4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Chestnut is the free, easy course at Highbridge. 18 holes.
DGA baskets, all mounted well, and caught well. A couple decent pin positions, but nothing too hairy here. There is also the gigantic basket on hole 18, which I guess is a nice novelty (even if it is pretty haggard these days). One pin position per hole.
Concrete tee pads, for the most part. There are a few that are showing age. The concrete tees are plenty wide, long, and grippy. More on this below.
As a night course, it's ok. A bit of elevation, and a few holes that play in the tree cluster in the middle of the course.
Cons: There are a couple tee pads that are not good. They look like old pieces of a dock, complete with spongy, rotting wood that has a delightful bounce to it on your runup.
As said above, this is ok as a night course, but pretty blah as a day course. We used it to play a fun mob 2 disc round, and for that purpose it was great. Anything else, and you're just wasting your time with all the other great courses up the hill.
Navigation is a crapshoot. No signs, which becomes an issue after hole 4. We had to ask somebody on site for directions, and even then it wasn't all that intuitive.
Even the night golf is tough here, as the course sits right on the road, and there are street lights that hang over the course. I like my night golf to be pitch black, thank you very much.
Other Thoughts: I totally understand what this course is meant to be in the grand scheme of HBH, so it sort of gets a pass. As a standalone course, it's probably more of a 2.0, but here, it's a 2.5.
If you're not playing night golf, or using it for a specific reason, you're probably better off saving the time it takes to play it, and go play Blueberry one more time.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Glow Disc Fun!
Pros: I am basing this rating as a night course. It was fun to play a short 18 at Highbridge while camping and this course is lit up at night for unlimited play! I was not sure what to expect and it exceeded mine and my friends expectations. There are concrete pads at every hole and quite a variety of elevation for an easy course. It was well mowed and the rough is easy to traverse at night if you have a glow disc or LED's attached to your disc. You can really see the stars at HIghbridge at night and there is plenty of light. This year (2014) even the tee pad's were lit up as well. It's a great course to play if you are camping at night or need a late nite round that actually never closes!
Cons: Navigation was a tad tricky at night but has seemed to improve compared to when other reviewers last played, however there is still room for improvement. There are no water hazards and the course is not that wooded but that makes finding your disc easier at night. The biggest thing they could do to improve it would be to add more signs.
Other Thoughts: Definitely play here at night when it is lit up. There are not very many different disc golf courses that you can play at night and this one is ideal. It has inspired us to find the right courses to play at night in our area in Illinois! Camping here is fun and this is a great way to disc either before or after you sleep. There were many people playing the course on a Saturday night in July. Do not expect this course to be like the other courses at Highbridge since it is short in length. The course makes a good beginner course during the day time. Remember that camping at Highbridge is rustic and you might want to skip this course if you are not camping at Highbridge.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Super fun Night course
Pros: This course is located next to the campsite not on top of the hill by the other 5 courses. This is a free course and is meant more for playing at night. This is one of the reasons I love going to Highbridge. I'm not sure how many holes they actually have set up but we usually just play the first original nine holes plus the 2 on the west side of the driveway, then to the base of 18 then 18 back up to the campsite. It's confusing so I'd recommend checking it out during the day first. But once you got it figured out it's a blast to play at night. There's concrete tee pads on almost every hole. There's a few odd mismatched baskets on certain holes but most are mach 2's. These are all in good shape and catch just fine. Many of the holes are short and open enough to offer legit ace opportunities. The pictures on the site show the original 9 hole setup and this is the only course they don't have maps for so again I'd play it first during the day to figure it out. This would serve as a good warm up before tackling one of the bigger courses up the hill. A few of the baskets were missing the lights on top of the baskets but had a light below it. The giant basket and the basket mowed into the hillside is an awesome touch. The fairways have always been well mowed when I've gone. It's usually extremely peaceful here at night as well. The sky is magnificent looking. It feels like you can see every star in the sky and it's almost completely silent except for the wildlife. There's not a whole lot of difficulty here but that's the point for this course, but just don't expect it to match up to the others.
