Aspens and Crevasses
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Magic Meadows has a bit of a storied pass, and Paulie will give you all the details. In short, they had big plans for it and it was a huge success before neighbors were less than thrilled with the traffic and the noise.
Like all the courses in the Conifer/Pine/Bailey area, this one has some great terrain and a lot of unique holes. The elevation changes are more dramatic than all the others except Conifer, and you will definitely be winded after a couple of the climbs. It is worth it. There are some fun cliff shots here. Hole 5 is a cool dropoff shot into some trees where overthrowing it will leave you with a longer shot than you had from the tee. I parked this twice with a thumber. Hole 6 shoots off the cliff to the meadow beyond.
Several holes here use the rows of aspens to great effect. Hole 1 is a short shot straight ahead. One of the later holes is another straight shot through a tunnel that will let you know if you can throw on a line when you're losing elevation (I can't, it turns out). Hole 2 is a nice hole with two prominent alleys through the aspens uphill. It looks like an easy birdie but it didn't turn out that way.
There are a couple holes here that use caves or crevasses. Some people think these are gimmicky, and I get that. I disagree, though. They force a precise approach shot, and if you feel like it's haphazard, it's probably because your drive was subpar.
The most memorable hole, #15, is a long throw to a basket hidden in a crevasse below. There is danger to the left, so fading out could leave you in a horrible place. Even if you hit the rock wall perfectly to "bank" the disc down into the crevasse, the rock walls may get in your head during your putt. Interesting hole.
As with all of the courses that Paulie designed, navigation is easy with color-coded arrows guiding you to the baskets and the next hole. Note to designers: this stuff matters. People don't pay money to stare at a map and use a sextant to guide them around.
I really like the baskets here. I've never seen them anywhere outside of this area.
Cons: Hole 16 is a 122-foot downhill hole. You'd think it's a simple birdie, and it's not (fast green and a couple of trees to miss, etc). But this one did feel a little silly. You really are basically lining up a long putt.
Tee pads are natural or wood chips. They were fine, and no one is expecting concrete.
A few of the open holes felt a little ordinary compared to the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: I'm not in great shape and was fine on this course, but it sucks the wind out of you more than Bucksnort, Phantom Falls, and Bailey (Conifer is comparable).
It was $20 to play. It used to be cheaper but part of the agreement with the neighbors is there are only a few tee times per week. I don't necessarily mind paying this. We need to get to the point where we recognize that playing a course like this is a treat, and you don't treat yourself for free. Also, no one is going to invest in making really creative, fun courses if they have to eat the entire cost.
All of the courses in this area are between 4.0 and 4.5 to me (Conifer might inch just above a 4.5), so it's really a matter of which way you're rounding on any given course. You'll need more than one trip to visit them all, but it's worth it. There are worse things than multiple trips to the mountains for excellent courses.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Cool Secluded Course
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Privacy - If you can get a tee time at Magic Meadows, the course is yours for the day. There's nobody behind you, causing you to rush the round. Take your time, enjoy the views, and take advantage of the photo opportunities.
Creativity - Magic Meadows is one of the most creatively designed courses I have ever played. The most significant examples of this are pin placements and the use of rock out-croppings. The holes along the ridge are very unique, even for Colorado courses.
Variety - I honestly think that the variety at Magic Meadows is better than at it's neighbor, Phantom Falls. Magic Meadows has a little more variety of distance, shot shapes and obstacles.
Directionals / Pin Markers - Magic Meadows is easy to navigate and requires very little "scouting" as each blind tee shot is indicated by an arrow, visible from the basket, which points directly to the pin. It's an excellent system, that is great for players and took a lot of time and effort on Paulie's part. Given the amount of time needed to do this, you'll likely not see anything like it at most parks.
Cons: Fairway Grass - the wild mountain grass can get high in some spots. Given that the land is leased, and Paulie is running other courses, it can be a problem on some of the holes. Plus we played during the "monsoon season" and the grass was wet after an afternoon shower. Tall, wet grass is not ideal.
Safety - You sign a waiver for a reason. Some of the hikes and bluffs are daunting. Watch your footing. You know how in horror movies, folks often end up deep in the woods where "noone can hear you scream". Think about Magic Meadows like that. If you're playing the holes along the ridge and you sprain your ankle, (or worse, your knee) you are relying on your buddies to get you down the bluffs...bercause noone can hear your cries of pain. I made this "con" as light-hearted as possible, but seriously, play with caution and use common sense.
Somewhat gimmicky - While some may like the novelty aspects of courses, and they're not all bad, some of the holes at Magic Meadows are gimmicky. You know, hanging baskets and baskets in the splits of trees, etc. Even though Magic Meadows is not a pitch and putt course, it sometimes felt like miniature golf. 'Over the first boulder, bounce off the second boulder on the right and you might land by the pin'...that kind of stuff.
Other Thoughts: Magic Meadows is definitely a cool course and well worth playing when you're in Denver. With Phantom Falls, Beaver Ranch, Bailey and Bucksnort all within 14 miles, it's part of a great area of disc golf. There is something for EVERY disc golfer in these courses.
