The Front 9 Rocks! Back 9 Not So Much!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Robert Morris Park is a large lakeside park on the east side of Kalamazoo. As you drive in, you'll see baskets on both sides of the road. There is a $5 entrance fee that you place in the envelope and deposit in their little lockbox. This morning, I was the only person in the park. The park, besides the lake, has bathrooms, picnic area and a nice playground.
The disc golf course starts on the left side of the large parking lot. A sign points you toward the first hole. There is a practice basket here, a kiosk, garbage cans and a picnic table. The tee pads are rough, as in old and kinda worn or roughed, as in made with a roughed in, more textured surface for added traction. The tee signs are nice green/white ones showing the route.
The course starts out with a bang with hole 1 being a very cool, very rugged 370' drive up through this washed out, rugged valley. The basket is not visible from the tee pad but sits up just past the top of this hill.
# 2 is a 262' hole through a gauntlet of small trees. I call it my Batman hole as in Pow! Smack! Thump! and Bam! I hit every tree on my way to the basket.
# 3. After playing 1100 courses, I'm still seeing stuff I've never encountered anywhere else. The # 3 and # 6 holes share a bench here and this bench is 16' long! Nice idea.
# 4 is a 371' uphill so it plays more like 450'.
# 5 is just a nice normal, 189' Hyser Ace Run.
8 & 9 are both amazing short Ace Runs. 8 is just a short little (149') anhyser shot. # 9 is awesome. It's a short 170' downhill with a nasty little drop off behind. It's quite easy to fly past the basket and land up against the fence. That can turn a possible Ace into a 3 or 4 quickly. The epitome of risk/reward.
Now you're back at he parking lot.
# 10 is a long, difficult uphill hole that is listed at 486'. It has play more like a 600' hole when the uphill is factored in. Weiny arms like me are in trouble here. # 11 is 470' to a basket tucked over a small hill and sitting close to the park entrance road. Next # 12 plays along a steeply banked fairway to the visible basket 411' away.
# 14 requires a big arm to throw over the treetops to a basket 465' away but also goes up a small hill towards the end.
15 is just boring, straight and open 352' out.
# 17 is a difficult 560' slight uphill with a tight fairway.
But then # 18 is worth the price of a ticket by itself. It's kind of a cross between diabolical and wonderful. It's 327' downhill, very straight and very narrow and way down there at the bottom is the basket. And me, who can't keep a disc on a line for 50' fires away my disc flies perfectly straight, all the time just skimming the plants and bushes on the right side.........only to barely catch one of the last bushes. So much fun!
Robert Morris plays at an intermediate level but is a total blast for an aging, recreational player like myself. And yes, it's a nice workout, as well. Not one of those courses that is so long and grueling that you're totally done when you finish. This is more like, I finished 18, do I have enough in the tank for another round. I think if I were a local, I'd play a lot of 27 hole rounds thus getting to play the yummy front 9 two times.
Cons: The front 9 wowed me. The back 9 did not. I found it pretty average except for # 18.
A pet peeve of mine (and others as well) is the # 4 tee pad is slanted slightly uphill with the contour of the land. When you are already cursed with a weiny arm, throwing from a upwards leaning pad only magnifies the dire situation that you find yourself in.
I don't care for fairways carved out of tall grass. The tall grass isn't really a rough, it's more of a nuisance than anything that forces you to spend time hunting for your disc.
# 15 hole is boring and out of place on this course.
I have to agree with reviewer davetherocketguy regarding # 10. When I finally summited the hill after 3-4 throws, I looked around and around trying to locate the basket. The sign wasn't exactly accurate as to the location.
$5 park entry fee isn't that much but for some players it could add up if you played here often. There was nobody home so I couldn't inquire about a yearly pass. A previous reviewer said $30.
Other Thoughts: As I came up the hill on # 10' there were a flock of turkeys eyeballing me. I think they were sizing me up as their food source for the entire winter. I guess they decided I wasn't worthy the danger or perhaps they had watched me throwing with pin point accuracy and terrific velocity and realized, that I was not to be taken lightly.
I would rate the front 9 a strong 4.0. The back 9 including 18, I rate a 3.0. Don't count 18 and I give it an average 2.5. Together, I'll go with a 3.5. There are some terrific, really memorable holes here at Robert Morris.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This to me is the premier park in the area , costs $5.00 to get in per car load but well worth it, good signage, great lay out , and great use of natural turrain ( used to be an old ski lodge ) also during season has a beach and enmities.
