Already Great Course, Now With New Holes!
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Premier course with almost everything you could ask for, and has made some new additions very recently to up the enjoyment.
1) Variety & Challenge - this course has wide open, big arm holes, short, narrow, wooded technical holes, and features a ton of flight lines, and will make you use just about every shot you have. Very challenging - the longer the baskets are out, you will have your work cut out for you to throw a decent score.
2) Nice new baskets that catch well, and have bright orange bands for visibility.
3) For as nice of a course as this is, Brown Deer is RARELY crowded.
4) Every hole has multiple pin locations - most holes have three, but there are a few with two or four - the different pin locations will yield much different holes, and several of the longest pin locations give you a "signature hole" feel - I'm thinking of 2, 8, and 16 in particular.
5) As of October of 2016, this course is now 21 holes! Three new holes have been constructed between 7 & 8 - two go over water, and one is a plunker through some cleared out woods. I hear through the grapevine that more are coming, but as of this review, there are three new holes.
Cons: Not much downside, but it's hard to find a perfect course.
1) Having played this course hundreds of times, this doesn't faze me anymore, but for a first timer, there is a bit of a counterintuitive connection between 2 & 3 (have to go out a narrow woods path and cross a road), and the tee for 16 is right next to a couple of 14's basket locations, making 15 really easy to miss. In addition, the walk after "7-C" is a bit of a back-tracking trek close to the other two water holes, but I suspect this is a work in progress and will change when the rumored more holes are created.
2) Not a whole ton of elevation. The course uses what it has well, and adds value in many other ways, but most holes are pretty flat.
3) The challenge of this course is fun, but a few holes are borderline unfair with how utterly narrow a gap you have to hit right off the tee.
Other Thoughts: Some folks prefer the more wide-open (but still very fun) Dretzka, and I used to call the two even in terms of enjoyability for different reasons, but the new baskets and new water hole loop seals the deal for Brown Deer as the Milwaukee area's premier course. The recent change (as of 1/1/15) on the Milwaukee County Parks courses to P2P has ruffled the feathers of some, but in my humble opinion, the P2P move has made major improvements to the County Parks courses, including more benches & garbage cans, more consistent signage, just better course maintenance overall, and outright course overhauls/additions like this.
Brown Deer may be a bit much for a beginner, but for anyone with the desire to play a challenging course, it is a delight to play, and absolutely worth going out of your way for.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Favorite Home Cours
Pros: UPDATE: As of 9/15/16... 9 new holes are being constructed (concrete is poured on the few I could see) with a couple of them playing over the large pond. This should bump this highly underrated course way up!!
There are so many great things about this course. It's very technical in some spots, but it also gives you ample opportunities to let it rip. Here are a few more pros:
-Nice tee-pads and signage
-3 pin placements on every hole
-Absolutely NEVER busy in the 50+ times that I have been there.
-Tuesday league, Thursday doubles
-Never have had an issue with slow groups or etiquette
-Occasionally (like today), there is a traveling beer garden near by.
-I can't think of a bad hole on the course.
-Lots of daunting, but fair, tunnel shots and guardian trees
-Undergrowth in the rough is never too bad, making it easy to find off-target shots
-Did I mention that it is a beautiful park?
-Hole #16's long position is my favorite hole in the city
Cons: -Practice basket has either been removed or stolen
-Not that I care about it too much, but there are no water hazards (except for 1 pin placement, on hole #9, I think; also an open manhole to deal with at this placement)
Other Thoughts: I love playing the other courses in Milwaukee as well. Dretzka is pretty amazing too, but kind of out of the way for me and pretty busy whenever I do get a chance to go. I love Estabrook as well. It's a much easier course than Brown Deer, but it's a great course for working on midrange (and it keeps everyone away from Brown Deer). If you're going to go to Estabrook, I suggest getting your round(s) in before 2-3pm.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Beautiful scenery on just about every hole
-Quiet, for being in such a highly populated area the park and course itself can almost make you forget that you are in a metropolitan area
-Multitude of risk/reward shots on most holes
-Seems to be the least busiest course in Milwaukee County parks that I have played so far and I have no doubt that the difficulty of the course has something to do with this. That being said, for my skill level getting a par or bogey on most of these holes feels like a birdie
-Multiple pin positions and tight fairways really force you to concentrate on each and every shot and disc selection, you will be forced to use all of your discs and shot types here.
-Very fair so long as you hit your line
-Good sized and grippy teepads, baskets in good repair and caught well
-Very good tee signs showing basket location and distance
Cons: -Navigation for a first timer between holes seems somewhat counter-intuitive but with a map printed out or on your phone, it isn't too difficult. More signage for in between holes would help greatly!
-The new signage at the tees is great but for myself it was difficult at times to pick out the basket against some of the background foliage on some holes. Maybe powdercoating the baskets or adding new bright tape or flags will help this but I'm sure part of it had to do with the time of day that I got out here after work.
