The Undisputed Pinnacle of Minneapolis
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Course Design/General Thoughts:
- championship level course with absolutely breathtaking natural beauty
- impeccably manicured course with pristine fairways, no trash, and no details overlooked
- high technical challenge on many wooded shots
- multiple water hazards including multiple ponds and a deep creek/retention gully
- many tee areas are given special attention with woodchips, rock retaining walls, etc.
- almost no muddy areas, turf/wood chips applied wherever needed
- towering pines give this course its iconic feel and name
- multiple pin positions that are changed regularly
- blue prodigy baskets in good repair (some people don't like these, but they caught my discs very well)
- very large brick paver or concrete tees
- very reasonable $8 price tag
- next tee signs where needed
- practice basket and practice netted driving area
- pro shop with wide variety of discs, apparel, drinks, and other souvenirs
- benches at many holes
- snack shop at halfway point open on weekends (includes alcoholic beverages)
- garbage cans
- some baskets on moveable bases to reconfigure holes
- rakes provided to get discs out of deep moat
- mini kids course by snack shack
- protective mesh on many trees that could be damaged by drives
- pay to play could be considered a con by some, but the $8 is extremely reasonable for the level of maintenance on this course
- almost no elevation change
- some of the holes crossing the open field are pretty basic/repetitive, but the deep moat adds some intrigue
- maps on tee signs could be a bit more detailed
- can be extremely busy
- have to enter hole 3 fairway to get to tee
- low lying open areas around moat can get a little wet
This course was unquestionably the highlight of my road trip and the primary destination through northern Wisconsin/Minneapolis. While I've played other courses of similar technical complexity and pedigree, what pushes Blue Ribbon Pines over the top and earns it my first ever 5 is the genuine care and attention to detail. For $8 a person, they are doing a heck of a job maintaining this course. No detail has been overlooked, with pristine fairways and basket areas, no garbage, good water drainage, etc.
The amenities list here is a mile long. Things you don't see most places include the snack shack, mini kids course, driving range, and moveable baskets out on the open holes.
Most of my cons are nits. This course really is almost as close to perfect as it's possible to be. There are a few minor safety/navigation issues, but they're minor. The layout/design of this course is fantastic, with the pontential low point being the open field holes connecting the 2 sides of the course. However, the moat out in the field adds some challenge, as it's right in that distance where a lot of people's first drive will land. The moat is pretty nasty - you do not want to go in there. The course provides rakes on very long (10'?) poles to drag discs out.
The biggest con here is the lack of elevation change - I think the course designers did the best they could with the land available, and this is such an incredible course that I think it still warrants a 5 despite this.
I found hole 4 particularly brutal - but I also think it's an iconic hole on this course, a narrow shot through rows of towering pine trees. It's exactly what you think of when you hear "Blue Ribbon Pines." Unfortunately, my performance was anything but blue ribbon - despite playing quite well on this course, I scored an 11 on this hole, which I think is a new record for me.
Hole 16 is supposed to have a hanging basket which currently isn't hanging. Hoel 18 had a mandatory landing zone around the basket to mix up the openness of the hole. I find things like this a bit gimmicky, but it does make the otherwise open hole more challenging and it can be fun.
Depending on the configuration of the day, hole 15 can be incredibly long - throw across the field and moat, into the woods, and then back several hundred additional feet in the woods to the basket.
This course will challenge your game, but it is fair. At 27 holes, it's a very long course and there is usually a wait behind other groups. I would budget at least 3 hours to play here. I was alone but it didn't speed things up much since there are so many people playing. Don't let that scare you off, though. This course is too amazing not to put in the time. I highly recommend making this a destination no matter how far away you live. This course is right up there for me with Idlewild as the best I've ever played. Hats off to the owners of this incredible disc golf gem.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
All you could ever want.
Pros: Immaculately kept. Huge variety of challenging holes and exceptional amenities. Bring your A game because this course asks for everything you got. Definitely the best course in the state and certainly amongst the top in the nation.
Cons: Bit of a drive from the twin cities.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Definitely a Blue Ribbon
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Absolutely top-notch maintenance. Fairways are pristine, greens are mulched, signage is always current.
