14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First and foremost, I must give proper credit to Paulie. This cat has it goin' on. He has a pinpoint view of what the future of DG has in store for those willing to venture out seeking excellence in our sport. He knows his course inside and out. Before we began, he spent a solid 40 minutes breaking down each and every aspect of the course that was or could be a highlight or concern for any level player. Trust me, he covered all the bases. As a result, we rocked the course our first time out, as if we had played it all year. He also gave us a "cheat sheet" that gave a one liner or brief paragraph on the key aspects of every hole.
I always harp on balance. This course is very well balanced. The evelation is what one would expect...a nice challenge. There are multiple lines to most pins. There is pretty much always an obvious fairway, but you can hit the basket as you choose. This course is not open by any means, but never did I feel constricted. The length is ideal for the average player. Cannons will wish there were more bomb shots but newbs wont get discouraged or overwhealmed. This is the kind of layout meant to keep everyone in the group on the same page.
The pin placements were sweet. If you are not a fan of rollaway greens, you will be uncomfortable on many putts. These slopes can be treacherous. There are also a couple hanging baskets. There are only a couple blind pins and only one mando on the course. The mando is tight. Only 2 of our 5 made it through.
The course is challenging AND fair. One of the most notable issues I have with "top tier" courses is unfair holes. There should be some sort of rubric for what is acceptable in terms of width of fairway vs length. This course nails fairness. You will have to consider every shot. You will have to choose lines. At PF, good shots will be rewarded. If you are only slightly off, you will generally only be slightly off your target. Also, the rough is very forgiving. You should leave with all your plastic.
This course has multiple ace runs. What is more exciting than standing on an ace run tee looking out toward a hungry basket? There have been many aces at PF. Each ace is recorded. Paulie has two marker discs on each hole. One marks the best drive of the year. The other marks the best drive ever. This is good stuff. Many markers were in the baskets. Many markers were beatable. The gnomes you may have read about in older reviews have been retired in favor of these disc markers.
There is only one tee time. 9:00am baby. The course is yours and yours alone all day. ALL DAY. The cabin has a kick ass chill zone for snacking and taking time to reflect and take in the entire experience. We chilled out here multiple times. We tee'd off hole one around 10am and finished the last hole at 5:30pm.
38 holes. Booyaa!
Once you finish the main course, there is a sweet little 9 hole mini DGC. I thought very little of this upon arrival. It appeared to be a novelty that did not warrant my time. We had a ball playing this course. The mini baskets typically hang from tree limbs and the discs are understable as hell. This is "touch" DG. It is a stark change of pace. Good times.
The pro shop has a nice array of discs...makes, models, molds and plastics (rubber also Vibram and Ion). There are shirts, hoodies and various swag available. I picked up a Beaver Ranch Chrystal Buzzz and a PF Chrystal Challenger, along with a Nike, pro combat, PF shirt. All modestly priced.
Vibe. Groove. Cosmic pull. Whatever you call it. This place has it. Each tee was a hangout. Around hole 23 there was a sweet, hand crafted deck, worth spending some time on.
Cons: This is certainly not a tournament course. The fairways cross repeatedly. Also, the same basket is used for multiple tee's. I can't recall exactly, but there are around 29 baskets for this 38 hole layout.
The flow of the course is quite nice, but expect the heavy workout to hit you toward the end. The last 10 holes are pretty much directly up, down, up, down. The first 2/3rds of the course winds you around so the elevation is tempered quite a bit. The back holes will wear you out. Personally, I had no issue whatsoever, but the change was noticed by everyone.
Other Thoughts: This course was badass. Was it the most challenging course I have played? Not even close. Was it one of the most fun? Hell yea! Fun and good times is what this place is all about. By the time we finished the mini course, we had been there 10 hours...and every minute was full. Thanx again to Paulie for making this disc golf resort a reality.
After reading some reviews before going, I planned a trip to Zokas afterward. This was a good call. I had a great time there as well. Kurt and Karen, the owners and disc golf veterans, are clearly good folks and hospitable hosts. This entire area is passionate about disc golf. I will be back. Hell, I plan to move here.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 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!
