Somebody say "Bluegill of Illinois"?
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: >Fantastic Design - Played Longs:
This DGC has everything, except Flatness :p
Needed nearly all of my Shots, in just 18 holes(!!!)
Killer Pin Placements... like death-putts, rollaways, rollback to yous, and looking all pretty just over that water carry placements :)
Oh yeah, 3 Holes with legit Water Carry Drives
Short and Long Concrete Teepads at most holes, that separate the course experience from a Red Level Challenge to a Blue/Gold one
Serious elevation, and steep!
Finishes with a, sorta, Top of the World Ripper
>Bright Orange Chainstars
>Helpful Bridges and Steps
Cons: >Much of the course will be Muddy from the Thaw deep into Spring
Other Thoughts: >Was the Peoria Open week when I had the pleasure of visiting, so Maintenance and Signage were Tiptop. Not sure if the Next Tee Signs will remain after Tourney, would make Navigation tricky without them
>First couple/few holes are nothing super fancy, but require Big Drives, and add to the overall Balance of variety that Wildlife has
>Surprisingly, not Buggy around Ponds. Lil Buggy down by 7 and 8
>The Mountain Bike Trails out there are Outstanding!!!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Amazing course, heck of a workout!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Where to begin with this course!
The land is isolated and amazing. There are open holes, wooded holes, flat holes, holes with 100 ft elevation changes, water holes, dry holes, and so much more. The variety on this course is off the charts. If you do not have a variety of shots in your bag (including backhand, hyzer flips, sidearms, huge hyzer, etc), then you can easily find yourself in trouble. To me, this is the mark of a fantastic course. You will use every disc in your bag.
There are at least 4 or 5 iconic holes on this course, and the course changes drastically from short to long tees. You can even mix and match and play some shorts/longs to cater to almost any skill level.
Holes 1 and 2 lull you into a false sense of security.
Hole 1 is a wide open shot with some bushes and shrubs on each side. At ~360 ft, there isn't a ton of trouble unless you venture way off to either side.
Hole 2 is also fairly wide open back past 1's tee. The only real trouble is a few guardian trees.
Hole 3 is a big RHBH hyzer shot into an opening. You do NOT want to go short and left as it is thick, thick woods.
Hole 4 is a blind 200 ft shot where you will want to walk up the fairway to see the pin. A small ravine lies between the opening where you throw and the pin.
The first 4 holes are good, but nothing too memorable. Hole 5 is where things change.
Hole 5 throws RHBH around heavy woods on the left into a wide open field. A pond on the right should not come into play from the short tees. Even a good drive will then leave you with a precise 2nd shot to a pin perched up at the top of a small hill. Go left or right and you are in some bushes. Short and you are putting uphill 15 ft. Go long and you are in serious trouble.
Hole 6 is the first iconic tee shot. You are throwing 100 ft downhill to pin protected by multiple smaller trees. Go short and you will have a tough layup. Gun it long and you will fly right into a creek that is about 70 feet past the pin. A jump putt type throw will work for many on this hole. Take a picture while you are there!
Hole 7 is a blind tee shot over an angled hill on the left. The pin is accessible off the tee, but requires a good shot hung out to the right. But go too far right and there is a 15-25 foot drop-off. This is another hole where you will want to walk ahead to see the pin.
Hole 8 is one of the tougher holes on the front 9 and another beautiful hole. You throw down a tight fairway and try to position yourself on the middle/right side of the fairway. Your second shot is a RHBH hyzer shot to a pin tucked back and up to the left. Poor shots will leave you hiding behind trees or rolling down to a small dry creek bed about 30 feet from the pin. Watch for rollaways on your approach and putt.
Hole 9 is the second truly iconic hole. Only big arms will have a shot at 2 on this one. Mere mortals must play a placement shot to the base of a hill with a sidearm working well, then throw an approach shot up a hill with 75+ feet of elevation change. Drives short or long leave almost no angle to get up the hill.
