3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Very quiet, and beautiful. Well worth the daily fee. Never been greeted by park staff, or receipt checkers. Very little traffic here.
This is a course that is long, but pretty wide open on every single hole. There are no water hazards, no steep elevation changes, and no playing "PLINKO" in a tight group of trees.
Cons: This course does not "have it all". This course just has everything that I prefer in a course.
Other Thoughts: I make a day trip once a year to this course, and have an absolute blast. Usually get there around 9am, and play three very casual rounds broken up by a lunch and plenty of drinking. Of the 18 courses I've played, this is my favorite. I like the sheer beauty of this course, with it's well-groomed trails, fairways, cleanliness, etc.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
man, just give me some hills!
Pros: -INSANELY beautiful and manicured(best I have ever seen)
-LONG, LONG, LONG holes
-PERFECT pro/am cement tees
-$5 fee(a pro since it keeps the course maintained and the douche mentality to a minimum)
-green, picture postcard perfect
-no crowds, even on a Saturday
Cons: -LONG, LONG, LONG...arm was jello after playing 18 on pro tees
-FLAT(huge con here)
-very few, if any short technical holes. Especially from the pro tees
Other Thoughts: ...wow, it took me a few days to even figure out a way to write a review on this course. TenaciousMV's review below almost nails my thoughts exactly, so I too wasn't sure if a review was needed. Such a dilemma when reviewing such a beautiful and well cared for course.
This course is like playing an exact replica of a well maintained ball golf(yeah I said it) course. At times I even checked to see if my quad straps were indeed lugging around clubs while I looked for a wayward white ball. This here lies the problem. This course is all about the big arm, and sadly on mostly flat land. The first five or so holes were long, windy, in a field, and kind of boring...but once again I add, beautiful. Green grass, mowed fairways, wooden fences, manicured trees. It's not till you cross the road to hole five(?) I believe where the true beauty takes over. Rock placements, tighter fairways...but still, relatively flat...oh, and long, did I mention that?
There were times when playing that it seemed that every time we walked up to a pro tee all I could see was a sign for 390-500 feet every time. Came across one finally for 280 and I could feel my arm almost weep with joy. The course plays long...did I mention that?
Since everything that could be reviewed specifically about the course has been done so in the below reviews nicely, I will add this summary instead...
AMAZINGLY beautiful course. Perfect for a whole day out with multiple friends, going slow, enjoying the long throws and scenery. You will be more challenged by the distance than technicallity, but along the way you will stop and soak in the majesty that is this well groomed course. For more of a challenge and fun factor head down the highway to Hiestand and play it's sweet elevation changes. Don't get me wrong, this is a MUST play if in the Madison area, just don't expect to do this course and another in a day without being thoroughly worn out.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very well groomed and flat..Easy to walk..$5 fee weeds out the scrubs..can play 18 in under an hour..almost every hole is reachable..Plenty of birdy oppurtunities..A plethora of pin placements..Hole 5 is very difficult..
Cons: No real changes in elevation..The course maintenance crew are real prics about checking permits so make sure you pay..Not very private, right off the interstate..
Other Thoughts: Aced hole 12 with a gentle flick and finally had an audience for one..water fountains and bathroom pavilions on hole 2 and 6..rejuvenation spot with picnic table on hole 8..
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Just Like a Real Golf Course
Pros: Without a doubt, the best maintained course I've ever played. Fairways are well mowed. Trash cans are on every hole and emptied frequently. There are benches on every hole and two bathrooms are easily accessible from the course. There are pro and am tee pads for every hole, as well as three pin placements. There are beautiful tee signs next to each tee pad that clearly show pin placement and distance. The course flows well--no walking great distances between holes, no back-tracking to get to a hole, no looking around for the next hole.
Cons: The course lacks elevation change and plays more for the big arm than the technical player. Watch out for ticks, mosquitos, and wild parsnip! I also hate to announce this for a national audience, but there is also a problem with non-disc golfing men trying to seek "favors" from males in the park. Please visit the madcitydisc.org forum before you play the course, so you know what to watch out for.
Other Thoughts: Because of the $5 daily fee, the course is extremely well-maintained. The fee also seems to reduce the large groups of rec players that the other Madison courses have. The park officials DO CHECK for your permit (I have been stopped on countless occasions), and the fine is quite high. When you think about how much it costs to go to a movie, play mini golf, ski, bowl, etc., $5 is really quite reasonable. Dogs are allowed, but I believe you need a dog permit for Dane County Parks.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Beautiful Golf course
Pros: Outstanding beauty. The fairways were manicured & had verying levels of 'rough' surrounding. Clean & tidy. Some very unique holes.
Cons: Some of the fairways were pretty close to each other. Errant throws would come over every once in a while. No other negatives I can think of. Golf carts would seem like a natural at this facility.
