Way up There!
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This is a true destination course.
Variety is the key, you had better bring your entire arsenal because you will need it.
Johnny is most hospitable, we were lucky enough to play Gold to gold and silver to silver with him.
I have spent the better part of my life vacationing in VT but I have not spent much time in the Northeast Kingdom, the ride up is long, beautiful and well worth the trip. This is a true destination course that is not to be missed. The option to camp cheap includes round fees.
Cons: UH...............gimme a mintue to think this one over.
Other Thoughts: I read about this course in an article ranking it as top in North America. We drove 6 hours just to see if that was accurate information. I wouldn't change a thing, the woods seem like something out of a fairy tale, the course maintenance is unmatched. We played gold to gold in the morning, then took a break went fishing and grabbed lunch, came back and played silver to silver. We even got Johnny to join us next door at Cherry Hill for the front nine. The day worked out to be 45 of the best holes that I have had the pleasure to play...........
I'm still trying to come up with at least one CON and can't! Keep up the dedication to the sport Johnny you certainly have a gem way up there. Many thanks for your hospitality hope to see you in July!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Pure DG Fun!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -SCENERY is possibly the best part of this course (even though the golf is also great). The holes that play along the creek reminded me off a forest that would have been fun to play in as a kid. A dark glen under giant pines with ferns on the banks of a magical creek (that happened to have disc golf baskets too). As much fun as I was having golfing, just walking this beautiful forest was worth the $5.
-FUN GOLF is the best way I can explain it. Of course Black Falls has all the obvious features you hear all the time "great mix of wooded and open", "favors righties and lefties equally", "great use of elevation and water", all the aspects that make for a top notch course. I think what made it really fun was the perfect density of trees on the edge of the wooded fairways. The narrower fairways were so rewarding when the shot was executed properly, however the shots that drifted off the fairway made for really exciting aproach shots, with enough trees that you were punished but enough open pockets to
tempt risky up shots to the pin. To me that is fun golf.
-CHARACTER. It was more than the just following a designers checklist that went into this course. The property has a great mix of different sections of different species trees and the designer placed many holes within these tree pockets so that many of the walks from basket to next hole was a transition into a different type of forest, giving a different flavor to each hole, like turning the page to a new chapter in a book. The huge downhill bomb on hole 10, the dark wooded tunnel on hole 5 and the ball golf like ponds on hole 18 show the great variety of this course.
-TEE PADS. I loved the crushed stone pads. Cement pads would look out of place on the side of this mountain. Johnny keeps the pads flat and smooth and they just feel and look more natural. If Johnny puts in cement pads I'll knock down this rating!
-LAYOUT was easy to follow. I played it after the slight redesign to a couple holes on the back 9 that previously had less obvious flow. Although we played with Johnny the owner i dont think we would have needed a map.
-DOUBLE TEES/DOUBLE BASKETS is the perfect way to fit four layouts on this property. Silver to Silver=Red, Silver to Gold=White, Gold to Silver=Blue. Gold to Gold=Gold (duh). We played only one one round and really wanted to play a 2nd round to try a different layout but forced ourselves to play Cherry Hill (the sister course up the road) instead.
-CHERRY HILL up the road is on Johnny's sisters land and makes this into a 36 fairway/54 basket/72 tee/108 "hole" disc golf destination.
-PRO SHOP with a good selection.
Cons: None of these cons are real bad but just enough to keep the course from being a 5 (perfect in every way)...
-TEE SIGNS. They work, but a beauty of a course deserves nicer looking signs. Rustic burned wood signs would be perfect.
-WHITE & BLUE TOO CLOSE IN LENGTH. The silver-to-gold and gold-to-silver layouts are only 90 feet different. The gold tees add challenge other than sheer length so the blue layout is harder than white but it seems like some different basket placements could make the blue play even longer and harder than white.
