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.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Monte Sano is a challenging wooded course with some elevation changes on a few holes. Don't let the distances deceive you, 300ft on a course like this makes for a very tough hole. If you have a bad drive, it can be very difficult to recover and get par. Bad drives are almost always punished here.
This course has a great variety of shots. There are big turnovers, straight and narrow shots, and a few hyzer shots as well.
There are some shorter holes where birdies are possible, but they all require accuracy, there are no gimmie birdies here.
A rec player will have a difficult time with this course. I believe it's the kind of course that will teach you to make the necessary shot on each hole which will make you a better player, but it will punish you until you do.
Cons: There were carpet tee pads secured nicely to prevent them from moving when I was there. I understand the course is new, so this is completely understandable.
There were a few holes I felt relied strongly on luck rather than skill. A couple holes had so many trees there wasn't really a fairway in some places, just throw and hope. A couple holes had a tree literally 10 feet in front of the tee pad. I like having the option to throw multiple routes on a hole, but this seems a little extreme to me, especially since the fairways are so small to begin with.
Other Thoughts: A few times you have a walk to get to the next hole, however, they did a good job making this course easy to navigate. There is orange spray paint on the ground and trees leading from one hole to another where the next hole isn't close by. Between the three of us playing, we never had a problem finding the next hole.
There are small streams on a few holes, but they were so small it took one step to cross them when I was there. So I wouldn't say they're in play since they seem more like casual water to me.
I played here again and can see some big improvements. Every hole has a tee sign with diagram and distance on it. There are bridges on every hole that crosses the stream now. Next tee signs are in place on holes that have a walk in between them. Holes 3, 4 and I believe 14 are the only holes that seem to rely heavily on luck still. There were pink ribbons around some trees throughout the course so perhaps those trees are coming down. The course is looking better than ever, keep up the great work!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a course that isn't going to break the spirit of your newbies, but will still challenge the best of them. If you shoot close to par here you should be in the money at most tournaments. Once the course breaks in better I'm sure it'll get easier. There are 4 to 5 aceable holes here, and 4 or 5 WHAT??? SERIOUSLY??? holes here. It actually plays much longer than it is too.
Huntsville is one of the best cities for disc golf, there is something within a 20 minute drive for everyone, and terrific progression of course challenge, Dublin Park for the young ones, or people really new to throwing discs, Brahan Springs for the new players that are starting to get their throwing arm together, Mastin lake for those that are playing well at Brahan, they can go to Mastin lake for the next logical step in skill progression, Then UAH to work on your distance without being punished bad for a loss in accuracy while learning to throw long, and Monte Sano pulls it all together perfectly! Can't wait to see what they have for Indian Creek!
Cons: No tee pads, but those are in the works, and some holes have NO fairway routes, you have to find a doable route through the trees and pray no trees jump in the way.
Other Thoughts: Some holes need a little more fairway grooming, lots of toe catchers, some muddy areas, some excessively difficult holes with no route whatsoever they are just a toss and pray. But it's the closest thing to a perfect overall course I have seen thus far.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid Course; Fairways Need Some Work
Pros: Situated atop Monte Sano in Monte Sano State Park, which is a nice place to be on any sunny day. There are campgrounds literally just a minute or two walk from the first tee if you want to camp and play all weekend. There is a good variety of shots required from annies, hyzers, to straight tunnel shots. The course also has custom MSDGC DISCatcher Pro baskets, which are a pretty cool touch. One of my favorite things about the course is the old country store right next to the tee for hole 1. You can pick up sodas, ice cream, snacks, tobacco, beer, etc., there, which adds some comfort. Also, you will notice an awesome main board before hole 1 that was hand carved and made by three of the locals. Very nice touch.
Cons: A few holes lack legit routes to the pin, and undergrowth is starting to come back on some as well. There are a few teepads that could use additional leveling, but nothing major. There is a lot of elevation changes in the park, unfortunately the course doesn't use much of this at all. A lot of good holes, but no holes really stand out as "great" holes; the type of holes that make you want to play just one more round.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a solid addition to the other courses in the area. The course definitely has potential, but still needs much work to see that potential realized. Many holes have routes that are questionable, and the fine line between a good shot and poor shot sometimes seems to blur here. Nothing wrong with a tough course, as I prefer a challenging layout, however, I feel the score should be left up to the golfer and his abilities, not a stray limb that no one sees from the tee. I would definitely recommend this to anyone in the area, and I feel that with more work this course can become a jewel.
Favorite Holes: 2, 7, 10, 11(long), 15
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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