9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I didn't think I was one of those people whose goal is to bag every course in the area, the state, etc. But after reading the two previous reviews and still choosing to play this course, I had to question that a little bit.
Red Szymarek Park (fun name) is a flat, small piece of land sandwiched between a residential neighborhood and a beach in Manistee, MI (It's not close enough to the beach that you can see it, or that any water comes into play). The flora here is scattered old growth trees. I don't think it would be possible to lose a disc here, unless it gets run over by a car or something (see Cons). The old growth trees provide a little bit of challenge. It didn't look like the baskets were placed specifically to force shot shaping around the trees, but there are enough trees to challenge a beginner to avoid them at least.
All five baskets here are in fine condition. I think they are the older DGA's. There are also five small cement tee pads. I think these are the smallest cement pads I have seen on a course yet. You'll have to stand and throw - no run up. But I think that's fine for this course. I used only my putter to play this course. Oops I'm slipping into Cons, so...
Cons: As mentioned in previous reviews, each cement pad has a post attached to the center back of it, with what looks like a small wooden mailbox on the pole. The mailbox has the hole number on it. The mailbox look is fun and unique, and it's nice to have the hole number, but mounting these in the center of the back of the pads is awkward as other reviewers have pointed out.
The holes are very short. There is no map, and no tee signs. I would estimate the holes as each maybe 150'-200' throws, so with only five holes the course is probably around 1000' long or a little less. You can see the whole course from any vantage point within it, and play it in 10-15 minutes.
As the others said this place has safety issues. Holes #1, #3, and #5 throw across a small gravel road that runs into the center of the park, with a loop at the end to turn around. Some dirt patches off this gravel road give the impression that you are supposed to park there, but if you were to do so your car would be in the fairway for one or more of the aforementioned holes. There is also a swing set in the park that could come into play on #2. #4 and #5 tee off very close to the street. The baskets are a little further from the street than the tee pads so you won't be throwing at the street, but a shot with more anhyzer than you intended could still find it.
I actually think it's not the WORST safety wise, because you will only be throwing short mid/putter shots and there are no blind shots here. Be smart - keep it away from the road, and from any other park users - and it shouldn't be an actual issue (but might be less enjoyable for you if you have to skip holes or lay up).
There's actually no real street parking on the two streets that border the park either. So there is really nowhere great to park. I pulled mostly off the street onto the sidewalk.
No real challenge.
Other Thoughts: The course would probably be better if it was shortened to about 3 holes, that kept a little further away from the street and avoided throwing across the gravel park road. If that happened I would feel better about recommending this course for practice/beginners/families.
I am in the Manistee area several times a year. On this occasion, my girlfriend and I ordered takeout from one of the local restaurants (The Fillmore - it was quite good if you are passing through). We were looking for something to do for half an hour while we waited for the food, and this course fit the bill. Even though it was the very end of a cold day (was twilight when I played), another group was leaving just as we arrived and a third group arrived to play just as we were finishing up. The Manistee area looks to be a little thin on DG options, so if you are local and similarly have 30 minutes to kill, go for it. If I lived within walking distance of this course, I would come play it on occasion. Otherwise, it's definitely not worth any sort of drive.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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