3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is set on beautiful Burritt Mountain with some great wooded landscape for a course. Parking for the course and hole #1 are the very first right after the guard shack. At each tee pad there is a distance marker with a red circle indicating which pin position is being used (1-2 pin positions for each hole). Each tee pad is carpeted. The first few holes are some of the least difficult on the course, so as to warm you up for the back 9. Overall, this is a well-balanced, technically wooded course that rewards accuracy in nearly all shot types. The course has short and long holes with enough elevation changes to test nearly any arm. For the most part, there are arrows and signs leading you to the next hole from each basket. Each chain basket continues to be in good shape. So, the course is very enjoyable with a great hike through the woods. It is also has enough challenge to it so that you will want to play it again and hone your skills.
Cons: There are a few cons that is holding this course back a bit.
SIGNS: At each tee pad there is a distance marker but there isn't a visual layout of each hole, so you would often need to walk down the fairway a bit to know where the basket lies, especially when the pin was in the long position. Also, there could be some better and more updated indicators between holes as sometimes there wasn't one or it was labeled incorrectly. I would also have a sign directing car drivers to the first hole from the road.
TEE PADS: Biggest complaint. Unfortunately, these affected gameplay. Pretty much all were unlevel with undulations, making it very difficult to trust your footing (many times I would use the ground just next to the carpet). Then, nearly all of the carpets (due to wear over time) were covered with dirt/sand making it tough not to slide when planting your foot for each drive. This is particularly pivotal as many holes were long distances in terms of a tightly-knit wooded course.
FYI: in the spring/summer times watch out for snakes and poison ivy
Other Thoughts: In conclusion, I believe this course is a great part of the many enjoyable courses in Huntsville. I would liken it most to Mastin Lake, but is probably more technical. And if I had to choose between the two it would be Mastin Lake due to funness level and not having to pay there to get in.
If this course updated the tee pads and added hole layout visual signs then I would rate this course higher at around a 4/5.
ANOTHER COURSE HAS BEEN ADDED TO HUNTSVILLE THAT IS CALLED DRAKE SPRINGS (9 hole course) AND LOCATED RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM BRAHAM SPRINGS BY THE SMALL LAKE/POND. IT IS A QUICK AND FUN.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pretty location, there are some great views from the top of a mountain.
Decently challenging, some holes feel alot longer than they are due to narrow or absent throwing lanes.
Little chance of losing a disc due to water.
Cons: Biggest flaw were the trees in middle of what should be fairways. For some holes there were no possible realistic flight paths. Just hope your disc goes more than 20 yards without hitting a tree. I know they aren't allowed to cut many trees there so I cut them a little slack on my rating.
No signature holes in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: I played the week of thanksgiving 2012. I don't know when they changed up the course but the map and hole info listed here was not up to date. The map that was given to me by a park employee was wrong too. I almost gave up after not being able to find hole 1. Luckily there is a sign up near the parking lot that has an updated course map. Had I not taken pictures of it with my phone I doubt I would have found my way to some of the holes.
In the fall there are deep leaves everywhere, play with bright discs or you may have a hard time finding them at times.
Personally I would have liked more incorporation of the elevation changes and scenic overlook views, but I understand reserving the natural beauty for walking trails and such.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice wooded course
Pros: You will surely enjoy the drive as you work your way up the mountain and finally reach Monte Sano State Park. Inside you'll find a very scenic and enjoyable course. Once you enter you'll get excited as you pass a few baskets on your way to generous parking all around the course. There is a park store for goodie's if needed near hole one.
If tight wooded courses are your thing you'll certainly be pleased. After all the course plays through a virtual wildlife preserve. If a tree could be spared it was and it makes for some fun and challenging holes. A creek meanders it way through and finds itself in play on a few holes too. Slight elevation changes, a blend of hole lengths and a variety of fairway shapes are here as well. In fact, strait shots to almost impossible doglegs are here. Look for lengths between upper 200's all the way to over 600'. As a bonus, summer shade is a welcomed addition.
There are nice tee signs, sufficient tee pads (see cons), and great baskets. Next tee indicators are nice too. Virtually new baskets were really nice. I enjoyed the Discatchers with the custom bands. It made it feel like you were throwing at some one of kind baskets.
The course itself is easy enough to follow. The fairways are beaten in and guide you around well enough. Look to cross the road between 6/7 and 16/17. Bridges are installed at all the areas were they're necessary and they were a nice touch.
Cons: There's a modest fee to enter the park but overall I think it's worth it.
The carpet tee pads are sufficient but some more thorough leveling before it was laid would have been nice.
I am a huge wooded course fan and can tolerate some pretty "unfair" holes. For the most part I feel like a few rounds would help you find a route on almost every hole. The remaining ones might leave you a little frustrated. If you don't like tight technical courses you might want to skip this one.
