16 Helpful / 0 Not
Not Your Typical Course
Pros: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a mountain house and build a course in your backyard? Me neither, but here's your chance to find out! Paul built this course with the same people who built the nearby Conifer, and you can feel some similarities.
It is now 36 holes, although the tee pads on the last few holes are not completed. The holes crisscross the property, up and down steep, gravelly hills. You often play to the same basket twice, but you don't even realize it until you're putting and thinking, "Wait, haven't I been here before?" But due to the big elevation changes, you get very different looks.
The holes are generally not long, mostly in the 200-300 foot range, although the uphill holes play long. You'll need your drivers for the uphill shots and can safely stick to your putter and midranges for the others. Accuracy is rewarded. There are a lot of birdie opportunities…but a lot of double bogey opportunities. If you clang a putt or overthrow a drive, you could have a very long comeback shot.
There are some really unique holes here. One basket sits in a dry creek bed and you play at it from above and below on separate holes. You could skip it in from either direction from the banks, and it's possible to roll or slide your "putt" in from above. Holes 10a and 10b (he had to name them that way to avoid renumbering all the subsequent holes and move the tombstone-like tee markers) play to a the top of a big mound with steep sides. If you got for the ace, you won't have a birdie shot. But it's so tempting…
And hole 20 is the toughest 132-foot par-3 you'll ever throw. It's almost straight downhill with the basket on the incline. A careful approach shot can make use of the small shrubs and trees to catch your disk, but it's tough.
Like Conifer, this course makes for great scoring spreads. I was in the lead after 18 holes in one of our rounds…and ended up 4th out of 5 people. This course forces you to play smarter than you're probably used to.
Cons: I would never expect rubber tee pads (or concrete, obviously) at a course like this, but natural tee pads can get uneven, and some of them here are very short.
Some of the holes, especially late in the round, start to feel repetitive (throw through the trees and hope), although it's not like there are a ton of options on terrain like this. However, some of the fairways could be trimmed up a little. There are a number of holes that take skill to get the disc halfway to the hole, but after that there's some luck involved. There's not always a clear window. But again, this is maybe 5-6 of the holes out of 36.
The final couple holes are still works in process, but they are more than playable now.
Other Thoughts: Paul is a nice guy (he seemed a little intense over email with his long list of rules and suggestions, but he's really not), and he may play with you.
There is almost no grass or undergrowth here, so you'll never have to search for your disc. But it also makes things tough on the knees as you slide around on the gravel and dirt.
You have to pay $10 for your first round and $5 for each round after, and you need to set up a tee time (this is what allows you to safely throw at the same basket twice, since no one else will be on the course). This is not a con. The course is on private land, and Paul puts the money back into the course. You can see where it goes. The signage fits the character of the place and makes the navigation surprisingly easy. It took us a little under three hours to play a round, but Paul commented we play faster than most people. He has snacks and drinks available for a donation and will cook you lunch if you want.
It's difficult to describe how cool this place is. The layout, the tough holes, the homemade basket, and the risk/reward on every hole. Conifer is a better course (has more room to work with for multiple positions, etc.), but this place has an atmosphere that you won't see many other places in the disc golf world, and for that I think it deserves 4.5 out of 5. If you make it to the Denver area, plan ahead and play here.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Phantom Falls For Discriminating Adults
Pros: I took a small group to play Phantom Falls and I am nothing but pleased with the experience. One of our group had never played before, and a couple of the group needed discs. After making sure everyone had the right equipment (at a great price), a quick course orientation, a few valuable tips for the beginner and the owner Paulie sent us off to take on the Phantom.
The course while quite challenging for the advanced, is still manageable and fun for the beginners. The abundance of trees, narrow lanes and elevation changes turn out to make great equalizers; keeping it fun for everyone. A far cry from the public courses, we never had to hurry, or wait; it felt like we had the course all to ourselves. The hole layout is creative, utilizes the terrain well and is guaranteed to challenge your game on many levels.
You can tell where your donation dollars go as there are improvements all over the course. The course features, nice tee boxes, nice baskets including one really cool wood basket and one hole even features a chime target. Several new benches were being installed on the day we were there. There are many cool holes and most have really unique closest to pin markers. I heard, If you have some sort of cool small statue/gnome/figure to donate, it might find a home on the course somewhere.
My favorite hole features the namesake Phantom Falls rock formation. If you play your cards right you can skip your disc off the rocks and right into the basket.
