Throw down the Mountain
Pros: -rubber mat tees
-innova disc catchers
-challenging pin placements
-mixture of shots: lefts, rights, open, tightly wooded, sidehill, downhill (of course) and a couple of uphill shots, to break from all the downhill. I used every disc in my bag.
-signs, at least when I was there they had laminated signs with the length and a map of the hole. I could see these blowing away with a strong wind, or a frustration kick.
-proshop, to replace those discs you may lose.
Cons: -fee/lift pass (gotta get up the mountain)
-navigation, next tee can be tough to find, some blind basket placements
-rough. there are dense trees and bushes off most fairways. the chance of losing a disc is real if your shot goes awry. the footing is also tough, wear good shoes.
-wind, whatcha gunna do, it's on a mountain.
-crooked/slanted baskets - they need to even the ground for some placements
Other Thoughts: I played a tournament up here, so the course was probably looking its best and the weather was perfect. If you have never played a ski hill course you will be amazed how downhill a lot holes are, particularly 3 and 4. I advise you to just throw a putter or mid on these big downhill shots with a tight fairway, as a driver will fade too much and you will be in the dense rough. Plus it's fun to see a putter fly a long way. A lot of baskets are tucked in the woods, so placement on your drive or upshot is pretty key. If I would have had time to shoot another round I'm sure I would have shot better knowing where to avoid and the ideal places to land. It is isolated, so that could be a con, but I like places that are out of the way (keeps the crowds down).
There were a lot of mountain bikers because they have a lot of mnt bike trails & they are putting more in. The course does a pretty good job at avoiding these trails, but there are a few places where you walk over them and you need to look up to make sure they aren't barreling down. If the parking lot is full, it is likely all mountain bikers and the lift line will be long.
It's a great course on a beautiful mountain. Hard to choose a standout hole as they are all good in their own regard. I had my best drive on 15: a wide open giant downhill ~600ft. Couldn't think of a better place to throw long bombs downhill, but yet still need a technical game to score well.
Improvements have been made. Come back.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: ***2015 update***
The course at Stevens Pass is the north end's answer to Crystal Mountain. The two courses both have their strengths and weaknesses, but for those who want to play on a ski resort and live closer to Stevens than Crystal? Here's where you go. This course plays parallel to the mountain bike park, which is AWESOME. By the end of my first round I was itching to buy a bike for a couple of grand (or rent one for $110) and go hurt myself. By the end of my fourth, I'd done it. It's even more fun than disc golf. But we're here to talk about disc golf, not mountain biking. So let's talk pros:
Equipment: The baskets are all good quality, yet portable. This was actually a pleasant surprise since it's a temporary layout. They were all in decent condition too. Only one looked like it had been hit by a grizzly bear, and it didn't affect the approach too much.
Cost: It's cheap to ride the chairlift, and you get an all day pass. You could walk up the mountain to play for free, but why waste the energy? Be sure to let them know that you're there to play disc golf though, or they'll make you fill out an insurance waiver and pay extra because they think everyone is there to mountain bike. You can purchase your lift ticket in the coffeeshop and avoid the line since you aren't riding the bike park.
Navigation: Navigation is pretty straightforward. The baskets are all marked with tall number plates, and all of the teepads except for 5 have signs on them. The 5 one was there, but knocked down. The only long walkouts are from 3 to 4 and 13 to 14. After you hole out on 3, go back up the hill and down the road to the 4 pad. You can cut through the woods too if that works for you. For 13 to 14, just walk down the road parallel to the singletrack, and then cross the singletrack where there's a break in the tape. You'll see a couple of picnic tables by the teepad. Maps and scorecards are available at the shop.
Layout: The layout of the course is a pleasant surprise too. You play down a ski resort, but there are some holes that make you play back up a bit. Nothing extreme, but there are uphill shots to go with the downhills. Then of course you have your variety of left and right turning shots. There isn't anything technical, but there are some fairways that are narrower than the others, so shot placement is still important. The 2015 layout really addressed the "lack of distance" issue that had existed before. They stuck to mostly the same layout, but hole 10 is no longer the longest hole. They pushed 13 (the most picturesque hole on the course) out to somewhere around 600', and several of the other holes were lengthened or made more difficult this year. The holes that changed the most drastically were 6 (no longer visible from the tee), 8 (much longer), 9 (much tougher and longer with a creek "water hazard" in the middle), 13 (probably twice as long as it was), and 18 (no longer a straight ahead putter drive, but a hyzer line around a tree/water hazard). All of these were welcome changes. In fact, the only con from last year that wasn't really addressed was that pesky teepad and lefty eating tree on hole 2.