The biggest con which hopefully is going to be fixed soon is a big one. The story I'm told by the locals is that apparently the tank for the sewage from the campers has leaked. Not only is there a foul odor on 1/3 of the holes but you don't want to end up in the creek that plays along some of the holes. Thankfully a guy on my card had some antibacterial hand wash to share as I found myself getting a disc from the water. He told stories of illnesses related to folks contacting the water. I must stress, this is of May 2010 and hopefully this will correct itself with time.
Other Thoughts: When you add up the features of this course with all the other great courses in the area it makes it well worth a lengthy trip. This great park offers camping and makes it a very hospitable base for a big disc golf weekend. It is yet again another Huntsville course that I have to highly recommend. I really hope you get a chance to play it. Enjoy!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Monte Sano review
Pros: Baskets are great! Love the nature feel of things. If u love a good game of disc golf and a nice hike, then i highly recomend
Cons: Carpet teepads arent the best but trust me, it wont affect ur game
Other Thoughts: haha i saw a copperhead on hole 15 s watch out!
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Alabama Round
Pros: Nice Landscaping, Course is on a State Park so it was nice and shady on a warm Alabama Day. Course was marked vey well with Red and Yellow "NexTee" signs pointing the way and also with spray paint on the trees. Required a good variety of shots. Trees were everywhere in the fairway but I was used to that at my home course so it was not anything new to me. Took a friend with me to play and it was the first time he played. He loved it!
Cons: The only beef I had with the course is that the course signs often showed two pin positions "A" and "B". The problem is that there was only one pin positions. Some times it was "A" and sometimes it was "B". This was hard to make a good shot sometimes on hard doglegs where you could not see the basket. Also the custom baskets were nice and in good shape, the green color made them hard to spot sometimes against all the green trees(May not be that big of deal in the fall)
Other Thoughts: It cost $2 to get in but it was well worth it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Love That Cool Mountain Air!
Pros: Monte Sano State Park is situated in the hills above Huntsville. The few hundred feet of altitude probably keeps it a few degrees cooler year around. The entire course is set in the trees also helping with the temp. The course is very tight and technical. I thought every hole but one had at least "honest" route to the basket. Of course, I often missed that "honest " route and ended up in the underbrush, which can be quite punishing. A couple of the holes can be quite long ( 500' plus ) depending on the pin position. Remember that's 500' with a narrow fairway. Navigation was fairly easy thanks to the signs and red marks on the trees. For a newly opened course, it felt well broken with clearly defined paths, etc. I felt those holes with the almost 90 degree turns were fun and doable throws. And Yes, there were at least, two gimmee birdie holes. The camping would be a bonus.
Cons: The carpet teepads aren't the best but I'm sure they'll be replaced in time. I'd love to chainsaw one tree on each hole but I understand the course designers are dealing with park people and others. It's a flat course with basically no water so I can't see getting totally excited and talking about ever giving it anything higher than a 4.
Other Thoughts: Personally, I preferred the Mastin Lake course more. I thought it was a little more fair with more elevation to work with. But the lower temperatures up here on the mountain could even things up a bit in those hot Alabama summer days.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great place to relax-5 miles from downtown
Pros: Monte Sano is a 2000+ acre mountain top state park with camping, a lodge and extensive network of hiking/biking trails.
It would make a perfect base for anyone exploring the 5 (soon to be 6) quality disc golf courses in Huntsville. Great long-range views along the brow of the mountain. Best disc golf sign I've seen at 40+ courses. Very cool.
The course itself is relatively flat as it winds through a gorgeous mature Oak Forest. I thought the layout was outstanding, very tight but fair, requiring all the shots in your repetoire.
I value courses designed for long-term playability and Monte Sano has it. Yes, you will hit some trees, but the clean understory enables you to easily find your disc and recover if you end up in the rough.
I played in sandals and had no issues with schule. A couple of friendly locals guided me around the course which was great. 5 degrees cooler than Huntsville on a summer day was a nice bonus.
Cons: The spray paint is probably necessary navigate the course, but detracts from the aesthetics of the forest.
Other Thoughts: After reading the reviews, I expected a pinball-fest, but it never materialized.
I've played much tighter woods courses, so I guess it just depends on your frame of reference. I love the challenge of having to throw FH, BH and an occaisonal hammer to negotiate the tight gaps.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
If you like hitting trees...
Pros: New 18 hole course to add to what is already a good disc golf city in Huntsville, AL. The course was very shady and provided some relief as we had to battle the Alabama summer heat. The custom baskets are neat, and give the course and each hole some personality. Very nice signs at every tee. Navigation was a breeze- there were already well-worn paths, but I really liked the orange spray paint dots on the trees to help you get from one hole to the next (as some holes have decent walks and you cross the road a few times.)
