Disc Golf Course Review

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Ken Caryl DGC Littleton, CO


Ken Caryl DGC is one of the three oldest courses in CO. This is originally a Steady Ed design so it was absolutely on my radar. I love to see some of the OG designs in any state I play. I have no clue how much of this is original or not, but it's certainly got that frisbee golf type of feel to it. This is a tiny course by today's standards. All par 3's and green light go ace runs. Very popular course from my two runs through it.

The tee pads are decently sized concrete. Level, grippy, and all around perfect for a shorty like this one. One tee pad per hole. All you really need is a standstill drive/throw/putt here. More than serviceable.

The baskets are Mach III's. New, number plates atop each one and catch great. One pin position per hole. Good stuff.

The design is about as well done as can be expected for such a small parcel of land. The course itself plays in what should be a disc golf exclusive area. Even in this little space there's not much crossing of fairways. Navigation is as simple as can be, birdies are all right there and ace runs are staring you in the face on all nine. Get greedy and you'll regret it though. Starts and ends near the same spot.

This course is in a pretty well off area. The grass is lush and well mowed and maintained, there's deciduous trees that offer shade and the park itself is just all around very inviting. This didn't feel like I was in CO. More like an Iowa nine. In a good way.

Free to play, permanent and great for beginners and youngsters. Fun ace runs for more experienced players too.


Very short course. Again, This is from back in the days when you threw Frisbees. Frisbee golf course. Not a con in any way. But leave the Destroyers and warp speed drivers in the trunk.

Busy, busy, busy. This will not be a quick play. Or not as quick as you'd think it should be. We played two rounds here and there were people on almost every hole. It makes sense, it's just a fun course. I don't normally play more than a single round when bagging courses but I played two here. Throwing putters is fun it turns out.

Keep your head on a swivel. No fairways really cross. But there's some noobies out here throwing bosses on 125 footers just ace running hard AF. We were nearly hit a couple times on the 18 holes we played.

Other Thoughts:

Very fun little slice of history. Not a must play or anything unless you're into the history of the game. If so, play this one. It's a Ed Headrick designed course and is meant to be played with a lid. Bring your putters and maybe a Zephyr or something similar. Not much to say that hasn't been said but this is kind of a must play tbh.
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Buck Hill Burnsville, MN


--Elevation is a factor in every drive
--Good views of the surrounding area
--Not crowded. Not even populated.
--New-ish Prodigy baskets
--Rubber-shag friction mats on tees: very stable
--Bar/restaurant on premises
--Free (FREE!) EV charging. It's not fast, but good enough to make back your drive usage during a round.


--Closed in the winter, not that you'd play in Minnesota winter
--Pay to play ($6 day pass)
--Ski resorts do their maintenance during the disc golf season; you share some of the space with heavy equipment and snow-making machines; some holes have as much disturbed soil as grass.
--What goes down, must go back up; your legs are going to get quite a workout.

Other Thoughts:

The mountains of Minnesota are mostly known for the majestic way in which they don't exist. Buck Hill is therefore one of the few skiable slopes in the 32nd state. The Dakota people supposedly named the site because it offered expansive views of deer gathering to drink at nearby Crystal Lake, still visible just across Interstate 35. I approve of the sensible way in which they called it a hill. Other local ski areas often sow confusion by naming themselves after loftier terrain. Yeah, I'm looking at you "Afton Alps" (Alps, my buttocks)...

A thriving, always busy ski area in the snowy months, Buck Hill has set up several warm-weather side hustles, including hiking, biking, and disc golf. Lying (okay, okay..."standing tall") only 15 miles from home for me, it has been on my list to play, but with so many free courses in the area, it took me awhile to get to this $6 pay-to-play-all-day (spoiler: you won't) offering.

Set up to move more than 8000 skiers per hour, you won't have any problems parking at Buck Hill . Summer maintenance and construction workers take up a dozen or so spots, leaving you hundreds to choose from. Right in the center there sits a cluster of EV chargers, which caught my eye for the nifty way they didn't seem to have a card-reader on them. I drove up...plugged in. It was working, and my car told me I'd be topped off in a few hours. Maybe I'd play a few rounds and make a profit...

The course begins in back of Buck '54 Bar and Grill, which is apparently open for business. There was no one there but a kid standing on a bar stool to mount some doo-dad high up on the wall, but he would take my order if I were so inclined. He pointed out back to where the course began.

This was my first experience with pay-to-play, so I had imagined walking up to a counter with three two-dollar bills in hand. Instead, there is QR code by the first tee for self-service, in case there was no kid standing on a barstool to mount a doo-dad high on the wall when you walked through the restaurant. I whipped out the phone and did the transaction, looking up at the hill as it processed. It definitely seemed to have grown since the parking lot. I swear to Matthew Broderick that my phone droned, "How about a nice game of chess?"

