Selah Ranch is now my #1 DG destination!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: THE COURSE- The short version review: is I absolutely enjoyed every single shot on every hole. This is a superbly designed course set on fantastic land coupled with another great course on-site. I will definitely make plans to come back here again, hopefully soon.
Now the details: My favorite thing about the course and design was the mental challenges offered here- done in two ways. 1st, the decisions you have to make for each shot as there are often multiple options/routes and lots of risk/reward vs playing safer decisions are to made. Though not heavily wooded on most holes the baskets are strategically placed and there always seemed to be a tree branch to consider or water lingering near. I spent more time weighing my options and deciding on the shot here than I normally would at most courses where it is usually a quick decision. And 2nd, was the par 4's and 5's, which is a not-so-common style in the par-3-dominated world of DG. I truly enjoy thinking ahead and trying to set up the next shot or two (like found at holes at Idlewild, Flyboy, and the IDGC courses) rather than always just aiming for the basket off the tee and just trying to get close. On the tee you have to think "where do I want to be exactly in order to do what I want to do on my next shot." Here many times length is not nearly as important as precision. And getting a hard-earned 4 or 5 and feeling good about it is not typical of most courses.
I thought the diversity in hole length was fantastic (distances in the 100's, 200's, 300's, 400's, 500's & 600's just from the am tees). Several par 4's and 5's but plenty of deuce chances mixed in. No two holes were anywhere close to being the same. The holes are well-spaced out so each is its own private experience. Varying degrees of tree density, some minor elevation thrown in, and lots of water hazards in the form of a creek and several ponds/small lakes. (The water can usually be avoided with a conservative shot, but if you want to shoot low you have to brave up and face the possibility of a water penalty.) The longer holes here are not long just for the sake of being long (unlike so many "par >3s" I have seen elsewhere, or those bragging about having a 1000' hole just because), but here they have purpose and contain strategic design for each segment of the hole. Seems like there is always a tree or a branch just perfectly placed forcing you really focus on your line. When I played (mid-summer), the fairways on the more open holes were lined with taller grass as other reviewers have noted, but I found they were plenty wide to land in, even if it means throwing a more controlled fairway driver.
The colorful tee signs (2 per hole, 1 at each tee) can't be any better with the stylish design and wealth of information. The visible Discatchers are easy to spot and in great condition. And there are two sets of nice concrete tees on every single hole! Detailed color scorecards were provided. This place is complete and was obviously done right with no corners cut and lots of thought and care put into it. I really appreciated the consideration designing 2 sets of tees providing for variety (since there is only 1 basket location per hole) and making this course playable and enjoyable by a wider variety of skill levels.
Navigation was a breeze with the map and golf cart and next tee arrows. If the basket was not visible from the tee, it was clear as to where you should throw without too much scouting. The cart was easily able to maneuver over the terrain on every hole.
Also, the clubhouse area is close to this course and is great- lots of discs (new and used) for sale, lots of carts, restrooms, even showers, and a large meeting/dining hall for tournaments. Thanks to worker Jack, who was glad to meet us for all our cart and disc needs.
THE COMPLEX- Let me begin by saying that Selah and the DG here is by far the gold standard in a vacation DG facility. The courses are phenomenal and the whole package here is outstanding- DG, lodging, hospitality, beauty, peaceful isolation. (Selah has accomplished what I had hoped Highbridge would have been.) The courses alone are just as good as, if not better than Idlewild, Flip, IDGC, and Flyboy when it comes to shot making, strategy, amenities, and visual appeal. I have played many top courses and have often been slightly disappointed as the hype inflated my expectations, but not at Selah- it easily exceeded my lofty expectations!
I played many courses to and from Selah that were all affected by the recent uncharacteristic great flooding of 2015. Though all were playable, all the rest of the courses still showed the after effects of the high water. That is, except Selah, which had also been flooded, but showed little to no signs of it just a few weeks later- a tribute to the great maintenance and care as the staff evidently stays on top of things here. (I am sure it helps that the area is more than just a DG course being a B&B and farm also, but whatever it takes.)
