2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Very private feel to it, probably due to the fees to play
-Open holes felt the most similar to 'ball golf' style than any other course I have played, visually speaking
-Great 4-5 hole loop near parking if you don't want to go back out to the open holes
-Some challenging 'placement' golf, which is rare in Michigan
Cons: -Fees to play, but worth it. Typical for Michigan Parks
-High grass rough made it tough to find my discs on several holes
Other Thoughts: I played this course during a week long trip to the area. Of the 7 courses played this was my favorite and the closest thing to DG heaven I could describe. Kept wanting to throw multiple drives and approaches just to see the disc fly.The Narnia of disc golf.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Course diversity, amenities and fun factor are all high points. Two-plank cement tee pads on all holes at the Black (long) and White (medium) tees, with well-marked shorter but earthen Red tees. The highly-visible orange baskets are nice, and necessary with some of the hidden and semi-hidden pin positions. This course has most of the boxes checked as far as course diversity, with forest holes, tunnel holes, tightly-wooded holes, and a couple of more wide-open holes. The water holes do add some disc loss potential, but there aren't any holes that are blatantly dangerous. The fun factor is very high here, with many entertaining throw routes and a few deuce opportunities.
Lots of signs point the way to the next hole and guide you through a major interchange at Holes 4 and 13, with helpful information regarding hole layout at each tee pad. The black tees, which appear to be played less frequently, move some of the distances up to professional levels. Some holes, such as the alternates (A-F) and Hole 16, do have elevation changes. If you are tempted, don't skip the alternate holes-they are among the most beautiful on the course, with tall deciduous trees and beautiful, groomed fairways. Many holes have confounding pinch-points at close range off the tee, adding to levels of challenge.
Cons: There are some wetter areas at various points on the course, often in unexpected places in the middle of the fairway. I would recommend an older pair of shoes. This course does not circle around to the parking lot at any point except the beginning and end. The cost of playing is slightly steep for those from outside of Washtenaw County ($10, but only $6 for those from the area). There is some undergrowth and tall grass bordering fairways capable of eating discs.
Other Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and fun of this course. My first impression is that this course is preferable in many ways to other area courses such as Rolling Hills and Hudson Mills Original. I would consider upping my rating if this course impresses me from the Black tees as much as it did from the whites when I return to play it again, which will be very soon. As a side note, I spotted many bird species here (two northern flickers, a red-bellied woodpecker, and an oriole, as well as others heard but not seen).
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful Place, and Golf!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The drive that I took into the park was a kind of interesting one, with a drive on a gravel road leading into the park. before coming upon a pay booth. You pass the booth, and then drive into the park, before you come upon a well defined disc golf parking lot.
The first hole is located right into the woods, and is a tight par 3 through the woods, with most of the holes after that being mostly open, with well placed trees to force lines and different shots.
Every hole has at least two tees, with most having three, with a concrete white and black tee, with a natural, albeit well kept, red tee. Tee signs are well made, with a nice map, and all the necessary information.
Navigation on this course is completely intuitive, and if it wasn't absolutely obvious, there was a sign pointing you in the right direction.
This park and the course are completely beautiful, with a great amount of work being put into the course, a lot of beautiful mulching, and the fairways are very well defined and cut.
Cons: There are only a few things that make this course not perfect, but I would very easily recommend to everyone.
First, I believe that the rough was very severely punishing in certain places, and a spotter will be needed a good amount of times, and losing a disc is very possible. This seems to be a common theme in this area.
The baskets were Mach IIIs. and they definitely spit out a few putts that should have gone in. With the cost to enter the park, new baskets can be afforded if they are wanted by the local club, but for now they are sub-par for the course.
I think this course was executed very well, but there were no signature holes, at least nothing that stood out greatly, and with all holes being par 3s, the need for placement shots, and long, grueling holes were not in play.
Other Thoughts: I believe this course was executed very well, and it would be a very common play for me if I lived in the area. The out of town price of ten dollars is certainly worth it, and with two courses on site, you can make a full day of disc golf at Independence Lake!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A top course in the greater Detroit/Ann Arbor area
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Practice baskets
- Garbage cans throughout the course
- multiple tee pads (3 tees, 2 concrete, 1 natural)
- Signs at tee pads showing hole layout
- picnic tables at most tee pads
- well defined fairways
- lots of signs to help with navigation
- port-a-potty on site
- Car entry fee looks like it is actually put back into the course
- Hole variety challenges a player to have a complete and well rounded game
- Park cares about disc golfers (see other thoughts)
- haven't seen a lot of litter on this course
- tee signs have a little angled platform to make it easy to write down scores on scorecards
- on a park with a water park and many trails
- Separate parking lot at disc golf course
Cons: - If you don't pay close attention to the signs it would be easy to play some holes out of turn
- The rough has a lot of thorny plants, it seems to thin out a bit as fall is starting
Other Thoughts: This is easily one of the best courses in the greater Ann Arbor/Detroit area. The course offers multiple tee-pads to accommodate players of all skill levels. This course forces me to throw every shot I can (hyzer/anhyzer and FH/BH), being well rounded will greatly aid you on this course. I've played mostly from the white tees so my experience is mostly related to those tees. On the white tees I don't throw faster than speed 7 discs because I need the control and the holes are all pretty much <350 ft long (the black tees have much more variety).