Cons: This course is really not set up well anymore. I'd like to see them get better signs and make sure all the holes have lights on top of them. The last time I was there hole 9's basket was not there and they had a tent set up there instead. Since people mainly come here for disc golf It'd be nice if they made that the number 1 priority. Also a few of the tees had big cracks running across them and a few had like 3 foot grass around them. When throwing at number 3's basket be careful not to overthrow as there is a barbed wire fence very close behind it. The dirt road leading up to the campsite has huge ruts in it making you have to drive on the grass next to the road. I mention this because you can easily twist your ankle when walking down to play a glow round. Also the giant basket is now laying on the ground. It be nice if they reattached it at some point.
Other Thoughts: Despite the many cons I have listed it's still an extremely fun place to disc at night and I play it every night I'm there. It's just a little confusing how it's set up now. And with all the other amazing courses up the hill it's totally worth a trip up to Highbridge.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Perfect Night Cap!
Pros: First off, this course is meant for night play. With that in mind, it is the best night course I have played. The reason I say this,the course is laid out so you wont have a hard time searching for discs at night. There is a variety of shots as well but nothing absurdly technichal (which is the way a night course should be). Was pretty cool that Saturday nights bonfire came into play by throwing through or around it on one of the holes(dont remember which hole). Hole 18 is also another signature of Highbridge, where the basket is 18 feet tall and the fairway is mowed to the shape of a giant basket.
Another big plus is the fact that it is basically right on the campsite. Each site has table, fire pit and large tree stumps used as stools. Was also nice that they added 4 showers by pro shop. We were also fortunate enough to be there when they had live music playing throughout the night while we played, a bonus to the entire experience.
Cons: This course is by far the easiest of Highbridges complex. Not enough challenge to the hardcore disc golfer. Signage could have been better, as it took some walking around on one of the holes to discover where to go next.
Other Thoughts: Owner John is dedicated to Highbridge and one of the most down to earth, and nicest guys around... Epic signature holes with fire hazard and gigantic basket... Pro shop sells LED. My review was based off night play and had as much to do with the "experience" as anything. All reviews reviewed before course was complete should be void. Same goes for those that reviewed it as a day course. It is meant for night and deserves to be judged as so. There is only so much "difficulty" you can put into a night course before it becomes frustrating and no fun .They did a great job balancing a fun and memorable course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
If you have time.
Pros: play it because it is there and you are there. If you travel to this area, play all the courses and be very prepared to rough it or Drive a good distance to any acceptable creature comforts.
Cons: same as the other Highbridge courses. Location is not the best and the maintenance is overwhelming
Other Thoughts: Too far from nowhere. Too far away from anything.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: [The Complex]- There are presently 5 complete 18-hole courses, with 2 more still being constructed. I like the fact that the courses are designed to be at varying levels of difficulty (hardest-> Gold-Granite-Blueberry-Woodland-Chestnut <-easiest) so if you come and play them all you will have a well-rounded experience of both challenging Žskill-testers and more relaxing, fun rounds. Each course has different colored baskets that correspond to the course's name. John, the owner, is very nice and loves to have people come and play. He works extremely hard on the courses and on the facility as a whole.
[The Course]- The Grove was originally 9 holes, but is now a full 18. The signs are simple but effective and the baskets are standard Machs. It is mostly wide open, but a few on the back are a little more technical. The front is flat, but the back has a couple of holes with a little elevation, including #16 which is a really fun downhill shot to an old barn. Then there are the gimmick holes- #5 throwing through the bonfire at night and #18 with the super huge basket. This course is convenient to the campground and a few holes actually play through it.
