Do you have to let it linger?
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This will draw inevitable comparisons to Borderland, and for good reason. The course plays around the woods, rock walls, and the lawns surrounding a nice mansion with two baskets on every hole. I don't know how they got a course installed here, but congrats to whoever did.
The multiple baskets is a huge plus. It's an expensive option but a great way to add to the replayability of the course. The red baskets - which are pretty visible - are the longer baskets (the "cranberry" layout; see, because cranberries are red), and I would recommend these for anyone above a novice level. The blue baskets are shorter. That layout didn't look boring but certainly had more ace runs.
Elevation comes into play on many of the holes and really add to the challenge. Hole 9 was one of the best, a 375-foot throw over a hump with the baskets on a second incline. Hole 8 was also a fun one with the red basket perched on top of a rock pile. If you miss your putt, it might get stuck on a rock edge or more likely will roll away.
Tee signs were good and showed what you needed them to show. Tee pads were good.
Cons: Park users come into play on a lot of holes, particularly the late ones. On hole 18 I was afraid I was throwing past a huge clump of shrubbery in the fairway and wasn't sure who might be walking on the other side. I can't imagine what it's like on a weekend when the foliage is in full bloom. The dog park hole (15, I think) is another. I was nervous throwing here because there is no good route to the basket that I could see other than a roller, and I can only imagine what most dogs think when they see a rolling disk ("red squirrel!").
Navigation was mostly okay, but I had to consult the map several times. The course plays in a non-intuitive square late in the round from holes 13-17.
Other Thoughts: To complete the Borderland comparison, Cranbury has much better elevation, slightly worse design, only one tee pad per hole, presumably much less traffic (I was there on a Wednesday, so I don't know what a summer weekend looks like) but is pretty comparable in fun.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Fun Course But Let's Calm Down a Bit
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful park. Some interesting holes. I like courses that offer a long and a short option. Nice easy off/easy on for the highway.
Cons: 1) Lack of Signage - Fortunately, I ran into a local and finished the round up with him. Otherwise I'd probably still be looking for the Hole 6. Sometimes it's easy to see the next Tee. Othertimes, not so much...
2) Dog Walkers - Holy crap, these people are EVERYWHERE! On the fairways, in front of the tees, by the baskets, aimlessly wandering off and onto the holes. I understand that the course designers had to work with what they were given, but I have never seen so many people just blatantly not care they are in the way. I'm all for sharing space with other park users, but there has to be some form of mutual respect. I feel like I spent half my round waiting for people to move.
3) Layout - A lot of repitition. Only two or three really memorable holes. Also a very local friendly course. A lot of holes that are very tricky to know how the layout really works until after you have already thrown.
Other Thoughts: I know my cons sound like I'm hating on the course. I'm really not. I had a fun round. It was a pleasant walk through some beautiful scenery. I'll play again (it's the perfect halfway point for a break on the drive from MA to family in NJ).
I'm being overly critical because this course simply does not deserve 4 discs. It was a fun, very average park course. Borderlands in Easton, MA is a 4 disc public park course. Wickham is a 4 disc public park course. West Thompson is a smaller course with 1 layout and is still deserving of a better score than Cranberry..
Definitely check this place out if you are in the area. It was a good time. But after seeing such a high rating, I was definitely a little disappointed when I actually got here.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Great Course Tight Greens Challenging and Dog Friendly
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging Course - lots of TIGHT wooded fairways with many twists,turns, and elevation changes. 3 open field holes, and even a roller hole.
Its been mentioned before that a scoring a 54 here (every hole is par 3) is an EXCELLENT score. There are so many holes where you have to make two good shots to put yourself in position to putt for par.
The best example of this is the roller hole on 15. You have to make it through the trees in the middle of the fairway either with a perfect roller, or perfect low shot under the branches and through the trunks, or a perfect spike hyzer/anhyzer placed 60ft above and around the trees. From there you have to make a great shot towards the basket which is on an 4 foot elevated mound. Then all your putts are "go for its" often resulting in 2-3putts. the best part? the hole is in the dedicated DOG RUN area! its actually fun seeing local pros do this hole and show you their way of scoring par.
Plus the holes that are Birdie-able are deceptively tough.
There is two options, and easier/closer Blueberry, and a challenging Cranbury options per hole.
Its a public course that is free and has ample parking thats free too.
Great Tee Boxes per hole, wooden frame and rubber pads on every hole.
