5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a private course set along a slope transitioning from lightly wooded yard into the woods.
Every hole has two tee pads and two baskets. I wish more courses were like this. It makes them very tough to get tired of and is a very efficient use of the land. I played the silver configuration, which is pretty short (170-270 feet, generally) with a few ace runs, but most of the holes require hitting a line or could leave you struggling to get par. I didn't get to play the gold tees, but as you would expect, they force tougher lines with longer distances.
The signage is all hand-made and shows nothing but the line to each basket and the distances. But given that crude simplicity, they're not bad.
Navigation wasn't too bad. Walk to the gold basket, and the path from there is usually pretty intuitive.
Most holes here had some elevation change, and several even incorporated the two small ponds. Hole 18 holds the possibility of losing a disc if you land in the middle of the pond, although it is avoidable.
Cons: The tee signs were not always consistently located at the tee, so at several holes I approached the pad and could not tell which way I was supposed to throw. On some of them I had to walk about half the fairway so I could tell if the basket was the right one (fortunately the baskets are numbered).
Tee pads are all natural. I don't mind this too much, though.
Parking was a little tight. I was a little surprised to see other people playing the course on a Thursday afternoon, but I can't blame them at all.
If you are going to play from the gold tees, make sure you know what you are doing. The first hole forces a cool turnover shot, but if you don't turn it, you might be putting a hole in the owner's bedroom.
Other Thoughts: Some of the best courses take you to places you would never bother to visit otherwise, and you are better for it. Nowhere is this truer than Black Falls. The winding highway through the imposing Green Mountains past covered bridges and high steeple churches...it's all very Vermont. I'm sorry I was only passing through. I would have loved to play the other configurations. Some day.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 3 Not
Worth the Effort
Two tee locations and two baskets per hole, a configuration I like, as it provides options for various skill levels, and re-playability, too.
Owner/designer Johnny, who was very friendly to me and my non-playing wife when we visited the course in October, 2011, coming out regularly to check on us and see how we were enjoying the course.
Pro shop on site. Quite near to very different but equally excellent Cherry Hill course.
Some of the tee and/or basket locations on a hole were not very different from the other.
Because there are two tees and two baskets on a not overly large piece of land, the flow can be a bit awkward in places:
- Re-tracing your steps near fairway-4 after throwing to basket-5
- Crossing fairway-1 when moving from basket-8 to tee-9
- From basket-11, most obvious tee is #14 - tee-12 is uphill and to the right
- Crossing tee-11 when moving from basket-12 to tee-13
- Basket-16 near entrance, which, on the other hand, makes for an easy way to identify the course, if you miss the "Black Falls" sign
The course resides on a very nice piece of land, a continuous but gradual slope from the dirt road at the top of the course to the creek at the bottom. On this land, in addition to the small, shallow creek near baskets 4 and 5, you'll also find:
- A small pond sitting prettily in front of a basket-18
- Remains of a stone wall, near baskets 8 and 11, and along fairway-13
- Thick trees forming a dark canopy, where challenging, twisting holes 2-8 and 13 are located. Plenty of moss-covered stones, logs, and stumps in this fern-populated area - slippery when wet, with boards and logs placed at strategic problem areas
- Grassy, mostly-open fairways for holes 1, 10, and 17
- Generous-to-tight throwing lines defined by a mixture of less-dense trees (i.e. you can see the sky above your head) for holes 9, 11-12, 14-16, and 18.
For this review, I played the course from the short tees, playing to both the short and long baskets.
- Short-to-short, this is not a long course, with only two holes (open, down-slope 1 and 10) over 300', and an average of ~220'. Playing to the long baskets, the average is ~310', so this course is more about control, and not about bombing
- A few holes play down-slope, and a few back up the slope, and a few more with very modest elevation changes, but most holes play relatively flat
- Even the few holes that are primarily open have the occasional obstacle to avoid, and don't permit you to swing a disc extremely wide. While #13 was extremely thick with trees, the throwing lanes on the majority of the holes fit into the challenging-but-fair category.
- Throwing steadily-straight will serve you well on most holes. There were several holes that required a very accurate and controlled right turn, while the left-turning holes were longer and had a bit more leeway available
Favourite hole: #7. A moderate-sized fairway is cut into the densely-treed forest. Gently up-slope in its near entirety, with a moderate right-turn needed after ~250'. After the turn, a straight run to the basket, framed by trees behind, and large rocks and moss-covered stumps scattered about in front.
