TLC in MN
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is one of the most cared-for courses I've played. Tee pads are spacious and concrete, often limned with brick retaining walls. The greens are covered in red mulch, and any area that could be wet after a rain is covered in hay. It's tough to ask for much more in terms of course manicuring. No problem with mowing on the open holes, either.
About two thirds of the course is wooded, and many holes feature multiple lines to the basket. These were fun holes, and they held my interest until the very end.
Unlike many people, I appreciate a good water carry, and Blue Ribbon Pines has several. None were exceptionally challenging, but they were enough to get in your head and to make the power throwers reconsider if they could get all the way over the pond (one caveat: the ponds were covered in algae, and if your disc goes in, I assume you won't find it).
Hole 4 is maybe the most photographed hole in the game with the long alley between symmetrical rows of tall trees. These are the kind of holes you daydream about.
Hole 7 was a cool shot with a pond lurking about 2/3 up the fairway. Again, if you have a huge arm, you could clear it, but otherwise you are considering how much you can safely put on your drive to lay up. This is how ball golf structures holes, and I love it when disc golf does, too.
One of the late holes has a downed tree parallel to the ground about 5-6 feet off the ground. It felt a little artificial (I don't think it fell like that), but I like it. It gets in your head. If you can throw low and flat under it, it's an ace run. You can throw an easy shot over it and card the safe par, too. Either way, you're thinking about your options.
Cons: No elevation at all. Obviously the designers can't help this, but this is an absolute requisite for a 5.0 for me, and probably for a 4.5.
Tee signs bordered on useless. They were just pictures of what you could see with your own eyes (tee signs are supposed to show what I CAN'T see from the tee). On a wooded course like this, I'd like to know where the trouble lies and where the lines are without having to walk the whole fairway.
The throws across the open space felt a little bland. I'm all for adding open holes to the technical course, but you can still have the greens be wooded (or the tee areas wooded) so that there is a gap that needs to be hit. On too many of these, it was basically "throw in that direction as far as you can," and these holes just felt like filler between the two wooded sections.
Finally, criticism of one hole: hole 9 was a 140-foot hole with a 90-degree dogleg right. Getting a 3 was trivially easy, but getting a 2 would require nailing a very long putt, and a 4 would require completely botching the hole on multiple throws. This felt like a crammed-in hole.
Update: I've been told there is a legit line to the basket on this hole, and I'll trust the locals.
Other Thoughts: A 4.0 signifies an "Excellent" course. Blue Ribbon Pines is excellent, and the enthusiasm of the locals is very evident. I love that Minnesotans plow this in the winter. I was born in the Twin Cities, but I lost that level of heartiness along the way. This is a must play if you are in the Twin Cities, and I look forward to my next visit.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a beautifully manicured property with a mix of open fields and wooded areas. Several longer holes cross the open area in the middle of the property, some have either the tee or basket tucked into the edge of the woods and many bring a small creek into play on the fairway or around the green. A few of the wooded holes also use ponds to add risky water shots along fairways or around greens, I really enjoyed the use of water on this course throughout.
The woods offer enough trees to make for great technical shots with tight gaps and a variety of interesting lines. The rough is pretty beaten down overall, you will pay for missing the fairway but it's not so thick you'll lose discs or have to just pitch out. There is an excellent variety of length in the woods, with some fun but tricky short holes and some real par 4s with tight landing zones. You'll need every shot in your bag here, with a balance of left and right turning holes and some dead straight shots that are always tricky.
The concrete tees are plenty large, especially on the longer holes, and have enough texture for good grip even when wet. The landscaping is excellent here, it's obvious a ton of time and effort has gone into making this place special. The logs lining fairways and wood chipped greens add to the vibe, and there wasn't any trash or vandalism. The pro shop was well stocked, the snack shack is a nice touch though unfortunately closed during my visit.
Cons: My biggest issue with the course is the repetitive feeling of the many holes back and forth across the central field. They offered similar lengths, and not a whole lot of obstacles other than the narrow creek, and just didn't add a whole lot to the fun factor here for me. The signage is pretty bad, the tee signs are just pictures showing a player throwing. There are lots of blind holes and it's frustrating to have to walk ahead to check out the hole your first time through the course. A couple baskets weren't in the position indicated by the sign, so those distances weren't even correct.
Other Thoughts: This course is a great place to play, and I would definitely stop by again if I were in the area. Beginners will find it tough, but not terribly punishing. It's technical but not to the point of frustration for most new players. Experienced throwers will find some great technical challenges here, there are lots of interesting lines to hit and some beautiful shots. Hole 4 is one of the coolest tee shots I've ever seen, with a 400' dead straight look down a narrow pine alley.