Cons: The fee is $2/person, not per vehicle, to enter the park. Right now the tees are in the form of very lumpy carpet. There are some long walks between holes that look like they would have made a good hole, maybe better than an existing hole. Overall, the back nine to me are weaker than the front, which is always anti-climactic when the best holes are at the beginning. #18 ended in the middle of the woods with no signs pointing as to which path was the way out.
The biggest con, however, were the "fairways" which should be called "luckways" for many of the holes. As others have said, the park has limited the trees that could be cut down, but there needs to be a few more trees cut down. I am not saying make it easy, but holes with realistic paths that require pinpoint accuracy and skill are always better than "close your eyes and hope for good luck." I will admit there was more room to throw than I had expected based on the course description and other reviews, but there needs to be just a bit more refining on several of the holes.
Other Thoughts: The water hazards are nothing more than small creeks, so no danger of losing a disc in water. This is a new course and is in pretty good shape already. There are ace and birdie opportunities, but you need to make a good shot and have some good luck for many of the holes. It has the potential to be a really good course, but as it is right now it just a shade above average.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *Beautiful setting -- Monte Sano is a nice state park, minutes from Huntsville but secluded on top of a mountain. The course meanders through the park in a heavily wooded oak forest, mostly set apart from other activities (think flatter ERP in Roswell, GA)
*Camping on site - a stone's throw from tee #1
*Fun course to play; in large part due to the serene wooded setting
*Well maintained - i played with the designer and he told me that the fairways were carved out by volunteers with hand tools, mostly machetes! it looks well worn in after 1 month; should be in phenomenal shape if the volunteers keep at it
*Great trails between holes make the course easy to follow despite lack of signage
*Custom Monte Sano innova discatcher baskets
Cons: *This is a state park course where the designers could only cut trees to a certain (small) caliper, so there are many holes with fairway trees & luck routes
*Several holes (#1 & #6 as examples) have extreme doglegs that don't allow for realistic disc flight, at least on the fairway....the baskets are WAY over to the side of a possible line
*Many of the fairways lacked a good route. As an example, some of the longer holes require a shot that goes straight for 300', then turns into a small 20' opening at the left, then stops fading left & straightens out -- not how a disc flies
*No great holes....some good ones, but nothing that comes close to sticking out as a signature hole/holes
*Many blind holes from teepad, some for no apparent reason that take away from the holes
*No signage, carpet teepads -- not a major con as it's easy to figure out where to go & the course is brand new
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course, but it was definitely not what i expected after reading two reviews prior to playing that made it sound like the best course in huntsville. The setting is beautiful and made the course really enjoyable to play...but the course itself was average due to some invalid fairways. Could be significantly improved by removing fairway trees & adjusting some of the holes that aren't reachable as a disc flies. I'll definitely return. This is probably the place to go in the summertime as it's got shade, altitude & streams. Awesome place to camp & play.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Monte Sano is a challenging wooded course with some elevation changes on a few holes. Don't let the distances deceive you, 300ft on a course like this makes for a very tough hole. If you have a bad drive, it can be very difficult to recover and get par. Bad drives are almost always punished here.
This course has a great variety of shots. There are big turnovers, straight and narrow shots, and a few hyzer shots as well.
There are some shorter holes where birdies are possible, but they all require accuracy, there are no gimmie birdies here.
A rec player will have a difficult time with this course. I believe it's the kind of course that will teach you to make the necessary shot on each hole which will make you a better player, but it will punish you until you do.
Cons: There were carpet tee pads secured nicely to prevent them from moving when I was there. I understand the course is new, so this is completely understandable.
There were a few holes I felt relied strongly on luck rather than skill. A couple holes had so many trees there wasn't really a fairway in some places, just throw and hope. A couple holes had a tree literally 10 feet in front of the tee pad. I like having the option to throw multiple routes on a hole, but this seems a little extreme to me, especially since the fairways are so small to begin with.
Other Thoughts: A few times you have a walk to get to the next hole, however, they did a good job making this course easy to navigate. There is orange spray paint on the ground and trees leading from one hole to another where the next hole isn't close by. Between the three of us playing, we never had a problem finding the next hole.
There are small streams on a few holes, but they were so small it took one step to cross them when I was there. So I wouldn't say they're in play since they seem more like casual water to me.
I played here again and can see some big improvements. Every hole has a tee sign with diagram and distance on it. There are bridges on every hole that crosses the stream now. Next tee signs are in place on holes that have a walk in between them. Holes 3, 4 and I believe 14 are the only holes that seem to rely heavily on luck still. There were pink ribbons around some trees throughout the course so perhaps those trees are coming down. The course is looking better than ever, keep up the great work!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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