1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Course is well-maintained.
Most holes have multiple tees; with a mix of concrete and astro-turf.
Holes have a lot of variety with some hemmed in with dense trees and some more open. The last 2 holes go up and around a sledding hill, and then across a water feature.
The course board at the start is very detailed and in great shape.
Good signage to find your way between holes.
Cons: Way too difficult. The holes among the trees are hemmed in by punishing dense trees; anything other than perfect drives off the tee will land in unplayable spots in the brush.
Too many holes are completely blind with the basket hidden from the tee.
Most holes show an alternate basket location but the baskets are not installed.
Bugs can be a problem on the holes between the trees.
Other Thoughts: I played this course mostly from the easier tees and still really struggled. I'm not a regular or pro, but this course was difficult to the point of not being fun. On the holes between the trees, the fairways are punishingly narrow with trees in the middle and a curve to hide the basket. The hole on the sledding hill like most of the holes on this course was completely blind where you need to walk far off the tee just to see the basket.
For an experienced and highly accurate player, this course might provide a great challenge. Certainly the holes are all very unique and this course is memorable despite being only 9 holes.
Definitely bring brightly colored discs to find them more easily in the undergrowth.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Well Worth a Visit
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Central Park DGC in Oak Brook is a textbook example of design that maximizes the land it's given. In this case, the course plays through small wooded patches that ring a large and well-used upscale city park. Many of these wooded patches are scarcely bigger than the hole that plays through them, no more than a couple of hundred feet long. But it's just enough to create a highly technical wooded course in a park that is largely unwooded. It's impressively done.
Central Park DGC features a nice mix of hole lengths with a few true par 4s mixed in with longer par 3s and an ace run or two. Quarters are generally tight, with some low ceilings and narrow lanes to contend with, but there's still variety in line shaping, helped by the ability on some holes to attack them in different ways. The course opens up at some points - holes 8 and 9 for instance - which helps mix things up and provides a reprieve from the more technical stretches of play. Obstacles such as rolling hills and a water hazard help keep such holes from being throwaways. You'll use a lot of shots here, while still being able to play to your strengths rather than being forced to approach every hole a particular way.
Signage is well done, as are the brick and turf tees. The shorter tees are new player friendly while the longs provide a well-conceived challenge for higher level players. Grooming was immaculate when I was there and that standard seems to be the norm. Parking was plentiful. There are a lot of other things to do at the park, making it great for a family outing.
Cons: Most of Central Park's cons are primarily due to the nature of the land it sits on. At 9 holes it ends a bit earlier than you'd want it to given the quality of play. There are some higher than average walks between holes owing to the fact that holes are distributed between patches of trees: it's not excessive, and preferable given the quality of design that results, but still is unideal. There's also a weird juxtaposition between the privacy these wooded patches have with the public nature of much of the park. Also, because many holes are confined to wooded patches, their design is quite constrained to the land in terms of length and line, more so than most terrain requires. A few holes feel shoehorned in in one way or another. Even though the design works hard to make these feel as natural as possible, the sense is there.
The technical holes will likely frustrate newer players even if the short tees help in this regard. There are some tight windows and tree-dotted fairways with dense borders that can really punish you.
The park seems well-trafficked and the course got a bit backed up when I was there. It's great to see people taking advantage of the course! But it can make for a less than efficient round.
Other Thoughts: Central Park DGC was a pleasant surprise given its humble nature and that there are so many courses in the Chicago area that are average or below. I'd highly recommend a visit here, especially if you like wooded play. This is by far my favorite 9 hole I've played in the area, and I would only recommend Illinois heavy hitters The Canyons, Fairfield, and Highland Park before it.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
A Hidden Technical Gem
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - great technical challenge, but not impossible for newer players
- fantastic, large brick primary tees as well as many holes with alternate tees/pin locations
- well manicured - despite many holes being in the woods, no excessive rough/overgrowth
- cool water hazard shot on hole 9
- good mix of lengths
- very nice signage including course map at beginning
- ample parking
- some pretty cool hill shots on 5, 8, and 9
Cons: - pretty long walk from 2 to 3
- hole 6 appeared to be "closed" when i was there and isn't as well-manicured as the others
- hole 9 doesn't really take you all the way back to the course start
Other Thoughts: I think this is really about a 3.25 for me. There aren't many cons, this is a very well-designed and fun course. It would be cool if there were room for 18 holes, but I'd much rather play a high-quality 9 hole than a crammed in 18. The shots are mostly challenging technical lines through narrow tree-lined fairways. There is a decent amount of shade on most holes which is nice on hot days. The walk between holes 2 and 3 is quite long, but I don't think it's a big deal and I think it was the best use of the space available. Everything seems to be in very good repair and the signage for each hole is very nice. The tees are a more unique brick/paver material, but they are very level and nicely done. The incorporation of the water hazard and hills is a nice added challenge since the last 2 holes are pretty wide open.
