Shelby, MI 
Flip City Disc Golf Park Share
Uploaded By: tomjulio Hole #4
3 / 293ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #4 Tee: Basket hidden on hill. This hole starts your experience off.

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Flip City: The 225th Subjective Review

2-4    7/2/2021   7/2/2021
Review By: DFrah
Played: 154  Reviewed: 152  Exp: 4.8 Years
This review was updated on 7/4/2021
44 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Flip City. Where to begin.

For those who may be unfamiliar...Flip City itself began when one man decided to install a disc golf course in the backyard of his private West Michigan farm way back in 1980 - Bill McKenzie. With help from a few others, Bill has redesigned, upgraded, and maintained the course for over 40 years. There is a "History" page on the course website if you want to learn more. The "Field of Dreams" movie reference on the course info page is apt.

The elevation changes here are intense, and used well without exception. A large number of baskets are on steeply sloping greens, providing more risk/reward putt opportunities than I could count. There are quite a few awesome downhill tee shots, that can be converted into birdie opportunities with the right throw...or bogies if your shot fades or turns over off the fairway.

The aesthetic here is unique and enjoyable. Past the first couple holes near the parking area, the hills and valleys mostly look very natural but with a few man-made touches:
- Grass at edge of fairways mowed in geometric shapes and paths, reminiscent of a crop circle.
- Rock piles near many fairways and baskets.
- Several small gazebos with seating to relax and catch your breath between holes.
You aren't likely to hear any road noise except maybe on the first few holes. It will be just you, nature, and other DG'ers.

There are several very memorable holes here, and a couple that arguably surpass signature level and could be called "iconic". Some of my picks:
- Hole 5 plays 290' up and over a ridge, with drop-offs on both sides and clearly marked OB on the right hand side. The ridge has several trees to block an easy path to the basket, and the ground is covered in roots and rocks. The basket is on a steep downward slope.
- Hole 10 is another up-and-over style hole. From the tee it looks like the basket is probably off to the left, but it's actually straight ahead and in the middle of a flat plateau.
- Hole 11 is one of the most memorable holes I have ever played, and is basically Flip City in a nutshell. This hole plays across a valley, sloping steeply downward from the tee pad and with the basket perched on an equally steep upward incline on the other side. The fairway is decorated with the rock piles and mowing patterns mentioned above.
- Hole 2A is the longest one here at 670'. It plays straight over rolling terrain. The fairway is wide and well-mowed, with the patterns on each side. It almost feels like you are on a ball golf course - except for the numerous old-growth trees planted right in the middle.
- Hole 12 plays 270' across another valley to a basket perched several feet off the ground on a stump. The terrain around the basket slopes steeply downward to the left as seen from the tee. If your RHBH drive hyzers out you will have a long trek back uphill to the basket - and if your putt misses it might roll all the way back down again.

There are several other holes here that could be deemed signature material on a normal course. Even the holes that are less memorable have good variety and plenty of obstacles to work around. You will have to throw a lot of different shots with several different discs to score well here.

The baskets are beautiful red Chainstar Pros, in like-new condition. They really stand out and add to the aesthetic of the course. Hole 16's basket is hanging on a line, which doesn't really affect play but is another unique touch.

The cement tee pads are narrower than you may be used to, but they are long enough and mostly still in good shape. They are definitely on the older side and will probably be due for a re-pour in a couple more years. There is also a broom at every tee pad, and benches/trash cans at many pads. I think there used to be multiple tee locations per hole, but now there is only one.

The course flows well. I see no filler holes here, yet there are also no long walks between holes. After playing holes 1-11 you have the opportunity to continue directly to hole 12 for an 18-hole round, or add on holes 1A-6A for a total of 24. Tees 12 and 1A are right next to each other facing opposite directions, so you won't miss either one. If you choose to play 1A-6A (which I recommend, you drove all the way here after all), a short path from 6A's basket leads right back to the same area, which is on the top of a hill. There is also a picnic table here to rest your legs.

The course is always in immaculate condition. If you play your round in the morning you are likely to see Bill himself, or at minimum one of his helpers mowing the fairways and sweeping the teepads.

There are not one, not two, but three practice baskets next to the parking lot to warm up. The baskets are thoughtfully spaced out a bit so you can easily putt between them. There are also other random baskets scattered around near the parking area that you could use to warm up if the course is very busy.