The crushed-stone teepads were a wee bit small, but served sufficiently. Plenty of signage directing you to both the long and short tees - a fairly easy course to navigate.
An excellent course in and of itself, even a better option considering quite different but also excellent Cherry Hill is just down the dirt road. Although a bit off the beaten path, it is worth the effort to visit if even remotely in the vicinity.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Greatness in VT
Pros: Very secluded wooded course. As you drive up the dirt and gravel roads you get a sense of what the course will be like. You are in the secluded hills and woods in Vermont. There is beautiful forests and streams running everywhere. Think covered bridge country.
- 2 sets of tees and 2 baskets for each hole
- Well defined fairways. Path to the basket is obvious, but not always easy.
- Navigation is easy. No long walks. Paths are worn in, and easy yo locate.
- Walking stones, trees stumps and logs used to help traverse creeks and low areas. Some nice steps built in to hill sides.
- Impeccably maintained. Especially for a private course.
- Seclusion. Nice quiet, wooded atmosphere.
- Pro Shop on site. Decent selection of Innova and Discraft discs available.
- Variety. Course has a nice mix of lefts, rights, ups and downs. Elevation is not huge for the most part, but it is used well. There are some very tight shots, and some open shots with room to work with.
- Tee pads maintained well. Flat and smooth.
Cons: - Natural tee pads. They are in great shape, but I always like big concrete.
- Basket positions. On several holes the two basket positions were fairly close to each other. Not a significant difference in the shot.
- Some of the Silver tees and Gold tees are simply different in length by a small amount, and don't change the angle or line of the shot too much.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a phenomenal course. It is a blast to play, and offers a great mix of challenge and opportunity. My cons are probably a little picky, but hopefully it simply motivates the owner to keep making this course better.
Black Falls plays as a mostly technical wooded course so be sure to bring you putters and mids. There is a lot of holes in the 240' to low 300' range. There is also a tight 188' shot as well as a 537' down hill bomb. By my unofficial Sloppy count the were 5 holes I thought were well above average or very well designed. Simply holes that looked differentnor cool as I was playing them. No top of the world shots or 350' water carries, but there is just a bunch of solid disc golf holes here. I can wait to play Cherry Hill down the road.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Lots of work
Pros: This course has been a work in progress for over 8 years. All my free time is spent working to maintain and improve the course. Input from players is crucial for the development and maintenence of the course. . I have basically taken all the best attributes from the amazing courses I have played and put them into building Black Falls and Cherry Hill. Thank you to all who have built these beautiful courses.
This course is always evolving. There is always room for improvement. I am giving this course a " biased" 5 rating because I have played a few of the top ten courses rated on this site and feel that this course provides a 5 star experience.
It is our goal to make this place enjoyable for all levels and ages of Disc Golfers. So far we have been successful in this endevour. Our beginner layout "Silver/Silver is the most played layout which is great for first timers and challenging enough for advanced players. Gold/Gold is a completely different beast. I am a 980-1000 rated player and can shoot a 50 or a 60 on any given day. There is a strong emphasis on shot placement and disc selection. These change all time with wind conditions and elevation changes that make up over half the holes.
With the new "Cherry Hill" up the road, we now have a destination DG facility. You can play here for days without playing the same hole twice. You will be guranteed to use every disc in your bag. Camping options are available at both Courses with fresh spring drinking water, bathing ponds, brooks, clean outhouses and soon to be outdoor shower. The next time you decide to plan a DG getaway give us a try.
There are many ammenities within 2 miles of the course. A full supermarket, 5 bars/resturants and plenty of affordable lodging.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: If Norman Rockwell were alive today and available to be commissioned for a disc course painting, I'd send him to Black Falls. An idyllic setting; serene, secluded and post-card scenic.
Course designer and installer, Johnny Betts is a super nice guy and pro level player, but what sets him apart from most private course owners is his attention to detail.
He has meticulously designed, tweaked and revised a layout which now starts off with 6 epic holes in a row, along with #8 for one of the best nine holes anywhere in the east.
