Old School Course Is Popular-Needs Some Work Done!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I played Oshtemo Township Park DGC on an afternoon when the wind was howling across SW Michigan. But here on the course, even though one could hear the wind blowing above, it was calm and pleasant at course level. I liked the layout here a lot. We played from the shorts and found those to be recreationally challenging. It's not a beginner course.
There is a kiosk at he beginning with something like 160 league players listed. This is obviously a popular course and so issues arise because of this popularity, notably erosion problems and casual players feeling unloved. There was no league play going on when I played so I really can't speak to that issue. The erosion and compacted soil everywhere is a enormous problem. I'm surprised that more measures aren't be taken to combat these problems. They were steps being taken, particularly with the frames built around the tee pads. I think many places could benefit from throwing down truckloads of wood chips. As regards to the beat down rough areas, I personally like a course where the rough is not that thick and difficult to recover from. Probably because I spend large amounts of my disc playing time trying to recover from errant shots chucked off of the fairways.
The course is not particularly long (from the short tees) nor is it particularly tight. The fairways are decently wide. There are no holes where you look and think to yourself, "There is no route here." There are two baskets which are slightly raised. A couple of tee pads are slightly elevated. On 2-3 holes, you are throwing short, downhill Ace Runs. I think it was #5 and # 18. There is a nice variety of throws required here. Not quite use every disc in your bag variety but close enough.
Cons: When does being too popular become a con? The course does get lots of play.
Erosion and compacted soil issues.
Signage needs to be improved. It is kind of embarrassing that a wonderful course like this is so sorely lacking in navigational aids. The local club does need to step up and take some ownership here. Some kind of next tee signs would be helpful. I hooked up with a couple of locals early on and didn't have to find my own way.
After all this play, the rough has been thinned, trimmed, torn and tattered. I like it like this.
Other Thoughts: This course reminds me somewhat of Knollwood. It has been loved to death. I've played in other parts of the country (i.e. Minneapolis) where they are very concerned and taking all kinds of steps to prevent erosion and compacting issues. We players aren't always happy with some of their solutions. I'd hate to see that happen here at these two popular courses. Oshtemo is a treasure and needs to be nurtured and protected.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Lots of variety in shot types
Well laid out design
Challenging, yet not frustrating
Cons: You might spend more time waiting than playing
League members think thy have the right to play ahead of you when it's a public park
Other Thoughts: This is one of the better courses in the area. It's relatively challenging but as you learn the course you learn how to better your score by playing smarter. My personal favorite around Kalamazoo when it's not busy, and my least favorite when it is
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
A fun and challenging course
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Nice variation of holes. It is nice that each hole was a par 3. The terrain and trees changed throughout the course which was cool for a nature person such as myself. I had a lot of fun at this course!
Cons: Hard to find the beginning at first.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Good Course needs Tender Loving Care
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Solid Tee Pads, Every hole is wooded, many enjoyable shots, decent mix of well balance shots. Great bones on this course. Would recommend.
Cons: Zero signage. Seriously this is embarrassing. I am sure there has been signage at one point. And hard to navigate the course first few times, yes there are some well worn paths, but it is just frustrating not knowing what hole you are on during casual play.
Other Thoughts: Played the course during a week of vacation that I was staying in the area. Enjoyed it. The signage issue is neglect from the locals who should have more pride in this course.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Nicely wooded fairways that are narrow enough to provide a challenge.
-A couple of holes are just beautiful. I love the long left turning hole (#5, I think), with a nasty stand of trees just ahead of where your tee shot will land, presenting an obstacle for your second shot.
-Though there's not much elevation change, the course takes advantage of what is there to add interest.
-Nicely placed in a park with good parking and a clean"restroom.
Cons: -Signs. The tee signs are beat up and ugly. There are no tee signs at the short tee pads.
-Navigation. Hard to find the first hole. No tee signs at short tee pads, as noted above. NO direction signs between holes. Sure there are well-worn paths after each basket, but too often the paths led in different directions.
-I have run into people who are impatient with me not knowing the layout both times I have played the course.
-There are times when you won't be able to get on the course because of league play. There are times when you can play but the course is crowded.
-Erosion, mud, old baskets, etc. See other reviews. Not a huge issue for me, but noted.
Other Thoughts: Overall a good design that is heavily played. My rating is "Decent" because it needs some TLC to be rated a 3 or higher.
At this point I suspect the people who play it regularly can't even see the issues (bad tee signs, need for navigation help, and rudeness that comes from thinking they own the course).
I also suspect that the people who play it regularly are going to say this review isn't helpful (as some people did for the guy who compared this course to a Honda Prelude). If you think the problem is the review, you're clearly not looking at your course or the behavior of your league members.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Passing through town - played only the long layout
Gorgeous course, well maintained
Well defined fairways
Solid test of skill in distance and accuracy
Course was fairly easy to navigate, having never seen the course before
Course was very clean
Cons: Tee signs were in sad shape on most holes
Other Thoughts: 518' par 3 down a wooded fairway? That's awesome.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This more 'established' course does what it does well: provide a beautiful, civilized, wooded round of disc golf for a range of skill levels, and is obviously well-loved and heavily trafficked. Having had the opportunity to visit during a beautiful stretch of weather for the 2015 Amateur World Championships, I was thrilled to play a mostly level, shady course with tremendously well-defined lines of flight, and 'rough' that has been beaten back and weathered in to the point where you might never need a spotter (though the volunteers who helped out for the event were fantastic!), and your chances of a recovery shot are pretty good.
