Another Fantastic Course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Selah Ranch Disc Golf courses are amazing. From check-in at the Pro Shop to the final hole, this complex demonstrates how good pay-to-play can be.
Start with the course infrastructure, which is top of the line. Two excellent ( and very different) concrete tee pads for each hole. Both have excellent Houck signs with detailed hole diagrams, lines to the basket, distances, par, etc. Innova DISCatcher baskets show up well and catch great. Obvious paths from hole to hole make navigation a breeze as you cruise along in your golf cart.
The provided scorecards include an excellent overall course map, and hole distances and pars for both tees at each hole.
There is a tremendous variation in hole lengths from 164' out to 930'. How is that for a range? The course includes everything from short and technical wooded holes to more open bombers True par 4 and 5 holes require actual planning and placement. Simply throwing as hard as you can doesn't work here.
There are eight Par 3, seven Par 4, and three Par 5 holes. Having a course with this many quality longer holes holes is special.
As with Lakeside, the playability of the course for an 850 rated player like myself with a 300' max drive stood out. I chose to play the red tees for my first time out, and thoroughly enjoyed all 18. They were good fits for me and I enjoyed the fact that birdies were possible. Even the red tees don't result in a short course, as you'll play 6545' from the reds and 9176' from the blues.
The course features lake and creek holes, and a variety of moderately to tightly wooded holes. Overall I felt that the course was more open than Lakeside, but just as varied. The variety in terms of hole distance, par, and amount of woods is well distributed throughout the course.
While the course lacks a signature island hole like Hole 7 on Lakeside, I felt like there was actually more water in play here. The finishing hole has a relatively tame red tee position, but the long tee is a real tester. After finishing my round from the reds I decided to test my mettle from the blue. After donating two discs to the course I decided to pack it up. Good to know to lay-up next time!
I played all four P2P courses in the area in a 24 hour period. I gave Creekside a 4.5 because I didn't like it "quite" as much as Lakeside. I look forward to returning and playing them in a different order. This could as easily be a 5.0 for me as the 4.5 I'm giving it here.
Cons: Very tough for me to come up with cons. I found some of the holes a little more open than Lakeside, with holes like 4, 5 requiring mainly that you don't fade into the lake.
But that is picking nits. Overall this is a phenomenal course and complex.
Other Thoughts: As a premier P2P course I didn't find the $20 day fee to be out of line at all. Even the additional $20 for the cart seemed like money well spent. I wouldn't try to play both courses in a day without a cart.
I appreciated that I had my wife along as a driver/spotter and they didn't feel the need to charge her any fee at all. Some places are a little weird about a non-paying companion, but there was no issue at Selah.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It was a beautiful October day, about 75 deg, little to no wind. I got there about 8am, and Dave met me at the pro shop. Very friendly and helpful man. I started on Creekside and played the long tees on every hole. I am a predominant RHBH thrower, and while there were shots that a forehand would have worked nicely, I didn't run across any shots I couldn't throw a turnover just as well. All of the tee signs were there, and it flowed fairly well. Several holes I forgot to look at the "next tee" arrows on the sign, but didn't have trouble finding my way. There are a few shots over the water. Only hole 18 didn't seem to have a good safe shot to avoid throwing over the water for those of us that can't reliably throw 330ft. The short tee would have been my better option on that hole. Dave came out in his SUV toward the end of my round to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. It was a beautiful property with a very nice Inn to stay at, and cabins/camping also. It is definitely a disc golf destination if you are anywhere near NE Texas
Other Thoughts: I opted not to rent a golf cart. If it's a hot day, or you tire easily, it's probably a good idea to get one. It's about a 7 mile hike to play both courses.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Cream of the crop
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: What a fun and challenging course, it really just challenges you in every way and just makes you push your game to the next level especially with all the times you throw over water. You can tell the course has been made by a professional because you need your hole bag
Cons: It's really expensive compared to most which a free. It is not at all beginner friendly.