I stayed in the corral house, which is perfect for a large group of disc golfers, an excellent facility isolated from the rest of the buildings, with all the luxuries you can expect (kitchen, grill, fire pit, lots of beds, tv, wifi, pool table, golf cart, and a great shower!)
Cons: THE COURSE- The only major thing I can think of is many of the short par 3's from the reds can be played with a simple midrange straight or hyzer shot (RHBH) of about the same distance. Sure the water comes in play on most, but it seemed I was able to use the same shot quite often for these. So even though they don't look the same, I was able to play them all just about the same. (The solution for me is to play these holes from the blue tees next time I suppose.)
This is probably not the norm as the area had just recovered from insane flooding, but on hole #10, the water from some of the lakes overflows in this area on its way to the creek. The first half the hole was very swampy with lots of standing water (understandable and amazing that this was the only major issue considering the epic rains the area had endured this year.) Maybe a drainage ditch could be cut to contain the overflow a bit when it did rain a lot?
THE COMPLEX- You do have to consider the price of everything. Compared to most courses, including pay to plays, this one is definitely in its own league. $15-20 to play all day, $20/person to split a cart, and the lodging prices are at the high end of all the B&B/inns/cabins I have stayed in. That being said, playing here should be considered a vacation destination, not your everyday park course. If you can find it in your budget to come here, you will not be disappointed with the quality of what they offer, and is a great use of your vacation dollar.
I hope they would consider building a couple more smaller disc golfer cabins in the future. The corral house is really nice, though large and is best suited for ~8 people, where a cabin or two built for 4 people max at a lower price would be nice.
Practice area? I wished the corral house had a practice basket. That would be a great addition.
Other Thoughts: THE COURSE- It is hard to compare DG and [ball] golf, and I am not saying you should. But coming from one who converted to DG, Creekside is the closest thing in DG I have played that matches the feel of playing on a nice golf course: varying pars, the carts, short grassy fairways, water hazards, all the amenities, the style of play... almost hard to verbalize, as it is more a feel, but Creekside had a great vibe to it.
I really could go on and on about how much I loved this course (maybe because I played this one first, or it fits my game pretty well, but I personally liked it slightly better than the also awesome Lakeside course.) CS is more isolated than LS and you will likely not run into anyone else. (Unlike LS which plays near the main house and the big lake and you may often encounter guests fishing or sight-seeing in golf carts.) I see no reason to give CS anything less than a 5.0 rating. The total package is just about as perfect as anything I could dream up.
Note- I played the course from the shorter tees this time, though I did note where the Pro tees were for each hole (talk about challenge!). The reds fit my skill level perfectly as a decent intermediate non-pro. The blues would definitely challenge just about anyone. I also played using the golf cart (highly recommended) as the holes are spread out, and it saves your legs from walking, your back from carrying your bag and water, and makes for faster play so you can play more rounds.
THE COMPLEX- The two courses complement each other very well, I really consider Selah just to be a 36-hole mega-course. In general:
Creekside- shorter water holes, longer more open and moderately technical holes
Lakeside- longer water holes, medium and short tight technical holes
If you play both courses you will play an amazing variety of holes with no two holes alike.
If you are a serious disc golfer, you will want to plan a DG vacation here. I recommend staying on site to allow more time to play and time to relax. And I suggest allowing at least 2-3 days to play as you will want to play here over and over again.
I am also an avid bass fisherman, and the fishing here is really good. There are lots of places to fish, it was a nice change of pace between DG, and was an unexpected bonus. Selah Ranch is now my most favorite place on Earth.
I can't wait to come back!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Eat your Wheaties!!