Two sets of incredibly huge, level, concrete tees were supported by landscaping where needed, and there were enough trash cans and seating to make this a comfortable place to play. Baskets were in good shape (except maybe the really old one near the course kiosk, to the right as you enter the parking area).
Hole distances from the long tees range from 221' to 524', with a decent assortment of required flight lines. Intermediate to Advanced players with decent accuracy nearing 350 off the tee will have a realistic shot for up to a dozen deuce opportunities, so the long tees here are probably pretty much right in their wheelhouse. The short tees looked like they might be fun for Recreational players, and I'm sure this course gets its share of casual players, as well. Though played mostly 'in the woods', none of the flight lines felt too tight for the distances involved: even when the fairway turned sharply (to the right on hole 6, for instance), there was a logical flight line through.
The park has a good quantity of parking, restrooms, newer shelters, a nice playground, and other attractions for the non-playing members of the family. And yet, the disc golf course played well away from everything but the walking trail and the tennis courts.
Cons: An extremely popular course, I'm guessing it can get tremendously crowded. We even had some casuals seeking to get a round in on a weekday afternoon with an obvious Major event going on. The high level of foot traffic over the years here has gotten not just the greens, but even some fairways, beaten in to dirt through erosion. That means dusty when dry and muddy when wet. Choose your time to play.
The course doesn't have much going in the way of elevation, there is no water to challenge or force a gut-check, and there were a few times when it felt like the course might get a little repetitive (the first four holes from the longs were 347 feet, 347 feet, 347 feet, and 346 feet, but it got better).
Navigation might be an issue for first timers. Aside from the excellent (temporary) Worlds signage, I didn't see a lot of signs, either at tees or for 'next tee'. I glanced at the kiosk, but don't remember if I saw a course map there or not (I had the map from Worlds). Granted, it's a pretty easy flow once you've been through, but, like a lot of older courses, signage tends to get overlooked after a while.
Speaking of which, my nav/gps took me to the main road in front of the (fire station), and I did not see a sign indicating the park until I drove around behind.
Other Thoughts: Enjoyed the course, and can see a lot of rewarding play for those who get to visit frequently!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 3 Not
Holy Erosion Batman!
Pros: - Concrete tee pads are great. Perfect length and pads for both the longs and shorts.
- In a multi-use park setting but the course does not seem to interfere with other park activities.
- Variety all over this course from left to right fairways, right to left, dead straight and so on.
- Benches and trash cans placed all over the course. There is no reason to trash up the course.
- Someone is starting to address the gigantic erosion issues here (see cons below).
- Baskets are pretty old but look like they've been well kept up.
Cons: - Far and away to me the biggest con is the horrific amount of erosion happening here due to the large amount of traffic. It just takes away from the aesthetics of the course. But more than that, it makes some of the holes almost unplayable after a rain when mud collects around the base of many of the baskets. Just makes it a rather messy DG experience. I see someone is working on it (like on #18 fairway) but man, there is a lot more to do here.
- The tee signs used to be works of art but alas...they are now pieces of crap. Time to spring for some new signs folks.
- Navigation is a disaster. Most of the time, following the paths to the next tee works but in many spots it isn't clear where to go.
- Course courtesy...I rarely ever list this as a con on any particular course but Oshtemo is rife with hucking idiots. I think Western Michigan U is to blame for a lot of this nonsense. There really isn't much that can be done about it - legally - so when you play here stay patient and expect to spend a little more time per round. And if you are a hucking idiot reading this (you know who you are) please go get drunk and smoke your tree somewhere else. The rest of us DO NOT find your antics as amusing as you do.
- #15 is an abomination of a disc golf hole. I hate it...kill it with fire. I have nary a clue why this hole bothers me so because it isn't terribly difficult...maybe it's the ludicrously tall pine trees placed RIGHT IN FRONT of the tee box.
Other Thoughts: Oh boy...I am going to get raked over the coals for this rating...2.5. Save your nasty PM's to me and get out on that course and help whoever is working on it and make a difference. There is no reason Oshtemo should be less than a 3.5 or better course. With a high amount of traffic it's just going to need a high amount of maintenance. Sort of breaks my heart to see the course in such shape especially since this is the course I learned how to play disc golf on way back in '04.
After writing this review last night, one thing that would help immensely is to close the course for several months...maybe a whole year just so the grass has a chance to get re-established in many areas. Or maybe it's time to seriously consider paving parts of the fairways and paths and maybe the areas around some of the baskets. I don't know but to me it just doesn't seem like a good idea to leave it go in its current condition.
