The Ultimate Sunday Event
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is around 30 holes of technical, well thought-out shots. There are some very challenging holes through and over trees, and some holes that are set up for just being fun.
Some of the shots seem very hard because of all the trees, but if you choose a good line you are heavily rewarded.
For being an all natural course on 11 acres, the land usage is very good. You play the same baskets a few times, but as other reviewers have said it doesn't make a negative impact because you are the only group on the course and the tee positions drastically change the holes.
You can really tell that a lot of work was put into building the tee boxes and the signs. It is very difficult to get lost or be confused about where the next tee or basket is. Basically every hole has great benches, bag hangers and trash cans. We tried to empty some of the trash cans on our way but they were screwed to the benches and we were getting tired of hauling the trash, so we only did a few.
You are the only group there. You can do whatever you want (with respect to Paulie's property). Enough said.
Paulie is a great host. He accidentally made a personal commitment during our scheduled tee time, and he and his family were supposed to be somewhere else for the whole day. However, when he realized this he called to let me know and he took time out of his day to meet us and give us the course orientation at the scheduled time. He showed us around and chatted for a bit and then left us to our own devices.
Paulie built this course as a place for he and his buddies to hang out, drink beer, watch football and play disc all day. He did an EXCELLENT job. The patio area is impeccable. There are comfortable couches, a TV to watch the games on, a grill for your food and a cooler for your beer. You can hang out there as much as you wish between holes. It's shady all day, so it's very nice to have a place to take a break between hiking up and down the property. If you are looking for something to do with the boys, this really can't be beat. You get to hang out on a well set-up property drinking and eating and watching the games, AND play disc golf to your heart's content.
There is a good selection of discs for sale in the pro shop. I was able to find a Bar Stamp Stable Mid-Range Driver Roc to feed my Roc addiction.
Cons: Probably the biggest con to Phantom Falls, and one that isn't really avoidable without cutting down a bunch of trees, is there there are very few big long distance shots. It is what it is, and I totally respect Paulie's decision to let it play naturally and not to start clearing out trees. There are still some long shots, but you WILL need to be on your game in terms of accuracy. However, this makes it even more rewarding when you park your disc next to the basket from the tee.
There are no concrete tee pads if that's what you're into. I'm more used to dirt anyway.
One other thing that might be a con, depending on your physical condition, is that the property is extremely hilly. Drink a lot of water especially if you are drinking alcohol, and wear some good shoes. There is a good amount of hiking up and down steep hills.
Other Thoughts: After playing this course, we are spoiled. We want to make it a monthly thing. You really can't beat the VIP treatment of being the only people on the course and being able to stop for a burger and a beer whenever you want. Spending a Sunday on this course watching football (or college football on a Saturday, as in our case) and playing disc is about as good as it gets. Thanks, Paulie! I'll be calling you again soon.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
The true "Country Club" of DG
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Paulie's pad is super plush with tons of great tee shots that vary elevation and lots of very difficult approaches. Make sure to bring a floppy putter as elevated pins are abound and your disc will role hundreds of feet at times. Phantom Falls has lots of fun elevation change, and some very technical shots that require both backhand and flick. The holes are well marked and the "Bible" that the owner gives you has detailed suggestions of what to throw from each tee box. This "Bible" is a lifesaver as many tees throw at the same baskets from different angles and approaches, which doesn't cause any problems because you're the only people on the course when you make a reservation. Not only do you get access to the course, but you also get to use a cooler and grill so make sure to bring some burgers for part-way through your round.
Cons: No cons. It costs a little $$$ to play the course, but its a great deal when you consider the quality of the course and the experience.
Other Thoughts: Bring lots of beer and grill food. There is a grill that you can use, and the course loops back to the house every 5 or 6 holes so you don't need to carry all your beer at once, and you can grill whenever you please.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: With over 150 reviews I'm going to try and keep this shorter than I would most of my reviews and avoid what has already been said a ton. I'm going to discuss a few of the things that I have noticed and love/like/dislike/hate about it and why....
One of my favorite things about this sport are the things that are unique to a certain course/area, etc. The wooded homemade basket that was made for Pauley is an absolute work of art. You can see pictures of the basket here and it was made famous (to me at least) in the Innova Calendars but it's even more interesting up close and personal. Not only that but it catches extremely well.