I never mind paying to play at facilities like this one where it's obvious the proceeds go back into the course. $5 is more than reasonable for a beautifully groomed course with fun and challenging shots.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Challenge & Amenities Are Top Notch!
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: BRP is a private course outside the Minneapolis metro area. A large sign directs you to the course from the nearby highway. Arriving at the course, you see a large mural on a semi trailer. There is a pro shop where you pay your $5. It's stocked with disc, snacks and has clean restrooms.
The course has wonderful amenities including benches, trash cans, bag hangers and next tee signs. Thye really know how to take care of the players here. There are huge extra grippy block teepads. The blue Mach 5's are very visible through the woods.
27 holes including some classic disc golf holes. Start with # 4, the Gauntlet Hole, one of the more intimidating and challenging holes I've encountered. 443' down a 20' wide corridor of pine trees.
I like the way they aren't afraid to throw in short unique hole such as # 10, the 140' 90 degree right turn hole.
Cons: I have but a few cons. The first is the lack of elevation. Because the course is basically flat, it leaves me wanting for that EPIC hole. # 4 is a monster, no doubt. But it's not an EPIC hole.
Secondly, the holes from woods across the flat open field with only the creek for an obstacle became monotonous after a while.
Third, the water hazards on the course, while certainly challenging, were ugly and nasty.
Fourth and lastly, And on this point, I feel like I'm comparing BRP to only some of my favorite courses in the country. And while I think this maybe is unfair in some way, I think it's a point that I have to make. That is, I want a course that I rate 4.5 or 5.0 to be drop dead scenic or to have some incredible views or vistas. Blue Ribbon Pines is a nice, flat incredibly challenging course in the woods. It's great but it's not visually beautiful.
Other Thoughts: BRP recieves an easy 5.0 for the challenge. It's an easy 5.0 for amenities. It get's a 5.0 for the amount of work they put in to make the experience great for the disc golfer here.
So my question is? Does BRP deserve his lofty ranking in the top 5 courses in the country? For challenge, difficulty and amenities, I say Yes! But for the overall ranking, I say sorry! Top 20 maybe.
I've played Coyote Point DGC at Lake Casitas in Southern California, Delaveaga and Stafford Lake in North California, Hornings Hideout, Milo McIver and Whistlers Bend in Oregon, Circle R Rolling Meadow Course in Wemberly, Texas, Beaver Ranch in Colorado and The Woodshed in Paw Paw, West Virginia. All these courses offer the same degree of challenge as BRP along with incredible natural beautiful surroundings. I would rank them all ahead of BRP. I agree to disagree with you if you've played any of them and can make a valid comparison.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Blue Ribbon Pines is close to, but outside, the metropolitan area of Minneapolis providing that nice isolated-in-nature feel. When you first pull in the large parking area you are greeted by a large disc golf mural on a semi trailer. The Pro Shop where you pay your $5 has a nice selection of discs, refreshments, and nice restrooms. The locals we met in the pro shop and on the course were very nice and loved to talk disc golf.
The course itself has large concrete tees and blue coated Mach baskets. Navigation is a breeze (a map is not really necessary). The course's holes offer a good mix and open/wooded, left/right/straight, and long/short. There are mandos, o.b., a small creek, and several ponds in play as well. There are a few memorable/signature holes as well. For example #4 through the long corridor of pines is one of the most picturesque and memorable (and intimidating) tee shots you will find (enjoy it on the tee because you will love to hate this challenging hole once you are finished!!!)
Cons: The tee signs were a complete joke. They were a picture of somebody playing the hole! Seriously? Why do I care? I can see what the hole looks like for myself once I am standing on the tee. I would rather have no tee signs then these. This course really needed detailed hole maps because of the amount of o.b./water. The scorecard was little help in this matter as well. I would think for $5/person, and a course with this reputation, that normal tee signs aren't too much to ask.
Sure there are 27 holes, but not all 27 of them were of the high quality that I was led to believe. There was a lot of repetition at BRP- I lost count as to how many holes teed from the edge of the woods out into a wide open flat field with no obstacles except for a small, easily avoidable (and very nasty looking) creek to a basket in the open- one hole like that would have been boring enough, but to have multiple and often back to back was disappointing.
The 750' hole also plays in the super wide open field with only the small creek to cross. The distance markers (in the style of a driving range) were cool, but still did not make up for the fact that it was just a long hole in a wide open field.
I feel this course could be better if it only consisted of the best 18-21 holes and left out the boring fillers that detract from its potential.
I did not understand the point of the [gimmicky?] circle concrete tee for #20 when the rest of the course has standard shaped tees.
The course does not conveniently come back to the Pro Shop until after #27, which is too bad for two reasons- 1) 27 holes is a lot and 2) the Pro Shop is super nice but not utilized to its full potential. They tried to make up for this fact with the Snack Shop that you come across twice in the middle of the round, but it was closed, so it was of no help either.
