Hardly a grind
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The smell of the course was one of the first things I noticed. I love the smell of high altitude pine country, reminding me of the Black Hills in South Dakota or the Bryce Canyon area of Utah. It put me in a good mood.
The course did nothing to change my mood. The first 9 holes were enjoyable, using some elevated tees and good use of the meandering creek beds for dangerous putts. The pines are tall and define the fairways nicely. Hole 2 was maybe my favorite, a long drive from an elevated tee that requires hitting a two gaps with space for a fun drive.
The second 9 took things to another level (literally, I guess) with big elevation gains and shorter pines with more chance to get caught up in branches with errant throws. Hole 11 (I think) was a beautiful drive across an valley to an elevated pin across the way. Hole 18 was a thrilling empty-the-bag ace run down a steep hill with a ton of different approaches over the waiting pines.
The last 9 continued the elevation and returned to some of the taller pines and play along the dam site. Only one hole really brings the dam into play (hole 25?), where an inadvertent turnover shot could go over the wall, or a throw too long could go over another fence. The best hole is 26 (again, I think), a big downhill drive that requires getting under a protective branch before sailing down the valley.
Tees were all trapezoidal and concrete. Navigation was pretty easy, especially on the second and third 9.
There is a casino a few blocks away, so you can combine camping, disc golf, and card counting in a way that is pretty difficult in so many areas.
Cons: A lot of holes have blind shots the first time you play. Hole 18 was one of the more frustrating, where I couldn't interpret the tee sign and threw a few shots straight down the hill before walking halfway down and seeing where the basket really was. I emptied the rest of my bad.
On that note, the tee signs are one of the few weak points of the course. They're not bad. But they weren't the most descriptive and didn't always help me locate the holes.
While I don't care about a preponderance of par 4s, if you do, know that this course doesn't really emphasize raw distance, although you'll need that power on the uphill shots.
Other Thoughts: Here is something I don't say often: there wasn't a single shot on this course that wasn't fun. Bad shots will not be rewarded here, but this isn't a course that sets out to ruin your day to prove a point. It was a blast, and on the pure fun scale, I'll put this in the echelon of Whistler's Bend, Lake Casitas, Pier Park, Devens, and Waterworks.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful course and scenery. Challenging for the novice player to the pros. Tee signs on the front 9 make it easy to navigate if it's your first time there. We'll kept and was planned well!! Easy to find the park even for the directionally challenged lol! Road signs will lead straight to it.
Cons: New holes have the nice new disc catcher pros and concrete tee pads. Tee signs not up yet (as of 7-9-15) so didn't have time to search out the rest due to time. Know your discs when playing. Long straight drivers are good to negotiate the trees but pay attention to your throws or use a spotter where needed!
Other Thoughts: I live in Texas where we all know how the heat can be lol! Was awesome to get to play in Ruiodoso and the family can't wait to go back again next year! Especially my son and so we can hit this one again. If your ever there or passing through its most definitely a must play!!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
New Mexico Champion(ship) Course
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: With the additional of nine more holes, this 27 hole course is certainly among the best in the state. It is no surprise that the State Championships have been played here the past two years.
The three nine-hole loops differ significantly from one another, but are each challenging. The course arrangement returns you to the parking area after each loop.
The front nine is in a park area with large pine trees, grassy lawn, and relatively clear understory. There is a creek that comes into play on several of the holes, and some modest elevation change. The hole lengths vary from 230' to 515' in this loop, and the greatest challenge is working your drive through the numerous tall pines and staying out of the OB creek. A few baskets placed at the top edge of the creek to create some great risk/reward on longer putts. Lay-up for par or run it for birdie/bogie?
The middle nine is on a natural hillside area across the road. There are not many large trees, but the elevation changes are extreme and several ravines (small canyons) come into play here. Hole lengths in this loop vary from 250' to 550' with some great uphill, downhill, and cross-canyon shots. There is a great deal more low brush in this area to make disc finding a bit of a challenge. This loop features some baskets on points and edges that create a few tricky putts.
