3 Helpful / 1 Not
Confusing first experience
Pros: Well laid out course. Some good long holes mixed with some shorter technical shots makes for varied play. Minor elevation changes keep things interesting.
Cons: Very confusing for someone playing there for the first time. Very easy to play towards the wrong basket on several holes, as you don't know where you are supposed to be throwing towards. All the yards in the area seem to drain into the park, so any significant rainfall will flood the lower areas of the course.
Other Thoughts: Bring a spotter. Several holes play along, through, or over tall grass in swampy areas. You'd best be covered in bug spray, old shoes, and long pants if you are going to venture into there to look for your disc. Overall a decent course that is much more entertaining once you have struggled through your first round and know what you're aiming at.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
C+ = As average as the come
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- C+
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- C-
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- C+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- C+
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C-
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor...more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage...if what I say adds anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
fight, bite, bite, fight
Pros: Big arms will like the longer holes on this one. There are some technical, tight holes, but those are broken up by cattails and swampland.
There are some minor elevation changes here. It's just enough to get you used to the fact that not everywhere is flat like central IL.
There are a few baskets on the sides of hills. Good luck putting! That's a nice challenge I'm not accustomed to - it cost me a stroke each time.
Should you get hungry or need an emergency bottle of Off!, there are a lot of nearby options.
The layout is well thought out to the land. These holes are well planned, mixed, varietied, and kept up.
Cons: Bring your junk discs here. When it's summer and everything's grown, you can lose a disc rather easily.
Some blind shots will question your rationale.
First timers will, without a doubt, have a tough time figuring this place out. At one point, you will tee off from the backend of a grammar school's playlot.
Yeah, that's not confusing.....
Peoples' backyards back into this course. Bad, bad news, man...
Other Thoughts: Either I or my discing party has gotten into a fight here each time we've played. It's mainly due to cocky MF's who don't want others to play thru.
This place can get crowded, so beware. There are some ritzy neighborhoods nearby, and there are some less than ritzy neighborhoods nearby.
If this course was placed in a less dense area (i.e. you're not poking around someone's fenced in backyard for a wayward disc), it'd gain at least a full star.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Not sure how I feel about this course...
Pros: Decent layout. I believe this course used to be nine holes only, and they've expanded to 18 in the last 5-10 years. Good amount of parking for this larger course. Decent obstacles, though not on every hole. Fair layout, providing a number of different challenges with tall grass and trees.
Cons: Please disregard where the course description says this course is "easy to navigate." While there may be markers at the tee area, they are very unclear as to where you will be shooting. No concrete tees is disappointing, and the first tee is pretty tough to find. The parking lot closest to the road has a sign saying "disc golf course", but the first tee is quite a ways from there. The baskets are terribly rusty and need updating in the worst way. Very murky/swampy, and not fun to navigate through in some points. Little change in elevation.
Other Thoughts: I was disappointed with this course. I might enjoy it if I play through again with someone to spot my discs (thankfully I didn't lose any), but I was just not pleased with this. '744 is totally excessive for a single hole, but I guess that's a personal preference. I wouldn't play this course alone again...very, very easy to lose a disc in the brush. I was thankfully able to find one after an errant throw on hole 9. Bottom line, not a great course to play. It was somewhat busy, but not the worst I've seen. Very friendly people at this course, but the course itself left a lot to be desired.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course design, but flawed
Pros: Outstanding variety of holes, with plenty of interesting twists; holes on sides of hills, among thick saplings, at bottom of hill in front of creek, on other side of creek from most of fairway, etc.
Most fun I've had playing in western suburbs of Chicago.
Cons: Wet, wet, wet ground- I think I'd wait for at least a week after the most recent rain to play here, otherwise a third to half of the fairways have standing water.
Definitely possible to lose a disc, between the stream and some large areas of dense brush.
Poor signage makes it hard to navigate for first-timers (I threw from 8's tee to 9's basket my first time and didn't realize my error until I saw the next tee said 10).
Wood-chip tees are annoying if you're not used to them, but I suppose better than the mudpits they'd be if this wet course tried dirt tees.
Other Thoughts: Obviously, reading my review and others', this course has problems. In my opinion, the playing experience makes it well worth coming anyway, although I'd certainly try to wait for a sunny day after a string of other sunny days.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
I like it
Pros: I really do like this course for what it is. It has a mix of things, and is pretty challenging. I think this course, Shady Oaks in Bartlett, and Campton Hills in St. Charles give the area a well rounded choice of parks to play in.
