View Full Version : Northern Midwest Roadtrip Recap

08-22-2009, 07:22 PM
After a week on the road covering 2,000 miles, eight days, and eleven rounds on eleven different courses in four states I've finally made it back to Louisville. I thought I'd share with everyone some bits of what I saw, heard, and played along the way.

It began with a quick stop in northern Kentucky at AJ Jolly to play with a friend who was moving to Denver several days later. This course is mostly open with some length and a great view of the adjacent lake.

The second course I encountered was the Telemark Resort in Cable, WI (yeah its a little ways from Kentucky). I hadn't originally planned on playing this one, but once I realized how close I was to it after camping on Lake Superior I figured why not. The rain held off and it was a beautiful day to play. The 24 hole course traverses a small mountain used for skiing in the winter months. Very lengthy holes up and down these slopes and woods made for an entertaining round. Add in gusting winds and knee high grass and you've got a pretty fun time. The final four holes descend down the mountain about 2000 feet which was pretty awe inspiring for me. The best part though was seeing a pack of foxes running through the grass on the front nine.

The following day I had two courses on the agenda and neither disappointed. The first was Blue Ribbon Pines north of Minneapolis and the second was Hyland Ski Resort south of the city. Both are played by the Open divisions in the Minnesota Majestic and very highly rated by locals. The layout and atmosphere of Blue Ribbon Pines was probably one of the best I've ever experienced playing. This 27 hole beauty has perfectly manicured tee boxes and benches on every hole and all the greens in the woods have rock borders with woodchipping surrounding the baskets. After talking to the owners in the proshop I found out that they also own a landscaping company which helped explain the amenities throughout the course. There is also a kiosk/bar in the course next to the 16th and 25th teepads (shared teepads) with several picnic tables for spectators during tournaments. I highly recommend this course to any and everybody if you are ever up in Minneapolis.

Moving onto Hyland Ski, this course provides some extremes in elevation changes that were similar to Telemark yet it was prodominantly open and rarely used the woods. The overlook from the top of the hill had great views of the city skyline in the distance. The course had a variety of lengths topped off with the number 18 being a shade over 700 feet downhill that was quite reachable even with my arm. Both courses are great fun where low scores could be gotten but not without some decent legwork.

The next day on my way to Chicago, I made a stop in Madison, WI for two courses. Vallarta-Ast was first on the day. This mostly flat course is nestled in a large park just off the highway. Each hole had dual teepads, three different pine placements, and sponsors. Barry Schultz even sponsored one of them. Well defined fairways on the open holes and the mix of wooded holes made for a great course. On number 12, a short blind dogleg in the woods, I got an ace with a sidearm Destroyer.

After that round, I made my way over to Hiestand Park which is closer to the city. Hiestand is one of the most popular courses in that area with groups on almost every hole. Good elevation changes flowing from open fields to dense woods was challenge. It seemed that birdies could come just as easily as bogies at this one. I wasn't worried about any of my scores on this trip, it was all just for the enjoyment of playing the game. Thanks to Kevin for playing that round with me and showing me the course, I had a blast. Across the street from Hiestand is also a disc golf only store called Glide. I spent some time talking with the guy running it, Mike. I learned a few things about the Madison area golfing scene and the way they run their leagues. They have a pretty cool set up on how they run the Tuesday league. Groups can come into Glide anywhere from 3-6, pay the three dollar fee, and go play. And afterwards, they just return the score card to Mike at the store. Its not a set start time like in our area but allows for some flexibility. Also, they don't have weekly payouts but a point system that accumulates until the end of the season. Part of the entrance fee for their leagues goes straight to course maintenance as well which I really liked. They boast an average of 50-60 people in there leagues and bag tags that run up to 200.

After a day of relaxing in Chicago, I set out on probably the biggest endeavour - Lemon Lake in Crown Point, IN. This complex boasts four courses ranging from a beginners course to a championship course. After the Worlds next year, they will start on a fifth course too. I started off on the White course which is mainly a pitch and putt where literally every hole is birdie-able. I managed to find the basket again, and aced number 7 after two kicks off trees. This ace was very similar to the one in Madison in that it was a short blind dogleg right in the woods. Then on the very next hole with the same disc (Ecostar Xcaliber), I skipped and hit the basket off the tee. If I had aced that one, I probably would have just packed it up and gone home cause there'd be no topping that.

After the White course, I hopped onto the Blue course. This lenghty course was the most open of all four and the wind was a major factor. It probably added three or four strokes when all was said and done. I'm thinking that the water in Lemon Lake was up because it was within a step of one teebox though there were very few holes where the lake was a large factor in playing.

Without skipping a beat, I started the Red course after finishing the Blue. The Red course was a real treat, mostly wooded with a variety of lengths and doglegs. A bit of luck is needed on this course to shoot real well and it seemed to be with me that day. The other thing that really stuck out to me was the subtle elevation changes on the Red. I wouldn't notice throwing either up or down until I'd get up near the basket and look back towards the tee. Up through these three courses, I had been playing rather quickly; going through three rounds in about three and a half hours.

I figured I was on a roll so I immediately started the Silver/Gold course. Let me preface this course by saying holy mackrel! This course is still a work in progress with several of the gold tees still not in place but it is an amazing course. Massive tunnel shots, thick roughs, well placed pins, and great lengths made this the most challenging course of the entire trip. For anyone whose played it knows there's an 1120 feet beast in the open that reminded me of Idlewild followed up by a 900+ footer back to the woods. I almost 4ed the 1120 footer, only the chastity belt kept me out. Also, the wind played a large factor on these holes as well. Late in the back nine, I came across a crew of six guys working on clearing out stumps and whatnot from the fairways. One of them was one of the course pros, Bart. He was a great help for me to find the last few gold tees that had yet to be placed. I mentioned our tournament coming up to several of the guys and they seemed interested in getting a group together to come down for it. I highly recommend making the trek up to Lemon Lake for a weekend or something if the opportunity arises. They've got a number of tournaments coming up there that would be a great chance to check out these courses for those who are interested.

By the end of the Silver/Gold course I thought about what I had done, played 72 holes nonstop in about 5.5 hours. I don't think I've ever done that before and probably won't try to put myself through it again. The surprising thing is that my arm didn't seem that tired afterwards, my legs were more exhausted though.

At the tail end of this trip, I made a return to the northern Kentucky area for a stop at Lincoln Ridge (Banklick). Only one day removed from Lemon Lake, my legs were fully spent and my arm was nearly dead. I think that by number 16 my arm was going to fall off and I'd have to play the last 8 holes left handed. My original plan was to go to Mt. Airy afterwards but my body would have probably tried to kill me if I had done that.

I made it back to Louisville in one piece and am here to tell the tale of this trek. See everyone out on the course!

08-23-2009, 12:23 PM
I hope the radar detector help out Weeman!