Best and worst open course on the Keweenaw!
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Torch Lake DGC plays through a field next to Lake Linden Campground on Michigan's scenic Keweenaw Peninsula. The course is on a "Stamp Sand peninsula," which (according to an informational sign near the front of the course) means that it was built up manually over time by stamp sand mining byproducts.
The course terrain today mostly consists of an open field. There is a hill on one side of the field that is used by the first few holes and last hole. Some of the other holes have a little bit of uphill/downhill, though much of the course is fairly flat. Wooded areas at the edges of the field are used to create a few technical lines. Hole 5 has some water lurking behind the basket. One of the later holes is in the open, but has some wood pallets propped up on end to guard the basket.
There is a good mix of hole distances here, from the 162' hole 6 to the 511' hole 12.
The baskets are Mach VII models painted yellow and blue. They were all in good shape. There is also a practice basket next to the first tee.
The tee signs that were present were decent, with the layout/hole number/par/distance and clearly marked OB areas. The main OB area is a wide path that winds around the field. Several holes play over the path but the course is so open that it isn't really a safety issue. Some of the signs also had bag hangers, though they were pretty low to the ground. Some of the signs had a description of local flora/fauna which was a fun touch. Unfortunately, several of the signs were partially cracked off or missing entirely.
Cons: Many of the tee pads are concrete, and it looked like they were brand new/in the process of being added. However, these pads are quite small - basically a stand-and-throw size. A couple of tee signs also mention separate "rec" tees, but where present these were just kick plates in the ground. The holes that did not (yet?) have concrete tees also just had kick plates.
Many holes have zero obstacles between tee and basket. The few holes that are tighter generally seemed to favor a RHBH/LHFH thrower. While the holes that play uphill and downhill affect drive distances a little bit, I don't recall any risky baskets other than the water behind #5's. Overall, the main challenge here in good conditions will be just throwing far enough to reach the baskets.
No benches, trash cans, or porta potty available. There is a nice kiosk that provides a lot of information about the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (which is largely to thank for this course). However, the kiosk did not have a course map on it.
There were only a couple Next Tee signs scattered around. Multiple tees and baskets are often visible and there are a few places where it was difficult to tell where the next hole was. I accidentally played from hole 2's tee to hole 3's basket (FYI: the second hole plays parallel to the first hole, not up the hill. Then cross the drive for hole 3's tee).
There is a fairly long walk back to the parking lot after hole 18.
Other Thoughts: With the course so open, wind could be a major factor.
I was between a 2.0 and 2.5 for this one. The 2.5 kind of assumes that the tee pads will be finished and the tee signs will be fixed.
The mostly open terrain on this course is unique for the area - you will have to drive all the way to Ishpeming or Ironwood to find another course this open, and those are only 9ers. People that like open courses and/or are looking for some wind challenge could have fun here. I tend to prefer technical courses, so I was pretty bored by the end of my round. There aren't really any memorable holes, and they started to feel the same after a while. This course is worth a play if you are local or have several days in the Keweenaw, but if you only have time to play one course in the area you should absolutely pick Calumet Lake DGC just up the road.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
good course well maintained cement pads are being installed at this time 4 in place now nice baskets chain star If memory serves me right great signs done by the elementary and middle school as was the course . nicely done great beginners course .hard to
Pros: Well signed laid out well good beginner course
Cons: A lot of wide open shots no obstacles.some might find some hole long par 3 for beginners
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The Wide Open Plains of Lake Linden
Pros: - With the exception of #18, all tee signs are in and in good shape.
- Course is set in an interesting park with mildly rolling hills.
- Baskets look like they are Discraft Chainstars but have been painted blue and yellow. This is a good combination of colors which stand out well against the natural vegitaion.
- Really liked #5s pin placement with it being on a pennisula surrounded by water.
- #8 pin placement is downright diabolical if you miss the fairway on the right side.
- Navigation was not too much of an issue.
- Where they were installed I really liked the diagrams and plaques made by the elementary school kids that installed the course.
- I really liked the concept that kids from the local school installed this course as a conservation project.
Cons: - A lot of these holes like 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16 and so on were out in the open with no challenge or obstacles. Yawn.
- #9 has a rather odd layout with a super narrow fairway and a ridonkulous right poke and hope dogleg to the basket in a very short distance. Easy fix: RH flick a OS disc right over the top of the trees and land out in the field for the easy duece.
- Drainage seems to be an issue here. Looks like #9 fairway and the area around the #12 basket holds a lot of water.
- 16 indicates on the sign there are 2 target areas DG'ers are required to land in or they will incur a penalty. If that's going to be part of the design and indicated on the signs as such then I would suggest placing some sort of permanent marking like stakes or the like. Since there was no indication of where these areas are I played the entire area as in bounds.
