13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a private ranch, which is home to general camping, climbing, and horse riding activities. As long as the course is open, there shouldn't be any major interference.
- Terrain here is pretty mountainous, with plenty of elevation changes, rock formations, and scenic views. Steep downhill shots include #5, a nasty downhill hyzer or sneaky flick into dense woods, #6 plays down on the back end, and #7 is an open bomber. Plenty of valley shots as well; #8 is the mother of all valley shots; with a long steep uphill approach past a line of trees. #2 is a smaller creek valley, but has a tight line to snake through. #15 shoots through some trees over a deep valley as well. Not too many uphill tee shots, really, but plenty of uphill approach shots. Also many many spots with slopes off the fairway to swallow errant drives, like holes #9 thru #12.
- Decent amount of trees and woods here to force line shaping; both off the tee and on approach shots. #2 is a tight FH shot through trees, #5 forces some sort of wide shot, probably a hyzer, into a large patch of woods, and #6 is a FH flex out of some woods. #3 has a hard right turn at the end of the fairway for a tough approach. Other holes have woods on the right side to take away hyzer lines as well.
- Lots of hazards here to cause trouble; #2 has a small creek to go over, #3 has a decent sized pond in front of the basket, #6 has a pond way way left of the fairway. Plenty of valleys/rollaways on holes to make trouble. #13 has the signature basket on a boulder; a nearly vertical upshot is required to stick on the 'green'.
- Plenty of distance at this course, there are some BOMBERS out here that the biggest arms will reach back on. #1 is 529' and slightly downhill, #3 is a long uphill at 484' (with the hard turn at the end). #8, the gigantic uphill valley shot, plays looooong at 650'. Also shorter holes to get deuces on with a good shot - or much much worse with a bad shot. #12 is a blind, short flick around a boulder with rollaway potential. #14 is open, pretty short, but again has a rollaway behind the basket. Scoring out here can take raw power AND a gentle touch.
- Wooden posts with hole numbers are good enough to locate the tees, but the map is definitely needed to get going at first. Tees seemed OK, doesn't seem to get much traffic to wear them down. Baskets are having a rough go; a couple were tipped over and others were in really bad shape. Kinda sucked having to walk up and set up the basket before a couple of putts.
Cons: - Cons, cons, let's see... oh, I got one. Horse crap. Horse crap everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Teeing off? Horse poop. Approach shot? Horse pie. Putting? Might just be a big pile in the basket. I understand that this place is called Horseshoe Canyon Ranch because it is in a canyon shaped like a horseshoe. But honestly, just call it Horsepoop Canyon Ranch.
Other Thoughts: - Well, this is a big time course with big time shots. Elevation changes, woods, water, rock formations, technical lines, bombers, doglegs, really a little bit of everything. A fair amount of pretty open shots, but there is enough variety where it doesn't detract too much.
- Best suited for advanced players, intermediate players will be fine as well. Beginners might be a tad overwhelmed.
- If things like teepads, signs, and baskets make or break your round, you might be disappointed. But the golf itself is top notch,
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
Should host the National Championships
Pros: This is a huge course! These are some long and interesting holes! There are multiple lines for almost all of them. There are water shots, wooded shots, field shots, cliff shots, bridge shots, etc shots. Its beautiful!
Cons: A few of the fairways are always soaking wet which usually leaves you with at least one soggy shoe. Length of the course is both a pro and a con. I'm always exhausted by the end.
Other Thoughts: While I put the length under con cause the hike in the summer can be unbearable, Its really this distance that makes it so epic.. There are shots off cilffs, up cliffs, over hills, around, down, between, hills/creeks/woods/Horse barns.. This place is Great if you have a long arm and good hiking boots! There is one hole that you play down a tiered hill into a family of goats, then play over and cross a huge swinging bridge! Brilliant layout!
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: absolutely phenomenal course blew my mind the scenery was fantastic the elevation changes are crazy awesome; had a goat dog follow us for all 18 holes. Great hole locations
Cons: the front 9 is waaaaaaaaay long rest up your arm for this course. the only way this course could have been any better is if they had concrete tee pads and if they had a map in the pro shop showing where the holes were
Other Thoughts: Best Course in Arkansas......Period
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beuatiful Ozark Mountain setting- spectacular views of the valley through which the course moves. Challenging layout that requires both finesse and power. Helpful staff, interesting flora and fauna. $5 a day to play and it would be a bargain at twice the price.
Cons: Not well maintained. This is a caveat that every player who encouraged me to make the trek up there mentioned, and they were right. Many of the holes are long and don't have signs, so you have to throw and hope that you aare headed in the right direction.
