Streator, IL

Marilla Park DGC

3.55(based on 8 reviews)
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8 0
wolfhaley
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19.8 years 969 played 542 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 9, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

Marilla DGC is a solid 18 hole course in a beautiful park. The front and back nines both start and end by the parking lot and due to it's location is probably rarely too busy, if ever.

There's some decent variety here. The front nine is shorter and more open and flat, though not completely in either sense. The back nine is were it really starts to get exciting. Hole 15 is the signature hole. An 855 ft. par 5 that plays probably 350' straight before hooking ninety degrees to the right for the last 400 or so feet with water off to your left for most of that distance. This ones a good get if you can place your shots in a decent position. Hole 17 is a tight uphill gap to the top of the hill with hole 18 being a reverse of 17, just longer. Nice way to finish off the round.

The tee pads are concrete. These are decent sized, level and have great traction. One tee pad per hole. No complaints with these.

The baskets are yellow banded Discatcher Pros. These are all in good shape and catch great. All were mounted level too. One basket and pin position per hole.

The flow of the course is pretty easy to follow. You shouldn't need a map here to find your way around. The park has lots of huge mature trees so spotting the tee signs is pretty simple. The design itself is very well done for the available space. They did a great job of fitting 18 holes here and using as many of the unique features in the park to create an entertaining layout front to back.

There are tee signs. They contain the bare minimum for info but get the job done. Hole #, distance and par. The main thing is that they're mounted on tall 4x4's so it helps you locate the next pad rather quickly.

The brush off the fairways wasn't too thick so the chance of losing a disc is minimal if you miss the fairway. The park itself was well taken care of and seemed to be very clean.

The course is permanent and free to play.


Cons:

There's some turn off spots from the park road up on the top side of the hill by hole 11. There was someone pulled off onto one of these when we played. Forced us to play out wider right than we'd like. Not sure how common these are used but worth noting.

The tee signs aren't really all that helpful. They have the basic info but it would've been nice to have a hole map on a few of them, most notably hole 15.

There's a couple places where you have to backtrack the way you just came from to get to the next tee pad. It get it, there's only so much room here. Just a minor annoyance though.

The gaps for holes 17 and 18 are getting a little bit restricted by the brush on each side. These two gaps could use a bit of a trim to open up the line, especially 17.


Other Thoughts:

This was a really fun course. It feels like most courses around the Chicagoland area have unrealistically high ratings on here. This one, while a bit outside of Chicago, is rated about right where it should be. I'd recommend playing this one if you happen to be near here. It won't blow you away but it's just a well rounded, fun course.
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5 0
Jashwa
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 19.7 years 173 played 86 reviews
4.00 star(s)

3.8 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 8, 2018 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Marilla Park is a well rounded 18 hole course in the small town of Streator. My friend and I had so much fun here after one round that we decided we couldn't leave without playing another! Below are the main "pros" of the course

*Excellent shot variety. Every hole features a different shot off the tee. There is a solid mixture of distances and I found myself forced to try shots that I don't normally try

*Elevation - The park itself does not have a ton of elevation, but the course makes great use of what is available to it. Elevation is a factor on at least 6 of the 18 holes with a few fun downhill bombs!

*Seclusion - I tend to enjoy courses where I feel "secluded" from the world around me. Marilla Park is located in a small town, so the park did not seem to have a ton of traffic while I was there (a Sunday in early July). The course seems well removed from the rest of the park, so even if there were a lot of other park goers, I don't think it would be too much of an issue.

*Memorable holes - Hole 15 here is an absolute BEAST! It's about 850 feet long, and plays with extremely punishing rough along the entirety of the fairway, including an OB creek for about 300 feet. The tee shot is a risky downhill drive where you need to get to a landing zone at the bottom of the hill. If you wind up short, long, left, or right of the target, you are in trouble.

In addition to hole 15, I also really enjoyed holes 17 and 18 which played up and down a small hill to end the round.

All in all, the front nine is like a nice little "warmup" for the more challenging back nine. Get your arms loose and get some birdies before you really hit the tough holes!

Cons:

I would say that the quality of the golf here could warrant a 4.5 rating on this site, but the course as a whole has a little bit of room for improvement:

*The roughs are VERY rough in some places. In some areas I think this is intentional and part of the design and challenge. In other areas, I think there just needs to be a little bit of grooming

*The course could use some additional trash cans and benches.

*The tee signs do not show the layout of any of the holes, so it's a little bit difficult to tell where some of the baskets are without walking the entire fairway.

