Wooded, tight, and fun
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -The course is on a beautiful plot of land. You park at a horse farm and walk a short bit to an area with many large rocks covered in moss, large trees, stunning rock walls, and great elevation. The setting reminds me of Highlands in Conway, MA (with slightly less natural beauty) and also Crane Hill in Palmer, MA (but a bit more wooded).
-Most holes are heavily wooded, but there are a few that play into open fields. Almost all of the fairways are very tight, but almost all of them are fair. The only fairway that really doesn't have a legitimate line is 17. This course is very technical and true beginners might be frustrated by it.
-These might be the nicest signs I've ever seen. They are accurate and beautiful -- painted onto slabs on rock. They clearly invested time and money into them and they're awesome!!
-The pin positions are excellent. There are several elevated baskets and several sit on large rocks, creating some good death putts.
-There are several par 4's, and a couple possible ace runs.
-Easy to find -- look for signs on the street.
-Brand new baskets on many holes that catch great.
-It sounds like there are plans to expand the course to 27 holes!
-No thorns or poison ivy (unlike the other two courses in southern RI). It's easy to find discs.
-Good amount of OB, which is well defined.
Cons: Tee boxes are natural and some of them are a little bumpy.
I had trouble with navigation. I played solo for the first 6 holes. I got lost after hole 1, but found some locals to show me where the tee box for 2 is. Then I joined up with those same guys at hole 7. If I hadn't, I think I would have gotten lost a couple more times. A course that charges money should make sure that navigation is super easy for those people who come from out of town and are playing solo (like me!).
Other Thoughts: I wasn't sure what to expect with this course since it has received some poor ratings from a few reviewers. I can say with confidence that as long as you don't get lost, you will have a highly enjoyable experience playing this quality course! (unless you've only played disc golf a few times in your life, in which case the course is going to be a bit too challenging. I'd recommend starting at South Kingstown DGC).
Overall, the design of the course is very good, the setting is outstanding, and the disc golf is challenging, fair, and fun. I would rate this course a 3.3 and I'm rounding up. The starting point to improve the course would be foolproof navigation and real tee boxes. If these things were in place and the course was expanded to 27 holes, it would easily be a 4.0. Kudos to everyone working to make this course what it is. Keep up the great work!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Willow Valley is a quiet 18 hole course located on a private horse farm. The course plays through the rocky woods located behind the working horse stables. There is a variety of shots and smart use of the limited elevation. I played this course as part of a disc golf road trip playing 12 states in 12 days. This was the only course I played in Rhode Island.
The entire property is covered with grey moss covered rocks in every shape and size. These rocks are used extensively throughout the course to provide challenge and unique pin locations. Except for a few ferns and some smaller trees, there is very little underbrush under the canopy. There are also many moss covered stone walls that run throughout the course. Some of the old rock walls line the fairways to designate the OB, while others provide built in obstacles.
Pay to Play
Please be sure to sign a waiver and pay the $5.00 fee before you begin play. Be respectful to the owners that have opened up their private property to complete strangers. Be that awesome disc golfer that makes them glad they are doing this.
One goal on my 12 state trip was to play the top rated course in every state. I searched using the "Top Rated Courses" for each state which only lists Ninigret in Rhode Island. I prefer to play well maintained courses that are easy to navigate and that led me to choose this course. I am very happy with my decision and I am glad I got the opportunity to play this wonderful course.
If I had to sum up this course with only one word it would be FUN! It was also fair and challenging. While it is not the most challenging course I have ever played, it is certainly one of the most fun and unique courses I have played. The designer did a great job using the small elevation changes for maximum effect.
In addition to the wonderful slate tee signs on every hole, there were flags on every basket. The flags are a welcome addition that makes it easier to find the grey targets in the grey woods. Many holes have benches and logs for seating. I can't remember if there was a restroom in the parking area. However, this wooded course is very secluded, so there are plenty of opportunities for privacy.
All 18 in a row
Once you leave the parking area, you will not return until you complete all 18 holes. The first tee is a short walk from the parking area. There are plenty of signs to lead the way to the first tee. Plan to take all the water and supplies you will need. Don't forget, you need to pack out all your garbage as well. It is a pretty spread out course, plan accordingly.
The giant maze of moss covered rocks gives this course a very unique vibe. Most of the holes are located amid the trees, while several traverse a tranquil meadow. While this is a wooded course the fairways are fair and don't have a lot of underbrush The course had OB clearly marked on several holes to add challenge for tournament play and more advanced players. Additional challenge comes from the unique location of the targets among the rocks.
