2 Helpful / 0 Not
And you may ask yourself, am I right? Am I wrong? And you may say to yourself, MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
Pros: Crystal Lake has two school courses, and that's a pretty cool thing. Hanna Beardsley Middle School is one of those courses. Given that it's at a middle school, there are some givens that you have to accept: It's going to be short and not all that challenging. Given the audience, it should be short and fairly easy. The design does accomplish that to a certain extent.
Cons: The tees are post that have silly distances on them. Why the distances are so wrong is a mystery. You tee next to the post; there isn't really a defined tee area.
Hole #1 brings the driveway in play. Hole #2 IMO is too close to a busy road for a beginners course. Hole #4 is a glorified putt but the distance on the post makes you think you should throw to hole #9; once you do that you are lost.
Holes #5/#6/#7/#8 wrap around the property line with a thick shule to the right. I had my young daughter with me, who at age 14 was pretty much the target age for this course. She hit the shule on #5, #7 and #8 and we spent over ½ hour looking for her discs in the thick underbrush. Given that this course is aimed at beginners, that isn't a great design feature.
Hole #5 uses a backstop as an obstacle; It's a fun spot to practice throwing grenades but not a very good design for a disc golf hole. Hole #7 has a running track as a fairway. It's just a visually weird hole. Hole #9 has you throw back toward the track. It's a given that the course is unplayable if the ball field or track are in use, but since it is intended for school use the dual nature of the property probably isn't a big deal. It's just really unsettling to see holes with a design that would be that unsafe if they were in a public park setting.
Once you finish hole #9 you are a long way from your car. For use by the school, the kids probably just walk back into the building through door that is there so it's no big deal. For use by people like me, I was a long walk from my car.
Other Thoughts: In the end it's cool that courses like Hanna Beardsley Middle School exist. I'm not sure how much use it gets and it might be somewhat frustrating for kids to play because of the shule on #5/#6/#7/#8, but otherwise it's cool that it is there. It's just not worth the time for regular disc golfers to play these courses. We should stick to courses designed for us.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Short and weird layout....even for a beginner
Pros: Different elevation for many baskets. But....that is about it! This would be a good course to practice putts from different elevations. On Hole nine, you can actually stand above the hole and practice throwing at a basket that is below your feet.
Cons: The course hugs tightly against the school and woods. There is really no designated tee area for any hole.....you just kinda look for the bare patches near the tee markers.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area and looking for a good course, do not waste your time coming here, you will be disappointed. Go to Randall Oaks Park instead.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Hanna is a hotty
Pros: 1) Beginner friendly for sure. Shorter holes with minimal obstacles, but still fun for many people.
2) Ace runs galore for those better than first timers or beginners. Who doesn't have a good time throwing for aces.
3) Nice posts with Hole #, Par, distance, and a general layout of the hole almost unnecessary because the holes are so simple).
4) There is a kiosk by the 9th tee which seems wierd because it woul dbe better suited at the first tee. There is no reason they couldn't start over by #8 basket/9 tee except it probably doesn't make sense for the gym classes.
5) Overall distance variation is pretty good ranging from the low to mid 100's up to as much as 315' or so. Lots of difference in between too making the shot selection different on any hole and shot.
6) Surprisingly you need to be able to throw a couple shots here. There are a couple simple hyzers, a couple simple annys or flicks, and also some basic straight shots. Overall you will not do well if you favor one shot only..
7) Overall this course can be fun if you take it for what it is. It is simple it is short and it is on school grounds so it is designed well for the property and use required.
8) The course has one place (after #8) where you can easily sit down have a nice picnic lunch. There also is a garbage can in this general area.
9) Minor elevation changes can alter a couple shots . . .its nice to see on a short school course for sure.
Cons: 1) Distances on the tee posts are definitely wrong . . . not sure why that is because there is almost no way to hit the distances listed on a few of the posts . . .
2) Tees are not good . . . they are basically wore out grass (AKA dirt) and they are compacted soil basically . . . some of them have some soil left.
Other Thoughts: There is always a special attachment between you and a course . . . especially when you ace. I aced, but it also happened to be my shortest ace ever (143'), but as soon as I let go I knew it was in . . .which made it more enjoyable.
Not a lot of overall negatives is all that keeps this course at a 1.5 rating. It isn't outstanding, but it is fun and enjoyable while still offering up some different shot making requirements. How can you holw this against this course. It is the best challenge for the average to good players . . . no, but it can be fun for all and also offer up some challenges too.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Its a course more designed for the kids who dont really have any experince with the game
Cons: -The course is too short
-Hole is label incorrectly
Other Thoughts: Like I said, this is a course more for the students. If you live far from this course, don't waste the gas in your car just to play a kids course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course at Hanna Beardsly Middle School is pretty much what you would expect from a course designed for kids - short, rather easy, and pretty boring for experienced players. That isn't to say the course is without merit for veteran players, there are a few interesting holes that incorporate a little bit of elevation and one hole which requires a bit of a trick shot over some bushes.