Port-a-potties on site. You can also camp on site near the practice baskets.
Cons: There are no tee signs. There are just posts next to each tee pad, about 1' tall with the hole number. At this point with the course being as famous as it is, I wonder if it's Bill's personal preference to not have tee signs and if so I respect that - but disagree. The basket is not visible from the tee on about half of the holes and I think that many people - especially those who have come a long way to play Flip for the first time - would appreciate some guidance. The tee signs don't have to be the gaudy color mini-maps that I usually like. Wooden boards with a rough hole layout and key obstacles routered in would be sufficient without compromising the aesthetic of the course. Maybe painted red to match the baskets?

Even though the course flows well, there are a couple of places where Next Tee signs would still be helpful (5-6, 9-10, and 11-12 or 1A come to mind). There is a cool-looking sign to point DG'ers in the right direction where paths cross between holes 7-8 and 13-14. Signage like this in a few other locations would be a nice addition. You can get a scorecard with a rough course map at the first tee, which helps alleviate this somewhat too.

Hole 3A is a little too tightly wooded for my liking. This hole kind of feels like "poke and hope" for me. If there is a reliable line, I haven't found it yet. I think a few more trees should be removed. Hole 9 also has a very tight grove of trees as you approach the basket.

There are no water hazards.

There are only a few opportunities here for bigger arms to really air it out. Hole 2A (par 5) is the only one that surpasses 500' in length, and only four other holes are >400'.
Other Thoughts: The $5 fee allows you to play all day, so you can play a second round for free if you want. This course is a major workout though, so if you are planning on that you will want to bring at least 3 bottles of water. I was surprised (and delighted) to have the course almost to myself for two rounds today - on the Friday heading into Fourth of July weekend no less. I'd recommend coming on a weekday if you can to avoid the crowds (but not Wednesday, as that is league day).

Why would I bother to review a course that already has 224 reviews? First of all, this is my 50th review and one year anniversary since my first review so I wanted to review a special course as a nod to those occasions. But also, reading a few of the previous reviews as well as seeing/hearing discussion of this course spurred some thoughts that I want to share.

Before you invest a lot of time and money into a big trip across the country or world to play this course (or any course!), you should consider what you are looking for in a course and research how well the course(s) you have your eye on seem to match up with that.

In my view the main attractions of Flip City are the unique aesthetic (talking about the rolling wooded hills and also the "wow" factor when you consider that this is really Bill's backyard) and the elevation challenges. Those are two of the biggest draws a course can have for me, so I love playing here.

If your ideal course is an easy pitch and putt/ace race to stop by with your family after work, well this obviously isn't that.

If your ideal course is a marathon disc golf challenge demanding 300' water carries on hole after hole, well you also might leave here disappointed. In terms of distance and challenge, this course has more than enough of both to keep me happy personally but it is definitely not the longest or most challenging round you will ever play. I can think of several courses - even out of the 60ish I have played as of this writing which are mostly within a couple hour's drive of Flip - that have more length, and difficulty to score well on.

If you use UDisc and don't really care about signage, you might be shocked that I am basically taking off half a disc rating just for that. My ideal course can be played without referring to UDisc or any map (although the latter is always nice to double-check). But if you feel differently that's OK!

The point I am trying to drive home here is: Every single review of this course and every other course on this site is subjective and has bias. If you have a brain, you have bias.

To sum up, this is an incredible course that Bill has poured his heart and soul (also time and money) into for over 40 years. Is it a top five course in the world? I feel like what Bill has done here is basically just a bit of signage short of being the best that it can possibly be. It is a course that is 100% worth experiencing and it deserves the attention that it receives. It is one of, if not THE best course that I have personally played to date (and my first 4.5 review). But if it's really one of the top five courses in the world, I feel like the rest of the world needs to step up its game because it has some catching up to do. Maybe it can get some course design and maintenance advice from Bill.

44 of 44 people found this review helpful.

Most Overrated course on DGCR

1    6/11/2021   6/11/2021
Review By: RayRay
Played: 156  Reviewed: 35  Exp: 18.7 Years
9 Helpful / 27 Not
Pros: - cool use of elevation
- rock piles
Cons: - lack of distance
- lack of challenge
- lack of tee signs paired with some blind shots
Other Thoughts: These other reviews must REALLY like rock piles and the hillbilly aesthetic because this course was extremely average. Beautiful? Not really. "Disc Golf's field of dreams"?...maybe dream bigger if you want to be a top destination course. Don't get me wrong, the course has some interesting shots and a quirky charm. I'd say it's a top 'backyard course' but a nationally renowned 4.8 rated course it most certainly is NOT. I suspect that rating is unnaturally inflated.

9 of 36 people found this review helpful.

