Unique course if...
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: •Chance for a unique DG experience (see RECOMMENDATION below)
•Good use of the land that's here. It is a meadow after all!
•Great tee pads, baskets and signs.
•Nicely maintained fairways.
Cons: •During growing season a disc can easily be lost in the rough. The rough is mostly just tall grass but thorny, prickly stuff abounds as do hogweed and wild parsnip which can cause nasty skin irritations.
•A few rainy days can leave several areas very muddy or with standing water.
•Non DG-ers on course, usually dog walkers.
•No water or restrooms.
Other Thoughts: The two main criticisms of this course seem to be:
1. THICK ROUGH FOUND ON BOTH SIDES OF MOST FAIRWAYS AND AROUND BASKETS. The park district has responded by widening the fairways quite a bit from their original widths. Mowed areas around baskets have also been expanded. Still, throw off into the rough and even if you keep your eye right on the entry spot you could very well be searching for awhile.
RECOMMENDATION: The mowing makes a very clear distinction between fairway and rough so play the course with the rule that "off any fairway is OB". Take a penalty and bring disc to fairway for next throw. The course now becomes a much bigger challenge for even the best throwers, especially on windy days, which are frequent. This approach has actually become easier now since the fairways have been widened a lot but it will still make the things more challenging and surely keep more discs out of the rough. With this recommendation, I'd say there's not another course around that offers this true links type approach on basically every hole. Try it. It's a whole different course this way.
2. DOG WALKERS: This whole area once was a sole dog walking place and the dog walkers were a little offended when more than half of their paradise was taken. That's understandable. Over the nearly two years since the course went in I have seen less and less dog walkers on the course. There are signs in different areas specifically designating the DG course from the dog walker trails. I don't think the dog folks really understand DG and don't realize they are in danger or simply just in the way. I have played here dozens of times and when I encounter a dog walker I am polite and simply wait until they are cleared for a safe throw. I have had nice conversations with many of them and am friends now with several.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Good accuracy training
Pros: - nice visible baskets
- very clear map on eat hole
- teaches you to keep your disc in the fairway
Cons: - you better stay on the fairway or have a good read on where your disc landed in the rough
- easy to lose a disc
- no batheroom
- no benches
-dogs dogs and more dogs
Other Thoughts: I may be a little biased because this is my home park and i play it the most but i really do like this park. Although at times it is very aggravating if you fling a disc in the rough, the course does teach you to play the game within your skill set. Grip it and rip it may help your game at other parks but its not good here. I do think some of the pars are low but it's possible that could make the course too easy. The only true problem here is not even the course itself its the people on it and by that i mean dowalkers. I get that some people like to walk their dogs in the grass area but i just wish they would be paying attention and not walk on the fairway. In addition to that sometimes ignorant dog owners just leave poop on the course. Very frustrating!!! I came within inches of a doo doo shoe so just keep an eye where you are walking and you should have a good time here
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
All about accuracy
Pros: Decent artificial tee pads.
Baskets are very nice with arrow pointing to next tee.
Fairways are well maintained
Different than any course I have played. (Not all good).
Cons: Easy to loss disc in rough.
Nothing to block wind.
Tight fairways with VERY tall and VERY thick rough.
Have to park on street.
Random people walking on course. One hole lady walking dog not on a leash and dog walked out onto hole. Other lady walking on a hole from basket to tee. Had to wait for her to get off the hole. There are walking paths on other side of park but some people feel like that is not enough, they need to walk through the course.
Other Thoughts: This may be more applicable to me than to others but ANY disc thrown into the rough, is gone. This is a links style course, few, but well placed trees. The rough is waist to chest high on me (I am 6 foot tall) and it is VERY thick. If you find your disc in the rough it is PURE luck. This is a course that will require you stay in the fairway. Grip and rip will lead to lost discs unless you are a well-above average player. Most courses I have played are cut out of forests, this is out of a prairie. Very different, challenging and for me at least, frustrating. I can't say I enjoyed my round. The wind was blowing (remember, very few trees) and tight fairways made for a tough round. I don't have great control if I am going for distance. It may sound like with few trees it would be a good beginner course, but I am a newer player and I found it aggravating. If you have a "control" game and don't mind shortening up your drives and fairway play, it may be a good course for you. For me, I am going to play other courses in the area.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Good practice course
Pros: Well marked, good signage, nice turf tees.
Cons: Needs to have fairways cut if the course is to be a true links style course as it has been described. Parking on 167th street is not desireable.
Other Thoughts: The course is open so my wife is more apt to play along with me which is a big plus for me.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
nothing to keep me away, nothing to draw me in
Pros: The Meadows is a links style course with long open fairways shooting to generally well-guarded baskets. The open fairways are lined with thick rough that is easily manageable in winter, but will certainly warrant a straight drive in summer unless you want to spend lots of your time looking for discs instead of throwing them. This is a good added challenge to this otherwise hazard-less course.
With so few trees to work with, the designers did a great job of utilizing them to enhance each hole by creating many guarded baskets- making upshots a top priority on most holes. Take an aggressive line and risk hitting a tree and two putting? Or play safer around the tree(s) and have a open look at a birdie? This makes it so that even with open fairways off the tee, placement and accuracy are still needed. A couple holes use low hanging branches to create a low ceiling.
