Shady Oaks or Sunny Marsh?
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Nice, colorful, descriptive tee signs. Good tee pads and baskets.
- A handful of fun shots with some interesting lines and putting greens, particularly early in the course.
- Good distance variety including plenty of longer fairways for those who really like to air it out.
- Pleasant park with an interesting and somewhat unique environment for disc golf in Illinois.
Cons: - A large portion of the course consists of wide-open shots with limited line shaping.
- Easy to lose discs in the tall reeds and a few other locations.
- Fairways located in the marsh portion of the course frequently have standing water.
- Course layout results in many shots playing over or close to walking paths and near other fairways
Other Thoughts: Shady Oaks had been on my to-play-list of Chicago Suburbs courses for a long time, but the Joliet/Lockport area has such an abundance of good courses that it took me a couple of years before my desire to bag new courses reached enough critical mass for me to make the drive north. While I'm sure this is a great course to have nearby, there is not enough here for me to want to make a repeat trip.
I was interested to see what disc golf in a marsh would be like, and while the fairways bordering and crossing the tall reeds make for a very cool environment, it turns out I much prefer the layout presented in the first 4 or 5 holes. I particularly liked hole 2, with the basket perched on a tiny green just across a small creek that runs through the course, and hole 4, a great 2-shot hole that plays across that same creek on the second shot. Much of the middle portion of this course consists of wide-open holes, where the wind and OB paths create the challenge. One of the biggest issues affecting my enjoyment of this course was the standing water present in many of the fairways. Halfway through the course my feet were soaked, solely from playing lies that had landed in the fairways. This isn't only a comfort issue but makes second shot run-ups and throws difficult on the longer holes such as 10 and 15. It had rained in the week preceding my round, but not for a couple days, leading me to think this is a typical course condition. Bring your waterproof shoes to this course if you have them.
There are multiple pin positions at Shady Oaks, which is always great especially for locals. However, the tee signs, which are otherwise fantastic, do not indicate which placement is currently in use. This is especially problematic on some of the blind holes. Two of these blind holes play from one side of the mass of tall cattails to the other, something that can certainly be problematic when playing without a spotter. Discs going into the reeds have a great chance of never being found again. The walk from hole 10's pad to basket is very cool as you are flanked on either side by the towering reeds, but it is one of the only locations on the course that is not particularly cart friendly as the old path is entirely underwater, and the makeshift trail consisting of wooden pallets is not very sturdy or level.
This is a tough course for me to rate. There are a few holes I really like, and the environment is cool. However, the high chance of leaving with soaking wet shoes and socks and fewer discs dissuade me from playing a course with a lot of holes I find fairly boring. If you are in the area and don't have the time to travel further out, this is definitely a course worth playing, just come prepared for wet feet and extra safe play or skipping holes if you don't want to lose plastic.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Will you lose a disc?
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: * Design is good given the space and the marsh.
* Two holes are thrown over a marsh area with cat-tails.
* Three holes are thrown over a small creek (but not so small that you cannot lose a disc)
* One hole has an elevated tee
* One hole is over 700 ft !!
* There is a tuesday might blind draw with good attendance.
* Good amount of close parking.
Cons: * This is on a marsh so it can be challenging for a beginner (like me)
* I love to hate the course. I have lost discs (and found some), but I keep coming back.
* Bring some bug spray during summer evenings for sure
* If you have to dig around the marsh and grass areas....its not easy. The brush is thick and has stuff that makes you itch and smell swampy.
* Some of the baskets are missing. In some instances the pro baskets are missing, on others, the normal baskets are missing and only pro baskets are there but all holes have at least one basket.
Other Thoughts: I have lost discs here. I hate this course but keep coming back (prolly because I can walk to it from my house)
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
A course to challenge you!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Alternate pins
Forehand & backhand friendly
Long bomber shots
Teepads are nice give you plenty of space to get a nice run up
Great signs/ OB markings
Cons: Extremely rough off the fairways (12 foot tall cattails)
Standing water on some fairways
Other Thoughts: This is a great course to test your skills. You need a combination of accuracy and distance in order to score here, but mostly accuracy to stay safe and save strokes and discs. I wouldn't recommend this course to beginners because if you go into the cattails you're going to have a hell of a time finding your disc. There is also an issue of standing water on some of the fairways.
