Elevation shots with a great view!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: From a local, "Buffalo Ridge is my favorie Phoenix course for sure. Love the elevation changes." I agree, but if you don't know the gem of Buffalo Ridge's "elevation" then you may get worn out mining the 27 holes to find the diamond.
If you don't have the time and energy to burn here's the secret: Go straight to the number 6 tee. You will be going UP. Then on 7 and 8 you will be going DOWN. It's helpful to remember to go UP after 6's basket since that's where the 7 tee is, otherwise you may struggle finding it.
Then you go UP on 9 and DOWN on 10, which you may think is the signature hole of this place, but it's only the beginning of the signature elevation holes. Again, remember to go UP after 9's basket. Also, if you don't remember to go UP on 9 then you may get lost, like I did, and end up playing 9A, which plays toward the parking lot (28th hole?).
Now you go UP on 11 and then 12 is the most technical shot because it's downhill and hidden behind a guardian bush. When you're at the 11th tee looking uphill at the basket turn to your right so you can see where 12's hidden basket is since you won't see it looking down from the 12th tee.
Then you go UP for 13 and DOWN for 14 and 15. It's a little tricky getting to 14 since you're not only throwing DOWN, but the basket is perched down there on a tiny hill which is inviting your disc to roll away once you get there.
If you quit after 15 then you would have played just 10 holes but you would have experienced ALL the elevation shots of Buffalo Ridge. If you do have the time and energy, however, then there is more good disc golf to be found here.
Five nice ace runs are 4 (175'), G (200'), H (206'), 7 (256'), and 17 (262'). You can't see 4's basket from the tee but it's buried in some trees to the right, not too far away. I particularly like this one since it strongly favors my RHFH. I ended up parked on both shots of my only 2 rounds for easily birdies and expect I'd eventually hear chains from the hidden location.
Cons: My pet peeve are the tee signs here, and other places, that show multiple baskets, but don't indicate which is the current position. For example, F, H, and I throw blind. They go over a swell, which would be nice if you knew which basket position was your destination. It would be so simple and inexpensive to add a nut and washer on the tee sign, like so many other courses do, but I guess they haven't figured this out at the nicer Phoenix courses yet. I also complained about this in my Vista review. Multiple baskets should be a PRO not a CON!
The A through I portion could have included elevation shots that would have made it a lot better. If 9 more elevation holes were added on this side of the mountain then you'd have TWO complete courses.
I wish the tee signs rose up higher. It was difficult to locate them, but this is only a factor for the first unfamiliar round so not a big deal.
Be careful since B is easily mistaken for I, which is what I did.
Other Thoughts: Bring water or get some from your car after 8, since that's the closest you'll be to the parking lot before you finish and by then you've finished 17 holes if you played A-I. Most of your UP and DOWN is ahead of you.
There's a walking trail around the upper ridge of the higher baskets and it was active with pedestrians both times I was there. When you're throwing UP a hill you don't usually worry about people, but be conscious of them and stay safe.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Best Desert Course
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Love this place (not so much in the summer)!
Good variety of holes and terrain.
Great exercise while you are playing.
Easy to navigate.
Scoring opportunities (even for this old guy)!
Cons: Old-school baskets, too many walkers and dogs on the weekends.
Other Thoughts: I've been playing here off and on since it was new, even helped put out the forms for some of the pads. Lots of great people out here playing, it is definitely the "go to" course for my son and I whenever we take a visitor out! Fountain Hills is great too (way different style), but this is a raw desert course that is just load of fun!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Interesting desert course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is located in a large park on the north east side of Phoenix. It butts up against and partially uses the ridge that gives the park it's name. There is good parking, a nice play area for the kids, some good sized grass areas, basketball courts, and bathrooms. a well appointed park.
The course itself plays out through the natural expanse with a variety of desert bushes and scrub trees providing quite a bit of cover. This adds an interesting degree of difficulty, as they average 4 to 8 feet tall so it is not unusual to have to elevate a drive more than you might like. Add the wind and an easy medium length hole becomes challenging.
Tees are a good consistent size allowing good run-ups and signs are on most tees. Maps of main course and extra 9 holes are well placed and help with navigation.
There are a number of places by the greens where rocks have been gathered and look like bunkers. I didn't see any signs about them, wonder if the locals use them in play somehow.
Many of the tees have different different patterns and artwork in them, often incorporating the hole number. I like this artistic touch.
The designers made pretty good use what elevation there is to make some challenging holes, including 15 which has the pin on a very narrow 8' tall ridge making the choice to lay up or go for it tough as a missed putt turns into a 30'+ uphill challenge.
Cons: While it was a pretty good use of the area, by the time I made it to F(10 holes in) and some elevation change it was feeling a little rote. I think part of that is I am used to the Pacific Northwest, most courses have trees and elevation to spare.