Other Thoughts: This course would easily warrant a five star rating if a little more attention were paid to signage and mowing. This is a working ranch with many other concerns, so it really is cool that there is a disc course there at all. Well worth the trip to Jasper if you can make it. Do it in the fall or early spring to beat the heat and the bugs.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 0 Not
This is why we play Disc Golf!
Horeshoe Canyon Ranch is a Mecca for true outdoor sporting enthusiasists. With premier rock climbing, bouldering, caving, camping and hiking, in addition to the top notch Disc Golf Course, this location is worth the drive. If you live in the mid-south area... this one should be on your short list of 'to do's'.
+Amazing course design
+Multiple shots required
(bring your entire bag)
+Sweeping views of the Canyon
+One of a kind holes and views
+Course design loops in a circle
+Great Hospitality by HCR staff
+Not overcrowded for Disc Golf
+Multiple outdoor opportunites: climbing, horseback riding, rappelling, zip line, etc.
+Camping & Cabins on site
Cons: For me, any "cons" were minor and did not take away from the overall experience. But if there were to be improvements or things to know before you go, here they are:
-Primitive teepads (dirt/grass)
-Primitive signs & markers (homemade)
-Lack of course map
-Horse droppings EVERYWHERE!
-No restrooms on the course
-Expect to hike alot, up and down hill (bring your hiking boots)
-Pay to play (although I would gladly have paid $20 to play this course).
-Accessability: Jasper is a little out of the way in relation to other major towns in AR. Also, the roads into HCR are rough (i.e. dirt, washed out, pot-holes, standing water). Might want to bring an SUV, truck or 4 wheel drive; especially during rainy season.
-Weather: AR can have some intense thunderstorms, hot summers (100 + degrees), humidity that feels like you are breathing thru a towel, bugs and biting insects. Best to play in AR during winter, spring and fall.
Other Thoughts: Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR) is a phenomenal disc golf experience. Driving down into the canyon, one is struck with a sense of wonder and awe at the sheer natural beauty of this hidden place. A sweeping valley is nestled inside of this U-shaped canyon - home to some of the best rock climbing in the USA.
The disc golf course is honestly just an aside to what HCR has to offer; but more than enough to bring disc golfers from around the country here to try their hand at its grueling design.
Hole by Hole brief:
Hole #1: As you walk down past the Lodge, you quickly realize you are not in your local park. This natural wonder is about to take your next 2 hours and rock your world. Approaching the tee pad, you search for the basket. You look at the homemade sign at the foot of the dirt tee pad and see where the basket should be, but it is not in within your eyesight. Get use to it, 90 % of the holes at HCR are not visible from takeoff. The course is hilly and rolls up and down - testing your stamina and your accuracy.
The first hole is a 529 foot- par 4. It requires enough power to top the first hill and clear the small creek, while avoiding the large boulder and maintenance shack. With a decent drive of 200 - 300 feet, you have a chance at a good approach shot. After clearing the first of many hills you will climb today, your approach shot is a straight forward glide onto the green, setting up a rare birdie opportunity. Tap in for birdie and save some of your excitement and zeal... your going to need it.
Hole #2: Walk a short distance to your left from the first basket for the second tee pad. GULP! You will notice a thin tunnel cutting through trees and brush, crossing a beautiful creek, ending up in who-knows-where? You blindly throw your best left to right fade, hoping to power thru the tunnel and up to the basket 349 feet away. Most likely your disc will be swatted down by the overwhelming foliage and brush, leaving you with a 'pull-something-out-of-your-hat' second shot. Once over the creek and through the tunnel, #2 opens up into a clearing. You can now see the basket protected by a couple of guardian trees. Throw a good approach shot and the large rocks at the base of the basket may be kind to you and gently cradle your disc to a stop -or- could kick your disc a couple of yards away. A par 4 here leaves you thankful; it could have been worse.
Hole #3: Walk back up the gentle hill to the left to receive your next eye-popping gift. This 484 foot -par 5 requires a big arm. You will need at least 400 feet of drive or drive + fairway drive to even reach the spot where you can see the basket. Once you trek up the incline, past the lonely trees, here and there, you see one of the more picturesque spots on this course. About 100 ft away is the basket standing on the banks of a man-made pond, surrounded by large boulders and the rock bluffs of the canyon on either side of the backdrop. Take a deep breathe and enjoy the view. Now, pull out your long-range approach shot and gently fly the pond and stick your disc on the small green. Careful not to be too short - or you're wet. Too long and you will be searching through brush and bushes for a while. Played well this hole offers a birdie opportunity. Weaker arms will be happy to have 5 shots to muster the nearly 500 feet of distance - up hill.