Cons: Equipment: The teepads are temporary because the course is temporary. That can't be fixed, and they've done well with what they were given. But some are just dangerous. The use of a flat piece of plywood on hole 2 was just stupid. Get that thing wet and people are just going to get hurt. It's also dangerously close to a tree on the left. We're talking no farther than 1' away from the pad. Probably less. There were lefties in my group, and the first one to throw smacked it on his followthrough. Luckily he wasn't hurt, or he would have wasted a lift ride or had to start throwing righty.
Navigation: Next tee signs or basket tape would be helpful in a couple of areas. A map is great, but it's always good to have guides out on the course itself too.
Design: When I think of a mountain course, I think of Crystal Mountain. I think of a course where you bring old discs, DX discs, and discs you found and don't mind losing because you're going to bomb them for 1000' down a mountain. Stevens still doesn't offer that on the level that Crystal does. It would be nice to have a few more bombs available, rather than just holes 4 and 13. I get that the mountain bike park keeps us from being able to play a bunch of 600' holes, but it still has to be pointed out that it's a mountain course that won't crush you... Maybe that's a pro to some, but it's kind of a con to me.
Hole 18: Still kind of meh. It's much better than it was, but it's still flat. I still think hole 18 on a mountain course should be an "empty the bag" hole where you bomb everything that you've got. Instead it's about 250' down a flat dirt road. I guess it leaves you wanting more, but not necessarily in a good way.
The bugs: The course can't be faulted for this and it hasn't affected my rating in the least, but BRING BUG REPELLENT. The mosquitos are out of control up here. It's even worse during fire season.
Other Thoughts: I kind of wanted to call this a pro, but I can't quite do that: They have rental discs. I think that's a cool concept. The reason I won't call it a pro? Because any serious disc golfer has their own discs. And new players probably shouldn't be borrowing discs and playing down a mountain. They'll either wind up destroying the discs on the rocks, or just losing them and having to buy new ones... Making it a very expensive trip. Let them get used to and addicted to the game first. By that point they'll have their own discs.
The restaurant is overpriced (as ski resort restaurants are), but the food is good and it's nice for a break between rounds.
The design keeps errant discs out of the mountain bike park for the most part, but be careful. There are a couple of places where walkouts cross the singletrack, and a terrible shot on 2, 13, or 15 can still find a rider.
Don't expect to find Stevens Pass stamped discs. They have stock stamps, and that's it. They'll offer to order you something if they don't have it too, which is nice but unnecessary. Word is that they want to sell custom stamped discs, but it hasn't happened yet.
All in all, Stevens Pass is a pleasant round of disc golf. It can be physically taxing at times, you need to bring your own water, and there's very little shade, so don't expect it to be "leisurely". But it's fun and offers a fairly unique experience. While I wouldn't return every week due to the cost and lack of proximity to everything else, I'll add it to my summer rotation at least once each year. In fact, with the improvements for 2015, I plan to add it to the rotation multiple times each year.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Stevens Pass Ski Resort Course Is Mostly Pitch & Putt
Pros: Beautiful mountain scenery.
Fun ride up on the Hogsback Express Quad chairlift.
Decent portable Discatchers with the yellow band.
Welcoming atmosphere w/discs for sale, disc golf banner, maps & scorecards, etc.
Holes range from 140'-497'.
A couple fun little short downhill ACE runs.
# 4 is a fairly challenging 497' steep downhill with a nasty rough gorge on the left. (If you find my red Vulcan in there, I'd appreciate a call).
There were very basic tee signs at each tee pads (just hole numbers though).
Cons: Course design lacks creativity.
Natural tee pads are rough and sometimes a safety hazard.
For a ski resort course, it's very short with only one hole topping 400'.
Final three holes felt like fillers.
Both 17 and 18 had large machinery (Bulldozers) in the way.
$ 12 for a all day lift ticket.
Definite lack of challenge.
It's a long drive up here.
The lift only operates on weekends!
Other Thoughts: Even on this absolute beautiful September day, I was more than a little underwhelmed by my experience here. I thought there were a number of OK downhill holes here combined with an equal number of filler type holes. I found no signature type downhills, no EPIC throws of any kind, in my opinion. If you love Crystal Mountain for it's EPIC downhills, you'll be totally disappointed here.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Too Many Holes
Pros: It looks like the Stevens Pass people are super excited about Disc Golf and want you to come and play their course (and take the $12 chairlift) and buy their discs, food and drinks too. This area is big with BMX people this year but they are trying for the disc golfers hard putting out a disc golf banner, having a small disc selection, basket as you walk up ,etc.