The new final nine plays below Grindstone Dam, and is an interesting mix of the first two. It utilizes a hillside with large pine trees, so gives much of the elevation change of the middle loop with the tall trees of the first loop. The holes tend to be a bit shorter here, varying from 140' to 370'.
All holes have excellent concrete tee pads and Innova baskets. Many holes have a shorter alternate tee pad, usually a rubber mat.Tee signs are very good, with hole number, length, par, good hole map and the hole sponsor.
Reasonably large gravel parking lot with a clean porta-can and trash cans. Quite a few benches and a few trash cans distributed through the course.
Each of the three loops have a large sign with a course map, individual hole maps, sponsors, rules, etc.
Cons: It is hard to find anything not to like about this course.
The middle loop is on a steep and rocky piece of land. Footing can be a little dicey, so watch your step.
With the significant amount of up and down on a course at 7000 foot elevation, you will get worked physically. Not a bad thing, but you might be huffing and puffing a bit (or a lot).
Several holes drive to a blind basket, so first time players will have to walk forward quite a bit, and a spotter is a big help. Your discs can get tricky to find on some of the middle and final loop holes, as there are some long blind drives and thick undergrowth in spots. Update 2016 - There has been a lot of clearing on the final 9 hole loop with about 75% of the trees removed in some areas. Quite a bit more forgiving and still a great section of the course.
Other Thoughts: This is a seriously challenging course, with a great variety of holes. With three complete nine-hole loops accessible from the parking lot you can start on 1, 10 or 19 depending on where others are playing.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Make sure you play it
Pros: A very nice course giving you some very unique holes. It is made up of two 9 hole loops. The front nine is a technical loop, in a small area behind Grindstone Lake's dam. It uses trees and the creek to make you shape shots, it also puts a few mandos into play.
The back nine is very different, and likely the nine that make this course so great. This loop is located across Resort Dr from the front nine. It uses steep elevation changes to make a challenging set of holes. There are uphill and downhill shots, as well as a number of shots across ravines. It makes very good use of the unique topography of the area.
Navigation is very easy on both loops, very good signage and nice Discatchers with easily spottable yellow bands.
Cons: The back nine have a lot of uphill and downhill hiking. The terrain is a bit rough in some places. If you are not acclimated to the elevation (about 7000 ft) you can get winded very quickly.
Other Thoughts: I'm not always a fan of mandos used simply to make holes harder by eliminating lines. Many times they really don't work well and end up being cheap gimmicks, but Grindstone really uses them well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Very Fun Course
Pros: -course is heavily wooded and makes for a fun, but difficult game
-front nine are very marked and hole placements are very well thought out
-beautiful scenery, and great weather most of the time
-the locals are very helpful and friendly
-little creek and a couple of roads make for a good couple of OB's
-parking lot is nice, plus a very good putting circle to warm up
-if you want a serious challenge the back nine is for you
Cons: -if you don't like trees then you will not like this course because you will most likely hit a few
-the back nine is poorly marked, and is comprised of very steep hills, and very deep ravines, spot your disc or you will lose it
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A Must Play !!
Pros: A beautiful course with all types of shots.
- Very friendly locals to help you get around
- Good signage on front 9 and terrific course layout. Two nine hole loops bring you back to the parking lot to resupply or whatever.
- Excellent use of the terrain putting hills and water into play but not unreasonable. Water hazard is only a tiny creek deep and wide enough to be played as O.B. but you should get your disc back if it goes in.
- Tight alleys of mature evergreen trees force accuracy but do not punish you too bad if you don't make it.
- Long and short holes test both distance and accuracy
Cons: Only thing I would say is a con is the back nine has not been fully marked yet with signs. And it is kind of a tough hike over felled trees and through some brush. I will rate this a 5 once the back nine is finished.
Other Thoughts: An absolute must play if you are ever near Ruidoso, NM. Set in a beautiful evergreen forest with very majestic looking holes from the tee boxes. Especially the back nine Playing from hill top to hill top over steep gullies.
Not a course for beginners to enjoy only the hardened disc golfer will truly enjoy this course. Not to say this is not playable by the beginner but they should probably stick to the front nine.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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