The front 11 provide the toughest challenge, which is a good thing when the course has 27 holes.
There are several holes you will always remember playing. Teeing off right by the clubhouse on 1, the pines hole, the gimmick hole. the hanging basket, 17 coming out of the woods, the driving range hole, the stepped green on 26, and finishing off at the island green on 27. It's an incredibly memorable round.
The water is a real challenge on several holes. 7, 11, and 22 present some real lost disc danger. Fortunately, the course will send you a message if they fish your disc out of a pond.
So many of these holes (especially the par 4s) are very clear as to where your shots should land. Hole 7 you'll tee off and stay short of the water, then shoot across the water and try to get through the guardian trees for a putt. Hole 22 you can run the risk of crossing the pond for a birdie putt, or lay a nice fairway driver down off the tee for a straightforward par. hole 17 (my favorite) you'll shoot out of a thin tunnel and over the water off the tee, then have a nice fairway driver shot the finishes down the hill. The holes don't feel stuffed into a piece of land, they feel like they were built to leave a grin on your face... because they were.
If you're into night golf, they've got that too. Each basket has a light on top of it that starts up automatically at dusk.
Cons: There's really not a ton of elevation change. While this isn't always necessarily a bad thing, there are no insane uphill or downhill shots that aren't artificially made (e.g. elevated tees or baskets).
The holes that cross the the "hallway" (13, 14, 15, 20, 24) really become a bore after the first two (15 does have a nice dogleg left once you're across the hallway) unless there's some wind. The creek doesn't provide any challenge to cross so hole 20 and 24 really are just a bomber with no obstacles in the way
The massive popularity can attract some really, really slow groups who don't know how to let people pass through.
Some holes are not very challenging. I know that's a small thing when most park-style courses have boring holes, but 23 and 25 are very underwhelming when compared to the rest of the course, especially since they're toward the back end of the round.
Other Thoughts: Absolutely worth making the trip north of the Twin Cities for. The $8 is 100% worth it too. Playing here will leave you with many memories. I was lucky enough to play here the day before the Minnesota Majestic and almost had a birdie on one of the combined holes (5 and 6 I believe it was)
It's up there as one of the best courses in the world with shot variety, maintenance, and natural beauty. With a bit more in the way of elevation change this course would be pushing top 3 status. If the creativity put into some of the holes had been applied to all of them, this could easily be the best course in the USA. Regardless, I will be back for more.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 5 Not
Bit of a Letdown
Pros: - Equipment is top notch. Tee pads are fantastic and baskets are all in great shape. Fairways are well-defined and cleared. It is obvious this course is very well taken care of. Signage was good although it got a little confusing around holes 9-11. Benches abound if you are into that sort of thing.
- Some fantastic holes in the woods. 3, 6, 7,10, and 17 are all fantastic holes. Great design and beautiful scenery.
- Variety of left- and right-turning holes, straight holes, tunnel shots, and open shots.
Cons: - The redundancy of the field holes kills the vibe in the middle of the round. The driving range on 18 is neat but it is still just a 750-foot wide open hole. There is a little OB there but if my group of 6 didn't throw into it, it is easily avoidable.
- The worst part of my experience was the standing water in the field. I realize it had rained quite a bit the night before but there appeared to be no drainage whatsoever. There are almost mini-dams at each end of the field to trap the water in. At one point I was standing in 2 inches of water in the middle of the fairway. If it has rained at all within 24-36 hours of you playing this course you better have waterproof footwear. EDIT: it was brought to my attention that the amount of rain the day before was indeed rather extreme. Perhaps the field wouldn't flood so easily under more normal circumstances.
- Very few elevation changes. I understand that not every course can have elevation but this is a detractor for me.
Other Thoughts: My reviews are written based on the quality of the holes first and everything else is secondary. We didn't play all 27 holes or the field holes would have gotten even more redundant. My review is based on holes 1-18 and 27. This course has some really nice touches that I didn't get around to mentioning above. The pro shop is very well-stocked and the rakes next to the water hazards on numbers 10 and 27 came in handy. This is an excellent course, hence the 4.0 rating. There are quite a few great holes here as I said in the pros. But there are just as many ho-hum holes and that detracted from my enjoyment of the course. All in all, a fantastic course with just a couple warts.
