A course with great potential!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I will list each of these by bullet points and comment in the "other thoughts" section:
-Offers tight challenging lines for less experienced players (red tees) and for more advanced players (blue tees).
-The demanded shots for the red and blue tees are diverse enough that a fun round of 18 holes is possible!
-As mentioned, this course has a good mixture of distances
-Not very crowded
-Very scenic course. If you visit Forrest Park in the Fall, it is sure to be a beautiful array of colorful leaves!
Cons: -Baskets are underchained and extremely shallow
-Poor signage... holes and distances are marked on the teepads. Makes navigating the course a bit challenging for first time players.
-Some of the paint on the teepads is fading, thus further increasing the difficulty of course navigation
Update 8/29/2017: The course is now equipped with improved signs and baskets on each hole!! Navigation is also improved thanks to additional signage on the long walks.
Other Thoughts: Forrest Park is unfortunate case of a new course that could be a very highly rated one, but hasn't been given the resources to do so.
Of the three courses in the Bloomington Normal Area, it is the only one that is truly wooded and the only one that forces challenging and rewarding shots on each and every hole. It is a great place to learn to disc golf or to practice before a tournament.
Although it's relatively new, Forrest Park DGC was given recycled baskets which seem to be representative of the overall neglect that holds this course back. This neglect is also apparant in the poor signage of the park as well as the fading paint of several of the teepads.
One note: it may be beneficial to the park to not have the nice equipment of other local disc golf courses because overcrowding at Forrest Park would lead to a situation where 2 groups of golfers could be on different tees but on the same hole.
To sum things up, I believe that if Forrest Park was set on a level playing field with most new courses (given new baskets, signs, or at least upkeep of the paint on the tees) then it would be hands down the top course in the Bloominton Normal area. It is definitely worth the visit if you are in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A well-designed course in a multipurpose park.
Pros: This course was just remade in June of 2009. Each hole has two tees (A and B), and both are concrete. The holes are probably Mach 4s, so a bit of accuracy is needed in putting.
The best aspect of this course is the variety. Some hole use elevation changes, and some are flat. Some have lots of tree obstructions, and some are open. Some are short, and others are long. The second set of tees are well planned, so playing through the course a second time will feel almost like an entirely different course.
This feels like a family course. There is a large pavilion in the park and playground equipment, so if the whole family goes, the older children can play the course, while parents watch the younger kids on the playground. Yet, the course is still very interesting, and any experienced golfer will enjoy it also.
Cons: When I played, the signs were missing. There were posts to hold the signs, and it looks like they were to show a map of the hole, but the actual map was missing. I had trouble finding the tees to hole 4 and hole 6, because there is no indication where to go after finishing one hole. 4 can be found by crossing the woods area, to the main part of the park. A map at the front of the course would probably help in this regard, or arrows painted on the holes themselves pointing to the next tees.
There is a playground and road that are near enough to the course that you have to be a bit careful. Since this park is multi-purpose, you may get stares as you are playing.
I've attempted to play this course a couple of times now. Once, there was a blues festival, or something like that in the park, and the whole course was unplayable. There were a couple hundred people there, and little kids running through all the fairways.
Finding the correct parking lot (north side of the course) is tricky. Google maps shows Tanner St. connecting to Morris, but it doesn't. The road is closed. So, take Morris to Springfield Rd., then go north to Tanner St., turn left, and the entrance to the park will be on your left.
Other Thoughts: This course is very nice for a 9-hole course. It is friendly enough to bring a new player. The park is interesting, and even has a historic building with plaque to visit between holes 2 and 3. It's close to the interstate, which is great for those of us who don't live in Bloomington.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Tight and Technical
Pros: - Course is set in a public park with many, many large trees, a small creek and driveways and parking lots interpersed throughout, so there are very tight lines (narrow openings and low ceilings) and the possibility for OB on almost every hole.
- 9 baskets with 2 teepads per hole set at very different angles and distances, so you can play a full round of 18 unique holes.
- Good variety of shots required to score low (short and technical shots, long drives, left and right turns).
- A few holes (#3, #5 and #7) are long and/or require very precise drives, providing an excellent challenge for players of all skill levels and will produce score separation for tournaments and other competitive rounds.
- Very different design from the other two courses in Bloomington-Normal, so it's a nice change of pace.
Cons: - Most holes are between 200 and 250 ft, so there are a lot of birdie opportunities if you can throw that distance accurately.
- Some of the lines are almost too narrow and border on unfair. This might change as the course matures and is trimmed.
- The baskets are "old school" and can be very unforgiving. I've only played two rounds on the course and I've personally witnessed four spit outs or rejections of dead center putts.
- A couple of holes (hole 4 & 5) are near a large children's playground. As a result, there can occassionally be pedestrian traffic to and from the playground and, because it's a new course, many people aren't aware that people are playing disc golf nearby. So...you've got to be sure the way is clear before you throw.
- Park isn't in the best neighborhood and is bordered on one side by a fairly busy street.
Other Thoughts: I'm very glad to see another quality disc golf course in Bloomington-Normal! The course designer (Rob Strasser) worked very closely with the Parks and Rec department to install the best possible course on the land available. This course will definitely become part of the rotation for all the local players. If you want to work on your short technical game, come check out Forrest Park.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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