4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 50 Acre Park benefits from some excellent elevation, which the design makes smart and varied use of. There are some great approaches due to hilltop positioning, as well as some dramatic downhill drives. There are many otherwise-basic holes made engaging due to skillful use of the terrain's elevation. Pin positioning in general is well done, adding wrinkles and considerations that affect how you approach as well as how you drive.
The course has a bombs-away feel with lots of open shots - I can't remember the last time my distance drivers got this much of a workout - but it manages to avoid becoming a chucker's course. Out-of-bounds, hazards, elevation, and trees are in just enough force to make you mind them. How they combine is often intriguing too, with downhill shots bending around large trees and uphill slopes that require hitting a tight window off the tee. The design certainly maximizes the land. Players with max distances in the 400'-450' range will find some rare opportunities to shape lines on such a scale, while novices will be able to enjoy the course too thanks to well-laid-out short tees.
The concrete tees are excellent, giving ample room and being totally level. You're able to drive with impunity and in confidence of sure footing.
The course seems to be excellently-groomed. Navigation is easy. A portajohn is available. Parking is ample. The course is easy to find and relatively accessible by car from downtown Chicago.
Cons: Design-wise, the open nature of the terrain caps the course's appeal for me. This is a well-laid-out par 3-oriented bomber course in a city park, but that only means so much. The play is pretty casual; if this were my home course, I'd make sure to regularly visit some more technical courses in the immediate area to keep my game up.
The course makes use of some scary out of bounds, such as an impenetrable patch of reeds and a fence that lines a local road. These can be avoided with relative ease for the experienced player, but beginners will be daunted by such threats on a few holes.
There seems to be a lot of conflict with regular park goers. The course covers the entire breadth of the park, so if someone comes here to walk their dog, picnic, or lounge in the sun, they're probably in your way. I had to ask some loungers to move, throw around some lovebird picnickers, and skip playing the long tee on one hole due to some people thinking the concrete tee was a perfect place to take a nap. And this was on a day in which the park traffic overall seemed rather quiet.
Other Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by 50 acre. It is definitely a casual, open course, but a very fun and well-conceived one, especially if your max distance is on the longer side. It was nice to make use of my distance drivers for such a range of shots on a single course. I'd recommend it for a leisurely 18 holes if you're in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
A well-rounded course
Pros: A great diversity of open holes, long-stretch, partially wooded holes, as well as holes that play to the terrain landscape (such as holes 8, 9 and 11. This diversity gives you plenty of room to really strengthen and fully test your roller shots, hyzers, and long-range drives. Overall, I think this is a well-designed course.
Cons: There is always fallen tree debris in the way, and nobody ever seems to clear it up. I appreciate that they keep the lawn maintained, as well as the tees, but fallen branches can be potentially dangerous and should be cleared up.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: 50 Acre Park is conveniently located, and is well designed given the space available. This is a "big arms" dominant course, more than half the holes are par fours with several of these and others requiring up hill shots.
Cons: Not an exceptionally difficult course. Errant shots rarely lead to bogeys. Some of the posted pars seem inconsistent and decrease the difficulty. (Hole ten is a 400' plus shot downhill on hyzer and is a par 4, too easy, a few holes later you have a 400' plus shot on anhyzer downhill with a large tree in the way, it is posted as par three, these holes cancel each other out as one is too easy to birdie and the other is difficult but doable.
Other Thoughts: You will most likely be throwing a mid-range or fairway driver, depending on your arm, for the front nine and hoping to putt for a birdie. The back nine requires high speed drivers with the advantage going to big arms as 7 holes on the back nine are over four hundred feet long with an easy up shot and putt for birdie.
One way to make this course better would be to add manicured fairways with some hazard play.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Another Chicago Area Course In A Lovely Park!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: On my trip thus far, I have discovered quite a few nice 18 hole courses, all in beautiful city park. And 50 Acre Park has some great hills to work with.
50 Acre Course features two nice large concrete pads for every hole except # 4. The pads have the hole number etched at the front of the pad. The Longs seemed to play 50-100 feet longer than the regular holes. The baskets are Discatchers with the yellow ring. The tee signs give you the normal info; hole #, par, distance and a route to the basket.
I felt that the front 9 had the more creative and enjoyable holes. # 6 is a very pretty hole. It's 285' from the Longs but plays through some trees as well as crossing a small valley.
# 8 is kinda interesting. Playing the Longs, you're teeing from atop the sledding hill (I'm from Washington State, we don't build sledding hills) and the basket was set behind the trees fairly close to the bog. With the wind gusting, this was semi-scary throw.
