Second best course in the area!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
1 of 1 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.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
I wish I discovered this one earlier
Pros: - the course is immaculate, no trash in the rough, etc. I attribute this to two things: 1) it's remote, so there aren't random delinquents cutting through and 2) the local DGC takes care of it.
- You can legitimately play every hole (first 18) 3 ways. If you share a teepad (white/blue), there a permanent second "pro" basket. As mentioned, reds will be putter only, whites are longer with open lanes p and blues are longer and/or tighter.
- the signage is good. Since the tee pads are split at some holes, there are great signs showing what direction as well as tasteful colored spray paint dots on trees leading down the paths.
- The back half of the course is pleasantly long (> 300') from the Pros. It is a wooded course, but you can "air it out" in a controlled fashion.
- Good mix of holes - it just may not seem like it because all the short ones tend to be in the front.
- Great use of the elevation changes.
- I love the fact that when there are multiple baskets, the pro baskets go right to the pro pads for the next hole. It's a very nice little design touch.
Cons: Ticky-tack stuff:
- The front holes are a little tight (from a layout perspective) - I tend to play at low volume times, so it's no biggie for me.
- The sign says par 3 on 18 from the blue - No Way. On this site it says 4, so I'm OK with that.
- Really wish they had Innova Discatchers so you could see the Yellow bands. The baskets can be a little tricky to see. Some had neon nylon tape that helped.
- whether you play 18 or 22, the end is not near parking - not a big deal, just not the "perfect" layout.
Other Thoughts: - I enjoyed the white, and really enjoyed the blues. Yes, some of the gaps are tough (note hole 16, why is the teepad pointing at brush?
- I love the elevation changes. Early on in the course, you are playing across a valley between different park facilities. There are some blue teepads that are up stairs and shooting little gaps - pretty cool.
- "Fore More" - 19-22 are just frosting on the cake. There is only one teepad (white), but they play like the blues on the regular course. If you are playing a rec round - you will be punished by 19, 20 and 22. There is an alternate teepad on 22 letting you bomb off the tee into the woods.
- The pro-basket is missing on 7.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
BEST COURSE IN DURHAM
Pros: 3 sets of pads, short is womens pad. back pads are awsome, so tight it hurts your mind. has nets to protect you from errant shots from others. long slight elevaton changes just great for the long woods game
Cons: back pads are not as defient as the should be. but none the less REAL HARD
Other Thoughts: locals in durham are great doubles tourneys are fun as heck
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Best course no one talks about
Pros: Three sets of clearly marked teepads provides three distinct courses that range from birdie fest all the way up to a big challenge to hang around par. None of the courses provides really long shots but the narrow, wooded fairways requires precision off the tee to have any chance at birdie. I can play this course over and over and not get bored. Additionally, you can spend all day here and play each of the red, white, and blue tee pads and not see the same shot twice. On top of it all, the "Fore More", holes 19-22, are new additions that are very tough holes. They don't have the same personality as the rest of the course, but are a fun way to wrap up a normal round of 18 holes.
Cons: Some could argue the course is a bit too short but aces are very tough to come by as well. Several of the blue teepads are borderline "chuck and pray".
Other Thoughts: Great for dogs to run off the leash. Several pin placements change every month. Great group of guys play doubles here every week.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Legit Woods Course
Pros: Valley Springs represents Woods golf in NC. Tight but legitimate fairways to test all kinds of players. The addition of holes 19-22 brings par fours to the course for the first time. Lots of elevation change and good distribution of shots make this course stand out.
Cons: The addition of Pro and Beginner T Pads to the regular layout is o.k., but just cause you can does not mean you should. In a town with super short Cornwallis DGC just minutes away, did we really need 54 T Pads??? It muddles the course a little.
