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St. Paul (Inver Grove Heights), MN

North Valley Park

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3.355(based on 13 reviews)
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3 0
Cgkdisc
Experience: 35.3 years 777 played 7 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Changes & Upgrades Coming 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 15, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Other Thoughts:

This a design update for fans and critics of this course. The City Council has approved plans to not only upgrade tee pads, baskets and install signs after 20 years but add four holes in South Valley on the other side of the tunnel on 16. The redesign will take place this spring. The revised layout will be longer but still 18 holes and there's room for expansion in South Valley to 24 in the future. The big changes will be combining holes 2 & 3 into a tough par 4 and eliminating holes 8, 11 & 12 to reduce nagging erosion problems in the steeper areas of the park. There will be a few tweaks to existing holes including shifting a few tee pads and adding a few alternate pin placements. The four new holes in South Valley will replace the four lost and include some interesting holes with two legit par 4s and two par 3s. Once the new routing is ready to play, we'll create a new course listing called The Valley and retire this North Valley listing.
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0 0
discgobisco
Experience: 26.9 years 38 played 5 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Good Time, Needs Signs 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Nov 16, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

North Valley is a very balanced course that has a great array of long and short holes combining skill shot lines with sheer gusto. As previously mentioned, the park contains a large bowl area with a big lake/pond. The amount of holes and difficulty of these holes utilizing the geography is great. The course also has a few number of signature shots, including the aforementioned 600ft bomb over the pond for hole 15. I also really like the shot on 13 gliding over a tall brush grove.

Cons:

The signage is horrible. If you haven't played the course, a few times, it's very easy to miss holes and tee pads, including some of the best shots on the course. Some tee pads are a little ratty and they could use a few more garbage cans to keep the littering down. The main improvement NV needs is to improve the signage and teepads.

Other Thoughts:

This can't be added as a con, but i wish they would put the four or five holes on the bottom back in. It's been quite a few years, and the pads down below where even worse than the ones up top, but there were a few really cool holes going down to the lower pond and coming back up. That helped keep the congestion down on the front nine as well. I'm guessing it's not ever happening, but a guy can hope.
Fun course, follow someone if your new to it though.
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1 1
discgolfer99
Experience: 51.1 years 13 played 13 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Worn down 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 7, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

NV does offer some fun holes but the way the course is run down is a great example of why pay to play is the future. I live out in the West burbs and get spoiled with the courses out there. It was a shame to see the eroison, the litter, vandalism, and the ablsolute lack of signage. Some fast greens, some elavation, a nice bridge on #15, mix of open and wooded all positives.

Cons:

Lack of any signage. Horribly confusing layout. Several times you had to cross over fairways to get to the next tee. Have a local show you around. Walking path/ bike path came into play on majority of the holes, some blind even. I almost killed a biker on #16 off the tunnel.

Other Thoughts:

Make it pay to play, fix up the tees, get some/ any signage and the course would be Ok.
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1 0
CwAlbino
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 24.1 years 76 played 23 reviews
3.00 star(s)

In need of maintenance 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 8, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

This course has a nice layout with quite a few fun holes. There is a decent mix of righty and lefty holes, some shorties and long holes as well. The signature hole I would have to say is hole 4 with "the guardians". This hole is a short one, but has 4-5 trees all leaning to the right to make a wall on a right hooking shot. The other memorable hole is the 500+ foot shot over water.

Cons:

When I played this course, it was very wet, overgrown, and due to rain the pond extended at places over 50 feet larger than what I've been told it usually sits at.

-The tee pads are aweful. The smallest teepad I think is on the longest driving hole. They are cracked, narrow, and when I played them slick from caked mud and sand.

-Overgrown. Tight shots are fun, and present a challenge, but not shots that are luck of getting through because the trees and shrubbery have grown out so large that stray branches catch about everything.

-Poor signage. Or rather lack of any signs. If you go to North Valley, be sure to hook up with a local player that knows the course. Some holes are pretty straight forward, but others are just ridiculous to find. One starts on a sidewalk and you have to go backwards on the fairway you just finished to find it.

-Hazardous fairways. Some of the holes are especially bad for tournament play, cause hold ups, and can be dangerous. Make sure you have a voice when you go because you will have to yell "fore!" to any group that's behind you. This doesn't occur a whole lot, but enough to make me put it in the review

Other Thoughts:

Regardless of all the negatives, I still believe it deserves a 3. If it wasn't so wet and flooded I might have been able to give it a 3.5. The holes themselves were fun, and my biggest pet peeve was the teepads. Having a sliver of concrete to throw off of, when wet, and having to run up to the pad in mud is just horrible for drives.
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1 0
manzilla86
Experience: 18.9 years 7 played 7 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Good Course...but Confusing 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 15, 2008 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

This is a course that after you play it, despite your round, you should have the feeling that it was a fun course. There is a great variety of holes; long, short, wooded, open, water, flat, hilly, baseball field, you name it. And while it is important to share the park with non-disc golfers, there is ample space for stray discs, most of the time.

