7 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Mad City course
Pros: BEAUTIFULLY maintained. The course is right off the highway, and very easy to get to. Two sets of great concrete teepads and multiple pin positions add a lot of variety in the length, layout, and challenge. Lots of different lines through manicured fairways. Holes average between 250-550' or so, and in the longest layout, is definitely a play-for-par type of course.
Playing here definitely feels more like a ball-golf round, due to the overall groomed feel, and beautiful landscaping.
The layout is very easy to follow, and offers good deuce opportunities, and rewarding par holes (#5 is the standout). The rough is pretty light, but the woods will definitely take away an easy shot if you stray out of the fairway.
Pay-to-play. This is the direction our sport should go in, and when the money goes towards keeping the course in this condition, it's well worth the price.
Cons: Mostly open, with very little elevation change. Some of the holes are similar at the 260-300' range. The course could use a few more good par 4 holes or doglegs.
Watch out for bugs in the summer, and bring some Off.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth checking out, and worth paying for! There are park people walking the course backwards on most days to check for the payment, to keep people honest!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Great to change it up sometimes
Pros: Edit(6/5/12): The new back 9 holes are amazing. They offer a very different playing field than anything else on the course, or even compared to all the Madison courses. Very open, which is something I'm not used to so it was very fun to play those for the first time.
Great course. Fairways and even the rough prairie area gets mowed. Three pin placements on most if not all holes. Definitely worth going to even for the money. I wouldn't spend the daily fee if I planned to go there a bunch though. It does have some elevation change, but not much. The fairways are still nicely plotted which does make up some for the mainly flat land. It's a pretty tough course, though not bad. The holes offer a good amount of variation for different throwing styles. Also from what I've seen, the pro tees look pretty challenging. It also seems that most of the times discs are easier to find than at Hiestand park.
Cons: With the $8 day pass you're best off buying a season pass. The Glide disc golf pro shop next to Hiestand park usually has season passes for sale, otherwise they can be found online or purchased through the regular day pass sheet/envelope. Bugs can also be an issue, but that's part of being in Wisconsin.
Other Thoughts: The nine extra holes should be finished some time in 2012, which I believe is the reason for recent price increases for day passes. I do agree that the fee is an alright thing since I hate seeing things like beer cans and bottles littered all over Hiestand. I still personally like Hiestand park better, but Vallarta-Ast is still a great course, I just like the variety and topography that Hiestand offers. I still plan to visit token creek a lot, and can't wait to see the new holes.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Good open fairways, kept up by the county parks dept. Some tight fairways.
Cons: Minimal elevation changes. Loud Interstate 90 noise.
Other Thoughts: Nice to play when Heistand is busy like during Tuesday league. Nice nature conservation area.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautifully Manicured - Not as much variety as the free courses in Madison
Pros: Immaculately manicured and upkept. Gorgeous park setting for a country-club like atmosphere. You will be impressed when you play here. There are elevated tee areas, terraced greens, and well kept up and wide fairwways. The rough is also nice and rough, enough to severely punish a bad shot. The concrete tees (both sets) are nice and large and not too badly eroded around the edges. 3 pin placements are a nice option, but a con is that they are not identified on the tee sign.
Cons: Pay to play is always a con, especially at a location with only 18 holes (private course aside). Plus pay to play brings an expectation that the course will have great amenities and grooming attention to detail. There is very little elevation here beside a few minor ridges around the property in front near the road. There are no good really wooded holes under a canopy (a tomahawk will get you past most trees in play here). There is no water hazard here at all and very little OB. One problem with the hugely manicured fairways is that you can be off course on your drive but still have a decent approach due to lack of obstacles. This reduces the 'necessary skill shot' factor.
Hole 3 has quite a bit of traffic noise from the interstate.
