27 Helpful / 0 Not
I Have Reached the Mountaintop!
Out of the numerous pros to consider with Beaver Ranch, I believe the actual course design and stunning baskets should get top mention. First, the course was masterfully designed with multiple layouts for every hole. Whether is the alternate tee placements, or up to five alternate pin placements as on #17, the shots selections are always fresh. Note that #17 had actual pins in place at positions C and D, so my suggestion is throw two since I believe this is a signature hole where the stunning 75'-100' elevation drop to open meadow below deserves a minimum to two tosses. Hole #16 currently has two pins in now as well.
Besides the superior design, honorable mention goes to the discin baskets with their angled copper ring and white hue. They're easy to spot from a distance contrasting perfectly with the surrounding greenery, and they're simply beautiful. The park has also gone to the effort to posting tall flags on most pins to help with spotting the hole from a distance. I echo DGTourist's comments that the bar seems more inviting with it's inward angle making that mental "clang" we all hear in our minds before putting on a DisCatcher basket seem to disappear.
Some other pros to consider (besides scenery you can't experience most anywhere else in the country) are the moves the park is taking to improve on their course. Steps are currently being installed in lower portion of hole #1 making the insane climb a little easier. There is a bathroom facility by #14 pin off the Blackhawk trail for those needing a break, and most pin locations have a good amount of mulch surrounding them to help prevent erosion and the pool of mud that would gather after a rain.
Finally, it's also worth it noting that if you're not dead after taking on this superior course, Phantom Falls
- a private 30-hole elevation monster is right down the road. I had the privilege of experiencing both courses in the same day, and topped off the ultimate disc golf experience with some tasty wings at the Wing Wagon in Conifer.
BEST HOLE/S: #1; #17; #20
Cons: With the sign issue more than fixed the only remaining minor issue is the half-mile walk to hole #1. I wasn't a fan, but consider a few things: first, you get to walk a half mile along a groomed path following a small brook the entire way, so some may find this a plus as your anticipation grows to experience the mountains. Plus there is a practice basket a quarter mile along the trail and you have the pleasure of knowing you're walking by the two peaks that are about to hand you your lunch if you out of shape. If you make the walk, you'll be rewarded with the first three holes rising probably 400' testing your stamina and endurance.
WORST HOLE/S: #15
I may be taking MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech a little out of context here, but I truly felt that I reached the mountaintop and saw the other side when I got to experience this course. Pictures and words simply can't describe the beauty that is quality Colorado mountain disc golf. This course was challenging, but not insane like Beaver Meadows
, and had greater shot and hole diversity than Sundance Trail Ranch DGC
- which are both quality mountain courses. It's also more polished and free, which puts it over Phantom Falls - although I tend to find that comparing public to private courses is a bit like apples and oranges.
In the end I find that my experience at Beaver Ranch was a 5.0. However the long walk at the beginning ding it a bit. I just can't ding it enough to give it 4.5 rating when by review standards it's truly a "best of the best" course that forces you to be a good shot maker without killing you - and at the same time marvels you at it's majesty of nature with every new hole. It still may not be the "perfect" course, but having sponsors for individual holes are both smart and savvy moves for continued improvements and maintaining the current high quality. And who knows - like me by the end of your experience you to may be catching your breath at the mountaintop saying, "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last."
27 of 27 people found this review helpful.
33 Helpful / 0 Not
Beaver Ranch/Conifer Park/Awesome Fun/Kickass
Pros: I'm afraid the pictures we have on this site do not do this course justice. As you can see from these pictures the course is beautiful, but they only capture individually in a micro sense each hole and basket area. Ideally we could rent a helicopter and photograph it from all various angles with the midsummer mourning dew shining bright from the sun just before a brief mountain fog rolls in. Even then you would still need for something to douse you with sweat and jump start your pulse because its just as exciting as it is beautiful. The land that was generously dedicated to the disc golf course is a picturesque slice on par with any of our side of the road daydreams.
The fact that the course map includes elevation contours is a big hint of the challenge ahead. Many times along the round I found myself laboring to calm down so that I can make my approach shot. This course is a physical challenge so be prepared for that aspect its likely you will sweat hard at various times within the round. I assume that the regulars of this course have massive quads and calves from the rigors required to play this course regularly.
I like how the holes on this course don't become an extreme challenge of mountaineering and par 94 golf in the way other mountain courses try to become epic. The course still has an honest challenge but does not dip into the realm of ridiculous allowing for good shots to be rewarded. The design takes you straight up and into the hills from the first throw, an entry by fire as the subsequent holes are not so punishing once you get up and on the course. From time to time you will notice people nearby on other holes playing ahead and in the end when you get to those same holes on the way back you will not notice right away because of how the scenery changes. Because of the many drastic elevation changes and angles a player has to consider landing zones much more here than a player does on a course in the flat lands. Unfortunately for me, it took me a few holes to catch on to this fact.
