Russell Gulch, CO 
Ghost Town Share
Uploaded By: markjfun   (Taken 9/2011)
The trail from the clubhouse to tee #1



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Something new and something old

1    9/6/2014   9/15/2014
Review By: sillybizz
Played: 219  Reviewed: 206  Exp: 11.5 Years
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I've traveled a little and been to a few ghost towns at this point, hiked through one and now I can say I have played a DGC through one as well. Some of the buildings are still in amazing shape while others have seen better days. These buildings were built on the dream of striking it rich in mining, are from the 1890's and are the only thing left standing from those dreams. The history and the ambiance of this place combined with the great golf is reason enough to make the trip out here. This is a must play for those reasons.

Others aren't fans of 'artificial' or 'manufactured' out of bounds but I think with this course it not only makes sense to keep players away from private land not owned by the disc course but also makes the course more challenging when picking your landing zones. At every tee and most times within the circle you also have to play smart. I love courses that make you think about your shot instead of just throw your disc towards the basket and not have to worry about anything and you end up with a two or three 90% of the time. This is the sort of course you could play in the morning and shoot a 45 and then your afternoon round could be a 65! Love it!

Holes two (2) and seven (7) are the toughest of the bunch out here and my favorites as well. Hole two is a blind uphill constantly dog legging right to left with out of bounds running up the right side of the fairway all the way to the basket up near a small mound on the top of the hill. Hole seven is a nastily wooded hole with several lines to the basket from the pad but none of them look easy at all. At over 350 feet even if you hit the line you need a bit of distance and luck to get you to the basket for a birdie and if you hit something early you could be looking at bogey at best.
Cons: When you reach the more open holes near the start of the back nine the course gets tighter but in a different way; the OB lines ease but the other fairways come closer. The owner takes tee times so this shouldn't be an issue most of the time but it's something to look for if you are playing a tournament or just casual golf and several groups are next to one another.

I mention this here because I understand some people are bothered by it but for me it is not an issue and that is the $5 to play. Honestly this is not a con and if it is a con to you there are several other options around town and no one is forcing you to come and play the course. The funky rules (2 and 3 stroke penalties, etc.) are fun but if you don't like them you don't have to play it that way if you don't want.

Parking!!!! There are maybe four or five legit parking spots for the entire course. We had to squeeze into a spot that really wasn't meant to be squeezed into and only then did we move our car after hanging out in the pro shop for a bit and seeing someone leave. The neighbors seem like they don't mind the course there, if one of them were smart they would charge for addition parking for something. Not sure what they do during a tournament here.
Other Thoughts: This course is like nothing else and I highly recommend checking it out even though it's out in the middle of the nowhere in the mountains. Sure there is some OB and sure the lines are tight and sure there are funky rules and it's mainly a pitch and putt but it really doesn't matter as the cons are what you make of them. Just go and have fun and take in the history, peace and quiet and unique property of the course. Also Brian in the pro shop has some Ghost Town shirts, discs etc. that are pretty neat, have great designs and are extremely cheap!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.

Ghostly Mountain Course

1    10/14/2013   4/11/2014
Review By: mndiscg
Played: 352  Reviewed: 345  Exp: 6.6 Years
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Very unique mountain setting in a real 'Ghost Town'. Great character at this course.
+Lots of fun ups and downs
+Probably never crowded to due the need for a reservation and P2P
+Some tight holes and some pretty open holes
+Brian gives you a map and all tees are marked. It was always obvious which basket I was supposed to be shooting at. Navigation was solid here. The shovel heads at each tee were helpful and added to the charm of the course.
+Tees were good enough for this course. You don't need a long run-up, if you did the tees might be a little short.
+A pro shop with many cool items including discs, shirts, paintings, etc.
+Between actual hole variation and variation in scenery, this course kept me guessing and never was boring.
Cons: -Not a lot of variation in length. Most holes were on the shorter side.
-Manufactured OB all over, I do understand why it is in place but it still isn't my favorite obstacle. There are other rules regarding noise and hitting things but again, I understand why they are in place. Still worthy of a mention.
-Some of the baskets were older, often single chained and didn't catch quite as well as others. Many baskets are replaced and I assume the remaining old ones are being replaced as money comes into the course.
-I played alone, near dusk and it was a little creepy! Maybe this ghost town is haunted.
Other Thoughts: -I had first played this course last fall and wanted to have the chance to play it again before I reviewed it. I don't do that often. I also don't want to come back and play courses as often as I do this one. I wanted to play on my 3 day trip last week but was unable due to recent snowfalls.
-This course is definitely worth the $5 donation and drive into the mountains. If you are traveling here in the summer, there are many courses in the mountains beyond here to check out.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.

