Ultimate Archetype of a Northeastern US course
10 Helpful / 2 Not
After 521/39 courses/states played, I can say this is the prettiest course I've enjoyed.
Hard-to-spot-for-a-first-time-visitor single, gray baskets.
Is this the most challenging course I've played? No - Iron Hill, Nockamixon, to name a couple, provide more of a challenge. Variety of elevation changes, combined with some fast greens and/or guarded baskets, are the primary challenges Flip offers. Shot-shaping, less so, as straight off the tee will serve you well on practically every hole. Distances vary quite a bit, too, with ~¼ ~200'-, ~¼ ~400'+, leaving ~½ in-between.
However, I will say that Flip is the prettiest course I've played. Has pretty much every type hardwood tree found in North America, and some pines as well. The rich, green grass, prominent on the steady supply of rolling fairways, was well cut. Scattered groupings of gray stones added to the environment. Minimal undergrowth on the wooded holes with their major elevation changes. Even the squirrels and chipmunks seemed happier and healthier than your typical forest-dwelling rodents.
As mentioned earlier, some of the baskets were difficult to spot from a distance, but course navigation itself was fairly straightforward.
West coast of Michigan in general, Flip City in particular, was the ultimate goal of my recent 9=day/2200=mile roadtrip from Baltimore to Michigan, and it did not disappoint!
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
My New All Time Favorite!
31 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tonight I had the privilege to play in Flip City's Wednesday night league and was lucky enough to play in the same foursome with Bill. I don't know if there is anything else to say about Flip City has hasn't already been said. I also don't know if Flip is the best course I've ever played but I do know that it is my favorite course ever played.
I've delayed writing my review for two days so Flip City can be the 1000th review that I've written. Isn't that cool how that worked out?
Of the many criteria I look for in rating a course, I think beauty is maybe the # 1 thing I take into consideration and I think Bill is maybe the most beautiful man I've ever met. No, only kidding, Bill is a great guy and probably pretty cute, but it's the course that is awesome. Bill is just the painter here, this wonderful tract of land is his canvas. Flip City is just stunning. It seemed like every hole was a masterpiece. A panel of disc golf course experts couldn't have designed a more awe-inspiring course. Throwaway holes, nope! There were only a few early holes that I thought were "normal" OK, pedestrian and not just totally visually gems. A previous reviewer commented that most holes here would be considered Signature holes on other good courses and I totally agree. I mean this as a compliment but Flip has that golf course feel to it with these wonderful valleys and beautiful natural fairways. And then you add the ruggedness of the land and that gives Flip another dimension with cool rock formations, steep hillsides and rugged gorges. The huts and the stacked rock formations are nice additions plus the rocks give you an excellent reference point for your drive on some holes.
Frankly, I was surprised that the course wasn't more challenging. It's not incredibly long or incredibly tight. I found it to be a very comfortable, relaxing round. This is a course that I could play everyday. 24 holes here is a workout but not a killer like, say, any ski resort course.
Hole 12 is one to remember. It's probably about 260' over a gully. The raised basket backed sits on top of a big old stump. There is rough on the right side and the entire fairway slopes down to the left making most putts pretty intimidating. Putting from the left or downhill side, the basket looks to be about 15'.
Cons: I can be a bit nit picky here. The equipment is nothing special. Some of the pads are looking a little old. The baskets are pretty average. And the signs are very basic having only the hole #.
Some players will complain that the basket placements rarely change. That there is really only one set of pads. Personally, I appreciate that Bill has kept it like this. Why mess with perfection?
Closed for the winter months. OK, let's pack up the course and move it San Diego.
Other Thoughts: I've been reading about Flip City for so many years now including all the ratings controversy. I think, mentally, I was expecting to be slightly underwhelmed. But I was totally and completely overwhelmed and pleased. I would LOVE to be able to come up here and play Flip every Wednesday night.
My thanks to DGCR member Jeff (Mike) from Spring Lake for bringing me here and introducing me to everyone.
31 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Best course ever!