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are obviously a lot of pros to this course. Let's get the standard ones out of the way that have been mentioned in every review. First, having golf carts is one of the best things to happen to disc golf since the beveled edge driver. Starting at 9 AM 4 of us were able to get in 3 rounds and a lunch break before it got dark at 5:30. And that's three rounds on 8,800 ft. courses. There's no way that I could play that much golf and still get out of bed the next day if I wasn't using a cart. They have changed the carts from 4 seaters to 2 + cargo. It will end up costing more for groups to have them, but the ability to carry more bags, coolers, etc (especially in the Texas summer) is a big plus for me. Also, the carts are no longer electric but rather gas. This means no worrying about being left stranded at the far end of the course due to dead batteries. From the fuel gauge reading a full day of disc golf barley made a dent in our cart.
This course is a fairly open course that allows you to take whatever line you want to take in most cases. That means huge distance anyhyzers, roller, or even the elusive 'chicken-wing' with a Zephyr. However, don't be fooled by the open spaces. The course is cleverly laid out to give you several options on your throws, but if you don't execute and land in one of those few areas, your next shot will be made that much more difficult. For example, hole 7 only has one large tree in the middle of the fairway, however every time I've played this course at least one person has ended up underneath it and then has to scramble for a par. The other obstacle that this course utilizes very well is the rough off of the fairway. While you are still able to move around, having rough that makes it difficult to throw the correct shot even on a 1000+' hole.
This course also utilizes the water features to allow for some major risk/reward options. In all there are about a dozen places where you can opt to flirt with the OB in order to gain position and strokes on the competition. But these shots aren't just limited to the player with "Lizotte-type" distance. Even some of the 2-able holes that hover around the 300' mark allow you to play for an advantage. This is something that if very seldom utilized effectively in course design.
Finally there is the fact that as a pay-to-play course, I've rarely ever played here when the course conditions were less lacking. The fairways have always been kept in near perfect condition. The trees have been taken care of almost immediately after a storm (a previous time I camped out there might have been a tornado) has brought down limbs. And in areas where the course has been altered from the intent by natural causes they have planted more trees where necessary.
Cons: There are very few cons that I can come up with for this course. Yes, at the end of the day it can feel like some holes are stretched out longer than they need to be. I do tend to look back and feel as if the course always makes me think I could never throw far enough to do any damage. However, in the same regard these aren't strung together, long par 3's. In most cases they are par 4's where accuracy into the green is still rewarded more than distance off of the tee (with exception of some risk/reward holes).
The change in the carts from 4 to 2 seaters has increased the cost to play with more than 2 people in a group. The change in carts also means that on a busy weekend you will be less likely to have a cart available if you don't reserve one far enough in advance.
Finally, there are a few holes that I feel should be adjusted. Hole 3 has lost some of the difficulty due to a large tree being demolished from past storms. While it's still not easy it allows for unintended options over the water and into the green. I also still maintain that some planted trees on hole 10 would add some needed difficulty to an otherwise straight forward 1000' hole where distance is the sole separator of players. And finally hole 13 needs more reinforcement to the right of the tee in order to force players to play the shot over the water as intended. There are a few junipers planted but constant hyzers out to the right have cut them lower and lower over the few years the course has been in the ground.
Other Thoughts: I know that many people view this course as being inferior to the Lakeside course, however, I think that it poses just as much challenge. There are a few holes on this course that I always look forward to; 3, 10, 14 quickly jump to mind. And I always leave feeling like I want to come back and play again because I know I can still do better.
The last thing to mention is the hospitality here is second to none. The owners and the course crew have always been more than helpful and always happy to see us. I know the location is a bit far for some, but I don't see a reason that a singles tournament couldn't be run at Selah with regularity. In fact it's one place that I would pay to spectate a Texas States Championship event or other NT.
If you haven't already been out here, it's one course that has to be on a "Must Play" list.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
WOW! Lived up to its reputation!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: As you play through the course, it tests an element of your game that is frequently missed in other courses: the need to constantly be thinking two or three shots ahead to ensure you're in the desired landing zone for your next shot. This style of design makes what initially appears to be an extremely long course into something manageable, as the creative placement of baskets, trees, and clearings forces you to shoot multiple shorter shots rather than trying to reach the basket in a single long throw.
