That Really Sticks In My Craw!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I remember my mom, aunts, uncles and grandparents using this phrase. I know it means that it pisses you off. I think the craw is part of a chicken's neck. Madeline Bertrand Park made a horrid first impression on me. As I drove up to the little, guard gate, no-one was there. Yeah, free round, right? I found the parking and the start area and I was overwhelmed with all the signs and rules. $100 for having alcohol on the course. Now I would love to have TSA agents stationed at the start of every course telling you have to empty your bottles and cans and think how much cleaner our courses would be. There' a rule for dog walkers. There are notices telling you how big your group can be and to let smaller groups pass. Wow, this place has more rules than Singapore. No spitting on the course! $25 fine for not flushing!
Back to Madeline Bertrand and it's rules. As I was jotting down some course notes, a ranger lady came bounding over and in a not very pleasant way, informed me that I would have to come over to the Ranger Station across the street and pay. Now I had to walk over to my car and get my wallet. Inside the station, lady ranger informed that it would be $3 to park and $4 to play. I felt like I was being gouged here. And then she puts this hospital bracelet thing on me showing I've paid. By now, I'm more than annoyed with this park and their rules. There looks to be a well stocked pro shop here but I wasn't about to give them another dime.
So I start my round ready to hate this course to it's core. The start has a practice basket, kiosk, benches and picnic tables. The first holes are just nice little recreational holes in the 200' range. There are benches and garbage cans at each hole. Nice concrete pads. The baskets are great. My resolve is starting to weaken. I'm OK with the course. Then I get go # 6. It's 305' and the basket is down these wooden steps. OK, nice engineering work here. There are wooden steps all over the place leading down. Wow, I'm impressed. Keep playing and I reach # 12. Very cool 165' but very tight shot to the basket over this gorge. Excellent hole! The next hole has a nice elevated tee pad. I like this course a lot.
Cons: There aren't many but they start with $7 to play. I still think they're gouging the golfers here.
Recreational distances and challenge.
The # 15 pad is not safe from the drives coming from 14. This would be the perfect place to put up a protective screen or build a small wall to protect the tee area.
Too many rules and regulations.
Other Thoughts: After my round was finished, I started talking to the three guys playing behind me when they finished their round. They said they play here all the time and buy a year's pass for play and parking for $60. So it seems much better now knowing that they only gouge us visiting players.
Also in talking to these three players, they had:
1. Never heard of Flip City.
2. Never heard of DGCR.
I'm not sure which of these things amazed me more but by the time I had finished talking to them, they were all three going to join DGCR and they were talking about taking a road trip up to play Flip.
And old Madeline Bertrand got me out of my funk and forced me to join those who are in her corner. I count myself as one of those players now.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Great Course! Challenging holes, quick play!
Pros: Next tees close to previous baskets. Several short, skill shot holes. Very well maintained, little time spent looking for discs. Party 2 played through 18 in under 1-1/2 hour.
Cons: Posted at hole 1: "$100 Fine for Alcohol Strictly Enforced". Wager your risk.
Other Thoughts: Good selection of discs in Pro Shop. Park ranger told me I couldn't bring my mini machete (if you play Meyer Broadway as poorly as me you'd understand). I didn't need it anyways, course it's mostly shaded. I don't recall seeing one single pricker patch.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Stands the test of time.
Pros: I went into this course expecting a lame flat pitch and putt, but was impressed by how much the course has been able to stay relevant with new disc technology. It is still a mostly putter course, but the holes are as good as you can get under 200 feet.
This is a Steady Ed course, play it just for the history.
The fairways are very fair for the distance and the holes are scenic.
Nice tee pads, good flow, and navigation.
Pro shop had a good selection of discs.
They read Apdryva's review and you now get a score card with a map when you pay.
Area around the course was flooded, but the course had no flooding or drainage issues.
Cons: There are 7 holes shorter than 200 feet, which limits the level of challenge.
This is not a tournament caliber course. I saw a doubles tournament sign and thought, "How in the world would that work if I as a mediocre player can get a 2 on half of the holes"
COST. The cost ($4) sounds semi-reasonable, but for a course that is so short $5 to park and $4 to play was a lot for less than an hour of playing. plus my wife and daughter were not allowed to walk the course with me unless they paid an additional $8.
No signage other than distance
Other Thoughts: This course was a blast to play.
One thing I think about after leaving a course. Were there holes exciting enough where I wanted to throw more than one disc, YES
Would I return to this course if I were local? Absolutely, even for $7 (local cost) per round.
