Great views at the top
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - It's location near Estes Park makes it great for anyone local or visiting to get 18 holes in.
- Decent signage on most holes (a couple on the back 9 come to mind that are misleading or missing)
- Elevation! I'm not from the area and am from a flat area. Playing a course with well-used elevation is not only educating but fun.
- Variety of hole distance/pars/approaches
Cons: - No amenities are close by. I know there is at least one public restroom at the YMCA but from what I could tell none are close to the course. With so much activity nearby there aren't many places "available" w/o risking your privacy, if you know what I mean. Furthermore, there are few if any benches, trash cans or bag holders - having all three of those would leave me feeling spoiled but lacking all three leaves me feeling a little neglected. I mean as someone not acclimated to the elevation playing an area that is otherwise well maintained, I feel there could be some easy additions to make players feel welcome, at least a couple more benches for out-of-state visitors.
- Dirt tees (not a con to me necessarily but I know it is for many)
- Navigation isn't terribly clear for the whole course. The map available at the office isn't to scale and, memorably, #16 lacks a tee sign. It's easy to read/misread the map and end up on a sojourn.
- Cost: despite what is noted on the course info the park for non-members is $20/adult a day. That being said, if you go into the Sweet Memorial Bldg to pay and get a map, and IF you're there strictly for DG, you MIGHT get a discount. I'm not saying it happened to me, but I might have heard of it.
- #18 ends nowhere near #1. If you're not from here you'll find yourself on another hike back to your car. Conversely, if you park near the entrance you'll be fine when you end, but you have to schlep up to the first tee.
Other Thoughts: I was in Estes for my wedding and made sure to check out the YMCA. It's stupid-close to RMNP and you'd be a fool to miss it. Despite the cost, make sure to check it out, especially if you're from flat-land.
The day I played there was a lot of summer camp activities and people about but none were really on the course. Being June, it was hot as Hell out but if you prepare accordingly you won't suffer from the elements. You may, however, suffer from the long grass in areas, hidden runoff streams, and occasional surprisingly-thick brush. That being said most of the course is dry and easy to navigate.
the walk from 13 to 14 is long and not to scale with the map. #16 has no sign but the basket for 15 is right next to a small ridge/bluff/?. Just below the basket for 15 you'll see a tee post w/o a sign. I learned from a helpful local that directly ahead of the tee you'll see 3 metal posts in the ground with white painted tops. Past the third post the hole dog-ears to the left. it's not a hole to mess with. #18 is also a nice long bomber but beware of long grass and hidden marshy areas (at least in June).
I had a great time here. As for the course itself, you've got a smorgasbord of forehands and backhands, even some overhands. All things considered though, as a non-pro, it's not necessarily an EASY course, especially for flatlander or someone out-of-state. Like any course, once you learn it you know where to go. I imagine that even for locals however, this course can present challenges, especially since the area has true seasons and sometimes crazy weather. I hope to update this review w/ info regarding the fall/winter. If you're in the area, PLAY the YMCA!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A Solid Mountain Course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Good use of the trees available on this course. While very few of the holes are heavily wooded on this course, the trees are used well to knock down errant shots or force certain shots.
-For the most part the course is pretty easy to follow. There are pretty well worn paths between the two holes. The only navigation issues comes on holes 13 and 14 (see cons below).
-Baskets are in good shape and catch quite well. They are Innova Discatchers so they yellow band is pretty easy to see from the tee-pad.
-Decent variety of distance. The majority of holes are around 300 feet, but the back nine adds some holes that are around 400 feet and then hole 18 is a 714 feet, which is nice to let the disc rip.
-There is a pretty good variety of more wide open holes and then some holes that have tighter lines to hit.
-Good use of elevation change available on this course. Most of the holes either incorporate some uphill or downhill and a few holes (like 14 include some sidehill shots.
-The last 5 holes are a lot of fun. Hole 14 is a sidehill shot. Hole 15 is a more wide open shot down to a basket tucked into a ravine in front of some trees. Hole 16 is 400 foot shot through a meadow with a dogleg left to a basket situated up on the hill. Hole 17 is a significantly downhill shot with a pine tree blocking easy access to the basket. Hole 18 is a long 714 ft shot slightly downhill across a meadow. These were the best holes on the course and were a really great way to end the course.