-HOUSE AND CARS. The course would feel even more like a magical forest if Johnnys house wasnt right on top of it. One of his cars was parked near hole 9 and my wife joked about having to call Progressive Insurance if she gripped locked her drive. It doesnt take away from the golf and it certainly is a beautiful house but just took a little away from that middle-of-nowhere feeling. (This was one of the things that i liked better about Cherry Hill, all the holes were away from the house.)
Other Thoughts: -THE PICS ON THIS SITE ARE OLD. Some of the holes are a little different now and the course is landscaped nicer now than pics show.
-ONE DAY WAS NOT ENOUGH. I would have loved to play a hard layout here and the easy tees at Cherry Hill one day and then easy at BF and hard at CH the next.
-To me BF was a mix of beauty and pure fun, while CH was a mix of beauty and pure challenge.
- I have always wanted to buy property in Montgomery for the epic snow and skiing at Jay, now I NEED to get a cabin there so I can play these courses more!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Rival to Flip City
Pros: Two pads and two baskets for every hole (silver / gold). Is the only course I have ever played that rivals Flip City. I played Idle Wild and it didnt even come close (dog poop everywhere at Idle wild, airplanes flying over your head.... how is that rated #2?). The owner (Johnny I believe his name was) came and played a few holes with us.
It has been over a year since I played it so I can't give a detailed review. It is incredible though.
Other Thoughts: In my opinion this is the only course I have ever played that rivals Flip City. Kensington is #2 ? IdleWild? No way! This course is the second best course in the world. We played when it was pouring rain out and still managed to have a great time even though we were drenched. There are two tees and two baskets for each hole making for a variety of 72 different shots! I lived in the NEK of Vermont for the summer and was lucky enough to make quite a few discing friends. I played at four different private courses (not listed on this site) that were all fantastic and easily A rated courses. This course was about 1.5 hours from where I was living and it was well worth the drive. I guess the owners sister has another course not to far from this one. I plan on going back to vermont in the fall to play on my friends courses, this course and his sisters course. If you are in Vermont you HAVE to play this course!
And all you butthurt bitches can downvote me i dont care
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Greatness in VT
Pros: Very secluded wooded course. As you drive up the dirt and gravel roads you get a sense of what the course will be like. You are in the secluded hills and woods in Vermont. There is beautiful forests and streams running everywhere. Think covered bridge country.
- 2 sets of tees and 2 baskets for each hole
- Well defined fairways. Path to the basket is obvious, but not always easy.
- Navigation is easy. No long walks. Paths are worn in, and easy yo locate.
- Walking stones, trees stumps and logs used to help traverse creeks and low areas. Some nice steps built in to hill sides.
- Impeccably maintained. Especially for a private course.
- Seclusion. Nice quiet, wooded atmosphere.
- Pro Shop on site. Decent selection of Innova and Discraft discs available.
- Variety. Course has a nice mix of lefts, rights, ups and downs. Elevation is not huge for the most part, but it is used well. There are some very tight shots, and some open shots with room to work with.
- Tee pads maintained well. Flat and smooth.
Cons: - Natural tee pads. They are in great shape, but I always like big concrete.
- Basket positions. On several holes the two basket positions were fairly close to each other. Not a significant difference in the shot.
- Some of the Silver tees and Gold tees are simply different in length by a small amount, and don't change the angle or line of the shot too much.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a phenomenal course. It is a blast to play, and offers a great mix of challenge and opportunity. My cons are probably a little picky, but hopefully it simply motivates the owner to keep making this course better.
Black Falls plays as a mostly technical wooded course so be sure to bring you putters and mids. There is a lot of holes in the 240' to low 300' range. There is also a tight 188' shot as well as a 537' down hill bomb. By my unofficial Sloppy count the were 5 holes I thought were well above average or very well designed. Simply holes that looked differentnor cool as I was playing them. No top of the world shots or 350' water carries, but there is just a bunch of solid disc golf holes here. I can wait to play Cherry Hill down the road.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Lots of work
Pros: This course has been a work in progress for over 8 years. All my free time is spent working to maintain and improve the course. Input from players is crucial for the development and maintenence of the course. . I have basically taken all the best attributes from the amazing courses I have played and put them into building Black Falls and Cherry Hill. Thank you to all who have built these beautiful courses.