Osthemo reminds me of a 2001 Prelude where 12 years and 100,000 miles ago it was still a hoot to drive. Not the flashiest car on the road but it sure got you around. Now it needs a new motor, it shakes when you hit 63 mph and the tranny is slipping. It can be good again...just needs a lot of work.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid old school design, plain and simple
Pros: Plays through a semi-DG-dedicated section of a busy, multi-use community park. A walking path winds around/ near some holes, but is sufficiently buffered by the woods so that if walkers/bikers/strollers stay on the trail, disc vs. pedestrian encounters are quite unlikely. Fairways are moderately wooded in that they are comprised of nicely grass lined clearings that are sharply defined by dense woods on both sides and somewhat sparsely treed up the middle. There's no guessing as to where fairway ends and the rough begins, or what line was intended by the designers.
• Variety: Nice variety of lengths from either set of tees (but can be augmented in that regard if you're willing to mix shorts and longs during a single round). Most fairways are relatively open from the short tee to the pin, and very densely wooded on either side with a smattering of trees in the fairway (often with more trees guarding the basket). One or two holes have tight fairways, but most of them offer a decent amount of room to operate, making them pretty forgiving of small mistakes, not so forgiving of big ones...IMO, that's how it should be.
Dual tees on every hole do an excellent job of accommodating beginner to advanced players. The shorts are far from overwhelming for beginners and provide lots of birdie opportunities for intermediate players. The longs add about 100 ft per hole, but more importantly, do a really nice job of creating different challenges, often bringing more trees into play, substantially tightening windows and restricting lines. On some holes, the long/short tees are set at different elevations or different angles to the main part of the fairway.
Nice mix of straight holes with several turning gently left or right to provide a pretty balanced feel overall. While the course is flat for the most part (there's nothing you could call a hill), the gently rolling terrain is just enough to keep the course from being completely flat and is undeniably a factor on a few holes, which makes things just a bit more interesting.
• More on elevation: They've built a few tee pads up above ground level (maybe 2-3 ft) to enhance the elevation in play, and elevated a couple of baskets to create additional risk reward on a couple of holes. I'd really like to see more courses on flat property do this, instead of simply accepting that "you can't do anything to change the terrain."
• Equipment: Concrete tees were in good shape and nicely boxed in with 4x4's sunk flush with the ground placed approx 18" out from the tee to combat erosion (seems to be working quite well). Baskets are a bit old but in pretty good shape (1 or 2 had slightly bent cages but nothing severe). Garbage cans at every hole.
• Routing and Navigation: Flows pretty intuitively from hole to hole most of the time, with well-worn paths guiding you to the next tee, but there are two spots where you could unintentionally skip a few holes and not even realize it (see cons).
• Aesthetics: I find the contrast between the grassy open fairways and the sharply defined woods quite appealing, and while it's not visually spectacular, I think Oshtemo is the very definition of a wonderful walk through a city park.
• Extras: Clean bathrooms after 18th hole, just off the parking lot. Minutes from all kinds of restaurants and convenience stores.
Cons: • While I noticed several indicators that the park has done some things to keep the course in good shape, Oshtemo is badly in need of replacement tee markers; nothing fancy - just hole number and distance would be great.
This can be a particular problem at a couple of spots where you could easily skip a few holes and think you've gone the correct way: from 9 to 12, and from 11 to 14.
The layout isn't the culprit here, and while a map would help, the problem is that most of the tee markers are missing. With no tee markers, you can't tell that you've walked from 9 to 10, or from 9 to 12. Same thing after hole 11.
• Can feel a bit repetitive towards the end of the round - more variety in terms of fairway types (i.e. wide open bombs + tightly wooded) as well as a few sharply turning fairways that requiring more acute hyzer and annie lines would compliment the subtle in addition to the gently turning ones) the more subtle curving fairways nicely.
• Although it's aging well, there's no denying volume of traffic over the years has made the rough less foreboding in some spots, and creating instances where you can card a par despite a bad tee shot. Some will appreciate this, but I'm not in that camp.
Other Thoughts: Oshtemo is a great course that's stood the test of time quite well. Keep in mind it was built when Valks and XL's were the longest discs of the day. The game has progressed, and while there are better courses out there, sound design principles never grow old - Oshtemo remains a very solid course even today.
I'd give it a 3.75 if I could. Enhance the variety with some sharper turning fairways and/or some bigger elevation changes and I'd easily call it 4.0.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: nice semi wide fairways and open shots, followed by doglegs going each way, mostly wooded but par is managable on every hole with some skill, has 2 tees(pro/regular). easy course to walk an play on, might even see some box turltes scuttling around the pathways.
Cons: mostly wooded so you may be looking for discs if you hyzer it too hard. in the thick pines later in the round, be sure to check if its "floating" in a branch first...ive found more discs there doing that than looking on ground, most wooded areas arent so thick but are a pain in some shots.
Other Thoughts: great place to play, minimal trash, some cool artwork on the tee off areas and a practice putting area as you approach #1 which is nice, parking is readily available.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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