A very cool, fun course.

1    9/7/2013   9/9/2013
Review By: OG Neal
Played: 17  Reviewed: 7  Exp: 19.5 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Unique course with some challenging shots.
-Old mining equipment and ruins of old buildings make for fun OB.
-Beautiful scenery
-Camper-shell dugouts on course for shade and relaxation
-Informative host who explains course (and a GD fan!)
-Interesting clubhouse/curiosity shop
Cons: -Starts really fun but kind of gets average towards the end
-Some OB is kind of arbitrary
-Extra short hole on #4 is unnecessary
-Really hard to find
Other Thoughts: I took my girlfriend who had never played a real course and she loved it. Definitely pleasing for females who like kitschy things.
I think the course could use a little fine tuning. There are some mandys that don't force your shot because of too much space on the mandy side. A few shots could be longer and if you play you will see some makeshift tees back and away from the tee pads.
A super fun course that I would recommend to anybody willing to make the drive.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Ghost towns & gold mines

1    9/1/2013   9/4/2013
Review By: Wook1
Played: 14  Reviewed: 4  Exp: 5.8 Years
This review was updated on 9/5/2013
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 19 unique holes that zig-zag across an old gold mining claim. Call ahead of time and see how busy the course is & being able to line up your round was a nice touch you don't get at many courses, the clubhouse is also an added bonus. After paying the $5 fee, course owner gives you a full run through of the layout. Detailed hand drawn course maps add to the rustic & somewhat gritty vibe you get at this course. Tee signs with hole # and distance are painted on old rusted shovel heads very clever use of "junk" also the homemade "rain shelters" throughout the course are great.

The first 6 holes are very tight with fairways being 20-50 ft wide at the most with a strict OB on each side. Ghost town has a mix of homemade and "official" pins. A few spots on this course you will tee off 2 discs and walk down to play your first and play the 2nd drive, hole 4 is the first of these. After finishing 3 climb up on rock face to your right and the tee off for 4s is in a crows nest on top of the rock. Dont go to your disc yet, climb down and walk over to the 4L tee and drive. Walk up and play your first drive to 4s pin, after continue play from your second drive. Cross the intersection to 6&7, which loop and re cross the intersection to 8. 9,10, & 11 are very close cutting back and forth across a Gully, reminded me of driving over a pond except with no water. This is also where the course starts to open up and you see the ruins and abandoned buildings that give this course it's namesake. 15 & 16 youll be teeing off 2 disc again, separate boxes for each, on the left side of this fairway is a ruined stone blacksmith's forge one of the coolest bunkers I've seen. 17 & 18 use the same fairway going in opposite directions be careful and if there's other players be sure they see you
Cons: Some of the homemade baskets need work, its obvious this course has a lot of personal touches and is a work of love, and like most works of love is continuously in progress. Since this was my first time experiencing ghost town Im not sure of their layout progress but it seems they are adding permanent "official" pins over time replacing the homemade.
Other Thoughts: Lots of OB but it's all fair and adds to the challenge of this course. Beautiful hand painted signs @ a few tee offs showing a detailed layout of fairway and pin placement

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Scary Drive ... Cool Course

1    7/18/2013   8/6/2013
Review By: ZMan44
Played: 134  Reviewed: 110  Exp: 10.7 Years
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Ambiance - Ghost Town is a really cool place, and one of the more unique courses I have seen. There definitely is not another course that I have seen playing through ruins of an old mining community. The place has a great vibe. Brian is a really cool guy and has done an amazing job here.

Design - Elevation was used very well. Multiple shot-shapes are required. I used more discs in my bag at Ghost Town than on any other course in the Denver area.

Terrain Mix - The first 8 holes play up the ridge and back down. These holes are mostly wooded and provide a distinct challenge. The remaining holes are in the open, but there are plenty of challenges including a creek that is probably dry most of the time. However, we played during the "monsoon season" in the Rockies.
Cons: Baskets - Some of the baskets are home-made and simply don't catch as well. they're cool and all, from a novelty perspective, but expect a spit-out or four.

Random OB - There is OB on this course...everywhere. There are random OB gardens, often in the fairway and often very close to the baskets. As long as everyone is playing the same rules, it's a fair game. But if you're looking to shoot a low score and you have a putt hit the chains and land OB, you might get pretty heated.

Occasionally Eerie - I may get made fun of for this, and I didn't say anything to my friends during the round, but there were distinct times when I felt like I was being watched. Never felt so uncomfortable that I was ready to leave, but definitely odd. Maybe it was the elevation...or the creepy mannequin on the porch...who knows?
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed the Ghost Town course. It was quirky, but still fun. I managed to stay out of OB for the entire round, which is nothing short of miracle. Brian is an excellent host and a very skilled painter. Shirts are for sale in the club-house and they are really neat.

