After leaving the Dakotas, my trip took me along the northern side of the US to the great disc golf region that is the Midwest. With my focus on bagging as many courses as possible I made sure to find an easy freecampsites, mostly at Cabela’s along the way.
So even with my super busy schedule, I missed playing on National Disc Golf Day. Yeah It sorta felt sacrilegious. To make up for this shortfall I declared the following day: Minnesota Day - making up for disc golf day. There was no rain all day and not too, too bad on the bug factor either. Blue Ribbon Pines is a definite bucket list course and well worth the $8 to play. I have only paid at one other course, that being Beaver Ranch in Conifer, CO. Although I love mountain wooded courses I enjoyed BRP as well because of the variation in hole types. Tight tunnels in the woods and big open bombers. Disc golf on a ball golf course doesn’t suit my style but having a few open holes thrown into the mix every now and then changes up what you might need to bag.
The third course I paid to play was just up the road a few miles to Cedar, MN. Visionquest is the name, water disc golf is the game. Cale Leiviska designed this course to punish you with not only tight gaps off the tee but water at every landing spot. I like to see water used to increase the difficulty but I thought it to be unfair on a few holes, primarily on 18. The final hole tees off from a floating dock which upsets your run up and footing and caused me to throw two into the water. Odds are I’d throw them in the drink anyways but at least give me some solid ground to throw off of. On the short island hole I lost my favorite and now rare vibram ibex but the guys at the local disc golf store said they would pick it up and mail it to me for free once the course maintenance goes swimming for it. Those are the perks of buying from your local, or a local shop, they hook you up. Crossing my fingers to get that one back.
Cedar Rapids Iowa wasn’t initially on my list of places to hit a round of disc golf but I saw pro Nikko Locastro post about a few courses in Cedar Rapids and after considering that I needed to drive through and check off Iowa from my states list I decided to stop through. Shaver Park was one of the suggestions and it seemed to be the most wooded so I chose that. Iowa did not disappoint. The course was great with a good bit of elevation and just the right amount of challenge. Iowans are the friendliest people I have encountered this year. They just live a really simple life with nothing to complain about I guess. Sweet corn festival coming up this weekend, a tractor pull after that, American flags flying from everywhere, and country music on 90% of their radio stations. I told Whitney that if life ever got too hard and too stressful I’m moving to Iowa. Even on my late night run to Moes for chips and queso I chatted with the manager and he showed me all the intricacies of those Coke Freestyle soda fountains. I always disliked those but now I can see why so many restaurants are switching over. He was so stoked about my van so I gave him a tour and of course he played disc golf and we struck up that never ending convo as well.
Back to the typical midwest pay-to-play. Or is it? Wilderness Campground - middle of nowhere Wisconsin. As you can tell from the name this place is predominantly a campground but they have just recently put in a new dg course. I called ahead and asked about camping after dg and they said spots are $51! and they were all full. I explained that I just needed a parking spot so they agreed to let me stay for $15 with the dg included. But...but, when I got to the office the lady showed me everything and gave me all the passes and said “you’re all set”. So I left. Played dg all day and night, grilled out on the grill and picnic tables by the course and slept in the parking lot. They never realized that I didn’t pay is all I can assume. Even if you paid your $5 to play I’d highly recommend this course.
Best of the best so far: Rollin Ridge. There is a reason this place consistently bounces around the top ten courses in the world. (BRP and Visionquest do as well). There are three tees and three baskets on each hole except maybe one or two? They use water on a few holes but it’s not sketchy like Visionquest. There are defined lines you need to nail to score well but there is so much variety. Tiered baskets and pedestals add in some elevation although there is a mild amount of natural elevation already. The conditions were just immaculate and I was lucky to have a local and an employee show me around for my first round.
When I’m out playing disc golf I go fully off the grid. Typically, I leave my phone behind unless I am taking some music with me. For this reason, I do not have many photos from all of these courses but if you are an avid disc golfer you certainly know that dgcoursereview.com has all the info you could need. Dgcoursereview.com has been the second most visited website for me this year, just behind freecampsites.net. They do a great job of putting together all of the pertinent info such as directions, hole distances, photos, course maps and even player reviews. The handiest part of the site to me is definitely the google map that drops pins for each of the courses based on obviously their location, but also on number of holes and review rating.
After a long stretch of playing roughly 18 new courses I took a few days off to check out Milwaukee. It’s always nice to be in a city on the weekend as opposed to the middle of the week. The public market was bustling with vendors, all of which I walked past in pursuit of a beer brat, the best thing to eat in Wisconsin. Although it looked more fancy at the public market I liked the brats from the stand outside the grocery stores better. Don’t pass on getting a beer brat here, besides its only like $3 per brat so once you eat two of them it’s still cheaper than Chipotle.
P.S. - I went to Green Bay, but I can’t find those photos. Hopefully they didn’t get lost, I’m sure they will turn up somewhere.