You'll Get A Workout And A Chance To Throw Some Air!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: George Wilson park is a ???? I don't know exactly what this wonderful hill is used for? Is it for tubing? Can't be skiing, can it? I think it's a pretty awesome chunk of land for a disc golf course. There is a $2 entrance fee but if the booth is closed, it's free. Today was a free day. I played Faurette Baugh DGC about five miles from here earlier today and it was $4 to play a flat course in the trees. That's makes old George Wilson a pretty fair deal, in my book.
There is a disc golf code of ethics sign at the start. Of course, I memorized it. There's a practice basket and a sign warning about flying discs. I parked right where everyone says not to and when I got ready to tee off on # 9 with the wind gusting, I could see why parking here isn't the best idea.
The baskets are mostly older models except for the brand new Mach III on # 3, I think. The concrete pads are fine and the new signs are great showing the route and everything else. The tee pad on # 5 is the most heavy duty pad I've ever seen. You could park a tank on it.
The course starts on the parking lot side of the fence and play up the hill with the fence on your right. There were some fun throws on the front 9. I liked # 5 throwing from he woods out to an open basket just 250' away. # 7, at 335', was a cool down and then up the other steep hillside. The basket is set at the top of this hill with 15 wooden steps leading the way. Then # 9 gives you a chance to air it out, with he basket down behind some trees 485' way down here. And try not throw into the parking lot.
I liked the back 9 more. # 12 was a cool, slightly downhill, 252' to a basket tucked in beside a big tree. # 13 should challenge most players. It's 345' and slightly uphill but then the fairway cuts tightly into the woods with the basket back there about 125'. You need arm strength, accuracy and some luck to score well on this hole. 15-18 were all great holes, IMO. # 15 is a slightly downhill toss with a sloping hillside on your left. Then # 16 is a big downhill with the basket tucked in by some trees 430' away.
# 17 is a nice change of pace. It's 200' straight across to a barely visible basket set on a steep hillside. Over shoot this hole and you'll have to walk down a ways and play back up. And by this time, most players will be fairly gassed. And then # 18 is the classics "Top of the World" hole. It's 590' to a basket set out in he open. No place to get into trouble here but I'm betting you can't just throw one!
Cons: The course does have this slightly neglected run-down vibe to it with older baskets, a missing sign on 14 and some evidence of trash around. There's nothing fresh here excepting that single new basket and the nice signs.
The wind was a big factor today and I suspect that is the norm here.
Is $2 to play really a con? Really, the price of a Coke?
There are erosion and compacted soil issues.
The stairs on # 7 could use some work.
Course is quite a workout. You should be a little tired by 18.
Other Thoughts: I think this course has a wealth of really enjoyable holes, mostly downhills, but also some of the more level ones like # 11 and # 17, as well as some uphills. There is a really nice mix of hole types and then you end with the epic # 18. Because it's open with no chance of losing your disc here, it's a perfect hole to throw the entire contents of your bag. How far can you fire your can of sunscreen? Your mini marking disc? My towel didn't carry much at all.
I don't quite understand the lack of love this course gets. I'm a fan.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid, but...Rum Village is better.
Pros: -Variety in tee shots (front 9). Distances vary and has a decent mix of left and right turning shots.
-2 big let er rip holes (9 and 18) that produce a scenic view.
-Part of the course, mainly the front 9, feeds through the woods for some tricky anhyzer shots (RHBH)
-Trash cans near quite a few holes.
-Many benches to sit on or set your bag on.
-Mini pro shop at the gate that sells some Innova discs as well as Gatorade/water.
-Challenging woods shots with tight lines on the front 9.
-New tee/pin placement on hole 13 is awesome. Huge hyzer shot that goes into the woods far. Tough but really fun.
-3 par ratings. Basically newbie, novice, and pro/advanced where everything is a 3 par.
-Cool pavillion up near holes 17 and 18.
-Baskets are in fair shape, although hole 6 in the woods is tilted sideways quite a bit.
Cons: -$2 bucks to play, while neighboring Rum Village is free.
-Speaking of which, if you're in the area and only have time to play 1 course, play Rum. More challenging/fun at least in my opinion.
-You have to walk backwards rather than forward to hole 6 after finishing hole 5 which is a bit odd. However, it appears as if hole 5 will be getting a new pin placement to counteract this.
-While Wilson is no doubt a good course, the back 9 becomes very repetitive and easy. Hence why playing Rum may be a better idea, much more variety.
-Fair warning: especially in the summer you will find that Wilson is a pot smoker haven, especially on hole 7 where "bros" tend to herd at a bench and play hacky sack.
-Not the cleanest course. Despite numerous trash cans, there is constantly bottles everywhere. On hole 17's original tee pad there seems to be a bottle gathering in a bush.
Other Thoughts: -Be sure to park way up near the practice basket as many errant tee shots tend to go flying right off the hill on hole 9 into the parking lot. Especially on windy days.
