3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is very well maintained with a variety of holes and shot opportunities. There are several holes through the woods, out in the open grass, and one (Hole 11) over a very large pond. The variety of holes in both length and technicality really make the round interesting, challenging, and really require you to have accurate shots. Every shot from hyzers, to anhyzers, to shots over the top can be thrown at this course. Hole 11, what I would consider the signature hole, is an absolute beast over the pond, somewhere around 600 feet. It's probably around 400 ft. to clear the water on this downhill shot, so if you don't think you can clear it, lay up to the left on the grassy hillside. Hole 2 is also a long hole, but it's through the woods. There are plenty of gaps to hit, but it is important that you have an accurate, technical shot off the tee in order to set you up for a decent second shot. Lastly, being that this course is pay to play, the tee pads, signs, fairways, and baskets are also very well maintained and in excellent condition.
Cons: Really no complaints besides how far I have to drive to get there. Hole 15 is really my only complaint about any of the holes on the course. It's a short, straight dogleg to the right and really doesn't add anything to the course. There are also a few holes, including 5 and 9, that have some pretty thick brush and not much of a fairway to hit, so it would be nice to see some of this thick undergrowth cut out.
Other Thoughts: Random thought, but hole 3 is a pretty unique hole in the way that the trees standup diagonally, so look for that. Also be careful on hole 13, I went over the top of the trees during a rec round and was about to do it during league play, when I was told that there is a mando to stay underneath the tree line. The Valley is definitely one of my 5 favorite courses in the Twin Cities area, behind Bryant Lake and BRP. Lengthwise, I would compare The Valley DGC to Kaposia, but quality wise, it is much better. On a side note, it would be nice to see Kaposia always in the great condition that this course is in. This course is a great course to go to if you're looking for a long, challenging, technical round of disc golf and want to chance to be able to throw a variety of discs from within your bag.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
The Perfect Course Design for the Location
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I rate my courses on context. What kind of park is it? Who is likely to be using the course? etc… As such, this course is about perfect. The Valley is located in a residential area, but utilizes a portion of a very large green space/park. While the park itself is extremely busy with softball and other recreational activities, the disc golf course has been carved out in a way that doesn't interfere with other park activities. So, you can unleash without worrying about knocking out a walker or biker coming around a corner. This is very refreshing for a city course. I expect "disc golf only" courses to be very demanding, but I temper that a bit when the course is laid out in city with other family activities. The Valley finds that perfect balance. It is technically challenging for experienced throwers, but not so much that it discourages relative newcomers. Hole #11 is the perfect example. It takes a veteran thrower to clear the lake. But a newcomer still has options to lay-up or swing around on the left side. I played the course in late May of 2012. The course was extremely well manicured. The signs were magnificent and the pads were in good condition.
Cons: I really cannot find much to critique about this course. I didn't mind paying to play considering the quality of the course. The only problem was parking. A softball game had just concluded. The softball fields and the course share the same narrow parking lot with only one way in and out. It took about ten minutes for me to find a spot while dodging the minivans. If it looks busy as you are heading down the drive, just find the first parking spot and hike the rest of the way down.
Other Thoughts: I rarely give out ratings of 4 or over. My only 4.5 was to Beaver Ranch/Conifer Park in Colorado. Beaver Ranch/Conifer Park was simply exhilarating. I walked off the mountain that day feeling like I was leaving disc golf paradise. The Valley earns a 4.5, but for a completely different reason. They designed a perfect high quality course for the context. It is a pay to play course, but it is located in a family friendly city park. Finding the right balance was essential. It was obvious to me that the course designers set aside their own preferences and biases. They instead focused on making the course desirable to play by local families while still making it a destination course for disc golf enthusiasts. Well done!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Wonderul recent upgrades, now this is a must play!
Pros: -New signs full of great information at each hole (hole #, distance, elevation change, fairway shape, pin placements)
-Several navigational signs directing you where to go
-Excellent mix of short & long, wooded & open
-Water is in play on several holes
-Well kept, garbage cans on the course "in season" (I believe it is considered April-October but don't quote me on it)
-Multiple tee pads and pin placements for each hole
-Large board at the start of the course with a map layout and extra info
-Long tee pads are in good shape
-Good use of elevation throughout
Cons: -Garbage cans are removed off-season
-I'd assume parking might get tough when softball games are going on
-Short tee pads are not in good shape
Other Thoughts: First off, the signs at this course are very new and they are nice. They were not in the last time I had played a round here and judging by some of the other more recent reviews they must've been put in within the last month or so. Either way, the signs are very nice. It is evident the city is using the funds collected to enhance the course. More cities & courses should follow suit (thinking of Kaposia...) When reading some of the older reviews for this course, you need to keep in mind that these signs and a map at the beginning have been added.