All in all, this is one of the best technical courses in the Chicago suburbs that I have seen. It is definitely worth revisiting and is a lot of fun, especially if you like a challenge to hit your lines.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Favorite course in the Chicago area
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Nearly every hole is extremely technical through the woods. A good mix of short and somewhat longer holes, with use of the alternate tees.
Cons: The last couple holes are mostly open.
Other Thoughts: Just a really great course. I wish there were more technical courses like this in the area.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
This Course Will Abuse Those Who Can't Throw Straight!
Pros: Central Park DGC is a very technical tests of your skills. I think six of the holes are very tight, narrow and usually have low canopies.
The course has a nice, clear course map at the beginning, along with a practice basket. The tee pads are excellent. They are paver stones with a frame built around them with wood chips. They were a little slippery today with last night's storm and lots of these little berries falling from the trees above. The alternate tees are indoor/outdoor carpet on a raised platform. The new signs are greet giving you all the information you need.
For many players, like myself, this course can be brutal. There are awfully tight lines to hit and missing your line can put you in a world of hurt. And # 9 is an excellent finishing hole. Most players can lay up and then have a relatively easy approach over the water.
# 5 is a 300' throw down a tight fairway and then the basket is set up on a small hill, maybe 8 foot high. It's a very cool hole but extremely treacherous.
Cons: Beside the fact that this course totally handed me my lunch today, I really wasn't thrilled with # 6 ?? Isn't that the hole that plays uphill and then the basket is set in the Parks Department storage and dumping area. It's pretty ugly with piles of brush, old building supplies, pallets and other discards lying about.
The tee pads were covered with these little black berries of some sort making them a little slippery.
Other Thoughts: Overall, if you're a fan of technical courses and like the challenge they offer, then this is the course for you. I like technical courses, I just happen to really suck on them. I think those tight lines cause my eyes to cross thus throwing off my equilibrium and therefore raising havoc with my already pathetic game.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
This course takes some skill
Pros: >>Easy to follow layout with directional signs and multiple tees
>>Great layout throughout the woods
>>The majority of the holes are very wooded and require some accuracy to hit the necessary lines (I enjoy the challenge)
>>On some the tighter openings (wink wink) the trees are wrapped to help protect them from being damaged by the inevitable errant throw. First time I've seen these on a course. Every course should have these on the first couple of trees that take the most punishment.
Cons: >>Only one open hole where you can give it a good rip
>>It's only 9 holes
>>Not a good course for beginners players
Other Thoughts: >>I played with a bunch of newbies and they were not prepared at all for the level of play needed to par this course.
>>The water hazard is a joke. Don't worry about losing a disc. Play this course!
>>Overall awesome 9-hole course!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
A Nice 9
Pros: Multiple pins, water hole, forested, shorter / technical, easy parking, rarely crowded.
Cons: Shorter course (9 holes), some repetitive holes , only 9 holes, can be louder close to route 83, nine holes only.
Other Thoughts: Easy to get too, well kept up, no holes that are really just bomber holes.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Toughest Course in Some Time
Pros: Six of the holes have two tees, and hole nine has three. Not only this, but the shorter tees are on an elevated platform with astroturf for the teepad itself. The long tees are an elevated platform with landscaping pavers marking the teepad itself. Each hole has a tee sign sponsored by a local business with a nice map of each tee location, each possible basket location (a few holes have alternate positions). There are trash bins, benches, and even picnic tables throughout the course. The course is set among a large park complex with soccer fields (astroturf), baseball diamonds, playgrounds, swimming pool(s) complete with water slides, a recreation building with a friendly staff, etc. The recreation building has discs available for rental, but I didn't check on what was available. The course is well-manicured and the fairways from 3-7 consist of wood chips.
Cons: The tee signs are only located near the long tees. The holes with multiple basket locations do not mark in which location the pin is currently located. There is a poorly marked permanent gullystream on hole 2. The pond that you have to throw across on hole 9 (for the A pin location) is a no entry pond, meaning that if you don't make it, good luck getting the disc back (thankfully, my disc in the pond was at the edge). The biggest issue with the course is the long walk from hole two's basket to hole three's tee, but it is well-marked along the pathway to keep going until the very end.
Other Thoughts: The day I went, the course was a bit muddy, but it hasn't rained the last couple of days. I saw a number of small animals throughout the course. From hole 3 to hole 7, the fairways are very tight and if you miss on either side, you go into dense "forest" where it's only 4-10 feet deep, but filled with tall, thin trees set anywhere from ~3 inches to ~15 inches apart, making it very difficult to retrieve your disc let alone play out of the trees. I've not played a course this tight in the last couple of years, and it may be the tightest fairways I've seen. Definitely a fun and challenging course (2/3 rounds I threw ~200 points below my rating, with the middle round right around my rating). This is the best course I've played in Chicagoland by far (only played Knoch Knolls, Maryknoll, O'Brien, IIT, and this one). I would not recommend this course for beginners, though. Between the tight fairways and the over-the-pond throw, beginners will have quite a bit of difficulty with it.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Immaculate 9 holer
Pros: An absolutely immaculate 9 hole course in the heart of a city park in a richie rich suburb.
