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I am beginning to plan a long weekend trip to the west side of Michigan to play disc golf. From what I've heard, Flip City in Shelby is the "Augusta National" of disc golf and I am leaning towards heading to the Grand Rapids region to hit up 5 or so other courses. I have also heard great things on a few courses in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area - 2008 Worlds. Since I can only do 1 of the 2 regions in a long weekend, I was hoping to get some opinions on the top 6-8 courses in either the Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo/Battle Creek region to play, or an ideal route to get through as many great courses in a combination of both regions in 3 full days. Anyone's expertise in the matter will be much appreciated!

 

Nate

Tags: Michigan, Side, West

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dude, you gotta hit up Hickory Hills and Myles Kimmerly over in Traverse City! Do that at all costs sometime. I live in Alpena and go over there all the time to play. Grand Rapids is awesome too, if I were you I would hit up your local discgolf shop and pick up a copy of Discgolf Michigan by Stephanie Meyers. That book lists all the courses in Michigan and gives clear cut directions to each course from every major highway in the area. Great book. Have fun man.
I've been hitting up http://www.dgcoursereview.com to get as much insight into as many courses as I can...I feel like a kid in a candy store when reading the reviews and looking at the pictures. I just need someone to point out a few courses to help me narrow down my search. My game is far from where it needs to be, but I have gained fast ground so far this summer with many of my friends who have been playing +4 years. I guess my trip would be two-fold. 1) Play courses that make me develop my throwing arsenal 2) To enjoy course layouts on terrain that is much different from what I've experienced in SE Michigan, as I have played most of the "high profile" courses in the region.
i'm frrrrrommmm western michigan
and by the way, if u want to go to a course that will piss you off and make u hate if forever go to the winstrom preserve, it's a shithole and i would know, i've been playing there for five years. Try going to the saugatuck one though, that's a very nice course
Hit up the I-94 corridor Oshtemo Park, Kalamazoo - Kimball Pines, BC - Cold Brook, BC - Victory Park, Albion (Skip Begg and ROMO) If you have time ROMO in Kalamazoo is better then Begg.

If you stay north make sure to hit up ludington Leviathan, Flip City, and Mason Park (Beast , Beauty, Goliath)
I'm from GR, have lived in K-Zoo for four years, and have played everything West MI has to offer up and down the coastline.

First of all, Courses to avoid: Anything under nine pins, Winstrom, Old Farm, Knoll Wood, Bridgman, Dr. Lawless, Garfield, perhaps Johnson (Johnson is the best 'post' course I have ever played, but if time is a facture, avoid it), and I hear that Rycenga doesn't exist any more.

Most Plays: Flip City, Mason County Park, Leviathan, Myles Kimmerly, Hickory Hills, Fallsburg, Brewer Park, Riverside, Northend Riverside (Big Rapids), Branstrom, Shore Acres, Robert Morris, Oshtemo, Meyer Broad Way, Cold Brook, Beggs, Fort Custer... I could go on, but I'm starting to talk about areas that are not necessarily West MI.

Any other course I did not mention, I would consider playing them on the way to other courses. If you have to play only two areas, my dollar would be for the Ludington and the K-Zoo area.
The best concentration of world class courses is at Flip City and the Ludington courses (Leviathan & the 3 courses at Mason County Park), which are all within a 45 minute drive. While few courses anywhere rival the charm of Flip City, a labor of love by owner Bill McKenzie, the Ludington courses match it in variety and difficulty. You should start your itinerary here. You may not want to go anywhere else.

As far as a route, Flip is on the way up to Ludington, so hit it first (assuming you are traveling from the south, which you will be unless you are driving down from Michigan's Upper Peninsula). Flip is a private course so call Bill first. His # is at the PDGA course directory. You will want good maps or a GPS unit to find Flip and then the route up to Ludington. In Ludington I would start at Leviathan. It is a very fine but very difficult course. After playing Flip and Leviathan you will have earned your rest and your beer. You will probably need both. Then sleep in because Mason County Park is hilly, long, difficult and has 3 courses. Mason County is within sight of the Lake and is often windy. But after Flip and Leviathan nothing will intimidate you.

Ludington is right on Lake Michigan and a good base of operations. Part of its economy is driven by tourism and it has the accompaniments to match: beaches, hotels, camping, restaurants, microbrew, etc.

From there, if you need more challenges, head north (an hour drive?) to Traverse City, a lovely, well-to-do resort town, with Hickory Hills and Myles Kimmerly. Hickory Hills is a ski hills property and a very fine course. Hickory is so nice that I haven't made it to Myles, which I have heard good things about.
If your going all the way to Shelby to play Flip City...other than Hickory Hill's... check out the courses in Ludington (Beauty, Beast & Leviathon). If you play Flip, Hickory and Ludington... those three should round out your Northern (west side) tour. Realizing there are probably more courses in between to play, but these are probably the more famous ones.
In S.W. Michigan... Madeline Bertrand in Niles (further South) would be one to try. As already mentioned...the I-94 corridor would be an excellent way to visit Southern Michigan courses from Niles all the way to the Dexter/Ann Arbor area.
Kalamazoo area has Oshtemo, Robert Morris Park (pay to play), Cold Brook Park (pay to play) and the infamous Knollwood very close to Western Michigan Universities campus. Gotta play Knollwood just for the experience.
Then moving on to Fort Custer Recreation area (pay to play) in between Battle Creek & Kalamazoo.
In Battle Creek there is Begg Park (situated next to an apartment complex) which gets a lot of play. A brand new course...Irving Park (across the street from Kellogg Community College) and Kimball Pines. Kimball is closed now due to festival events there, but will reopen for play late July or ealy August.
Then Just off I-94 is Albion which has Victory Park DGC. A tough watery pro design. You should play this just to give you a course to talk about when you get back home. Please bring along some extra (and cheap) discs here due to the water holes.
That's about all I have for ya. Hope it helps you in your decisions.
Finally...your not from LaCrosse, Wi. are you?
Enjoy your road trip,
K.
Great info Mark! Exactly what I was looking for.
going to disagree w/ a couple of the recommendations...don't both w/ Brewer in GR or Coldbrook in Climax.
I like to play Whitehall, Flip City, Leviathan, Goliath, Beauty, Beast, and go to the Ludington County State Park with your practice basket, and play on the dunes or the shoreline or both!

Have fun out there!
Thanks for the info Ken! No, I am not from LaCrosse, WI. I recently relocated back to SE Michigan which is where I am from.

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