1. Straight and easy at 180'
2. Right turn with blind basket
3. Right turn near 90 degrees only 202'
4. Right then left S curve 345 feet. Legit par 3
5. Plinko shot 182' slight right.
6. looks longer, but the correct basket is down hill. 303'
7. 189' uphill slight right.
8. 2 or die hole. 152' simple putter hole
9. Narrow 191.
Front 9 as a 900 rated player I shot a 22 with one bogey
10. scenic hole over slight valley 193'.
11. Blind anny shot (RHBH) or RHFH over a hill. 300' Easy 3, but very hard 2.
12. Closest to signature hole. Easy 2 165' over "valley"
13. Long and narrow over valley. Only 376 feet, but it is a legitimate Par 4.
14. Straight, narrow and short 232'
15. 292' narrow dog leg left. quality Par 3
16. 224' multiple fairways for any style of shot.
17. 231' easy birdie
18. 239' Subtle S curve with slight down hill. Easy to end up in brush behind basket. requiring an amazing putt ofr 2 or a simple drop in 3.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Its ok at best
Pros: Clean, well maintained, well manicured, nice baskets, cement teepads
Cons: Seems to be run by overbearing obnoxious park attendants that seem to be more concerned with posting signs about all the police patrols and collecting their fees for discgolf. This course is definitely not worth the $4.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Very well Maintained.
Tee's are nice and clear
Holes are challenging but not impossible
Shop is loaded with goodies
Cons: Paying to play on top of a fee to park you car is annoying
Last tee off is relatively early (6 P.M. on the day we went)
Other Thoughts: Worth visiting
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Nice teepads pretty clean. A garbage can at almost every hole. Nice pro shop with a good selection of innova disc
Cons: Some hole are pretty short. Pay to play some ppl don't like this but I have never cared
Other Thoughts: Very nice park threw the woods hole 12 is pretty cool
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
a little slice of history
Aesthetic- Course winds through a moderately dense wood and intertwines with a hiking trail. no other activities take place around/near the dg course. Beautiful park.
Teepads- Big, level and pointed in the general direction of the basket. helpful for when signage is missing.
Baskets- mach v and in good repair. grippy, they catch discs nicely.
Routing/Nav- easy easy, the paths are pretty easy to follow and have been followed for years so they are super worn in.
100% signage would help though.
elevation/uniqueness- there are some very unique holes here. #11 comes to mind where it follows the culvert left then right, immediately followed by the little "ravine" shot. Elevation is used fairly well where it is available.
Upkeep/Staff- the upkeep is reasonably nice and the staff is super friendly in the proshop/visitor center.
It's a steady ed course!- nice to play a course designed by the godfather.
Pay to play- I have to agree on this one. if I am paying $11 for two people to throw here, I expect 100% signage or a score card or something to help with navigation
Variety/length- most holes are sub 250' and don't offer a ton of challenge. putter/ mid off of the tee and putt (putt) done.
Other Thoughts: as a piece of history from a different era this is a definite stop for anyone in the area (south bend area) but a destination course, it certainly is not. a very quick play and fun but not much challenge.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Old School - Glorified Pitch and Putt(Updated 2017)
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great layout - while it might be short it is a ton of fun.
- Some holes are very ace-able but because of pin and tee-pad layout many are not.
- Benches and trash cans at most tees. Didn't really keep track of exactly how many there were but it certainly seemed like more than enough.
- Unlike most courses I review, navigation is easy peasy. In almost all cases, once you hole out the next tee is within view.
- Unique holes (like 12) that play off of an elevated tee and throw over a small ravine which make play fun.
- Staff I encountered were pleasant and professional.
- This is set in a nice park which has oodles of walking trails.
- The baskets, while a little old are in great shape.
- Nice little pro-shop. Not something you see everyday. They now carry Innova and a limited selection of Trilogy plastic and bags.
- Fairly clean when I have played here.
Cons: - Pay to play - While this isn't really much of a con they do charge for parking AND for disc golf. If you come, bring a big carload and keep the cost per player down. Do I think it's worth the expense? Considering other options in the area which are free (Rum Village) and others that charge much less (George Wilson) I would say almost certainly not.
- If pay to play weren't annoying enough there is the wristband thing the park is doing. Every player is required to don a wristband and it has to go ON YOUR wrist. Completely unneeded IMHO and extraordinarily irritating. There has got to be a better way to do this.
