McNaught Messin' Around
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: McNaughton Park is a killer 18 hole course. Pro caliber from the gold tees, and still a good test from the blues. Grassy fairways play through mature woods, between rows of thick brushy rough, and finishes on a mostly wide open area with a very long hole. There are fairly large elevation changes on a few holes, and water is in play on a couple of others.
Two sets of concrete tees play to Chainstar baskets. A good course map is posted near the first tee. Par is 56 on the shorter blue tees, 58 for the long gold layout. I played the gold layout, which beat me up. Four holes are in the 300' and under range. The par fours are all in the final 5 on the back 9.
I liked the way the course sort of goes through phases, changing as you play through. Holes 1 and 2 are play downhill and are pretty open. There are trees in front of the basket as you approach 1, and they can grab you if you get too far to the right or go long on 2. 3 enters the woods and uses clusters of trees to form a hard right turn in the fairway. 4 is a really fun downhill drive with a few trees to avoid on the way down to the pin. Holes 5, 6, and 7 have less change in elevation, but it's there, along with trees to shape the tee shots. The pond sits to the left of hole 7. Hole 8 plays over the point of the pond, but it's no real danger unless you miss badly to the left. Hole 9 was one of my favorite holes. It plays downhill with trees and the shore of the pond to the left, and more dense growth along the right side. A corridor is formed running down a steady slope to the basket.
10 turns and plays back uphill, with slope dropping to the right side of the fairway that can cause a tough roll. Around hole 11 majority of the rough starts to become the heavy green that can be tough to exit if you leave the fairway. The heavy fringe does serious shaping of drives and forming walls edging the grassy center lines. This portion of the course also has much less elevation change. 16 has the road on the left, the right is heavy rough and the center is sprinkled with trees. 17 and 18 are in the open grass across the street, with just a couple of trees here and there. 18 is a big arm special at 849 from the gold tee atop the hill.
Cons: Heavy leaves drifted in places at the time of my visit in the second week of November. Not much you can do about that. It was my last disc golf road trip before the winter cold moved in for 2022.
Tee signs and directional aid would be a nice add in some spots. Some of the baskets were pretty aged visually. They all performed fine, but can be tough to spot at a distance.
Other Thoughts: I loved all of the big hills and woods through the first 10 holes. The maze of hedgerows effect and distances on 11 through 15 are a good challenge.
The last couple of holes were sort of bland, and 18 is a doozy in terms of length, but not the most awe inspiring finisher.
I did like the course a lot in totality. It was no walk in the park, figuratively. I had no birdies, and finished at +16 (74) off the long tees. Ouch. I would like to get in a few more courses in the Peoria area, and this is one I could easily see myself revisiting.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -- McNaughton uses a combination of rolling hills, woods and some open fairways to create an interesting mix of holes.
-- Two concrete tee pads per hole.
-- Excellent baskets.
-- Distance variation is excellent. From the short tees, eight holes are shorter than 300 feet, although only one is shorter than 250; from the longs, eight holes are longer than 400 feet.
-- Uphiil (10, 15, 17) and downhill (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 18) throws.
-- A few open holes, but the majority are in the woods and force/reward accuracy.
-- Course loops back near parking after hole 10 so you can restock during a round.
-- Very good tee signs: benches and a trash cans (not at every hole, but well spaced as needed), and a few nicely built bridges to cross some of the low spots.
-- Doesn't overly favor one throwing style (RHBH, LHBH, etc.).
-- Abundant wildlife. We saw several deer during our round.
Cons: -- Finding the 17 tee (you cross the road and the 18 fairway) was a challenge, and a safety concern.
-- Nos. 13, 14 and 15 go more or less back and forth and can feel repetitive.
-- We threw to No. 2 basket on No. 1 because that was the basket we saw basically straight ahead. The No. 1 basket was left, tucked in the trees.
-- No restrooms or water that I saw.
Other Thoughts: -- After playing 16 mostly wooded holes, it feels like a different course to end with two completely open holes. No. 18 is 849 feet (downhill and then slightly uphill), but still doesn't feel like a signature or closing hole for a course of this caliber.
-- Most of the distance is at the end of this course. From the long tees, the last six holes are longer than 400 feet.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Long standing beast of a course
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 2 concrete teepads per hole.
