2 Helpful / 1 Not
another good one in the area
Pros: It's kind of like a combination of Oshtemo and Coldbrook. Some long shot placement holes mixed with some short technical ones. Numerous risk/reward holes. At least two routes to most holes in the woods. The two practice baskets are a nice feature. (Hadn't played VRA since November. Played it for the first time with the cement pads. Pads improve the course by a .5. Knew the basket positions were good when I played in the fall, realize after playing again how really good they are).
Cons: About the only hole I really didn't like was #6. Basket placement behind mound just seemed kind of strange. Also not a fan of the elevated brick placement of hole #9 (just like holes #8 and #12 at Oshtemo), although I suppose Larry had to do something to that hole. (hole 12 is an extremely long, tough hole...something, not sure what, needs to be done about building up the fairway so it's not so wet).
Other Thoughts: This is another great course in the long line of them in the Kazoo area (Oshtemo, RoMo, Meyer Broadway, Blue Gill).
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
awesome course will only get awesomer...yep, awesomer..
Aesthetic-- Course plays on a natural area with A LOT of water involvement. Landscape is used extremely well and about every chance to involve the lakes is taken.
Baskets--yep, chainstars. best in the business. only thing discraft does well in my opinion.
Risk v Reward-- HUGE. and fair. some of the later water holes remind me of Blue Gill with their pond shots. There is incidental water on so many holes here that I added several to the hole descriptions. I shanked one into the water on 15 but was able to retrieve it after about 15 minutes of it floating around...
Pin placement--impecable. So much more fair than Blue Gill. you are forced to decide to go for it and risk the water or to lay it up a lot of the time but at least it's not rolling down a 400' hill.
Routing--the map made it minimally better but I made a google earth map which may make it easier. In the spring I'm sure the locals will bore better paths into the woods holes.
Challenge/Variety--this is a VERY challenging course. It made me take a really good look at my game at every turn.
Special Mention-- there are so many epic holes here that it's hard to pick one out but #12 is EPIC. 750' across a field, down a hill into the wetlands and back to the right. This hole is hard hard hard... but fun!! There are so many epic holes here...
Practice Baskets--always a nice touch.
pads-- not yet, but I'm sure they will be here next year. this course is brand new and I'm sure there is so much more to come.
Rough-- I'm sure this will also improve with time and play.
Routing-- as I said, it's a little brutal in place but I'm sure with time and use, this will go away.
This course will only get better with time. I think with the small tweaks I mentioned with my cons, this course may get my second "5" with time. I can't say enough good things about this place... GO PLAY IT NOW!!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Solidly Challenging and Entertaining
Pros: A challenging and interesting layout, with a good mix of open and wooded holes and excellent flow/navigation. Well-placed water hazards too, including the signature double pond Hole #14.
Some good aesthetic touches on a beautiful (although mostly flat) property.
Front and back tees marked with 1' tall white and red stakes (respectively) make for distinct rounds, the back tees a solid par 3.5 course for me...a former mediocre Am-1 player.
Nice Discraft Chainstar baskets, one of which is installed atop a 2 or 3' brick turret that's nicely visible as you park your car. It says to the locals new to our game, "Look at me. I'm a Disc Golf basket!"
The course is cleared and marked very well for a course that's less than 2 weeks old. It will reportedly get cement pads next spring, and I imagine it will only age better and better with time.
Two "horseshoe" practice baskets near the parking lot.
Cons: I'm not sure if that building near the parking lot furnishes park-goers with restrooms or not during warm weather months, but it isn't open now (late Oct). There are no other restroom facilities that I can detect.
I only have two beefs with the layout itself. First is the basket placement on hole #10, situated only a few feet in front of and above a small bog-like pond that looks as though creatures from the Star Wars trash compactor scene might inhabit it. In almost all cases, should you choose to go for the chains, the basket will be directly between you and the water hazard below and only a few feet from it, and if you miss your shot, your Disc will go into the water probably every time. Like Cold Brook Park's #20 pin placement, I rarely actually putt at the basket in casual rounds because I don't carry a putter I want to lose. I just pick it up instead and assume two strokes because I can always shuffleboard a shot up to the basket and drop it in just about 100% of the time, or if I'm 20 feet away or less, it's a gimmie anyway. But I can't imagine ever actually throwing a Disc at the chains there (or other pins such as Cold Brook #20) when there's a chance I'll miss.
