2 Helpful / 15 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 17 people found this review helpful.
It's about an excellent disc golf experience on multiple levels!
19 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Paulie. Plain and simple the pros of this course all revolve around Paulie - his dedication, his designs, his effort, his clubhouse, his accommodating nature, his amenities. Paulie is a disc golf fanatic - it shows - and I love that! This was the absolute highlight of my Denver trip experience. The "clubhouse" is beautiful as is the setting. The aspen basket off the porch for hole one (and buy in for prizes) is a one of a kind (nerve racking) lead off toss. The configuration of gnomes and rocks marking the lifelong CTP and ace locations is very unique and another one of those touches you get from a private course. Getting your name on a tee sign for the first ace ever on a hole is also incredibly cool. The property yields some great winding/twisting wooded holes and the hillside offers great sharp long elevation on holes, as well as a bunch of risky precarious pin placements. Uphill, downhill, crosshill, and back again all are part of a great design with longer holes requiring precision and accuracy and shorter ace run holes requiring a light touch. These all balance out with left, right, straight, and s-curve available routes. And if you play, pay attention to the scorecard notes that point out multiple route options your naked eye may not pick up. Playing with Paulie and some course workers was a great experience to see what types of shots they've come to perfect over the years. Nostalgia and uniqueness exists all around with the Aspen basket, Franken basket, and leftover windchime targets from the original course. There are bag hangers and benches made from old ski and snowboard parts.
Cons: Overall there is some repetitive play here, playing back and forth to the same basket from multiple different directions. While this design concept makes for a fun round, the last third of the hole (the green) is the same in each instance due to the re-used basket. Most holes are relatively short and placing a good drive yields a makeable deuce. I could go on and on about there being no real huge downhill bombers, no open field ripper, no water hazards, etc, but you get the point - a Colorado hillside property lacks some variety, yes? There is just one tee and one pin placement. This goes without saying because the pins are shared by multiple holes (for example the Aspen basket is played to 3-4 times).
Other Thoughts: I was travelling for work, and made it a point to leave early and fly on Sept 11, despite the rantings and crying of my wife, so I could get there a day early and play Conifer and Phantom Falls. I unpacked my usual bag taking more lighter and understable plastic due to previous high elevation throwing experience I had, and I dismantled my wife's smaller mini-revo bag and jammed it all into a bag to check at the airline (I did find room for a few other work clothes, but they took a backseat to my disc golf priorities on this business trip). I had been in contact with Paulie and he tried to warn me about the dirty 56, but it made no difference because I was going to get these courses in. I landed late Sunday night, drank a bunch at CB & Potts to allow me to sleep despite all my excitement, and I was still up by 6am, ready to head out and play Conifer. I finished the 20 holes there (story in another review), and proceeded to head to Phantom Falls. I stopped at a liquor store because I had a ton of time before my scheduled tee time and there are tons of good Colorado beers, and I figured I'd need some on the course (not exactly "need", but I also wanted to share with Paulie). I arrived at Phantom Falls, had a great time BS'ing in the clubhouse, and proceeded to play my round with the most gracious of guests, Paulie stayed with for nearly all of it despite having numerous other plans. During the round I aced a hole that had never been aced, drank lots of beers with excellent hosts, and had a great time, all culminating with some dinner afterward and good conversation. I opted in for the lunch at the turn, but since Paulie was playing with us we just kept going on and grabbed some refreshments. It was an absolute blast. Despite the course coming it at about a 3.7 on my scale due to overall repetitive terrain on a Colorado hillside, this experience was the best of the best. Disc golf enjoyment is about a state of mind and a frame of reference (personal reference admittedly), and Phantom Falls put me in a wonderful place. I think I smiled the entire drive back to Denver. It was a PHENOMINAL experience! Go play! Now there are even more courses in the area - I just wish I hadn't taken a new job so I could fly out there on business again and boondoggle more than just a day!
19 of 20 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.
Definite Destination Course
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - The extensive run down that Paul gives you before you play(his caddy cheat sheet)
-Get the course all to yourself/group
- huge risk/reward here(absolutely loved this)
- elevation change galore
- the course flows very well
- Tons of shot shaping and shot selection
- some very brutal roll away greens
- very technical course requiring you to "hit your line"
- a pro shop on sight(Decent Selection)
- Drinks and snacks available
- Sweet players area to chill and relax at(you swing by here several times on your round)
Cons: - the teepads are crushed granite( would prefer concreate or rubber pads, but the granite is pretty good)
- hard course to get on as there is only one tee time a day.
Other Thoughts: Phantom Falls is an amazing disc golf experience!!!
with the course being private, having holes use the same basket and crossing fairways, I was a bit sceptical of how the course would play but, upon getting into it everything flowed very well and was surprised that every holes seemed to be different.