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 12 Not
** Well maintained.
** Owner and caretaker are very nice.
** Lodging on site, but a bit pricy
** Golf carts. More of a novelty. If I ever play it again (which I probably won't) I would opt not to use the cart.
** 2 courses on property which makes a day of it rather going somewhere else to play another round.
** Pro shop, but not much of one.
** Not much elevation change.
** Sometimes long distances from basket to next T
** Very little risk/reward that required decision making (see other thoughts)
** Signage could be better. It was adequate but not up to a 5 star rating.
** Not much variety. A lot of open holes with few or no obstacles (trees, etc.)
** Personally, I found the course itself mostly ordinary.
** There is not much difference between Creekside and Lakeside. I wrote the same review for both.
** I've played about 75 courses in 14 states and would not rate this course in the top 10 of the 75 I've played.
** Risk/reward: If you are throwing across a lake and can throw that far then there is not much risk. If you can barely throw that far there is risk. If you can't throw that far it is pointless. There is not much decision making in that case. When putting toward a lake or stream that is 20 ft. past the basket, you have to decide how likely you are to make it from the distance you are putting. But what's the worst that can happen? You are putting for a birdie 2 and miss. Your shot rolls into the lake or stream. You take a penalty stroke and make an easy putt back for a bogie 4. So you could get a 2 (if you make it), a 3 if you miss and it doesn't go OB, or a 4. On the other hand if 20 ft. past the basket is a 60 ft. deep tree filled canyon, that missed putt could turn into a 6 or worse. Now the decision you make as to whether to go for it or lay up becomes very important.
** If you like a grip and rip course then this place may be for you. It offers some opportunities to shape shots around obstacles, but mostly it is just throw long.
** If, on the other hand, you like to walk up to the T-Box and analyze what type of shot is needed to get the lowest score (do you throw a hyzer, a forehand flick, a thumber, go straight at it, layup in the fairway for a high percentage approach shot, or any number of other options) then this course may not be for you.
** It is a good place to practice long drives without much regard to what direction the disc goes. But then so is a football field.
6 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Selah – setting the standard for decades to come
11 Helpful / 0 Not
-not sure where to start... BREATHTAKING DISC GOLF from start to finish
-a beautiful setting for a course, with changing terrain that lends itself to 18 fun and unique holes
-at least 7 unique water holes, not including the creek shots
-awesome hole diversity, with some more open big tree fairways, some tighter woods shots, use of the creek, and lots of long and short water holes
-from long tees, 16-18 are definitely among the coolest water holes I've played; 16 is a big boy water carry that I didn't quite make, 17 isn't particularly long but is still no gimme, and 18 is a great peninsula location that just screams "go for it, I dare you!"
-Use of space: there's plenty of it, and one of the most impressive things to me about Selah's courses (and especially Creekside) was the fact that NOT all the space was used. Fairways are not crammed all over the place, and that allowed Mr. Houck to work his magic, choosing the best spots for baskets/tees/fairways. Of all 36 holes onsite, no two felt repetitive to me. That space is also why it's best to pay extra for a cart.
1-3, 5, 7, 9-10, 12, 14, 16-18
-there aren't enough hours in the day?
-plan to lose discs unless you plan to accept some extra strokes to lay up (note: it's probably worth looking through the used bin at the clubhouse for some extra water discs or some other deals; I still regret not picking up a 175g 7/10 no-name champ Teebird or a 174g 9/10 BigZ Roach, each for $5)
-would be really exhausting without the cart, especially if hitting up both courses
Other Thoughts: Selah is rightly viewed as a "Mecca" of disc golf. First of all, I was extremely impressed with how polished the whole property was. The two courses each had their own feel and were both every bit as cared for as a PGA tournament golf course. The "creekside" name was a bit misleading. 1-2 and 7-8 play through spacious terrain with mature trees. 3-5 wind around a pond, and 13 has another pond. Holes 6 and 14 are top-notch woods holes, and holes 9-10 are the real "creek" holes. 10 is one of the coolest par 5s I've ever played (and one of Creekside's signature holes) due to the final dogleg to a pseudo-peninsula made by the creek. Ultimately, 16-18 are the best disc golf grand finale I've ever encountered. So yes, there's a creek. But I was floored by the hole variety with mature tree fairways, pond shots, Houck's use of the creek on 10, some tighter woods holes, and then the breathtaking final water carries. For some reason, I didn't expect so many water shots on Creekside, but they were the main thing that grabbed me. We managed to finish our last round just before sunset, and both the water-lillied pond and final water holes were incredibly picturesque. (I was too busy enjoying it to waste time taking photos, but the photos on DGCR really don't do the course justice.)
