19 Helpful / 4 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.
19 of 23 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Really Challenges every aspect of your game. After playing here frequently, other courses seem much easier. Always a good time. Full line pro shop, 5 Star Course.
Cons: Working on better disc retrieval methods. And getting electricity in the snack shack soon.
Other Thoughts: Great way to spend an afternoon or all day. Friendly people. Bring a floater.
1 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the Wait
Pros: A well-manicured course with benches, trash cans and recycling bins at every hole along with Next Tee signs when one might be needed. Each hole has a nice tee sign with distance marked and there was never a problem of finding the next tee.
Each tee has large cement tee pads that offer most players more than enough rooms to do a full run up.
The course is a nice mix of longer holes and short, tight holes. It also has longer holes that force you to hit a line...but there are plenty of landing areas for all skill levels...allowing shorter throwers to also find ways to attack the hole.
While you'll want to keep your disc in the fairway, getting off the fairway at BRP isn't as punishing as I had heard it would be...and I can see where the more one plays there, one could learn some "local routes" that might be more interesting than the lines we played.
The course is a pay to play...and this is a plus because the fee of $5.00 all day goes toward keeping this course in great shape.
A fully stocked pro shop with discs from every manufacturer can be found there along with a nice selection of bags, stools, t-shirts and beer and soft drinks.
Cons: Cons are more of nit-pickiness than anything else.
Once you're on the course, there is no sense of being able to cut out after 9 or 18 holes. With that being said, I'm talking about having a point where the course loops back toward the parking lot and pro shop. Not only would it make starting at hole 10 or 19 an option, it would also allow more traffic into the pro shop. With the water and potential for lost discs, I can see them selling more discs to player's mid-round to replace a disc that found the bottom of one of the manmade ponds on the course.
Other Thoughts: You get to the course, you pay and then you walk to hole one. There really isn't a formalized routine and groups of all skill levels and sizes can be playing at any time...and that's what Disc Golf has been for many years but for a course as nice and as popular as BRP, it might be nice to see some more origination to the whole process...it's a very popular course. I played, while on vacation, at 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon and they were jamming.
This course is really a great example of what Pay to Play Disc Golf can and should be. Anyone that is thinking about or has already opened or designed their own Pay to Play course, visit Blue Ribbon Pines and see what they're doing. It is truly a great course with a lot of time and energy spent the right way.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Cement tees
-Good variety of holes
-Mixed wooded and open
-Risk and reward holes
This course is solid championship caliber course. It has cement tees, well maintain baskets, flags, and fairways. You get 27 holes. Not just 18. The mixed of holes are great. There are a few holes an average player should be able to deuce. There are a few you can earn a deuce. There are real par fours here. Not the this is sort of a par four, but real par four. So being able to earn a couple 3s are a great experience. I did get to play it in Minnesota Majestic set up so the challenges may have been even greater.
There a pro shop and two places to get beverage. Port-a-Potties, garbage cans, all the standard amentities. With the water hazards and the woods there were a lot of opportunities to have to choose if you were going for it or if you were laying up. This is the one thing that I was the most appreciative of.
Cons: -Minimal elevation changes
The only con I have in that there is minimal elevation changes. Although it is not the fault of the course, since they use what they have well. The only other slight con I saw, was that some of the asthetically pleasing part of the course was taking away since they moved a few baskets and placed cones in the old baskets place. Not really a con since it is a safety thing and I was grateful to be able to see where the basket also go in standard setup.
Other Thoughts: All and all, this is an awesome course and the do a fantastic job up at Blue Ribbon. If you are heading up here form the south you cannot drive past it if you are paying attention. They have a brown point of interest sign off of the road.
I would go into more details about this course, however, it has been covered time and time again in the reviews below. There has been talk about if Blue Ribbon Pines deserves to be in the top ten or not on this site. I have not played the other courses in the top ten. However, I have played 215 total courses and this course is getting 5 stars. By comparison no other course I have played is as good as this course. Some may have more memorable holes (although this course has them too), and some courses may have awesome uphill and downhill shots. But I do not doubt for one second that this course is not the best of the best. This course (especially in Minn Majestic layout ) would definitely fall into the top 1 percent of courses out there. Thus 5 stars from me. Great job, Blue Ribbon. You made me fall in love with disc golf again. It's challenging, fun, full of amentities, and well designed
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 4 Not
Winter Disc heaven
Pros: They plow the fairways and keep the tee pads clear during the winter. To any winter disc golfer that lives in a snowy area, the awesomeness of that can not be overstated. They also have a website that is regularly updated and monitored by regulars so you can verify ahead of time what the course conditions are like. The website is also a good spot to communicate with the people who play and work at the course.