Cons: Tall grass up on the flats sometimes hard to find your disc.
Other Thoughts: Something for everyone first 9 is technical second 9 long arm .
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Best Course in Kalamazoo County
Pros: - Truly an intermediate course. One of those courses that strikes the perfect balance of not too hard and too easy. The kind of course for those who love disc golf are going to love this course regardless of skill level.
- Elevation changes abound here making shot selection very interesting. The use of the hills and landscape are really what makes this course great.
- The wooded holes of 1 through 9 will challenge anyone with the super tight lines needed to make any semblance of progess down the fairway. Big arms will love ripping it on the back 9 where everything is more open
- The baskets are definitely aging well and for the most part have been kept up.
- Benches are all over this course which is really nice after wandering up and down the hills.
- Maybe I played at a good time but this course had little to no trash anywhere.
- Very nice multiuse park setting on a small lake with nice bathrooms on site.
- Tee signs are definitely informative and for the most part in good shape. All the distances seemed to be correct.
- There are white flags on most of the baskets...WOW! Those are so handy especially on hole 1.
- Great use of risk/reward in many areas especially with some super duper fast greens like #11. #9 was really fast too but that's borderline absurd.
- #18 is a hoot. You make the narrow alley downhill a bird for your average noodle-arm is a very real possibility.
Cons: - The biggest con for me is the lack of next tee signs in key areas. For example, 9 to 10, 5 to 6, 10 to 11 and 16 to 17. Most of the time just following the path seems to work okay but some next tee signs would be nice.
- I'm all for a fast green but #9 is almost over the top.
- Navigating #10 fairway was confusing. You throw up a gigantic hill and then walking up to the top...where's the basket? I think this is one of the few spots I've seen on a disc golf course where a sign pointing to the basket would do wonders.
- Speaking of #10 fairway...I think the one of two design flaws on the course is how close the #11 fairway comes to #10. It's a little too close. The second flaw IMHO is how close #13 comes to the fence adjacent to H Ave. Huckers beware...that is a busy county road and letting one fly onto that pavement means only bad things will happen.
- Some of the wooded holes are just a little too narrow. #2 is a great example. This hole requires a 200' laser beam straight shot down a 8' gap is kinda silly.
- Hate to admit this but there is a bit of a frustrating theme with some of these tees. Throwing your first shot up and over a hill is...aggravating.
- On the back nine there is a bit of proliferation of tall prairie grass which can make finding discs in the height of summer nightmarish at best.
Other Thoughts: While this is a pay to play course I was so happy with the disc golf experience I would happily pay the $5 without hesitation everytime I come here. Even though I picked on the navigation issues pretty hard after going through the course once the layout does make sense. This course is worth driving a ways to get here. I would argue that its the best course in the Kalamazoo County.
It's almost too bad that the water never comes into play on any of this course with such a nice lake nearby.
And a special message to those that have decided to add their bit of phalic artwork to many of the really nice tee signs: There is a special place in hell for the likes of you right between the child molesters and those that talk during movies.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
A good reason to visit Comstock on my way home from K'zoo
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well executed course features plenty of variety.
• Disc Play: Fairways run from tightly wooded to completely open with most filling the spectrum between those extremes. Reasonable mix of straight/L/R fairways requiring various shot shaping abilities off the tee. Most fairways offer a variety of lines off the tee (some obvious, some more creative), with a few that really limit you to maybe one or two routes. Distances range from under 200' to over 500', with the most doing a decent job filling in the gaps along the way. About half the holes feature sizeable elevation changes, with uphills and downhills that do more than simply change effective hole length. A few sloped greens present nasty rollaway potential on putts and approaches. Does a decent (but not outstanding) job of combining these attributes to create a course that's reasonably challenging, well-balanced on the whole, making for quite a fun round.
The front plays decidedly shorter and tighter, with some well-guarded pins; placement off the tee is the key to low scores. The back nine features much more open terrain with distance off the tee followed by a reasonably well-placed upshot being the key to success. Taken together they provide enough variation to provide a fairly complete discing experience. This course should prove pretty challenging for most players, but not unreasonably so (especially if you have the distance to give yourself birdie ops on some holes where we noodle arms have no hopes of doing so).