- The tee pads are the biggest thing holding this course back IMHO. Tees are basically wood mulch over toe-kicks. It looks like someone is trying to maintain them but realistically it's time for something more permanent.
- I also noticed on the tee signs there are "pro" tee-pads but I never saw those pro pads. Are they there?
Other Thoughts: Not really something that falls within either the pro or a con but the wind out on a wide open course like this can be brutal.
I enjoyed this course even though about half of the holes are a bland and wide open. I also really enjoyed the fact that elementary school kids helped so much in the creation of this course as indicated by the information at the first tee. It's awesome to see kids involved in projects like this.
This course is by no means a super challenging championship course and certainly isn't something to write home about. But to me, it's worth coming here to show support for the kiddos who put the time and effort into installing it. Besides, the drive here from Houghton is really pretty...
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1.) First course I ever played on, so I have to mark this as a bonus. Torch Lake DGC will always hold a special place in my heart.
2.) Navigation is relatively easy to figure out, especially when the course is mowed.
3.) One has the option of either playing 9 holes or the full 18. If you choose to only play 9, you can go straight from hole 7 to holes 17 and 18. This is a nice added feature. In addition, hole 18 takes you back to the parking lots, whereas when there were only 9 holes, it was quite a walk back.
4.) Course makes use of the limited amount of trees out there. If a hole doesn't have trees as an obstacle, the designers made it so distance can be a challenge. In addition, some holes have mandatory penalty shots, if your discs hit the path flowing through the course. This is another added challenge.
5.) A perfect course to work on your distance and empty your bag. The majority of the fairways are between 250-350 feet, with two being close to 450 feet.
6.) Buckets at most of the holes to put your trash in.
7.) The openness of the course is great for beginners who don't have the skills and/or experience to throw in such tight quarters.
Cons: 1.) For beginners, this can be a difficult course to start on, due to the distance of the holes. However when I played shorter courses after playing this one, I notice an improvement in my tee shot.
2.) The holes closer to the pond (holes 9, 12, and 13) tend to be muddy and have water holes, so be on the lookout for that. Hole 9 is always muddy, due to it being the fairway in confined trees, relatively close to the pond.
3.) Elevation and terrain doesn't change too much. It is pretty consistent throughout the entire course.
4.) Holes are all par 3, which is doable for non-beginners. This can be discouraging for beginners like me. Personally, some of the holes should be considered a par 4/5.
5.) Tee pads are dirt. When worn down, you can see roots and rocks. When it has rained, the dirt gets muddy, and you might slip. It is difficult to remain grounded before your tee shot.
6.) Many of the signs have been taken down recently or been ripped apart. I play Torch Lake DGC 1-3 times a week, so I know the course by heart; however, for newcomers, it might pose a challenge. I don't know if the signs are down to a recent thunderstorm we had in the area, or if people are tearing them down.
7.) Some of the signage states that there are pro tees; however, I have yet to see the tees out there.
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course in the Copper Country. Course is next to the Lake Linden Campground, and the "headquarters" of the campground (right across the street from hole 1) have discs you can borrow. Many locals walk the trail that the course runs through and bring their dogs. This course to great to bring your animals on. Poop bags are even next to the hole 1 tee pad. In addition, I would love to get in touch with the designers and find a way to help with the maintenance of the course, seeing as though I'm out there weekly.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
New signage, fun course (updated) Needs maintenance
Pros: Really nice signs have been added to all 18 holes which show the yardage and layout of the holes.
Although the course is mostly open, it makes very good use of the available trees. To my recollection, half of the holes have trees in play.
I played recently and noticed that "pro" tee boxes are being added on at least half of the holes which will provide different lengths and angles.
I think the course designers have done a tremendous job with the available trees and elevation changes to make this a fun place to play.
Cons: Currently the tee boxes are dirt with a 4 x 4 buried in the ground to mark the end of the box. Poured tee pads would be a great improvement, but I have no issue with dirt pads.
Other Thoughts: Update: this course is suffering from a lack of course maintenance.
1. Most of the dirt tee boxes are badly dug up and several have large rocks sticking up - most people have been throwing from next to the boxes.
2. Several of the signs have been broken.
3. Brush and/or branches have grown in on 3 or 4 holes. Branches are right Into the basket in some cases, badly narrowing the fairway on holes 9 and 18.
4. The Pro tees were never developed.
20 to 25 work hours are needed to get this course back in shape. It does get mowed regularly, but other work is badly needed.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Terrible teepads, tough routing.
Aesthetic--plays through a large open field behind a city campground. Camping is available onsite for $10 a night in a tent on rustic lots. Call 906-296-9911 to reserve. Even with 18 baskets, the field looks large and empty, there is a service road running through but I think thats your only non-dg obstacle.