I love the 'hat tree'. Have a hat? Need a hat? Tired of your current hat? No worries there is a special tree set up on the course that just has random hats people have left in sort of a take a penny leave a penny kind of deal like they have at the local 7-11.
The elevation makes for some really crazy unique lines and multiple routes. With 39 holes and less than half of that number of baskets you get to play the same hole(s) from a multitude of angles and actually opens up your thinking to what you might throw on the next tee pad or what you should have throw on one of the previous tee pads.
Pauley presents you with so much info (on all of his courses really) with his course map/guide/scorecard/cheat sheet that you shouldn't have to ask any questions or get lost, etc. in fact Paulie refers to the cheat sheets (and next tee markers/basket markers on Bucksnort) as being "idiot proof" and since we had no problems I think that's pretty well true.
I especially love that only one group can play on the course per day and that you have to make reservations ahead of time, I know I might be in the minority in that view point but when I think of all my crowded Seattle courses I never want to go back to waiting ever again. My dad and I made this our special once a year traveling disc golf trip and I couldn't think of too many more places I'd rather be. We felt incredibly grateful and lucky that Paulie was so accommodating to us and that we actually got to play with him and get the inside knowledge on the course and the man.
Cons: This is a course that was built with Pauley and his buddies in mind and hey why not cram as many holes as you can get into your backyard, I would do the same thing but at the same time I think some of the holes could be condensed or made extinct all together in favor of a few longer par 4 holes to break up the redundancy of dozens of holes back to back that are very similar to each other. One of options that could be taken is making multiple tee pads (for all or just some of the holes) and possibly multiple basket locations. Multiple pads could keep a lot of those same fun lines to multiple baskets and then mix in the longer holes in between. To clarify when I say multiple tee pads I don't mean a long set and a short set or even stopping at 2 pads per hole what I mean is they should be at different points away from the basket to make more lines. I think the course is pretty well perfect for what it is but these small things would make me happy anyway. :)
Other Thoughts: My dad and I haven't stopped talking about our trip to Colorado since last year and I have been slowly working on my reviews for them for months now. We're in the stages of planning our trip this year and are planning on heading to Minneapolis but we have had some serious discussions about going back to Colorado, some day I will move here. I highly recommend playing both Phantom Falls and Bucksnort, don't worry about the steep greens fee it's totally worth the money for a unique and fun experience.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course for groups & avid disc golfers
Pros: -Entire course to yourself (no rushing through holes)
-Good mix of uphill, downhill, short, and long
-Excellent signage to keep you on track (nearly idiot proof)
-Great host who loves the game of disc golf
-Great for all arm strengths
-Best Ever markers are pretty sweet
-Several different types/brands of baskets that are well marked/ identified
Cons: -Lack of parking (not really a knock on the course itself)
-Need to be in okay shape to trek this course (hilly and long; however you can take breaks if needed)
-only a few long open shots
-No water shots (some could see this as a pro)
Other Thoughts: This is a fairly tight, touch shot type of course. Having a strong arm has minimal advantage on most holes allowing for accuracy to be the king of all.
We had a group of 9 with majority of guys brand new to the sport. The ability to have the entire course to yourself allows for a good relaxing time.
Much of the course is high risk high reward as you have a lot of trees and steep hills. Paul provides a cheatsheet on tips for each hole along with which line to take.
Paul was a great host and even came out and played a couple holes with us. Very passionate about the sport and knows his course well.
Why not a 5? Personal preference as I like concrete pads and flatter, more open holes with water hazards. But it is a beautiful course and is a must play if you are in the area. We drove an extra 1.5 hours and it was well worth it. This course is for people who love the game.
Advice - Bring a couple baseballs/throwing apparatus as getting a disc stuck in a tree is inevitable (especially if you have some new players!). Also, bring water, a snack, good trail shoes, and be ready to work your body.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Tricky and bewildering and fun
Pros: Super friendly hosts. Paulie had great enthusiasm when explaining his course to us, which is understandable after playing it!
The differently constructed baskets (Pine builders, chimes, and Frankenstein) are not only fun to play, but cool to look at.
All tee boxes are level.
Great "cheat sheet" given with basket distances, description of baskets, and tips for every hole.
Great course layout and flow.
Taking off your boots and stretching on the shared patio every 13 or so baskets is really nice (while enjoying a good beer).
The pro shop is quite extensive.