The course measures about 2.2 miles of walking so its a decent way to get some exercise. You can finish the whole course (and even take some mulligans/ multiple practice throws per hole) in under 1.5hrs
The whole park is a large public park with beautiful green fields and picnic areas is also a mostly off leash dog friendly park too (with a dedicated area for dogs. Dogs can be off leash on the trails as well). You can definitely bring the whole family and the dog to hang out (if they aren't playing), maybe have a picnic, and walk the other trails while you play.
Cons: Its a daunting course for 1st timers (even pros) because so many of the holes are very long tight wooded fairways and the basket blind from the tee. When first playing you have to jog half way up some of the holes to see where the Cranbury basket is located.
The Blueberry (easier) basket options aren't played often and you can see that their baskets aren't as nice/sometimes a little bent or missing a 2nd chain ring. Since there's so little foot traffic to the Bluberry baskets the leaves/bushes/branches in the area are grown in.
Since its a large pretty park, often times people will hang out and picnic/sunbathe on some of the open lawn areas of the holes. Most of the locals have figured out where its safe to lay, but still if you shank a throw you could hit someone.
There are lots of events being held on the grounds from weddings, to the Highland Games (scottish guys in kilts doing scottish games like log toss), ect. So sometimes parking is tight or the open field holes are closed.
You do have to watch out for trail hikers, joggers, mountain bikers, and the occasional people on horses.
Lastly the Pro of being a "dog friendly" park is also a Con, because there are sometimes professional dog walkers who'll bring up to 10 dogs with them and basically abuse the park letting the dogs run rampant and sometimes hold up play by taking their time to move out of the fairways/holes. I think if you're going to bring your dogs its fine, but professional dog walkers in reality can't keep up and keep tabs on 5-10 dogs at all times.
Two of the holes cross through the dedicated dog run open areas (and even a roller hole) but 99% of the time everything will clear up for your shot.
Other Thoughts: This is my local course - I live less than 10min away from this course. I consider myself spoiled to live so close to this park.
I'm glad and was also sort of traumatized that this was the first course I learned how to play DG on!
It taught me how to play super tight demoralizing wooded fairways and that even pros will be victimized by shots that were good but were still victimized by the trees/obstacles.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Perfect Rubber Tees
Pros: -Rubber tees makes for enjoyable drives
-Multiple baskets adding variety to the course
-good use of elevation
-good mix of open and wooded holes
-Two practice baskets
-Benches on every hole
-Woods r rather clean, little vegetation on many holes
Cons: -Bluebury baskets look old compared to the cranbury baskets
-Some baskets are missing the brick with the arrow that points to the next tee… in addition, at least 2 arrows r pointing the wrong way
-Ocasional dog walkers
Other Thoughts: Enjoyable course to play… I played here once on a sunday morning, 6am, the front gate was still closed, had to go in through the exit and walk my way to the first tee… its a beautiful park with a lot of dog walkers so be careful when throwing… some holes have up to 3 cranbury baskets which i think its too much, one red and one blue is enough in my opinion, but i understand this gives variety to the locals… not far from route 7 which gives access to i-95… worth the 12 minute drive from 95 if ur traveling on it, i recommend this course very much
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Cranbury is a solid course made up of solid holes. Great signs, easy navigation and two baskets on each hole add to a very enjoyable experience. The signature element of the course is the use of stone walls to create OB. I'm not one for arbitrarily decided OB lines, but these feel very natural and add to the challenge as well as to the aesthetic quality of the course. Very nice use of an already in-place resource.
The second basket is also a nice touch. Locals can get a bit of variety by playing the blue baskets on occasion without moving the standard reds from their great positions. Alternatively, players of different ability levels can handicap their round by each playing to a different basket. But, if you are just playing once, you definitely want to play red.
The course isn't overly difficult and combined with the low level of underbrush and the existence of short baskets, it should be very playable for novice players, although the standard layout is clearly geared towards intermediates. Just about any player will likely enjoy their experience at Cranbury though.
I do appreciate the variety here but the open holes here aren't very interesting. It's easy to compare the course to Wickham, the in-state neighbor and the open holes on Wickham are all so different from each other. They keep a player interested with a variety of directions laid out over some very significant elevation changes. Here, not so much. The open holes at Cranbury are much flatter and grow tiresome rather quickly.
