A Fantastic Can't Miss Course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I drove up from Cincinnati this weekend to play courses to the west of here ( mainly Flip City and Mason County Parks ) and was looking up & down US-131 for courses to play on day 2 , after making a reservation in Rapid City . At the last minute , I decided to copy the information for Northbend Riverside Park and give the courses a try , since 2 of them were in the same park , After reading previous reviews , I thought this was going to be just a better than average course . I can't believe I almost passed on these courses . When you print or look up directions for this course , make sure you drive 4th street until you already look like you are in the park and keep looking to your left . You will come to a large parking area eventually , so turn in and park on the right handed side of the closest spaces available . You will see a large kiosk near the entrance to the parking lot , with a huge map of all 36 holes , East and West course , and sign that reads that it is the Home Course Of Ferris State University , 2017 National Disc Golf Champions . You will see the first tee for the West course right across the street .Since I didn't know that a college champion disc golf team claimed this as their home course , and the distances aren't marked on the scorecard online , I wasn't sure what to expect . The baskets are nice Discatchers with the yellow banded tops , especially nice for long or wooded holes ( dusk play ). There are concrete tees throughout the course . I think when Ferris State started claiming this course , someone spoke up and said " these tee pads are too short " . Most of them seem to have been shored up by pouring more concrete into or connecting pavers to the front of the tee pad for the holes. On a number of the holes , they have poured more tee pads , closer to the hole , maybe so many families in the park or newbies and casuals aren't scared off from the length of some of these holes .The signage was one of the most unique and best designs I have ever seen . They are a metal , cut out at the top of it , telling you that it is West or East and number you are on . This is a huge help as you leave a basket , you can read the sign , course and number from the front OR the back . The front of the sign gives you a good description of the hole and the length . Both look accurate . The course itself is pretty easy to follow if you are paying attention . In case you are talking to your playing partners and forget which path you are on , there is help . I have never seen this before , but at several junctions of the course , there is the same large sign hanging up that you saw at the kiosk in the parking lot with the large map of the courses and where you are . What an incredibly original idea . I have played well over 500 courses in my life and have NEVER seen that before . I wasn't real impressed with the first hole , a Hyzer 235' that sits back in a cove of brush and trees . Then the gloves came off . I was intent on playing this course straight up so I could compare with scores of some of the college players if I could find their scores somewhere . The next hole #2 almost doubled the first hole in length ( 425' ) . It is a tough narrow fairway slight anyhyzer with heavy brush on the right and left . Most of the fairways her are narrow or risk/reward shots , some actually having landing zones for the longer holes . Bring your A game or face time digging your disc out of the trees or brush . I was never in jeopardy of losing a disc here , as most of the heavy rough are those plants that grow like little trees from the ground and can see your disc under them pretty easy , which is . Another plus .#3 will literally punch you in the stomach. It is a 900' hole through narrow winding fairways to a tight green under trees , making it hard to throw over and know where you land . You may have to throw 3 different kinds of drives on this 1 hole ( I took my only 6 of the weekend on this %$#!!?** hole . I was playing alone and it was early morning , so I don't think there was anyone on the course yet , but I swear that I felt at times that the spirits of the Ferris State coach and players were standing behind me and evaluating my every throw ( I heard the whisper " Nice 6 " ) . You now go through a few holes ranging over 400' where shot placement should be your prime objective . I took 4's on a couple of them , watching my score start to balloon and wondering what I did to deserve this , then the holes became shorter ( mid to low 200' range ) as you entered the woods .I took my only Deuce on #10 , then followed it up with a ricochet drive 4 on the next hole . The Ferris State spirits were now asking if I want to just keep score for the team or be a fairway spotter for home games . Another great feature on this course are signs that give you direction AND give you the option of cutting your round short , sometimes for a 12 hole round . Once you enter the woods , you will see varying length and the most elevation on the course , which gratefully , there is not a lot of here . Even though the holes are short , the fairways are tight and the baskets well placed . A cool area and fun place to take a breather is #12's tee . It has a kindling type hut with sticks pile up behind it with a bench to sit on , and at the tee pad someone made a great carving out of a tree just to the right of the tee pad . Shortly after , the course pops out of the woods and you are back on semi to slightly wooded spots . There are still a couple of 450' + holes in the last 6 , but they start to go back to the mid to upper 200' length . If you stray from some of these fairways , it will likely cost you at least a stroke . #18 is listed as 240 ' but I think the moved the basket back into a tight cove and made it closer to 300' , a nice control drive finishing hole .After finishing my round , I saw the spirit of the coach holding up a cheerleader uniform for me to try on . I had been cut from the team ,,,,,, There were many competitive and great holes on this course . A lot of money must have been poured into this course ( and they are still adding tee pads and signage ) , and it looks like it is ever improving . I never give my rating based on potential , but in this rare case I am making an exception . My signature hole was #17 . Although shorter than most at 250' , it is a banking left drive that works its way to an elevated basket sitting behind a wooden fence . A very clean course . Bathroom and a fountain a short distance at the end of the parking lot .
