9 Helpful / 1 Not
Wooded and Tough
Pros: Mason County - Beauty is the shortest of the 3 courses in this park. The park is absolutely beautiful and seems to be totally set apart for disc golf. The entire round was very peaceful. Tee pads were in excellent condition. Baskets were in fair condition. There was enough variance in the course to keep it interesting. The wooded holes were very tough but fair. Hole #1 was a very interesting opening hole. I find the slight anhyzer to be a much more difficult shot than the big sweeping anhyzer. Be prepared to hike up a hill to the first tee for both Beauty and Beast.
Cons: My biggest problem with Beauty are the extra holes. My buddies and I had a running joke that Michigan must be full of 24 hole golf courses as well. Really, what is it about Michigan and 24 holes? From an outsiders perspective, it looks like the clubs that take care of the courses are in an immense competition. One course went to 24. Then another course went to 24. Then everybody tried "keeping up with the Jones's". I have no problem with 24 holes. However, they need to flow with the rest of the course. Beauty gets confusing because you never know when you are going to be looking for the next numbered hole or if they are going to throw in a letttered hole. Just go back and renumber the holes 1-24. It's that simple. Yet everyone in Michigan feels the need to have a Hole E. I think that my problem with the additional holes at Mason County is that they seem thrown together simply for the sake of having more holes. They are not on the same level of maturity as the rest of the course. My only other con is the lack of distance lines. There are a handful of holes on Beauty that require a fairway driver. However, most of the course is shaping your mid. Over 24 holes, there could be more variance in hole length.
Other Thoughts: Restrooms are available in the pavilion by the parking lot and are pretty nice for park restrooms. There are enough benches and trash cans throughout the course. I didn't notice any litter on any of the courses in the park. Navigation on this course is much easier than the other two courses because the other two courses intertwine.
This course seems like it would appeal most to the experienced, but not professional, disc golfer. I simply mean that many new players would find the tight gaps to be difficult to hit. Some of the closing holes on this course could be down-right intimidating to a noob. On the flip-side, there really isn't enough of an element of challenge for the professional level player. The lines on the wooded holes are straight-forward and can easily be executed. If you're one of those players who is "in the middle", (like me) you should really enjoy this course. Beauty gives the average player the opportunity to shoot a low round if they are on their technical game. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth the stop. The park is a serene place to play.
As for my rating, while Beauty is a "very good" course, it is not quite to the level of "excellent". It simply doesn't have the variety in length to garner that level. Some people may take this as a slight to the course, but it is not meant that way. It is still an above-average course that most any player should enjoy at least once.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Wooded and fun
Pros: This course has the most wooded holes at this fantastic disc golf complex, and is the shortest and the most technical. Many shots play through woods with nice elevation, and enough underbrush to be punishing without eating discs. The open shots often have early or late trouble, and also bring nice elevation into play, so they aren't boring and make a nice contrast to the wooded holes.
There is great variety of hole lengths and shapes. The course plays balanced for right and left handed players, and offers some reachable holes and some longer shots. The mix of lines you have to hit here along with the use of elevation and foliage make it so the course never feels repetitive and presents interesting challenges throughout.
The signage is basic, but adequate to navigate the course, with no navigational issues that really tripped us up. The baskets were showing some age but caught well. The concrete pads were in pretty good shape, and the rubber pads were nicely leveled.
Cons: The tees are inconsistent, with small concrete tees and some rubber ones mixed in. The signage could use an upgrade, especially with so many blind holes that require extra walking to know where to throw. A few holes play along or over the park road, which could present safety issues and takes away from the feeling of seclusion here.
Other Thoughts: This is the shortest course here, and has the most technical holes, and would definitely be the most beginner friendly of the three. It has some good challenges, but none that will scare off newer players who are up to taking on a bigger course. More experienced players won't be truly tested on most holes, but it's a very fun and scenic place to play with great variety and some nice views. This course alone would be worth a trip, and with two others on site that are also great and offer different challenges, this is a real disc golf destination.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Beauty for sure
Pros: - Very nice mix of open and tightly wooded holes.
- Concrete tee pads
- Multiple paths to the basket on several holes
- On a park with 2 other courses
- Well maintained and mowed.
- Nice baskets
- Easy course but not so easy that experienced players are bored. Every hole is interesting.
Cons: - Not all the signs are there but you can find your way from one hole to the next by following the paths.
