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.
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.
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.
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.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This is a great course to play. It is set -up for all levels of players. Great signs showing all the pad location even the next tee. Nice tight wooded hole with long dog legs, swtch backs and straight up long shots. Benches on all the hole with trash cans. This course was enjoyable to play.
Other Thoughts: Build more courses like this one. This is a great example of fun and challenging course to play.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Wooded goodness, but that's all you get, like eating pizza every day for a month
Pros: 3 sets of tees on every hole for player skill variety galore. Sometimes the tees are shared, but then the blue players play to a longer (permanently installed) blue pin. This setup offers a lot of variety for player skill level. Often times the blue tee is way off to the side or behind the other tees and drastically changes the shot (but often eliminates a multiple route fairway too, leaving just one tight route). Sometimes the Blue tee opens up its own split fairway alternate routes, essentially having 3-4 total routes per hole. The only drawback with the Blue pins is that they are just longer. A great idea would have been to have another split fairway with multiple routes after the white pin to get back to the blue pin. The blues can add a lot more challenge and really tighten up fairways while adding a lot of distance, the whites are ace runs for advanced players, and the reds are a putter only style course, probably a real fun speed round)
Alternate pins here are also present on every hole I believe from reading the signs. They are ID'd on the signs too by position in even or odd months.
This wooded valley has some excellent terrain. The elevation changes must be nearly 50' on some holes and all are under a canopy of large thick trees in a mature forest. The designers left plenty trees in place to shape your drives in multiple ways.
The tee signs are great. They are very depictive although my opinion is that they didn't show enough fairway curvature at times (or too much other times). They clearly displayed all the tees and where and when to play the blue pins if necessary.
#6 is a nice long wooded 350' hole that offers enough room to s-curve a drive down the fairway (a deuce was NICE here). #7 has some nice netting on the back side of the tee to protect you from those players driving down #6. This is a nice touch and sign that disc golf gets some recognition. #12 is a nice long downhill anny (RHBH). #17 was a nice curved fairway to the left up a ridge, and then another 150' tunnel back to the blue pin. #18 has a blue tee placed way behind the white tee and downhill of a good sized ridge.
The area is fairly nice and secluded. Although when baseball and soccer games are held I'd imagine it is a zoo.
Cons: The entire course lacks variety of hole/terrain type. There is no water or obvious OB in play. There are no long or high downhill bombers. There are no open holes whatsoever to really rip on. While balance is good within the woods, it's all just woods.
None of the greens are really risky (the pin placements I played). While the blue course is challenging enough, alternate pins on the edge of some of the ridges would introduce even more risk with rollaways.
Rather than just an all long pin or all short pin mix in alternating months, the pin positions should mix long/short on every other hole for given time periods. You create amazing variety of course layout this way with 4 (or more) pin location layouts as well as those three tees!!
While the length isn't too extreme requiring long approaches, I though the concrete tees were still short and narrow. I've seen much worse though.
#16 didn't seem to have much for a fairway off the blue tee, but then after throwing I saw the actual pin location and went back to re-tee. (hint, for a RHBH, turn over a stable driver to go around the pig pine in the middle, and allow that stable driver to fade back long to the left and get near the pin).
Other Thoughts: I did not play foremoor due to time, so am only reviewing the 18 hole course as played from the Blue tees.
This course was extremely fun to play because I love wooded courses! However I found myself losing patience and interest in it because it was just the same wooded valley style hole over and over. I didn't satisfy my itch for variety of hole/terrain type here. But I fail to see how I can give this course too low of a grade because the amazing variety in the design with three tees tee layouts, and multiple pin placements. While this one will be amazingly fun to play for anyone who loves wooded valleys (advanced players from blue, newbies from red), it could still wear you down if you shank too much and it won't satisfy any craving for variety. Relative to other courses I've played, I'd say my personal fun factor and "would I rather play another course in the area" relative ranking will put this course as a 3.0. So VERY close to a 3.5, but I think it was just the personal factor and the rest of the courses that keeps me from rating higher. I honestly loved playing here, it was a blast and the options off the tees are superb. It's just overly repetitive. It is just as good as the other 3.5 disc courses I've rated as far as how it plays, but simply lacks variety. What the heck, let's go with a 3.5.
