4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Stunning property, with numerous ponds, streams, hills, and varied wooded areas. Great tee pads and baskets. Clear signage. Tremendous variety and re-playability with four layouts, as well as variety within each individual layout. The guys at the pro shop were friendly, and let me know about upcoming events, as well as other courses in the area that I should try.
Cons: I honestly don't see any. This is a wonderful course.
Other Thoughts: I held off on trying Maple Hill for a long time because of its reputation for eating discs. However, the new red "beginner" layout removed that excuse, and I'm really glad it convinced me to test the course out. The red course isn't easy to the point of pandering to beginners - it's actually just a normal course with a difficulty level akin to Tully Lake or Barre Damn.
For $5 you can play multiple rounds and make a day of it. That's an unbeatable value, and surprisingly even cheaper than nearby Pyramids.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 0 Not
Thanks for the feedback!
Pros: We have completed our signifcant redesigns of the courses, thanks for the feedback. We utilize DGCourseReview.com as a way to see what people like and don't like and try to enhance the positives and correct the negatives.
Red course - it is now truly beginner freindly. I just played it this morning and was inside 50 feet for birdie on every hole (I'm a 960-970 rated player). There are no shots over water, the walk is much shorter, and we are excited to be able to host beginners and families that want to play Maple Hill but used to be afraid of it.
White course - no changes that I can think of. The first hole is over the pond (you need a 300' drive to clear it). If you can manage hole 1, you'll be fine and have a fun challenge ahead of you.
Blue course - this used to be a quasi-tweener course. We redesigned several holes and this is now a truly challenging and different course. Tom and I are not sold on hole 9, but Dave loves the risky shot down the road, so we'll keep it for now. Other than that, we are all very proud of the Maple Hill Blues. Regarding the "tweener" holes mentioned below (10, 17 and maybe 16), 10 needs about 400 feet of distance to reach. Every course needs to reward big arms at least once. 17 has a very fast green and a dog leg. IMO, there is much more challenge to it than a boring up and down for 3. 16 is quite reachable but requires a well timed end of flight fade to get a look at the putt. It is a nice (and picturesque) challenge.
Gold course - we made a few holes harder, more scenic, and potentially signature. I can't wait to see the top pros give it a try at the Vibram (Labor Day weekend, 2011). Watch it live at maplehillopen.com.
Ticks - we released 10 quail on the hole 11/13 hill (aka, the Cutler Place). Hopefully they will fill their bellies with ticks.
Upkeep - we are doing a much better job at keeping the grass shorter and the course prettier thanks in large part to Dave Jackson who is working full time on the course and in the pro shop. This also helps to keep the ticks down as they like tall grass.
Water - If you don't like water, play the Reds. If you want a challenge, the water will test you mentally. Two other notes - we've got loaner discs if you want to chuck one of our discs over the water instead of your own and we hire divers to retrieve discs and we will give you a call if and when we find them.
So, thanks for all the feedback, keep it coming. We will continue to improve the course. Stop by and give the new configurations at Maple Hill a try, and keep posting your reviews here.
Cons: I picked up five or six cigarette butts during my round this morning. We should get more trash cans on the course.
25 of 25 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
State of the Art
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Outstanding disc golf shots on a championship caliber course with unique gold/blue/white/red layouts. The Christmas tree farm setting actually gives a good disc golf equivalent for rough, as you must hit fairways on the open holes or face shots challenged by small trees. OB defined by ponds and rock walls make for many dramatic shots. Well defined fairways give a nice frame to the wooded holes with good shots generally having good results and bad shots landing in trouble.
In addition to great aesthetics and course maintenance, the goal seemed to be to tailor the course's difficulty to gold (1020), blue (980), white (940), and red (?) level players. I wholeheartedly applaud this goal. To execute this, each hole has multiple baskets and multiple tees--both marked by the colored flags, which look great! This must have been difficult to plan and much work to accomplish, but the layouts were fun to play and very easy to follow. The different tee/baskets combination also mean that playing the blues vs. the whites, for example, give very different looks at the course.
In the week after I played and lost a disc to one of the ponds, someone from the course took the time to call me and offer to return the disc when it somehow turned up.