Cons: I could find little wrong with the course , You might find it not as appealing , aesthetically , because of not enough elevation , no water holes , fairways too tight , no trash cans on the course ( carry out what you carry in ) . Maybe a tee pad or 2 that hasn't been lengthened that could stand to be longer ( like #1 ) . I don't know .
Other Thoughts: The previous reviewers are kind of treating this like it's a work in progress . I am saying that " This Course Has Arrived " . A strong West course , flanked by a pleasing Est course . I am cautious to rank it quite up there with Flip City or Rollin Ridge or Zobel Park . If the rating scale were to go to >25 points , I probably would have given this course more like a 4.25 , but hey , this course is a can't miss . If I lived within 40 miles of here , I would be playing it almost every week . Rapid City , you have no idea what treasure you have . ( I did see many more cars parked in the disc golf parking area when I finally left at 12 , and it even was getting ready to rain ) . Thank you , Northend Riverside Parks for putting the money and effort to make this one of the best destinations in Michigan , if not the Midwest .
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Well kept, nice signs, decent tee pads on longer holes. A couple decent short holes. Another 18 in same park.
Cons: Too many "tweener" holes. 900' hole is just long for the sake of being long. Tee pads on the short holes are about 4' long, basically a waste of cement.
Other Thoughts: I expected so much more, because I like the East course. Perhaps it will get better as it ages???
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
it's coming along
Pros: Layout offers good variety of distance, open/wooded, and occasional light elevation. 9 and 12 holes loops incorporated. Additional layouts are popular among locals in the know. No poison ivy, large thorny bushes, or muddy spots. Low bugs. No ticks. 2 practice baskets. Cement tee pads. Beautiful metal signs with large graphics. Navigation is smooth, though some directional signs in the works will be helpful. Awesome primitive shelter on #12.
Cons: some of the tees are little on the short side. benches and trash cans are yet to be placed. Fairways could use wider and more regular mowing.
Other Thoughts: very friendly locals. very little waiting.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Potentially championship caliber
Aesthetic-- plays through areas largely disc golf exclusive. This course plays near and across the river trail and the rail trail. #6 and #13-16 specifically play near pedestrian areas
Baskets-- DisCatchers, nice and bright in some thick woods on this course. Brand new (except for recycled holes).
Teepads-- No comment on these. I'm sure concrete is coming. Marked with little orange flags at the moment.
Teesigns-- again no comment. I'm sure signage will be added
Routing and nav-- easy, just follow the trails. where there was question, there was "next tee" signage. #7--after #6, walk past the flags for #13 down the trail to where the two trails meet, cross the trail and enter the woods. The next tee is near.
Challenge-- the challenge on the new 3-6 is the sheer distance involved. There are no posted distances but #3 has to be 800-1000 feet long. Straight as an arrow but trees dot the edges of the fairway. Ferns are the "rough" but I'm sure these will reduce as traffic increases and mowing commences. #4-6 play in and out of the woods. #7 crossed the trails and into a whole new realm of disc golf. Hills and ditches as well as ancient trees make this a super interesting stretch of golf. #13-16 play longer again and cross many of the same fields on the way back from near #3's pin.
Variety-- strong here, almost every kind of hole. Keep your game on point or it will be a very long day.
Landing zones-- on many of the longer holes, landing zones have been cut out of the ferns. These are at about 300-400ft out and intervalled.
This course is in it's infantcy. I can't really fault what I know will be there eventually.
Keep an eye on this course, this and east could turn Big Rapids and Ferris into destinations for disc golf.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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