The baskets are very nice and very solid and catch great! Each one has an arrow welded to the bottom of the basket pointing to the next tee- really nifty!
Maps on each hole are quality and seem like they will last a very long time. Good enough maps with distance, direction, and obstacles (though nearly all baskets can be seen from tee).
With one hole at 615' and another at 708' there are chances for the real big throwers to let-er-rip (of course with me anything over 300 is a good rip haha- and there are many that fit that range as well).
Cons: To me the biggest con here is the tee boxes. They are some kind of turf with sand (I think) in the turf, and they can be pretty slippery. My friend nearly stopped playing on the 14th hole after he slid about 5 inches while teeing off for the 4th or 5th time. I slipped a little too but not as bad- he was in gym shoes, I was in boots. I can foresee these teeboxes getting significantly worn and becoming an issue soon.
Wind is a huge factor here. No trees= no barriers so be warned! High Winds
Right now there are no garbage cans, no benches, no bathrooms anywhere in the park. Hopefully this will change for summer months, but for now there's nothing.
I guess this area used to be dog walking paths, and there are still path around (and possibly through) the course. Perhaps the people I encountered were just lost or maybe they were rebelling against the newly installed course, but the 3 dog walkers I came across seemed to act like we were in the wrong for asking them to please not walk their dog across a fairway or let their dog poop under a basket. I think this will get better soon when people realize this is now a shared space though.
Other Thoughts: While I feel like more advanced players will not favor this course often because of its lack of difficulty, they can still come and have a fun round chasing birdies. Intermediate players will likely have their share of birdie chances, but also take a few lumps (especially on a windy day); while the casual rec player will be happy to keep their disc straight in the fairway out of the rough.
I appreciate the links style of "gotta be controlled and avoid the rough", and I think this area needed a course like this, but I would much rather play the open courses like EP or KLM for a bit more shot shaping- just my preference.
All-in-all The Meadows is just interesting enough to keep better players satisfied, while just challenging enough to give newbies fits. It has no holes that stand out as really cool, but none that make you wish were not included. For now-2.5 will update in summer when course has taken on its shape more
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Simple, open but fun
Pros: -- Good course design, especially given the terrain to work with. The area is pretty open without a lot of trees and no forest to speak of, so obviously you won't have a course with many tight holes. Most holes are pretty open, but they do try to give you a few well-placed trees or obstacles to shape your shot around to some extent. The course is also fairly short, but there are a few longer holes tossed in to let you pull the high-speed plastic from your bag.
-- For a fairly open, straight forward course it is a lot of fun. A good player will have a lot of birdies and some ace runs out here while a new player will have a forgiving round. I got a lot of practice in with my mids and fairways off the tee, playing anhyzers, spike hyzers, skips, etc.. with a focus on placement on the green. I found this to be good practice for a part of my game that sometimes get overlooked (throwing bombs is fun and putting is important, but a good approach forgives a bad drive and avoids a bad putt). There are a few long holes to break up your ace attempts and birdie runs.
-- Located in a big, beautiful park. The course actually only takes up a fraction of the park and while you can see houses and buildings on the edge of the park, the size of if it does make you feel a bit more detached from the rest of the world than you probably are.
-- Great baskets (I really love the arrow built into the cage to point to the next tee). The tees are the astro turf type, which I haven't had a lot of experience with. They're very large and if they hold up, I could see them being great tees. I was there in January though so some were pretty icy (probably a bit worse than concrete would have been).
-- Brand new course, so everything was in good condition
Cons: -- Open and basic. As I said, it is fun and well designed, but there still isn't much to work with out here for really unique or challenging shots. When compared to other courses in the area (like West Park, the Canyons, etc...), this one doesn't offer the same variety or challenge. Most holes a decent player should be aiming for a birdie or very easy par. No real tunnel shots. There are a few longer holes though, but they are also open so while you will get to throw your bombing drivers, they aren't super challenging.
-- Windy. The park is very big and very open. On the day I was there, there wasn't much wind at all, but I can very easily see this not being the case on most days. If there is a bit of wind, expect it to be roaring full force on every hole out here.
-- No trash cans at all. No bathrooms. There isn't much around the park, so these two things seem pretty necessary
-- Standing water. This is somewhat of a guess. I played in January and there was ice everywhere. Some fairways were 50% ice or more and the tees were pretty icy in places as well. This obviously made for a tough round, but it is January. However, where there is ice in January, I have to assume come spring will be pools of water. This could make some holes basically unplayable.
Other Thoughts: This course doesn't really offer anything that makes it a "must play." There aren't really signature holes or anything specifically challenging. However, for what it is (open and mostly somewhat short) it is a good deal of fun. It offers a lot more than most suburban courses put in mostly treeless parks and is well designed for the terrain. In this, I'd compare it to Knoch Knolls, as I wrote a similar review for that course recently (short, open, but surprisingly fun). Unlike Knoch Knolls though, this course does have a few longer holes.
Living in Chicago, I doubt I'll travel down to play this course often, especially since with another 10 minutes on my drive I could be at West, the Canyons, or the Oaks in Mokena. It isn't bad, but for a long drive it just doesn't stand out. However, if I lived in the area, this would be a fairly regular spot to play, especially for a quick practice round.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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