2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very nicely done beginner level course that is primarily wooded throughout. With two bigger courses on site, Black Bear is pretty much perfectly laid out for inexperienced to somewhat experienced players. About fifteen of the holes are real woods golf. Defined fairways. A mix of straight shots with nice curves to either direction. Tree lines enforcing flight paths and bad shots typically land in trouble.
This is also the kind of easy course that should still be fun for a higher level player. They will be short ace runs, but they will be through woods with some decent elevation and a highly appealing aesthetic quality.
Tough to argue with 18. The most open hole on the course, it's a 600-foot downhill romp toward the clubhouse. It's a nice feature to emerge from the woods after a round of threading around trees and suddenly see all that space. It's not a top-of-the-world shot but it is close. Especially considering the short lengths of most of the holes on Black Bear, it feels right to let one rip at the end.
Lastly, I typically refrain from comment on clubhouse and staff, but the service here is far above the norm.
Cons: For all of its good qualities, Black Bear is still a relatively simple course that will fail to challenge many players and will not leave much of an impression on the majority of them. Fairly standard wooded holes, often a tad too forgiving of errant throws. There's some elevation but not much wow factor. Mostly, the majority of the holes are on the short side. But hey, that's why there are two other courses on site.
The only holes that I did not care fore were the first two. The pre-woods holes had me thinking, "really? This is what I came here for?" I was much happier after I got into the woods.
I will also say that while navigation has been given attention, there are some problem areas, and there are times where you might think you are following the arrows when you wind up on a tee for the Grizzly course. There is typically an arrow in the tee area, but occasionally they are vague and there might be multiple trails that could potentially be indicated by that one arrow.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Premiere Disc Golf Destination
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Woodland Valley has two courses: The Black Bear and The Grizzly Bear. The Black Bear is designed for casual golfers as well as tournament players. It could not be considered a pitch and putt, but a majority of holes are under 300 feet long. For experienced players, you will find yourself throwing a lot of mid-range discs and putters. The fairways are reasonable but also require skill to navigate. Only one hole of the 18 could really use an adjustment. The Grizzly is just as it sounds, a little bit more intimidating, a little longer, and full of shots that require a decent level of skill to execute with success. The shots vary in degree of difficulty and will test the vast majority of shots in your bag.
The tee pads are well done. They are stone pads with a solid wooden frame. They lie flat and smooth and are long enough for a moderate run up for release. The course is always well groomed and the owners take pride in providing a top notch disc golf experience.
The clubhouse is always fully stocked with all imaginable discs and in all weights. Anything not in store can always be special ordered. They offer a fair selection of disc golf apparel as well as bags and snacks. The clubhouse is always manned by the friendly owners.
Cons: As far as cons for Woodland Valley go, I'd say the list is rather short if not completely nonexistent. The only real complaint I have is the slightly repetitive nature of a few holes on the Black Bear.
Other Thoughts: If Woodland Valley is not the best course in the state of Maine, it certainly would not be far behind the one that is. For anyone looking to come golf in Maine, this is a must hit location. The only downside is there's nothing worth golfing within 40 minutes of the course. But with a third course in the works, and a few holes cut in already, why would you even need to find another course to play?
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Picturesque Maine forest
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Amazing pro shop with a very helpful staff and a massive disc and accessory selection...I mean huge! Food and beverages available.
-Easy to spot from road with a nice big sign
-2 separate courses, The Grizzly being the longer and more difficult of the two. Black Bear is a lighter, easier course geared toward either a quick play or for beginners. Skilled payers will still enjoy a techy mid range/putter round
-Scorecards with light maps, distances and pars
-Tee boxes in great shape
-Beautiful signs showing hole #, distance, par, a large colorful map of the hole and its obstacles
-Good markers and obvious pathways to next holes
-Beautiful Maine forest containing trees, rocks, pine needles, fallen trees; no bad overgrowth anywhere so you shouldn't lose plastic here
-I've played both courses 4 different times only during summer (I'm from PA) and I never experienced any crowded play
-Combination of tree corridors, bootlegs in both directions, and minor elevation changes, limited open shots
-Course immaculately maintained (as nice as ball golf course) with mowed grass, wood chips in the woods on fairways, clean, tidy pathways, and benches at every hole
-Cool stone piles/walls on many holes--adding to scenic feel
Cons: -No bears (kidding, bears everywhere...this obv not real or a con)
-Sometimes a similar feel hole to hole but it didn't phase me as there was still good use of forest and good variety.
