Wow, wow, wow...
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Even with high expectation before I went there, this course didn't disappoint at all. Beautiful and opened layout for Red course, or very challenging / intimidating for the other colors. We almost lost 4 discs but managed to find / retrieve them all (mostly from water). What an amazing day.
Cons: Directional arrow to next tee can be better displayed. Please use Pelham (NH) course colored arrow on basket as reference, so far that's the best / clearest indicators for next tee. Also, for Red course basket 15, there seems to be TWO red baskets. Which is the real one?
Other Thoughts: The big opened water with baskets on the rim is for the most daring and advanced players. I would imagine that most will lose a lot of discs even attempting. This is not for novice players. Otherwise, this is a world-class disc golf course that we New Englanders should be proud of. Gladly paid the $10 fee.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Choose Your Own Adventure
16 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Gold 3. What a magnificent beast. I don't even have to throw it. I just want to watch that hole parade around. A tee overlooking the same area that 1 traversed but it throws into the woods, down and then up a hill that climbs to the left and away from you to a high pin that you can see from the tee.
Maple Hill is a true destination course. I'm not breaking any news by telling you that there are four layouts here but I have two things to mention about the layouts. First, it's impossible to tell from the course maps just how different these layouts are from each other. Vastly different. Tees, baskets and fairways are everywhere. What makes it all work is the professionalism of the complex. Tees and baskets are marked with large colored flags indicating which layout or layouts use that particular feature. Playing whites, look for the basket with a white flag. Finish the hole, follow the white arrows until you see a tee with a big white flag over it. Additionally, the different layouts do an amazing job of providing opportunities for players of all different skills. Personally, I found the whites fun and the blues challenging. The reds looked very boring at times and the golds were a bit too daunting for me but both clearly appeal to a different player. Very impressive since the difference between layouts is often not just a harder tee. It's a completely different hole that happens to use the same plot of land.
A ton of variety. I'm not going to detail all the incredible holes here. They all bring it. Wooded holes, open holes. All the water you can handle and tough carries on the longer layouts. Elevation changes on most of them. It all mixes together in an incredible package. The factor that lessens some destination courses in my mind is that they aren't everyday-playable. That isn't an issue here, largely because of the different layouts. If I lived here, I would save the golds for special occasions. The blues and whites, I could play those all the time. Do you want an epic experience or a solid round that gets you home in time for dinner? You can get either here.
The picture is made clear as soon as you survey the terrain that the first hole covers. The white tee is midway up a hill. You will need to throw over the hillside and then a picturesque pond with the basket perched on the edge of the far shore. Awesome throw. One of my favorite on the white course. The gold tees off from the top of the hill, with well over 300 feet to cross the water in one. From there it's almost as long again to the basket which hides behind a rock wall. Choose your own adventure.
Cons: I have to say, I don't love the carry-a-bunch-of-low-scrub holes. Challenge-wise, they are no different than water-carries. Experience-wise, they bore me quickly. One is a change-up. More than two? I want real obstacles. Not a test of how far I can throw. And it's not really like water. If you land in water, you lose the disc, go to a drop zone and have to take a stroke. That's what makes a successful throw so rewarding. If you land somewhere in the scrub, you find your disk and likely have a simple approach shot, as long as you have an idea where the pin is. Much less risk. Much less reward. Over the Christmas trees is awesome on the first hole but not interesting after that. And 16, man, that belongs on a much worse course than this.
Other Thoughts: I think each of the layouts here on their own would merit a 4.0. (Except red) Probably. Being generous to white. All four together, with potential for repeated play, and the almost unparalleled capability to accommodate different skill levels, the whole thing is a 4.5 for me. If Maple Hill isn't my all-time favorite destination, it is certainly close.
16 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Discovered My (Non-Blueberry) Thrill
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Has, in abundance, the two core features I like in a course - options, and variety. With multiple tees and multiple baskets per hole, everyone from beginners to professionals can find a challenge appropriate for their level of play. A great mix of open space, scattered trees, woods, water, and various types of elevation changes are blended together to create a wide variety of hole-types, requiring a well-stocked arsenal of throws to overcome.
Maps, scorecards, tee areas, signage - all top-notch.
The on-site store - hard to imagine any better.
