Bring Your Hiking Shoes
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.054 Rating) A heavily wooded layout on top of a flat mountain.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Monte Sano State Park is an splendid forested mountainous area with lots of hiking and biking trails in addition to the disc golf course. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Huntsville, this course is easily accessible for players doing a sweep of Huntsville area courses. Although there are no drop-dead gorgeous views from the layout itself, a short 150 foot walk from basket (4) has views over Mc Kay Hollow Valley and a waterfall. As for the course itself, fully wooded and there are some mini creeks that come into view and play. There are some mild elevation changes as well. Monte Sano is arguable the most beautiful course in area.
- CHALLENGING - IMO, the most difficult course in town. A touch more difficult that Redstone and Indian Creek. Lots of 300 to 350 foot tunnel shots with lots of shot shaping required. The difficulty read most closest to upper intermediate and will be much more challenging in the summer versus the winter. Figure intermediate players will average around even par and advanced players will average 3 to 4 down. Players that excel in accuracy over distance or vice versa will skew these figures by a shot or two.
- UNIQUENESS - Above average. To start, lots of tunnel shots with basket placements finishing in both directions. Lots of tee shot gaps and fairway windows to hit. Some mild elevation changes but it could have been way much more (see cons, elevation). A few small creeks to play across and one par 4. The holes distances vary a good bit, from 200 to over 500 feet depending on basket placements.
- NAVIGATION - Despite no course map on site and the map file on DGCR not being the greatest, the navigation is amazing, near flawless. Hole signage is adequate but what makes this course so easy to follow is all the new well constructed and informative navigational markers. These markers are among the most effective I've ever seen on a heavily wooded course.
Cons: Monte Sano needs some attention.
- TEES - The tees are in bad shape. They are carpet and are uneven and falling apart on many holes.
- RUN DOWN - In addition to the poor tees, I felt that the course is neglected a bit. Lots of branches down along the layout. The bridges across the mini creeks are showing their age. The community board next to tee (1) has no information and it is also starting to fall apart. The local club is partially in charge of 8 courses and it appears the attention is going elsewhere.
- CHARACTER - There are some good amenities with this course but it still falls a touch below average. Lots of alternate basket placements, a couple seating areas, bag hangers and nice baskets for the positive items. The course however doesn't have extra tees, a practice basket, course map or respectable tee surfaces as mentioned above.
- LACK OF ELEVATION - Not a flat course, but for being located on top of a mountain and 1,000 feet above Huntsville, I am shocked by how flat the course is. Not one hole on the entire layout changes by 30 feet. Hole (9) changes the most, approaching the 30 foot mark, however the elevation prominence is lost on this hole as its 400 feet long. Hole (4) is a nice 20 to 25 foot down shot and there are a few other holes that throw across a 20 foot deep valley. All stated, It could have been a whole lot more.
- FORGIVENESS - Like most wooded courses, Monte Sano will generally not be to kind to misguided shots. I think I hit a tree on 75 percent of the holes out here on first play. Being a good mid range thrower to scramble for par will be key to shoot low.
- PAY TO PLAY - Currently its $5 to enter the park per person (less for seniors and children.) A yearly pass can also be obtained for those that live in the area at $100. Considering that there are better courses in town, the cost really isn't worth it but just the one time for out of towners.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - This is not a beginners course. Although the odds of losing a disc is low, the course is way too tight to provide any enjoyment to inaccurate new throwers.
- TIME PLAY - Not the quickest play as the round will likely involve some searching and lots of recovery shot planning. I spent well over an hour here solo and could see groups of four coming in at 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite courses in the area as I personally like short and technical courses. This will definitely test a player's resolve and patience as bad kicks are almost certain. I personally would not bring a newer player up here, I'd take them to either Brahan or Southside instead. However this course should work great for intermediate and advances players looking to improve their precision. Overall the course is really good despite a few blemishes. Players that have already hit Indian Creek, Redstone and Brahan should consider this among the next courses to hit along with Mastin Lake and UAH.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Fun but flawed
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The courses is set in a very nice state park with good views very close to the disc course (there is a good overlook just to the right of hole 4). There are a number of small streams running through the course which just adds to the feeling of being in nature. You also pass near the Japanese Tea Garden (which is currently being rebuilt).
