7 Helpful / 2 Not
Roughing it in the Rough
Pros: Simply amazing course.... the views, elevation change and sheer number of shots is astounding...
Excellent example of risk vs. reward design...
(When applicable) the course is in excellent shape, fairways mowed, rough trimmed.... but then there's the woods...
The woods... it's just well, EVIL... in a great way... I have never enjoyed having a course kick my a**, stomp me while I'm down, and then kick me more.... I can see TOP PROS enjoying a round on this course...
I should add that benches have been added on about 9 holes... according to my buddies, these were put in over the summer..
Cons: We played the course after a few days of rain...
First off, the terrain in general is NOT for casual players, especially the "new" 9 (ie letter holes).... this is one of the roughest hikes I've ever done, even worse than the Rocky Mountains...
The tees are HORRIBLE, bad lie at best, slip and fall down a ravine at worst, I have NEVER seen a course with such potential for self injury as here...
Most tees, your group (I played with a threesome) can't fit near the tee...
The terrain (that makes this course so great) can be downright deadly!!... a few walks in particular stick out... hole B to C... really, I have to climb that!!!... Pay attention to where you walk!
Other Thoughts: I played this course under less than optimal circumstances (severely injured lower back 3 days prior to playing, played with a back brace on, day after fresh rain....)
The course is an ABSOLUTE MUST PLAY!!!!!!!
The terrain is INTENSE, the shots/course is AMAZING!!!!!
The course NEEDS HELP! I understand concrete pads are out of the question, but the tees could at least attempt to be level.... there NEEDS to be some handrails/stairs on the course...
now I'm a stickler for amenities.... (tee pads, benches, bathrooms) and despite the shortcomings (Pads, safety) this course is STUNNING!!!!
I'm rating it a 4.5 because the course/land is so good! It gets -1.5 for tees/safety, and still comes out to the best course I've played (well, this or Valpo as of 10/09).
I'm going to paraphrase a line I see used w/Nockamixion alot... Everything that makes this course so good, also makes it evil.
I'll add more later, (we rushed through the course to beat the dark, and I didn't have time to take in all the details) bottom line, PLAY IT!!!!
* edit 10/23/09
In retrospect, my cons may seem harsh, very harsh... I know the locals are working their butts of on improving this course. I am eagerly awaiting playing it again next summer... the pros FAR out weigh the cons...
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Just one step above Silver Creek
Pros: 1) Incredible property with even more room for expansion I am sure. There are another 9 holes out there somwehere for sure. Lots of wooded areas have been untapped and maybe a couple more launches down the skihill would be allright!
2) Very well maintained . . . very clean and most branches seem to always be cleaned up. This is of course due in part to the incredible volunteers who work up there and the money that is contributed through the donation box. I gave more than they requested of $3 because I felt it was worth it and I only had $4 in my wallet so what was I going to do with the extra $1 anyways.
3) Incredible elevation changes. You start off at the bottom of the hill working laterally, then you gently climb the "bunny slope" over the next 3-4 holes . . . including one hole set down into the wooded area to the side of the bunny hill. The 4th hole is a tough uphiller because you have to throw first around a bend and timing the cut on the disc might be tough . . . but fortunately the fairways are fairly forgiving when they are using ski runs as fairways. It would be tough to miss this so badly you get punished by the woods. The 5th hole reaches the top of the bunny hill and #6 goes up and over a little crest to where the chairlift ends. Then you go off for some galavanting in the woods for a bunch of holes (if you play the extra lettered holes). There are some tough slopes on these tightly wooded holes too, that could easily give you a rollaway or a shot off a tree could put you in some precarious positions having to deal with more trees and more slopes. One massive ravine that is only a few feet from the basket on hole #8D. #10 is across the top of the hill with the basket set just inside of a wooded gap. Walk down the hill a ways to the 11th hole that brings you down a little shoot down a hill to the base of the hill again. Some more wooded holes #13 is a big downhiller with a massive left to right swing. Looks like an almost impossible gap to hit despite it being pretty wide. It will test your shot making for sure. #13, 14 and G, H, and I are all pretty tough demanding holes with tight woods and big swings in elevation. Great section of the course in my opinion. #15 is the top of the mountain throw down the hill fairly close to the chairlift. It's a cool 715' down the hill to the basket with a 500' throw reaching the botom of the hill and allowing you a chance to throw your approach under the basket. It is a tough 3 unless you get the flight correct and can carry out into the flats towards the basket. That is about the recap of most of the incredible elevation on this course. Simply put it isn't just wasteful elevation change it all has some challeneg besides just being up or down or sidehill. There are other factors that need to be considered.
