The Best in St. Cloud
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is long and technical, heavily wooded and yet featuring fairways that are...fair (unlike a place like Mississippi River Park).
The first half dozen holes feature moderate elevation changes and exceptionally well guarded greens, with enough distance that deuces are still very hard to come by. The 7th is a spectacular 711' downhill hole that even a modest arm can bomb 500' and get an easy par.
The course just gets better from there. The 8th is a mando that this lefty loved and righties will hate. The 9th was an uphill 510' (am tee) hole that, owing to the snow, took me three shots to ALMOST reach the circle.
The rest of the course winds in and out of heavily wooded areas, over a small lake, cattail swamps, and other treacherous terrain. This is not for the faint of heart. Hole #12 from the pro tee was my favorite and I'd call it the signature hole (though there are far too many to choose from, as either 7 or 15 could also stake such a claim, and the almost blind hump shot on 14 is amazing).
It's simply one of the 10 best courses I've ever played.
Cons: I have a surprising amount of cons for a course I rated so highly, but here they are:
The first tee you see upon leaving the 1st green is the tee for #4. Backtracking and crossing other fairways is one of my pet peeves. #4 is actually easier from the pro tee--it's a straight shot down to the landing zone and then an easy lay up for par--and the short tee would suffice as the only tee here because of its extreme curve (an almost impossible anhyzer for a lefty to get to the landing zone and make par).
Hole #9 is simply a little too difficult, though I understand why the designer wanted the green to sit atop the hill you've just climbed. The real problem, however, is that you exit the green and see the tee for #16 and the green for #15. There are often good signs directing a player to the next tee, but there are none here. You have to backtrack about 50 feet to a small path to find #10.
The pro tee for #12 is the signature hole and the most beautiful on the course. The unfortunate aspect of the hole is that you have to play directly at the Am Tee about 200 feet away. Very hazardous and not easily re-designed.
The problem with the best hole on the course is exacerbated when you play the Am Tee. Less than 50 feet from the tee is a sign pointing to a path on the right for #13. This makes a player believe that he must finish the hole and then backtrack 250' to get to the next hole. I threw a 250' drive, a perfect 75' lay up, and then LEFT MY BAG BEHIND when I went to clean up my par. I then found a sign indicating an exit from the green to the next tee, so I had to walk back quite a distance to retrieve my bag and move forward.
The first sign should be eliminated. It's nice for a local to know an early escape route, but this sign just baffles anyone else. It's a mistake.
We also have to backtrack across the fairways of 16 and 17 to get to the tee for #17. 16 and 17 are only slightly different versions (distance is 30' different) of the same hole, so it seems as if a re-design of that area might be in order. I was able to backtrack across an area that didn't cross either fairway, but it was winter and the summer photos showed me that it is a cattail swamp that can't be navigated in summer.
Other Thoughts: The directions on this site are terrible! There's a reason this is the Hidden Lake.
If you are coming from the south on 75, as I was from Sportsman's Hill, you will not see a sign for 115 and end up at the truck stop by the freeway after 75 curves to the right. When coming from the south on 75, take 245th Street from 75 and it becomes 115.
When coming from the north and taking the 75 exit from the freeway, you will also believe that you must take a curve to the left for 75. This is also wrong. This will simply take you down 75 and along those high numbered streets of St. Augusta. Keep going straight on what is now County Highway 7. You will soon reach 115 to the right (245th Street to the left) and it's very simple from there.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Minnesota's Best Course!
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: 1. Extremely challenging
3. A lots of Par 4's which courses need more of
4. Fairways play very nice
5. It's beautiful
6. Dirt tees make it less harsh on your knees
7. Best course and hardest in MN.
Cons: 1. No cement tees
2. Dirt tees get uneven over time
3. Ruffs are really ruff(thrones)...
Other Thoughts: This course is not for a beginner inless you really enjoy a challenge. Its the kind of course that you will need almost every shot in the game to play. Hyzers, anhyzers, straight shots, side arms, backhands, thumbers, tommys. It's the hardest course in MN and every year I look forward to playing only this course in MN. Who cares about cement tees when its the course and how it plays that matters most.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Great but could be better
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Long, elevation, challenging, unique layout
Cons: Thorns, overgrown in spots, no paved tee pads. Par is too easy on some holes (420) foot 16 Par 5 for example.