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Best DG Day Ever.
Pros: I'll try not to ramble, but this is the best day of Disc Golf you'll ever have. That's the biggest thing I want to emphasize. Some courses have fun, some are challenging, and occasionally there's a course that truly has it all. Phantom is that course in spades. It will take you all day to play, but it's a day you'll remember forever, so...
-Paulie. He's a phenominal host, and loves having people on his course. His OCD shines through on every hole, and this course is his baby. He'll play a few holes with you, give you a "cheat sheet" offer refreshments and make sure you need nothing. Thank you, Paul!
-The course is yours for the day. Empty your bag at every tee if you want.
-There's a nicely stocked pro shop at the house, and refreshments in a fridge on an honor system.
-The property is beautiful! You play on very aggressive terrain, and all the tee and pin placements are amazing every hole.
-Every tee pad is a hangout spot. There are benches made of old snowboards, garbage cans, bag hangers made of ski binders, and unique signage at every tee. Many have wooden decks, lounge chairs, or handcrafted furniture. VERY cool. The landscaping throughout the course is a testament to the hours Paulie has into this monster.
-The baskets! In addition to a mix of standard baskets, this course has several signature baskets including: The Aspen Basket, the Frankenbasket, the Wind Chimes, and a hanging basket.
-Navigation is great! Paulie has flagstones with arrows pointing you straight to the next hole, and even marking basket locations on blind holes. You will never be lost.
-Shot variety. Don't let anyone tell you not to bring drivers. There are plenty of short accuracy holes, but there's some bigguns too. Plus, that 300' hole looks alot bigger when you're going straight up a mountain. You'll need a full bag for all the shot shaping, but should take it all home. There's almost no risk of losing a disc, but Paul keeps a lost and found in the pro shop.
-40 holes. You will need 5-6 hours to play the course, but it loops back to the house every 7 holes or so. You can keep a big cooler in the car and restock as you need. It's an all day gig.
-Signature holes everywhere! You will be glad you have the place to yourselves, because there are a ton of holes you'll want to throw multiple times on.
-CTP markers at every hole. They're often garden gnomes, or statues and your name is recorded if you beat one. Good times.
-There's a new mini course as well. Paulie has minis you can borrow, and it's a fun way to unwind after the round. This place has it all!
-It's also right up the road from Beaver Ranch, another top ten course. If you're a complete masochist, you could try and play them both in one day. Good luck with that.
Cons: None. Zero. But I'll offer advice instead:
-Wear hiking footwear. If you show up in Five Fingers, you will hate life for a day. It is a rugged hike, and I recommend hiking shoes of some sort. It's really part of the day, though and you will be tired by the end.
-Bring lots of water, especially if you're not used to the altitude. You will get very dehydrated in this air hiking up and down ravines. Bring more than you think you need.
-Bring a big cooler for snacks and such. You will be back at the car many times, so bring snacks, sandwiches, or whatever. You don't have to rough it on this mountain course!
-This is a pay to play course. It's not a con at all. By the third hole you see where every dollar goes. By the 40th hole, it's the best $20 you've ever spent. This should actually be in the pros...
-There is ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING ON THE COURSE. You can smoke on the deck of the house, which you're at frequently. There was recently a fire here that claimed houses and lives, and the conditions are regularly dry. It's not personal, it's a safety issue. Don't do it.
Other Thoughts: I really think it should be called "Phantom Falls Disc Golf Resort". It's kinda like being the only ones in an amusement park all day. Thank you to Paulie for letting us on his property to enjoy his slice of disc golf heaven.
Phantom is a well designed course, that truly excels in the fun factor. There are lots of great courses, but there is only one Phantom Falls. Put it on your wishlist, and if it's already on your wishlist, get your butt out here and check it off!
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Paulie R. and his orientation.
Only 30 minutes from my apartment.
Honor system fridge full of drinks and snacks.
Extensive pro-shop with tons of discs, and other disc golf gear.
