Durham's best course
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Three very different skill-level tees make this a good course for beginning to advanced players.
- Very challenging, heavily wooded disc golf requiring a variety of different shot types.
- Great use of elevation.
- Beautiful property.
- For the advanced tees, several longer par 4 holes.
- Is well beat in, with relatively little underbrush, so that it usually isn't too hard to find discs.
- The course is well-maintained and has good signage.
- Plenty of parking.
- 22 holes (the last 4 of which are the best, but aren't really intended for beginning players).
- Doesn't get as muddy as the other area courses.
Cons: - Can get fairly busy when the weather is nice, but you usually don't have long waits.
- Two of the holes are currently closed for construction.
- It would be helpful to have signs or arrows pointing to the next hole in some places.
- On the first part of the course, some of the holes are a bit too close together, and it is very easy to end up on the wrong fairway.
- Baskets are difficult to see.
Other Thoughts: This is the best course in Durham. I can't quite rate it a 4.5, but it is really better than a 4 - probably closer to a 4.25. After playing the blue tees for the first time, I am tempted to give it a 4.5, but for the fact that two holes are currently closed for construction.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Earn your birdies
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging (but not impossible) layout that has a fair variety of long and short, left and right and straight, downhill and uphill shots.
From the blues especially, birdies are earned, which speaks to why a 1000 rated round from blue tees is only about -3. Par is solid.
It has a couple of fun par 4's and they can be reached by long arm and average throwers, with the possible exception of hole 18 from the blue tees.
Clear signage and trials to next tees.
The greens on the holes are carefully thought out, some being in nice grassy areas and some guarded by trees.
Great place to hone in your accuracy game with drivers and midranges
Cons: It is a totally wooded course, so no open holes, other than the green of 21 and tee and fairway of 22.
Have seen a couple of black snakes.
Other Thoughts: Wish they had a couple of holes that really open and can let loose on a drive. A water hazard or two would be nice, but this course is great.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun, Challenging course
Other Thoughts: Was in town from South Florida and played several rounds here, all from the white tees. There was always time issues as I was at a family gathering and never got to play holes 19-22. Course was in nice shape for the most part. Some benches, trash cans, great tee signs and directional markings. All holes had concrete tees which were in good condition. The tees did feel narrow and a bit shorter than I am use to. The narrowness limited the lines you could take and forced manipulation a bit too often for my tastes. That said, a player with a full arsenal of shots should be able to adjust to this. The tees also were elevated off the ground making any full runup almost impossible as well as a decent follow through. In thinking back I believe I would have scored better just throwing from a standstill.
All holes wind through the woods with many elevation changes and almost all are reachable with the right shot. The lines are all challenging and narrow. If you miss it a bit, you will be playing plinko with the trees. There was a fairly even number of right and left doglegs. I looked at a few blue tees and never could identify much of a line at all.
Overall this course was fun to play, though very frustrating at times. You hit what you think is the line only to catch a tree further up. Since I was traveling I brought a fairly small bag. Most of the time the disc I didn't bring, were the ones I needed. I also brought several DX discs which was a bad idea since I had several novice level family members with me for most rounds, using my discs. . so the DX plastic is beat to hell. On the other hand I couldn't recommend a better course for beating in some premium plastic.
Overall this is a pretty decent course if you are nearby. I wouldn't drive overly far to play it, but if in the area, it is worthwhile.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Be ready to play!
Pros: This course is challenging. It is hilly and heavily wooded. You have to have great accuracy to play this course. (I only play the back tees so I'm not sure how it is from the shorter tees). From the back tees you will also need power. On many if not all holes, if you do not have a good drive par will be very hard to get. One bad hole can ruin the entire round. This course has a great variety of holes. The majority of holes are in the (200 to 350ft range), which doesn't sound too long but the course plays long. Part of this is that there is lots of uphill elevation on some holes where the drive is extremely difficult. There are also some downhill holes that always fun to play. There are not any holes that are flat for the most part. All holes have some kind of elevation which is awesome. This course is mature and clean. There is no undergrowth or bushes or shrubs. The course does a great job of showing a tunnel or a pathway on where to throw it instead of just throwing the disc into a dense forest and hoping you get lucky. There is a good mic of par 3 and 4s. But the par 4's are legit and still challenging. I don't think the course favors any particular shot, a good arsenal of shots would greatly benefit you. The walking distances between holes is short for most of the holes.The tee pads are in good shape and are nicely shaped. The baksets are pretty nice as well. It is usually not crowded and you can play a round in 1 hour or less. The tee signs are also nice and represent the hole nicely. What really makes me rate this course so high is that you can't lose focus on this course. To get a good score you have to fight through all 22 holes. At other courses if you have a bad drive you can come back and make par no sweat. Not this course. Precision and execution will result in a fun round.
Cons: This course can be repetitive in the feeling that it is heavily wooded (excluding last 4 holes). The first 8 holes are kinda the same in a way and have a similar feeling. Sometimes there are random trees in the way of your tee shot which can be annoying. Once you have a bad drive it is somtimes impossible to save par. There aren't too many birdie holes and sometimes it can a little tricky to find the next hole if you haven't played there before.
