Great S. Wisconsin course
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: 28 well laid out holes in a pretty secluded, rural area. Well worth the drive from Madison, Milwaukee, or Janesville. Multiple tees and pin positions for almost every hole make the layout pretty widely variable in terms of difficulty. Most every shot in my bag was used on this course off the tee at one point or another.Signage is quite good, and making your way around the course is easy after you see it once.
Good use of elevation available, and some holes play on the side of the hill bordering the river (which you get to throw over on hole 28 if you want)
Cons: From what I've heard, the tall grass off the main fairways basically plays as a hazard in the warmer months. Was find to play when I did in the winter, as it was pretty well laid down, and even then if you threw off the fairway finding your disc took a little work. Personally I think it would be good incentive to try and learn better course management to play in the summer time, but other locals seem to think differently.
Didn't really notice many trash cans out there, but some spots had nice places to sit in case you didn't bring a stool.
Other Thoughts: This is a fantastic course! During the summer, if I have my choice to drive 25 minutes to Token Creek or drive 35 minutes here, I'd like to think that I'd almost always take Bird's Ruins. Not that Token Creek is a bad course by any means, I just think I prefer the different challenges that Bird's Ruins offers. 27 (or 28 if you play it) holes obviously makes it tougher to get 2 rounds played in a day. It's not a tough hike but it's a decently long course with some well thought out use of the elevation that is available.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Very well maintained
-28 excellent holes
-Uses the elevation extremely well
-Discs are easy to find in the water (excluding hole 19/28 depending on when you went)
-Phenomenal tee boxes
-Plenty of benches
-Plenty of trashcans
-Course was very very clean
Cons: -Course is long..... but hey, 28 holes.
-The rough is... rough. You will lose a disc without spotters. Take a friend or 3.
-Apparently there is a plant here that will blister skin in sun.
Other Thoughts: I had the pleasure of playing here several times for the 2016 Am Worlds. This was my favorite of the 5.
Birds was a really really fun course. Being from Texas, I had never seen fairways mowed into punishing rough. Apparently this is a WI thing and I loved it.
Hole 7 was my favorite hole. You're a good ways above the basket, but it's really a putter shot through trees, but too long, you're in the pond. It's so picturesque that you have to run it. So much fun!
Then, on the new holes. Hole 15, I believe, is a tight, 8 foot wide tree lined fairway with a massive log wall (think wooden frontier fort) angled behind it. It's a 100% run the basket. It really makes you be accurate and rewards you when you are.
If I had to go back to Madison and could only play one course, it would be Birds Ruins. The Rebel DG Club have really knocked this one out of the park.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Best in South Central WI
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is heavily wooded, highly technical, and has a great deal of elevation change to go along with some huge long holes to challenge both the big arms and the average (it's quite a treat to par those holes alongside the pros).
Natural obstacles such as an ancient, uprooted pair of trees on hole #4 just before crossing a creek add to the challenge (not to mention that the long green is surrounded to the 10 meter distance by sumac).
Hole #13 offers an elevated pyramid as the sort of unnatural obstacle that is much preferable to arbitrary and artificial OB. Hole #14 is another magnificently protected green, sumac surrounding the long pin out to 10 meters.
The holes are each exceptional, and the layout and signage is excellent, making it very easy to follow. And hey, Holly Finley calls it her home course, so if you see the Mini Cooper that she is provided by her sponsor at the dealership, you might get to say hey to the Duchess of Disc Golf (or even play a round with her).
It will soon be a 27 hole track for the World's, and the new holes look great.
Cons: It is about a 30 minute drive from Madison, but it's free and slightly superior to both Elver and Hiestand. It's the only course open in the winter in the area, and it can be muddy and slick and treacherous, so wear hiking boots with good traction.
Other Thoughts: It's secluded and quiet, near nature trails, water, and large farms. You can scarcely tell there is a small city nearby, and there are opportunities for bird and nature lovers to get their geek on about that as well as the great course.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
I wish I lived in Dane County
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Located in a scenic county park
- Easy to find with ample parking near holes 1 and 18
- Wide Variety... short wooded holes, wide open distance, water hazards, elevation, and more
- Fun and challenging for a wide variety of skill levels
- Dual concrete teepads and pins
- High quality of upkeep and care... trash and recycling bins throughout the course
- Accurate and detailed teesigns
- Benches, logs, stumps, or plastic chairs located at each teepad
Cons: - I could definitely see how the rough could ruin a solo round, especially during the summer. It wasn't long enough this time of year (mid-spring) to be a problem while playing in a group of 4. We never spent more than 2 minutes looking for a disc over the course of 2 rounds.
