Stone Walls and a Castle
9 Helpful / 0 Not
- 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.
Fantastic Course, but beware of dogs
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging course with lots of variety. Good mix of hyzer and anhyzer curves, elevation changes, wooded vs. open, mixed distances etc. A great place to meet other disc golfers in the area. The course is very well maintained and extremely clean. Trash bins throughout the course. Benches at every tee. Good solid tee pads. Public restrooms on site. Beautiful park. Good signage. 2 practice baskets. AND it's just up Route 7 from Utopia, which is probably the best place to buy golf discs in the state. I try to buy a few discs every time I play Cranbury to diversify my bag and support local business.
Cons: In addition to having a great disc golf course, Cranbury Park is also a dog park. Hole 15 in particular requires awareness of canines and it's best to take your shot when the dogs aren't looking. Most of the owners I've come into contact with are very nice and keep their dogs under control but it is something to be aware of. Also, disc golfers should keep in mind that the wooded holes (particularly 2-13) intersect with some hiking trails and sometimes you have to look out for walkers. The bugs are also something of a nuisance in the woods. The park can also be somewhat crowded on weekends due to weddings, reunions, etc.
Other Thoughts: This is a beautiful course with a lot of great amenities. I drive down from New Haven to play this course and it's worth the trip. Also wonderful to have Utopia close by and a vibrant disc golf culture in Norwalk. Just watch out for the dogs because man's best friend is not necessarily disc golf's best friend...
On another note, I found an unmarked disc on June 16, 2012 in the basket on hole 11 (I think). If you're looking for a disc, send me a message with the right make, model and color and I'll arrange to return it to you,
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Challenging Course
Pros: First off this course was alot of fun as well as challenging. It had a good use of terrain and trees. There was good tee pads, and they were consistant thru out the course; althou I am not a huge fan of Rubber matting, but it was well matainted and had wooden framing. The course was kept clean, which is always a good thing. The Trashcans along the course I'm sure helped. I think there was benches at most of the holes. I was able to use a verity of shots to good use. I think it was 16 that plays through the dog park. it has some low trees about a 1/3 of the way to the basket the I put a roller to good use.
Cons: The Park had many non-players in it, As I stated before there is a dog park that the course runs through. Hole #9 was a bit tricky to find for a first timer. My bigest complaint for the course was that some of the holes seemed a bit long for a par 3. There were quite a few holes that had multiple basket placments, and no way of knowing which one was the right one from the tee box. I threw a lot of blind shots.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through beautifully maintained grounds adjacent to an old mansion. The grassy open holes are mowed beautifully and the wooded holes are nicely cleared. There is great distance variety here, with everything from ace runs to a couple longer holes that are open enough to really rip a drive. The wooded holes provide a great mix of left and right turning fairways, with tight enough fairways to force accurate drives. You'll need a pretty good variety of shots to score well here.
There are two permanent baskets on every hole, a shorter "Blueberry" layout and the longer signature "Cranbury" layout. Both layouts offer a nice mix of hole shapes, and give different skill levels appropriate challenges. It's nice to have the options too if you're playing multiple rounds, especially since the longer pin set has multiple sleeves to keep things changed up. The signage is good, with hole layout and distance for both pins. The tees are nicely laid rubber pads with a good structure underneath to keep them flat and level.
Cons: There are some safety issues here, with a busy walking path running through the course. Many holes bring the path into play, sometimes blindly so you can't see someone coming up the path from the tee. Dog walkers also were using some of the fairways to exercise their dogs off leash which adds to the potential safety problems.
The open holes can provide nice contrast to the technical shots, but I would have liked to see a little more creativity with basket placements. Several of the open holes could potentially be tweaked to have a basket tucked into a tree line or a gap to hit off the tee. I would also like to see indicators for the current placement of the long pin on the tee sign, there are some blind pins that you have to walk up and scout.
Other Thoughts: The long layout here is a nice challenge for intermediate to advanced players, with some distance shots and lots of technical lines to hit. Beginners will find the shorter layout very accessible, there are some tight lines but the punishment isn't terrible for errant shots and the distances are reasonable. The park is beautiful and makes for great surroundings for a round, I would definitely recommend a stop here if you're in the area.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Excellent navigational signage and beautiful scenery make this course a great experience. Good use of natural terrain and well maintained.
Cons: Tee #1 a little tough to find.