Other Thoughts: Not beginner friendly at all. Bring your "A" game for sure and don't slack off on any holes/shots or your score will skyrocket. Definitely the hardest course I've played in the area if not ever but man do you feel accomplished when you hit the right shot. One of the most fun rounds I've ever played.
Great use of available elevation with a multitude of "signature" holes. I don't know that I could just pick one and say "that one is my favorite".
Must play course if you're in the area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Championship caliber, beautifully maintained course set in a world class park. You will be amazed that disc golf like this exists in Brown Deer of all places.
Among the better designed courses I've ever played. Each hole is different, and provides a very small margin of error. All different kinds of tunnel shots and also a few wide open really long ones. It's so much fun to play here because the course really validates a good throw.
It's almost never crowded at Brown Deer, which is a stark contrast to the nearby Estabrook Park.
Cons: There are generally parties going on in the park on nice weekends, with very loud R&B music, etc. Pay attention where you throw and be patient, there are sometimes unsuspecting visitors walking through your hole.
Not beginner friendly at all. May be hard to navigate if this is your first time. The first hole is behind the tennis courts, and the third hole you have to cross the street from the second. Bringing a map or having it on your phone isn't a bad idea. I've seen a lot of people skipping holes accidentally.
Almost no elevation change.
Other Thoughts: I live across the street from Estabrook, but I play Brown Deer more frequently. This course has so many unique challenges, you will rarely take an easy shot without having to think.
This is about as difficult a course can get without being entirely unfair. With that said, if you don't hit your spots you will really regret it. Even the very short holes (4,15) can lead you to a lopsided score. Stay positive!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Brown Deer is a disc golf course that makes me wish this site had a rating between a 4 and a 4.5, as I believe that course is slightly underrated (at the time of this review, its rating is a 3.93 out of 5). Here is why I feel the rating should be at higher than a 4:
•Championship disc golf - The course features signature hole after signature hole, with enough variety to force every shot in a golfer's arsenal. I used almost every disc in my bag here. Most of the holes were fairly technical, but there were a few opportunities for big arms to air it out (holes 7 and 9). Holes 1, 12, 15, and 16 were mind blowing with high risk reward shots demanded off the tee.
•Scenery - Maybe this was influenced by the autumn leaves that were in full color during my visit here, but the park was one of the most beautiful places I've played disc golf to date. The fairways work their ways in and out of some beautiful wooded areas that have a great "nature hike" feel to them.
•Maintenance - Multiple pin positions on each hole, picnic benches on most holes, adequate tee-signs and pads. Baskets were somewhat old, but seemed to be in good condition. Practice basket near hole 1's tee-pad.
Cons: This course fell short of an elite 4.5 rating for a few reasons:
•Holes 7 and 9 play through some football fields that are sometimes in use... when there are football practices or games, the holes are unplayable.
•Navigation was tricky... no signage that helps deal with some of the counterintuitive walks between holes
•The park was mostly flat, but the course design makes good use of the elevation that is available. Hole 7 has a green that is made up of a steep slope, hole 16 has some cool elevation aspects as well.
Other Thoughts: Brown Deer is one of the Milwaukee area's best courses and is a must-play if you live in the surrounding states.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
This Noobs Favorite New Course!
Pros: Concrete Tees boxes are great. All other Discers out there were very nice and helpful. Great mix of hole types.
Cons: Very difficult to find. Even 4 of the maintenance crew did not know where the 1st Tee was. Next tee arrows were on some holes, but not all. We almost skipped 15 all together. You need a sign for when you are crossing the street from 2 basket to 3 tee box. There are a some very dark holes that make spotting the basket difficult. A little more bright tape and some numbers on the all of the baskets would go a long way.
Other Thoughts: GREAT course. I am very new to the sport, but I am completely hooked. My son and I hit 6 courses throughout WI this weekend and this was by far our favorite. 7 and 9 are MONSTER holes. Nice change of pace! I live 2 hours north of Brown Deer, but will most definitely be making it a regular stop!
HINT: The 1st Tee is behind the Tennis Courts!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
One of my favorites
Pros: One of the best courses in the Milwaukee area, Brown Deer is sure to please.
Grippy concrete tee pad on every hole. 12' long and solid.
DGA baskets in good shape, and all caught well.
Tee signs show possible pins, distances and topography. It would be nice if the current pin position was shown, though.
2-4 pin positions on every hole keep it fresh. The layout has been different every time I've been here.
Very nice mix of distances. Tight, technical holes in the 200's, all the way up to 675' open bombers, and just about everything in between. Rarely is there this much variety in a single course. Every hole seems to produce a new challenge, especially in the long positions.
Plenty of variety from wooded, open, and combination holes. None of the wooded lines felt particularly unfair, although some are tight. Accuracy is king here.
