8 Helpful / 0 Not
Best course I've played to date
Pros: -Tons of elevation change, More than I have ever seen at any other disc golf course for that matter.
-Some heavily wooded, super tight and narrow fairways that offer tons of challenge and demand nothing short of an on-target throw.
-Punishing roughs that will cost you at least one or two throws to get out of trouble. There are a couple holes that have a "pinball golf" feel to them as they are so insanely wooded that a lot of luck comes into play, but that adds to the fun. Most wooded holes can be shot well if you have a good finesse game though. I have a lot of respect for courses that punish bad throws and force players to pay for their mistakes and after a round here I have a great deal of respect for this course.
-Extremely straightforward navigation with plenty of signs and obvious foot paths that clearly lead to the next hole
-Good signage that illustrates each hole well
-Alternate tee pads for each hole
-There is an option to play this as an 18 or a 27 hole course (You will want to play the 27, trust me)
-Beautiful forest setting that is quiet and secluded. The only sounds we heard was the sounds of animals in the woods and water flowing over the nearby dam on the Kewaunee river. We also heard tons of gunshots but that is because it was opening day of deer season.
-If you like to hike, This place is for you. After a round here I legitimately felt that I deserved a break before we hit another course in the area. Tons of uphill and downhill hikes through the woods, which was a big plus for me.
-There is a pretty good mix of holes here in the sense that after you played an open hole or two, you were back in the woods. That is somewhat relieving after some of the wooded holes. I absolutely loved the heavily wooded ones but I welcomed a couple open holes here and there in between the tougher ones.
-Hole 15 is an absolute bomber, If you shoot the long tee you are looking at huge downhill throw that clicks in at a hair over 700 feet. Awesome!
-There are not a ton of huge, long holes here but what this course offers instead of tons of distance is challenging, fun, shorter holes. We shot blue tees when we played here and while there were only three or four holes with distances that are above my skill level I feel that just about anyone of any skill level will be working hard to make good shots here. Players with a good finesse game will foresee themselves shooting plenty of deuces but the trees may have other plans for you. Almost all of the open holes are deuceable but in the woods it is another story.
Cons: -Natural tee pads, I wholeheartedly realize that this is being picky but it is a con. They were in rough shape when I played here and on a few holes they were almost unusable. A course of this stature deserves some sort of solid pad option.
-The last few holes were very disappointing after all of the other fantastic holes at this course. Perhaps they could re-work those holes into the woods as well? I think that would be a good change but I can also understand that from a space constraint standpoint it is likely not possible as this park is also used by mountain bikers.
Other Thoughts: This is the slickest course I've played to date. No doubt about it. I pretty much loved every second of it and I am already planning another trip back up this way to play this one and a few of the other awesome courses in the area. I really wanted to play Rollin Ridge but it was closed because it was hunting season so that is just another reason to make the 5 hour drive back up to WI from IL. This course is without a doubt a destination course and to sweeten the deal there are multiple other courses in the area that are also rated very highly.
I wish this course was closer to my house, I could spend an entire weekend at this course, it has so many things around it that I am into. I also spend a lot of time mountain biking single-track trails and I also fish about as much as I disc golf and the river across the street is loaded with salmon and steelhead at the right times of the year.
In response to the course designers comments. The last few holes are by no means any reasons to skip this course. The last two holes are plenty interesting. They are just different than all the other holes. This is a must play course, everything about this course is epic.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: superberry
There has been a bad rap about the last three holes in the past few reviews. Don't let these deter you, these holes add to the variety that makes winter park what it is. While these are technically the ONLY three holes that are not wooded, they are not throw-aways.
Hole 16 is 480' from the blue tees with an OB road the entire length of the left side and an elevated pond on the right to avoid and shape your throw.
Hole 17 is a 90 degree dogleg that offers a slick deuce opportunity if you can punch through the trees, or throw a 400' spike hyzer over 75' tall pines. If you're traying to cut the corner, anything inside the left side fence or short of the pine tree needles is OB. If you play the safe dogleg route, don't go too far (over 350') or you will be OB in a pond.
Hole 18 is 300' entirely across a pond. Not a particularly difficult throw, but a mental challenge.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
by far the best course i have played to date
Pros: -nice park
-huge changes in elevation
-holes 1,2 ,4 make for good warm up holes to get you lose
- holes 7,8,9,a,b,c,d,e made for some of the hardest/ most fun holes i have ever played up on the top of the hill in the woods(not to take away from holes 12,13,g,h,i,14,15 that are awesome i was just on top of my game up on top of the hill) the 8 holes on the top of the hill are all very heavily wooded that force you to throw through really tight windows.