Other Thoughts: There is pretty much no elevation here- not the courses fault, and not a con, but not a pro either.
Also a group of locals we encountered were nice, but were kind of annoying. They skipped around the course so we encountered them multiple times. Disc golf for them seemed to be secondary as they spent much of the time wading in the ponds in their underwear, drinking, and looking for discs. We had to literally throw over their heads on most of the pond shots. (I wonder if this was just a rare sight or quite common here?)
Overall BRP is a solid course that offers a lot of variety and challenged and also has a lot of really fun holes. The wooded holes reminded me of an Appalachian Mtn. course, just flat. However, there are just way too many cons here (mainly the amount of boring and repetitive holes) for this to be considered a top ten course for me. I feel like I somehow played a slightly different course than what is described in the other reviews, and to be honest was underwhelmed and disappointed. I read so many times from others "Perfect" and "No Cons", but that is NOT what I encountered. (Maybe the course is better in the snow?)
I give it a 4.0 (Excellent), which is still a great course, but it just does not have the same characteristics of the other "4.5-5.0" courses I have played.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Well worth the 5 bucks!
Pros: This course is actually a 4.25 in my book. Its better then excellent but not quite phenomenal. The layout of the holes are great. There is a lot of variety ie., holes in the woods, holes in the open, and holes with water hazards. The atmosphere is great here, $5 to play all day is a great deal.
Cons: I wish a few of the open field holes were designed a little different. Instead of throwing into the middle of a sod field, I wish more of the fairways would wrap around the woods like a traditional ball golf course. Some of the holes you keep throwing back and forth over the same sod field.
Other Thoughts: Overall a very fun course! On the longest hole (700+ ft) there are distance markers in the field so you can see how far you can throw (or can't in my case).
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: very well setup course, uses tree wind break so some holes need a very straight shoot, others big hooks. small ponds have disc recovery rakes.
very fancy with lots of lush grass (was sod farm)
Cons: trees have plastic condums, sod farm drainage ditchs eat discs,BRING LUNCH noplace near by to eat. we had bar pizza -made for a not good second round
Other Thoughts: bring a lunch, beer at the clubhouse.
its a tuff course but a fun day...
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Gorgeous facility, excellent experience, destination course!
Pros: This course is immaculate. Well kept up and private. Pay to play keeps the dirtbags out and keeps the traffic lower so that you can enjoy your round. You will be able to lose yourself here and want to stay all day to play. This course offers mostly wooded holes, so it satisfies that itch for me (and many others). The design of each hole is well thought out as well as the layout of the whole course. I like the style holes that begin in the woods and play into an open field (and sometimes back into the woods) - or vice versa, and there are a few of them here. Being 27 holes is sure to bring good balance, and the left, right, straight number of holes does not favor one type of shot. Water also comes into play for some OB and risk versus reward.
Cons: The features of the land are simply not varied enough or shall I say drastic enough to really "look" like a neat/awesome course - not nearly enough elevation! It is mostly flat pine plantation. Pay to play is a con in how it affects ratings, only because this affects how I think about the course and my overall rating. I have had the privelage to play some top notch courses, and unfortunately when paying is involved, I expect a whole 'nother level. BRP really does bring it though, the amenities and upkeep are amazing so the pay to play is worth it.
Other Thoughts: BRP is an amazing course. I am truly glad I played, and will definitely be back (hopefully with more friends so they can also enjoy it!). You will not be sorry you played. But in comparison to other courses I reviewed, the land here is just not enough to make a truly awesome course. Winter Park by comparison has some amazing terrain that it fully utilizes, and Bryant Lake has some decent elevation, while Highbridge has it all. To no fault of it's own, the BRP property is not the same "experience" as the other 5 disc courses, but it should still be considered a first class course! More holes here could make it that much more appealing (like HHSC), but the terrain will still not offer what Highbridge can!
UPDATE: I played HHSC on the way to visit some friends and must say that BRP is not as fun as Granite Ridge, but due to other amenities and 27 holes, I'll rate them the same.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: Many different types of holes... Player needs the whole package, which is a nice change from some other courses... Very clean, a pretty course...
Cons: Some holes are a little too hard(no real chance for a lesser player to make the shot needed)
Other Thoughts: LOVED THIS COURSE!!! Will play it again
2 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 6 Not
BRP - WOW!
Pros: Technical course with great variety of shots needed to score well. This course really punishes errant shots! Placement really counts. The course is not too long, not too short.
Cons: No credit cards at the pro shop.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed playing this course. Hole 4 takes some getting used to (6,5,4,4). I can't wait to play when the snow is gone.
7 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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