# 10 from the Longs (again atop the sledding hill) is a really fun bomb around the large tree at the bottom.
The back nine has some long, tough throws which will benefit those players with bigger arms. 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 18 are all 400-550'.
The listed pars are generous making it fairly easy for even a recreational type player to shoot under par, even from the Longs.
Cons: Someone wrote of losing 2-3 holes when the sledding hill is in use. My feeling is why the hell would you want to be playing disc golf when it's snowing? You Midwesterners are tougher than me, by a long shot.
I found the back nine to be repetitive and maybe just long for appearances.
The wind was definetly a factor today.
Some benches would be welcomed.
Other Thoughts: I like this course. It sits in a beautiful park, has enough fun downhills throws to keep me interested and is easy to navigate. Compares favorable with Katherine Legge DGC. I just know about wanting to play in the snow. That's hardcore!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Good for proximity to city
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Close to Chicago (was able to take an Uber there and back from the city). Most decent 18 hole courses are far into suburbs
- Dual tee pads for each hole (maybe only 17, couldn't find a dual tee on one hole)
- Good tee pads and baskets
- Long course from the long tees, still decent length from the shorts
- Some elevation on a few holes
- Two water holes (one was extra flooded when I played, might not normally be that challenging in summer)
Cons: - Very, very open. Not a lot of holes have trees that significantly get in the way of the fairway
- Openness leads to a decent amount of wind that can lead to some frustrating putts
- 3 holes taken out in winter for the sledding hill
- Can be confusing to find next tee pad after playing a hole
- Some holes shoot very close to other holes, so if it was crowded there could be a lot of risk to hitting other players
Other Thoughts: This is a decent course for it's proximity to Chicago and ease of access for those living in the city. However, without having a geographical advantage, I would not see any reason to come play often as it doesn't really offer any challenge other than the potential to play a wide open course on a very windy day.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Fun Course - if not wet
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is my home course and I love that I can basically walk here. That doesn't help most others, but I play the course almost 4-5 times a week. The first 7 holes snake through the same grove of trees. You can easily navigate around the giant oaks by selecting the longer tees. The course opens quite a bit at around 8-11, then back through more oak groves. 8 is a gut check. There is a lagoon to the left with tall cat tails and the right floods a lot. If it your disc fades too must left, forget it. You're better off laying up to the right of the burm...when there is not much water on the right, that is. :)
The back half of the course is more open than the front half. In a way, there are not many challenging shots, but you can practice just about every throw and every disc you have in your bag. As many have already mentioned, there are two tee pads on almost every whole (on 4 there is only one tee), but all have concrete pads with signs. In many ways, the longer tees offer better lines to the basket on some holes. And in talking to a lot of players that frequent the course, they argue that they can score better on the long tees. If you think there is only one pad on 7, look way by the back of the driving range net. It's way back there. Fun.
There is a dog park close by, but the dogs are really not a problem. It's fenced. The dog owners are regulars and I have talked to most of them. So they know about disc golf and are very respectful of our space. A few of them have even picked up on the sport now. So be nice when out and about.
**The dog park is actually in play on hole 1 and 2. If you throw an errant disc and it ends up in the fenced in dog park, good luck. If there are dog owners near by, they will retrieve your disk for you. But if there is nobody there, you can't get in the park unless you have a special electronic key or are superman and can jump the fence.
There is water in play on the last whole...you have to carry over about 200 ft on the long tee and about 100 feet on the short tee. It's not a big deal unless you just starting playing. In which case, just lay up on the right. :)
As many have mentioned, the course is wide open, so wind comes in to play. But honestly, what the course lacks in a challenging design, it makes up for it with wind coming into play a lot. It's windy there. But that's part of the fun!
Cons: During the spring and summer, they cut the grass on Tuesdays. It can take quite a bit of time. But the landscapers are super respectful, so go ahead and go throw.
It's wet when it rains and in the spring. They have had drainage issues...it used to be a golf course, so just bring some waterproof shoes. I have some Goretex boots and sneakers and that takes care of the problem. If you have waders, you could probably go into the lagoon and retrieve 100+ discs. Just call me if you find mine!
