Worth the drive for the views!
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Incredible views, mountain air, wildlife, paving stone tee pads
Cons: Lacks a bit of variety and length. There seems to be a lot more space that could have been utilized.
Other Thoughts: Although we were notified upon arrival that it was now a pay course and that we would need to sign a waiver, the very nice volunteer let us play after I let her know I had left my wallet back at our hotel. (Likely story, I know...). Not sure I would have gone for the $5 but we were all alone on this course on a gorgeous sunny day. 2nd most beautiful course we've played (my son and I agreed) - the first is at the top of a ski area in Red River, NM.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Could Be Better
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: gorgeous mountains
lots of wildlife and wildflowers
good elevation change
lots of trees (sadly, they don't often come into play)
Cons: signage is very weak
temp baskets with only one chain ring
the block teepads are sketchy
could use some longer holes but it is a camp course
nothing over 400 feet
Other Thoughts: this is a very good course that could be alot better. there are so many open shots that could be a bit more refined. the natural lanes could be improved upon via some better pad and basket placements. there was only one tee shot i needed to think about and that was 9. the rest are pretty much point and shoot with a few hyser and anhyser shots mixed in. dont miss this one but dont expect to get blown away by it either.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The course is fun to play and is pretty easy to get par on this course. Some holes are hard to find so better signs as people say would help. The lady in the kitchen is so sweet. I owe her for 2 pigs in blankets. :-) Nice regular baskets and fun
Cons: Better markings where next tee might be would help
Other Thoughts: I liked it and will play again many times
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun, Easy Mountain Course
Pros: This is a unique style mountain course about 30 minutes west of Colorado Springs. In order to play at this course, you must call ahead and check in upon arrival… and Golden Bell accepts donations from players. While many other church retreats with disc courses seem to be reluctant to let outside discers play, Golden Bell seemed very accepting and happy that people were coming to play the course. The course is fairly easy to follow, and could be done without a map - but the map they give you at check in will give you a full layout and make sure you don't get lost at all. I got lost two times when I did not refer to the map.
This is a high elevation mountain course, but there is minimal elevation change for the course. While you will still have some uphill and downhill shots, the course does not undulate with the land as much as a typical mountain course. The course also lacks the creativity of most mountain courses. All but five holes are basically open pastures (about 40 feet wide or more) surrounded by trees. You tee off of concrete pads into the pastures, and the technicality usually comes into play towards the basket. This is to say that there are open pastures with a few trees scattered, and in the end the basket lies in a stand of trees to complicate things. This is why I do not consider this course truly technical… because the tee shots are not very technical, and a quality throw can lead you to an easy birdie. The course is fairly easy, and a first time, skilled discer should be shooting for par.
There are MANY chances for an ace here… 10 holes are certainly aceable. This is a great course to practice your tee-off and mid range game. Most holes are fairly open, but you can see certain lines from the tee. While you may not need to hit those lines to get closest to the pin, they are there and are easy to practice. This is rare at a mountain course, because throwing too many discs with usually result in a lost disc. Here this is not the case with all of the open pastures.
The course is tucked back in its own little sector of Golden Bell camp. This is ideal, and it is more than likely that you will not see another discer while you are there. Even if you do, the course is laid out for minimal interference from alternate holes.
Baskets are all fairly new, and in super good condition. There are no single chain baskets as stated in prior reviews.
Hole 1 starts out with an open fairway with a few scattered trees to a basket in the open.
Hole 2 is a fun hole that goes over a mini-valley and requires you to hit a fairly small window on the other side to end up near the pin.
Holes 3-5 and simply open shots across a fairway, leading to a pin stashed in the trees.
Hole 6 is a blind shot perfect for a tomahawk or a big hyzer. There is hardly a fairway, and you are required to throw a bomb over a large stand of trees in front of you.
Hole 7 is blind from the tee, but can easily be seen if you move over a bit. This is a slight hyzer shot that follows a 30-35 foot fairway for a good distance.
Hole 8 is across a mini-valley, ending in a stand of trees.
Hole 9 is a tight uphill shot… very fun.
Hole 10 takes a little walking to get to, and is near 1st base of the baseball diamond. This is another hyzer shot that goes deep downhill into a valley. There are no trees in the way
Hole 11 is a very short blind anhyzer shot. The basket is tucked just behind the hill infront of you, and there are a decent amount of trees in the way. Very short & fun!
Hole 12 is an awesome, ace-able uphill shot. It is very short, and very uphill.
Hole 13 is an open fairway and a straight shot. There are no trees on the right, and plentiful trees to get lost in on the left.
Hole 14 is a semi-blind shot where you could throw almost any shot in you bag. The pin sits in a stand of aspens, and there is no true line to access it. I would advice a tomahawk or hyzer throw.
Hole 15 is another open fairway shot
Hole 16 is a long blind shot that borders a stand of woods. If you make sure to stand on the border of the woods and fairway, you will have a good hole.
Hole 17 is an elevated shot up on the hill… open and minimal trees
Hole 18 is another straight shot with minimal trees.
The scenery up here is also very nice. No crazy mountain views, but you're in nature!
Cons: There are certainly a few issues with this course. The first being the tee pads. While I am usually not one to be bitter about tee pads, these were all made of small concrete blocks, which sometimes allowed for me to get my feet caught in the cracks and mess up a few throws.
The course is also on a church retreat. I did not have any issues, as the course is tucked off on its own for the most part, however I could see how this could bother some people.