-12,13,g,h,i,14 are all in a valley around a creek and are also awesome holes that really test your skill, g is my my personal my favorite in this section of the course the pad is up on the side of the valley and you throw a tight line back down into it
-15 is super fun you throw from the top of the hill all the way down to the bottom its a bomber but with how high up you are its not hard to get a good way up the fairway. but it is awesome to see your disc fly that far up in the air.
Cons: -this course could really use some better pads
-hole 3 is a really fun hole but i would have liked to get a little more warmed up before a though hole like that
-holes 10,f,11 could be made a little harder being mostly open with woods around them
-after how epic 15 was 16,17,18 were lame being open field shots down near the road that leads to the parking lot and are by far the worst 3 holes on the course. but all of the epic ones more then make up for it
Other Thoughts: i drove from the west burbs of Chicago up here to play and if i only played this course it would be well worth the trip. this blows all of my local courses away.
this is by far the best course i have played. there are many courses down by me that are rated in the 4's but this course is so much better i had to rate it a five maybe if i find something better i might change this to a 4.5 but its a 5 to me until i play something better
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Adventurous Round of Disc Golf
Pros: - Awesome variety in hole design
- Extremely high fun factor
- Good use of terrain (could have been better)
- Nice elevation changes
- High risk/reward greens
- Challenging, yet fair
- Navigation was not a huge problem
- Excellent Atmosphere
- #15 is an awesome hole, one of my favorites of all time
Cons: - Teepads are rough, probably worse when wet
- Some of the walks between holes were a little long
- Navigation was a little confusing at the letter loops.
- Layout could have been a little better planned so the course ended with #15.
Other Thoughts: Overall, Winter Park is definitely a destination course. It is set on a ski and tubing hill and lends itself to being an exciting round of disc golf. With that said, since it is on such terrain it can be extremely tiring and may take a longer amount of time to play than a typical 27 hole course. Bring well supported shoes and plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
It has all the good making of a disc golf course in the course design aspect. It has all types of shots, from tight technical shots, to wide open bombers. Anhyzers and hyzers, uphills and downhills. The designer made good use of the natural terrain to offer players with high risk reward decisions. Roll away greens and thick rough adds to the challenge. A definite positive aspect of the course design is that almost every hole offers a clear and fair line to the basket.
The atmosphere here is nearly unbeatable, it is secluded and extremely rustic and provides an excellent escape from urban civilization.
Teepads are definitely the biggest issue with this course. With the extreme terrain in some spots well constructed concrete teepads could really make a huge difference. Furthermore, with the erosion on some of the natural teepads it is a borderline safety hazard to be throwing from them with a run up.
With a little bit more navigation assistance, a few adjustments to the layout that allow players to finish on current hole #15, and concrete teepads Winter Park could easily be a 5/5 for me. It is definitely worth the trip.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Winter Park Funland!
Pros: Winter Park is located on a small ski hill area. The course has pretty much everything you'd want in terms of land. Water, hills, open, woods, and ravines.
Practice basket near #1 tee.
Innova Discatcher baskets are in good shape. Each had the hole # or letter on them.
The tee signs although homemade printed were very nice. They were located on the standard middle tee.
No 2 holes were the same. Tons of variety! 27 holes of golf. I like to golf!!!
Hole #15 is one of the funnest holes that I've played. What a bomber down the hill.
Hole #18 has some nice pucker factor with the water in play.
This course was not crowded at all. We played on a perfect Saturday afternoon. We saw 1 group when we arrived and 4 others when we left. Freaking awesome!
Cons: The #1 issue I have are the tee pads. I'd consider giving this a 5 review if all the tee pads were taken care of. Many were uneven and very short. Some had trees very close. Luckily I got a dry time to play the course.
Most holes had 2 tees and some had 3. Some were in even worse shape than the regular tees and weren't marked by tee signs.
Navigation can be a little tricky in a few places especially from 13 to G. The letter holes can make it tricky.
Although this coruse has long tees I probably wouldn't play them since they aren't marked. The standard course is more of a traditional par 3 course lacking of par 4's and 5s.
It's too bad more of the ski hill itself was not in play. The area below hole #10 looked awesome!
Other Thoughts: If you are a hard core mountain biker there are some areas trails at this park.
I did not take this into consideration in my rating. If I were to return and play this course I'd play hole #16, 17, 18 then head over to #1. I think #15 should be the finishing hole on this course. What an awesome hole!
What a great day of golf. We stopped by Brillion, WI (Rolling Ridge) on the way up. 2 great courses in 1 day.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) amazing design
2) great use of all the hills, ski runs, and woods
3) variety, variety, variety (great mix of short, long, left, right, straight, up, down, and flat holes...this course will make you use every shot in your bag and then some)
4) very well maintained
5) practice basket
6) nice Discatcher baskets
7) very descriptive signs
8) great risk reward on most all of the holes
Cons: 1) although they offered great grip the gravel tee pads. I understand that cement pads aren't possible because of the skiing in the winter but I still am not the biggest fan of the gravel.