-Benches and trashcans on several holes
-Tee-signs at each hole tell the distance and par of each hole.
-Course wasn't very crowded at all
-Good view of the Mummy Mountains.
Cons: -Dirt tee-pads, a lot of the tee-pads are just worn down dirt patches and can be very uneven at times.
-While I really enjoyed the last five holes, the first 12 or so leave a little to be desired. The first 12 are basically all straight shots through trees that could knock down an errant shot. After a while, the first 12 got a little repetitive.
-Once again, while the course has a decent variety of distance, the longer holes don't start appearing until about the last five holes. The first twelve all sit between about 250 and 300. The distance on these first twelve holes starts to feel a little repetitive.
-A lot of this course meanders throughout the cabins on the property. It felt weird playing really close to where other people were staying and at times an errant shot could hit a cabin.
-A lot of holes play uncomfortably close to roads or camp buildings. There are quite a few holes where a bad shot could easily bean a car or another guest of the YMCA.
-Very long walk back to the car from hole 18. I don't mind a good walk, but this course makes absolutely no attempt to circle back to the parking area for the first hole.
-It would be nice if the tee-signs had a layout of each hole and not just the distance.
-Very long walks between hole 12 and 13 and then hole 13 and 14. Make sure you bring a map so you are able to navigate between these two holes.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this course is a bit of a mixed back. The first 12 are average and get repetitive after a while, but last five holes or so show a lot of creativity and are a lot of fun. Because of the first 12 holes, I don't think this course is really worth the $15 for a day pass, but if you are staying at the camp or a member of the YMCA , it is worth playing a round or two.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun if you are in town
Pros: Holes 14-18 are beautiful, bomber holes that encourage high soaring lines that weave between the top of the trees that run through a valley behind the maintenance support area of the property. These are the reason to play this course.The scenery is what you would expect from a course on the edge of Rocky Mountain National park and it's good to take a moment to appreciate where you are. Tee signs are clean and state par and distance. Benches abound and the course is actually pretty easy to follow once you find hole #1, but a map is recommended. Good sight lines to the Innova yellow banded baskets (a pro and a con). Great place to bring the family for a weekend, with so many other activities to keep the family busy while you golf. The course was clean and free of trash, despite the lack of trash cans on the course. Hole 18 was a 714ft bomber above trees changing color, and had the feel of a signature hole. It's a free course as well. Beginning/rec players can still play and have fun.
Cons: Holes 3-12 largely play back and forth meandering between the cabins in point and shoot fashion, and the distances only vary between 260-340 feet. It gets mundane and you feel like you are playing the same hole, with the only variation being whether the particular hole you are on is uphill or downhill. It's rather repetitive and you might be tempted to give up on the course, but hold out until the last 5 holes! No trash cans, the tee boxes are natural and mostly uneven (some better than others). The walk from hole 18 to hole 1 is about a 3/4 mile to a mile uphill.
Other Thoughts: If you live in (or are visiting) Estes Park, you should definitely visit, but this is not a destination course from any more than an hour away. If you want to have a great weekend with the family that isn't disc-centric, then by all means enjoy the course and the great finishing holes. Don't expect to use a lot of different shots and lines. In the end, this is a mostly enjoyable round of golf that will add to your trip to the beautiful mountains that surround the course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -This course is on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park and is absolutely gorgeous.
-A good amount of trees for obstacles. You aren't forced to throw exact lines but you do have to avoid the trees.
-Can get a map of the course, would recommend it.
-The back 9 is great. Some tricky greens, elevation changes, length, more obstacles. If the whole 18 was like the back 9 it might even be a 4.
-The course gets some use but definitely isn't crowded.
-Tees have hole # and par to aid navigation.
-The course is in good shape and maintenance.
-The Y has so many things to do. Camping and cabins!
-You shouldn't lose a disc here but there are some taller grass areas and you could always get hung up in a pine tree.
Cons: -Without the map and this site you would have a hard time finding the start of this course and navigating it. Some of the fairways are too close for comfort so keep your eyes open. Also, it doesn't really loop back to the start. You have a little walk to get back to the lot.
-The front 9 is pretty short and not too challenging.
-Don't play here if you're not in somewhat decent physical shape. Lots of hills and rocky, rugged terrain.
-Can be quite windy up here in the mountains.
-The tees are natural and can be a little slippery or rutted. They aren't bad tho.