The most major issue with this place is also what made it so unique. This is the fact that everything is so open, and generally uncreative. With the exception of 5 creative and fun shots that use the land very well (holes 6,9,11,12,14), most holes lacked creativity and were generally the same. The course does not require a lot of different throws, and with the exception of 3 holes, this course is made for Right Hand Forehand throwers. This is a big let down for me because the land they have out here is so amazing, and has so much potential. It is clear they used the land as it was, and incorporated most technical aspects by placing the baskets in stands of trees. This could easily be fixed! Some more creative pin placements could easily make this course much more challenging, as well as combine various different throwing styles in. As I said though… this is what makes this course unique, and I could see it being a niche course for those who love mountain courses but are not quite skilled enough to play super-tight-&-technical.
Other Thoughts: Having said all of this about the cons of this course, I had a very fun time playing! It is a great course, and very unique in the aspect that it has these rolling prairies available to play in the high elevation mountains. The lack of creativity may bother you a bit, but the few holes where thought went in help even out the day and make it fun. It is certainly worth checking out if you are in the area. While I did spend time dwelling on the open-ness and lack of creativity, I had an awesome time experiencing this course for the first time. The elevation shots mixed with the creative shots mixed with the chances for an ace make for an exciting round.
I have also uploaded a map so people can view course layout.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is a sweet course. No crowds. Easy to follow. Beautiful scenery.
Cons: Holes are short. Birdy possible on every hole. Tee pads are minimally adequate, maybe not even that.
Other Thoughts: This course will make a beginner feel like a pro and make a pro bored. Good use of natural terrain and easy to follow.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
A really nice find!
Pros: What a wonderful course! Lots of property, lots of wide open spaces, but wooded areas that require technical shots as well. Easy to maneuver (except going from front 9 to back 9), even for first timers. One of my favorite courses.
Cons: Besides getting lost between the front and back 9 (a very helpful camp worker came to our rescue) we were very pleased with the course. The camp was closed and we were the only ones on the course. Better signage would be helpful.
Other Thoughts: Private course in a beautiful location! What a privilege to play here!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: All type of Terrain. It lets you open your arm up but will make you pay at times. Once you get a few rounds here par is a must. Good place for friendly comp. Plus this a Church venue that is really cool, go inside and they'll give you a coarse map. Oh yea, there all par 3, don't think you really just double eagled 10
Other Thoughts: If you bring the beers here they might not be so cool
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Great holes and a good mix
-they have a map at the front
-you can play all day every day (just check in during the week during summer
-Great birdie chances
-Their par is not the hardest, so you can make your own par (I recommend 55 as pro par, I shot +1)
Cons: -most holes are too short for drivers
-not the easiest thing to navigate the first time
-high elevation means more water needed. I love the mountains, but this course is at 9200. drink water.
Other Thoughts: The lasy at the front desk is extremely nice, the course is beautiful, I do not want concrete teepads. The map does not show distances, but the unknown adds to the course, i feel. tee signs are just wooden posts though, so not the best, but who cares. The course is located in a rain shadow of Pikes Peak, so it rains almost every afternoon (with lightning) anytime from 3 to the night in the summer, so go early.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Up in the mountains
Pros: A 18 hole course located up in the mountains. Due to the location and private land, I had the whole course to myself and doubt that crowds would ever be a problem here. Parking is easy next to the first hole. The teepads are gravel with wood boarders that do the job, a little worn but not bad. Most holes are fairly straight and thus easy to see th ebasket from the teepad. Trees add to the challenge on several holes, with a few blind shots off the teepad. The course is not flat and it uses the elevation well with a few uphill shots thrown in. The front nine is a bit more technical then the back nine with baskets tucked by the trees and accuracy is required. No two holes felt the same. The scenery awesome; combine that with the cleanliness of the course and it feels as though you are playing in the middle of nowhere. Wildflowers, birds and animals are all around on the course so even if you are having a bad round, at least you can enjoy the nature around you.
Cons: Some of the hole were well desinged, thus providing a good risk/reward situation. However quiet a few holes were just straight shots and thus rather boring. Not much thought required, just throw it straight ahead. Also several holes were just long and open, not really utilizing the heavily wooded areas of the property. It seems like a much more challenging course could have been made. The teesigns were just posts with a number on them, some had distances written on them in marker. The layout is confusing, especially on the front 9, I accidentally threw at a few srong baskets. Speaking of baskets, they are portable baskets secured to the ground. They are in good shape, but have just a single set of chains, so make sure your putting game is on. I don't think a lot of up keep is done on this course. High weeds in some areas so keep an eye on your disc.
Other Thoughts: This course has potential. The land is perfect for a really great course. It is very quiet and peaceful with great views of the mountains. It is secluded and not used much. Perhaps a reworking of the layout, improve the teepads and better signs and you could have a really good place to play. As it is now though, a 3.5/5 rating is definately reasonable. At about 8500 feet, the air is a little thin, just be ready for it if new to the area. Looks like they have a place to get snacks/drinks there as well.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
A "Must Play"
Pros: -Simply beautiful scenery with many 'epic' holes
-Excellent variety of shots (left, right, wooded/technical, open, etc.)
-Excellent use of elevation
-Many high risk/reward holes
-Just an incredibly fun course to play
Cons: -Tee pads could be improved.
-Could be hard to find a few holes the first time through
-A few too many birdie holes once you get the hang of it. (not sure this is a con, just an opinion)
-Could use a longer hole or two
Other Thoughts: One of my absolute favorite courses. The main cons are related to it being underdeveloped which really isn't very bothersome as you will be distracted by the scenery.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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