Swiss Army Knife of the Golf World?
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Each time we come down to visit my folks in the Lake Conroe area, I try to stop in at a new course or four in the region, to experience a little Texas style disc golf. My first course in the state was Shawshank, and my most recent (of 9 so far) was Spring Valley. Makes for good bookends if it takes me a while to return. I stopped in at the pro shop and paid the tiny fee they charge for a round on a Saturday morning, and chatted a bit about other DGCR members that have visited. They've got a nice shop, and will help you out with course particulars if it's your first visit.
On Saturday, you can't play the Power Nine (it's a shared space), but that was OK with me, being a lover of Finesse courses, and not monster drives. Nice that they have both (most of the week) for those who want that. I noted a bunch of practice baskets up near the pro shop, and was a little amused to see some of the ball and stick golfers struggling through their fun as I walked to the back of the property for hole one of the disc golf course.
The holes on this part of the course have beautiful and great catching, pink baskets, and the flow is fairly easy to follow (with a couple of exceptions, below). The holes were obviously laid out by a knowledgeable player who understands what will pose a challenge given the limited distances on the "Finesse 18". The tightness was well-scaled to the hole lengths throughout. Neat features and amenities: awesome, curved, trapezoidal concrete tees on almost every hole; benches as well; neat elevated basket on 15; huge log 'guard rail' as you enter the 17th green; net behind the 16th tee has been retained despite some changes in course flow. It felt as if all lines of flight played safely in relation to the other tees and fairways.
In all, this course is well-suited to Intermediate skill levels and above, and it feels good to catch a glimpse of most of the ball and stick golfers not playing quite as well as you 😉
Cons: It is a bit of a walk to where the fence line on your left opens up for the first hole on the Finesse 18. You need to backtrack part of the 6th hole to tee off and reverse back to the path you just left to get to 7. The back nine (10-16) can run together a bit for first timers. Best to get the map and clarity at the pro shop, or play with an 'old hand'.
During my visit, they'd had some significant water, and one of the holes was literally unplayable to the green. They were also struggling to get maintenance back there, so it was a little shaggy. But the wood holes were cool and refreshing, and pretty well-kept.
Other Thoughts: The Spring Valley disc golf course and golf complex is obviously a well-loved facility that gets a lot of attention and a lot of well-deserved patronage. It's not going to be perfection, but is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area north of Houston.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: played 312 courses and written 295 reviews, via skills hovering around a 900 rating, with folks ranging from age 7 to 87, so I try to write reviews helpful to all.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I am ashamed of how long it took me to visit Spring Valley, given I used to work a few miles north of here, and house sat for a 2nd family just across the street many times. If only I had known the gem of a disc golf facility right here. And a GEM it is.
It doesn't look like much from the road, and the parking lot is pretty small, but as soon as you step inside you know this place is no joke. I don't think there's discs on the market you can't buy in this place. (though it will probably be overpriced)
Now, onto the course. Or, should I say, courses, because there really are two here: The Finesse 18, and the Power 9.
The Power 9 is exactly that- 9 loong bomber holes with minimal obstacles. It lies over the golf course, and you need a big arm to expect to do well here. The holes are pretty various and if you can hit big lines, it's pretty fun! I especially loved holes 1, 8, and 9. You start off with a huge downhill shot, then 8 finishes over the little pond, and 9 goes back up the hill, to finish near the practice area.
The Finesse 18 is a bit of a walk past the first couple Power 9 holes, and plays through the woods around the golf course. The fairways are tight. The baskets are pink. And the ground is sometimes muddy. But the course is fantastic. Some doglegs, some left, some right finishes, PUNISHING rough. But also some places where there aren't punishing roughs. I know that doesn't help much but picture this: a Texas oak/elm forest, with dirt floors, runs along a large river which comes into play a couple times. I found the fairways intriguing. I always wanted to really go for it, but the risk/reward comes into play because if you miss, well just take your medicine.
All 27 holes have great concrete tees, and hot pink mach x's. I've never seen pink baskets before, but I have to admit- I loved em.
All this to say- great course.
Cons: On the Finesse 18, navigation can get tricky. There are some holes really bunched up around 12-17, and you can skip a few holes without realizing it.
The Power 9 can get a little repetitive. It's not that the holes are really that similar, but they're pretty open, and you're still driving for big distance 9 times in a row with no real risk/reward, just how-far-can-you-get? throws.
Sharing the space with the ball golfers can be difficult, because they probably won't yield to you. There were a couple times I was waiting on some golfers to finish while I was on the disc golf tee, and another golfer would come up and tee ahead of me and I'd just have to wait again.
Other Thoughts: A couple holes by the river were washed out after some recent flooding, even post-Harvey. A couple others have clear flood damage from the amount of water the course took during the hurricane. It brought my fun outing to a stark reality check, thinking about how this course almost wasn't. There was a dirt tee marked with flags for one or two holes when I played, and I bet a concrete tee will be there soon.