The course is extremely fair even though it can be quite difficult to shoot well here. Furthermore, the course is very complete in that it doesn't seem to favor one throwing style over the other. As a result, you will need many different shots in your bag of tricks to shoot well.
The tees are all large concrete tees that are level and the tee signs are very informative and provide some insight into how to play the hole for a first-time visitor to Selah Ranch.
The fairways are kept nicely mowed and tee pads clean thanks to a very dedicated grounds crew.
The Baskets are Innova DisCatchers that are all in great shape with no rust or loose parts.
A final point that I would like to make is how well the course flowed. There was never any confusion as to where to go next, even for someone playing the course for the first time without a guide.
Cons: As one of the best courses in the world, there is nothing that needs to be improved upon, but the only real thing that could be an added convenience is the presence of some more trash cans around the course even though they are not needed since most golfers have golf carts they can put their trash in (carts not allowed in tourneys).
Other Thoughts: This course is awesome from the first sight of it. You enter the ranch, and immediately see some of the baskets for the last 4 holes of Creekside presenting amazing water carry shots in a very scenic landscape. This mood prevails as you check in at the on-site Pro-Shop and get your golf cart (yeah, that's right. . . a golf cart for disc golf!).
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf Resort
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: --Excellent design with plenty of variations in shot length and shot shape.
--Good blend of Par 3, 4 and 5 holes.
--Most holes have at least a couple of different options off the tee.
--Hole 9 comes back to the start of the course so it is easy to re-stock your water supply for the back 9.
--Two distinct sets of tees.
--The short tees still provide plenty of challenge for the 900+ rated player.
--Different wind directions can really change how you approach a hole off the tee.
--Course infrastructure is all top of the line......tees, baskets, scorecards, tee and directional signs, carts, bathrooms open, course manager cell phone posted on pro shop door.
--#3 is my favorite hole on this course. Too many runner-ups to decide on a second best.
Cons: I don't believe there is a legitimate "Con" here at Selah.
16 thru 18 from the longs are pretty darn tough in the wind......but they would play a lot easier if I wasn't throwing old discs I am scared to lose in the water.
Other Thoughts: --The lodging on-site is really good and reasonably priced. I have been to Selah in March for two consecutive years. The Corral House is great for a "Guys' Trip".
--We called the course manager due to a lack of a "fire pit grill". He had one to us in 15 minutes.
--The course rental carts were a more all terrain model in 2014 vs. 2013.....but the cart that comes with the Corral House rental is the light duty electric version that you need to plug in for a bit at least once a day between rounds. We played at least 3 rounds a day for 4 days and never ran out of juice in the electric.
--Check out Daysi's in Mt Vernon for the best breakfast burrito $3.50 can buy. No need to order two.
--I've been traveling to Texas on a spring disc golf trip for 18 years now......Austin, Wimberley, San Saba. Last year I was a little down on Selah due to my familiarity with the Meadow and Hill at Wimberley and also the CR2 San Saba courses. But really, Selah is absolutely the best combination of everything that I have experienced. I couldn't imagine going back to the original trip of staying in a hotel and driving around to different city courses.
--I travel to Texas every spring for the sole purpose of hanging out with my best friends and playing some great disc golf. Selah is the perfect spot.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Great Compliment to Lakeside
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is sneaky tough. When you first arrive, you see the water protecting holes 16-18, but you don't see many trees. Of the two courses on site, Creekside is definitely more open, but it makes up for the lack of trees with length, well designed holes using the terrain, and water.
Much like Lakeside, this course has a high par. It requires you to throw a drive to a good landing spot for an approach to the basket on many holes. The brilliance of the design of this course is that it seems like it should be pretty easy to just throw a long way for your drive and figure out how to get to the basket from there, but that isn't exactly the case. Once you think that and let your guard down, you will find yourself with no look directly at the basket and have to settle for trying to get a putt for par instead of birdie.
I always have fun playing Creekside. It is some awesome disc golf just like Lakeside. As a golfer, I love the well-designed par-4s and -5s. There aren't enough of these in disc golf in my opinion.
