Best in the Berkshires
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Highlands of Conway is a shorter 18 hole course on a hilly, densely wooded plot of land in the Berkshires in MA. Clearly defined fairways snake through thick trees and up and down steep slopes for a challenging round. Simple signs indicate each hole's number, distance, and general trajectory to the basket from the tee. Small signs direct players from one basket to the next tee virtually eliminating the chance of getting lost on the course. The grounds are very well maintained with little foliage getting out of control, clear fairways, and well established trails between holes. Several holes have trash bins at the tee pads and benches crafted from fallen trees in the forest. In addition to thick woods, ample elevation and tricky basket placements add lots of challenge to the course. The course rewards accurate drives and severely punishes errant throws. There's a wide variety of shots, angles, and changes in elevation (positive and negative) to throw. Several holes have two pin positions. The course follows a nice loop and the walk plus the elevation provides a good amount of exercise for players. There's a beautiful view out the the surrounding landscape just past the trees on the left side of the fairway of hole 10; don't miss it!
Cons: Some of the natural tee pads on the course are covered in rocks and tree roots. Tee signs don't show accurate maps of the holes, just a general direction of a line. Many holes are straight, short and forgettable, especially early in the course. The course does lack some amenities like restrooms and running water. Parking is limited (though this area is also sparsely populated). The road to the parking lot is also a one lane, unpaved road and is the only way in and out of the parking area (that I could see). It is a pay-to-play course. There's a small box for players to put cash in; $5 per round. No one enforces the greens fees but the money does go toward covering property taxes for the course owners. Pay-to-Play courses are pretty common in Massachusetts. In my book, it's worth the small fee to play here, especially since it's a vacation course for me.
Other Thoughts: Highlands is a great finesse course and is easily the best disc golf course you'll find in the Berkshires. After talking with one of the owners, it seems that they are constantly working to improve the course so hopefully, it will keep getting better. I'd definitely come back here. It's not too much of a detour to stop at on the way up to my in-laws vacation home, so I know I'll be back. With better tees it would definitely score a 4!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Really great privately owned course
Pros: Gorgeous course, even if you didn't play frolf, it'd be great to hike the course
At basket nine there are two charcoal grills and some tables, really nice touch!
Most tees have some sort of bench or chair to hold your bag or beverages of your choosing.
Port o potty at basket 6
Cons: As everyone has said there is only a tiny sign telling you where to turn off shelburne falls Rd and the drive in is a little rough in your in a sedan
No course map, so three or four of the baskets you just have to hope your throwing in the right direction
Tees are a little more than stamped down dirt pads
Bugs!!! Bring some spray.
Other Thoughts: Most of my problems with this course will be remedied once I play it a few times. I will definitely buy a disc, when I go back. You can tell it's a well played course and considering it is run privately it is well maintained.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Set in the scenic, rolling hills in western Massachusetts on someone's private property, this is a fun course.
Elevation is a part of every hole. The fairways are clearly defined, and it felt like most of the holes played along old trails or areas that were cleared awhile ago (rather than just cutting down a few trees and trying to fashion a fairway). A couple of the early holes have fairways that require hitting a moderately tight line, but there isn't anything here that should discourage a decent player.
Most of the holes are on the shorter side (the average is under 300 feet), but there were a couple nice multi-shot par 4 holes. There were plenty of holes where I wanted to throw a couple of drives. This would be a fun local course.
A couple of the holes had two baskets.
Cons: Many of the tees are natural. Tee signs show the bare minimum, so on a few holes I wasn't positive exactly where the basket was, although the fairways themselves were pretty obvious.
Most of the other cons are part of having a course on someone's private property. The parking lot and the drive in are a little rutted.
I do wonder if the utility easement at the top of the hill could have been used at all (I'm guessing not). I was excited to see the great views and potential just beyond the trees, but then the course curves back into the property.
Other Thoughts: I had a lot of trouble finding the course, although there are small signs saying "Disc Golf ->" at the driveway. I think the address is 1276 Shelburne Falls Rd. But I searched up and down the road, and the directions are a little vague.
I really enjoyed this course. I was hitting a few courses in western MA and didn't get to play this twice, but I would have gladly played it again. It's well worth the $5 and is a gem in a pretty spare area course-wise.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Incredible natural beauty at every turn. Quartz, rocks, frogs, lush woods.
-Great course design for the most part. Players are brought to gorgeous parts of the property and it's easy to feel deep in the woods as you seemingly meander for a long time, finally popping out right where you started.