Spring Valley is one of the premier places to play in the Houston area. There are holes here for everybody, at every level of the game. Don't make the same mistake I did and delay playing here. If you're around, get here as fast as you can. Take a damn flying car if you need to. Or ride an ostrich. But don't miss out!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Some really cool hole design, good use of water hazards and a lot more clever use of elevation than other super-flat Houston courses. A lot of holes present multiple different lines you can go for, good variety of angles.
- The pro shop has a ton of selection and the staff member there provided me with a map and some helpful advice on the course hazards.
- The practical stuff: lots of benches, trash cans, good teepads, clear markings and directions, nice, clean restrooms in the clubhouse, fairways nicely mowed.
- Lots of shade, which is of course great in the Tx heat.
- The raised basket and death putt on #15 is a cool element, also really like the risk-reward between the two lines on #4. The downed tree on #17 seems to collect drives, which makes for really interesting putting challenges, over the tree, leaning against the tree, etc.
- Almost all holes feel very fair, gaps and fairways aren't too small. There may have been two or so holes that I didn't feel like I had any shot at birdie.
Cons: - Speaking of: how the heck are you supposed to birdie #18?
- I was only able to play the "Finesse 18", as it was a weekend round. I would really like to come out on a weekday and play all 27 holes. I enjoy wooded courses, but was really itching to bust out the high-speed drivers after 18 holes of pinballing through the trees - I think the full 27 would be a much more balanced experience.
- The course had some damage from the hurricane still, but it was mostly aesthetic - some trees down, some piles of dirt and rocks here and there. Overall, they did a great job cleaning up.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Even after the weather
Pros: The pro shop and the amount of different ways the course can be played.
Cons: Hot outside. With all the rain that happened at the beginning of summer now the course needs rain.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait for the food! You have to travel 5 miles just to get bad food now.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: I like the difficultly of each hole. no open grip and rip unless you play the power 9.
The club house rocks with a great selection and the owners provide a friendly family atmosphere.
Cons: to me.. I wish I lived a little closer to play it more often.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -First of all this course has the best selection of discs on the north side of town. It is easy to go in and spend $40-$50 on brand new discs.
-The concrete tee pads are great, the baskets are in wonderful shape.
-Most of the holes are shaded which can be a huge pro in the heat of summer.
-There are a few memorable holes. The front 9 of the finesse are all unique and can be exciting.
-All of the finesse holes are relatively short. This would be a good place to bring a new player so that person can see what a high caliber course looks like.
-The power 9 holes are VERY unique to Houston. You will not find too many courses where you have 800'+ holes and if you have the big arm this could add a bit of fun for you.
Cons: -Really, the only big con I can think of is the long walk from the clubhouse to the first tee and from the 18th tee back up to the clubhouse. It is unavoidable with the golf course being right there but it can be a bit of a walk.
-Holes 13-17 have over lapping fairways on a few holes which can really be problematic for a person who has never been here without a map. All tees have signs and all baskets have numbers on them. Just be aware of where you are and where you are shooting at.
Other Thoughts: This is a premier course for the North Houston/Spring area. With the high quality pro shop and a small green fee this course gives you a taste of what a high quality course looks like.
This is one of the best courses in the area and if you play Stonebridge Church less then 10 minutes away you can give yourself a fun filled day of disc golfing.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
High Hopes were Destroyed
Pros: This course has a couple of pros, and cons that can not be overlooked.
The pros would include, well maintained course, mild variety of shots needed, great for beginners, and power 9 are interesting enough to make a return trip from DFW. It's cheap to play, and I couldn't really see my self paying anymore than that, for that course. I liked the scenery a lot as well. A bunch of cool designs around the course.
Also, the area it's in is a nice neighborhood.
Cons: Where do I start?
Out of the way of most things in that neighborhood, Not easy to spot from the road(to be fair that's just that neighborhood, Great neighborhood though), worker didn't seem to know much about the course.
Onto the course it'self.
It lacks variety of shots. You only need 3-4 throws, (long anhyzer, straight shot, short hyzer, and putts). Not many holes break 300' in distance(Finesse 18). The course only flows well on the first 1-5, after 6 you have to backtrack to get to 7, and 13-17 is a headache even with a map. You're not allowed to fish your discs out, if you put them into the drink(I understand why, but for out of towners it makes it difficult to get em back). A lot of the back nine are the exact same throw, just 20' difference between em. I had a variety of discs in my bags for the hopes of throwing different lines, and ended up using a total of 5 different discs, (Buzzz, Surge, Wizard, Gazelle, and the occasional Monarch tomahawk, just to give me a different throw to use.)
Not really a con, but will be labeled as one because people should know. I'm not sure which hole it's next to, but in the headache of 13-17, there is a standing pool of water that is guaranteed to harbor unwanted mosquitoes. We didn't really have an issue, because we always wear bug spray, but I can see an probable issue.
