5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Diverse Course, Could Be More Challenging
Pros: Variety - The variety of holes is outstanding, the course started out inside with huge mature trees and a different shot from each tee. Then to some short, medium and long length holes which were generally more open and went in every direction (right-left, left-right, straight, etc.). The later holes had a wide variety of elevations and directions, some up most down. The finishing holes were all flat and generally straight, I felt like I never knew what would be coming next and that delighted me.
Scenery & Setting - I was in awe from the very first tee and continued to be so all the way through the course. Although the day I went was rainy and foggy, I could tell that the view from the 19th tee would be even more amazing on a clear day. The course had great elevation changes and was a good hike. The course is a seasonal course located at a ski resort, I liked the occasional ski lift obstacle in the fairways on some of the open holes.
Environment - I only ran into other disc golfers the entire time there, I am not sure if this was a product of the weather on the day I went or how the course always is (I am assuming the latter). The other golfers were friendly and welcoming. I dislike courses where other people walk right in front of you while you're waiting to shoot and just stand there like idiots. I do not think that would be the case here.
Signage & Navigation- Signs were easy to understand, informative and always showed where the next tee was. I had no trouble navigating this course without any guide and never had to look at my pre-printed course map.
Cons: The only con I have is that I feel this course could be so much better. There were several holes where I wondered why the chain was where it was, as there seemed to be a much better place it could be. It seemed to me that the course was made easier, almost too easy. I didn't play particularly well at times and still shot an even par. If a second set of chains were to be added or some of the chains moved back into more difficult areas on the holes, I feel this course could achieve its elite potential.
Other Thoughts: I was having such a good time at this course that by the ninth hole I had to call some friends and tell them about it. Hickory Hills reminds me of Campgaw in New Jersey, but just better. It's quickly and easily reachable from Traverse City and I will come here again if I am ever in the Traverse City area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Wish I lived here.
Pros: Absolutely beautiful to walk through, Superb fairways, great variation, couldn't be better in my book.
Cons: I can't think of any, but I've only played once.
Other Thoughts: I wish I lived in Traverse City just for this course, I will be playing every visit I make, Bring water, there's some climbing to be done.
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Winter 9 Review
Pros: Hickory Hills is keeping a 9-hole course up all winter.
Cons: It's pretty short, but they did the best with the space that they had.
Other Thoughts: I'm happy that Hickory Hills is keeping a 9-hole course up all winter long. It uses 3 or the original holes (hole #2 is now #4 and hole #3 is now #5). It's a very short course. Can be played in about a half hour, but hole #9 ends right where #1 begins so it's easy to just play an extra round if you want to. Lots of tree hazards on the 6 "makeshift" holes.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Very challenging course with tons of variety. Very nice mix of holes, open and wooded with a lot of elevation change. Beautiful scenery being that it is on an active ski slope. On hole 19 you get a lovely view of Traverse City and what I believe is West Bay.
Cons: The hiking up and down the hills may get a little old for some people but, for me that is part of disc golf and why I love it so much.
Other Thoughts: The only reason I didn't give this course a 4.5 is because they take the baskets out in the winter time because of skiing.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 24 holes of fantasic hillside chucking await you upon entering the forest at Hickory Hills! Good signage throughout helps you meander the alleyways carved through the trees. Lots of trash cans, concrete tees and shade. The shooting lanes at this course were tight enough to make you heave an honest throw, but open enough to keep you from getting too frustrated. Decent array of shot selections. Great view of the trees and the town/Bay below. Buy discs @ the liquor store nearby, on the way up the hill. Several old growth trees are something special to take in on hole 1.
Cons: People don't want to use trash cans so i found myself "cleaning up" the whole round. Vandalism found me picking up a tee sign from the trailside and carrying it up the hill, back to its rightful place where I propped it up against a tree. Lack of open hyzers and distance shots, except for the last few holes so not a huge deal.
Other Thoughts: Be prepared for quite a hike, lots of sand and no facilities. A must visit course if you are in the area!!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Only The Strong
Pros: Played this course today on one of the most lovely days I have ever breathed breath. Just amazing in its beauty, this glacier cut paradise took my breath away. Rights and lefts and downs and ups. Nice change in flow from up to down and then to flat for a few before progressing again into the wilderness for some fantastic hills and ravines and again to some flat and straightforward holes that you might find anywhere. A Very solid mixture. Visually stunning at many points throughout the round. Mine eyes hadn't seen such a magnificent piece of land with disc baskets installed until this day. This sprawl features twenty four holes that will make you realize how small you are in the grand scheme of things. Ravines and hills and natural formations that whisper of something greater will swallow you up and immerse you in their wonder. This course is neither long nor extremely difficult but it offers some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever laid eyes upon paired with a game that I love. Truthfully, the land traversed is of the most awe inspiring I have ever wandered but I don't get away much.. Disc golf becomes an added benefit really.
Cons: I have heard this place is heavily played, but an early arrival and some ambition allowed us to move about freely and absorb the scenery. It can be argued that variety is lacking in terms of technicality. This course offers up no water hazards, but it offers hills as major hazards. This is a looker course first and foremost, but it does offer some challenging shots and some well designed holes. It quickly becomes an oh my for the unitiated like myself.