Other Thoughts: The country club look of this course just begs and screams for a higher rating, but I simply cannot. Don't let the 3.5 rating fool you, you will love this course and thoroughly enjoy your time spent playing. Plus, in conjuction with Elver and Heistand, you get huge bang for your buck in the Madison area. The country club setting does NOT get the extra points in this case becuase the course is pay to play - so I EXPECT IT! At Token, you don't get the elevation or really tight wooded tunnel holes you get at the other two Madison courses. Since Token is pay to play, and the other Madison courses are not, I rate the other two higher because I'd RATHER play them. While they are not nearly as nicely manicured as Token, sometimes manicured isn't always the best and big bush rules. But since the other courses are so nice, and Token is pay to play, and I rate courses relative to one another and how likely I am to play one over another, I have to rate Token just a bit lower than Elver or Heistand. But also by comparison to my other reviews, Token is probably the best of all the courses I rated 3.5 (3.75 would be ideal in my list of reviews).
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Variety. Plenty of semi-open holes with pin placements strategically tucked away, making some easy-looking holes play a lot tougher. Gentle elevation, but even this comes into play with these strategic placements (drop-offs immediately after basket, rock ledges). Lots of lefty holes.
2. Maintenance. Your $5 (UPDATE: $8) quite obviously goes into the upkeep out here, with beautifully manicured fairways and great-looking tee signs.
3. Concrete tees.
4. Dual tees.
5. Signature holes. I think the back-to-back scenery on Hole #5 and #6 really adds a lot to this course, but it lacks any holes where you step up to the tee and say, "Wow" and pull out the camera.
6. Trash cans everywhere. It's obvious that the Mad Town DG community respects their courses, as litter was scarce to nonexistent (save for the inevitable cigarette butts...lazy asses can't field strip 'em and put 'em in their pockets, I guess).
Cons: 1. From the long tees, you're looking at a lot of length, and several of the longs don't add to or change the feel of a hole; they simply add distance (one-half to three-quarters of a drive in my case).
2. No water hazards. Even a little man-made pond or two would add a LOT of challenge if done properly. Hole #1 would benefit immensely by putting one just left of the tree. Maybe some big landscaping boulders?
3. Mostly flat, but like I mentioned above, even the slight elevation is utilized to its fullest potential.
4. Slight navigation issues as to which path (sometimes there are several) to take after completing a hole. Fortunately, if you grab a scorecard/map from the permit area, you should be able to figure out the flow without too many problems.
Other Thoughts: I wish I'd had more time to play another round while out here. This was only my second time at Vallarta-Ast, and the first time was during the 2007 Mad City Open, which really took away from the enjoyment I get from a recreational round. This is a beautiful course overall, and most players should appreciate the surrounding beauty and upkeep. Really friendly locals. Make sure you pay your $5--not just to support the course, but because you run the risk of something like a $150 fine if you're caught without a permit, and you more than likely won't be able to finish up your round.
UPDATE: The pay-to-play fee is now up to $8. While $5 was "reasonable," this new fee, even though only a few bucks more, just isn't justified by the type of course this is compared to the other courses in the area. If paying results in this kind of impeccable upkeep, I'd get 100% behind ALL Mad Town courses going pay-to-play in order to transform the eroded and litter-prone Elver and Hiestand into lush green space like this. I have to adjust my rating here slightly in view of the other courses I've played since originally rating this, and the fact that the Parks Department keeps raising the fees, which is only going to drive down traffic if that continues.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
B+ = You Be Feelin' Positive After Playing This
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B- (The fairways are very wide and other than 2-3 holes it is hard not to recover for par after a mistake. With the fairways so wide, there is not a lot of decision making needed)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == B- (Almost all the long tees are too long for me to get a birdie and are too short for pars to feel rewarding. The shorts are mostly too short for me to not expect a park job all the time.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B (There is good variety and balance. Problem is, with the wide fairways the course gives you too much latitude on how exactly you need to shape your shots.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A+ (This is the aspect that boosts things way up. Even though my technical and competitive needs are not met by this course, I can not help but feel ecstatic and pampered playing here. The beauty, the maintenance and the amenities/small touches are amazing! Kudos to the designers and caretakers! Thank you for showing us how disc golf can be in this department!)