-Easy to navigate. Got around my first time with signs and no help or map.
-Easy to find discs.
-No poison ivy!!
-Challenging! It's been years since I've thrown +9 on a course my first time playing it. Most of the challenge is very fair.
Cons: -Natural tees, some of which are too bumpy for any kind of run up.
-A couple baskets look old and only have single chains.
-More mosquitos than any other course I've played.
-A few holes could benefit from clearer and/or cleaner fairways.
-$5 to play.
Other Thoughts: I was stunned by the natural beauty of the course and the rustic feel. So little has been done to the land, I felt close to nature while playing. If fairies exist anywhere in this world, they live in the woods at The Highlands of Conway. Small signs helped me enjoy the scenery, but they were good enough that I never got lost. A couple holes are a bit too challenging to the point where they feel unfair. This includes 17, which doesn't have a clear line and the pin is on a rock on a ledge. It's beautiful, but this should be a par 4 and it'd be nice if a tree or two was taken out. I got a good workout walking the course and I got to put my control game to the test. There are lots of shots that bend right, which challenged me as a RHBH thrower. I enjoyed this aspect. And there were some shots too that went left. I genuinely enjoyed my experience and I think this course is worth visiting and paying for. My biggest complaints are the bumpy natural tees and a couple holes being too challenging/unfair. Fix these and the course deserves 4 discs in my book (I'd give it a 3.75 now if I could). Glad to know I have this great course just 30 minutes from my home.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
My Home Course
Pros: I love this course, only five minutes from my house. It is a fairly technical course requiring accurate throws through heavily wooded holes with a good deal of variation in elevation. Challenging basket placements on rock outcroppings throughout. Most of 13-17 are dangerous risk reward holes, keep your disc in sight!
Cons: Tee boxes can be rough. Some holes on back 9 in need of some brush hogging.
Other Thoughts: If you aren't afraid of trees, a great course to play. The heavy woods will challenge anybody. I've thrown some of my purest drives here only to have them deflect off a tree and become ritual sacrafices.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Out of the way gem
Pros: Secluded 18 hole course built in a beautiful and heavily forested piece of land. Mature pines and many rocks and boulders set the tone for a very cool course.
This course is heavily wooded and technical. There are very few chances to open up with a driver. Bring your putters and mids, and make sure you stay on the fairway. In several places baskets are positioned on or near rock formations to add to appearance and risk/reward factor of the shot. There are also a few baskets placed on slopes to make the approach risky as well. While not a long course, it does have enough risk to punish errant shots.
Signs at each tee pad showing basket positions and length. There are a few holes with alternate positions.
This course is remote, but does not physically beat you up. It is also not brutally challenging, so it would be a great place to bring someone you are trying to hook on the game. The woods and rocks are gorgeous, and you only have a few holes where an errant drive will force you to really search for a disc. This is a very fair course that you can score well at even if you are an average player.
Cons: The natural tee pads are horrible. I don't usually complain too much about pads, but many of these have roots and rocks everywhere.
Course seems to really favor a RHFH player. There are a lot of straight or right turning shots and lines.
All holes play in the woods. Those that want long or open shots won't find them here.
Other Thoughts: This is a very cool course. As you drive up the dirt and gravel road to the parking area you really get the feeling you are heading to very quiet, private place. Hole 1 is at the top of the hill, and is a nice basic 300' shot to start your round. I don't think there is a bad hole here, but #6 stood out as a simply greeat looking hole. You get a nice little RHBH anny shot slightly downhill to a basket 300' away. But the fairway is lined with mature pines and rock formations. Simply great looking. #3 is an ace run with a basket set on a rocky hill. Overshoot right and down you go. #12 is a tight, challenging hole that plays along a steep sloping hillside. It is only 270' but has lots of risk. I could see a huge variety of scores there. #13 has a sign warning you to use a spotter as the rough on both sides is very thick. And there is a slope on the left that could lead to some long rolls. 17 is another tight shot through the trees to a basket on another rocky hill. Miss long on the putt or approach and you add another stroke. Great looking hole and lots of fun to play.
9 and 15 are both holes that force you to navigate a longer fairway and search for a safe landing zone for your first shot. At 525' and 420' they make it very difficult to reach the basket off the tee. Both were nicely designed holes.
