1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Variety...with 27 holes they find a good balance between holes. Ive played every major course in MN and this one tops my list.
Other Thoughts: Come prepared.Bring bug spray and extra discs with seven water hazards it can get a little messy out there.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
28 Helpful / 1 Not
Pay to Play is the Way!
Blue Ribbon Pines DGC is located just outside the twin cities in the town of East Bethel. This farm town doesn't have a whole lot out there for tourists until you get to the signs pointing you towards a diamond in the rough. After you travel down a gravel road you come to a clearing where you see what looks like a disc golfers paradise. From the time I got there to the time I left I couldn't seem to get rid of the grin that I had from cheek to cheek. As I parked and went inside the pro shop (which was fullly stocked with discs, t-shirts, drinks, and snacks) I was greeted by the friendly sod farmer Ray who was also the one who got this whole course in the ground. Ray quickly gave me a brief history of the course and was so kind as to point me in the right direction and gave me a few tips on how to play this course successfully.
From the first tee right away I noticed how large and well done the tee pads were. Some were brick and others cement, but all where large, flat, and well kept up. The Mach 5 baskets were some of the best I have ever played on as they caught well and looked amazing. They were easy to spot due to their powdered blue coating, and orange flags which were attatched on top. Around the bottom of each pin was woodchips too, making the course look even more well maintained and professional. Tee signs were located on every hole and were in great condition, providing distance and a visual image. Maps were provided in the pro shop when you paid, which gave a place to keep score, distances, and a layout of each hole which was very helpful.
The general course design was excellent! The flow made sense looping you back from where you started to complete the 27 hole pro course. Foliage and maintenance was the best I have ever seen. There was little to no underbrush when I played (beginning of spring) on most of the holes and the grass and trees appeared to be well kept up and manicured. Benches and trash bins were on EVERY hole which was really nice for those days when a lot of players are DGing (which is a lot since the course is open year round). Running water was available in the pro shop as well as restrooms, and a porta potty which was located near the tee of hole 27.
Elevation was present throughout the course (although not extreme), including elevated tee pads and pins and some rolling hills throughout.This course had a lot of variation in hole distances with some that were tight and technical in the woods and huge open shots in the fields (which crossed of streams most of the time). There seemed to be no bias as to lefty or righty players and the holes required a lot of variety when it came to selecting what disc to use. The tight technical wooded shots were a mix of short par 3's to brutal par 4's ranging in distance from 140-443 feet. Water played a major factor on several holes which was great and added very much to the degree of difficulty.If you happened to land in the water there were designated drop spots which looked like mini tee pads. The overall challenge of the course was appropriate for all levels.
Parking was very accessible, and when I played it was not very crowded (right when it opened at 8 am). However, throughout the day it became increasingly busy which was great to see but I could see how a round could take a while, especially on those beautiful summer days when it is daylight for long stretches of time.
Locals seemed very friendly and helpful. With so many great courses around in the twin cities the level of competition around here is fierce. Regualar events are always going on with league on Thurday nights, the Minnesota Majestic (which is on the NT this year), and several other small tournaments throughout the year.
This course really had very few. The course designers did an amazing job incorporating so many elements (water, elevation, etc) and placements (tees & pins). The one thing I found however was the fact that a few holes (9, 10 & 21) seemed very short for being a pro level course. It seems like they were "gimmies" for any advanced or pro players. However, like I said, I am just trying to find something and for an advanced player like me it was nice to use those holes to bring my score down. I could just see some of the pros aceing those holes regualarly. The whole course though was truely amazing and overall a great challenge.
Blue Ribbon Pines DGC is by far the best kept up course I have yet played. This course easily rates in my top 5 and is well worth the trip. There are so many wonderful courses in the twin cities but this course is a must! Ray truelly did a wonderful job making sure this course was put in and the designers Timmy Gill and Steve Beckman truelly made their vision come true. It is both amazingly beautiful and challenging.
There were several epic holes on this course like 19 and 20 which played back to back over a man-made pond. However, hole four was truely infamous. The 440 foot Par 4 tunnel shot amongst the massive Pine trees was the hardest hole I have played yet! Playing over 50 courses including some of the best in the world, that is saying a lot. It could make or break any round making even the best humble. I took a 6 on it my first time and didn't feel that bad considering I shot a 2 for my first time on the course. Next time I will be using a Roc rather than Wraith however.
