My "home" course up north, tips to enjoy your day.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There are currently 30 reviews of Wheeler Park, including details of all holes. Fair warning: if you only want to read a review of holes, stop reading now and check out the many other great reviews. I'll try to add new user-friendly info that might help you plan your frolf trip to a course that's a fascinating blend of flat and wide fairways, narrow wooded holes, tree protected baskets, a "mean" downhill approach, and opportunity for "rollers" (esp. on the opening drive hole #1 to get underneath the trees). Also, it has some par 4 holes that surely should be par 3s, such as #13 and #18, that you can feel good about your game when you birdie them. It's a feel good course.
The little shack by the putt-putt course (near hole #1) serves ice cream, sodas, small snacks, and has discs for sale.
Restrooms are available. If one wants, they can play putt-putt "real" golf, tennis, have a picnic, and catch butterflies, all in the same park.
Cons: The paved walking path winds through the course and, if one is prone to errant throws or is unwilling to wait for pedestrians and bicyclists to pass, dangerously close encounters of the bloody kind may ensue. I have been jogging through the park on the pavement myself and have had driver discs hyzer uncomfortably close to my squash. Be careful!
Somewhat busy on summer weekends, with some wait time or allowing other players to "play through".
If there has been rain, the woodier holes are muddy; in particular, the walk through the woods to climb for holes #10, #11, are sloppy affairs. It can, at times, be impossible to climb the steep hill to get to the driving mat for hole #11 when muddy...wish list: for some Eagle Scout project to add railroad ties as steps here.
A couple of the tees in the front nine are 20 feet off very busy Route 31, and it's sort of nerve-rattling (particularly if some doof finds humor in honking their horn just as you start your x-step approach).
Other Thoughts: I greatly enjoy this pretty, little 18-holer course. I believe that the Geneva Park District takes DG seriously by keeping the course well mowed and open from tree branches. I do think that the designers of this course have used the terrain to the very best efficiency; for such a small park, it is exceedingly well laid out and planned (unlike, say, Forrest Park in Bloomington, IL, which is a small park and not ideally laid out, IMHO).
That said, for the first timer, the hole layout can be confusing at times; strongly suggest taking a cell phone photo of the course map at the first hole before starting play. Most of the course is on grass, so watch for wear patterns to suggest the next tee pad.
An added advantage to Wheeler Park is its walking proximity to eating and dining establishments in Geneva, including Penrose Brewery, Old Town Pub, Aurelio's Pizza, and all the delectable treats on Third Street (which is less than one mile away). There is a Starbucks at the corner of Route 38 and Third St in downtown Geneva if one wants a coffee fix before playing (0.6 mile from Wheeler Park). Great wood-fire pizza and beer, and the only self-serve (i.e inexpensive) eatery on Third Street, is Doughocracy. For those that want to sneak in a filling breakfast before your match, Egg Harbor on the far end of Third Street (parking in the free garage on weekends and nights), the Geneva Diner (just off Route 38 by the Geneva LIbrary), or Buttermilk (N River Lane/Route 38). The absolute nearest dedicated, non-pub eatery for cheap eats near Wheeler Park (0.6 miles) is Jalapeno Grille, St. Charles, (just walk or drive on Route 31 toward St Charles for a bit, it's the first place on the right side of the road after the skatepark) which opens early and serves order-at-the-counter Mexican fare for breakfast, lunch, and supper...it's casual, yummy stuff. If you want a pub for drinks with your pals before or after a match, The Dam Bar & Grill, The Little Owl, and Flagstone's are the closest to the park (0.5 miles). There's a free Geneva public parking lot right in front of The Dam Bar & Grill. Google any of these venues for more info.
If a person wants to bike to the course, simply take the paved Fox River Trail from any location along its 40-mile course and get off the paved trail at the Geneva dam, just north of Island Park. Then, on the west side of the river, bike north on North River Lane, go up Peyton Street (100 yards), and travel two blocks on the sidewalk on Route 31 to Wheeler Park. :-) There's a bike rack by the little red shack at hole 1.
A golfer could take the Metra train to the Geneva station on Third Street, then walk down Third Street across Rt 38 all the way to Wheeler Park, never leaving Third Street...it's about 1.55 miles. Uber is also an option.
Hard to lose a disc at this course, yet I managed to do it (a new Discraft Crank Z) in the prairie grass on Hole #6. Go figure.
The store Aces & Chains (mentioned in at least one prior review) is no longer in business in Geneva, IL. :-( Besides the red snack shack at Wheeler Park renting (yes, they rent!) and selling discs, the next closest place to replace the putter that you forgot at home in your practice basket is, believe it or not, the always open 7-Eleven convenience store (yes, the national chain store; you can get a Slurpee while you're at it) on Route 38, which is in downtown Geneva (about 0.9 mile from Wheeler Park), next to Ace Hardware. Right inside the door, there's a display with about forty discs total, seemingly mostly Innova brand. The only other places for discs that I'm aware of are the Dick's Sports, on the second floor, at Geneva Commons on Randall Road (4 miles from Wheeler Park), and last I was there, mid-summer, the pickings were slim with only about ten discs total, and Play It Again Sports in St Charles on Randall Road and Route 64 (2.75 miles) which has a ton of discs, mostly Innova, but also some Lat64 and Discmania; this summer, they had about 100 used and 100 new discs to select from at Play It Again Sports.
