Now I know what "Very Hilly" looks like!
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is located on an exceptional piece of land. The topography and elevation really make it special.
This course takes full advantage of a tall circular bluff by running holes up, down and along the steep face. The first six holes (I played the Red Tees) start off in the "bowl" below the bluff, but still offer significant elevation changes. Not much in the way of trees down here, but the holes are challenging.
Starting at Hole 7 you go up the bluff, and start encountering more trees. The terrain is very rugged, and you need to closely watch where your discs land or you may not find them.
Depending on which holes you play at the top, you'll either be up on mostly flat ground, or playing holes which drive across canyons to baskets perched on the other side. There are a couple of amazing basket placements on the left (east) side.
The final Hole on each side is an epic drive from the top of the bluff to the basket below. Watch where it goes, because it will take you a while to get down there!
Teepads are natural, but were surprising good. For the most part they were flat and even.
I played just a few days after a weekend B-tier tournament and many of the additional signs and flags leading to the next tees were still in place, so navigation wasn't bad.
Cons: This course will work you physically. If you are not in shape it will beat you up. My wife finally gave up and went back to the truck at Hole 8.
The permanent signs are very small and mounted low to the ground. I was able to take advantage of additional taller signs left over from a weekend tournament. Without those signs I would have been hard pressed to locate several of the tees.
Other Thoughts: I would generally rate a course down for dirt tee pads, poor signage, and difficult navigation, but this one is so special based on the terrain and basket placements that I didn't use my normal criteria.
Wear boots, take water, and a spotter would be useful on a few of the holes. This would be an easy course to lose a disc or two on.
Arranging to play with a local might save you some looking around.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course is stunning and has a lot of diversity in holes. It starts behind the rimrocks and climbs all the way to the top of the rim with a sweeping view of Billings. Then it quickly works its way down the rim culminating in a 720ft 18th hole that can be birdied or maybe even aced. This course combines disc golf, hiking and rock scrambling through beautiful cowboy country.
Cons: I played alone with the downloadable map, but still couldn't find 2 of the tees. This is because many of the tee markers are small and only rise a few inches off the ground even if the grass is tall or boulders surround it. Need poles instead of these little tee markers. The wind was relentless on top of the rimrocks, with hundred foot cliffs on either side of you, so I actually chickened out on one of the holes. Many of the holes cross seas of boulders so your discs will probably take a pounding.
Other Thoughts: This is one of those courses you will never forget!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
A Rough Little Diamond
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Fun, diamond-in-the-rough course. Some tees were hard to find, but the course is beautiful, rugged, playing in a bowl with some small sandstone cliffs. Fantastic place to play. Some great holes off the hill, some with drop-offs, around trees. One of the tee boxes is a big slab of rock. Fun course. Watch where the discs go, though, if there is tall grass they can be hard to find.
Cons: You'd have to be pretty picky to find a con beyond the difficulty finding some of the tee boxes and baskets. I had a printed map which helped. Part of the problem is that it's just a rugged course with lots of rocks and shrubs that can make it hard to find the next tee or basket.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: *Hole layout is amazing
*Challenging drives (hyzer & anhyzer)
*Great information on each tee as where the hole is in distance / height
Cons: :*Map was impossible to read due to age / dirt
*Even with the greatly informed signs on the tees it was hard to find the next tee
*Not a lot of shade
*Not a relax course (you will want water)
*No garbage cans or facilities
*The name of the course is deceiving. It's in Phipp's Park, so why not call it Phipp's Park?
Other Thoughts: You will want to save around 3 hours if it is your first time playing this. Finding the holes and the hike to each hole / tee is going to take about this long for an 18 hole game. We only had about an hour and a half to play and got tired of looking for the tees after hole 9. If I lived in the area I would make this a common trip once I learned all the hole positions but wouldn't suggest this to anyone wanting to sneak a game in between other vacation events.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: -What great scenery
-Unique shots you will never see anywhere else.
-Signs are very detailed to where the hole is compared to the tee.
Cons: -It can take upwards of 20 minutes to find the next tee.
-The map is not correct at the entrance of the course.
-No tee pads
Other Thoughts: My wife and I only made it through 12 holes on this course before marking it off our list as a waste. We walked around looking for tees more than we actually were able to play disc golf. The map being incorrect was frustrating and the signs were near impossible to see when put on the ground. The concept was fantastic and the holes were very well placed. I wish they could just put it all together and make it a great course.
5 of 20 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1-Views......this is a breathtaking course with unbelievable views. My phone died after about 5 holes so I didn't get near the photos I wanted.
2-Physical challenge......this course is like mountain climbing meets disc golf. It is a great workout and requires some cautious planning to reach your disc for the next throw.
3-Elevation change.....extreme elevation changes makes shotmaking a blast, even on "flat" holes, there's the fear of a shot going errant and falling off a 300 foot ridge!!