• Equipment/Maintenance: Concrete tees and baskets were in excellent condition. Baskets not visible due to elevation changes were flagged to help get a bead on your target. Tee signs show general shape and distance from multiple tees (see other thoughts). Fairways were nicely mowed and the course was clean. Everything was well-maintained and in fine shape.
• Routing/Nav: Laid out with holes 1-9 on one side of the park road, and 10-18 on the other side, with both loops starting fairly close to the parking lot, so you can easily start on 1 or 10 to avoid traffic and keep things flowing smoothly. Finding the next tee was pretty easy for the most part, and I actually think I spent more time locating baskets once I got to the tee than I did getting from hole to hole. The tee signs provide a rough idea of the shape, but as a 1st timer, I simply had to scout ahead (mostly on holes 10 -18) to get an idea of where I really wanted to throw.
Laid out to avoid interactions with other park goers for the most part, but the back 9 seems open enough that you might find some walkers innocently enjoying stroll without realizing they'd stumbled onto a "course."
• Aesthetics - Typically pleasant park setting with rolling hills, woods, and prairies makes for a nice escape. Unfortunately, only the approach/putt on #18 brings you within view of the lake, which is probably what most would consider the park's most pleasant feature.
Retaining walls around some of the pins give the course a cleaner look while combating soil erosion.
• Memorable holes:
#1 - uphill through plenty of trees makes this a tough hole, especially starting out.
#4 - invitingly open, uphill fairway sweeping up to a semi-guarded basket.
#9 - short downhill Ace Run through the woods with trouble behind the pin.
#10 - begs for a monster RHBH hyzer up a tall,steep hill, with a very strong fade as basket is well tucked away off the fairway with trouble behind waiting for overzealous upshots.
# 13 - RHBH hyzer (very reachable with the down hill) that requires great placement to get a look at birdie, with a risc disc loss if you lose control.
#18 - downhill tunnel challenges you to keep it long and straight without flipping or fading into the brush.
• #12's a long, straight, open hole running parallel to the entry road - quite foreseeable that RHBH players will occasionally turn one over or grip-lock one into the road. That said, I'm not sure putting one into the road necessarily translates into "likely to hit a car," given that the park didn't seem busy on a nice Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, I hold a certain contempt for holes where quite foreseeable shots present a reasonable possibility of involving non-DG traffic of any sort.
• Several fairways on the back 9 are lined with tall prairie grass that makes finding discs a royal pain without affecting play in any other way. Tip of the hat for mowing a couple of paths into the long strip separating 12 and 15, but I think they should have mowed a bit more aggressively on holes 13, 14, and perhaps 11? Missing the fairway by a couple of feet shouldn't mean a 15 minute search to find your disc.
• While the course offers a pretty good balance on the whole, each half can feel a tad repetitive unto itself.
• I appreciate they were trying to reward distance on the back 9, but it really doesn't punish uncontrolled distance.
Other Thoughts: Great course, offering a fun and challenging round with a little of everything.
• No clue why multiple tees are noted on the signs or Hole Info page. Course has a single set of concrete pads corresponding to the distances for the longs. Never saw a marker, flag, worn patch of grass, or any blessed hint of an alternate tee. Perhaps the signs were made with multiple tees in mind and they either a) never happened, or b) will be added at a later date.
• Wind can certainly be a factor, particularly on the back 9.
• Although I wish they'd mowed a bit deeper into the "rough" on holes 11-14, it most definitely was not a course maintenance issue. All the fairways were well-mowed. They made a conscious decision as to what should/shouldn't be cut. I just think they should have been a bit more judicious about it.
• Leaving this course, there's was no doubt in my mind it's a 3.75... no more, or no less. But since that's not an option, I sit here now, forced to click 3.5 or 4.0. Despite the balanced variety, some good design, and great upkeep, I don't think it quite compares to some of courses I've rated 4.0.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: technical course, well laid out. alot of tight shots through trees, one has a water hazard where i lost a disc (#11), long fairways on the back 9 and its #5 per carload of people and they have people who check your tags.
