Memorable disc golf right on Lake Michigan!
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Silver Creek Park is located on the south side of Manitowoc, WI. It occupies a large, hilly piece of land right on the shores of Lake Michigan. The park is home to a whopping 36 holes of disc golf.
This is a very unique course with at least two signature holes, and several more that are memorable. I have to start with hole 26. It plays down a slight incline for maybe 250'-300' (depending on tee) and then curls to the left, where there is what looks like a man-made platform that is maybe 100' x 100' jutting out into Lake Michigan. The basket is on a raised pedestal made to look like a lighthouse, near the center of the platform. This is without question one of the coolest individual holes I have ever played.
The lighthouse hole kind of overshadows hole 14, which would be an impressive signature hole on most courses. On this hole you tee off from the top of what looks like a sledding hill. Your drive will sail down the hill and across a flat open field that might be 300' or so wide. Then there is another downward incline with a few old growth trees, and 50' or so further to the basket. The course's namesake creek lurks behind and to the left of the basket.
The creek comes into play on many other holes as well. According to the hole info it's only #1-5, but I thought there were a few more in the #15-#19 range. I think for the most part the creek is probably shallow enough that you could find your discs in it, but I'm saying this after playing in early fall. It might be tougher in the springtime.
There is lots of elevation change here as well. Besides #14, several other holes have extreme uphill/downhill change, risk/reward baskets, or both. Hole 17 is only 170' but plays up a steep hill with the basket on top of a wall. Hit the wall and your disc might roll most of the way back down to the tee.
The variety of holes here is outstanding. Even with 36 holes it doesn't get boring. There are short tightly wooded holes by the creek. There are several more open holes that have only a few trees and rolling terrain to contend with. And plenty more in between. Holes 27-32 or so play through a meadow area that has a little bit different feel from the rest of the park. Holes 21-26 or so play through a sandy wooded area right on Lake Michigan. Overall there seemed to be a good mix of left-turning, right-turning, and straight shots. I only carry a small disc bag, but I'm pretty sure I used each disc in it on at least one occasion.
The baskets are Mach X models. Some are painted red and some are unpainted. All are in good condition. There are multiple pins and pin locations for many holes, but on this course I'm calling that a Con as it stands today - see below.
Similarly, the teepads are all concrete and in good shape. There are either two or three pads on each hole. As with the baskets this will be discussed more in Cons. There was generally one bench per hole, which was nice.
I liked the Next Tee signs. They appear in many places throughout the course and point towards the next tee with an identifying hole number. These signs also include a small map of the entire course with a "You Are Here" marking. I thought this was a really nice touch, and made the course even easier to navigate. A couple of Mandos on the course are also well marked.
There is a large parking lot with a fieldhouse at the back side. I think the fieldhouse is a rentable event space, but there are flush toilets around the right side of it that you can use. A couple of porta potties are also strategically located around the course. A kiosk at the front of the lot has a large, detailed course map.
Cons: The multiple pin locations/multiple tee pads are not executed well here. Some holes have only a red painted basket. I think a couple holes only had an unpainted basket. Many holes had two baskets. Some of the holes with only one basket, had a mount in the ground to install another basket but only that. There was never any indication as to which pin location(s) were currently in place - the only way to tell was to walk up from the tee and check.
On the tee side of things, some of the pads change the hole significantly but others just make it 25'-50' shorter or longer. There were a couple holes where three pads were just located one in front of the other. Strong tee signs could clarify things regarding the pads and baskets, but the current ones here are just OK. They have a rough sketch of a flight line and the distance and par for each hole. Some of them also have a photo of the hole, but it's not consistent. Some of them show alternate pin location(s) and the additional distance that tacks on, but others did not. There was no mention of water in play on several holes where water was in play. There was generally only one tee sign per hole, located either at what I deemed the "main" tee pad, or somewhere out of the way between two of the pads. Also, as of this writing some of the holes had other tee signs in a completely different style that appeared to be for an event. I think there is a tournament taking place at the course next weekend so maybe these extra signs (and some of the baskets) were put in place for that. I think the tournament may not be using all 36 holes. Interestingly, some of the event signs that were at the same tee pads as the other signs had different distances listed.
Anyway, as you can probably tell the end result of all this is confusion. I tried to play from the "main" tee pad on each hole (the one with the sign) to the red baskets, but there were definitely a few holes where I had to deviate. I hope that when there isn't an upcoming tournament, things make a little more sense...but I am certain it would be a Con nonetheless.
