Great overall course
Pros: Appeals to all skills levels with two sets of teepads and three different hole locations on each hole. Plenty of holes are very open and forgiving, and the holes that utilize the trees don't have too many in the fairways. Garbage cans at every hole and a bench every few holes. Overall a very clean and deliberate course with no other park entities coming into play.
Cons: There aren't many negative things you can say about this course. A lot of the holes are pretty open, so some may say that it's a little boring, but I think the overall appearance and challenge of the course is solid. Also, the last 9 holes (19-27) are a little longer than the rest of the course, especially if you play the pro tees.
Other Thoughts: I'm happy to pay to play at the two county courses near Madison. These courses offer more solitude and a clean, spacious feel compared to the city courses.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Token Creek is an immaculate course that has the maintenance crew of a public golf course. I played on a Friday a few weeks ago (middle of August) and there were multiple, large tractors doing mowing and maintenance work on the course and I even saw a few people weed-whacking. That's what a pay to play course does! Here are my pros:
1) The course has multiple tees which offers a nice variety in the distance and gives players with different skill sets the ability to play the course. There are also multiple pin locations on every hole.
2) The course is extremely fair and has really clean lines. The course didn't have any poke and hope holes and I really appreciate a course that rewards a good shot.
3) The course had a lot of variety (at least with the first 18 holes) on different shot shapes. You had option holes (hole 1, hole 7), RH flick holes (3), long hyzer holes and everything in between.
4) This course had extremely beautiful greens. It doesn't get much better than 6 and 7 with the beautiful rocks and built up greens. Many of the holes had defined greens and I really enjoyed that about the course. It required a placement shot to get onto the green to have a shot at birdie.
5) The course had very defined fairways and really required a lot of thinking about where to land and where not to land. A lot of the course actually felt like a golf course, albeit on a smaller scale. The fairways were cut out of the woods on a lot of holes and it was neat to throw a lot of the holes on the first 18.
6) The Island Hole: This is a pro all by itself. This was the only hole i enjoyed during holes 19 through 27 and it was just a neat hole. It doesn't have the majesty of the famed island hole at TPC at Sawgrass, but hey, this is disc golf and its a start!
7) Hole 10 also has a special place in my heart. From the long tees I think this is just a special par 3. Trying to hit that right window through the trees and going into that guarded green is just a wonderful shot to try to throw. In my opinion this may be the best hole on the course.
8) Navigation: It was actually very easy to get around the course. I didn't have any problem finding where I was going and played a very quick round. I think the $8 fee cuts down on a lot of the ruckus so it was very quiet the day I played.
NOTE: The workers in the park actually stopped me to check to make sure I had a receipt to play the course. This is a pay to play course and they do check receipts so make sure to pay!
Cons: Token Creek does not have a lot of cons but the cons stand out and edge the rating from a solid 4.0/borderline 4.5 to a 3.5, which is still a very good rating.
For me this course is all about the design. This course has many phenomenal holes and features but there are two design flaws, in my opinion:
A) The course simply has too many tweener holes. I can't remember playing a course with so many holes between 400 and 550 feet. The longer the hole was the more wide open it was so it was really tough to call this kind of hole a par 4. At the same time, I didn't see anyone sniffing a deuce on some of the longer par 3's over 500 feet during the recent A Tier. I think that extending these holes to true par 4 distances or cutting them down to true par 3 distances would add significant value. I think a lot of the holes don't offer enough scoring separation to be a world caliber course.
B) Unfortunately the last 9 holes were just boring. I hate to use that word but there was so little variety in these holes. It just seemed like these holes were an afterthought. Besides the island hole, these 9 holes were not enjoyable to me. These holes were extremely flat with no elevation change and hardly any obstacles but prairie grass. They weren't bad holes by any means but they just didn't have the same feel and fun factor as the first 18. Unfortunately these 9 extra holes actually took away from the rest of the course but I still loved the first 18!
Don't take what I am writing in a negative way - Vallarta is still an awesome course with a lot of great holes. I just wish the last 9 holes were as awesome as the first 18!
Other Thoughts: To me this course is a tale of two cities: the first 18 holes are a solid 4.0 and really could push the envelope to be a 4.25 or higher. The issue with this course are holes 19 through 27, which I would probably give a 2.5. Most of the time having 27 holes is a positive thing but in this case these holes truly hurt the course. Its still a nice course but in my opinion its probably not worth the $8 fee. I know this keeps the course more playable and beautiful but if I am going to pay $8 for a 27 hole course I'd love for it to have more interesting holes on the last 9.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Lucky to live nearby
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I'm relatively new to the game, and I like that the short tees on the course give me a fair opportunity at making par with the occasional birdie, and that when I want to stretch myself, I've got the back tees available to make the course even longer. I'm sure people with real monster arms would like those back tees even further back - in many cases, they're only adding 50-75' to the holes.
Maintenance of the course is great, as you'd hope to find on a pay-to-play - all holes are well signed, and the path to the next hole was obvious, even the 1st time I played the course. Most holes even offer separate paths leading to the long and short tees.
There's a decent mix of holes on the course - none of them are so obscenely tight that there's really only one way to play the hole. The pin locations are pretty thoughtfully done - even on the new 9 where trees are fewer and farther between, switching tees completely changes how you approach the hole in some cases.
Cons: If you're not local enough to play this course and Capital Springs (the other local course operated by Dane County), the $8 fee is a little steep. 6 rounds in a year is the break-even for the annual pass. Dane County passes aren't valid at Madison courses (Elver and Hiestand) or vice versa. They need a revenue-sharing agreement.
