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.
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.
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.
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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Too new for good review
Pros: Close to city.It's about time another 18 hole course was opened withing a half hour of downtown. The park was very spacious and the hills and pond were a nice touch. It was not very crowded so pressure from other frolfers was not an issue. Each hole has a further pro tee as well as a shorter amateur tee.
Cons: Holes are very wide open without many obstacles. The course is basically a large open field and it would be nice if they would plant some more trees. A little bit of wind can send your discs flying into other fairways. The long tees were too long in my opinion and leave you with a thrown out arm after 18. Because this is a brand new course there are no tees yet and wooden stakes designate where to shoot from. (5-17-14). This course can be difficult to navigate for first time visitors because there are not any maps yet.
Other Thoughts: Not bad for a new course in Chicago. I would give a better review once this course is finished with tees and maps. Still worth the trip.
Park by the driving range and the first tee runs along the netting of the range on the right side.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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