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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It is at a freaking mansion! Beautiful course with both open and wooded shops. Plays both Cranbury (Long) or Bluebury (Shot). So it is great for beginners and advanced players. Well maintained with some beautiful stone walls. Challenging shots and a wide array of holes.
Cons: People walking their dogs down the middle of the fairway. If you are in a rush, this can be kinda annoying. I was however with my girlfriend who loves dogs. So it entertained her.
Got lost a few times because you had to double back if you were playing the Long baskets. The trails were covered with a lot of leaves so it may be hard to figure out where to go next if you don't have a map.
Other Thoughts: I had a hard time finding the first tee. It is behind two practice baskets down by some old barn. Walk away from the mansion. If you have a hard time finding it. The old lady in the welcome center is very friendly (she will talk your ear off. Be careful) They even have maps! (pretty sure they printed them off from this website though. So you may be able to do that yourself.)
I played this course the day after the Cranbury classic so it was in wonderful shape with out of bounds marked well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Amazing course! Not much to add in addtion to what has already been said.
Other Thoughts: *** Hole 10 on the red baskets has been moved back another 100 ft or so making the hole much longer. it is still listed as a par 3, but IMO should probably be changed to a par 4.
Thought I would point this out as it really changes how you play the hole.
This might be in preparation for the Cranbury Classic in a couple weeks though...
Course is looking clean and clear for the Cranbury Classic next week. Woodchips added on several holes, tee pads are clean and clear and most of the overgrown vegitation has been cleared out leaving the rough a little more foregiving
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the stop in CT.
Pros: 2 baskets on every hole make it basically 2 courses in one: Cranberry and Blueberry.
Practice area and Kiosk with map.
Tee areas near perfect. spacious rubber teepads with excellent signage and even bag hangers and benches.
Dog friendly for those of you who disc with your dog. There is even a water station at hole 15.
Bright red/maroon baskets were easy to spot.
A few memorable holes: 4 was a nice 377 downhill tight tunnel shot with a dog leg left over the stone wall.
9 is easily a signature hole with the basket perched on a large boulder.
15's basket is on a mound basically requiring a 20 foot putt.
Elevation, good variety of holes, clear fairways that can prove fatal to your perfect shot.
Cons: No way to tell what pin position the basket was in for the Cranberry layout holes with multiple pins.
Rec tees are old, unmarked, and difficult to see.
Lots of dogs on the course. Hole one smelled strongly of urine. I also had to wait several minutes for a large group of dog walkers to leave the fairway.
Bugs were horrible, but I can't blame the course for that.
Other Thoughts: This course has a little bit of everything feel it is a solid 4.25, however I have to give it a 4 or 4.5, so I had to go with the 4.5, when else can you play disc golf around a mansion.
8 of 9 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.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Bring some bug spray
Pros: A good variety of shots, on a very challenging course. I'm told that pros play here all the time, and i can see why
Cons: Freaking bugs! Bring some bug spray. Or a bug A-bomb. Also, the course is heavily wooded, and if i had a nickel for every time I hit a tree....
Other Thoughts: Great location, set back from society at a very nice park. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area, there are some really cool shots here
0 of 4 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.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.