4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large, multi-use park, well spread out in a few different sections. There is a baseball field by a few holes at the start, but it shouldn't cause any interference. Seems pretty free and clear for DG overall, except for a walking path.
- Holes are pretty well balanced between fairly wide open, or full of hazards, or in thick woods/forest. The first hole in the woods is #2, a 400'+ BEAST that starts with an uphill, blind forest shot that continues through a dense grove of skinny trees, and ultimately ends right through a gap. The long pin is ridiculous, you need a cannon to get down there. #3 is a cool RHFH flick shot through a row of diagonal trees, #5 is a steep uphill shot with nastiness all along either side of the fairway. Accuracy is a must, and distance is helpful. #13 is a downhill valley shot through a small gap, #14 is a mega RHBH flex line cut out of the forest with skinny trees on the approach, and #15 is a near 180 degree dogleg right around dense woods. All of these holes need good accuracy to stay out of big trouble.
- A good amount of holes have huge hazards that take away lines, and punish errant shots well. #9, for instance, is a valley shot over a whoooole bunch of nastiness, if you don't clear it off the tee, you might never clear it all!!! #10 coming back is a downhill anny or hyzer, either shot must go way wide of a large row of trees. #6 is uphill, with enough trees to force a perfect shot to get to the pin. #11 uses a large pond as a huge hazard, it takes a big league drive to get over the water from the long tee. #16 is an elevated shot that hyzers deep in the forest at the end, while #18 is an uphill hole with the basket tucked in some woods.
- Elevation changes are ever present here, from minor to major. Some gentle downhill slopes on #1, #4, #7, #12, and some more serious ones on #10, #11, and #13. Gentler uphill slopes on #2 and #18, and some very noticeable ones on #5 and #6. The bigger changes make a huge difference in the way the holes play, both off the tee and near some baskets.
- Water is used well to provide punishment. The large pond is in play on #8 and #11, with a swamp directly in front of/right of the tee on #8, and a huge part of #11's fairway. Drop zone is probably used often. Another pond plays to the right, and behind of the pin on #13, with a downhill green sloping to the water. A real concern on approaches or long putts. A few other areas are prone to swampiness as well, like the right of #4, and by the pin on #15.
- Excellent teepads, baskets, and signs. Top notch. Map located at the front of the course; it can be helpful at spots, like crossing under the road to get to #12.
Cons: - Swampy areas seem like they could be a problem, the area by the fence on #4 isn't too bad, but the pool of water directly in front of the basket on #15 seems like a constant flood potential.
- A few spots where the holes are kind of close. #16 shoots over #11's basket, and #4 is susceptible to RHBH hyzers that fade too early. Not a huge deal in either case.
Other Thoughts: - All in all, a pretty tough course that has lots of hazards to contend with, some tricky, wooded doglegs, and decent to good elevation changes. The pro tees add both length and difficulty, and the short tees are a lot more forgiving to newer players (except #9!). Should be a good test of a wide range of skills; line-shaping, distance, accuracy, and shot placement. I would recommend it to more advanced players, true beginners might be overwhelmed in multiple spots.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The Perfect Course Design for the Location
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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a hilly park with a mix of open areas and woods. Some holes play pretty technical through some wooded areas with tight lines to hit. Most of the rest of the course plays through grassy hills with scattered trees and brush to keep things interesting. A couple holes bring a pond into play for some nice risk/reward options, you can play it safe or go for the risky shot with a chance at the green.
There is a pretty good mix of hole shapes, with some tight left and right turns and some holes with multiple options off the tee. There are some aceable holes and some that let you air it out a little. The concrete tees are in decent shape, and the baskets are also in good shape.
Cons: There is absolutely no signage, and the course flow is not always intuitive. Without a course map (there's a decent one available online) it would take quite a bit of wandering to figure things out. EDIT: I've been informed that new signage and a new course map have been installed, that would make a big difference for traveling players. There were several spots where the maintenance was lacking, with long grass and overgrown fairways. That and the lack of trash collection or signage is a little disappointing when a disc golf specific fee is being collected and apparently not being reinvested into the course.
Other Thoughts: There are a few really nice holes here, and also some odd ones. Beginners will find the course tough but not too frustrating with limited rough and only a handful of longer holes. More experienced players will find some cool challenges and some hole variety, but the poor maintenance could be frustrating especially to traveling players.
2 of 3 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.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Loved the course, of course, for certain
Pros: Challenging course for Advanced/Pro players. Two sets of tee boxes, great flow, variety of shots, length, different shots for each hole (mostly). The course is set up in a (duh) valley, You have elevation, some water, woods, and kept grass to play across.
Cons: Tee pads suck, and are inconsistent. Lack of garbage cans. From the long tee, it's a shot to clear the water on hole 11.
Other Thoughts: You wanna hear it? Here it goes...
I really enjoyed the course. I played Slacker League here today (Every Wednesday at 11 AM). Great group of guys, variety of skill levels. Back to the course though, it includes a wide variety of shots, including those holes that should be gimme 2's for everybody (3, 4, and 12) and those that will challenge the best players (2, 8, and 11). You throw up hill, you throw downhill, you throw across the hill (9), you have a wicked L to R hole (15), and holes to air it out. Today was pretty windy (15-20), so having those stable-overstable discs are a must.