New bright orange Chainstars.
Excellent landscape for disc golf. Hilly and wooded terrain results in majority of holes requiring accuracy and distance. Holes vary in left/ right, up/ down and all combinations in between.
Hole 18 downhill bomber.
Cons: Hilly rugged landscape is slick after rains.
Teepads on the small side and not grippy, especially when wet.
Not beginner friendly even from short tees.
Other Thoughts: McNaughton Park DGC, colloquially known as McNasty, has been a bruiser in the DG hotspot of Peoria, IL for nearly 30 years. It capitalizes on the moderate to severely hilly and wooden terrain of the Illinois River proximity to generate an excellent set of 18 holes. Besides the opening and closing holes, precise shots are required throughout and the rough is thick enough to make most recovery shots challenged.
Offering two tees per hole does a very good job of making the course more (not completely) accessible to lower rated players while the longs will challenge all but the highest caliber players.
In the end, it is a must visit for the Central Illinois / Peoria area. Bring sturdy shoes and water and be prepared for a battle with one of stalwarts in an area full of great DG.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
great terrian for DG
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very hilly terrain which makes great DG. While mostly wooded most holes had very fair lanes to navigate, the back 9 opens up on a few holes yet has some tight gaps to hit.
The baskets are orange Chainstars (not Mach 3's as listed on here) and they caught well. Most if not all holes had two sets of cements tees.
The DG course is set in a dedicated part of the park so other park activities don't interfere during your round. A large course map is located at the start.
The front 9 had a very old school DG feel feel which I appreciated very much. The course was easy to navigate (except after 16 to 17). Two holes played near water but only a terrible shot would get wet.
I pulled a cart and had no issues so it is very cart friendly, a few wooden bridges were narrow but just wide enough for my EZ cart.
The grass was cut well in late Sept.
Cons: The tee 'signs' were simply posts with the hole number and old distances but no map of the hole. Most baskets have been extended so the distances were no longer correct.
Hated hole 11 a narrow tunnel shot.
Navigation after 16...cross the road to your left and walk down the hill crossing #18's fairway. A sign and/or arrow sure would be helpful. I walked back to the map at hole 1 to find where 17 and 18 were.
Other reviews mentioned navigation arrows to the next hole, I saw them only once.
Other Thoughts: I drove over 90 minutes out of the way to play here and glad I did, it was a fun course to play.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is another really nice course in the Peoria area. The course is set up on some very hilly terrain running in and out of the woods on the majority of holes. The baskets were chainstars now. I'm not sure exactly what model but of the newer variety. These had orange tops and cages which stick out great. They caught awesome too. No complaints on these. The tee pads were all concrete and nice and level. Plenty big enough and gripped nicely. Quite a few holes had shorts and longs but I don't think they all did. The terrain here is great for disc golf and is used quite well. The course starts at the top of a large hill going down and across it. Hole 2 is back up to the top of the hill for a fun downhill shot. These are mostly open, then it's off into the more heavily wooded section for the next 14 holes. These holes almost all have some kind of elevation involved. All are really fun holes. As mentioned in other reviews, the last 2 holes feel kind of like filler holes. At least they made 18 an 800 plus foot par 5. A change of pace from the more technical golf on the rest of the course. The flow of the course is very easy to follow. You should have no problem finding the next hole even without a map. The only thing to remember is hole 17 and 18 are on the other side of the main park road. There are tee signs on all of the short pads. They are just big wood posts with the hole number and distance. They help finding the tee pad at the very least. You will need to be able to shape shots both left and right here. The fairways are all fair here. There wasn't a hole with a spray and pray kind of feel. But accuracy will be rewarded and, while the rough isn't terrible, errant shots will being punished. The course is free to play and seems to be well maintained.
Cons: The biggest con for me was holes 17 and 18. It's kind of a let down after all the fun holes before. I can understand the space constraints though. Also the tee signs weren't very helpful except finding the tee pad. Just big 4x6 posts with hole number and distance. A hole layout map would be nice. Nitpicky I suppose but it's already a lot of walking just to play, then to have to walk a ways down the fairway to look for the pin.