If you're not in great physical shape, the first three holes can be a little bit demanding. But after that point, the hike becomes much less grueling.

My favorite holes are #15 and #16 (I think) in which you throw from each tee box, before going down into the shared fairway. #15's pin is tucked to the left (RHBH hyzer) with the ruins down the left side of the fairway and OB down the right. #16 is long and you can either play for the 3 and just throw down the fairway and upshot, or go for the birdie with a long hyzer or flex shot...but both are risky for RHBH with OB down the right.

Ghost town is an excellent course and if you're in Denver, you should make the drive and give it a shot. If your game is predicated on throwing 400 feet off the tee, you probably won't like it as much as others. $5 is a very reasonable price for the course.

As an aside, if you've made the trek out to Ghost Town, get back on I-70 West and go another exit or two farther and eat at Tommyknockers Brewery. Good food and a cool atmosphere. I also hear Beau Jos Pizza is good, but we opted for Tommyknockers. Great post-round meal.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.

One of a Kind

2-4    8/4/2013   8/4/2013
Review By: Wise Fool
Played: 123  Reviewed: 115  Exp: 5.8 Years
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -The front eight play up and down a heavily wooded hillside. The fairways on the front 8 are very tight, but there is always a fair line to the basket.
-The last 10 holes are more open but play through the ruins of an old ghost town, which is the most unique thing, I've ever seen in a course.
-About half of the baskets are in good shape and catch well
-While the tee-pads are not concrete, they are bricks set into the ground and are pretty even and make solid tee-pads.
-Course flow is very easy to follow, especially since Brian walks you through the whole course on a map at the clubhouse before the round begins.
-Due to the tight fairways and the out of bounds on every hole, this course requires a ton of good accuracy to score well on. You will use most of the shots you have available if you want to score well on this course.
-Benches at a lot of the holes and there are places to leave your recycling. (Brian asks that any trash that is not recycling, be packed out of the course).
-The charm and atmosphere of this course is awesome. From the the shovel head at each tee-pad that tells you the hole number and distance to all of the random old items found around the course, this course has an atmosphere and feel unlike any other course I have played. Playing disc golf in an old ghost town is one of the coolest experiences ever.
-Brian is a great host and very helpful
-Great scenery throughout the course
-Since this is a private course that requires a reservation, it doesn't get overly crowded.
Cons: -Some of the baskets are homemade baskets that don't catch very well and you will experience some spit-outs on the homemade baskets. (As a side note, based on the older pictures on this site of the course, it looks like Brian is slowly replacing the homemade baskets with newer baskets as he is able to).
-Some of the out of bounds and rules on this course can seem a little restrictive at times (Overall, I didn't think this was a huge con as the different rules helped add to the charm of the course a little bit).
-I wish one or two of the tee-pads were slightly longer
-A few holes on the course have some wet swampy overgrown areas (mostly holes 9-11) and if you throw into the wet swampy areas, there is a chance of losing your disc.
-A few holes (mainly 9-11, and 17 and 18) play very close to each others fairways. If the course got super crowded this would be a bigger con. Even if the course is not very crowded, you will still probably have to wait for people to throw through on a few holes to avoid hitting other people.
-Probably the biggest con of this course, is the lack of distance. If you long throwing long bombs and your drivers on every hole or most holes, this is not the course for you. Pretty much every hole is under 300 feet and most are under 250 feet.
Other Thoughts: This is the most unique disc golf course I have ever played. It has a charm and atmosphere that I have never seen at any other disc golf course. The course may have a few flaws, but overall it is a must play if you are planning a disc golf trip to Colorado.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.

 Old School Rules!

1    11/21/2012   11/22/2012
Review By: ddevine
Played: 128  Reviewed: 35  Exp: 35.8 Years
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: An extremely charming course in a unique setting that will have you grinning with delight as soon as you arrive. Bring the kids, this is a short, recreational course with narrow pathways and wonderful personal touches courtesy of Brian, the deservedly proud owner and operator. Experienced players will throw putters on most of the holes, with a few mid-range and possible drivers. Short, technical and joyful, with "Old School Rules" (penalties for hitting buildings, signs, cars, etc as well as an abundance of OB). A good portion of the baskets are home-made which, for me at least, was a delight. Yes, they might not catch as well, but they are a clear indicator of Brian's "the most fun wins" approach.