Cons: The only con I have is it was difficult to know where the next hole is. When you could follow the path, it was easy, when you got into the rocks, I ended up lost, wandering around looking for any teebox.
Other Thoughts: This was a great experience for me, I had a great time but this is NOT a course for a beginner, or an out of shape moderate player!! It was extremely windy the day I was there as well, making it even more challenging but if I'm ever in Billings again, I will RUN not walk to play this course again!!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 7 Not
Amazing use of the landscape
Pros: - great use of the natural landsscape
- unbelievable views
- a full 36 holes
- 18th hole
Cons: - finding discs. you may pay for this course in plastic. We lost one on 18.
- route finding is a bit rough
- a few signs could be a bit better. For instance where to go on 18.
Other Thoughts: It was the perfect was to see the landscape. Unbelievable course. Reminded me a lot of Whistler with a Mesa flair to it. The holes all used creative use of the natural landscape. Also very clean.
Cant add too much more that has not been written except
- We played in the snow. Since most of the course in north facing it was slow to melt out.
- I would gladly pay for a spotter on almost every hole.
- I would also enjoy a rappel from 18. It would cut the walk by 15 minutes.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
39 Helpful / 0 Not
Strange Lights in my Mouth
Pros: The description of a 4.5 rating is "Phenomenal" that about sums it up.
I do not give this rating for "golf challenge" but for the "awe factor." Any other course that I've rated this high has a variety of wooded holes forcing different lines or with different options for lines. This course has a small variety of trees that shape some of the holes, but most of the challenge doesn't come from tight technical fairways but from navigating through the desert canyons through the boulders and rough terrain. Then as you get up on the rim of the canyon the risk/reward factor comes into play where an errant shot may lead to a half hour hike down the side of a cliff if you want your plastic back, if you can find it again.
This is an adventure course at its best, not for the faint of heart. Get a good night sleep, put your hiking boots on, pack plenty of water, bring some snacks, bring a couple discs you might lose, wear jeans, bring a camera and plan for a full day of disc golf. If you're not prepared or not in good shape all 36 holes might be a bit too much to tackle in a day.
Amenities. Plenty of parking, a dumpster and a info kiosk down the trail are all this course has, make sure you're prepared before heading out there.
Variety. Though many of the holes are open, the variety of boulders, trees, canyon walls, and trees come are used to create a variety of challenging holes. 36 holes, not one seems like another and each one is just perfect for this course. From short and technical to long and wide open.
Secluded. I saw a few other people walking their dogs and exploring this beautiful scenic area. But they never impeded on my game. I often felt that I was by myself on a great journey through the canyons.
Scenic. Beautiful, assuming you're not attached to the lush green scenery of the typical forested courses.
Baskets. 36 of them, in good condition.
Awe Factor. I said bring a camera, several times along the way I found myself pausing to sit and enjoy the view, as you're working up the side of the cliff the view just keeps getting better. Then of course there's the 2 holes 18, it looks like an awesome place to empty the bag but finding the first disc is challenging enough.
Cons: Wears on plastic. The rough terrain and rocks will chew up discs, especially base line plastic, plan accordingly.
Tee. For a rough secluded course, this is about what I expect. Most teepads do the job, some are pretty rough, and a couple have broken ankle written all over them.
Navigation. Get a map, study it, pay close attention, spend plenty of time walking around looking for the next tee, prepare to get lost. With some detective work I was able to find all of the holes. Or ideally, get a guide, personally I waited for an hour or so, not many other "Folfers" out there (and before you slam me for the term, you must realize that this is the sport they play in Montana, took me a while to get used to hearing "Folf").
Losing plastic. Lots of nooks and crannies for discs to hide, a spotter might be useful, playing by myself was tough, several places had me looking for my discs for a long time, even though they were right in the "open."
Not for the faint of heart. If you're out of shape, the steep climbs and rough terrain may make this course less than ideal.
Not many other courses nearby.
Not for beginners. The holes in the lower part of the canyon could be a great place to practice and learn the game, but the holes along the rim offer plenty of chances to turn a disc off into oblivion. Personally I had what I thought was a "perfect" shot on the blind basket 15 along the left side, all I can determine is that it rolled off the cliff, never to be seen again.
Other Thoughts: This course isn't necessarily on my top 10 list of favorite courses for design/challenge reasons. But on my list of phenomenal courses that one should experience in life, this is number 1. If you're ever presented with the opportunity to play this course, don't pass it up.
39 of 39 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is unlike anything I have ever played. The pictures make the course looks pretty crazy and funky but they really do not do justice at all. The amount of climbing up and down and over large rocks, bushes, sticks and other things is just incredible. There are many tee pads that are on sides of cliffs or on top of a large boulder or in just a generally out there location. There are many places here where you could easily lose your balance or trip and hurt, maim or kill yourself accidentally. Also there are rattlesnakes during the Summer months so being vigilant and aware of your surroundings is a key factor out here.