Other Thoughts: Great wonderful course. There is also 3 softball fields and a soccer field. Definetly should try it out if you are in the area
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Great Course, Tight Lines
Pros: Nice Variety over 22 Holes
Mainly Wooded, but a Few Open Shots
Fair Amount of Elevation Changes for the Area
Multiple Tee Pads
Cons: Lots of Leaves
First Few Holes are Repetitive
Tee Pads are Short
Other Thoughts: Overall this is my weekday course for Durham. It is a solid 4 to me, while Cornwallis is a distant 2.5.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Would love as my home course
Pros: While some folks complain about the repetition of the first stretch of holes, there's also the conclusion that the course designers used the land available in the best way possible. The 18 (22 total) holes are well imagined and executed with three tees, often with significantly different lines. The fairways are challenging but fair; think there was only one tree on the course I thought should be removed and that might be a LH-biased perspective. Very little underbrush, as others have said. What I don't think others have said is the fairness of the greens as well. Many times from my experience, shorter wooded courses with rocky greens often depend more on luck (of where you land) than skill. But I found most of the greens to not be haphazardly punishing, though straddle putts are frequent to avoid obstacles. If you miss your line, you will likely have a challenging, obstructed upshot, as you would expect from a wooded NC course.
Tees are easy to find thanks to a very simple sign system: each hole features a dark green pole with a clear, large, visible hole number located on the side of the pole. Simple but very effective. On holes where one or more of the three tees requires different navigation than the other tees, clear signs are posted that direct players to the correct tees.
Course was very clean, benches abundant, and a good map was offered at start of the course.
Cons: The tee pads are just over one-path wide and appear to be .75 the length of a normal tee pad. In some cases, the rear of the pad has been worked on to offer a longer approach. I'm jealous of those players who are not affected by tee pad oddities. The tees are adequate if you plan your approach well and then execute as planned. The narrower pads force you to use the approach angle offered by the tee.
While the tees are easy to locate, some of the baskets require walking down the fairway a bit. A number of the tees are showing age, but none are damaged as to hinder fair putting.
I encountered two oblivious walkers who seemed to be using the course for exercise/walking purposes. Both were totally oblivious and didn't seem to understand that they were walking on an active disc golf course. As I was surveying one hole, a man walked directly toward a pin and then noticing the (dry) creek behind the hole in his forward direction, ventured down the fairway in the direction of the tee -- oblivious the whole way.
Other Thoughts: I played the white tees for the most part. A number of holes feature the alternative (by month) tees listed. What I didn't know before playing was that on (all?) holes in which the white and blue teepads were the same, a longer "blue" basket was available. In those instances, I played to the longer basket. I might give the blue tees a run at some point; playing the white/blue tee to blue basket, from my perspective, created a few longer holes, as the course does have a fair amount of short holes.
I didn't have a chance to play the four added holes as I needed to get back to family obligations.
Hole 2: As a LHBH player, I really enjoyed the hyzer line. Could play that hole all day.
Holes 4 and 13: Lazer-straight hyzer flip shots. Wide enough fairways to have some room to work with, but still challenging. Fair greens on both holes.
Hole 12: Fun hyzer-skip ace run for LHBH or RHFH.
Hole 17 (to long basket): LHBH valley-shot anyhzer that ends uphill off the tee, before a tunnel-ish shot to deep, narrow pin.
Lots of rocks and trees, so good for breaking in discs. If you don't like dinging up your putting putter, might want to bring a retired putter or less-preferred one. Lots of rocky greens, including one basket on a large rock.
Hit lots of trees, but thought course was fair. Rarely, if ever, had to go searching for a disc after tree hit thanks to lack of underbrush and sights lines through trees. Makes course a lot of fun, as play flows well. Clear that course is labor of love for locals who upkeep it. I appreciate their work and they have a course they should be proud of.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Second best course in the area!
Pros: Fantastic location very close to I-85
This course gets harder as it goes, starting with a nice short straight putter shot and slowly climbing. It's not totally vertical in it's difficulty progression, which is good as it gives you a bit of relief with some slightly easier holes after the last harder hole, but overall the course gets longer and tighter as it goes, which adds a very interesting dynamic.
3 tees, sometimes two baskets, great detailed signage!
NO OVERGROWN BRUSH! If you're off the fairway you'll just be in some trees rather than a mess of ticks, spiders, thorns and poison ivy like SOME courses in the area.
Course is challenging but fair, which is an extremely difficult balance to find when you're talking about wooded NC courses. All too often wooded courses will be unfair and not have valid lines to play the hole, you'll never have that problem with this course. Expertly crafted to always have a valid line to the basket, even on the hardest holes. (With one small exception, in the cons)
Cons: There's not much negative to say about the course. It fulfills all the qualities you'd want out of a quality NC course. The only thing I can think of is that on hole 20 I've had beautiful drives right in the fairway that left me with no valid shot to the basket. Oh, and the last hole doesn't bring you back to the parking lot. You actually have to walk back to your car, how dare they! (Satire)
Other Thoughts: Thanks to the course designers as well as the folks who keep the course maintained.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A layout for all skill levels
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Valley Springs is a tried and true course in NW Durham. It's one of the most played tracks in the entire Triangle -- and for good reason. It's fun, well-maintained, and with 3 sets of tees (Red-rec, White-intermediate, and Blue-advanced), plus 4 extra holes ("Four More"), it really does have something for everybody.
