20 Helpful / 2 Not
Mountain Disc Golf at its Best
Pros: The fixtures on this course are amazing. I think only one of the 20 tees was missing a tee sign and/or bag holder. The tee signs themselves are awesome, brand new and they have the distance to every basket, a schematic of the hole and a photo of the hole as it looks from the tee indicating where the baskets are located. The tee boxes are dirt framed in with logs. I was concerned about possible mud because of all the rain but even with the incredible amount of rainfall this summer none of the tee boxes were even wet. I hope that they keep the dirt because it seems to work just fine and it complements the rustic nature of the course. Also I think it would be really hard to haul concrete up to some of those tees. The bag holders are nice steel hooks on all the tee signs. It is a nice change of pace from setting your bag down at every tee.
The location is incredible. The park is a great example of Colorado, arid, mountainous pine forest. While you are never too far from civilization you feel like you are deep in the woods. Some of the vistas that you are able to see while hiking (that is the correct term for this course) between holes are just breath taking.
The course has a nice mix of what would normally be considered medium and shorter holes. It also has a couple of longer (+300ft) holes, there is also a possibility for this course to play longer with the baskets in the alternate positions. However, most of these "short" holes seem fairly long because of the very technical nature of the course. The course layout takes full advantage of the extreme elevation changes and the densely wooded nature of the park. In fact having a big arm might even be a liability for some of the holes. I overthrew hole 9 and ended up 150 ft down the slope on the other side of the basket. There are a couple of chances to air it out on 16 and 17. Hole 17 is a beauty and I suggest throwing at least two drives from this tee just because of how fun it is to watch the disc fly from this elevated tee.
While this was the first time I played this course navigation was a none issue. The tee signs helpfully pointed out where the next tee was and there are well worn paths with logs on either side from the baskets to the next tee. So while this course is very long at 20 holes it is easy to find your way around.
Cons: While I consider none of the following points serious enough to detract from a "perfect" rating I mention them because others who are interested in playing this course might feel differently.
1) There is a solid 1/2 mile trail walk (hike) from the parking area to the first tee and then the same walk after the 21st hole. The route is well marked but it does take about 10 minutes each way. However, you might think of it as a warm up for the hike up the mountain to get to the 2nd tee.
2) This course is rugged. The approach to the first basket alone is a challenge. The course managers are putting in steps on this "fairway" to give an indication of how steep it is. However, once you get to the 2nd tee it is just minor (in comparison) elevation changes from there to the end of the course. You will need some good shoes with solid tread to navigate this course. I even saw one group with a jogging stroller...probably not a good idea for this course.
3) While there are alternate basket locations for all the holes there is only one hole (17) that has more than one permanent basket at the moment. On some courses this might have knocked my rating down to a 4.5 but here the course is so varied and unique it compensates for only having one basket on most holes. Also this is mitigated by the fact that this is a very new course and improvements are happening all the time. I think before all is said and done there will be at least two permanent baskets on all the holes.
This is an awesome course hacked into a Colorado mountainside and worthy of a "Best of the Best" rating.
Other Thoughts: I grew up in this area and then went to the east coast for school. I didn't start playing disc golf until last summer and I was amazed to find out that there was such a great course so close to my old home in Colorado.
In addition to being so close to my family's home this course will probably always have sentimental value for me because I got my first ace here on Hole 7. I even had a witness to see it smash the center of the chains and land in the basket.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Hurts so Good
Pros: -Beautiful scenery
-Close to Denver
-New signage makes this place even better
-Its difficulty, its great to get taken down a few pegs by a course.
-definately THE mountain course in Colorado
Cons: -None that I can think of
Other Thoughts: As a newer player I figured I would review this course from my perspective. It is a very difficult course and there are a lot of times where you find yourself thinking "oh man, I dont know what Im gonna do here" and in some ways thats bad but in most ways thats awesome.
This course is excellent in a way that it gives you something to work for. Its almost like the course says "So you think you're doing alright...think again"
If you get a chance I would say play it, no matter what your skill level because the experience is great and it gives you a tangeble goal to work towards.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This place is just amazing. There are so many great things about the course that you'll have to see for yourself but I'll list as many as I can. This course demands that you use a variety of shots of the tee and in the fairway. There are trees, brush and logs all over the place that make things really tricky in most situations. Accuracy and power are required on a lot of pin placements. Uphill side hill putts show up often as well as downhill putts. There are also a lot of blind tee shots but the recent addition of new helpful signs make it very easy to know where you need to land a drive without having to run up into the fairway to find where you're shooting. There are'nt any OBs but a couple of Mandos. Holes 1 and 17 are truly two of the most unique holes you'll ever play. Walking up to 1 and seeing it from the tee bow immediately lets you know you are in for a very tough course and a big hike. 17s tee box is roughly 150 feet above the valley you shoot into or over depending on location with the furthest tee box being about 100 feet above that same valley! Really amazing stuff. Get up on 17 and big your longest driver and watch your disc hang up in the air for days and days. Hole 20 can be 600 feet with the right pin placement but there are a ton of trees blocking your path so if you get it down close to the pin in one toss kudos. Also the nice new custom bag hooks are a nice touch.
Cons: Many people complain about the 1/2 mile walk to tee 1 and the lack of decent signs. The walk takes about 6 minutes and its really flat so thats a non-issue and if it is an issue for you, youre probably not going to be able to make this massive hike over 20 holes. They just added new signs for the 2009 Bloom tournament that are really great so again, non-issue. The only complaint I have and its not a big one is the tee boxes are dirt and need to be groomed more often. Take a second to kick any rocks aside and make sure to level the dirt in areas where it looks like you could slip and youre all good.
