Among the Best in Minnesota
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The full gamut of different shots required by the alpine terrain at Giants Ridge will test every aspect of your game. The practice facilities are great--be sure to warm up on the practice hole between the chairlifts. The tee pads throughout the course are excellent, as are the baskets. Navigation is pretty easy, using the map provided at the rental shop. Signage between tees is adequate. There are plenty of garbage cans and benches throughout the course. The grass on the fairways was short, and everything seemed to be well-maintained.
The views are more than sufficient reward for climbing such a large ridge. The fall colors are unbelievable in September and October.
There are a fair share of very memorable holes on this course, and it's so fun to throw for huge distance downhill. I could empty the bag at #15--especially if the basket is way back--and turn around and climb back up and do it again.
Cons: Signage at the tees was poor; it was only at the front tees and was often faded and hard to read. This was the final week before closing, and the signs were probably new at the beginning of the season, but they need a more durable design (they were paper under plexiglass). They can't be permanent signs, because they have to be removed for ski season. I hate to deduct at all from a perfect 5 for this absolute gem of a course, but in my prior experience with Giants Ridge (over 20 years worth), everything here has been done with such an eye for excellence that it makes these tee signs stick out like a sore thumb.
Other Thoughts: The first 8 holes aren't so steep that they're overly tiring to walk. The walk to the 9th tee may increase your heartbeat, but the view from Rocky Top (the back tee) will definitely take your breath away. Take beverages, because there's no water available on the course after the rental shop. And be sure to take your camera; you'll want the better lens for pictures here. Lastly, take a moment to take it all in...this is disc golf at its finest!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Gorgeous views, good challenge, LONG, well maintained. Very worth the $5, worth making a special trip if you are within a couple hours.
18 holes that go up and down a mountain. Lots of uphill and sidehill shots, some gorgeous downhills as well. Lots of distance, but most of the holes don't play straight uphill so it isn't as obvious that you are going uphill. Beautiful forest on both sides of the wide fairways. Good concrete teepads.
Cons: Deep grass in some spots, if you miss the fairway you can easily lose a disc.
Grass is not mowed as often as would be nice, can get really thick at times. If you can keep the disc low and straight you will rarely go off into the woods, the fairways are generally very wide, giving the appearance of risk more than actual risk.
Other Thoughts: If you are anywhere in northern MN, you need to go play this course, it is totally worth it, give yourself time to enjoy the views and the play.
This is still probably my favorite course, and we make a trip every year up to northern MN just to play here.
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Amazing view, elevation changes on almost every hole, and clean. Quite challenging overall. Somehow there is only one hole where you'll feel tired even though you walk up hill the first half. Nice pro shop and great maps/scorecards. Stay in the fairways and you'll be okay. Very well marked, with signs pointing to the next hole every time (why can't every course do this?).
Cons: Fairways are mowed, but otherwise the grass can be very long, over 4 ft tall at times. Don't stray or you will lose discs. Bring bug spray for the mosquitos and ticks. Long drive from pretty much anywhere.
Other Thoughts: Don't fret the $5 fee, its justified. The long drive is worth it too. My friends and I go to Lutsen once a year (we live in the Twin Cities) and it adds 2+ hours to our drive, but we're happy to have an excuse to get even sort of that far north. Be careful on the downhill shots. The first time I played 17 from the short tee, I threw a little anhyzer to compensate for the excessive drift of dropping elevation, and I cleared the hole, turning what I meant to be a 300 ft shot into a 1000ft shot all the way down. Had us all ROFLing.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Tremendous views, very acceptable pads (concrete with a few painted on the native stone). Some interesting hole designs, with a few massive bombers taking advantage of the steep terrain. Many opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Cons: Do not attempt if it might become dark: while it may save you the $5 fee, descent of the ski slope in the dark is extremely dangerous. Even in daylight, some of the tees can be difficult to locate, even with decent signage, as the grass is allowed to grow rather long.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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