 A Great Course in the Middle of Nowhere

1    8/6/2017   12/3/2020
Review By: chad groen
Played: 40  Reviewed: 39  Exp: 23.1 Years
This review was updated on 12/15/2020
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a beautiful course that's located mostly in the woods behind the house of the person who designed the course (the first hole, however, is in his front yard, but he has some nice landscaping near the tee pad). It's very scenic and the holes offer a variety of challenges including blind tee shots, uphill throws, downhill throws, narrow fairways, and lots of trees serving as tricky obstacles. Some holes are real long, while others are kind of short. One of the baskets is on a giant hillside and is sitting on top of a tall tree stump (that's pretty unique). There's signage on each hole and they're very helpful. Also, It's easy to find your way around the course.
Cons: Just a few small issues: If you're playing by yourself, you may have a hard time finding your disc on the blind tee shots. There was one hole (I think it might've been 5a) that had too many trees blocking the basket without a good path for your disc to follow to reach the basket. The approach shot for hole 1 seemed a little too easy. There are some trees nearby that could've been utilized more as obstacles, and there's also room to make the hole longer, but neither one of those is the case. The beginning of hole 2 starts off a little too easy. It's flat, open, and has no obstacles. Also, the tee pads are a little short and are looking kind of old.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a beautiful course that's really fun to play and can challenge you in a variety of ways. Easily one of the best courses, if not, the best course you'll ever play, and yet it was built and is maintained by just a single person who lives out there. It may cost a little money to play, but it's totally worth it (plus the guy who lives there needs that money to help maintain the course, so it makes sense to pay).

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.


1    9/3/2020   10/28/2020
Review By: Trilogy4
Played: 6  Reviewed: 5
6 Helpful / 30 Not
Pros: Best thing about the course is the fact that its been around so long and that it's rated so high. The next best thing is the stacked up rocks. There is also some cool amenities and sites like the basket mowed into the grass. The place just has a cool vibe to it. Unfortunately none of that is the actual golf
Cons: As I suggested in the "pros", the actual golf isn't great. Its honestly average at best. Many holes barely have a line. Many baskets are clearly set in a position to "make it tough", but as a result just makes it plinko golf. The land and atmosphere are way too good to be let down so much by the layout. If you go expecting a course the likes of maple, idlewild, northwood, bc3, etc, you'll be extremely disappointed
Other Thoughts: Kudos to those that do the upkeep. That part of the course is 2nd to none

6 of 36 people found this review helpful.

 Best so Far!

2-4    6/17/2019   6/17/2019
Review By: wolfhaley
Played: 786  Reviewed: 380  Exp: 18.9 Years
39 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Flip City is a privately owned but open to the general public course located in western Michigan. Green fees are $5 all day and $3 after 3 P.M. Girls and kids play free. There's camping onsite and scorecards and maps in a box on the shed by hole 1. This is where the pay to play mailbox is located as well. There is ample parking and portable toilets by hole 1 and between 3A and 4A I believe.

Now onto the actual golf itself. This was my 350th course to play and the most enjoyable of all of them. I'd personally say that this course is more 4.75 than 4.5. I didn't give it a 5, though I wanted to, because I don't feel I can give any course a "best of the best" rating without playing every course or at least top courses out there. So 4.5 it is.This course has 24 holes that are all immaculately maintained. Better than most city or county parks I've played. The baskets are Mach V's of an older variety but they catch great and are all mounted level. There are concrete tee pads on every hole except one. This is on a shorter hole earlier in the round ( hole 7ish maybe). The flow of the course is very easy to follow, especially with the map. If there aren't maps available play holes 1 through 11, then after that you go up the hill behind 11 play 1A before 12. There are 6 lettered holes being 1A through 6A. 6A will take you back up the hill to the tee for 12. Flows smooth from there on out. There is a mixture of lengths here ranging from 172 feet on hole 17 up to 670 feet on hole 2A. There is a good mix of shots required here though it does definitely favor RHBH or LHFH but not completely. There is no water in play but there is abundant elevation throughout. There are epic downhill shots, across valley shots, challenging up hill holes and everything in between. The course is a workout. Plan on at least 2 hours for a twosome depending on your conditioning and speed of play. The rough on the course is very manageable as well. I'd imagine it'd be pretty hard to lose a disc here without throwing an absolute shank of a shot.

