2 Helpful / 5 Not
Fun Lake Michigan Course
Pros: Variety of holes. Some were downhill and long, some were short downhill, some uphill, good amount of dog-legs. The variety of shots was fun. Also had a good mix of open shots. Playing along Lake Michigan was great, both the views and wind. Good place to help teach someone how to play.
Cons: The hike up to hole 1 is intense, but the throwoff is well worth it. Sometimes its confusing where to throw from and where to throw to since there are 3 courses in the park
Other Thoughts: If you don't like wind, this is not going to be the easiest course. Then again, no place right next to a huge lake would be. The people who take care of this course really do care for it. Try to play your first round here with locals, it will really help ya out.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Not really Beastly...
Pros: The first positive aspect that comes to mind regarding Mason County - Beast is the groundskeeping. Fairways are mowed and the roughs are most often taller grasses. Baskets and tee pads are in good condition. The view from the first tee is amazing. We played Beast before Beauty and this view was a wonderful introduction to the property. Much like Beauty, the course was designed to test a number of different shot-shapes. However, unlike Beauty, there was sufficient variation in hole lengths.
Cons: There are really only 2 cons that I can think of. First, the navigation is very confusing. Goliath intertwines with the Beast and on a number of holes multiple baskets are in view from the tee. The best example is Hole #8 in which the fairway seems to follow a slight hyzer path up a moderate hill. There is a treeline down the right side of the fairway. A basket is on top of the hill. However, this is a basket for the Goliath course. The correct basket is through the wooded treeline on the right with no gap. This hole was pretty ridiculous. The good news is that this was the only hole on this course which I felt was poorly designed. The second con was the maturity of the extra holes. Like Beauty, they just seemed thrown together. No concrete tee pads had been poured. In a few years, natural processes will probably rectify this, but for now there is a noticeable difference.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course. I thought there were some excellent holes. While researching which courses to play on our trip, I guess I had envisioned Beauty being short and fun while Beast being long and difficult. I was right on with Beauty, but Beast really surprised me. It wasn't as difficult as I had expected. It was challenging, but not over-bearing. In short, if you are a moderately skilled disc golfer, don't be scared away by the name.
I enjoyed the layout of this course much more than Beauty. This course had some wooded holes, but was mainly open with designated fairways. You needed to be accurate to stay in the fairway, but there were multiple options off the tee. Many of the fairways were lined with dense bushes. I didn't list this as a con (because I like that the rough is punishing) but it could be difficult to find errant shots. Even if you can find it, expect a thorn or two as you retrieve your disc.
There are some really amazing courses in Michigan and the Beast at Mason County is no different. It is well worth the stop if you are in the area. Considering you have Beauty and Goliath on-site, and Leviathan and Flip City within a short drive, this is definitely a destination area for disc golf. These courses are well-maintained and fun to play.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Work of a mad genius...
Pros: Beautiful scenery on huge rolling hills belies the fact that this course lies next to a landfill. Challenging fairways that have you trying to hit the perfect s-curve to get to the basket tucked away in the woods. Some absolutely insane holes. Hole 1 is a 500+ foot shot off the top of a big hill to the basket on another big hill far to the left. A few deceptively short holes with thick trees let you try some finesse shots through brutal cover. And fairways well chosen to take advantage of the natural windows.
Cons: Will have your knees creaking from all the hills. Rather difficult to find your way around. It's easier to find the signs for the Goliath holes (also on site) than it is to find the next Beast tee. On the other hand, it's so pretty you don't mind having to look around for the tees your first time. I'm pretty sure that a lot of the distance markers are way off, and was told that the course has been redesigned somewhat since the holes were measured.
Other Thoughts: This course is clearly the work of a mad genius who both loves and hates disc golfers. As I walked around the course, trying to spot the baskets, I'd say to my friends "I bet the basket is tucked back there, because that's the most sadistic place to put it." Sure enough, the basket was there every time. It lives up to its name, giving you a challenging experience, and leaves you feeling proud to have vanquished the Beast.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Tough, confusing, challenging...
Pros: - well manicured holes
- great mix of woods and open fairways
- lots of elevation changes
- amazingly beautiful park with 3 courses
- good mix of long and chalenging short holes
- nice baskets
- lots of "thread the needle shots."
- a few big hill bomb shots that are amazing views.
- benches at most holes
Cons: - favors left handed throwers
- rough is very rough and punishing
- extreemly confusing layout, you will never figure this park out without a solid map or a guide who has played it before
- some rubber pads
- minimal signage, the ones that are there are pretty crappy and simple made.
