2 Helpful / 1 Not
I grew up about ten minutes from this park, even attended a camp within it's borders. Now, seven years after I moved away, now a person who actually knows what those funny chain contraptions we saw when we were six are. Man, do I wish I discovered disc golf sooner.
Difficulty-This course is not for the weak. The holes test your length and accuracy in a great way. You can be severely punished for poor shots, and rewarded for the good ones. You just need to be consistent for all 24 holes, not that hard, right? Wrong.
Design- The holes test every shot in your game. You can throw a putter off the tee, and then a driver. A forehand, then a backhand. There are so many holes to gain or lose strokes, you will battle all the way until the last hole.
Amenities- The tee pads were nothing to write home about, but they really did their job. That's always a plus. The tee signs weren't flashy, but they are informative with distance and a map. Baskets are Innova Discatchers, but they look newer than the ones in the picture. They were nice and caught well.
Feature holes- Hole 15 is a beautiful downhill bomb that forces distance and placement for a chance at the three. Rough lining the fairway makes you nervous, but you just have to crush it. Hole 24 has a hanging basket, set under a nice wood structure with a death hill behind it, making a great ending for the round.
Maintenance- The fairways were all mowed, and I saw park workers clearing some branches and trimming bushes while I was there in the middle of the week. Glad to see them working on the course.
Navigation- The next tees were close to the last basket, but not in the way. It was intuitive for the most part, and my group never got lost.
Cons: Dense Rough- Wow, was it rough. The off fairway woods were covered in undergrowth, including poison ivy. The open holes sometimes had knee high grasses lining the fairway too. In our group of two, we lost five discs, It was not fun, and it added an hour and a half to our round at least looking for discs.
Difficulty- Yes, this was a pro too. However, there was only one pad per hole, and as I said, this is not an easy course. I can't imagine how hard this course would be for a newer player. Especially with the dense rough, that is a recipe for disaster.
Safety- Some of the holes played close to pavilions, walking trails, park roads, and more places that were not disc golf specific. There were places that had the ability to be filled with walkers, picnickers, and more people who don't know what a disc is.
Price- The cost to enter the park is a bit high. 6/8 dollars per vehicle. However, if you get there early enough, the pay station is empty, which it was for me, but I think 6/8 bucks to get in a park that was not covered in costly amenities is extreme.
Geese- Not really a con, but hole one was covered in goose feces, as well as the herd of 30+ geese guarding the pond. They were not friendly to us, hissing a lot. Death by goose is not how I want to go.
Other Thoughts: I can definitely see the potential of a four star (disc) course, They need better tees and tee signs, maybe a couple redesigned holes and a good weed whacking throughout the woods before I would feel justified giving it a 4. However, with the amount of work I believe that the club puts in, this could be a real destination.
I still would recommend this course to anyone, It was a nice round, and I am proud that the town I grew up in put so much into a great course!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: hole 1 sets the tone with a pond shot, not over the top hard but its a good size one . lots of good hills n woods to play threw. shot selection chainges up well a few open shots on 14 threw 16, 14 is a 590 ft down hill. looks like that hole on the Toboggan course that they always film people teeing off on the USDGC footage. this course also has some of the nastyest ruff [thorn bushes with vines growing in them] or thorny trees on the dogleg of 17 that grab your disc better than a cedar tree. hole 24 has a really sweet top mounted hanging basket .they are the old disc catchers with the bar stamp .classy cool .glad to see them honestly even being old you just don't see them too often
Cons: the park upkeep is week in general ,skate park is in the worst shape ,does not seem the park dept cares enough ,wonder where the 7 bucks i pay to play there [to valpo parks] goes
Other Thoughts: great stop if your coming back on 90 and its getting close to rush hour and you do not want to spend hours in Chicago trafific .
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Lots of unique, interesting holes including throwing over a ravine in the woods, throwing down a huge hill, throwing up the same hill, throwing your tee shot beneath a large log, and throwing over a pond (if you dare). A variety of shots are required (long and short, FH and BH, wide open and precise). Of all the courses I've played, this is my favorite.
