Now that's a DG Course.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Absolutely beautiful course with some very picturesque holes, with challenges to match. A whole bunch of factors come together to basically make this the best course I've played to date.
The 27 holes weave in and out of a fairly dense forest and back into grassy clearings with much more spaced trees. Each set of 9 holes forms it's own loop returning to the parking lot, so that you can play any set of 9 or 18 holes you desire. The parking lot and start of the course is on the high ground of a hill that slopes down into the surrounding creeks, so there's usually an uphill/downhill factor in most holes.
The baskets are adequate older DGA baskets with no issues, well maintained, and the various tee pads are often made with large paving stones and bricks with a few newer poured concrete pads. All are nice and long though sometimes slightly narrow. The signage is good and most of the course has various indicators of how to move from a basket to the next tee. Navigation was rarely a challenge.
There's red and white tee pads for every hole, and on some of them an additional blue (hardest) tee, that generally seemed to take the tact of giving you a more occluded entry into the fairway without being much further. Then on top of that there's 2-4 pin placements per hole to keep things fresh if you come here often. There's even a bead on a set of hooks on the tee sign to let you know which placement the pin is in!
It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes this course exceptional; everything about it is great with no weaknesses, but what exactly is outstandingly unique about the course? I think there's 2 really memorable aspects for me:
First, it's pretty. Very pretty, at least the parts within the grassy clearings with some trees with lots of character and rolling hills surrounded by the forest. There were a few tees where I just stopped to enjoy the beauty of the hole for a second before throwing. There was one completing a loop, I think it was hole 18, that made me regret not bringing my camera because I could have made a great desktop background out of that view.
Second, there's some really good course design here largely due to just how conducive the landscape is to disc golf, but credit to the designers that they didn't waste it. Some of the holes are really interesting in how they play the ceiling created by the trees against the rolling landscape of the hills. Traditionally when we talk about hitting a gap in disc golf, it's implied that the gap is horizontal in nature, between the trees on the left and the trees on the right. Here, on numerous holes, the gaps are vertical, and you've got to hit a spot between the ceiling created by the tree branches and the floor created by the rising or falling slope of turf.
One hole stands out for me where you have to play downhill and then uphill again, but in the apex of the gully the tree cover will knock down your discs as you try to squeeze out max distance. There's a risk reward decision there and on many holes, challenging how high do you dare throw in the name of distance.
Cons: You can always nit-pick, but the complaints here are really small.
The strongest complaint I can come up with is that there's an over abundance of holes requiring left-to-right shots relative to the right-to-left shots, meaning that a really good RHFH or LHBH game would have a significant advantage here, I think. I have a heavy preference for RHBH but found myself trying to throw a lot of long distance forehand here because the hold demanded it.
Besides that, while the holes that played through the scenic grassy clearings near the parking lot were amazing, some of the holes playing through the forest were a little too "plinko" for my tastes, with the fairway not being fair. I'm pretty confident hyzer flipping up tunnel shots, but there were a few here where all you can do is throw it up the gap and hope you get fairly far before you inevitably hit a tree, and don't kick too deep. One hole I recall, the biggest gap was 3 to 4 feet (it would have been okay from the tee pad immediately in front of it, but didn't play very well from the harder tee). To put this into perspective, though, it's a 27 hole course and this is maybe 5 holes we're talking about where I'd complain some trees needed to go. Generally, there's a well defined fairway to hit even through the wooded holes. This problem is sparse.
The tee pads were a bit narrow. The grass was thin and since it rained the day before it was a bit muddy. Stuff like that. You really have to reach to try to criticize this course.
Other Thoughts: It's a challenging course and I like that. I didn't play great in my 2 rounds here but that's what you'd want if you're lucky enough to get to play this course a lot. It would take time to learn the best shots for all the holes and put up some good scores.
What I'd give to have this as a home course... I could play thousands of rounds here with the multiple pin placements and never get bored.
It's great golf all around, and lots of variety. I am really glad I made the trip out. The drive through the state park to the course sets up some high expectations, and you're not disappointed in the slightest when you get there.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A major effort to replace the older teepad has begun. The local club installed ten new concrete teepads in 2015. They are ready to play on holes 2 Blue, 3 Blue, 6 Red, 7 Red and 7 White, 11 Red, 13 Red, 18 Blue, 23 Blue and 27 Red. Average size is 4 1/2' wide x 15' long. They are large and level!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Three separate nine hole loops, multiple pins and two tees on every holes give so many options for the casual player and tournament layouts to be different.
Outstanding design and use of the land (which is pretty great in its own right). Many different shots must be played through the field holes and the wooded holes alike. Having a good, well balanced game of power and finesse comes into play here - too much of one and not enough of the other will not yield a tournament winner.
Back to the land, nice elevation changes, streams, nicely mowed grass fields, beautiful wooded areas with views of the creek and far hillsides on several holes.
The park itself has nice amenities, heated bathrooms, running water, ample parking, well maintained. This is a pack it in, pack it out park - so don;t expect trash cans. But be respectful and clean up after yourself.
Cons: The tee pads always seem to be a work in progress. They are being worked on and I like what I'm seeing.
