Rockin' By The Rock River
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Good shot variety, course will test every aspect of your game by the end
- Gorgeous park setting is a pleasure to play through
- Good course equipment with occasional benches by some tees
- Elevation change is used to great effect on many fairways and greens
Cons: - Middle section of the course can be a bit repetitive
- Identifying the current basket position can be difficult on several fairways
- Odd routing towards the end of the course
Other Thoughts: Sinnissippi Park in Sterling is a gorgeous park overlooking the Rock River. This is a multi-use park with multiple walking paths, playgrounds, and pavilions, but disc golf is the focus for much of the park, and opportunities for conflict with other park users is fairly limited. A few fairways play along or over roads or walking paths, but traffic has always been low during my rounds, and any waits for other park users to move out of the way were minimal. The course is well maintained and a pleasure to walk through.
Over its 24-hole layout Sinnissippi will challenge just about every aspect of your game. Low ceilings are frequently a defining feature, and being able to have your disc finish both left and right without high hyzer/anhyzer routes is important. Those with a strong roller game will find many holes to their benefit. Elevation change is present on many holes, with baskets frequently placed on treacherous greens, speed control and placement is just as important as being able to throw for distance to score well here. The course starts and ends great, but a run of fairly typical, flatter, parks style fairways in the middle of the course can get a bit repetitive. That said, I don't think there are really any bad holes, with the possible exception of the completely open Hole 9. Hole 5 is a fantastic signature hole downhill over a creek to an island green.
Routing can be a bit odd after Hole 18, so much so that a recent tournament changed the order of the last 6 holes as well as using an alternate, temporary Hole 21. So, maybe bring a picture of the course map your first time through. The baskets on the last 6 holes are also a bit odd with lighter chains, though I didn't experience any issues with chain-outs or spit-throughs. The rest of the equipment is in good shape, a few more benches would be nice, but not a big deal. As many other reviewers have noted, however, a system for indicating which basket locations is currently in use would be great. Even when you are able to see the basket, telling which position it is in is not always easy. This is partly a result of there being 3+ positions not all that far from each other, and partly due to the signs being slightly unclear in their depiction of the fairway.
Sinnissippi is a great course with enough variety and challenge to appeal to a wide variety of disc golfers. It won't beat down recreational players too badly, and won't bore more advanced players, with several holes that are fun to throw over and over again. I've enjoyed each of my rounds here, and the pleasant scenery is a great bonus.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Sinfully Delicious Course
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The course is more than modestly wooded, the front 9 highly technical and challenging. As open as many fairways might appear from the tee, the middle of those fairways will contain well places trees and the greens will be very well guarded. You are going to have to bring your 'A' game for approaches (and it won't hurt to be long and accurate off the tee). My personal favorites are the blind 3rd and the highly technical 8th, which comes to an elevated pin mounted in the stump of a dual trunk tree. Stunning.
The back 9 appears more open, but again the trees are well integrated into the fairway and green design and each hole is well protected. Any sense of sameness on the back 9 is mitigated by the wide variety of distances that alternate nicely, and by the variety of left, right and straight shots you will have to make.
Cons: The course is extremely flat.
This old guy is a little put off by SIX holes in the extreme distance range (400-520), but I guess that's part of the challenge when you get older: making pars on the holes that even the bombers will have difficulty with when the design is so guarded.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The best thing I can say about Sinnissippi is that its a course that will make you a better player. It forces you to throw a lot of different shots: long bomber shots, low ceiling shots, rollers, sidearms, putter shots, etc etc.
The course is truly a fun course that really tests every aspect of your game. Its a mostly open park but the obstacles are placed well to really make you think. You can stand on a hole and think that a certain shot is the best shot and realize there are two more options off of the tee.
The course has many different alternate pin locations. This is both a pro and a con. See below for the con. Some holes have between 4 and 6 alternate pins. There are so many different options with this course that it truly is mind boggling. The difference in the amount of strokes between the hardest setup and the easiest setup could easily exceed 8 to 9 shots.
The course features 24 holes and that's a good thing here because the extra 6 holes are nice holes. Hole 23 in particular is just a fun hole to throw. Its straight downhill with a huge rock cliff to the right. Hole 20 is also one of the more interesting and scary holes you will throw, as it dives straight downhill from the teepad to one of the fastest greens you will ever play. Hole 5 is probably the signature hole, a blind, downhill hole to an amazing island green.
You can really tell that a lot of effort has been put into the course. The tee-signs are phenomenal, the maintenance of the course is great and the alternate pins really show a lot of hard work and dedication.
