5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Mountain Course
Pros: Great atmosphere with very friendly people. Loved the Experience as a whole, and will be returning to play again. The owners, Dan and Ellen, are very friendly folks who want nothing more than to show you a good time. We had lunch there before our round, and had some delicious tacos that Ellen made. $20 for lunch and a round for 2 people, this is a heck of a bargain. Many very tricky holes, with creative pin placements. Holes 3, 10, and 12 are all nestled in intricate rock formations, and were just a joy to play. Three world class holes! Good mix of long and short holes, with enough open space on the long holes to really let 'er rip. The map given at the ranch house was very accurate, and made the course easy to follow. If you get the joy of seeing Jack (the dog) and Spot (the cat) play together, you'll know just the kind of place you've come to... fun for all.
Cons: Signage non-existent, but the map gives you all the info you need. I don't get the logic behind hole 17 which is through VERY tight trees, there's no fairway whatsoever, and you really just have to throw and pray (got par here with a roller upshot, but will be the first to say it was luck and not skill). The only other hole I didn't like was 5 which is basically a boring 411ft hole in a big flat open field, almost hit an ace clanging off both top and bottom metal, but still it was jut rather bland. I guess it is a hole that just is intended to cover the distance between the more interesting areas. The tee pads could use some more attention and an upgrade, but were adequate.
Other Thoughts: Really looking forward to playing this course again. Got to see a bunch of different lines once at the pin that weren't really visible from the tee pad, so I know I can improve greatly on my score (hole 3 has a big anhyzer line over the trees I didn't even realize was there from tee, but that's the only tip you're getting from me). Put my drive into the drink on hole 8, about 2 ft from the shore of pond closest to the pin. I am sure it would have made it if I didn't catch a big headwind gust in midflight. Water was too murky for a recovery. Cool pin placement to tempt those with big arms to try the shot over the pond, and punish them if they don't succeed. Still going to go for it next time, even though it has already claimed one of my go-to drivers. Really enjoyed this course, and will be making the trip back out there sometime within the next month. Can't really list this as a pro or con, but the catching area of the baskets are a bit smaller than most because the bottom basket is deeper than most. Baskets are more sensitive than most to being off left or right, and can spit your disc out if you don't hit it perfectly in the center. I didn't have problems in round, because I noticed this while warming up prior to my round. Something good to know ahead of time though...
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
It has it, but just not all of it
Pros: The setting, terrain, and scenery are amazing. There are discatchers here. The course offers water, elevation, woods, open fields, bombers and technical wooded cooridors. The dude ranch now sells ice cold 6 packs and will give you a bucket and ice for your bevs, along with a bottle opener. It was 930am when we played it, but we had to partake. The owner is VERY friendly, accomodating, and talkative. Some really amazing rock formations are used to create memorable and tricky putts or upshots. Hole 14 is very beautiful and an amazing throw if you can pull it off, it plays across a valley from an elevated tee to an elevated pin, still hidden behind trees. Hole 10 is an awesome uphill throw to a basket on the edge of a rock face. I took quite a few pictures here I plan to upload later.
Cons: While this course was really great, I still had the feeling the entire time that something was lacking. I think it suffers from being privately owned, and taking a backseat to the main attraction which is the horseback riding dude ranch. When you get a bunch or dude ranch city slickers playing your course all the time, you'll never get any constructive feedback on how to improve, maintain, and upkeep your course. I personally like groomed courses and I think if the meadow holes were mowed and better maintained, the experience would be even more amazing. If little extras like nicely laid out pathways, wood chipped greens, more stone for longer more level tees, and a little more manicuring would easily push this course to a 4.5 or 5. But of course it would, then it would be a disc golf ranch, and not just disc golfing at a dude ranch. The course map is pretty poor, and more than a few directions and distances seem to be off. Tee signs are nonexistent and would be that final excellent touch which could take this course over the edge!