2) a little tough to navigate the first time thru the course, I'd have been lost about 6 times if I'd not been with someone who was familiar with the course my first time thru.
Other Thoughts: Amazing, amazing course, I'll certainly be playing this again and again even though I live an hour away. Hole 15 is just the most awesome hole I've ever played, 710ft with a hundred or so feet of elevation drop, it's just amazing. At ~8,100 feet from the blue tees and probably 10,000-11,000 feet (maybe even more) of total walking distance it is a grueling hike, you will sleep well the night after you play this course. And lastly...EVERYONE MUST PLAY THIS COURSE AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIFETIME!!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Winter Wonder Land
Pros: - Winter Park is a 27 hole behemoth of epic proportions. Massive elevation changes, brutally punishing roughs, extremely technical fairways (among the tightest I've encountered), excellent shot and hole variety, several water holes, and stunning scenery all come into play. The course can be tackled as an 18-holer by skipping the lettered holes, or as the full 27.
- Built on and around a large ski hill, the elevation changes are spectacular. Uphill and downhill shots are balanced nicely, with undulating fairways on a couple of holes. # 15 is a large downhill bomb measuring over 700 feet long.
- The risk/ reward on many holes is outstanding. Hit a good line and be rewarded with deuce and/or par opportunities. Miss and risk ending up in disc golfer purgatory. Often, a recovery shot is needed just to make it back to the fairway. Occasionally, not even a recovery shot is possible in the super thick woods lining the fairways, such as the woods to the right on #2.
- Many holes require extreme precision in order to score well. "Pinball" takes on a whole new meaning as several of the shorter length holes provide only the narrowest of gaps between trees. Hole E comes to mind.
- Shot selection is well-covered throughout. Winter Park goers should expect to utilize every disc and throw every shot in their bags.
- Red, blue, and gold tees allow discers of varying skill to enjoy Winter Park.
- Practice basket located near the donation box. Port-a-potties throughout the course as well as by the parking lot.
Cons: - The tee pads are the most obvious detraction from Winter Park's awesomeness. While I understand that concrete tees aren't an option due to other activities that take place on site, there is no getting around the fact that the tee pads are sub-optimal, and in places, even below average for natural tees. The golds are the most egregious offenders with a few tees comprised of uneven, mushy, sandy gravel.
Even a few of the better packed gravel blue tees are rutted or washed out. With the extreme technicality and (in places) lengthy distances, the less-than-stellar tee pads can only be considered a con.
- While the signage is sufficient to find your way around with a little work, the overall flow can be a bit confusing. Mountain bike trails zigzag across and along the fairways, and can easily lead you in the wrong direction. Gold tees aren't well marked and would be next to impossible to find without a guide. Several holes have long hikes between them. A few places (e.g., 13, G, H and I) are tricky even with signage.
- While the outstanding terrain remains a major asset, it can make playing the course a treacherous and exhausting affair. I'm a fairly fit young adult used to climbing all over the place on rough-terrained courses, and even I found several spots at Winter Park to be extremely tricky to navigate. If you stay in the fairway, much of this can be avoided; however, all but the best players can expect to be in the rough at some point during their round. Some efforts have been made to alleviate these problems, but even the earthen steps cut into the hillside have washed out a bit, becoming dangerous to traverse. Those not up for a major hike might want to play an easier course instead. On the other hand, those who love "adventure" golf will find Winter Park right up their alley.
- The course is pretty much closed and/or altered significantly during the winter months to accommodate the skiing/sledding portions of the park.
- A few holes play alongside roadside, skiing equipment, and maintenance buildings. This detracts somewhat from the seclusion and pristine nature vibe that surrounds much of the course.
Other Thoughts: - Don't be fooled by the lengthy "cons" section. If you love wildly challenging disc golf then Winter Park is a destination course. If tame park-style courses are more your thing, then definitely steer clear unless looking for an epic beatdown.
-Please make sure to hit up the donation box before playing. A few select individuals proposed, designed, implemented, and maintain Winter Park with their own time, money, and labor. It's obviously a labor of love and should be supported by all that play there.
- Super thanks to superberry and Erin for guiding us!!!
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winter Park is an amazing piece of property with an equally amazing course. It has 27 total holes and 9 of them are additional holes that can easily be skipped if you only have time to play 18 holes. There are two tees per hole and a few holes have a third (gold) tee which helps the course cater to a wide variety of skill levels. A few of the baskets have alt placements as well. The course has gravel tees but they were about as flat as they could be and didn't give me any problems.