I honestly can't say enough good things about Paulie. That guy has his stuff together and he takes good care of the courses. The price is steep compared to the fees charged at other courses, but you can clearly see the proceeds going back into the course. Paulie gives a great tour, and a cheat sheet for each hole. He also informs you about dangerous spots on the course. Bottom line: Paulie cares about disc golf and growing the sport, which is an awesome thing in my book.
As for the course itself, contrary to popular belief, it's not a pitch and putt course though there are some short holes that would qualify as such. However, I found there to be lots of these holes in Colorado on my trip. Most every course I have played has a few holes where you tee of with a mid, and are easily birdied. It's unfair to classify an entire course as such based on a few holes. That being said, Magic Meadows is designed to be an "intermediate" course. The pros would not likely have a good time here. Nor would those players whose only disc-golf-related skill is throwing 450 feet. if you're a skilled player who doesn't solely rely on distance, you'll have an advantage. If you fall into the category of "power over skill", I would reccomend Magic Meadows or similar style courses, to refine your weaknesses.
The major thing to remember when playing Magic Meadows is to take your time and enjoy your surroundings. You'll have opportunities to look across the continental divide. very stunning views throughout the course.
I feel confident in rating Magic Meadows as an "Excellent" course. The variety and design are really good. The setting is amazing. All that being said, it's not quite on the "elite" level. But it is definitely worth playing, and I do believe that a vast majority of disc golfers would really enjoy the course.
Currently, they are only accepting 3 tee times per week at Magic Meadows. Contact Paulie and try to set something up if you're going to be in the area and would like to play. The hike is physically demanding. We hopped off a plane from Nashville and went straight to Magic Meadows...not a good idea. It takes your body a couple of days to adjust to the altitude. Bring lots of water or other fluids. I honestly would not suggest soda or beer, as they will dehydrate you even faster...but if you take them, take even more water than you think you'll need. Again, you'll be far from amenities once you're at the course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Truly Magic Meadows
11 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Privacy, you play this course with just your friends and no one else.
-Incredible layout, natural beauty, technical and accuracy driven, fun and clever holes.
-Low scores can be had one second, and then huge numbers can be had another.
-The thought, time, attention to detail, signage, are impressive.
-You feel super lucky just to be on land this beautiful, but then a really magical disc golf course is there to be played as well.
Cons: -Rude and loud disc golfers have made this course problematic for the neighbors so if you are going to play you must have a reservation and be respectful and relatively quiet. Not really a CON, just sad I would even have to write this.
Other Thoughts: This course is super close to the world class and highly rated Phantom Falls course and run by the same man. Do yourself a favor and get your buddies up here to play both courses. They are insanely awesome.
11 of 18 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: -Beautiful Views
-Creative Design and basket placement
-Challenging Intermediate course
-9 hole putt course at club house
-Club house with everything you need to relax after or between round
Other Thoughts: The guys did a great job designing this course. When you get back to the club house take some time to stick around and shoot the breeze with Pauly and Rudy. You'll see and hear the passion that has went into this course.
I threw every shot out of my bag and really enjoyed this course. The basket placements are neat and fun. This is well worth the drive and a must play course if you're in Colorado.
Excellent work Gentlemen!
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great use of terrain and elevation, extremely technical, great varied greens, good use of hanging baskets
Cons: Tee pads, somewhat lacking true distance, hole 6
Other Thoughts: Highlights:
10 Dead straight downhill ace run through beautiful aspen stand.
11 Tricky shot to pin placed in "cave" with punishing trees right and left.
12 Uphill with nice pin placement on flat rock outcrop. Requires a drive around or upshot over a massive boulder.
15 Best hole on the course. Blind pin placed between two huge rock outcroppings. Trees right force a shot to the left of the right to left sloping fairway. Openings left give poor shots plenty of opportunity to travel down the mountain.
This course truly puts a premium on accuracy due to its cleverly placed pins positions, which are some of the most creative I have seen, finding the best available nooks within landscape From my experience, it seems like many designers who try to be creative opt for artificial mounds or hanging baskets. While I have no problem with these when used within reason, too often they go overboard. The designers here have incorporated some of these ideas, but with excellent restraint.
The thrill of playing here (and Phantom) comes from risk/reward. Ace or birdie runs are there on most holes, but a small mistake can easily turn a "most deuce" into a +2. Only hole 6 fails in this aspect. Very little risk on a blind, bland shot.
Great risk/reward can sacrifice true distance shots. This is the case here, but it is mitigated by uphill shots which play much longer than listed. I wish it had one or two holes which really upped the ante, but the design has clearly emphasized technique over distance and I have no major complaints about this choice.
The only major complaint I have from my experience at Magic Meadows were the tee pads. Well-cared for natural pads, like those found here, do not usually represent a con for me, however many of the pads at Meadows were extremely short. This made a run-up on most uphill shots impossible, which made a huge difference on a course this technical. Admittedly, I played the course on its opening day and the designers plan on fixing this issue with time.
While a ton of fun, Magic Meadows did not blow me away like my favorite courses. I still cannot wait to visit again and anticipate the course having a little more polish, forcing me to update this review.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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