Since I live real close by and have a pass, I'll sometimes swing by just to play a quick 9 after work. If you want to just do the front or middle 9, you have to cut through a few paths to make your way back from the 9th basket or to get to the 10th tee. The new 19-27 starts and ends at the parking lot.
A few of the holes are pretty close to I-39/90/94, so a few holes have a fair amount of highway noise - mostly on the new 9 as well as #2 and #3. If the wind is wrong, it's in the background elsewhere, but not objectionable.
The lack of trees on the first few holes as well as the new 9 can make for some windy conditions, too. Prevailing winds in the area tend to blow from the west/southwest in the summer.
Other Thoughts: Dane County ought to offer an option somewhere in between the $8 day pass and the $48 annual pass. Punch card good for 4 rounds for $20 or something along those lines.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
My favorite course in Madison
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: It's incredibly well maintained, with nice signs, concrete tees boxes, multiple hole locations, and fairways well-marked by mowing. There's a nice variety of shots required, in both shape and distance. The long tees are well-positioned and generally create a different experience, rather than just making the hole longer.
There's ample parking and rest rooms available. The park rangers keep any discs they find and will return them if you come looking.
Cons: The rough on some of the holes will consume errant throws.
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course in Madison. This was a pay-to-play course long before the city courses started charging, and the condition of the course reflects that. Like its sister course, Capital Springs, this is a great example of how a disc golf course can feel just as nice as a real golf course.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Beautifully manicured park with cleanly mowed fairways. I've played this course at least a dozen times and have never seen the maintenance get behind and have never seen garbage on this course - it is always in excellent condition. Two large concrete tees per hole and three basket positions per hole that are rotated on a regular basis with nice signs at each tee with distances for each basket position and benches at most of the tees. The long and short tees provide a fair challenge for players of different skill levels. With several holes over 500 feet from the long tees, there is plenty of length for the big arms, and the short tees provide a more manageable course for the rest. With 27 holes and 3 baskets per hole (except #22 - the "island" hole), there are 79 basket positions, and with most holes, the different basket positions change how to throw your tee shot, and you need to have proficiency in moving the disc in both directions to score well. The landscaping, in the form of rock retaining walls, around some of the baskets is also very nice - makes it look nice and adds a degree of challenge.
Cons: None that I can think of. Some people might not like pay to play, but to me, this course really shows what disc golf can be when money goes back in to the course.
Other Thoughts: Although many of the holes look open, most of them force appropriate positioning to set up scoring opportunities. Whether you have big arm or not, you still need to be accurate for your birdie chances. The wooded holes force you to hit tight lines for good birdie chances, and even the more open holes have just enough trees to force you left or right for a good approach line. The only thing I think they could do to improve the course is to have a better basket rotation. The baskets are rotated such that they are all short, all medium, or all long. All short can be a little easy. All long can get a little tough from always having to throw long shots. It would be nice if they would have a third of the holes at each position at any given time, and rotate the baskets with the same frequency they do now between the three positions.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I was. very impressed with this course. The thing I noticed before long while playing this course was the open it was, then how much green, mowed grass there was, then I started to notice how the trees were trimmed up - all much different than what I am used to playing on around Iowa City. I like my local courses, but the groomed, well maintained nature of this course was a nice change of pace, a change that frankly I prefer. I thought I had it well with Sugar Bottom, Turkey Creek, and Shaver Park, but I think what Vallarta/Token Creek has to offer plays better to my style and what I want from a course.
And very little poison ivy!
Cons: Very few cons to say about this course. Maybe more signage leading you to the course once inside the park.
About all that could improve what I saw (and I did not see holes 19+) might be some beverage cart girls!
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
One of WI's Best
2 Helpful / 8 Not
Course has been P2P for years and it shows.
Most well groomed course around.
Great mix of shots.
The new 9 is Sweet! Very unique.
Love the use of the sand bunkers
Not usually busy, especially not as busy as the other Madison courses.
Camping on site
Cons: No cons. I LOVE this course, as does anyone else who plays it.
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Worth the money
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Additional 9 holes this year making it 27 now. Probably because of the cost, it's not full of high schoolers smoking weed. You can actually play with out having to wait behind people.
Cons: Some holes are a bit easy, but just move back to the pro tee and it'll add a little more difficulty. Some have extremely tall weeds to lose a disc in on the sides of the fairways.
Other Thoughts: Some courses, 18 just isn't enough. The $8 you're supposed to pay is worth it here for 27 well maintained holes.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Grip N' Rip
Pros: - Lots of opp's to get out your drivers
- Great signage
Cons: - $8 to play, but more understandable once I saw that every hole was mowed, and all else maintained like new
Other Thoughts: Special thanks to Dan, Brad, and "Sticks" for guiding my inaugural round here. Very enjoyable and informative.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Best Mad Town Course!
Pros: Many of the holes are wide open and you just throw through fields. A good test to see if you can out drive your buddies. The holes while not overly simple are easy enough to do. A small chance of losing your disc in any tall grass or trees.
Cons: It's an expensive course to play. When I first started to play it was around $3 or $4 for an all day pass. Last time I had heard it was around $8 a day. Awesome course but that is pricey. Uses the trust system to pay. If you decide not to and a park ranger catches you I'm sure that you are looking at a much steeper ticket. Your call!
Other Thoughts: Worth the price just to try out the course. This one is one of my top three favorites.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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