1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This was my first time playing a proper desert course, and I liked it. The locals I joined warned me about the rough terrain, and how it would eat up my discs, but I didn't realize how bad it would be. After a few throws with soft plastic I switched to the harder stuff. One one long throw I was expecting a skip, but as it disappeared behind a bush I just heard a loud "thunk" as it hit a rock and stopped dead.
I was shown a "secret" alternate tee pad near the end of the lettered holes, where we had a nice view and a fun throw down to the basket.
There is ample parking. There are bathrooms and water near the beginning/ending of the course, but be sure to bring plenty of water to drink during your round. As you would expect, it gets hot.
Be sure to play the 9 lettered holes. They add elevation changes and some terrain challenges not available in the 18 numbered holes.
I played fairly early on Saturday, and the course was not crowded.
Cons: The lack of trees made most holes friendly to whatever shape you wanted to throw. I prefer a couple of clear lines, with varying risk and reward for each, but that's not really possible here. It's no fault of the course designer, who did a nice job with what was available.
Other Thoughts: I played in May, and by the middle of my 27-hole round it was pretty hot for this California kid. Play early unless you like the heat.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Rainy Morning In The Desert!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: How could I be so fortunate as to show up at Buffalo Ridge on one of the few mornings when Phoenix experienced a rain shower? So after sloshing around for the first 5-6 holes, getting totally soaked and cold, I was finally able to settle in and enjoy the course. The letter holes A-I were definitely the highlight of the course for me. I felt they were just a step above the original 18 in terms of challenge and interest. I had been told by many players down here about what a hike/workout this was going to be. I was fully expecting to be going up and down this down this mountain a time or two not just just skirting around the periminter.
There's only so much you can do with the design when you don't have trees and/or much elevation to contend with. As previous reviewers have noted, it's hard to get into serious trouble on this course due to the fact that even if you shank your drive badly, you still should be able to be in position to lay and par the hole.
Cons: I found the navigation to be a little tricky in a number of places. Having the the next tee arrow on the tee sign is helpful but I always seem to remember to look for it when I've finished putting out. A little late then. I would love to see some simple little rock arrows like someone has placed at Red Mountain or little concrete block signs like Paseo Vista has.
The desert terrain eats up discs.
Other Thoughts: As usual, I'm agreeing with Mashnut's expert opinion that I enjoyed the desert scenery but the disc golf didn't rock my world. It's definitely a course to play in the early morning hours. It's a nice little workout. Sturdy shoes and water are a must. And it'll probably do wonders for your self-esteem as most players should score well here.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Great desert course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Although it's a desert course, there's a lot less "up and over" shots here than you'd expect. There are a fair number of trees, and the brush is high and thick. Placement of the tee pads and baskets make good use of the available natural obstacles and the terrain. The "letter holes" that added an additional 9 holes to the original 18 are superior and really take the course up a notch, so if you don't play the full 27, make sure you play these holes. Many of the baskets have tall flags above them so that you can see where you're aiming even if the basket is hidden, which I really like. Lots of drastic elevation changes, a couple of really fun and challenging downhill shots. Great tee pads and basic facilities on site.
Cons: I've never described a course as hard to navigate before, but I am now. This course is very hard to navigate. I showed up by myself with the map in hand, and just finding the first tee and basket took like 5 minutes. Fortunately, wandering around the first hole let me to meet some locals and get a guided tour. As we progressed through the course, I couldn't imagine having done it by myself. The tees are hard to spot because there's so much brush you have to be close before it's visible. This course needs someone to make a better map, badly. All that having been said, there were enough people playing middle of the day on a weekday, that someone should help show you the way fairly quickly.
Tip: If you look at the course on Google maps satellite view, you can make out the tee pads from above pretty easy. Use this on your phone while there to figure out where the next tee pad is relative to you. Tall flags near the tee pads to mark them, like the baskets, would be really useful... though I guess local DGCs aren't particularly focussed on making the course they already know like the back of their hand easier to navigate.
Other than that, not much to complain about. As usual, desert courses will really beat in your discs fast.
Other Thoughts: This course isn't going to knock your socks off, especially not the regular 18 numbered holes, but you will enjoy it. It's worth a drive out if you're in the Phoenix area, and makes a good day trip in combination with Fountain Hills. I think behind Fountain Hills and Maricopa Meadows, it's the 3rd best course I've played in the area.
Goes without saying, but bring lots of water, and a phone with a data connection for access to satellite maps. Or, until a better map appears, try approaching a local for some guidance, everyone I met was (as usual) really friendly and helpful.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: It's a good desert course. 27 holes. Good distances. Nice elevation changes. Not many people play it. Good hole signs. Alternate baskets. The baskets are in good condition.
Cons: No trees. Hard to find tees. Its a desert course which I personally don't care to much for. (I like grass).
Other Thoughts: Good course if you know where the tees are. I spent a lot of time hunting them down.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The ridge will grow hair on your chest!
