From the Rec Player Perspective
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: • This is a terrific "Red Level" course for a Recreational player if played from the short tees. Every hole seemed like a birdie was at least theoretically possible, par was doable, and a bogie (or worse) lurked if I caught an early tree or got careless with an approach shot.
• Design from the short tees is still in character for this as a classic New England woods course. Short tees are available on all the longer holes, though several shorter holes have only one tee. If you can't throw 350+ with accuracy, I recommend taking advantage of the short tees.
• Long tee pads are well-built rubber covered, grip well and are adequate size (though not huge). The short tee boxes are mostly natural (two had small rubber pads) but were at least smooth and level.
• Chainstar baskets all in good shape and catch well. Many of the baskets were protected by some well placed trees and occasionally a massive boulder. Not to mention the "Hot Tub" out of bound on the 6th hole.
• In a nice park, plenty of parking near first tee. Bathrooms and other amenities in the park, but not very close to the course.
• Clean and well cared for course. On a side note the course is so clean when I did find a discarded water bottle I put it in my bag and tossed it in the trash later. I never seem to do that on a course that got lots a trash.
• Easy to get to, just off the highway (also see CON #1 below)
• Easy and nice walk in the woods, not too much strain for older players.
• Good signs and navigation, at least for the first 15 holes or so. I'm assuming that they just haven't gotten around to making signs for the last few holes.
• Navigation mostly fine, a couple times I had to look a bit for the correct path for the next hole. The signs are good, but one or two more might be needed.
• Lots of woods to catch errant drives, but reasonable fairways. The woods off the fairway were tight and made for challenging recovery shots, but not too much underbrush to eat discs. Didn't spend a lot of time searching even when my drive didn't find the fairway.
Cons: • So close to I-84 that the noise from the highway is obvious. One of the tees is very close to the roadway. The noise slightly annoyed me for the first couple of holes but I must have gotten used to it, hardly noticed by the end of the round.
• Only a couple of holes have benches, and there are no trash cans out of the course. This isn't a big negative but keeps this course from getting an even higher rating.
• Loved the design, classic New England woods course, but there is not a lot of elevation change here, no water features, and no "wide open rip it" holes. I guess some could take that as a lack of variety but I found every hole to be a unique challenge.
Other Thoughts: I've avoided Panthorn Park for a while. I've heard it was tough layout for rec players and "very wet". I found Panthorn to be a very pleasant surprise. From the Shorts Panthorn is very Rec friendly, and at least on this beautiful August day the ground was firm and the feared mosquitoes never materialized. It rained 2 days ago, and at least this time of year it must have drained very well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Fun, Challenging Course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Tee pads for most, if not every, hole
-Good amount of parking right near hole 1
-There is an easy path from the hole 9 basket to the entrance, meaning a person could play nine holes if short on time.
-Right off I-84 (can be good and bad)
-Rarely busy, except for Wednesday nights (league)
-The holes are all fairly close to each other
-LOTS to do at the park (playground, ball fields, basketball/tennis courts, fishing, biking, etc.)
Cons: -Most of the front nine are right near I-84, which ruins the peaceful atmosphere that is the woods.
-On weekend afternoons during fall/spring, I can imagine the upper lot would get busy, limiting parking for disc golf
-On days that it has rained (mainly in the spring), the course is incredibly muddy. Definitely keep an eye on the weather before going.
-If you are a beginner like me, some of the holes are REALLY long (hole 9 is 500 feet) This is good for experienced players, though
-Signage could be better, as a few holes have no marking (sign describing hole length/location) Signs pointing toward the next tee could also be improved
-Little to no elevation, which again, can be good and bad.