- Two holes had me throwing across the park roadway. I was a little disappointed considering how well the rest of the course was designed.
- The auxiliary holes (A thru F) are a little confusing - though not a big deal if you are expecting it. At some point in the future the entire course ought to be renumbered to eliminate this confusion.
Other Thoughts: Bug spray is a definite must here. I can see that deer flies, ticks, mosquitoes and other assorted annoying Michigan bugs can be rampant. The shule is not horribly thick but I did notice some poison ivy so be careful when off the fairway. Like a lot of other courses in the state good footwear is a must as the terrain is quite uneven in areas. None of the aforementioned items counted against the course in my review - just facts of life when playing in Michigan.
A note on the aux holes...You'll be playing along and all of the sudden you'll be expecting the next hole number and you get a hole labeled with a letter. This is correct by the way. For example, right after hole #17 there is holes D, E, and F and then #18. You can skip the aux holes but I don't recommend missing out on these gems.
After hearing that his course is maintained and run entirely by volunteers I had no problem stuffing more than the requisite $1 in the box. It was worth it! My only regret is not having enough time to play the other 2 courses on site.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Easy to Moderate difficulty, overall a Good course
-Baskets are good
-Nice variety of elevation and wide open and wooded holes
-Most holes had trash cans
-Course is scenic and as the name suggests Beautiful (I think Beast has better scenery)
-The course requires a wide variety of strategies and shots
-Alternate holes are good and add enjoyment to the course
-Decent fun factor
-Accuracy and distance needed
-Cement tee pads are small on some holes
-Signs are awful, and lacking
-No water holes
-Course layout requires careful play, you'll be shooting across the street on one hole, and next to the street
-The course needs work and lot's of maintenance
-Course lacks benches and places to chill
-Busiest of the 3 courses in the complex (yet busy is usually 1 or 2 groups)
-Did not see any scorecards
Other Thoughts: -
-To score well it would be useful to have both distance and accuracy in your arsenal. This is a thinking course, one in which to be careful and take risks in at the same time.
-I enjoy playing this course but it is my least favorite out of the 3 Mason County parks.
-The course offers a wide variety of different shots and scenery. A few wide open grip and rip holes, and lots of tight and accurate wooded holes.
-Course is lacking in signs. We might have skipped seven and could not find it the last time I played. It seems the course is getting rougher. Better signs and including the alternates in new signs instead of A,B,C just make them all numbers, please re do these it will make it so much better.
- I saw families out there and don't think this is the best place for families to play. Ludington really needs a city park that are easier for families. This course is the easiest out of the 3 on site, also the least grueling physically. Yet it can be dangerous with some steep ravines and cliffs.
-I am debating on giving this course a "Good" rating, for now I am settling on a "Very Good" but I was disappointed in the maintenance of the course. I feel they need to revamp things, start the signs over, redo some of the tee pads, fix some of the erosion.
-The course just wasn't as fun as it use to be for me. I have been playing a lot of different courses lately and have always really enjoyed the Beauty, however, I would much rather play the Beast any day of the week. Then Goliath if I had to choose another. The Beauty is not a destination course but still worthwhile to play.
-Ludington is still a great disc golf destination because it has two outstanding courses in Leviathan and the Beast, Goliath is a monster that experienced players would appreciate as well, and the Beauty course adds to that title but on its own its just good. Overall A GOOD course.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great wooded holes with multiple line choices.
- Short but challenging.
- Navigation was simple
- Tee signs had hole number and distance written, tthey were rather crude, but they were sufficient.
- Nice transitions in and out of the woods.
- Great variety of shots.
- Very neat wooded and hilly landscape.
- The baskets are in solid shape.
- Course stays dry even through light rainfall.
Cons: - Tee pads are way too small and favor a stand still technique. Some also had edges of dirt or roots at the end that are just waiting to cause and injury.
- Some tee signs were missing the distance.
- Bugs can get bad.
- Gates to the course only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Other Thoughts: My group played this course through a light rain directly after Beast. I found this course more enjoyable then Beast. The tee pads are terrible though, They are too small and some are sunken. I recommend preparing a stand still throw before playing this course if you don't already throw like that. This course could be pushed to a 5/5 for me if the tee pads were better, the tee signs were better and scorecards were provided. If you had to pick one Mason county course to play I would chose Beauty. The Mason County Courses are definitely worth traveling to. They are memorable and make for a great day of disc golf.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Challenging
Pros: - An absolute joy to play!