Thanks for the memories Blue Ribbon Pines!!!!
28 of 29 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Easily the best manicured course I have ever played. Pay to play is a pleasure when the course is maintained as well as this one is. Consistency is very important to get a decent score on this course. Mostly wooded hazards with a few OB and water hazard dangers.
Cons: Difficult finding things bad about this course, but to nitpick I would include lack of elevation. Also, bring your bug spray or you will be eaten alive (Black flies, mosquitoes). Also, a bit to far from the Twin Cities for casual quick rounds
Other Thoughts: Excellent amenities include a pro shop (discs, water, etc) and an extremely friendly accommodating staff. Overall one of the best, if not the best, courses I have ever played.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: This is probably one of my all time favorite courses. There is a little bit of everything. The course is ridiculously well kept up, probably from the profits on the pay to play.
In terms of challenges, there are all sorts of different challenges. Number 4, you have to throw down a long straight path because there's trees on both sides. There's another one that's a sharp annhyzer shot with a tree that is mando. Along with that are many holes that have a fairway cut out that's maybe 15 feet wide that you have to follow.
Water comes into play on a few holes. When I was there, I actually threw my champion monster into a creek on one hole and thought it lost but then these kids came up and jumped in and got a bunch of discs out and I managed to get it back.
Along with all the shots in the woods, there are a number of open shots as well, which were in general a bit longer.
All in all, I'd say a must play for most people.
Cons: You had to pay 5 dollars to play, but I guess that's not bad considering the condition of the course as well as the fact that it's 27 holes and you can play as much as you want once you pay.
12 of 22 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: Blue Ribbon Pines is the best maintained course I have played at. The holes are very well designed where the birdies are earned. There is a wide variety of distances, wooded/open, and even elevation-which isn't noticed, but is definitely there. There are true par 4s along with par 3s which means that approaches are just as important as the drives are in some cases. The course is pay to play which is just what the sport needs. There are many memorable holes and playing within the pines just adds to the extra fun. Accuracy is key at this course and if you get any bit frustrated you are going to have a long round. If you want to practice throwing straight than this is the course to play.
Cons: A little more d to bring out the big boys
Other Thoughts: if you want a course with a wide variety and with neat features that you won't find at any other course, then this is the one to go to. The Minnesota Majestic is played here, as well as two other c-tier events
yes it is that good
6 of 20 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 3 Not
Blue Ribbon= Must play
Pros: Like all the other reviews, the landscaping is second to none. Don't let that be why you play this course. It has every kind of shot. You name it, par 3 open and wooded, par 4's (mostly wooded), water hazard holes, pro shop, and the unique feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere. (if its early enough before it gets crowded on nice days).
The course is not done either. More landscaping wil always be popping up, but there is a chance that all the sod will be donated to the addition of more holes, or changing some of the existing holes to add some D.
Cons: Lack of elavation. Crowded at times.
Other Thoughts: Blue Ribbon is jus the beginning of the pay to play scene. BRP is a perfect example of what pay to play can do. Hang on, more to come.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 6 Not
Amazing... Simply Amazing
Pros: Without question one of the top courses I've ever played. This course features immaculate landscaping, excellent signage, perfectly level concrete tee pads and several very challenging holes offering an opportunity to throw just about any type of shot you can think of. Since I first played this course in 2008, it has received a ton of TLC and upgrades which make this a must-play for any disc golfer.
Cons: Well this is in MN. and if you play here in the summer bring bug spray and LOTS of it. Also may want to bring a few floater discs as water does come into play on several holes.
Other Thoughts: I love that they now have a mid-way snack shack with liquid refreshments good food and now plenty of benches for folks to cop a squat on. While I'm glad I moved away from the dismal MN winters, I make this course a must play every year when I visit.
10 of 16 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
QUITE POSSIBLY THE NICEST DISC COURSE EVER!
Pros: Some unbelievable signature holes. Holes 3 and 4 just seem like the trees were grown 100 years ago for disc golf. This course is extremely challenging, and probably the best setup I have ever played. A huge box of found discs, that they return to you next time, supposedly. Nice pro shop, pick up just about any disc you need to replace after your round. Well placed signage, and very nice grooming.
Cons: If you get out of the fairway, you cannot go for it and expect to fix your errant drive. There is no margin for error on this course, and it is not for anyone that is a beginner. If you don't have your accuracy yet, this is not the place for you. This course will challenge the most skilled player out there.