There were a couple places where the layout gets a bit funky and I would have appreciated a couple more Next Tee signs. I accidentally skipped holes 10 and 11 initially because I saw hole 12's tee pad near hole 9's basket.
There is a fairly long walk to hole 1 from the parking lot, and it crosses straight through the bomber hole 14's fairway. It's all line-of-sight but I still don't like this at all. A couple holes also play pretty close to (along) the park drive, and a couple holes are pretty close together like 15-16 and 19-20.
From the "main" tees there are a lot of sub-200' holes. I feel like some of these should be lengthened a bit.
I thought a couple of the wooded holes by the creek were too tight, just poke and hope.
I don't think there is a practice basket. There is one in the field next to the parking lot, but I think that is supposed to be one of the alternate pin locations for hole 36.
Nitpicking, but there are only a couple of trash cans around the course.
Other Thoughts: There is lots of wildlife in the area. During my round I saw two rabbits, three garter snakes, and countless other birds and small mammals. I'm not going to pretend to like snakes, but the others added to the course aesthetic for me.
It might be obvious, but with 36 holes on hilly terrain this course is a marathon and quite a workout. It took me 2 1/2 hours to play a solo round, and I didn't really have to wait for any other groups. Plan accordingly.
I feel that the pars here are extremely generous. I was using DGCR to track my round and at first I thought the hole info had to be incorrect, but upon review it looked like what is here mostly is close to what is on the tee signs. I threw 3 eagles on holes 10, 13, and 33 (which I think might be my first 3 eagles ever) and finished the entire round -1 from the previously mentioned "main" tees. It felt great, but also a little too easy.
I enjoyed my round here immensely, but I left a little frustrated because I feel that the course has the potential to be even better. Start with holes 14 and 26 from the current layout. Combine some of the other holes to lengthen them a bit, improve the flow, and eliminate safety issues. Keep two teepads per hole, and install exactly two permanent baskets on each as well (no more, no less). Add new signs at each tee and color code everything like at Rollin Ridge or Wilderness. Some of the holes are probably great as is, just need to be signed better. Give me a few more interesting throws right on Lake Michigan. Maybe in the end there are only 24 holes or even 18 after the redesign, but with better executed multiple layouts you're really still at 36...or more. Between Lake Michigan, the creek, and all the elevation, the land is absolutely here for a 5.0 course...but the design needs to be rethought some to reach that point.
As it stands today, I wouldn't call this course a destination but it's definitely worth playing if you are anywhere near the area. It was still one of my favorite courses played out of twenty-one different ones that I visited on a recent trip through Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I am going to be dreaming about that lighthouse hole!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: You know what? I'm going to do it. I'm going to give this course five stars. It has everything you could want and fantastic signature holes.
The course has many pros. One of it's biggest is that it has 36 holes on site that contain every single shot one could reasonably ask for. It has an awesome top of the world shot, it has a sweet lighthouse basket on a picturesque green right on Lake Michigan, it has plenty of wooded shots, it has prairie holes, creek holes, it just has it all. The variety here is outstanding. Often going from one hole to the next feels like you're going to an entirely different course. You never know what's coming (except for the last 9 or so holes).
Each hole also offers multiple tees and multiple pins placements, further adding to the variety.
With 36 holes, it can support massive tournaments and dozens of groups playing at the same time without issue.
Course equipment was top notch. Mach X baskets are, in my mind, one of the best baskets on the market, tees are concrete, and the tee signs are perfect.
I thought the course was pretty clean. Grass was cut and there wasn't much trash around.
Scattered porta potties throughout the course was fantastic as well.
Elevation and trees were utilized very well here.
Signage was okay between holes, but we still had to ask locals a couple times.
Cons: These are all a little nitpicky, but I have to say them to be fair.
Currently there's only one tee sign for both tees. It'd be great if there was a sign for both short and long tees.
The last couple prairie holes are a little bit of a let down. Then again, I suppose one could argue that they allow you to wind down after a long round. They're the easiest ones on the course in terms of obstacles, elevation, and distance.
I can imagine that this course gets quite buggy in the summer. With this, I'd imagine that the rough surrounding a couple of these holes can get a bit yucky.
It's a one and done. Playing this course more than once a day is a death wish because of it's length and elevation.
Course flow is a bit awkward in places like #19 and finding the first tee. I understand why #1's tee is protected from 14's top of the world shot though.