Cons: Can get a bit muddy at times. There are a few spots where it's easy to lose discs in thick woods.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Well rounded fun
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Baskets are all in good shape and of a good caliber.
Mostly paver tee pads (with some exception) that are all level and have good grip.
Easy to navigate.
Signage is adequate.
Huge multiuse park that is very well maintained and has lots to offer, yet the course seems to mostly stray away from other activities. And yet there is easy parking, bathrooms, and a water fountain because of this.
Great elevation changes and fun shot shaping requirements with a few open holes to really air out some distance.
Some risk reward is definitely an element here, but maybe not quite as much as you would think. A lot of the fairways open up more than you initially think and is harder to get into the rough than it would appear from the tee pad. Still need good shots for sure though.
Cons: Rough can be kind of gnarly, but like I said, it's harder to get in there than it looks.
A couple of the holes seemed kind of boring. I like to have a couple open holes, but holes 4 and 5 just seemed open to be open and you literally play back and forth across a field.
The skate park could be at risk on a couple really bad throws.
A couple of gimmicky like features (that I really didn't mind, but in general am not a fan of).
Other Thoughts: This course with a little refresh to some of the more modernized courses could be really high up there. It's a beautiful stroll through the park and clearly has a good grounds crew looking after it.
I very much enjoyed the giant downhill 14 throw that required you not to go too far or flip your disc over too much. And I really liked the variety of topography used. The Anny over the valley across smaller shruby trees. Just really fun, beautiful golf. Can't ask for much more than that.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I played the "Dominator Layout" at this course, which combines a few of the holes from the standard layout to make for a super tough 21 hole course. I was able to see/walk the standard 24 hole layout. Here are the "pros":
• Very challenging and rewarding golf. Every hole is a physical and mental test and the course forces you to throw every shot you have. There are several holes that force you to have good shots from start to finish. Even on a good drive you will need to throw controlled upshots and putts. This is a nice change of pace from many courses where a good drive means either an easy two or a drop in three.
• Elevation is a huge factor on this course. Almost every hole has some element of elevation
• Hanging basket on hole 24 (21 on dominator layout) with a steep drop-off behind made for a great risk/reward opportunity
• Hole 14 is an amazing 590 ft. dogleg right down a HUGE hill. Heavy woods on the right preventing an easy hyzer. If I hadn't been playing a tournament round I probably would have thrown three or four discs off this one.
• Navigation was smooth, there was a practice basket before hole 1, and the giant park had nice bathrooms (well, nice for a park anyway). There is plenty of parking, a climbing wall, and lots of other fun things to do.
Cons: • The biggest con of the course is safety. The disc golf here interacts heavily with the surrounding park, causing interference from bikers, cars, skateboarders, etc. One hole even calls for a throw over a skate park. There are a lot of fairways that are close enough to other holes to create potential for injury.
• The teepads here are okay, but are in somewhat rough condition
• Not a beginner friendly course, even in the regular layout.
Other Thoughts: If the rest of the park was closed and the only thing happening at Rogers Lakewood was disc golf then there would be no reason to give this course less than a 4.5... but that will never be the case. The hazards on the course take away from a delightfully challenging round. Even so, I highly recommend this course to any serious golfer travelling through the Valparaiso area.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
All the gifts of life are held within our walls
Pros: To me, Valpo is like Rush. I know Rush is a great band with great musicianship and from time to time I'll find myself enjoying "Spirit of Radio" or "Red Barchetta," but for the most part it's lost on me. I saw them in concert with a buddy who was having a near-religious experience; I was having an OK time but by the end I was bored. I don't think I'm the Rush target audience.