Other Thoughts: This is a really nice course and is absolutely worth a stop if you're nearby or passing through. Is it the best in the area? No. But it is probably top 3. I had a great time here and while not a beginner friendly course, it will be enjoyable for rec level players all the way up. This is just an all around fun course to play.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice tees
Great use of elevation
Good use of trees and landscape
Long and short tees
Cons: Not a big con but a wide open long shots on 17 and 18 felt like field practice and not disc golfing.
Could do something like an elevated basket, make better use of the pond, or throw off a high hill like cliff for more signature type holes.
Other Thoughts: For me every hole beside 17 and 18 were really good. The long tees combing power with placement and accuracy. SO for me there were lot's of good holes, but lacking great holes.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: This course is a challenging course with many different types of holes! It requires you most of the time to be accurate, but also has just a few open holes. Has two different tee areas to go from. The actual area of the course is very beautiful.
Cons: It lacks a sufficient path to the next hole very few times, but then again I've only played it twice so it may just be me! Maybe lose a disc if you throw wild. Nothing too bad really!
Other Thoughts: This is the best course I have played on so far, and it is also the most challenging! Great area that is definitely worth a drive to! I drove almost 2 hours to play it, and would do it again! Great place to test your skills, and improve them. Hope to be back real soon!
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
McNasty actually has “Fair”ways
Pros: McNaughton ("McNasty") rolls through its wood-edged fairways a little bit like a ball golf course, but scaled correctly for disc golf. It is NOT wide open like most ball golf conversions, so don't get fooled by looking over at 17 & 18 as you park. The majority of the course will force you to hit your line accurately, and to make wise choices as to when to take down a fairway one bite at a time. Often, going for that deuce may risk a bogey, because there are some jail areas just off the mostly 'fair'ways!
Yet, it is not brutally difficult for the highest skills, even though the long tees can add a significant amount of challenge. With two level, concrete tees per hole, and bright orange Discraft Chainstar baskets (with number plates and even numbers on the poles themselves), most baskets are visible from the short tees. With very good use of elevations (the pictures on here don't do it justice), and a reasonable balance of left- and right-turning holes, McNaughton makes for an almost ideal tournament course. They even have a great deal of open space at the end of the drive to warm up. I was told that they set up a temp, glow course at that end sometimes.
Very good signage, a bench and a trash can wherever needed, and nicely built bridges to cross some of the low spots, all the needed amenities are in place. There are even yellow bricks pointing the way along the well-worn paths to the next tee, when needed. Overall, McNaughton should appeal to all tournament levels of play, but might be a little too much challenge for casual players and beginners.
Cons: There are not a whole lot of negatives, but it does seem a bit odd to cross the 18th fairway to get to the 17th teepad. Some of the honeysuckle bushes and branches can be overly punitive for shots that simply skip a little and roll into the thick stuff. The late stretch of holes that just go back and forth can feel a little repetitive (13, 14 & 15), and even though big arms might look forward to finishing with an uphill 400 footer and a downhill 800 footer, weaker (and older) arms find them a little daunting for a finish.
Other Thoughts: This course has several holes that might be a signature hole on many lesser courses. I loved the scenic nature of the first hole, the downhill lane on 4, and the ridge lane of 7. The tight gaps on 11 & 12 are rewarding when you hit them. Even the top of the world drive off of the hill on 18 felt fun.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: played 277 courses and written 261 reviews, with skills hovering around a 900 rating, I started playing at 50 and am now 55. I don't throw far (300 footers feel like success), but am addicted to DG, and have played with folks ranging from age 7 to 87, so I try to write reviews helpful to all.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
One of my first courses
Pros: 1. Great Course Layout
3. Championship Level
Cons: It's been years since I played it and the only thing I can remember bothering me was the extreme rough. Could of been the time of year or just me being a beginner.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to play again, years later much improved.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Best pro course I've played in Illinois
Pros: McNasty is fair, long, with trees everywhere. Elevation changes are crazy. And it's a well designed course. It's a pro course so intermediate players can expect high scores. If you shoot below 60 you are talented or bad at math.
Cons: Hard to find and overgrown but who cares?
Other Thoughts: Best pro course in Illinois. Enjoy!
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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