2, and sometimes 3 tee pads on each hole. The long set is unbelievably nice paver stones surrounded by gravel, and boxed in by 4x4 wood. The other tees are boxed in the same, with field turf as the tee pad surface. They're seriously some of the best tee pads I've ever seen. The different tees almost always offered a different line.
Great baskets in near perfect condition. They caught great, and there was multiple pin placements on every hole. Most placements offered very different looks at the holes.
The upkeep here is beyond compare. Wooded fairways are completely covered in wood chips, and the rough is very well defined. I can't even imagine how much work must have gone into this.
The golf itself is very good, with well thought out holes. Lines are tight, but fair...if you hit them, you'll feel pretty good about it. Not easy to score low, even on the shorter holes.
A nice water hole (9) to finish. Depending on the tee you're at, you may need two shots to get to the position past the water.
Navigation is very intuitive...the transition from 2 to 3 is a long walk, but there's signs leading you there.
Cons: Not much to list here. Would love to have seen what they could have done with more space.
No major elevation here, but what there is, is used very well.
As great as the wood chip fairways look, they do force you to factor in the skip on the wooded holes. Big skips galore.
Other Thoughts: This is about as good as a 9 hole course is going to get. Insanely manicured, and in a park with outstanding amenities.
The golf is great, it's in a superb neighborhood...nothing to not like here. Bring the family and make a day of it!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
9 hole perfection
Pros: - Equipment: The teepads are large and offer plenty of space for a good run-up with great traction. Alternate astro-turf pads work well and look nice as well. New baskets catch well, and the just installed tee-signs are beautiful and helpful with all the information you could want on them. Practice basket with "HORSE" type markers in the ground is nice as well, and gives you a place to warm up when the course is crowded and you are waiting to tee off on 1.
- Landscaping: Course is already beautiful, and will only improve as more work and cleanup is done in the coming months. Wood chips on all fairways look great and provide a nice and somewhat unique playing surface. A decent amount of underbrush has been thinned out to aid in the already easy navigation and prevent inescapable tree-jail from the rough, though some locations still need a bit of work. Most fairways are well shaped.
- Good, technical golf: with the exception of one passable, and one possibly ill-designed hole, (2 and 7) I have enjoyed playing each hole on this course. Tight but generally "fair fairways" require well shaped lines, moderate elevation present throughout the course keeps things interesting, and the pond on the last hole is a nice feature to finish the course. Holes, 3 and especially 5 in particular stand out.
- Multiple tees and pins: Multiple tees on every hole but 2, with 4 (!) on hole 4, and 3 on hole 9. Many of these tees provide drastically different and not necessarily easier lines. Playing through this course twice from the various tees almost gives the feeling of playing a complete 18 hole course. Multiple pin position on several holes which should be changes somewhat regularly should keep things interesting for local players playing frequently as well.
Cons: - As others have said still a little rough around the edges in places, but nothing that really distracts from the golf.
- Doesn't bother me, but some may not appreciate the long walk from 2 to 3, and there isn't really a clear route from hole 9s basket back to the parking lot by hole 1 if there are games being played on the soccer fields.
- Hole 7 seems like a transition hole that the designers attempted to make more interesting with the tight set of trees not far off the pad. Unfortunately, the result is simply a frustrating hole, with 2 or 3 incredibly tight gaps (mere inches of clearance if properly navigated) that must be hit. The slender trees are already scared from being pelted by discs, and may not last all that long anyway. There isn't really anything that can be done to make this a "good" but removing one tree could make it better.
- It's too bad a soccer field backs the basket on hole 9, because a tee pad on the top of the hill would be great, I've had fun throwing from there anyway, but can see how it could present a danger if someone unloads and goes long with a high speed disc.
Other Thoughts: I've really enjoyed playing this course so far, and look forward to getting more familiar with it. I loved the old course, and am delighted the redeisgn has improved what was previously here. I'm sure it will help my accuracy and technical game, as the middle 4-5 holes provide the tight, wooded golf not present on most of the other major courses in the area I play frequently (Madison Meadow and Katherine Legge.)
I struggled on what to give this course. Giving a 4 or above on a 9 hole course, even one with a great number and quality of alternate tees and pins such as this Central Park, is hard to justify. For me it came down to a 3 or 3.5. Not having played a huge number of 9 hole courses (I concede I haven't played a staggering number of courses of any size at his point) I don't have the knowledge base to say this course is among the elite 9 hole courses. However, until I am proven otherwise, I can't see many 9 holes improving on what has been done here.
Perhaps I will re-evaluate later, but right now I feel giving this course 3.5 discs, basically the equivalent of 4.5 for an 18 hole course, is justified.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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