My Fourth Riverside Park Course Played!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This Riverside Park is a large sprawling, flat park in Grand Rapids. The course is predominately open lawns with some scattered mature trees to provide obstacles to throw around as well as, some water hazards and the street coming into play on the first few holes.
The amenities are basic with trapezoid shaped concrete tees and there are simple little faded, wooden signs with the information routered in. Some signs are missing or haven't been changed to account for the revised layout. At the start you'll find picnic tables. The baskets are new Discatchers which are easy to spot on the longest holes.
Holes 1-5 are pretty standard issue. Of these, only # 4 plays longer than 300' and you always have a few trees to try and shape your line through. The navigation got confusing here. My on-line map is out dated and I had to scout around to find my way.
# 10, although treacherous, is a great hole. The basket is 500' away and hysers around the water and set about 20' feet from the water. One option would be to lay up and then throw across the water on your second shot which would be mighty scary.
Then # 11 is 280' throwing across the corner of the lagoon is another great tourney hole.
The # 12 basket is currently set right next to the water and the wind, distance and water makes this a "pucker up and throw hole". These three holes in a row must have seperated the men from the boys in the recent Senior's Tournament held here.
Cons: Lots of geese and their droppings.
Lots of holes with little in your way except a few trees.
First tee pad is difficult to find.
Navigation is difficult. I wasted a lot of time wandering about.
Other Thoughts: Players with big arms will at appreciate the bomber holes here and better players will enjoy the challenging water holes with their tricky basket placements. Intermediate players and above probably won't feel challenged except for the water holes. Recreation players will be intimidated by these water carries.
I think the course is lacking a true identity. Besides it's water holes, it's probably a little too mundane for better players. Recreation players will be OK with the more open holes and probably skip some or all of the dangerous water holes. In the end, I'm not sure what player is completely happy here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice open field prior to the first tee, I love warming up here for nice open drives. The cement tee pads are all fairly decent lengths, and the disc catchers are all in good condition. There are usually lots of people playing, it is always fun at Riverside!
Cons: There are water hazards on a few holes. Around these water hazards there are also lots of geese, where there are geese there is lots of goose crap. This is particularly bad especially on the hole that goes out on a little peninsula, there is so much crap out there that the grass does not even grow.
Other Thoughts: Most average players skip the water holes on this course. As I find myself getting better I challenge the water here more and more. I really enjoy the big trees and playing near the water! There are also lots of people in the area that sell used discs if your in the market for one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Layouts, but Lacks Difficulty
Pros: This is a nice-looking park for disc golf and it offers a decent variety of layouts. The grass is mowed, there are trees scattered on each hole, and water comes into play on quite a few holes. A few holes encourage you to use backhand drives, and a few others forehand drives. Two of the baskets are located on peninsulas and are two of the more unique holes you'll play in the Grand Rapids area.
Cons: First of all, it's kind of hard to find the first hole for this course. The tee box is a long walk from the parking lot, and it's not clear which parking lot you're supposed to go to if you want to play this course (and this is a giant park that consists of multiple parking lots, baseball diamonds, two disc golf courses, and many other things). Finding the last hole is also kind of tricky. Overall, this course is a little too easy for advanced players. Most of the holes are too open because they don't have many trees or other obstacles to worry about. The holes next to the water can be real muddy and can also have a lot of goose poop (apparently the geese really like this park). Those holes are also close to a walking path, so on a busy day you'll want to be careful not to throw your disc too far to the right (though that will seem like a safe option with the pond being on the left of those). You might even have issues with people fishing along the shore on some of these holes. I've seen some fishing near some of the baskets. The signs throughout this course are in really bad shape, and the ones that are still intact don't include much information about the holes.
Other Thoughts: For the most part this kind of feels like a beginner-friendly course. There are some tricky holes, but the rest are a little too easy, especially for more advanced players, to get low scores on because of how open they are. The water does encourage you to be more careful with your shots throughout the back 9, especially on the two peninsula holes. Just watch out for goose poop when you play here; that crap is all over this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a flat, grassy park with scattered mature trees. Most of the holes have enough trees that you have to pick one of several lines and hit it to score well. Water comes into play on several holes, with a couple water carries (offering safe routes for shorter arms) and a few tricky pin placements that offer nice risk. The peninsula hole is a great risk/reward shot, plenty of room to lay up and leave a long putt with water behind, or go for the park job and risk getting wet on the drive.
When I played, the course was mowed and in pretty nice shape, the baskets show some age but catch fine and the concrete pads are grippy and a decent size. The course flow is obvious and easy to follow. There is a good mix of hole lengths to keep it a little more interesting, with a couple that let you air out a driver.
Cons: The only tee I had trouble finding was the first one, it's a long walk from the parking lot and hidden behind a bush. A little signage at the parking lot with a course map would go a long way. Several of the signs had distances that didn't seem to match what we were throwing at. There was a lot of mud and standing water on the holes near the water, seems like flooding is an issue and the course holds water for a while after. The later holes have a lot of goose crap, a bit gross and unsightly.
The course feels pretty wide open and flat, there are trees on most holes but not enough to force tight lines or make you pay for inaccuracy off the tee. There are a few spots on the back 9 where holes can potentially interfere with other park activities on a nice day.
Other Thoughts: Beginners might find the water shots a bit daunting, though otherwise it's a forgiving course with only moderate length. More experienced players won't find their line shaping skills tested here, the only real challenges are on the water shots and a couple longer holes.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Located in a well-manicured multi-purpose park. The course forms a ring around a sort of lake created by an off-shoot of the Grand River and is mostly open grass with little to no underbrush. Water figures into play prominently on several holes, giving the opportunity to go over the pond or around it. One basket sits precariously close to the water on a narrow peninsula that juts out into the pond.