Other Thoughts: Glad I brought ample hydration implements as suggested below. Glad I threw down some hardcore deet force field as I was getting dive bombed by flies that wanted me in the worst way. This place was something we made a trek for and it delivered. It is impossible for me to tell you in a review how fantastic of a destination this is. It smatters the elements of fun and challenge and stark beauty into an unforgettable experience. I wish that I was able to play this course whenever I want, but then it would lose it's majesty. The hills and landscape are an adversary and the reward is basket chains. Take time to visit Traverse City. Unbelievable. I am so glad I was blessed enough to get a chance to play at Hickory Hills. Thanks to God and the Bogmonster for making this journey possible.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Makes me miss Timberlee every time I play
Uniform tees, baskets, & completely intact, informative signage.
Intuitave use of (significant) elevation changes, and a beautiful course flow. Nice mix of blind drives, up/downhill and dogleg right/left holes.
This course is incredibly picturesque when the leaves are changing, but there are A LOT of leaves, and they are quite adept at swallowing discs in October.
Very little non-DG traffic.
The twin bays are but a mile away, and there can be some significantly windy days.
Busy. Very, very busy. The parking lot for this course is almost always full, and often cars are lined up both sides along the approaching road. It is not uncommon to see 3-4 groups waiting to tee of at #1. Plan to play this course either early in the morning, or plan to not be anywhere else very soon.
Last 4 holes or so are fairly uninspired. More of a way to get you back to the car than anything worthwhile or challenging.
No water holes.
I was very lucky to have moved to TC the year following my disc golf introduction, and to have this as my local. There used to be another beautiful 24 hole course at Timberlee in Leelanau county that alleviated the traffic here, but now Hickory is the only game in town, until Mt Holiday steps up and installs 9 more baskets.
***Update: Mt Holiday (Carly's Playground) now has 18 holes. Dual tees and dual basket positions. Finally!! ***
Stopping at Tilley's Party Store is a big Mando. Great disc selections, often with custom local stamps for you collectors out there, and the fellas at the counter are usually willing to chew the fat with you if there aren't other customers.
Although there is a large body of water close by, I have played this course on many sweltering hot days. Hope for at least a little wind, as TC is usually 10 degrees warmer than the surrounding area and a dead calm day can be dreadful. Ample water is a must.
This is a great course to use as a base for a longer visit. TC is a resort town, with tons of hotels, and between Kalkaska, Kingsley, Maple City, and Acme, there are 4 courses (plus one stinker, NMC) within 20 or so miles, with another 3 more lurking just outside.
We played the nicely redesigned Mt. Holiday after this, and were the only ones on the property, while Hickory was packed. ***update: Even now with 18 baskets, Carly's was empty when we played it. ***
The simple fact is, Hickory Hills is absolutely the best course north of Clare, MI.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Unbelievable elevation shots (Up and down)
- Majestic ambiance and beautiful scenery
- Great hole variety (short, long, technical, open and tight fairways)
- The elevation creates high risk/reward by punishing errant throws.
- Tee signs with distance and par listed
- Concrete tee pads on most holes
- Baskets are in solid conditions.
- #19 and #20 are awesome holes that are very memorable.
- Enough garbage cans to keep the course clean and tidy.
Cons: - Few holes have rubber tee pads that are slick in combination with Northern Michigan sand.
- Minor navigation issue between 17 and 18.
- No bathroom or water supply on site.
- Had quite a few tent caterpillars, but not enough to take away from the greatness of the course.
Other Thoughts: Hickory Hills was a brilliant course. It evokes feelings of adventure by trucking through this seemingly abandoned ski resort. Many of the holes play around and through old ski runs making for some really cool elevation shots. Though there were a few cons about this course, the pros and the ambiance made this course a 5/5 for me. Its hard to describe the magic of this course in words. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is willing to make the trip.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Insensitive traffic and lots of it.
Pros: Some incredible scenery
Plenty of elevation change
For the most part great hole design
Epic hole 19
Some generous pars
Cons: Lots of dirt
Huge amount of traffic on even a crappy day
No bathrooms anywhere on the premises
Errant throws can result in a major search.
Road on the last three holes is nasty on your discs and have a very thrown on,non thought out feel.
Other Thoughts: The more I play this course the more aggravated I get. Its not any fault of the course but the horrible people I've encountered that play it.Today was a nice day and the traffic was ridiculous. We were waiting for people who were waiting and the people who were waiting behind us were damn rude. There was a group that didn't even ask to play through and came right up to the tee to throw after our group had already thrown and after much searching I"m certain they took off with my ace disc that I was unable to find. What nerve, it has me so angry I can't sleep
If you want to be able to enjoy this course go on a week day early in the morning, Hole 19 is always a pleasure to throw a few discs on. The view of the bay is worth the taxing hike to the top I promise. Traverse City has enough players they would definately benefit from another quality course to ease some of the overwhelming traffic.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Something for everyone
Pros: The "flow" is linear and logical. Signs are accurate and clear.
Tees have benches and are concrete. Woods are mature and well kept.
Course is regularly maintained (generally clean for the heavy use of the course).
Outstanding shots:(particularly 8, 9, 14, 15, 19, & 20).
8 and 15 similarly are long drives gradually downhill through mature hardwoods.
9, 14, & 20 have long bombs off hills.
19 is just amazing: Par 5 over 600' with a view of both bays.
Hickory has variety: highly technical no-room-for-error (don't be a hero), broad flat meadows up hill, hazards (trench, steep hills, narrow fairways)... Not a lot of duplication.
Cons: Brooms are often missing, sand frequently covering certain tees (esp. #24). Due to the length of the course, a porta-jon would be nice.. Course can be extremely busy in the esp. in the Spring during the mid-late afternoons.
Other Thoughts: Note: I've completely revised my review of this course (trying to improve my reviews)
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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