Other Thoughts: All in all, this place is certainly a destination course. Then there's the fact that Rollin Ridge is like 30 minutes away and it's certainly a disc golf destination. We came in from Madison and don't regret it at all. Check it out and you'll have an incredible day. If you have the energy to play it again (or will be in town multiple days), the replayability here is immensely high. This course is up there with the best of the best.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
World class course
Pros: This course is the best of the best for the state top 5 for sure. World class course and great views. Has 36 holes I believe so enough for people really trying to play a few holes. Wooded and open shots good for all skill levels.
Cons: I really can't think of many cons, other then they have events there sometimes and that can effect the hole layout.
Other Thoughts: Play this course!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Excellent Course In Wisconsin
Pros: Beautiful course right on Lake Michigan. The course includes a wide variety of holes from wooded hallways to wide open holes down hillsides.
Cons: If you don't know the course well, it can be difficult to navigate.
This is a pretty difficult course if you play from the mens tees. There are lots of places to lose discs so make sure you have someone spotting.
The course (36 holes) span a large area with lots of hills. It can be pretty intense. Great way to get in shape, but you will definitely feel fatigued by the end of the round.
Other Thoughts: Great park with picnic areas and jungle gym equipment.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
excellent variety of terrain, elevation, distance, and difficulty
Pros: 2-3 tee boxes per hole. Rotating basket placements, looks like 2-3 per hole. Well maintained. Lighthouse hole and top of the world are awesome. Cement tee boxes. Mach X baskets. 36 holes very spread out. Relatively easy to navigate due to signage.
Cons: A couple holes are muddy. Some signage is misleading. Par on a couple holes is screwy.
Other Thoughts: Excellent 36 hole course, a gem in the area. Certainly replay worthy.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Plenty of Enjoyable Disc Golf
Pros: Bigger is not always better , but then again , I have never played a course that had 36 holes on it . Many of these also have multiple pin placement and 2 sets of tees . in the span of these 36 holes , you will face righty/lefty pin placements , heavily wooded to open throws , lots of elevation , decent amounts of length on the long tees . This course will not blow you away at every tee , but you will like a lot of it . Holes to remember are #14 ( ? ) a top of the world shot , and what is now one of my top holes of all time , #26 , which is a dogleg left that goes down an embankment and on a grassy square that has an elevated basket that sits on top of a miniature replica of a lighthouse . With the waves of Lake Michigan hitting against the cement guarding this square , it reminds you of sounds of the beach . Plenty of holes to keep you interested , and the holes come around to the parking lot enough that you can bail if you need to . Spacious parking loit , the cement tee pads are plenty long and in good shape , good solid mach baskets . Plan to be here for a few hours , but it's worth it . The course is manicured and clean .
Cons: First and most important con : Navigation . Even with a map , which was still hard to follow , I had to backtrack on holes . I went from 6 to 9 and threw 9 before realizing that I was supposed to cut through the woods behind the 2nd pin placement for holes 7 & 8 . Maybe put signs up , or at least colored tape on the bottom of the basket to point to the next tee . Other parts of the course were also confusing . The rough here is extremely thick . I made a few midrange throws just to keep my disc in the fairway . You could spend a lot of time looking for wayward discs . I also had to have a local point me to the first hole , which is down the tree line into a small opening into the woods at about 75 yards from the parking lot
Other Thoughts: If I lived within 25 miles of this course , I would play it all the time .Plenty of fun factor with this course and challenging enough to hone your game along with it . There is a donation slot near the first hole . They don't pressure you into putting money in it , but I feel that the money is going to the upkeep of the course , so put some singles or a 5 in it . A definite play if you are in the Manitowoc area .
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course in a nice park
Pros: Multiple tees and basket placements add variety and made me wish I lived closer. Great mix of terrain and obstacles, wooded, right, left, up, down. Clean and well-kept, and the other players we met were friendly.
Cons: I have this gripe about a lot of courses, this is another one where the basket is only a couple feet from the (extreme) rough, at least in the back placements where they were when we played. The signage was good and the navigation issues seem to have been mostly corrected, but we were confused by some of the distances - the short-long differential was 100+ feet and sure didn't look like it, especially since the back pin placements were separately noted with the extra distance they added. The "Fieldhouse" was locked, and all we could find for restrooms was two porta potties, one on each 18. There were a lot of wet, muddy spots around the course, including a couple hillsides where springs must seep out.
