Outstanding urban park disc golf experience!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As some other reviewers have mentioned, Garfield Park used to be a pole hole course but it was recently renovated. Each of the 18 holes now has a large cement tee pad, color tee sign showing flight path and distance (#13's is missing as of this writing), and yellow DISCatcher basket in great condition.
The pin placement and use of the available land is outstanding. This course is a shining example of how a city park with a few acres of underutilized, fairly boring terrain can be turned into an interesting and enjoyable 18 hole disc golf course. As noted in the course description, the park is mostly flat and lightly wooded. Yet, the trees and small elevation changes that are present are used very well to test you with a variety of different shots and discs in your bag. There are a good mix of hyzer, anhyzer, and straight holes here and many baskets are guarded by trees, rewarding accurate drives and approaches. Most holes have at least a couple of trees between the tee and basket.
For a multi-use park, I feel that this course is pretty safe. There are many other amenities in this park (picnic areas, tennis court, baseball diamond, basketball court, and more) but all of the holes stay pretty well away from them. Some of the fairways run a bit closer together than would be ideal, and a couple holes are fairly close to the street. That said, I feel it would take an exceptionally bad throw for either of these to become an issue especially because most of the holes are fairly short.
Cons: The course is pretty short. Only four holes top 300' length, and the two longest holes are straight shots across a flat field to the basket with no obstacles in between.
No major challenges except for pin placement/trees.
No practice basket, and no course map or kiosk. I am going to try to upload a rough map here, but a higher quality map posted at the first tee would be an upgrade.
The course mostly flows well, and most baskets have a "next tee" arrow sticker on them. However, without a map there are a couple spots where the navigation could be a bit confusing for a first timer especially with multiple tees and baskets visible:
- After #1, proceed left if looking at basket from first tee (east) for tee #2. There was no "next tee" sticker on this basket when I played.
- After #11, proceed straight (east) as indicated by the sticker, for maybe 200' past the building to find tee #12.
- After #12, ignore the "next tee" stickers which point in the wrong direction as of this writing. Proceed southeast maybe 50' for tee pad #13 (no #13 tee sign as of this writing).
- After #17, proceed straight (west) as indicated by the sticker, past the parking lot and Garfield Park Neighborhood Association building to find tee #18.
Other Thoughts: I would call this a beginner friendly course. The trees are all old growth and I really can't imagine how someone could lose a disc here.
If I had to choose a signature hole here I might pick #11. It runs 229' and slightly downhill through a tight grove of trees before angling sharply right the last few feet to the basket. It's not plinko but the path through here is tight. I daresay even players much more experienced than myself would struggle to birdie this hole.
Due to the recent upgrade, this course's average rating here (currently roughly 2.40) does not come close to doing it justice. Thanks to the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association and others involved in renovating this into a pleasant, accessible course. I live nearby and this is one of my go-to courses. It's not a destination course, but definitely worth a play if you are in the area!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Nice Inner City Park Course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: After reading the previous reviews before embarking here , and being an out of towner , I half expected that my car would be up on blocks and have no tires before I finished my round . Even though I am exaggerating ( a little ) , I am not fond of parks where many of the park users mainly just sit in their cars . Hmmmm . Anyway , when you pull into the park lot directly to your left when you pull on to Jefferson and lock your car , you will proceed to your left ( facing the park ) for the first tee. Make sure you print a map . I followed a twosome that kept ahead of me the whole time , and I was even alone . You could navigate without a map , but it will cost you a little time ,because since this park is so wide open , you can see maybe up to 10 baskets at a time . I was expecting this course to be short ( 4150 ' ) and nondescript , but I was wrong . First , there are large cement tee pads at all holes . Discatcher baskets are in good shape and visible . Good Signs help to guide you . The course description on disc review needs to be updated by the park board . If you do the math , 4150' for 18 holes = about 230' per hole . It is probably closer to 5000' or 277' + per hole .An example would be the longest hole on the course . #15 is an open air bomber that is 494' .The course starts out with a shorter #1 then #2 is a long open drive 335' that's basket sits high on top of it's pole , making for a tough putt . The lengths of the holes vary off and on throughout the course , ranging from short ( 157' ) to long ( 494 ) . The course is pretty flat , with a couple of slight inclines or declines , which the course designer utilized well on several of the holes . What this designer Really Did that was special was place the baskets and drives around the minimal amount of trees in this park . Some of these large established trees have create canopies to help control the height of your drives . The course itself kind of winds inside and out and counterclockwise in this park , ending you right back at your parking lot . The course itself makes for a quick round . I was through in under an hour as was the 2 that were playing in front of me . Many good holes to air it out on and some for controlled drives . I think that the locals will leave you alone , since most seem aware that disc golf exists and some come to play . Not a lot of traffic on this course so you will not have to wait for other groups of players or the park users , since most never leave their cars ( those are their cars . I hope . haha ) . I didn't see a water fountain and the bathrooms were locked when I was there . . No benches or trash cans on the course , but the play is so fluid , you may not need them . The park is clean and seems well kept . Garfield is seriously underrated .There is literally no way to lose a disc here .A great course for casual play and intro players. I would play this course a lot if I lived within 5 miles of it . I watched one of the locals bury about a 130' putt which was fun . Some of the holes I thought were good . #8 , I think is a bender with a mando that turns left down a tree line to the basket with is situated to the right of the tree line . , but if I had to pick a signature hole , maybe #2 with the basket on top of the pole ,
Cons: #1 . Garfield park is in what looks to be a tough part of Grand Rapids . Be sure to hide all valuables and electronics out of sight in your car . #2 Navigation . Without a course map online ( or a kiosk with one in it ) you have to kind of look around . #3 redundancy . There wasn't a great amount to work with here . No elevation , water , woods ,,,,, . No amenities . This course looks clean , so carry out what you carry in . Since this park is so open and lacking many trees , I can guess that it can be windy at times . It wasn't an issue with me , and this could also be a positive .
