The Grizzly @ Woodland Valley
Pros: The Grizzly is by FAR the best of the 3 courses on Woodland Valley's 120+ acre property.
-It is the most reasonably sized of the 3, catering to intermediate players.
-Unlike Black Bear and Kodiak, the pars chosen for these holes feel consistently accurate and fair. (Although I did eagle 17 on Thanksgiving Day both this year and last on my trip up from CT... but it took excellent shots...)
-The natural terrain and atmosphere is a step up from Black Bear.
-Seems seldom played. I enjoy the peace and solitude on this and Kodiak more than the overpopulated Black Bear.
-Excellent grippy paver tees, newer MachV baskets that are level and catch discs very well.
-High quality hole signs.
-The Hole 15 / 16 area. Love. I got so bored halfway through Black Bear today and quit to play Grizzly, dreaming of hole 16. You leave the woods for a pocket field for 2 holes. It's arstheticslly gorgeous, both holes are well designed, and 16 is one of the cleanest most beautiful and naturally shaped fairways I have played anywhere hands down. I had immense fun practicing my destroyer roller (I have a crazy flippy destroyer...) and trying to push the limit over and over, or just airing out massive turn over flips. In my opinion, by far the best hole of the 54 on site.
-Great starting Hole / good ending hole.
-owners are awesome, pro shop is extensive and great customer service
Cons: Not much for cons...
-still a bit close to other courses on site
-baskets could use flags or color to increase visibility
-more detailed maintenance
Other Thoughts: By far the best course on site for many many reasons.
I'd highly recommend (personally) the leagues and locals start focusing on it over Black Bear...
I have been coming here on my trips up to Maine from CT to visit my sister. For the first time today I finally felt quite disappointed with Black Bear and Kodiak. The Grizzly was definitely the saving grace, but I don't know if there's enough quality at Woodland Valley anymore to keep me coming back... sadly. New courses are being built regularly and these are just stuck in time, not being improved or upgraded...
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - High Quality baskets and tee pads
- Good overall layout. Interesting mix of turns in the woods with a few open field holes mixed in as well.
Cons: - Maintenance is average. It's played heavily enough that the fairways are clear but undergrowth on the fringes gets thick fast.
- Baskets are unmarked and hard to spot.
- There's a number of trees close to tee pads that are just riddled with the horizontal marks of disc impacts. At some point, those should just come down. I don't mind a wooded course, but there's some wisdom of the crowds at play.
- They don't treat for bugs, which is kind of inexcusable in Maine (Most courses around here do). It's far from the wettest course in the state but by far the buggiest (especially in late May when I played, when the black flies and mosquitoes overlap).
Other Thoughts: There's a lot to like about the Grizzly. It's a reasonably tough mostly-wooded course that will test your accuracy at a variety of distances and situations without being overly punishing or gimmicky.
It's really quite close to being counted among the many excellent second-tier courses in the state (there's a clear best course) but there's a lot of little things that they don't do that keeps it out of that class. Marking the baskets is the easiest thing on the list, and when you can't do the easiest thing, I can't be optimistic about any of the other things happening.
There's no glaring deficiencies, and if it was the closest course to me I could play it regularly, but I'm not going out of my way for it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Parallel to the downhill bomb that the ends the Black Bear course is Grizzly's opening hole, an uphill slog of similar length. An open hole, it provide the only true chance to get some air under the disc here. Grizzly is a well-designed wooded course with some solid length backed by a great pro shop that is on the cutting edge of enhancing the customer experience. Nicely shaped, well-defined fairways cut through a picturesque forest with plenty of elevation changes.
It's one of those courses that is ideal for intermediate players but should be enjoyable for players of both lesser and greater ability. Just a great place to play. Fairways are wide enough so that beginners should eventually get there. While the majority of holes are in the 230-350 range, there is enough curve to them so that the better players should get enough out of them while soaking up the Maine atmosphere. There are a few par-4s that could be played as tough 3s by top notch players.
Cons: Not much memorable or spectacular. No signature holes. Well worth the stop but not a course going out of your way for. Now, since there are three courses here, it can easily be argued that the complex is destination worthy. Grizzly itself is merely solid.
There are a few navigation issues. Though care had been taken to keep players on the right track, there are times where the woods is light enough so that players may find themselves inadvertently approaching a tee for the Black Bear course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Not so much
Pros: I went with high expectations, as I have heard by word of mouth that this was going to be a 'destination' disc golf course worth the travel. The Large field around clubhouse has nice views and flow. Due to amount of play the course gets, there is minimal undergrowth, (given good disc colors your unlikely to loose a disc here). New club house with all the major disc makers. Rates are equal to other courses in state. That said, I left after just one round, here's why.