The courses is a fun tight technical course with a few longer holes mixed in although those longer holes are not wide open. I guess this could be a pro or a con depending on the kind of course you like.
There are multiple pin positions for several of the holes (although they don't move very often).
There is also a mini course on site (small baskets for minis)
Cons: There is a $5 entrance fee to the park (but if you want to do some hiking or mountain biking as well there are a number of very trails in the park)
The tee pads are not very good. They are carpet and very uneven. I understand part of it is due to the rules of the park. Be careful on the pads. This is by far the biggest problem with course. I do a standing drive on most the pads.
The signage between holes could be better. The first time I played there I got of courses once or twice.
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses to play in Huntsville due to the mix of holes, the layout and location. While it is my favorite to play, it probably wouldn't be my first recommendation in Huntsville due to the tee pads and the need to pay.
I do not agree with some reviewers that there are no flight paths on any of the holes. The only one I could see this being a realistic compliant on hole 6.
In the summer, watch out for poison ivy. In the fall (actually pretty much year round), bring bright colored discs.
Parking is in the parking lot on the right as soon as you enter the park. The course starts near the road.
There are bathrooms at the end of the parking lot. You will also be near them between hole 5 and 6.
The course has Innova Discatcher baskets.
My personal favorite holes are 9 and 14. 4 is an ace run hole.
It can be foggy in the morning on the mountain so if you are staying in town maybe have a look up the mountain to see if it is covered in fog before heading up.
If you are visiting Huntsville, I think this course is worth a play if you like wooded courses (but I would play Mastin and Brahan first). If like open courses, play UAH and Indian Creek.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Really challenging wooded course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tough challenging layout in a state park on top of a mountain! Tight lines to hit to get to the basket. Good throwers will be rewarded. Easy to navigate. Good signage. Course is isolated from most other park activities. Rarely have to worry about walkers on trails.
Always cooler on top of the mountain in the summer. Plenty of shade!
Cons: Carpet teepads. Hole 4 is a little dinker that doesn't fit well with the rest of the course. Rarely see the pins moved around.
$5 park entry fee PER PERSON!
The yellow banded Innova baskets were mostly covered with a green decal. GREEN in the woods! Very hard to locate even after playing the course several times.
Other Thoughts: With upgraded tee pads and some course cleanup, I'd rate this course much higher. It's one of the better ones in town that scares away the newer players scared of a challenge. You will often have the course to yourself.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is set on beautiful Burritt Mountain with some great wooded landscape for a course. Parking for the course and hole #1 are the very first right after the guard shack. At each tee pad there is a distance marker with a red circle indicating which pin position is being used (1-2 pin positions for each hole). Each tee pad is carpeted. The first few holes are some of the least difficult on the course, so as to warm you up for the back 9. Overall, this is a well-balanced, technically wooded course that rewards accuracy in nearly all shot types. The course has short and long holes with enough elevation changes to test nearly any arm. For the most part, there are arrows and signs leading you to the next hole from each basket. Each chain basket continues to be in good shape. So, the course is very enjoyable with a great hike through the woods. It is also has enough challenge to it so that you will want to play it again and hone your skills.
Cons: There are a few cons that is holding this course back a bit.
SIGNS: At each tee pad there is a distance marker but there isn't a visual layout of each hole, so you would often need to walk down the fairway a bit to know where the basket lies, especially when the pin was in the long position. Also, there could be some better and more updated indicators between holes as sometimes there wasn't one or it was labeled incorrectly. I would also have a sign directing car drivers to the first hole from the road.