Other Thoughts: I always look around and survey a park before actually playing so I can soak up the atmosphere . After seeing the abandoned and discarded tennis court ( and a decent one ) and the clientele of the park , I was unsure why the park board approved funding to upgrade this course . Any course that has been given this much attention and funding in the last couple of years is a plus . I think it gives some advertisement and notoriety to the area . Hopefully , this will promote disc golf and make it a favorite with the locals . This course is very underrated in my opinion . Garfield Park Neighborhood Association has stuck its neck out and put together a good course . Thank You ! My recommendation : COME HERE AND ENJOY A QUICK ROUND !!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Solid city park course. Nice, large concrete tee pads and better than average newer signs. 'Next Tee' signs on rim of DISCatcher baskets are crucial in keeping navigation straight. Not much in terms of elevation changes, but there are some gentle slopes in play. Some tall white pines are present near the halfway point near a nice older subdivision. Many well-guarded baskets present some challenge. A couple of holes open up a little for longer drives.
Cons: A few other park users can be around, particularly near Holes 16 and 17. Some of the distances listed on this site appear to be not quite accurate; Hole 16 is approximately 500 feet, raising the stakes if others are within throw distance. I'd estimate the total length of this course at about 5000 feet. Some winds do come up here, and Hole 17 is a little too close to Burton St. Being a general use city park, there's little here that would rival a top-level course.
Other Thoughts: Many shorter holes with tight throw routes through trees give this course some challenge. Respectable space for a city park course, though there are some compromises like heavy handed mandos and nearby streets. However, one can't complain about a decent free course being in such close proximity to a large population base. One can work on their game here without having to travel to more distant course. Since the course has had some recent improvements, the composite rating is a bit low.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A tale of two cities
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Lot of tree obstacles, good baskets with next tee arrows, T posts, pretty enough inner city park, grassy park good for some rollers, a rec course that will still be fun for most. most holes have tree obstacles of some sort. Older review called it a course with post type targets, but there are baskets for each hole in good condition. Course plays around perimeter with just a few holes across the grass. Next tee signs on the baskets.
Cons: The hole length information on this website does not match the length of holes. Some sketchy folks in the center of park, but was not a big problem, can be a bit repetitive because of the flatness, navigation a bit tough. Did not see a water fountain.
Other Thoughts: Visiting family who live nearby and will play again when I can. Concrete tees have been installed. Definitely recommend especially for a mixed group. I agree that this course is now better than its cumulative rating.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun Recreational Course In A Shady Neighborhood!
Pros: This is your typical little, neighborhood city park, complete with abandoned tennis courts. The park and course both show that they get a fair amount of use. The course is definitely recreational in length and difficulty. Only two holes reach over 300' while five play under 200'. The pars are dialed to easy recreational level so the two 300' holes are both rated as par 5s. No problem, go for those eagles, birdies and occasional Aces.
There are no tee pads, just big worn spots in the dirt which keep expanding as players try to get closer or change their angle somewhat. The course could really benefit by installing some front kick boards and maybe some wood chips around the tee box areas. The baskets are new Discatchers with one feature I've never seen anywhere. They have these great little next tee stickers with an arrow on the yellow band. If they're homemade, someone should market them. They're great. They should be on any baskets all over the world.
The designers did a pretty good job here hiding baskets behind or between trees. # 6 was a fun little throw into a grove of small saplings. # 10 is 275' to a basket tucked into some trees.
Cons: The worn, natural tee pads are an eyesore (maybe not such a big deal in this neighborhood). I would love to see front boards installed.
Recreational length and challenge throughout.
There are holes that play over walking paths, parking and close to streets. Not a huge concern but just things to be aware of.
Other Thoughts: Not a great course nor a great challenge but it fills the need for locals, rec players, huckers, beginners, etc. I must fit into one or more of those categories because I enjoyed my round here. If I lived anywhere close, I'd play here regularly and be sure to lock my car while playing.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Near the Kiddies
Pros: - The pars on this course are really easy to make, as most holes give you many chances to hit the pole.
- Usually in a hole, you get 3 chances to get it in the basket, well most holes here give you 4 or more chances.
- Theres this one hole, during the beggining of the course, where you have to go around a bathroom area, you might hit a person coming out haha, but to me it's fun because you throw your disc and you dont know where it went, until you go around the corner.
