Over the hills and through the woods
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -- As others have said, elevation. Almost every hole has elevation in play, either up, down, or down then up across a small valley. This makes for some very unique, fun and challenging shots
-- The course is very wooded which technical players will love. You really need to be able to hit your lines. Hole one is really the only true "spray and pray" type hole... the rest all have tough lines that are there in front of you to hit (or miss).
-- While it's very wooded, there isn't a ton of undergrowth so finding errant shots isn't really a problem. This course is a lot of big trees, without the frustrating thick brush that you find on some Michigan courses.
-- Great signs. They are very detailed with lengths and something which I've never seen before: an elevation profile that shows you how the elevation changes along the fairway from tee to pin. However: a few of the maps were a bit inaccurate. There were some holes that had a pretty big dogleg while the sign showed a more or less straight shot.
-- Fun. Between the elevation and tree growth features of the land and the great course design, there are a lot of very fun shots and a lot of variety. It's challenging, but very scorable.
Cons: -- The tees are small and carpet. For most holes, they weren't too bad but a few were damp and muddy and very slippery.
-- No real bomber holes. As a Michigan native, I don't mind playing in the woods and this is a very fun course. However, I do like a course to have at least one or two fairly open long holes that you can really open up on.
-- Bugs. I started without putting on bug spray and didn't even make it to the first tee before going back to the car. Bring bug spray for sure. There's even a sign warning that there are a lot of ticks in the area.
-- The front 9 is closed on Wednesday evenings due to proximity to a gun range
Other Thoughts: I played this while in the area on a whim after playing at Ionia State Recreation Area. I really liked the first course and wasn't sure what to expect here but found myself really enjoying this course. At the end, I couldn't really decide which I like more. The elevation here is certainly a pretty unique feature which makes this stand out against a lot of other MI courses.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
This course has MASSIVE elevation changes. Bring water, snacks, and get a good night's rest before! The challenge of this forested course is less a challenge of trees, but, one of placing an uphill, valley, or downhill shot and keeping your energy up as you hike through some serious trails. The physical demand is just as impressive as the skill required.
Each hole has great signage showing obstacles (trees, paths, OB) as well as suggested lines, but, most importantly here, gives a profile layout of elevation from pad, along the flight path, and at basket placement. Moreover, each basket has purple tags showing the direction to the next pad. Very useful in a dense forest with multiple recreational use paths.
As stated, the elevation changes are daunting, but, this is also a heavily wooded course with shots ranging from 200' downhills, to 400' valleys, L-R, R-L, reversed dogleg (coming back toward the pad after clearing obstacles) tunnels galore, and hiking/biking trails used as OB. This course will offer even experienced players plenty of challenge.
Starts at parking lot, hole 9 ends back at parking lot, and 18 ends at parking lot. No hike back to where you parked after either a half-round or full-round. Too many parks overlook this type of layout.
Beautiful hike through deep old growth. Lots of wildlife and flora.
With the hiking you'll be doing, even for those of us in good shape, you'll enjoy the benches, converted logs and stumps at each hole to take a rest!
I hate them... and there's millions over this forest floor
•Lack of drinkable water/restrooms
Would DEFINITELY be nice on such a physically demanding hike to have a couple water stations. And while there are plenty of trees/bushes for guys. Women have no option for bathrooms and we all know a guy or two on "The List" for urinating in public...
•Short Carpet Pads
While better and more even than most dirt pads, these are still seriously lacking for driving.
Not really a "con" per se, but, be careful, folks! Lots of branches, roots, and rocks along the paths and more dangerously, hidden under the dense forest floor of moss and leaves. Not a con, but, be mindful of your footing
•No Open Holes
While I loved the challenge of the heavily wooded course, it would be nice to have at least one or two open holes to wind up on.
Other Thoughts: Physically this course is as challenging as the forest makes parking your shots. I feel this is a truly great course, but, unless you're ready for a serious workout, stick to Fallasburg or other Grand Rapids/Lansing courses.
Beautiful nature trail through some stunning scenes with plenty of bugs to remind you who's home you're in. Bring water, energy bars, bug spray, and your patience and you will have a great time!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Pros: FUN! Planted right in the middle of a forest, through some of the most exciting terrain you can ask for in disc golf.
BIG signs, well marked tees. The signs show both the elevations you'll be shooting as well as the path and distance.
I've only played this course once so its nuances are probably lost on me, but I loved it, the trees are tall enough, and the holes manicured enough that you can throw high or low for most of them.
Lots of shots up, and down hill, left and right, loop de loop. It's a small exciting course!
