2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The last review posted before mine really steals my thunder! I agree with the rating, 3.5, and I agree with many of the pro's and con's listed. I'll try not to be too redundant, but here's my take.
1. Peace and tranquility! I couldn't believe I was playing a course in Durham. It felt like I was deep in a remote forest. I saw more deer (4) than people (0). I'm sure it's not usually this sparse, but I must say, it was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle. One of the main reasons I play disc golf is to relieve stress. This course is one of the best in the Triangle on that point. Ahhhhhhh. Relaxation.
2. Despite the peaceful, relaxing setting, the course itself is no joke! It's not a very long course - most holes in the 200-300 foot range and many below 200 feet - but it has a lot of elevation. There are numerous valley shots (appropriate!), lots of uphills, and lots of downhills. I really liked the overall variety. And I can't think of any other Triangle courses with more elevation. UNC is probably the only course that comes close.
3. Navigation was a cinch. Good signage and easy to follow paths.
4. I really like having three sets of tees to choose from. The whites were perfect for me. The blues are really, really challenging. The reds are good for beginners. The best pro of the three sets of tees, in my opinion, is that they're not just shorter or longer versions of the same tee. You really get completely different looks from the different sets of tees. On the white tee, you may have a hyzer fairway, whereas on the red tee, you might have a straight fairway. From the reds, you're not simply playing a shorter version of the tee shot from the whites. The tees themselves are in good shape also, but my only complaint with them is the width. They are pretty narrow.
5. A big plus for me on this course is the lack of underbrush. It's a mature forest. On the last 4 holes, there's a little more underbrush to worry about, but I had no problems finding discs in the rough.
6. For me, what bumps Valley Springs up from a 3.0 to a 3.5 is the dual fairways and multiple ways to play holes. This is an element that you don't find on many courses. I like having a hyzer line and an anhyzer line to choose from. I also thought the fairways were very fair (appropriate width for the length of the hole).
7. I really like the last 4 holes. You can tell that they were added on later because they don't seem to fit with the rest of the course. There are two par 4's (the only two on the course) and the holes are much longer than the other 18. There are also a couple of open holes, the only ones on the course.
1. The biggest con for me was the repetitive feel of the first eight holes. This is kind of a nit-pick because I love valley shots and big elevation, but literally the first eight holes are just back and forth across the same valley. Again, this is a nit-pick. I liked all of these holes. But they're pretty close together and repetitive.
2. I also agree with the previous review about having a hard time finding the basket from the tee. New, yellow DISCatchers would really help out a lot - or more visible flags on top of the baskets.
3. Three holes were missing tee signs when I played.
4. Part of being in a North Carolina forest is...mosquitos. Wear your deet. When I played, after several rainy days, the mosquitos were out in full force.
Other Thoughts: Really strong course. This is clearly the best course in Durham. And I rank it right up there with the best courses in the Triangle. In my opinion, Apex, UNC, Buckhorn, and Zebulon are better. Cedar and Kentwood are closes to Valley in style and rating, in my opinion, but I'd put Valley ahead of every other Triangle course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tight and wooded without being a plinko-fest. Lots of elevation change gives the good feeling of launching downhill and the challenge of playing uphill. This course makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. We saw a group of deer early on in the course.
Multiple tees provide an enjoyable experience for newbs and advanced players. Some of the blues were much longer than the red/whites. Basket for #6 is slightly elevated on a boulder.
Holes 19-22 have a different feel and are a bit more open.
Not much undergrowth, so finding errant discs is easy.
Signage is nice and shows distance and layout. Navigation is intuitive for the most part.
I've played this course three times and have only seen one other group. But I was on dawn patrol every time. I assume this course gets a lot of traffic judging by the condition of the fairways.
Cons: Baskets aren't always very visible and a couple of signs were missing.
The first 8 holes play back and forth across the same valley, and while the shots required vary a bit, it seems a bit repetitive.
Other Thoughts: My dad and I played the whites and that seemed about right for us. Some of the blues would have been a real challenge. I just carried a beat Roc and a putter and only wished I had a driver on a couple of holes.
This is one of the best in the Triangle that I have played. If I were in Durham proper and limited by time, I'd play Valley Springs first. Then Cornwallis Road. Then Bethesda.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Best course in Durham
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -The changes in elevation make this course challenging and fun (there is even one basket posted up into the top of a boulder)
-Great signage and a variety of tees
-The fairways are tight but clean
-The addition of the past 4 holes (22 in all) make for a long course
-Several holes are over 500 feet
Cons: -This course is not a place where you come to drop bombs, it is a little too technical for that
-Hole 21 is the only open hole (which is a gorgeous hole btw). I would love it if perhaps this course had more open holes. But that would require more trees to be cut down. I'm conflicted
-Spiders everywhere during some months of the year
Other Thoughts: -This park in general is great. There are several baseball fields and a soccer field that you can warm up on and chuck some plastic before getting into the game
-The blue tees are truly much more difficult than the whites. Some very unique and challenging blue tees. Ex: One blue tee is about 120 feet farther than the white tees.
