25 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Championship caliber course, secluded deep in the woods of Northern Idaho. That alone should get the blood pumping.
+Paul, the owner/designer/grunt laborer seems like an awesome dude. It is definitely worth setting aside some time to chat with him after your round. His current project is working the next 18-hole course adjacent to Caliber, and it is fascinating hearing him talk about the plans and process.
+Tee times are required. Why is this a positive? Because tee times plus the secluded nature of the course will make you feel like you have the place to yourself.
+Good variety of holes. Some are grip-and-rip favoring the big arms, some are tight gaps favoring accuracy. Distances vary significantly also. To score well, you need to throw putters, mids, and drivers equally effectively and also be able to throw both BH and FH.
+Great use of elevation. Perhaps the best example of this is Hole 9, one of the Par 4s. Tee shot is straight uphill, fading left; second shot is back down the hill, also fading left. The hole shape is basically a horseshoe, with thick woods preventing you from cutting the corner. Oh, and the green? Death putt if you don't get your approach pin deep. This was one of many birdie-turned-bogey-three-putt holes for me on the round, largely because of the character on the greens.
+The Back 9 just might be the best nine hole stretch that I've personally played.
+The upkeep is very good, especially considering the sheer magnitude of fairway land that has to be maintained.
Cons: -While visually the course looks like it is in the woods, there are quite a few holes that don't *feel* that way. Exhibit A would be the angry sunburn that I got while playing, since many of the fairways are actually very wide and sun exposed. Not the experience I was expecting, especially since all the hiking we did nearby was much more heavily wooded. But perhaps the flipside of this, is that the deceptively open nature of the course allows the big arms to open up the throttle quite a bit.
-The course took a while to hit its stride for me. Hole 4 is great, but other than that the first 8-ish holes weren't particularly memorable. Still a great course, but the holes that really make me reminisce were all stacked in the Hole 9-18 homestretch.
Other Thoughts: I realize that my 'Cons' may seem excessively nitpicky to some. But really, the difference between 4.5* (phenomenal) and 5.0* (best of the best) is an extremely thin and subjective line. Ultimately, you won't regret playing here.
Other points to consider:
*Lots of elevation change. Bring plenty of water, some snacks, and sunscreen. Plan for a longer than normal round given the physical requirements of walking the course.
*Pay to play. $15 and must call ahead for tee time.
25 of 25 people found this review helpful.
41 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - 18 DISCatcher Pros with yellow bands that are well set. There's a mix of portable bases and permanent mounts. The perm mounts are a touch taller than average but certainly not "elevated".
- Turf tee pads on substantial crushed mix bases. These things are incredibly impressive. Not all the turf pieces are super long(some maybe only 7'?) but the grade between the turf and base mix is seamless. My backhand run ups are...longer than average and I didn't have any issues. The actual turf is great and felt super easy on my occasionally shoddy knees. Most holes have Pro and Am pads with maybe 3(?) that share the same tee. The pads are designed for high level Ams and Pros to have a similar feeling challenge on the same track rather than offering a different look or alternate tee box. After playing a round from the Longs and then another from the Shorts, this was well executed IMO.
- The terrain use is superb. Set on ~45ish acres of rolling hills and ridges, every hole has elevation change to manage. Many holes have multiple stages of elevation change. One of the most unique and varying set of 18 holes I've ever tackled from this perspective. If you love elevation change on the golf course this place will give you the feels.
- This course has been carved out of old growth trees, both deciduous and coniferous. While I'd consider this course "heavily wooded" it isn't akin to what I've found in parts of Wisconsin or the Carolinas. The fairways are fair while the rough remains fairly wild. Certainly no extremely tight wooded lines so, for some, it may seem different than the heavily wooded courses they play at home.
- The fairways, as mentioned are quite fair but rarely just straight forward. Each has some nuance to attacking it and all the multi-throw holes will reward certain landing areas to set up the next throw. A number of holes have multiple fairways to choose from which were done brilliantly.