Having the entire course to yourself is a luxury I've never really had before - I'm afraid I got spoiled with that 1st class treatment, and never want to "ride coach" again!
Cons: They're not joking when they say "evaluate your fitness level". My legs are still sore 24 hours later.
Smooth terrain on the steeps sent my disc rolling right down past my feet after a putt... more than once.
Makes me want to drive to Pine more often.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Must play resort style experience.
24 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a total package. It has been in my wish list for 4 years and did not disappoint.
you have all 36-39 holes all to yourself, so you play at any pace and take as many shots as you want with out ever being rushed by another player.
I am a huge fan of unique baskets and Phantom Falls was a sampler platter of baskets. There was the iconic pine basket, classic wind chime, a hot pink basket, Disc Nation Liberties, Innova DiscCatchers, a beaver ranch style basket, and even FRANKENBASKET.
The shot selection and variety is great. it is beginner friendly and still fun for experienced players.
Course flow and navigation is idiot proof. signs point the way to next tee sometimes every 10 feet.
Tee signs do not have pictures of the holes, but they are unique flagstones that you will only find here, anymore than the hole and distance would look cheesy.
Plenty of benches , which you will need while playing at over 8,000 feet of elevation. The benches are mostly made out of snowboards, which adds character to an already charismatic course.
you will receive a cheat sheet with hints on how to play the holes and which basket to throw to.
Plastic discs on every hole labeled the best throw of the year and best throw ever. This is the first time I have ever seen anything like this and I loved it. There are very few courses where this idea could work so well.
Course strategically loops so you can be back at the house or your car very frequently. you don't need to carry as many discs or drinks because you can loop back around so many times.
Pro shop had great selection, Where else can you find a used Puma, Bulldog, and Pegasus as well as brand new Vibram. Bring cash.
Cons: Some holes share baskets, which does not mean much because no one else is throwing on the course.
Lots of baskets are visible on certain tee pads. Use the cheat sheet to eliminate any frustration, it is very clear which basket you need to throw to.
DARKSIDE, I HATE YOU!
Hole 23 starts what is called the darkside of the course. This is where i was introduced to roll aways.
Nearly every hole 23-30 I had a good shot land near the basket and roll 40-200 feet. On a short downhill hole (29 I think) my drive landed under the basket and rolled 150 feet behind the basket and down a hill. My upshot hit the basket and rolled 80 feet towards the road. Third throw hit the basket a second time and started rolling, but a sharp rock stopped it at 30 feet giving me the scariest 30 foot put of my life.
Big arms will not get too many opportunities to let it rip, this is a shorter finesse course.
Other Thoughts: This course must be on your playlist. get the reservations with Paulie and plan on spending the day here.People ask if you can play another course in the same day, the answer is yes, but it will become more work than fun. I played solo and then when to Beaver Ranch and I hit the wall at Beaver Ranch and do not think the course was as enjoyable as it should have been. I highly recommend you stay nearby for several days and play Phantom Falls one day and Bucksnort another without playing anything else those days.
24 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Sweet Pro Course
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Custom Baskets (one of them is even a wind chime), 36 holes, privacy, cool pro shop, Hole designs are excellent, the level of difficulty is most challenging, Paulie is a great guy- we even got lunch after the first 18 holes.- Wow what an awesome layout for a course.
Cons: Not much scenery to be enjoyed here for being in the mountains. Also, not a lot of ground vegetation and no water (ponds, streams, etc.) when we played. Lots of dirt and the hike was extremely intense
Other Thoughts: Overall this course is one of a kind and we had an amazing time playing it. I would just say to be prepared for what you are getting in to- a really exhausting hike. It was hard to play the last few holes well because I couldn't catch my breath after 25 very steep elevation changes. The awesomeness of the course does make up for it though and the pro shop has sweet discs in it.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
PF, A Truly Unique Experience
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Awesome elevation. There were many uphills, downhills, side hills, etc. The only holes that didn't have some elevation gain or loss usually had a large valley running down the middle or a great risk/reward green.
-Risk/reward- Definitely the best risk/reward course that I have ever played. You need to think about every shot or you will end up 100 feet down a ravine or across Pine Valley Road. Lots of fun, challenging holes and greens.
-Navigation is 2nd to none. There are many marker rocks with directions to the next tee even though you probably don't even need those. The next tee is almost always very near the last basket.