-Experienced players will shoot WAY under par on Black Bear...2's will come often
-Few chances to let em rip; mostly tech throws
-Pay to play but $4 for 18/ $8 for 36 holes with a course this well kept it was well worth it (I always put pay to play as a con since most courses are free where I'm from in south eastern PA)
-No water obstacles but also no way to fix this really
Other Thoughts: This is a really scenic and well put together double course and I highly recommend it. It was a lot of fun and manageable for all skill levels. Best pro shop I've ever seen. 2 practice baskets to warm up on. Hole 1 and 2 are open field with obstacles in middle of fairway, and hole 18 is a nice long downhill par 4 to kick off and finish an otherwise short distance woods course. Play The Grizzly first if you intend on playing both, since Black Bear is a more relaxing easy follow up especially if some arm fatigue has set in. A new vacation favorite!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Par has changed significantly since last year
Pros: This is a wonderful course about 40min outside the Portland area. The pro shop here is one of the best in the state and I would have to say pales only in comparison to Sabbatus DGC. The operator Linda is very nice and friendly and is so personable, you can tell that she loves what she does and adds a homey touch to the course itself. They have a wide variety of discs in their newly expanded clubhouse that you can pick off the racks yourself something I think is great when your in the market to literally feel out new discs.
The fairways are well groomed and there are benches at every hole with trash cans. The Tees are cement at every hole as well, always a nice touch.
In addition this is a course I would go to if your interested in getting opportunities at hole in ones since their are 3 holes back to back that are under 200ft. The first two should be easy RHBH aces and the second an slightly harder side arm ace shot, good luck shooting.
The course is great, last year was my first time playing the course and I made it out a handful of times in the early to late summer time, so I was surprised to see that the par was changed when I returned here this year. The par has been dropped about 8 strokes I believe the old par was a 65 and is now a 58, so this course now has a little more of a challenge to it, even though for beginners this course was still a hard challenge before they changed it; I've heard rumors of locals complaining of easy rounds too often as a reason for changing the par, but don't hold me to that. I played 2 rounds and got a 58, and 56 playing a few good conservative rounds, so, thats how I would approach this course now with the new par, at least until you get your barrings on the course again, their are some challenging shots in the woods after all that can always change your score at the drop of a dime; so play cautiously.
Besides that the new par here had me playing better then ever at this course and encouraged me to really take my time with every shot since this is a short course, all par 3 and 4's now with the change, every shot really does count as there are not many holes to pick up multiple strokes on.
Cons: The par is now in the mid 50's at this DGC which has two course much like Sabbatus, which I compared their pro shop to earlier. Just like Sabbatus this course had a beginner-intermediate course (The Black Bear) and a expert course (The Grizzly). Both were challenging in their own ways The Grizzly is still a very challenging course that will make you use every disc in your bag, but with the change in the par on The Black Bear its like having two courses that are expert only courses, reserved for league players and nothing below the am tournament players. I brought my girlfriend and brother for a relaxed late spring game and was the only one to have a chance at greatness, a wooded course requires a little more skill to have a good round, and they couldn't handle the new par as well as I could so just be careful before heading out expecting an outcome like last year, it just may not happen.
Besides the change in par theres not a lot to complain about here, they pack down the snow in the winter and have the pro shop open almost year round as far as I can tell and even will give you knee high boots to wade around the course in the snow in the winter time, they'll find a way to make you happy.
In summer bugs are BAD though so bring high DEET bug spray!
Other Thoughts: If you live in Portland the drive is about the same distance as if you were to drive to the Brunswick of Auburn courses so why not swing out here every so often, Its like playing a smaller version of the beast and beauty combined where there are a lot of technical shots, overall a pretty fun course and worth a shot or two.
They record your rounds in their computer and the number of rounds you play as well after you play ten rounds here the eleventh round is free, but if you pay for all day you can only accumulate 2 rounds a day for that promotion. nice perks!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Easy short course, great sign-age, course kept in great condition, trash cans at each tee
Cons: too short, not long enough, too many par 3
Other Thoughts: Well maintained course with a nice mix of throws, too short for my liking,
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Tougher than it used to be!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There's not a lot to say that hasn't been said about the course itself. There is a good variety of shots required to make a good score and the owners have used the natural ups and downs of the land very well. Amenities are top notch including paved tee boxes, clear and present signage, nice score cards, and one of the largest pro shops in New England.
Cons: When they say rough they mean it! Being relatively new to the sport I occasionally send a disc somewhere other than the fairway and every time, it would take a good scrounging to find it. For a more experienced player it can present an extra challenge but amateurs may find the bushwacking troublesome. Even with reduced pars, there are some holes that are simply too easy. While I'm all for improving my ace count, a 150ish ft. hole straight in front of the tee on a clear fairway is not a challenging hole!