4) Variety is the spice of life. This course has the elevation changes, tight wooded technical holes, left to right holes, right to left holes, water, OB, a couple big ripper holes. It has pretty much everything you can ask for in the design of a course.
5) Nice baskets and very nice tee signs. They really help you understand how to execute the shots.
6) Nice benches at most every tee and garbage pails help to keep this course pretty clean.
7) 10' gap down a treelined fairway of spruce or pines . . . I don;t remember . . . on Hole #8. Shoot it hard and fast and keep it straight for a chance at 2 but hit a tree and shoot off to the side maybe has a 4 written all over it. Good challenging hole!
8) Love the risk.reward of a lot of the holes around the baskets. If you are accurate and can gun all the gaps you will do well and if you can make 30-40' putts with no problem on varied terrain you will have no problem, but on occassion the less caliber player will need to simply lay up and take a tap in bogey to not risk 2-3 rollaways!
Cons: 1) Biggest issue and only major con I can see is the lack of concrete tees. I understand why they don't think they can use them, but it is the only thing keeping me from giving this course a 5 rating. It is by far the best designed and best property I have played on and like I said below I have played some pretty great courses (some of which were at one point ranked in the top 10 and all have received 5 rankings from some users. I don't know what it will take to get my first 5 rating but this course is the closest I have come so far. It is my favorite course and it certainly is an awesome property and the designers and builders did a great job in using all of the awesome features of this course without any waste. Now lets see if we can get you guys some concrete pads!
2) There are a few slick and dangerous spots on this course that may or may not improve over time. Some of the severe slopes are just slick clay and I doubt mulch will even stay there in a rainstorm, unless the trees do enough to slow down the rain from moving across the soil. This makes it tough to get good footing on many shots, but I have seen worse on skihills before. Just get used to it.
3) Uphill gravel tee on #6 is the worst on the course. I have already mentioned the importance of good footing on tees but this i sby far the worst one.
4) Barbed wire is visible in some spots on this course. It got me when I slipped on the slick clay in one spot and nearly ripped off half my shorts as I tried to battle the slick slope. I will wear these shorts only for disc golf now, but be careful to watch for barbed wire!
5) Not beginner friendly, but I cant fault the course because it would be tough to make this course beginner friendly. It was intended to be a blue player or higher and I am not quite there but I still enjoyed it. I will not factor this into my overall rating but I still wanted to mention it!
Other Thoughts: I played this course in the rain after already playing Silver Creek, Indian Creek and Picnic Hill. My favorite course to date would have been Silver Creek but Winter park surpasses it because of its more dramatic elevation. They both have great balance and they both have an outstanding variety in shot types, foliage density, elevation changes, water etc. The only thing keeping Winter Park from the 5 rating is probably their teepads. It has been said so far that the teepads will probably never become concrete but it is the only thing keeping this course from being my only 5 rated course to date. And I have played some great courses who have received 5 disc rating before like Freeman Lake, Bryant Lake Park, Charlie Vettiner, Justin Trails Classic, Vallarta Ast, Dretzka, The Sinks. My point in sayng this is that this course has EVERYTHING except good footing on the teepads which is a huge impact on the game and the fun you have. If you are slipping all over the place are you really gonna throw as accurate as you nromally do??? No way. You are gonna hit more trees, be more errant an dhave less of a good time . . . because you know you can execute the shots but the footing is keeping you from being able to do so.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There is huge assortment of different holes requiring different shots and will really test ALL aspects of your game.
Great signage on each hole, and between holes telling you where to go if you are playing all 27 or just the 18 (or I suppose you could do only the 'extra' loops that you see fit) These 'intersections' are clearly marked throughout the course.
Great Innova Discatcher Baskets
Elevation changes are incredible. From a huge down hill 700ft ripper hole (15) to rolling hills in the WOODS I've never seen a Wisconsin course with so much elevation diversity.
I've never seen a Wisconsin course with such a monumental mix of varying holes. Tree holes, open holes, elevation holes...and mixing all of those three categories.