15 of 20 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Where do I even begin!
Best clubhouse I've ever seen with 100s of disc and BRP merchandise. Also you can get shots of alcohol inside the clubhouse. Snacks and pretty much anything you'll need for a round. Not to mention they have a burger shack mid course and also a putt for a buck to win 10 mini game. Restrooms are available everywhere on the course and the tee pads and baskets are in amazing shape. The greens our well taken care of. The course layout itself is incredible and there's not one bad hole to be found. Hole 4 is the signature through the trees hole and is worth a picture for sure. The ob lines on every hole our clearly marked and there's just to many great holes to go over. Couple island shots elevated baskets throws over the water pretty much everything you could want in a course. The driving range hole 19 is awesome throwing over the big BRP sign and so many cool signature shots. Very accommodating workers
Cons: They do a huge ultimate tourney that closes some of the holes however they were nice enough to let us shotgun start and play everything so not really a con but some holes might be missing if you show up at wrong time. There's truly no cons here but if I had to find something maybe the fact baskets don't have hole number on them and 15 and 25 share a tee pad but it's a massive brick pad and works.
Other Thoughts: Mosquitos bring bug spray for woods but that's any course in Minnesota this time of year. The work put in here is incredible and this should be on every disc golfers bucket list
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 8 Not
One of the best in the US
Pros: Scenic views around every corner.
Unique lines on every hole.
Challenging, but not brutal.
Great mix of long and short holes.
Simply a fun course that you'll likely never forget.
Easy to find with GPS
Well marked holes/signage
Good flow from hole to hole.
Nice pro shop.
Too many things to list...This review doesn't do this course justice, MUST CHECK IT OUT for yourself.
Cons: $8 to play
Gravel road (don't drive your clean ride)
Other Thoughts: There are some course that I play, where I think if I had 100 acres, I'd build something like this. Well BRP is one of those courses. Simply well designed, beautiful, and fun to play.
Wish I were closer, as I would love to play this one every week.
8 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 11 Not
Best in MN
Pros: - variety of tight/open, water/dry, and short/long holes
- pro shop with discs, snacks, and adult beverages
- will store discs found in water hazards for pickup
- snack shack in middle grills burgers & dogs on weekends
- immaculately maintained and always evolving
Cons: - none really. can get busy but I view that as a positive, and it honestly spreads out evenly as it's such a long course.
Other Thoughts: Glow rounds here are phenomenal, but bring your Gore-tex. Course often gets foggy with dew on grass at night. Best course in Minnesota, by far.
3 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Premier Midwest Course
Pros: -Fantastically maintained
-Diverse throw styles required
-Just enough hazard to add challenge
-Mid-course Tiki Bar
Cons: -Minimal elevation change
-Plan to spend money (beer, discs, fees). Not enough to hinder most, though.
-Could benefit from expanded night throw schedule.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area, definitely one to check off the list. An all-around great destination course that has a bit of everything for a variety of throwers. Price recently subjected to inflation (early 2017). $8 if I recall?
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Most cared for course anywhere.
Pros: + Multiple holes that would be signature holes elsewhere(hole 4, hole 5, hole 6, hole 16, hole 17, hole 18, hole 26)
+ Variety in length, shape, OB, water, open, tight
+ Perfectly maintained grounds
+ Proshop on site stocked with discs, snacks, drinks, scorecards/maps
+ Getting off the fairway is a fair amount of punishment. It will cost you strokes, but not discs.
+ 27 holes
+ Benches/Trashcans at every tee
Cons: - Tee signs could be improved. Although the maps from the pro shops were very detailed.
- Pretty flat, but has some artificially built up tees/greens.
Other Thoughts: This is a special disc golf course. You will not find a course that is maintained better than this. Signature holes at every turn. Really tests every part of your game. Hats off to the people who run this course. Many legitimate par 5/5s which require multiple good shots to get to the green. Great job of designing holes which have a line or two in mind but are not too flukey.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: Excellent course, very nicely maintained, great variety and for a modestly skilled player like myself it was very challenging.
Cons: It's pretty far away from the South Metro. Quite a haul, but I truthfully have no real quarrels.
0 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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