Russell Gulch, CO 
Ghost Town Share
Uploaded By: Greg Layton  

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Reviews: 52
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Bucket-list Colorado course

2-4    4/28/2019   5/25/2019
Review By: Hey it's Stellato
Played: 24  Reviewed: 22
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Most character out of any place I've played so far. They have done a better job than most creating a sense of place, a theme, and an experience. Really interesting course layout, thoughtful design, and most importantly, super fun!
Cons: TONS of OB. If all you've got is a long ball, then expect to stack up a ton of strokes on this course. You'll definitely need to be an experienced player to keep it under par here. I shot 10 over and still had a really fun day.
Other Thoughts: This course plays in and out of old mining claims. As historic as Colorado's mining history is, whenever I'm around ruins I remember it's a not too distant past and some of the "relics" are more like "trash". This course is like a living art project, and there has been so much time put into making thoughtful, creative obstacles. If there are any adjustments or improvements to the course, I'd say that "less is more" and that the landscape is beautiful enough without creating many more man-made setups. THANK YOU to the designers and admins of this course, we will be back to play for sure!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 Destination Disc Golf at its Best

5+    7/29/2018   8/1/2018
Review By: Satchizmo
Played: 24  Reviewed: 3  Exp: 5.4 Years
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The best part about the course is the atmosphere. You play through a historic mining ghost town called Russell Gulch. There are tailing piles, prospector holes, abandoned buildings and sleuths which all add to the historic nostalgia of the course. The routing and lines of the course are very well thought out to take advantage of every inch of Brian's (owner) property. He boasts the most OB's and Mando's of any course, but I do not see this as a negative. The OB's keep your game and throws tight, and adds a layer of difficulty to an already demanding and challenging course. The course provides an array of terrain from tree lined throwing corridors with nice topography changes, to open meadows for long bombs. The course also has some unique ghost town buildings / structures that are truly unique to the course. These are great for exploring, and also provide some in-play opportunities for some truly unique throws. My friend managed to put his disc in an old building structure (penalty stroke), but threw out of the window for a great approach shot.
All of the baskets are new, so most of the photos here are out of date.
Cons: The tee pads could be longer, but I think they are feasible for the feel and texture of the course. There isn't many opportunities for long bombs, so the shorter pads embrace the technical aspects of the course.
Other Thoughts: I have played this course many times, and feel that every time I play it I learn something new about it. The course demands respect, and you will need every shot in your bag. You will NOT be disappointed in playing this course. Be sure to make a reservation, because every time i go, it seems to be getting busier and busier.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.


1    7/13/2018   7/16/2018
Review By: Breh
Played: 156  Reviewed: 154  Exp: 10.2 Years
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of the coolest most unique places you will go! Cool clubhouse and very friendly owner. He told us about the backstory to the course and gave excellent directions about the course. You can take a photo of course map and it's a great guide showing the layout and obs and mandos which make this course what it is. Despite previous reviews all the baskets look new and were great on every hole. Very technical and requires accuracy over power on most holes. Still long enough with tight obs to make you work for birdie or par. It's a great vibe and an old mining spot the theme alone here is awesome and the course is even better
Cons: Short and uneven tee pads. These are the major downfall here and are in my eyes the only real true con. New tee signs would be great to specially if they went with the theme.
Other Thoughts: This course is truly like no other, it's got a great rustic feel to it that I really enjoyed. You can tell the owner has put a lot of work into it and the on lines are clearly defined along with great rock walls. With new tee pads and signs instantly goes to a 4.5

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.

 BFE fun for me

1    11/26/2016   12/1/2016
Review By: enragedmullet
Played: 92  Reviewed: 64  Exp: 8.8 Years
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Baskets are in better condition than past reviews; not sure of the model but not many are obviously slapdash/homemade. They catch reasonably well too.

- Signage is adequate. There's a sign, there's a par, there's a distance for most.

- Course plays a loop, nice variety of distances though none are terribly long. Decent mixture of bombers/technical shots. In particular #'s 12 and 13 stand out. They play away from and back towards one of the abandoned buildings and cross some interesting topography. 17 is nerve wracking - if you have bad wind, you may just chuck the disc into an abandoned building/vehicle/OB/or a building that's actually actively occupied.

- No real foliage/grounds issues as far as weeds/overgrowth - I played in November and the main problem I had experienced was having discs that skipped along snow/ice.

- majority of holes have benches and the course is clear about asking you to pack out your garbage (bears), and is also very pro-recycling.

- Port-o-john on premises next to Parking and 17/18

- Some variety with elevation - nothing extreme but you're playing in 3 dimensions on some holes for sure.

- Unique for sure! A total destination/bucket list course. How many other courses can boast an old school ghost town? It's a weird, scenic, kind of surreal place.