Cons: gravel tee pads - can't be helped the city says no, but still it gets a bit dangerous when you're teeing off on a hill and the tee ins't really level.
The great elevation changes do have their drawbacks though. A few holes in the woods are down right dangerous if there was a rain recently. These fun holes turn bad when you are grabbing trees to not fall over.
Other Thoughts: Let me start by saying that if you make the trek, which you should, play the entire 27, and play from the long tees. SO MUCH FUN
There is not a single hole that takes away from the course. If I ran the course I wouldn't change one hole. The flow is great and always keeps you guess what is coming next - in a good way.
The course itself is off the beaten path, I think that fact both helps and hurts this course. You won't find many jerk teen amateurs on this course because it is so secluded. It hurts because with more people around to play it I think that the city may drop the lack luster ski hill for a nice pay to play course focused only on DG.
Bring shoes with traction. Hiking boots maybe. Not flip flops. A bag with quad straps is recommended because of the steep hills and slippery ground, you won't want to be worried about your bag when you are concentrating on keeping your balance.
For all of you guys with the carts on wheels - leave them at home- some of the trials between holes get steep and confined in a hurry.
I applaud the people who do all the work on this course - it has potential to be a 4.5 rated course, but the city needs to release their grasp on a failing ski hill and embrace the DG.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 3 Not
One of Wisconsins best
Pros: -Oh man, the VARIETY
-incredible signage with lines, length, and special next hole location signs
-elevation...UP down UP down
-27 unique holes!
-not ONE throw away hole
-new Discatcher baskets on many holes
-almost every type of shot used
-incredible risk/reward placements for baskets
Cons: -gravel/earth tee pads
-paths to many holes were mud/clay and super slippery. almost dangerous
-many holes could use some cleaning up of twigs and branches
-some tee pads were worn heavily from rain and usage
Other Thoughts: WOW. The fun factor at Winter Park is through the roof. I don't know how many times we walked up to a tee and were like "really?wow.". Whether it be for the elevation change, the super tight tree lined shot, the super risky basket placement, or in the end a complete over water shot. Fun fun fun.
The course is on the outskirts of a super small quaint town in eastern Wisconsin, right off of Lake Michigan. It uses a ski resort and much of the hills surrounding terrain FULLY for an amazing amount of variety. One of the best I have seen. It plays almost as three separate styled courses. One in the tight trees, one through green ski hill elevation, and another in the muddy ravines.
Holes are lengthy and technical from the pro tees and shot selection comes into play very often. Many holes stand out as sig holes and that's a great sign of a course. The downhill 700' bomb, the 200' super tight tree tunnel shot with the basket behind a tree even if you make it, the extra g/h/i holes in the ravine. wow.
This course does have some cons which keep it from receiving a higher rating though. The gravel tees are just ok, and some are just plain bad. Don't know if it would be even possible to do cement seeing how it is on a ski hill. Many paths are mud and slippery on pretty steep hills. A shoe with incredible traction is a must, and the course is definitely not for those weak at heart in the exercise department. I can't imagine this course would be much fun in the spring when everything is probably mud. One hole, H I believe, I actually had to grab the basket on a muddy slope as I started to slip back down.
Much of the course needs some nature cleanup. branches, twigs, raking of the fairways. This could help make it look more presentable.
We talked about ratings on the way back from this great course and we all pretty much agreed a solid 4 is where Winter Park stands. It personally reminded me of a tighter less manicured Hickory Hills in Traverse City,Mi...which I also gave a solid 4.
To the people who work on this course, great job in design, keep it up. It is truly a nice little gem in the Wisconsin disc golf scene.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This is one of the most well balanced courses I have ever played. It has good elevation, tight woods, a pond shot, some awesome bomber holes, and risky greens. This course will challange your game.
Cons: To me I really don't have any cons. Bugs can be bad anywhere you play. T he tall grass only forces you to be more accurate with your throws.
Other Thoughts: This course is a must for anyone who loves to play the game. If you haven't made it here to play yet, do yourself a favor and plan a trip to play it. Its only 2hrs from milwaukee and well worth the trip.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 7 Not
My favorite course
Pros: *Excellent use of terrain and elevation changes.
*Great balance of necessary shots to succeed.
*Short tees are great for beginners with plenty of challenge still presented by terrain.
*Long tees add good distance and more challenge as well as changing the feel of the course adding variety.
*Many unique holes.