Holes 8-13 fall into a similar pattern, up the hill then down, could have used one or two on the flat to break the pattern.
The course is verrrry rocky, almost nothing but. I hadn't realized blizzard plastic was that soft until this course. Still usable, but probably put 6 months to a years worth of my normal wear on it in one round.
The tees are a good size but some of them are over textured, almost to the point of being a trip hazard on a couple.
My biggest complaint is the the tee signs, map, and site are all inaccurate for distance and pin positions. Because of terrain I was having a hard time judging distances and on some holes both tee signs and map are wildly off. On 12 I was throwing to pin 15 or 16 because sign showed it on that line. later found it tucked behind a bush.
This is a long course to be away from water, especially with the letter holes taking you away from the bathrooms. Carry extra!
Other Thoughts: I liked this course over all, despite some of the annoyances. It was cool to see the design constraints caused by the different environment and how the designers dealt with them.
Be aware this is an area where there could be rattlesnakes. I didn't see any and doubt they will be common in an area this well traveled but be aware.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
My favorite course played so far in the valley
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Fun layout
-3 separate 18 holes can be played, or a full 27 (which I highly recommend)
-Most holes have very good baskets
-Many holes have alternate hole locations and the people that manage the course change positions frequently
-Great elevation changes which provide fun and challenging shot types
-Very clean course; each hole has a trash bag to keep litter down
-They utilize the scrubs and trees well to make certain basket positions challenging
Cons: -Can become crowded on the weekends
-The park usually has many hikers throughout the course
-Some holes can get washed out after a big rain
Other Thoughts: As the title states, this is my favorite course to play in the valley that I've played so far (I've also played Vista, Fountain Hills, and Thunderbird). I'd consider this my home course and play the full 27 at least once every weekend. The layout is great and I love that it is on the side of the hill, so you get a fun hike in while playing. The course is in the desert, and there isn't any grass, so yes, your discs will get beat up a bit, but they're $15 and I'd rather have fun than worry about my disc.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
My favorite Course in Phoenix
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Spectacular views throwing from up in the mountain. 27 holes of desert disc throwing goodness. Well tended. Some interesting blind shots and cool long shots from up top. Lots of distance illusions cause unforced errors. Nice park facilities (bathroom, water, picnic tables).
Cons: Tough to find the holes and tee pads when you're a newbie. Not terribly challenging. A bit repetitive and easy to figure out. Bring water and don't play in the summer except early in the a.m. Bring good shoes to combat the broken glass and spiny cactus.
Other Thoughts: You get to climb into the desert mountains and play disc golf. It is an awesome experience! I have never 'scuffed' a disk out here, but I don't buy soft plastic.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Buffalo Ridge dgc
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: •(only played 18 layout) Desert Mtn course that plays up and down the side of a rocky ridge, lots of short cacti and pokey trees making you need good placement.
•Pin positions were cool some raised ground baskets and some tough to putt at with the low lying trees
•Water and restrooms before hole 1 is nice
•Decent signs and fairly easy to navigate with good tee pads
•Lizards are there
Cons: • Rough terrain may mess up your plastic
• Some janky baskets
• Some repetitive shots
Other Thoughts: Could use some work but being from MN it was really fun playing a true desert course w/good elevation changes
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Not the DGC I would bring a friend to
1 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: There is baskets out there. Any course is better than no course.
The hills add a nice variety of shots and make it more interesting than just throwing a drive out and then an up shot then putting in a short putt.
Cons: Par is totally off. You walk up to a hole that is 450+ and should be a par 4 not 3. I would like to see how a 1000 rated player does out there and see them get pissed off because it is off.
There are ZERO fairways. I'm used to a disc golf course that plays like a pro golf course. Even desert golf courses have fairways and are enjoyable to play.
The baskets SUCK. The money used on the "new" 9 holes should have been put toward making the first 18 holes better, including their baskets.
Too many blind shots, it feels like you can't see the pins half the shots and there are 2 to 5 different pin positions for each hole and there is no marking showing you what pin position it is currently in. So you are stuck walking out and finding the pin before you throw your drive.
Many of the "fairways" are used side by side with holes shooting back at you. This could be very dangerous as players from other holes move forward to throw their second shot.
Not a course I would ever bring someone brand new too. I am a 850 rated player and did terrible out there.
There are no lanes for throwing. All this course requires is you to have a bit of good aim and big arm to get some birdies. If you don't have an arm don't expect birdies here.
Tee pads are not well marked and are a bit hidden at some points, not much of complaint because each prior holes sign tells you where the next tee pads are.