-Baskets- (see cons as well)- there were some very unique baskets. Hole 1 is a pine basket and is one of the most photographed baskets ever. Paulie will take your picture next to it. Other cool baskets include the prototype of the one that Paulie's company makes, the one made of the barrel, wheel, and tree trunk, hot pink basket.
-The tees are natural but they are well maintained and I had no issues with them.
-Only one tee time per day. You can run aces over and over, take a break at any time, stop for beers or lunch, and do whatever you want to do during your round. It is exclusive.
-Very tight wooded course. There are large pines all over the place and they provide plenty of challenge.
-Character- this course has it's own character that is hard to find at other courses. From the differing baskets to animal skeltons laying around to the ski and snowboard benches.
-Benches at every single tee
-Markers for best drive ever and of the year.
-Definitely some ace runs here but if you go long, you are often fighting for a bogey.
-Scorecards and guides provided at beginning of round with lengthy and informative orientation of the history of the course.
-A great local club- Foothill Flyers along with many other great courses in the area. This area of CO is definitely among the ultimate destinations for disc golf in the world.
-Pro shop located on site with lots of cool discs and other items.
-Paulie is a great host and a great guy. He is passionate about disc golf and it is awesome that he opens up his backyard to strangers nearly every day.
-I went in as a solo player and had the opportunity to play with 2 great guys- Ben and Aaron, thanks for the round guys!
Cons: -Some of the baskets are poor. Single layer of chains and they will spit out discs more frequently than better baskets. As a private course, I understand that it would be very expensive to fund 28 top of the line baskets but I have to include this to be as thorough as possible.
-Pay to play- this will be included on both pros and cons. $20 is a bit steep for disc golf.
-One tee time per day. It can be hard to get on this course.
-Crossing fairways, crammed. 39 holes on 15 acres is pretty crammed. As a result, this is not a tournament course. You would have to have few groups on the course at a time and be very careful. Some holes also share baskets.
-This course is long and is constantly up and down steep hills with sometimes poor footing at high altitude. This course isn't for everyone.
-Natural pads- some may complain about these. One of the guys that I played with likes to follow through over the end of the pad sometimes and that is very hard to do here due to the wood and the drop off that usually occurs in front of the tee pad. Paulie doesn't want 39 pieces of concrete laying around his yard in case he has to sell the property someday.
-Not many (hardly any) open holes. This is a fairly tight wooded course. You will use your drivers but you always have to hit some kind of line and don't really have a chance to just truly let it rip.
-You could lose a disc here. The underbrush is limited but due to the huge elevation changes, your disc can travel a long way, including off of Paulie's property.
Other Thoughts: -I had to list all potential cons in order to give people the best idea of what to expect when they come to PF.
-There is free camping about 10 miles beyond PF in the Buffalo Creek National Forest area. This is a popular area in the summer, especially on weekends. If you don't get into a free spot there is an official campground just down the road and another at Wellington Lake. If you do something like this, then you will have time to play the other esteemed courses in the area including Bucksnort, Conifer Park, and Bailey.
-Like my title says, PF is truly a unique experience and is something that I recommend to anyone who can handle walking up and down the hills all day. It has an enormous fun factor for me. It was very challenging and you literally had to use every disc and think about every shot. There were always big penalties for carelessness.
-This course is a solid 4 hours (minimum) of entertainment and is worth the $20. Every disc golfer who is able should experience a course like this at least once in their lives. I hope to return and bring some others that haven't played here before.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: Picturesque scenery, very helpful "caddy notes," extremely challenging without being excessively long.
Cons: "The Dark Side" (24-36) was very repetitive. It was just up and down the same hill.
Other Thoughts: I am absolutely playing this course again. $20 is an extremely fair suggested donation.
2 of 18 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Amazing course! Paul the owner the is a great guy and is very welcoming. He offers lots of food and drinks, for a price. Theres 38 shots on this course so theres quite a variety. Lots of great technical shots, so many tree shots its an accuracy course for sure. Great terrain, almost impossible to loose a disc. A few homemade baskets that are great and add a nice flavor to the game. The course brings you back to Pauls house every 7 holes or so, so you can use the bathroom or get a drink. There are bench at every hole and the tees are dirt, but they are the best dirt tees I've ever used.
Cons: Theres some pretty steep, loose parts of the course where some stairs or down ladder type thing would be nice for a $20 course.
Other Thoughts: The best course I've played thus far in my short disc golf career.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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