3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is that pair of old tattered jeans that your wife wants you to throw out but you refuse to do so.
There is a lot to like in my mind about small technical courses and that's what this is all about. I really enjoyed the mix of shots required to navigate the course. Hole 1 played the longest and is a 280 foot hyzer. That being said , you really don't need much more than a good midrange disc that you feel confident throwing on a variety of lines and a putter. I brought my entire bag and felt kind of dumb by the end of it because I didn't touch my drivers once.
Fairways are reasonable in terms of lines and there are enough trees to force you to hit your shot. If you do happen to hit a tree there isn't too much punishment except for the holes where the nasty brackish water comes in to play. So if you don't hit your line you're pretty much taking a 3. I couldn't see myself ever getting a bogg on this course unless I somehow hit the water.
The water really only comes in to play on two holes but I really like how it is brought in to play. The first hole in which water is present the basket sits on a narrow strip of land between two pits of nasty black water. This requires a really well controlled tee shot as well as testy putt.
The other hole on which the water comes into play is an approximately 190 foot semi open fairway with the basket at the top of the slope heading to the water. Again this requires a well controlled shot that is fairly testy especially considering the packed nature of the dirt at this course.
There is good use of the few hills in the park on the back 9 that require you to land and stop your disc on a down slope as well as a hole that uses the road going on to the park as an OB line.
There is surprisingly descent tee signs at most of the holes.
As you can see, I really liked this pair of jeans...and I'm sure at one point in time they were really nice...
Cons: And then the jeans got worn every day for years on end until they were torn up and the fabric became paper thin.
A lot of the baskets are sitting strangely high and it seems as thought it may be simply because the dirt around them has just taken a pounding year after year. The baskets themselves catch reasonably still but are showing their age and are covered with graffiti.
The dirt throughout the entire course is packed down so hard that nothing will grow. When your disc hit the ground dry dirt immediately kicks up all around it. You certainly have to play with the expectation that your disc will slide an extra 10-20 feet upon landing if it is hitting the ground at a flat angle.
The water that is present is pretty nasty looking and pretty stagnant in a few areas.
The trash cans haven't been emptied in a while and a few of them look like they've been tipped and bottles were strewn about.
In a few spots there was an excessive amount of broken glass from the nearby apartment complex. Their balcony overlooks the hole and it seems like they like throwing empty liquor and beer bottles at the basket instead of discs. A shame that people act this way.
The area surrounding the course and just the feel of the course itself is best described as scuzzy. It just didn't FEEL particularly clean or safe. It felt like a course that hadn't been cared for which is probably mostly true and considering no matter how much work you put into the course it would probably be quickly undone by the traffic from the university I can understand why.
I would say at one point the ceiling for this course was probably a 3.25 rating, but that time is no more and I doubt it every will be again.
You want to keep wearing the jeans, and at one point they were probably pretty nice jeans...but you know deep down that you have better jeans to wear...I'd play this course again in a pinch, but there are better courses near by that aren't so abused.
Other Thoughts: I really liked the course in and of itself. It has a fun variety of shots that are not overly punishing if you miss your line. It's certainly good if you only have time for a short round and are in the area...But if you're in the area and you only have time for one course do yourself a favor and play either Oshtemo or Spring Valley. Both courses are far superior in just about every way and are close by.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Fun Recreational Course Comes With Some Hazards!
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: You might think Knollwood Park is a run down craphole when you drive up to the gate and there is a sign that says the park is closed. Plus, I had been told by some of Michigan's disc golfers that the place is a dump with broken glass over over the place. I went to play it in the afternoon and the gate was locked with no cars parked there. I proceeded to drive all over the neighborhood trying to find another entrance. No luck. Later that evening, we drove back to that locked gate and there were lots of cars parked there. We talked to some golfers and they directed us to the first tee.
Immediately, we were pleasantly pleased with all aspects of the park and the course. The course has concrete pads and excellent tee signs . The Discatchers are old, ugly but catch well enough. Knollwood is an enjoyable but challenging recreation course. It's more technical than long. I think 12 holes are under 200' and all are cool Ace runs. There is a nice variety of Ace runs, hysers, annies, uphills, and downhills. The rough is thick in places and water comes into play on three or four holes.