Other Thoughts: We were vacationing in the area and played this course, the first day we only had time to play the first 9, then we came back and played the 36. Blind shots with rough/creek/Lake Michigan behind the basket can force even the best players to lay up or risk a lost disc, so a shorter player like me feels somewhat competitive. Whoever made the pars here helped with that, also, a good player should play almost everything at least one under. I really do wish I lived closer, I'd play this course often, and will make a point to come out next time I'm in the area.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Marathon
Pros: - 36 holes of varied disc gold with plenty of elevation and line shapes and distances.
- Multiple concrete tee pads on most holes.
- Baskets are in good repair and catch well, multiple pin positions on many holes.
- Located in a clean, well maintained park.
Cons: - The new holes have caused navigation to be even more of an issue than it may previously have been.
- 36 holes is overly long. A split into two separate courses, or an easy way play 9/18/27 holes at a time would be nice.
- Long grass and thick rough in many places pose a risk of lost plastic.
Other Thoughts: At 36 holes, Silver Creek Park is a monster of a disc golf course. Even from the short tees, you will be out here for a long time if you plan to putt out at every basket. Fortunately, it will be several hours well spent if you embark upon this endeavor, as the quality of golf here is some of the best in the Midwest. It is very hard to maintain a constant level of high quality golf over 36-holes. Silver Creek has a couple of holes that could be considered filler, or that simply do not stand up to the quality of many others, but I never felt bored during my round, and I don't think I ever went more than 2 holes without excited about a shot.
There is some spectacular elevation in play here (Holes 6, 8, 14, 17, 18 to name a few) and I'd say most fairways have at least some manner of rolling terrain if not an exceptional uphill or downhill shot. The eponymous creek comes into play on a handful of holes, but usually isn't much of a threat, probably could have been used a little better. There is a good mix of tighter fairways that force lines, and more open shots with mature trees providing obstacles. The signature lighthouse hole with Lake Michigan as a backdrop really is quite fantastic.
A number of the newest holes were among my favorites (including the incredibly uphill 17, with wooden steps courtesy of local boy scouts) but routing really needs to be improved to reflect the new layout. My 4-some had trouble on multiple locations, including going from 14 to (new) 15 and 18 to 19 (old 15). The holes after 14 have been re-numbered, and in many places the signage directing you to the next hole is incorrect. It did seem like all the tee-signs had the new numbers taped on, and number on baskets seemed correct. While my group eventually found where we were supposed to go without too much trouble, there was definitely a good deal of confusion. Updated signage would help a lot.
The rough can be really thick here, and with many of the holes featuring blind or semi-blind shots to the basket, the risk of lost plastic is very real. My group came up on a capable looking single player no fewer than 5 times during the round after he had spent long periods of time looking for a lost disc. Many of his shots weren't really bad at all, just hard to spot. We spent our fair share of time looking as well, and by the end of our 36-hole marathon, were playing many of the holes from the short position, just to reduce the chance of lost discs. A few more benches would also be helpful, especially on such a long course.
Silver Creek Park offers some truly great disc golf. Multiple pin positions and tee pads offer variety and good challenge for multiple skill levels, and there are a ton of really fun holes. I'm not sure it's feasible, but a split into two 18-hole loops with clear and helpful signage would, I think, certainly be an improvement. This is a truly great disc golf experience, and pairs very well with Rollin Ridge 30 min away for an absolutely stellar day. Just be prepared with plenty of water and snacks, you'll be out here for a while.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
A little bit of everything
Pros: 1 - Multiple concrete teepads
2 - great layout, uses the whole park, play along lake Michigan, and elevation
3 - Good mix of short, medium and long holes
Cons: 1- Distances seemed to be off from the signs at times.
2 - New holes are being installed to the layout is a little different then the map.
3 - Probably wouldn't play in wet conditions. Some of the tee pads were slick just from the morning dew.
Other Thoughts: After having played Rolling Ridge and Winter Park this course was great for our group. I could see were course traffic could get to be an issue on a nice day. This would be a great everyday course.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Silver Medal Course
Pros: The signage is good and the scorecard made me think I'd be bombing for aces, but the first hole alone is such a righty hole that I nearly bogied. It wasn't until #4 that I found a comfortable lefty shot and made an easy deuce. The mix of right and left and straight is fair, but few courses have as many blind shots to extremely protected greens as this one. The 15th and 16th are particularly great, especially the mounting of the 16th pin and view of a bridge above. The pin for the 22nd is one of the best in the state.
Cons: There really are no cons to this course other than a lack of really big elevation. It has a mix of long and short, is very technical and makes great use of the beautiful land along lake Michigan. Only the lack of huge elevation keeps it from getting a perfect rating.
Other Thoughts: Go. It's gorgeous near the lake.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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