8 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Set in a very scenic area of Michigan this course is easily one of the best in the U.S. The Course is $3 to play all day. You pay via drop box honor system and there are score cards available at the first tee box.
The course starts out easy at the first 3 holes and then you will see the dramatic changes in elevation begin.
The course is easy to navigate (Map on scorecard provided) with holes clearly marked and the next tee pad is easy to find. The course is very challenging and offers a wide range of shot types, but can be played at all skill levels.
Cons: The course is a bit far and out of the way. while also being a pro (not many players on the course any given day) there is some travel time involved, although definitely worth it! For lower skill level players the course can be a challenge. There are several holes you cannot see the pin from the tee pad so you may have to walk a bit to scope out the basket placement. the first time you play the course it might take some extra time to scope it out. Spotters are necessary on some holes. The elevation change and terrain would make it a bit difficult to use a disc cart so a bag and a chair would probably be preferred although not impossible.
Other Thoughts: Every disc golf player needs to make the pilgrimage to Flip City at least once in their lifetime. Set in the remote area of Michigan this course is gorgeous and landscaped to perfection with unique stones placed about the course. make sure to take the time to stop and look around at each hole to take in the scenery.
you will see the hard work and dedication put into the course by the owner which is appreciated by all who play it!
8 of 14 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: ofcourse this place is the stuff of legend ,and it lives up to it well ,still only 3 bucks to play because Bill is old school cool like most west Michigan discgolf people i have met . the layout is sweet with beautiful rolling hills threwout the course .really a great place to be ,it just feels good there.there is onsight camping too!
Cons: bugs can get a little nuts out there but whatever
Other Thoughts: every true discgolfer needs to make the trip atleast once.Events there are special .
1 of 17 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This place is beautiful! Hole 1 is pretty typical but after that is just gets more and more scenic. Views down into the valley, through the woods, etc. The piles of rocks were pretty cool as were some of the other touches on the course like poured concrete designs you can see from various vistas on the course.
Well defined fairways that were well kept made it very hard to lose a disc and yet still with enough challenge to make you hit the fairway.
Loved the elevation throwing drives up and down hills. The one elevated basket was a challenge with a crazy death putt if you were on all but one side of the basket.
Variety of holes made for some easier birdies and then some pretty long bombs that most would never reach in 1 throw. The locals apparently play it all as par 3.
Locals were super friendly. I finished the back 9 with two guys who were super helpful and friendly. I often love catching locals on new courses because most courses will have a spot or two that are hard to navigate. This course is so well laid out that the next tee is very intuitive with minimal need for help. That is a huge plus for me.
Tiny details were considered like brooms on every hole, porta poties on the course, and even the foul line on the teepad was new to me but made sense to keep the front of the pad from eroding due to traffic. Smart move. It seems not everyone loves that but it makes perfect sense to me the more I considered it.
Who doesn't love ending on a downhill ace run? I wish I could have personally thanked those who manage the property. It would take a small army to keep that place up!
Cons: Two cons come to mind:
1 - lack of water. No big deal. The course does just fine without it.
2 - small tees. Because of the foul line the tees play extra short. If you are going to have foul/fault lines it would be nice to have longer tees.
Other than that, nothing at all comes to mind!
Other Thoughts: Pull in the first entrance and drive around to the parking. There is a pay box on the side of one of the buildings in there. Hole 1's tee is right by that building throwing back in the direction of the entrance.
GPS wasn't friendly out there. I am glad I had a map back printed because I couldn't get my map app on my iphone to get a signal to find my way back out and it took a few miles of driving to get a signal back that day. I am not sure if that is typical.
If you are ever within 100 miles of this course come check it out! I was driving from Detroit to Petoskey and took time to try it out and I am glad I did!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Just go play this course already
22 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There is no way I can capture them all here, but will list a few:
- Great overall layout and mix of holes. There is something for everyone here, from some long open fairways to very tightly wooded. There are righty holes and lefty holes. Uphill and downhill. I find a use for just about every disc in my bag when I play Flip
- A good amount of elevation that is utilized very well. There aren't any mountains you are throwing off, but there are a ton of holes that play on some good sized hills. A few holes offer great downhill drives while a few put the basket on a very precarious hillside that could turn an easy 2 into a 4 or 5 frustratingly quickly.