The park that I thought was pretty dingy, was actually pretty clean and graffiti free. We didn't think the garbage was that noticeable. There were a lot of golfers out tonight. The course is popular.
The basket placement on # 11 is pretty interesting. It seems on a small peninsula surrounded by the brackish water. And we didn't notice a smell from this water. Wouldn't want to bathe in it, though. Hole 1 is a 280' hyser shot through the trees throwing from a fun, slightly elevated pad. It 's a nice hole to start off your round.
Cons: There is quite a bit of erosion and hard packed areas in most of the park. Some retaining walls and walkways could here with this problem.
No holes to even bring out your drivers. Players can play this course with mids and your putter.
The water is pretty snarky looking. I didn't want to step into it. Might be some hidden monsters lurking in the murky depths.
I think the multitudes of WMU students playing and hanging out here don't help with the course's poor image. The neighborhood around the park, which all seems to WMU student housing, seems really shabby. I'd call it university ghetto.
Other Thoughts: Duane (bogeynomore) and I both liked this course. We had a great time playing it. It's just a nice course to play on that Friday night. Because of the water hazards and some treacherous rough, there is some element of pressure here. Hopefully, the WMU students can cease and desist from using this park at their personal dumping ground.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Fun, Quick and Birdies!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -This is one the easiest courses to follow that I've ever played. Check the map before your round to understand Holes 10 and 15, other than that you gotta try really hard to get lost.
-This is definitely a good course to learn the game on. Little danger except on holes 4, 11, and 13 for water. There's danger on 12 as well, but I'll explain that in the Con section.
-Hole 11 is an island / peninsula hole right next to the pond in the middle of the course. Shot from the tee is a RH forearm or slow anny backhand. Walk up the fairway your first time to see how quickly it drops off, because it's quick. The reason this is a PRO and not a CON is that they've covered the ground surrounding the basket with sand so it will catch your disc instead of letting is skip. Sand extends about 30 feet or so each way where there is ground. Still probably want to look at this closely before you throw. Sand saved my favorite mid-range.
-Playable for either the forearm only or backhand only players. There's normally a better option, but the lane is there if you want to try something squirrely.
-Many of the other reviews say this place is a dump, but when I went there was barely any trash. None that I noticed anyway.
-Concrete pads, always a plus.
-Great course for Ace race
Cons: -Hole 12 has some of the weirdest ground cover I've ever played disc golf near. The issue spot is BEHIND the basket only, so the fairway and the basket are clear. Shot looks longer than it is because it's uphill. DGCR has it listed at 172 which is probably accurate. Maybe 200 feet at most. The plants behind the basket are tall enough that they reach the middle of your shin, and they essentially serve as little umbrellas that prevent you from seeing the ground. I overthrew this drive and almost didn't bother even searching for my disc because you have to constantly kick the plants of the way just to see the ground.
-Not super challenging for skilled players. First time playing it I birdied 9 of the holes. Should have had a couple more.
-Course is next to an apartment complex that is CLEARLY full of WMU students. I played this over the summer, but my guess is that the place can get packed if you go during the spring/fall. This is mentioned in a few other reviews as well. I drove through the apartment complex once and saw two students with discs in their hands.
-Probably not enough parking to meet the need.
-Pond kind of smells, but I've been on worse courses for sure.
Other Thoughts: Really a fun course to zip through or play with someone who's only half into the game. Plus, plenty of chances to ace.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Not pretty, but fun
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great place to learn the game
The guy that runs the place is very friendly and does a good job keeping it looking good (which is tough when you have frat houses right next door and people coming there just to drink and smoke)
Lots of chances at an ace
Feels secluded even though you're in the middle of a lot of residential
Cons: Trash can get out of control
The pond is very dirty
Normally crowded (luckily it's small so it still plays fast)
Other Thoughts: This may not be the nicest looking course, but it's still one of my favorites. It's where I learned to play and I still go once in awhile because it's always fun. People don't give it good reviews because it's too short or has lots of trash, but it's not a city park so everyone has to help out and throw something away if you see it. There's trash and everywhere people.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Deucey Heaven meets a Scene from the Labyrinth
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Innova Discatchers old but in decent shape with their famous yellow top bands hideously graffitied up.