The back nine starts of strong with three more epic holes 10,11,13 before dropping of a bit 14-17 and finishing with another epic hole on 18.
All remaining holes grade out as excellent (4) except for #17 which was an average (3 rated hole) for a total score of 82.
That puts Black Falls in the upper level 5 rating range, but wait, there's more. Each hole has two baskets and two pads (ala Brakewell), so you can pick a configuration that suits your style or change things up on a second round.
But wait, there's more...another 5 rated 18 hole course with Johnny's fingerprints on it is 1/2 mile down the road at Matt's place (Cherry HIll).
So here you are in the middle of nowhere, nearly in Canada,with more disc options than you can shake a stick at.
Signage is top notch and the grounds were perfectly manicured. The fern-laden layout features a Hemlock/Hardwood forest mixed with verdant, narrow grassy lanes and rock walls for unique looks and off-the-charts aesthetics.
Terrain is gently sloping for the most part which makes for easy walking and level footing for shot shaping.
Cons: There are natural tee pads on many private courses that are installed and seemingly forgotten, definitely a con. Not here.
These pads are periodically tamped, refilled and smoothed over, providing excellent footing.
Other Thoughts: As a private course owner, playing Black Falls was a euphoric trip to disc nirvana.
Awed, amazed and totally humbled. It's the kind of place that inpires you to do more.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Absolutely without a doubt the nicest all around course I have ever played. Very good mix of short technical holes, along with a few nice long holes. Great use of elevation, elevation comes into play on almost half of the holes. Having 2 sets of tees and baskets makes for plenty of combinations of play, enough options to play the course all day and never play the same set-up twice. Course is very well maintained by the owner, big props to Jonny for keeping this course in fantastic shape practically all by himself. If you ever get the chance to play this course, DO IT! Well worth the almost 2hr drive it takes me to get there. I plan on making the drive at least once a month to experience this amazing course the most I can.
Cons: The course could use better signs showing you to the next teepad. There are trails to follow, but I had trouble locating the silver tees on a couple holes. I think installing more signs throughout the course would really help new players find their way faster.
Other Thoughts: Like I said earlier, this course is amazing. Excellent design and a must to play. The owner also has a nice selection of Innova and Discraft for sale on site, and he also usually has a good selection of used discs. Big thanks to Jonny for making this course what it is today. Very great job, keep up the great work!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Diverse holes...some narrow some open...gold to gold was very challenging...silver to silver is shorter and a few birdie holes...this course has it all...very well maintained...up hill, down hill, over a river...Variety of hole distances
Variety of shots required
Mix of tight technical & Open bombs
Cons: So far away from CT...
Other Thoughts: This was lots of fun and I would highly recommend this course for others to play...
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: By far the best day of disc golf I have ever enjoyed. The course was dynamic, challenging and varied. It offers two different boxes/ baskets which allow for 4 different ways to play. It was obviously designed by someone who knew what they were doing. Fairways were clearly established, long and not easy. It was so well manicured by the owner (who is an awesome guy), a player gets a sense of gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work and passion that has been put in. It felt a little bit like Kevin Costner's ballpark in Field of Dreams. The land lay-out ensures that lanes will still be open even during the blossoming season, and appears to be protected enough for windier days. Clearly marked terrain makes navigation simple. A conviently located deli/ Mobil station makes it easy to make a day out of it (we were there from 12-8).
Cons: I don't live close enough to play everyday.
Other Thoughts: Thank you to Jonny.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: This course is super fun. A huge diversity in holes, some elevation, some woods, some water, some open. Beautiful scenery, great property, well maintained. Four different layouts make it interesting to play.
Cons: Pretty far away from most places.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Amazing diversity, long woods holes, short woods holes, open holes, up, down side hill, water, basically everything you could want in a course. Unbelievably groomed. Hole # 10 is the coolest hole I have ever played!. I just got back to play after the expansion and there are now 72 possible holes on this course to play and all of them require a precise golf shot off the tee. Do yourself a favor and make time to play one of the best courses in the world. They even sell Discraft!
Thanks to Johnny for making this place a haven for Disc Golfers.
Cons: no restrooms,private residence
Other Thoughts: Check out the course tour on the my space page. Go to the pdga course directory and hit black falls disc club
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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