When I review courses, I try to be as objective as possible, but I am usually aware when my personal opinion gets in the way. Most of those times, I will point it out. I only review courses I think my view brings something new to the table, that adds to existing reviews. If I'm just rehashing everyone else's opinions, it won't be helpful. As a result, I only post reviews I believe can receive a "helpful" vote from anyone on the planet, and I try to craft reviews as such - in fact, if there are already several reviews on a course, I will do everything I can to make my review better than all the others, and if there's no way I can do that, I won't review it.
What helps me give a course a higher rating:
-Most important, the Disc Golf itself. Is there variety of shot shapes, elevation change, challenging greens, long and short holes, and opportunity for danger? Are the fairways, and even roughs, taken care of enough that a good round can be played?
-Is the fun factor there? Is the course scenic, with some epic holes?
-Are tees, signs, and baskets in good quality? I don't care about having the best maps and signage, but I need something. A digital map helps with this, and mitigates some of the need for excellent signage.
-Is safety a concern, with close or crossing fairways, or non-DG stuff getting in the way?
-Is the course suitable for players of various skill levels? Not every course is good for everyone, but if there are multiple tee pads or something, I point out how they help, not just the fact that they are there.
-Practice basket, good parking, local stores, clubs, and tournaments, are nice and can be mentioned, but they can't be the focal point of your review.
If there is something both good and bad, I stick it in Other Thoughts because it's worth mentioning and might be a pro or a con for someone else.
When I am voting on other people's reviews,
I care about seeing:
-An evaluation of all of the above. How you prioritize different aspects of a course may be different from me, and that's okay, but the things that are important to you should be analyzed.
-Pros and cons that back up your rating. If your pros section is three times longer than your cons section, yet you only gave the course 3.0, I'll be confused.
-Anything that might not be a pro or a con, but is something a first-timer might want to know. That creek you can't see from the tee, how to get to an oddly-placed tee pad, dangerous holes, etc. This mostly belongs in Other Thoughts.
-How the course can be made better. It gives someone who is potentially redesigning the course something to work with, and shows you have a desire for the course to improve and don't simply hate a course you had a poor experience with.
I don't care about seeing:
-Your specific personal experience. I don't care that you missed a putt on 18 or that your drive on 3 went in the water. I don't care about the idiot who walked through the fairway on 7. I don't care how many times you played the course, although a local's perspective is valuable.
-Anything to do with how you throw. "Hyzer" is relative and alienates anyone who doesn't throw like you. "Left-turning" is not, and is throw-type-agnostic.
-An evaluation of other reviewers. State your controversial opinion and be done with it. (This is already in the official ground rules for reviewing.)
-Comparison of this course to other courses that you list by name. Go review those other courses, and I'll make up my own mind on how they compare. The one exception is if there are other courses on the same property, you can compare them against each other.
-Lengthy descriptions of individual holes. While pointing out examples to prove arguments you are making in your review is good, I'll experience the course when I get there.
-Discussions regarding design decisions. "They used the land well" means nothing to me; you're reviewing the course, not the designer.
-Complaining or discussing the course being pay-to-play. Again, you're reviewing the course, and P2P is not strictly part of the course. If I think it's worth my $5, I'll come play. If you want to include this, put it in Other Thoughts.
I downvote reviews a bit more than some others. I think it's important to let other people know which reviews are better than others. If I have mixed feelings about a review, I refrain from voting. That said, I still try to upvote around 3 times as many reviews as I downvote, because it helps other reviewers reach the next level of trusted status. Also, I vote on reviews only on courses I have played, because otherwise, I cannot conclusively say that a review is truthful and logical.
The average rating on all courses DGCR should probably be around 2.5, though probably not exactly 2.5, since this depends on the quality of courses that are installed, and I don't rate courses on a curve. The average rating for all reviews should probably be above 2.5 due to selection bias, for good reasons. I don't try to keep my reviews around a certain number, though I'm okay with my average rating hovering around 2.8.
PLEASE REVIEW COURSES. There are a lot of poor reviews that mess up ratings. We help each other out by posting quality reviews, and upvoting and downvoting reviews accordingly. If you have questions or suggestions, please DM me - I will read and respond when applicable.