Other Thoughts: I struggled and wanted to rate this a 3 or 3.5 when I first played it. I get this impression from my colorado discin vacation that disc golf courses are afterthoughts. While the extreme and beautiful terrain is more than appealing to a disc golfer and designer, it seems as though the designs are crammed into an area not primarily for disc golf, and disc golf is underutilized so all the upkeep and maintenance suffers. This design was very well done, although I would have changed many things, I can't really complain. A little more upkeep and dedication and this course would be amazing, no doubt at all. While it is remotely located, it was worth it, I wish I would have played Beaver Meadows also because that combination would probably made my experience better. So, even after driving overnight 18 hours and being dead tired while playing this course, I liked it. I wish I would have brought ligther more understable discs on the trip. My WI course is 650' above sea level, this one is 8000'. Disc do NOT turn like they should, and they all fade REAL hard. It was TOUGH throwing in the lighter air and I had to hugely overcompensate my throws which deadened my scores.
You'll have a BEAUTY of a course if you put a little more upkeep into the course, add some crushed stone for larger and more level tees, and make up some nice tee signs (I did mine for Winter Park in Kewaunee WI simply with MS Paint, printed them out, and laminated them).
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Very scenic and challenging while still being fun to play. This course keeps me dreaming about it all year long. The staff is very welcoming and helpful. Fresh cookies and lemonade were available at no extra charge. This course is on a dude ranch and casual traffic is almost none. Maps are provided and lead you along your way through the woods and meadows. Players will be able to use their entire arsenal of shots while playing here, making this a true pleasure. This course makes for an excellent weekend of disc getaway with camping nearby. My favorite hole is #14 where you must carry over a ravine at least 350-375 to be sitting decently on the other side. In the middle is a marshy, muddy, bushy mess.
Cons: A little bit out of the way, just below Red Feather Lakes. Tee pads are natural and a little rough, but I have seen much worse. Watch out for hikers and horseback riders, not a real big deal since they move through swiftly. Hard to find a lot of cons. If you don't like hiking or shooting through woods, stay away. Cell phones don't work too well here, but this is actually a positive in my book. Wildlife must always be considered when playing in their backyard. There were reports of bears, as there always are in Red Feather, but I've never seen one there.
Other Thoughts: An absolute blast the throw here! Stay for a day or a weekend, it will never be long enough.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A Must Experience for any Golfer
Pros: Obviously the biggest pro of a mountain course is the elevation and terrain. Sundance Trail hole #10 is the ultimate example of this: a short hole that plays up as far as it plays long, with the pin nestled in the rock face at the crest giving the player stunning views overlooking the ranch and mountainous peaks. It's simply beautiful.
Holes are diverse in their length, foliage levels, elevation changes, and layouts. Latter holes play extremely tight through the thin lodge pole pine; while other holes like #9 and #14 let long players air it out in a wide expanse of land.
One other major pro of this course is the people. They were friendly ranch folk who took the time to make sure we were set and ready to play. My friend asked for some water, and they simply gave him a thermos and said keep it. "Need to borrow a disc? No problem, the selection is limited but there are some along the wall you're more than welcome to use for the day. Don't forget the color map and scorecard before you go out, and if you need anything else, we'll be out watering the horses." I love it.
BEST HOLE/S: #10; #11
Cons: Being a privately owned course, there are the typical issues that I take with a grain of salt. First, some holes are bit thick. Even with that authentic mountain feel, technical holes like 15 and 17 are more luck than skill which can be bothersome to some people.
The course is pay to play, but you can play a round for three dollars or decide to stay all day for five.
Another issue are the tee boxes. I understand gravel and dirt tee boxes in the mountains - they make sense and seem right in the environment, but many are very unlevel and awkward. Again, being privately owned, tree clearing and tee maintenance can fall by the wayside, but is a small knock on the overall course quality.
One final issue may be that it's located so far away, so that may turn off some people, but I think many would agree that a good escape to the mountains is always worth a good drive.
WORST HOLE/S: #6
Sundance Meadows was a serene and inspiring disc golf experience for me. Being able to play here with the friend who first took me out disc golfing over a decade ago was icing of the cake. Heck, even writing this review has been unusually difficult since courses like these sometimes can't ever be adequately reviewed - they just need to be experienced.
