3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging course. but with playable challenge that has actual thought behind it.
Great hole designs
Good mix of shots needed
Nice variation of shots needed
Location is awesome- amazing use of topography.
Good tee signs, some have been vandalized though.
Nice rubber pads.
NO trash at all.
Cons: Remote- was a little hard to find, had to ask a fisherman where to start.
Tough to navigate- Next tee signs would completely alleviate this.
NASTY rough. I lose 4 dics playing a solo round here on decent shots and searched a long time for some others that were barely, if even off the fairway at all. One I hit MAYBE 2 feet off the fairway and knew exactly where it was and could not locate it. The huge downhill shot I knew for a fact I was going to lose one without a spotter, but i let it rip because it was such a cool hole, I made a decent shot, heard it hit reasonably clean, and never saw a glimpse of the disc again. I get that this is due to the remoteness of the course and lack of people playing it, but it has to be mentioned.
An occasional ATV buzzed by, but not a big deal.
Some of the hills are a little treacherous to navigate.
Other Thoughts: This is an amazing course, it really is. It's up there with some of the top courses in Michigan for sure. It has everything- uphill, downhill, blind, water in play, bombers, technical shots,ETC.
It has a "cool" factor that IMO is only beaten by Flip City, and that is saying something. The old strip mine quarry pit, railroad arches, ETC are something that you will never see on another course.
The rough is a total beast, and playing this course alone is tough.Even the fairways in some areas are pretty rugged. You can honestly expect to lose a disc or 2 during a solo round, and it's a legit risk even with a spotter just due to the growth of the rough.
The rubber pads are nice, but concrete pads would really set this course off.
What this course honestly needs is just people to play it and get it worked in a little, and a local club to take care of it. I know that's asking a lot since Iron River is so remote and such a small town.
Of The few negatives it does have - rubber pads on longs, dirt on shorts ( some shorts had rubber) is not that big of a deal. The remoteness of the course is awesome and is one of the big cool parts of it, but it also leads to the harsh rough and not much traffic to get the course beat in is probably the biggest issue with it.
Overall this course is awesome, and is one of the coolest courses I have ever played, It really is a shame that it will never get the kudo's it deserves since it is so out there.
It really is a a great course, and in terms of hole design itself, it would easily be a 4.5. It really is a shame that this course will prob never reach it's potential. If this course was in a populated area and had regular traffic and cement pads, it would be talked about as a destination course nationwide- I am being 100% serious on that.
People should really try and play this course, I plan on making the 11 hour trip back next summer to play it again, hopefully with some friends.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course has plenty of elevation and uses it well. There are a number of really cool holes. Everyone mentions the basket in the middle of the huge arch. But also there's a hole across the river. And I thought 10 was a great, tough, uphill hole with low clearance - not super long but still a tough 3. Plus several top of the world type shots (a rarity east of mountain time). The pads and baskets are in good shape. The course was also not crowded - we were there on a Saturday afternoon in July and saw one other group (and a couple people out hiking / biking.)
Cons: The rough is the worst sort -- it's very hard to find a disc, but often not bad to throw out of. The combination of this rough and blind downhill holes is a recipe for lost discs. We used spotters on many holes still lost one disc and nearly lost several other (15+ mins of searching).
The course doesn't flow too bad, but it is a bit tricky to navigate in places -- I was glad to have a map. It also isn't obvious from the parking lot that you've even successfully found a disc golf course. I like that there are tee signs, but in many cases they aren't very helpful and you still have to walk the hole.
There are a decent number of holes which just feel like filler between the cool holes.
The course would also be dangerous if it ever got crowded (admittedly unlikely) -- a decent number of holes throw close to each other. (Between the overlapping holes and the lost disc problem, this would be a terrible course to hold a tournament at.)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
a diamond in the very very rough... forgivable issues.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Aesthetic-- plays through an old Iron mine (I think) many of the structures still remain in "ruin" form. Open strip mines remain and offer an awesome vista from the 7,8,9 pads. Off-road trails run parallel with the course and the ever present sound of two stroke engines is a little distracting.