-thick rough that loves to hide discs, coming out of the rough you definitely will be bleading from your legs or arms because of thorns and sharp vines everywhere. You are forced to play safe and keep it on the fairway.
- I dont like the fact that the "goliath" is just the "beast" played basically backwards, seems like a horrible idea where people are throwing at each other often around blind corners and over hills. Its a little unsettling.
- no cell phone signal available, if your well into the woods and get hurt you are in big time trouble for sure.
Other Thoughts: We were very confused for about the first hour here until we bumped into friends who were willing to guide us through the park. There are very few signs to help someone who hasent played there before. You will see several tee pads and several baskets from one spot and its a little difficult to figure the right hole to throw at. This is an extreemly long punishing park, it will punish you from begining to end. I had blisters on my feet after hiking through the course but I had a blast anyway. Its very beautiful right along lake michigan and some of the vantage points from the holes is amazingly beautiful. With better signs the park would probably be more more fluid to navigate. Plan on a whole day if your going to play more than one of the 3 parks at mason county complex. Its a great course but has potential to be better.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pay to Play
Pros: well marked.
it is tough but the best suited for my type of lefty play.
it has lots of diffrent types.
keeps you interested and slightly chalanged.
there is more then one course here so once you are done you can go on to another one.
Cons: if you get a disc not on the "fairway" on some holes most of the time you will not see it again. I have lost a total of 3 discs on this course in one round, no other has gone even close.
not many trash cans along the course.
Other Thoughts: this the bst marked of all the courses in mason county park. I got lost once on both of the other ones.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Epic elevation changes
- Well groomed and defined fairways.
- Some very memorable holes.
- Great tee signs with distance and hole number posted
- Challenging and interesting holes that utilize the terrain brilliantly
- I felt like each hole was a new and interesting challenge
- Some long holes with air space to really let some rip.
- Contained some smaller more technical holes.
- The park was very clean and tidy.
Cons: - Several tee pads are too short and have steep drop offs
- Wind can be tricky
- The main gate is only open between Memorial Day and Labor day
- Same with the bathrooms.
- Some of the brush is thick and seems to swallow discs, watch your disc finish to avoid losing one.
Other Thoughts: Beast is a great course, fitting it's name, most of the holes play much longer then the posted distances. Those who are new or don't throw very long may be frustrated by some of the longer holes. Though the fairways are defined there is enough aerial space to throw some long sweeping hyzers or anhyzers allowing for great variety. My group played through a light rain most of the round and the tee pads were not slick, and we still had a great time. #1, #3, D, and #18 are all highly memorable holes. Better tee pads, an open gate, and scorecards could push this course to a 5/5 for me. Coupled with Beauty, and Goliath (never played Goliath) the Mason County courses are definitely worth traveling to play.
*Update: My family visited the Mason County courses again the March and they had nice scorecards.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
One of those courses you never forget
-Hole one is the most scenic hole I have ever played!
-24 holes of Epic disc golf.
-Most tees have concrete pads.
-Baskets are sufficent.
-Highly challenging, favors power, distance and accuracy.
-High FUN factor!!
-Never busy, land is quite large and groups spread out quickly.
-Polite locals who are willing to help you out if you ask them.
-GREAT elevation changes. You'll shoot downhill and uphill in this mighty course.
-Needs more benches, I'd like to take in the scenary,
-Windy days can be a hazard for your discs (it could also be a huge advantage).
-Needs better signage (navigation is an issue if you've never played it) and markers.
-No water holes, one hole in which you hit concrete is considered out of bounds. It does not make up for lack of H2O.
-Alternate holes have poor signs and not all have paved concrete tee pads.
-The rough is truly rough, sometimes a spotter can be worth it. There is tall grass that will consume your time looking for it. There are cliffs you shoot off blind.
-Overall the course needs better improvements to be 5.0, but still worth playing
-Navigation can be an issue, take your time the alternate holes are worth playing.
Other Thoughts: -
-One of the highest fun factors I have ever played.
-GREAT course for BIG throwers
-Fun double tourney course or single tourney course.
-Lots of wildlife and in close proximity.
-A truly great course and a destination spot for the state of Michigan. This park has 3 excellent courses and about 3 miles away Levithan awaits!
-Very fun course to play
-I LOVE this course, the holes are truly epic and memorable. You will be challenged at any skill level playing this course.
