A little bit of everything
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is set up in a large, very well maintained multiuse park. However besides the walking path it is secluded from the other non disc golf activities. The baskets are Mach 3's that were all in great shape and caught fine. The tees are large, level and grip nicely. These are actually some of the largest pads, if the largest pads, That I've ever seen before. There are 2 tees on all but 3 holes. There are multiple pin placements on most if not all the holes as well. Very nice. The price is $5 a round which is a little high. I'm used to $5 a day, however this course is actually worth it. Or as close as you'll get. There's water, uphill, downhill, wooded, open, left turning, right turning, etc. Pretty much every shot and disc in your bag will be used here. Hole 3 was one of the most visually appealing (and also challenging) holes I've seen in quite awhile. There's like 4 or 5 trees leaning heavily to the right. Words don't do it justice. Check out the pictures to see what I mean. This is just one of the many fantastic design elements on this course. Hole 11 is also a great use of the terrain, incorporating the pond and having tee pad in front of the pond as a drop zone. The tee signs are all on point and provide plenty of info. They get the job done for sure. The flow of the course is pretty easy to follow with the exception of a couple spots. the tough spots are well marked though, making navigation pretty simple. The shot over the pond on 11 was too long for us, but would be awesome for the big arms out there. The rough is punishing on quite a few holes, especially hole 9 with all the sumac trees, so accuracy is rewarded and inaccuracy is punished here. This makes you really want to hit your line or your score will really suffer. Excellent course for more experienced players. there's a nice kiosk with a course map and other disc golf info on it by hole 1. Also a port o potty here as well. The course is also up year round which is, again, just another bonus here.
Cons: The bugs can be pretty brutal but I'm used to that being from WI and if you're from MN I'm sure you are as well, so not really a con. Just bring bug spray. Making it $5 per day seems more reasonable than per round, Maybe that's just me but I doubt it. Also there were no envelopes for payment when we went. If you're going to charge that amount, make sure you have enough envelopes at least. Other than that, I can't think of too much honestly.
Other Thoughts: This was my first trip to MN and I was astounded at the quality of the courses I played. I was up here mainly to play Blue Ribbon which I didn't even get to play. This area is a destination area for disc golf for sure. This was the best of the 11 courses I played by far. Oakwood was great too, but from a pure challenge standpoint, the valley takes the cake. I can't wait to come back to the twin cities and see what else they have to offer. Great course, must play.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: •Some of the largest and nicest concrete tee pads anywhere. Good footing on every drive is huge.
•Many elevated tee pads. I'm sure most of my longest drives ever have been at the Valley due tho that extra 10-30 feet they have to drop before hitting the ground.
•I like the layout very much, starting with a little wooded section followed by a chance to air it out, followed by more woods, then more wide open shots. which leads to...
•Great variety of shots available over 18 holes, down hill, up hill, anny, hyper, technical, bombing, you get to do it all here, not to mention all the get out of jail I shots I get myself into.
•Water hazard - odd thing to like, but it really gets my blood going when I have water in play. I've lost a couple discs here as well.
•Excellent signage - it's pretty hard to get lost on this course.
•There is a softball field near the first few holes, and paths that non some DG-ers walk on, but this is mainly a disc golf course; you don't get hung up waiting for joggers, cyclists, baby carriages and the like to clear before shooting.
Cons: •I'd consider listing the fee to play($5), but I've always felt it was worth every penny when I play here. Also, my season for disc golf is longer than theirs, so I've had many rounds in autumn and spring where I didn't have to pay.
Other Thoughts: The Valley has become my go to course in the Twin Cities, and not just because it is convenient to get to when coming up US52 from southeastern Minnesota. I think it is just a fun course to play. It isn't overly hard, but I have yet to shoot par here. I get my share of birdies, but the cumulative challenge catches up over 18 holes. That makes The Valley an excellent barometer of how well I am playing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
mind the signs
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: - Well-maintained course
- fairly good signage (I managed to throw the wrong way on #8 at first, in some places you kinda have to guess in which of the positions in the basket is in)
- There is a portajohn there.. and it was as clean as those things tend to be.
Cons: - if you have a tendency to yank your shots, beware of the short pad on #8 (lost one there because the mosquities flicked me so much off that I just yanked it.. beautiful line over and into the lake..)
Other Thoughts: Mosquitoes on some holes are a real pain, but not much the maintainers can do about that, I guess.
managed to drop another disc in the pond on #11 from what I at first thought was the short tee for #11, but actually was the dropzone for the long tee. I spent quite a while walking around in the pond looking for that disc, and managed to find 4 discs, none of which was the one I was looking for. Since I was wet up to my croth and my boots were full of sludge I skipped the remainder of the course.
I do recommend that if you have the slightest doubt about your abilities, go to the short tee on #11 (on the other side of the pond ;))
I don't mind paying the $5 it cost to play here when you know it's put towards keeping the course as good as it is.. but apparently off-season you can't get it at the park (or so I've been told).
EDIT: I have been made aware that I failed to realize that what I thought was the short tee for #11 was actually the dropzone for the long tee. I've edited parts of my 'other thoughts' out and removed bits in the 'con'-section as well.