Cons: There's not a lot of bad things with this course but there are a few things worth mentioning:
While the alternate pins are great, they are maddening in one regard: you just don't know what you are playing on any given day. When I played the course my buddy and I were beyond frustrated that we had to continue to walk ahead (sometimes walking nearly 3/4 of the hole) just to find the location of the basket on that day. In particular, the first half of the course really had some blind shots and required a lot of searching for what position the basket was in that day. This could easily be fixed by a simple "washer" system on the tee signs, along the lines of what Highbridge Hills features. Simply place a screw on the sign for each pin and place a washer next to that day's pin. We spent a lot of time walking up the fairways to location the position of the basket and it was frustrating. I will say that the back half of the course was fairly easy because most of the holes were not blind shots.
The baskets are beginning to wear and are showing their age. We had a few putts go right through the chains and you can tell by looking at the baskets that they are older.
Other Thoughts: This is an area of Illinois with not too much in terms of disc golf, and having a course like this is a huge bonus. This is a phenomenal course with a great setting. Kudos to the area for putting in and maintaining such a nice disc golf course!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played in the sinnissippi open and had a ton of fun. Overall the course is well thought out and has some great diversity.
Shot variety- there were multiple lines on each of the 24 holes. Some had low tunnels which might require rollers as well as holes where you might need some nice finnesse hyzer flip shots through smalller gaps. Ther was ob throughout which made you think even more about what shot to take. I felt like everyole had a regular route and an aggressive route.
Elevation- elevation was a prominent factor on the front nine. Big downhills on 1,3,5,7, uphills on 4 and six.
Multiple pin placements- during the tournament an easier layout was played during the first round and a much longer, more challenging layout was played the second round. This allows for alot of varietyfor locals. Each pinplacement was clearly stated on the tee sign. If i remember correctly the the distance variety from long layout to the short layout was 15 hundred feet. Thats a pretty big game changer. I also enjoyed the distance variety. The longest hole on the short layout was 465 with the shortes hole being 200. The second round the longest hole was 550 and shortest around 225. This distance variety betwen layouts turned easy threes into tough 3s and 80 ft upshots into 150ft upshots on some of the longer holes.
Creative pin placements- some of the long pins were place precariously close to rivers and one of the baskets was even place on a large tree stump.
Amenities- there is a pavillion with bathrooms and the tee signs were pretty good.
#5 downhill shot through a wooded gap onto an island surrounded by a river with the river being ob. Approximately 370-480 feet depending on pin placement.
#23 top of the world shot- you start on the top of a large canyon throwing a tight downhill shot to an open green area. A cliff borders the right side. Road is ob. Makein for a tough island-like shot. Hole length approximately 260 feet.
Cons: Saftey issues- some of the holes were to close for comfort. A shanked drive could easily result in a disc on another fairway. "Fore" was used often during our two rounds
The baskets for the back six needed to be mach 3's as the baskets used seemed to have a cheeply made chains.
Back nine worse than front- if i was just rating the front nine and back six this would easily be a 4.5. I think the lack of elevation on the back nine left more to expect.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course in the middle of suburban illinois and without the saftey issues and a better back nine it could become a real gem.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun Fun Fun (Doug Doug Doug)
Pros: This is an extremely fun course. There are tons of pin positions out there and the course has been new to me every time I play there. The course is now 24 holes instead of 18. The front 9 here is very filled with elevation and is in turn the best part of the course. Hole 5 is one of the most signature holes in IL. It is a downhill gap shot through large trees onto a legit island. There are a couple par 4s here depending on the pin positions. Hole 7 is fun downhill rip hole. Hole C is very cool hole with 2 routes, an outside hyzer route and an up the middle route with the fairway sloping towards ob. The cliff hole E is always a classic and a tricky shot to stay in bounds on.
Cons: The signage and pin position indicators are not the best. This course has a large amount of flat holes. Many of the holes are too open and allow for a hyzer too often. The new golden baskets feel cheaply made and I have seen a lot of bad spits with them.
Other Thoughts: Make sure you use a spotter on hole 5. Watch for other park users.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: this course has it all long holes short holes water hazard trees lots of hills
Cons: the signs to the course are needed and to next hole
Other Thoughts: I did lose a disc on 16 I will play this next time I'm in town. It meanders throghout the park giving players a nice long hilly walk
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multiple basket locations for each hole that can change from week to week. The grass is always mowed. There are uphill, downhill, over the stream, far-far-away, and close-up shots available. Sometimes, there is even a free disc on the ground. This park gets lots of play and you get to see some really good players throw.