- This course is immaculately maintained. Being a sprawling private course over a very hilly terrain, I can't imagine what it takes to keep these fairways as beautifully mowed as they always seem to be. The course is clean with great tees.
- Unique and beautiful feel... this course has a charm of its own that makes it just an enjoyable place to walk around even if you aren't throwing. Between the elevation, layout, maintenance and all the piles of stacked rocks everywhere, it is a landscape that is uniquely Flip city
- The new elevated basket on hole 12 is really great... It is built on a 5 foot tall or so wooden platform. While it is a downhill ace run type of hole, the elevated basket can turn a greedy ace run into a tough 3. Not to mention that the basket platform is on the side of a hill, so a putt that rims out can easily fall 7 feet to the ground and roll another 50 ft downhill. A very challenging addition
- The crowd, or rather lack thereof. Since it is off the beaten path, is private, and is pay to play, it never is really crowded and the type of people that make it out tend to be a great group of mostly serious and overall very well behaved golfers. You don't get the army of high school kids playing in a group of 12 with one disc each that you get at some other more heavily trafficked courses.
- On-site camping. I've never done this but friends have so I'm not sure what you have to arrange with Bill to do it, but there is a place to pop a tent. What a great weekend that would be... playing Flip all day then a few beers and camping at night.
Cons: If I really think about it and try to be critical, a few would be:
- No water holes. Honestly a nice over water shot is about the only thing this course is missing
- Only open in the summer. I get that it is a private course so I can't expect it to be always open, but I was in the area once around late March/early April and it was 2 weeks before the course was open so I couldn't play. Oh well, we can't have it all, all of the time.
- It could be a bit more challenging. While most holes have a good aspect of risk (mostly due to the elevation), there aren't a ton of really hard or really long holes. However, I don't always want an impossible course and don't get me wrong, Flip still will get you thinking about your shot selection and challenge even the best player at times. It is the type of course though that a hot round will consist of a good number of very well played birdies and not too many fours.
Other Thoughts: If you are not from MI and find yourself within a 3 hour drive of Flip with a day to kill, do yourself a favor and get over there. You will not be disappointed. Do yourself an even bigger favor and plan enough time for two rounds (though plan to be exhausted afterwards as there is a good amount of elevation to walk up and down).
Lastly, I can't thank Bill enough for building and maintaining this course throughout the years (Flip was an object course going back to 1980). He is a true ambassador of the sport and his hard work has given countless disc golfers a chance to play a course they will surely never forget.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
It's a Religious Experience Really...Just get here
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I am going to forgo my usual format of bullet points...
I'll admit it. Before driving to Flip I had this review written. I was going to nit-pick this that and the other. I was also going to write how a lack of any water hazards held my score back...Never have I been so wrong to even consider thinking along those lines.
When God created the Earth he designated certain areas for our pleasure. Great surfing was given to Southern California. Glorious skiing was given to places like the Rockies and the Alps. When he put his finger on a 50 acre parcel of land God decided this is going to be the most epic spot of disc golf conceivable.
21 of the 24 holes there would be considered the "signature" hole of almost any other course in the world. The first three are a little pedestrian in comparison but the reality is even those holes would be considered "great" anywhere else. Not only that there is something here that almost every other course I have ever played lacks. It's the passion for the game. A passion that shows in every square inch of the 24 holes here from the mowed paths to the ever present stacked cobblestones and rock gardens. I've never seen anything like it.
It's a difficult course to be sure but it isn't unfair. Every disc in your bag will be needed. Every shot in your arsenal will be used - repeatedly.
Cons: I could nitpick the amenities to death and point out that the concrete pads aren't quite perfect, the tee signs aren't spectacular and there was one spot where I had a hard time figuring out where the next tee was. But when the disc golf play is so good those sorts of things in my mind are really irrelevant.