Cons: [The Course]- Most of the holes are wide open and not very interesting as this is probably the worst section of land on the property. There were no fairways when we played, just solid rough. Navigation was more difficult than it should have been because there were no paths, lots of visible baskets, and the tees were hidden in the tall grass. Only on the day we left did we see what it looked like mowed with defined fairways, paths to the next hole, and the basket pattern etched into the hill.
Sure some of it plays through the [littered] campground, but there were multiple tees that were right beside some really foul-smelling port-a-potties and outhouses that, at the least, added a unique element of difficulty when teeing off, but in reality it was disgusting. There was 1 hole that played over a pool of mud in the road that smelled (and might have been) raw sewage. Also, many of the tees on the new 9 were sections of broken concrete salvaged from somewhere else crudely pieced together almost in the shape of a rectangle. And other tees had begun to erode away.
[The Complex]- Can be summed up in two words- trashy and incomplete. The land is beautiful but is littered with junk and trash and numerous unfinished projects. And then add on top the most important thing of trying to maintain 5 courses while building 2 more, but nature is easily overtaking things. John is fighting a losing battle with an unpaid staff of 2 that can't complete the things that are already here while simultaneously trying to build more stuff. Things appeared to be breaking faster than they could be fixed. The campground was trashy and smelled of raw sewage in several spots. The Honka House has a lot of potential but the pics of the outside don't tell the whole story- inside it is missing basics like drywall, outlet covers, lights, etc. and seems to be used as much for storage of junk as it is for housing guests.
Other Thoughts: [The Course]- The Grove might have been better as a 9-holer which was intended to be a beginner or a glow course. Many of the new back 9 holes don't fit these categories. Chestnut is nowhere near the quality of the rest of the Highbridge courses, so skip unless you happen to have extra time, but you won't be missing anything if you don't play it. Also, this course is apart (thankfully) from the rest of the courses, right off the main road and visible from it (you can't miss the giant basket in the daytime!) It is the lone free to play Highbridge course (it would be a crime to have to pay).
[The Complex]- If you like lots of holes and very rustic lodging then you will love it here. If you have high expectations of well-manicured courses and hotel-like lodging then prepare to be disappointed. John's mission is noble as he wants people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and has plans to have 7 courses, as well as numerous other activities, but he does not seem concerned with creating a first-class disc golf facility. He dreams big, but appears to have bitten off more than he can chew. Highbridge needs manpower, but does not have the advantage of disc-golf loving locals or park workers that most other courses have. Other private courses don't either, but are usually only 1 course, not 7, and much easier to maintain!
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First of all, I'm thrilled to be the first reviewer to review this course since it's been upgraded from 9 to 18 holes.
Secondly, I played this course during the day when it's meant to be a night golf course, but that shouldn't affect this review too much...
CG is part of the Highbridge Hills Sports Complex, but it's not too close to where the "main" courses are. It's located by the campground, which is appropriate as it's a night golf course.
The first nine holes are fairly easy beginner holes with the holes averaging around 230 ft, but the back 9 are definitely average difficulty holes. 3 or 4 of them play through a wooded area and the distances increase to average around 350 or so ft.
There's definitely a nice mix of shots here and the scenary is breath taking. Also, I'd consider it a pro that it's on the same site as the other HHSC courses, so that bumped my rating up from 2.5 to 3.0.
Cons: If you had to skip one of the many courses that HHSC has, I'd say skip this one. In terms of design and difficulty, it doesn't have anything that would "wow" you or really challenge the moderate disc golfer.
If you need to warm up or you're a beginner, than this is definitely the first place you should hit if you have enough time to. Make sure you plan at least 2 full days here!
Other Thoughts: Basket #18 is 18 feet tall. It's definitely a disc golf landmark that you should check out.
If you're thinking about making the trip to HHSC, I would absolutely recommend it. I drove from central Illinois and it's about 8.5 hours and it was worth every second of boring highway driving. The owners of the site are beyond nice and really make sure that the visitors have a great time.