-It seems as if Wilson is getting an upgrade as far as new tees/pin placements go. I have updated the distances according to the scorecard from the front gate.
-Overall Wilson is a solid place to play. To me the front 9 is way more fun and challenging. A lot more variety in terms of pin placements. The back 9 isn't awful, but a few holes are eerily similar.
-Nice to see the park mixing up the tees/pin placements, interested to see what else they do!
-It is a must play in the South Bend area for sure, but like I mentioned Rum Village is a much better course that provides trickier tee shots and boasts more variety overall.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Some real high elevated shots nice wooded area part of the course bathrooms
Cons: Trash all over broken glass some bad erosion
Other Thoughts: The first hole is kinda weird with the fence right next to you but you'll learn to love it haha
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Rolling hills and rolling discs
Pros: The biggest pro at George Wilson is the elevation change. Putting a course on a piece of property that also has a sledding hill is nothing short of brilliant in this very flat area of the country. This elevation is used creatively as well. Most shots that can be imagined are available here. You have your epic downhill bombs like 9 and 18, your narrow fairways with dangerous rollaway potential like 8 and 17, uphill shots like 13, and pins on slanted greens like 15. When you add in unpredictable wind conditions you get a course that will never play the same twice. I absolutely hate courses that largely play around open fields, but this is one that I will return to and would recommend because the open field here isn't flat. You only get three open/easy shots in the flat during your round.
The amenities available here are a plus as well. Although I didn't actually see the inside of the bathrooms, the very fact that they exist is a positive. Add in a picnic table and a practice basket, and you have a course that did it right.
The cement teepads are long and grippy, and the front nine had ample signage. I didn't see any guidance to the next pad, but George Wilson flows pretty well, so very little is needed.
There are a lot of interesting shots here, including some near obstacles like the electrical towers and the "teepee" that doubles as a sledding shelter. Most of the trees and brush in the back nine come into play as well, and the front nine plays into and around a wooded area that keeps things from getting repetetive.
The view! I grew up in Indiana, and I had no idea that it could have a view. Granted, I prefer to see lakes and mountains, but George Wilson is still a pretty course.
Cons: The biggest con to me was probably the cost. I don't mind paying to play a course. It keeps the rabble out and allows us elite golfers in fancy pants and spiked shoes to drink mai tais and thumb our noses at the poor commoners who don't have $2 to spare. But to be charged an extra $1 just because you had to drive from a different county is asinine. They'll take you at your word if you say you live there, but still. I don't understand the need to penalize players for coming from farther away. Courses in this area are pretty spaced out and every one I've seen has plenty to offer, so if I'm willing to spend more on gas to get here I don't think I should also have to pay more to play. I also feel that any course that is pay to play should use the money wisely. The upkeep of the grounds was great, but a lot of the baskets had seen better days (hole eight being in the worst shape), and most of the back nine had no signage whatsoever. I'm guessing the lack of signage was due to the fact that the baskets back there are taken down for sledding season, but still. Signs are cheap, and people are giving you money to play. Use it for something more than just gas.
Biggest con number two: Par. Really? I know that I can play it at pro par, but I like to play courses at the par that they set. Course par should never be a gimme. The par on hole 15 was just stupid. Anyone who fails to eagle that hole had better be a righty throwing left handed, crippled, or throwing the wrong way on their initial drive. Holes 5, 9, and 16-18 are set pretty high as well. Every hole should be a par three. I'll give some grace and call holes 9 and 18 par 4s due to distance (even though they're downhill), but other than that? Come on. I noticed this problem on a few holes at Ox Bow too, and I'm really at a loss about it. Michigan is supposed to be a hotbed of disc golf, and it's just a few miles away. I hear that a lot of pros play in this area too. So why on earth are pro par and course par so drastically different?
Now that I'm done ranting about what really bothered me, I'll throw out a few less maddening cons:
The practice basket is hidden behind the bathrooms, so you won't see it until you finish hole nine.
Most of the holes with obstacles or defined fairways are lefty friendly. You can make up for it by throwing your preferred shots out in the field, but I at least have to point this out. All holes with brush or trees helping to shape your shot seem to recommend a right turning shot, with the exception of a few that offer options.
As I previously stated, the course flows pretty well, but navigation would have still been confusing at some points if I hadn't been playing with course regulars. At least put some tape on the baskets.
Other Thoughts: Despite the detailed list of cons I just threw out, I would still recommend this course to anyone passing through the area or living here. I'll leave it up to your conscience whether you lie about living nearby in order to save a dollar though. If you're just passing through I would say to play Rum Village first, but that's just a matter of personal preference because I like more technical courses. George Wilson is a really fun round though that will require you to be creative at times and will never play the same way twice. I will definitely be stopping in again the next time I'm in Indiana.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Good DG, Trashy Park
Pros: Really like this park. They were charging to get in $2/player. A lot of families on the course and there were 2 groups of 10 playing, but the course didn't feel crowded. Only saw 3-4 people out of ~50-60 people carrying bags - mainly 1 disc throwers.