*Not busy at all.
*Quite a workout.
Cons: *No option to play 9 for a quick round.
*Quite a workout.
*Could be bears about (lions and tigers too?).
*No free beer.
*Where's the free beer?
*Look I really am trying to come up with some cons here, gimme a break.
*I want free beer darnit!
Other Thoughts: This course is absolutely amazing! It's worth the drive but make sure you bring your own beer because for some reason they just don't supply it at the course. Make sure you start early and bring plenty of water(or beer) and bug spray. Wear good hiking shoes and be prepared for a long, fun round.
7 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
This course needs the county or town to BUY IT!
Pros: LONG course that challenges pretty much every aspect of your game. I like to tease my beginner friends and say that this is more course than you can handle. My friend and I played the 27 hole version and like everyone says MAKE TIME for it. I was suprised at how long it took and what a workout it is. This is by far my favorite course in Wisconsin.
Cons: The only con I noticed was the tee boxes. I dont mind the crushed gravel for traction, but on some holes the front launch area is worn down and I had to drive from behind the pad so I didnt fall face first down the hill. A few signs to the next hole were broken off, so maybe some better and brighter signage. Aside from that this course is great.
Other Thoughts: Will be back for more time and time again. I plan on making this a weekly course for the workout. The bar across the street from the highway department is not open on Tuesdays so you have to drive to downtown Kewaunee for a pregamer....
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
NE Wisconsin= Disc Mecca
Pros: GB Phil G here. Just thought I'd tell the world that Tim Kopacz, the dedicated creator of Winter Park has moved to Marquette, luckily for Marquette he will bring his mad scientist dg course creation skills with him. When he left he gave me the wheel for Winter Park.
Winter Park is tough. It covers a lot of ground on an east facing river valley hillside full of ridges and ravines. The trees are thick, the ground is full of roots and plants. Proper footwear is important to deal with the hills. There's poison ivy on the hillsides and stinging nettle in the valleys. Its got bugs, pine trees, thorn bushes, and probably some hidden barbed wire. Winter park has all the features, over the water, through the woods, across the meadow and off the top of the hill. Be sure to read the tee signs, they explain a lot. The tee pads are natural; expect uneven loose and short approaches.
So here is what you can expect to see now that I'm the caretaker. The course will remain tough as nails, an adventure style disc golf course with some of the hardest holes around. The tee pads are the number one priority, they will remain natural. Rocks will be used as a border to level and lengthen tee pads, crusher dust will be the surface. The goal is to create a tee pad that is tournament worthy. They'll be great. Navigation will improve with more signs pointing to the next hole. Eventual tee sign upgrade. Ones that depict where blind baskets are and which pin placement.
There are winter basket placements and summer placements. The hardest layout is after Thanksgiving weekend when several baskets move into the woods and off the ski hill. The easiest layout has typically been after July 4th. By then people are wanting some of those easier birdies again. The seven gold pads have not been maintained.
Please note that while the course is playable in the winter it is CLOSED anytime the ski hill is in operation. The lift and tubing hill run on weekends and what not.
Please feed the donation tube. Any amount is appreciated. It goes to winter park disc golf where it is saved for a major improvement; such as rubber pads or an extra nine baskets. Thank you very much and enjoy Winter Park.
Other Thoughts: Ofcourse I rated it 5.0. I would. I rate every grueling disc golf course high.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Variety and Scenic
Pros: I just finished a week long stay in town with the designer and played this course a number of times! Two 27 hole rounds a day sometimes, all within four consecutive days, and in the heat and humidity! We played short tees, long tees, 18 hole layout, 27 hole layout, and some modified "wooded" and "open" layouts. I couldn't get enough. I came from MN and this course blew me away. You start out bombing a 400'+ shot along the road and with a ski hut in the way. Then the baskets is tucked in the woods up on a boulder pile! The course just kept getting better too! Personally I love the greens all tucked on the sides of hills and near the edge of woods. I'm not the best putter and this kept others in my group from ripping putts from further away because everyone was afraid of rollaways or blowbys. I think the stretegy involved in playing this course really brings out the best in golfers. Almost every green has some extreme risk of rollaway or thick brush nearby (hole 10 has a 50'+ dropoff just 20' past the basket, hole 13 is surrounded on 3 sides by a creek 15' away, hole B is right on a steep edge of a washed out bank, and hole H green must be on a 45 degree slope!) Some of the holes can be cruel and beat you down, but over the course of 4 rounds, I have had good throws on them and they feel REAL good then (hole 3 is a winding and rolling monster 350' thru the tight woods, hole D is 325' through a tight tunnel with an awful slope off the entire right edge, hole 9 is unbelievably tight with trees everywhere but we parked it a few times, and hole H is as the tee sign says "Geezus H!" - tight and that tricky green I just mentioned). There was a bit of everything here, I used every shot in my bag and then some due to lost discs! It was awesome to play uphill, downhill, over water, through tight trees, and air it out on long open holes. I was thoroughly impressed by nearly every hole. As we played the first time, I couldn't believe some of what we encountered. It was great to have Tim with and he explained how the hole was designed and what the intention was. Either off the tee, or on the green of every hole made me think more than twice about what to throw for the best result. It was wonderful how quiet and peaceful it was and that we could enjoy the beauty. Tim and Erin take great care too as they were picking up every bit of trash and errant stick or stone the entire round. It would help if everyone did the same.
