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Brandon, SD

Big Sioux Rec. Area DGC

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3.825(based on 14 reviews)
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Big Sioux Rec. Area DGC reviews

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14 0
wolfhaley
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.2 years 1068 played 643 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 19, 2021 Played the course:once

Pros:

Big Sioux Rec DGC is a mostly wooded but very flat course that plays through a beautiful park just outside Sioux Falls. There's 18 holes here in a pretty much disc golf exclusive section, minus a couple walking paths.

The course features concrete tee pads on every hole. These were all level and had good grip to them. They aren't the largest pads I've seen but are an appropriate size for a course like this. One tee per hole, except hole 13 I want to say, which had two side by side aiming on an angle to the pin, depending whet position it's in. Never seen that before but it was kind of neat.

The baskets are older Mach III's. One per hole but 2 pin positions on every hole if I recall correctly. These were all mounted nicely and had the number plates facing the tee pad. There was also one hanging basket on hole 4.

The tee signs are the generic DGA plexi/fiber glass ones. These have all the basic info on them. Basic hole map, hole #, Pars and distances to either pin position. There were also next tee arrows on many of the signs but not all of them. There were a few next tee signs by some of the more confusing juntures of the course.

The course design is really nice here. The course starts and ends right by the parking lot. Most holes are pretty close to the last one. There's all kind of shot shapes here, you'll need every shot in your bag to score well out here. The fairways bend in all different directions with many of them playing right alongside the river.

Cons:

The park entrance fee is $8 for a non resident day pass. Not the cheapest by any means, but if there's at least 2 of you playing it's more palatable. Playing solo that's an expensive round.

The tee signs aren't the greatest. They serve their purpose sure, but for a pay to play course that's been around a long time you'd like to see better. At least a way to show you what pin position is in play. Those Mach's are very difficult to spot in the shadows of the woods.

There's a number of chances to lose a disc out here. The river is very close on quite a few holes where one back kick and your disc is gone. The rough in certain areas is also pretty thick. Make sure to keep a close eye on where your shot landed.

There are a couple walking/biking trails that wind through the park to be aware of, but they don't seem to cross any fairways or anything. Just something to be aware of.

The bugs can get pretty gnarly I'd assume. It plays along a muddy, slow moving river. There were quite a few out there on an extremely windy, late September day. I'd imagine they get thick in the summer. Bring bug spray just in case.

Other Thoughts:

This was a very solid, well rounded course. I thoroughly enjoyed me round out here as did my wife. This course is more up my alley than the other highly rated one nearby, Tuthill. This course is more tight and technical. So if that's your kind of thing you'll like this course. If it's not, there's plenty of other more open options nearby.

I'd definitely recommend this course to anybody passing through. It won't take very long to play due to the shorter distances and it's only 10 or so minutes off of I-90.
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11 0
Upshawt1979
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 21.1 years 551 played 429 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Big Sioux Boogaloo 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 3, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Big Sioux is a great disc golf course. It has concrete tees and all of the baskets are in place. 18 holes with alternate pin positions. At par 57, it has some length.

The park is very pretty, and has camping on site. The land is flat for the most part, with plenty of trees on most holes. A bend in the Big Sioux River loops around the course, and is fairly close on a few holes.

I liked the variety of shots required. The fairways take on many shapes and sizes. Sometimes the basket is not visible, but often it is apparent where the fairway is leading. Aside from one or two narrow gaps, fairways usually provide a decent line, while still requiring shot shaping and staying under the canopy.

There are plenty of chances to score some birdies. The short and mid range holes are reachable, but the woods will usually be there to provide formidable resistance.

It is tough for me to pick a favorite hole that stands out above the rest. The first 15 are woodsy, and do a good job of hiding targets behind cover while still being accessible. Hole 4 has a hanging basket. The last 3 have fewer trees, but not entirely wide open.

Cons:

Got to pay the fee to enter the park. Worth it if you ask me.

There are some signs that are no longer at their posts. There are also some posts no longer at their posts.

Other park goers may wander through occasionally, there are bike paths winding around the area.

Other Thoughts:

This course has enough to be challenging without being super frustrating. I played it one time, and scored a 62 (+5). Made 3 birdies, but wiped them out with a bogey, two double bogeys, and a triple bogey.