Other Thoughts: I cannot honestly think of another course I've played anywhere that was so perfect. There are really no words to describe this until you go out and play it for yourself. HEAVENLY
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: A pay to play course done the right way. The care and love of the owners is evident from the moment you set foot on this course. Outstanding maintenance and design. All concrete tee boxes, even concrete tees for water hazard drop zones!!! Wood chips around every basket, impeccably manicured with a ring of rocks or wooded "sandbox style". On some holes, the whole fairway is woodchips. Descriptive and clear maps on every tee.
Beyond just the facilities, this course is gorgeous. Most holes play in the woods, with a variety of harsh doglegs, tunnel shots (see the picture of hole #4, thats a 400+ ft laser beam straight tree corridor you have to shoot through, yikes!), water hazards, both rivers and lakes in play on several holes, and tons of trees. This course has a moderate amount of terrain as well. No steep uphill or downhill shots, but the terrain available is used for a variety of interesting wrinkles. Also, it is evident some landscaping has been done to sculpt some of the holes to make things even more interesting.
Many creative things are used to make putting a challenge on every hole. Most putting circles are raised bed of woodchips (which play pretty fast, prone to rollaways and skips) surrounded by a stone ring which makes it harder to roll in close for an easy layup.One pin is mounted in a raised stump. Another putting circle is a wide pit about 2 feet lower than the surroundings, with one big tree blocking it from the tee (i didnt see the pin until I had walked past it).
THe holes I played (and how they were listed on the tee signs) were in many cases different than what the scorecard said (I think for whatever reason, probably growing sod) the 27th hole i played used the basket for the so-called 28th hole (practice basket), the scorecard's hole 27 was actually 26 on the course. For a course so well designed, it puzzled me how and why they could or would do this. I think soem of the middle holes, which shoot over/into the fields, are rotated around as they use the fields for sod-growing. In any case, its astounding, and impressive they are able to shift hoels around like this and still have a great course.
This course will challenge you. By hole 9, the weaving, tree-filled fairways had me skittish of throwing any plastic other than champion/z, and I still managed to taco a disc.
Roughs are not too thick, making lost discs generally findable, though all the giant trees mean there are no "get out of jail free" passes on errant drives. As previously stated this course will punish errant drives, and even some drives on the fairway. Not ideal for a beginner,
As this course ages, and the traffic beats it in a bit, (discs chopping branches off trees, etc." i believe it will only get better, and perhaps a little more manageable. Some of the tunnels might be cleared out a bit from use (thumbers take a toll on trees), so come on down and do your part by getting your discs custom engraved with chunks of bark from this forest. It's worth it.
Cons: Its greatest strength could also be seen as a con. This course is challenging, make no mistake. There are a lot of big trees everywhere on this course. Sometimes the fairway seems a bit too crowded with them. It makes you realize that in other parks, like Acorn and even North Valley or Kaposia, the trees are smaller, and thus harder to hit dead on. Those glancing hits off trees you still can salvage some shot from, but when tree hits are dead-on, your disc just drops at the base. You will get a lot of dead-on tree hits here if you are not careful ( I think I set a new high score for tree hits when I played). Accuracy is key.
The bugs here laugh at you. I sprayed most of a can of Off on myself, and wore a hat, but it hardly slowed them down.Soak your clothes in citronella before you head out here, or strap a tiki torch to your bag.
These are minor concerns when the course is this great, so plan ahead, and bring your A-game, and you should be fine.
The challenge (and length) of this course can test your attitude, so don't let it get to you. If you get frustrated on #12, it will be a looong round, unless you snap out of it.
Other Thoughts: This may seem obvious, but bring premium plastic and bug spray. The giant trees will eat your discs, and the giant horseflies will eat you, if you aren't careful.
Since it is such a long drive from the cities, dont worry too much about the "two hours before sunset" closing time. It is not strictly enforced. If you slide money through the slot, I doubt they would care if you wanted to play at dusk (several folks were starting when I finished up at 9pm)
16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: One of the best manicured courses I have ever seen. Landscaping is top notch! Many open as well as wooded holes with both long a short throws. Long round, but the diversity makes it worth it.
Cons: Pay to play. Long way out in the middle of no where. requires a full afternoon to play
Other Thoughts: worth a trip, one of my favorites!
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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