Other Thoughts: Thanks! Traveled here from out of state and was not disappointed!
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Convenient location and very easy to find, yet still tucked away from the hustle and bustle of CT suburbia, Cranbury park is situated on a sprawling estate consisting of both open and wooded areas. Driving into the park, the parking lot closest to the disc golf course is adjacent to a Tudor Revival-style English mansion. The level of sophistication doesn't decrease once you get to the course.
Cranbury park is another good example of a course design that makes the most of the land available. The course is mostly wooded with a few open holes. The course features elevation changes throughout and also factors in natural features, such as baskets situation on large boulders, and rustic yet classy man-made features, such as rock walls. There are two baskets on every hole; one fixed (Bluebury) and another longer basket that changes to up to four pin positions (Cranbury). This makes it possible to play two separate 18-hole layouts in the same location. The wooded holes at Cranbury require accurate throws, but they're fair. Discs that stray from the fairway or riccochet off a tree won't typically make for terribly punishing upshots. There is a solid amount of variety with regard to the fairway shape and length and include straight and left and right-turning fairways and a few "S" shaped fairways. Hole lengths range from 178 up to 550, with a nice mix of distances in between.
The course featured very detailed tee signs depicting fairway, pin positions, distances, and possible lines. Bag hangers are available on the tee posts. The fly pads were level and solidly secured to the ground, so tripping on an exposed or raised lip isn't going to happen.
Cranbury park was exquisitely maintained. The lawns were mowed, bushes were trimmed, and there was little-to-no underbrush, briars, or shule. With the exception of an occasional water bottle, the course was clear of litter.
Navigation wasn't much of an issue as the next tee was easy to spot. When the next tee couldn't be seen, the permanent baskets had pavers underneath them with arrows pointing to the next tee.
Cons: Some of the fairways were very close to other public areas, such as walking paths. Any time you have a course in a public park, this is a danger that needs to be negotiated. While I believe that much of this danger was mitigated in the course design, there are still a few holes that could be dangerous for pedestrians, bystanders, walkers, and joggers using the park.
There are very few cons with respect to the layout of the course. For the most part, the non-wooded holes at Crunbury were wide open. With the exception of #18, there wasn't much in the way of obstacles on the "big drive" holes. Overall, there wasn't much in the way of OB or other hazards to push the risk vs. reward aspect of the game. It doesn't appear that Cranbury has much flowing water on the property, so I doubt that this is something that could be incorporated in the future.
The rotating baskets didn't have the next tee arrow pavers like the permanent baskets, so finding the next tee was a slight issue on a few of the holes. This is a fairly minimal inconvenience as the course should be easy to navigate on subsequent rounds.
Other Thoughts: We got to start our round by asking a few of the local players about the course layout and they were VERY helpful and friendly and were kind enough to let us know that after you finish hole #6, you need to walk to the left and backtrack a little to get to hole #7.
There is a lost disc box adjacent to hole #18, but it's wide open. So while it may be easy to return a disc to the box, anybody can just as easily pull their disc or a disc that doesn't belong to them.
I played Cranbury just after playing a championship-caliber course, so to be sure I didn't have any unfair bias I gave myself a week to collect my thoughts before writing this review. I'm glad I did. In that week, I've come to realize what a gorgeous course the folks of Norwalk have and if the site allowed for 0.25 disc ratings, this would easily be a 4.25. I frequently travel along the Merritt Parkway and Cranbury Park makes a fantastic halfway point in my trip. I look forward to playing this course again and recommend it to anyone that happens to be traveling along the I-95 corridor in CT, or anyone that wants to play a course that is both fun and challenging.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It is an awesome course. I can't believe how litter free the course is. All the human built rock walls from colonial times really takes you back. Every hole has well kept tee pads, signs, 2 baskets, and signs pointing to the next tee. The distance is challenging but not too long that only big arms would benefit.
Cons: Not that much of a con but there are a lot of dog walkers out there.
Other Thoughts: Glad this is right off the Merritt Parkway which is my main route for a constant business trip.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: some very interesting pin placement including one atop a clustering of boulders. I personally love the use of rocks and walls, this course delivers tons of that. Holes are mostly of a decent length, some short, some that require some more D.
good mix of left and right doglegs as well as a few straight-away shots.
park is very clean.
great practice area near hole one. perfect for practicing putts with elevation. this hole also has a cool shack type thing behind the teepad.