Cons: Baskets are older and in good shape (nice and level) but they lack any bright paint or flagging (pet peeve I like to be able to easily see the baskets). Slow play due to volume. Course layout was uninspired, and favors backhanders. All three courses run through an older growth forest with significant numbers of 10"+ trees everywhere. I understand that removing big trees is prohibitively expensive, but the course has no flow and way to many trees. The attendant at the register told me upon paying that most people shoot 85-115 on the course I was to play (designated par 60, I shot 71)...it's because there are so very few lanes to play, it's mostly chuck and hope = hence the scoring. Fellow players indicated all 3 courses have the same or even more trees than the Griz course did (I asked). Also experienced a few incoming discs from other fairways due to layout.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Premiere Disc Gold Spot
Pros: Woodland Valley has two courses: The Black Bear and The Grizzly Bear. The Black Bear is designed for casual golfers as well as tournament players. It could not be considered a pitch and putt, but a majority of holes are under 300 feet long. For experienced players, you will find yourself throwing a lot of mid-range discs and putters. The fairways are reasonable but also require skill to navigate. Only one hole of the 18 could really use an adjustment. The Grizzly is just as it sounds, a little bit more intimidating, a little longer, and full of shots that require a decent level of skill to execute with success. The shots vary in degree of difficulty and will test the vast majority of shots in your bag.
The tee pads are well done. They are stone pads with a solid wooden frame. They lie flat and smooth and are long enough for a moderate run up for release. The course is always well groomed and the owners take pride in providing a top notch disc golf experience.
The clubhouse is always fully stocked with all imaginable discs and in all weights. Anything not in store can always be special ordered. They offer a fair selection of disc golf apparel as well as bags and snacks. The clubhouse is always manned by the friendly owners
Cons: I have no complaints about The Grizzly. This is a solid, well rounded, course.
Other Thoughts: If Woodland Valley is not the best course in the state of Maine, it certainly would not be far behind the one that is. For anyone looking to come golf in Maine, this is a must hit location. The only downside is there's nothing worth golfing within 40 minutes of the course. But with a third course in the works, and a few holes cut in already, why would you even need to find another course to play?
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The pro shop is amazing almost any disc you can think of the tee pads are in great shape they keep it up very well the course is a bit of challenge bit I thought it was similar to the black bear very easy to get around basket are great some open holes
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Picturesque Maine forest
Pros: -Amazing pro shop with a very helpful staff and a massive disc and accessory selection...I mean huge! Food and beverages available.
-Easy to spot from road with a nice big sign
-2 separate courses, The Grizzly being the longer and more difficult of the two.
-Scorecards with light maps, distances and pars
-Tee boxes in great shape
-Beautiful signs showing hole #, distance, par, a large colorful map of the hole and its obstacles
-Good markers and obvious pathways to next holes
-Beautiful Maine forest containing trees, rocks, pine needles, fallen trees; no bad overgrowth anywhere so you shouldn't lose plastic here
-Crowding not a prob (played both courses 4 time all summer rounds)
-Combination of tree corridors, bootlegs in both directions, and minor elevation changes
-Course immaculately maintained (as nice as ball golf course) with mowed grass, wood chips in the woods on fairways, clean, tidy pathways, and benches at every hole
-Cool stone piles/walls on many holes adding to the scenery
Cons: -No bears (kidding, bears everywhere...this obv not real or a con)
-Sometimes an overly similar feel hole to hole but it didn't phase me as there was still good use of forest and good variety.
-Not too difficult for the harder of the courses. A few pars are overly generous.
-Few chances to let em rip; mostly tech throws
-Pay to play but $4 for 18/ $8 for 36 holes with a course this well kept it was well worth it (I always put pay to play as a con since most courses are free where I'm from in south eastern PA)
-No water obstacles but also no way to fix this really
Other Thoughts: This is a really scenic and well put together double course and I highly recommend it. It was a lot of fun and manageable for all skill levels. Best pro shop I've ever seen. 2 practice baskets to warm up on, and a nice long uphill par 5 field hole to kick off an otherwise shorter woods course. Play The Grizzly first if you intend on playing both, since Black Bear is a more relaxing easy follow up especially if some arm fatigue has set in. A new vacation favorite!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -More driving oriented than the black bear while still retaining the technical shots as well.
-Very well taken care of.
-A very laid back, respectful, and fun oriented crowd.
-The owners are fantastic if you need advice or just want to chew the fat about disc golf for a while.
-Fully stocked pro shop with a great variety of discs and brands. They also carry a wide selection of lightweight discs for the young and meek.
-Usually less crowded than the black bear.