And lastly, This course has been around for longer than I have. It has been lovingly cared for by one man in that time and it shows. With that being said don't come here expecting open bomb after bomb. This course was around before high speed drivers so of course there aren't a bunch of grip and rip holes. It's as peaceful and serene of a place you will find anywhere. An absolute gem of a course.
Cons: As mentioned before there are no tee signs, only a black and white painted 4x4 with a hole number on it. It would be nice to have a hole map on some holes but isn't really that big of a deal in my opinion. Apparently the course can get busy. It wasn't on a mid June Monday afternoon but is worth mentioning I guess. Not a con but worth noting that the course closes at 3:30 on Wednesdays for league. That's literally all I can think of and none of them were a big deal for me at all.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely a destination course. I've been waiting YEARS to play this and it didn't disappoint. In fact it was better than I had hoped it would be. If you're anywhere in the general vicinity make sure you stop in to play. You will not be disappointed. There are many other courses nearby to make for a excellent albeit exhausting day of disc golf. It's in my favorites now and arguably my all time favorite.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful.

 Flip City: A Globally Recognized Disc Golf Experience

1    6/16/2019   6/16/2019
Review By: DiscinOhio
Played: 177  Reviewed: 168  Exp: 9.8 Years
This review was updated on 4/15/2020
35 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Flip City is a backyard wonderland with gorgeous rolling hills, scenic woodlands, and a pretty sweet disc golf course. Bill, course designer and one man grounds crew, has put nearly 40 years of hard work into Flip to build it from a piece of property in Western Michigan to one of the world's highest rated courses. While I respect everyone who considers Flip to be one of the best courses on the planet, I'm not 100% sold on it being a top tier course. I'll get into the positives first.

+ Bill's backyard is beautiful, secluded, and peaceful. You'll be hard pressed to find a course as quiet as this one. There are also a few signature pavilions/shelters that add a unique touch to the course.

+ There are definitely some fun throws here, and some all-time great holes. The ones that really stand out for me are 7, 11, 1A, 2A, 12, and 18. That three hole stretch from 11 to 2A is really special, featuring beautiful views, crazy rock formations, and uber-fun downhill throws. You've gotta throw more than one disc on these holes!

+ For one person to keep up this course is incredible. The fairways were trimmed beautifully and I had no problems whatsoever finding any disc that drifted astray. Props to Bill for all his hard work and dedication!

+ $5 is a very reasonable price to play a course on every disc golfers bucket list. That $5 gets you all day access to the course, so you can play it several times if you'd like.

+ There's plenty of parking and a nice little kiosk by the first tee. There's a money box by the first tee as well, so make sure you pay the man!
Cons: - So I have to keep my criteria similar for all my reviews, and I'm not going to make an exception for Flip. The signage was poor, with only the numbers on little white posts in the ground. This makes it tricky to judge where the basket is at times, especially since they're hard to spot.

- Speaking of the baskets, they are grey and tough to spot, especially the ones in the woods. Combine that with the lack of tee signs and you'll often have to walk and squint to see where you're supposed to throw.

+ Outside of the middle section, the course can be a little dull at times.
Other Thoughts: So don't get the wrong vibe from this review. Flip City is a great course and a must play for any serious disc golfer just for the history alone. Maybe my expectations were too high coming into the round, as I just can't put it up there with some of the best courses in the country. However, Flip is still a great course that deserves its good reputation.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful.