One of the best things about Phantom Falls is the incredible service. Paulie runs a first-class operation and takes great care of you during your visit. I suggest planning on getting a lunch because the food was great and this course burns the calories. I can't wait until next time, I will plan on playing later in the day to take full advantage of the awesome deck, the fire pits and Paulie's fine hospitality. A neat side note is for the persons in your party that don't golf; there are horseshoes and ladder golf on the property and a lake with walking trails just down the road a couple miles.
Cons: Some purists will knock the course for having a couple holes with shared baskets, a wood basket, and a chime target. But I found these variations add great character to the course. Some will complain that it is a "donate to play". I say that playing free courses if fine, but if you want to be one of the exclusive few having the privilege of playing one of the finest courses anywhere, you have to ante' up. Which I will gladly do again.
Groups of four or more get preferential scheduling.
Plan on wearing good shoes/boots.
Plan on spending the day as it takes 4-5+ hours to play all the holes.
Plan ahead and Paulie will have a steak ready to grill up for you.
On many holes, try to land your disc flat or you may end up rolling way, way down the hill.
MY BOTTOM LINE: Add this course to your must play list and take your friends. If my wife reads this: Drop any plans you have because I want my party at Phantom Falls and you can schedule it here: http://www.PhantomFallsDiscGolf.com
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Best course I have ever played.
Hilly and Challenging
There are currently 30 holes on this course. Paulie says that there will be 4 added this summer. Add the 2 holes with optional tee boxes and you get 36. That is a full day.
Immaculate condition. Constantly upgraded and manicured.
Owner/designer Paulie is fun, friendly, and a great resource.
I cannot say enough good things about this course. It is in a beautiful setting and extremely fun despite the challenging nature. The drive is worth it just to play the 4th hole with it's chimes. Paulie was very gracious and welcoming. He was a wonderful host. He offered us tips, which were very helpful. He even played a couple holes with us. We opted for the lunch option and it was very good.
He had a "donation cooler" with cold drinks on the patio, which was a godsend as I forgot to bring water.
The Pro shop was very well stocked and very well priced with high end stock and lots of used discs for the new or un/under-prepared golfer.
There are a couple blind holes and a Mandatory on 5.
Cons: Coming from Arkansas at 1000', playing this hilly course at 7000+ kicked my butt. This isn't a negative if you plan accordingly.
Other Thoughts: I am only in Colorado for a short time and will/must play this course again.
When you call to schedule your tee time be sure to talk about the weather. In this location it can change rapidly with rain, snow, or wind showing up in the afternoon.
Paulie limits the number of groups that he lets play each day. We didn't see anyone else on the day that we were out there.
This course, especially with the lunch option, is a full day event. It will take you 5+ hours to play all the holes.
This is a must play course. You will not regret this decision.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
A Unique Experience
Pros: Phantom Falls is a very technical course, it will test every aspect of your game though it still manages to be highly enjoyable for all skill levels. It is made up of natural rolling terrain that will act as the great equalizer for all; one bad landing and your disc will roll up to over a hundred feet away from the pin.This course will require all players to reexamine and think through each shot.
I think the course's greatest attribute, however, is Paulie; the creator and host. Paulie takes every experience at Phantom Falls to a whole new level. He's always willing to lend a helpful tip and goes above and beyond anything that I ever expected. I highly recommend bringing a few items to grill for lunch on one of your many stops up at the house.
Expect to spend around four hours to play through once at a relaxed pace. Playing a round at Phantom Falls is unlike anywhere else; it's truly an event, an experience that will stay with you even outside of the game.
Other Thoughts: There is a $10 suggested donation and regardless of what any potential players might think beforehand, you will receive every penny's worth. As I said before, playing at Phantom Falls is an event and is priced accordingly. Personally, I can think of few activities that are as much fun for as long of a time as this.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
A total blast
Pros: This course is a blast. It's challenging and scenic and owner Paul is a great host. I'm relatively new to the sport and Paul took time to give me some tips for surviving the more technical holes, of which there are many. He even played a few holes with me to get me started. The course is well-laid out and includes vital information about distance to the baskets, history of course aces, etc. Cool snowboard benches are featured at a few holes, giving this course the quintessential Colorado feel! Take advantage of the box lunch at the turn and leave time to peruse the awesome Pro Shop, where Paul sells discs and apparel as well as other cool disc golf stuff. Because he only schedules two tee times a day, you'll either have the course to yourself and your group or feel like you do. I played this course in November, when there was snow on the ground, but every hole was still accessible. Surprisingly, I didn't lose any discs, either. This is definitely a course to "write home about." Tons of fun. Can't wait to play it again.
