6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I think it's safe to say that it will be a long time before I play another course with this much elevation. You can read the tee signs and see, "25 feet up," and "15 feet down," but that does not do justice to how steep these holes are. There's barely a hole that doesn't have you throwing up or down at incredible angles. It's a course that you must absolutely play once.
While the severity of the elevation pervades most of the course, there are some standout holes. Of particular note is 16. While most of the holes feature fairly constant rises and drops, 16 features a blind drop off that will make you want to be very careful with your placement.
A bunch of holes take advantage of the naturally occurring boulders. And I mean boulders. They force some shot shaping, just as much as the trees. This is a highly technical course that makes up for a lack of length with a great layout and unique terrain.
Great signage, which is very necessary here. Of any course that you will play, this is the one where knowing the elevation change is key. It's also got bricks placed under each basket with arrows pointing players towards the next tee. It's easy to navigate the terrain, even if traversing it is rough.
Cons: I'm someone who regularly plays up to six rounds in a day. My motion is smooth enough not to cause tennis elbow. But you take that motion and alter it to be constantly throwing upwards at a massive degree? The body is not used to such motions. My arm was about to fall off by the end of one round at The Hill. Just so much uphill. I really don't think it could be an everyday course.
That leads to the other thing. The course is a bit of a one-trick pony. As fun as this extreme elevation is at the beginning, by the final few holes, most players will be hoping for something else. Too much of a good thing makes the good thing feel blase.
It's also not the greatest test of skill. Primarily because it only really tests one skill and it's not one that comes into play often on most courses. But also because with elevations this steep the luck of the bounce will come into play more often than on most courses.
Lastly, the terrain is more taxing than the discing. The course is not that hard but the terrain that you have to cross is. Expect to be worn out. And oh, yeah, leave the carts at home.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Hills, hills, hills!
Pros: Built on an old military training center where you run up and down hills through the woods and over huge boulders. The design is like a roller coaster, as you go up, down, and start again. I can't remember many holes that were flat at all. It's all wooded and removed from everything, so its a very peaceful experience, except for the heart pumping you'll get as you hike around. Its fun and challenging and will test your game - especially how you can handle elevation, both subtle and extreme, and tight line. . It's all technical, without really any chance to open up the air game.
#3. Starts with a downhill tunnel that doglegs left then goes uphill again to a large outcropping of boulders where the basket rests. The pin is also protected by some thin trees on the approach. Very cool setting!
#4. A large boulder rises in the center of the fairway where you see a flag rising above in the distance. The pin peeks up directly behind another large boulder. Beware, though! The green slopes downhill left, so if your approach lands on edge, you are likely to roll away.
The signage is excellent! It lists (very helpfully) the elevation gain/loss. Also, the pins are marked with flags to help you spot them easier (especially the pins hidden by boulders).
Cons: After awhile, you begin to get a bit a deją vu as a sense of sameness seems to take over some of the holes as you go up and down.
The course could use a couple of open holes (to balance it out) though it would require cutting down a forest to create that......so maybe not.
There are a couple of poke and hope shots where it seems you pitch out and it's not really a "drive".
Other Thoughts: Bring lots of water as there is nowhere here to get any. Wear solid shoes, as you are hiking the whole time through steep hills and forest.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Don't take it too serious
Pros: Devens is more than a disc golf course, it is a disc golf experience. It is built on a wooded hillside, providing a landscape that is very unique to the sport.
This terrain creates some pretty spectacular shots. Probably most notable is the 16th hole which is 260 feet long but 90 feet downhill! To make matters worse, the tee is set back from the edge of the hill enough to make it a totally blind shot.
Course maintenance is top-notch. There is a very strong community of players at Devens that keep the place looking great.
Signage is awesome. Elevation and distance are listed at each tee along with fun facts about Fort Devens and the hill that houses the course.
There is a really nice secluded feel to the course. Because of the thick woods and the fact that it's a disc golf only space, it really feels like stepping into another world once you cross into the trees on the first green. Solo rounds here on quiet days are incredibly peaceful.
The extreme terrain adds one test that is very rare in disc golf. You will have to be able to throw well with an elevated heart rate. In particular, the hike to the second tee is very steep. Although it's a short hole, it's a tight fairway and you will likely be breathing heavy by the time you step onto the tee. Later in the round fitness will come into play again after playing and hiking up 14. You'll still be breathing heavy by the time you get the long downhill 16. Hopefully that was enough rest, because 17 works back up the hill followed by another uphill hike to the 18th tee.
Cons: There is a huge luck factor in play here. Many baskets have trees very nearby that can quickly turn a potential park job into a bad downhill kick. Even if you avoid the trees, there are plenty of tree roots and exposed rocks that can make a disc stand up and roll down the ever-present hill. It's very easy to see round-by-round swings of ten strokes or more for all but the most consistent players.
A lot of times, the crazy elevation and tight lines make holes feel gimicky. Hole 16 mentioned above may be fun, but it's not a really serious test, more of a spray-and-pray kind of shot.