Hole 10 is a gettable 2, but you must avoid some small fairway trees. The pin sits 20 feet up on top of a steep incline that with a drop-off behind. Most good shots will still leave you with a challenging putt, usually uphill.
Hole 11 is one of the two easiest holes from the shorts and a must get if you are bleeding strokes from holes 7-9. Avoid hard right shots as a pond could come into play on an errant shot. Also, be careful not to go long left as there is a drop-off that makes disc retrieval very challenging.
The walk to hole 12 is a bit long and confusing. Behind 11's pin you the path splits.. Follow the right path along the pond, around the bend, then down a small hill until you reach a wide trail T. Hang a right and walk down a path that is wide enough for a car until you reach hole 12. Keep walking, I promise the tee is there. Hole 12 is one of the easiest holes along with hole 11. Several guardian trees protect the pin, but are inside 20 feet so even hitting them will still give you a reasonable putt. A short sidearm shot works well here.
Hole 13 is also a hole that can be birdied, but has the potential for disaster that is not present on holes 11 and 12. A short sidearm up the left path or a big hyzer shot both work here. The pin sits on a small hill, so even good shots can leave you with a challenging uphill or straddle putt around trees. Hit any early tree and you could end up in a big ravine that separates the tee and pin.
Hole 14 is yet another iconic hole. The pin sits just out over a large pond that you must carry. Since the hole is only in the 230 range, it is very reachable. But the pond will toy with your head. The pin sits dangerously close to the pond, with a drop-off a mere 15 feet away. Safe players can throw a bailout shot out to the right, an easy layup, and run away with a 3. Riskier shots can yield a great birdie.
Hole 15 is a very straightforward, reasonable tunnel shot. Although the gap is wide and fair, any misses left and right, especially left, can land you in a world of trouble where par is not possible. Keep it straight, putt for birdie, but don't stray too far left or right. A good sidearm shot works well here and plays away from the trouble on the left.
The walk to hole 16 can also be a bit confusing. After hole 15, head into the woods to the right and along a biking path. Follow this for about 100-200 feet. As you walk around the path, keep your eyes peeled down to your left for a small path that takes you down to hole 16. The steps down are a bit sketchy and any carts will need to be carried. The tee for 16 is surrounded by a stone wall.
Hole 16 is probably the course's signature hole from the short tees. You throw from an elevated tee, down over a 75 ft ravine, over shallow creek, then back up a small hill. This is truly a placement shot and very difficult due to the low ceiling. Do not go too long or you will be in a world of hurt! The bushes are thick and getting up anywhere near the pin is very difficult. Even great drives will leave you with a 2nd shot with awkward footing. This is due to the fact you are going back up a short hill, but also the hill fades down to the right. You will have to make a standstill blind shot to a pin perched on a narrow path which loves to create rollways. No description can do this hole justice and you will play it 20 times and still not know exactly where to place your drive.
After hole 16, there is a hike along a path, across a bed of big rocks, up a small hill, along a car path about 300 feet, and up a small path to the right to a slightly elevated hole 17 tee. This is also a blind shot with a low ceiling, trees on both the left and right, and a pin that is perched on a hill with a 20 ft drop-off in front of it. Good shots here are hard to come by since the window is so small. Be wary of roll-aways on your putts and don't be overly upset with a par.
Hole 18 is the last of the iconic holes. The tee shot seems harmless, but danger lurks. The rough road to the right is OB, so you must watch shots too far right. But leave your drive too far left, and you will have no angle into the protected pin tucked back in the woods to the left. The opening is very reasonable, but placement off the tee is key if you want to attack the pin. A birdie 3 is a great score here, but staying inbounds and taking a 4 is not bad either. Follow the rough road a few hundred feet back up to the parking area and near hole 1's tee.
Take a rest, you earned it.