Buck Hill only rises about 300 feet above the surrounding terrain, but you get to climb all 300 of them several times over in the course of this 18-holer. I happened to be out on an unseasonably warm (88F/31C) October day. Breaking a sweat doesn't do it justice. In fact, if you are on the back nine and don't happen to be huffing and puffing, there's a decent chance it's because you recently fell over dead.

What transpired in the heat though was an enjoyable round quite unlike any other I've played. The first four holes work you up to the top of the northern most ski slope. This is no Rocky Mountain glade. There are trees on both sides of you on most holes, but very few actual guardians. The challenge lies the gains and losses in elevation. First shot down the hill is #5, but you immediately head back up for #6 through #9. What altitude you lose on #10 is gained right back and then some on #11, putting you up on the spot from which the first peoples probably watched the deer. If the ski resort ever goes under, this would quickly re-green to a pretty expansive view, but the long walk from 11 to 12 looks a bit more like a dirt parking lot, populated by various excavators, tractors, and snow cannons. Somewhere along that stretch, my watch suggested that I should ask my doctor if I was healthy enough for disc activity.

Those downhills though! Wanna flex a Zone 500 ft? It can happen here (#5, #10, #14). Of course on the holes moving uphill you might occasionally get only 125 with the same disc. #16 sends you 400 ft down a half-pipe on a steep angle to a basket standing uncomfortably close to a duckweed covered pond behind. I suppose this is the signature, but there is so much off-season construction currently going on just past the basket that this one loses a bit of its luster.

I had not played disc golf on a ski slope before, so I had expected constant reminders of winters past. Instead, the trappings quickly began to seem tailor-made for disc golf. I mean yeah, I know that's a chairlift, but it seems more like a series of dangling metal guardians--aim an anhyzer FH above the chairs, but below the cables, and let the hill and the updrafts do the rest. From time to time my eye would catch a slight irregularity in the slope, and I would remember pausing there with my kids as I taught them to ski.

So should you play Buck Hill? Sure--I think you'll enjoy it, at least once. You have to disc up on the uphills, but experienced players will see many of these as ace runs. Not me, but I know I'll be back soon to work on those uphill/downhill throws. In my opinion it's not as good of a course as nearby Kenwood Trails, which is free. During the school year though, the latter is off-limits during school hours. Buck Hill offers another option in the area with a much different flavor. And $6 isn't a bank-breaker, but don't kid yourself into thinking you'll make it more worthwhile by playing 36. Such thoughts were beaten out of me by the time I reached the top of #9. True, not every fall day is pushing 90, but by 4 weeks after this round was in the books, they'll likely be pumping out the white stuff during the colder, longer nights, and the course will disappear for more than 6 months.
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The Hill DGC Taylor, MI


- large, dual concrete tees on every hole
- above average length on most holes with a few short ones mixed in
- some good mature tree hazards on a fairly open course
- a few holes ("the hill") with notable elevation change in an otherwise flat park
- Innova DISCatcher baskets in good repair
- well maintained park with port o potties, picnic tables, garbage cans, etc.
- basic but serviceable tee signs with maps
- some small next tee indicators are helpful
- navigation is mostly pretty intuitive
- long tees don't always add a different line but do increase difficulty, adding 1000 ft to the course


- notable safety hazards with walking paths throughout park
- multi-use park situation is not ideal, but at least avoids playground
- no hole numbers on baskets
- fairly long walk between holes 4 and 5
- parking situation (on street with restrictions) is not ideal
- mosquitoes were pretty thick in mid-September
- a few tee signs face the wrong direction
- would be nice if tee signs indicated which tee was which (same at both tees)
- no particular uniqueness factor

Other Thoughts:

The Hill appears to be an infrequently trafficked disc golf course in a well-maintained park in the Detroit suburbs. The park is nothing out of the ordinary but has basic park amenities and mostly decent equipment. Tees and baskets were excellent here, and signs were serviceable. A few more next tee indicators wouldn't hurt. Sometimes on a mostly-grass course like this navigation isn't as clear since there isn't as clear a fairway/trail to the next hole, but it was fairly intuitive here.

The parking situation here was probably one of my least favorite I've seen outside of true urban courses. It's all street parking, and a lot of it says no parking during park hours (8 AM - 11 PM). I took this to mean I could park there before park hours (7 AM), although technically that meant I was in the park when it was "closed"... along with tons of dog walkers, ordinary walkers, etc. If you are there during normal hours I'm not sure exactly where on the road you're supposed to park but this didn't seem rigidly enforced.

The other main issue here is safety. Holes 1 and 2 play between the road and the walking path and it isn't the most ideal corridor unless you have pretty good control of your drives. Several other holes throw over walking paths which slowed me down a bit on what is otherwise a fairly quick, but not necessarily short, 9 hole course.

You will use your drivers here, with some holes over 300 or ever 400 feet. Some shorter sub-200 ft holes are mixed in for variety (all of this is playing from the short tees). The elevation change of the hill and a few other parts of the park is nice and adds some variety. Some holes here (1 and 2 in particular) were fairly wooded and have more technical challenge, but several are much more open and don't have anything particularly unique about them. Hole 3 would probably be hard/impossible to play if the football field was in use. There is a mando to go around the goalposts but you'd still be too close.

