Clearwater, MN 
Sportsman Park DGC Share

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True rating 4.4 - Great Overhaul

2-4    3/22/2020   3/24/2020
Review By: Money_Shot
Played: 93  Reviewed: 32  Exp: 15.9 Years
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -18-holes that require a wide variety of shots in your bag to score a decent round. The general hole design on this course is more than a basket straight ahead with trees defining the shot requirement as was the case with most of the old layout. There are way more baskets offset to one side or the other while still having to navigate plenty of trees to get there.

-Concrete pads throughout the whole course, and I do believe there were short and long locations for each hole but that would have to be something someone would have to confirm for sure.

-Sufficient amount of garbage's throughout the course. Unlike on some courses, you don't get the feeling the intention out here is to pack in pack out. I didn't pay close detailed tallies as to how often there was a garbage but every time I needed one, the next pad seemed to have a garbage.

-There are a few nice benches throughout the course, giving you a good spot to just chill if you get a bit tired.

-Hole length seems adequate considering how heavily wooded most holes are. There are a variety of par 3's and par 4s, most of which seem like legit pars one would expect.

-The course as always shares the land with 2 ball diamonds. They have moved the course to separate those there to play disc from those there focusing on baseball/softball. The new hole 1 locations allows for disc golfers to now park on the other side of the lot, dodging any risk of an errant baseball crashing through your windshield if you parked close to the entrance that got you to the old hole 1.

-Bathroom on site by the ball diamonds where it always was.
The rough out here is what clearwater always has been, a bad kick off into the rough could result in a terrible location and naturally can cause a guy a stroke because of how thick the trees can get off the fairway.

-Certain holes definitely favor a flick shot over a backhand and vice-versa. Each hole may give an advantage to 1 guy over the other and makes for a good course to work on developing both shots.

-Signs for each hole giving par information and sufficient distance and direction to help you navigate the hole well. At each basket there is also an arrow on the basket pointing out the direction to the next pad.
Cons: The first several holes have OB posts right off the fairway when completely unnecessary. You wont hit anyone if you go there and the natural landscape punishes a guy enough to consider fair. These stakes should be for tournament play only and perhaps that was the thought but no way to know for sure. The signs to my knowledge don't point out this phantom OB, so unless you have played the course before or are visually scouting every fairway from the box more so than normal you could have a okay shot ruined by this OB if barely off to the side of the fairway. This is by far the most ridiculous downer of the course in my opinion.

-For your average guy throwing technical shots in these woods, the distances are a bit far in order to have many ace runs. The old course probably had too many ace runs, but this layout could be argued to have too few for your average seasoned thrower.

-There were a few instances where the navigation to the next hole did require a bit of backtracking the hole as well as a few walks that seemed to be a bit longer than one would like, but by no means crazy amount of needless walking.

-There are a couple holes that I do feel the par was mismarked. One of which was likely the shortest hole on the course and is listed as a par 4. As long as you make the gap with a good shot you should be looking at a putt for an eagle. It should never be that easy to obtain an eagle. Then earlier in the course there is a 3 that requires you to throw a fair distance through a tight gap to a basket tucked off to the left. This hole is listed as a 3 but should be considered a very difficult 3, but likely should be considered a 4 due to the distance and shot requirement.
Other Thoughts: I must say when I found out that the old layout was completely overhauled I was very disappointed. I really liked the old course and at a point when living in St. Cloud considered it my home course. This always was my home course away from home and I loved what it used to be.
That being said, after going out and playing what truly is a complete overhaul of the old course I have to say this is an upgrade. I loved almost everything about this course. The new holes on the land that wasn't part of the old course were a great addition to the course, allowing for more holes requiring longer shots. This course truly has put itself on a new level and is something everyone should consider giving a shot as it is a lot of fun.
The hole layouts are fair, unlike a review has already said. The truth is that all fairways seem to allow for a certain shot, but I will admit there holes that the only way you will reach birdie territory would be by being able to throw either a backhand S-curve or a forehand S-curve. If you don't possess both, what the reviewer said would be true, birdie will be unreachable to certain holes, but the lines are all there for the right shot and I must say it is a lot of fun. Take the early reviews with a grain of salt as I do believe those are simply a couple of people who really enjoyed the old layout, much like myself, and just didn't want to give this course a fair swing due to the drastic overhaul. Any rating below a 3 on a course of this caliber is outrageous and i think with time and more reviews the true opinion of the course will be revealed.
This course has done nothing more than climbed up my ranks. Go play it and keep an open mind. Expect less ace runs but more difficulty with what I feel are good hole designs and challenge. Solid course that will only get better as the newer holes get beat in and cleared out more.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

 Not a good redesign

2-4    10/26/2019   10/27/2019
Review By: Jason B
Played: 14  Reviewed: 1  Exp: 11.9 Years
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Significantly more difficult than the previous design. This is good and bad depending on your skill level. I do like some of the long tight tunnel shots like #1. I threw a lot of Gazelle's. It also forces you to throw a lot of forehand drives off the tee and approach flex shots with Zones to get to the basket.
Cons: So many thorns off the fairways and you will spend a lot of time there. Wear Pants. Birdies are very difficult and hard to come by. The fairway shapes can be very odd and unnatural. It's very difficult if not impossible to shape your disc to the fairway. There are a lot of weird angles and throw-and-pray type shots.
Other Thoughts: I went up to Sportsman Hill for my yearly fall round and to my surprise, the course had been completely re-designed. And mostly not in a good way. I don't mind it being more difficult, there aren't any holes under 250. No easy birdies on the new course. I just think they tried too hard to make it difficult and many of the fairways are unnatural. Not a big fan of the new design.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.

What a joke

1    8/10/2019   8/10/2019
Review By: timj5304
Played: 149  Reviewed: 30  Exp: 15.9 Years
This review was updated on 8/31/2019
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: *18 new discatchers
*New teepads
Cons: *Poor direction
*No tee signs
*Many new holes are dangerous with stumps everywhere.
*Many holes are throw it up to a corner 150 ft away and throw it 150 ft up for a 3.
Other Thoughts: This course went from a 4/5 for me to a 1/5. In my 15 years playing I have never seen a course overhauled and completely ruined like this. All that was needed were new baskets which they got. Instead you completely tear up 5 year old dual concrete teepads for no good reason. I used to make 5 trips to St. Cloud per year and hit sportsman's hill every time. This will be my last trip to this course. We had a group of 3 players whom are advanced level players with 15+ years experience each. All of us complained of how many shots made zero sense. How overgrown the buckthorn was. The previous course designer put his heart and soul into this place. The redesigners trashed a great course. I hope it gets cleaned up and improved, make lines for golf shots, instead of poke and pray I don't get a huge kick into the deep buckthorn and be covered in stickers. All that was necessary was to relocate hole 1 to the left side of the playground, meaning shorten the hole up and put it deeper in the woods.Another option would have been to make 2 holes wind around the baseball fields to replace 1 and 9.

I hope in the future that this course breaks in well. The St. Cloud area players are very high on this layout.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.

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