Cons: Wet, buggy. Most of us have lost a disc or two in this course.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Shady Oaks has some very interesting shots with some baskets on hillsides and some baskets dangerously close to the creek. Good combination of long and short shots.
Cons: I had some trouble finding hole 1 - it wasn't very well marked. The signs are big wooden signs that just tell you the hole number and distance. If you don't know the course, you will probably have some trouble navigating through it. The locals were very helpful in pointing me in the right direction though. The course is very swampy and it does not have concrete teepads - which can cause some slippage in the mud. The baskets are pretty old and they spit out a lot of putts.
Other Thoughts: It wasn't one of my favorite courses. For me, it just doesn't have greatest atmosphere.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring your hip waders
Pros: The area around Shady Oaks is dominated by 9 hole pitch and putt courses. Shady Oaks is 18 holes and has some decent distances, making it a favorite for the more serious players in the area. The majority of the area the park encompasses is a swampy area that is a detention basin for run off from the surrounding neighborhoods. It has some nice space, and one of the big selling points to disc golf is we can use "wasted" land that isn't good for anything else. This would be a classic example, as the land is really not appropriate for anything other than a walking path. Holes #1, #2 and #13 use a little elevation, otherwise the course is basically flat. Most of the holes are open (holes #1, #2 & # 13 are moderately wooded) but they offer a bit of distance. There are several shots in the 350'-400' range. The tee for # 1 is in an odd spot (the tee for # 2 is the easiest to find) but once you locate the first tee the course is relatively easy to follow.
Cons: The tees are dirt and in poor condition. Given the swampy nature of most of the course, the tees are often muddy and footing is treacherous, making those longer holes even more difficult. The swamp does come into play in a few spots, so waterproof socks are a good idea here. The swamp is also home to a healthy bunch of mosquitoes, so bug spray is highly recommended. There are few trees and not a lot of elevation, so the holes start to get monotonous. Hole #15 is 700'+, but it is a classic example of "long for long's sake." The baskets are old and mostly have the shallow basket attachments. The basket on hole #14 is badly bent. A new set of baskets would be an definite improvement. The beat-up rusty baskets are in keeping with the overall look of the park; lots of garbage and broken glass laying around, battered tee signs, broken-up slat bridges and the overgrown look of the swamp make this park less than attractive. The baskets for # 3 and # 18 are pretty close together, and there has been a general confusion over which basket was for which hole when I have been there. One basket has no number and the other has the number torn off the front of the number plate. There is an "18" on the back of the number plate, but it looks like a "3" filled in with sharpie to read "18." At any rate, if that was the basket for #18 you have to walk in front of it to get from the # 3 basket to the # 4 tee.
Other Thoughts: Because it is a detention basin for storm water run off, it floods pretty quickly in a hard rain. If you are there and it starts to rain heavily, you should run for the hills.
The Chicago area has very little in the way of good courses. Because of that, some lackluster courses are regarded very highly locally because they are the best that the area has. Shady Oaks would be one of those courses. Rated against the other nearby courses, Shady Oaks would have to be considered one of the best. Rated just on its own merits, it is far too flat and open to really be anything special. Add in the bad tees and bad baskets and it is a pretty disappointing course.
***UPDATE: It appears that concrete tees and new baskets have been installed since I last played the course.***
***Update Two - When I went back to Shady Oaks I was expecting to bump up my rating. I was under the impression that improved baskets and tees would make a big difference. In reality, it was more like lipstick on a pig. The course was still flat, open and swampy set in an ugly Water Reclamation District site masquerading as a park. There is a dedicated group that have done a lot of work on the course, and their efforts are appreciated and applauded. By raising the pins on #6 and #8, they are making an attempt to do something about the boring so-so golf this course has to offer. In the end, it's still boring so-so golf. It is still one of the best courses in the area, but that says more about how bad the courses in the area are.
When this was the closest course to my house I played it a lot. Probably 1/2 of the time I was so bored by the golf that I skipped #16-#17. It was just two more boring open shots, and you can just walk over to #18 from #15 and get out of there. Even now with concrete tees and new baskets, I had to force myself to pay #16-#17. Good courses make me wish I had time to play another round. This course makes me try to figure out how quickly I can get the Hell out of there. Even with the improvements, I can't raise my rating.***
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Very good layout. like the water hazzards. Distances make things interesting too.
Cons: Not really a con but I'm not used to teeing off from wood chips! Most courses are either natural grass/dirt or concrete.
Other Thoughts: Someday I'll get back to the area to play again!
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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