Other Thoughts: With a little bit of trimming on many holes and paved tee pads this would score a 5.0. However the thorns and some ridiculous windows (some holes have 6-8 foot gaps with tree limbs hanging across make me deduct a point. Still a fun challenge, not a beginner course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The Best Course You Never Heard Of
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is my third favorite of all time. I've played hundereds of courses, but this is why I think this is one of the best.
1. The wildlife is amazing. The course skirts a nature trail that is truly awesome. Also the fact that it is still a fairly new course helps. The deer, coyotes, and birds have not been scared off yet and the lack of foot traffic over the very slow course as helped with that.
2. The shot variety is incredible. I literally brought my entire bag and played almost every disc. you will play shots from 200' straight shots to 711' bomb drives over an open field to 350' tight hiezers through the woods. I promise you will use every disc in your bag when playing this course.
3. It is very well marked. Though I think the layout could be improved on, there are signs for every hole that tell you where to go.
4. It is pretty slow. Because the course I kind of in the middle of nowhere I strongly doubt you will run into a lot of foot traffic. In fact we were the only pair on the course for 36 holes!
5. The elevation changes are awesome! Though the course is only moderately hilly, they do an awesome job with these hills. You basically throw up and down on about half of the course and the elevation will really throw you for a loop.
6. This course is incredibly challenging! I Have played hundreds of courses and this course challenged me more than most of them. It is very tight and the woods are pretty tight. Normally I post very consistent scores, but here it could go many different ways depending on the day.
7. They allow drinking! No distributing of alcohol is allowed but there is an awesome new liquor store about two miles away with a great variety of craft beer. The course has plenty of garbage cans and no one will bat an eye over a twelve pack of beer.
8. Alternative tees! Every hole has two tees to throw from. We played all 36 holes (if you count the alternative tee pads) and it really was two different courses. Each tee pad shows the distance from the tee and most are very different shots.
9. You get to throw over water. Enough said. I love those shots!
Cons: 1. The tees are not cement. They are gravel tee pads, and they were a little muddy when we played.
2. The layout could be better. You walk backwards on several holes to get to the next tee pad which could result in backups if the course was busy.
3. During the summer the course would be very overgrown. It's wooded, and nature filled. Buckthorn has overrun the trees and is annoying. Watch your disc! It could get lost.
4. Some holes are stupid. There are a few holes that aren't exactly unmakable, but are just too difficult to be fun. Some trimming may need to be done on a few holes.
5. Some ass holes ripped off the hole signs on a few holes.
Other Thoughts: Honestly this course is one of my favorites ever. you honestly feel as though you're playing in nature. It is almost like you are playing in the middle of a nature preserve, but really you're just in the middle of nowhere. If you ever get the chance to play the course, DO IT!!! You will not regret this awesome experience.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There is a wide range of holes on this course. The layouts/obstacles each hole presents are different throughout the course. It starts in the woods, at times requiring ridiculously tight shots to hit sliver gaps between trees. Clearly there must be a plan to clear things out just a bit more, or perhaps maybe not. The holes in the woods not only require tight lines, but also will require you to throw those tight lines up hill and some distance. Now for those of you that get good distance this shouldnt be a problem, but i lack good distance, however, have the technical aspect of my game in tact. The distance makes those holes extremely tough for me to get a 3. Once out of the woods the course gives you a bit of a break and opens it up outside for a few holes, allowing the largest of arms to give it full throttle. Then back into the woods for more tight lines with some fun throws. There are several water holes throughout the course including a monster of a section of a lake/pond to a gap on the other side. I played this course for the first time last year and must say with continued work and growth this course really could make a top list in MN.
Cons: Beginners/learners beware of this course. It will discourage faster than it excites you.
-some of the lanes are just too tight out here considering the distance included in the shots.
-in general this is a great course for
Other Thoughts: This course is a pro level course in my opinion. I have played quite a few years, however, dont seem to be able to put up good numbers out here Experienced players will leave enjoying and appreciative of the course, but likely feel defeated and wanting revenge. Pro players will leave challenged and satisfied. Beginners will leave half way through unless their pride gets in the way.
Update: I took an out of town friend up to play this course and must say I was completely unimpressed with the lack of maintenance out here. The first I believe 6 holes were so overgrown it was unbearable for us to play. We decided to skip 6 even, which I rarely am willing to do. The fairways had closed in so far with extremely thick underbrush that every throw, even good throws, typically resulted in either a long search or a lost disc. It appears they may have bit off more than they can chew while trying to maintain this very long course/park.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Easier in late fall
Pros: Well wooded, mix of left and right doglegs. Well covered by other reviewers.