The practice basket is wisely set in the middle of the pre-course walk. The baskets are a snazzy silver design unlike any other I've seen before. I tried really hard to see if the angle of the top portion of the baskets give a player who putts high on the chastity belt slight leeway and I conclude it doesn't help as much as a player might think. I do however think that the angled design of the basket's top tend to put a players mind in the positive frame of mind more so than a DISCatcher might. Its hard to speculate on the crazy mental aspect of putting, especially for other players, but the combination of the baskets angle and great mountain scenery for me made me zero in a little more.
There is a restroom in the middle of the course, at the moment when it feels like you are farthest from the restrooms in the parking area. For being hands down the best course in the Denver area, it is far enough away from Denver to ensure that its not as crowded as many of the more urban corses are. I played on an ideal weekend day and only encountered three other groups. I found just as many people on horseback during the hike to the first tee.
Cons: The walk to the courses is no problem, it's the long way back to the car that somewhat sucks. This is a mountain courses and depending on how you play an how used to the elements you are there is a strong chance that after 20 holes you are drained, and now left with a hike back to you car. Assuming that the powers that be said, hey you can have this space X but you must park at space Y, all of us would have taken that deal in a heartbeat. The "cons" here are only the things that make it short of being perfect, add a pond, 30 years of history, and cement somehow, and there you go.
Other Thoughts: There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best courses in Colorado. Its close proximity to Denver contributes to its already solidified reputation as a destination course. The fact that its only a short drive to downtown Denver from here tallies more positives to Beaver Ranch when comparing it to the other top courses which are mostly off the beaten path. If I were to compile a top three list of courses in Colorado the order would always change dependant on my mood but without a doubt Beaver Ranch would always be included. Once on hwy 285 and you get into the foothills of the Rockies with all the mountain scenery you get a preview how awesome your round here is going to be.
33 of 33 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
best course around
Pros: The course location is awesome, being both close to and far enough away from Denver to allow for a leisurely round. From the hike in to the hike out, it's an all-immersive disc golf experience! The layout is excellent, offering a variety of pin locations to challenge any player. Holes range from wide open to very tight, and the order is suited to both rotating the discs in your bag and varying the required throws.
Cons: The locals have done a lot of work on the course, but it could use a (bear-proof) trash can.
Other Thoughts: I've played this course many times, waiting a while before giving it an official review here. It's definitely the best all-around course in the area. This spring's maintenance has been very impressive: teebox restoration, slash pile removal, signage, etc. I know some of the people involved, and have every reason to believe that this course will only continue to get better.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Tough, yet satisfying
Pros: Where to start that has not already been mentioned... Well each hole is unique and makes you work on different shots. Most holes, if played well, have birdie potential. Wrong shots could roll down hill and cost you some strokes. The course is clean and well kept up. Thank you volunteers! Each hole is easy to get to from the previous so a map is not necessary to play. Even if the wind is blowing you have a lot of trees to keep you protected. Hole 13 was a favorite shot as well as hole 7, 17 and 18. This is a course to play if you love both hiking and disc golf. You will get to experience both during your round. The handmade benches at a few of the holes were beautiful and made a nice place to rest before the next hole. Each hole is separate enough that you can enjoy a round peacefully.
Cons: This is where everyone else says: "The walk to one sucks," but it is forgotten quickly in to the round (mostly because the hike to basket #1 is almost a 45 degree angle).
Other Thoughts: You will burn off some calories playing this course so plan on bringing some snacks and water. If you are coming from Denver plan the trip to play one round through to take about 4 hours (45 mins up, 15 min hike to tee one, 2 hours to play, hike and drive back). This is a must play for me as often as I can get a chance. It seems as though only dedicated disc golfers will make the trek up to this course so litter, fires and graffiti seems to be non existent. Observe the pack it in, pack it out rule because there are not trash cans on the course. There is a bathroom near hole 15, but it is hard to really qualify it as a bathroom so make sure your affairs are in order before you dedicate 2 hours to some mind blowing disc golf. Enjoy the scenery of this course. This is a very nice example of how eco-friendly disc golf is. The natural tees help add to the ambiance. Overall this course is one of the best in the country for a reason.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
this is the best course ive played
Pros: this course is excellent. first of all, the scenery is beautiful. the guys who built and maintain this place are the best. thanks to them for making this course possible. Hole #1 is almost overwhelming when you walk up to that teebox for the first time. One of the steepest uphill holes ive ever seen... hope she dont roll back at ya! holes #1,2,and 3 my friends and i have dubbed "Cardiac Hill" it is straight up a mountain. Hole #5 makes for the perfect first "break" hanging out inside the scrap log teepee. i love playing this course and you should too.
Cons: most people complain about the long walk to the 1st tee, or the fact that the tee boxes are dirt. i say, suck it up. for one the walk is a great way to stretch out before the round. as for the dirt tees, all natural is the way to go here. such a beautiful place needs natural tees
Other Thoughts: PLAY THIS COURSE! ive played quite a few courses around the country and thgis is my favorite.... and its close to home
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
The Banff springs of disc golf
Pros: Every hole is beautiful and well laid out.Bring a good camera because every hole is incredibly scenic!