Other Thoughts: This is a course you have to play to decide if you like it or not. It has features that some people like and some don't. If you like a peaceful game, this course isn't for you. However, if you don't care about noise, give this course a try. Same with elevation. Other than that, it's a maintained course that isn't one to avoid, but also isn't one I'd travel across the country just to play. For me, it's a great local course, as I live 10 minutes away. It's definitely a challenging course, so make sure you bring your driver. Pretty much, if you live in the central Connecticut area, it's worth a try.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
An Underrated Gem in Hartford County
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Panthorn Park is a large public park in Southington, CT, part of Hartford County. The course features 18 holes that weave through dense woods. The rubber tee pads are mostly in good condition and the baskets catch well and are easily visible because of the bright orange tape around the center pole. Hand-painted signs provide a crude map of the hole and also supply hole distance. Many holes have short tees for recreational players. There is plenty of signage to aid the first timer in navigating the course. Many holes have benches at the tee area. The tight fairways are well groomed and it appears that course maintenance is regular. Many spots have planks or logs for dry passage when the course gets mucky. The layout works well; there is a nice loop back to the parking lot, and even 14's tee is close to the parking lot too in case one needs to cut a round short. The course flows well with a variety of distances throughout both the front and back nine, and the last few holes are a little exciting. This is great, no frills woods golf. None of the holes are that fancy, just tight fairways, tough windows coming of the tee pads, well protected baskets, sharp curves, and plenty of trees along the way to keep your shots honest. This course is a real challenge and every hole will make big demands on your technique. There are a couple straight ace runs under 200 feet and a couple long strategy holes in the 450-500 range. The park has plenty of picnic space, sports fields, a playground, and walking trails making it worthy of a day long venture. If the sports fields are empty, you can use it to practice your drives, though with a course this tight, you won't need your killer overstable drivers that much. There are restrooms, running water, and plenty of parking. Also a beautiful setting and a great place to take in the foliage in the fall.
Cons: As has otherwise been noted, several tee boxes on the front 9 are very close to I-84. You're in minimal danger of chucking an errant drive into 80mph traffic, but it's distracting and takes away from what otherwise feels like an isolated, quiet course. My one round there was dry, but I can tell that the course gets soaked after the rain. It would be nice to have one or two holes that were a little bit more wide open, but it would require deforestation or taking over some of the park's general use area. There's little elevation to speak of save for the gentle rise to the green on 18. Some tee signs are missing and none of the tee signs have par info. The course lacks distinct signature holes, so you'll be playing pretty standard woods golf. Some of your walks to the next tee put you in the line of fire of the next hole, so be wary, especially if you have people playing ahead of you.
Other Thoughts: Don't believe the low rating, this is a great course. I've been playing disc golf in CT for a few years now and I wish I'd checked it out sooner. It's a real bear of a challenge and the environment is beautiful, save for the interstate situation. This course is just a little bit further out than my home course in Wallingford, and it's a nice change of pace. I'm looking forward to getting to know the lay of the land better here. I believe familiarity is an essential factor for shooting well on a course that's this heavily wooded. Bring your A game, you're going to need it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
When It's Dry It's Great
Pros: 1) This course is challenging which is nice. While the course is entirely in the woods, there are both wide and narrow fairways.
2) Many holes are attack-able right off the tee box, but also require a variety of shots/approaches
3) Reasonably flat for a CT course makes doing 18 holes after work quicker and easier to beat the sunset
4) Secluded from the rest of the park
Cons: 1) When it has been rainy this course gets extremely muddy. If it has been a day or two since the last rainfall during the summer time you will be fine. Give it a few extra days if it is spring or fall.
2) There are 5 holes that run close to the highway. The noise isn't great, but I have never actually been distracted by it. The other holes have a better woodsy feel
Other Thoughts: This course if fun with some challenging aspects to it and is a decent distance for a 100% woods course. It is also in the center of the state and easy to find, I strongly suggest it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: course layout is great, each hole is challenging in its own way, old growth forest with some awesome tall trees, plenty of parking
Cons: very few hole layout signs leaving you to guess or walk half of the holes to see where the basket is. not enough "next tee" signs to know where you're going next. basket numbers are incorrect leaving you to guess what hole you're on because there was no sign at the tee pad. course seems to have been forgotten about, overgrown on many holes. highway is directly next to many holes
Other Thoughts: this course was probably an AWESOME course in the past, all it really needs is an overhaul, new tee signs, new next tee signs and a minor amount of landwork
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Some longer holes, with tight, but visible fairways. Pretty new baskets.
Cons: There was standing water every where, and not just some puddles, but large expanses of submerged land. The only time I could see this course truly dry would be in the middle of a severe drought. Also, there are two tee boxes literally right next to the highway. One is about 20 feet from tractor trailers doing 70mph down 84 with no guard rail. It actually seemed pretty dangerous. If you pay attention you can see the tee box from the highway in your car. The highway noise is noticeable on almost every hole. Confusing navigation and lots of missing signage as well.
Other Thoughts: Whoever let this course be built where it was is crazy.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Challenging Course with some minor location issues
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Located in a beautiful park in Southington. Lots of activities after you're done golfing, if you just wanna hang out and grill or whatever.