Cons: Planted right in the middle of a forest, don't expect to go all out on many shots and have a good time. You will hit a lot of trees if you're not careful, and I wouldn't play many darker discs unless you're really confident, being in the woods with these elevation changes can make for unpredictable disc behavior, running discs are a big problem here.
Tees, are uneven and cloth.
After 4 on certain days the gun club takes over half the course, making the front 9 not just a DANGER, if you're not good at reading signs its outright LETHAL.
The course can be tiring and there are zero benches after the 1st hole. The only trash bins are co-opted bins of various forms size and shape.
Other Thoughts: $2 entrance fee, well worth it. The park rangers said there are a lot of updates on the way. And they were both out cleaning and raking the course even though it was so early in the year.
I expect great things from this course in the future, I will definitely be going back.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Soon Tio be Great
Pros: Although this is a multi use park, the three times I have played this course I have not seen anyone use the walking paths or even playing disc golf
ChainStar baskets all nice and new, with the direction to the next tee on all of them.
Signs have Elevation Chart(which as my friend liked to make fun of me) makes it slightly easier on some of the blind shots.
Shot variety. This is the kind of course you can come to multiple times and throw a different shot on the same every time. Some of the hole have looks you don't even know how to shoot. great elevation making for a lot of down hill runs, that also have risk v reword, in good basket placement on hills.
Cons: Trees are one of the best worst things about this course. I would say 200 or so need to go, but I think the course designer is kind of wanting to let it break in itself.
Carpet Teepads are not very good, but at least they have something.
Other Thoughts: Wednesdays after 4pm, the course is pretty much unplayable due to a Gun club. I think it's only the Back Nine, but I would still stay away.
This Course is a nice hidden Gem. WE went mid June and because of the bugs it was almost unplayable. This is one of those work in progress courses that once cement Teepads and a little bit of the rough gets broken in it will be an easy four possible 4.5
I don't think anyone has shot under par, atleast last I checked on Disc Golf Scene. Slight fun fact.
2 Dollars to get in the park also.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
I own your azz. Really you will enjoy playing this young gem of a course in Ionia, Michigan :)
Pros: Take away the first 4 holes and every hole at this course has the "WOW, drop your jaw in awe kind of feeling, IMHO. Only # 2 IMO is a average hole. Don't take me wrong # 2 is a good hole, but in relation with the others it's just an average hole whereas the other holes stand out from their own perspective merits because of the design and the various terrain changes :) < I just don't understand why this course is rated so lowly, I'd love to play here every day if given the opportunity>
The various terrain changes and basket locations on the various terrain changes makes each shot critical to shoot smartly instead of just throwing a lazy shot at the basket.
I loved the tee signs :) They had both the aerial view of the hole and the terrain perspective on each t- sign.
# 6 was tasty. On this hole one might opt to empty their bag.
# 7 was equally as tasty for a reverse uphill shot. Could of been a little more open top side, but I was fine with the design.
# 9, Are you kidding me. Did you do your homework or not on this course when designing this course. Hole played fairly flat until you got to the "GREEN" area, that area appeared that a massive earth movement was made to put the basket up on a hill with the basket near a severe drop off.
I liked the one hole where one threw over the valley kind of hole. With the basket all the way a higher hill than the hill where one tees off from (# 11 # 15?? I forget as I don't have my pictures with me to refer to in this review). I liked the "Rock Garden @ the bottom of the valley and added my personal "Rock" artwork to this beautiful Rock Garden.
# 14 was evil backwards. I loved how the basket was placed on a perch or a porch section of the downhill hole this plays. Blow by (like my friend did) and you will pay (not only in added possible stokes, but wearing one down traversing this property.
Benches we're scattered and greatly appreciated. I also liked that many of the fairways we're lined with fallen trees to make it easier to define the fairway and the rough.
I didn't see to much trash @ this course (And I realize I was playing in Michigan and not in Ohio <and I'm from Ohio, and most of the parks I play Disc Golf at in Ohio has a problem with litterbugs>) and when I did I picked it up and disposed of it properly when I was finished playing :)
Practice putting area was nice (a little stumpy, but I understand that this is a relatively a new course and with all the work that has been done already one can not expect everything to be the most best with the course in it's infant stage. But given the design and immaculate appearance. I see nothing but positive steps to be made in the future and wouldn't doubt if all the little tree stubs we're either painted or cut out in the fairways at a later date).
I liked the "Beware of TICKS" sign, and the information they gave for whomever was traversing this property to prevent one from getting any TICKS. Very helpful and insightful.(My friend and I we're wearing the totally opposite color of clothes that would prevent us from getting TICKS).