Cons: lots of thorns off the fairways, yet another motivator for accuracy vs. distance.
Other Thoughts: In late October the water levels were down a lot, I estimate 6-8 feet. This, together with the bare trees, made the course a lot easier than I guess it would be in the spring or summer. Some of the holes have too high a par for late October conditions.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set on a large piece of land, with lots of hills, woods, and a good sized lake. The area appears to be completely devoted to disc golf, with a walking path being the only possible source of conflict.
- Lots of tight, tough wooded holes here that force very, very accurate shots off the tee. #1 is a straightish tunnel shot uphill, #2 is a downhill hyzer with a very tight tunnel finish to the left. #3 is a tight uphill gap from the long tee, #4 is a long dogleg left with a flex shot off the long tee, #5 has a two-tree gap up the fairway, which then curves down and to the left. #6 is a steep uphill to the short pad, then another tight uphill hyzer to get to the pin. #8 is a very sharp RHBH anny or a RHFH flick shot. #10 is a nice little hyzer shot, a little easier. #13 is a tight uphill valley shot, with a nasty pinch point to hit off the long tee. #14 is a VERY tight downhill tunnel shot; with the option to go way over everything. Lastly, #18 is a tight uphill shot, with a few different routes including a RHBH hyzer.
- Most of these wooded holes are tough. Especially from the long tees. The lines are pretty much clear in that there are no trees splitting the fairways, but the pinchpoints are non-negotiable, and there is some truly horrible rough off the fairway. A nice mix of flat, uphill, and downhill, left and right, long and short, tough and a little easier. Laying up might be a wise choice in many spots... but not necessary.
- Other holes don't have quite as many trees, as least not so close to the fairway. But there are still windows to hit with some other hazards to worry about. #11 plays into some woods, over a smaller valley with a swamp on the bottom. #12 plays to a small gap, over a nasty, deep valley with all kinds of nastiness. It then has a sharp dogleg right into a low ceiling tunnel. #15 is a big downhill shot over the lake from the long pads, into a gap way on the other side of the lake. The short pad is much more forgiving, just a RHBH anny through the same gap. #16 is a pretty steep downhill shot, with a patch of tall grass/swamp before the gap to get to the green. And #17 plays over a marshy area with another gap to get to the green.
- These holes are more open than those in the woods, but are definitely no walk in the park. #12 is a true par 4, just getting to the landing zone to see the second leg takes a very good shot. #15 is a true bomber shot over the lake, playing from the short pad might be necessary for the smaller arms without conceding a lost disc. #16 is pretty straightforward from the short pad, but the long pad again takes some good distance to reach the pin. #17 isn't too bad, but it does shoot over the water again.
- The last two holes that haven't been mentioned yet are different - fairly open bomber holes! #7 is a big downhill shot at 711', a chance to air one out after being in the woods. There are some trees halfway down the hill to snag the rec player's short shots, and some woods behind to offer a tricky approach. #9 is the return shot back up the hill, with some grass on the right, forest on the left, and a few trees on the fairway. Mostly just a test of raw distance.
- Practice basket in front, good baskets overall. Signs are good, with maps at the short tees. Navigational aids help to get around, the only tricky spot is a little backtrack after #9, and maybe #16. Tees were in immaculate shape when I was there in July.
Cons: - A few spots with some weird navigation. Walking back from #9 and #16, for instance. I may have just completely missed the path to #17's basket, but I ended up walking back on #16's fairway. Kind of a pain if that's the only way to go, but I am not positive on that.
Other Thoughts: - Wow. This is a serious course with some major difficulty, plenty of hazards, tight lines, places to bomb, places to lay up, places to really think about what shot to use. Short and long pads are both high quality layouts, for sure. Beginners will want to stay clear of here unless they want a real challenge; it is definitely better suited for expert/advanced players.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Someday (soon), perhaps the best course in MN
Pros: From the beginning...
Great map and sign at the beginning. Scorecards (Ball Golf-like).
Dual Tee pads on every hole.
Great Signage at each Tee Pad.
Directions towards the next hole.
Easy Flow, no back-tracking (except for hole 9).
Legit Par 4's (and 5's?)
Open bomber holes.