You can get your picture taken with the "PHANTOM FALLS BASKET"!!!! Really like this place, the course is so much fun, tons of chances to get an ace, if you can "hit the right line". Its a very cushy experience as you don't need to lug all your water, food, beer, and etc.. with you on the course as you swing back to the players area several times during your round. You also get customary beer sampling from upslope brewery in boulder with your customary donation.
ALL in all there is some awesome disc golf to be had at phantom falls and the surrounding area. I will, be back for sure.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Amazingly designed course that you have entirely to yourself.
-38 challenging holes
-Very well marked, never any confusion in finding your way or seeing where each basket is located
-Owner/creator Paul is great and can help you out with any problems/needs. He has a great proshop and food/drink offerings.
Cons: no cons
Other Thoughts: I am usually not a person to leave reviews but this course will forever stick out to me. My friends and I were skeptical about paying money to play Frisbee golf but this experience was totally worth the small donation and I would go back in a heartbeat. Very dedicated creator who continues to strive to improve his course. Check it out!
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: So much fun to play. Challenging, fun, beautiful. Did I mention fun? Be ready to be tired.
Cons: having to schedule tee times...though this is also a benefit due to the course layout/design-it was created as a private back yard course and never meant to have large numbers of folks chucking discs.
Other Thoughts: go play this course and check out the discs for sale-lots of good stuff
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
The Phenomenal Phantom
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Phantom Falls is rated one of the best disc golf courses in the country. Currently ranked 8th overall, just one spot above its neighbor Beaver Ranch/Conifer, the Phantom consistently satisfies the whims and wishes of its disc golf visitors. As owner, course designer and sole employee Paul (Paulie) Rothley says, "Phantom Falls truly has a little bit of everything, except fun factor, that we have in abundance."
And it's true. Phantom Falls is a 36-hole Colorado mountain course with a pro shop selling all sorts of custom and brand name disc golf accessories, a huge selection of new and used discs, bags, food, you name it. The prices are reasonable and there are some cool, unique items. Thoughtful amenities like bag hooks at every tee made from repurposed materials (ski bindings, old metal), snowboard benches, painted rock slab signage and funny little objects that mark CTP for each hole all add up to a fun-filled atmosphere. The course includes a bunch of unique baskets, such as: the famous aspen basket made entirely of wood (except the chains), the dangling chime target, a "standard" hanging basket, and a one-of-a-kind wooden cask barrel with a wagon wheel and protruding stick arms that is truly as much a beautiful sculpture as it is a disc golf target. So much creativity, time and care has gone into this course that you can't help but appreciate it.
It is a fairly short course in terms of the total combined length of its holes, but you'll have plenty of time to wear out your throwing arm by the end of the 36th hole. Although it is in the heart of an evergreen forest, the trees are neatly pruned to provide ideal corridors, clearings and overhangs. The natural-surface tee pads are built up with landscape timbers to make them level and are maintained incredibly well. You'll probably even see fresh rake marks in the dirt left by the groundskeeper (Paulie of course) doing his standard maintenance on the tees before your round. With the combination of the hole descriptions on the laminated scorecard and the abundant signage throughout, you'll scarcely find yourself lost or turned around. In terms of difficulty, the Phantom is about an 8 out of 10. It will challenge intermediates and pros to a highly competitive level, and for beginners it will either set the bar high for future improvement or scare their socks off! That said, it depends on whether tight, short throws or long bombs are your strong suit. If you're a big-armed bomber, Phantom will make you think about working on your technical mid-range and putting. Whichever way you look at it, you're bound to have a blast playing a casual or competitive round in these wooded hills.
Cons: We threw at the wrong basket from tee #20 and ended up near tee #22 scratching our heads. The directions on the scorecard and rock signs were not as clear for hole #20 as they were for the others. However, I have faith that Paulie probably would have cleared this up for us if he had been there that day to give us his intro speech upon our arrival. At least once during your round, you'll probably be kicking the dirt when your disc turns on edge and decides to take a nice long stroll down a 30 foot hill. (This isn't necessarily a "con", but it can be frustrating to the player, depending on how you look at it; it's more of a note about how the course plays than a criticism.) A handful of baskets are reused on different holes, although each tee is entirely separate from the others. This is mostly OK, but after the third time you come to the end of a hole at a basket you've seen before it does get a bit repetitive. Aside from a couple directional mix-ups and repetitive basket usage, there really isn't much to improve upon. There's food and discs for sale on site for Pete's sake - you can't complain with that!
Other Thoughts: Unfortunately when I visited, Paulie and his wife were on vacation, so I can't personally speak to the hospitality or character of the owner, which is usually part of any private disc golf course review. However, Paulie's father-in-law greeted us and was a fine substitute host.