I've heard that Flip can't possibly be the best because that it doesn't have any water hazards. What a stupid argument. What, the gloriously wonderfully laid out holes weren't enough? It's like saying, "Gee, Fenway will never be the best baseball stadium because it doesn't have ivy growing all over the big green monster." Or "Pinehurst will never be a great golf course because it's not on the ocean like Pebble Beach." Or, "Monaco will never be a great track because there is no Eau Rouge there." (F1 fans will get that last reference.). Look, each course is unique and some are great in their own right and just because it's missing something that other courses have has no bearing on how good that course is.
Other Thoughts: Flip is an amazing experience. There is nothing like it anywhere. People come here from miles around to play here and there is good reason for it. It truly is the Mecca of the disc golf world. Make the trek. Buy the plane tickets or fuel up your trusted steed or whatever it takes just get here. Play it and savor every moment.
On a more practical note, bring bug spray and watch out for poison ivy. Just like every other course in Michigan these are thing we all have to deal with. More importantly wear solid footwear. Hucksters with flip flops are going to hate this place. Get some good athletic shoes or even hiking boots are warranted with the really steep nature of the course. Along with that, be sure to bring more than enough water if it is at all warm out - you'll need it.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: BEAUTIFUL!! What more can I say about a course that is this well maintained. Absolutely gorgeous, defined fairways, tricky greens, exceptional use of elevation and the list goes on. By far the best course I have ever stepped foot on.
The owner, is such a humble welcoming gentelman. All I can say is Thanks for the field of dreams for disc golfers. Although it is a 9 hour drive from my home I will go back again someday very soon.
Cons: Um..................its way out in the middle of nowhere? Its 9 hour drive from my home? Lol. I cant think of any!!!!
Other Thoughts: I dont care what you have to do to get there......go play this course!!!
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Best Course I have played
Pros: This course is by far my favorite course I have played to date. Flip City has the best combination of elevated Tee's and Holes. Good combination of long and short holes. The course is a mix of open and wooded holes but never had to search for a disc in the wood one. Really clear and well maintained. The course was in perfect condition when we played there. Every hole had long concrete pads, unlike other courses in the area. cost is very cheap for such a nice course, only $3 for all day. I absolutely loved this course and will definitely be back, even though I live about 3 hours away.
Cons: No main road to get to this course/ remote location. Mosquito can be bad at times. Bring bug spray.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
27 Helpful / 20 Not
Over rated but great!
Pros: Elevation elevation elevation!
This course uses the land as good as any I have played. Cool downhill runs, blind throws over hills and the toughest "greens" I have ever played make this fun and interesting.
Private- no non disc golfers to worry about.
Basically a par 3, with a couple of par 4's. Hard to get into too much trouble, unless you catch a roll of a "green".
Well maintained fairways. Fairways were really nice, roller options if you want.
Benches at most holes.
"Huts" are great!
Cons: Too straight. Most of the holes are straight. I found myself using my Impact on most holes. I played 3 rounds and I think I used my drivers about 10 times total.
Pads are getting beat up, some are pretty badly spalled, makes for iffy footing.
Benches need new seats, they are getting bendy.
Not sure the hole lengths on the cards are accurate.
Other Thoughts: I may get blasted for this, but IMHO this course is WAY over rated on this site. Don't get me wrong, it is a destination course (along with the Ludington courses) and you should make an effort to get here. But, it is no way better than Idlewild or some of the courses in Minneapolis. Is is a solid 4, no higher.
Too many of the holes are straight. While they offer different elevations and trees, they are still straight. Not enough shot selection available.
Again, you want to come here, just don't expect it to be better then Idlewild or Lincoln Ridge. It may belong in the top ten, but not #2.
Be prepared for some high risk/reward putts. The greens are steep and nasty. Makes for some great amusement for your competition and frustration for you. Pile some rocks, it is fun.
Hole 2A is stunning! Top rated.
(leave the speakers and music at home, please, this is a beautiful natural environment, if you want music, bring your ear buds)
27 of 47 people found this review helpful.
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