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: The guys who take care of this course do a superb job all around. It has been my home course since i started throwing three years ago. There are a big variety of hole lengths, some throwing off of cliffs. Also, hiking up and down the mountain is great for your cardio.
Cons: Like any true desert course, your discs will take a beating at the ridge.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Awesome course, worth the drive
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The elevation change: you can't throw off a mountain on any of the other courses in Phoenix!
The openness: you have unobstructed views of the basket (and your disc) for all 27 baskets. I've never lost a disc out here!
Cons: The landscape: the rocks will definitely scuff up your discs.
The location: I've had trouble getting to the course using the 101, as there's no exit for Union Hills. Turns out you can just get off the 101 about a block early either way and take the frontage road to Union Hills.
The layout: if you're just playing the standard 18 baskets, then it shouldn't be too hard to find your way (except for 1-4, those are a little challenging). However, the extra 9 baskets on the north side of the park can be difficult to navigate - bring a map if you can.
The pedestrians: there's plenty of joggers and walkers in the park, please don't hit them!
Other Thoughts: It's always a great time at Buffalo Ridge Park!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Wide open spaces
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a large rocky park with no real conflict from other park uses. There is some nice elevation, with the middle section of the course playing on the side of a large hill. That makes for some fun downhill shots and some tricky uphill shots. There are a couple throws across the hill as well, with the chance to fade or roll down the hill if you don't land your shot correctly. A couple cool pin positions make for some challenge in the short game with rollaway potential as well.
Some of the pins are placed well, using the low brush as a better obstacle than I expected. There's some length variety, with a few ace runs and a few holes where most players will pull out a max distance driver. The tees and baskets show a little age, but are in fine shape.
Cons: This course is wide open. You can throw whatever your favorite shot is on every single hole out here and score just fine. Nothing forces you to shape any different lines, and there's no punishment for even really bad shanks. You can recover for a 3 from anywhere with no trees and no rough that's tall or thick enough to force creative recoveries. Even the holes with elevation feel pretty repetitive when you're just throwing up and down the same hill over and over.
There's a lot of broken glass throughout the course, as well as some areas where trash has been dumped. The signage is inconsistent at best, navigation is pretty tough without a map or local guide. Several of the holes play really close to one another, especially a few holes on the added loop of 9 letter holes.
Other Thoughts: Beginners are going to find this course a little long but very approachable with no real punishment for a lack of accuracy. More experienced players can use this course to work on placing hyzer shots, but won't find much of a test of other disc golf skills. I liked the desert scenery here, the disc golf just wasn't very exciting.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Great course and people
Pros: This is my new "home" course. It has 27 holes now. The group of guys that manage and play the course regularly really do a great job of keeping things fresh and clean. It's got beautiful views as you get up the side of the ridge. Offers a great experience of the desert. Lots of wildlife (lizards, quail, rabbits, and occasional snake). Core group plays regularly. They are very friendly and very talented.
Cons: Until you know the layout, it can be difficult to find your way around. Nothing more can be done to help though. It's just the nature of a desert course. Discs can get pretty beat up too. Once again, just the result of any desert course.
Other Thoughts: Being new to the sport, I'd only played Vista del Camino before moving north. It took a little getting used to but now that I have, I absolutely love it. I'd definitely recommend it. Give it a shot, and see if it's your cup of tea.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Middle of the pack
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great tee pads. Plenty of drop shots with a variety of up hill holes. Nice layout that doesn't overlap and is easy for players new to the course. The variety of hole length was pretty decent . Local flora does a good job shaping each hole for lower throws
Cons: No ceiling. Without trees the holes are somewhat one dimensional. Tomahawks are probably the best shot for every hole. Baskets were hard to see when the path wasn't obstructed by bushes. A splash of color on the baskets would help. No shade from the sun.
Other Thoughts: I was in the area and popped in for a round. This was the first desert course I have played. It's was very scenic and relatively uncrowded. It was a refreshing change to what I normally play. Be prepared for the carnage your discs will receive on this rocky course. My toughest discs got chewed up. Leave the DX plastic at home.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Best Course in Phoenix
Pros: Buffalo Ridge is in a great desert setting with cacti and palo verdes. This is true desert disc golf. Almost all of the holes have a different feel, except for one or two that go straight up the mountain. You can really air it out here and have no trouble getting birdies. The baskets are in really good condition and the teepads are great (each pad has a different design). There are some well protected baskets and some wide-open ones. The new 9 (A-I), are great also. Hikers rarely interfere with disc golfers.
Cons: Very hot during the summer months. But what do you expect, it's Phoenix. There's no need for much of a line-shaping game here, as there are very few trees that get in your way. It can get a little difficult to find your disc if you don't keep an eye on it after you throw. The teepads are a little hard to find for the new 9, so try to find a local or take a picture of the map at teepad A.
Other Thoughts: This course is very beautiful and a blast to play. Bring lots of water. The course is a good form of exercise also. This is the best course I have been to in PHX.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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