The hills have baskets!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played this course years ago with poles and was impressed by the elevation change and unique challenges presented by the dramatic changes. At the time I was super happy to have played it and was confused why other parks had baskets while this gem seemed to be neglected. Fortunately this conundrum no longer exists. Thanks to a number of sponsors this park is in tip top shape.
Brand new innova disc catchers. Brand new cement tee pads. Brand new tee signs. All the equipment is in great shape, no gripes.
I believe a few of the holes went through a re-design in the process of building this course. A lot of the holes I remembered from my first trip out and seemed familiar but I believe there may have been a few changes as well but the time in between my two rounds was long enough that I can't be sure beyond saying that a handful of the holes play the same.
Elevation change is used in a variety of ways. Two shots crossing ravines to hillside baskets one of which that forces a left to right hook. One straight uphill fairway that makes a 180 foot hole play like 300. Hard left hooks going uphill, soft left going downhill. Hills that drop off precariously behind baskets that force distance control. The long straight uphill fairway followed by the nearly 500 foot downhill bomb in holes 17 and 18.
Hole 18 is a super fun way to end your round. Certainly a tee that you can stand at and empty your entire bag and wish you had brought more discs to huck. From what I can remember every single course I have played that features significant elevation change seems to end with a big downhill hole to end the round. Maybe this is an unwritten rule of course design? Make us forget about that putt that rolled 60 feet down the hill after hitting the cage by making us feel like we can drive 500 feet. Is that it?
A couple of shots have blind baskets which I think adds to the desire to play a course over and over again as it rewards familiarity.
Cons: I felt as though a few of the holes would benefit from some more foliage. A couple of them just seem like the only real obstacle was the elevation and since every hole pretty much deals with elevation in some manner it seems kind of like a filler hole when that is really the only challenge.
A little bit heavily weighted on RHBH throws. Can only think of two instances that really favored a anhyzer line.
Some tough par 3's but no true par 4's on the course. The land is certainly there and I think throwing in a couple holes that require multiple drives to reach the pin would be great.
Other Thoughts: I wish I lived closer to this course. Super enjoyable round through all the ups and downs (see what I did there?). Thanks again to all the sponsors that made the restoration of this park a reality, great job.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Two words: poison ivy
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: * Short
* Fun challenging curves
* Good, new Innova baskets
* Nice concrete tees
* Beautiful scenery
Cons: * Holes are extremely narrow
* So easy to lose a disc
* SO MUCH POISON IVY
Other Thoughts: If you're allergic to poison ivy, you will probably get it if you play this course.
If it wasn't so bad, I would LOVE this course. so much fun.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Juicy Hilly Course Waiting For Your Call!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Johnson Park, the former pole hole course, has recently (June 2017). been upgraded with baskets and concrete tee pads. There is also some great engineering going on. The baskets are Discatchers and the pads are nice sized. The tee signs are colored and show the route. But the star of this show is this wonderful piece of land with it's rolling hills and treacherous deep gorges. There are places where the rough is deep and foreboding but mostly there are these wonderful hills which are meant for classic disc golf holes.
The course is an excellent mix of tough uphill holes, very tight hysers and annies, fun downhill Ace Runs, throws over gorges and then finishes with this 487' yummy downhill blast.
I loved hole 12. What looks like a fairly easy little birdie opportunity turns very scary upon reaching the basket and seeing that it is set on the edge of 30' deep gorge that extends about 180 degrees behind the basket. This deep gorge is easily found off the tee or from your approach. And your putts can be terrifying, too. One of our group had his second shot slide all the way to the bottom. His SECOND shot trying to get out hit basket rim and rolled all the way back down again. He might have taken a 10 had his rollaway not rolled directly to him which allowed him to stop it from rolling completely to the bottom again. He admitted to an 8. We laughed our asses off.
As much as I liked # 12, I believe I like 13 more. # 13 is a great little 194' downhill requiring an sharp anhyser from a righty. Their is a route there but it's awfully tight. This hole has had some great engineering done with a flight of wooden stairs taking you down the very steep hillside.
Cons: Can get hot out here. Course does play out in the open quite a bit. Bring water.
There is a chance for lost discs or at least, some searching.
On hole 12, there is a Chance for the elusive 10. Not many disc golf holes are that risky.
Other Thoughts: I love this course. It's hilly but not exactly a exhaustive workout, just a comfortable fatigue building exercise. The treacherous gorges might get you or you might slide it up there for a gimme birdie. I can't imagine ever getting tires or bored with this gem.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Hell on Earth
Pros: Beautiful park with wonderful wild flora and fauna.