Other Thoughts: This is a good fun round. I wouldn't drive all the way up to Estes just for disc golf but there is plenty of other fun stuff to do. Remember, your discs will fly differently at nearly 8000 feet than they do where you live. This course is definitely buoyed by it's scenery, it isn't the best use of this beautiful land and certainly isn't the top priority for the Y.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
The Back Nine Is Better But The Rockies Are Impressive!
Pros: This course plays on this giant YMCA complex. This not the YMCA you're thinking about back home! This is one gigantic complex with probably 100 buildings and multitudes of activities going on at all hours during the summer. Then you surround the whole area with the towering, craggy Rocky Mountains and the whole experience is pretty amazing. The scenery really is breathtakingly beautiful.
I really like this course starting with hole # 9. The back nine feature some interesting basket placements, more challenging terrain to play on and is generally more fun. The baskets are great although a little hard to spot on the front nine even with the yellow rims. The signs have just the basic information, nothing too impressive.
I thought # 9 was a fun little throw, about 241' downhill to a basket hidden just behind a small pine tree. It's an ACE run but you gotta have the touch. The back nine features some tricky shot placements through the pines, down the canyons and is generally a lot longer than the front nine.
Cons: Navigation is a little nightmarish. The first tee is difficult to find. The second nine is tricky to navigate. The tee pads could definitely use some work. They're natural. Some are fine but a few are rutted and rough. I thought the first eight holes were a little boring and all seemed a little too similar. All were about the same distance, straight with a few pine trees for obstacles.
And # 18 finishes clear on the other side of the complex from where you started.
Other Thoughts: I'd love to see them put in some concrete patio blocks for tee pads. That would be a simple little way to really spice this course up. It's the only course around and seems to get quite a bit of play. There's some good challenge here. The scenery is second to none. I recommend you try if you're in the area. I also recommend you visit Rocky Mountain National Park while you at it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
High altitude, Nice views
Pros: This is a beautiful course with gorgeous views of Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a long course, and you are more than likely not going to see any other disc players throughout the entire day. This is an 18 hole mountain course with minimal elevation drops/gains. The course does provide a quality amount of trees and obstacles on every hole. The course also provides users with a map, which is necessary to find your way around. This course has a wide variety in the distance-range of shots and many long holes, but does not require too many technical shots. Almost all of the technical aspects of the course come from trees which are random placed throughout a straight fairway. Certainly a couple hole in one opportunities.
Cons: DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT THIS COURSE WITHOUT THE MAP!! Even with the map, my friend and I had a very hard time navigating the course. It weaves through a summer camp and has a very unintuitive setup. The course also ends about as far as one could get from their car (and hole one) and requires a 10 minute walk back to the car. The only real issue with the holes is that almost every hole was a straight shot. Instead of having fairways requiring certain skills, fairways were straight and simply had trees in the way to create the variety of shots. This got boring after a bit, as the back 9 (besides 16) requires the same exact long and straight shot.
Other Thoughts: A great course to get out there and play if you're in the area.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
YMCA of The Rockies
Pros: Beautiful Colorado scenery. Lots of trees makes for tough shots/decisions. Back 9 are very long and challenging (lots of 400+ foot baskets). All tee boxes have the hole number and par for that particular hole (except 18).
Cons: Very poorly marked; it is imperative that you go to the check-in desk and get a map. With the map the course was tough to navigate, without it it'd be nearly impossible. Some of the dirt tee-boxes were dug out and odd shaped, but it wasn't too big of an issue.
Other Thoughts: Fun course to play, although I was a bit let down by the lack of creativity on a lot of the holes. Virtually every hole except 15 or 16 was a straight shot from the tee with trees in the way to make for a more difficult shot. Glad we decided to go, but this was my least favorite of Colorado's "Mountain Courses"
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Spectacular views playing through a fairly challenging course. This course has actual lines for the golfer to analyze and conquer. Elevation changes make for a fun round.
Cons: Both times on the course the wind has been a factor. Fairly confusing navigating around between certain holes. The last hole ends about as far away from your car as possible.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Ahh, Mountain Golf
Pros: Basic dirt tee pads, basic hole maps, good baskets (for having cursed rejection bar). This course has many interesting features. I haven't played too many mountain golf courses before, but it makes for many interesting elevation changes and lines I havent see in the Midwest or Southwest courses ive played.
