 2 minute walk from the car, so if you want to play a putter round or forget something in your car or just don't want to carry much, you're really close.


There are a lot of safety issues here - there are a couple 2 and 3 that are either along a park entrance road or a busy city road.

Holes 3-5 are across a field that gets plenty of use by non disc-golfers since there is a shelter that can be rented right off of 5. Numerous times we've had to ask kids playing soccer in the field to 'heads-up' so they were paying attention. Hole 6 throws right by a playground - we had a guy in our group hit the swingset _every_ time he threw on that hole.

On 6 you are either throwing at the parking lot/road or at 7s tee - so that can get tricky.

Holes 7 and 9 are on either side of a gazebo that gets traffic and hosts weddings that I've seen people accidentally wing one into.

Hole 7 plays over 8's basket - which isn't really a big issue, but 7s basket is basically in the middle of 8s fairway. So after you throw on 8 - you have to walk right past the basket on 7, which could be a safety issue.

As stated in the pro's - all these holes are deuces, three if you get into the trees on 4 or 8 or hit some of the defined OB. So the course is fairly simple - anyone looking for a real challenge should look elsewhere.

Other Thoughts:

For all it's faults - it's a fun little course. I bring the kids out frequently with me since they can walk for a few and throw when they want to and they can play on the playground while I play some holes then we repeat.

It's fun to meet friends here and casually work on your game or put in a quick round.

We've taken to playing through 3 times to call it a round.

Their putting in teepads - when we were out they were digging them out - getting ready to install. (July 26th, 2012)

It's cool to see disc golf return to this park after 30+ years. One of the people in the group I play with used to play here in the late 70s.

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1 0
Experience: 3 played 3 reviews
2.00 star(s)

GoodDriveBadPutt review dead on 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 5, 2012 Played the course:5+ times

Other Thoughts:

I live right across the street and GoodDriveBadPutt's review is a dead on accurate review of this course. It is mainly a good little course to work on putting and your shorter game and that's pretty much it. They did a good job using what they had to work with to squeeze 9 baskets in this nice park so that is not to be overlooked. Enjoy.
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6 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 21 years 570 played 284 reviews
1.50 star(s)

Beginner 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Feb 26, 2012 Played the course:once


- Course is set within a smaller city park, that has some playground sets and borders some houses. There could be a possible conflict here or there, on one or two holes.
- Some line shaping is present, like a big RHBH hyzer on #1 and #8, though most of it is open. Smaller trees are present on a few holes to provide some challenge, and a few are near the basket like #4 and #5. In general, a straight shot is most important here.
- A couple holes have some additional hazards, like a nasty forest to the left of #1 and #2, a house and it's bushes on #8, and some artificial OB. Recovery from these spots can be a challenge on a bad shot.
- A little bit of elevation changes, mostly due to a small hill. Comes into play on holes #6 thru #9, mostly slight downhills.
- Decent mix of hole lengths, probably maxes out around 325' or so, like on #2 or #3. Nothing extremely long here.
- Good baskets, tees still ok. Navigation isn't too bad, 1st tee is on road by parking lot.


- A lot of pretty wide open shots, with only a few hyzers to contend with. Elevation changes help here and there, but it's still pretty straightforward.
- Some funky layout issues, like playing OVER #7's basket on #8. It is a pretty small park, only a few spots are really affected.

Other Thoughts:

- A pretty typical pitch n' putt, well suited for beginners or people fine tuning their game. More experienced players won't find too much to get excited about.
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2 1
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 22.4 years 831 played 777 reviews
1.00 star(s)

Meh 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Feb 26, 2012 Played the course:once


The course plays through a nice multi-use park with well kept grass and scattered mature trees. There are basic signs with the hole layout and distance showing the two pin positions on each hole. A few of the longer pins offer some nice distance, the shorter set is very beginner friendly. The course uses some rough along the edge of the manicured section of the park to make the first two holes a little riskier, especially for RHBH hyzer lines that can fade down into the brush. A couple minor elevation changes come into play, and add a little bit of variety. The layout uses the scattered trees fairly well to keep it from feeling totally open.


There are some major safety issues here, and because it's a beginner friendly course those will be compounded by less accurate players. The 8th hole throws directly over the 7th basket, the park road and a main road come into play, and other park activities are very close to a couple fairways. The park is pretty open overall, and several trees had been recently cut down when I played making it even more open. This combined with fairly short shots means better players won't be challenged very much here. The tees are natural, and are pretty rutted out and muddy. On a damp day they'll be a total mess, and they're spreading out as players throw next to the mud pits.