Other Thoughts: Favorite hole by far is #4. It was well designed.
I was let down big time, on my trip I saved it for Monday, so we could save the best for last. It let me down. I enjoyed the course, but that's because I love playing regardless of where. There is better courses around that area. If you plan on playing this one, do it first with enough time to play another near there, just so you don't feel as you wasted your day.
The course is around a ball golf course, and the guy that was running the pro shop, was obviously a ball golfer and didn't share my love for the game. I liked their selection, but they were out of the some of my favorite discs, that I planned on purchasing. (Volt, XS in max weight in Z plastic, and Air Saint)
I will play here again, but it'll be after I play the other Houston courses.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 13 Not
Too Much Finesse
Pros: Nice pro shop stocked full of your typical run of plastics
Power 9 holes
A few of the finesse holes stand out (4,5 & 7), but most you could argue are filler holes, repetitive and have no realistic fairways.
This is a great site, the land is good overall and has tons of potential.
Best Holes - Power 1-9
Cons: Many of the finesse holes are not legitimate golf lines. There are too many trees in the fairways many times, and trees too close to the teebox making more luck than skill.
Worst Holes - Finesse 3, 8, 11 & 18
Other Thoughts: This could be a top notch site if it was re-designed as a solid 18 or 21 holes that played in and out of the woods, instead of 18 crammed into the woods and 9 big open shots. I give this course a 1.5 passable rating because it does pass as fun overall but not as good as other courses in the Houston area.
3 of 16 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 3 Not
The Disc 'n' Ball Share Course
Pros: I was impressed at first with this course. Andi Lehman did a good job laying out this course. The "Power 9" is just what it is supposed to be: Nine long grip and rip holes for the power arm bunch. Not recommended for the short throwers (this includes me). The Finesse 18 is a different story. You are playing through the woods surrounding the ball golf course. With the exception of holes one and two, which are straight throws toward baskets about roughly 300 feet away each, you will be playing around the creek that runs by the course for the next seven holes. Hole 8 is a straight throw across a narrow stretch of fairway before a dogleg to the left and one hundred additional feet to the basket. My favorite on this course. Holes 10 through 18 continue play in the the woods and are variously tricky in and of themselves. Especially hole 11 which has a fairway loaded with trees. A good challenge overall. A good variety of holes and a nice 18 hole course is the finesse 18. I like the supply of a broom at every tee to sweep off any leaves or other debris. Benches are present at every tee as well. All tees in the woods are concrete. Liked that for this course.
Cons: When you start to mix the power 9 with the finesse 18 you will be utterly confused. Transition hole 14 has no tee that I was aware of. I just found a stake for a tee and threw at a basket I saw in the distance. I could not find the baskets mentioned for half the power 9 holes. And the ultimate con: the rule that you could not try to retrieve your disc if it flew into the ponds or creek. This course gets a half disc knock-off just for that rule!
Other Thoughts: This course has one of the best stocked pro shops I have seen for a disc golf course. If you spend $25 or more there your play on the course is free. Otherwise it is a $3.50 green fee. All-in-all, it is worth the fee. I still disagree with the non-recovery lost disc rule, whether they recover the discs and call you or not. Sorry Andi, remove that rule and you will get a three-disc review from me. Otherwise, the best you are going to get is a 2.5 from me. Play the course (finesse 18 recommended). It is worth the greens fee and you just might find a disc you are looking for in the pro shop. Also, Andi is pretty nice. She gave me some good disc advice and the benefit of some of her disc golf knowledge. And for a beginner like me, that comes in handy from time to time. For those of you that find my review unhelpful due to my objection to the "no recovery" rule must not have irretrievably lost a disc in a pond or a stream. If you ever play this course, lose a disc, and find it for sale in the bargain bin of the pro shop, then you will probably understand.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Spring Valley DGC is very well worth the $3.25 green fee. The finesse 18 is a run through the woods with plenty of tight lines and punishing rough. Course is mainly flat, excepting boggy fringes eroded around a few of the holes. Fairways are often crowded with trees, and steep angles are necessary to cut the right lines. The tee pads were all concrete, and tees were marked with the distance on each. All baskets were in good condition. The flow was fairly easy to follow, and a course map/scorecard is available in the pro shop. The Power 9 is along the ball golf course. I only played 1 and 9, on my way to and from the Finesse 18, but it seemed fun and well laid out.
Cons: The mosquitoes were huge, bring bug spray. Maybe concerns about ball golfers interfering with play in the power nine, shouldn't be much of a problem elsewhere. Clearing some more brush and limbs could make the Finesse much less frustrating, but I liked the added challenge on the mostly short holes.
Other Thoughts: Spring Valley DGC should be your next stop if you are nearby and haven't played there yet. I found it to be a very fun course. Nice facilities, pro shop, and sweet overall disc golfing. Highly recommended to serious disc golfers in the Houston vicinity and otherwise.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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