+ Beautiful piece of property for technical, woods golf. Lots of elevation. Variety. Uphills, downhills, valleys, and ridges. Fast greens. Risk/reward. All you could want in a local disc golf course.
+ Navigation is easy. Good signage and easy to follow paths. Excellent tee signs with layouts and distances for all three sets of tees.
+ The best pro of the three sets of tees, in my opinion, is that they're not just shorter or longer versions of the same tee. On most holes, you really get completely different looks from the different sets of tees. On the white tee, you may have a hyzer fairway, whereas on the red tee, you might have a straight fairway. From the reds, you're not simply playing a shorter version of the tee shot from the whites. The tees themselves are in good shape also, but my only complaint with them is the width. They are pretty narrow.
+ A big plus for me on this course is the lack of underbrush. It's a mature forest. On the last 4 holes, there's a little more underbrush to worry about, but I've never had a problem finding discs in the rough.
+ For me, what bumps Valley Springs up from a 3.0 to a 3.5 is the dual fairways and multiple ways to play holes. This is an element that you don't find on many courses. I like having a hyzer line and an anhyzer line to choose from. I also thought the fairways were very fair (appropriate width for the length of the hole).
+ I really like the last 4 holes. You can tell that they were added on later because they don't seem to fit with the rest of the course. There are two par 4's and the holes are much longer than the other 18. (The only other par 4 on the course, depending on which layout you play, is #9.) There are also a couple of open holes, the only ones on the course.
+ The course is always well-maintained and local volunteers, course caretakers, and Durham Parks & Rec do a great job keeping it in top shape.
Cons: Valley is maybe a notch below being a "destination course," but it's a must-play compared to other Durham courses and in the upper tier of all Triangle-area courses.
- There's some repetition with the first eight holes or so. This is kind of a nit-pick because I love valley shots and big elevation, but the first eight holes are essentially back and forth across the same valley. Again, this is a nit-pick. I liked all of these holes. But they're pretty close together and repetitive.
- It can be tough to see the basket from the tee on certain holes. New, yellow DISCatchers would really help out a lot -- or more visible flags on top of the baskets.
- Part of being in a North Carolina forest is...mosquitos. Wear your deet.
Other Thoughts: Really strong course. This is clearly the best course in Durham. And I rank it right up there with the best courses in the Triangle. This is how I would group the 18-hole public courses in the Triangle:
4.5 - Rock Ridge
4.0 - Jones, Buckhorn, East Clayton
3.5 - Apex, Zebulon, Valley, Cedar Hills, UNC
3.0 - Kentwood, Middle Creek, So. Community
2.5 - Leigh Farm, Cornwallis, Wendell
2.0 - Bethesda
Get out there and throw!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tight and wooded without being a plinko-fest. Lots of elevation change gives the good feeling of launching downhill and the challenge of playing uphill. This course makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. We saw a group of deer early on in the course.
Multiple tees provide an enjoyable experience for newbs and advanced players. Some of the blues were much longer than the red/whites. Basket for #6 is slightly elevated on a boulder.
Holes 19-22 have a different feel and are a bit more open.
Not much undergrowth, so finding errant discs is easy.
Signage is nice and shows distance and layout. Navigation is intuitive for the most part.
I've played this course three times and have only seen one other group. But I was on dawn patrol every time. I assume this course gets a lot of traffic judging by the condition of the fairways.
Cons: Baskets aren't always very visible and a couple of signs were missing.
The first 8 holes play back and forth across the same valley, and while the shots required vary a bit, it seems a bit repetitive.
Other Thoughts: My dad and I played the whites and that seemed about right for us. Some of the blues would have been a real challenge. I just carried a beat Roc and a putter and only wished I had a driver on a couple of holes.
This is one of the best in the Triangle that I have played. If I were in Durham proper and limited by time, I'd play Valley Springs first. Then Cornwallis Road. Then Bethesda.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Best course in Durham
Pros: -The changes in elevation make this course challenging and fun (there is even one basket posted up into the top of a boulder)
-Great signage and a variety of tees
-The fairways are tight but clean
-The addition of the past 4 holes (22 in all) make for a long course
-Several holes are over 500 feet
Cons: -This course is not a place where you come to drop bombs, it is a little too technical for that
-Hole 21 is the only open hole (which is a gorgeous hole btw). I would love it if perhaps this course had more open holes. But that would require more trees to be cut down. I'm conflicted
-Spiders everywhere during some months of the year
Other Thoughts: -This park in general is great. There are several baseball fields and a soccer field that you can warm up on and chuck some plastic before getting into the game
-The blue tees are truly much more difficult than the whites. Some very unique and challenging blue tees. Ex: One blue tee is about 120 feet farther than the white tees.
-Love this course, best in the area.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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