- In the current pin positions, there were three short, downhill, doglegs that became a little monotonous.
Other Thoughts: I was really impressed with this course. The quality of the design is top notch. There were several holes that made me think about risk vs. reward and most presented two or more line options. Some people complained that hole #9 (in the horseshoe position) is way too difficult to birdie... I like that design because it rewards good course management. A controlled shot will set you up for a manageable par while those that go for the unlikely birdie will find themselves in jail and scrambling for a bogey. The care and upkeep were closer to what you would find at a high quality pay-to-pay course. The natural beauty of the land was remarkable. I heard the calls of cranes (I was told they were whooping cranes) on a nearby lake/pond throughout the day. I am definitely looking forward to playing hear again.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course that utilizes its location well
Pros: Fantastic use of the surroundings, which includes a river, stream, open prairie, and a hardwood forest. The stream running through the first four holes is utilized well, making you think about your shot selection from the tee. The open fields allow you to stretch the arm out, with some true par four hole distances
There are also some short, technical holes that reward shot shaping and control.
In addition to the the course itself, the amenities on the property are nice. There is a bathroom and a water pump located at the parking lot. I didn't get a chance to use the water pump, so I am assuming it is functional. There are also garbage and recycling cans scattered throughout the course, too. The tee pads are concrete, and are large enough for even the biggest of run-ups.
Cons: As others have mentioned, the rough is just that. I'm sure that as more people play, the rough will become more beat in. But hey, if you are driving straight, there's nothing to worry about!
Other Thoughts: All in all, this is a fantastic course that is well worth the short drive from the Madison area, or further. The combination of shots and distances required make this a challenging course that is a blast to play.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
The Beast in the East ( of Dane County)
Awesome course and layout. All parts of your game required. Big arms, accurate mids and great putting will score well here.
Cons: Rough is rough. Woods are tight. No other surprises here. It's all been said before.
Other Thoughts: Keep on keeping on here! All the improvements are just making this hidden jem that much better.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome Fall-Spring Course
Pros: Great variety of wooded and open shots
Great variety of long and short shots
The short tees, long pins are very challenging, even for pros
The long tees create a very different shot for some holes
Cons: The only gripe I have with this course is that the rough is too thick during the summer months. There are lots of thorns so please wear long pants.
Other Thoughts: I highly enjoy playing this course from fall to early spring. I try to get out there once a week. The course designers are great people who have done a great job with the course. Hole 19 is such a great hole and worth emptying your bag on to try for an ace.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
rivals the madison courses
Pros: huge concrete tees plus am and pro
distance variation is great 150-700
the fairways are well groomed and are plenty wide
a good mix of tight wooded holes and long open bombers
the woods has extreme elevation change which is really fun
water present for an extra thing to think about
tee signs are awesome showing the distance, par, and both tees and hole locations
navigating from hole to hole is a breeze with all of the markers on the trees
challenging to make par on the longer holes but then gives you ample opportunity to make up for it on the shorter holes
never busy and it's free!
plenty of different shots needed to score well(even a couple overhand shots)
practice basket and a bathroom are right by parking lot
located in a beautiful family park right by the river, it feels very peaceful and scenic.
Cons: a couple of the wooded holes have a few too many trees in the way and require a little luck
bugs can be a problem in the woods but not terrible
off the fairway grass is very tall and thick but like I said the fairways are adequately wide to land your disc
Other Thoughts: Hiestand and Elver are the most talked about courses around the area but I think this course should also be in the conversation. Honestly, if I could only play one course, i would pick bird's ruins over the madison courses because it is not busy at all. This course is so much fun with all of the different lines you can take to the pin and all of the different obstacle you have to throw around. It really provides a stern challenge. You'll probably need just about every disc in your bag here. And if your frustrated with your round you can always get rid of some steam by playing #19 throwing across the river. In my opinion this course has it all and is very close to perfect. Getting rid of a few trees on some wooded holes (#9 especially) would make this a 5.0 course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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