Opened with a bogey on one, but warmed up nicely, and I was one under par after hole 12. Then the wheels fell off. I was not having a great putting day to begin with, and I went full lumberjack, taking on any tree in my way. Hole 14 cost me 3 strokes by itself.

I would love to return and play a few more times here. With some more reps, I am sure I could put together game plan and make enough shots to get under par.
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1 3
BossHoss
Experience: 13 played 6 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Challenging, but fun course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 22, 2017 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Challenging course with water hazard, tight wooded fairways, and long holes. The concrete teepads were nice, and signage was pretty good on the front 9. Hole 4 has a cool hanging basket. Not usually as busy as other courses in the area.

Cons:

Signage for the back 9 is not very good. It can get muddy since it is in a low area. Bugs can also be very bad during wet and hot times of the year. Tree trimming currently has left piles of branches in some fairways.

Other Thoughts:

It is one of the most challenging courses in the area, and be prepared to lose a disc if you have a miss throw. The river comes into play on many holes.
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8 0
markmcc
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.2 years 278 played 254 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Rollin' by the River 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 16, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

This course is built in within a bend in the Big Sioux River, and brings the river into play on a number of holes.

Good variety of hole lengths from 175' out to 575', with most being in the 200' - 400' range.

About half of the holes are completely in the woods, with the other half being quite a bit more open. Even the wooded holes are not really tunnels, as the trees are large and spread out.

Seven of the holes play alongside or toward the river, and on each of those holes there is a real potential to lose a disc. The river is wide and murky with steep banks, so you'll probably lose a disc that gets out there. Hole 5 is a great one at 555', curving alongside the river.

A single concrete teepads for each hole. Flat with perfect texture.

Two pin positions for each hole. When I played they were pretty evenly mixed between the "A" and "B" position. Baskets were all in good shape, though they are tough to pick out of the shadows on some of the wooded holes. Hole 4 has a hanging basket which is interesting, but at about the same height as a regular basket so it doesn't add much.

A bulletin board at the parking area has scorecards and a map. You'll need the map to navigate so grab one.

Cons:

Tee signs were missing on about half of the holes, and even the posts were gone on a few.

A walking path runs throughout the course so there is potential conflict with other park users. Check the paths before you drive. There were also other users in the large field that Holes 16, 17 and 18 occupy.

The three finishing holes were just big drives across a grassy field. Not as interesting as the rest of the course.

Other Thoughts:

We camped at this park for three nights in April and pretty much had it to ourselves. It is great that South Dakota has included this course in one of their parks.
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1 1
KillaKPaz
Experience: 12.1 years 31 played 4 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Just Awesome 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 21, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

Concrete tee pads on the front 9 with great signage
Nicely mowed fairways
Alternate pin locations
Scorecards / Maps available

Cons:

Threateningly rough roughs with several blind shots.
The river comes into play on a couple holes.

Other Thoughts:

Everything you could want in a course. Amazing variety in shots and difficulty. Elevation, woods, open shots, and even a hanging basket. Super cool, and they do $6 per car, so cram all your buddies in a van and make a trip to Brandon, SD to check out Big Sioux. Then go to Sioux Falls to play Tuthill.
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1 1
vikes_rule84
Experience: 26.9 years 18 played 3 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Hidden Gem! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 24, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

- Some challenging shots / holes
- Good variety of holes (open / wooded / water)
- Not as busy as Sioux Falls course
- Main fairways were well maintained

Cons:

- Navigating the course can be confusing at times
- Back 9 needs some work
- Long grass / brush could gobble up discs pretty easy
- Course is easily flooded being right on the river

Other Thoughts:

This course is a great alternative to Tuthill park. Its more of a challenge with far less traffic. I've tried playing the course a few times and its often flooded (especially in the spring). As long as the weathers been dry its worth the drive out to Brandon!
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1 8
Tned10
Experience: 16.5 years 5 played 2 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Great Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 11, 2012 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

- Quality baskets
- Cement tee-pads
- One hanging basket
- Big Sioux River
- Camping

Cons:

- Floods easy when it rains

Other Thoughts:

If you are a golfer who enjoys throwing mostly tight shots with minimal fairway, this is the course for you. Not every hole is densely wooded, but most are very tight. There are a couple long holes that are also challenging.
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3 0
GDisc
Experience: 16.2 years 61 played 34 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Oct 22, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course provides thee most technical challenging course in the greater surrounding area...Not only do you have Wooded rich "Gap" shots on the majority of Holes you also have a significant Water Hazard on multiple Holes....Beautiful setting in a very unique area in the Heart of the Mid-West....Good mix of length & technicallity...The Front 9 has excellent Tee Pads and most of the holes have good signage.