Most of the front nine consists of short, very tight L-R, R-L and straight shots that reward finesse and control. The course opens up after that, with plenty of ace-runs (mostly with putters for the experienced players) and an ever present abundance of OB.

The personal touches are what makes this course so enjoyable and charming. Home-made signs and baskets make for a unique experience that should be savored. Bring the kids, they will enjoy the ghost town setting. My four star rating is primarily based on the "charm" of the place. Big armed lovers of wide open crush shots will most likely disagree.
Cons: Some folks might balk at the $5 per round fee, but in my opinion it is a small way of saying "thanks" to Brian for his work and dedication. (Be sure to call ahead, this is a private course).

Very short by today's standards, but the early tight holes provide some compensation. Some of the distances are misleading (one hole listed at 395' is closer to 300'...or maybe I misread it). Some of the tee pads are sketchy, with deep depressions and loose rocks (I played on an unusually balmy day in late November)..but the holes are so short that this is not much of an issue.
Other Thoughts: If you started playing in the 70s you will love this place. Brian should be commended for his dedication and hard work at making the most of a very limited set of land. Those of you who enjoy windy mountain dirt roads will want to hang a left on Virginia Canyon as you leave the property and head down "Oh My God" road that drops (literally) into Idaho Springs. If you like Pizza you might try BeauJos in the "downtown" area (although they no longer put the napkins on the walls due to fire hazards).

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.

 ghost town

1    8/24/2012   8/25/2012
Review By: disc dunker
Played: 52  Reviewed: 6  Exp: 3.5 Years
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This was quite an experience. There was an overwhelming amount of intrigue as we got out of the car and started to walk around. The many collections of antiques and artifacts are nothing short of impressive. I couldn't help but wonder what we were about to experience. The first 8 hole were very tight and technical. I will be using strictly a gummy putter on these holes next time. The last 10 holes opened up quite a bit which was good because I was starting to feel claustrophobic. Overall there were a large variety of shots needed.
Cons: Almost too tight. there were many places where I was just laying up repeatedly because of no other options. I think the penalty strokes were excessive.
Other Thoughts: Thank you for building this course it is a treasure for the Colorado disc golf community.
I will play this course again with hopes of lowering my score.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 Fun, extremely technical course

1    8/20/2012   8/20/2012
Review By: EvergreenJC
Played: 8  Reviewed: 4
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a cool course that will challenge even the best players. Lots of thought put into the layout which gives both some tight tree shots and open field shots.

While the OB was frustrating when I found it, I left liking how much strategy this course requires.
Cons: We found ourselves wanting basket upgrades on quite a few holes. I tried to convince myself it was part of the "charm" of the course, but they just need to be upgraded in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: Well worth going a little out of your way if you live within driving distance. I highly recommend playing twice and planning on 2hours/round if you're new to the course. $7 is worth it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 Ghost Town Course Is Gold!

1    7/11/2012   7/12/2012
Review By: The Valkyrie Kid
Played: 684  Reviewed: 636  Exp: 36.6 Years
This review was updated on 7/22/2012
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Ghost Town course is one of most unique courses you'll ever play. Owner/Designer Brian has really put his heart and soul into his piece of historical gold rush era property here and it's a pleasure to be able to play and enjoy it.
You'll be given the royal welcome starting with the rules clinic and walk through of the property. Because the property is so tightly squeezed between the neighbors, the OBs are extremely tight. There are so many features which make this one of most unique disc golfing experiences you'll ever have. They range from the many artifacts you'll encounter, everything from the historical old mining buildings, to Brian's personal touches all over the course such as using old shovel handles as tee signs. I thought a couple of the more clever ideas were on # 4 where you throw two throws on two different tees to two different baskets. This actually counts as two holes making this a 19 hole course. Then on # 15 and # 16, you play both throws down the same fairway thus saving a walkdown.
There is a clubhouse here selling hats, koozies, both used and new discs, tee shirts and more. Brian says they're averaging 4000-5000 rounds a year out here now. I think people are starting to discover Ghost Town Disc Golf.
Cons: The course is extremely tight in places. I was happy to only go OB once. Also, all the additional rules Brian has in place do feel a bit stifling at times. This is basically a recreational course. The distance is not there for advanced players although I think they would be challenged by the over-all tightness and would enjoy the quirkyness of the place.
Other Thoughts: My favorite part of the course were the three holes playing over the marshes in the middle, 9-10 and 11. The basket placements were extremely clever and challenging here but also aceable for most players. Also the altitude of 9000' might factor in to your game here.
As much as I'd love to rate this course higher, I have to go with a 4. The length and challenge just isn't there to give it any higher than a 4. It's great, I loved it and would love to come back.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.

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