About the park caring: I came here on the 4th of July to play a league round. The course is on a park that also has a water park and many trails. By the parking lot for the disc golf course they had workers to make sure that only disc golfers were parking in that lot. Also I've seen them out on the course changing out trash cans.
This is a course that requires well placed and controlled shots. When I first started playing here some of the holes seemed impossible with too many trees in the way. What I've learned from this course is that the lines are not always easy to see from the tees, but once you've learned them you can hit them. Then when you feel comfortable on the holes you move to the black tees and you add the need for serious distance on some holes. Also the land isn't significantly hilly but I still notice the changes in elevation on holes and how that impacts the shot you take.
The most recent time I played this course I realized I really enjoy ending on holes 13 - 18. I think this sequence of holes is really well laid out. Holes 13, 16, and 17 leave a big impression in my mind as holes that could be iconic. This is a course that I get excited to play at. I think about it and look forward to playing it for a few days before I can drive out here.
hope you enjoy!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A great course that could be slightly greater
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Mix of open and wooded holes
+ Well maintained course, trashcans & benches throughout
+ 3 sets of tees help everybody find appropriate challenge
+ Course has good pace and shortcuts are throughout, uncommon to get stuck waiting on other groups
+ Good balance of challenging and easier holes.
Cons: - Rough can get pretty thick in summer, and nettles & thorn bushes are common.
- Waterpark is noisy.
- The giant dirt mount on 16 is just a bad hole. Its not natural or fun.
- Entrance fees are expensive for solo rounds, go with friends and split the cost
- Expensive for out of county residents
Other Thoughts: Not the most exciting course you will ever play but a very clean and enjoyable place for a round of disc golf.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the best
Pros: Indy is IMO the best course in the SE Michigan, and certainly the best in the Ann Arbor area.
-Great Variety of shots - long, short, tight, open, water, up, down. You will need every shot.
-Longs and short pads dramatically change the holes.
-Red tees for rec players.
-Challenging, but with well thought out challenge. Nearly every hole has lines that allow you to "go for it" with a bit of risk, as well as lines that allow you to lay it up with minimal risk. An advanced / pro player can have a really challenging round here especially from the longs. However, a beginner or rec player can have a fun round here without getting overly frustrating.
-Impeccably maintained. Clean- ample trash cans, brooms picnic tables. The park maintains this course great as well. One time i was playing here and the park staff was driving around on their carts emptying trash, and the worker stopped at the pad i was walking toward, pulled out a push broom and swept the pad for me.
-Typically not super crowded even at peak times on nice days. You rarely have to wait at Indy.
- The local crowd that plays here are some of the best people you will meet at a course.You will also see some of the top notch players in MI at this course often.
- With the addition of the A-F loop the other year, and the new X holes last year. 36 total holes of disc golf.
Cons: - The $9 daily fee could be a little steep if you are not a county resident. However, the pass also gets you into Rolling Hills about a half hour south where 6 extra holes are also being added. This can make for one heck of a day of disc golf for $9.
-The rough here can get nasty in the summer. However, most of the holes are playable and the rough can be avoided.
- Poison ivy is here during the summer. Make sure to watch out.
- The navigation can get a little confusing after hole 2, but it's not that tough to figure out.
Other Thoughts: Indy is a great, great course. It really is. With the addition of the X holes, and the A-F loop it is even better.
Personally, I think instead of one 36 hole course that Dividing the course into 2 courses of 18 by combining the X holes with 6 of the original holes to make one course, and then combining the A-F loop with 12 of the original holes to make another should be the direction Indy should go.
OK, I am ranting a little here- I know A LOT of people dislike the entry fee for out of county, but seriously $9 is not that much money to play this course especially if you have some friends with you, Plus like I said it gets you into Rolling Hills as well. You could easily hit both in a day and get more than your money's worth. A out of county annual pass is $45, you would only need to play 5 rounds over a year between both Indy and Rolling Hills to get your money's worth. The Washtenaw County Parks have been amazingly receptive to disc golf, and you can see that they put the money back into the courses. In the last 3 years they have put in 18 additional baskets at Indy with the 12 new pads scheduled to go in soon, and 6 more are cut at Rolling Hills with the baskets going in soon. Like I said, these courses are both maintained awesome, and have the little touches like brooms and good signs. It's easy to see that they put money back into these courses and actually care about them. Also, having to pay a few bucks keeps the riff raff away. I would personally rather pay a few bucks to play an awesome course that's taken care of, then pay nothing to play an average course with broken glass everywhere that is not maintained.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Long and short holes. Cement pads. Good baskets. Course is well maintained. I love the shot variety of the holes.