The long tees are an entirely different animal. Here's a brief summary of the best holes from the longs:
Hole 3 is a great placement par 4, with a long drive and good approach needed for a birdie 3.
Hole 5 is arguably the best hole at Wildlife from either tee. A 400 ft shot over a pond is required or a bailout left. A 3 from the longs is an amazing score.
Hole 6 is fantastic. Its the same downhill shot as from the shorts, but with another 20 ft up and a tricky turnover line that makes birdie very tough.
Hole 7 is a legit par 4, but not long. 50 ft elevation change on your drive up and right around a corner. Great shots still leave you with a hard 2nd.
Hole 8. Almost 1000 ft long. Drive 400+ foot down a tight window to a landing area 100 ft below the tee. Then another 450+ up a tight tunnel with trees everywhere. Then, still another 50+ around small trees to the pin. Wow.
Hole 11 is a 360 ft shot over another large pond. Attack at your own risk.
Hole 14 is ANOTHER pond shot. 300 ft is needed to carry the pond. The right bailout available from the short tees is harder to access.
Hole 18. 60-70 ft downhill shot out into an open field. A drive over and past the short tees is very good. Even a great drive will leave a challenging 2nd shot. Only the biggest arms have a shot at 3.
Cons: The cost can be somewhat prohibitive ($9 I believe, but I would double check this). Keep in mind it is a pay-to-play course. Having a family membership at the main park, I can play for free. Try playing with someone who has a membership as they have guest passes that can be used. If you play the long tees, it is well worth the price of admission.
The course is rough for carts. There are hills with over 100 ft of elevation change and narrow paths, so switch to backpacks if you have that option.
Avoid this course if it has rained. As mentioned above, the course has huge hills up and down, and it can become downright treacherous in rainy and muddy conditions.
The course uses so much of the park, but if you do not have a course map or play with someone who knows the layout, it is easy to get lost. This is especially true after the first 5 holes.
The hole numbers can also be very confusing. There is the original layout which was good up until 2016. The course was renumbered and modified, adding 4 news holes and adjusting the numbers of existing ones. There is the old layout, the new layout, and a modified Ledgestone layout that adds two temp holes that are less treacherous and easier to access. This can be very challenging to follow if you are not familiar with the layouts.
Stinging nettles, poison ivy, and hitchhikers are aplenty throughout the course. It is highly advised that you wear long pants, even in warmer weather.
This is a very rural course, so some of the fairways can get a little overgrown during the summer months. When you see where the holes are located, such as down a 150 foot hill and along a creek, you will see why it is not mowed as often as public parks. This is one of the main reasons you should not play solo. If you can play it later in the summer before Ledgestone when it is mowed and heavily manicured, you can't help but be impressed with this beast of a course.
Other Thoughts: You will need to bring your A game and hiking shoes for this course. But, the difficulty level can cater to a variety of players depending on the tees you play. The short tees are very reasonable and good players can shoot in the 40s.
The long tees are the hardest course in the area, leaving you exasperated and elated at the same time. I highly recommend checking this course out if you have not done so. But NEVER play this course solo, especially if you are playing the longs or have never played it before. All eyes are needed.
Also, keep in mind that even from the shorts this is a challenging course. If you are a beginner/novice player, you might want to steer clear of this course. Even from the shorts there are some challenging shots with the possibility of lost plastic.
This should be on everyone's bucket list! This is a course you will definitley rememeber!
With the right attitude, good shot selection, larger groups for eyes, and great putting, this will be a course that puts your game to the test.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
so the best in the state is
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: hole1 is just long but you get to hole 2 and its insane !!!! elevated tee over huge pond for first 300ft the a long curving fairway to a basket on a ridge you do not want to over throw. hole 3 is strait out of Blue Gill extream down hill putter only drive to a basket with a river 20 ft below it.next are hilly ravienes and 2 more epic pond shots full of huge elevation and trees .nothing short of spectacular .