There are about 50 spaces of parking in a paved lot by the Wheeler Park putt-putt course/hole #1, and the parking lot is accessed just off the little side street immediately past (when traveling northbound on Route 31) the new, fancy row of townhouses. Odds are you will drive past it and have to come back; no biggie, there's a second Wheeler Park parking lot 0.15 miles for about 30 more cars further down (north on) Route 31 in which you can turn around, or you could park there and walk back to hole #1, approx 1/4 mile, on the paved pathway, giving you a chance to scout the course. A possible advantage of the second parking lot is that basket #5, tee box #6 is immediately next to it, so if you need something from your car after you start playing (e.g. jacket on a nippy day), or just want to play a few holes and leave, you'll be right there at hole #6. Another option: start play at hole #6, go "around the horn" #18-#1, and wind up back at your car having played the whole course.
The final hole, #18, is in front of the senior center building and has a long straight, tree-lined approach, and puts you within eyesight of (not immediately at) hole #1, if you parked there. If you parked in the other lot, you just walk on the paved path backwards a touch to the second parking lot.
Have fun, Geneva, IL is fabulous. I live walking distance to Wheeler Park so that's how I know some of this. Google map any of it that interests you. :-)) I'm happy to provide you with information on this fabulous website, DGCR, that might help you enjoy The Links at Wheeler Park. Thanks to all of you who have helped me with reviews of other courses that I am now discovering. Peace out.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Fun Course
Pros: This is my favorite course in the area to play. Granted, that may not be saying a real lot but to get to real good courses one has to travel to Rockford or Joliet (or perhaps Round Lake but I haven't got to the course there yet).
The course is a very nice park. The park is heavily used but I rarely have much trouble with others getting in the way. The course can be played relatively quickly. My wife and I often play 18 holes, have a sack lunch in the park, and then go back for another 18.
I am an average golfer who can throw only max about 320 feet. So the distances here mean that I can have a shot at getting a two on many holes with a good drive. But they do require a good drive. The good thing is there is good variety in the holes so they require different shots. There are only a few places where an errant drive may put you in the woods with a hard second shot. It would be hard to lose a disc here and an errant drive can often be corrected. What this means is the course is not as challenging as really good courses, but it makes for a good relaxing round. So for the casual disc golfer like me, you can go here and aim to shoot under par. Really good golfers will be well under par.
Cons: As others mention, the tee pads can get slippery. Not just after the rain. Sometimes dry dirt can build up on them and make them just as slippery. I will sometimes tee off next to them when I feel the pad might be dangerous. I will say, however, that I do find the rubber mats better than just having rocks or dirt so I am glad they have been added.
First timers will have a hard time finding their way. Try to follow others or even better print the course map on this site before you go.
Other Thoughts: To summarize. The Links is just a very fun course with needing lots of different kinds of shot to make an enjoyable day of disc golf. But if you are a better player looking to be really challenged with obstacles and distance then you may have to travel a bit. (The one exception may be the 18 hole course in Streamwood which requires much longer drives. But I still prefer the Links.)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Wheeler park is great. The fact that you get that wooded mixture is fantastic. For the most part, a beginner course.. but still very fun to play. Park always stays in good condition for the most part. In the summer they have scorecards you can get up front at the mini-golf stand. But for the most part this course defiantly goes down in my books for being one of my favorites. At least my favorite locally for me.
Cons: The one thing I don't enjoy about wheeler is that after it rains things can get a little weird on hole 11. There's a humongous hill in which if it has rained prior to the day playing, you will slide right down. Not fun.. But other than that the teeboxes are great and it's just overall a great course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Better Than Most
Pros: Beautiful well maintained park with a good mix of shots required. Nothing is too long (165' to 350') making this very beginner friendly. There is a good mix of type of shots with forced hyzer and anhyzer routes combined with some low ceilings. There are facilities at the north and south end of the park with vending machines too.
Cons: The layout is confusing, there are yellow markers on the previous basket to the next tee pad which help immensely, but from basket 3 to tee 4 is a long walk and I didn't even notice the tee box til I finished hole 5. Also you have another long walk past tee 7 to go from 12 to 13. The course also plays over a pedestrian trail a few times creating a safety risk. Even though there are enough obstacles to the baskets, there is no punishment for errant/bad shots and eveything is an easy 3.
Other Thoughts: All in all it is better than most Chicagoland courses (except for everything in Joliet obviously) and is 18 holes instead of most the 9's you find. I enjoyed my round but wasn't challenged enough. Definitely would recommend it and check out Campton Hills while in the area, its super close.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
An enjoyable course with trees and varying terrain
Pros: Varying terrain. Trees can be a factor on most holes. Grass is well-manicured. Most other park activities do not interfere with the course. No more rutted tee areas now that the rubber tee pads are in place. Scenic.
Cons: The course can become very busy with other disc golfers at times. Some park users are oblivious of the course. The trees are even more of an obstacle from the new tee position at #10 that is farther back than the original.
Other Thoughts: It takes me about 55 minutes to play this course solo. Throwing past the new basket position at #15 now results in an uphill shot back. That basket is farther away and farther to the left than it used to be. Hole #1 is also longer. The putting practice basket is now in place near the #18 basket. The ground around the older basket positions is worn, so discs landing near the base of the basket are more likely to skip/roll away than stop.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Well balanced and MUCH needed in the area
Pros: I got to hand it to the parks and rec people. This course has really taken shape over the 2 years since it opened. Course now has rubber pads for T-boxes and a sign on hole 1 showing the course layout. If you forget to take a photo of the course layout with your phone, just follow the yellow tape on the basket pointing you to the next hole.
They've take out the original hole 5, added a new #14 and cleaned up the wooded holes on the back side of the course.
I'm a really big fan of wood courses that are somewhat secluded from other patrons of the park, so for that reason I still give this course a 3.5 but it's a solid course and one of my favorite locals.
Other Thoughts: Wednesday Night Doubles
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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