Teepads-- the best rubber teepads that I have ever seen. Diamond plate pattern cut into them makes them super grippy even when wet. The short tees are trail pack and can be a bit difficult to find as they were added after the original build and tend to be a bit sunken.
Baskets-- Brand new DGA baskets. Highly visible with bright orange necks. This is vitally important as many of the shots are blind.
Teesigns-- where there are teesigns (many are missing, more to come) they are fairly accurate, #13 is a bit wonky trying to figure out the exact layout of the hole. The Map helps though.
Routing and nav-- easy easy. the map is essential to successfully navigating this course. Next tee signs from 1 to 2 are very helpful.
Variety-- This course offers every type of hole you could want with the exception of wide open bomber.
Elevation-- Brilliant use of elevation and natural topography. I think that every bit of creativity was squeezed into this course and it shows.
Uniqueness-- There are some very unique looks here. #5 with its ancient brick oven ruins #9 with the use of the concrete arch for basket placement, #10 up and around the bend with the crazy awesome road running around it. #11 with it's huge sweeping left with completely unforgiving rough on either side. #13, I don't think there is any other hole like this anywhere. crazy hard hyzer almost feeding back into itself. #17 is the shortest hole on the course but throws back over the Iron River.
Solitude-- one of my favorite things about playing a disc golf course like this is the ability to completely lose yourself into the course and surround yourself in nature and your game. This course has the unique ability to do all of these things in a very beautiful way. This is a very very special course.
Cons: As mentioned previously, many of the teesigns were missing but with the distances and map that are available in 4G service here, there really isn't a need and these are forgivable.
Other Thoughts: This is just such an amazing course in every way. Many minor issues are completely forgivable as the local scene doesn't really take care of this course. The Course was relatively recently mowed when we were there which was really really welcome.
2017 Update: when we got to this course in early October, course was EXTREMELY overgrown. To the point of nearly unplayable. There was something going on between holes 3 and 4 where the entire hillside was being pushed down. It's disappointing to say the least what has happened to one of my favorite courses... Needs TLC badly.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
A rough mix
Pros: A very interesting mix of elevations and direction.
Tees Fairways ans Baskets may all have a different elevation and a different direction on the same hole. deffinetly a change of pace from your traditional throw straight, throw left, or throw right course designs. let say some are go left down then up right finish flat center. It makes for a very diverse set of 18 holes that you never feel that you are replaying a hole and in fact you feel and your needed throws will show you that each hole is unique and a challenge.
distances are good do to the great mix of difficulty
Some very Unique holes. one being a basket under a huge concrete arch and another being an extremely elevated and extremely blind rhbh 600+ hyzer that needs to flatten out for the end of it's flight.
Cons: rough. due to there being no disc golf community in the area. the course is wild and rugged. expect extra time if you play alone or if you dare throw extra discs per hole. really the only thing i feel is lacking here is nature maintenance and maybe some benches to take a break fro the rugged terrain. there also needs to be a set of stairs built for the elevated climb two holes after the arch. or maybe a rope with knots to assist in the climb. cut dirt stairs don't suffice .
Other Thoughts: An uncut diamond sitting in the middle of nowhere waiting for your boots to polish it a bit. it could be a top contender if they had a dedicated club in the town. It is worth going out of your way to play but be advised it is not a walk in the park.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Wag your Tailings
Pros: 1) There are some incredible disc golf shots . . . shots I have never had the opportunity to throw before! Some of the shots are what make you want to come back over and over or empty your entire bag trying to execute the right shot.
2) Massive rubber tees . . . they look like they were made from conveyor belts of some sort.
3) DGA signs are acceptable for the information they can provide. Unfortunately some of the signs are missing already.
4) 2 sets of tees help to make the course a little bit more beginner friendly because some of these tee locations and throws needed are simply to tough for beginners.
5) Unique basket location using a concrete arch. The basket is set right in the opening of the arch and is protected by the concrete except for a 20-30' wide area on either end of the arch. If you throw straight at the basket and end up behind the concrete post of the arch, you will likely not be able to make the putt. You want to miss to the right or the left to have a clear shot. This is something I have never seen before and I always welcome unique things like this into the game.