I believe they sell some discs in the 'pro shop'
Really like that you start out short. Hole 1 with the fence right along the fairway is a little unnerving, but slowly the course builds into the woods and back out till you get to the top of the hill and have a long hole to open up the open part of the course.
Hole 9 is back to the gate and is a 490' downhill slope.
Hole 18 is a 600' downhill that ends at the gate also. The best part is that there are picnic tables at the gate and restroom building that you can sit and watch people throw on the long holes.
First part of the course has variety with woods and open, second part of course is all open with longer holes interspersed with short holes.
Fun overall, probably best course in area. Not real challenging, better to use 54 as par rather than posted for a little more challenge.
Cons: Trash everywhere, completely filthy park. Not the worse I have seen, but terrible. Wooded holes are showing bad signs of erosion.
Other Thoughts: A lot of newbie people out when we went this last time. Been out there probably 10 times so far, always been trashy. Used to pick up trash and bag it, don't try anymore. First time I have been charged to play.
7 out of the 10 times I have gone we've been one of 2-4 groups on the course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Best Course in South Bend/Mishwaka area
Pros: This is probably the best course in the SB/Mish area, I have not yet played the one in Niles.
As of right now the course if free to play, I havent payed to get into this place in at least two years.
Good mix of wooded and open holes.
people here are nice and there is hardly ever a wait to play.
Cons: Signs need to be replaced.
Park could be cleaned up a little.
Other Thoughts: This park is much better than Rum Village, it is some what well kept and you don't have to worry about seeing two dudes having butt sex in their car like at Rum Village.
I have also heard talks of them moving some of the pins around too.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Hi, Mr. Wilson!!
Pros: George Wilson Park is one of the most fun courses I have played in my illustrious career. This park provides a chance to have a smooth round without feeling beaten down at the end of the line. There are some great hills here that provide some epic bomb opportunities that even the most consummate of technical players should find highly entertaining even though the challenge factor is quite minimal. The course begins on flat land and winds around through some sparse woods as elevation increases and things eventually open up wide over rolling hills. The frustration level is very low throughout as things are pretty well cut and dried without much chance to become trapped off the fairways pin balling your score into the stratosphere. Keeping within play is readily obtainable on most holes. There are plentiful ace runs on this course as well. Concrete tee pads are present as are a few random trash cans that some people actually use from time to time. The restroom facility is located strategically so that hole 1, the start of the back 9, and the finish all put you right on track to use it if need be.
Cons: The entire back nine, while fun and ego promoting, can be played without much thought. RHBH throws accomplish the job. Right pin placements only occur thrice throughout the entirety of the 18 making your shot bag somewhat useless for much of the time. Holes 10 through 15 feel a bit like fillers, but the lay of the land is something that cannot be changed. This course also loses some shine based on poor or absent signage and graffiti. A few of the baskets were a bit ramshackled. Litter was definitely observable, but was not out of control.
Other Thoughts: This park features a modicum of variety and difficulty but manages to score based on terrain and fun factor. There are a few holes that are unique. The ravine shot to steps at 7 come to mind. Throwing with high voltage towers or giant teepee shelters as obstacles is also something that you don't get to do on every course. Holes 9 and 18 are simple, but the act of airing a disc out over their vastness is so immensely pleasurable. Overall, George was an enjoyable walk and an exercise in fun with some pretty heady views.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Elevation, fun and scenic holes. Unique layouts. You can tell someone "tried" when designing this course.
Holes 15 - 18 are really cool and make up for the blandness of 10-14.
Cons: -Hole 2 - weird pin placement.
-Erosion issues, rocks and ruts all over on the front 9.
-Steep drops off the front of a few pads
-10-14 on the back 9 are one-dimensional. RHBH hyzer all day, only thing that changes is the distance.
-Baskets are beatup, many of the cages hang at an angle.
Other Thoughts: Front 9 is OK, not much I would change there. Back 9 10-14 could be more interesting. 15-18 are the signature holes.
Maybe there needs to be a league out here to teach people how to pick up after themselves. Also most everyone I saw was wayyy casual a league could raise the overall quality of play..
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: As stated earlier, the front and back 9 are
very different. The front 9 requires well placed drives and approach shots. The back 9 is much more open and forgiving.
Great elevation changes! Holes 9 and 18 are worth the price of admission.
Cons: Pay to play course and DG is closed during winter as a sledding park.
Other Thoughts: Hole 7 down and uphill is a classic yet become much easier over the years.
Close to the Rum Village course in SB, same road different town and road names.
I'd compare it to a mini-Brandywine in Delaware which is much more known.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Has some good holes in the woods and down the tubing hills. Normally in good condition.
Cons: Holes 10-13, and 15 are too easy for this course. They are all about 200-220' hyzers and really don't fit the rest of the course. The rest of the holes are so good, the above mentioned are a disappointment.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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