One of the things I appreciate about John Houck's design here is that the short tees are quite reasonable for newer players. I've played a decent number of top level courses, but both Creekside and Lakeside are places I could bring family or newer players wanting to put their developing game to the test against a real opponent without being totally annihilated.
Notes on playing Selah:
-$20 might seem like a lot, but there's no question it's worth it.
-Dave was awesome. We initially reserved a tee time for a day later, but a tropical storm in the Gulf threatened to rain on our parade. We were able to play a day early and missed the rain, although we missed out on a few hours.
-Get a cart! Especially if playing with only two (or even three?), one cart helps save time getting around the property, and one player can easily manage the cart while the other makes their shots. I never thought I'd be one to enjoy a cart in disc golf, but Selah makes you want to maximize every minute of your day.
-Unless you're already close, it's best to stay in the area. Staying in or around Mt. Vernon for one night would make it easy to play the Trey Texas Ranch courses as well and the Selah duo.
Summary and Rating: It's really impossible for me to give either of Selah's courses less than a 5. Courses like this set a standard for premier disc golf courses of the future, and I can only hope that there will be more facilities of similar quality in decades to come. Thanks, Dave! Thanks, John! I'll be back.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
My favorite course
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Defined fairways in a "country club" style design. This is the closest thing the a "ball golf" designed course I've ever seen. Navigation isn't a issue due to the mowing (maintenance) by Dave (the owner) and his staff. Each shot requires thought and planning. No "get to it and throw" on this course. John Houck designed a masterpiece here. There's actually more water on this course than Lakeside (a con to many), but everything is fair and if you play within your game, you can score well here. Each shot is challenging in some way. Although it's mentally tough, it makes for a round to remember... for better or worse.
Cons: If you don't have a complete game or a little off of your game, this course will punish you like no other. The rough is rougher and the water OB is closer than just about anywhere else. I don't feel this is a con, but a pro... but there are a lot of disc golfers that get upset at losing discs and strokes because of the way this course is designed. I personally like it, but if you don't have control of your game... you won't really like it here.
Other Thoughts: GREAT setting and if you stay on the the ranch, GREAT hospitality. This is a disc golf destination for the aficionados of the game. Paired with Lakeside and the Trey Texas Ranch just 20 miles away, this is a disc golf getaway for every bucket list. For the very best in hospitality, stay on Selah Ranch. We stayed at the Corral House a few years back and it was great for 5 guys. Full kitchen with everything you'll need and very comfortable sleeping arrangements. If you want to save a few bucks, call Mom at Trey Texas Ranch and she'll set you up.
It's worth the trip. As you will see from all the reviews... this is the prevailing view.
My advise... save up and stay on Selah Ranch. Thank me later.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This course is on a fantastic piece of property and has a good mix of shots. The long pads are a beast of a course and have some great shots and plenty of challenge.
The grassy fairways and large mature trees throughout the course really make it feel like a 1 of a kind track.
Cons: The tree in front of hole 1's long pad has got to go. It is dead center of where you need to throw your drive and completely ruins the tee shot.
Hole 10 is not a good hole. Lots of potential but is ruined with too may trees and no clear fairway. Cut a fairway and create a line that people can actually throw instead of playing poke and hope to the dogleg.
Hole 13 is not very good. Blind par 3 over water. Its basically a bailout short and right so your not in danger of going in the water. Not a great design.
This course desperately needs distance markers especially on some of the longer par 4's and 5's.