EDIT2: sheehs. my previous rating was based on my wrongful interpretation of hole #11. Kicked it up a notch .. and changed the title too.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A true favorite... MUST PLAY!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + It's a pay to play and it shows that the money is helping to make the courese better and better.
+ Signage is clear, helpful, and identifiable.
+ Concrete tee pads with benches and garbage cans spread throughout.
+ Red & Blue tee pads offer the flexibility for rec and advanced players to enjoy the course together.
+ Park is well-maintained and manicured. Most greens have wood chips.
+ Some holes offer some slight and some more dramatic elevation to enhance the character and difficulty of shots.
+ Short holes utilize natural tree growth to influence shot selection and shape.
+ Holes #2, #14-#16 require well placed tee shots in order to have a chance at bird, but to at least to ensure a solid par.
Cons: - Hole #13's teepad is a short section of a walking path, shortened even more by a curb. Having a legit teepad here would be the capstone on a challenging, well-designed course.
Other Thoughts: #11 is IMO the signature hole at The Valley. From the elevated Blue tee pad, the hole is 625 ft. You throw down accross a pond, at least 400 ft to carry, with tall tree at the front of pond preventing huge hyzers. The cross wind deters from throwing a flippy disc, which could push the disc deep into the pond. Even if your teeshot carries the left side of the pond, you will most likely have a sidehill lie, forcing a difficult approach/lay-up shot. This hole beckons me to take the shot and I just want to keep taking it!! This course is a must play for any disc golfer.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of...
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The more I think about this course, the more impressive it really is. The design and challenge of this course never stops coming at you. The variety of shots required on this course it amazing. There is plenty of elevation, there are plenty of trees, the water comes into play and it seems like every shot must be thought out. There are several longer holes that require placement shots. Even the shortest holes are filled with some challenge. The park itself looked well maintained and there is lots of care that goes to this course. The local crowd seemed to be of high quality and really putting the effort into keeping this course and making it better. Tee pads were in good condition and baskets were good as well.
Cons: There are places on this course that get really muddy with rain or hold water to create small ponds. There is at least one place where two holes cross and there are a few places wehre pedestrian walkways come into play. There are a couple of places where the walk for one basket to the next tee is longer than one would like. A couple of tee pads are on walkways (poor hole one does not make a good impression because of this).
Other Thoughts: The quality of disc golf that this course asks you to play is very high making it a bit of a challenge for lower level players. Having a map for this course would be extremely beneficial. Be sure to park as far away from the street as you can get otherwise you may be walking a long ways. Please look out for other park users around the baseball fields and on the walking paths. This course is really of high quality and feels like a higer level course than some of the others in the area. This course makes you throw a good shot in order to get your chance at birdie.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful Little Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Wonderful shot variety. You play up and down hills. Through the woods, and in the open fields. Both long and short tees on every hole, the longs play like true pro tees.
2. Beautiful park. The park is very nice and caters to disc golf very well. It is fairly wooded, and there isn't much extra foot traffic.
3. Very difficult. This course was pretty challenging. Granted we played it on a day when the wind was very strong, it was still more challenging than most courses. You will play both hiesers and anhiesers through the woods. Holes from 200 to 600 ft long.
4. Easy to get to. Enough said, it's a short drive from downtown. I was traveling to the airport from Wisconsin and it was a perfect stop along the way.
5. Cement tees.
6. Every hole has distance marked. All holes are marked on the long tees with the distance to the short and long pin locations.
7. Water comes into play, and it's about 350' effective feet to clear the water from the longs. My favorite hole on the course.
8. You can drink. I love a beer while playing DG, here nobody will bat an eye. (Check CONS #5 for the counter of this.)
Cons: 1. The course could be much more well marked. We had several holes that we did not know where to go next, or several tees where we could not figure out where the pin was.
2. The wind f***in sucked. More of a personal problem I know.
3. The course seems pretty busy. We were here on a less than perfect day and there where still many groups. Expect it to be crowded over the summer.
4. Some of the holes require a lot more luck than skill. There are definitely a few holes that are more luck oriented than skill. This could be a pro, but when there really isn't a good line on a hole it's annoying.
5. There are not nearly enough garbage cans. A few of the holes have a lot of garbage around the tees clearly from the lack of cans. If you drink, save your cans until you get to a disposal unit.
Other Thoughts: This is a phenominal course. Anything that gets 4.0 from me is one of the top courses I've played. You would be dumb not to play this if you where in the twin cities area. Honestly a great course, even if the navigation of it is a bit annoying.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 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: 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. This course is a great course to go to if you're looking for a long, challenging, technical round of disc golf and want a chance to be able to throw a variety of plastic.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
The Time to Play is Now...
Pros: An excellent 18-hole pay-to-play course with cement tee pads. A challenging variety of lengthy sparsely wooded holes in tight quarters, with gradual to extreme elevation change. You will use almost every disc in your bag.
Cons: The pond on a windy day. I personally hate that pond so much, unless I clear it. Other than that, an excellent course.
Other Thoughts: A must play in the twin cities area. The course is now in the winter lay-out (short tee locations). For those of you without the season pass, the trailer is gone for the winter so it is currently free to play as of 11/3/12.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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.
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