I finally got to Kalamazoo today (joined by Tom Blackburn, Richard Tuttle, and Josh Cantor). We played Robert Morris Park and Begg Park. I threw a 54 at Robert Morris and a 52 at Begg. I really liked both courses. Robert Morris is tougher than that, and I'll probably never again throw it that well.
Both courses are, I think, in good shape for the Worlds, with some obvious last-minute signage yet to come.
I have never played Three Rivers, and haven't seen Oshtemo or Kimball Pines for at least 5 years. But I threw well enough today that I am really not worried. It's amazing how much confidence it gives me standing on a tee pad and knowing that I can throw a roller, a forehand, or a backhand, depending on what I think it needs.
Both courses have some decent elevation. The amenities at both places also look good. See below for a link to a nice place we found for lunch.
Robert Morris (I had 4 bogies and 4 birdies, there are more of each lurking out there!), especially, does a lot of going up and going down, with some pin placements that can create rollaways. It was really fun to play with a nice mix of shots, including quite a few holes that are forehand/lefty friendly. Some tight woods, but some wide open crank-it-out shots, too. One very scarey water hole that is an easy 2 if you're not a chicken or an easy 3 if you are. It calls for spotting on some holes and I also recommend walking ahead to see precise pin placement before throwing drives on what are a good number of blind (from the tee) holes. This is a physically demanding course.
Begg Park (I had two bogies and four birdies, should have had more birdies.) is very clean-cut, with most of the holes going up and down the slopes of a long hill and water coming potentially into play on maybe 7-8 holes - but not "lose your disc" water. One "island hole" with a wooden bridge over to the pin placement or stepping stones on the other side. Most holes are pretty wide open with some strategically located mature trees. A handful of holes are in the woods with narrow fairways, maybe 5-6, but the schule is not thick and they are very nicely wood-chipped. Also a nice mix of left-right hand/fore-/backhand shots with the open holes often inviting either one.
Secret on Hole 14 (maybe 15, it's the short downhill hole with water right behind the pin) at Begg - which I should not probably not share, so don't anyone tell any other really old Am players
is that even though the nice, obvious, well-chipped fairway is slightly left-to-right, there is a non-obvious wide open throw available from right-to-left which, I think, is a safer throw, given the pin placement right on the edge of the little stream, and close schule on the right which could keep a disc from skipping or sliding and still leave a decent putt.
We had lunch at the Barking Frog Pub
- about halfway between the two courses on M-96. Good food - small biker-type bar. Good, fast service. Slightly off M-96 (half a block) across from an ice cream stand.