Must play resort style experience.
13 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.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Sweet Pro Course
2 Helpful / 3 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.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
PF, A Truly Unique Experience
10 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.
10 of 11 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.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Definite Destination Course
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 / 8 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 10 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.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
The Phenomenal Phantom
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.
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