Would love as my home course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The last review posted before mine really steals my thunder! I agree with the rating, 3.5, and I agree with many of the pro's and con's listed. I'll try not to be too redundant, but here's my take.
1. Peace and tranquility! I couldn't believe I was playing a course in Durham. It felt like I was deep in a remote forest. I saw more deer (4) than people (0). I'm sure it's not usually this sparse, but I must say, it was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle. One of the main reasons I play disc golf is to relieve stress. This course is one of the best in the Triangle on that point. Ahhhhhhh. Relaxation.
2. Despite the peaceful, relaxing setting, the course itself is no joke! It's not a very long course - most holes in the 200-300 foot range and many below 200 feet - but it has a lot of elevation. There are numerous valley shots (appropriate!), lots of uphills, and lots of downhills. I really liked the overall variety. And I can't think of any other Triangle courses with more elevation. UNC is probably the only course that comes close.
3. Navigation was a cinch. Good signage and easy to follow paths.
4. I really like having three sets of tees to choose from. The whites were perfect for me. The blues are really, really challenging. The reds are good for beginners. 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. 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.
5. 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 had no problems finding discs in the rough.
6. 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).
7. 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 (the only two on the course) and the holes are much longer than the other 18. There are also a couple of open holes, the only ones on the course.
1. The biggest con for me was the repetitive feel of the first eight holes. This is kind of a nit-pick because I love valley shots and big elevation, but literally the first eight holes are just 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.
2. I also agree with the previous review about having a hard time finding the basket from the tee. New, yellow DISCatchers would really help out a lot - or more visible flags on top of the baskets.
3. Three holes were missing tee signs when I played.
4. Part of being in a North Carolina forest is...mosquitos. Wear your deet. When I played, after several rainy days, the mosquitos were out in full force.
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. In my opinion, Apex, UNC, Buckhorn, and Zebulon are better. Cedar and Kentwood are closes to Valley in style and rating, in my opinion, but I'd put Valley ahead of every other Triangle course.
5 of 5 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.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Great course in northern Durham!
Pros: A very nice course, well marked between holes, with a great mix of open and wooded fairways.
Cons: My biggest complaint is how close some fairways are to one another. The zig-zag layout makes for easy navigation, but more than once an errant shot from other people playing would land in our play area - not great when you are trying to tee off!
Other Thoughts: I lost a Leopard Pro driver on hole 22 near the basket. My phone number is on it, please let me know if you find it!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Best Course Around
Pros: I've been to this course so many times that it feels like home. The fairways are a perfect mix between wide open clear fairways and overly difficult fairways. The holes are some of the best I've seen at dropping the frisbee into the basket. 19-22 are also very fun if you have extra time. There is several tee pad options too. There is tourneys every Thursday at 6 if you want
Cons: All the tee shots are curving left. This is bad for rightys but if you are better with your flick like me that this is your course.
Other Thoughts: Not sure what to say... I guess bring a super straight driver like the avenger ss.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 5 Not
Best of the Local Woods
Pros: There's not a ton that stands out at Valley Springs. It's just consistently very good. The holes are cleanly cut: they force tight lines along identifiable fairways. They punish inaccurate drives. If you are off the mark, you will hit a tree, but at least on the white tees, there aren't random trees that you will randomly hit with a good shot.
There's a bunch of different lines too. Left, right and straight shots are combined with mild elevation changes to make each shot somewhat different, at least in your approach.
It's very clean and above all dry. When the other courses in the area are bogged down after the rain, Valley Springs is the first to dry out. Outside of the trees there is little brush which means, less bugs and less time looking for discs.
That last is especially key as you can play a round quickly here. Last time I played, we finished quickly enough that we got in an additional round from the red tees.(and if the standard holes are fast, the red tees support lightning speed.)
The signs are great, the next tee arrows are perfectly used and the maintenance level is high.
Cons: There's not a ton of variety here. There's not really a standout hole until the bonus area. The majority of tees leas into a fairly tight fairway with trees close on either side. The shot is constricted along its path, which typically is between 180 and 320 feet. (So there's not much length either.)