-Pin locations are excellent. Usually tucked away behind some rocks or trees. Hole 17 in particular is awesome, the pin is behind this rock wall and makes for a very interesting hole. Hole 2 has the basket on top of a little hill which gives an elevated basket feel. You can tell course designers went out of their way to make sure pins were in cool places.
-Fairways are very clearly defined and wide open. Never really a question of where you're throwing.
-Challenging! Not an easy course at all. Very punishing when you make a mistake, but very rewarding when you hit your lines.
-Awesome elevated teepads. Very smart, considering that the land is very swampy.
-Tee signs, where they have them, are excellent, with distance, local route, and the more conservative route. Pars aren't on there, but that's less important (Just count everything as a 3! Strokes are all that matter anyways)
-A lot of bombers. You don't usually get very long holes out here in CT in the woods, but there are some monster here, including 9, a 500 foot behemoth of a hole.
-Relatively easy to find your way from one hole to the next. A few places where this could be improved (10 to 11) but for the most part the signage is great.
- Hot tub hole, #6, is an interesting short hole with OB in the form of, well, a hot tub, just short of the basket.
- Big Lacrosse fields right next to the course for warming up, although I don't think you're technically supposed to be on it.
Cons: -As was mentioned in pretty much every other review, this place is a swamp and gets very very wet and is difficult to play within a week of rain. However, it's not as bad as a lot of people make it out to be - there are walkways here and there. It is admittedly really bad in some places, and a few nice bridges could go a long way.
-Right alongside a highway. Not relaxing to play like some other courses around.
-A lot of holes are missing tee signs. This is made even more depressing because the tee signs they do have are really cool.
- Some holes are really frustrating. #16 might be my least favorite hole in disc golf because, unless I'm mistaken, there doesn't seem to be a realistic way of getting a 2, and you basically have to make 2 short upshots and just try to save a 3.
- A lot of very tight gaps. Some holes, especially #14, feel a lot like, 'Throw it and pray holes'. There is a definite line to hit, but it's so small you really have to be precise to get it through. I think to a certain extent this is good, but Panthorn goes a bit over the top here and there.
Other Thoughts: I really like Panthorn. It's a nice sister course to Page in Bristol, Page being more technical and Panthorn being a bombers course. I do think this course gets unfairly scrutinized because of its location, but the holes that are here are a lot of fun. I would much rather go to Page, but definitely try this place out as a change of pace if it hasn't rained in a week or two, and you'll have a blast.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A frustrating challenge
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: NEVER BUSY. I play here several times a month and rarely see more than 2-3 players on the course.
Layout: The course has a good variety of holes, though it is nearly 100% wooded. The fairways are well defined and range in difficulty. There are some score-saving short holes that nicely contrast a few frustrating card-busting holes, I am talking about you #14. The course is flat and plays relatively quickly. I find myself playing at least 36 here every round.
Cons: This course can eat discs, you need to keep your disc in play.
It is difficult to get around the first few times you play. Once you get it, the play is a great pleace to work on all aspects of yoor game.
I have not experienced "wet" play here, but I did play here all summer and never had a problem.
Highway noise on the first 6 holes
Other Thoughts: This is a great place to play. Thanks to many rounds here my scores have improved dramatically at the other area courses. This is a tight course that forces you to make good decisions and execute them well, otherwise your score suffer.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: nicely laid out course, wooded but even as far as elevation is concerned so you won't get fatigued from the up's and down's...
Cons: get's real wet all the time making the lack of elevation irrelevant. meaning you'll get real tired just from walking through the mud and dodging mud holes and such...
Other Thoughts: an otherwise beautiful course plagued with moistness. there is a "dry 9" consisting of holes 1,2,3,4 (skip thru the woods to) 9,10,11,12,13. but even the end of that gets a little mucky from time to time
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Not much good to say
Pros: you know the old saying "if you don't have anything good to say ...." searching for positives. Actually, the hole signs were nice.
Cons: Wednesday it rained a bit; we played it on Friday and it was viruatually unplayable due to the water/mud. I have played about 60 courses so far - not a great player but also not a beginnner. I'm trying to think of other courses which were as poor; I have played a number of courses which get water logged at times, but today was ridiculous. If you live in CT (where I grew up but no longer live); travel the 1/2 hour to Wickham Park
Other Thoughts: a shame because the park the course is located in is nice and expansive but they chose to locate the course in a heavily-wooded, super-saturated area.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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