Other Thoughts:

Overall, I believe that Marilla is worth spending a day at, and I'd love to play a tournament here. My buddy and I got lunch at the Bullpen, a nearby restaurant and it was great!
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0 1
Eric Babcock
Experience: 9 played 3 reviews
3.50 star(s)

A walk in the park 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 2, 2016 Played the course:once

Pros:

I only played the front 9 holes but the course was delightful and the course design was nice. There wasn't wasted space and it was never difficult to move from basket to the next tee. The park is well maintained, with a lot of open space so you can really get into your throw without being afraid of interference. Holes 7, 8, and 9 were a bit more technical but I felt prepared for them by the time I got there and actually made par on each hole.

Cons:

The only course design I didn't like was the arrangement of holes 7, 8 and 9. The Tee for 9 was right next to the basket for 7 which is on a hill. This was annoying because then you have to walk back down the hill to play hole 8 and back up the hill to hole 9. Also, since the course is in a public park I could see, if the park were busy, the course being less fun.

Other Thoughts:

These are really small cons compared to how much fun the course was to play and how beautiful the area was. I went to play with my aunt after we went hiking in Starved Rock State Park and it was a truly amazing end to a beautiful day. I would definitely go back, and would love to play the back half.
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4 0
JohtoVillage
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 23.9 years 160 played 73 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Fun Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 19, 2014 Played the course:once

Pros:

The course is truly a nice, fun course.The first six or seven holes are fairly flat and play through an area of the park with some mature oak trees. The holes are fairly short, save for hole 1, and don't offer a lot of trouble. The course has nice concrete pads, which is always a plus, and offers some nice variety on the back nine. In particular, holes 15, 17 and 18 are three awesome finishing holes. Hole 15 is truly one of the hardest holes I have ever played in terms of scoring average. The average score on that hole in a recent sanctioned tournament with players of all caliber was probably around a 5.5. I saw plenty of 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's and a couple 9's. This hole truly measures up to being an amazing hole that requires significant patience and talent. In terms of its scoring average and difficulty I would compare it to 17 at Iron Hill (par 6, 900 feet, uphill and all in the woods) and Highbridge Gold number 8 (par 6, 1420 feet, fairly wide open). Playing hole 15 at Marilla Park easily makes the entire course worth the trip. The hole requires a 275 to 300 foot drive to the bottom of a hill. The fairway then turns 90 degrees and runs along a pond for 300 feet. The basket is guarded by huge oak trees. Hole 17 is a real nice par 4 as well, playing along a flat plain for 325 feet and then going straight up a hill with a narrow gap carved out through some brush. Hole 18 is an awesome downhill par 3 that is very well guarded. All in all, the designer did well with what we had.

Cons:

The navigation on holes 7, 8 and 9 were a little confusing. Also, I was not a big fan of hole 12. The drive required a sharp hyzer off of the tee for a right handed player followed by a sharp anhyzer if your drive was placed well enough. The hole just felt "odd" even though the idea behind the hole was strong. The park also seemed to have some really nice wooded areas that were not used at all for the course. I can certainly understand why the designer didn't go into those areas (cost, time, etc) but I am just making a general point about the land that was used.

Other Thoughts:

I would highly recommend playing this course if you are in the area. This area is not known for disc golf so its a welcome addition to the area.
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7 0
ElementZ
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.8 years 212 played 197 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 30, 2012 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Four trusted reviewers in a row giving this course a 3.5, eh? Not bad!

This is a fun mostly-wooded course where your ability to hit certain lines and play creatively will be tested to the max. I would say that most every hole has multiple unique paths to get to the basket and has a healthy right/left balance.

There's 3 really memorable holes that really end the round with a "wow". #15, #17, and #18. These three holes single handedly give this course a tremendous boost in rating and make it significantly more attractive than the average course.

The baskets are brand new, grass was cut, and navigation was intuitive.

Cons:

The flow between #7, #8, and #9 is awkward...I wouldn't have designed it this way.

There's no map yet so you can't get a feel for how it plays ahead of time. Also, the tee signs do not have maps, just distances and pro/rec pars.

The course is slightly monotonous aside from the last 4 holes. The first 14 holes are your typical public disc golf holes.

Other Thoughts:

This very quiet and empty course is a fun place to work on your technical shots and line-hitting ability. I had a lot of fun here even though I played horrendously. :)

If you're in the area, I'd say it's worth checking out, but by no means make this the sole destination of a disc golf trip. Have fun!
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5 0
mashnut
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 22 years 831 played 767 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Fun mix 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 8, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

The course plays through a wooded park with mature trees and patches of rough. Many of the holes have multiple lines through the trees with mowed grass fairways and a mix of lengths. Several holes bring the rough into play, offering tighter lines and a little more punishment on errant shots. Water comes into play on hole 15, with a downhill tee shot to a long dogleg along the creek, definitely a signature hole and a well designed multi-shot challenge.