Cons: Just nitpicking...with as much effort as what went into unique gold/blue/white/red tees/baskets, I played a few of the holes and sort of scratched my head at if they were really properly calibrated to get a good scoring distribution. For the blue tees, there seemed to be a few 350-400' slight uphill holes that the longest arms might occasionally get a 2 but everyone else will almost always take a 3 (I'm thinking of 10, 17, and maybe 16 and one or two on the front nine). It's frustrating to stand at a Par 3 designed for your skill level and not be able to find a shot in your bag to reach the basket, or even the circle. But a sign was posted that layouts are being tweaked currently, so we'll see how things work out.
Other Thoughts: Prepare for a long grueling round and for a couple risky water shots, not necessarily because of the length but because of trees guarding the near or far bank. Play the course appropriate for your skill level, and note they're a little more difficult than PDGA standard ratings for each color.
Navigation was very easy, especially with the flags and next tee markers. Wildlife was abundant and diverse (we ran across three types of snakes: garter, black, and water).
Now that I look at other reviews, I think this course is underrated. It will probably be miserable if you're <900-rated and try to play blue or gold (or maybe even 940-rated white tees). Also, I see many other reviews cite maintenance as an issue, but everything looked great when I played it in June 2011.
I really loved the feel of the course and view it as a leader in what a disc golf course should be. If some of the blue Par 3s were a little more manageable in terms of distance, I think this course would get a '5' and surpass Deer Lakes for top slot in my book.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 26 Not
Pros: There are options for most players, beginners will have trouble.
The store has a good variety of discs and has decent prices.
Hole 18 is very unique.
Cons: Water! Way too much water. Especially for folks unfamiliar with the course, LHBH shooters, and beginners. I thought I was an OK player, but I hit the water on three separate holes. One was within reach, the second I got with a stick and a wet foot, and the third is waiting for their crew to dredge it up.
I got confused/misdirected several times the multi pin/ multi tee layout is not conducive to a good game flow. I can see several spots where someone could get hurt if they are not paying attention (especially 15). There were three intersecting fairways from three tees to three pins.
There was garbage, pop cans, and beer cans sitting at almost every pin that didn't have a can (and some that did). I know it was the end of the day, but it seemed like they hadn't cleaned up from the weekend ( it was Tuesday).
Other Thoughts: although the pin to tee trails were marked, I still got confused.
Very cool volunteer thank you setup.
5 of 31 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 18 challenging holes with multiple tees (all of which in stupendous shape), baskets (all in pristine shape), and offers different challenges to different types of players. Red tees offer the birdie/ace runs with next to no water interference (barring an extremely errant throw of course). White adds a little more challenge and water, blue adds more length and elevation and gold is the best of the best pro wise. There's something for everybody. Awesome usage of the course surroundings. Off the fairway most of the time and most of the holes are forgiving, unless your disc is in the drink. Great pro shop with drinks inside. Friendly locals and not far from other disc golf courses as well (but why would you want to leave?) Plenty of tournaments year round as well as a fair amount of parking. Not far from other spectacular courses.
Cons: Some people have the gripe about pay to play courses, and I am really starting to turn a new leaf over as far as that goes. I really don't think it is a con anymore.
Other Thoughts: Maple Hill has something for every disc golf player, and is quite the thrill, especially for those who play it for the first time. Memberships here are 150, so if you're a local, get one and make it worth it. Your money is getting poured back into the land and the course that is on it, and trust we it is every bit worth your 10 dollar fee. Can't believe this is only an hour from my house!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: when i first got there..i thought..this is where they have tournaments? didn't look to great....but once i stepped onto the first hole ..i understood why.
great course..very challenging..and just a great walk
plus i got there early in the morning..only one there..so it was great to get to take my time.
Cons: the 4 courses sometimes confused me..but it was more because my first time playing the course.
I was afraid to throw the holes that had water hazards.
Other Thoughts: you have to play to play (but it's worth it)
pyramids down the street
newton hill 10 minutes away
2 of 13 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 / 3 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 6 people found this review helpful.
20 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!
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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