2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: "Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota there was a disc golf course . . . named Pageant Hills . . ." Apologies to the Beatles, but I couldn't resist. Whatever brings you to this neck of the woods, Mount Rushmore, Sturgis bike rally, Ellsworth AFB, or the beautiful Black Hills, pack some discs and make the trek to the tiny town of Custer. I rate courses on the overall experience and this one is a hidden gem! Played along a hill side from the expansive meadow below and weaving your way up the ridge, you are rewarded with spectacular views, wildlife, and challenging, but fun, golf holes.
- Beautiful scenery
- Concrete pads throughout
- Tee signs
- Two pin placements
- Even the short holes are a bit more challenging with the elevation and trees
- Plenty of parking
- Course maps available at kiosk (a must for navigation the first time)
- Great use of completely natural setting
- Wildlife (we were greeted by a doe and milking fawn on tee 4)
- Benches and trash cans throughout.
- Some length, but mostly technical. You'll need to shape shots, control distance, and know your plastic with variable winds.
- Fun use of terrain
- Trash free (let's help keep it that way!)
Cons: - This is both a pro and con. While the course could easily play at all levels, it is some serious up and down, not a casual walk in the park. Not a great course if you are unfit physically.
- Although there were "next tee" indicators placed at the bottom of the basket poles, some were inaccurate. A little better signage between holes would aid in the navigation. Even with a course map, it was a bit tricky sometimes
- Several holes are best thrown with a spotter. While there were not very many blind holes, errant shots could be difficult to locate
- My only REAL disappointment was that after winding around, up and down the mountainside, I was not rewarded with a spectacular "top of the world" hole on 18! To make matters worse, it was a perfect set up to do so. The 18th hole is perfectly located to throw from an elevated rocky promontory, straight back out to the meadow below for an incredible finish to an fun course. But, instead, it was a ho hum slightly down hill along the ridge, through the trees shot. Ah nuts!
Other Thoughts: Clearly a lot of work and thoughtfulness went into the creation of this gem. Making a course in a city park is one thing, but pouring level concrete tee pads, putting in benches, maintaining trash cans all over a rural mountain is another level of effort that I can appreciate. Kudos! A Natural course at its finest - Just enough work to make it playable, but without losing its wilderness feel. Pause for beauty on most every hole and take the short hike at the top (between 12 and 13) for a spectacular 360 view. Custer is lucky to have such a great course . . . thanks for sharing it!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Course has been renewed
Pros: Beautiful park in the southern Black HIlls. Very nice over looks of the town, Needles, and Harney Peak. Not just another city park course. Think more of a walk in the woods with discs.
A wide variety of terrain makes each hole interesting and fun.
Very nice large tee boxes.
Tee signs are adequate.
Basket to Tee markers on all baskets.
High quality baskets.
Deserted. I mean deserted.
Very nice variety of shots required.
Need for distance control on several holes.
Very fun course.
Cons: Lack of amenities. 2 Portable toilets and no water.
This is a rugged and unmanicured park which is both a pro and a con.
There is a trail running through this park and the course crosses it a few times but it very lightly used.
Other Thoughts: So this is a very nice course for a town of about 2,000. The rough nature of the Park and course means that your round may take some extra time. Do take time to hike to the lookout between 12 and 13. Plan to search for a disc on a couple of holes. This is now much better since most of the small trees were recently removed. This has reduced the chance for high scoring immensely. This is certainly not as daunting and difficult as some of the more famous courses and will never be more than a hidden gem. It is fun for beginners and advanced players alike. The variety and choices needed on several holes make it worth playing more than once. Be sure to come prepared for a variety of weather and a bit of a workout as you play. Mention how much you enjoyed the course around town to help with local support.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Beautiful Disc eater
Pros: Beautiful- Pretty short on average.
Cons: Tall grass and need a spotter with all the little pine trees.
Other Thoughts: Lost my favorite disc, but wouldn't rate a course lower because of that. For us out-of-towners, it's a climb if you aren't used to the altitude.
Get to add South Dakota to the list of states I've played.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful scenery, in the heart of the Black Hills. Concrete tee-pads, good signage, next hole indicators on bottom of basket. Nice mix of holes, multiple attack routes, a couple fairly short holes and a couple bombs.
Cons: Hard to find, but will never rate a course perfect cause there's always something!
Other Thoughts: If you like nature, as I do, this course is for you. It is not super well groomed, you need to be in somewhat decent shape, lots of elevation changes, definitely makes you feel like your out taking a hike in the woods. Baskets are well placed, and overall the whole course is super! Like I said, not super well groomed, to me that's how it should be! Definitely worth the time it takes to play!
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Elevation makes for a great challenge and will always make you think about a shot. Too hard and you're way down the hill and not hard enough and you're driving again!
-Great scenery all around both on the course and around it. It is located on a hill above Custer with good views of Harney Peak and the rest of the Southern Black Hills.
-Nice parking lot.
