Fun but flawed
1 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.
1 of 2 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.
6 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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
If you like hitting trees...
Pros: New 18 hole course to add to what is already a good disc golf city in Huntsville, AL. The course was very shady and provided some relief as we had to battle the Alabama summer heat. The custom baskets are neat, and give the course and each hole some personality. Very nice signs at every tee. Navigation was a breeze- there were already well-worn paths, but I really liked the orange spray paint dots on the trees to help you get from one hole to the next (as some holes have decent walks and you cross the road a few times.)
Cons: The fee is $2/person, not per vehicle, to enter the park. Right now the tees are in the form of very lumpy carpet. There are some long walks between holes that look like they would have made a good hole, maybe better than an existing hole. Overall, the back nine to me are weaker than the front, which is always anti-climactic when the best holes are at the beginning. #18 ended in the middle of the woods with no signs pointing as to which path was the way out.
The biggest con, however, were the "fairways" which should be called "luckways" for many of the holes. As others have said, the park has limited the trees that could be cut down, but there needs to be a few more trees cut down. I am not saying make it easy, but holes with realistic paths that require pinpoint accuracy and skill are always better than "close your eyes and hope for good luck." I will admit there was more room to throw than I had expected based on the course description and other reviews, but there needs to be just a bit more refining on several of the holes.
Other Thoughts: The water hazards are nothing more than small creeks, so no danger of losing a disc in water. This is a new course and is in pretty good shape already. There are ace and birdie opportunities, but you need to make a good shot and have some good luck for many of the holes. It has the potential to be a really good course, but as it is right now it just a shade above average.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *Beautiful setting -- Monte Sano is a nice state park, minutes from Huntsville but secluded on top of a mountain. The course meanders through the park in a heavily wooded oak forest, mostly set apart from other activities (think flatter ERP in Roswell, GA)
*Camping on site - a stone's throw from tee #1
*Fun course to play; in large part due to the serene wooded setting
*Well maintained - i played with the designer and he told me that the fairways were carved out by volunteers with hand tools, mostly machetes! it looks well worn in after 1 month; should be in phenomenal shape if the volunteers keep at it
*Great trails between holes make the course easy to follow despite lack of signage
*Custom Monte Sano innova discatcher baskets
Cons: *This is a state park course where the designers could only cut trees to a certain (small) caliper, so there are many holes with fairway trees & luck routes
*Several holes (#1 & #6 as examples) have extreme doglegs that don't allow for realistic disc flight, at least on the fairway....the baskets are WAY over to the side of a possible line
*Many of the fairways lacked a good route. As an example, some of the longer holes require a shot that goes straight for 300', then turns into a small 20' opening at the left, then stops fading left & straightens out -- not how a disc flies
*No great holes....some good ones, but nothing that comes close to sticking out as a signature hole/holes
*Many blind holes from teepad, some for no apparent reason that take away from the holes
*No signage, carpet teepads -- not a major con as it's easy to figure out where to go & the course is brand new
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course, but it was definitely not what i expected after reading two reviews prior to playing that made it sound like the best course in huntsville. The setting is beautiful and made the course really enjoyable to play...but the course itself was average due to some invalid fairways. Could be significantly improved by removing fairway trees & adjusting some of the holes that aren't reachable as a disc flies. I'll definitely return. This is probably the place to go in the summertime as it's got shade, altitude & streams. Awesome place to camp & play.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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