I am trying to expand my disc golf experience this summer to get to some more courses throughout the state. I love experiencing a new course for the first time, the anticipation of seeing a new hole, developing a strategy, and maybe even meeting some new people. So here is my first entry for the summer. I will post a new entry whenever I get about 4-5 new courses in. Some I have golfed before, but I still want to give some thoughts on them. I am by no means a disc golf expert, I just like to get out, have some fun and enjoy great courses.
Chippewa Banks- Midland - I am lucky in that my hometown course is so good. Sure there are better courses out there but it's encouraging to know that there is a course of this caliber only five minutes away from my house. There is not much for elevation here, but the holes are still a lot of fun and I can always thank this course for getting me into the game. However, some complaints that I have are that the grounds are vandalized way more than any course I have ever seen. Garbage all over the place, Juggalo signs painted wherever one could find 5 inches to paint it, and signs torn down. If these vandals aren't stopped this great local course is going to be ruined.
Score: 82/100 (Recommended)
Freeland- As strange as it might sound I only played this course once heading into this summer. Already in 2008 I have played it four times. I don't know what it was that turned me off from this course originally, but now I plan on trying to make the trip over to this park at least once a week. There are a lot of holes with fun ace runs (not that I ever get them) and some great usage of elevation. I still prefer Midland over this course, but it's a great course for a change of pace a couple times a week. I especially like how much quieter it is than Midland's course. However, I do have to complain about the lack of signs. I have gone to the course a few times now and still wonder if I am on the right t-pad. The teeboxes also seem a bit too small, and I have to shorten my drive routine a little. Oh, and of course the wetness. I have to wear shoes that I don't care if I get them muddy. But it still makes me mad to walk through mud.
Score: 75/100 (Recommended)
Northend Riverside Park - Big Rapids I had not heard much about this new course so I came into it not knowing what to expect. I found a pretty flat course (give or take a couple holes) that required a lot of accurate drives. I didn't have a good drive this day but I still had a good time at this course that turned out to be better than I expected. This course could have been confusing, but they had a lot of signs that were very helpful in navigation. The latter part of the round was especially nice, as you got deep into the woods and it was a very peaceful round with beautiful nature to look at. I bet this course is great in the fall. Still though, as much as I liked this course, there wasn't much to get me overly excited about it.
Score: 70/100 (Somewhat recommended... if you don't care about the drive)
Goldenrod- Flint- Flint has a disc golf course... and it's not as bad as you would think. I guess not everything in Flint is a dive. This course had signs on most holes, was easy to navigate and was a ton of fun. Had about 5 holes with water hazards, and a few short ace runs (almost had one on hole 3!) I don't hear much talk about this course, but I think that could change once they get the word out more. You may want spotters on a couple holes and someone with you that knows the course as some water hazards are not very noticeable on your first shot.
Score: 80/100 (Recommended)
Avalanche Park- Boyne City- This was the first course that I had ever been on where elevation would be an issue... and boy was it an issue! I didn't have my A game this day, but I still had a lot of fun on what is one of the most beautiful courses I have been to. They could easily add another 9 holes to this course and still have enough room in between holes. However, on a course with so much room in between holes, there was very little usage of signs, which was quite disappointing. There are no water hazards, but poorly thrown drives leave you in really bad shape. I hope that if/when I go back that I have my better game so that I can really have some fun on it. Oh, and as for the view from the pin on #18... Let's just say, the hype was right on!
Score: 87/100 (Highly recommended)
In the next couple of weeks I plan on hitting Frankenmuth (I hear they redesigned it (thank God! and put in 9 more holes!), Mt. Pleasant (one of my faves), Pinconning (can't wait), and possibly the courses in East Lansing.