Surprisingly Scenic But Challenging Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: See the directions for parking from my West review . The kiosk says it all . The blue area on the map constitutes the East side . I had forgotten to mention on the West review that right next to the kiosk are the TWO putting baskets . Finding the first hole to start the East course is a little trickier than the West course . There is a cement path to the right of the West course #1 tee pad and across the street from where you parked . Follow that to a hill in front of you and climb the hill and turn right . You will see the first tee pad . The East course has the same cement tee pads ( some a little short ) . the Yellow banded Discatchers that are good for course , especially in the woods or when it is dusk. The signage is maybe the best I have ever seen . Metal , partly cut out at the top to signify that you are on the East course and hole # . You can read that part from the front or back of the sign , keeping you on the right path . The signs from the front also give a picture of the hole and the length . This course is the shorter , not quite as hard , but better looking counterpart to the West Course .Something that I had never seen in a course before were the same large course maps tat you see on the kiosk , stationed in selective parts of the course . They will show you where you are , and if you want to peel off for a shorter 12 hole round by taking a different path or extending to a longer round by taking another path and adding 6 holes from the West course that runs alongside of the East Course to make a 24 hole round . Unbelievable ! There are some NEXT tee signs on the course to help navigate you , too . You might not have to print a map to navigate this course , but for the sake of losing focus on a bad hole , you don't want to wander off and enter the West Course . Even though the East Course distance is shorter than the West Course , it still has great basket placement and an aesthetically pleasing environment . Lots of nature's creatures abound in this part of the park . The course is situated far enough away from the park's many other activities , that you should only encounter other disc golfers . There seem to be remnants of a shorter course that coincide with this course , designated by knee high red wood posts in the ground showing a crude flight path and toe boards at the natural tee pads . Lots of fun holes on the East side . Ones that stand out in my mind right away are #5 , which you throw your drive from just inside the woods , out in the open , hyzer to the basket , which is nestled in the same woods you just threw out of ( 280' ) . Your next drive at 6 , you throw out of the woods again , across an opening , anhyzer to an opening in the woods across from you and slightly downhill ( 300' ) . #7 is a 270' basket sandwich in the woods . The basket sits between 2 sets of large trees directly in front of the hole and behind it . Throw too far and you are down the hill , fighting for an angle in which to throw a putt . #10 is the longest hole , sitting at 540' through the woods . It will punish you if you stray off the fairway . #13 is a cool hole with OB to the left of the tee . #15 has the best tee box , slightly elevated with a wood paneled front #18 had one of the better finishing holes that I have seen . A left turn wraparound drive only about 250' or so , but with large trees set to take your drive out of the air . I can't figure out from standing on the tee pad how you can make this drive carry to the basket , unless you can throw over huge trees . Anyway , the basket has some of the dirt dug out of the front of it , and has a wood paneled elevated basket set out in the open . I chose #18 as my signature hole for the East Course . Good balance of left and right handed holes . I don't know where the players were , but I felt I had the course to myself . I was playing at 10:30 on a Sunday morning .
Cons: You could make an argument that the course is not as competitive as the West side , and that some good ams or pros would play this course under par for sure , but I don't consider that a con , since they have the choice to be over on the West side , anyway . Lack of trash cans on the course .Carry out what you carry in .
Other Thoughts: It must be nice to wake up on a weekend morning , drive to the park , and your only dilemma would be which course to play . A well designed 18 hole course on the East side offers you the lighter more beautiful side of Northend Riverside park . It looks like the course has undergone major changes since last being reviewed in 2015 . I am really impressed by how much effort and finances have gone into making this course what it is today . If I lived within 40 miles of this course I would be here most weekends . Thanks, Northend Riverside Park Board for making these courses a reality .Your park will have the notoriety of having one of the best places to play disc golf in the state , and the area businesses will also reap the benefits and not even know it . I stayed overnight at Holiday Inn next to Ferris State ( College Disc Golf National Champions 2017 ) , Ate at BW3 across the street and ate lunch at Wendy's the next day . ( friendly town )
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
SO. MANY. HUCKERS.
Pros: - Located in a small multiuse park but the disc golf is a good ways away from the remaining activities. A big plus.
- Well laid out. No significant design flaws other than #17 and maybe the #3 fairway- more on that later.
- The front 9 and some of the back nine have nice little "next tee" signs that are engraved 4x4's low to the ground. Very helpful. Too bad they weren't every where.
- Tee signs are also 4x4's with the hole information engraved and painted on them. Very rudimentary but get the job done efficiently.