-Love this course, best in the area.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Great course in northern Durham!
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: A very nice course, well marked between holes, with a great mix of open and wooded fairways.
Cons: My biggest complaint is how close some fairways are to one another. The zig-zag layout makes for easy navigation, but more than once an errant shot from other people playing would land in our play area - not great when you are trying to tee off!
Other Thoughts: I lost a Leopard Pro driver on hole 22 near the basket. My phone number is on it, please let me know if you find it!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Best Course Around
Pros: I've been to this course so many times that it feels like home. The fairways are a perfect mix between wide open clear fairways and overly difficult fairways. The holes are some of the best I've seen at dropping the frisbee into the basket. 19-22 are also very fun if you have extra time. There is several tee pad options too. There is tourneys every Thursday at 6 if you want
Cons: All the tee shots are curving left. This is bad for rightys but if you are better with your flick like me that this is your course.
Other Thoughts: Not sure what to say... I guess bring a super straight driver like the avenger ss.
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 5 Not
Best of the Local Woods
Pros: There's not a ton that stands out at Valley Springs. It's just consistently very good. The holes are cleanly cut: they force tight lines along identifiable fairways. They punish inaccurate drives. If you are off the mark, you will hit a tree, but at least on the white tees, there aren't random trees that you will randomly hit with a good shot.
There's a bunch of different lines too. Left, right and straight shots are combined with mild elevation changes to make each shot somewhat different, at least in your approach.
It's very clean and above all dry. When the other courses in the area are bogged down after the rain, Valley Springs is the first to dry out. Outside of the trees there is little brush which means, less bugs and less time looking for discs.
That last is especially key as you can play a round quickly here. Last time I played, we finished quickly enough that we got in an additional round from the red tees.(and if the standard holes are fast, the red tees support lightning speed.)
The signs are great, the next tee arrows are perfectly used and the maintenance level is high.
Cons: There's not a ton of variety here. There's not really a standout hole until the bonus area. The majority of tees leas into a fairly tight fairway with trees close on either side. The shot is constricted along its path, which typically is between 180 and 320 feet. (So there's not much length either.)
The red tees, which I'd hoped would offer some ace possibilities, had some strange lines. They are easier in the sense that your score will likely be lower, but the white tees are superior in every way.
My biggest gripe though, and the one that almost bumps it down to a 3, are the tees. They are uniformly cement. They are nice and flat and point in the right direction. But they are really just too narrow. Feel like I can't get a full run up on any of them.
Other Thoughts: There are four bonus holes. The first two are basically longer versions of the holes on the course. Unfortunately, they both curve heavily to the left, so I essentially hate them.
21 is something special though. The green and most of the fairway is in what I would best describe as a secret garden. There is no trampoline, like in the episode of Community, but its fairly surreal. The final hole gives you two different options for tees but regardless of which tees you used for the regular course, use the blue tee here. It shoots from that garden back into the woods.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
In to the woods
Pros: Layout - It's a 22 hole technical wooded course with three tees and a few rotating pins.
It's a bit longer than the other wooded technical courses in the Triangle. You'll find yourself letting your mids fly and pulling out a driver a time or two.
It's primarily a gap hitting course from the front two tees although there are a few holes where you'll want to place your shot well to set up an approach. Even the shorts here aren't that short, only a few holes are pitch and putt types and they're still through wooded fairways.
From the long tees you'll get a serious challenge. There's a lot of tight early gaps that'll make you think twice while you're also trying to place your shot nicely to set up an approach. The long tees are more of a survival test on some holes because they use the course elevation to really make things hard.
The different tees are done well, they give you a new look at the hole from each one.
There's a good amount of elevation changes on the course and it's used very well. A lot of times an errant tee shot will leave you looking at a long uphill approach to a tricky green area.
The greens are really nicely done here, they're challenging to hit and in a few places they'll make your putt challenging. Some are on hills and make you wary of rollaways.
There's a lot of doglegs on the course and some have some pretty tight lines on top of elevation changes. You'll need a variety of shots in your arsenal and the ability to be creative.
After the first 18 you hit Fore More which is four extra holes. These holes really change up the feeling of the course. Three are long and require a placement drive to setup a long approach or couple of approaches.
The entire course is full of risk/reward but the last four embody the term. If you try to bite of to much on your drive you'll pay and likely be shooting a high number. Especially on 21 which is a short mostly open shot but beware, the basket sits right on the edge of a 30' drop off.
The course flows well on top of everything, it's always pretty easy to see where you're going.
Equipment - Really good signage on this course. Explains each tee and shows you lines with distances. A few trashcans are located throughout the park.