Several garbage cans are on the course during the season, which I want to say is April to October. I can't quite remember, but the sign at the start has that information on it. During that timeframe is also when the pay shack is open and the course is pay to play. If you go there off-season you don't have to worry about paying.
The long tee pads are pretty good, but some of the short ones are poor at best. Maybe that will be the next improvement, as I think the longs have been improved already.
As for the holes themselves... there is a good mix of long & short, wooded & open. The first section of the course winds through the woods near the softball field. These are fairly heavily wooded holes that require you to be accurate. The next section goes into the field and opens up with a few longer shots. Distance is more important for these holes. This is especially true on hole 11, which is in my opinion a wonderful hole and by far my favorite on the course. This hole requires you to lay up before the pond, throw off line to land on the hill/walking path on the side of the pond, or bomb one over the pond. It's an interesting decision because the walking path is well-protected on both sides and the hill is full thick brush that could make finding a disc hard. If you do choose to lay up you should have no problem getting over the pond in one piece however, but it will be at the cost of a par. Anyway, it's definitely the signature hole on the course. After 11, you cross the road using the tunnel to play 12-15 in "South Valley Park". It sounds like a longer walk than it is. There's a couple of interesting holes on this side of the road as well, as 14 is a bit of bear as well. It's a fairly long tight shot with a couple of bends that is full of trees on either side. You head back across the road to finish 16-18 which are fairly generic holes.
My only complaint about the design of the course is on 16, which has you teeing off from the entrance to the tunnel essentially over the top of the putting area for 11. It's a pretty big elevation change between the two so it's not really all that big of a problem but I would still be more comfortable with it if you weren't throwing over the heads of the golfers finishing off hole 11.
This course used to be a 3.5 for me; however, with the addition of the great signs at each tee, a few directional signs where needed, a board at the beginning with a map of the course, and the redesign in 2010 to spread out the course a little more makes this course one of the top in the Twin Cities to me. The long tee pads were also updated recently, so money and effort is being put into the course and I for one am very appreciative of the hard work that has been put in here. The course is much better than it used to be and I now feel comfortable rating it a 4.5 because of all the improvements. This comes in as my third favorite course in the cities, behind only Blue Ribbon Pines and Bryant Lake. I'd definitely come here before Kaposia.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -The TEEES!!! My biggest problem with old north valley was the tees, The new tees are great, aside from number 13 (I think) which multiple people talked to Chuck about today. It tees off on a sidewalk but with the curb, it makes the run up really short, an extended pad off the sidewalk like what is on a few other holes is needed.
-Defined lines. A few of the holes were cleared a little, allowing for less unlucky twigs to catch your disc and drop it. I like trees and obstacles on holes, but not random branches that have overgrown and block a previous line with just a twig that can turn a great shot into a crappy shot.
-Despite taking out a few hilled shots, it still makes great use of elevation with the changes.
-Layout flows a little better
For those who haven't played it at all before:
-Great mix of long and short holes, with long holes outweighing the short.
-Both wooded and long bombs, makes use of lefty and righty favored. I threw just as many forehand as backhand.
-Tons of elevation changes, both in the layout of the drive portion and with the pin placement. Pins at the edge of the hill to penalize blowby's or on a hill for a backstop so you can run it. Just gotta watch the rolls.
-Long tees when needed, and shorter when not needed.
-18 puts you right back to the start
-Great use of "openings" making placement really important for your second shot in order to hit that putt.
Cons: -Trash cans, I'm unsure where they are putting trash cans, if they are at all. One of my pet peeves is trash on the course so trash cans would help with this, rather than bottles or cig butts scattered around tees or along paths.
-Another problem with hole 13, it really needs to be cleared for a larger opening for the long pin. There is a mando on the left so it's either hit a gap for the short basket or go with a big rhbh hyzer. This gives a huge advantage to big arms. Most longer holes give advantages to long arms, but a shorter arm should still be able to rip one to their extent, not be restricted to a placement shot and a second shot which is longer than the first. Some were contemplating a mando below the treetops and that would fix the situation.
Other Thoughts: I'm going to give this a 4.5 based solely on what I know is going to be done to the course, and seeing workers out there clearing and installing. I don't live even in the same state so it will be hard to get back and periodically update the review. The potential at the moment is a 4.5 at the moment, with my opinion having it sit at about a 4.
Overall a great course, this has put the valley from one of my least favorite courses to one of my favorite in the cities.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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