Cons: The rough is rough! My buddies were off quite a bit and we spent a good time looking for discs, but by the middle of our second round, we knew what to throw and what to avoid. Playing a control game sure does help here! This course is a workout! Up and down up and down. It can really kick your but we all need it I guess. The woods (and there are LOTS) can be disheartening because they are tight, but we take it all with a grain of salt.
Other Thoughts: I play mainly MN courses and Winter Park was awesome. I'm so glad my buddy pointed it out and let me know. I need to get on this site too and keep track of what I play, I'll get to it some day. I felt I had to write a review, I owe it to Tim to rave about such a fine job he did at Winter Park, and how well they keep it up too with very limited support and organized budget or resources (just a SMALL group of local fanatics). If you love playing, you'll love it here, plain and simple. Yeah, it is challenging and will beat you down in some cases, but bring along a case of your favorite and enjoy the peaceful setting and beauty of the park.
UPDATE: Explanation - I rated this course a 5 based on the intangibles I know. The local disc golf group is SMALL and they do it ALL out there. This course is entirely brought to you via a group of dedicated, proud, and creative individuals. While this course is not a private and immaculate disc golf complex (lacks concrete tees, lacks nice landscaping, lacks things a budget or steady income can afford for a course) it is an amazing course. This I mean without bias. You get to throw all kinds of holes here and get so much variety that you'll not be wanting more (unless you want more of no woods). There are so many unique and characteristic things on this course, and it is extremely challenging. The woods are very tight, and greens are VERY risky in very many instances. Personally I absolutely love this type of challenge, and personally I must applaud my friend and what he has done at Winter Park.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
All around best across the US
Pros: I have played courses all over the US and I can't help but compare them all to my hometown favorite Winter Park. This course is excellent. It has such amazing balance and variety. And it is very well upkept and maintained. Every hole has been designed and scrutinized to offer something specific to include shot placement, use of terrain, risky greens, tight fairways, and views of beutiful scenery. There are plenty of obstaclesa and natural features for risk takers here. Some of the more noteable features are throwing across a pond on the last hole (all 300'), throwing 715' down a huge hill to the pin below, throwing down fairways that are so tight, an ATV will barely fit, many holes on top of the hill (150' above the parking lot) have amazing views, and a creek winds through the second half in the wooded valley. Very clean, scenic, not busy, well maitained, and always improving. The club has work days out here all the time and members often take their days off to put time into upgrades.
Cons: Some may call the crushed stone tees a con, as is common, but I actually like them. You can play them in ANY weather and never slip or trip. You don't have to worry about erosion off the edges of conrete either. I guess my only con here is that the rough will SEVERELY punish you, and I end up off-fairway very often. It can be frustrating, but not too entirely cruel if you throw accurately. For those not always on their game, the need for accuracy here may throw some weaker players off their game. If you can appreciate smacking an occasional tree, and love the reward of threading the needle of a tight fairway, you'll be all good here.
Other Thoughts: The amount of work is clearly evident here. I think anyone from anywhere can come to this course and appreciate the scenic beauty, carefully thought out design, amazing variety of holes, and thoughtfulness of unique features. All in all, if you are a true disc golfer who loves a challenge, variety, and amazing scenery, you will LOVE it here! Winter Park is PHENOMINAL!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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