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Kaleva, MI

Northern Natural Cider House DGC

2.55(based on 1 reviews)
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Northern Natural Cider House DGC reviews

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DFrah
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 6.1 years 260 played 255 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Play this fun new 9er while drinking some great hard cider!

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jun 6, 2024 Played the course:once

Pros:

Northern Natural Cider House is in a small village that is a short drive northeast of Manistee, MI. The 9 holes of discing here play around the back of the property. The only multi-use issue you could conceivably run into on this course is some maintenance equipment and what looks to be kind of an outdoor storage area for the place. Most of the time, it will be disc golf only for sure.

There is a pretty nice mix of holes here. There are a couple mostly open holes and a couple of tightly wooded holes, but the majority of holes have moderate width wooded fairways that are perfect for requiring different shot shapes, without being too difficult for beginners and rec players to hit. I was really impressed with how well-defined and cleared these fairways were, especially considering that this is a brand new course. If you do get off the fairway, the ground cover is mostly big ferns that don't really conceal discs that much. You can usually stand in the ferns and thread between tree trunks to attempt to scramble.

The distances are appropriate for rec level players, ranging from about 220' up to 370'. I liked hole 8 the most, which is a 300' right turn that has the approach guarded by two huge 15' tall "twin" tree stumps.

The baskets are yellow banded DISCatchers, with yellow flags on top for visibility.

You need to check in inside the building entrance closest to the road before playing. The cost is $5 for just disc golf, or $10 for disc golf plus a pint of hard cider which is what I recommend. You can get your cider in a to-go cup with a lid and carry it around the course with you. I don't usually drink while playing and really enjoyed doing so here. I got the cherry ginger cider and it was excellent. When checking in, you also get a scorecard that has a course map on it. There's a restroom in the building too.

There is a sign to mark the beginning of the course, and although there aren't any navigational aids out there the paths between holes are just as well defined as the fairways. They DO have a clear EXIT sign after hole 9 that points you down a wooded path back to the lot instead of trying to walk back up hole 1's fairway. Tape on basket rungs would be a nice touch, but I can barely say it's necessary here.

Cons:

The tee areas are a bit lacking. The pads are currently natural and marked only by two Innova tee markers in the ground. Not the worst I have seen by any means, but concrete would be a nice upgrade. The tee signs have hole number/distance/par and a hole nickname, but could use a rough throwing line (or hole map) as there are several baskets that are blind from the tee. There are also no trash cans, benches, or cider cupholders at these tees. Yes I said it - give me a cupholder for my cider!

The course does not have enough challenge to keep advanced players interested. The terrain is flat.

A couple holes are a bit close together for my liking. Nothing egregious though.

No practice basket.

I didn't take off any rating for this, but holes 2 and 9 are currently signed as par 2. Par 2 holes are becoming one of my pet peeves in disc golf. Hole 2 is admittedly both the shortest and most open hole here, but hole 9 is a wicked little right turn that can be tricky for RHBH throwers to even make in 3 - much less 2. Both of these holes are over 200' and should be par 3.

Other Thoughts:

Note that the course is only open when the business is open (currently Thursday through Sunday afternoons).

In the indoor area where you check in and get your cider, they also have branded stamps of Aviar, Wombat, and Leopard discs for sale. I mostly putt with an Aviar and mine was getting a little beat up, so I decided to stop back in after my round and buy one. The woman working the taps said it was the first time she has personally sold one of the discs. It's a very nice bright yellow-green mold with dark green stamping. It also had a sticker on it that read "For disc golf use ONLY". What else would it be used for???

I was honestly pleasantly surprised by this course. I was originally thinking of giving it a 2.0, but after writing the review I decided to reconsider and give it a low 2.5. Give me concrete tee pads plus lines on the tee signs and this is a solid 2.5 for sure. I really enjoyed my time here and will likely return next time I visit the Manistee area. Reportedly there are also food trucks on site on the weekends, and for $20 you can get the disc golf and cider PLUS a small pizza! What's not to like? If you're nearby, come on out and show this course and business some support.
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