The course has an amazing view of the rest of the giant YMCA complex, which in turn is surrounded by the Rockies, beautiful year round IMO, so this course gets bonus points for scenic view, and the amenities and cabins on site are a nice plus. More accurately, the DG course is a huge plus in this really cool resort (dont let the name fool you, this is NOT your local YMCA, see pictures) amongst its many other activities.
This course starts off small, weaving through a wooded area with shorter, more flat holes through the trees. Then it steps across the road to longer, more open holes with more elevation changes coming into play. Thats the first nine, and it plays in a nice loop down by the main building.
The newer back nine spirals off through the rest of this massive complex, and steps it up a notch. It ups the distance and throws in more extreme elevation, up down and crosshill shots, with big pine trees in the mix. It starts off a hole shooting straight uphill from basket #9 area, and follows with one up with a squeeze shot with scattered trees then a wall of them with one gap, to open basket area. It plays a series of up and downhill bomber holes before entering a canyon it plays through for the rest of the course. The canyon holes do a good job bringing the crosshill with rollaway potential into the extreme uphill/downhill mix that this course is already throwing at you by this point.
The back nine of this course, especially the par 4's, force interesting risk reward shots, and birdie (even eagle) opportunities for a player of my level (for whatever thats worth).
On both nines the terrain, and especially trees, are used very strategically to force interesting and sometimes tricky lines. Whether the more tight tree shots on front nine, or more scattered with some big clumps like on the back, few holes are wide open.
A perfect example of both the risk reward and tree usage is an early hole on back nine, it uses the old raised area of a house foundation for a challenging hilltop pin, past a line of trees with one gap (recurring theme here). The line is 270ish from the tee, and pretty tall, then a way to the hilltop, so it forces an interesting choice, and offers birdie opportunities.
Another is hole 17, which is a huge left downslope from valley side to valley floor. The trick is you have to get through a line of trees to get left to valley floor where basket sits. Theres a R-L line that you cant see from the basket. Its like many others on this course: the birdie opp is there, but it forces an interesting AND longer shot, which I haven't seen that often and really enjoyed.
One thing that still amazes me about this course, not sure whether its good or bad: The front nine is all short, def par 3's & the back nine is definitely longer and tougher, with worthy par 4s and tough 3s. However our whole group (me especially) found it much easier to shoot well (rel to par) on back nine than front nine. Thanks to the par, there are birdie opps on virtually every hole of this course (except maybe 18), and it makes for an easier and less frustrating feel, vs the blanket par 3 city courses.
This course throws a variety of rights and lefts at you, with the holes all having some intrigue, even if it is just elevation with a convenient tree or two, which makes for an interesting round. The tight technical holes are mostly short, and the long holes force some accuracy while being more open, so its not the hardest course to shoot well on, but its got a nice variety and many interesting holes.
Its a nice mountain course with par 4s that has clever shots, but really isnt super technical or too crazy tough, despite being long and/or having tight lines at points. It keeps it pretty fair while still challenging
Cons: Despite its many good traits, this course's particular rough, rugged nature has drawbacks too.
One of the big differences I noticed is the fairways. In WI its mostly grass or dirt, and you take the skip shots and roller lines for granted. Not so here. The fairway is a tough mix of dirt, rocks, low shrubs and long, unmown grass, which puts a soft floor on your lines, rather than a clear fairway where you can hug the terrain a little more, and amplifies the slope of the terrain.
That is a good thing, and adds challenge to the course, but its a pain for many reasons: it makes disc finding much harder, and can really scratch you up. This course is not mowed (its in the mountains) so some spots have deep shule that just eats discs, and is painful to walk through.
Also, the teepads are quite basic, dirt affairs. On such a steep course, level teepads are a luxury, especially dirt ones, and in most cases they are pretty good, but some are bumpy or sloping and make the teeshot tougher than it needs to be.
Navigation on this course could be better. The front nine forms a nice little loop, and the back nine have decent flow, if a little spaced out sometimes, but they go away in a straight line with 18 leaving you on the other end of the park from where you started. However, the back nine are great, and they made use of available terrain between cabins and roads very well, which wouldnt have allowed a nice loop like front nine, so better to have the great holes and have a hike afterwards, though it is a definite con that keeps this from being a better course.