This park is full of black squirrels which I absolutely loved... we don't have black ones in Illinois for whatever reason, but they're all over Michigan. In suburban/urban parks you don't usually see much wildlife, but even this close to Detroit I found something unique which is why I love traveling to play disc golf.

Overall, I had a fun time here. It's a good, shorter round that still provides some challenge above and beyond the most rudimentary 9 hole park courses. If you are passing through it's worth a stop, but with dozens of courses in the Detroit area this isn't going to be top tier. I would probably rate this a 2.5 without the safety hazards; it is a good course but I don't think it warrants more than a 2 due to those issues and the overall level of unique play.
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Sky Mountain Ranch DGC Silverthorne, CO


Sky Mountain Ranch DGC is a picturesque little niner just a few miles north of downtown Silverthorne. There's a dog park here and I'd assume some other activities. I didn't look too closely since I was there for the disc golf only. The course stays away from any of the other activities for the most part. You may encounter a walker but that should be it. Beginner friendly course with enough substance to be worthwhile for more experienced players too.

The baskets are brand new looking Mach III's. These have the standard number plates at the top which all face the tee. Mounted nicely and catch great. It was gale force winds when we played and these things caught everything. One basket and pin placement per hole. Perfect.

Brick tee pads, all of which were level and installed great. No uneven spots or shifting that I noticed. Again, really nice. One tee pad per hole.

The design here is pretty solid too. It's not a huge area by any means but plenty of space for 9 holes. The first five holes play in the flat prairie grass area before heading up the hill for holes 6 and 7. Hole 8 plays along the edge of the hill and then hole 9 has you throwing back into the prairie. Good little mix of terrain with the hill involved and more trees incorporated with that part. The course starts and ends near the same place too. Good flow from hole to hole for the most part, a map is still recommended if possible though.

The prairie area has thin enough brush that losing a disc will be tough to do. The rough up the hill is a little thicker but the holes are quite a bit shorter so you should be fine up there also. The wind can get pretty aggressive out here so there's no sure bets on anything, but if you keep an eye on your shot you'll be OK.

As always, amazing views out here. That's kind of the theme over this way. This is a great compliment to some of the other, much harder nearby courses. I'd bet this course gets played quite a bit due to it not being a marathon.


There's tee signs by each hole. These are those standard cookie cutter looking white plexiglass ones. I should know what these are called by now. I don't though. Anyways, these help with locating the next tee. They have the hole # and...oh yeah, that's all. No par, distance or even generic hole map. Pretty half assed. Never seen this before.

There's a couple longer walks between holes. And with the nonexistent hole maps possible confusion on which basket you're throwing at. The walks from 5 to 6 and 6 to 7 are pretty lengthy and not the most intuitive. The walk from 7 to 8 isn't as bad but not real obvious either. This is why a map is suggested.

The course is okay for newer players but isn't going to wow more seasoned players. That's kind of the point here. Just know that there's nothing overly exciting here. Pretty similar feeling besides the holes on the hill.

Other Thoughts:

Great complimentary course for the area. Every area needs a nice beginner friendly short course. I feel like that's becoming a far too often overlooked element of the sport. This is a fun little 9 that won't take too long to play and serves as both a good warm up or cool down round if playing any of the other bigger courses in the area. Solid course, just nothing memorable.
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Tony Walker Financial DGC Bowling Green, KY


Multiple par 4’s and a par 5 in a town with few long courses.
Impeccable upkeep.
Brand new baskets. The former Prodigy baskets were swapped out for new baskets recently. I drove by the course but I didn’t see the brand of the new baskets.
Good tee signs, and excellent concrete tee pads


Very few obstacles on most holes. The main things to avoid here are O.B. and headwind putts.
Very little elevation change.
Most of the par 3’s are in the mid 200’ range, and very forgettable.
There are four holes in the ‘just out of my reach’ range, holes 7, 9, 13, 14 (440-550’). These holes are never much fun for me to play.

Hole 10, 245’. The basket is on an approximately 35’ island with the surrounding area ob. With a drop zone. The raised island is too small for me as an intermediate player to hit even half the time, and the drop zone putt is too far to run safely if your name is not McBeth.

Other Thoughts:

Tony Walker DGC plays around the ballfields at Michael Buchanan Park. The navigation is pretty straightforward, though there is at least one significant walk between holes. There is a walking path that determines ob on over half of the holes, while the road is the ob line on several others.
Hole 18 ends up back by hole 1, but because the course is one continuous loop, you’d have to skip the middle half of the course to play just nine holes.

In my opinion the best hole on the course is hole 16, the 950’ par 5.

If you are in Bowling Green, stay away from this course and opt to play one of the shorter more wooded courses or if you are looking for more distance go to Ephram White.
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George Barlow