2 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the trip x2
Pros: Good use of topography. Good mix of ups & doooowwwwns, with 1 solid 'empty-your-bag' hole.
Plenty of variety in length & shape of fairways.
Signage was sufficient enough that navigation wasn't problematic. Once up on the hills, it plays mostly through a shady canopy of mature trees.
Benches on some holes.
Cons: Single tee pads. Some are only 6' or so. Although it is the elder of the two courses, it requires more clearing in certain areas. The lion's share of maintenance has been to the lower "Pine Knoll" course, because it is more family-oriented and gets more play. The galvanized Chainstar baskets were often difficult to see from the tee because many didn't have the usual bright orange tape on the pole. A couple holes were of questionable par rating, (tweeners) but the uphill par 5 will definitely yield plenty of scoring variation. Tee signs are rudimentary and only depict the shape of the flight but not the obstacles on or around the fairway. Hole #19 was a blind downhill shot. We didn't see the basket until we walked down the hill and didn't have an interest in walking back up to play it. Perhaps next time.
Other Thoughts: Fun course! With some lovin, this could be a real gem.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
You like hills?
Pros: Hanson Hills "Long Course" is an interesting mix of left, right and straight holes played on a ski hill that is typical Northern Michigan terrain. Five holes under 300' and 5 over 400' with plenty of elevation changes, the course will not bore you. Even on the short or flat holes the designers have used the terrain and nature to make them interesting and force you to choose a shot, whether it is the tunnel of trees on hole 2, or the finisher of 19 that you can shoot the gap or go for the big hyzer.
Interesting basket placement that is often precarious makes you keep your upshots and putts clean. (See cons)
Concrete tee pads that look fairly new, garbage cans and brooms(!) at each tee. Often there are benches, especially after the hill climbs. The benches are in nice shape and are nice if you don't carry a stool.
Tee signs that feature hole#, distance and layout at each tee are helpful (to a point- see cons).
Cons: Although the elevation changes often, the downhill/uphill flow of the course gets repetitive. Some of the hikes uphill are painfully long and steep, only for you to get to the tee and see a 343' throw (Hole 19). It felt like there could have been a bit better use of the land.
My second point is both a pro and a con. The basket placement is often interesting on the hills making you keep your shot clean, but all too often here the basket is sitting hillside or in a spot where you will rollaway. As a novelty placement or something to change the pace I like it, but it seemed to be the theme of the course.
Tee signs are new and look nice but on too many holes I had to walk up to see where the basket was anyways. It was either that or look at the sign and say "Go straight for a long ways, then turn left!". Perhaps some markers on the signs for landmarks such as large trees, etc. would be useful. But this is a small gripe.
Other Thoughts: My friend (Jmac79) and I made the trip up to Grayling for the day and got to play this and the short course. As a whole I think Hanson Hills is a very good disc golf/ recreation area. Both courses offer disc golf tailored to many levels of play. The long course isn't very family friendly as the majority of the holes are long and the hike is as well. I probably wouldn't make another trip solely for this course, although we had fun. As I said in the short course review Grayling Rotary has done a fine job of building two courses for their community and done so with quality and attention to detail.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Fantastic addition to Northern Michigan disc golf
Pros: The course is very well laid out, with the start easy to find after the large Rotary Club sign (they were kind enough to pony up the dough.) This course has a fantastic blend of holes, with tight woods, wider alleyways, and a couple of wide open field shots. There is only one hole <200 ft, but a strong arm will have an advantage only when accompanied by accuracy.
Each hole had a butt can and a garbage can, and more often than not, a bench. The signage, while primitive, was effective on all holes but one (13), and there were ample next tee signs.
The signage and tee for 13 has been placed higher, in a much more appealing location. A spotter is advised as an errant high drive can easily disappear beyond line of sight.
Cons: The signage is primitive. Hopefully these are temporary signs, as the inclusion of distance measurements and a picture of the hole would do wonders for game-play. The natural tees were serviceable, but wouldn't hold up for long. Not an issue as new cement tees were beginning to be installed as we left
Concrete tees are fully installed and are 2 generously sized segments, one in front of the other. Short holes (e.g.2, 16, etc.) have only one tee segment making a full X-step difficult, so plan on standing drives for these. This struck me as being unnecessarily frugal.
For a course on a ski hill, there is not a lot of drastic elevation utilized within individual holes. Apart from hole 11, which is a marathon uphill, only 4 and 15 have upshots at the end of the hole, which you can find at many courses with flatter terrain. Hole 12 is a significant downhill bomb, but only 9, 13 and 19 have a noticeable downhills. The main ski runs are unused.
The remainder of shots are relatively level from tee to basket, and the treks from hole to hole are what incorporate uphill/downhill climbs, notably before 5, 13, 16, and 19.
Other Thoughts: Even without cement pads, I enjoyed my round here so much, I am already planning my next visit. This is still a work in progress, but all the signs point to a first class course when they are finished.
The day I played was very hot, and there isn't the wind you will encounter playing courses closer to Michigan lakes. Bring lots of water, and sunscreen as well. Even though many holes are wooded, the walks between the holes are not. Appropriate hiking/climbing footwear is highly recommended.
There is a very bizzarely placed cemetary just after the basket of hole 16. A fair amount of energy was employed to create it, yet it is only a few thousand square feet near the summit of the hill. Be careful to not accidentally uncork one off the 16th tee as you could end up within the security fence, and I am sure it is to be considered OB from a stroke perspective.
Once there are cement tees and improved signage in place, I may increase my rating to a 4, but even with that, the lack of amateur tees on every hole and more significant elevation changes within holes will be what keep this course from getting near a 4.5 rating from me.
A great course, and a great time. Catch a round if you can.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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