To get back to disc golf: Valpo is a fantastic disc golf course. It has good variety in distances, lots of uphill and downhill shots, really thick shule to punish errant shots, aggressive left and right pin placements to force you to use a variety of shots off the tee (plus the bag of trick shots you will need if you get off the fairway) a few open "let 'er rip" shots...If you are a serious player, this should be your course. Other than a couple of gimmicky holes (#2 and #19) the holes seem well designed. The course has good tees, good baskets, adequate signage, good flow...all the elements of good, tough golf are there. The group of guys who work on this course are serious about their golf, so the pin placements seem to be set farther and farther back as time goes on, making the course stay tough as discs have gotten longer. If what you like is tough golf, read no further. Valpo is your course and you should make sure to hit this one up. Shot for shot, I can't really complain at all about this course.
Now I'm going to complain...
Cons: I was charged $8 at the gate. $8 for disc golf is out of my comfort zone.
The park is overgrown with old decaying roads and some of the most humongous poison ivy you will see growing anywhere. It's not a pretty park by any stretch of the imagination. It really doesn't hurt the golf; the fairways are mowed and the overgrown shule makes the course play harder. However, I paid $8. For $8 I want Channahon-pretty. Valpo is not Channahon-pretty.
The course has two "meh" holes, #2 has a skate park fence to the left and #20 has a park road for a fairway. Both of them look like the designer just couldn't figure out how to get you to the next hole without sticking in a filler hole. For $8, I expect more than filler holes.
The course is 24 holes. For a rec player, the course is a brutal beat-down of lost discs and 7's on the scorecard. Once I finish the long uphill shot at 16, I'm pretty much done. At 19 you are back close to the parking lot, but I had five holes to go and I paid $8 so I went through the motions of five joyless holes of disc golf just wanting to get the Hell out of there. I'd actually like this course more if it didn't have those extra holes. The holes up at the front of the park end up with kids from picnics running across the fairway, so it doesn't even seem like a good place to have those holes anyway.
All of these things would not be worth mentioning, except...dude, they charged me $8. I was expecting $5. $6 I could live with. $8 really, really pissed me off right from the get go.
Other Thoughts: In the end, I'm not the Valpo target audience. The course is very challenging, physically demanding and mentally draining. I'm not that kind of golfer anymore. I'm too old, my knees are too wobbly and my game is too weak to hang in here. The park itself is too overgrown for me to really enjoy, so by the end I'm just hoping for it to all end soon. All of which doesn't mean all that much; I've rated it highly because it deserves to be rated highly. It's a very good disc golf course that I'm pretty sure most players will enjoy. That I really don't enjoy it says more about the level of my game than it does about the course. It's a very good disc golf course that I don't happen to like.
Mostly because they charged me $8. I'm really cheap and that ticked me off. A lot. I didn't even get a kiss.
Maybe on another day I will see the light; I find myself jamming out to Rush every now and again.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: I really like the little features they added to the basket so they would not shred your disc like Innova baskets can.
Signs are easy to follow.
Good mix of shots and challenges. Not very exciting though for most part. There were a few placement shot holes.
Cons: Inconsistent teepads. i dont care what the teepad is made of, but really dont like random sized pads on every hole.
Hole 8's water OB is just stupid. Why would you intentionally put a stagnate bacteria, rock, and broken glass filled puddle under what is probably the most consistently hit tree on the fairway???? And its not marked on the tee sign and not easy to notice from the tee.
Poor use of the land. So many features left untouched. Greens dont have risk/reward for most part.
The "hanging" basket, isn't a hanging basket. It's fixed to a pole, takes the fun out of the concept.
Other Thoughts: This course is better than a 3 but not a 3.5. I have no desire to ever return either. A total waste of a 2 hour drive (one way).
For as much as this course is hyped up, I was really surprised at how thoroughly I did not enjoy it. I got bored of the course very quickly. It had a feeling of being hacked together and not thought out as a whole course (like 3 different course in one).
You could put a really amazing 18 hole course in here. The land has so many unique features to take advantage of, would be nice to see them used and the course more than a pitch'n'putt.
