A Solid Wooded Course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are alternate pin locations at every hole, with the red pins usually playing longer, but not always in the more difficult location. Blue pins play considerably shorter, but mix in quality pin locations to give the recreational player a good challenge. Length is varied, ranging from just under 250' to 550', but with most holes being heavily wooded, the length mixed with tough lines will challenge even the advanced player. Many of the pins also have blind locations from the box and some have tall flags to help with this.
The tee boxes are solid with thick rubber mats and encased in the wooden frame. Boxes are around 5' by 10', so most players will have plenty of run up on their drive. The signage, while not spectacular, is solid and gives the player the necessary info on both pin locations. Finally, the elevation changes throughout the course are fantastic, with a fair amount of great up and downs. When you mix this in with pins installed on boulders and huge stone walls, it really does make for a memorable experience.
Cons: I'm sure most players will argue that a course of this caliber has few flaws, and my observations are mostly nit-picky ones that are more based on preference than anything. First, I always enjoy when a course circles back on itself as Cranbury does, but to achieve this - the location of the first tee is a good distance from the parking area. Again, nothing major, but it can be confusing for a first-timer to the course. In addition, I would suggest bringing a map, because transitions from one hole to another are a bit dicey in the woods. There was usually a rock or indicator with an arrow, but that only does so much.
Finally, players who prefer a more open course may not enjoy Cranbury to its fullest. It's a wooded more technical course with some open shots to satisfy most players, but some holes play extremely tight. Though I only felt that only one to two holes where the best line felt more like luck than skill. Just know what you are getting into - there are trees but if your skill level is good, none of this should be any real negative - just more of a preference thing.
Other Thoughts: Cranbury Park has almost everything you would hope for in a wooded technical course. Being from Houston where an overpass is the only elevation change - I loved the great up and downs that force to be creative and think out each shot. The thought the variation in distance was just enough to keep my attention, and keep the course highly enjoyable without feeling unfair. I can see why it's currently rated the second highest course in Connecticut. It has no glaring negatives, and gives players of all skill levels a challenge.
While the course didn't blow me away like some signature courses in some states that I've played - it's simply solid. It's basically one of those courses you wished you lived near to help you improve on your skills as a technical player. I would love to come back and play Cranbury whenever I'm here, and you should too if you're in the area.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Went early on a weekday
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Every hole had Rubber Mat/Wood Framed tee boxes that were neat and level.
-Signage at each tee describing the hole layout, distance etc.
-A good mix of landscape...majority of wooded holes with some wide open field holes.
-Some nice elevation changes on a few holes
-Challenging tight fairways in the woods on some holes that advanced players will enjoy.
-I found navigation (first time player) pretty easy, because of adequate markings/signage, a little help from the course map found online, and the beaten paths probably created from frequent usage
-wooded fairways had sort of a "groomed" look, seemed to be mostly clear of fallen branches, overgrowth, and "debris". It helped with navigation.
-I went early (6:30am) on a weekday and had the course to myself (no other disc golfers)
-Nice setting on the grounds of a mansion.
Cons: -Challenging tight fairways in the woods on some holes that beginners might find difficult to play through.
-Whether you do or don't like dogs, be prepared to see some dogs. I like dogs so it didn't take much away from my round, but there were several dogs and dog owners passing through on a handful of holes.
Other Thoughts: All in all I was impressed by the effort put in by the design and maintenance of this course. You can tell the locals love their course. Cant say when I'll get to play there again, but I'm glad i checked it out.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Do you have to let it linger?
2 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.
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
10 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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Fantastic Course, but beware of dogs
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.
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