6) There is another extremely unique feature of this course and that is the rock bluffs off to the side of #5 and 6. It looks as if that was an old mine because below the cliffs is a massive deep depression, so I am guessing this is where whatever was mined on the property originally came from. I took multiple pictures of this cool feature.
7) If you want a challenge . . . this is your course. I love championship level courses even if I am not a championship level player.
8) The views and scenery on this course are awesome. Although there were a few things that detracted from the overall aesthetics, overall this was a pretty course and property.
9) Awesome elevation change on quite a few holes. It mostly plays down the hills but there are a couple tough uphill holes too.
10) Nice variety of foliage density working through some tight woods, a few more open turfed holes, and some holes with just a handful of trees acting as obstacles to your throws.
11) Shot shaping has plenty of variety here. You definitely want to consider all obstacles and play placement disc golf to avoid bad skips and ending up in some of the briars and brush.
Cons: 1) The rough on this course is extremely punishing, visually unappealing, and simply dangerous in spots in terms of having to walk around or over it. In a lot of places the brush that was cut down or removed is simply piled just off to the side of the fairway making for a messy looking fairway and a difficult obstacle to climb up and over.
2) There are some really dangerous areas on this course. The walk path definitely comes into play on 5 or 6 holes to some level and it is completely blind on a couple holes. That is a recipe for disaster unless it is hardly ever used . . . however I was there late in the fall and saw at least 8 walkers or bike riders on the paths and not a single other disc golfer. If people get used to going through there without interference of disc golfers they would be more likely to get hurt because they will not expect a disc at all.
3) Hole distance variation is not that great. These are mostly longer holes in the 300' range with only a couple holes in the 200's and 3 or 4 in the 400's plus the one 600'. I would prefer to see some shorter acerun/deuce or die holes mixed in instead of some of those extra 300' holes. While there is an argument about appropriate distances by skill level, I also think an argument can be made that a large variety of hole distance can improve the design, playability, and fun factor of a course.
4) There are a few dangerous fall-a-ways around some teepads that could cause an injury. Hopefully when they have more time they can level off a larger area for the run-up and/or the follow through.
5) Compaction and erosion are every present on this course. I can only imagine what this course is built on, and I can imagine that growing turf in this ground would be very difficult. I hate to see these issues on incredible courses because it really does take an incredible course and knock it down at least 1-2 notches.
Other Thoughts: Definitely if this course had a bunch of volunteer labor and people took care of the issues that are holding it back this course would be one of the most epic courses I have played. It has the scenery, it has the challenge, it has the shot shaping needed, it has epic and uniquely memorable shots . . . it has some of everything and would definitely rise above many good to great courses out there. I am not sure it would end up as a 5 disc course, but it wouldn't be far behind. It all comes down to how much time the course workers have to invest in cleaning it up!
I am giving this course a 4.0 with the understanding that it is about 3.75 in its current conditions. I cannot give it higher than a 4 because some of the negatives are bad enough to hold it back, but with that said if I was giving the disc golf only a rating it would probably be a 4.5. There just are enough important things that I think are really lacking or holding this course back from being incredible. I think over time the course will continue to get better
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: superberry
Addressing the issue of distances. I cannot find my original course design notes and have not used a laser range finder recently to determine the actual distances, but I KNOW that what is listed here and on the signs is wrong, and in some cases elevation addition/deduction was made and some cases it was not made. All in all though, there are more sub-300' holes than would appear...
Hole 1 is about 290'
Hole 3 is 250' but 25-30' uphill
Hole 5 is less than 275' I believe
Hole 8 is only 250' or so.
Hole 9 is actually only 285' at best (sign says like 315' I think!)
Hole 12 is 270' but uphill.
Hole 17 is 200' but requires throwing across a 30' wide section of the river at 75-90% down the fairway.