Even though I believe this course rates slightly higher than Beaver Meadows DGC
just a few miles up the road, the combo still makes a solid one-two punch and a must destination for any avid disc golfer. Sure, each course has some technical issues that can drop a rating a bit, but that's been typical in every private course I have played. What may set these mountain courses apart is the fact that you can travel up here, play a round, and find a peace which is rarely be attained in everyday life. Experience it, enjoy it, and hope others can come and do the same.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A course for champions
Pros: This is one of those courses that you tell all your friends about. It is a spectacular course secluded in beautiful Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. If you like to hike through the open wilderness and love a challenging disc golf course, then you won't be disappointed with this technical masterpiece. The area is a great escape from the busy courses where I live in Fort Collins. Sundance requires a variety of medium to long shots as well as great accuracy in order to hold a reasonable score. Throw a bad tee shot on most holes and you will likely struggle to make par. The course plays through dense woods and open meadows. Although many holes are under 300', most of them require a tight gap shot through thick woods to get to the pin. Hole #2 and #17 are prime examples. Course maps are available for finding your way.
Cons: It does cost money to play, but the experience alone is well worth it. Tight wooded holes can destroy your score while others require strategic placement rather than trying for distance. Some holes have large rocks that can scar a disc pretty badly. This may be a frustrating course for inexperienced players. You might want to wear your hiking shoes and bring warm clothing just in case the weather goes bad. It does get windy often in this area.
Other Thoughts: Remember to tell the owners how great of a course it is! Stop by The Wright Life in Fort Collins to meet the course designer and get info.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A Slice of Heaven
Pros: A very scenic and challenging course for the average Discer, with lots of variety from hole to hole. Bring a full repertoire of shots and accuracy if you want to beat this course. Hole 17 is the toughest hole there in my opinion; if you thread the needle through a wall of trees on your drive you can birdie it, but if you get tangled up in the trees you can 5 or 6 it too. Long wide open holes, short tight holes, uphill, downhill - just a great variety from open field to moderately wooded to heavily wooded.
Other Thoughts: I give it a 5 because of the overall experience of the course and its environs. Every time I visit Sundance it's an awesome experience in a beautiful setting.
The hosts, Dan and Ellen, are friendly folks who have a high regard for Discers and make you feel welcome.
The beauty and serenity of this place at 8,000 feet high in the Colorado Rockies relaxes you and makes the real world seem far away.
I love seeing the horses out on the course, and they don't seem to be bothered by discs. The herds of deer and occasional coyote running through further add to the experience.
Get there early in the morning, pay for the whole day and lunch (you won't be disappointed), and soak up the experience. The spread of food they put on for lunch during The Grateful Disc Tournament is out of this world.
A challenging course in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 3 Not
for three bucks...
Pros: Sundance Trail is a dude ranch about just a few miles this side of civilization from Red Feather Lakes Colorado. There is not one single impression to take from this course other than awe. It is long, there are three holes over 500 feet and two holes under 200 but don't expect not to hit a tree on the shorties. The course has a little bit of everything. Open and tight drives, open and tight approach shots, many elevation changes, including a small mountain and a pond. The course is pretty well marked and the baskets all have neon flag poles on top of them so they are easy to find. A nice touch for scanning a forest for your target. The trails to the next tee box are well groomed and you would have to just not pay attention to get lost. You may see horses, I was thankful to not get hoofed in the face. You may see some of the dude ranch guests with climbing gear, but you are pretty much alone, its awesome! The people running the show talked about playing there in the winter, which sounds great to me. Holes 10 and 11 are the best two hole combo I've ever played and hole 17 is so thick wooded that if you were playing against a friend you might be able to make up your score if you got lucky and he/she got unlucky. The tee areas are unpaved, which in this setting, feels better.
Cons: You have to pay to play. There are animals everywhere. It is a long drive.
Other Thoughts: For only $3 I got to roam around an otherwise private part of the Rockies and a full color map of the course which I will keep in my bag for the memories.
There are not many courses where you get to climb a mountain in the middle of a round. This course is top notch, one of the best in Colorado.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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