There are actually two separate eighteen hole courses out here that are split into nine different hole using four different colors; red, green, blue and black if I remember correctly. Navigation really isn't too bad when you bring the map but some of the tee pads don't have anything telling you are tee pads other than signs of previous people throwing from the spot.
So the course plays up and down the rocky canyon walls with many large up and down hill throws with the largest obstacles besides the elevation actually being huge rocks and boulders with trees coming in a distance third. There are lots of holes on this course where your best option is to actually try and bounce your tee shot off a rock for a better position.
Aw yes hole nine on the left course (Green or Black course I believe) is a cool hole with the basket bolted into the side of the rock face. This is one of the more talked about holes from this course but I found it fairly easy to get the distance to be up on the rock, the big problem was if it was going to stick and if it doesn't how are you going to make this crazy vertical putt? This is a very unique hole and just down right fun to play. Hole eighteen on this course plays from on top of the mesa on the LARGE rock top with the tee pad being only a couple feet from certain death if you fall. This may be the largest downhill shot I have ever taken; the top of the world shot at Whistler's Bend in Oregon is pretty darn high up as well and I don't know which one is higher but my guess is hole eighteen on this course. I actually like the right side hole eighteen better as you can really air it out.
The scenic beauty here is down right stunning. You get the other side of the canyon, the distant mountains and the town of Billings all well below your vision at the top. Bring a camera if you want some tremendous pictures but one that isn't too heavy to haul around all day long.
Cons: There are a ton of blind tee pads here and the first time out you will need to walk the hole first which is normally annoying but with hot weather, elevation, snakes and other scary things to watch out for you might not want to be walking every single hole twice.
I really don't like the basket location for hole eighteen on the left course (Black course I believe) which shares a basket with hole eighteen on the right side course. Yes it is a more than 100 foot drop in elevation but the hole isn't nearly long enough and it comes down to if you can throw short enough for the basket. You can play safari and aim for just about any basket you want I suppose and this will fix the problem, either way the right side hole eighteen is much more fun In my opinion.
This is not for the weak at heart or weak at anything else either. This is not just huge elevation hiking it has some rock climbing aspects to it as well. I am a casual hiker as well and after playing this course I don't think there is any backpacking trip I couldn't do! We saw some people with a kid who was playing with lid, I felt bad for those people as I heard that frisbee scrape against rock! Anyway don't bring kids or anyone who isn't agile or in at least good physical condition.
There are lots of scary things to look out for here including snakes, falling of a ledge, dehydration, falling and breaking a bone or some other injury, etc. This is a rugged, nasty course so keep that in mind when showing up to play. It's 1/3 Disc Golf, 1/3 hiking and 1/3 rock climbing and it is epic!
Other Thoughts: This became an instant favorite of mine right off the bat. I was teetering on the edge of giving this a five star review but held off based on a couple of things already mentioned. It can't be said enough: stay alert, be careful and take this country serious or you could end up in trouble. Bring tons and tons of water on hots days, more than you think you need because you can't carry too much water. There a number of crevices on some of these large rocks so be careful of that as well. Prepare to have a fun time and enjoy yourself and take it all in because you're not going to find this kind of experience anywhere else but Diamond X.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As stated by previous reviewers, this course has unbelievable and breath-taking views. The terrain is certianly unique for me. The course has more elevation than you could ask for and will take all your energy to complete.
I drove from Minneapolis to play this course and will be going back next year. I took two days and played the right 18 the first day and the left 18 the second day. In my opinion, the course on the right (I think its labelled Red 1-9 and Blue 10-18) was more fun, but that may have been because it was my first day there and it was all new to me. The left course (I think they call it Green 1-9 and Black 10-18) was certainly just as scenic and challenging, but I was extremely tired that second day. 18 on both courses are probably the best end to any course I've played.
Cons: Terrain is tough so be prepared to not just hike but climb with your hands and feet.
Additional signage and an updated map would be great. The map on the website and at the course didnt show the first 9 holes on the right side (i'm assuming those are newer to the course).
Spent lots of time searching for baskets and tees. Took 5.5 hours to complete first 18, about 4 hours to finish the second 18 the following day.
Some tee pads are unmarked as of our playing but footpaths are usually helpful in getting you to the next tee, or at least in the vicinity.
I lost 3 discs on this course due to throwing around bends and boulders and steep terrain that can make a disc roll for days.
I wanted to give this course a 5, as it is the most challenging and beautiful course I've played, but the lack of signage between holes really slowed the game down.
None of these cons are a big deal and certainly didnt take away from our enjoyment of this legendary course.
Other Thoughts: Take a trip to this course. It was worth the 6 days of driving and sleeping in tents for us. The icing on the cake was at the end of the second day, as we had just finished hole 18 and were headed to the car, a lady hiking the trails on the course came up to us and asked if we wanted a disc she had found up on top of the mesa. Turned out to be my custom dyed star excal I had lost the day before! The disc golf gods were smiling on us that day.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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