Cons: The entry fee! I understand it costs money to maintain these parks but if you are not a regular or have a season pass, it's going to cost you to play this course, especially if you ride by yourself. This is not a beginner friendly course, not at all!
Other Thoughts: This is more of an advanced player course. I think even average players will find this course challenging.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Long & short cement tee pads plus the reds for the shortest layout
+Good baskets, course maintenance is always superior
+Excellent shot variety off the tees
+Moderate elevation and a few holes have water present during wetter time of the year
+Easy access off of US-23
Cons: -entry fee to the park is steep, but no additional fee to disc
-rough is not beginner friendly
Other Thoughts: Yes, the rough here is more brutal than most places. However, there are very few lines and landing areas that aren't fair for the average player from the long and short tees. This course, especially the longs, isn't supposed to be the easy, deuce-or-die experience that you may find over at Hudson Mills Original. If you've been in the rough all day, it's mostly due to user error. The short and red tees are there for a reason.
I really enjoy the shot variety here- Left, right, tunnel shots, etc. Not only does it also make good use of moderate elevation, they make great use of the wooded sections and wide open (wind affected) sections. Navigation should not be an issue. The extra A-F holes are a separate loop, the only confusion you may experience is whether to play them before hole 4 or after hole or after 12.
Lastly, I strongly disagree with the notion this course is "out of the way." It's 5-10 minutes from US-23, and only 20ish minutes in either direction from AA or Brighton. It's also very close to Hudson Mills and the Gulch. Very convenient for a full day of disc golf on four courses with unique experiences from one another.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Well-maintained course. Bright orange, new baskets. Decent tee signs. Scenic setting. Secluded and exclusive land. Very friendly locals. Ample parking and porta-pottiy. Good course flow.
Cons: $9 fee a bit steep. Course flow gets a bit confusing in spots. Rough is extremely dense. A bit out of the way.
Other Thoughts: The drive off the freeway to get to the course was far longer than I expected, and on some unpaved roads to boot. But the park itself is like an oasis. An oasis that costs $9 for non-residents of the county.
I happened to meet the course designers when I got there. Along with the rest of the locals I ran into, quite a friendly bunch.
The course itself has a nice variety of hole types and challenges, from technical wooded to long bombs to curves with elevation. You can tell the course was designed by disc golfers.
Overall the course flowed well, but it got confusing in a few spots. I wasn't the only first-timer to think hole 13 was hole 4.
The A-F holes were decent but if you skipped them you would not be missing anything.
The park itself was quite scenic and quiet. The course is on land exclusive to the course and it's great to be out in the seclusion throwing discs.
The course takes advantage of the slight elevation and rolling hills. Holes are challenging without being difficult or frustrating. You'll need a variety of discs and throws.
That said, the roughs are extremely dense and thick. You could easily be searching for hours with an errant throw on a good portion of the holes. As a road-trip player passing through, I ended up playing with my putter and not doing anything risky.
The course has a variety of holes with unique personalities, but nothing in the way of a signature hole. Still, a nice mix.
DGCR indicates a 3.5/5 rating as "Very Good", and that's what Red Hawk is -- a very good course. The average rating of over 4 is a bit overinflated. I considered giving it a 4, but the truth is that I left the course and immeditpately began to forget it.
While it was an enjoyable round, and might exceed the other courses in the area, it just didn't hold up to other courses I've played around the country. I played this and Hudson Mills on the same day of the road-trip, and would highly recommend Red Hawk over Hudson Mills.
That said, at $9 a day I don't think I'd play here again if I were in the area.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 15 Not
Great course for disc hunting
Pros: The fairways are well kept and short, baskets are marked rather well, and the teepads are flat with plenty of room to drive. I love the multiple teepads and excellent signage. Most holes have three sets of tees, including women's tees, all of which are marked on the maps. There is a good variety of long and short, open and wooded holes. Lefties have a slight advantage on the longer holes. Top tier pros who know this course well would probably love the narrow fairways and tunnel shots. Friendly crowd.
Cons: The ridiculous "rough" on most holes makes this course unplayable for most. Narrow fairways are surrounded by massive five foot grasses, shrubs, thorns, etc., making it very difficult to find your disc. Spotters are essential, but insufficient. We spent 70% of our round looking for discs, falling victim to hundreds of mosquitoes and probably poison ivy, too. Any disc in the rough is a nightmare to find, and many fairways are incredibly tight. It was a miserable time, overall. We found five discs and lost six. Worst $9 I've spent in a long time. Gave up after 16 holes.
Other Thoughts: I left this course angry. My friend and I play disc golf all the time and compete with top AM1 players often. We are not pros, but often score under par at the Black Locust of Kensington Metropark. This course would make me hate the sport if I had never played before. However, if they massively cut down the rough and widen the fairways, and if you wear jeans, bug spray, and long sleeves, this course might be highly enjoyable.
4 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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