- Really enjoyed the baskets on #3 and #18. While not technically elevated baskets in the strictest sense they are up on a landscaped mound making for a challenging approach in both cases.
- The long tees all have well constructed concrete pads.
- Baskets seem to be newer Discraft however I don't know which model. They're in great shape and catch well with the multi layers of chain.
- Now it appears there is an active project going on at the moment to replace many of the benches. There are 4x4 stubs sticking out of the ground at most of the holes so since this seems like a active project going on I won't deduct anything from my evaluation. Just shows that someone is attempting to take good care of this course.
- Sandy soil. I know this is a really weird pro but there is some erosion issues here. Without the sandy soil I have to believe after a rain this place becomes a muddy muddy mess.
- Really thought the left vs. right holes were balanced out quite well.
Cons: - The #3 and #2 fairways are a little close to each other. Use caution on these holes for errant throws.
- The short tees are just 4x4's laid in the ground. Concrete pads for the shorts would really spruce things up. Right now, it's just a anckle twisting dirty rut in the ground.
- This course gets A LOT of traffic presumably from Ferris State. The main issue with that is erosion. It's high time for preventative measures before things get uglier.
- While the design for the most part isn't flawed and each individual hole on its own is great the course as a whole seems like a variations on a theme. Just one hole after another cut through the woods. Your typical Michigan discgolf right here. It isn't bad just nothing unique.
- The biggest con of all is the sheer number of huckers on the course. There's just so many of them.
- Really didn't like how you have to walk up the #17 fairway from the 16 basket to get to the 17 tee. With all the woods available it would be nice to have a more direct path between the two.
Other Thoughts: Admittedly, I am completely jealous that people get to have a course like this so close to where they live. So don't take my criticisms wrong way. There's nothing lackluster about Riverbend but there just isn't anything spectacular about it either. The tee markers are sort of an indication of this. They work - but just. Nothing special.
Not sure I'd advise anyone to come here while school is in session at Ferris. That school is loaded with huckers a plenty. Some are cool, some are just clueless while others are just plane rude. Just goes to prove one of my life sayings; "Huckers, you can't live with 'em, you can't shoot 'em." Just show up when schools out and you'll have a great time.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Course conditions you for being able to maneuver between trees and in tight gaps.
-Makes all other fairways seem wide-open.
-No water traps.
Cons: -Lots and lots of trees.
Other Thoughts: Great area, feel free to hop on a tube and the float river back to campus!
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Variety of shots are required to get through the varying amounts of trees/shrubs. It is well maintained. Nice outdoors experience.
Cons: Trees will try to get in the way of every shot they can. It messes with some people.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: -Tough narrow technical shots and lots of dog leg right shots.
-Very easy to follow
-Pro and Woman/Rec tees, all tees have signs and posts to show where next tees are.
Cons: Only if you're playing solo then there are some blind shots.
Other Thoughts: Go ahead and knock me for the "piss-poor" review, but I like to keep is short and simple! ;)
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Tough course due to the fact that more than half is heavily wooded, but is also very fun. Always clean nicely taken care of. Cement tees for the pro, and sand for the beginner is nice. Decent amount of signage to lead you through the holes.
Cons: Some of the beginner tees seem to be actually more difficult than the pro ones. Other than that there really are no large cons.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course which is really fun to play and has many fun sights, such as the multiple bottle cap trails and the entire 17th hole is very fun. All in all, a very fun course. I defiantly recommend a play.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Riverside is the cure for the Traveling Blues
Although this course is located in a popular park, the majority of the patrons congregate along the river. While the lot is often packed, the traffic on the course is mostly DG patrons.
Beautiful wide cement tees in fantastic condition.
Secluded feel through most of the course. Paths are well worn and navigation is effortless.
Great course character with bottlecap-tiled paths, log art, and an "Anhyzer Alley" that replaces irritation of similar holes with an 'opponent' to beat, even in solo rounds. Benches wisely placed at key points during a round.
Length. Courses often consider reduced distances a fair trade with more trees. Here you get both. 11 of 18 holes > 300' and there are trees everywhere.
Lackluster signage. 4x4 posts, unless jazzed up considerably, are a dreadful signage choice. Tee signs convey the least amount of information possible (length and vector representation of path). Many baskets are obscured from the tee, and some more info on the drive would be appreciated.
This course was listed as 'moderately hilly' on DGCR, and I found myself wondering why. There is some undulation that is certainly pleasing to the eye, but very little of it impacts your shot choice. I would say it is flat with bumps.
I was very disappointed that a course with "Riverside" in its title had not one water hole.