You are absolutely correct - a stronger contingent of dedicated local volunteers would bring this course up a few notches! Those asthetics and landscaping items would work into the mix, brush would get cleared up, and you'd see a beautiful course emerge simply by being used more.
The walking path (paved) was a conscious decision to use and a joint agreement with the chamber of commerce. Overall use is relatively low, and use of disc golf was anticipated to be somewhat low so the probability of conflict was estimated to be low. Signs were supposed to be installed to alert disc golfers to yield at all times on all tees. The walking path holes were also designed with the intent to be played as OB on all holes. I think it has not been signed or played this way.
More work, more play, and more feedback will help the Tailings grow! Come play some extreme disc golf - if that's your thing!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Magical Pad fairy! Please place cement pads on this course.
Pros: This course is scenic, fun, a challenge, has unique holes that will test your long and short game and you will want to play the course again.
The map was good and any sign I looked at was good. Lots of elevation on this course!
Cons: Rubber tee pads that are sometimes too short or more like if you overstep you will have a very bad time... for the rest of your life... There is lots of water, the river and quarry come into play on many holes, gl finding your disc. Some of the rough requires climbing up and down steep slopes to get your disc, if you are prone to throwing in the rough then its going to be a painful round.
Other Thoughts: Playing doubles made the round more fun since it was my first time and I had a good deal of rough shots. A lot of the holes offer blind shots which I think are a lot of fun but also throw off disc selection and aim. Playing a course for the first time is usually more fun playing doubles or cali.
Make sure you get the course map. There is something similar to an RV park that has a Office and they had scorecards there with maps on them (yay maps!)
GOOD GOD THROW A BIG HEIZER ON 13!@!!
I know its tempting to try and park it, but that will get you in or past the river :(.
I guess highbridge or some other good courses in Wisconsin are nearby. Other than that, as I am from Michigan there is no other discgolf near this course, not until you get to the Mackinaw bridge 4½ hours away. Its a good 9 hours from Lansing.
This course is probably unplayable / under snow / your going to lose every disc you throw during a good portion of the winter months.
I'm not sure if I should con the rubber pads. It would be extremely hard for them to get all cement pads on this course. Although, the few short pads I chanced to step on were a joke. The Long pads were much better.
I lost a yellow pro-d Zone somewhere between hole 7 and 13, left it in the fairway. If you find it email email@example.com or call 5175154236 ill pay for shipping.
I also lost a pink opto flow on hole 13. It either went in the bend on the river or just past the river. That disc has my name and # but I doubt someone is going ot find it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course plays on a hilly wooded property. Elevation changes on many holes add some great challenges and some fun variety. There are a couple steep hills, including some tough uphill shots and some fun downhills. Some of the pin placements offer some cool protected greens and some rollaway potential.
Most of the course plays with defined fairways and thick woods and rough if you miss your line. You will definitely pay for errant shots here, accuracy is a premium. There's a solid mix of hole shapes, calling for a balance of left and right turning shots of all different lengths. The signage is decent, most holes have tee signs with hole length and shape, and there are a few next tee signs.
Cons: Some of the signage is missing, not a huge deal but it could be a problem if vandalism is the cause and it continues. The long tees have rubber mats, most were in good shape, but a handful were lumpy or sloped with poor footing. The short tees are small and poorly laid, most were rocky, rutted and sloped. I can't imagine they get much play, especially with signage only at the longs.
Several of the holes here offer pretty open lines, with dense rough as the only real obstacle, a little more wooded tunnel golf would be my preference. The rough here is some of the nastiest I've seen, especially since it was encroaching on most of the fairways leaving lost disc potential even for good shots (one basket was surrounded by knee high plants). The walking path is in play on a few holes, with blind shots at times that could be a safety issue with pedestrians present. A couple holes have the next tee too close to the basket, if multiple groups are playing there could be some conflict.