Cons: ummmm i don't no of any really , if not enough poeple play the longs it might not get the needed play to keep it playable come late summer .yes you will look for some discs sometimes [or send them swimming ] o well
Other Thoughts: i would play this course every day if i lived near by,you have to see this course. locals need to play the longs Alot more ,the more they get played the better they will play and its so lucky to have a course like this near by. If you play well on this courses long pads you can almost anywhere
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Wildlife is a jungle and I survived.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Keep in mind this review is coming on 08/08/2016 after playing it a few times. I will update after I play the course again.This review was updated after playing Ledgetsone. I know a lot of hard work has gone into developing this course and I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings. I also understand the course is not complete and is a work in progress. Saying that I want those who are visiting to understand what they are getting into when they play this course. It's open and there is a fee to play. Reviews should reflect that.
**This course is a hike!!! This is not a well manicured public park. There is some rugged terrain. I managed to get my Zuca Cart through it but this place is no joke! I probably would not use a cart again. I would highly suggest wearing pants or long socks.** I did not use a cart and it was quite a bit easier to navigate but don't underestimate the terrain.
I am not afraid of any long/tough course and prefer the toughest layouts any course has to bring on. We started off playing the long layout and switched over to the short layout.
This course will challenge the best of the best. If you cannot throw shots accurately I would not attempt to play this course. Do not bring 1st timers out here!
This park is one of the most unique I've played in nearly 350 courses. It's in a secluded area and has huge elevation, flat long open, water, tight woods, and more. At times you forget you are in Central Illinois. There are some spectacular greens and tee areas. The long layout has some epic holes.
The bright Orange Mach 5's are fantastic and much needed. Being able to locate them is a big help.
Conctrete tee pads that are plenty spacious and grippy.
There were next tee signs all over the course. They helped navigate the course. Without them it would have been a challenge.
There were some spectacular holes out there. #2 was a fantastic par 4/5 with a water carry and great elevated free. Risk/Reward. Go big or hit the layup zone?
#3 is one of the craziest hole's I've ever played. Putter shot down a super elevated hill backstopped by a river. WOW!
Overall there were a variety of holes and I threw a lot of different discs. I don't recall any holes being bad.
Cons: After playing this course the first time the grass was cut for the event and quite a bit of work was done to make it more playable.
My #1 biggest con is the ankle deep grass and thick rough in the fairway. We were really excited to play this course. Realizing how thick the grass/rough was in the fairways we decided to play the short layout 6 holes in. Looking for good shots in the fairway is not fun! Looking for discs period is not fun!
After we switched to the short layout this course became more hiking than playing disc golf. If you are playing the short layout be prepared to walk, walk, and walk some more.
The flow started off pretty good however declined after #8. The walk from #8 to #9 is long as well as the walk from #9 basket to short #10. The walk from 12 to 13 short as well and then 15 to 16 then 16 to 17. This became very frustrating.
I've been on a lot of disc golf road trips with my buddy. We discussed the course at lunch. On hole #18 we picked up our discs and walked off the course. I have never done this EVER. After looking at the green to #18 we just left. Knee deep grass everywhere around the baskets.
Even the short layout is not beginner friendly.
Be very careful. There are some steep areas, I played on a dry day. I can only imagine what it'd be like after rain.
Other Thoughts: IMO this course should not be pay to play until it's completed.
There is poison ivy in and stinging nettles. Pants or long socks are a good idea.
Massive mowing, weed whacking, and clearing of landing areas could make this course much more playable/enjoyable.
I want this course to be successful but it's going to be very difficult to draw crowds. It's so difficult and rough I don't see the recreational player base developing. Maybe I'll be wrong but the other local courses are going to be tough to compete with.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
a great workout
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has a lot of potential. I am sure it will be amazing when it is complete. Lots of elevation changes. Long and short holes. Uphill and downhill. Left to right and right to left. Nothing felt repetitive. Good design and use of land.
