Top of the World
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Elevation change and altitude. That is what this course is about. If you have never played a course where elevation change is its own obstacle, you are in for a treat here.
From the very first hole, you are presented with a short (286'), steep-downhill hole with the basket on the right of a fairway lined with trees. No matter what you throw, there is a very good chance of overthrowing this hole. If you are tentative and under-throw it, there is a good chance of being very short and presenting yourself with the same elevation problem on the upshot. The hole just looks like an easy birdie from the tee box, but it is just as easy to bogey.
This same issue presents itself on hole after hole requiring different disc selections than you are used to at lower altitude and on more flat ground. I often caught myself throwing at 1/2 or 3/4 power with fairway drivers on holes ranging from 300 to nearly 500 feet. Indeed, on hole 6 I threw well past the basket that was nearly 600 feet from the tee box with an Amp. I don't have that kind of distance, but with the tee box being over 150 feet higher in elevation than the basket, it is as easy to go past the basket as it is to go short and into the woods if you choose a disc too overstable or understable or throw too hard or too soft because you aren't used to that kind of elevation change.
Hole 6 is also a good example of the challenges presented by the excellent course design. There are two distinct fairways around a tree "island" in the middle. The elevation change also offers the option to go high and go over all of the trees and try to drop the disc in from the top, with all of these approaches requiring accuracy just to keep the disc from ending up in the woods.
There are a good number of holes that require right and left turning throws and a few with very tight fairways. I threw forehand as often as backhand.
Another challenge on this course is that on the short holes, and even the longer ones, your disc may be coming into the landing area moving much faster than you are used to leading to giant skips that turn what looked like an easy birdie into a challenging upshot to retain a chance at par.
This course has several good, fairly short, uphill holes and one longer one. There are a number of sidehill holes that use elevation only as punishment for an errant shot. Several holes will also reward errant shots with dropoffs severe enough to make you want to just forget about that disc and rethrow.
While there are one or two holes that I would otherwise consider to be too open, the slope could severely punish an errant throw. Only hole 17, a slight uphill, 312 ft. hole, was truly wide open with little consequence to an errant throw, unless you went very far past on your upshot.
No hole presents elevation-as-obstacle better than the finishing hole. You really have to see this hole in person to understand how severe the downhill portion is. Reaching the bottom with your first throw is difficult, not because it is difficult to throw a disc 1200 feet when you are 400 feet higher than the basket, but because your disc stays in the air so long that it is difficult to keep it on the 500 ft wide fairway and out of the woods. I managed to get my Underworld to the bottom on my first throw, but it flew so far that I lost sight of it before it landed even though my view of the disc was never obstructed. As fun as it is to watch a disc fly for 15 seconds, and fly so far that you can't see it anymore, this hole is a bear of a par 3 and should probably be listed as a par 4.
This course is on a ski slope that has a resort hotel at the bottom. The resort is self contained with shopping, eating, bars and a shop with a narrow selection of Innova and a few MVP discs. This is a fantastic place to go for a disc golf vacation. There are a few other courses nearby, but after playing this course the first time, I really wasn't interested in trying to go anywhere else to play; I wanted another shot at almost every hole.
Cons: Although you are free to hike up and play (for free), the lift doesn't start running until 10:00 a.m. By that time you could have already played a round. If you choose to hike up, it will probably be 10:00 a.m. before you get there anyway. This isn't really a con for the course itself, but you really do need to take the lift to play it.
The slope of this course is severe everywhere. Do not try to play this course if you aren't in decent shape.
You don't need extra weight while playing this course but you will need to bring water with you because there are no amenities other than benches on the course. On the positive side, it was very cool when I played and so I didn't need much water.
Navigation is really pretty straightforward, but there are few places where better "next tee" signage would be helpful. We saw several groups get briefly lost after the second basket. Go back and to the right to the get to the #3 tee box.
Watch your discs carefully until they land. It is easy to lose them because they fly so far on many holes.
Other Thoughts: There is no charge to play the course and it should NOT be listed as a pay to play course. However the lift ticket is $10 per ride or $20 per day. If you don't see mountains often, the views on the ride alone is worth the price. Take the lift unless you often hike in the mountains and are certain of what you are doing.
I debated whether to give this course a 5 disc rating. I think that the elevation is enough of a novelty and distraction that it is easy to discount the challenge that it presents or the way that the course uses that challenge in what may seem like holes that are otherwise too open. However, this is a very challenging course and I found it to be more fun than any other course that I have played. It is certainly not a one-trick pony and while the 18th hole is epic, it isn't even the best hole on the course in my opinion. The cons I listed are mostly nitpicking and if you like watching your disc fly, there few places where you will get to enjoy doing that as much as Solitude.
Notes on play: If you are not used to playing at higher elevations, you need to keep in mind that the less dense air will make your discs act somewhat more overstable. It will be difficult to hyzer flip and flippy discs may not turn over for you very much. You generally won't need any very overstable discs and you probably won't need any distance drivers.
On hole 18, you can reach the bottom with ease with a lower speed, understable discs. Higher speed discs and stable discs may lose speed and fade long before they get to the bottom. I reached the bottom easily with both an Underworld and a 167g Insanity. The Insanity flew straight as a bullet. The Underworld turned over.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Amazing Mountain Course
Pros: Very well done course in the most beautiful location.
Pads are all in good shape. They aren't concrete, but are packed dirt with rubber pads in clearly marked boxes.
Holes are challenging and don't really favor backhand or flicks.
Clearly marked tees and signs makes the course pretty easy to navigate. They offer a course map/scorecard at the top of the lift as well.
Great atmosphere, awesome lift staff. Overall it's a blast to play.
Cons: Not many cons here. Discs don't turn over because of the altitude, so it's really easy to lose them. I've lost more discs in these hills than all other courses combined by double. (I really don't lose many so it sounds worse than it is).
They raised the price for the lift to $10 so it's probably more worthwhile to hike up than pay for the lift now.
Other Thoughts: Get ready to hike for discs. I overthrew a couple holes and ended up searching for an eternity in vain (usually). The altitude and terrain will really make it easy to let disks get away from you.
Hole 18 is insane.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Solitude, the best Utah has to offer
Pros: The course is on a ski resort during the summer hours, and includes everything that you think comes with that.
Mixture of downhill and uphill shots. Holes are challenging enough for pros and offer a lot to learn for beginners.
Easy to navigate thru course, dont remember getting lost, and we went late enough into the summer that paths were already formed from previous discers which was convenience.
Cons: Lost discs can take up some of your time up on the hill, be prepared to look for some discs! Bring something to knock discs out of trees, there are some tall SOBs on this course.
Other Thoughts: Be ready for a day of hiking and disc! As long as you are prepared to be up on the mountain for a couple of hours you'll enjoy every minute. Bring food and water too.
Lift ticket worth it!
Remember 1 ft. downhill is equivilant to 10 ft. when throwing a disc ;)
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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