6 of 22 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Mister Rogers' DOMINATORhood
Pros: 1. Variety. While there tends to be an emphasis on RHFH/RHBH anhyzer shots (writing as a predominantly RHBH thrower), I found myself throwing everything but rollers or overhand shots, which together probably comprise less than 2% of my shots anyways. The glacial terrain in this part of the state means plenty of topographical variety, and it is well utilized in the design, with uphill, downhill, cross-hill, valley, and hump shots. The first two holes feature water, #1 with a carry over a decent-sized pond but plenty of bailout to the left for the majority of players (the risk here, at least with the long pin, is deciding to go for it, which appears to require a late-fading RHBH anhyzer over the water with plenty of trees to the right to knock you into the drink if you cut too hard - thus, the only "pucker factor" you experience here will be self-induced on choosing to go for it since it's not really a big forced carry), and #2 is another RHFH-friendly shot through tight woods just over 200' to a slightly elevated pin a few feet from the same pond - that is definitely a hell of a way to kick off a round, with very reasonable holes (distance-wise) that present big opportunities with big risk! Hole #3 (Dominator) was a monster hole that combined classic holes #3 and #4 into a hole requiring power and strategy - uphill blind placement shot off the tee followed by another BIG placement shot across a field into a right-curving (of course!) wooded corridor. Several of the holes in the Dominator configuration felt Toboggan-esque, specifically #12 and #13. I loved seeing #7, a RHBH hyzer around a grove of trees with a little pond (puddle?) that was blind from the tee (and thus completely unbeknownst to me, a traveling solo player), which kind of reminded me of a miniature Blueberry Hill #13. In the Dominator layout there were a lot of OB roads marked, but I'm not sure if those apply to the classic layout; in any case, they added another layer of difficulty to a number of holes. The finishing hole, #18/24, is a unique suspended basket that would seem gimmicky, but with the steep drop-off directly behind the basket you definitely think twice about your layup shot, as there is nothing to stop you from skipping and sailing underneath the basket into potential yuckiness. One thing I particularly enjoyed about the Dominator layout was the requirement for placement shots on the really long hybrid holes...that shows either great foresight in the design or great improvisation with the existing design (which I think is more likely with the propensity for locals to play safari and discover these routes).
2. Maintenance. This appears to be a pretty popular multiuse park with fishing, hiking/walking, party pavilions, fishing, and even a little rock-climbing wall, but overall the course and other park areas I saw were pretty clean. The fairways were mowed, and while plenty of thick rough abounds, you will often find walking trails cutting through even the densest foliage. Trash cans were abundant, and litter was not.
3. Equipment. The DISCatchers are in decent shape but a little dated (i.e. the kind where a fluke DROT can drop through, and wouldn't you know it I did just this during my round!); the tees, while varied, are all pretty level and don't present any major hazards; there's a beat-up little clubhouse near a beat-up practice basket with "Round 9" putting practice bricks in the ground ("beat-up" being a good thing as it signifies long and constant use, meaning a solid base of DG in the community); the tee signs are descriptive with color maps, accurate distances, and OB marked; bag hooks are available at some tees, always nice; long poles sticking up from the baskets on some blind holes aided tee shots. The course is pay-to-play from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so I assume that some of that money goes into the upkeep - and I hope that with Worlds coming nearby soon, not to mention the increasing popularity of the sport, this course will be upgraded in the near future.
4. Location. Not far off I-80/90. Really easy to find in a well-marked park, plenty of signs from nearby highways direct to this park, and signage once in the park directs you to the disc golf course and eventually the practice basket and hole #1. Several parking lots should ease congestion on busy days.
5. Navigation. Pretty intuitive, though I did experience a few hang-ups playing the Dominator layout (see Cons). There is a large colorful course map at the start that one can easily snap a photo of with a smartphone and use in the absence of a hard copy, and even the tee signs indicate adjacent pins/tees.
6. Pay to play. Some consider this a con, but I certainly do not, especially with the usage some of our courses get these days. A modest fee is totally understandable, especially if other park patrons in a multiuse facility are being likewise charged as is the case here from what I understand.
Cons: 1. Tees. While many are just fine as far as being level, there is a bit too much inconsistency here as far as size and texture that I just couldn't ignore, as much as I wanted to overlook it. Brick, concrete, rubber, blacktop, some bordered with timber, one sinking at the back right corner, one too short with insufficient follow-through space...frankly, I was kind of amazed that a State Finals would be held here without first improving these, and I almost wonder if this course would have been included in the upcoming Worlds with better tees (but that's beside the point!).