There are big elevation changes on many of the holes, the shot selection is excellent, there are challenging putting greens, a good balance of open vs. wooded holes, a great variety of hole lengths and some risk/reward that will make you think about how to play some of the holes.
While there are plenty of excellent holes, I believe hole 15 is the signature hole here, a 715ft bomb from the top of the hill all the way down to the field below. And did I mention the view from up there? Awesome!
Something worth noting is there were a number of holes where I walked part of the fairway to find the basket before I went back to throw. I consider it a pro because on challenging, well designed holes the basket can't always be visible from the tee.
Navigation is fairly easy with a printed map and there is good signage so I had no problem at all navigating the course. Had I been without the map it could have been a little tricky in a few places.
Cons: I don't have any major cons at this course.
One small con is the walks between a few of the holes are fairly lengthy. The paths are fairly well marked so that's a definite plus.
Hole 18 had to be moved per request from the park which is unfortunate since it creates more unnecessary walking.
Other Thoughts: I thought long and hard about this, but in the end I just couldn't give this course a 5 for two reasons. Independently they aren't such a big deal, but together I'm sorry to say they're enough to drop my rating of this course to a 4.5.
1. Luck. There are a few holes where the fairway is so narrow that those holes rely way too heavily on luck rather than skill. No not saying narrow fairways are bad, but at some point they get to be so small or have so many trees in the way that a skilled shot has just a good a chance as a lucky one.
2. Pro par 4's. There are no holes on this course I'd consider a par 4, unless you're playing from the gold pad. If we're going to talk about being the best of the best, I think par 4's and landing zones add another element to a course which helps to elevate it to 5 disc status IMHO.
Again, those things are pretty minor and don't stop this course from getting plenty of well deserved attention. This incredible course is well worth going out of your way to play. It is fun, challenging and I can't wait to go back and play it again!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 9 Not
Good course, not one of the best
Pros: I played the blue tees due to the course being designed for them. It's hard to understand from the pictures the amount of elevation changes in each shot. Hole 15 is a bomb off the top of the hill which was fun and memorable. Once to the top of the hill through a winding back and forth lightly uphill shots, there are several holes in a tightly wooded area. Most of these holes are downhill or flat with rows of trees. After the wooded holes it is back and forth on the top of the hill and working back down the hill slowly. Once to the bottom there are several holes consuming a valley with a light creek. These holes are zigzagging the valley with downhill and flat shots that are fairly short.
Cons: It is of course a ski hill and mountain biking trail, so they had some limitations building it. I didn't feel the majority of the shots were solid and challenging holes. For a ski hill there were quite a few holes with little elevation and the elevations could have been used much more than it was. Quite a few wooded holes lacked an honest fairway. It was a good course, it wasn't a great experience as I've had playing other top courses.
Other Thoughts: I went to this course because it was on the top 10 at the time I went. It lacks some luster to be on the top 10.
7 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: superberry
Many reviewers often discuss "what could have been", I admit that I do it too. However, we could NOT have used the elevation of the ski hill any better. In fact, in 2004-2006 we did have two holes that played down the hill, and one straight up the middle under the lift wires. It became entirely too difficult, and ultimately proved impossible to keep the grasses on the ski hill mowed. They reach 8' in height! The only way to mow was with the County 45hp tractors and brush hogs. And because of the steep incline, if the hill was wet at all, they wouldn't attempt to mow. So in 2007 we had to redesign 5 of the original holes and create a new 18 hole layout. The 27 hole layout followed in 2009 with loops off the 18 hole course that showcased some amazing sharp elevation in the three neat wooded ravines. Elevation use here is amazingly creative!
4 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: I found this course to be a true challenge. In all the best ways though. When we got to the course there was a sense of AWE just looking at the fact that it was all over the Ski Hill. Every basket seemed to be placed in the optimum place for that hole. Some of them used the trees for obstacles, others used geography and a few used distance(or lack of).
Cons: Walking the hills was difficult, but I'm not the most fit discer. The holes that water was in play were disappointing, not that I want to lose discs in rivers and ponds, but I was expecting something tougher then a stream that is 3 inches deep.
Other Thoughts: The views from the top of the hill were amazing. The signage was decent, each hole was marked well and had the information needed but the signs pointing to the next hole were slices of logs with permanent marker on them. In other words hard to spot from time to time. All in all, I don't understand how this course FELL from the Top 10 best on this website! It deserved its spot in MANY ways.
4 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This course is very well rounded from wide open bombers to tight tight tunnels. The people that made Winter Park did a fine job. This is a course that you can play and be the only one there on a weekend no crowds.. I have only a few courses that I come back to too check my progress as a golfer and this is one of them.
Cons: No tee pads is the only thing I can think of as a con.
Other Thoughts: This is a great place to play and we are lucky here in Wisconsin to have people who take the time to make couses like this happen.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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