Other Thoughts: This type of course is why Disc Golf will never grow to be respectable. It is frustrating when it feels like tee pads and baskets are just strewn about the desert and there is zero fairway and zero golf course feeling.
1 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This was my first time playing a proper desert course, and I liked it. The locals I joined warned me about the rough terrain, and how it would eat up my discs, but I didn't realize how bad it would be. After a few throws with soft plastic I switched to the harder stuff. One one long throw I was expecting a skip, but as it disappeared behind a bush I just heard a loud "thunk" as it hit a rock and stopped dead.
I was shown a "secret" alternate tee pad near the end of the lettered holes, where we had a nice view and a fun throw down to the basket.
There is ample parking. There are bathrooms and water near the beginning/ending of the course, but be sure to bring plenty of water to drink during your round. As you would expect, it gets hot.
Be sure to play the 9 lettered holes. They add elevation changes and some terrain challenges not available in the 18 numbered holes.
I played fairly early on Saturday, and the course was not crowded.
Cons: The lack of trees made most holes friendly to whatever shape you wanted to throw. I prefer a couple of clear lines, with varying risk and reward for each, but that's not really possible here. It's no fault of the course designer, who did a nice job with what was available.
Other Thoughts: I played in May, and by the middle of my 27-hole round it was pretty hot for this California kid. Play early unless you like the heat.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Rainy Morning In The Desert!
Pros: How could I be so fortunate as to show up at Buffalo Ridge on one of the few mornings when Phoenix experienced a rain shower? So after sloshing around for the first 5-6 holes, getting totally soaked and cold, I was finally able to settle in and enjoy the course. The letter holes A-I were definitely the highlight of the course for me. I felt they were just a step above the original 18 in terms of challenge and interest. I had been told by many players down here about what a hike/workout this was going to be. I was fully expecting to be going up and down this down this mountain a time or two not just just skirting around the periminter.
There's only so much you can do with the design when you don't have trees and/or much elevation to contend with. As previous reviewers have noted, it's hard to get into serious trouble on this course due to the fact that even if you shank your drive badly, you still should be able to be in position to lay and par the hole.
Cons: I found the navigation to be a little tricky in a number of places. Having the the next tee arrow on the tee sign is helpful but I always seem to remember to look for it when I've finished putting out. A little late then. I would love to see some simple little rock arrows like someone has placed at Red Mountain or little concrete block signs like Paseo Vista has.
The desert terrain eats up discs.
Other Thoughts: As usual, I'm agreeing with Mashnut's expert opinion that I enjoyed the desert scenery but the disc golf didn't rock my world. It's definitely a course to play in the early morning hours. It's a nice little workout. Sturdy shoes and water are a must. And it'll probably do wonders for your self-esteem as most players should score well here.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great desert course
Pros: Although it's a desert course, there's a lot less "up and over" shots here than you'd expect. There are a fair number of trees, and the brush is high and thick. Placement of the tee pads and baskets make good use of the available natural obstacles and the terrain. The "letter holes" that added an additional 9 holes to the original 18 are superior and really take the course up a notch, so if you don't play the full 27, make sure you play these holes. Many of the baskets have tall flags above them so that you can see where you're aiming even if the basket is hidden, which I really like. Lots of drastic elevation changes, a couple of really fun and challenging downhill shots. Great tee pads and basic facilities on site.
Cons: I've never described a course as hard to navigate before, but I am now. This course is very hard to navigate. I showed up by myself with the map in hand, and just finding the first tee and basket took like 5 minutes. Fortunately, wandering around the first hole let me to meet some locals and get a guided tour. As we progressed through the course, I couldn't imagine having done it by myself. The tees are hard to spot because there's so much brush you have to be close before it's visible. This course needs someone to make a better map, badly. All that having been said, there were enough people playing middle of the day on a weekday, that someone should help show you the way fairly quickly.
Tip: If you look at the course on Google maps satellite view, you can make out the tee pads from above pretty easy. Use this on your phone while there to figure out where the next tee pad is relative to you. Tall flags near the tee pads to mark them, like the baskets, would be really useful... though I guess local DGCs aren't particularly focussed on making the course they already know like the back of their hand easier to navigate.
Other than that, not much to complain about. As usual, desert courses will really beat in your discs fast.
Other Thoughts: This course isn't going to knock your socks off, especially not the regular 18 numbered holes, but you will enjoy it. It's worth a drive out if you're in the Phoenix area, and makes a good day trip in combination with Fountain Hills. I think behind Fountain Hills and Maricopa Meadows, it's the 3rd best course I've played in the area.
Goes without saying, but bring lots of water, and a phone with a data connection for access to satellite maps. Or, until a better map appears, try approaching a local for some guidance, everyone I met was (as usual) really friendly and helpful.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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