5) Bonus points for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == C+ (There are 3 holes from the longs that I consider real multi throw holes. Hole 5 requires decent distance and good placement on the drive to be a good shape to park an upshot especially when the basket is in the longest position. Great hole! Holes 2 & 15 are both 530' and as such are unreachable by mortals, but are nothing too exciting requiring only a 300' drive and a 230' approach. IMO, 50' more and they would be much better holes.....but, I am always way thankful to see several multi-shot holes of any type on any course!)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: good tee pads and signs clear paths to next hole
Cons: So busy you allmost cant play I dont know where they get "well groomed or champ caliber course" but this was far from it! also bring lots of bug spray!!!!!
Other Thoughts: i want my five dollars back!!!
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Well maintained, well designed, and good variety
Pros: 1) Incredible facilities . . . bathrooms available . . . trashcans at every teebox . . . nicely built and maintained tee signs (with all pin locations indicated by a painted dot on the sign) . . . benches at most holes if not all . . . baskets are in great shape . . . well maintained lawn areas ( it is obvious these areas get mowed frequently and to an acceptable height for general use.)
2) Well designed course using the slight elevation changes on the property to its advantage (albeit minor elevations). This course uses the prairie style property to its best capacity. It also finds some mature trees throughout many of the holes which are integral to making this course what it is. If it was just prairie style with mowed fairways it would be boring.
3) There are a lot of different shots required despite the open feel of many of the holes. Well placed trees force you to pick a line either left or right of the tree . . . having a sidearm as well as backhand also would be helpful to playing this course well. This may actually be the first time I have tried to throw the sidearm more than just trying to get out of trouble. I threw it on 2 or 3 drives where it was more important to get the right flight than to throw it far!
4) Dual concrete teepads are in excellent shape.
5) Well placed trees on some of the more open holes . . . which helps to break up the monotony a little bit. These trees along with the changing fairway direction are helpful to making this course as good as it is. There are a few holes with multiple doglegs.
6) Course flows well from hole to hole and is fairly easy to find.
7) Excellent use of the three basket setup forcing different shots to different baskets.
8) Also uses well designed and placed boulder walls to protect the baskets and force some layup!
Cons: 1) Monontony . . . The prarire style course just isn't as exciting to me as the other two in Madison. Fortunately there are many mature trees incorporated into the course.
2) Property is a little lacking in elevation changes and other important features. Fortunately it has a handful of large mature Oaks and other trees. There are no tunnel type shots which I value highly in my overall evaluations of courses.
3) Confusion can arise in certain areas where the course crosses other multiuse trails like horse trails etc. Keep your eyes open for the next signpot or tee bench area.
Other Thoughts: Of all 3 of the courses in Madison area this is the best course because of its facilities. I know it is pay to play and maybe that is the difference . . . if this is the difference I would like to see a nominal fee at all courses because truthfully Heistand and Elver if charging a $5 per day fee could be equivalent or better than this course. I think those properties are better in design and overall property charactersitics but they dont have any money to make the courses better.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Disc golfers Heaven
Pros: I loved the fact that there were alternate tees.
I loved the fact that there was so much variety to the course.
I loved that I did not see one piece of garbage.
I loved how well manicured the course was.
Cons: The baskets were cheap/small.
Some of the fairways were a little close together.
Five dollars a day seems a little steep.
Other Thoughts: I loved this course! Lots of diversity and beautiful atmosphere. I loved the fact that you can camp so close to the course.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Very quiet, and beautiful. Well worth the daily fee. Never been greeted by park staff, or receipt checkers. Very little traffic here.
This is a course that is long, but pretty wide open on every single hole. There are no water hazards, no steep elevation changes, and no playing "PLINKO" in a tight group of trees.
Cons: This course does not "have it all". This course just has everything that I prefer in a course.
Other Thoughts: I make a day trip once a year to this course, and have an absolute blast. Usually get there around 9am, and play three very casual rounds broken up by a lunch and plenty of drinking. Of the 18 courses I've played, this is my favorite. I like the sheer beauty of this course, with it's well-groomed trails, fairways, cleanliness, etc.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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