- Majority is tight and technical
- Accurate placement necessary
- Lots of elevation change
- Cement and rubber pads
- Starts off mostly open before it quickly tightens down in the woods.
- Spectacular views of Lake Michigan
- Winds are a factor and because of the lake can change multiple times in a single round.
Cons: - The tee pads in the wood are way to short
- Difficult to navigate. Foot paths run everywhere after the 3rd time playing I've finally got the order down. I normally am able to do this first time through a course.
- Hole #7 throws across the entrance to the park. From a car owners view that could really suck.
Other Thoughts: I had not played Beauty in a couple years and was delighted to discover holes A thru F. Vastly improved the course and made it the one to play out of the three in the park.
A great trip for the whole family. There's a play ground at the park for the kiddies. Just down the road is a beach (Buttersville, which dogs are allowed at).
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great course, nice hike through through the woods and park
Elevation changes truly made each hole exciting and challenging.
Clean and well maintained course
Plenty of people playing on the course--very pleasant
Cons: Had a hard time finding each hole
For a fairly new beginner didn't really have problems with course
I thought too many blind holes for no maps at the tee-pad's (also had a couple of goles that were marked wrong, I think)
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
The name says it all!
Pros: Very scenic, good shot variety, several elevation changes.
-Well layed out for the most part, and well maintained, with well defined fairways.
-Not much repetition between holes (even holes that require similar drives still "feel" different).
-Challenging, without be overly so. Not too tough for beginners, but still enough to challenge experienced players.
-Concrete pads on most holes.
-Not as much threat of losing discs as some courses (but still present).
-Score cards provided.
-Pavilion w/restrooms and picnic tables next to paved parking lot.
Can't exactly put my finger on why, but this course is incredibly "inviting" to play. Disc golfing at its most fun.
Cons: -Although I didn't, Pros and top Ams will find this course a bit too easy.
-One hole plays directly across the road near the park's entrance. Other holes have yo throwing along the road, where it (and cars) can come into play.
-Navigation: had to search for next hole few times or so, but not for too long. Better signs on the supplemental A-F holes and course maps on the cards would be an improvement, but given how this course is funded and the story behind this course (please read Other Thoughts), it's hard to ding the rating for that.
LOCALS: Course navigation could be enhanced by painting the spoke on each basket that points the way to the next tee pad.
Other Thoughts: Most enjoyable round I've ever played! You do yourself an injustice if you come here on a tight schedule - take your time and enjoy this gem.
An unusual, but incredibly symbiotic relationship exists here: this is a county park, but the property is owned by the local utility company. Yet all 3 courses in the park were designed by and are COMPLETEY maintained by local enthusiasts entirely on their own, with no funding or assistance from the county or power company. EVERYTHING about this course is literally a grass-roots effort: from mowing and weed-whacking fairways (and you think you got it rough doing your yardwork?) to tee pads, signs, score cards, gas for the mowers, trimmer line, etc. All of it was and is done by them, paid for by player donations ($1/day), or out of their pockets. What a GREAT example of peaceful co-existence. Kudos to the locals for making this happen - a major win-win!!
P.S. If you're hungry after playing, well worth the 7 mile drive north into downtown Ludington to soak up some local hospitality and grab a great burger at the local micro-brewery.
Update: Played hera a 2nd time, and while I continue to love this course more than most anything around me, I'm not sure it deserves the 4.5 I originally awarded. Still excellent by any measure, I'd give Beauty a 4.25 if I could, but I can't call it a 4.5.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Great complete package.
Pros: This course was a delight to play all 3 times I've played it. Its a very well maintained park in a beautiful setting.
Most of the concrete tees were large and quite clean. A few back farther in the woods could have been a little bigger and needed a sweeping but that was only a couple.
The pin placement is nice. Even the shorter holes had a bit of a challenge. Each hole was really its own.
We had no problem finding discs in the limited underbrush. Even if you do have a drive really get away from you finding it shouldn't be too much of a problem
Ace and birdie opportunities abound.
The wooded holes really made for a nice cool relief from the 80+ degree sun.
Cons: I don't know if this takes away from the courses score but it wasn't all that difficult. It is still definately worth playing and it took a solid day of driving and putting for me to leave even.
Though the holes along the roadway are nice they still play across and along the road which can definitely be an issue on a busy day and especially if you have a larger group and/or children with you.