-Mature trees dot the park, and the designer did a great job of weaving the holes around them. The trees force you to take one of often several potential lines to the baskets.
-Concrete tees in good shape. Trashcans, portajohns, and benches located throughout course. Fairly straight forward flow without much possibility of getting lost.
-Optional 19th hole allows you the opportunity to skip a water hole if you choose and still get a full round in. Look for the natural tee by the yellow fire hydrant after finishing #18. The optional hole uses #18's basket.
Cons: -Goose shit. Geese congregate near the water and answer nature's call without much regard toward such foreign concepts as "fairway" or "putting circle." The shit is literally caked inches thick on the peninsula hole, pretty much entirely spoiling the fun of playing it as you tip-toe around disgustedly. The fecal matter lay scattered throughout the water holes like a cancer on an otherwise quite fine course.
-A few missing signs.
Other Thoughts: -Located near hole 18 is a bonus nine-hole pole course which apparently pre-dates the main course.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
the bog of eternal stench
Pros: Tees--Pads are large, level and concrete. well placed in relation to the target.
Variety--There is some variety but, mostly open shots with some light trees sprinkled in for fun.
Navigation-- Pretty much easy. with the exception of the long walks between 5 & 6 and the bridge between 16 & 17, it's pretty easy to navigate.
Scenery-- Set in a beautiful park on the river. probably the most idyllic setting in GR.
second course-- Riverside (south) is a highly overlooked and underplayed pole course to the south of the main course. I think it's fun and it's a very quick play.
Cons: There is only one multifaceted con: Conditions.
--With the rise and the fall of the Grand River, the course can be bone dry one day and half submerged the next. The lagoon (bog of eternal stench) that the course wraps around is stagnant and doesn't move in a lot of places. The water is super murky and stinks and unless your disc is within a few feet of shore, you're not getting it back.
--Goose poop/salmonella threat-- There is goose poop EVERYWHERE, 14, 15, 16 are generally so caked with poop, most regulars don't play these holes. (I have only seen people playing the peninsula (15) once or twice). There are usually salmonella warnings posted everywhere to disuede you from going in the water or putting your hands in your mouth or eyes.
Other Thoughts: A lot of the tee signs have gone missing in the last month or so, however, the pads directly face the basket on most holes.
It's still a very popular park and currently, the river and bog are at a record low.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Big cement tees on all 18 holes. Many front nine holes are right-sized (275-425 feet), with enough trees and multiple paths to keep things from getting boring. Easy navigation with the exception of Holes 9 and 10, which require a right turn before the bridge (easy to skip 9 and 10, and end up at 11). Adds several water holes on the back nine that are fun, but are serious disc-loss hazards (lost a disc I'd owned for two years on Hole 16). Hole 15 is a peninsula hole that is a unique challenge, but watch out for goose poop. Free admission.
Cons: Many holes are likely prone to Grand River flooding (Hole 6, 13, 15, 16). A few others in the area not playing golf can get in the way. A very flat river plain, with no more than 10-15 feet of elevation on any given hole. Old signs are nearly illegible. Very old single chain Discatcher baskets. A minimum of benches and bathrooms along the way. Not a whole lot of course diversity.
Other Thoughts: A city park course with cut grass and big trees in the mold of McGraft Park in Muskegon, Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge, or El Dorado Park in Long Beach, CA. Winds along the Grand River and a small bayou connected to the river, with lots of waterfowl. Not a destination course, but a fun course with nerve-wracking yet fun signature water holes.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Riverside - A Good Old Friend
Pros: Riverside is a pretty solid course that's been around for years (some of the baskets show it.) It's right in the middle of one the most popular parks in all of GR. It's mostly open with some mature trees and large bushes in the play. Almost every hole allows for different throwing techniques. Some holes can be surprisingly challenging. Well taken care of with regular mowing, trash cans, picnic tables, and large cement tee pads are on every hole.
Cons: The popularity of this park means you will have a lot of non-discers in your way; especially ever since a group of people decided to hold a cross-country meet there. The flow of the course causes you to sit behind of a lot slow groups. Lots of water hazards on many of the holes (some water hazards are more avoidable then others.) Goose poop is pretty much everywhere. The course floods a lot during rainy seasons and the defrost of winter.
Other Thoughts: Riverside is defiantly worth a visit if you are in the area. It's the closest course to downtown GR that is worth playing. It does hold a lot league and tournament play (there is a board posting everything at the parking lot.) It takes about an hour and 45 minutes to play.It is the only course on the north side of GR.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The tee pads are nice, along with the baskets
Cons: Water, i hate loosing my discs
Other Thoughts: Ive been playn here since i was like 6 years old, but ive been wondering, anyone know why the teepad for 18 dosent face the hole?
edit: they made a new tee behind it like last week
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course will have you walking a great amount. Very beautiful looking scenery in a very wonderfully clean park. Holes are long at times, and not too technical. Played on a Sat., at 8 a.m.. Lots of very nice people in the park at this time. I would recommend playing this course.
Cons: Lots of water in the Spring aparently. My god, this park was flooded when I played. Lost a disc in the river. Decent signage, but not the best. An announcement at the park that was posted claimed that the leagues were cancelled, and moved to "Brewer", but no other info. was posted. Was I supposed to go back to my hotel and find out where the hell "Brewer" was?
Other Thoughts: While on vacation, I found this to be minutes from my hotel, so I decided to play. Park by the baseball diamond, and continue to walk South for a while until you find the 1st tee pad. I had to skip about 4 holes due to the flooding, and then it started raining pretty good as well, so in fairness, I had to skip the last 4 holes or so, too.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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