Celebrate your par or birdie on #4 and get ready for a small hike up to the 4th tee pad. Follow the white signs on the trees leading uphill to your next hole. Number four is one of the few holes you may actually see the basket from the tee pad. However, that's not much consultation because you are now faced with a serious dilemma. You have 356 feet to cover and only 3 strokes for a par. There is a gigantic bolder in the middle of the right-to-left sloping fairway that necessitates your choosing to play top side right or left side down hill for your drive. Any indecisive shots that don't completely commit to a hard left or a hard right will be smacked down by the boulder and its accompanying friends - the trees. With a good drive, you have a chance at an easy approach and tap in par. A bad drive will have you scrambling to find a shot that will get you remotely close to the basket and perhaps save par or earn a bogey. At any rate, the large 15 -20 foot tall boulder behind and to the left of the basket provides a nice backstop for your approach/putt.
By the end of hole five, you may have discovered that you have used a multitude of the discs in your bag. This par 3, 358 foot hole again requires a clear line of approach. A thick cluster of trees impedes your direct approach to the basket waiting downhill. Forehand drivers may be able to sneak a well thrown left to right drive on the green. Backhanders will need to have a good hyzer/anhyzer (depending on your throwing hand) to get them into play. Once past the cluster of trees, the green is generous, yet beware of flying your approach or putt too long. The steep down hill behind the basket will lead you far away from the basket and potentially into another small creek.
Walk a short distance on the path to find #6's tee pad. This par 5 requires a couple of technical shots.
Your drive will need to be super-straight through the short tunnel of trees lining the path down into the open field that serves as the fairway. Once through the trees, the basket is visible. To your left will be another man-made pond. Behind the basket you will see another of the large boulders acting as a backstop. This will give you added confidence to really go for your approach shot. Let it rip to finish off whatever remains of the total 482 feet and find yourself shooting for birdie or again saving par. When you tap in, take a look up at the view. From here you will get a panoramic glimpse of the lodge, cabins and rock walls. Beautiful!
Number 7 begs you to throw your arm out. With almost 450 feet of open pasture, this par four is made for the long drivers. Play your drive to the right on this dogleg right and you will be in good position for a clear approach. A small creek runs the length of the pasture on the far left side - should not be a factor, though. As you approach the basket, the wide-open fairway turns in to a small pocket of green surrounded again by a cluster of trees. Accuracy will earn you a birdie/ par attempt. Wayward shots will have you fighting the trees and rocks.
Number eight might steal some of your manhood (or womanhood...I guess?!?). This monster is 650 feet uphill. No really...UP HILL! You might wish you had a cannon to launch your disc on this one. You confidently approach the tee pad and valiantly throw your most powerful drive, just missing the trees that rise about 75 feet in front of the pad, and watch as your drive seems to flutter and fall to the earth, just missing the creek that runs right to left at the bottom of the hill. Trek down the slope and over the creek. Start climbing the hill and find your drive. Not as far as you would have liked, huh? You are blind to where the basket is (atop the next hill) and you are probably still a good 300 foot away. Pull back and throw your driver or fairway driver again with enough force to spin you around when you release and you might...might make the top of the next incline. If you do, you have a good shot at reaching the basket with your third throw. The basket sits atop of this incline in a generous clearing. Approach and putt out. You are thankful this one gave your 5 shots for par. Grab your breathe!
Number nine has you back on the main entrance road and utilizes that same hill you just climbed in a treacherous 543 foot- par 4. The hole is simple enough - a straight forward look at the basket. The challenges lies in two matters. The road is OB and dangerously close on your left (within 30 feet of the tee pad). The second is that hill. It is steep and sloped down from left to right, ending in a no-man's-land of trees and a steep drop off into the creek. An accurate and long drive will be needed to get you within approachable distance. Stick the middle of the fairway and you should be able to throw a long, very long straight forward approach shot to the green of soft grass. Do all this in 4 throws or less and count yourself lucky.
As you cross back over the main entrance road, you will climb another small hill to find 10's tee pad.
The good news: the long distance throws will subside for a while.
The bad news: you are about to compete with the house sized boulders and slippery hillsides.
Step up to the tee pad with renewed confidence for the back nine and throw your heart out. This simple dogleg right is a par three, 272 foot chance to find your game again. No much to talk about here, except the hillside you are playing on and the OB road. The hill slopes right to left and offers to take your disc for a long ride if you don't respect it. The main road is OB and demands that you play the hole close to the woods on the right side of the fairway. With a good drive, fading left to right, you should be able to get a clean approach and putt out at par.
The eleventh hole gives the occasion to gain a stroke. 445 foot, par 4 with a simple, smooth right hook to the basket. Very similar to hole 10, with the trees on the right and the hillside on the left. A picturesque boulder acts as a spectator to the basket and offers a little safekeeping if you decide to go for the basket on your approach or long putt.