I don't remember seeing any garbage cans, but it is 11/16/2011. In Minnesota. I thought the course was kept, but for a pay-to-play, I'd expect to see at least cans. There wasn't trash everywhere, only a few things on a few holes. Parking may be an issue, if there is baseball/softball games going on. There were paths near or in the line of tee shots on a couple of holes, but I was told it wasn't really an issue, as they don't get used much.
For a pay to play, I'd expect to see at the very least, better teepads, these look to be archaic. This was a very enjoyable course to play, I shot like Ship High In Transit, but I still had a hell of a time.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I had not played here since the new holes were put in and man!!! What a nice surprise. This course went from a 2.5 rating to a 4. They got rid of a couple of the shorter holes and now there are some beautiful legit par 4s (six of them I believe). Lots of throwing options every hole.
Cons: Signage. Maybe provide maps? I would not have had a clue about the new holes if someone there wouldn't have told me!
Other Thoughts: Very underrated metro course. With the added holes, the course went from Geek to Sheek!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great Course with plenty to offer for everyone.
Wide variety of shots not catered to any one style of throwing
Plenty of room to air out a long shot and really have some fun
Easy to find your disc if you have a bad toss
Cons: Restrooms are sparse
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Well groomed.
Nice field for warming up right next to the parking lot.
Light traffic, no waiting at tee pads
Shots that go every way, long, short, left, right, straight. Very fun
Cons: There needs to be better signage.
They need to upgrade the new holes on the south side.
I would suggest more trash cans dispersed throughout the course.
Other Thoughts: Each and every hole is just fun. I have only played this course once but the skill needed for each shot presented definately kept me on top of my game.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
So much potential.
Pros: Nice concrete tees and nice baskets. Multiple basket locations and tees on most every hole. good mix of long bomber with some good technical thrown in. Well maintained course that will require you throw every shot in your bag at least once. Short and tight, long and open, left turns, and right turns are all here.
Holes 1-11 and 16-18 are old holes that are super well maintained. Holes 12-15 play across the road (there is a tunnel underneath) and are new, tee pads are gravel boxes and the fairways are not obvious.
Cons: No signs, no maps, no fucking clue where anything is. Seriously that is 1 full star down right there. You can stand on a teepad and see multiple baskets at times, with no indication which one you are shooting at. No indication what teepads are for what holes, GIANT FAIL. 12-15 need a lot of clean-up they are still super rough and frankly feel like another course when compared with 1-11 and 16-18. Fairway Flyerz has a booth there to sell $5 wristbands, and the dude working it when we were there is a moron. Argued with me that a Hornet is just a rebranded Nebula.
In a couple spots you are crossing where people are throwing, that is just poor design, and since they just redid a bunch of it I really think they could have fixed that.
Other Thoughts: I played this course a few times before it went to pay to play and didn't really care for it, and now with the new holes I still don't really care for it.
Edit: Bumping up to 4 stars as they have added a nice course map at the beginning, and signage on every hole. Made for a much more enjoyable round.
The lack of navigation is a massive fail that annoys me, and the course just feels like it could be so much more. It's still a good course that I think a lot of people would enjoy (just not me) but it could be so much more.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
New and Improved
Pros: The Valley DGC, formerly known as North Valley and often referred to as Inver Grove Heights, is a great intermediate to advanced level course.
It's got a fantastic balance of challenges including elevation (both uphill and downhill holes), tightly wooded fairways, long bombs (some high risk/reward, some just challenge you to throw far to score a birdie), short technical holes, and tricky pin positions.
One of my favorite aspects of this course is that many of the holes offer multiple interesting routes to the basket. The variety and balance that this course presents is what really makes it stand out.
16/18 holes are great and often demand a good tee shot, a great approach, a bold putt, or a combination of those elements. Even the shortest hole on the course, hole 3, is a neat hole. If you're looking for a challenging course that isn't overly punishing, this is it. There are a lot of birdies to be had for anyone who can throw 350'+ and a bunch of challenging pars for those who don't throw as far.
Cons: Hole 1 and 18 are the two worst holes on the course. Unreachable in 1 for a lot of people, but essentially gimme 3's if you don't have the arm to 2.
The new layout has improved the flow of the play a lot, but you still walk across hole 2's fairway to get from hole 4 to 5.
Other Thoughts: The pay to play format has been a source of some controversy but I support it. Great changes were made to the course last year and most people got to enjoy them for free. This year you have to pay.
The Valley is a high caliber course and, in the past, keeping it clean was a problem. I am hoping that the city and Fairway Flyerz will get the garbage under control, but I'm not the type who would give demerits to a course that offers awesome disc golf because of garbage lying around unless it was really terrible.
The amenities that you might expect at pay courses are not present here, but the course offers great disc golf. You can purchase a season pass which I believe also gets you access to Kaposia for the whole year for $30, or pay $5 for the day.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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