This is a mountain course for anyone who can walk the rugged terrain, beginners can play here and it will be a challenge for them and more advanced players can come and enjoy the epic downhill ace runs. After the first four holes the downhill grade eases and the majority of the course becomes less extreme (almost flat in one spot) and also much easier to walk.
Cons: There are too many holes here crammed together so they can reach that magical number of 18. Instead of having 3 good holes and 15 average or bad holes it would be great if they could take out a few holes, end the crossing fairways and strange course flow and put in the best possible number of holes here which could be 12, 13, 14 etc. any number of holes doesn't matter. What is important is quality, not quantity.
Other Thoughts: The course on here is listed as pay to pay which isn't entirely accurate. It's $12 to ride the chairlift to the top to play all the way down but you could hike up to hole one and play your way back down. It's faster and more convenient to take the lift but it's not necessary so there is a way around the pay to pay aspect of this course.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Stevens Pass DGC
Stevens Pass DGC is located at the top of Hogsback Express Quad and runs parallel with the mountain bike course as it winds its way down the mountain. With 18 holes of exhilarating play on a dramatic mountain landscape, the course was designed to appease all skill levels. Those who are used to playing Crystal Mountain in Washington or Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, BC, might find themselves underwhelmed as far as difficulty but will quite enjoy the course nonetheless. Fairways are scattered with vibrant wildflowers and thick tree lines while the Cascades tower overhead. Wildlife is abundant, with raptors, elk, deer, and other little furry critters meandering through periodically.
Holes on the course range anywhere between 140-497 feet, offering several ace runs as well as a few longer, more epic ones. Par for the course is 54 for adv/open players and par 62 for the less experienced. Baskets are all DISCatchers which have a yellow band around the top, making it easy to spot from the tee. Although there are no tee signs, yellow ribbons are placed periodically along the course to help with navigation. Although the tee pads are all natural, are more than sufficient at this point considering the age of the course, amount of foot traffic, and distance.
Favorite Hole(s): #3 - 274 ft. steep downhill shot with a small/fast green. A putter is ideal for this hole as it slowly drops in elevation with little fade. #4 - this hole is the longest on the course, at 497 ft. and again incorporates excellent elevation. It presents some serious risk/reward off the tee for those willing to go for the birdie and try their luck as they air over/around a massive gully to the left.
I am all for pay to play as I truly believe it is the way of the future for DG as land becomes harder to come by. $12 for a seasonal course is doable assuming it fits the needs of most/all of the DGers who play the course. Even though the course is set up for all skill levels, I found myself wanting more in terms of length and challenge. I enjoyed the scenery, as mentioned above, but felt like a mountain course should be able to offer more. Tee pads and baskets were, for the most part, unobstructed and left little challenge with the exception of the wind and elevation. There were ample opportunities in my opinion to create more difficult approaches, pin positions, or fairways, but were not taken advantage of. Many holes, especially toward the end, felt like fillers and presented little to no challenge. Hopefully over time the designer(s) will reconsider the layout and perhaps relocate some of the holes to make a more challenge course that showcases what Stevens Pass has to offer.
I came up to Stevens Pass with my brother and friend who are intermediate players at best. We all found the course enjoyable and well worth our time considering we came in with realistic expectations and a positive attitude. In order to make the course more challenging for myself, an advanced player, I chose to use mainly putters and mids throughout and still found myself shooting eight under. This course is ideal for those who love hiking and getting out in the great outdoors. With several chances for a photo op, it was essential that I took my time to take it all in considering the course played fairly fast and there was a lot I would have missed if I hadn't slowed down to "smell the flowers".
Note: If headed over HWY 2 toward Stevens Pass, I highly recommend stopping for lunch at the Sultan Bakery in the town of Sultan just miles from the course. It has fresh baked goods and tremendous sandwiches.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Stevens Pass Disc Golf Course
Pros: FUN COURSE, WORTH THE TRIP.
Easy to follow, challenging for begginers and intermediate. Amazing scenery and wildlife! Course is labeled well with yellow flags.
Runs parallel to the bike course.
Cons: Could have made use of the terrain and had longer holes for how much land they had to work with. Most holes are under 250ft. Basically wide open, not much use of environment/tress/huge boulders. The use of elevation was unimpressive, its build on a SKI RESORT.
Other Thoughts: Wind changes make each day unique. Maybe one or two longer holes with the tress and boulders involved.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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