- Speaking of the multi-throw holes, there are 4 on the front 9 and 4 on the back 9. They are excellent, true Par 4's and 5's, offering unique challenges from one another.
- Signage and navigational aids are great. The hand painted tee signs were meticulously designed having been plotted tree by tree. They offer very accurate hole depictions, often with key distance markers noted. Next hole signs throughout the course make getting from pin to next tee simple.
- Two water carry holes and they play quite differently from each other. The shorter downhill Par 3 island Hole 13 is followed by the spectacular Par 5 Hole 14. Only gripe is they're back to back but not much to be done about that. There was a canoe by the pond with a retriever stick. Not sure if it's available for general use or if they clear out the pond themselves.
- The little things are all done right. OB tether is well staked and defined, the drop zones have mini turf tees that are well built, the various fairway distance markers posted throughout, the all clear bell for the the blind hill on the Par 4 Hole, benches all over, etc. I'm probably forgetting some things but you get the idea. So much love, effort, and attention to detail at every level of this install.
- 2 top level blue Prodigy baskets in the front yard for warming up the putts. Also a well water spigot, it's delicious. Bathroom is available inside as well. Our group didn't use it but it's in a house so I imagine it's above average for DG course facilities.
- The Stiller family is a great team of operators. We met and interacted with all 4(dad, mom, both daughters) as well as both dogs and both cats. Such a welcoming group of people and animals that team up to offer their amazing "back yard" to traveling golfers. At $15 per round it felt like a great value.
Cons: - There are a few places where the next hole is a little close to the previous. Mesh safety barriers were strung for these. They're dark and forestry in color so don't detract a ton from ambiance. Hole 7 green to Hole 8 tee is probably the worst offender. I'm guessing this is mostly for event play as they limit traffic/tee times so we felt zero pressure during either of our two rounds on a gorgeous Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
- It's a hikey course so if you're in poor shape or have physical limitations this could be a challenge. I'd just played all 36 Holes at Swards Ranch the day before so 36 at Caliber felt like a nice stretch of the legs. Unlike many mountain courses that will make you work, there's actually oxygen to breath at this elevation. So not a Con for me, but it will be for some. Players should certainly wear good boots/shoes and bring a snack.
- There is some decent ground coverage rough off of the fairways and a handful of blind throws so if you're throwing lost colored discs or just not paying attention the potential for lost discs is quite possible. Our group of four did a little spotting but nothing excessive.
- An access road and a power line break the natural beauty at a couple points.
- Turf drop zone for Hole 14 is a bit short considering you still have most of the 747' Par 5 left to play.
- $15 for a round. Great price in my experience but most frolfers are cheap af so...
Other Thoughts: Just frickin wow. Caliber DGC is pretty well everything that gets my disc golf juices flowing. The exclusivity, elevation use, carved and manicured fairways, fun and unique greens, mental and physical challenges; amazing holes just keep coming at you one after another. Our group stood on countless tee boxes just soaking it in and admiring the gorgeous view down each fairway. The whole place is put together, from design to maintenance to infrastructure, in such a professional manner.
I found it interesting that different reviewers have mentioned the rough as both overly forgiving and rather unforgiving so I left this for "other thoughts". I found the rough to be right in the middle of those assessments - scrambling is generally possible, but you'll usually lose your chance to birdie the second you leave the fairway. On occasion I had nothing better than a short placement pitch out.
Best comparisons I can offer for feel, play, and challenge would be some mix of the Highbridge courses and the Upper Course at Bohart Ranch(may she Rest In Peace) although Caliber's elevation changes are far more substantial and constant. Not sure how else to describe my sentiments toward Caliber other than saying this course is amongst the few that when I walked off the last green, I just had THAT feeling. Construction on the second course is underway and we were fortunate enough to be toured through and play the first 8 holes, 4-5 of which are getting close to finished products. If my initial play through is any indication of the end result, it's going to be another absolute banger. I recommend that anyone with the ability to do so - come find out for yourselves what a treasure has been built in northern Idaho. I currently live about 6 hours away and will soon live about 8 hours away. No question in my mind that I'll be making that drive again and again so long as Caliber is operational.