It's also tempting to compare the course to Borderland, as both inhabit parks built around a historic mansion. Here though, the course doesn't have a hole that opens up to it to create a memorable moment. There is no real signature hole at all. Cranbury is a very solid course, and a recommended stop, but it isn't a destination course. Good discing, but not truly memorable discing. Worth playing but a notch below both Wickham and Borderland, both of which feature the same variety of wooded and open that plays so well here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Cranbury Park is a better than average city park disc golf course. Most of the holes wind through the densely wooded portion of the park while a few of the holes crisscross some of the grassy fields.
The fly pad tee boxes are ample, well constructed, and a pleasure to throw from. The signs are pretty decent for a park course and the red DGA's catch discs efficiently. The routing here is pretty inherent but there are a few areas where a next tee sign would be helpful.
The designers made good use of elevation change but the course's strongest attribute aside from the tee pads must be the treacherous greens. Many of the baskets are on or near dangerous slopes which will make players think twice before attempting a putts from "the wrong side" of the bucket.
Cons: With no legitimate par 4's, Cranbury Park is hardly a test of golf. This is a glorified par 3 course but as you can see by the SSE, a 54 is actually a pretty good score here. This is due to super tight "fairways" combined with awkward distances. There are many holes here that are too long for par 3's but far too short for par 4's. For instance, there are a number of overly tight holes ranging in distance from 300'-375'. On top of that, a few of the slightly uphill holes ranging from 275'-290' played over 300', adding to the long list of "tweeners". There is pretty good directional balance off the tee but that doesn't make up for the course's other shortcomings.
Also, Cranbury could be renamed "Dog Town" if one were so inclined.
Other Thoughts: Because it's located in a city park, the course builders are limited as to what trees they can cut and that's too bad. I realize this is an issue in all public parks but Cranbury suffers more than most from this policy.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Great course with one MAJOR issue
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Variety of Holes - Cranbury Park has everything for you, whether you're looking for long open field bomber shots or tight inside holes with little room for error you'll find it here and I seem to use more discs at this course than the others that I usually play. There is even a roller hole. Holes are straight, right to left, left to right, uphill and downhill. Great variety and no real filler holes.
Challenge - I can never seem to put up a great score at this course, there will always be a hole or two (or more) that will trip me up. There is not a lot of room for error at this course, some people may look at the many trees and tight fairways as a negative, but to me it is a positive.
Scenery - The course was the property of a wealthy industrialist which was donated to the town after his death, the park is scenic especially in October when the trees change colors. There is a large house near the 1st and 18th holes and the parking area. I enjoy walking through the garden on my way back to the parking area after finishing a round.
Navigation - It is generally quite easy to navigate this course, the flow is logical and easy to follow. The signage is good.
Cons: Environment - This is a MAJOR ISSUE here. The park is very popular with the locals, especially with those who like to bring dogs. The people are either just stupid or just do not care. I cannot remember even a single round where I haven't been waiting for someone (or usually several groups) to get out of the way. They frequently just stand there in front of the tees or in the middle of the hole and just stand there chatting right in front of you, oblivious to the fact (or not caring) they're in the middle of the disc golf course. This is usually the worst around hole 15 (the roller hole and one of the nicer holes on the course) where dog walkers seem to gather. In the prior round I played I had a dog chase my roller tee shot down and grab it, then proceed to run around for a few minutes then deposit the disc in front of its owner, the lady just looked at me and walked away without even saying a word. Just plain rude. The last round I played I had a dog attack me on the 17th tee and the owner again didn't apologize and offered up that the dog hates disc golfers. This same owner walked in front of my group on the 18th tee then proceeded to change direction and zig-zag right down the fairway of the 18th making our group wait almost 5 minutes for him to get out of the way. Besides these examples I cannot even quantify the amount of time I have stood on a tee and waited of people to clear out of the way, again I speculate that most of these people know what they're doing but they simply do not care. Numerous times I have begun to walk up to them to ask them to move and they usually disperse when they see me coming. This is beyond frustrating and can ruin a round. I understand that these people have just as much right as disc golfers to this park, but the things I have seen makes me think that many of these people don't share that opinion. I'm not saying every non-dg'er is like this, but a few bad apples spoil the bunch.
Also, I do not blame the course organizers for this, they've actually changed the course significantly for the better, the issue here is that wherever you put this course within the park people will always be getting in the way and many just do not respect other's rights to use the park.
Leaves - While this ties in with environment, it's sort of different. In the fall, since this is a mostly inside course, it is not uncommon to have to search for your disc even in the fairway since it easily gets buried under leaves. There is nothing that can be done to remedy this problem and you can spend some time searching.