The options come at a potential negative cost - some tees are blind from other tees playing the same hole, a few fairways cross, a couple baskets are located near next tees - so there's an increases chance of players, especially when following/followed by players playing a different configuration, accidently throwing on somebody/being thrown on. The day I played, I was both thrown upon, and threw upon! Karma, I guess. :-)
Basket-18's location is too close to the main path from the parking lot to the store's entrance. Meandering pets, straying children, roaming non-players and landloping players all conspired to delay my approach shot for an inordinate amount of time!
As stated in the "Pros" section, this course has options (I played two rounds - red/white), and variety. From the Reds, this course averages ~255', and only quite errant throws have the possibility of finding water. From the Whites, this course averages ~335', and the two water carries were just right for my level, as I barely made them!
The site has a great blend of openness (~1/3rd of the holes), and wooded challengers (~2/3rds). The open-oriented holes are not bland, as they usually include some combination of elevation change (up or down), parallel treelines, slopes, water, scattered trees, or protected baskets. The wooded holes avoid pinball, but require you to throw a variety (early/middle/late, sharp/middling/subtle, left/right) of turning-shots, while also dealing with elevation changes.
Speaking of elevation, you will face not only steep/gradual gains or losses, but also valley-crossing and up-and-over - the entire spectrum.
Find an excuse - any excuse - to be in the vicinity of this course, and come play the course - multiple times. You will find a wide-variety of challenges to exercise your entire game.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 17 Not
First time playing disc golf!
Pros: Staff was great - patient and helpful! Course was well marked and had challenges at every level.
Cons: Only course I have seen listed that has a fee ($10). It's not a lot, so really hard to call it a 'Con' but maybe only charge the fee during peak hours?
Other Thoughts: Only drawback possibly is the parking lot was small, dusty and full of holes.
0 of 17 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
A Disc Golf Destination!
Pros: Maple Hill is on a beautiful property used as a farm for Christmas trees. The course features four layouts that range from a short par 3 course geared toward beginners and the championship level course played by the top pros at the Vibram Open, which Maple Hill hosts. The Chainstar baskets are in great shape and they have colored flags that correspond to the layout to which they belong. The tee signs are are big, easy to spot and also adorned with these colored flags. The grounds are meticulously maintained: the course is clean, well landscaped and beautiful. Navigating the course is also stress-free because maps are available and stones with colored arrows navigate players to the next tee. There are benches or tree stumps at almost every tee and trash bins throughout the course as well. The shots are well varied: uphill, downhill, left, right, straight, wooded, open and just about any other variation you could imagine. Several water holes add to challenge, but the Red course is beginner friendly and has no holes that throw directly over water, though it is in play. The challenging courses are HARD and they will test the limits of your game. There is a lot of variety in distance here too. The course hosts several events, including the Vibram Open and other smaller tournaments. It's $10 to play all day or $150 for an annual membership and it's worth the money. If I lived a lot closer, I'd buy a membership and if I was made of money I'd buy a membership anyway just to support the place even though I wouldn't get my money's worth. Since you'll want to stay all day, there are port-a-potties at the head of the course. I also found the course easy to find. A great pro shop is on site and they sell a wide variety of discs (though they have less selection of European brands like Latitude, Westside, etc.), snacks, drinks, disc golf accessories, and Maple Hill swag. The groundskeepers also run a lost & found system on the course website so if you lose a disc on the course it's likely that it will be found and listed online with the last four digits of your phone number on your disc, so mark 'em! There's also a lunch room above the pro shop where you can hang out, eat lunch, and take in the view from the deck. This place is awesome!
Cons: No major cons, but a few small quibbles and things to be aware of. They are not open during Christmas Tree season. Parking could be an issue on a crowded day as it is not abundant. Make sure you bring plenty of water, as it appeared to me that there is not running water or indoor restrooms on the grounds (if I'm wrong, send me a message and correct me). I wasn't crazy about some of the teepads here. Most were fine, but some were a little small for my tastes. Multiple layouts overlap and several holes share the same tees/baskets. Not a problem, but it should be made clear that this is one course with four layouts rather than four separate courses. The terrain can also be pretty rough here, so wear good shoes and watch your step. Also, be mindful that you are in tick country.