The course layout itself is great. It consists of 27 holes which flow naturally. The course is compact and heavily wooded with a wide variety of shots. Yet the holes are laid out such that you don't have to walk far from each basket to the next tee, and there is very little danger of ever hitting someone on an adjacent hole.
Periodically they add new holes or modify old ones. The course is constantly being upgraded and beautified. The experience never gets old or boring.
All discs lost in the water or elsewhere are gathered by BRP staff and placed in boxes in the club house. If you write your name on your disc, you should be able to get it back.
The club house sells alcohol and food. Last I played there (Jan2011) they were talking to contractors about the possibility of installing a small restaurant/grill for basic bar food. As far as I know, they are still just researching the possibility, but it's part of a continuing effort to constantly improve the course that the owners have shown since the course opened.
Cons: There is a lack of elevation change. There are a few small inclines or drop offs but it's essentially a flat course. I'm willing to forgive this because it allows them to keep the course so impeccably groomed in the winter.
There are quite a few tunnel/hallway shots in the 275' range. Those who are skilled with a Buzzz or other similar midrange in that distance range will have many birdie opportunities.
Other Thoughts: BRP is a top course in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. 5$ a day and the option to buy a prorated season pass mean you should play here if you get the chance.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 1 Not
A promising sign of where DG might be headed
Pros: Awesome advanced level course that even lesser skilled players will enjoy. Probably the best amenities of anywhere that I've ever played with a fully stocked pro shop, snack bar on the course (wasn't open when I was there), retrieval rakes for the ponds. Some awesome holes with a combination of water and woods that really make you think strategy before you tee off. I particularly liked holes 7 and 19, even though I opted both times to weenie out and lay up short of the water. The 140 mini dogleg hole is cool too. I do love the unique teepads and landscaped greens here. Lack of one disc carrying casuals with no etiquette. Course maintenance is meticulous and ongoing.
Cons: I know not even the best course in the world can make every hole a winner, but I found some degree of the holes underwhelming and repetitive. You can only do so many wooded tunnel shots before you think, this...again? Yeah, I shot like poo here (103), but I expected to do much worse since I was effectively playing it blind. While it was a nice feature aesthetically I didn't care much for the shared teepad by the snack bar. Can get crowded at busy times (although I think you'll enjoy the wait).
Other Thoughts: Essentially a DG version of a country club without the ridiculous greens fees and stingy dress codes, and at $5 for all day access an absolute bargain. This isn't your standard functional park course where you blow through holes and move on to the next one. You gotta sit and enjoy the scenery here. I know it was summer when I was there, but I was pleasantly surprised to see folks out at 11:30 on a Wednesday morning enjoying a round of golf at BRP. I ran into lots of friendly locals who played here frequently and were happy to tell me about the history of the place and plans for the future. Absolutely worth the stop, and don't think for a second that you have to be super good at DG to play here. I saw plenty of the family crowd in attendance alongside the serious players.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Very professional, constantly being improved by a knowledgeable staff. Good mix of technicality and wide open power. Signature hole is glorious, a sight you just have to experience yourself. Landscaped baskets on many holes, lots of doglegs right to really test your finesse. Best I've ever played.
Cons: Towards the end you kinda shoot back and forth over a big field.
Other Thoughts: A must play, well worth 5 bucks for hours of entertainment.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Course is on a privately owned sod farm. They sell beer, sandwiches and snacks at the pro shop, and at a shack out in the field. You cross the snack shack three times during normal play, hopefully its open.
There is a good mix of shots needed, and lots of chances to really air it out. Hole 19 used to be a driving range, now its a 750 footer with marks up to 500 feet out.
Also open all year round.
Cons: It's over 30 miles away from me, so I don't have the opportunity to play there as much as I want to.
They are constantly working on everything, so if there were any flaws, they will be righted in the future.
Other Thoughts: I love this place, I want to live here. My #1 course.
I've had opportunity to hang out with some of the staff, and a lot of the 'regulars' and everyone is great, friendly, helpful and fun.
Plus, being a sod farm, they have some of the nicest grass around, take the time, and indulge yourself and lay down on the grass!
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 8 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 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Excellent signs, grooming, tees. Variety other courses don't have. Rakes and hooks for fetching out of water. BEER for sale, very friendly staff.
Cons: Just missing a big hill shot. Ponds are extremely mucky, mosquitos can get really bad.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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