This course reminds me of what I thought about Blue Ribbon Pines, in it's infancy. I've played it about 2 times a year for the past few years. Pars are possible on each hole, but a four is often appreciated. The roughs are just that = rough. This has to be the most challenging course I've played, as there are only maybe 2-3 'easy' holes, and when you hit them you are ecstatic even then with a birdie. Signature hole #15 has you throwing 400+ feet across the lake, anhyzer or hyzer, it's available on this hole.
Cons: Thorns. Buggy at times. Thick, thick, rough.
Other Thoughts: I love this course. As said, this is similar to BRP when it just opened up. I think this course has a few more years before the rough here is as forgiving as it's become at BRP, but with that being said, it forces you to play smartly. You will play for a 4 at times, even with three smartly placed shots. That's okay. This course is rarely visited in the St. Cloud area, and it will force you to use and make every shot in your bag. My only real gripe is that on some holes (6,11, 13) it forces you to land in a small area which will take much more luck than skill. As the course improves, I think these holes will be more easily played, but I enjoy the fact that they are as difficult as they are. I've seen the caretaker (I don't know what else to call him) spreading chips and grooming the course. There is a lot of care into this course now, and it will only get better with age. If you are an out-of-stater, this has to be number one on your must play courses in St. Cloud. Others will allow you to feel good about yourself (lower scores), but this will challenge your manhood.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
St. Cloud's Finest (easily)
Pros: I've played quite a bit of disc golf at the High Bridge Disc Golf Mecca in Sconny and let me tell ya: this course would fit in there perfectly. It's like a cross between the Granite Ridge course and the Woodland Greens course at HB. Every single hole is a complete challenge and utterly beautiful, to be honest.
It is very challenging, mixing precision and power at it's finest. The rough is so thick and dangerous....you need to have every wit with you on every shot. Is that a pro? Could be a con if you are a rec player, looking to have a fun
We did not see one other discer or group of people whilst playing. A huge plus.
It was easy to find every hole, even easier after snapping a photo of the map on the front sign on my phone.
This course is now the course I think of when I think of the ultimate challenge in Minnesota.
Cons: Need better fairways, wider.
Cement tees maybe? one there a pretty nice, though
Other Thoughts: I rank the St Cloud area course like this now:
Hidden Valley =4.5
all others about AVG
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Not For The Weak Of Heart!
Pros: Warning! This course is not suitable for:
Recreational Players or
The Old or
Weak Armed Players or
Those Who Can't Throw Straight or
The Faint of Heart or
Weak Minded or
Causal Weekend Players or
Course Baggers or
The Feeble/Infirmed or
Players Who Aren's Seeking the Ultimate Challenge.
Seeing how I resemble most of the these, I have determined that this course was definitely not designed with me in mind.
Now that we gotten that over with.
The PROs. The course ranks right up there with Blue Ribbon Pines and Kaposia in both it's difficulty and challenge. If you are a strong intermediate player or better, you need to get out here and throw yourself against this course and it's length, it's tight fairways, it's sometimes narrow little windows and it's treacherous rough and blind baskets. The over the water shots, such as # 17, require the guts of a burglar to hit a miniscule (20' X 20') window at about 250'. Any slight miss splashs down in the swampy waters, forever to be swimming with the gators and whatever the hell else is lurking below the brakish waters here.
The course starts out with an great course map and a mailbox with professional "St. Augusta" scorecards. The baskets are DGA with the red numbers. The Natural-gravel teepads are not the best feature here.
Cons: Gravel/natural teepads need to be improved with either patio blocks or concrete for this course to take the next step. So many blind basket especially early in the round. Misquitos-Ticks-Bugs! Brackish-Ugly-Swampy water is challenging but not enjoyable or beautiful by any means. The course is basically flat.
Other Thoughts: This course is an easy 5 in terms of it's challenge. It's one of the maybe 10-20 hardest I've played (out of 375) in terms of it's challenge/difficult nature. But most of that difficulty was due to it's extremely long tight fairways with imprenetrable roughs, blind basket placements and technical throws over swampy waters. The course was most definitely way, way over my skill level. I concede that. What I find here, is a course that is going to appeal to a very limited percentage of the disc playing population. That being those younger gung ho, intermediate or better players, looking to really challenge their manhood. And advanced to pro players will find it to be one of the few courses around to really put their their skills to the test. Good luck and enjoy yourselves men. I can't say that I really enjoyed my experience here.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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