Other Thoughts: You gotta go. This course should be on every disc golfer's bucket list. I'm not against pay-to-play courses if they're worth it, and this one is worth every penny. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was the lack of running water and indoor restrooms. Still an amazing course. It's open from dawn till dusk and you'll want to play all day. Pack enough food, plenty of water and all the other essentials because you won't want to go home.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Accessible to Everyone
Pros: - Tee pads and descriptive signs at every hole
- Scorecards with map for each of the tees are available at sign in
- Lots of color coded arrows to direct you to the right tee spots for each hole making navigation pretty easy without a map
- Lots of risk vs reward opportunities dealing with water for those who can make the shots. However with drop zones provided no one has to risk their disc if they don't want to.
- Great use of elevation both up and down hill.
- Good mix of wide open fairways where you can unleash your discs and fairways that require complete control of your throw
- This course requires every kind of throw in your arsenal, including hyzer shots, anyhyzer shots, complately straight shots through woods and uphill and downhill
- Good variety of nature consisting of several ponds,some big, some small; woods and a Christmas tree farm to play through
- Four tees and separate baskets for each hole that don't just add distance but provide almost four completely different ways to play the course. Their are different color flags to designate which tee you to throw from and which basket to throw to depending on which tee you are playing from
- Camping on site which I believe is free with $10 payment for all day use of the course
- Decent pro shop on sight to replace the discs you throw in the water or to add something new to your bag
- The course owners do their best to collect all lost discs and return them to their owners
Cons: - Some of the tee signs have pictures of the wrong hole on them
- The multiple tees can result in two people playing on the same hole and not knowing it, or someone walking down the fairway and another group is throwing on the same fairway from a different location.
- I know every hole can't be perfect but there were one or two fairways that were not anything special
Other Thoughts: The best part of this course is that the course could be challenging for pro disc golfers and at the same time be accessible to beginners depending on the tee you play. However all the tees have different looks at the basket so even the red tees (the shorter tees) are enjoyable to advanced players. The red tees provide a less stressful round by not involving the water, yet you still get to play through the same awesome piece of property. Control is still necessary around the water because an errant shot can still end up in the water. The $10 dollar course fee seems steep (at least for Rochestarians where all the courses in the area are free) but it is for all day and there are four different ways to play the course. If you live in the area and plan to play the course alot you can become a member for $150 a year. The money does't seem to deter Massachusettsians because it was packed the Sunday we played.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Fantastic layout, great variety of shots from Red, Blue, White and Gold tees. Beautiful views with some challenging water crossing shots. I love water-crossings. Cool little nooks and crannies to walk though, neat access paths. Very detailed, color hole diagrams. Great pro-shop with a nice selection of discs, bags, food and beverages. Finally, this course is stroller friendly. I pushed my 1 year old around the course with a large-wheeled stroller with no problems - and was encouraged to do so by the staff.
Cons: Not many except for... ticks. I hate ticks. Not much you can do about them though.
Other Thoughts: The staff in the pro-shop is super friendly and more than willing to help with questions about the course or disc selection. $1.00 for a giant jug of Poland Spring water, very cool! You can be a hero or a zero on hole 18 as the basket is right between to the pro shop and the parking lot, basically where everyone gathers before or after a round.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
This is one of the finest course i have ever played!
Pros: Absolutely a championship quality course! The whole course plays through woods and around a breathtaking lake. The Tee pads are made out of Vibrium which is a very cool material that give you a lot of grip on your drives. This is a very challenging course
Cons: Lots of water to loose discs in this is not a course to bring a first time player to. Its a private course so its $5 to play but still very worth the money.
Other Thoughts: There is a cool pro shop. I got to talk to the owner for a little bit and he showed me that above the pro-shop there is a club house for the members of the course which was just getting finished when I was there but is very cool if i lived in this area I would be a member of this course.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Great first experience
Pros: Even though this course is very challenging, we had a great time playing as a family. Awesome variety of sceneries. Eveyone there is so friendly. This was our first time and we will go back.
Cons: Easy to loose discs in the water.
Other Thoughts: Great to know that we can bring our dog next time. Make sure you bring a snack and plenty of water.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pro-level course with something for everyone!
Pros: Pro-level challenge, but with multiple tees/baskets to suit everyone except maybe the beginning player.
Every tee is clearly marked and every basket has color-coded flags to clearly demonstrate which basket you should be shooting at when there are multiple baskets on a hole. Tee pads on the ground are rubber, but done solidly, while elevated tees (on slopes) are of wood construction, similar to a deck. Plenty seats, tables, trash cans, etc throughout the course to make DG'ing easier.
