My "home" course up north, tips to enjoy your day.
2 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.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Two Things I Would Do To Help This Course.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: If I lived near this course, I would do my best to see that these two little projects get completed. First I would walk the course and either tape (bright colors only) or paint, a rung on the basket pointing to the next tee pad. This would have saved me quite a bit of time.
Secondly, I would work with the park's department to bring in some wood chips and wood chip a 15 foot circle around the baskets and put in a wood chip border around the tee pads. It would so improve the ambiance of the course. Some chips could also be put down in sections of the wooded part of the course.
The course starts near the street by the mini golf course. The pads are rubber mats and it sounds like players aren't real happy with them when they get wet. There is a course map and course sign at the beginning along with a picnic table. The simple tee signs show the basic information.
The large park has lots of mature trees and a little rolling elevation.
I liked # 7 with it's pretty golf course like fairway. 11 was a fun downhill toss through the tree window to a visible basket.
Nice on-line map. Navigation would have been frustratingly difficult without the map.
The course plays at a very, relaxing recreational level. Better players will want more challenge than this course can give them.
Cons: # 17 sign is missing.
Large dirt areas around pads and baskets is unpleasant to see.
Lacking challenge, dufficulty and length.
Other Thoughts: There's so much for me to like about this course. As many before me have stated, the course is relaxing. You don't need to worry about 5' high grass or ugly rough. There is no nasty swamp crossings to fret about.
I could enjoy plying this course on a regular basis but.......I would put next tee tape on the baskets and I work to get wood chips around the baskets and tee pads. It would improve the park's looks and help disc golf's image, too.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1. Variable holes, everything is different. (Some flat, some clear, some in the woods, some are elevated).
2. Legit bathrooms. The girls in our group appreciated that.
3. Not too crowded, even on a Saturday afternoon.
4. You can buy discs at the mini golf course
5. Baskets were all in great shape.
Cons: No next tee signs. Missing 2 concrete tee pads.
Updated review: They added another concrete tee pad on #4. Still missing 2 other tee pads.
Other Thoughts: I loved this course, and it's right next to Penrose Brewery, which is a great spot to grab a pint after. I'll definitely return to this course.
1 of 2 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.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Walk in the Park
Pros: - Decent variety of looks off of the tee
- Nice park setting for a casual round
- Quality baskets and decent signage
Cons: - Rubber teepads can get quite slippery for a while after rain as they retain water mud and dirt for a good while.
- Not many particularly challenging holes or lines to hit
- Navigation can be difficult in a couple of spots your first time out
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course for a quick, casual round in a pleasant park. You can easily play this course in under an hour without rushing. There are very few chances to lose your plastic, and while not likely to be particularly challenging to intermediate and beyond players, it has enough variety to not be boring. A handful of holes, like 11 from the top of the hill, are quite fun and offer a bit more challenge.
The rubber teepads can result in less than ideal bordering on dangerous footing after a bit of precipitation. I have slipped multiple times on wet and muddy pads, and several areas of the park around the pads will remain muddy for a while after it has rained.
I spent a decent amount of time looking for the teepads for a few of the holes my first time out, so taking a picture or bringing along a copy of the course map for your first time out is advisable.
Overall, The Links at Wheeler is a fun course for a casual round.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wheeler Park is a beginner friendly pitch and putt course that offers a variety of shots off the tee. I found myself using forehands and backhands, hyzers and anhyzers, which made for a well rounded 18 holes. The course provides good opportunities to try different shots without the risk of going into a nasty rough and ruining your score.
The course is located in a well maintained multi-use park. Rubber tee-pads are in good shape.
There is limited elevation on site, but the design makes the most of it with a fun shot off the top of a hill on hole 11 (I think).
Cons: The park that this course is located in was buzzing with activity on my visit. In addition to about 30 disc golfers, there are roller bladers, mini-golfers (yes there is a mini golf course here) and other park goers. It's a very busy park which brings up safety concerns in addition to ruining the scenic getaway that many disc golfers enjoy.
Though there is plenty of variety in shots demanded off the tee, the course is very easy. One of the middle holes is 160 ft with almost no obstacles. The only truly wooded hole on the course is less than 200 ft as well.
Even erroneous drives will have an open look at the basket on their second shot.
A lot of the distances on the tee-signs are over estimated, unless I can throw a comet 350 feet. On a related note, there is no chance for big arms to let loose here. Almost every hole requires only the use of a midrange.
Other Thoughts: I'd go here again if I'm in the area, as the round was really quite relaxing and enjoyable. The golf here is not going to blow your mind, but for a casual round it's great.
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.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A suburban course done well
A nice little gem in the middle of the Chicago suburbs. It has a great mixture of terrain, wooded areas and elevation that keeps the course both interesting and challenging. I found myself really enjoying the challenges of holes 11, 12 and 14, especially since 14 is one of the longer holes you can just let loose on. A very well maintained park with nice markers and signs for all the holes.
Also conveniently by an excellent pro shop (Ace and Chains: Check them out if you got time before or after your game http://www.acesandchains.com
/ great selection and some fun rare finds!)
Cons: Sadly there are a few things holding it back from being a 3.5 or 4. The tees are rubber, which would be nice if they didn't retain so much water and dirt on them after it rains or storms. On top of this the layout of the course is very confusing if you don't look or take a picture of the hole layout before playing. You will spend a good amount of time trying to find hole 13 if you didn't pay attention earlier.
Also it'd be nice if they had a few longer holes. Not a big deal since most of them are very fun and well laid out but it'd be nice to have the chance to really let those drivers fly on some longer holes.
Other Thoughts: A very fun and entertaining course that is just a few adjustments away from being great. If you're looking for a bigger and better challenge, check out the Oswego course but if you're looking for some light and casual fun then this is a great stop.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
About the House Score Cards
Pros: They offer free score cards at an entrance booth.
Cons: It would be nice if the scorecards had the course design printed on them because the course keeps changing its layout. The score cards (unless they've been corrected in the interim) show hole 16 as a 3 and the course as par 66. The hole is actually a 4 (and is marked so at the hole), and the course is a par 67. Also, because the course design keeps changing, it is too easy to go to the wrong hole, especially when it used to be the right one. Clearer marking would be helpful.
Other Thoughts: This is a very nice course, overall. If I were in charge, I'd space the holes farther apart on the front nine so they don't crisscross so much, and then I'd put in some permanent tees, preferably concrete or rubber tire compound.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Variety of shot types- you can easily throw hyzers, annys, rollers, thumbers and tomahawks all in a single round here.
Nice baskets, very new and catch well
Pretty good signage, the posts have number, distance and a basic map of the hole
Little chance of losing a disc
Beginner and family friendly
Many holes are short enough for ace runs
Cons: Lack of concrete teepads
Counter intuitive walks between holes
No hole over 355'
Can interfere with other park activities
Lack of pro/alternate teepads
Other Thoughts: Geneva is your type suburban DGC in a nice public park. There have actually been a handful of changes since the course was first installed in July of 2011. The initial gravel/limestone teepads now have rubbers mats on tops, which have actually stood up well and work well as long as the weather is mostly dry. Some landscaping has been done, especially on 12 where there initially was a super thick patch of bushes you were expected to throw through. A few holes have been lengthened to make them more challenging. The course seems somewhat subpar considering what a nice plot of land it is. A few tweaks here and there would really improve this course. All negatives considered, this is a course I can play time and time again and still enjoy it.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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