Cons: -No baskets- who the hell wants to throw at a stick in the ground?
-80% chance of losing your disc on every single hole.
Absolutely turrible disc golf course
Other Thoughts: Played 6 holes before throwing in the towel. Yes it was that bad
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
One of my Favorites
Pros: - Great crazy level hills through-out the park - in which one hole you go down a steep hill just to go up another steep one.
Cons: - Hard to find for new people. The first time I've went to this park - even with my car - I couldnt find where to go for at least 20 minutes, and even got sidetracked walking into the forest lands. I even asked a few locals with no help.
- Can get really hot during the middle of summer being up top of some of these high level hills, so best to bring a drink.
- Can get confusing trying to find some holes, as it seems a couple have dissapeared - but it should be expected since as the park is old.
Other Thoughts: - In order to easily reach the park, just continue down past the local park until you feel you have reached a gravel drive way to your left - of course though most people come from that direction.
- The last time I've took a bike ride to, there were two strange kids, and my brother swears one had a axe in his pants, so be careful around this park, as it may be a good idea to bring a back-up knife.
- Theres only poles, no baskets.
- No concrete tee pads, mostly dirt
- Despite some of the cons I have put down, this park is still one of my favorites cause of the crazy terrain - gotta give the park credit for uniqueness.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
coulda woulda shoulda
--aesthetic--I always start here. This course plays through the north end of Johnson Park in a DG dedicated area (during the summer). Johnson Park is a much larger multi-use park but this area is separate from the rest.
Routing/Nav--pretty easy with the map printed out...paths are pretty worn and easy to follow and with the lack of rain this year, the rough isn't all that bad...
Risk v. Reward/Terrain/Variety--The terrain here is impressive to say the least, the amount of elevation here is staggering for the city of Grand Rapids. There is truly a little of everything here, huge uphills, huge downhills, rights, lefts, tunnels, valleys, bombers, tight fairways. Great amount of everything here.
Teepads/posts/mainenance--I'm going to roll all the cons into one big package. If people would just leave this course alone and enjoy it for the dg course that it is, it could truly be the greatest course in Grand Rapids (not counting Fallasburg) I would have loved to play this course in it's hayday with baskets and great upkeep. It's dilapidated and run down and you have to truly use your imagination to imagine what this course once was...
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Fabulous course! Use your imagination!
Pros: Rediculous elevation changes, great use of terrain within city limits, never crowded.
Cons: Grass can be tall in the late summer, but this year its fine because we haven't gotten any rain!
Other Thoughts: This is a post game, no baskets. It's not the end of the world. The fabulous drives make up for it big time.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very scenic with lots of elevation changes. The course is very well laid out and offers some nice challenges for both backhand and sidearm throwing styles.
Cons: The tee-pads do not offer the best footing for take driving. You can very easily loose discs with the long grass. Its very dry right now which makes it easier to keep track of things. TONS of poison ivy on the course. If you are prone to getting poison ivy be very careful!
Other Thoughts: This is a wonderful stick course, I think with a little maintenance this could be a top notch course! Regular mowing, and pruning would really help. Be prepared for some exercise, there are lots of hills!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: great challenge and topography
good hole variety
Cons: what most other reviewers have stated:
posts instead of baskets (baskets were destroyed or stolen over the years due to remote location)
Other Thoughts: If you want exersize during your round, this is a great course to play. Goes up and down hills. One nice bomber shot down a hill.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Johnson Park...... What?
Pros: - This course has great challenges, which is possibly the ONLY reason it is a passable.
- Good variation between high and low, pretty much straight shots.
- Good hike and long, but the course is yet short. You will understand that when you play it.
Cons: - Bad tees, they are only dirt with a 2x4 block of wood.
- No signs stating what tee it is, let alone where the whole is
- Baskets are posts in the ground, which are impossible to hit as you would with a basket.
- Hardly mowed fairway, bring crappy discs, you will lose them
- It is hard to find; (after you get off the main road, follow the road past Johnson Park to the left, and as you see to the left a giant hill and a gravel parking lot with lots of brush, this is the course.)
- No garbage, bathrooms, and poor parking lot
- There is brush on either side of the fairway, itchy plants, poison ivy, etc. Beware!
- No water hazards, not a hyzer/anhyzer type course or mid-range lucky, will require a drive and then what would somewhat pass as a putt. (Determine if its a goal if its hit or in general area of goal.)
Other Thoughts: - Bring water, it is a long course
- Bring bug spray and long socks or pants
Overall, it is passable, but only because it was a interesting course, otherwise the Cons outweigh the Pros by a lot.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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