Course navigation was pretty easy, even without a map, most holes had very good marking for the next tee, and a lot had a well worn path right to the next tee. The map (on the scorecard available in the beginning barn) was handy though for orienting yourself while on the course, and helped clear up some confusion for me on exactly where hole 12's basket was.
The scenic beauty of this course is amazing, and the use of the terrain and flora available is nothing short of magnificent!
I also had a chance to chat with the owner for about 30 minutes while waiting for some rain to clear, really great guy. He was even going to loan me an umbrella in case it started raining again while I was playing! I also ended up getting a sweet star Ontario roc with the Maple Hill stamp for a great price! I got to see the lost and found room, and let me tell you, he could make a fortune off the volume of discs that have been found, but alas he is a great individual, and catalogues them and will return them if contacted (I believe a list of these discs is on the course website). There were literally hundreds of discs waiting for their owners. How many private course owners take this much time and effort? I know of only one other that goes to these lengths, Howie at Holler in the Hills.
My memorable holes (I won't write a novel and mention them all, since they were all pretty memorable, but here are my favorites):
1 - I can't not mention this hole. Everyone knows what a beast it is, but I have to restate it. The view from the tee is downright intimidating. A solid 30-40 foot elevation drop, with a good sized pond at the bottom, and the basket perched JUST on the far bank. I went hyzer, lost in the ditch on the right, and still managed a 4.
4 - Downhill shot through the woods, a narrow path to hit. I was so excited to clear down close to the basket until I realized it was not the basket I was shooting for from the tee I was on. Dangit.
5 - Another cool shot through the woods, this time on level ground. The pro route over the water on the left with a right turning path was very tough, especially since my forehand is horrible.
8 - Long-ish carry over the water, basket just on the other side, abutting a hill. This one was a little less intimidating and safer than 1, but still quite a challenge. I dropped into the water RIGHT before the green, so luckily there was a pole there to reach the 5 feet to retrieve my waterlogged disc.
9 - Start with a platform (deck) tee, then throw up a corridor over a hill. Then you have to go down and back right, clear some water to the green. The course site says that 17 people got a three on this hole during the Open, I would love to have seen those, as this hole utterly kicked my rear.
10 - Amazing uphill drive with trees left, a steep rise, then the basket is protect in a castle-like turret at the top that is elevated ANOTHER 5-6 feet.
11 - Another downhill-looking shot, but without the water. The trees however, are a challenge of their own. Being a Christmas tree farm (?) there were tons of rows of fairly tall conifers (6-7 feet mostly). If you find your drive in the thick of these, good luck getting out easily. The basket is on a cool little "ridge" just into the woods (although the anchoring looked like it needed to be redone).
14 - Out over water again, then back left, hard line to hit, even harder basket to reach. It takes a pretty hard hyzer to get there.
16 - CRAZY shot out over some marshy area, then up and left through some thick woods. Pack a lunch for this hole, and whatever you do, don't hyzer out on your drive!
18 - Monster 650 foot par 4. Nothing overly complicated except its uphill, with trees on either side, and some in the fairway. Website again states that 12 people got threes in the Open, I can't imagine!
Cons: I have to qualify my cons. The first is a small con for me, the rubber tee pads. I prefer concrete but these are so well done I can't really detract from my score because of them.
I generally think of pay-to-play as a con, since I've seen so many other free courses that are exceptional, but again this doesn't factor into my rating because well, it is simply more than worth $5 to play this course.
My only other con, which is legitimate, is the nasty soft ground in a few places, most notably on hole 12's fairway. There are a bunch of 1x8 decking boards laid out, but it was treacherous. Filling that area would allow that area to be easily traversable, or perhaps some sort of stepping stones. Anything would help, but I suppose the boards were better than stepping in ankle deep muck. This is literally my only true con!
Other Thoughts: My rating of a 4.5 means just what it appears. This course is almost perfect. I have played the likes of top 10 courses Idlewild and Holler in the Hills, as well as the legendary Renaissance Park, Hornets Nest, to name a few, and this one almost tops my list. I would say it is a close second behind Renny. Like I stated before, the only true thing I found wrong with it was some swampy areas on 2 and 12. Fix or do something to bypass those and it's an honest 5 in my book!
If you are anywhere NEAR this course, and I mean within a few hours' drive, you must make time to play it. For a pay-to-play private course (maintenance on the course is well worth the $5) it probably has the highest bang for the buck I've seen yet.
Keep up the awesome work, and you better believe I'll be back for a second round if I get back to Mass!
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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