-Nice open field to practice drives
-Course loops around to parking lot
-Trees make for a good challenge without being too difficult
-Full 18 holes which are all different.
-Nice signage on the tees.
-Most of course is shaded, good for the summer
-Very clean and well kept, I don't think this course gets too busy as it is pretty new and Custer isn't a huge town.
-I love the water tower hole!
Cons: -The rough is pretty rough.
-Could lose a disc in said rough
-Sometimes it was hard to find a basket or it was hard to find a tee box after finishing a hole. Bring the course map.
-Watch out for people on the trail, you will come across it a few times.
Other Thoughts: If you are out of shape, be careful. This course is tough and it can get hot quickly in the Black Hills. Bring your hiking shoes and water. If you make a visit to the Black Hills this is one of 4 courses you need to play along with Jackson in Rapid City, and the two in Spearfish.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Small Town - Good Course
- Nice Course in a Small Town. Considering Custer is an extremely small town, they have a really decent disc golf course. Long, short, up, down, left, right, s-turn... the course makes you throw shots. And, they're definitely not all birdie gifts... you need to throw shots to get them.
- Tee-pads. Custer's tee-pads were the prototypical tee-pad as far as I'm concerned - long, wide, level concrete tee-pads with a smooth textured surface.
- Scenery and Wildlife. Not only did we see a bunch of deer out on the course, but the scenery of the mountains in the distance is gorgeous. You get a real good look of The Needles mountain range as well as other mountain ridges that make the Black Hills so unique.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The guys I played with were dressed in pants and long-sleeves... and it was hot. So I asked, "what up?" They said that the area had a lot of ticks and that they transmitted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever; and according to one of them, you'd rather die than get it.
- Tall Grass Ruff. The course played almost entirely over fairways that had tall, knee-high grass... which made for some disc searching. Although we never lost a disc.
- Overall. I was kind of Ho-Hum about the course and my experience there. The course was nice, fairway shapes were really good, it wasn't repetitive, made great use of the land and natural features, was incredibly scenic and more... but, in the end, I was just OK with it. I'm going to blame it on the fact that I was traveling with some expendable plastic and couldn't make a putt to save my life without my actual putter. The other guys I was playing with thought the course was great fun, and they were playing with less familiar equipment than I was.
- Custer State Park. Go for the wildlife loop drive for a chance to see herds of buffalo, pronghorn and mules. Also go on the Needles Hwy to get to drive through some extremely fascinating rock structures.
- Mount Rushmore... Was awesome under the lights at night. I would definitely recommend seeing the interpretive talk in the amphitheatre at the end of the day with the flag ceremony. I've never felt so proud to be an American than sitting there with Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln lit up by flood lights while singing the national anthem with a crowd of strangers as war veterans lowered the American Flag for the night.
- Crazy Horse Memorial. I would definitely recommend driving by it to see what's being done... but not recommend paying the entrance fee unless you're trying to bag the hike that goes up to the top of his arm.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth a play... but bring a map
Pros: - Concrete tees
- New baskets
- Lots of elevation
- Shot variety
- Good balance
- Signage OK
Cons: - Rough "fairways"
- A couple of holes too close to walking trail
- Needs better navigation aids between holes.
- Only one tee per hole
- No chance to visit the parking lot during the round.
Other Thoughts: The course is located on the east slope of Custer Mountain. The first two holes play along the tree line at the bottom of the mountain, then the course dives into the trees, where you are made to throw down, up and along the slope. The trees aren't terribly dense here, as there is quite a bit of grass on the ground plane. However, the grass is light and wispy, so it's not often you'll lose a disc due to being buried in the long grass. The grass does get long and thick on a few holes where the trees are less dense.
The terrain is quite rocky with granite outcroppings throughout, as you would expect in the Black Hills. Heed the long pants and sturdy shoes warning.
The course utilizes the topography quite well and provides a challenge of varied shot shapes and distances. My only beef is with hole 9, which uses a large water tank as an obstacle. In a course full of natural features, this seemed out of place.
First-time visitors to the course will want to bring a map of the course as it is not always obvious which way to go for the next tee. These locations are indicated on the tee sign, but that doesn't help if you don't happen to remember to look.
There is a walking trail that runs through the park and comes in close proximity to some of the holes. This could be a hazard to other park users.
Another quirk is the transition from #16 to #17, where you need to walk all the way down the hill from #16 basket just to throw right back up to 17.
A nice feature of most great courses is the "looping 9" concept, where the front and back 9s will end at or near the starting point. This is nice to be able to re-stock the disc sack or get something to drink. Sadly, though there seems to be ample room to provide this, there is no opportunity to see the parking lot until the very end.
In summary, it's a very fun and challenging course with a few quirks that keep it from being great. Definitely worth a stop and probably the best course in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Petit Mountain Fun!
Pros: * Challenging course and terrain. Elevations are not too extreme.
* Get your exercise just walking the course!
* Park is somewhat secluded. Not much in moving targets.