In the end, it comes down to this fact alone: Until proven otherwise, Phantom Falls is the reigning king of mountain disc golf courses!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Most fun you can have...
Pros: The owner of Phantom Falls, Paul, has thought of everything. I played the entire course - and felt like no stone was left un-turned (in terms of routes, information available to the player, routes to the basket properly cut, etc.).
The course has a very private and exclusive feel - by virtue of the fact that there are only three tee-times per day. At the same time it is a very home-like feel - as Paul treats everyone with a great deal of respect, and courtesy. He was fantastic. I can't stress that enough.
On to the course itself. It had an incredible amount of shot variety. I used virtually every shot in my bag on the course. There was constant elevation in play - I can not remember a single hole that I could describe as anywhere near "flat." We were up, down, and side-hill. There was risk reward in play on virtually every basket.
There were no unfairways. Every single hole had an option that required true skill off of the tree. At first glance - a few of them appeared to be unfair, however upon backing up - they all had a fair play option.
Every player received some great instruction right off of the bat - Paul spends about 15 minutes with you out of the car going over a few of the blind holes (with all of those baskets on a small piece of land - this was necessary). He also hands you a laminated cheat sheet - which tells you where the trouble is on the course (deep left, short right, etc.).
Cons: There were some cons to this course. I want everyone to understand that these need to be taken with a grain of salt - because this is a private course, with 3 tee times per day, on a limited size piece of land each of these is a rather small nit to pick. But they do exist.
You will encounter crossed fairways on the course. You will encounter holes that absolutely require that cheat sheet to figure out just which one of the baskets you can see you're playing to. On one occasion (moving from hole 15 to hole 16) you will need to carefully pay attention to which signs you follow (there are signs pointing you too 16's basket, and signs pointing you to its tee - they all simply have an arrow and "16" on them).
Some of the baskets are rough. The first basket you encounter - which is a true and fantastic work of art as well as a thing of beauty - does have heavy and reflexive chains. The last hole on the course has a very small catching area. And the wind chime on 4 - while a true part of the spirit of the course and an homage to its origins - is obviously not a basket.
Finally - there's the fact that there is a paved major road in play on a few holes. It is very difficult to reach, but it was reached multiple times on drives that rolled by myself and my playing partner. Be very careful both going up and down the hill to it, and have someone keep an eye out for cars tearing around the bend nearby (Paul made us fully aware of all of this, and it only comes into play a few times).
Other Thoughts: I want to make it incredibly clear that those cons are not anything that make me think less of the course. I gave it a rating of "Phenomenal." If I lived in the Denver area I would be playing it on a bi-monthly basis at least. I loved it, Paul is an incredible host (the chili for lunch, and all of the various amenities go above and beyond fantastic).
The only reason for those cons - is because they are things you need to be aware of going into playing the course. Paul makes you very aware of them before you throw your first shot - as I said he has covered every detail.
The reason this course is not a 5.0 is fairly simple: The lack of property space. Paul has created a 5.0 level course in terms of design, amenities, and care on a piece of land that is a 3.5 or a 4.0 based on the amount of space available. He is doing everything he can to create a place that is absolutely the most fun someone can have playing disc golf. And I appreciate it.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
My day at the Falls
Pros: Great course! Plays on the side of a mountain so tons of elevation changes. Really makes you think about every shot and what could happen if it catches an edge... but it was completely unpredictable. You play to a couple of the baskets a couple times which gave you different looks at good pin positions. Course was extremely clean and well taken care of. The aspen basket was very cool. Pro shop on the property and you could buy lunch there also
Cons: Only things that I would change is to have at least one hole that you can really open up your arm. And on some of the shorter downhill holes, the tees had logs on the front of them which stopped the possibility of a jump putt... weird to think about jump putts off the box but it would have been the best shot for me.
Other Thoughts: If you're in Colorado, do not miss this course.
Thanks to Paulie for his hospitality and for running and maintaining such a great course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: THIS COURSE HAS IT ALL, FROM FUN HOLES TO THE TIGHT AND ACCURATE ONES. IF YOU HAVE PLAYED CONIFER AND LOVED IT, YOU WILL LOVE THIS ONE EVEN MORE. IT IS QUIET, PEACEFUL AND JUST A GREAT ENVIRONMENT TO BRING LARGE GROUPS AND HAVE A GREAT DAY. THERE ARE AREAS TO RELAX AND GRUB AND ENJOY THE AREA.
Cons: OTHER THAN A LONG WALK AND SOME LOOSE TERRAIN SOMEWHAT, NOT REALLY ANYTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT, THIS COURSE CAN ONLY GET BETTER, AND THAT WOULD BE A CHALLENGE.
Other Thoughts: A MEMORABLE COURSE WORTH PLAYING!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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