Many of the holes on the back nine are across roads from the previous, so some next tee arrows would be nice here, otherwise its hard to find w/o a map. The map is a neccessity to play this course, and even then, with the evil shule spots and several blind baskets, its not super FTF.
In some cases, there are cabins and roads close enough to the holes that they sorta come into play alongside one fairway. I skipped one across a road and onto a cabin roof, and in other cases there is a spike hyzer line over a cabin off the tee that makes sense, which to me is a broken window (car or cabin) waiting to happen.
Also, several teepads seemed like they could be a little close to the previous basket, meaning not really protected from it, or even downhill of basket landing zone, but with these elevation changes, its hard to tell
This course doesnt seem to get a lot of traffic, due to its isolated location, so these last two potential dangers haven't become an issue. They werent when we played, but there were a few other groups out there both times (sunday and monday) which tells me its more a steady trickle of players on this course rather than the regular crowds you see in city courses.
You will want a spotter on this course, unless you dont mind spending some time having to find yours, and as long as u stay out of the worst shule, you should be ok.
Despite the many interesting wrinkles this course throws at you, I feel like its mostly a little open for my liking, and the long shule makes it more painful than it has to be. The tight lines it throws at you, sometimes fell a little like pinball. I like them, but I can see how some might not. That, combined with the lack of navigation signs and design flaws (some unavoidable and worthwhile), keeps me from rating this course higher.
This is a very fun course if you have a spotter, but its too rough to really make me want to come back. Its not a bad course, but I know mountain courses can get alot better. This course is worth playing and in a great location, but I think if you are hitting the highlights of CO, there seem to be others you should visit first, though I haven't played them, so I cant say for sure.
Worth playing, fun, not outstanding.
Other Thoughts: This course reminds me of the other course I've played in the rocky mountains: Whistler DGC in Canada. This course adds some longer par 4s into the mix, the one thing Whistler really lacked, which was nice to see for me. However, this course is a little rougher and less isolated, also less technical and more open, thus whistler is still a better course, just nice to see the possibilities here of long mountain golf holes.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Just Look Around You
Pros: This disc golf course plays through the amazing property of the YMCA near Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The setting is simply beautiful. Just look around you and you will just get a sense of incredible peace. There is some decent course design though nothing spectacular. Staff on site seems to know something about disc golf and there are good maps available in the Sweet Memorial building, near first tee. The baskets are all in spectacular condition, with numbers facing tee boxes in most instances. Even when camp is busy there seems to be little to no traffic on this course. The course seems to stay clear of most major walk ways through the camp so there is little cross traffic. It is possible to play just 9 holes, front or back and not be too far away from anything. There are plenty of other activities for the rest of the family to do around the YMCA, including putt-putt golf amongst other things. There is also lodging right on site.
Cons: Tee boxes need some serious help, even for natural tees. Many are not level and some are just crazy short. The layout has a couple of confusing spots. After hole three, you should go down the hill to hole four even though hole six seems to be the closest tee. It is not always obvious which direction the next tee is. holes 13 and 18 were particularly bad. The design is not consistent from front 9 to back 9. Hole 18 ends forever and ever away from hole 1 as well as where one might typically think to park. Hole 18 has some very thick bushes and grass so you will want to be sure to watch your drives very closely on this hole. Distances on the signs and map seem to be horribly inaccurate, trust your sight and not the numbers. The tee signs are so close to the tee boxes, and right at the front of them that there were a couple of times that I was scared my hand would catch them as I pulled through. Hole 18 was missing a sign though there is a post there for a sign.
Other Thoughts: This is not your typical mountain course, and that is not a compliment. While there are a few tight holes and a couple unique holes with interesting terrain, I struggle to call this a mountain course. Most of the front 9 seems to be set up for families as the holes are all shorter and fairly straight forward. Most of the trees on the front 9 are short and you are able to play over the top in many instances. The back 9 is more fo a beast and more typical of mountain courses with some very unique land features. There are only a couple of baskets that are hidden in trees. Still, this is a good course that is designed to a specific, more family oriented crowd. There is still some great challenge on the back 9 for better players. This is far from one of my favorite courses but worth palying if you are in the area. If it is possible you may want to run a two car system parking one near 18's basket in the parking lot immediately on your left as you enter the YMCA property and parking the other up by Sweet Memorial. And for those wondering this course is back to its full 18 holes.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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