Other Thoughts: I visited this course while on a biz trip. I showed up & played in their doubles tourney. My partner was the course designer so that was a real treat.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful and enjoyable
Pros: Extremely well maintained fairways; large concrete tee pads with good traction; many of the tee shots will force creativity and spark conversation between you and your playing partners; risk/reward on many holes; several paths to the basket on many holes; unique design (see below); benches; nice signs; dual tees; multiple pin placements; I've heard it doesn't get too busy; practice baskets; beautiful trees and wooden fences; this course just feels... really cool
Cons: Very few holes that require a high amount of precision; the obstacles on some holes aren't all that punishing, even if you go right into one (an example is the first hole); very little elevation change; some holes that have a complex and well laid out set of obstacles can be made much easier than intended via heavy hyzers - this is due to the small size of the obstructions; while it's generally easy to stay out of, the brush on the sides of some fairways is extremely dense in areas mistakes may gravitate towards (like a drive that air bounces into a weak hyzer)
Other Thoughts: The previous reviewer's thoughts align so much with mine that I almost decided not to write this review. I agree - this course is extremely hard to rate! I just played a tournament there and spent a good amount of time on the ride home thinking about this course. I can see why so many rate it very highly - it's gorgeous and does amazing things with the landscape available. In fact, given what they had to work with, they have almost squeezed every single possible ounce of enjoyment from the land and put it into the design. I take may hat off to the group that designed this. There are so many holes with little more to work with than a few trees and bushes that were changed into something very enjoyable.
.... With that said...
I feel like this course is like a painting done by Van Gogh in which he didn't have enough paint. Without hills, without more variety in the natural obstacles, and without the common availability of large areas containing tall trees, I'm starting to think it may be next to impossible to create a course that's truly 'excellent'. I rarely equate the distance of a course to it's quality, but without the availability of tighter obstacles, more length may have done a bit to create a smaller margin for error.
Of all the courses I've rated, and may ever rate, a 3.5/5 - this is probably the one you want to check out. It's an unforgettable course but plays a bit too loose to be considered a 4.0 - Excellent. This course is Very Good - 3.5. I'm sure I'll be back and I look forward to it.
(A quick note - I did not factor in the cost of $5 into this course's score. If you're willing to take a couple/several hours of your life to drive to the course, play, drive back, pay for gas, and depreciate your car, I don't feel that such a small cost is fair to count against the score. Plus, it's going to the best possible cause - disc golf!)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
well maintained flat course
Pros: Very well maintained. Probably the best-mowed fairways I have come across yet. The greater park area is a restored native prairie. The mowing is key or else you would be playing in chest-high prairie grasses and flowers. Good tees and baskets. There are two tees on each hole and good tee signs with the location and distances to the 3 possible basket locations.
Cons: The $5 per day use fee is for the disc course only (I didn't see any fee signs for the volleyball courts, softball fields or hiking trails. They have to maintain those to right?) There is a "permit required" sign at the first hole. You place your $5 in an envelope and then keep a copy with you as you play the course. Apparently they check you personally for the permit while you are playing. This must be random, as I was never checked. $5 a round seems steep to me for what you get. Sure the course is well maintained but beyond that the course isn't a 'wow' course for me. Mosquito swarms can be brutal.
Other Thoughts: This is a very flat course that winds through a very nice prairie. Being a prairie it has a limited number of trees. This course helped me realize how much I like playing with elevation change and through the trees. The course basically has zero (or at least negligible) elevation change and only a few trees (there are a few holes that are somewhat woodsy). To the designers credit they have mounded up some of the baskets to create more of a challenge (you have to put 'up' to the basket). I would say the designers have done well with what they had to work with. The course does offer a challenge.
This is one of the hardest courses I have had to rate. On the one hand I think I should rate it highly for the maintenance and design. On the other hand lower because of the price tag and the natural topography just isn't as fun as some other places. My main quandary for rating it overly high is I actually had more fun playing Elver Park in Madison. In fact, after playing each course once I went back to Elver and had a blast playing it a second time. Quite a quandary to want to rate the more beat up Elver higher. Ultimately I will rate them the same. Vallarta better maintained. Elver more fun (in my opinion).
Vallarta is also called Token Creek which is the park it is located in.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The fairways are open & well maintained.
Dual concrete tees, each with detailed tee signs showing all the pin placements and length to each one. Baskets clearly marked and in good shape.
This course mixes it up really well. It has a nice variety of long/short, right/left doglegs. On one hole, all three pin placements are on individual stone terraces.
The pars are fair, not too hard, but not too tricky either. Many risk reward shots, including:
*Narrow direct route to basket through trees vs. wider hyzer route
*Uphill and Downhill Putts.
Not too long, not too short. A nice mix of all. This is a public golf course that happens to be disc golf. It has all the facilities of a ball golf course (minus pro-shop), and is well-kept, but is not the crazy-hard course you make a road trip to go see.