Utilizing the two sets of tees properly can make for a competitive round even with players of different skill levels. On the only hole where there is a single teepad, the red level player has a par-5 to play and the blue level player plays it as a par-4. Brilliant idea.
You have to really work to get birdies from the longer tees. You won't see the average player walking away shooting well under par, he would be glad just to make a birdie. The longer holes challenge placement on multiple throws, and most of the short holes have water making you think twice about going directly at the basket. I love this kind of challenge.
Cons: I'm generally not a fan of just using long grass as rough, and this course has a few holes where that is used (holes 1-2, and 7-9). Really the only issue I have is that it makes finding discs extremely difficult when they are in an open area.
There is no practice basket near the pro shop, and the only hole close to it is hole 18 surrounded by water so that isn't a great place to warm-up.
Other Thoughts: What a pair of courses Selah Ranch is lucky to have. This one complements the (slightly) shorter, more technical Lakeside course perfectly.
It is tough to pick a favorite hole. There are so many that are great. I think I will go with hole 3 though. The drive has to be precise, and the approach is made tough by trees that are lined up between you and the basket and there is water short and left of the basket that makes its way toward woods on the right that swing behind the basket. I have literally just pitched a putter 40-50' to a good spot on my 2nd throw here because I didn't want to risk going in the water from where I was even though I didn't have anything near me. You will have to see pictures of that hole if you haven't played it.
Hole 9 is a great downhill par-4. You can be greedy off the pad and try to bomb one in order to try to get a visual of the basket for your 2nd, or you can throw something safe and make sure you get in the fairway. The bomb option brings woods in to play on the left and there is no way to get birdie from there as you will be pitching out. Throwing short off the pad leaves you with a blind 2nd throw around the woods. Another great risk/reward hole.
Holes 10 and 16 are fun par-5s. Both have OB water looking to suck in your disc if you get too greedy or make a bad throw. They also have safer routes that you can still make birdie from if you are precise. Going for the eagle is extremely tempting though.
Carts are nice, but not absolutely necessary. I've played more rounds walking than with a cart. This is 2nd only to the other course on the property on my list of favorite courses I have played. Well worth the 4hr drive to get to Selah a few times a year.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Best destination ever!
Pros: Course is amazing. Great selection of shots. Hard, but still fun. Played both courses at least once on this trip. Can't wait to get back and play them again.
Cons: 800 miles away from my house
Other Thoughts: Will be making repeat trips here every year!!!
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 Not
World Class Courses in East Texas
Pros: Excellent design, beautiful scenery, off-road golf carts, Cookie & Sterling, challenging holes.
Cons: Not one thing.
Other Thoughts: Selah Ranch is the ideal disc golf course experience. Creekside and Lakeside are both challenging but not impossible courses and the design is great. Dave is a wonderful host and wants everyone to have a good time. The new golf carts are perfect. The new trees that have been planted are going to make these courses a bit more difficult in a few years. I prefer Creekside over Lakeside, but just barely.
2 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Never felt this way when entering a DG course. It's almost like you are part of an exclusive club. Only 1 other group was on the course the whole day. The pro shop is well-stocked and also had good deals on used discs. New off-road carts handle the bumpy roads and fairways much better than normal golf carts. The carts have a bed in the back big enough to hold your discs and a cooler and in my case a tackle box and poles as well.
The actual course was very enjoyable to play. To start out are a couple of holes on the easy side. Then you come to hole 3, my favorite of Creekside. A tough choice between forehand and backhand because a shot too far left is water, and too far right and you have no shot at the hole. Very risky and requires accuracy. The open drive shot is followed by a moderately wooded approach shot which I liked a lot. The lillie pads on hole 3 were absolutely huge and the biggest I have ever seen.
I also enjoyed hole 10 very much. A moderately wooded blind tee shot to the curve of a dogleg left, while the creek runs all along the fairway. The next shot is a tough approach with the OB creek very close to the basket. Very good use of the land and creek on this hole.