Be respectful of the owners and their neighbors and avoid loud cursing on the course. Please pack out all of your trash and do your part to keep the course clean so the owners will want to continue sharing this disc golf course.
The course uses target with temporary bases. They are not permanently installed. However, most baskets have placements that have been built up and leveled for the targets. Every target has a next tee arrow to get you started in the right direction.
The natural tees are very well marked and maintained. Some tees have been framed and gravel has been added for leveling. Others are marked by only a couple of bricks. I played on a rainy day and didn't have any problems with the natural tees. There was no standing water or mud around the tee areas.
Each tee sign is made from a piece of slate that has been hand painted. At first, I didn't realize exactly how detailed these signs were. When you take a closer look, each sign shows Clearly these are the most unique tee signs I have ever encountered. Each sign includes the Hole Number, the Par and the Distance as well as as OB areas. Each uniquely shaped slate sign included a full hand painted map of the hole. Map includes geographic features like walls, trees, rocks and paths as well as an arrow to the next tee.
Even though there was no map available, the course was easy to follow. The first tee is a short walk from the parking lot and the path is well marked. Each hand painted tee sign has an arrow to the next tee. Each basket had a next tee arrow attached to the basket tray. I almost got led astray at one hole where another player decided to spin the basket and make the direction arrow point the wrong way. Luckily, I had my map and was already anticipating the next tee was in the other direction.
Everything was clean and well maintained on my visit. There was no overgrowth here to steal your wayward discs. There was no graffiti, trash, butts or broken bottles. You can see there is a lot of ongoing work taking place. There were a couple of old vehicles and farm equipment on the property, but they add to the rustic feel and don't come into play.
Kids, Carts and Strollers
Yes to kids, not sure I would want to bring a cart or stroller as the grey rocks are everywhere and make for tough rolling. Once you get started, you don't get back to car until you play all 18. You may be able to cut out a few holes between 6 and 15 to make it a little shorter.
It was a pretty easy drive to the course as it is only a mile or two off 1-95. The cost of $5.00 was very reasonable for such a fun course. I hope the owners make enough money to make all their hard work worthwhile.
I am trying to think of some cons and I honestly can't think of anything that I didn't like about the course.
I guess the course could use some more developed tees, but the current tees are very appropriate for the location.
Some things are worth repeating. I found this course very fun and interesting. I am very happy with my choice to play Willow Valley Farm as my only course for Rhode Island. This type of private farm course is one reason I fell in love with disc golf in New England. If you only have time for one course when you visit, this course is the place to play.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Traveled up from North Carolina visiting family and we played this course. Absolutely loved it! Challenging, yet very much fun and scenic!! Loved the sign'age on all the holes and the course description at the tee boxes!
Cons: Only one that I could think of, would be Hole 17, maybe another lane going into the hole, not complaining by any means, but there are way more trees on this hole than the others.
Other Thoughts: If you are reading this, Play this course! You will not regret it!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Favorite Course in The State
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I'm giving this a 3.5 because I think it deserves a better rating that it has right now, and it's one of the better courses in the state.
-Full 18 holes
-The start is right near the parking lot and the last hole brings you right back to where you started
-Nice variety of holes
-a few par 4s, it provides a good challenge
-My favorite course in RI
Cons: -$5 fee per person, not that bad
-can be tricky to navigate to, but not a big deal
-a little confusing getting from hole to hole sometimes, the first time we played it we got mixed up once (follow the arrows), but the second time we didn't have much problem
The teepads are mostly natural, with two bricks in the dirt marking the end of the tee, which I kind of like. A few are sand/dirt teeboxes too. The tee signs are painted on rocks, which I find very cool.
Great course, they also host the Grey Sail Open tournament in late August, and it's on August 27, 2016 this year.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good signs.
Private property open to public.
some elevation change.
Scenic/rustic in the forest.
Arrows on baskets and good signage to direct you around the course.
Nice big bright orange flags on the baskets.
Cons: Pay to play, $5...no big deal as it helps owner with upkeep cost.
No rest rooms.
Too many trees on some holes leaving no open line.
Hillbillies leaving cans on bottles on the course. Not much compared to other places.
Dirt/mud tee boxes.
From the North there is no exit 4, so directions need to be changed.
A little tricky to find.
Other Thoughts: Great that this kind soul put a course on their property for everyone to enjoy.