Other Thoughts: Bloom 09 was an amazing 40 hole day. One of the best parts about this course is all the friendly people who are super dedicated to not only maintaining an already amazing course but to improving it also. Cant wait for the fall classic in October. This is the hardest course ive played (Im pretty average at best) and also my favorite. Close proximity makes it easy for locals and travelers a like to access. Generally not crowded. Please be respectful to the wild life and other players and pack out all your trash. Keep this amazing course as amazing as when you came. Dont forget to toss a couple bucks in the donation box at the main office. Write your own review and lets get this place up to top 3 in the world!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The signs are in now with pictures of each hole and locations of pins. Also on the post there are amazing custom bag hooks that are super sweet! The course it self is one and a million. The hike is not bad at all, acctually pretty relaxing to me.
Cons: If any it would be the tee pads, but those even have been re done, well not all but the ones that were eroding away.
Other Thoughts: This is with the best of the best courses in the world and was put in sometime in 2007 thats amazing. Come out and support the course and dont forget to donate!
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Short but helpful
Pros: -This amazing 20 hole course utilizes the best of every type of hole. They have narrow upshots (hole 1) downshots, tight wooded short holes but also have a balance of wider holes to absolutely bomb one on. They have holes that favor RHBH players but also have holes for those RHBH players as well. Every kind of hole for every kind of player.
-Amazing place to practice recovery or "got out of trouble" shots as you will definitely be needing a few of those
- The custom baskets are a very nice addition and a testimate to the care that goes into this course
-Manicured fairways and greens are great so you don't lose a disc that you threw perfectly down the fairway.
-Beautiful scenery and a great hike. The walk from where you park to the first hole is NOT bad at all.
-Probably a great place to break a disc in because you're going to hit some trees whether you like it or not.
Cons: -The tee boxes are natural, which is fine, but the ground can be loose which caused a couple slips and made it harder to get that initial push off on drives
-Signs don't really indicate where pin location is and we had to do some serious searching on some holes
-This was one of the most fun I've had playing a course. A perfect mix of tight wooded shots and long bombers. Definitely a must play for anyone who enjoys disc golf.
-This would be a great course to camp out after and then play the Phantom Falls course the next day, which is only about 7 miles away. (Make sure to call Paul for a reservation a week or more ahead of time as it is his private course....here is a link to his course with his contact info http://www.dgcoursereview.com....php?id=3129)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Best in Colorado
Pros: Not your regular 18 hole course. The course is setup with 20 holes and is a great course close to the Denver area but gives you that mountain aspect. If you are into hiking then you will love this course. Everytime me and my buddies go up we always play it twice. Not the easiest course but definitely best of the best. You have to play it if you live in Colorado.
Cons: I don't know if there really are any cons with this course, at least in my point of view. There is about a half mile walk from the parking area to the first hole but to me its good because its a chance to stretch your legs before heading up the mountain.
Other Thoughts: Everything about this course is great. The layout is amazing starting from hole one all the way back to hole 20. My very first time ever playing the course I got my first ace on hole 7.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Beautiful mountain course
Pros: This course is beautiful and is the only course I've played that truly exemplifies everything us Coloradan's love about the mountains.
I actually consider the hike to be a pro unlike some of the other reviewers; it was a mixture of my 2 favorite things to do. Sure, the walk on the first 4 holes (mostly the first) is a little tough, but it is totally worth it when you get to the top as you get rewarded with a beautiful, severely downhill, 17th hole.
The course itself is very well maintained, and I liked the layout, for the most part. If you want to do well here, you need to have a mastery of many different kinds of shots. Even then, you still have to realize that some holes require that you lay up into a good spot to even have a chance at par. Very good risk/reward course.
Cons: The only reason that this course didn't get a 5-rating is because some of the holes were unfair. In my opinion, you should never have to think, "I'll put this on a good line and hope I get lucky". The 3rd, 7th, and 15th holes are all like this from the tees I played. If you put your disc on a really good line, you should get rewarded with a really good shot.
Also, I think that the signs could be vastly improved for this caliber of a course. They should work with the folks that did the signs at Johnny Roberts; but I'm sure it's in the works
Other Thoughts: Bring plenty of water and plan on a longer round than normal. I think the hike and round took about 2.5 hours.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 5 Not
Quite a workout.
Pros: + I want to list this as a con, but only because I'm in poor shape and my knees are creaking the day after - but this is a heck of a workout course. Lots of hiking and hunting for pins and rolled discs.
+ Gorgeous scenery. I wish I'd brought a camera.
+ The entire course is a nice challenge from beginning to end.
Cons: - Laminated paper tee postings. The posts are in place, hopefully nice signs with hole details will be posted eventually.
- ROLLERS! Be careful - rolling a disc can definitely result in a hike to hunt it down.
- Inconsistent tee quality. Some have gravel and some are little more than some logs marking a rectangle. I worried about wrenching my ankle at tee-off more than once.
Other Thoughts: Bring a camera if you can carry it. Go on a cooler or overcast day. The entire course is a nice hike, but I would have enjoyed it a lot less if it was hot. There's a donation box at the parking lot - throw in a few bucks to hopefully encourage some nice tee postings.
All in all this is a fantastic course. The layout and scenery helped my rating when the cons hurt it. With nice tees and proper posting, this is a 5-star course.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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.
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