With a lot of sub 300' holes here this course makes for a fun wooded round. Hit your lines and birdies are very likely. But there are enough trees, hills and rocks to keep you from playing poorly and scoring well. This course is definitely worth a little drive to play and the $5 fee is more than fair. With a little work on the tee pads this course could become exceptional even if it isn't what most people would call a Gold level course. It's just a beautiful place, and a lot of fun.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Playing the short tees (Red configuration) is really fun, giving some nice anhyzer/turnover lines to play. Really makes good use of the elevation change to offer some sweet shots up and downhill and around bends. The front 9 is pretty smooth sailing but still varied. Got the great anny/straight shots on 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8. Thumber up the hill on 2 and big hyzers on 4 and 9. Throwing the fuse anny all the way down hole 6 is always beautiful to watch. The back 9 really pick it up and play with the elevation. Really got to be careful on a lot of putts and approaches unless you want your disc to roll/skid forever. The big hyzer downhill on hole 11 is super fun to throw. I'm not the biggest fan of 12/13 (see cons). That being said, hole 13 is a pretty reasonable hole to eagle if you can play a laser shot down the middle. Again coming back downhill, hole 15 is a really fun shot to make with a hyzer flip s curving all the way down the hill.
Cons: As most other reviews note, holes 12 and 13 are a bit nerve wracking playing with a steep hill down the left side. If you get your rhbh shot a bit too high or if you don't get it to stay flat long enough then expect to be going a long ways down. We've managed to not lose any discs yet but come close a few times. Also the roots/logs near some of the teepads make driving a pain on some holes. The Conway sportsmans club is also right under hole 12, so hearing the shotguns going off was rather distracting on an already challenging hole.
Other Thoughts: I've only played the long tee configuration once so this review is just for the "A" config. After playing it 5 or 6 times I've finally pieced together how to play this course and think it does a good job of rewarding good shot selection and execution. Really worth the $5 fee.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great day for a hike
Pros: The course has so many neat features it's hard to know where to start. The use of elevation is great. The length while a little short for some, is a great course to cut your teeth on. There were quite a few holes that you walk up to the tee on and just say "wow this is a cool hole". There's an old Oak tree on the back 9 that can't be missed! Absolutely amazing. Great views and challenges a golfer through out.
Cons: There are two holes on the back nine that need some work. They are on the side of a serious hill and just don't seem to have a discernable landing area. We lost a disc on those holes as they hyzered WAY down the hill.
Other Thoughts: Great round of golf. Definitely pack some water and wear good shoes. Nice hike through the woods. Happy to pay 5 bucks to play. I'll be back for sure.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Mountain Disc Golf
Pros: Beautiful land with well laid out holes that take advantage of natural terrain. Basket placement is terrific, using unique rocks and landing zones so that you leave with a smile on your face picturing the cool lanes you just played through. You can take newbies or friends here to play and they will enjoy the scenery and shorter holes.
Cons: Tees aren't well defined and often had roots and rocks in them. Short holes, but so many of them are placed so well that they make you smile anyway and enjoy playing them, but not terribly challenging (but fun!). Would be great to see more signage for new players as well as alternate pin placements and alternate holes (found myself saying 'what hole is that basket for?!').
Other Thoughts: Worth the $5 just to hang out up here. The cool mountain setting, beautiful forest and moss-covered rocky terrain make for a memorable course, esp because it's so fun to play. If you need a disc you can pick one up at the 'pro shop' (course designers home I believe) just down the road, they've got some cool 'highlands of conway' stamped discs, stoked to take one home, thanks :-)
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
there can be only one
Pros: A really well laid-out course requiring a variety of challeging shots but short enough that even my duffer girlfriend enjoyed playing. You'll have opportunities to use just about every disc in your arsenal if you so desire. Overall, its tight though not unbearably so with very little underbrush to make the errant off-fairway shot easy to locate and pull off a decent recovery. The elevation changes add to the challenge and variety nicely.
Big arms won't avail you here as its relatively short with lots of doglegs to test both your hyzer/anhyzer skills be you a backhand or flick player.
Easy access from Rt. 2 and the well-stocked Pro shop is like a mile or two away.
side note: this place truly shines in the Fall when the foliage has thinned out.
Cons: As a newer course, there's still work to be done as far as cleaning up the lines and tee pads, but thats to be expected.
Defintely bring bug spray! (but if you're from central or western MA you know this goes without saying in the hills)
Oh, and A porta-potty would be a nice addition.
Other Thoughts: Its a1.5 hour drive for me and well worth it, though I usually camp out and make it a two-day event when I do go.
The walk up the hill from the parking lot is... umm... a good way to get your pre-game cardio workout. ;)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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