A top course in the greater Detroit/Ann Arbor area
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!
A great course that could be slightly greater
0 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, very rare to get stuck waiting on other groups
+ Aside from the holes near the waterpark, the course really feels like you are deep in nature
+ 36 holes means you can spend a lot of time here
Cons: - Rough can get pretty thick in summer, and nettles & thorn bushes are common.
- New holes need some refinement (X4 way too easy, X7 teebox is in danger of throws from X6, X10 & X11 are boring open fairway no hazard shots)
- Waterpark is noisy.
- The giant dirt mount on 16 is just a bad hole. Its not natural or fun. Likewise 13 should have stayed in its old pin position, it was already challenging, currently its just obnoxious.
- Entrance fees are expensive for solo rounds, go with friends and split the cost
Other Thoughts: Like the title says, a great course. Minor changes and concrete tee pads and the new X holes will be just as good as the rest of the course.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
One of the best
7 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
7 of 7 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 / 14 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 18 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
My favorite course
Pros: This course takes my vote for the best in the Ann Arbor area. It has something for everyone and makes great use of the available land. Particularly good use of elevation which is at a premium here in SE Michigan. Very well maintained baskets and a general sense that the place is being managed the right way.
If you go: definitely play the A-F loop! It contains some of my favorite holes and is an excellent addition to an already great course.
Cons: In the summer the rough can get pretty intense, but that's just more incentive to keep it on the fairways! The only other "con" I can think of is that when I first played here the path where holes 3/4, 12/13, and the A-F loop connect can be a bit confusing. There is signage- be sure to read it or you might tee off on a hole you did not intend to play yet.
Other Thoughts: The only reason I didn't give this course a perfect rating is because I've only played 10 or so courses. I know there's a lot of baskets to throw at in this wide world of ours but Independence Lake is the best I've played so far!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Possibly my favorite.
Pros: • Triple color Tee pads - great for variety and when playing with multiple people of different skill sets.
• Very isolated and clean - For the most part I felt that I was in nature, not in a city park.
• Brooms at every white tee.
• There is a lot more here than trees and grass, if you take the time to look.
• Good variety of holes, lots of fun different shots. Many holes have multiple routes.
• Very close to CJ's party shop and two other fantastic courses.
Cons: • A couple holes have blind tees, must scout to see where you are throwing... unless you trust the tee signs.
• On a hot summer day, the water park nearby can be annoying with children screaming.
• The only thing missing, in my opinion, is a downhill shot to compliment the 2-3 upshot holes.
• Can be costly for our of county residents @ $9/Car
Other Thoughts: This was the fourth course my wife has played and by far her favorite. I remember her saying "This was the first time I enjoyed it all the way to the end". This was mostly because she was able to throw from the red/beginner tee while I was throwing from the white tees. She felt like she was competing and not like she was slowing us down. We both really enjoyed this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
first class all the way
Pros: Where do I start? Great bright orange baskets, tight fairways that require you to really plan your shots or you'll get into trouble quick, Great tee pads and TEE PAD BROOMS AT EVERY HOLE!!!! Great use of the landscape makes for some challenging holes. Tee signs give great info and let you know if you should send a spotter ahead, they also have a small shelf for marking your score cards.
Cons: Was a little wet in spots (mushy ground) There are a few holes that are still under construction, but they have added alt holes to make a full 18. Bugs. The rough is REALLY rough. The tall grass can make it a challenge to find your disc. If you are out of county it's $9 for a day pass, but the golf is free.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to go back. Want to play the holes that are closed. they are really making a great course and they are making improvements all the time according to a local I talked too. Was really impressed with the park. Brooms at every tee, no litter, and well maintained. Seems like the people playing the course really care about it and are working to keep it nice. I only wish it was closer to my house so I could play it more often!
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