Other Thoughts: Beginners won't have much fun here, there are lots of tough shots with distance, elevation, and really punishing rough. More experienced players will find some great shots here, with cool variety and tough challenges. With some maintenance and improvements, this could be a really cool course worth going out of your way to play. At the moment, it's got some fun moments but it's also a disc eater, I wouldn't play it without someone to help spot.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A tough and enjoyable experience
Pros: + Very creative hole designs
+ Hole 11 has you throwing from the top of a huge hill with a dog leg to the left. It's a blast to watch your disc sail forever (provided you get a good throw!)
+ Extremely varied terrain. Lots of rugged hills, trees and dried creek beds. The Iron River runs along the course, creating a water hazard for a few of the holes
+ Good use of obstacles (one basket is between the arch of an old railroad support, nice!)
+ Not a lot of traffic means you don't have to wait to tee off very often
+ There are usually maps of the course at the beginning
+ For the most part it is well signed, with arrows pointing to the next tee and most holes have a sign showing the layout.
+ Two sets of tees
+ Most of the tee boxes are in good shape (rubber mats)
Cons: -The terrain isn't always maintained very well. The fairways aren't cut.
- A walking path runs through the course, meaning you sometimes have to watch out for people walking. This doesn't happen often and every person we encountered on the path was very friendly.
- I believe it's hole 15 that you have to walk a long ways back up the course from 14 to get to the tee. It's the only hole that the tee isn't fairly close to the previous hole, otherwise course flows very well.
Other Thoughts: I really like this course a lot. It can be very challenging and punishing for the beginner player. This is probably not the course you want to bring someone who has never played the game before to. Make sure to wear proper footwear for going up and down steep and rocky hills. There often tends to be long grass and unless you're a really good shot, you'll probably be playing from some of the incredibly wild roughs. Bring extra discs along. We've lost a disc each time my group has played. We're definitely beginners, so intermediate/advanced players might not have this issue. I really hope a lot of people play the course and make suggestions/comments to the city of Iron River so they will stay committed to it. It's a wonderful course and I'd hate to see it go to waste.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Currently Precocious, Potentially Legendary
Pros: The Tailings is situated on a very unique piece of land with interesting natural features and cool manmade structures. The designers did a great job of incorporating these features and structures to create varied shots and interesting hazards. The design has you throwing left, center, right, up, down and waaaaaay down from the tee. The river plays a role on several holes and deep pits on a couple other holes threaten to gobble plastic. Distances are varied and there are a couple opportunities to air it out. There are major elevation changes on several holes.
Course peripherals are solid. Baskets are still new and have number signs. The tees are level rubber pads. The rubber provides good traction when dry. Don't know how they fare in the rain and wet. Signs are present at the tees, providing a sufficient model of the hole with the distance. Most signs have a 'next tee' icon, which is useful.
I was the only player on the course for both my rounds on a gorgeous Friday morning/afternoon. The course was clean and mostly free of litter. Good opportunity to scope some wildlife. I saw no fewer than three deer and a very entertaining gaggle of baby ducks with parents on the river. I also get the impression that an encounter with less-friendly wildlife is not outside the realm of possibility (I'm lookin' at you, Mr. Bear).
Cons: The course is young and still raw. Even the (comparatively) tame fairways are a treacherous jumble of stones, rubble, stumps, grass, gravel and mining detritus. Departure from the fairway can be excessively punitive, as the rough in certain areas is nigh on impenetrable when attempting to retrieve a disc. The extreme terrain and the slag from clearing the course combine to force some hairy disc rescue operations. Certain areas dictate a drop as the only reasonable choice.
While the essentials like baskets and tee pads are solid, the course is a bit lacking in amenities. Trash receptacles...where are they? However, despite the lack of trash cans, the course was very clean. No benches to speak of. Adding benches on a couple of the holes would be huge. I'm thinking primarily of #11, where such a climb should be rewarded with a proper sit, and the view is deserving of a bench. Speaking of the climb on #11, an emergency rope would take a bit of the fear out of the descent (I nearly had a brownout in my shorts on the way down...terrifying).
Navigation isn't a huge problem, but there are a couple places where some additional clarification would come in handy. On a couple of the holes (the #2,3,4,5,6 cluster) the 'next tee' icons on the signs were not effective for me.