This course is always evolving. There is always room for improvement. I am giving this course a " biased" 5 rating because I have played a few of the top ten courses rated on this site and feel that this course provides a 5 star experience.
It is our goal to make this place enjoyable for all levels and ages of Disc Golfers. So far we have been successful in this endevour. Our beginner layout "Silver/Silver is the most played layout which is great for first timers and challenging enough for advanced players. Gold/Gold is a completely different beast. I am a 980-1000 rated player and can shoot a 50 or a 60 on any given day. There is a strong emphasis on shot placement and disc selection. These change all time with wind conditions and elevation changes that make up over half the holes.
With the new "Cherry Hill" up the road, we now have a destination DG facility. You can play here for days without playing the same hole twice. You will be guranteed to use every disc in your bag. Camping options are available at both Courses with fresh spring drinking water, bathing ponds, brooks, clean outhouses and soon to be outdoor shower. The next time you decide to plan a DG getaway give us a try.
There are many ammenities within 2 miles of the course. A full supermarket, 5 bars/resturants and plenty of affordable lodging.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: If Norman Rockwell were alive today and available to be commissioned for a disc course painting, I'd send him to Black Falls. An idyllic setting; serene, secluded and post-card scenic.
Course designer and installer, Johnny Betts is a super nice guy and pro level player, but what sets him apart from most private course owners is his attention to detail.
He has meticulously designed, tweaked and revised a layout which now starts off with 6 epic holes in a row, along with #8 for one of the best nine holes anywhere in the east.
The back nine starts of strong with three more epic holes 10,11,13 before dropping of a bit 14-17 and finishing with another epic hole on 18.
All remaining holes grade out as excellent (4) except for #17 which was an average (3 rated hole) for a total score of 82.
That puts Black Falls in the upper level 5 rating range, but wait, there's more. Each hole has two baskets and two pads (ala Brakewell), so you can pick a configuration that suits your style or change things up on a second round.
But wait, there's more...another 5 rated 18 hole course with Johnny's fingerprints on it is 1/2 mile down the road at Matt's place (Cherry HIll).
So here you are in the middle of nowhere, nearly in Canada,with more disc options than you can shake a stick at.
Signage is top notch and the grounds were perfectly manicured. The fern-laden layout features a Hemlock/Hardwood forest mixed with verdant, narrow grassy lanes and rock walls for unique looks and off-the-charts aesthetics.
Terrain is gently sloping for the most part which makes for easy walking and level footing for shot shaping.
Cons: There are natural tee pads on many private courses that are installed and seemingly forgotten, definitely a con. Not here.
These pads are periodically tamped, refilled and smoothed over, providing excellent footing.
Other Thoughts: As a private course owner, playing Black Falls was a euphoric trip to disc nirvana.
Awed, amazed and totally humbled. It's the kind of place that inpires you to do more.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Absolutely without a doubt the nicest all around course I have ever played. Very good mix of short technical holes, along with a few nice long holes. Great use of elevation, elevation comes into play on almost half of the holes. Having 2 sets of tees and baskets makes for plenty of combinations of play, enough options to play the course all day and never play the same set-up twice. Course is very well maintained by the owner, big props to Jonny for keeping this course in fantastic shape practically all by himself. If you ever get the chance to play this course, DO IT! Well worth the almost 2hr drive it takes me to get there. I plan on making the drive at least once a month to experience this amazing course the most I can.
Cons: The course could use better signs showing you to the next teepad. There are trails to follow, but I had trouble locating the silver tees on a couple holes. I think installing more signs throughout the course would really help new players find their way faster.
Other Thoughts: Like I said earlier, this course is amazing. Excellent design and a must to play. The owner also has a nice selection of Innova and Discraft for sale on site, and he also usually has a good selection of used discs. Big thanks to Jonny for making this course what it is today. Very great job, keep up the great work!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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