The red tees, which I'd hoped would offer some ace possibilities, had some strange lines. They are easier in the sense that your score will likely be lower, but the white tees are superior in every way.
My biggest gripe though, and the one that almost bumps it down to a 3, are the tees. They are uniformly cement. They are nice and flat and point in the right direction. But they are really just too narrow. Feel like I can't get a full run up on any of them.
Other Thoughts: There are four bonus holes. The first two are basically longer versions of the holes on the course. Unfortunately, they both curve heavily to the left, so I essentially hate them.
21 is something special though. The green and most of the fairway is in what I would best describe as a secret garden. There is no trampoline, like in the episode of Community, but its fairly surreal. The final hole gives you two different options for tees but regardless of which tees you used for the regular course, use the blue tee here. It shoots from that garden back into the woods.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
In to the woods
Pros: Layout - It's a 22 hole technical wooded course with three tees and a few rotating pins.
It's a bit longer than the other wooded technical courses in the Triangle. You'll find yourself letting your mids fly and pulling out a driver a time or two.
It's primarily a gap hitting course from the front two tees although there are a few holes where you'll want to place your shot well to set up an approach. Even the shorts here aren't that short, only a few holes are pitch and putt types and they're still through wooded fairways.
From the long tees you'll get a serious challenge. There's a lot of tight early gaps that'll make you think twice while you're also trying to place your shot nicely to set up an approach. The long tees are more of a survival test on some holes because they use the course elevation to really make things hard.
The different tees are done well, they give you a new look at the hole from each one.
There's a good amount of elevation changes on the course and it's used very well. A lot of times an errant tee shot will leave you looking at a long uphill approach to a tricky green area.
The greens are really nicely done here, they're challenging to hit and in a few places they'll make your putt challenging. Some are on hills and make you wary of rollaways.
There's a lot of doglegs on the course and some have some pretty tight lines on top of elevation changes. You'll need a variety of shots in your arsenal and the ability to be creative.
After the first 18 you hit Fore More which is four extra holes. These holes really change up the feeling of the course. Three are long and require a placement drive to setup a long approach or couple of approaches.
The entire course is full of risk/reward but the last four embody the term. If you try to bite of to much on your drive you'll pay and likely be shooting a high number. Especially on 21 which is a short mostly open shot but beware, the basket sits right on the edge of a 30' drop off.
The course flows well on top of everything, it's always pretty easy to see where you're going.
Equipment - Really good signage on this course. Explains each tee and shows you lines with distances. A few trashcans are located throughout the park.
Atmosphere - It's a nice wooded park that keeps you pretty secluded for the most part. It's seldom crowded and usually kept pretty clean from what I've seen. One of the better wooded areas for a course in the Triangle.
Cons: Layout - My main con for this course is that it gives you a lot of the same thing. Yeah the shots change up but it's all tight wooded shots. The scenery never really changes and it gets a big monotonous.
A lot of the fairways run right next to each other as well. I've never had a problem with it because the course is never really crowded but it could be a problem; that also goes along with the everything seems the same deal.
Equipment - For me the pads are to small here, you're making some solid drives out there and I like a bit more room for that. The baskets are aging as well.
Atmosphere - For me it's just a bit to wooded, I like to come out of the woods a bit on a course to get some balance. I know that's not everybody but for me one or two more open holes in a grassy field makes a course. There's no grass here until you hit 21 and that's about it.
Other Thoughts: Overall I like Valley and think it's a solid wooded technical course that offers different variety via different tees and pins.
It's not a must hit but it's a very solid course and worth a play if you're in the area.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
A very Challenging course
Pros: The course it's self is very well maintained with no clutter in the fair ways.
There is "Fore more" that provide a great challenge to those who are just not satisfied after 18.
All the tee pads are in good condition for the most part with some new pads mixed in.
there are 2 pin placements for each hole sometimes more depending on the season.
Cons: There was a lot of broken glass around the tees, be careful.
some stairs are in much need attention ie. #1 Blue.
Other Thoughts: Like most places this time of year there are a lot of ticks. watch for them. I had at least one on me per round and I still found more when I returned home.
I had a great time at this course, and I will return. Thank you to the Bull City Disc Club for putting on a great weekend event.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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