Now, this course is relatively new per say, but all the hard work and love (and I'm sure blood, sweat and tears) that has been done is amazing. I hope others can identify all the little extra's these people are doing at this course and incorporate it into their respective courses... like next tee signs listed in the basket wells pointing the direction to the next tee no matter which way your looking into the basket well. or the chopped tree logs laid unto fallen trees, thus making it appear that a fence was made out of fallen logs. Those little things go a long way in my book, Thanks to whomever and keep up the GREAT WORK!!
Cons: To small of tee pads. I realize that cement tees would require major work at some of these holes, but even with carpeted tee pads. The tee pads we're to small. Even on hole # 18, the tee pad had it's own issues as one had to step up into the "batter's box" (tee pad) to throw up hill. But this is the only con I have really. And I can overlook this because of how I feel towards the design of this course and the potential this course has if cement tees we're ever installed.
Another con isn't really a con unless your not wearing mosquito repellent. Body armor is a must at this course as the soup of the day at this course is Mosquito cream, lol. I wonder how many Mosquito's the firing range takes out when they have their firing practice? I bet only a handful as there Mosquito's everywhere.
A little stumpy at places, but I understand that this is a relatively a new course and with all the work that has been done already one can not expect everything to be the most best with the course in it's infant stages. But given the design and immaculate appearance. I see nothing but positive steps to be made in the future and wouldn't doubt if all the little tree stubs we're either painted or cut out in the fairways at a later date (sooner than later :).
BIG Bummer on closing the front 9 during "Firing Range" practice, but this course probably wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the area's prison system that's nearby this park. I felt very safe, mind you. But the guards/ gun owners needs practice time too and it's a very small setback, when considering how GREAT this course is all the other times this course is available to play.
I wish # 6 was a little longer of a hole, but perhaps down the road that could be identified, but it was still a tasty looking hole in which one would want to throw multiple drives from the teeing area. In fact I wish some of the other holes we're just a tad bit longer, but this isn't a big con, just wishing for more excellence from the designers:)
Other Thoughts: I lost an " Discraft, Extreme" Disc on hole # 14, As I hit a nearby tree and it went right, but I was told that this Disc turned over for a BH thrower (which it never did for me, unlike the Status which turns over from the first throw on) . And to my surprise I was called later in the day from someone who found it and wanted to return it to me (I told him thanks for calling, but the Disc never did what I bought it for, so keep it or give it to someone you might think will benefit from it). So that kind of karma was present from the initial entry to the park and throughout my visit in Michigan. Thanks again Michigan for impressing me with all the great Aloha (LOVE), even though I knew it was prevalent :)
Like I say.... This course IMHO should be rated higher. It will be a destination stop for me for years to come as will Victory Park in Albion and Carly's playground in Traverse City. Heck, Why don't I just move up to Michigan. I've always liked visiting and I realize noting is perfect (except God), but Michigan is a nice place to visit and they're Disc Golf courses to me rank right up there to any State to play :)
Good sized parking lot.
For the couple buck entry fee that was required to enter this park, I thought that entry fee was small in comparison of the amount of work and love that was present at this park.
My friend and I coined the phrase "I own your ass" from the towns name of Ionia. I'm sure this phrase isn't new the the people inside the maximum security prisons nearby this park. But to my friend and I it was new to us and we joked about it the rest of the day.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Not for the weak
Pros: Elevation changes
Direction to next hole sticker on basket.
Nice hike between holes.
This place is a total work out. Up and down and up and up and down.
Leave the cart at home.
Cons: Obvious. No tee pads
Place could use a good racking.
Other Thoughts: Adventure course
Easy to get to
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
you're going to hear brutal and punishing a lot in this review...
Pros: Aesthetic--even in the late fall bareness and cold this place is nice. The park is HUGE and multipurpose but the disc golf area is shared with some hiking trails. As has been said before, wednesdays after 4pm, the course is pretty much unplayable due to people shooting guns nearby
Baskets--ChainStars...w00t! I think they could be made slightly more visible in this thick wood
Navigation--easy with the next tee signs and the next tee tines in EVERY basket!
Challenge/variety-- I will put these two together because the challenge is in the variety. The lines are SUPER tight (near impossible in places) the leaves and deadfall make it even more heart-racking. I found myself throwing 150-200 ft shots just to keep track of my discs!! However, the repetition of the woods and tightness are a bit overwhelming at times.
Signage--Beautiful. I love the elevation maps they are completely necessary on this course as half the baskets are NOT visible from the teepads.
Risk v Reward--yeah, the risk here is a punishing rough and fighting out of it (which may take two shot to get back to the fairway).
Elevation--it's a positive and a negative here. the elevation is used very very well but it is repetitive at times throwing over a hill or up a hill or over a hill and over a second hill and up a hill.
Cons: Teepads--or the lack there of. they were muddy and slick on the back 9 today. the carpet pads are nicer but not a permanent solution by any means.