Other Thoughts: Ask and thou shalt receive! Many players complained that the par was too high and now that has been rectified! The par 5 holes are now the only par 4's and the rest are all par 3! This dropped the par from 65 to 57 - a much more punishing par. I actually did better on the Grizzly (3 over par compared to +4 on the Black Bear) which is supposed to be the tougher course! This is still the same fun filled course but with sharper teeth!!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
I had fun.
Pros: Great selection of discs at the pro shop along with drinks & some food items. Linda (owner) and Kurt (pro) were both very helpful and nice. You get a nice score card/map and they'll log and track your rounds on their computer. There are 18 more holes on site.
There are benches and trash cans throughout the course. The paver tees are AMAZINGLY smooth. Someone took a whole lot of time to make them level and consistent. The course is well marked and pretty easy to navigate, in spite of stretching through dense woods for the most part. Next tee signs throughout were very helpful. The baskets are all in good shape.
If you like wooded courses, with "fair" fairways, then this is a course for you. With the exception of 3 holes, I believe, the course plays completely in the woods. There are generous lines to hit for most holes but some risk if you miss your line.
The course seemed to favor left turning, RHBH throws a little (OK by me), but definitely mixed in right turning and straight holes as well. Good use of elevation change, both up and down, while in the woods helped change up the design some.
The "non-woods" holes were all three excellent holes. Trees can come into play on each hole, but you do have grass fairways to hit.
If you have an inexperienced player that you want to introduce to a wooded course, this should work well and they shouldn't be overwhelmed. Experienced players can work on their short game and should be entertained.
Cons: As much as I love wooded courses, few of the truly wooded holes stood out to me. A lot of them seemed kind of repetitious. Short length, combined with"open" fairways kind of allowed the holes to blend together to me.
The following did not affect my rating but I feel that it needs to be mentioned. New Englanders probably already know, but... the flies here were terrible when I played. Please be prepared with repellent and maybe a floppy hat or something to keep them out or your face.
Other Thoughts: Check out the links/files section here on DGCR and check out the course site. It has many photos of the course.
I think that par is set pretty generously here. It's set at 65 and I could easily see it being set at 57 without being unfair at all for the experienced player. I shot a 57 and 61 when I played and made several bonehead mistakes during both rounds.
#1 = excellent opener. Starting in the open you have about 200' to a tree line with the basket another 80' or so beyond the trees in a clearing. Hit the gap and you can get set up for a deuce right away. #3 is one of only two holes on the course that I could throw a driver on. (My drives average a little over 300' normally.) It was kind of similar to #1, but on a bigger scale. It has serious danger left, too. #13 is just a short, cool down hill, right turning shot. Good duece material again, but made me get out of my RHBH "Hyzer comfort zone" with a big anyhyzer release. #15 is a long, moderately downhill shot with a decent width fairway. But there's 1 big tree about 1/3 of the way down the fairway and another about 2/3 of the way down that you have to avoid that were right in my "comfortable" line. I need to play this hole more to figure out the best way to play it. And finally, big #18... what a great closer. Big time down hill shot over well manicured grass. This sets up perfectly for a RHBH drive that fades left at the end towards the basket. The fairway is wide, but not totally open. The woods lines the entire right side of the fairway (so don't turn your driver over really badly like I did once) and there are a couple big trees and a little "peninsula" sticking into the fairway from the left.
Hopefully this helps someone decide to make the trip. It should be fun for you. Just be prepared for the possibility of throwing more mid-ranges and putters than drivers. And take some extra cash... if you're anything like me you'll walk away with some new plastic. I controlled myself really well and walked away with just 2 new discs.
And finally, I'd recommend playing Boom Field along with the two Woodland Valley courses if you find yourself in the area and have the time. I feel that they complement each other tremendously.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
better every time
Pros: pro shop is great, coarse is fun and aceable on many holes, its wooded but controlable, play w a roy if u can, its very hard to lose discs here, last hole is long and down hill a very nice last horrah
Cons: very easy, plays very quickly for a long ride for me
Other Thoughts: place is nicer every year, lots of events
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
not very good.
Pros: Great pro shop with great prices. Super friendly people who run the coarse. Good upkeep.
Cons: No variety to course. Almost all 18 holes in the woods. Mosquito's are horrible in the summer.
Other Thoughts: please dont slander other course in the area.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is what Maine disc golf is all about. Beautiful course layout on a steller plot of land. Great rewards for good shots and penalties for arrant ones. Nice rolling terrain to give you the challenge of throwing up and down hill, with a BOOMER of a shot to finish it all off. Pro shop that is fully stocked. TWO THUMBS UP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cons: It's kind of hard to find anything to complain about....less snow please...... Howard and Linda Burnham and family are setting the bar.
Other Thoughts: Don't pass this one up. They also have another sweet couse on site. You can make it a day here.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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