Other Thoughts: I liked the course okay but feel that it is currently overrated. Im not saying the course is bad but I think the fact that it shares the same property with a really good course boosts peoples perception of this track. I have played several 3.5-4.5 star courses that blow Creekside out of the water and was underwhelmed with a course that gets so many 4.5-5 star reviews.
10 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: johnrhouck
David, thanks for your review. When I first read your Cons, I thought "What course was this guy playing? That tree on #1 can't possible have grown that much." But when I got to Selah for PDGA Amateur World Doubles, I found you were absolutely right. I had no idea. Here's the before photo: https://www.facebook.com/3255...3&theater
Here's how it looks today:https://www.facebook.com/3255...3&theater
And this is about what it took, lookng back at the tee: https://www.facebook.com/3255...3&theater
We have made major changes to #10 and #13 as well, plus major improvements to Lakeside #10 and #15. And needed improvements on almost every hole. Both courses now look 100% better. Sorry they weren't in better shape when you were there. If you could see the courses now, I think you'd know why so many reviewers give Selah five stars.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
From the Rec Player Perspective
Pros: My reviews for Creekside and Lakeside will have redundant content, I apologize but I want both reviews to be able to "stand alone". Many have reviewed these courses, the only unique perspective I have is that I'm not a very good disc golfer! I suspect most that make this pilgrimage are dedicated and talented players.
Selah Ranch has been my "Shangri-La" for several years. I'm an "older player" (60+) and never progressed beyond a middle of the pack recreational skill level. However, I am passionate about the sport. My concern was would Selah be a "rec friendly" great experience, or would it be too punishing for this old arm? I'm thrilled to say Selah was everything I had hoped it would be! The ranch is beautiful, the courses are a pure joy to play, and the unique hospitality of the ranch made for a uniquely wonderful disc golf adventure.
-The gasoline powered carts made it possible to get in a full round on both Creek Side and Lake Side in a single afternoon. I'm usually pretty sore and worn out these days when I play 36 holes in a day, I call those my "4 ADVIL" tournaments. With the carts I had no problem playing 36.
-Holes challenge both throwing skills and decision making. Risk/Reward options available on nearly every hole. Often multiple lines to the hole, overall favors no particular style. I play mostly RHFH, my son is almost exclusively RHBH, I don't think either of us had an advantage.
-Creekside is as much fun and challenge for a Rec Player from the Red Tees as I image it is for an Advanced Player from the White Tees. Although I wouldn't call Creek Side "Beginner Friendly", it's certain manageable by anyone with basic disc golfing skills. My feeling is it's a little easier the Lake Side for a Rec Level player. Every hole a par was likely if I didn't do anything too dumb, make a horrible throw, or clank a short putt. I had several birdie chances, though it took both good and smart throws. Mess up, and bogey or worse was likely, though a few lousy drives left me with at least a shot at a redemption par.
-Keep it out of the water and there's not too much chance of losing a disc. Keeping it out of the water may be more easily said than done, especially on the great closing hole #18! On the other 17 holes, unless the wind comes up, the water won't come in to play unless you make one of those Risk / Reward decisions that brings the water in to play. Hole #13 is a classic example. Go straight at the hole just 205' away on your tee shot you have a pretty easy birdie chance, but miss 20' short or to the left and you're in the creek. Play it safe to the right and you'll have a pretty easy par. A birdie is in a rec player's reach, but you've got to control your nerves and your hyzer. Hole #16 is a short par 5 from the Red, but Hole #16 is a short par 5 from the Red, but you're going to have to flirt with the water on both your drive and your approach to get your chance at an eagle.
-Legitimate Par 4's and Par 5's. With these holes there are even more shot decisions to make, more options unfold as the hole plays out.
-Modern, quality, well maintained Innova Discatcher Pro baskets. Hardly worth mentioning here, it's fair to assume that EVERYTHING at Selah is first class.
-Fair greens, no gimmicky obstructions within the circle. Some placements close enough to water hazards to be a test of nerve but nothing unfair, at least when the wind isn't howling.