Cons:

The back 9 are verly poorly marked, and for a new-comer it can be hard to navigate even wih a map! The signage is not the greatest and it goes from all cement Pads to "hard-to-find" dirt Pads that, in some cases, are missing part of their numbered Tee! (for example Hole 16 just says 1 rather than 16)....If the Big Sioux River fills up and starts to rage, this course becomes un-playable..

Other Thoughts:

I truly enjoyed this course. In fact it is probably thee best and most challenging course for the general area (up to 100 miles away)..If in the Area, Tut Hill (Sioux Falls) & Larson Park (Brookings) are a nice Trio of courses to play...All 3 are located near I-29 so it is an easy transition that can be played in one, well-planned, day....This course reminded me of a Colorado Mountain course (Minus elevation but add Water), so it really posed a unique challenge. There also seemed to be a good Disc Golf scene which, certainly, improved my like for the course....One unique stature is that Hole 4 is hanging from a Tree (The basket literally hangs from a tree by chains) I'm not sure if this be default, due to the Big Sioux flooding, or if it is built into the design... but it adds to the culture of this course.........Over-all this is a unique & challenging course, and if any where near the Brandon/Sioux Falls area, or traveling along I-90, this one it is worth the stop.....Late Summer and Fall are the best times to play as Spring causes the River to swell and flood the course....Bring your whole Bag as you'll need it!.......
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1 0
Makomyday20
Experience: 23.2 years 3 played 3 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Worth it! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 1, 2010 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Requires you to throw controlled/finesse shots and stay in fairways for the most part. You will use a wide array of shots. I love the hanging basket to add some elevation. Very scenic course that doesn't get too busy vs. the Sioux Falls course. Two basket placements.

Cons:

I think that the park should spray the nettles down in a lot of areas and maybe mow the fairways a little wider on some holes. Holes I don't care for or could be changed are 3 long needs a better lane maybe open up a risk shot over the water from the pad.13 could be opened up a little more on the right side.15 long I don't see the point of. Sixteen short could be shorter and more attainable. and 18 just don't like. The bugs out here can be ridiculous. It costs money, I hope it goes back into the course. Hardly any elevation. It would be great to use the area over the river!! No cement pads and signs on the back nine.

Other Thoughts:

Great course and fairly new just needs to be completed and it would go up in my rating. Well worth it to play.
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5 0
mndiscg
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.1 years 483 played 478 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Good and getting better! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:May 23, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

-Dual tees
-Nice, new baskets
-One hole has a hanging basket
-Blind tees
-2 pin positions on every hole
-Mowed regularily
-River and tall grass as obstacles
-Good signs on the front 9 with map, par and distance
-Pretty easy to follow and there's signs to help guide you. Not a lot of walking distance between holes but it was far from crowded either. The course also starts and finishes in the same spot.
-Decent amount of people playing but not too many that you had to wait
-Good amount of woods to challenge but not too much that it takes out some of the fun
-No two holes are the same and none of them are easy. The only open holes are at least 350 ft and the others are wooded.
-Bathrooms, garbages, drinking fountains at the start/finish of course.
-Relatively scenic course for this area.

Cons:

-Other people hiking, biking, etc that you may have to wait for
-Tees are natural, could be cemented- huge upgrade
-Could lose a disc in the tall grass if you're not careful
-The signs on the back 9 were not good, only showed distance and par. It was sometimes hard to find the hole especially with multiple pin positions.
-Pay to play as it's in a state owned rec area. This also does keep it maintained better though.
-Not a lot of elevation
-A few bugs, could be much worse.