Cons: DOGS. a couple literally grabbed my disc and ran with it. the owners are generally nice and apologize about it though.
Blue pin positions are extraneous and much too easy for any real disc golfer in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: Mostly wooded with a few open-ish holes. As far as difficultly goes, out of 10 i would say its a 7. A couple are much harder and a handful are much easier.
great course overall. go play it if you're in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Signage--Beautiful, accurate, full color, clearly defined OOB, shows obstacles and next tee.
Pins-- Nice, red, powder coated and grabby.
Asthetic-- Thise course is absolutely beautiful. I have never played a course that has this much stunning beauty. between the rock fences to the boulder pin to the mansion grounds, just beautiful.
Teepads-- huge rubber pads. not slick at all.
Practice area-- on top of the old cellar, unique and cool.
Nav Bricks-- under each pin there is a brick with an arrow that shows next tee
Cons: Finding your way to hole one-- I wish that there was a sign at the mansion that said disc golf this way. You have to walk a long way from the disc golf sign to where the first tee is.
Multiple Pins-- I expected, perhaps naively, that there would be both blue and red pins in the ground (as there were on hole one). All holes rather had the first red pins in place, but was confusing for the first few holes.
Hole 10-- no pin of any kind in the ground, we played to the big rock in the fairway.
To me these are big dings, I had initially thought about making this a five disc course, but couldn't in good conscience with these negatives.
Other Thoughts: Truly, if you are visiting NYC, this isnt that far away and should be a destination course for anyone.
If you want to play in the beauty of the connecticut woods, this is your course.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Sweet Cranbury Park!
Pros: Connecticut has the 2 best maintained public courses I have ever encountered in Cranbury and Wickham. Cranbury Park is set on the beautifully manicured grounds of an old mansion and estate. If courses were rated on amenities this place would get a perfect 5 disc rating. Perfect huge level rubber grippy tees, precise tee signs, 2 baskets per hole(cranbury red longs and blueberry shorts) The open holes 1,14,and 18 play over golf course quality green grass and provide a chance to warm up on #1, provide relief from the technical woods on #14 and take out your frustrations and air it out over 500 ft on #18. The mansion and estate grounds are groomed beyond what you will see at most ball golf country clubs. Theres a water fountain between hole 14,15,17, and 18 area. After you park your car on a huge cobblestone lot and next to a Mansion take a short walk to the warm up area, it is one of the best I have ever seen w/2 baskets set atop a preserved 200 yr old cellar. Then you see the clubhouse and tee "complex" for #1. Loaner disc slots, returned disc slots, Great info kiosk and a huge sheltered clubhouse that looks like a Yankee version of Paw Paw's barn! They even have a foot wipe at hole #2, a first for me! The course while not providing any truly epic holes is still both challenging and fun. Beginners will be challenged by the shorter blueberry baskets, yes they are deep blue colored and experts will enjoy the more difficult cranbury reds. The course amps up at hole #4 and from there it is winding up and down hills, utilizing tight fairways, interesting rock walls and boulders to provide a truly eastern technical feel. Several fun holes in the woods featuring R and L doglegs, floaters down hills, crushes uphills, and straight low canopied fairways. Some memorable shots were a basket perched atop a boulder formation on hole 9, a split fairway on #10 that finished fast downhill, a downhill then uphill dogleg R, an interesting historic stone walls that serves as OOB on holes 12&13 and finally a huge open 500+ crush across a roller friendly manicured lawn to a low ceiling approach to finish your day on #18. the woods for whatever reason were free of thorns and heavy shule...so I was penalized for bad shots with having to be creative and not tortured by lost discs and painful thorns.
Cons: It's a busy and beautiful place with many pedestrians and people walking dogs and enjoying the dog park area throughout the course and near #15....I don't mind friendly people and happy dogs but some people do. There are no truly signature drop your eyes out of your sockets types of holes that will remain etched in your mind once you leave. Just lots of fun and varied solid shots here. No water for hydro fans. Really difficult to label a con here, it's evident why this course is rated so highly.
Other Thoughts: This course would be the perfect place to take a GF, Wife, Mistress or anyone who otherwise would not enjoy your Disc Golf hobby due to the gorgeous estate, gardens, sculptures, mansion and preserved architecture that is so apparent here. After parking your car in the lot walk with your back to the mansion and the warm up area and clubhouse will be to your right at about 0200 beyond the white cottage.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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