-Good use of elevation.
Cons: -The groves of young pine trees that dot the course are disc-thirsty.
-No water or OB in play to add variety/challenge
Other Thoughts: Considered the tougher of the two current courses at Woodland Vally, the Grizzly has a more professional feel than the Black Bear. For one, there are fewer short, "gimmicky" holes and more shots that require a precision bomb followed by skillful placement shots. 17 in particular is a brutal par 5 that starts in the open and requires you to power drive into a 20ft wide corridor over 150ft. of field. Once inside, there is a "landing zone" about 300ft from the tee on the left, but thick rough pretty much everywhere else that isn't the fairway. You then have another 300ft+ to go along the thin fairway with a dogleg to the left to get to the basket. With two great shots you could be set up for an eagle, but one bad one and you'll struggle to make par. Pretty much all the holes are designed to reward precision shots with birdies and eagles, but pretty much rule them out after one blunder. Great risk/reward. Some of the holes require a bit of scouting if you're unfamiliar, as the signs don't always make it 100% clear just how tight that dogleg is or which tree the basket is behind. Speaking of signs, they are decent and professional looking, and every hole has one. There are also obvious next tee signs near every basket, minimizing the risk that a newcomer will go the wrong way. Many of the fairways are connected with cut across paths, so once you get your bearings you could easily skip around if you wanted. Overall, this is a great course that compliments the Black Bear wonderfully. If you're playing in southern Maine, Woodland Vally is a must play.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Enjoyed my round.
Pros: Pro Shop plus some snacks, Linda (owner) & Kurt (pro) are big pluses. They will track your rounds for you. Plus 18 more holes on location. Nice score card/map.
Trash cans easily accessible. Good tees. Plus signage both for the holes themselves and directing you to next tees. Baskets all in good condition. Fairways very well kept, both in the woods and also on the grass.
If you like wooded holes, you get them here. Holes are mostly wooded with just a few playing "in and out of" or "out of and into" the woods. Only one totally open hole.
Good variety/pretty even distribution of left & right turning and straight tee shots. Nice use of elevation changes, both up and down. Reasonable width fairways even in the deepest wooded holes. Plus there are a couple "90 degree dog legs" to hit that I haven't seen on lot of courses.
The wooded holes should keep things interesting for an experienced player, in spite of the length not being exceptionally long. For the most part, the length would also allow newer players to enjoy this as an introduction to wooded courses too.
Cons: The course lacked the "wow" factor for me. Even after playing a course only once, I can normally visualize most of the holes. Unfortunately, to me, the holes became kind of repetitious and I can only specifically remember a few. And I really enjoy wooded courses, so I'm not just complaining about the trees.
My opportunity to throw drivers here was very limited due to both the length (My typical good drive is about 325'.), and the wooded nature of the holes. I would prefer more balance with even just a couple holes more in the open.
This information does not affect my course review, but be prepared to handle the files. They were "wicked hard core" when I was here.
Other Thoughts: There are pictures available if you click on the course sight from the links section here in DGCR.
Personally, I didn't find this course to be any more, or less, difficult than the Black Bear. To me the main difference was that par was set at a very generous 65 on the Black Bear and a very fair 60 on the Grizzly. I thought that the holes themselves were very comparable. I shot a 61 on The Gizzly and a 57 & 61 on the Black Bear.
At 354' with a severe dogleg left at about 200', I really enjoyed #3. Hitting a narrow, but reasonable, landing zone with your tee shot in order to have a clear shot at the pin made for a cool little hole. #16 is my favorite hole on the course. It's 509' long and turns right pretty drastically. You have a wide grassy fairway with woods on both sides. After a well placed 300' drive, I had about 175' left to a narrow opening in the trees to get to a pin tucked back in the woods a little. This is just a beautiful hole.
I would definitely recommend this course to just about anyone, especially since there's the Black Bear on site too. Plus I had never had the opportunity to see a pro shop like this before with, literally, thousands of discs on display. I did well to walk away with just 2 discs when I left.
I mentioned this in my Black Bear review, too, but feel strongly enough about it to mention it here, too. If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend playing Boom Field too when you're in this area. It's a totally different type of course and I believe that these courses complement each other beautifully. Enjoy.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very difficult holes, requiring mastery of fade, hyzer, and often overhand shots. The setting is mainly forest, with a few open fairways to offer some respite.
Cons: The course par is set at 60, until the recent clearing of some of the jack pines on the course, this score has been very difficult for many good disc golfers to eclipse. My personal record is a 61.
Other Thoughts: The below comment was made by someone who is mistakingly referring to the Black Bear, which is the Grizzly's less challenging on-site counterpart
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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