Variety/elevation-- makes use of available elevation pretty well. throwing from a hilltop down and up to another..
Pin placement-- fairly unique placement behind trees and on overlooks by the lake.
Lines-- some interesting line choices here. multiple looks per hole help to jazz it up a bit.
Teepads-- huge negative. Rocky, rutty and unsafe. Red Muddy when wet. Kick strips help to point to the basket you're throwing at.
Teesigns-- It looks like they are working on them. some of the "placcards" have a light sharpied hole # on them. but other than that, no info exists. Teesigns would immensely hep the routing here. We found the first 9 without much issue but got lost after that.
Upkeep-- long grass throughout, not sure if we caught it on a bad day or if they don't regularly mow this course.
Kind of disappointing really. We ran into some locals that seemed friendly but the course was a bit of a disappointment other than we camped there.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice intermediate 18 holer
Pros: Quite out of the way from park goers and campers, except for hole 2
IS NOW 18 HOLES!
Many wide open shots to let your drivers fly
Even with all the open fields, the course takes advantage of a large portion of the existing trees
Cons: Signage hasn't been fully kept up with, at least when I last played it
Although I enjoy open shots, there could've been maybe one or two more confined ones
Other Thoughts: Very good course for it's location, offering some good challenges but also not too much to turn away beginners
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice young course with room to grow.
Pros: Top of the line baskets (Chainstars powder-coated blue and gold). Spacious, natural course. Good flow. Nice variation of holes/challenges. Plenty of room to expand if they want.
Cons: Some of the natural tees are worn and uneven and hard to ensure a secure plant foot. Signage could use some work.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful spot for a course just on the other side of the Lake Linden-Hubbell campgrounds and Torch Lake. Student led project has evolved in just a year into a very nice course. All holes are par 3. Hole 4 downhill is a great place to let all your drivers go. Hole 8 at 440 ft. is quite a challenge to par and hole 9 has a number of ways to play it (the gap sure is tempting but 90% who do go for it end up in the trees). A great starting point for this course. Word has it they are looking to expand to 18 and possibly have poured teepads down the road. A promising course just in its infancy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
A little bit of everything, maybe not enough
Pros: Lake Linden-Hubbell DGC is tucked behind the campground at the aptly-named Lake Linden Park. I wasn't sure what to expect, knowing it was a school project and all, but I'd give the kids an A+ for their work. Granted, this does not give it an automatic 5/5, but for a 9-hole course, it's got a lot going for it.
Excellent, new baskets. They catch great and the colors make them extremely visible.
Tees: dirt, but reasonably flat. Signs with distance and directions at every tee, garbage buckets and benches throughout.
Easy navigation with mowed paths and several "next tee" signs.
Good variety - Each hole has it's own unique challenge. A quick rundown:
Hole 1: Flat, slightly left of tee. Perfect RHBH warmup hole.
Hole 2: Throw across a field, basket tucked behind trees.
Hole 3: Uphill toss with multiple paths to basket blocked by trees.
Hole 4: Downhill wide-open shot. If nobody is behind you, a great hole to empty the bag.
Hole 5: Basket tucked onto a tree-guarded penninsula. You probably won't find the water, but it's nice to have a hole that makes you worry a bit.
Hole 6: Short, uphill blind RHBH hyzer shot. Toss it and hope for the best.
Hole 7: The basket is effectively level with the tee, but there's a hill in the way. Either hyzer over (and face the wind) or keep it low and straight and see if you can skim the hilltop.
Hole 8: Another open field toss, but helped by a basket tucked into some trees.
Hole 9: Fairly wide fairway through trees, but the basket is through a narrow, low-ceiling gap. Thread the needle.
Camping on-sight and a nice beach/lake to go jump in on hot days.
Cons: The open holes rely on narrow-cut fairways to add challenge. So far, the rough is fairly thin, so there is not much incentive for accuracy.
Tees (upkeep concerns): Yes, they're reasonably flat, but dirt tees tend to wear down and erode quickly. Along with the dirt, there were some loose pebbles mixed in. Also, the signs were laminated paper stapled to the post. One was already torn off and stuck to the garbage bucket hook.
The course ends away from the first tee, so playing twice for 18 involves a bit of a walk back to the first tee.
It's a 9-hole, so you're always left wanting a little more.
Other Thoughts: I see lots of open land that could have been turned into more holes, but I think they made the right choice sticking with 9. No completely wooded holes, but trees are put into play where possible.
The cons are minor (unless upkeep becomes a problem) and if the score was just based on courses in the Keweenaw County area, it would easily be a 5/5.
I wouldn't call this a destination course, but on the other hand, if you're there to camp and do other touristy things, the fact that there's a very competent 9-hole course on sight is a huge selling point.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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