Cons: Navigation can be a little tough for first timers. Three times you cross the road to get to the next tee, and two of those aren't immediately seen. A few "Next Tee" signs would go a long way here. Also, Hole 1 isn't the easiest to find...stuck behind some tennis courts and random debris that look more suited to a colony of raccoons than the beginning of a top level disc golf course.
2 tee pads on every hole would totally put this place over the top, especially with the numerous pin positions.
No elevation or water to speak of here. The land it's on just doesn't offer it.
Other Thoughts: My favorite Milwaukee course. In the long positions, it's long and surprisingly grueling for such a flat course. Personally, I dig that, as it helps keep the crowds down.
The park also includes a PGA level golf course and many other amenities. You'll see lots of bikers and joggers while you're here, soccer matches, etc.
If you're visiting Milwaukee, don't miss out on Brown Deer.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course with Room for Improvement
Pros: Overall, Brown Deer is a great course that provides an excellent variety of shots throughout the round. The Mach 5 baskets are in decent condition, along with the tee pads. There are signs on every hole, although I believe these should be improved. The course offers plenty of long and short holes, along with holes that are in the woods and require technical shots, along with some incredibly long, open holes pushing 600+ feet. Overall, the course is quite flat, although there is some elevation change on holes 14-16. The first 5 holes are in the woods, along with the last few, which require technical shots. The other holes are quite open, with trees bordering the fairways. Hole 7 is a standout hole, being around 700 ft., along with an interesting putt on top of a hill.
Cons: The biggest con I have are the signs. There are multiple pin locations on each hole and with improved signs, the course would be easier to navigate. If you are a first time player at this course, it can be also slightly difficult to navigate. The course is also quite muddy, especially on the first few holes in the woods, which could be improved with adequate erosion control. It would also be nice to see some improvements around the tee pads, so it is easier to run up and step off them during your drives.
Also, the first hole can even be difficult to find. It is right by the tennis courts along the woods.
Other Thoughts: I would like to see Brown Deer pay-to-play, along with Dretzka. I believe that these are the best courses in the Milwaukee area, but that they could be greatly improved if they were pay-to-play. The course is definitely challenging and is a great course for those who want to work on a variety of shots and approaches throughout the round. If this course made the necessary improvements, I would definitely rate it higher.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in the Area
Pros: -Teepads are nice and big and don't have that big puddle of mud in front of them.
-Signs are highly visible and provide a decent idea of pin locations. (It would be nice to have some sort of system like Grey Fox uses that denotes the current pin location.)
-Great variety of holes. From wooded tunnel shots to wide open field bombers, it pretty much has everything. Extremely technical shape shots through super narrow windows to "lets see how far you can chuck it" holes. You will need multiple discs for all the different situations presented here.
-Holes play completely differently from one pin location to another as well. So come back often!
-None of the holes are gimmies. Even the ones that are birdie opportunities present challenges.
-Rarely is it ever crowded so you usually can play straight through without any stopping.
-Pretty easy to navigate. Although I did skip 15 the first few times not knowing it was even there.
-Extremely well kept. It is almost impossible to lose a disc here. The trees and brush aren't dense at all and you can see clearly through all of it. I wish all courses were like this!
-I could go on and on about all the great things here but the best thing I could say about it, is that its the greatest course in the area, bar none.
Cons: -I guess it would be nice to have multiple sets of tees, but the multitude of pin placements make it almost unnecessary.
Other Thoughts: On average, a round with 2 people takes about an hour so its good to bring something to drink along the way.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is definitely the best in Milwaukee. Either this or Dretzka but I'd give the edge to Brown Deer. There are good sized level and grippy concrete tees on every hole. There's a solid mix of heavily wooded to completely open holes. There isn't a ton of elevation here but it is used well in the spots that there is some. There is a really good amount of different hole lengths. A few of the holes are super long. The Mach 5 baskets are all in pretty good shape and catch well. There are also multiple pin locations on every hole. This is a really nice aspect here. Some holes have up to four pin locations and they change them up pretty frequently. The park was very well maintained when we went. There are large brown painted wood signs by each hole that show a basic hole layout with all the multiple pin locations. These aren't the best signs ever but they serve their purpose. Shot shaping is probably the biggest challenge here. If you can't shape your shot you will not score well here. If you can't stay on the fairway your score will show it. You'll need to use left, right and straight shots here. This is a challenging course for sure.
Cons: The course can get very crowded. Expect to wait for larger groups at times here. A few of the holes have longer walks between them. Hole 1 starts right by the tennis courts. If I didn't play this course with someone who had played it before I think I would've had quite a few problems finding the next hole. The two really long open holes are REALLY long. They don't really fit with the tighter wooded holes. The park road comes pretty close on a number of holes too.
Other Thoughts: This course definitely is one of the best around. It has a good mix of shot types, distances and challenges throughout. Definitely worth a stop here if in the area. Also Dretzka and Estabrook aren't too far away either.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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