With UNC and Leigh Farm in Durham, I don't think I'd play this one again, but I don't regret playing it.
I'd say this is indeed a Red/White/Blue skill level course for sure. Each tee offers a change between skill levels. There are plenty of forced shot types all the trees, but multiple routes leave you with options. I never play as well my first time through a course, but it did challenge me a good amount with all the tight woods and added distance playing Blue. I would have liked to play the other tees here for some fun ace runs if I had more time.
(The order of favorites on my Raleigh trip is as follows - UNC, Leigh Farms, Harris Lake, Cedar Hills, Zebulon, Middle Creek, and Valley Springs. UNC and Leigh farms were runaway winners but with vastly different reasons. Harris Lake was repetitive being almost all wooded, but real fun to play and lots of risk. Cedar Hills, Zeb, and Middle creek were all tied around the average for different reasons. Valley Springs was very fun, but repetitively grueling.)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Devilish good time.
Pros: 22 well defined holes in the wilderness of Durham. Very wooded but not extremely so at all, most fairways are fairly easy to hit for the average player like myself. Pretty good use of elevation and the hole variety is pretty solid. This is improved vastly by the 3 sets of tees on every hole but the last 4 and the alternate baskets. A fairly pretty course in terms of scenery, and it has better than average length, especially from the pro tees. Capable of seeing some critters here. Four Moor are a great addition to the course, being nice par 4s that require good disc placement for the average player to score well. Great tee signs.
Cons: The course is kind of monotonous or perhaps homogeneous. The shot variety is good enough, the problem is every hole looks basically the same because they're virtually all in the same woods that don't change at all in terms of features and scenery. The tees are kind of narrow too, which could be a problem for long-legged fellows. Four Moor kind of dumps you out at the other end of park so the walk to your car is a little annoying. Some of the pro tees seemed to share the feature of early tree danger, with stupid tight gaps for you to hit just 15-25' in front of the tee. Some of the holes are kind of cramped near each other so this is not the most secluded course if you're a player that doesn't like seeing other players on other holes.
Other Thoughts: Probably the best course in Durham and is capable of pleasing noobs and pros alike with its tee and basket variety and 22 holes. If the woods weren't so homogeneous or if it mixed up an open hole or two here and there it would score a lot higher, but that's my preference. If you really like wooded courses with moderate challenge, this is your course.
Favorite/Signature hole: #17. The most secluded (and therefore prettiest) hole on the course I think, a slight hyzer shot that must be approached on a fairly higher line.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Learn to play in the woods!
Pros: Multiple concrete tee pads on all holes except #19-22. Only one pad for the last four long holes. Course is in a small park, but it is secluded from the sports fields well. There are not only good tee pads, but alternate tee pads to either give you variety or a break. This course has everything you would expect in a wooded course. There are some short ace runs and some longer holes that make you use a landing area and plan your approach. There is also excellent use of the hills and elevation. Additional 4 holes are a nice change form the first 18. All four are basically long holes where you can take out any frustrations from the previous 18. Course flows well and is easy to navigate.
Cons: This course can make you feel like less than a man. From the long tees there are some so-called fairways that are just brutal. There is a line, but you need to be just about perfect to get through the gap. Several of these are virtually chuck it and pray holes. Some people I have played with think those holes are unfair. Some of the tee pads are a pretty small. If you have a long run-up be careful. The baskets are fairly old and can be very hard to see. They blend in to the woods too well. The signs could be a little more consistent and informative.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the toughest courses I play in the Raleigh/Durham area. From the long tees it is as challenging as you can get. If you are not throwing accurately your score will go through the roof. Trees and tight fairways can be brutal. From the short tees the course does play much easier. It is a good option if you are not feeling confident in pinpoint control of your discs. No water features so you don't have too much of a chance of losing any discs. #19 through #22 are the most recent additions and are still have that new hole feel to them. The fairways are cleared but the woods are a little thicker if you throw off line. Those 4 holes are also much longer than the rest of the course. This is a good course if you enjoy a challenge in the woods, or if you want to be forced in to learning multiple shots and techniques.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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