Cons: I can't think of any, other than the fact that is a VERY challenging course for a beginner. But challenge is what getting better is all about, right?
Other Thoughts: The $10 donation is well worth the experience. Paul is planning many improvements to the course and I can't wait to see what he will do next with it.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This place is a must play. Paulie is great, his place is so well done, it will have you eyeing a couple holes in your own backyard. The one group at a time policy makes it worth all the precision shots. An experience like none that I have had playing disc golf. (Thanks, for the PBR Paulie!)
Cons: I'm from Texas, so playing up the side of a mountain at 8000 ft is tough, and the climbs are steep, but I would do it again tomorrow. Thats about it, and I only mention it because I couldn't leave this empty.
Other Thoughts: If you are anywhere near this place and haven't played it, you're crazy, and if you are driving anywhere near it, stop. The hospitality alone is worth a donation, add the course, and hell, write him check. Once in a lifetime.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Pauly, this guy is great..drove down from Seattle and called him the night before. He gave us directions of a place to stay the night before and we called the next morning and rsvp the 9am tee time.
Pauly was there to greet us and showed us around his property, check out the pro shop and make sure to pick up a shirt or personalized stamp to support courses like this. Like i said we get there and he shows us the layout of the course and along with a scorecard he gives you hints and tips for each hole. The baskets are amazing and most of them have their own personal touch that Pauly has incorporated in the course. The teepads are short but are in great shape.
We had the course to ourself and Pauly even came out after the turn and threw a few holes with us. Its always great to pick a guys brain on a course like this..After the round he even helped us look for a few discs that we left. Overall i loved this course and would definatly recommend anyone to play. Also heard that he is adding a few more holes.
Cons: Being from Texas, we were not used to the elevation changes so that was something that was new to us and sometimes frustrating. The roll- aways on the puts also hurt the scorecard so be careful not to hyzer put..keep em flat
Other Thoughts: Overall i had a great time playing this course, the views are beautiful and the beer that was offered afterwards was even better. make sure to pitch Pauly a few bucks to help support the improvements he has planned.. Also take the short drive to Zoka's, have lunch and head up the mountain to Conifer Park
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
A course to Remember
Pros: Paul only allows a few groups out a day which is excellent. We were a group of 5 and still got to take our time and even replayed a couple holes. Also there is a pro shop there and Paul really knows his stuff. Gave us a lot of advice and tips on how to improve. Also he came with us for 9 holes which we all enjoyed his company and course history.
Cons: Coming from NJ the air was really thin- not sure that's the courses fault though.
Other Thoughts: This course is extremely enjoyable. We came from NJ to play this course on a disc golf road trip. This was the highlight of our trip. The "Let it Ring" hole was so unique. We unloaded our bags trying for that thing, to no avail. Also at the time Cris P hit the closest to the pin on one of the holes. Only a hole in one will beat him.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Tired but satisfied!
Pros: Well thought out course...easy to maneuver even for the first time. Very challenging and technical but even though we were relatively new to the sport we really enjoyed it.
Cons: Very tight...30+ holes on 10 acres and you play several baskets more than once. The entire course is very wooded so there are no open areas. Very exhausting course, but that is not really a negative at all. In fact it's hard to find cons to this course!
Other Thoughts: Paul is very helpful and friendly and puts personality to the course with all his unique and creative touches...you have to experience it for yourself. A must play course!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Unparalleled service with a very personal feel, Phantom Falls was an absolute pleasure. Drastic elevation changes create a challenge rarely seen in disc golf--a missed putt can easily roll 100+ yards from the basket. Paul, the owner, did an unbelievable job in designing 30 holes across 10 acres and provides customers with excellent clarification on the specifics of the course. Never have I had such a good time throwing disc; this is due in large part to the challenging terrain and wonderful service. Many of the holes bring golfers back to the clubhouse making it convenient for breaks, lunch, etc. There is no pressure to hurry as only two tee times are available for booking each day. I will return for another round just as quickly as possible.
Cons: No complaints.
Other Thoughts: Definitely check this one out.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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