I will admit that I haven't tested how deep that little pond is. If it's only a foot deep and it's easy to retrieve your Disc, I might happily erase my criticism of it from this review. :-)
UPDATE: I poked a large stick into that small bog and discovered it's about 12-16 inches deep throughout most of it, mucky, and nastily stinky. Bubbles came up as I poked the sediment. You could possibly fetch a Disc with a stick and good dexterity, but I wouldn't set foot in it. (I will continue to pick up my Disc and assume two strokes outside of gimmie range.)
The other issue I have is Hole #7 being a long straight shot following along parallel with a woods line with the basket veering off to the left just like hole #1's pin placement, a hockey stick shaped hole with no visual from the (long) tee where the basket enters the woods. Instead of the redundancy it has with the second half of Hole #1 (although #1 is a better hole because of its first half), and especially being a hole type that John Houck preaches against making in the first place, I really think something different could be done in that spot.
But that's really it. I'm very happy with everything else, and anybody can nitpick just about any course in this manner.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Someone removed the tee-off obstacle tree from #11 long, a small tree that bisected the window out of the woods. Boooooooooo! The hole no longer has much character. That seriously sucks!
A THIRD UPDATE! - The cool vines that were hanging down to form an obstacle at #9's long tee have been unfortunately cleared away. That has also subtracted a degree of character. If this keeps up, I might have to drop the course from a 4.0 to a 3.5...
Other Thoughts: Larry did a great job putting just about the best possible course he could on the property, and I would say this is his masterpiece so far.
I can count 8 holes in my mind that have some degree of perpendicular risk/reward options from the tee. Some are obvious, like Hole #14 (the double pond hole), and some are subtle, like Hole #1 where you risk going O.B. on a walking trail placing yourself for a better look at shot #2, or choose hyzering more (RHBH) for a safer drive but amore dangerous 2nd shot.
Yes, the most obvious perpendicular risk/reward example is the much-heralded Hole #14, where you can choose about a 250'ish drive straight across a beautiful tree-lined pond or play a longer shot around it to its left on the park's maintenance road...and there's a second pond behind the basket, which is situated between the two! (Its proximity to the water hazard isn't nearly as pronounced as #10...maybe 30' or so?..., so with a careful loft-style putt, I won't lose my putter 99.9% of the time).
Hole #12 is a beautiful thing, the kind of hole I'd like to see more often even if it does not possess perpendicular risk/reward options from the tee (it could with some well-placed planted trees, though! :-). It begins across an open field, slightly downhill with artificial pavement O.B. to the right, and maybe 330' to a wooded tunnel that's about another 275'-300' to the pin, dogleg right. You only get a good look at the wooded tunnel shot if your drive is situated before the tunnel's opening. The rough in there is thick and brutal right now (especially on the left) due to the course's infancy, but that's to be expected. Wonderful job.
Hole #4 is also a beautiful thing, reminiscent of a Cass Benton hole from when it first opened. You have a couple of options from the tee, and the ones that get you closer to the pin are tough but fair. Love it.
I also love how the course plays in and out of open and wooded settings. You don't feel bored from several repetitive consecutive holes.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Well thought out course with great potential to become one of the best in SW Michigan. Both am and pro teepads (dirt/field right now but cement should be put in by spring) Great use of trees, really makes you play every shot in your bag. Really tight lines on short holes forces the player to be very accurate to earn a two. Best use of water on any course in Kalamazoo, tricky sometimes but overall pretty fair.
Cons: Course just went in a week and a half ago so it's still pretty rough. Teeing off can be a challenge on some holes (having cement teepads will make a HUGE difference). Some holes have minor flodding issues. I'm sure to raise my score once the teepads go in and it gets played a little bit more.
Other Thoughts: The front 9 offers mostly wooded holes as you make your way around sunset lake. There are a few field holes after that leading into the monster of the course, hole 12. Crossing the road after 13 you come to what I think the signature hole will be on the course. The pro plays over a 175-200ft. pond, the hole itself is around 330 but the real trick; the pin is located 20-25ft. infront of another pond not visible from the teepad. Water is a factor on 3/5 of the last holes. This course is going to be a monster once it gets a little bit more seasoning. Great job Larry.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Fantastic New Course. Blown Away
Pros: This course is loaded with some beautiful scenery and picturesque fairways. The holes are challenging and forces the player to bring out their best game.
Cons: Some of the long tees need to be moved as they are on or close to neighboring fairways. This course is still being finalized and some details are still being hashed out.
Other Thoughts: I was blown away by the course. It will quickly become one of the most important disc golf destinations in South West Michigan.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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