Huge patio to enjoy your lunch.
Takes 6 hours to complete which I personally think is awesome.. I'd like to play it twice in one day.
Saturday & Sunday is a four person minimum and Paulie only does one tee time at 9:00am, meaning you and your three friends get the whole course to yourself that day... Genius.
Built-in Mini-DG course.
Most of the baskets are your standard DG basket and they are in perfect shape. He has a few custom baskets which are awesome.
Other Thoughts: Paul Rothley the designer and owner of the course did a superb job of helping us out as this was our first time playing the course. He gave us a laminated "caddy" that guides you through all 38 holes. The signage is right on. We didn't have any problems knowing what basket to throw at. The course was designed to end up at his house every 7-8 holes which is pretty sick because that's where your truck is parked and where your cooler full of cool ones has been waiting for you. Wear some perfect fitting hiking shoes and be prepared to walk up steep hills most of the day. This course will kick your ass if you're out of shape, but it's worth it. There is a Subway in Conifer you can stop by on your way up to grab a few foot longs.. One for breakfast and one for lunch. Paul also offers an optional lunch if you come unprepared. Don't come unprepared. You need plenty of beer, fat, and protein. I haven't had the chance to play very many courses yet but I'm guessing this is one of the best courses in the nation if not the world. Do whatever it takes to get to Colorado and give this course a try. Paulie also said his new "Mountain Meadows Disc Golf Park" should be open sometime in 2012. After playing PF I have a feeling this new Park is going to be epic. The card he gave us states it will be P2P, Snack Bar, Lunch Menu, Driving Range, and a Pro Shop. Look it up on Facebook. It's also not far from PF so you might have to make a whole weekend of it at some point.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Extremely well kept course with very nice owner. Due to it's private ownership and staggered tee times you often have the course to yourself. It's really an ideal mountain disc golf retreat. Also, a great course for beginners and pros alike. Most holes are short and technical giving first timers a fare chance of performing as well as the pros.
Cons: none that I can think of
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Paulie does the one thing a great course needs- he makes it feel like an event every single time you go there
Cons: too far from my house
Other Thoughts: Love the pro store, love CTP's it makes it feel like you are playing against history everytime you tee off
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Wonderland
Pros: This course was amazing. Paulie really out-did himself on this one. Every hole temped me to "go for it." I like the feeling when standing on the tee that I could possibly birdie or ace this hole. However, this was not the case. The trees, topography, and elevation made this course very challenging. The signage, CTP gnomes, and caddy sheet added the icing on the cake. I would highly recommend playing this course.
Cons: It is hard to say anything negative about this this course. I would say that with 38 holes, some of them seemed to blend together. That said, it is nearly impossible to have 38 completely distinct holes. Additionally, I wish there were a couple more +300 ft holes.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely one of my favorite courses. It is not the most challenging when looking at the holes individually, however this course will test your stamina. Be in shape and acclimated to the elevation. Wear good shoes and be sure footed. Some of the holes require you to hike through some steepish decomposed granite. This course has a lot of risk/reward. If you play conservatively it is easy to par. I would highly recommend playing this course in conjunction with Beaver Ranch (think its called the dirty 59). After playing them both, I would give the edge to Beaver Ranch because of the views. Also, the condition of PF on 1/27/12 was great while there was some snow at BR. Well worth the drive!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Worth the drive!
Pros: This sweet little monster is tucked down into a pocket so don't let the weather scare you off. I left Denver on a cold windy morning and the weather at PF was perfect.
This course will require every shot in your bag, so bring em all. Well laid out with a high level of difficulty. Uphill, downhill, it has it all!
Being from Nebraska, I love the mountain courses, and Phantom Falls is among the best. I just can't get used to the views.
Last but not least is Paulie! You will be well taken car of, and you will feel as though you are playing in your own back yard! Don't be afraid to bring some cash, the discs are priced to sell and so is the apparel.
Make no mistake, Phantom Falls is worth the drive!
Cons: None! Not if you love disc golf.
2 of 7 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.
11 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!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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