-Each hole is different and unique which in my opinion is the best thing about this course.
-Some of the best scenery for Disc golf awaits you here!
-I would love to give this course a 5.0, but improvements in anemities are necessary in order for it to be perfect.
-If you are in the area or are planning a trip this is a course WORTH playing!
-Remember there are 3 golf courses at this park so plan a full day for the great experience!
Dog friendly area. My dog chased a fawn around in a circle for 10 minutes on hole 1. I finally got her to stop chasing and the fawn made it safely out of the Rotts game. After the round she slept soundly.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Definitely a Winner
Pros: The view from 1st tee!! (it's also a great hole to play, regardless of the view). You have to play this hole - the photos seem lame by comparison.
-Well suited to experienced players. Some holes make you pay for errant throws. Challenging, but still fun to play.
-Nice use of terrain to get wonderful. and well balanced shot variety. Not just a course for big arms (but distance definitely a plus on some holes).
-Those with a good tomahawk or thumber will find it useful on a few holes.
-Concrete pads on most holes.
-Not much repetition, each hole stands on its own.
-Score cards provided.
-Pavilion w/restrooms and picnic tables next to paved parking lot.
Cons: Navigation: more difficult than Beauty. Had trouble finding next tee on several holes (gets a bit more confusing on holes shared with Goliath). Couldn't find hole C at all.
-Some holes with no tee pads (A-F if I recall correctly).
-One hole required throwing across a road.
- Moderate possibility of losing a disc.
LOCALS: Course navigation could be greatly enhanced by painting the spoke on each basket that points the way to the next tee pad. Maybe one color for Beast, and another for Goliath.
Other Thoughts: Some will find the wind off the lake challenging, others frustrating. It definitely added some strokes to my score, but listing it as a "con" simply doesn't seem right. However, the ability to handle wind well would be a big plus on this course. Same with blind shots, and there are a few - not necessarily a con (although they increase chance of disc loss, which is always a negative).
An usual, 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.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 4 Not
Beauty's bigger brother.
Pros: Beast sits in a scenic multi-use park with plenty of discing opportunities for everyone of all ability levels (3 different 24-hole courses).
Beast definitely rewards power throwers with plenty of longer, open field holes and lots of uphill or downhill flight time. Beast's end of the park is closer to Lake Michigan making those wide open and elevated holes subject to some serious wind gusts. The long, free-flying drive from #1 is one of the highlights of this course, and is representative of its overall quality. The wooded and more closed-in holes on Beast offer more risk than those on Beauty, punishing errant throws pretty effectively with some seriously ugly lies. Beast also offers the challenge of a few blind holes for added fun. The course and surrounding park is very well maintained and there were very few places with ugly shule in the rough. Wooded holes are nicely thinned with definite fairways on most.
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 overhand shots. 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 and drive from there is amazing!
More consistency in hole and "next tee" signage or a map 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 have a very definite "after thought" feel with minimalistic (often hand written) hole signage, few directional signs, non worn-in paths, and rubber tee mats. We walked right by some holes a couple of times! The lack of good signage is particularly frustrating on Beast given the fact that Goliath plays in the same area. Arrrgh.
The main road into the park and a parking lot comes into play on a couple of holes, so watch for cars! 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, Beast was pretty busy and 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 or 4.5, 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.
We also made the mistake of playing Beast after Beauty, late in the day. Not a bad idea in and of itself, but as the day got later, the wind picked up significantly making the holes on the lake end of the course quite a challenge.
*** Update 7/23/11 ***
All tee pads have been updated to concrete and a few "Next Tee" signs have been added. While this raises enjoyment of the course somewhat, I still feel missing tee signs and getting lost on a pay-to-play course of this caliber, in a county park, is inexcusable and beyond frustrating. That said, I have elevated my rating by 1/2 disc to reflect the changes.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: This course is not as technical as what the beauty is, but more of a course to see what kind of big shots you can send out. Which can be a good thing to see how far you can really throw, just don't get careless lots of trees so it's not hard to lose a disk. Also this course has probably the hardest 140ft par 3 you will ever see, which I think is a great challenge. It's a great way to play and learn more inventive ways of playing in my opinion. The first hole of this course gives you a great view of lake michigan and just overall is a great looking course. Not really designed for beginners, but hey you have to get out and learn right. Come and throw this course you will have fun and get a great challenge.
Cons: Lots of trees and bushes, easy to lose a disc and poison ivy. Since you are next to lake michigan it can get very windy.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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