41 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Tons of fun
6 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: #1 - Paul
#2 - Professional in every way (Paul & the Course)
#3 - Turf tee-pads are professional done and easy on the knees.
#4 - Course Design is also professional in nature, and challenging for both pro's, and those who do not play this game for money.
#5 - Friendly fun family, and family owned and operated business.
Cons: No Pro-Shop to spend more money.
Other Thoughts: Make the trip, you won't be disappointed.
6 of 13 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Excellent designed turf tee pads.
Hand-painted, to-scale & accurate tee signs.
Seating at each pad with enough space for the whole card with rock/boulder features here and there.
Progressive manicured 'fair'ways with smooth rolling hills of mowed grass & clover.
I can't stress enough how perfect the fairways are designed, rough is rough, but that's the point, stay on the fairways and you'll score well.
Great use of elevation requiring calculated intentional shots.
A good mix of par 3, 4 & 5's, the longer holes requiring skilled placement shots and attention to tee signs if you plan to score well.
Excellent job making every hole unique.
Picture perfect views and geography, feels like you were transported to Europe.. think Konopiste.
Greens are well manicured... true greens, no gimmicky little sucker trees growing within circle one.
Caliber is by far the best all around course I've played. Paul really created a gem here, course designers please take notes.
A big thanks to the entire Stiller family for creating and sharing this place, you guys are awesome humans!
Cons: Could use more wind chimes ;)
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 18 Not
World class course
Pros: Every hole is picturesque and masterfully planned out. Words are almost impossible to describe this course. It's a must play and memorable experience type of thing!
Paul and his family are such wonderful people and their level of hospitality is unmatched!
2 of 20 people found this review helpful.
30 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Course is set on a large piece of wooded, hilly private property, so there's no chance of interference with any non-disc golf activities.
- Makes great use of the constant elevation changes here, with very few flat holes to be found anywhere. While it might be classified as moderately hilly, when *every* hole is moderately hilly, it adds up quick.
- Fantastic mix of shorter, reachable par 3's with long, multi-shot Par 4's and 5's that require planned shot placement. The elevation is again used well to make sure there are long/short uphills and long/short downills.
- Some nice risky greens to ensure that the approach and putt take as much thought as the tee shot. Hole #11 is a 776' hole that ends with a raised basket on the fastest green on the course, if I remember correctly, great finish to the Par 5.
- Water comes into play on two holes; both shots have you throw over a small pond/marshed valley. #13 tests accuracy more than distance, while #14 tests distance control more than accuracy. #14 is great because you have to throw far enough to clear the water, but not too straight and far or you miss the bend in the fairway.
- A few longer holes give you the option of going left or right of some forested patches in the fairway; always love to see that in non-wooded courses to allow for some decision making.
- The extra 1,000' added from the long pads is no joke - both long and short holes become much more difficult, not just because of length, but also because of additional gaps and elevation.
- Top-notch tee signs and tee pads. These were obviously built to last, with every hole having perfectly level and groomed teepads sitting atop a mound of compacted gravel.
Cons: - The location of the course, among towering pines, means there aren't many "wooded" holes with tight fairways carved out of smaller trees. This is more of a personal preference, almost even an aesthetic gripe, then a design issue.
- The terrain here is also very forgiving for errant shots. The rough on the sides of many fairways don't punish mistakes the same as wooded courses. Even on a few shanks, I wasn't punished and had a great look to save par.
Other Thoughts: - I stumbled upon this course by sheer luck, two nights before when looking at the Farragut courses for the 10th time on the DGCR map browser. Boy, am I glad I did. I was stoked to be able to play the course on such short notice! The highlight of a 10-day, 26-course road trip.