Other Thoughts:

With cement tees and upgraded signage on the back 9 this course would become even better. It was an enjoyable play despite the 85 degrees and very high humidity. I will be here to play again.
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5 0
DaKineSurfer32
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 23.2 years 577 played 57 reviews
3.50 star(s)

An Unknown Gem 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 26, 2009 Played the course:once

Pros:

- dual tees
- multiple good/challenging pin positions on every hole
- great layout, and easy to follow
- upkeep is very good, seems as if they mow the fairways weekly
- not crowded, smooth rate of play

Cons:

- no cement pads
- no signs. there are little laminated squares of paper that give the distances to each of the pin positions, but no maps, etc.
- the course is a little short to be championship caliber, but from long tees to the longest pin positions it is very close

Other Thoughts:

The long tees on the front nine were ready to be cemented while I was playing, but just haven't been yet. They may be as of this review. None of the short tees are ready for cement, and the boxes to cement the back 9 long, are not in yet either.

Overall, I didn't go into this course expecting too much. I was going because I hadn't played in South Dakota before, but I came out happy as I could be. With a little bit more development, which it looks like is happening, this course will be among the country's best. It is definitely worth going a little bit out of your way to play, and if you're a local the dual tees/multiple pin positions offer a new course to play every time.
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0 1
justindfpr
Experience: 23.2 years 23 played 10 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 20, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Multiple tees and pin placements for every hole. Great mix of long and short shots. There was no better way of designing this course. You'll use every disc in your bag along the way. Writing a 2 on your scorecard gives you a good feeling while walking to the next tee. Stresses finesse on a lot of drives but gives you a rare power finesse shot on other drives. Great place to learn how to control your disc and stay on the fairway. Makes you learn how to play smart. Very peaceful surroundings. Trees block the wind on almost every hole, so a windy day isn't much of a factor.

Cons:

Stinging nettles. Thats my only problem. And it isn't that big of one as long as you keep it where you're supposed to. I guess the lack of cement tee pads is a problem but that is apparently next on the agenda.
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4 0
DiSCRoCKeR
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 24.2 years 204 played 45 reviews
3.50 star(s)

New and Improved 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jun 29, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Challenging and fun new 18 hole river bottom course. There used to be an old 9 hole that wasn't very fun to play but it was removed earlier this year and then the new, bigger 18 hole course was added that utilizes the area of the park much more nicely. Holes 1 - 15 play throught tight woods and tall prarie grass fairways that truly test your accuracy game. 5 of the holes play along or next to the Big Sioux river, one of these holes being number 5 which also plays as a par 5 on the longer pin placement. Holes 16 - 18 are the open bomb throws of the course playing through the area that housed the old 9 hole.

Cons:

Poison ivy. Flat terrain. Very easy to lose a disc here during summer when the prarie grass gets tall, up to 6 feet or more!! Good to have spotters for some of the holes during these times. It is also easy to lose a disc into the river if you over throw, especially holes 4, 5 and 15. Dirt tees for now but people are trying to get sponsors for cement tees and signs. Course is hard to navigate without a map first time or two playing through. Stop by the park office for a map. $4 park fee per car.

Other Thoughts:

A fun course to challenge most aspects of your game. I have been forced to learn new ways to throw because of this course that are really helping to improve my game. Leave contact info on your discs. If park workers find any lost discs they will contact the number and try to return them.
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3 4
mwgheaton
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 23.2 years 66 played 25 reviews
2.00 star(s)

A Very Basic DGC... 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 19, 2005 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course is a good course to take your family/children to play on. It is part of a state recreation area that caters to family campers and RV camping. It is not crowded and the holes are short. The course is simple and straight forward without many technical challenges. It has mowed fairways and quality baskets.

Cons:

The purpose of the course is to serve those patrons camping at the recreation area. These are primarily families with children and senior citizens. The course is just one of many fun activities the recreation area has to offer. With this point in mind, I do not really have any cons for this course. The course serves a certain type of disc golfer and it does it well.

Other Thoughts:

My wife and I camped at the Big Sioux Recreation area during a road trip to Washington State. It is a nice recreation area as a whole and waking up with a disc golf course right outside the tent door was a definite plus. However, coming from Iowa, where many of the state park courses are beautiful and challenging 18+ hole courses, I was a bit disappointed to find such a simple course. This is not the kind of course you travel out of your way to go play.
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