Cons: no room on some holes for any error at all, you get little "tree love" on some holes. could be a little better, but its a nice course
Other Thoughts: careful on #17...its 500 feet and ton of giant grass on the left where alot of discs come up missing.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
A little bit of everything
Pros: -Great variety
-Tight, technical shots
-Long, bomber shots
-Well kept grounds
Cons: -Ridiculously long/hard shots are all rated par 3
-Near a lake but no water in play
-Easy to lose a disc in the brush
-Nice elevation changes
Other Thoughts: I love to hate Robert Morris. The course is well-designed with lots of variety, but it's so darn difficult to stay on par. I love a good challenge, but some of those 500-600 foot holes just feel like they should be closer to a par 4 or 5. This course will truly test you and your accuracy. It's a must for any serious disc golfer in the area or passing through.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Shot Variation. This place has pretty much all you can ask for besides the water being in play. Tight Wooded, Bombers, Up and Downhill.
- Place is pretty good of a work out with lots of elevation variation.
- Signs makes it pretty easy to find your way around and know where to go.
-Tee pads Pretty nice Tee Pads here, minus hole 10(it's all rough looking)
-Grass is managed pretty well (as it should be with pay to play)
Cons: - For a pay to play, there isn't nearly as many trash cans and benches as there should be.
-The staff seems to be pretty unfriendly
-On a Sunny or Windy day the Back 9 can be pretty rough as a lot of it's open without shade or trees.
-It used to have a water hole but they took this out(atleast I have been told this)
-They run out of Score Cards(for a pay to play it should have them)
Other Thoughts: First hole was kind of hard to find, it's starts in the woods right by the water, but the sign is hard to see from the parking lot.
This place is pretty good and has a lot of fun holes. I think for the pay to play factor makes this a place that I don't really want to come back to. Cold Brook is about the same in distance and more enjoyable. However if I lived in the Kzoo area and there was a small annual fee it may be worth it as there is swimming here too.
Also from what I saw if you walk in its free, but I didn't think there was parking anywhere by it and it's a walk to the first hole.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
I love this course!
Pros: Tee Pads: Concrete and plenty long enough.
Fairways: Some wide some narrow. All unique.
Baskets: Nice quality baskets.
Amenities: Bathrooms available. Benches. Ample Parking.
Overall: Well maintained. Tons of diversity between holes. Some are long some are short. Some are hyzer, but some are anhyzer or forehand. Some have hills, but some are flat. Some are wide open, but some are really tight.
Cons: In an attempt to dress up a few of the baskets, the park maintenance people added retainer walls around a couple of baskets which looks awesome, but made the baskets too low to the ground.
Other Thoughts: This is my personal favorite course as of 2012. I love its diversity. The 18th is such a fun hole to end on. It is so well maintained and has a ton more to offer other than disc golf if you're interested. There are picnic areas, a really nice swimming beach, a playground and more.
Both a pro and a con is that they charge for people to play. Last I checked, it was $5 per car or $30 for a season pass. Most of the time this would be a con. However, it keeps the lame ppl that want to trash the course away and it pays the people that keep this course looking so nice. I get my season pass and play there as often as I can... it's well worth it!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
One of My Favorites
Pros: - Fantastic variety of holes.
- Elevation changes throughout.
- High level of challenge that will test the skills of nearly everyone.
- Occasionally they will move the pins or utilize additional tee pads to create variety from year to year.
- Excellent plot of land that is well-maintained.
- Clear distinction between front and back nines; can play either or both and this also helps facilitate a good flow of players through the course.
- No dogs. Some people consider this a con but not me. I personally like to keep my shoes and discs devoid of canine fecal matter.
Cons: - On a really windy day, some holes on the back nine will annihilate your confidence in your skills.
- They replaced what was once a cool over-the-water-to-the-right shot on hole #9 with a lackluster downhill wooded ~180ft shot.
- Friends have mentioned discourtious staff, although I've never had an issue.
Other Thoughts: - Easily the nicest course in Kalamazoo. If you're coming through town to play Oshtemo and/or Cold Brook, do not overlook Robert Morris. If you live in Kalamazoo and you've never tried R.M., do yourself a favor and make the drive out.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course, Best in Kzoo Area
Pros: This is an excellent course and the best in the Kzoo Area. It is maintained greatly and is never repetitive. All holes are fun and make for a great challenge. The park it self is beautiful in the summer. I have only played this course once but would love to play it again.
Cons: NO BEER, and like said before the teenage park rangers are on a power trip.
Signs could be a little better showing more obstacles.
Some holes are blind, but I guess that is part of the fun and challenge of the park.
$5 to play.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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