Other Thoughts: I truly love this course. It was my home course for years and I have 389 rounds on it. I have a great tight woods game because of this course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
One of the best in Triangle
Pros: Valley Springs is one of the courses I just feel the urge to play frequently, even though it's a longer drive coming from Raleigh. It's a quiet park without too much traffic on the course. Lots of elevation change to make holes interesting and there are red, white, and blue tees (the latter two sometimes being together). On several holes blue even has a separate (longer) basket. Pin positions change fairly often to keep you coming back and the park and course are well maintained.
Last year (2008) four new holes were added that are longer than the average for the original 18 and provide some much needed right-to-left doglegs to spice up the bit of staleness in the 12 through 16 designs (see cons below).
New signs were added earlier this year (2009) that are quite good. Clear and accurate hole diagrams with distances and pars. Next tees are not marked but the course flows well so this should not be too much of a problem. Being wooded it is usually easy to see the path to the next hole, and where it is not clear there is a small marker sign near the pin pointing you which way to go. Also, the first tee sign has a box for scorecards, but it doesn't seem to be consistently stocked.
The pro tees here are really excellent and provide a great challenge. Be warned that they are indeed a challenge and can make your life miserable, many of the shots off of these tees are through very narrow corridors (<5ft sometimes).
Cons: It's going to sound like I have a lot of cons here but overall I don't feel that they are not major enough to warrant too much of a rating penalty.
12 through 16 are all fairly similar hole designs, mostly straight or very slightly left or right pin positions relative to the hole. The blue tee on 16 being the exception, it's a very tough hard turnover that must quickly come back to straight or overstable flight pattern (assuming RHBH) and is extremely hard when the trees are in full leaf during the summer. Fortunately I find that the holes before and after more than make up for the minor variety complaint here.
The tees are often raised concrete or are on slight downhills. Either way, this means that the front of the tee is raised from the ground. For a person with a long run up it is easy to step poorly and get your foot to overhang the front edge and turn your ankle a bit as you go forward off the tee. Similarly, it is often hard to make a long run up (to make sure you don't step off the front) because the tee is raised, making you concentrate on stepping up onto the tee rather than your shot flow.
Though there isn't much undergrowth, the trees themselves are pretty dense. There are a lot of small, thin trunk trees between the larger ones. If you go off of the fairways this course is somewhat punishing depending on time of year, often you will not have a desirable shot to the pin and may have to pitch out to the fairway.
Other Thoughts: The park has a large soccer area that can be used for practicing your drives.
The difficulty of this course increases quite a bit in late spring and through the fall when the trees and vegetation are in full bloom. At any time I think that this course is not the best for a beginner still struggling with getting a disc to fly straight. In Durham Cornwallis is a better choice as well as Kentwood in Raleigh.
Most hole layouts favor left-to-right or straight shots, so make sure you have control, turnover, and sidearm discs when you play.
The holes of the back nine (meaning 10-18) have some small-to-fist sized rocks on the fairways. Be careful when walking not turn your ankle on them and they can be a bit rough on your discs also.
Holes 19-22 are still fairly new and appear to be a work in progress. Only white tees, no red or blue. The fairways were mostly cut out of woods and there are many small stumps that need to be removed.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Now with signs!
Pros: Great signs have just been installed that make each tee and basket position very clear. Some pins are moved monthly, but the signs will tell you what position the pin is in. Plenty challenging for me from whites, but blue tees and long baskets should challenge bigger arms. Red tees also give different looks at many baskets, often giving you a more difficult line than white would have (hole 1 is a great example). Good variety of hole types, especially if you play "fore moor." Good elevation changes. Cool locals, and close to Cornwallis and UNC courses.
