6 Helpful / 1 Not
Hippo's Cool Little Brother
Pros: Pine Valley is an added bonus if you are coming to play Hippodrome. Where I did not feel Hippo was as good as its reputation, I was pleasantly surprised by the "other" course here. This course offers a good mix of technical wooded holes and holes are that have varying degrees of openness. It plays over a wide variety of terrains utilizing elevation and several interesting features. Though the course is relatively short (only 1 set of tees unlike Hippo), and most holes offer birdie opportunities and are easy to par, the holes are fun and are by no means repetitive or boring.
There are several unique and memorable holes here and each has its own name. The tricky basket placements are a definite strength. Holes #7-10 is a stretch of holes you will never forget playing across narrow ridges, along ravines, over sink holes, and into cave-like rock formations. You are almost guaranteed to face some tough lies, and be sure to bring your camera!
Navigation is pretty easy with a map once you get started (finding tee #1 is the big challenge, see Cons*). Be careful as we almost skipped holes 12 and 13 as tee 14 is the first you see from basket 11.
It is on the same property as Hippodrome offering 2 decent 18-hole courses for the price of one. The land is used only for disc golf, so you do not have to worry about other activities interfering like you do on many parks courses.
Cons: Tees are natural and baskets have single chains. Tee signs are generic posts with laminated paper maps.
There is no parking lot- instructions are to park on the grass?- that just seems weird. The kiosk where you pay looked old and rundown. These things don't make this course very inviting when you first arrive.
*And then good luck finding #1 for Pine Valley- it is located behind a section of Hippodrome. Walk around the far end of Hippo and look for a shelter- tee #1 is somewhere past that. We actually moved our car from the kiosk to the end of the road and parked in a gravel turn around to make the long walk a little shorter. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you as you will not be coming back to the car for a while.
Cons for some- pay to play.
Other Thoughts: It is pay to play (honor system). $5/day might be a little steep to play here regularly, but you can play both courses, and it seemed to deter the casual player to the other local courses. We played on a Saturday afternoon in March with perfect weather and we only saw 1 other group of 3 while we played both Hippo and Pine.
Pine Valley is a decent little course that is not as well known as Hippodrome. I recommend planning to play them both. Throw in all the other Augusta courses, as well as IDGC, and you do have a solid disc golf destination overall.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Factor Overload
Pros: The Hogback course behind Hippodrome is a super-fun technical course which requires accuracy and some unique shot-making to score well. While not a "championship" caliber course by any stretch of the imagination, it is worth a stop to check out and has a few of the most unique fairway's I've ever seen including many mini gorges and mountains that look like they should be in a cave somewhere deep underground and then a basket which actually in a semi-cave! (I've uploaded a few pictures which showcase these cool features) Almost all of the holes are very short and tightly wooded - a driver will likely only be required for tight-turning holes and skip shots as a long putter or midrange will take care of nearly all of the distance holes here.
Cons: Challenge, there just isn't all that much to this course. If you have a poor drive, you'll likely still be close enough for an easy up and down - and all of the holes can be easily reached for birdie once the lines are practiced and figured out. Ideally, I'd highly recommend playing this course at least once, but would dread having it as a home course because it just doesn't have the complexity that will keep players coming back again and again.
Other Thoughts: If you are a course-baggin' addict like myself, I think this course is a must hit along with Hippodrome simply because of their uniqueness. You'll remember both of these as really cool, quirky places to play, not because they were mind-blowing great golf.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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