Other Thoughts: It's a fun course, if not a bit wet. It's quiet most days, as many people in the south suburbs have not really discovered this course as of yet. They have held two tournaments to date and I expect more.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -17/18 holes have two cement, level teepads each with a map giving distance and par. (hole 4 has only one tee) Many of the long tees are a different shot/line (a few are simply a longer same throw)
-baskets are well-placed among very old large trees, bringing into play a wide option of disc choices and shot types off the tee and on approaches
- variety of teeshots needed. most holes offer multiple lines to targets, you will use several discs off the tees. The first half of the course is shorter and tighter with more shot shaping and rolling hills, while the back half is mostly flat with longer holes (several over 500')
-well-manicured. The village of EP does a great job keeping the park maintained and nice and clean. grass is consistently mowed. Zero underbrush to worry about. Garbage cans at many tee boxes
-great use of what elevation changes can be used given the terrain. there is one big hill that 6 or 7 holes utilize in some way, without crossing over or being congested (elevated tees, elevated baskets, throws over a valley, side hill baskets
-2 holes with water hazards (i guess more on very errant tee shots). Hole 8 is an elevated tee with a pond to the left of the basket that sits atop a ridge running parallel to the pond. Hole 18 is a flat throw over a pond. Both holes have a pretty safe bail out play for those not wanting to lose a disc
Cons: -course does not drain well after heavy rains or snow melt in early spring. Be prepared to possibly get muddy and wet feet
- usually very windy. With no perimeter trees or wooded area, there is nothing to block any wind. Can be seen as a positive challenge, but for a new player the extra wind here may cause a problem on many shots
-hole maps are not very good. Plain and simple. Not too big an issue since you can see the baskets from every tee however. What is a bigger issue is that some of the short tee hole maps are right in the line of fire from the longer tees. The distance listed on hole 2 for the long tees is listed 100' too short (it says 234, it is actually 335)
Other Thoughts: -practice basket
-three baskets (7, 9, 12) are removed in winter for sledding hill use. They are relocated to give the chance to play different pin placements on holes 4, 16, 17, or as fun safari holes.
-This course is a great one for newbies and experienced players alike.
-park also has a dog park and golf driving range, not much inference from either. Occasionally, a neighborhood runner or dog walker will not realize they are on a disc course, so just keep an eye out
-first tee is along driving range net, between the net and dog park (maybe hard to find for first-timers)
-could benefit from benches, map of course, improved hole maps, and sign to first tee. With the addition of minor touches and perhaps a few new shot shaping trees, this course could become a 4.0, but for now it's a 3.5!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
15 minutes from Midway Airport
Pros: Very pleasant, park style course in a quiet neighborhood.
• Disc play: Basically wide open with many well placed trees. Pretty much every hole presents multiple lines, encouraging some degree of decision making.
+ Elevation figures prominently on pretty much all of the first 12 holes or so. Many fairways play up or down hill to significantly change effective hole length, with several others playing over troughs and gullies. Lots of baskets on slopes create tricky putts and approaches - really augments risk/reward. The latter part of the course flattens and stretches things out a bit.
+ Distances range from Ace Runs to bombers with a pretty good variety therein. Open design allows for several lines, without forcing any one in particular.
+ Precision tee shots will likely result in birdies (assuming you have the distance), but aren't really required for pars.
+Dual tees: shorts are quite appropriate for Novice/ Rec players, longs are suitable for Intermediate, and should be fun (albeit not truly challenging) for Advanced players. Not at all intended to challenge Pro level players.
• Nothing but grass and trees - absolutely no underbrush whatsoever... zero. The only threat of disc loss is where the ponds come into play (significant on 8 and 18, only in extremely unfortunate instances on 7 &17).
• Flow/Navigation: Flows well from hole to hole once you know your way around. Finding the next hole can be a bit frustrating on a course this open - sometimes the closest tee isn't the next hole. Would really benefit from painting a spoke on the basket pointing you toward the next tee; red for shorts, whites longs - cheap yet effective.
• Equipment: All brand new and in perfect shape at this point. Concrete tees are large with hole # etched at the front of each tee. Signs at each tee show distance, pin location and a few select trees to help determine which pin to target to when a couple are in view, as well as aiding course navigation. Yellow Innova baskets are easy to spot from all tees and you can often make out the hole # from many of the short tees to avoid throwing at the wrong pin.
• Memorable holes:
+ 8 is a bit of a gut check, deuce or die hole. A sizeable pond looms left of the hole, with the pin perched atop a berm - an easily reachable Ace Run from either tee (for the appropriate skill level). RHBH hyzer lines can sail past into the swampy pond. RHFH shots that get flippy or a RHBH annie line that "stables up" can also cost you a disc. Factor in some wind, and I promise you'll take some time thinking about how to play your tee shot.
+ 18 is a fun finishing hole - nice water carry over a very scenic pond that's not too intimidating for newbs from the short tee, and a reasonably challenging for experienced players from the long tee.
• Aesthetics: Nice and green... very much a pleasant walk in a city park type of course. Nary a speck of trash.
• Extras: Trash cans every few holes (but no benches). Bathroom near parking.
• Gets repetitive. No variety in terms of fairway type or feel... none.