 Destination Course : Sure To Be In Your Favorites

1    6/8/2019   6/12/2019
Review By: MrFrosty
Played: 764  Reviewed: 387  Exp: 30 Years
31 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I had driven over 7 straight hours on my own just to be here first when the course opened at 7:30 . I pulled in at 7:20 and was beaten by 2 players that drove here from Lafayette Indiana .You can feel that the course is personable as soon as you park your car . There is no guard out on the grounds to shake you down for your $5 ( much like Milwaukee's city parks ) , just as honor box at the first tee . Nice little scorecards are next to the honor box .a port o let is to the right of the parking lot . You better print a map before hitting this course . While you stretch and check the surroundings , you will find how peaceful the area is . The property sits away from everything , leaving you with just nature and the course . This is a 24 hole course , each hole unique from the rest . Right and left handed holes balance . The baskets . Baskets are of the older mach styles ( I kind of like the yellow banded Discatchers for a course like this . I'll explain a little later ) but in good shape . The tee pads are cement and older but are in good condition . Signage is basic , just a number low and in front of the tee pad . The course fairways were cut perfect and the grounds well taken care of . The first few holes , a blind left bending shot 250' over an embankment ,a 500' straightaway drive and a slightly downhill 375' toss through a tight alley . Now the fun really begins . The elevation changes instantly . As you drive for #4 goes up part of a hill , you will notice little man made rock stacks , kind of like native american tribes made out west to mark pathways . These are all over the place . The landscape goes from nice to gorgeous . All of the natural rock formations , the different types of old and established trees come into view for the rest of the course . There is a lot of wildlife on this property , and I'm not just talking about the disc golfers that are allowed to camp on his grounds at night . The landscape of this course is the prettiest I have ever witnessed . There are benches at pretty much every hole . Some even have a top to them kind of making a hut .. A good plus because of the elevation change and playing 24 holes for some . The course length and clever basket placements will not overwhelm you . That is not what it was intended for . This course was put here for you to admire it and for IT to entertain you . I could enjoy it all spring summer and fall if I lived close by here ( closed for the winter season ) . I came up alone , but I added myself in with the 2 that beat me to the course ( Shout out to Zach and Joe , thanks ) . I wasn't sure that I ever saw the multiple tees that the course details on Disc Review , but So What ! You don't need alternate pin placement or pro tees for this course . ENJOY .A lot of variance for hole length , from 172' to 670' . You will have to control your drives and mid throws on this course . Some risk/reward on the basket placements with some dropoffs and hillsides to contend with . Lots of signature or memorable holes wrapped into one 24 hole course . The last hole is a steep downhill 195' hyzer through a tight formation of trees with a thick shorter tree and it's canopy guarding part of the front and right side of the basket along with the top of it . Should be an easy enough par as long as you clear the tight fairway . My signature hole would likely be #12 . A drive from a hill over a gully onto another hill that slopes to the left and a brushline to the right . The basket is elevated on top of a large tree stump . It will unnerve you , thinking that your missed putt may roll all the way down to the bottom of the hill .
Cons: There are a couple I have to add ( sorry , Bill ) #1 signage . . For a national class course , the signage lags . All it has is the tee # . Hard to spot looking for the right tee pad and throwing to blind shot baskets . #2 when I was there , the rough was out of control . I can live with it when I throw to lower elevation blind hole throws , but to spend a long time looking for a disc in knee high rough is frustrating . Bill cut out pathways in the rough , maybe in hopes that you land on one of the paths . Just a suggestion : maybe put orange or yellow flags on the baskets so the players can spot them easier . We had to walk up the fairway on a few occasions just to see where the basket was placed in the woods .
Other Thoughts: The few cons/suggestion does little to offset the fact that this is an incredible course .The most scenic . This may be the only course that , after I started playing it , I felt as though I belonged to it . hard to explain . By the time I was done , the parking lot was full of cars and you could hear some of the disc golfers on the course . I was able to meet the owner , Bill , after our round . He is a great guy . Keeps up with the game and knows a lot of the history . He sat at the sheltered picnic tables and all of talked for quite a while . I had put down 32 bucket list courses in order that I haven't played yet , and Flip City was #1 . Thanks , Bill for talking to us and giving us the privilege to play your course . My recommendation : This is a destination course . However you have to travel to come here , PLAY IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

31 of 31 people found this review helpful.

 thanks bill

1    4/26/2018   4/30/2018
Review By: blazerico
Played: 318  Reviewed: 37  Exp: 17.8 Years
7 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: As many have said before me, the property is awesome. You almost can't go wrong. Put a basket in the ground anywhere and you have a good or potentially amazing hole.
Cons: I had to find a flaw and I'm going with signage. I'm really into knowing what hole I'm on and where I'm throwing without having to think about it too much. A good tee sign goes a long way, but even a mark on the teepad would help. Some holes were obvious, others were marked, but some I had to check the map to be sure. I only played one round and it will be different if I ever go back.
Other Thoughts: I wish I was there when leaves are on the trees, but it was still a beautiful place to play. I did, however, like blue gill a hair more

7 of 21 people found this review helpful.


1    8/9/2017   1/18/2018
Review By: Myke566
Played: 1  Reviewed: 1
2 Helpful / 29 Not
Pros: Variety, maintenance, secluded. This course really has it all. Awesome variation from hole to hole. Just an absolute treat to walk through and play.
Cons: Nothing. This course is honestly perfect. It's Michigan disc golf history.

2 of 31 people found this review helpful.


1    1/3/2018   1/3/2018
Review By: spinninglens
Played: 4  Reviewed: 3  Exp: 16.8 Years
4 Helpful / 28 Not
Pros: A person can get just as worn out as they want to get up and down the beautiful hills. Radical stone stacks. Worth the trip and probably work camping to let it all sink in.
Cons: Poison Ivy is not unique to this one.
Other Thoughts: Discs sometimes like to roll very far away.

4 of 32 people found this review helpful.

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