Cons: Course is not complete yet so I will not comment on the overall all course.
DO NOT BRING A CART HERE!!! YOU WILL HATE LIFE!!!
Other Thoughts: Hopefully the grass is cut and the last few pads poured before Ledgestone in a week and a half.
Keep up the good work guys.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
THE COURSE IS<<NOT DONE YET>>
Pros: This course is still changing and a work in progress.
I can't honestly believe people are wasting the time to critique a course that's STILL IN THE DESINGN PHASE
Cons: This course is still changing and a work in progress.
I can't honestly believe people are wasting the time to critique a course that's STILL IN THE DESINGN PHASE
Other Thoughts: This course is still changing and a work in progress.
I can't honestly believe people are wasting the time to critique a course that's STILL IN THE DESINGN PHASE
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course will be one if not the best course in the state when it is completed. A play through here is like going on a highly rated nature hike.
- One of the best pieces of property of any Disc Golf course anywhere.
- Elevation change is immense. 100+foot hills you will be traversing up and down.
- Variety of holes. Left, Right, Up, Down, Long, Short.
- Recently updated directions on all of the holes. Tape and arrows have been posted very recently which address the concerns from the review below.
- Multiple memorable epic holes
- Excellent Baskets
- Hard but not impossible shots
Cons: - Pay to play ($9)
- Mountain Bikers and Hikers use trails that cross over a lot of the greens.
- No concrete T-Pads yet
- Non intuitive layout
- Flags indicating T-Pads are not easily spotted, and are missing on several of the Gold pads but are on all of the amateur pads.
Other Thoughts: Make sure you keep a copy of the course layout ready, you will need it. There is red tape someone put up with arrows and directions and indicators to find the next basket, my last time through was much easier because of this. The amateur pads (white) are completely reasonable and it is not impossible to shoot a solid par round. The Pro pads however (Gold) are way harder, often hundreds of feet longer and will really give you a stern kick in the nuts. Once the Ledgestone rolls through here next year, this course will be transformed into a championship caliber course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Lots of Potential, Falling a Bit Short As Is
Pros: - Wildlife Prairie DGC is located on an utterly amazing piece of property for disc golf design purposes. Epic elevation throughout, several great water carries over small ponds, and plenty of thick forest combine to offer a real challenge for discers of all skills. The aim is clearly to put in a gold-level course of the highest caliber, although easier white tees do exist for those wanting to avoid a complete beatdown.
- Elevation is used spectacularly. There are several flat holes (1, 9, 10) but plenty of crazy ups and downs on others (3, 6, 14, 16). Hole #3 is a short steep downhill through trees with a river directly behind the basket. Just a touch too much power and you'll end up swimming. Hole #6 plays up a massive hill. Hole #14 plays along a steep hillside sloping down hard to the right, guardian trees lining the fairway waiting to kick your disc off a good long ways with little chance of a decent recovery shot. Hole #16 is apparently* a huge downhill bomb through the woods.
- Water is used very well here. #2 is a hyzer bomb over a reed-lined pond, with a bail-out zone for weaker arms to the left (where the white tee can be found). #3 has the river behind the basket. #8 is a picturesque, frog-filled pond, with a decent water carry and plenty of room to the left to bail out . Hole #15 is a good long water carry without a real decent bailout zone. The path to the right of the pond is fairly narrow, with a small earthen berm running the length of the path to the right. You can land on the path/berm if not attempting the full water carry, but it leaves you very little with which to work, and considering the basket is right on the edge of the water with thick trees behind, you still could end up wet or with a very bad look from the woods after approaching from the layup zone.
- Some beautiful nature out here. I saw a huge crane and a deer.