Some folks will see the rubber pads as a con. There are no bathrooms onsite. The ORV path can be a bit of a nuisance if you're looking for real solitude.
Other Thoughts: PLAY THE TAILINGS. The Tailings has the potential to be legendary. The land is full of interesting quirks and features that create serious character and charm. The river is beautiful. The crumbling brick structure between #4 and #5 and the arches on #9 are completely unique and hearken back to a once thriving mining industry. The course is distinctively 'Northwoods.' To their credit, the designers took advantage of all these things to create a fun and exciting course.
Assuming the Tailings continues to receive the present level of care and attention, use and age will benefit the course the most. It seemed to me that the course is still breaking in, which accounts for the rough around the edges vibe. If the course gets sufficient play the edges will smooth over time.
In the meantime, proper footwear (read: hiking boots w/ ankle support) is essential. Also, bring extra water. I didn't have a problem with the hike per se, but rather having to be constantly vigilant in my foot placement. Both fairway and rough present a persistent hazard of twisting an ankle. Long pants are also a good idea. If you are not confident in your ability to hit the fairway, a spotter is key. I played solo and spent a lot of time searching for errant throws. This is partially because I'm not that good, and partially because the rough is really, really rough.
From a roadtrip perspective, I'm not sure Tailings is in the 'destination' echelon just yet. However, it is certainly worth hitting if you are anywhere in the neighborhood (I drove 2 hours each way and was glad that I did). I really hope I have the chance to return at some point in the next couple of years to see how the course progresses. With some additional amenities and a bit of breaking-in, this course will be a destination.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - Absolutely insane elevation changes. This terrain is more extreme than any disc golf course I've ever seen. Signature holes abound, to the point that plain holes are the irregularity.
- Neat scenery. Besides the incredibly steep hillsides, you have the leftovers of a bridge from the iron industry sheltering a basket, interesting woods, and the beautiful Iron River.
- Great variety in holes. A lot of different shots are used, with approaches I'd never had to consider using before necessary to avoid some of the roughs.
- Secluded and clean. On a beautiful friday afternoon, we had no locals to deal with, and found very little trash. We spotted a huge doe, and a big colorful beetle during our round.
- Great tees and signage. All holes are clearly marked, and the tees are mostly big slabs of iron, giving them a unique look.
Cons: - The terrain is extreme. This can make the course easily unplayable. If there's any rain, some tees would be far too slippery to reach, and many others dangerous to approach. Even in perfect conditions I found myself slipping down a number of hills, and this in areas that were supposed to be fairways. BRING GOOD SHOES AND LOTS OF WATER.
- Not beginner disc golf. A lot of courses may claim this, but here its most certainly true. A number of the roughs are downright impossible to retrieve discs from, and if you don't have a lot of control you will have a hard time staying out of them. Even with pro levels of control, expect to lose a disc, especially if there's any wind.
- Some vicious flora. My wife encountered some sort of stinging nettle, or possibly poisonous hogweed that left her calf feeling like it had been stung by dozens of wasps for several minutes, and itched for quite some time. Even where its just your traditonal thorns, they come thick and mean.
- Erosion is going to do a number on this course. One tee in particular will likely become unreachable soon without carving some stairs into the hillside.
Other Thoughts: The Tailings is a course built on the piles of rubble left behind by Iron River's declining industry, and it shows. This is a good thing, because it creates extreme and interesting terrain. This is also a bad thing, because its slippery and dangerous to walk around on. If you're feeling athletic, unafraid of bad footing, and willing to lose discs down cliff faces mere feet off the fairway, this is an amazing course. If you're looking for a casual course to play with a few friends who don't take the sport seriously, you'll probably leave with a cranky group and short at least a half dozen discs. Say what you like about it, there's no course like this that I've ever seen, and if you happen to find yourself passing by Iron River, you'd be doing yourself a disservice to skip playing it. I visited this course on the way back from an extensive disc golf trip to northern Wisconsin, including 5 days at Highbridge; despite all the amazing golf I played, this is the course that I'll remember the most.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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