-Solid cement tee pads, adequate size though not huge. Clean, and well landscaped so there is no odd drop-offs that would impact run-up or follow-through.
-A decent Pro Shop, showers, and real bathrooms on site. Amenities approaching a quality ball-and-stick golf course.
-Hole twelve was guarded by a bunch of hay bales. I'm not sure if that's a permanent feature, but it's not something I've seen up in the northeast.
- I understand that not every disc golfer will be willing/able to spend the money for greens fees, carts, and lodging at Selah Ranch, but for me the costs were very reasonable for experience. To compare this to ball golf, I received "Pebble Beach" quality for less than the cost of greens fees and a cart at my local municipal course.
-A cold winter day at Selah Ranch is warmer than what I'll see in New England until April
Cons: As I stated, this is my Shangri-La, can there really be any cons? If I really have to come up with something:
- It's a huge East Texas Ranch... the wind can howl, thunderstorms can boil up at a moment's notice, summer heat and humidity can melt your favorite plastic, drenching rains can flood the creeks and gullies...Snakes, Scorpions, and other creepy-crawlies hide in the brush, bulls might charge, lightning, tornadoes, meteors threaten, oil wells could blow out, and there is a scary disclaimer to sign, though on the February day I played I didn't see anything more menacing the buzzard circling as a clanked my birdie putt attempt on #4. I'm not sure Selah is more dangerous than my local New England courses plagued with Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks.
-The Ranch is pretty remote, and though somehow mobile phone service was great everywhere on the course. Options for gasoline, food, beer are limited in Talco, basically just a gas station. Mt. Vernon is a few miles to the south and has much better food options, but don't assume anything will be open after your round.
-Without a cart, it's a long walk just to get to the first tee. It's quite a hike to play Creekside, with no place to sit and no drinking water available on the course. Rent the cart, it's well worth it, especially in the warmer months, which I understand can be every month but January and February.
-If you are walking, navigation takes some effort since tees are not always visible from the last basket. With a cart, it's not an issue, you'll find the tee pretty quickly.
Other Thoughts: I dragged my family 400 miles out the way so I could tick this place off my bucket list. I'm grateful they indulged me. I only had a single afternoon before we turned the car northward on our way back to Chicago, then home New England. I had time to play both courses, but not enough time to soak up all that the ranch has to offer. With Trey Ranch "just down the road", I'm sure I could have spent several blissful days here. I hope to return soon for a longer stay.
On the mid-week February day I played the course it was pretty deserted. I realize this place is remote, but I'd really love to see more vibrancy to this place. It truly deserves the support of the disc golf community.
So are the Selah Ranch courses the best I've ever played? I live less than an hour from Maple Hill, and I've been lucky enough to play Nantucket, some great courses in Vermont and the coast of Maine, and even got to play the nearly completed Frost Valley course in New York. Is the Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' a better album than the Stones 'Exile on Main St'? Is Beethoven's Ninth better than Mozart's Jupiter Symphony? That's the great thing, we get to enjoy it all and take joy that they all exist.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Overshadowed by LS but otherwise awesome!
Pros: CS is the best "ranch" or "cow field" type course I've ever played. There isn't actually any cow's in the field, but it reminded me of all the private pasture courses on the east coast, more so than LS, which felt more like a country club with woods. There aren't cow patties everywhere like there are back home, there are poured concrete tee pads (something VA still hasn't fully caught on to yet...) and the rough has been tamed very well for this privately maintained land.
CS is still a gorgeous landscape, but feels much very different from LS. (which is a good thing, honestly) Even though these courses are on the same property and only separated by a few hundred yards, they each have their own very distinct character. CS feels the most "ranchy" of the two and it wears that dress like the finest of prom dates.
Most of the holes on CS were open fields where several trees shaped the shot(s), but off the tees and approaches. CS and LS both put a premium on shot placement. If you want the birdies, you'll need to drop your ego and put the disc in a specific spot. (don't worry, big arms, you'll still have an advantage on many holes)
I'll list the water as a pro here, but I also have it as a con for a different reason. I'll list it as a pro for the challenge it provided. Complicated even further by the wind, CS was by far the most nervous I've been playing DG. That was fun, I guess, but I may or may not be a masochist.