With the exception of between 7-8 the paths are well laid out between holes.The dirt tees while not perfectly flat are perfect for the course.I would actually protest concrete tees on this course.
There is not one hole that seemed unfair in it's lines or pins.If you hit your lines you will score good.If you don't you will pay.I was +1 after 11 and had hit all my lines except for hole 4.I missed my lines on 12 and 13 and ended up with double bogies.I ended up +7 for 20 holes which is about my avg score.
Teeing off on 17 is a blast!!If you've never thrown a drive to a basket 200 feet below you,you should.17 is my fav with 14 coming in a close second.14 has two hyzer paths to the hole with both being aceable.
Cons: I can't really think of any cons,I guess I'd have to put the fact some baskets are hard to see from the tee.But that is it.
Some people would say the walk is a con.It's to beautiful a walk to list it as a con in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: If your anywhere near the Denver area do yourself a favor and play this course!You won't regret it.
This is my new home away from home course as my future in-laws live two miles down the road.I will be playing this course every time we visit.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
deffinately worth it
Pros: Myself and 2 other friends from KC went to Colorado to see "The Dead" and do some Disc golf. the first course we got to was Beaver Ranch, and it was spectacular... a great mix of tight and technical with a few shots that let you really open it up. i am planning a trip back to Co. soon and the Beaver is on the agenda. Awsome views and an outhouse at top of course make life easier.
Cons: Big Hilly course , thigh burner at first. eat good breakfast drink alot of water.
other than the 1/2 mile walk to pad 1 thereare no cons
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
What mtn dg is supposed to be...
Pros: This course provides the best of what Colorado has to offer in the way of mountain-style disc golf and only a short drive from the Denver/metro area. Quiet, scenic, & challenging. I love this course for the way it kicks my butt if I'm not focused & on top of my game. Hiking this course with your full bag is pretty darn good exercise too!
Cons: OK, so there aren't concrete tee pads. But don't be dissuaded by natural tees, this course is routinely maintained by dedicated locals. I have NEVER had a problem on these tees.
Other Thoughts: This course could very well be the best in the state and it continually gets better. There are some very dedicated people responsible for this course and many willing volunteers in the local dg community. Improvements occur at regular intervals. As others have said; good footwear and ample fluids are a must. Go up and play a morning round and then stop for lunch at some great eateries in the Conifer area!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This in one of the best courses in Colorado. You will know what you are in for when looking up at basket #1 from the tee. 20 Holes and each is unique in its own way. Plenty of trees and elevation changes, bring your A game. Multiple tee/pin placements keeps the course fresh. After three holes of hitting every tree in sight, you will thread one through the lane and be feeling like a rock star for the rest of the day. There is usually a log-lined path, log tee box and benches which give it that truly-mountain feel. This course is always improving, thanks to the donation box at the trail head. Nice benches and baskets with permanent signs hopefully coming soon. There If you are like me and play for the sport AND for exercise, this course if for you.
Cons: The sign posts, for now, are just laminated paper that can blow away and leave you searching for the right tee. This is a hefty hike to finish the course, not for the recreational golfer. Some of the holes could use a more defined lane for the drives, but I could just be bitter for hitting almost every tree in sight. If you are slower on your feet or out of shape you can and will get outpaced by faster moving groups. Surprisingly busy on the weekends.
Other Thoughts: Look out for this course to be 5 star in the near future. Some permanent signs and a little more tree trimming will make all the difference. Make sure to eat a big breakfast, bring plenty of water and a snack.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful course in the mountains of Colorado. This course just feels right, there is a little bit of everything. The first hole warns you right away that it means business with a pin that is up a steep hill through a narrow fairway. It is not an extremely long course, but it is very fair. You will usually have a decent shot unless you go way off line into the woods. Overall it is a wonderful design using elevation, trees, and slopes to make all the holes uniquely challenging.
Cons: The course itself does not have any cons, and is by far the best i have ever played. There is a long walk to the first hole from the parking lot, but it goes by quickly due to excitement. There are no permanent signs yet, but i am sure that with enough donations there will be soon, and what they have now is perfectly adequate to know where to go and where to throw. Also the tee boxes were a little messy, this is probably due to it being so early in the season and they will probably dry up. I considered rating this a 4.5 until they put in concrete tee pads but on second thought that might take away from the overall charm of the course.
Other Thoughts: This course also has some of the coolest baskets i have ever played on. The top rim is angled in so occassionally a putt that would miss on a normal basket will find its way in. Saved me a stroke during the round. I had a smile on my face the whole round except when i was out of breath from the hikes this course takes you on. Be ready for a workout and one of the best disc golf experiences of your life. I cant wait to go play conifer park again.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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