While I cited course character as a significant pro (and it is), the majority of my complaints deal with things (signage, specifically) that would be considered 'course character'.
I could see the care and time that was taken to design and maintain this course, but it depressed me that the signage was so lazy. An investment in signage would definitely increase my rating.
I'm hard pressed to have much more to complain about. I played this course again rather than playing a new one on my way home. I very much like this course.
For some reason, thinking of this course always causes me to hum Led Zeppelin.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First course I ever played on. I love it! This is the course that got me addicted to Disc Golf. I like because its not like normal parks where people are just all over. Its in is own region. The holes present a different aspects of the game. I have yet to master this course but I played some amazing games on it. I do find myself going back to this course when ever I have the time because everything you play it is a new experience.
Cons: College students need to take better care of it. There needs to be more trash cans around and a better place to dispose of waste products. Respect nature!
Other Thoughts: The bottle cap ally is alot of fun! Hole 17 is alot of fun as well as hole 11! I recommend using a putter on some holes its a good way to practice that skill!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A good mix of left, right, and straight fairways that utilize every bit of elevation throughout this rolling to flat property. The entire course is dedicated to disc golf - while paved paths divide and skirt the course, there are no paths across fairways. There are new signs as of a few years ago - they're large, metal, and display big color graphics - so they're easy to spot from a distance. Additionally, the signs have the course, hole # and distance cut out making it possible to read them from the back. There are also large color maps strategically placed throughout the course at all of the major junctions. All of the long tees are cement, though the three newest tees are significantly shorter and narrower than the originals. This course, in contrast to the West course on this property, is mostly wooded. The rough is dense enough to deny easy "outs" but not so dense as to prevent you from finding your errant lies. There are no thorns (aside from some ground-cover blackberries in a few places), no poison ivy, no mud, and very few biting insects. It's mostly quite and natural throughout. There's a 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and with holes from the West course, 24, and 27 hole loops possible, most of which are explained with the aforementioned orientation maps at the major junctions.
Cons: There is some erosion occurring after a decade of play, however, the addition of the West course has significantly slowed this down.
There's no water hazard. (also a pro for some people)
There could be more trash cans.
The fairways through the woods are never mowed. The grass gets tall enough to deny skips, but never thick enough to obscure a lie.
Other Thoughts: The history of the East course at Northend Riverside Park: The course was established by Leonard Johnson in 2006 after years of lobbying the Big Rapids Parks & Rec Board. Using his own money and muscle, and with the help of other locals, Johnson built the entire course. Within a few years, disc golf rapidly grew in popularity in Big Rapids. Sometime around 2010, the City took issue with discouraged behavior of some players, causing Johnson, Foster Neill, and a few other locals to change the final two holes. They cut in a very tight RBH hyzer to create a new #17. Then they moved the basket from the old 17's original spot, to a farther location at the highest point of elevation and dug out a hazard just before, accentuating the elevation challenge. This became the new #18. The White Pine Trail sits about 40' behind the basket at the bottom of the hill, creating an OB hazard. The original 18th hole went unused and basketless for the next 5 years or so.
Sometime around 2014-2015, Neill started plans to expand the course to 36 holes. Over the following years, he plied the City to allow the local club to begin work on unused, contiguous land. Along with Johnson and Club volunteers, they cut in 17 new fairways and re-opened the original 18th fairway after adding some distance to it. It was at this time that 3 new holes were added to the original course, which are now #'s 3, 4, & 5. These new holes replaced the original #'s 1, 2, & 3, which became #'s 1, 2, & 17 of the new West course. It was also during this time that new tee signs were made and planted - large metal signs with color graphics have replaced the original 4x4" posts.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Signage--huge amounts of signs out here, there is absolutely no way you're getting lost out here.
Variety--decent amount, There were a lot of the same fades (right or left) in a row however
Dual tees--some helpful, some, not so much
Location--in one of my favorite parks in big rapids.
Originality--bottle cap path, cool looking trees, anhyzer alley, the bulletin board about half way through.
Cons: some supid holes--18 comes to mind. go left, then right, then left again. boo! there is also a hole with an uphill, hard right about 50 feet off the tee pad, very little room for error here. Also, there was a big garter snake here. :)
Erronious measurements--There is no way that some of the red tee lengths (compared to the blue tee) are accurate. There is not 60 feet that is equal to 15 feet ever.
A bit repetitve in some places, a lot of the same types of holes in a row, plus, tired of trees about halfway through.
Other Thoughts: I went to Ferris so this is a bit sentimental for me. I enjoyed this course, harder than hell but a great time none the less.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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