2. Safety. As noted above, a few holes play close to OB roads, which for the most part are just paved walking paths that didn't seem to be really busy. However, one major issue I noted (at least in this layout) was #17 (#23?), which played not only with the busy park entrance road directly to the right, but plays OVER an intersection of this same entrance road on the approach to the pin, and there was some event going on in the hilltop pavilion, so plenty of traffic was coming to and fro while I tried to make my approach across this road to what admittedly is a very tricky pin location. The walking path near the first and last holes seemed to be the busiest. One other possible conflict would be with the skate park near hole #2, which really would take a bad shot, but if a new player is already bad under pressure and pulls the classic "noob hyzer" it could spell trouble.
3. Navigation. Maybe it was just the Dominator layout combined with first-timerism, but I got a little confused, most notably at #3 - I noticed the sign saying it was a big 700-some-footer to #4's basket, which of course didn't help me at all, so I walked up the hill and saw one basket to my left in a field, figured that was the "classic" pin, and then walked farther to the left and spotted the basket indicated on the sign. I went back and played the hole as I thought it should be played, but then had trouble finding #4's tee, which would have been #5 in the classic layout and playing to the basket I originally spotted and mistook for #3 (this sounds confusing, I know, but hopefully a local or two will understand my frustration at this junction)...I again backtracked #3's fairway to make sure I hadn't played wrong, then eventually figured it all out. Another area was after holing out on #9 and then finding #10, where again I did a little wandering around.
4. Equipment. Again as noted above, the DISCatchers are a bit old though they still catch just fine (my only real issue, which I might have not noticed if it hadn't happened, was the DROT falling through).
Other Thoughts: This was a great course to play, and I definitely look forward to coming back and updating my review based on the 24-hole layout (which was what I came here expecting to play and was rather surprised by the Dominator layout, but still thoroughly enjoyed myself). I think with the bonus holes added and some of the length removed (and thus fun factor added back in for a player like myself), I will have an experience closer to what I expect from a 4.5-rated course. As it stands, the golf on this layout, while incredibly challenging and scenic, rates just under that, and compared to other courses I've played I think it's closer to a 4.0. I am confident that the 4.5 rating is there, but I will just have to experience the full thing in order to rate it as such. In any case, the 4.0 is still a really high rating, and I highly recommend this course to anyone traveling through. Even shortened to its classic layout, I can see some of the holes being a bit daunting to the beginner, so it's not necessarily an everyman's course, but if you're local and you're going to start learning the sport, this would be a phenomenal place to hone your skills.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 14 Not
Best of the Best
Pros: Will test every facet of your game. You will go to other courses and think you are pretty good untill you get to Rogers. I've heard some folks on here rate it only a four because there is a tee pad they don't like or they think the rough is too punishing. These guys are bedwetters and will complain to a waitress that their coffee is just tooooo hot. Play this course now while the rough is brutal and pins are in long. You will feel like a stud when you pull off a nice shot and you will cuss when you don't. Bottom line is this course will make you come back over and over because that is how bad it messes with you.
Cons: There are none. Maybe you might find some poison ivy here and there but you will survive.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and play it once a week. I also think that the worlds should be played a round at Rogers when they come through next year or in the future. This is the pound for pound champ in Indiana and that has come from several top ams and pros who play it. You will not be dissapointed.
0 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
It's just that good
Pros: I give Rogers Lakewood a 4. I would give it a 5, but the rough is unnecessarily killer at this time of the year and it's a beating if you have an errant throw and there are definitely improvements to be made with the tees..
Like the other reviewers stated - there is plenty of variety to please most golfers. Not going to get into a whole course breakdown, but here are some of the holes and touches that I like and notes on others.