* Multiple pin positions
* Good size concrete tees
* Mach III baskets catch pretty well
* Good Parking / Restroom (Portapottys) / Trash cans
* Not far from downtown Custer. A somewhat touristy area with many shops & restaurants.
* Park/course is clean and well maintained considering the location.
* Great nature setting with opportunity for hiking & wildlife spotting.
* Outstanding views of surrounding area.
Cons: * Terrain is rough and primitive. Not for the meek at heart. Be prepared to get your discs beat up.
* Heed clothing warnings!! Once you are on the hill, the rough is consistently knee high.
* Signage is worn and fair at best (better than no signs.)
* Keep your eye on your disc due to the high rough. Turning away from a poor shot may cost you a lot of time looking for your disc.
* Once on the course, you do not get close to the parking lot again. Bring what you will need during the round.
* Not appropriate for all skill levels. Course will be very challenging for players with limited experience.
Other Thoughts: This course reminds me a bit of the Colorado mountain courses I've played. The elevations you have to drive are not extreme but the terrain is rough and will test both your game and your physical stamina. The design mostly cuts back and forth across the hill with some elevation to get you up and down the hill. The course is wooded but not extreme. What will get you is the variety of sizes to the mountain spruce. They range from about 6 inches to over 60 feet. I'd think I'd rather navigate a heavy, wooded fairway then try to get out of one of the many groves of 4 - 5 feet high spruces grabbing at your arm. The shorter ones will do a number on your legs so take the warning of closed toe shoes and long pants seriously. You'll be glad you did.
Not much opportunity for rollers but a variety of air shots will be helpful. You will need to be focused on what you are doing as not to twist an ankle or loose a disc during your round. Turning away in disgust of a poor shot could cost you a disc and time looking for a disc. You are on a pretty extreme hill and a disc that catches an edge could roll almost anywhere. The flow was a bit tricky the first time around but made sense and was easy to follow the second round. Many pins are hard to see from the tee and basket flags would help this task immensely. The views for the top are great. Take some time to do the rock scramble to the top between 12 & 13. Also give some reflection to the overlook spot between 14 & 15. There is a nice picture that tells you what you are looking at beyond Custer.
This has to be one of the premier courses in the Rushmore area if not this part of the state. It seems to be a very well kept secret. I had a blast playing this joint and highly recommend it to any experience player visiting the area. Every time I visit Rapid City, I will definitely make time to play Pageant Hill.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Most Fun Course I've Ever Played!
Pros: Very exciting course, brand new baskets, concrete starting blocks. It's a very fun course with lots of challenges. Great for players who typically shoot par or a few above. Beautiful view of Custer, SD!
Cons: The course layout can be very confusing. Map definitely needed but it still can be confusing. Also, the baskets are a little hard to see from the tee. They could be marked better.
Other Thoughts: Great course for lefties. Also, after hole 12, I like to climb the rocks up above and get a wonderful view of Custer and the surrounding areas. Try it but be careful!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Compliment to the Black Hills
Pros: Newer course located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. The course is located mostly on a hill which offers a great course design. The space that the course is located on was being renovated for paths/roads which looked as if it was going to make the course even better. This great use of space offers mostly technical holes that require a variety of shots. The distance variations of the holes were good but not great. The terrain of this course was very fun. Beautiful rocks and pine trees as well as a few of the Black Hills offer for a fun scenic yet challenging experience. Being that it was basically on the side of a hill the elevation changes that were present made for a challenge. There weren't any signature shots, but the course was very fun to play.
The course is very new, 2009, so the concrete was perfectly laid in as well as brand new baskets. The map was fine but it is necessary to use. Tee signs were also there that helped a lot because the course almost seemed as if no one had ever played it. When we were there we parked in a dirt lot that appeared to be a future parking lot. There didn't appear to be many people who had played there before so a crowd is something you probably wouldn't have to worry about. The temperature can get hot and the terrain is very rough so bring sturdy shoes and water. There was a restroom in the middle of the course, but this may be temporary due to a path being put in.
Cons: The grass can be thick and there are big rocks your disc can get stuck in so be sure to watch your disc, because good shots can still be a pain to find. Finding the basket can be a little bit confusing due to being a new course and mediocre map. The overall challenge of the course was about a 3.25/5 and the hole length was a tad short. There is an open field next to the course which could have had a tee or two out there shooting into the trees for a shot with good distance.
Other Thoughts: A very new course with a lot of upside. A hilly technical course that offers a fun challenge to shoot in the trees. This course is located in a beautiful area in the Black Hills. Although this course is by no means a pro-tier course it offers enough challenge that it is worth it if you are in the area. Make sure to wear shoes and pants because the grass is tall and there are prickly bushes. Mt. Rushmore as well as crazy horse are located nearby.....for the family as well as other fun outdoor activities. The Badlands and Wall Drug are also located on the road if you are heading east. After playing this course I definitely would suggest stopping to play this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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