One of the factors I keep in mind when reviewing a course is navigation. Even without a map, the course is easy to navigate. When you aren't sure which way to go, just follow the beaten down cart paths and they will lead the way. On long distances between holes, there is a 4x4 post guiding the way to the next hole.
Cons: First off, I think the pars should be lowered (from the red tees at least). I know par doesn't really mean much, but I shot 9 under from the short tees and I wasn't playing at a 9 under level. Many marked par 4 should have been 3.
Hole 11 was my least favorite hole. There is no discernible fairway and is sort of a 'throw and pray' hole. I didn't dislike it. A course needs to have a luck factor I think, it just wasn't my favorite.
There are no bathrooms or water along the course, but that is cancelled out I think by the carts. We made it from the farthest part of the course to the pro shop (where the bathrooms are) in just a few minutes. The carts really take the need of bathrooms and water away, especially since you can hold a cooler in the cart.
The course can be really dusty now and then, especially with a cart or 3, but on a ranch that size, you can't expect the grass to be perfectly maintained after all that cart traffic.
There are no benches, which really only affects the people that walk the course.
Other Thoughts: Again, this is the best experience I have ever had playing disc golf. Dave is a man of few words, but is as nice and as hospitable as you can be. It took us 2 hours to play with 5 guys and 3 carts. The cart really saves your energy and that allows you to play more. I camped with 4 other guys and the campsite had a picnic table with a fire ring and firewood supplied. You would definitely need a truck or off road SUV to get to the campsites though. The farthest campsite away from the showers and bathrooms was only about a quarter mile away. The bathrooms were clean and the showers were hot. Overall, a great camping and disc golf trip.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
good contrast to lakeside
Pros: Contrast-- Though the consensus seems to be that Lakeside is the better course, I'm glad that creekside is not another Lakeside. It is more open and longer, and as such it is a nice contrast to its more wooded brother. Even though it is more open, the design still requires you to shape shots.
Design--I think Mr. Houck found the best 18 holes for this land and there is a lot of distance between some of the holes, but instead of compromising the design they used golf carts to solve the distance problem. Love it.
Cons: On windy days Creekside is much more exposed. You'll find more shelter from the wind on Lakeside.
Other Thoughts: From reading the reviews here I was expecting Selah to be dead flat. It's not. There was a lot of interesting elevation. There are, however, no top-of-the-world, open, bomb shots. The Corral House sleeps eight and is much bigger than I expected. Book it early, it's a deal.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Selah Creekside is real golf. The abundance of water shots and multi-shot holes means that you need a skilled physical game -- but also a solid mental game.
The variety in shot lengths is incredible. Not only do the one-shot holes vary from short touch shot to challenging long throws, but the approach shots on multi-shot holes will also vary greatly. In the end, you will test the full spectrum of your distance control.
The basics are all top notch: Tee pads, baskets, pro shop, carts, etc.
The exclusivity of the Selah Ranch cannot be over-emphasized. Having these two courses on land entirely devoted to them is well worth the price of admission.
Cons: A few of the holes are just glorified "field shots". Holes 1,2,7,8 come to mind. Yes, they are still fine multi-shot holes. But on these in particular, there isn't much thought required on placement. They are more like: Bomb a drive as far as you can, then try to get up and down for birdie. Any trees are sparse enough that you can easily find a reasonable route regardless of where your drive landed. (To be fair, the tee shot on #8 is a slight test, but after that the hole opens up and offers little challenge other than length.)
There are no benches at the tee. There might be an assumption that everyone will be in carts, but I'm sure this won't be the case. Benches at the tee would elevate this course yet another notch.
The ground is too rough for standard golf carts. I'm not sure what the solution is here, but just in standard low-speed driving the carts were being badly shaken.
Other Thoughts: Selah is a true destination. It's easily worth the money for greens fees and carts. Depending on your priorities, it's probably worth the money to stay overnight, especially in the Corral House.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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