- Tee signs are gorgeous. Looks like they were put up this year. Too bad the vandals have already had their way with a few of them and too bad not all of them are on every hole.
- Pleasant elevation changes throughout the course in amongst the rolling hills. Not too many going uphill or too many going downhill.
- Fantastic use of water hazards on #11. This was far and away the most memorable hole on the course. Too bad the water looked as if it were infected by E Coli, diphtheria and every other stagnant waterborne disease known to mankind.
- There were some benches here and there but with a course this crazy short a bench on every hole really isn't needed.
- I really liked the evenly used left and right holes. While I didn't count how many went left vs. right Knollwood did not seem to favor righties or lefties.
- Concrete tee pads seemed a little on the small side but well constructed. I'm not going to deduct anything for their size because I mean...do you really need a 20' run up for a 180' hole? Nope.
Um...wow...quite a few.
- First and foremost the erosion is WAY out of control here. I have never seen a course this badly eroded. It's so bad I think it's a serious environmental issue. Those little water hazards are going to disappear and the wetlands to the south of the course have to be suffering because of the crazy amount of silt washing off of this course.
- If I stood on the bank of the little pond in the middle of the course and closed my eyes I swear I could easily picture in my head a large red furred creature repeatedly saying, "SMELL BAD" with other assorted Jim Henson abominations running around as I proceed through the bog of eternal stench. (If you get that reference your childhood was pretty cool.)
- Trash...Good googly moogly there was A LOT of trash even though the park is technically closed.
- This course is unbelievably short. I'm a lowly Am3 and really wish I would have kept score. This is the first time playing it and I wasn't even trying very hard and I'm sure I scored in the high 40's as I am pretty sure I deuced about 12 or 13 of the holes. I can't imagine playing one of the tournaments here. That has to be deuce or die hell. Then again, there are advantages to playing well on such a short course as it kind of makes you feel like a disc golf God ready to take on the likes of Klimo, Lacastro or heck, even McBeth. Seriously though, this teeny tiny plot of land should not have 18 holes. It's absurd. There should not be more than 12 holes and even that would be a tight squeeze. Although, it could be rearranged to be an absolutely epic 9 holer.
Other Thoughts: This course has obviously suffered under the abuse of hordes of WMU students with woefully underfunded or mismanaged disposable incomes. When they can't afford anything else there's always that free disc golf course down the street. As a result, this place is suffering badly and I don't have a clue how to stop it to make everyone happy. The City of K-Zoo could fence it all off and charge an entry fee but then the locals may take to the streets with burning couches and futons al a MSU.
I think drastic steps need to be taken on some of these eroding fairways. Terracing would go a long way here and so would the creation of wooden walkways and stairs going up and down the hills.
It's a fun course to be sure but for only once or twice through. Even my noodle arm is going to get bored here.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Decent Short Course
Pros: Short holes, no drivers needed, variety of shots and some tight lanes. Pads are in decent condition.
Cons: Some trash around, baskets are too high. Two baskets are within feet of the water hazard, and if your disc goes in there...goodbye. That pond is like a black hole. Use caution!
Other Thoughts: I went in winter before the snow hit and after finals... so no snow and no people lounging. The gate to the entrance was closed so thankfully two locals were playing and I just followed their lead (start just down the road at #17). One was an organizer of tourneys there and was very nice & informative.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
just a mess
Pros: short holes, easy disc lines, makes you effectively shoot a mid range game, no need for any champion plastic drivers here. quick rounds.
Cons: short course is an understatement, trash everywhere, downtown off of college dorms so they all troll around the tiny parking lot making hole #18 hard to shoot because people can be standing near the basket. alot of intersecting holes that zig zag all over the place so watch your face as you cross a path.