There are also a couple holes that feel like forced, filler holes. Nine and 11 in particular come to mind in that respect. Nine is a short 190 foot downhill shot that feels more like an easy approach than a tee shot. 11 is a short uphill shot through a gauntlet of trees.
Other Thoughts: In my opinion, Devens is best experienced in a casual setting where you're not taking your score too seriously. In serious play, you're likely to become very frustrated here. In casual play, the luck factor can present a nice equalizer for different skill levels. And who doesn't love giving a buddy a hard time after watching a perfect drive stand up on a root and roll all the way back to the tee?
There is a great fun-factor here and I would definitely recommend the course to anyone in the area. If you don't take it too seriously, it's a really enjoyable place to play.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Good mix of terrain with some exceptional downhill shots, not too long but not too short either.
Cons: Trees, Trees, and more Trees, don't get me wrong I like trees as much as the next guy but there are a few too many on this course IMHO.
Other Thoughts: Owner of Killer Bee runs the course, really nice guy. Bring bug spray and good shoes are a must.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -excellent signs- not only were they easy to read and in great shape, but they had distance and elevation noted
-elevation changes- it made the course pretty unique, there's one hole that is like throwing your disc off a five story building, and that made disc choice pretty tough
-quality baskets in good shape
Cons: -very wooded, it is still fun, but if you start playing pinball off the trees, it is easy to get frustrated
-not much fun when its wet, as slipping along a rocky wooded path can be dangerous
Other Thoughts: i had a lot of fun playing this course. it is too far away from me to play regularly- so i think this fact makes it better. it would be a very challenging "home course," which would make you 'better' but also might cause people to not stick with it if they are a beginner- i suppose it's all how you look at it. i'll definitely play it again- it's well maintained, though that's because of the locals who pick up and carry out trash from other a-holes who leave it there. there are no baskets, so you need to carry out your garbage. and avoid glass bottles as i saw a few broken ones that weren't going to be picked up anytime soon- a great use of land. it'd be sweet to build an 'open' course on some of the flat land near by with some open distance shots of 400 feet or so... maybe even a 9 hole-er to play with this one.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is very challanging. If you don't like hills and alot of trees ( all woods ) it is not for you. Loved the challange of this course.The course is very well marked and very well layed out.I think hole 16 is the most challanging. It is marked that it goes down 90 feet, and they mean it. The walk down is a little ruff but they have steps and a rope to hold on to.
Cons: The course is behind a school and on hole 18 a class was out there, could not finish my shot, and they picked up my husbands disc and gave it to him. Other then that I liked the course.
Other Thoughts: Veyr easy to get to and will go back again.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Where the 17th Tee?
Pros: Short overall distance 1.6 miles makes for fast play, if uncrowded. Lots of trees and elevation, but well played drives leave plenty of birdie opportunities.
Other Thoughts: If you are visiting the Boston area, make sure to add this to your wish list.
If you use your GPS (Garmin, specificly) to locate, use the city of 'Ayer' instead of 'Devens'
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Awsome terrain. Every shot is a technical shot. I personally love the up and down course. The course is well marked and not confusing. Maps of holes are accurate. Just fun to play. The more throws in your arsenal the better. ie; forehand, flick, s shots, hammer, floaters, etc.
Cons: If you like the occasional big drive mixed in with your technical game, go to Barre, or Tully, or Maple hill. This reminded me more of Pyramids on steroids except on a boulder strewn hill instead of a dirt valley. Most Tees are well constructed even if natural. A bit hard to find.
Other Thoughts: No long drives here. The biggest disc I pulled out was a midrange driver. No room for the beast or wraith. Sometimes an easy shot on a steap hill can make for a discouraging roller. We're talking easy chances for negative distance gain.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
like a hike through the forest
Pros: This course has two distinguishing characteristics: its heavily forrested and it is located on a hill. As such, it favors control over distance, and requires an understanding of throwing with the changes in topography. Additionally, the forest and protruding rocks are beautiful and the course is nicely isolated.
Cons: Not the easiest to find, elevation is a bit much for a casual stroll--expect to be scrambling up and down the hill a lot.
Other Thoughts: This is a really fun course that challenges you to practice different shots. Most of the holes have decent lines requiring controlled shots, but a few are just an adventure in tree avoidance. While I can't say that tossing uphill is my favorite throw, this course rewards you with several long, downhill shots, where the disc glides forever as it esses itsway through the trees.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Hilly terrain tests skills - Easy to find stray discs - Nice Hike involved - Trails to next hole well marked - Good place to work on tight fairways and aim- Fun to play even for me a beginner
Cons: -Tee tocation not crystal clear - No open fields here - Course is pretty hidden could be hard to find for people outside the area(my brother works in Devens and didn't even know it was there and he had to drive by a couple times just to find it)
-Free to play
Other Thoughts: Thank you for the course to use
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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