Cons: The con's here are also many of the positives, the course is short, very easy, and has few areas to get into big trouble. When I visited in December, the course was extremely wet and muddy. I'm not sure if this is a year-round problem, but I'd expect that these are typical winter conditions at Hanna Beardsly.
Other Thoughts: I think anyone visiting here, you have to keep in mind the available land (which is not very exciting) and also the target audience for this course which are young children. The course at Hanna Beardsly is certainly enough to get someone started on the game but hopefully it is late into eigth grade, because after a couple of months experience even disc golf newbies are going to be bored. This is a course for very new players and course-baggers to play; those looking for a more traditional challenge should find somewhere else to play.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Some minor elevation changes on some holes. One is a blind shot down a small hill.
- A few different shots can be used, but being able to throw it straight can be just as good.
Cons: - Very, very short course. Holes as short as 107', I think, and another is around 143'. One or two holes let you do a normal shot, but otherwise it's practice.
- Water in play can easily flood. When I went two baskets were over dirty water, which was deep and murky.
- School building is in play on a lot of holes, as well as lots of pavement and a running track.
- Uneven dirt tees were tight and tough. A few pretty much demanded a standstill shot.
Other Thoughts: - This course is very fitting for a middle school. Not much challenge, more of a headache for someone who plays regularly.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Good for what it is
Pros: This course is at a Middle School, which means that every day kids are getting exposure to the course. It's designed perfectly to be accessible and playable by kids who have never played before, but still offers some challenges to make it interesting. For the audience it was designed for, this course is about perfect, and I think it's fantastic that the schools in this area have embraced the sport. That said, here's my review of the actual course compared to all the other courses I've played.
The course plays around the athletic fields of a Middle School Campus. There are some small elevation changes, and the course makes great use of them whenever possible to mix things up and add a little interest. There is a good mix of right and left turning holes, with a few that you can go straight at. Every hole is aceable, but you need a variety of shots if you want to hit them.
The baskets are in good shape, and are professional quality so they are exposing kids to the real equipment. There are tall 4x4 posts with hole number, distance, and a rough layout on each hole. The course is really easy to follow, and there is really no chance of losing a disc.
Cons: The course is extremely short and easy. Many of the holes are well under 200', and for most players every hole will be an ace run. Most of the holes share space with athletic fields and the running track, so the course would be completely unplayable during school or when there was any kind of school event going on. On of the most interesting holes (8 I believe) is a short shot, but goes down a steep little drop off and around the bushes to a blind basket, but plays directly at/over an area full of tables, where there were people sitting even on the weekend.
Though there are tee markers, most aren't on level ground, so teeing off is one of the biggest challenges the course has to offer. At least the holes aren't long enough to require more than a stand-still shot, so it's not quite as big an issue.
There is construction going on around the 2nd hole, so the #2 tee is missing, we just made one up. The poor 2nd basket has obviously been hit by construction equipment, and doesn't catch all that well from the direction of the tee any more. (Hopefully that will be fixed once the construction is done)
Other Thoughts: As I said above, this is a fantastic beginner course. There isn't a real chance of losing a disc, and the distances are realistic for kids who have no experience throwing a disc. There are enough different kinds of holes that it should keep new players interested. More experienced players won't find much challenge here, even with just a putter.
If you want to take some new players out, or check out how disc golf is getting into schools, play a quick round here. Otherwise, there's not enough here as a course to really be worth a trip.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Schools is Out
Pros: Nice tee markers. Grounds maintained well. Dog leg on 3 is fun. Same for 8. Clear flow of holes is nice. Great for approach and putting practice.
Cons: Playable only when school is NOT in session. Tee 2 is missing and basket 2 is damaged due to constuction on road. Some holes cut across roadways and track, etc.
Other Thoughts: Nothing really special here, but a good stop for practice and to "check another one off your list".
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Ok for learning...others need not apply
Pros: - 9 baskets
- Signage for almost all holes showing footage/direction
Cons: - Open and short
- Closed during school hours (On school property)
Other Thoughts: It would be an ok course to take a brand new play out on to get their feet wet. If you have been playing for a while, there isn't much here for you, and there are better courses in town for you to play. Mostly open, the course follows the edge of the tree line around the middle school grounds. Not a bad use of the middle school grounds, bring a new player here and let them have some fun
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
D+ = Doesn't have much happenin' for a 9 holer
Pros: This is a course for kids - the best one I have seen! This review and my grade are based on how this course stacks up against others....not based on its own merit as a kids gym class course.
What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == D
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == D+
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == D+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == D+
5) Bonus points for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == N/A
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage...if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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