This course is a fairly far drive from my house. I guess the best indicator for if a course is good or not is if you have come back to it even if it is kinda far away, and I have come back multiple times.

Cons:

By far, the biggest con, and the reason it doesn't have better ratings, is how hard it is to find the next hole. The first couple are easy, but then you get to a point where you see two chains on a hill, and only one teepad. I wondered "should I tee off, play one chains, then walk down and tee off the other?" But then luckily some kid walking by just said you tee off the sidewalk where there is sometimes a marker. The layout is very confusing and they could use signs directing you to the next hole.

Also, there are a few holes that might be easy to lose a disc on (and I am not talking about the water hole-that one is obvious). The sumac gets thick in areas and it might be smart to play with someone from your group watching where the disc lands on those holes.

Other Thoughts:

Give it a whirl.
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0 1
AliMagnetLocal
Experience: 15.1 years 3 played 3 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Fun Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 4, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

A lot of fun holes, and the scenery is great. Some distance holes for those who has a good arm.

Cons:

After the first seven holes good luck knowing where you are. There are very poor markers, and some cement slabs are placed randomly throughout the course as if the starting area was moved. The transition from hole to hole doesn't make sense and some of the baskets are too close to each other. Large groups of people play all at once, which can be confusing to know where to go if you are new.

Other Thoughts:

Despite all the negatives, a pretty nice course to try out. Remember to bring water, because the last holes have a lot of hills to trek up and down.
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3 0
harr0140
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 15.5 years 1512 played 480 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Hilly sillyness 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 25, 2009 Played the course:once

Pros:

1) Somewhat beginner friendly. This is mostly true because of the forward tees that really change the toughest holes. That is a key feature because it is a great course that would allow a beginner to play along with a pro and see what a championship caliber course is like.

2) Concrete/asphalt teepads instead of dirt.

3) Baskets in good shape.

4) Wide varety in length with a max of over 600' and another about 550', with 5 more holes less than 200' Even those less than 200' have their own challenges however.

5) Has awesome variety: elevation changes, forced water carries, tight wooded tunnel shots, hole requiring a nice anhyzer or other throw. Baskets on slopes that can lead to roll aways (Not that I like it when it happens but it provides something to think about when shooting), a handful of open holes with scattered trees. It just plain has everything.

Cons:

1) A little dirty with garbage in a few spots.

2) Compact soils lead to bare soil in some areas (again jut simply from overuse over the years). Not too detrimental to my review but it is a factor.

3) A couple of the holes although challenging and fun to play had some quirkiness to them, that left a slightly bad taste in my mouth. Not horrible, but noticeable again.

Other Thoughts:

This was the first course I played in MN out of 7 on this weekend. I only started there because Kaposia was not open at 6 AM when I was up and ready to play, so I drove down the road. I am glad I played it first because I was able to be excited about a lot of the holes. Had I played Kaposia first I would have been less enthusiastic about some of the holes, although my overall impression would still have been favorable. Just a couple holes make this course memorable and worth the trip. It will challeneg you from start to finish. There are no easy simple straight forward holes. They all have unique differences and challenges.

The only reason this course cannot receive a 4 or higher from me is because of the confusion on the course, although all the holes are great the layout is a little goofy on some holes. It is somewhat dirty with garbage which doesn't really surprise me I guess.
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3 0
Guurn
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 38.1 years 90 played 40 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 19, 2008 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Has a nice variety of wooded and open holes that make you work the shapes of your drives. It was nice to see such good use of the terrain and obstacles to force the shot selection. Has everything from short holes through the woods to open long holes across water. Big arms and midrange specialists are all rewarded. Pretty well kept up in general.

Cons:

I hadn't played it in a few years and going back I found the flow confusing. The signage that was there didn't help much and the teepads weren't in great shape. A few of the holes had fairways pretty close to each other. Expect large groups.

Other Thoughts:

3 or 4 years ago there used to be a lot of broken glass near the teepads but that seemed much better. Kudos to whoever is cleaning it up. Seems like the city needs to either make up thier mind to fix it up and/or expand or not. Either way it needs some love.
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0 3
D.W.G.
Experience: 16 years 11 played 5 reviews
3.00 star(s)

TOUGH TO FOLLOW 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 17, 2008 Played the course:once

Pros:

Many different styles of holes... Nice layout...

Cons:

Not marked very well... If you have never played it before, you could have a hard time playing the course in the right order...

