A Tale of Two Courses
10 Helpful / 0 Not
- nice concrete tees
- good incorporation of creek on holes 2 and 4 for some added challenge
- good distance on most holes
- some good elevation change on about 1/3 of the holes
- great high quality tee signs with full color maps and alternate pin positions shown
- multiple pin positions on each hole (only one populated at a time)
- some garbage cans and benches
- most of the course is mowed fairly well
- nice quiet area to connect with nature - moving water, squirrels, trees, etc.
- larger oak trees are a nice change from all the maples everywhere
- some mowing of high grasses could be better
- could use some next tee signs, will benefit from a map
- start of course is a bit hidden/odd by Streamwood city buildings
- some walking path hazards, but park is generally quite empty
- 8-10' tall marsh grasses on 7, 8, and 11 are pretty rough
- no practice basket, no restrooms
- no numbers on baskets doesn't help navigation
The reviewer who called it Sunny Marsh is right - half this course is shaded by large oak trees, and the other half you're getting baked on your head and soaked on your feet in marshland. This is a pretty unique course and overall I'd say I enjoyed it, though with some caveats.
The skill level here seems intermediate, and hole distances are generally average, with the exception of hole 15 at over 700' which clearly exists just to join 2 disparate parts of the course together. I typically don't care for extra long wide open holes like this, but I get it. The rest of the holes had some reasonable technical challenge and some ok elevation change- in both cases nothing incredible. The entire course seemed to have a lot of downed branches, presumably from recent storms, but that may not be the case all the time.
The marsh part of this course is interesting, especially being pretty close to Black Bear Park which is the only other "marsh" course I've seen. In a way, I love this because it's something that 's uniquely Illinois and shows what we can bring to disc golf that not everyone can. That said, it's kind of brutal to play in. This was a new record for me in terms of plant height - if you throw your disc in the marsh plants, some of them are easily 8-10' tall to the point where you could honestly lose your sense of direction hunting through them. Miraculously, I somehow completed this round with all of my discs despite a few majorly errant throws. This is definitely a good challenge, but one of the most frustrating types of disc hunts I've seen. Your feet will also get soaked if you have to go into the marshes at all - and sometimes even if you don't, as there is some very tall unmowed grass areas that can be soaking wet, particularly in the morning.
Hole 11 was definitely my least favorite - this hole shares a tee with the walking path, which isn't really ideal but is certainly not unheard of. However, you throw over tall marsh grasses to a rather blind landing out in the open. There is a flag to mark the basket, but it's hard to judge how far you have to throw to clear the marsh grasses, and you can't see where your disc lands so finding it can be a bit challenging. If you aren't confident in your throwing ability, this would be the one to skip.
If you happen to be on the other side of the course, it's easy to enter the park from Oltendorf Rd. and play starting at hole 14 and end at hole 13.
Safety issues here were pretty minimal, but you do have to be aware of the walking path on some holes. Navigation wasn't too bad but was a bit unclear at times. To get to hole 9, as you are walking up the hole 8 green there is a bridge to your left through the marsh grasses. If you can see the hole 8 basket you've gone too far, so this isn't totally obvious. Similarly, on hole 11 after you tee off you can cut through the marsh on some old pallets to your right, though they're a bit broken down.
I would probably come back and play this course again if I was in the area, but you have to be mentally prepared to lose discs and/or get wet. It's a cool course with some reasonable challenge and distance but definitely not one I'd want to play weekly, I think it would just start to wear on me. Overall, it's worth giving it a shot.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Easy yet challenging
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nicely laid out course. Love the 2 basket per hole, even though 1 set was up,
Mix of nature obstacles to create a challenge when playing.
Signage for holes and tee pads were great.
Cons: Hole #11 no designated tee box, have to use walking path as tee box.
Hole #13 tee sits close to a playground; could be a problem when weather is nice out.
A Baskets were down, which left the further set B Baskets. Made more of a challenge for a recreation/beginner player like myself.
Make shift boardwalks over creeks or through tall grassy areas, careful using could lead to muddy/wet shoes or injury.
Other Thoughts: Hole #15, 744 ft, should be at least a par 5 or 6 depending on skill level instead of a par 4.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Shady Oaks or Sunny Marsh?
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.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Will you lose a disc?
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.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A course to challenge you!
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.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Where character & challenge meet
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!
2 of 4 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.
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