- This is the first review I've written in 6 years, but I promised I would! This course is easily in my personal top 20 for both challenge and enjoyment, a solid 4.5 worth going out of the way for.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Amazingly designed course. Mix of 3,4,and 5's. Rolling hills, elevation change, trees, and overall well manicured. Pros and Am pads that are so well put together and thoughtfully built. Can't say enough about Paul and his dream course. Lucky enough to live 15 minutes away. Well done paul !
2 of 15 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
A true Gem
Pros: The detail that went into, not only the design of the holes, but the overall experience of the round simply cannot be understated.
From the moment you drive into the property you are greeted with a view of Hole 2s immaculate teeing area (and i call it an area on purpose, these are not just tee pads)...its at this moment you realize two things...holy cow thats the nicest tee pad ive ever seen, and two, thats one heck of a hole.
When you reach the parking lot, park and meet Paul, you will instantly be pulled into the majesty of the property. Hole 18 staring you in the face as you pay your greens fee, hole ones chains rattling as the first group of the day putts out. The entire place a buzz with players excited to tackle a hole that ate thier lunch the day before. And all this before you make your way to the practice green......
Sounds to good huh?
Well no joke, this place truly lives up to the hype.
I remember the first time i was invited to come out and see the property and play a round. I was told, " man you got to see Pauls course he's building, its Amazing!" and i replied, "Oh yah for sure! cant wait!" thinking the entire drive up about the previous private courses ive played...full of charm and the property owners unique vision, but more often then not, putting on old retired baskets, chomping thru some thick under brush, throwing off of dirt tee pads... And I love those courses! But what Paul created is something entirely different.
As i Played hole 1...2...3...4..i felt like i was transported to some European course id only seen on videos....rolling fairways full of poplar and aspens...i looked over at my playing partner and asked, "is this like the best course in the world?" Awe struck and feeling the same as me he only nodded his head. "I think it might be."
That was three years ago, and today it is only better:
Amazing tee pads
Well groomed and cared for Fairways
A thoughtful and enjoyable design with hole concepts id never seen
FUN! (its such a fun course!)
And the real icing on the cake, an Amazing owner who is 100 percent dedicated to improving and maintaining the land.
Cons: None, i gave it a 5 because i truly believe its perfect
Other Thoughts: Just a huge Thank you to Paul and the Entire Stiller family for creating this place....i plan to enjoy it for years to come!
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
A world class gem hidden in the North Idaho panhandle
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is simply one of, if not the most, amazing course I have ever played. Probably gave that award to Milo in the past, but this place is literally standing toe to toe with it. Because of the large amount of land and Paul's ability to design fairways via excavator, he has created a truly extraordinary course up there. No overlapping fairways or even much chance of an errant throw landing on a different fairway. Fairways are fair, rough can be punishing if you shank your shot or ricochet off a tree. There are lots of rolling hills, uphill shots and downhill bombers, every arm will be challenged and you better hope you have your head in the game and your body responds in kind! There are new Discmania turf teepads on the course now which are are pleasure to be able to throw off of. Almost all of the holes, save a few, have two tee placements: "Advanced Ams" and "Pros".
Cons: As the "Advanced Ams" tee says, this is not a course for novice players. It will stretch you to the limit and then some. It is also VERY physical so bring lots of fluids, a powerbar, good disc golf shoes, and prepare for a beast of a course.
That said, none of those things are cons. Can't really think of any to be honest!
Other Thoughts: This is a destination course that any lover of disc golf should have on their bucket list. You must see it to believe it!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
If this course doesnít deserve 5 stars, I donít know what does.
3 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: I don't know what you can really say, it's just perfect. Everything is obsessively well thought out and executed - tees, signs, fairways, greens, you name it. This is the benchmark.
Cons: It's too far away from where I live.
3 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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