- Labor of love - it's obvious the owners take pride in the place, and do all they can to make for a memorable round w/o getting in the way.
Cons: - Signage isn't GREAT. Though it appears the course has been undergoing some changes recently so if the signs had diagrams and the whole 9 they probably wouldn't be terribly accurate anyway.

- Some fairways are close together and cross-play could become an issue if groups end up running into each other. As stated before, the back 9 is where this is most obvious.

- Reservations I understand but the way tee times are setup seems like it could have issues in the busy season. You can pay $5 for 1 round or $7 for 2, but if you're taking a long time I can see how that second round would eat into someone else's tee time. I'm not sure how the owners deal with this, or if they bother to at all. As it was, I played in November and the issue didn't come up.
Other Thoughts: - There are a few really cool rain shelters on the course - something I haven't seen before but I really think add something to the course - it's like the course is looking out for you just in case of bad weather.

- I've read a lot of different things about Ghost Town including lots of moaning regarding the restrictiveness of the course, OB everywhere, penalties for this/that, owners not being happy when people don't set tee times, etc. The thing is that those aren't cons. If this course was smack in the middle of an urban setting I'd understand but the fact is you're in BFE Colorado at a unique setting in an area that's quite interesting if you bother to look into it. It's a destination/private course, and as such, visitors should expect a unique time in a unique setting, and not necessarily a 5-star pro-level knock-your-socks-off wet dream course.

- Upon arrival and "check-in" the owner(s) will provide you with an accurate hand-drawn map which you can take a picture of. Unorthodox? Yes. But better than nothing.

- The course plays along an old mining easement through Russell Gulch - a defunct mining town now split between several property owners. If you take the Peak-to-Peak Hwy here from the north, check out Nederland - it's a quaint town that seems to have plenty going on, at least before winter. It also hosts something called Frozen Dead Guy Days, which I plan to investigate one day.

- The drive there through Central City can get super confusing. Be on your toes.

- I'd give it a 3.25 if possible but I'm erring on the side of 3.5 due to the destination/unique nature of the course. If you like cheesy souvenirs, those are for sale too! I'll admit I left some dollars in the clubhouse. Fun time for sure, check it out.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.


1    10/11/2016   10/11/2016
Review By: xaeLen
Played: 13  Reviewed: 13
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: good baskets with double chains
arrows pointing to the tee pads
great tee pads
they have a path so you do not have to walk in the bushes
Cons: you have to make a reservation
really steep holes
Other Thoughts: well thought out course

0 of 5 people found this review helpful.


1    9/12/2016   9/12/2016
Review By: Theido
Played: 2  Reviewed: 2
8 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: A unique atmosphere, with some really great views of a former mining area.

Mostly short technical holes, that play toward skilled mid-range throws.
Cons: Very short course.

Tee pads on some were very uneven and felt as if we would turn our ankles on them (we ended up throwing from the grass next to them).

Course is very compact sharing fairways.

The course has two #4s and you are supposed to play both at the same time. (This might be unique but also really stupid).

Other Thoughts: I am actually flummoxed on how this course has a 4 disc rating. It was honestly a huge let down and really the only course I have ever found on this site that I completely disagree with how it was rated.

The course requires tee times, but no consideration for size of group is used to determine the times. I went as a group of two and the entire course was backed up by 2 groups of 5 put back to back. Tee times seem to only be used for parking and will in no way help you have a free flowing game.

The adventure of Ghost town started with a tutorial from Brian. He proceeds to lecture for 10 minutes about the course and does it with next to no passion as you can tell he does it 50 times a day. He also instructs you to take pictures of his only map of the course instead of even giving a option to buy a photo copy for convenience. The way he talks about the course you would think it's over about 50 acres but, once you get to hole 8 you realize that holes 8 through 16 at most times share fairways.

Holes 8 through 16 are really packed in on each other, at one point while we were waiting to tee off we had people a hole or two ahead of us throwing directly back at us to their basket. The basket was literally placed about 15 feet away from the tee box we were standing on.

This course obviously appears to be a passion project by the owner over his land. He managed to pack 19 holes into a area that would have made a really good 12 hole course.

8 of 17 people found this review helpful.

 Well worth the drive outside of Denver

1    7/3/2015   7/3/2015
Review By: bengal4life11
Played: 20  Reviewed: 6  Exp: 11.5 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Updated baskets as noted in other reviews.
Excellent course location in this authentic ghost town.
Great mix of shots and the multiple OBs add to the difficulty of this course.
Brian does a great job of going over all of the course rules and a course map is provided.
Even though most holes are not long, the challenge of the OBs and trees make even the short shots challenging (a con I guess as well)
Cons: Some of the baskets are elevated or near the edge of decent drop offs which can be troublesome if your shot is not dead on or if it is windy so be prepared to trek.
Some pads are not a smooth surface which can be hazardous if not paying attention but given the course design and being a private course this is a small con.
Other Thoughts: Very pleasantly surprised about this course after reading the reviews as I didn't know quite what to expect. I live in Iowa but take every opportunity to play courses in the states I visit. Came across this course while our family was looking for some activity outside of Denver. I don't regret traveling to this course and would definitely play it again when in the area.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 Great course worth the drive