- Hole 1 is in a good starting spot right by the lower parking lot. Problem is that this lot gets real full with a shelter close by, a boat launch, people fishing and disc golfers. Hole 1 parking usually stays shady in the afternoon, but parking is better at hole 2 (skate park) and hole 17 at the top of the hill.
Leagues, maybe still do, but I don't know - usually parked at the top of the hill by 17 and started from there. If you have a large group you can split and start at 17 and 14 since the tees are back to back at the top of the hill by the parking lot.
Holes 2,3,4,5 are pretty straight forward - rough starts to show some teeth on the uphill 3. Hitting a tree and having it kick back into the woods is a fairly common occurrence. 4 and 5 are long but straight.
Hole 6 is probably the beginning of the bad rough and the first place you'll probably most likely lose a disc - use a spotter if possible and definitely try the 'Pro' route of a huge hyzer over the trees.
Holes 11, 12 and 13 make use of some space that was *horrendous* rough in the past while adding some nice variety to the beginning of the back 9. Being that they opened up the rough over here - the huge downhill hole 14 is a little easier to 'give it your all' and not have to worry about losing your favorite disc. 14 still has some dense rough at the bottom right of the hill so try to stay away from there but deeper in and you'll probably end up on either 12 or 13 fairways.
17 is the other hole where having a spotter is a good idea - the rough on the left hand side - over the road is thick.
If you get out early, you can pretty much have the course to yourself. It's pretty quiet once you are out past hole 2. You probably won't run into other people than disc golfers till 19.
If no one is using the shelter at the top of the hill by 17 - it's a good place for field practice. You can use the service road as a tee since it's paved. There are some decent landmarks for estimating distance. It's 370' to the skate park road from the corner of the basketball court and 400' to the 19 tee sign.
Course is fairly easy to navigate - first place that's not obvious at first is 10->11 since you have to backtrack a little down 10 fairway, but it's obvious when you see it. There is a walking path by 10 basket that might confuse someone if they are not paying attention.
Also 23->24 is a little odd - it used to go from 20->24 which was (holes 17->18) when the course was 18 holes so the tee for 24 is near the basket for 20. If you don't look over the road you might miss 21.
The course is clean and there are plenty of trash cans at the tees, there are bag hooks, nice signage.Some of the signs need to be replaced.
Tees can be a pro and a con here - the short tees aren't well marked. There are some red landscape timbers that are buried in the fairways for some of the holes but they are well worn. Some tees are really nice brick and others are wood (spongy on 10) covered in rubber.The nice tees are the pro and the shorts and the wood ones are the cons. 7 has an Am tee that's fairly nice since the Am tee used to be the only tee on 7.
Cons: A long time ago - 4 and 5 used to have the entire clearing mowed. This opened a bunch of roller routes and made people pull out all their tricks since the wide open space was very forgiving. I kind of wish they would try this again.
A lot of the holes seem to have not gotten the maintenance that they used to get. The 4 and 5 example above is one instance. Perhaps that was intentional. Hole 8 used to have a pond that's just a dried pit now. It really made 8 a nice looking hole.
Have to be careful on 21, there is a shelter by the basket that people rent out and park on the fairway for 21 if it's a large enough group. There is a clear straight route to the right though if you need to avoid some cars.
Hole 19 is downhill, straight at the skate park parking lot. Cars have been hit in the past.
Other Thoughts: My rating on this is biased - this is pretty much my home course. This is where I really started getting into DG. I had played for years before, but would never have called myself a disc golfer. I am somewhat spoiled since it is such a nice course. PNC is the only closer course, but it's not as nice.
It's hard to review this course, it's changed a lot from when I first started playing it and I know it'll probably change some more, but I'm excited to see what goes on here. And will keep coming back.
The entrance fee is $7 for out of county residents. You can exit and re-enter the park, but ask for a pass at the front gate before you leave.
I don't believe there is any place on site to get any refreshments and it's a long course. Bring plenty.
Park also doesn't seem to mind beer consumption although they post on their website that it's discouraged but from experience, they don't care.
Dogs are allowed on leashes.
There are some walking trails that make use of the woods where the rough is around 4-10 and 17-19.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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