Trees-yep, trees. I don't mind tight wooded courses but this is extreme. The rough is SUPER Rough and the fairways and lines are hard to see most of the time. I had 3 3's on the day and it's easy to see why. I believe thoroughly that this course (unless trimmed nicely) won't see a negative overall score for a long time. I belive this course will remind some of the longs at Leviathan where you have to pick your line and plan your shots 2-3 throws ahead of time...
Other Thoughts: Some of the other reviews say that you will have to use forehand. I didn't have to use it, with a decent enough turnover or flex shot anything is possible.
I think the possibilities are endless at this park and that it will only improve with time. I will update my review when improvements are made!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Signage. The signage here is great. Really nice job on it.
Decent variety of shots
Location is nice
Cons: I disliked the feel of going up one hill just to go back down.. it felt very repetitive to me. Way too many trees still (I know the course is in its infancy). Some of the holes felt forced. Also there were all kinds of rocks randomly scattered everywhere. I know a few people that day rolled their ankles.
Other Thoughts: Went super excited and left rather let down. Fallasburg is just so much better in my eyes (even in its infancy). The elevation changes that seem great at first quickly become repetitive and just boring. Id say a good course to play if you come for fallasburg with it. I wouldn't make a trip just to play this course.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Hilly and wooded. No open bomber shots, pretty much all technical but def some distance too. Many holes have interesting pin placements that make you shoot for par and not want to go for birdie. Has an even amount of left and right holes. The course has promise to be great in the future.
The signage was probably the best ive seen. Seeing the elevation change on the sign was really cool.
I never felt lost, the tee signs showed where the next tee was and the baskets usually had some blue tape pointing to where the next one was.
The baskets are great and just sucked my discs right in, no spit outs from these chains.
The course was cheap at $2 to park. It's relatively close to Lansing too, about an hour west.
There is a practice basket.
Hole 10 is right by the parking lot so you could start on 1 or 10. Layouts like this always please me.
There are other good courses near this one which could make for an excellent day trip,
Fallasberg and Hastings.
Even though the course is rough I had a great time playing this course! Thanks for making this sport grow with another great course!
Cons: The temp tee pads all have a barrier at the end that wont allow you to follow through on your drives. Ontop of being uneven and about 5 feet too short. They were about 2 steps long which is 1 step and a follow through too short.
Since the course is so new there are dead hanging branches everywhere. Some of the holes are so thick with trees it feels like there is no line, just throw it down the "fairway" and hope it doesnt hit a tree or some dead branches.
I noticed some of the signs seemed a bit misleading as to what the hole actually did, I think it was only 1 or 2 of the holes that were off. Hole 18 being one of them.
Other Thoughts: We left and there were 9 cars in the parking lot including mine. So this place is getting some publicity already.
In a few years when its edges get cleaned up and cement pads that allow a full three steps and follow through then this course will be at least a 4.0 in my book and I will definitely edit my rating and review at that time.
Some of the hills are extremely slippery right now because the ground is just cluttered with leaves.
Hole 18 Really reminds me of either 12 or 14 at The new burchfield course rivers edge. It goes straight, then 90º left for about 60 feet, then 90º back to the right for another 135-175 feet. I actually liked this one better than burchfields hole.
Even when this course gets cleaned up the only holes I see being aceable are hole 9 and the hole that goes down hill for 230 feet (14?). So that means this course is tough and will probably stay tough even when it gets cleaned up. Thats a plus in my book, it gives the course replay value.
There was a sign that said there is a Gun Range close by and they practice on Wednesday after 4pm. This causes half the course to be unplayable on Wednesday nights, which means I just wouldnt even go there on Wednesday.
If you like seeing raw challenging courses go play this course before it changes!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Fun Awesome and New
Pros: This course is awesome and will only get better with time! It starts and finishes right next to the parking lot with a practice basket. All holes have signs showing a map of each hole, par, distance, and also another perspective showing the elevation change from tee pad to basket. Each hole is unique to the next with doglegs both left and right going up and down. You will be challenged throughout by throwing a variety a throws and throw blind on some holes making this a fun and challenging course.
Cons: Being new in its adolescents it needs to be broken which will happen fast. There is no cement tee pads yet. Some holes seem to have too many trees.
Other Thoughts: This course is going to develop over time making it one of Michigan's top rated. I've been told there are plans of 6 more holes being added most likely next year and cement tee pads are being poured next year. A fun little alternate hole is after you play 18 throw down from on that hill to the practice basket, it makes for about a 100 foot hole. Also a good course for doubles. This course compliments its neighbor course Fallasburg well, only being about 10 miles from one another you should plan to play both.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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