7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Black Falls is a true destination course. It is the gem of VT disc golf.
Secluded in the northern reaches of the state, Black Falls takes players on a tour of the beautiful plot of land. It starts with a big downhill past the natural spring. From there it winds into the woods to a nice wooded creek before returning back to the field at the start. From there it crosses over for a few wooded and orchard holes before ending over a pair of small ponds.
The layout is fair, without any strong favoritism towards one throwing style. Most tee shots present multiple options, allowing players to be creative and play to their strengths.
The two pins and two tees on each hole create four distinct layouts. The silver to silver layout offers a beginner friendly deuce-or-die course while the gold to gold layout will challenge the most experienced players.
Cons: Tee pads and signage are sub-par. They serve their function okay, but don't help to elevate the status of the course.
Hole 18 gold requires about 300' to cross both ponds. The only "safe" option is to go wide of the water on an equally risky (tight wooded) line that forces players to go the long way. So smaller and less confident arms will likely lose 2 or more strokes here.
Other Thoughts: The combination of Black Falls and Cherry Hill up the road makes Montgomery, VT a top disc golf destination. While Black Falls is still a little rough around the edges, it presents a fun challenge for all levels that will not disappoint.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a private course set along a slope transitioning from lightly wooded yard into the woods.
Every hole has two tee pads and two baskets. I wish more courses were like this. It makes them very tough to get tired of and is a very efficient use of the land. I played the silver configuration, which is pretty short (170-270 feet, generally) with a few ace runs, but most of the holes require hitting a line or could leave you struggling to get par. I didn't get to play the gold tees, but as you would expect, they force tougher lines with longer distances.
The signage is all hand-made and shows nothing but the line to each basket and the distances. But given that crude simplicity, they're not bad.
Navigation wasn't too bad. Walk to the gold basket, and the path from there is usually pretty intuitive.
Most holes here had some elevation change, and several even incorporated the two small ponds. Hole 18 holds the possibility of losing a disc if you land in the middle of the pond, although it is avoidable.
Cons: The tee signs were not always consistently located at the tee, so at several holes I approached the pad and could not tell which way I was supposed to throw. On some of them I had to walk about half the fairway so I could tell if the basket was the right one (fortunately the baskets are numbered).
Tee pads are all natural. I don't mind this too much, though.
Parking was a little tight. I was a little surprised to see other people playing the course on a Thursday afternoon, but I can't blame them at all.
If you are going to play from the gold tees, make sure you know what you are doing. The first hole forces a cool turnover shot, but if you don't turn it, you might be putting a hole in the owner's bedroom.
Other Thoughts: Some of the best courses take you to places you would never bother to visit otherwise, and you are better for it. Nowhere is this truer than Black Falls. The winding highway through the imposing Green Mountains past covered bridges and high steeple churches...it's all very Vermont. I'm sorry I was only passing through. I would have loved to play the other configurations. Some day.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Worth the Effort
Two tee locations and two baskets per hole, a configuration I like, as it provides options for various skill levels, and re-playability, too.
Owner/designer Johnny, who was very friendly to me and my non-playing wife when we visited the course in October, 2011, coming out regularly to check on us and see how we were enjoying the course.
Pro shop on site. Quite near to very different but equally excellent Cherry Hill course.
Some of the tee and/or basket locations on a hole were not very different from the other.
Because there are two tees and two baskets on a not overly large piece of land, the flow can be a bit awkward in places:
- Re-tracing your steps near fairway-4 after throwing to basket-5
- Crossing fairway-1 when moving from basket-8 to tee-9
- From basket-11, most obvious tee is #14 - tee-12 is uphill and to the right
- Crossing tee-11 when moving from basket-12 to tee-13
- Basket-16 near entrance, which, on the other hand, makes for an easy way to identify the course, if you miss the "Black Falls" sign
The course resides on a very nice piece of land, a continuous but gradual slope from the dirt road at the top of the course to the creek at the bottom. On this land, in addition to the small, shallow creek near baskets 4 and 5, you'll also find:
- A small pond sitting prettily in front of a basket-18
- Remains of a stone wall, near baskets 8 and 11, and along fairway-13
- Thick trees forming a dark canopy, where challenging, twisting holes 2-8 and 13 are located. Plenty of moss-covered stones, logs, and stumps in this fern-populated area - slippery when wet, with boards and logs placed at strategic problem areas
- Grassy, mostly-open fairways for holes 1, 10, and 17
- Generous-to-tight throwing lines defined by a mixture of less-dense trees (i.e. you can see the sky above your head) for holes 9, 11-12, 14-16, and 18.
For this review, I played the course from the short tees, playing to both the short and long baskets.
- Short-to-short, this is not a long course, with only two holes (open, down-slope 1 and 10) over 300', and an average of ~220'. Playing to the long baskets, the average is ~310', so this course is more about control, and not about bombing
- A few holes play down-slope, and a few back up the slope, and a few more with very modest elevation changes, but most holes play relatively flat
- Even the few holes that are primarily open have the occasional obstacle to avoid, and don't permit you to swing a disc extremely wide. While #13 was extremely thick with trees, the throwing lanes on the majority of the holes fit into the challenging-but-fair category.
- Throwing steadily-straight will serve you well on most holes. There were several holes that required a very accurate and controlled right turn, while the left-turning holes were longer and had a bit more leeway available
Favourite hole: #7. A moderate-sized fairway is cut into the densely-treed forest. Gently up-slope in its near entirety, with a moderate right-turn needed after ~250'. After the turn, a straight run to the basket, framed by trees behind, and large rocks and moss-covered stumps scattered about in front.
The crushed-stone teepads were a wee bit small, but served sufficiently. Plenty of signage directing you to both the long and short tees - a fairly easy course to navigate.
An excellent course in and of itself, even a better option considering quite different but also excellent Cherry Hill is just down the dirt road. Although a bit off the beaten path, it is worth the effort to visit if even remotely in the vicinity.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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