Other Thoughts: this course is highly laughable, and it would take alot fo keep it nice...between all the "hipsters" getting in your way, and the abundance of trash everywhere, id rather go to oshtemo dgc or airzoo for a quick but more fun round.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Knollwood park is a fun little wooded course with nice touches of elevation and water in just the right spots. This is the definition of pitch and putt, as no hole stretches over 270 ft., but there are just enough trees, elevation, and water to make this course worth a quick play.
- Water. There's not a lot of it, and it can be pretty easily avoided, but the tricky "invisible green" on #11 looks deceptively dry from the tee. The entire right side as well as directly behind the basket is mostly stagnant water, something that doesn't become obvious until you've taken a few steps towards the basket after teeing off.
- Elevation. Nothing "wow" but the little bit available is put to good use, especially on #'s 17 and 18. Hole #18 tees off downhill through large mature trees' trunks towards the basket below. Several of the greens play fast because of the combination of short length and loss of elevation.
- Well-worn with heavy usage, but with enough trees to provide several different looks or allow various shot options, from a line-shaping standpoint.
- Ace-tastic! Come with a putter and/or mid-range and get to work on those ace totals! Not boring by any means, but plenty of short holes that reward hitting the obvious line(s) with birdies and aces.
Cons: - Terribly rutted natural tees (with the exception of hole #1 which if I remember correctly was concrete). The front of the teebox is marked with a wooden 4 x 4. The eroded tees often make the front of the box a
tripping hazard as the wooded markers stick out of the ground. Several of the tees were muddy and these have to be a nightmare in wet conditions.
- No real tee signs of which to speak.
- Not incredibly challenging. While it's fun enough as a putter/mid only sorta round, most experienced players would be served better by some of the other area courses.
- Pretty trashed, litter-wise.
Other Thoughts: - Unfortunately, the traffic this course seems to see regularly typifies the worst of the disc golf stereotypes. While I'm far from an opponent of cracking down on what people do in their free time in the public parks (so long as they do it in a discreet manner that doesn't infringe on others' enjoyment of the park), the sort of behavior I witnessed at this park in my short time there was certainly of the sort that
not only gets courses pulled, but is also often used as arguments against putting in new courses. /soapbox
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Like an Elvis Presley song...
Aesthetic-- Park is pretty much single use. Very urban park but I didn't see much other use in this park. It was closed when I played but easy enough to get into. There will also be cons here.
Challenge--Though short, this course is good to work on midrange/putter line shaping. the little bit of elevation is used well.
routing-- relatively easy, even covered in leaves.
Risk v Reward-- present in the form of that nasty swamp. most folks skip those two holes.
Aesthetic-- There are plenty of trashcans but they seem to be all emptied by "people" looking for cans. and then they just leave the trash on the ground.
Baskets-- Old DisCatchers some are single chains and they seem to be about a foot or two too high.... almost taller than me (6'4'') in some cases.
Challenge--Very short course, I think I ran 7 birdies when I played.
Surrounding neighborhood is Uber hinky and there isn't much fence around the park to keep the riff-raff out.
Pads--the tees are marked by kick-strip 4x4's in most cases. Deeply rutted but not dangerous.
Potential Danger- course plays over paths several times and once blindly over a footbridge.
This course is a lot like Old Farm in Grand Rapids. buried in a neighborhood with short holes and not well taken care of.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Under-rated fun short course
Pros: Each hole on the course is ace-able.
Many different shots required with a decent amount of trees.
Even though relatively "easy" with most shots under 250 or 200, it is a fun finesse course.
Quick to play (18 in about 45 minutes with two people) (could be a con too)
Tees are more distinct and the flow is very nice.
1 round and you'll know where you're going.
Cons: Lots of vegetation in the summer, easy to lose one in the brush if you don't keep an eye on it.
Water plays on 3 holes by my count and 2 of them are really easy to get wet. (one is basically an island hole)
Really nasty pond (no disc retrieval here)
Broken glass on a lot of holes.
Other Thoughts: The upkeep has been better lately for this course although there is still some garbage and broken glass throughout. If you're in the area and have never been, it's worth a quick round or ace run as I like to call it :p
I would rate this course a 3 but I'm upping it half a disc because I think it should be rated higher in general.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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