Brooms at the tees would be very helpful on some holes especially the last 3 alternates which have rubber pads still.
Other Thoughts: This courses overall package is wonderful. A great balance of challenge and fun with some great scenery thrown in If you have a hard time on the other courses play Beauty to get some confidence back.
Even if you have a rough day disc'n take the walkway's out to Lake Michigan at the end of the park. They make for some wonderful picture taking. Going to the observation deck and checking out the incredible view is worth the big uphill hike.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Quite a Beauty!
Pros: Beauty sits in a scenic multi-use park with plenty of discing opportunities for everyone of all ability levels (3 different 24-hole courses).
This is a great course for a group of mixed abilities. Longer, open field holes give the power throwers a chance to shine while the wooded holes reward the shorter but more accurate throwers. All the wooded holes have definite fairways and most have multiple routes to the pin. I loved that there are no toss-n-pray pinball holes here. Strong wind off Lake Michigan is in play on some of the wide open holes and there are plenty of varied challenges for everyone! The course and surrounding park is very well maintained and there were very few places with thick shule in the rough.
This course is a nice balance of open, partially wooded, and thickly wooded holes with plenty of elevation changes for added fun. The course layout makes excellent use of all the myriad of terrain and vegetation changes available on its end of the park and incorporates a great mix of straight, fade, turn, "S", dogleg, and even J-hook shots. There are many blind shots here due to either foliage or rolling terrain changes, adding tot he challenge factor significantly. However, the wide and well defined fairways and lack of any really heavy shule makes the blind holes fun rather than frustrating. Chances of losing a disc here are pretty minimal. Paths between holes were well worn and obvious, for the most part.
The various entry points to the course were well marked and had rules signage, multi-course scorecards, and obvious pay-to-play boxes with a sufficient stash of envelopes.
Cons: Holy cow, that climb up to the #1 tee is a doozy!! Stairs of some sort would be really nice, but the view from there is amazing (although not quite as nice as from the Beast #1)!
Maps or more consistency in hole and "next tee" signage would be a benefit for first timers and cement tee pads for all the holes would earn this course a significant jump up in ratings. The alternate holes, while being some of the most interesting on the course, have a very definite "after thought" feel with minimalistic (often hand written) hole signage, few or no directional signs, non worn-in paths, and some rubber tee mats.
The main road into the park comes into play on at least 4 holes (2 along and 2 over), so watch for cars! Throwing along the road twice was bad enough, but having to throw across the road had me really scratching my head. Hikers and dog walkers also frequent areas in and around the disc golf courses.
Other Thoughts: We went early in the season, before the park was officially open so not all the scorecard boxes actually had cards in them and the restrooms were not open yet, but the supplied port-a-johns were clean and stink free. Even this early in the season the parking lot across the street was full by 3:00.
This scenic, well-kept park with great views of Lake Michigan is a fabulous place bring a picnic and hang out for the day! If you plan to stay all day you may want to pack a light jacket/sweater/hoody as the cold wind off the lake tends to pick up later in the day making sweaty, sunburned bodies chilly. When taken as a whole, the combination of courses at this park would rate at least a 4.5 or 5, and a minimal amount of course work and attention to detail would elevate this to a 5. However, as a first timer there, the frustration of trying to find our way around really took some of the joy out of being here.
*** Update 10/12/09 ***
A second round here with some knowledge of course layout and pin placement made for a much more enjoyable day. The course was once again really clean of trash although there was lots of downed leaves and branches from recent storms. Also, there are no facilities available in the park now that the building is closed for fall and we had a really unpleasant experience with a group behind us and their 2 out-of-control dogs. I LOVE dogs, but not everyone does, and even I was irritated by these 2 constantly following us, barking while putting and driving, and then having to listen to the owners hollering at them at the top of their lungs. Argh! If your pets won't stay close, PLEASE leash them!!!!
*** Update 7/23/11 ***
All tee pads have been updated to concrete although many are shorter than you'd expect. many, many small, low, red "Next Tee" signs have been added along the course making navigation MUCH easier. These 2 changes alone have inspired me to raise my rating a bit as this makes the course much more enjoyable.
However, I still argue that incorrect, shabby, and missing signage on many holes takes away some of the enjoyment and I feel it's absolutely inexcusable for a county park pay-to-play course. Ditto for the trash we picked up along the way.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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