1    9/27/2014   6/22/2015
Review By: iconoclastes
Played: 80  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 7.2 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *Such a fun course to play even with the gimmicks
*Difficult enough that it will let the better players shine but not so much that the lesser players will get frustrated
*Great boxes and baskets

Cons: *Not the easiest course to navigate but far from the worst
*Getting here was not easy (don't go the back way up the winding road that looks and feels like it's about to wash away)
Other Thoughts: This was a very fun course with a few gimmicks and rules and OB's that don't make the most sense at first but they did what they did bc of what they had to work with. Get passed that and enjoy yourself. It's not going to disappoint. And if you have the time, there is a small brewery in town called doctal alley brewing that has some good beer and the best pizza I've every eaten. Next time I travel through Denver, I'm throwing this course, eating a pizza and drinking a beer in this small town.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 Very cool concept!

1    5/27/2015   6/8/2015
Review By: lineenil
Played: 10  Reviewed: 4  Exp: 7 Years
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Amazing area to put a course. The ghost town was very impressive and added a unique element that kept a smile on my face the entire time we played through it on the back nine. The secluded town in the mountains was the perfect setting.

Some tight and technical shots, as well as some island shots. Mostly short, but most add and interesting dynamic to shot. Some great use of the elevation.

The tee on hole 4 short is on top of a giant boulder and is a very cool look. I believe 9 was the giant shot over the wet land just short of the abandon town- definitely picture-esque.

Brian was a great host and we had no issues at all!
Cons: The wet areas in the middle are pretty bad, and is no fun walking in ankle deep water to get a stray disc. Definitely a couple unenjoyable moments.

Definitely don't want to hit the buildings! Also some residents nearby but nothing over the top by any means.

Other Thoughts: A few solid course! The muddy swampy areas do detract quite a bit from the enjoyment of a round, but an almost perfect course for sure.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 A solid must play if in the area.

1    9/25/2014   1/25/2015
Review By: Money_Shot
Played: 93  Reviewed: 32  Exp: 16.2 Years
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: -The theme surrounding this course is great, we loved having the shovels used as hole markers and in general the miners theme that goes along with the local territory. Very unique experience.

-this is in a small, secluded village area that really gives you a feeling of what the territory had to offer back in the gold mining days. Very cool.

-There are some very fun holes with plenty of ace looks throughout the course, making this in general a course tailored to those looking for a fun course more so than a serious competitive play.

-Primarily on flat land unlike most courses in the area that require great physical exertion while navigating. It's a bit of a breath of fresh air not having to put that kind of effort into every round although a few holes on this course require you to hike uphill of course.
Cons: -in general I felt like there wasn't a whole lot of shot variation, minimum slope interaction considering you are in the mountains, this course does not require you to throw up or down a whole lot.

-I understand that this is on private land and the owner of the course could only do what he had to work with, but that doesn't change the fact when rating the course that the "phantom" OB throughout this course can get very frustrating, especially when playing in competition with friends. I can recall one hole in particular I threw what appeared to be a potential ace shot using a high hyzer throw that landed safely about 3 feet from the pin and stuck on the spot . However, as I walked up to the pin I noticed about 2 ft from the pin between my disc and the basket was a log that I then found out was "OB." After spotting my disc at the point my disc originally crossed the "OB" line in flight and taking a stroke penalty I ended up getting a bogey on a hole I was about 3 feet from acing. Irritating, and this was not the only time the "OB" became a factor as just described. These boundaries are set up like this due to land ownership being tricky from what we were told.

-You have to be very quiet out on the course in fear of the neighbors getting upset and asking the owner to shut down shop, which no disc golfer would want as this is a fun course.
Other Thoughts: All in all we really enjoyed our experience on this course regardless of some of the quirks that come with having close neighbors to a good course. We really enjoyed the "theme" that this course offers and it was probably my second favorite course I played while in Colorado on a disc trip in September (Bucksnort #1). Without land ownership getting in the way, this course could definitely spread out a bit more and become even better, however, I would imagine this course is what it is always going to be. At points it did feel like we were kind of "walking on egg shells" out here with the boundaries and making sure not to be on neighbors land and being quiet etc. All the cons of this course are a result of the limitations of having neighbors who aren't disc golf enthusiasts and by no means a result of poor design or ownership so nothing as far as that is concerned can be changed. You will enjoy your experience here and I would definitely recommend you head up to this course if in the area. I have rated it a 4.5 because i could not rate it a 4.25 which is what i believe the course truly is. Since the course as a whole has a rating below what i believe it should be, i decided to round my rating up instead of down.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful.

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