TEE PADS: Biggest complaint. Unfortunately, these affected gameplay. Pretty much all were unlevel with undulations, making it very difficult to trust your footing (many times I would use the ground just next to the carpet). Then, nearly all of the carpets (due to wear over time) were covered with dirt/sand making it tough not to slide when planting your foot for each drive. This is particularly pivotal as many holes were long distances in terms of a tightly-knit wooded course.
FYI: in the spring/summer times watch out for snakes and poison ivy
Other Thoughts: In conclusion, I believe this course is a great part of the many enjoyable courses in Huntsville. I would liken it most to Mastin Lake, but is probably more technical. And if I had to choose between the two it would be Mastin Lake due to funness level and not having to pay there to get in.
If this course updated the tee pads and added hole layout visual signs then I would rate this course higher at around a 4/5.
ANOTHER COURSE HAS BEEN ADDED TO HUNTSVILLE THAT IS CALLED DRAKE SPRINGS (9 hole course) AND LOCATED RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM BRAHAM SPRINGS BY THE SMALL LAKE/POND. IT IS A QUICK AND FUN.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pretty location, there are some great views from the top of a mountain.
Decently challenging, some holes feel alot longer than they are due to narrow or absent throwing lanes.
Little chance of losing a disc due to water.
Cons: Biggest flaw were the trees in middle of what should be fairways. For some holes there were no possible realistic flight paths. Just hope your disc goes more than 20 yards without hitting a tree. I know they aren't allowed to cut many trees there so I cut them a little slack on my rating.
No signature holes in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: I played the week of thanksgiving 2012. I don't know when they changed up the course but the map and hole info listed here was not up to date. The map that was given to me by a park employee was wrong too. I almost gave up after not being able to find hole 1. Luckily there is a sign up near the parking lot that has an updated course map. Had I not taken pictures of it with my phone I doubt I would have found my way to some of the holes.
In the fall there are deep leaves everywhere, play with bright discs or you may have a hard time finding them at times.
Personally I would have liked more incorporation of the elevation changes and scenic overlook views, but I understand reserving the natural beauty for walking trails and such.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice wooded course
Pros: You will surely enjoy the drive as you work your way up the mountain and finally reach Monte Sano State Park. Inside you'll find a very scenic and enjoyable course. Once you enter you'll get excited as you pass a few baskets on your way to generous parking all around the course. There is a park store for goodie's if needed near hole one.
If tight wooded courses are your thing you'll certainly be pleased. After all the course plays through a virtual wildlife preserve. If a tree could be spared it was and it makes for some fun and challenging holes. A creek meanders it way through and finds itself in play on a few holes too. Slight elevation changes, a blend of hole lengths and a variety of fairway shapes are here as well. In fact, strait shots to almost impossible doglegs are here. Look for lengths between upper 200's all the way to over 600'. As a bonus, summer shade is a welcomed addition.
There are nice tee signs, sufficient tee pads (see cons), and great baskets. Next tee indicators are nice too. Virtually new baskets were really nice. I enjoyed the Discatchers with the custom bands. It made it feel like you were throwing at some one of kind baskets.
The course itself is easy enough to follow. The fairways are beaten in and guide you around well enough. Look to cross the road between 6/7 and 16/17. Bridges are installed at all the areas were they're necessary and they were a nice touch.
Cons: There's a modest fee to enter the park but overall I think it's worth it.
The carpet tee pads are sufficient but some more thorough leveling before it was laid would have been nice.
I am a huge wooded course fan and can tolerate some pretty "unfair" holes. For the most part I feel like a few rounds would help you find a route on almost every hole. The remaining ones might leave you a little frustrated. If you don't like tight technical courses you might want to skip this one.
The biggest con which hopefully is going to be fixed soon is a big one. The story I'm told by the locals is that apparently the tank for the sewage from the campers has leaked. Not only is there a foul odor on 1/3 of the holes but you don't want to end up in the creek that plays along some of the holes. Thankfully a guy on my card had some antibacterial hand wash to share as I found myself getting a disc from the water. He told stories of illnesses related to folks contacting the water. I must stress, this is of May 2010 and hopefully this will correct itself with time.
