2 Helpful / 1 Not
Don't let the front 9 fool you
Pros: This is an absolutely beautiful course in the mountains. 1 through 9 are all shorter holes offering what I would caution is a warmup to the back 9. The front lodge offers a map and not many will make the trip up to this more secluded area on any given day so traffic is rarely a problem.
Cons: a few holes criss cross and the pins in the back 9 are hard to find without a map (they are available). Don't fool yourself, this is a mountain course the back 9 are up and down the hills and on harsher terrain (wear hiking shoes if possible). For a 700 long hole 18 really doesn't take you back to anywhere near 1. There is a looooooooong walk from the end back to your car if you parked near to 1.
Other Thoughts: Come prepared for the mountain disc golf course experience. This means good shoes, WATER, and a camera. There is a lot of good scenery in the area which may include some of the local wildlife (We saw a mountain goat at about 50 yards). If you've never played a full mountain course before this is a great course to start with to get your bearings for what they can offer.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Challenging and Spectacular
Pros: Gorgeous views of the Rockies and a very challenging back nine. The front nine, while fairly short, has a number of trees to work around and is a good warm- up for the back nine. Not heavily played and not a lot of other activities close to the course unless you go way off line near the roads.
Cons: The tee boxes are a challenge- footing is uneven and some fair erosion problems, but you could usually throw from slightly to the side of the box and get good footing. The posted pars and distances don't match up to the ones on this review. The thistles on #18 are pretty thick and prickly - wear more than ankle socks!
Other Thoughts: Be SURE to get a course map- and it still has a few tricky holes to find. A LONG uphill walk to the parking lot, but overall a great mountain golf experience.
Another thing that proved handy for us - a telescoping golf ball retriever. We got a disc caught 25 feet up a thick evergreen and were able to climb partway up and knock it out with the retriever.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great views in all directions, and if your like me and focused on the course you could forget to step back and enjoy them.
I played the course twice with a buddy of mine, we figured since we drove all the way up there, lets make a day of it so we ate a small lunch after the first round of 18 and played again.
We saw maybe 8 other disc golfers on the whole course throughout the 5 hours we spent up there and at no point we were waiting on anyone or had anyone waiting on us.
Cons: Tee boxes definitely need some help, but for the most part didn't have any issues.
The first hole was difficult to find (mainly because it was our first time there and we didn't know our way around the HUGE YMCA complex) however after that a blind and retarded monkey could find his way around. I don't understand why others are saying the course is hard to navigate, most all tee boxes are visible from the previous basket except for 14, We actually had a guy ask us where the back 9 started because he couldn't find it, no joke the 10th tee box and basket are visible from the 7th basket and all of the 8th and 9th holes.
Other Thoughts: I would actually rate this course a 3.75 if that was an option. Also this course played as a par 61 not 54 or 57 like this website says, the front 9 is all par 3's and the back nine has 7 pars 4's
The measurement seemed to be a bit off on the 10th hole but it makes for several birdie opportunities on the back 9.
Long course made for a great workout as you are in the mountains and dealing with elevation change.
Bring good shoes its a bit rugged which should be expected on a mountain course.
The only other thing is that the 18th basket is a good 10 minute walk back to the car (if you parked near 1) I understand that this is not ideal, however I cant believe how many reviews I've read here and people are complaining about walking back to the car. Walking is good exercise and if you don't like to walk you probably shouldn't be playing disc golf.
1 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.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
high and mighty
Pros: great course in a great setting, i was happy to have this course at my disposal during a family reunion at the ymca resort. not a beginners course. the holes were pretty well laid out and offered a challenge. i played the course 8 times in 4 days, and it wore me out.
Cons: most of the holes were righty hyzer shots, the wind and altitude were the major factors as far as difficulty go. some of the distances were off by alot on the tee signs. hole #18 ...after finishing this hole i had to walk back up to our lodge, the altitude kicked my ass...
Other Thoughts: hole #15 and #17 were my favorites of the course. i played early in the morning and after lunch everyday i was there, and saw deer and elk every morning. for a ymca course i was very impressed with the course
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
By FAR the poorest of the mountain courses on my vacation
Pros: The surounding scenery is amazing. But, you don't play the surrounding scenery, you play in a YMCA commune on a subpar course which I will begin to outline in the CONS. There are nice new Discatchers in most instances (a few are the old style with only one outer band of chains). There are tee markers with distances but I think they are WAY off.
Cons: First off, the flow of this course is AWFUL. As mentioned, holes 1, 2, 11, 12 are gone. I saw baskets 2 and 11 and tee 12, but the rest of the hole is gone. Yes there was some construction, but if they would have put any effort into this course, they could have easily reinstalled the baskets very close to the remaining layout, and easily added a new tee (because the existing tees suck so bad, new ones couldn't possibly be worse). Anyway, when you finally start on #3 (if you can find it amongst the congested traffic and one way roads) you will find that as you wind around the course, after you finish 18 you'll be roughly 1/2 mile from the start (or further if you parked where we did due to no available parking). Second biggest con is that the tees SUCK. They are natural, short, EXTREMELY rutted, and very uneven. Most of the holes are relatively unimaginative and do not utilize the terrain to the fullest. There are a few on the back nine among a neat valley piece of terrain, but the hole is not designed the way a professional disc golfer would appreciate. What I mean is that there are sporadic trees blocking any type of controlled fairway shot. The holes are just random in my opinion with no thought put into throwing some specific tee shot to execute and navigate the fairway. And once again (as I've seen on many of my colorado courses) the baskets are simply plunked in odd locations like right behind a tree, or in a clump of bushes. These are no risky or rewarding greens, just oddly placed. What I liken it too is limited long term planning. No one wanted to build a long term championship or even high quality course here that would stand the test of time. As the trees and shrubs grow, there are holes here that will HAVE to be redesigned. I think that is idiotic. Once again, I believe disc golf here was just an afterthought, just some employees or camp patrons who got approval to put in a course - by amateurs. All of this is placed among the surroundings of lots of cars and pedestrians that make you wait to play your round as they leisurely make their way around the complex.
Other Thoughts: This one was the poorest overall of all the "sweet" mountain courses I had planned to play while in the Denver and Fort Collins areas. While Winter Park was much more rough and pretty horrible as far as BAD tees, unmowed fairways, ridiculous greens, non-creative use of the hill, and no signs, YMCA is a HORRIBLE course. This is not a disc golf course, this is simply tossing a disc on a poorly designed layout, among poorly designed holes, with no effort put into reconfigutring tees or baskets after construction, all within an overcrowded YMCA commune. For those of you vacationing, sure you'll get a chance to fling here at YMCA Estes, but PLEASE do not go out of your way to play here, true disc golf fanatics will be SORELY disappointed - I was!!! It just lacks solid and long lasting design. I bet every year it changes - it almost HAS to! This will NEVER be a destination kind of course for large groups of travelers.
UPDATE: This is better than other courses I have rated 2. Bumping up to 2.5
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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