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.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 holes with two baskets, a short (blueberry) and long (cranbury) to each hole. Mostly wooded with a few open holes mixed in as well. The course doesn't play favorites among lefty or righty because they will both be equally challenged. You will need to execute a full bag with controlled power to have the opportunity to score well. Baskets in fair shape. Arrows underneath cranbury baskets point the way to the next tee. Tee signs are quite nice and accurately depict the hole. Clean. Tees are rubber mats in great shape.
Cons: This course seems to lack a "wow" hole; there are several good holes that require different shots, but not one that leaves you wanting to come back just for that hole. Definitely not a beginners course. The dog park comes into play on 15, so if you're laying down a roller (which I recommend if you have one) make sure dogs don't go chasing after it, or much less chasing a dog away with your drive. People picnic on the 18th as well (wasn't an issue when I played, but after all it was under 50 degrees when I played).
Other Thoughts: This is a good place to come and challenge yourself, but when you do, be prepared to make sure you score when you can (the open holes and some of the shorter holes). This is worthy of a trip if you're in the area, but there are courses with more of a wow factor in CT. The locals do a good job with keeping the place maintained. All in all it is a solid course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Cranbury Park is beautiful and challenging
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Cranbury Park has some great highlights. If you are into architecture or horticulture, the grounds have much to look at. The wooded course has some very memorable holes. Overall the course is designed to be purposefully challenging, and it succeeds.
Cons: The pedestrians (aka aimlessly meandering city folks) and DOg walkers can become annoying REAL quick. You regularly find yourself standing on a tee box waiting to drive, because people are on the fairway taking selfies, as if totally unaware that its a disc golf course. The dog park is also a pain because dogs regularly will grab your disc and run away with it.
Other Thoughts: Dont expect to get near parring this course unless you are playing a godlike game.
0 of 3 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.
Fun Course But Let's Calm Down a Bit
3 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.
3 of 3 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.
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