Twelve wraps around the hillside to the right and taunts you with one of the largest boulders in the canyon. This particular boulder (about the size of your house) is playing a perpetual game of hide-and-go-seek with you and the basket. The basket is tucked behind this boulder. A drive of 275ft with a hard left to right fade has the prospect of being dead on the green. A small row of trees lines the back of the basket and offers added security for those who chance the big throw. The hillside again comes into play, but only if you hang your drive out a little too far left. This is another birdie/par opportunity to bring your score down.
This is one of the most memorable holes in HCR. The designers of this course really showed their wit on the next few holes. The simple, easy, slow pace is over. 206 feet from the tee pad is another of the house sized boulders (20 foot tall, 30 foot diameter)...with a basket atop it! Throw your drive to hang out left and then dive hard right and hope that you can stick it on top of the 'house.' Drives that don't stick on top of the rock, force you to throw a putt/approach some 20 - 30 foot in the air. Shots that don't gum to the rock will continually roll off, over and over again - turning a par 3 into a potential double, triple bogey. This hole offers you a simple design that gives you a great view of the canyon when you putt out from atop the rock. Taken in the sight.
Fourteen is FUN! There you are standing atop of a large smooth stoned tee pad that slants down the hill and offers you a panoramic view of the valley. The basket sits 275 foot down the fairway and below you. The fairway is wide open. No trees. No worries. Grip it and rip it. Drives glide nicely around the grassy green. But beware! Drives beyond 260 foot will skip and fall down the backside of the hill. Lay up - play it safe and enjoy the par 3.
Approach 15 and get ready to be amazed. The wooden suspension bridge that spans the chasm is reminiscent of something off of Indiana Jones. You get to throw over the gorge, the bridge and onto the other side in search of the basket (244ft). A few pesky trees force you to throw a technical shot that has a lot of potential to go wrong. This hole also offers one of the few hard right to left fade shots off the tee. Players who have trouble with hard left fades will find themselves uncomfortable and possibly looking for a disc in the creek. Once across the span, enjoy the walk on the suspension bridge and finish the hole with very few obstacles. Par 3 is doable, but with the potential penalty strokes here, it could be worse.
Climb atop the next rising hill and take in the nice view of the horse stables and barns, below the hill. Another chance to throw down the steep hill brings up the adrenaline. The marker says, "308ft, par 4", but the hole looks and feels more like 600+. The creek cuts across the fairway and the trees lining the creek make for a pretty littered middle approach. Players would best be served to hang the drive out hard left or hard right. Either way offers you a very long 2nd shot, which with a strong arm may reach the green. The backside of the green is treacherous though. The creek snakes to the right and behind the green. A small slopping hill offers to take your disc directly into the creek if you overshoot the green. Well placed shots could earn you a birdie opportunity here. Be smart and stick you shots to earn par.
This is the last of the long throws and the designers had one last adventure for you. The tee pad is back on level ground and overlooks the main road and the horse barns. The 400 feet between you and the basket must be covered by flying your disc over the road and then sharply left and down the hill. A large set of wooden stairs will lead you down to the green, but also serve as a menace if you are errant with your drive. The theme continues: good drives and long approach shots offer you a birdie opportunity. No real hazards once to get over the stairs and down the hill. Par four is doable.
You are now back in the base of the canyon and heading back to the Lodge. There is one final hole, and your legs, arm and lungs are probably welcoming this sight. This hole's design punctuates the great use of this canyon's natural resources and the genius of the designers. A short par 3 (about 275 feet). A mound of earth impedes your view of the basket (which is actually due straight). The mound is topped with a few trees and demands that you hook right or left. Once around the mound, you notice the final basket beautifully shaded by a large pine tree and being kept company by a last large boulder. Both of these natural resources offer a backstop for your final approach/putt. Go for birdie! Catch your breath and take in some more views of the canyon. You have just played one of the best courses in the mid-south.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Awesome course setup on a dude ranch. $5 per day, pay to play. No whimps, no whiners. This course is a hike and unbelievably beautiful. Several true par 4's, shooting down and back up hills, over chasms, creeks, ponds, boulders. It's amazing, this canyon was carved through the ozark mountains for this disc golf course. Personally, this is my favorite course in the state.
Cons: Not for the weak. This course is a hike and more than likely you'll be worn out after 1 round, but you'll be lovin it.
Some rough spots during the summer months with thorns and tall grass and also some manure, but it's so beautiful out there that these few negatives won't even bother you.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
A Unique Experience
Pros: Horseshoe canyon is one of the most unique courses you will ever play. Most holes offer a good challenge, and it has some of the most beautiful scenery. The course requires a bagful of shots, not to mention a little creativity.
Cons: (I don't mind the horse manure everywhere, but you might). Pay to play.
Other Thoughts: I will try to post pictures soon. Allow at least 3 hours to play. It's not a manicured park, it's a dude ranch, so expect some taller grass, eneven terrain and some thorns here and there.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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