You will need a variety of shots for this course, but you can get by with just a few.
Cons: Its great. If every course looked like this one, maintenance and facilities-wise, our sport would get a lot more respect. However, not the trickiest course out there. Everything is nice, but it doesn't have that unique "it" factor that makes a course over the top (signature holes, unique challenges). I think the only thing really limiting this course is how flat the land is that it sits on, but they do make the best of what elevation there is. For Wisconsin, this is a pretty flat course.
Also, it has zero water in play. None. For some, this can be a good thing, but regardless, that element of danger is not present. This is a very "happy" course, meaning it is unlikely to eat your discs if you watch there they land. No ravines or lakes to swallow them.
Basically, if you throw 400ft, this course will be a breeze. Its not too technical, and wide open enough to go for it on nearly every hole, if you have the distance.
Other Thoughts: I may sound critical of this course, but its faults are minor. You can go here any day of the week, and know that it will be in great shape and you can have a good round, with many moderately interesting holes. Overall, a great course, and beautifully maintained in a public park.
Bring bug spray for the trails between holes, they come out in force.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Token Creek is a championship caliber disc golf course that is meticulously maintained with great facilities. There is a variety in the holes as far as length and open vs wooded. The course has several par fours with well defined landing zones. While there isn't steep elevation change what is there is well utilized (This course is not completely flat). There is almost always wind on this course and it plays a part in the course design (eg hole 1 headwind) It is well maintained with widely mowed fairways and several holes with terraced pins.
There are garbage cans at every hole and the longer holes have benches. There is a bathroom and water stop after hole 5. There is even hiking and camping in the park if you feel like making a weekend out of it. The course is very playable with tee signs on every hole and obvious paths to the next hole. The fairways are pretty wide and it is easy to follow your disc around blind corners so you can find your disc.
The design on this course is fantastic. The pin placements are synchronized in three different levels of difficulty. All three distances are listed on the sign. You can tell on the second hole which level you are playing by the length. The am tees are pretty straightforward and are beginner friendly despite the course length due to the open layout and generous course par. The pro tees always increase the difficulty with more than length. They will force you to lay up to a newly apparent landing area or give you less room on one side to make your shot.
Risk reward on every hole of this course really sets it apart. There is an emphasis on shot selection in addition to execution. Most courses you take the one route they give you and try to make the only shot there or they are pretty open and you can throw whatever you want to get there. This course offers multiple ways of getting to the basket (including gaps vs. high hyzer, lay up to landing area vs going for and trying to miss a deep obstacle, or trying to decide where to land to minimize trouble) and you have to decide how best to get there. This course will punish you for making a bad decision just as much as missing a shot.
Cons: The biggest complaint is the 5 dollar per day price tag, but it is well worth it. The fee get every other day trash/litter pick up, weekly mowings, and park managed tee pad and path upkeep (no volunteering necessary). Another thing this offers is a chance to grow the sport. Dane county is very interested in putting in more courses because of the success of this one.
There is some traffic noise on hole 3 from the highway. There are skeeters and ticks here and wild parsnip in the summer. There isn't a lot in the way of vistas but the course has great presentation and there is all kinds of wildlife to be seen. This course can be frustrating if you don't have a lot of shots and you force the one you have instead of laying up.
Other Thoughts: I think this is arguably the best course in Wisconsin. This course offers a wide variety of challenging shots. It looks great and is very fun to play.I think that this course is well worth coming to Madison for. If you do come to play it try playing both sets of tee pads. The longs offer a much different look at this fantastic course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Great Course for New Players
Pros: If you throw discs....you'll like it here. As many have said, Vallarta has quite a resemblance to a ball golf course. Wide mowed fairways with innocent looking praire style rough that will swallow discs. Tree lined holes predominate the middle of the course, so there's a feeling like you are going into something and then coming out. The 3 pin placements are changed weekly that combine with the wind to give the course a fresh feel for regular visitors. There isn't much elevation to work with, but what is there is used effectively...once again in the middle part of Vallarta-Ast. The long tees add another element to the course and on many holes the longs require a different line...they are not just longer.
Cons: Mosquitoes are ferocious.
Other Thoughts: I think Iike this course so much because its a combination of beginner friendly and advanced player challenging. I played my first round here-thats up to over 200 rounds now- and have really enjoyed the wide fairways for learning how to throw properly. As I've improved, the challenges the course has have become more apparent to me and my game has evolved. Technically, its not as difficult as the nearby Hiestand Park, but there is plenty of opportunity for a beginner or intermediate player to develop his/her style at Vallarta_Ast. Top flight players probably would prefer more technical holes, then again...some may like the opportunity to bomb out drivers just for the shear pleasure of it. There is camping and fishing here...showers for campers...dog friendly atmosphere and a new 9 coming soon.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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