• Long/short tees differ primarily in distance, although they are often positioned at different elevations and occasionally bring different trees into play. In all fairness, given the openess of the landscape, there's not much the designers could do to create significanty different looks without scattering tees around the course in a way that would be confusing to navigate, and possibly kill flow.
• A few tees are close enough that bad, wind aided shots from the previous hole could result in shouts of "FORE!"
• Open layout makes recovery easy - perhaps too easy. Some would list that under pros, but I think bad shots should affect your score.
• I'm not sure how much non-DG traffic occurs here, but there's really nothing isolating the course at all. It's wide open enough avoid most problems... if people use courtesy and communication. However, several signs advising people to beware of flying discs seem in order, especially since several of the longs play 400-500+ft. What we're doing that far away isn't on most pedestrians' radar.
Other Thoughts: 50 Acre is essentially a one trick pony: quite open, avoid some well placed trees... but it performs that trick well. If you're looking for a course that really forces shot shaping by rewarding great placement while punishing errors, keep driving.
It's a well-executed course that some will find a blast to play while others find it kinda boring. Regardless which camp you're in, there's no denying it gets a bit repetitive and lacks variety, so I can't rate it excellent. That said, I appreciate what it does well and give high marks to the designer(s) for maximizing the DG potential this plot of land offers. Wonderful use of natural elements: trees, elevation and water are all used effectively to create several interesting holes and a reasonable challenge.
If not for all the elevation and a couple of really good water shots, this course would be pretty ordinary... 2.5, perhaps 2.75. Widespread use of elevation really adds to the fun factor, and the ponds create some intensity and eye appeal. Throw in a 2nd set of tees to accommodate a range of skills, and you have a very good course despite it's lack of variety (without which I can't award a 4.0).
• Such a stark contrast (in nearly every conceivable way) from nearby Summit that the two would really make an excellent Yin-Yang combo.
• You can all but guarantee wind will be a factor here.
• Possible to shoot well below par if you're hitting putts...or well above if you're getting nasty rolls.
• Lack of dense woods means no protection from the sun on hot days - sunscreen is your friend.
• Fenced in dog park near 2nd hole.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course for Wind Practice!
Pros: Tee Pads: Every hole has two, level, and textured tee pads. Both have their own tee sign with fairly accurate distances. Some holes are the same shot but longer, others are different shots completely. A good mix in my opinion.
Navigation: Other than locating hole one, the course was extremely straightforward and the walks between holes weren't too lengthy. This was my first time out and did not get lost.
Basket Placement: A few baskets were on hillsides, a hole next to a water hazard on a ridge, open, behind trees, etc. This gives some good variety in attacking for the birdie, or playing it safe to avoid OB.
Baskets Themselves: DisCatcher Pros, besides the MachX's these are the best baskets on the market.
Park Maintenance: Park is well maintained, although the grass was pretty long at the time. This hindered rollers on the longer holes and there were no playable skips.
Cons: Shot Variety: We played the blues, and most drives off the tee seemed to be the same shot. Especially on the Par 4's, and even the holes through the tree lines. All long holes were pretty much big anny backhands for a RHBH player. There were a few other shots, but they were also mainly RHBH hyzers with a midrange. A little underwhelming.
Lack of Trees and Obstacles: The City of Evergreen cut down way too many of the beautiful mature oak trees that lined the old golf course. This not only is the reason for the lack of shot variety, but also allows the wind to howl across the course. Sometimes the wind was almost ridiculous.
Lack of Awareness: Other park users did not seem to be informed of the disc golf course. Runners and walkers walking through the course without any care in the world. There needs to be more sinage informing park users of the disc golf course.
Other Thoughts: The course is pretty awesome being so close to Chicago. Besides the Joliet/Channahon/Lockport courses, this is the best course on the Southside hands down. Mokena is pretty comparable to this one, but has much more difficult fairways and some tighter wooded shots, which this course lacked. I am a transported Southsider living in Raleigh, NC. The courses down here are much different, and I did appreciate the chance to bomb my Destroyers and Maxes into headwinds and tailwinds. Be sure to bring your max D for the blue tees, next time I am in town I will be sure to play the whites! This course is definitely worth checking out, but I rate it a 3.5. This would be a 3.0 course, but being where it is geographically it is definitely deserving of a 3.5. Without shot variety, and at least a couple tight fairways, this course is not deserving of a higher rating. This course will definitely be a good one for a PDGA tourney. Be sure to check it out if you're in the area!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very spacious. Made good use of the trees and hills. Great beginner course; no dense woods or heavy schule. However there is a little water. Nice tee pads and good signs. Overall a nice park.
Cons: It has a lot of short holes. Could use a little more vegetation. Kinda muddy and wet in some areas (but no mosquitoes). I wish there was a bigger shot off one of the hilltops.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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