Other Thoughts: When you add up the features of this course with all the other great courses in the area it makes it well worth a lengthy trip. This great park offers camping and makes it a very hospitable base for a big disc golf weekend. It is yet again another Huntsville course that I have to highly recommend. I really hope you get a chance to play it. Enjoy!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Monte Sano review
Pros: Baskets are great! Love the nature feel of things. If u love a good game of disc golf and a nice hike, then i highly recomend
Cons: Carpet teepads arent the best but trust me, it wont affect ur game
Other Thoughts: haha i saw a copperhead on hole 15 s watch out!
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Alabama Round
Pros: Nice Landscaping, Course is on a State Park so it was nice and shady on a warm Alabama Day. Course was marked vey well with Red and Yellow "NexTee" signs pointing the way and also with spray paint on the trees. Required a good variety of shots. Trees were everywhere in the fairway but I was used to that at my home course so it was not anything new to me. Took a friend with me to play and it was the first time he played. He loved it!
Cons: The only beef I had with the course is that the course signs often showed two pin positions "A" and "B". The problem is that there was only one pin positions. Some times it was "A" and sometimes it was "B". This was hard to make a good shot sometimes on hard doglegs where you could not see the basket. Also the custom baskets were nice and in good shape, the green color made them hard to spot sometimes against all the green trees(May not be that big of deal in the fall)
Other Thoughts: It cost $2 to get in but it was well worth it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Love That Cool Mountain Air!
Pros: Monte Sano State Park is situated in the hills above Huntsville. The few hundred feet of altitude probably keeps it a few degrees cooler year around. The entire course is set in the trees also helping with the temp. The course is very tight and technical. I thought every hole but one had at least "honest" route to the basket. Of course, I often missed that "honest " route and ended up in the underbrush, which can be quite punishing. A couple of the holes can be quite long ( 500' plus ) depending on the pin position. Remember that's 500' with a narrow fairway. Navigation was fairly easy thanks to the signs and red marks on the trees. For a newly opened course, it felt well broken with clearly defined paths, etc. I felt those holes with the almost 90 degree turns were fun and doable throws. And Yes, there were at least, two gimmee birdie holes. The camping would be a bonus.
Cons: The carpet teepads aren't the best but I'm sure they'll be replaced in time. I'd love to chainsaw one tree on each hole but I understand the course designers are dealing with park people and others. It's a flat course with basically no water so I can't see getting totally excited and talking about ever giving it anything higher than a 4.
Other Thoughts: Personally, I preferred the Mastin Lake course more. I thought it was a little more fair with more elevation to work with. But the lower temperatures up here on the mountain could even things up a bit in those hot Alabama summer days.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great place to relax-5 miles from downtown
Pros: Monte Sano is a 2000+ acre mountain top state park with camping, a lodge and extensive network of hiking/biking trails.
It would make a perfect base for anyone exploring the 5 (soon to be 6) quality disc golf courses in Huntsville. Great long-range views along the brow of the mountain. Best disc golf sign I've seen at 40+ courses. Very cool.
The course itself is relatively flat as it winds through a gorgeous mature Oak Forest. I thought the layout was outstanding, very tight but fair, requiring all the shots in your repetoire.
I value courses designed for long-term playability and Monte Sano has it. Yes, you will hit some trees, but the clean understory enables you to easily find your disc and recover if you end up in the rough.
I played in sandals and had no issues with schule. A couple of friendly locals guided me around the course which was great. 5 degrees cooler than Huntsville on a summer day was a nice bonus.
Cons: The spray paint is probably necessary navigate the course, but detracts from the aesthetics of the forest.
Other Thoughts: After reading the reviews, I expected a pinball-fest, but it never materialized.
I've played much tighter woods courses, so I guess it just depends on your frame of reference. I love the challenge of having to throw FH, BH and an occaisonal hammer to negotiate the tight gaps.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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