Other Thoughts:

There are some nice shots here for beginners, with a few trees and reasonable lengths along with limited punishment for errant shots. More experienced players won't find a whole lot of challenge or variety here, it's a nice warmup for nearby Rogers Lakewood though.
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2 3
Experience: 19.2 years 25 played 3 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Signs 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 29, 2011 Played the course:5+ times


There are now tee sign on every hole. A few baskets are in alternate positions(1,2,3,and 8). This adds a different feel to a short course.


On a busy day you can find yourself waiting a bit on some holes.
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5 0
Experience: 24.6 years 12 played 2 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Hawthorne 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 19, 2011 Played the course:5+ times


They made very good use of the typography on this compact 9 hole course. The holes range from ~200' to 350'+ with multiple pin locations on several holes. Although parts of the course are "open", the use of many throwing techniques are required.

The use of natural obstacles (trees, valleys, hills, bushes, etc) makes each hole unique. For example, one pin is placed on about a 30 degree hill with a tree blocking your view of it from the tee.

Brand new Innova baskets on every hole. They have recently added tee signage, which is a big plus. Relatively easy to navigate when I first played it (without tee signs).

Biggest Pro in my opinion: the park is open until 11pm and there are no gates that can potentially lock your car in the park, so glow golf is an option everyday of the week. And given the fact that this course is relatively contemporary, it's very easy to navigate and play at night. No thick wooded areas (except on the left side of hole 1 and 2) to lose a disc at night.

PS - At night, you can play some wicked safari holes ;)


Obviously, the fact that it's a 9-hole course is a bit of a bummer. Especially when there's potential land for more holes.

As of this review, there are natural (grass/worn dirt) tees.

On certain holes, you throw across or over other holes and even the side of a small children's park. But that's what happens when they were only able to put in 9 holes. Just holler before you throw!

Other Thoughts:

Hawthorne Park had an object disc golf course about 30 years ago. I'm glad they decided to revive it!

Dogs allowed, if leashed and kept off the grass. So bring your wife/girlfriend/friend to hold the dog while you're putting.

They've slowly been putting more garbage cans around the course. There is about 4 right now next to various tees.

Overall, it's a fun little course that's great for beginners. Many people could play the course with only a putter, maybe a mid range too.
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9 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.9 years 316 played 268 reviews
1.50 star(s)

Hawthorne 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Aug 21, 2011 Played the course:5+ times


- Hawthorne Park is a compact multi-purpose park that is home to a new nine hole layout. The course plays around other park activities. Length varies from approximately 200'- 350'. A good balance is struck between the shorter ace runs and the longer holes. The park is very well-groomed and maintained. Heavy schule lining #1 and #2's fairway are the only places where losing a disc becomes a possibility.
- For a nine hole park style course, the design does an above average job of working in minor elevation changes. Many mature trees provide just the right amount of shade vs. sun, while providing excellent line shaping opportunities in several spots. A variety of tree species throughout the park keep the hazards from becoming repetitive.
- Brand new baskets with dual pin positions on several of the holes (I saw dual pins on #'s 2, 3, 8, and 9).
- Hawthorne has a good mix of shots for a nine holer. Advanced players might only need a mid and putter, but I found myself using pretty much my entire bag. Several ace runs are available, but nothing I'd consider real cheap.
UPDATE (2/27/12): Tee signs are now in place, and list distances for both pin positions as well as provide a picture map of each hole.


- At the time of this review (8/21/11), no proper tee signs or tee pads are installed, although these appear to be in the works. The course isn't too difficult to figure out though. Tee pads are marked in white spray paint, with a little pink flag to aid the search. The flow is pretty straight-forward in most places, with arrows painted onto the grass in the tricky spots.
- #8 tees off over #7's basket, which, while essential for setting up two cool holes, might prove a safety issue if common sense isn't used.
- The course plays awfully close to some playground equipment, which might pose a safety hazard on busy days.
-UPDATE (2/27/12): Several of the large- and medium-sized trees have been cut down, making a couple of holes much more open (to the detriment of the course. This is especially true on #3. I don't know if they needed to come down for some reason, but any way you slice it these missing trees make this course less fun.
- The tees are still natural (with the exception of #1), but have become a bit rutted and muddy in places.

Other Thoughts:

- Friendly locals showed me around the course, mentioning that they've played object golf at that park for close to 30 years.
- While the course can be played multiple times without becoming boring or repetitive, it also has the potential for some awesome safari golf when the park isn't crowded.
- No pets allowed on grass. Park closes at 11 pm, so glow golf is a possibility during much of the year.
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