Cons: Woods and rocky terrain will eat up softer discs. A couple of tees and baskets are close to softball fields, so beware of homeruns. Easy to lose discs in the fall, and ticks are BAD in the spring. Older style baskets that are a little more shallow. Other than woods, no hazards (water or OB)
Other Thoughts: Buckhorn is a little more fun because of the water holes and lake views, but the woods holes are tighter at VS and the chance of losing discs is lower.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
My favorite course in the Triangle
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Because of the quality of it's 3 layouts this is my favorite course in the Triangle. Many would give that distinction to Buckhorn, and it may well be that on the White layout shorter throwers, such as myself, have more fun at the Valley because they can get more deuces with a hot round. Some longer throwers think that the White layout is too short to be challenging enough for them. Regardless, Valley Springs offers a challenge to all skill levels amidst a serene walk in the woods. There are 3 sets of concrete tee pads on most holes, and all 3 layouts offer very good elevation changes. All fairways are well cleared and reasonable. There's also great fairway shape variety-- White has 4 St/ 7 Left/ 7 Right. Kids and shorter throwers will love throwing from the concrete pads of the Red tees. The White layout is wooded and tight, so you can score well if you're shots are accurate, but your score can also easily blow up if you keep tagging trees. The Blue layout offers much longer, and even tighter lines that will challenge any Blue level player. Also, in the Blue layout, 4 holes (5, 9, 12, 17) have long baskets instead of long tees.
One more thing, for added diversity holes 7, 7, & 14 have Alternate basket positions. They alternate positions on the even and odd months.
After the regular 18 you can also play four very good and rather long extra holes called "Fore Moor". Three are in the woods and one is more open mixed terrain. All four offer good elevation changes. These are an added bonus, and one more reason why this one of the top tier courses in NC!
The diversity may be kind of confusing to people playing the course for the first time, especially the Blue layout. Make sure to check the message board for an explanation of the Long tees, Long baskets, and Alternate basket positions. Just keep in mind to always play the long tees except for these holes: 5, 9, 12, 14, 17. You can also check my Valley Springs Course Notes
page for an explanation.
Course Level: Blue layout = Blue (most suited for Advanced players rated 925-975);
White layout = White (most suited for Intermediate players rated 875-925.);
Red layout = Red (most suited for Juniors and Intermediate players rated 825-875)
For years there's been a core of dedicated volunteers who have worked hard to make this a great course! I give many thanks to one and all!
I highly recommend that you play this course. If you have time to play both the White and Blue layouts you'll be rewarded by the full experience.
You be the judge
My favorite hole: 7. A long straight downhill alley that has to get through a gauntlet of trees then go back up again to a basket among cool rocks.
You can read more of my reviews at the Yahoo group DG Course Reviews
, Look in the Files section there for my Overall Rating notes and Hole-by-hole ratings.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
It's now 22 holes...
Pros: The blue tees provided an excellent challenge as apposed to the red tees which were entirely too short...I especially like the first 3 holes with the elevated tee pads...there are dual baskets on at least 6 of the 22 holes...the last 4 holes are much more challenging than the first 18, but if you're willing to subject yourself to them they are very worth it, both in length and technique...there are now tee signs that rival even the best tee signs at a ball golf course. Seriously they're attention to detail is astounding, distance to both blue and regular basket from each tee and a pretty close approximation for each fairway...although the holes at the front of the course are close to each other the locals have taken great care that safety comes first with a net placed behind one particularly vulnerable tee (4 i think)
Cons: there aren't too many benches, or trash cans, and some of the tee pads are a little on the skinny side...also, only one bathroom but unless i got to drop a duece it's not really a con...
Other Thoughts: my favorite thing about this course is that when I was done with 18 there was a sign on a tree that read "Play 4 more" with an arrow pointing right...and the 4 more were basically brand new, at least it felt like it, they also varied from the short, technical of the rest of the course...for me, it was a perfect bonus for a difficult round...if the tee signs and pin placements were better marked this course would be at least a 4...oh wait, they now have way better tee signs, in fact, some of the best i've seen, damn i should have taken a picture and put it up on the site as an example, next time...anyway, i've played this course 4 times in the last 3 months since moving 20 minutes closer, it's an unbelievable course, like Olorin says it could be the best in the Triangle (although Buckhorn might have something on that)...i can't imagine the score i'll be getting come summer when the trees are in...i played white tees this last time just to feel better about myself and still ended up at +6 for the full 22...it's brutal course, but i need the pain...
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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