Cons: -*Full disclosure: I did NOT find all the holes, despite having a map and looking for a long, long, long time. I could not for the life of me find #s 5, 6, 16, 17, & 18. My round took almost 4 hours WITH A MAP. I do NOT get lost in the wilderness easily. The navigation/routing here is very dicey at the moment. No signs. Not even tape on the baskets to point the way to the next tee. Most baskets were numbered: except for the ones I actually needed to be numbered. Concrete tees are easy to find in the open areas, but only are in on #'s 1, 9, and 10. So once in the woods, you're looking for small orange flags for the tees...they're almost impossible to find with all the elevation, fallen limbs, and orange leaves on the ground at the moment. Add the fact that one or two have been mowed over (I had to pick up the little pieces of flag for Long 13 and piece them together, for example) and the horrific course flow (more on that in a second) and the tees were very much a challenge to find.
- This is not a disc golf exclusive area. In fact, it's heavily trafficked by mountain bikers. Numerous bike loop trails crisscross the course throughout. I was passed by no less than 8 large groups of bikers, a few groups in multiple spots. Nothing detracts more from an epic course than having to constantly wonder if you're going to get run down from behind by a (rightfully so) clueless biker. This is more of a mountain bike area than a disc golf area, so expect to play second fiddle to the bikers. I seriously question the wisdom of having these two activities overlap in such a conflicting manner.
- The flow of this course is ridiculous in places, all the more so because of the lack of signage. The best example of what I can only describe as "whack-ass flow" is after #12, you have to pass #15's basket, walk down its fairway, walk uphill into the woods past the long tee, pass #14's basket, go up a small rise (the path is barely visible) down a bike path to the hidden #13 (where you find flags that have been mown over). This is perhaps the most egregious case of routing/flow I've personally witnessed. I've navigated corn mazes with more intuitive flow than this place. Do I go down the bike trail to find the next tee? Do I risk being run over by mountain bikers to perhaps find the next series of tees? These are tough questions you might ask yourself after wandering around in the woods going "What the ****?!" for a half-hour, WITH A MAP!!!
-There are some downright dangerous hilly sections. To the right of #14's fairway is a very steep slope covered in shale rocks (currently under fallen leaves). That's a nasty slide downhill waiting to happen. There are other dicey areas with next to nothing in the way of pathways or stairs to provide safe walking routes. Sometimes these areas are in the middle of a fairway.
- Hole #'s 1 & 9 look like they're used as parking for events. They had yellow caution tape tied to tall fiberglass poles running the lengths of the fairways, which do kinda get in the way a bit. The flat and open nature of 1, 9 and 10 make them a bit on the "throwaway-ish" side of things in comparison to the rest of the course.
- The rough is *rough.* I was cool with 95% of the rough, but #13's "fairway" is damn ridiculous. A bunch of tall grass, brambles, shrubberies, and general undergrowth make losing discs in the fairway a real possibility, even on the edge of the circle.
- Look, I like Pay-to-Play...I've never really bitched about pay-to-play...but I got charged $9(!!!) for three concrete pads, no signage, horrible flow, for less than 18-holes (good luck finding 16-18 unless you walk backwards from 18's basket) in a non-dg exclusive park area. I've never left such a potentially magnificent course more pissed off than at Wildlife Prairie.
Other Thoughts: - This place should get better. Tees are still going in (evidenced by the wood frames on #3), and that should help with finding the next tees in the wooded sections. Signage should go in (until it does for the love of god some local should tape the baskets to indicate direction to the next tee location!!) and that can't hurt. Nothing, however, will fix the wonky-ass goofiness of 12-16's flow.
- From a pure golf standpoint: this course is a solid 4-disc course, minimum. Maybe 4.5, but I hesitate to say that when I couldn't even find all the damn holes. Considering all the issues, I can't give the course more than a 3-disc rating at the moment.
- For some reason they erected a wooden wall halfway down #12's fairway. I've seen similar ideas, but this one just seemed a bit unnecessary, considering it's already a heavily wooded course.
- $50 yearly pass makes this a viable alternative for locals, without breaking the bank.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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