Cons: I dont think I can really think of any cons, except for the distance from my house and this course. Of course this may not affect other people.
Other Thoughts: There are poles instead of baskets. Which is fine with me, but other people may not like it.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: not going to loose discs, unless its into the fall season.
-generally low canopy, good for learning to controll your throws. (#1 #4 #5 #10 #14)
-Poles (sticks) are firm in the ground, no damage to course signs or poles.
-Seasonal bathrooms, and year round running water.
-Takes 45 minutes to play, is a non physical course, and can be played multiple times in one go.
-Never anyone on the course, no waiting.
-Always parking avalible
-Police patrol the area regularly.
Cons: - some people would feel the Stick targets are not true to disc golf, but in an area such as this I would have to guess the metal baskets would not last long.
-many may also be turned off by this area, which is understandable. I lived in the neighhbor hood and can vouch that there are indeed gun shots heard echoing throughout the summer, and police speeding down Burton st regularly throughout the year. Not for the faint of heart.
-There is only minimal elevation change. I think there are only 2 upshots and one shot down a hill.Everything else is flat.
-There are only 2-3 long holes for big arms.
-There are no T pads, only worn grass where many have stood before you.
-after finishing hole 13 you will naturally gravitate toward hole 16 becasue it seems like the natural course flow, but you actually have to turn around 180* and walk back to hole 14. sorta strange, but i will add a map to DGCR to clarify. everytime i have seen other people on this course they go from 13 to 16 and dont even know they skipped 14 and 15. # 14 is the best hole too!
Other Thoughts: -during fall the leaves can get a little intense at times, but the maintained crew is VERY good with cleaning the park, and have normally already started cleaning some portion of the park before it becomes an issue.
-Your best scores will be during the winter months when there are no leaves on the trees.
- Most park goers are aware that there is a disc golf coarse throughout the park, and generally stay out of the way. Only those cutting across the park on their way to the side walk get in the way, but for the most part there is little to no pedestrian traffic.
All in all this is personally my favorite course. I have played Flip, Mason County, even Dela in Cali, and I got to say I think about this course every time I disc.
I am the kind of guy to take a few BUZZZs out and spend the whole day developing my short game at Garfield Park. Every hole is deucable, and there are PLENTY of ace chances. I have aces on #2 #3 #7 #12 #14 (hardest line in the park) #17 #18x2 best score is -12 (PAR 54)
This course will teach you to keep your shots low and snap hard. I can't imagine where I would be if I hadn't had this treasure in my backyard for the past 2 years!
Also I will be taking pictures of every hole when I visit next, as my contribution to DGCR! Maybe even make an overhead map, as there is 1 confusing area that would mess you up the first time you play.
I would give this course a 5 but personal bias aside, it is a honest 3.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
decent inner city park.
Pros: Aesthetic-- course plays around the perimeter of a multiuse inner city park. park is HUGE for grand rapids proper. Surprisingly very little trash or broken glass the day I played.
Teesigns/routing-- decent. the tees tend to point toward the pole. Routing is relatively easy with the exception of finding the pole for #13.
Poles-- all in place and in reasonable condition.
Variety-- maximized in this park. there are mandos (sorta), trees, elevation and is a good time!
Cons: it's a pole course-- I don't think baskets would survive here.
danger-- plays close to some paths, roads... these areas aren't heavily travelled though.
length/pars-- I don't mind forgiving pars but I threw a -25 the first time I played here.. that's a bit rediculous.
Other Thoughts: Course is great and not as shady as I thought it would be. I played a pretty quiet round here without being hassled or leered at. good all around.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Inner city disc
Pros: This park is with in biking distance from my house. It is very easy to navigate, and if you are in a hurry to get in a quick round you can do this course in 25-35 minutes. I find it very enjoyable to play around the perimeter of the park watching everyone else.
Cons: It is a stick course with dirt pads, if you are use to cement tee pads and disc catchers than you will most likely not enjoy the course. The signs seem to be a bit off distance wise. You need to be able to throw quite low in order to do really well at this course.
Other Thoughts: Make sure to park up by the pavilion the tee for hole #1 is just north of there. I feel this course could really be all par 3's. I played this morning and shot 28 under par based on there sticks. This course does make you play low and accurate, if you can not do that then you may have some difficulties. Enjoy this little treasure in the city.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - An okay 18 hole course
- A good challenge with the many trees, the mando on hole 2, and post setup in a group of trees
- Without the great signs, this course would have been a pain in the butt to play, but it had good stats, and a great map (for the most part)
- Mostly mid-range course, with a few long range (top is about 333ft, which is hole 1)
- Played mostly anhyzer shots, good right turns
Cons: - Posts instead of baskets, gotta change your game to play this
- No cement pads
- Hole 14 was difficult to find, but the setup worked I guess, and it played out well
- No bathrooms
- Can't see posts half the time but once you see it, it is easy to see
Other Thoughts: - Its an okay park, not the best, but it was enjoyable for the most part.
- Back 9 was the best, so I wouldn't mind playing at least the back again.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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