Atmosphere - It's a nice wooded park that keeps you pretty secluded for the most part. It's seldom crowded and usually kept pretty clean from what I've seen. One of the better wooded areas for a course in the Triangle.
Cons: Layout - My main con for this course is that it gives you a lot of the same thing. Yeah the shots change up but it's all tight wooded shots. The scenery never really changes and it gets a big monotonous.
A lot of the fairways run right next to each other as well. I've never had a problem with it because the course is never really crowded but it could be a problem; that also goes along with the everything seems the same deal.
Equipment - For me the pads are to small here, you're making some solid drives out there and I like a bit more room for that. The baskets are aging as well.
Atmosphere - For me it's just a bit to wooded, I like to come out of the woods a bit on a course to get some balance. I know that's not everybody but for me one or two more open holes in a grassy field makes a course. There's no grass here until you hit 21 and that's about it.
Other Thoughts: Overall I like Valley and think it's a solid wooded technical course that offers different variety via different tees and pins.
It's not a must hit but it's a very solid course and worth a play if you're in the area.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
A very Challenging course
Pros: The course it's self is very well maintained with no clutter in the fair ways.
There is "Fore more" that provide a great challenge to those who are just not satisfied after 18.
All the tee pads are in good condition for the most part with some new pads mixed in.
there are 2 pin placements for each hole sometimes more depending on the season.
Cons: There was a lot of broken glass around the tees, be careful.
some stairs are in much need attention ie. #1 Blue.
Other Thoughts: Like most places this time of year there are a lot of ticks. watch for them. I had at least one on me per round and I still found more when I returned home.
I had a great time at this course, and I will return. Thank you to the Bull City Disc Club for putting on a great weekend event.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
I suck at disc golf.
Pros: Extremely tight and technical
The baskets catch well
Not too much backtracking that I can remember, pretty easy to navigate IMO
Rewards you for well played shots, lots of tight lines out here, but nothing that can't be hit
Cons: My main con is the teepads, it's not like I need a huge running start, especially on a course that plays like this one, but they were just so tiny and sucky that it was annoying.
Other Thoughts: I couldn't think of a lot of pros and cons, but I will fill this section up.
I played out here with BroD & SloppyDisc so I didn't really have to worry about much except golf as they have played there before. We played the longs and holy shit on a stick, this course is brutal.
There were a few holes that were a little ridiculous, not like they were impossible to execute, but just the fact that there were 3 or 4 in a row that required you to nail this 4 foot gap while still getting like a 350 foot+ drive with a forest surrounding you, no big deal, right?
Regardless I had a lot of fun out of here, the sad part is I think I won with a score of around +13, I'm not great, but I ain't that bad, so that should give you an idea of the level of difficulty the pro tees involve.
If I were to go back, I would definitely play the intermediate tees for a more balanced round, this is a really fun course, with some really cool holes honestly, some very cool pin locations, and the last four bonus holes are unique compared to the rest of the course, allowing you to air some out a bit more.
I do recommend making a trip out here, it is worth it!
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Old & Repetitive
Pros: Very good signs
- Best part is was the distance information
- Basic info on other tee pads
Multiple tee pad locations
- We played the intermediates but it was obvious that the different pad locations would provide tremendous completely different course
Multiple lanes from tee pads to pin on many holes.
Cons: Nothing but wooded holes.
- the Fairways are very narrow and if you don't stay in them you'll be in another holes fairway and often have no hope of recovering for par or sometimes even bogey.
The basket are very hard to spot.
- Not a problem for someone familar with the course but since it was our first time I sometimes just threw down the fairway and figured I find the basket once I got closer.
- Get some bright paint for the top marker or pole.
Some commented on good variety but I got tired of the narrow straight and left doglegs. Maybe it's because I'm very RHBH dominant but it seems like on most of the holes any drive that faded at all was out of the fairway.
I don't think I've ever seen a course with so little grass.
While the multiple tee pads are a plus I found them to be very small.
- basically only usefull for straight run up.
- I ended up doing standing drives a lot just because of the danger of stepping off the pads.
It would really help if some of the smaller underbrush was cut from the edges of the fairways and around a couple of the pins.
- This would allow for more possiblity to recover from the slightly off fairway drive.
- It seemed like I either scored par or two over or most holes.
Other Thoughts: While the more advanced players may find this challenging, I ended up bored and frustrated by the repetitive wooded tunnel shots.
My wife (rec level player) basically gave up and started laughing about hitting every tree.
Overall the course is showing it's age - old baskets, small pads, limited opportunity to use anything longer than a speed 7/8 (from the whites).
We picked this course because we were passing through, it was just off I-85, and it was fairly highly rated. Maybe I'm a little over critical but after playing it I certainly couldn't give it a 3.5+.
This may be a great place to some but not one to bring Rec or lower Intermediates.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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