- Short. Very Very short. No place to really open up and rip it. Even with my noodle-arm that can only manage 300 to 320 there really aren't very many decent spots to let one go. Hole #1 is almost a joke with a dead-straight wide open shot at 180'. Yawn. Over the years, trees have come down and nothing grown up in their place so the original challenge of these holes is lost.
- Huge numbers of people play here. Not a big deal but some lessons in etiquette would be a big plus. Groups as large as 10 have been seen here with little to no regard for common courtesy.
- While the navigation is a piece of cake, it's also a con. In several situations, the next tee is way too close to the previous basket. #1 basket is a great example. So is #10 and #14.
Other Thoughts: This is a very old course in terms of disc golf. While it is a fantastic layout it is an out-dated design. Even so, it is in many ways rather timeless since it is still fun to play.
To me, the challenge is lost in this course. It has become sort of a shell of it's former self and turned into a glorified pitch and putt. My noodle arm only needs a driver on about 3 or 4 of the holes. The rest I am tee-ing off with a mid or utility disc of some sort. In fact, a few holes like 1, 3, 8 and 12 I've resorted to using a putter off the tee. Kind of ridiculously short. I hope someone in Berrien County government is reading this because this course is in dire need of a redesign. Install second tee locations, or push some of the basket locations further into the woods. If that's not an option I see no reason why a second 18 hole course could not be installed with as many people that play here. Install something challenging. The land is there.
if you are in the area hit this course up. Is it worth the time and money? Not sure. Hopefully my review helps in that decision. While it may not be an Idlewilde or a Flip City by any stretch and I have said it isn't challenging I will admit it is truly unique disc golf experience. Try to avoid weekends and holidays and the crowds should be manageable.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Fun for a power lunch
Pros: Beginner-friendly but requires a variety of shots. Fairways nicely-shaped by woods that can be thick in places to penalize errant tee shots. Course is clean and in decent condition, and while it is missing signs the layout is intuitive for the most part with a nice map on the scorecard in case you get turned around.
Gullies add fun potential elevation changes on some holes.
Decent selection in pro shop - watch for sales as you can get essentially dealer pricing when they are clearing out inventory.
***Updated 2013*** Adding a half-star because somebody did a fantastic job sprucing up the course over the winter - erosion control and new signage added, course looks fantastic!
Cons: Short. Very short. And it is too compact to allow for alternate tees or pin positions to be installed.
Pay to play and park, though the combined annual pass is reasonably-priced - get your money back after 8 or 9 rounds.
Other Thoughts: If I didn't live/work close enough to the park to make the season pass worth it I'd be more upset about paying to play. It really is a nice course and the baskets are in great shape, as are the tee pads.
It is a fun course to play if you can get away for an hour at lunch and sneak in a quick round - no danger of spending more than 30-35 minutes here!
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course was a blast to play and a must play if you are in the area. Though fairly short, this course is very technical and offers a variety of shots. Every hole is fairly tight and offers a variety of lines to get to the hole. Anytime I am wrestling in my bag with what disc to throw I know I'm on an excellent course.
Tons of tree obstacles, but not impossible ones. Clear but challenging lines to just about every pin.
Good pro shop, which I replaced a disc I had lost a few weeks prior at, very reasonable prices. I always enjoy getting a scorecard and course map as well, which they had in the shop for free.
I elected to bring the majority of my bag out on this course, which I was glad for. You will literally need to throw every midrange and putter you have in your bag to play this course. As stated before, a driver is not incredibly necessary if you can bomb a midrange over 300, but I used every disc in my bag on this course.
It is very well trimmed so there isn't too much worries about loosing a disc. Everything off the main lines is pretty clear, and there is enough traffic to pack all the thick brush down.
I play with my girlfriend who throws around 200. This course was awesome for the two of us to play because we could stay competitive without the length giving me an unfair advantage.
Cons: It costs $4 to play, but it's totally worth it. I wouldn't say the length is a con because I'm a fan of the shorter more technical courses.
Don't bring a new player here as it's way too technical for someone that is just starting to have fun at.
You're not allowed to drink on the course, but I did and didn't get in any trouble for it. There are plenty of garbage cans too toss the empties.
The course wasn't super well marked, but the trails are clear enough to understand where to go. I had to run up multiple holes to find out where the pin was. This was slightly annoying as I really appreciate a good hole map at the beginning of every hole.This is my biggest con of the course.
Other Thoughts: Way too fun not to play if you're in the area. As long as you're with a group of players willing to throw the technical courses you will have a blast.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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