You will have fun challenging yourself here and grow as a player the more you come here.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Demands Accuracy and Power
Pros: - Very clear signage throughout with hole layout with A and B pin placements and distances.
- Technical challenges with path OB's (3, 5, 9) and small greens (2, 10, 15 kinda) demand specific shots or approaches that create a little more strategy.
- Sloped greens on a few holes and two elevated baskets.
Cons: - Marsh hazards on 8 and 11 are ones to avoid if you don't have someone to spot for you. 15 has enough visibility from the tee to not be a problem.
- Hole 15 par may be incorrect on the sign, read as Par 3 for 739ft to the A pin. Would think that should be a Par 4, at least.
- Parking lot was difficult to locate. Ended up on opposite side of park by hole 14, but worked out.
Other Thoughts: Wind can have a big role in your round between holes 5-11, 15-18, so disc selection is key. Have options for tailwinds and headwinds.
Not a real beginner friendly course as it is largely par 3's at 300+ feet, but you can play smart golf to get a feel of the course and throw some big, open shots. Yet it is a fair challenge in accuracy for intermediate players.
Where character & challenge meet
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Good mix of distance holes
-Elevated pins on 6 & 8 make things interesting
-Alternate pin locations
-Brand new tee signs in the process of going in (UPDATE - TEE SIGNS IN AND GORGEOUS)
-Really nice & secluded park
Cons: -Not the best with standing water/flooding
-Some old sleeves damaged
-Parking lot is hard to locate
Other Thoughts: Shady Oaks is a rare breed of course - it is well loved and taken care of by the locals that frequent the park.
Not beginner friendly in anyway, Shady Oaks demands accuracy & angle control if you want to leave that day with all the discs you brought with. Good mix of distance throughout. The cattails and swamp from holes 7 to 11 can be deadly. To score well on this track, aggressive play is needed in order to get the birdie. The alternate pin positions are instrumental in allowing the course to have a different flow as well as challenge. This is definitely a blue level course, ranging in par from 55-59 depending on layout. If you are in the Streamwood/Elgin area, Shady Oaks and Rolling Knolls make for a great day of disc golf!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Water hole
Heavily wooded hole
Very far Hole
Cons: They need to mow those weeds!
High potential to lose discs on multiple holes
Hole 1 & 2 seem extremely short
Other Thoughts: I like the layout of this course a lot, however I hate how poorly maintained it is. Another issue I would place money on a beginner playing all 18 holes to lose at least one disc. There is extremely tall grass at multiple spots in this course.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Disc golf in a marsh
Pros: This is a challenging course. Not impossible, but challenging.
Weekly $8 dollar doubles tournaments 6 pm Tuesday's.
Under the bridge at hole 2 is a disc retriever to fish your discs out of the shallow water. Look inside the railings under the bridge.
My "Pros" section is small for a reason. There are not a lot.
4: Very nice par 4, whip out your most under stable driver. Very rewarding birides! Not a gimmie.
6: Nice placement shot with an elevated basket,
15: Nice par 5, 850 ish feet, very birdie-able.
Cons: You are playing in a marsh. If you decide to play this course, I just want you to understand its a full blown marsh. I don't mean the ground is a little wet. This is a marsh. Cattails, standing water, algae, frogs, snakes, bugs, long saw grass.
This course loves to eat discs. I'm just going to say, with no exaggeration, if you throw in the cattails, your disc or shoes and socks are gone.
Bring a towel, the water is absolutely foul. In every imaginable way. If you need to get a disc out. Be prepared.
Not a nice area, I hide everything under my seats when I park my car. Do not leave valuables in your car.
Parking lot is terrible and hard to find. Also once you get into the parking lot, you'll probably be very confused to where the disc golf is. Tee 1 is hidden behind giant park district service trucks.
Hole 1, 2 and 3 are a little lack luster, not terrible, but they don't really get you engaged in the game.
Hole 7: Cattails right, you do not want to go it.
Hole 8: Very brutal OB if you play doubles. You have to have the right disc for this hole. If not, no big deal easy lay up and the hole is enjoyable.
Hole 9: I'm not going to type an essay describing this hole. But its a ticky tacky shot in which you throw a boring hyzer, from an open tee pad, through a mini tunnel for a lay up shot. It's impossible to drive the full 300 feet of the hole, because if you put that sort of speed on the disc you cant make the mini tunnel's turn. I tomahawk over.