Cons: It can be difficult to play alone without a spotter. Sometimes, you have to search for basket location, which slows game play. There is also falling walnuts in the autumn. The only other con I can think of is, fatigue. Which for me, equals errant shots and frustration. This is a personal con, I'm sure.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course, which is an extreme pro. I have been playing Sinnissippi for over 10 years. I have seen it morph many times over the years. It has become a very full and rich, play experience. I used to work (in Florida) with a pro. He stated that this was one of his favorite parks and knew it well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Really nice park course
Pros: The course plays through a pretty park with some nice hills on the front 9 and mostly flat terrain on the back. Much of the course plays through stands of mature trees, with some occasional brush if you throw way off line. There are some nice water hazards on a few of the holes to add a little risk, my favorite hole by far was hole 5 playing steeply downhill with a creek just left of the basket and a sidewalk ob a little to the right. It's fun to try to get as close as possible without going ob, and discs that get wet aren't too hard to retrieve.
The front 9 is more technical, with lots of shorter holes that require accurate line shaping through the trees. The back 9 tests your distance game a little more, and most holes still have enough trees that a poor drive can easily lead to a bogey. There are some holes that force a left to right or right to left shot, and a great balance of uphill and downhill shots that make for good variety throughout the course.
There are decent tee signs, and good concrete tees that seemed plenty large and grippy. The baskets are older, but still seemed to catch just fine. There are alternate pin positions that looked like they would change up how the course played quite a bit. The course flow is very good, there was no question of where to go next while navigating the course.
Cons: I prefer to have the current pin position marked on the sign somehow so that you don't have to walk ahead to see where the basket is and where to throw. I liked the alternate placements, I just like to see a little better signage for them. Many of the tees had some erosion around them, making for awkward steps on long run ups or a follow through off the front of the tee.
There are several places on the front 9 where picnic areas and walking trails conflict with the course and a couple of these are blind adding a little more safety hazard. Be prepared to wait on walkers on a nice day.
The back 9 is less fun and interesting than the front, especially going from fun hills to flat terrain, so it's a little bit of a let down. The course could really use a few tight holes that really force you to hit a specific line to test more of a player's game.
Other Thoughts: This is a very fun course that makes great use of the park. I would definitely recommend a stop here if you're anywhere near, it's worth a little extra driving. I liked the front 9 better than the back, but it's a challenging and interesting course with lots of variety.
Beginners might be a little frustrated with some of the more punitive holes and the distance on the back 9. More experienced players will find many aspects of their game tested here, and will enjoy the variety and challenge this course has to offer.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
This course Rocks!!
Pros: This park, besides being beautiful, is one of the best courses I've thrown. The front 9 are simply the best. Hole 5 is easily the coolest hole I've ever played. Elevation changes make the first 8 holes fairly challenging. Really liked holes 3, 5, 7, and 8.
Cons: Not too many cons here. Back 9 is kinda flat compared to the front, but still challenging. Walking path is a must watch for peds, or bikes. Grass was well maintained, but there was garbage laying around, which I didn't understand since there are trash cans all over the Park. Basically just lazy people who toss their garbage wherever. Respect the park if you come to play!!
Other Thoughts: Overall, great scenic, challenging course. Can't say enough about hole #5.
If you've got a full day to play, I recommend starting at Krape Park in Freeport, then hitting Sinnissippi , followed by Nims Park in Rock Falls, like 5 minutes away. Nims is a compact little 18 holer, with absolutely no challenge, but a chance for Ace on every shot.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Great rolling hills on holes 1-8
-Beautiful park alongside the Rock river
-Well designed holes
-Multiple pin sleeves keep things fresh
-Hole 5 is amazing (Throw down hill over a walking path and creek onto what amounts to an island green created by a bend in the creek)
-Back 10 have more length than the front (which isn't all that short either, just no muti-shot holes)
Cons: -Concrete pads are mostly narrow and not of consistent size or shape
-Back 10 holes are relatively flat
-Some holes throw over a walking path and can create delays as the path is heavily used on nice days
-Park closes at dusk and a sign claims that they will lock the gate on you if your not out in time
Other Thoughts: If the entire course resembled the first 8 holes it would be nearly a five. The temporary holes added for the Sinnissippi Open are awesome, playing along the edge of the bluff overlooking the river.
While you are out here play Nims park if you want a laugh. It features 18 holes in a park that has room for maybe 5. You only need a putter on this course. Hole #'s are spray painted on trees with an arrow indicating which basket to play to (many are in view at all tees).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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