Feel free to message me if you have any questions about anything related to this course or HHSC in general. :)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Campground beginner course. Save it for glow rounds
Pros: Unique gimmicks - Bonfires to throw through at night, giant basket and basket mowed into the hillside.
Holes 6-9 start to bring the small patch of woods into play, they are decent little holes.
Decent tees. Just one set of tees though.
There are just a few pros, and nothing really noteworthy.
Cons: Simply because of what it is - a 9 hole, beginner, campground course that is pretty well lit all night long (actually making glow rounds more difficult). It is pretty short, lacks much of the meaningful terrain and features of the rest of the complex. It just fails in comparison, but no fault of it's own, it has a niche for true beginners.
Other Thoughts: I have not played this since it became 18 holes. I'm rating the original 9-holer.
Sorry, but I have to rate the course by number based on the term associated with it. Considering all the other amazing courses at highbridge, and the fact that you will be short on time, this course is passable - 1.5. However, if you're camping at the campground, play a glwo round here and be sure to throw THROUGH the bonfire, NOT OVER IT. Also, you can get a round in during the early morning when your fellow campers are sleeping off their hangovers. Although, when Bear and Whitetail are finally done, they'll come VERY near the campground and then again you must play those courses prior to chestnut.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Fun campground course
Pros: The course plays around the flat area between the campground and bunkhouse. The fairways are grassy, and many play around or through a small stand of trees with some brushy rough. A few holes play a little more open up on a small hill, adding some elevation to the course. The holes that bring the trees into play do a good job of forcing right to left and left to right shots, and make the course pretty balanced. The course is a good length for newer players, with mostly shorter holes and a couple with a little more distance, but nothing all that long. There are good concrete tees on all the holes, and the baskets are in great shape. The course has solar lights for night play, and the course is perfectly designed for night rounds and for beginners learning the sport. It's awesome to have this available when staying at Highbridge for a quick warm up round in the morning or an after dinner glow round.
Cons: The course is obviously intended for beginners, so it doesn't offer very much challenge to more seasoned players. A few of the holes are just wide open with no obstacles; those holes are a bit boring. There are no signs other than the sign at the first tee, though the tees are numbered and the flow is fine so there is no issue following the course, but a couple holes play blind into the woods, it would be nice to have hole layout and distance.
Other Thoughts: As a beginner course or a place to play at night, this course is excellent, it's well designed for the intended audience. It won't challenge you or give you the awesome views that the courses at the top of the hill will, but it is nice to have down at the campground area. It's not a must play, and won't challenge better players, but it's worth a round if you spend the night at Highbridge, or have a little extra time while you're there.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great night or warm-up course
Pros: This is the shortest of the Highbridge Hills courses with all par 3s. The Chestnut course is good and has a mix of holes: some straight shots, some doglegs, and a couple wooded. Hole 5 is a bit long with a bonfire pit in the fairway that the staff lights up almost every Saturday night.
It's basically designed for fun and practice... Chestnut's the night disc course with lighted baskets after dusk, and it's the Highbridge complex "training course" for newer DG players. It works great for either task. It's right by the campsites and one of the pro shops, so you will definitely play it a few times during your trip. This course takes under an hour to play unless you have a huge group.
Cons: This is the easiest of the Highbridge Hills courses, so if you are looking for long tough DG layout, skip this one and move on to the others offered at the complex.
Other Thoughts: Grab some LEDs and/or glow discs (would definitely rec the LEDs), get some beverages of choice, and go have a blast with your friends on the Chestnut night game or join up with the Saturday night bonfire crew. It's a great course to have a good time and meet some of the other DG players as well as the Highbridge staff in the evenings.
It's also a good training course or warm up course - about the only Highbridge course most casual players will sniff par on. Chestnut was a 9 hole course as of this review, and it's training course, so I don't know if there are plans to expand it to 18 like the rest of the Highbridge courses or not.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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