Other Thoughts:

Would like to play the longs in the winter... 15 has to be a monster, going over the pond...
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2 0
Cradical
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 17.1 years 110 played 63 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 9, 2008 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

There is a wide variety of shot that need to be thrown here with a large amount of elevation change on a few holes. There are a few wooded shots but for the most part, it is fairly wide open.

Cons:

The first time I played here, I spent more time looking for which hole I was suppose to play next and where the tees were then I actually did playing. This course could really stand some new numbers for the baskets as well as better tee markers.
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1 0
cpaquette
Experience: 16.9 years 42 played 41 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Well Balanced Challenge 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 29, 2008 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Nice elevation changes, excellent range of length on holes.

Cons:

If you've never played this course before, you may find your way around the first few holes, but good luck after that...

No concrete tee pads or markers for next tee or distance to targets are non-existent.

Other Thoughts:

This course needs to have concrete tee pads on all holes and have a better means for those who have not played there before to know where the next tee is and how far the hole is from the tee pad.
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3 0
fbrookes
Experience: 20.4 years 121 played 6 reviews
3.50 star(s)

beautiful and confusing 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 18, 2008 Played the course:once

Pros:

Beautiful looking course with great changes of elevation and technical challenges. I got there in early evening so I appreciated that the course is a bit short and could be played quickly

Cons:

I found it very difficult to find the correct teepads and also to know at which target I should be throwing. Some people on the course were very helpful or I would never have found some holes. Some teepads have absolutely no markings on them at all. The long hole and shot over the water on 15 (I think) seems a little absurd to me after so many short holes.

Other Thoughts:

The directions I found were a bit confusing. The entrance is off of 70th street.
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3 0
Texconsinite
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.5 years 138 played 79 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Very nice, but not Perfect 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 1, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Pretty well maintained at points. Nice asphalt tees, dual tees on many holes. Wood chips around many baskets

This course throws a very interesting variety of holes at you. Several signature holes that you will want to tell your friends about later, including a 600ft hole over 400ft of water (there's a dry path around the side, but it takes longer) or shooting through a row of trees all growing at an angle (like // // // //) This course will challenge you, with shot selection, long holes, and elevation changes. I used every disc in my bag. Risk/reward on every hole, and every hole is different and interesting.

One great thing about North Valley is the nice mix of wooded tunnel shots, and more open holes with scattered trees. This course throws a ton of different things at you, so be ready to walk up to the tee and say "What the..." several times your first trip here. One hole is just a blind shot through woods, with a walking path for a "fairway". Very strange hole, and I'm still stumped on the best way to play it, but its that way by design. This course is mostly well manicured, and well though out.

Many holes here, including the two mentioned, are classic Chuck Kennedy originals: fun, challenging, and unlike anything I've ever seen on another course.

This course is in a unique setting (bowl-shaped valley) with several signature holes, including the infamous 400ft over the lake shot. The only way you could possibly be bored playing here, is if you were asleep in your car in the parking lot. This course rocks, and is a stellar example of what makes Twin Cities Disc Golf so amazing.

This park really has it all, and can be challenging, but is a very enjoyable experience, rivalled in town only by its beastly, better-known brother down the road: Kaposia Park.

Cons:

Sometimes, the long tee is hard to find, especially on hole 9 where it is 300ft back from short tee, through a marsh.

Lack of tee signs makes several holes confusing, but this isnt a huge problem if you scope it out here first. Usually easy to find the next tee, as long as grass is cut and foliage trimmed.

Can be fairly crowded at times, so you might have to wait for/play through another group at some point.

Overall, the maintenance on this course is spotty, but good when its there. When I came back in 09' after a year away, several holes including the No-fairway hole, had a little brush-clearing done which opened them up significantly. Still, this course has many areas of shule that can and will eat discs, which the hole design forces you to weave your shots around. Yes, more maintenance would be good on this course, but that could be said for virtually every course thats not pay-to-play, and some that are (cough) Hyland (cough)

While this course has many interesting holes and a few that could be called signature holes, some holes are also a little bland, especially the last few. They play in the open with scattered trees in the way of the shot. while still good holes, they arent anything special or all that challenging. This course has several interesting wrinkles, including strangely shaped shots, elevation changes, and length variations, but it stumbles at times, with navigation, poor (nonexistant) signage, and a weird flow that has several parallel fairways rubbing elbows very close to each other.

Other Thoughts:

Apparently there used to be several holes on the other side of the bridge (that tee 17 sits in front of), which were better than the current back nine. They were eliminated to put in baseball fields, years ago. If they were truly an improvement over the current layout, they must have been something really special, because this whole course, as it stands now, is very fun and unique.
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