There is some elevation, mostly on the back 9. A couple fun downhill tee shots contrast with some tricky uphills and some lurking rollaways around a few greens. The back 9 also offers a few longer shots that tempt you to throw a longer drive but have tricky lines or punishment for missing your drive.

Cons:

The tees are natural, and some are already not in great shape. With more traffic they will only get worse. The signs are a little odd, they have the hole number and distance but don't offer any indication of where the basket is.

The front 9 gets a bit repetitive, with mostly flat shots through the mature trees. They don't offer a whole lot of challenge or variety. The park road is in play on a few holes, could be a safety issue on a busy day.

Other Thoughts:

The front 9 is pretty beginner friendly, with shorter lengths and not much elevation, rough or water. The back 9 gets much more difficult with a couple nice par 4 holes and a lot more variety. This is an different design choice than most courses I've played, but in my opinion it works fine with both the front and back nines wrapping back to the parking lot.
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7 0
#19325
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 22.7 years 351 played 175 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Sweet Back 9 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 23, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

This is a brand new course in an area that doesn't have much disc golf. The park is located in a quiet area with large trees. Rolling hills come into playon quite a few holes. Water comes into play on #15.

Navigation is pretty easy on this course. #1 and #10 are at the end of the parking lot. The front and back play on separate areas of the park.

Brand new Innova Discatchers and tee signs. Concrete tee pads to come.


There is an opportunity to throw rollers on several holes.

The front 9 is more beginner friendly. It's rather flat with a scattered trees. Several holes play on the side of a sloping hill.

I replayed the back 9. It has several nice holes that are lacking in Illinois. There are 2 nice par 4's and a legit par 5. #15 is a great par 5.

My favotrite holes were on the back. #17 was probably my favorite hole. It's a shorter par 4 that takes some strategy to play. The rough makes it very tough playing up the hill.

#18 is a great finish to the course. Elevated tee throwing down the hill.

Cons:

Right now there are no cement tees but those are to come.

There are no true wooded holes.

Other Thoughts:

I thought Dan and Dana did a great job of utilizing the park to make a fun course.

There is poison ivy all over the place. If you are allergic educate and protect yourself.
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9 0
notapro
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.6 years 568 played 281 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Intermediate 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 8, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

- Course is set in a large park with trees, woods, and a creek. Holes play close to the park road, and there are some walking/bike paths here and there, but there shouldn't be much interference with the disc golf.
- A lot of the holes here are set among tall trees, with the odd low branch or small tree. Holes #1 thru #5, #11 thru #14, and #16 all play within the groves of trees and offer a few different lines. #1 is a RHBH anny/flex, #2 is a straight/hyzer shot, #12 is a long dogleg right with a tight line off the tee; there are obvious lines and not-so-obvious ones on almost all holes.
- Two holes that play amongst the trees stand out; #18 is an elevated teepad that shoots down into the trees, with a gap to hit right off the tee. #15 is a long dogleg right - it is a downhill shot bordered by rough for about 350', then plays between the rough right and water left for another 300' or so, and finishes with the basket tucked within the woods. These definitely stand out amongst the other holes in this section of the park.
- Some other holes make use of the forest to provide lines and punishment. Holes #6, #7, and #8 are all uphill shots into the woods, with trees and rough providing gaps to hit. #10 is a little more open, but still has more trouble to avoid. #17 is the beast of these; it is about 275' to a gap in the woods, which then shoots up the hill with nasty rough on both sides. A very tough window to hit in one shot, laying up is definitely a good idea.
- Water is used well on #15; the bigger arms will have to worry about it if bombing the first drive, while other players have to worry about it on their second, or third shot.
- Elevation changes are pretty good, the downhills on #15 and #18 are sweet, and the uphill shot on #17 is tough. Some sloped greens present as well, especially on #9 and #14.
- Good signs and baskets, tees aren't too bad and are slated to be concrete. Navigation is no problem overall.

Cons:

- Holes that are set amongst the tall trees are all pretty straightforward. The lines are slightly different based on the locations of the trees, but they all feel very similar and most all of them are reachable with a straight shot.
- Some of the wooded holes are pretty short, #6, #7, #8, and #10 are all under 250'. Interesting lines, but easily reachable.
- Park road is very close on a few holes, like #5 and #11. It is good for some more OB challenge, but it's never fun to play next to traffic.

Other Thoughts:

- Overall, a very enjoyable course that offers a few different looks. Some good chances to fling plastic around within the groves of trees, some tighter lines on more wooded holes, a nice tricky downhill shot, and a challenging par 5 hole. Beginners will enjoy most of the course, though some spots might be way too challenging. Great for intermediate players, and good for expert players.
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