Lots of touch/aim shots. Not much wide open let'er rip holes.
I did get crossed up a couple times on the holes. A map printout at the start would help and maybe hole # on the basket flags.
This course is only going to get better with time.
I played in the spring after a lot of rain the prior day and the course was dry for the most part. A good time of year to play.
Thanks Willow Valley Farm!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of land with some elevation change. Hate to say it but the best part of the course for me was the Wendy's 400 feet sign and a David Hasselhoff cutout which I believe are leftovers from their tournament.
Cons: I will start this by mentioning I played there at the end of February and may play a big part in the state of the course. I do feel if it's a pay to play course and you are taking money then you should be maintaining course, this one didn't feel that way. Poor signage, uneven dirt for tee boxes. Usually you can find an arrow pointing to the next tee from the basket you just play but they were no help. No hole numbers at the tee box or the basket. I know they ran a tournament there Aug '15 and that was the only way I could find a tee, by looking for the eight and a half by 11 laminated paper that (at one time, but has since been faded) has Gray Sail tournament on it.
Other Thoughts: Overall this course has some potential. With better signage and better teeboxes the course will play much, much better. Once those two things have been accomplished then maybe some new baskets.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The woods of Sounthen Rhode Island
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great mix of shots needed to navigate this one.
Awesome use of space.
The holes with pads have good footing and are in good shape.
Fair lines that will challenge even the best arms.
Course was in excellent condition.
Awesome tee signs.
Good seating throughout the round.
Cons: Holes without pads have sketchy footing and in need of repair.
Baskets are single layer of heavy chains, makes even the short ones a tester.
A good amount of blind shots throughout the course can make single rounds tough finding disc at times.
Other Thoughts: Really had fun playing this one.
The use of space here is truly a plus. Lots of different looks.
Very tight lines. fair, but tight. Get that mid-range game going early.
With improved pads and updated chains, this course goes to an easy 4.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is a great setting for disc golf. The course plays mostly through the woods with a couple of holes playing across a field to mix things up.
A nice mix of elevation, distance, OB and clever pin positions gives each hole a unique challenge.
Cons: All the good things this course has going for it are overshadowed by two major negatives. The first is the amount of trees on the course. Most fairways are littered with trees and feature just one very tight intended line. Anything off this line will be stopped dead by a tree and usually is left in a position where there is no line for a potential par saving shot. Birdies are rare and pars are tough to get. Playing here is all about counting bogeys. This makes the course incredibly frustrating and really takes a lot of the fun out of it.
To make matters worse, the natural tees are uneven and many have rocks and roots throughout. This makes getting a clean run-up or even standstill stance difficult. When trying to hit a very tight line through the trees, the last thing you want to worry about is getting a good stance on the tee box.
Other Thoughts: I realize this course is still in it's infancy. It does have a lot going for it, but without some clearing of the fairways and better tee pads, I doubt the course will see much sustained use.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
The Rhode Island Monster!!!!
Pros: Oh my god where to start? If you have played Ninigret and think this course is similar to that think again! It is completely opposite, and while Ninigret has it positives Willow Valley is far superior in many ways (not that this is a comparison).
Absolutely a monster of a course. At almost 7,000 feet with a good amount of elevation and lots of OB this course can eat even the most seasoned player alive. While still in its infancy this course has many positives going for it. What it lacks in final touches it more than makes up for in overall play, scenery, and toughness. There are lots of different shots that come into play. The course isn't righty or lefty biased, it's equally tough. OB comes into play quite a bit, but not so much its discouraging. The tees are the best natural pads I have ever seen. There are multiple routes to most of the baskets that aren't tunnel shots. Some of the coolest basket locations in New England highlight some of the trickier holes. They range from sitting on elevated knolls, a three foot tree stump, and rock face to name a few. The baskets catch really well for portables. The design couldn't be better. There are no switchbacks, no tees on top of previous baskets, and a road that runs near multiple holes makes it easy to shortcut to the more distant holes.
Cons: You have to have a guide (at this time it is Norm) to navigate. There doesn't appear to be much nearby to do but I could be wrong. There aren't tee signs or next tee signs yet and OB isn't marked. Some of the pads are a little small and narrow. Play will be limited to summer time for the foreseeable future. No real amenities but that should come with time.
Other Thoughts: While this course has only been in the ground since August it is looking incredible. A few more workdays and some signage and this is an easy 4.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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