Hole 10: Cattails = dead disc
Hole 11: You have to own a sidewinder or roadrunner for this hole, you have to play it with a spotter. Or you'll search forever! Even if you make it over. There is no vision whatsoever of the basket. You throw blind over 75 yards of cat tails in all directions.
Hole 12: Long grass on the left and you're searching for 20 minutes at least.
Hole 13: I hope you're a lefty, and the way the trees are discourage forehands.
Hole 14, if you throw a disc into the woods on the left. It's super gone. It's very dense brambles, thorn trees and thorn bushes.
Other Thoughts: I don't mean to rip on the course too much. I just want people to know what they're getting into. The course does offer some nice holes, and even some elevated baskets. Just prepare to lose a disc.
The course also has a local disc hunter who spends all day everyday hunting discs and if your name and number is on it. He will call and sell it back to you for 5 dollars.
The people are not friendly
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Good Course close to City
Pros: Lots of different shots, lefty righty, backhand flicks.
No shots that are only possible for a pro.
Some longer holes, some short.
Water in play, but not punishing.
Easy to navigate, easy to get to.
Cons: Reeds are crappy to search for discs, especially if you really shank one. Could use one or tow more holes with tight lines. The only really tight hole is very short.
Other Thoughts: Fair layout that players of all play style can score on.
Every hole can be birdied. Only two holes alternate positions are nearly impossible to birdie. However, don't expect to birdie them all.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Great for intermediate players
Pros: -18 long holes to play
- pretty open course with a few wooded holes
-most trees do not present a hazard when throwing
- a few water hazard holes
-great course to practice those long drives
-close to a couple other decent courses
Cons: -not much cover to filter out wind
-cat tails make water hazards even more difficult to play around
-flat, depressed fairways on a few field holes flood easily
-hard to navigate in the middle of the course by the subdivision
Other Thoughts: This is a great course in my opinion. You get a little of everything here. The holes are long enough to make a decent day out of one round and there are 2 or 3 other courses relatively close by that are worth checking out. One in particular is black bear-only a couple miles away.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great 18 hole course with good length. Course has a wide variety of hole types, and requires many different shots. Primarily very open, however, hole 15 is a nice shot through ticker tree cover. All trees on the course are very well established and large. There are two small creeks that offer a nice water hazard throughout the course. Stay out of the cattails!!! You will loose a disc, but if you find mine please call.
This couse is one of my favorites this close to Chicago, and I definitely recommend a play. The course is very open, but still very challenging because of the length. The majority of holes are over 300ft however, there are still several that are nice shots under this length. Nice cement tee pads on just about every hole except for a few of the shorter ones.Course is failry well marked, and in general is not too crowded.
Though it's probably not legal we were able to drink throughout the course with no problems and there are plenty of trash cans.
Good course to take both beginners, because of the lack of trees, and experienced players, because of the distance, and everyone should have a good time.
Cons: I still have yet to find the first hole tee pad and I have been there three times now. We consistently start on hole 2. Though the cattails are an excellent hazard, be aware that you WILL NOT FIND YOUR DISC if you throw into them. The course is almost too open with not enough trees, but luckily the length of most of these holes makes up for it, especially the 800 ft bomb you get to throw on 16. The course is also covered in goose droppings, but this is invedible because cook county does not allow duck hunting as far as I'm aware. Currently a low spot has filled with water and presents an extra pond to throw over for several of the holes, but you can wade in an find your disc quite easily.
In general this couse could certainly be a phenominal course if it had two things, elevation changes, and more trees. Imagine your favorite course without the trees and without the hills and you get this one. I really like it because I just get to bomb every drive with no thoughts of hitting a tree, but you literally do the big drive, lay-up, put combo every single time. Great practice for those courses where you really want your game at the top.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course for those living in Chicagoland. It's open, but a little far away from the city. If you want a nice open couse that you can drink at with little risk of consequence this is your course. Similar courses in the area that are a little closer include Madison Meadows in Lombard, as well as Katherine Legge Memorial Park. I have had a blast playing this course every time, but just beware that the cattails eat your frisbies and don't spit them back. If anyone finds a new sidewinder with my name please call, my girlfriend is not happy I lost her disc, you will be rewarded. Happy discing.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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