With the exception of truly wooded holes, you'll utilize most other shots in your bag. There are very obvious lines you should take, unlike LS which allows you to be more creative if you like. This course does still favor the big arms, way more than LS does.
To borrow from my LS review, The amenities were more than ample, but not perfect (as you can see in my cons). The tee pads were plenty big enough, two per hole with very nice signs at each tee. There's also a pro shop on site, you'll get scorecards for each course, have a place to buy plastic and also rent a golf cart! The revolution has begun, ladies and gentlemen! These types of amenities is what it will take to push our game to the next level.
Cons: CS doesn't have the most well-rounded design. By that I mean it doesn't have many, if any, truly wooded holes. Most of the "wooded" holes are simply shot shaping with a few trees. (there's nothing wrong with those shots, by the way, but they won't pass as wooded holes) To be in the upper echelon of courses, It's my personal opinion the course should be well rounded between open/semi-open/wooded. How else would you challenge every aspect of a players game?
The use of water on CS felt a little more "forced" than on LS. I don't really know how to explain that other than saying some holes were unnecessarily close to the water. I'm sure many will disagree, it simply seemed like they tried too hard to make more water holes at the expense of designing a better shot.
There were several holes that seemed like "gimmie" birdies. Normally that's not a bad thing, you should just get the birdie most of the time. I don't think a course of this caliber should have any "gimmie's". I sometimes call these "filler" holes. There were a couple of these on CS. No they weren't 300ft shots in an open field, but they probably get birdied at a 75% rate. Again, I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement on this, it just seemed like some shots could've been brainstormed on for longer.
Courses this nice should have benches on every tee. It wasn't too bad since I had a cart, but with as long and as nice as these courses are, they should have benches on every tee.
Other Thoughts: I promised Dave I'd review these courses on their own merits. Many people will compare the two and award the lesser with a half point lower. I award CS with a half-point lower regardless, but please don't think that means it's a bad course. Come on, now, it's still a 4.5. This course is fantastic, just not quite what LS is (but is any course?!?)
I recommend playing CS first and letting LS be the icing on the cake. I might have been let down to have played them in reverse order.
My favorite hole was #3. I shot a 63 (-4) from blues.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
The best course in the world
Pros: This course has every element of a great course. Best course designer in the world. Check. Absolutely gorgeous surroundings. Check. The best teepads, signage, and baskets money can buy. Check. Challenging holes that require the use of every disc golf shot. Check. Obstacles including water, trees, bushes, blind spot throws, elevation changes, rocks, footing holds, islands, alternate teeboxes, holes ranging from short to verrrryyy long, wind factors, etc. Check. Great playability and flow. Check. Nature galore. Check. It is an outstanding travel destination, with a bed and breakfast, great fishing, a great pro shop, homemade food, and plenty of activities to do.
Cons: You would have to really be nitpicking here to come up with cons. I guess I could say the location since its not in my backyard. It is about 90 minutes east of Dallas, TX (where I live), so there isn't a ton of night life or things to do in general outside of the ranch itself, of course. To be fair though, this is really a place to get away...so this is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for a con. The price can add up since it is $20 per person per day for unlimited greens access. The golf carts are $40 per day, and with two huge, awesome courses, you really HAVE to have a golf cart. The pro shop is quite nice, and its easy to drop a lot of money on extras too. There is a lot of water, so you will likely lose discs. I have lost two discs playing thousands of rounds...I lost 3 discs my first time playing selah.
Other Thoughts: This is quite simply an outstanding championship course that will stand up to any course in the world. This is ranked #1 in the world and its sister course (selah ranch lakeside) is ranked #5 in the world. If you live within a few hours, like to travel and play, or are planning a trip to Texas...this is a MUST PLAY course.
P.S. The fishing here is incredible as well. I had some great catches, and apparently that is common here!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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