Other Thoughts: As far as the course goes, it is an excellent course for disc golf; however, I was shocked to see that this course had a slightly higher ranking then Wickham Park in Manchester (4.27 to 4.24). I've played both courses numerous times and Wickham Park is significantly better than Cranbury, from both a pure disc golf perspective and an environmental perspective. If I could play this course without anybody interfering I'd probably rate it 4 discs; however, due to the frequent issues with other users of the park I am giving this course a 3. I've played nearly 125 different courses and this course is by far the worst in this respect I've ever seen. Even in a very tight park like Fountain Hills outside of Phoenix I had no problems with people getting in my way and that park is hardly bigger than the field at Cranbury and easily has as many people in it.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great tees, multiple pins, beautiful course, nice variety.
Cons: Finding the next hole can be a challenge. Some holes have bricks with arrows, some don't. The signs help, if you remember to look at them before throwing.
Other Thoughts: Pretty short holes, I thought I would throw a personal record but the holes can be challenging.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Technical with lots of elevation
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Good variety- shot shaping is required and there are multiple lines that you can throw on each shot. Tight gaps and different lines are in abundance here. The open holes balance the wooded holes very well.
Two baskets on each hole- this creates two different layout options. The blueberry course is more of a beginner while the cranbury layout will provide a challenge for even the best disc golfers that play this course
Elevation- almost every hole has an elevation change whether it be used in a small or dramatic way. One hole is like 260 straight uphill plays like 400
Amenities- practice basket near parking lot. Great tee signs that display accurate information.
Rock walls and the castle- its pretty cool to be surrounded by a 18-19th century mansion. The rock walls mark ob and add something special to remember about this sweet course
Cons: The whole place seemed to be a dog park. On the longer layout there was no way to tell the pin position.
Hole 15- you have to throw a ridiculously perfect roller to make it even close to the basket. The trees are too high for your average person to be able to throw over.
Other Thoughts: Overall this was a great course and I was pleasantly surprised
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Stone Walls and a Castle
- Two Baskets on Every Hole. Every hole had 2 baskets: a Blue/Purple colored basket (short) and a Maroon colored basket (long) that were played from the same tee-pad. The Dual Baskets effectively created Dual Courses: The Bluebury and The Cranbury, respectively… with the Cranbury being the longer of the two.
- Some Fun Holes. Cranbury had some great golf holes… better than average Par 3 disc golf (with a Par 4 or two tossed in). The designers made great use of the natural and man-made features (elevation, large trees, rock outcroppings, stone walls, trails, the castle), creating interesting greens and OB situations.
- Stone Walls. Throughout the course there were these stone walls, that must have been 100 years old or more, flanking the fairways. They made for some OB situations, felt historic, and more or less looked cool as hell.
- The Castle. There is an extremely large, old, castle-like home that: A) not only looks awesome, but B) gives you the feeling of playing the final hole of the British Open with a beautiful stone house in the background as you tee-off on, and walk up the fairway of, hole 18.
- A Few unFAIRways. If I remember correctly, holes 4-7-ish seemed to have slightly unFAIRways: extremely tight, with random trees in the fairways to avoid, and decent length. And, Hole 15 had a wall of cedars with ridiculously low branches to throw under, basically requiring a roller without the proper room to throw one (unless you have a lefty sidearm roller in your bag).
- Dog Park. The entire park appeared to be a dog park. I must have seen 30 or more people and dogs walking trails throughout the entire course during my round… and, it was 8:30 am on a Sunday morning… and it was raining!
- Parking Area Seemed Unclear. I parked near a gazebo in the middle of the park, and had to walk to find hole 1… which wasn't all that bad because I got to investigate the castle and get some photos. If you want to save yourself some time and walking distance, park in front of the castle… that's where you'll find the kiosk and path to Hole 1.
- Overall… Cranbury is a better than average disc golf course with dual layouts, wooded and open holes, beautiful scenery, a historic atmosphere, and more than a few really great golf holes. The course starts off with some really fun holes (1-2), gets a little tight for a minute (3-7), hits its stride midway (8-14), and finishes out with some open shots in a beautiful grassy area with a castle in the background. The Cranbury layout seemed to want to be a championship-ish level course; however, without several more multiple-connector-shot holes (i.e. Par 4's and 5's), it struggles to reach that mark, for me… but still fun as hell, even in the pouring rain, by yourself.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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