Used to be very narrow tee pads, and the older, shorter concrete ones are being expanded on.
Last time there I saw 4x6s around a few tees and others were already expanded and had a gravel base down, so this one draw back is being worked on.
And I do know just how much work it is to install 54 tee pads in some not too easy to get to places... But its my only con at Seneca
Other Thoughts: I've been traveling to and playing Seneca for 10+ years and really love it here. Seasonal allergies do just about kill me as I'm allergic to the invasive Olive trees & have had a really tough time at the Soiree more than once...
The course is well worth the 3 hour drive for me, and I would recommend it to any golfer.
The design is what I really like, it has worked through the old roller course (still was a great course) and evolved into one of the more well rounded courses in my opinion. As stated, it takes all your shots to do well here.
The variety of shot selection, risk/reward shots, as well as the mental & physical challenge of playing 27 holes in the longer pins - Seneca is truly one of my favorite courses.
If/when the tees get finished and are all large, level and consistent, this is easily a 4.75-5 course for me. I'd put it at 4.5 even with the variety of tees in use today.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
So Right, in So Many Ways
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Seneca Creek State Park hosts 27 holes of disc golf bliss. There is an terrific blend of grass, woods, water, elevation change, fun and frustration that is all contained in a wonderfully beautiful and clean park. There isn't really extreme terrain, but all of the elements that make up a good course can be found here. My favorite holes were 5, 13 and 14, some of the longest, and more wooded holes, with a creek running the length on the left of the fairways. The course was obviously very well loved, and someone was dutifully trimming branches here and there while I played. Long and short concrete tees for most, if not all holes, and usually multiple pin positions.
Cons: I couldn't really complain, but trash cans would be nice. They are going for pack in, pack out trash, and it seems to be working. All par 3, but on some holes, certainly with the long pin positions, thats no gimmie. Pets must be leashed to my doggies dismay.
Other Thoughts: Would be playing this one frequently if I lived in the area. The 4.25 average rating is dead on, but I went ahead and gave a 4.5 by virtue of having 27 holes with great equipment and impeccably clean and beautiful surroundings. I really liked the personality of this course, and it was in magnificent condition. I played the day after a tourney was hosted there. There may not be a trademark awesome hole here, but there is consistent high quality through all 27 holes. I shot a 10 over par 91 on my first and only round so far. Hope to get another crack at it someday. Very fun course in a very nice park. Other activities in addition to disc golf.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
One of Maryland's Best
Pros: Variety of difficult shots. Fairly easy to navigate. Bugs are not too much of an issue. I consider myself very amateur and I did not lose any discs.
Cons: Most of the hole were very difficult. Only about 5 holes were open enough to make a very simple shot. Although they weren't terrible, some of the tee boxes could be redone. As mentioned the course is easy to navigate, but some new arrows and signs could be fixed or added.
Other Thoughts: If you plan on playing all 27, it'll take you at least 2.5 hours, so start before 6 during the summer! I haven't been to TOO many disc golf courses, so my rating may be subject to change at a later date. Make sure to bring water because their is no running water or bathroom facility besides a portapotty.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
White Tail Crowds
Pros: We played in a Thunderstorm, no other players, just 50 to 60 White Tails, trying to be moving obstacles.
Cons: Maybe a bit better use of all the great elevation change would improve this to a higher rated course. It is great, could be even better.
Other Thoughts: Lost a Morley Field Hat and a pair of Sunglasses, please contact if found. Hat was Black. Glasses have a strap. Can you ask if park staff found it for me, please?
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: There are a lot of pros to this course. Lots of elevation change. Very wooded fairways and not so wooded fairways. 2-3 tees on every hole. In the fall season the trees are absolutely beautiful.
Cons: The majority of tees are not level. They vary from being slightly uphill/downhill to being too much on way or the other. Also most of the tees are made up of slippery cobblestones or flag stones which make it very difficult to get a good throw off in wet or moist conditions.
Other Thoughts: I was very impressed overall with this course. Its laid out in a 30 acre area which makes for a lot of variety. The first nine begins with a tight fairway that I have yet to hit, and continues on through the forest getting a little bit more forgiving as you go. The second nine is brutal to say the least. Very long and very wet in a few places. The final nine is very manicured looking; rolling grassy hills with a variety of trees.
Im from Nor Cal and we have some pretty awesome courses in our area but I wish we had this course in our area as well. Cant wait to return to Gaithersburg in the future and play here again!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: great obstacles. hazards, and other objects to throw around. The course is quite challenging but it is great fun to throw in and out of the trees. The best course i have played yet. great variation of obstacles and trees to avoid
Cons: in spring when i went there were to many gnats just all over the place flying into you. no water anywhere to drink and no vending machines.
Other Thoughts: overall this is the best course i have played
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Play It Over and Over Again
Pros: 27 Holes. Multiple pin placements. Multiple tees (3-4 depending on the hole - includes special novice tees which can be used for a fun ace run). Great variety - open holes, wooded holes, aces possible but not easy. Pin locations rotated frequently so each trip is slightly different. Park is beautiful; course is isolated in its own area. Good local following. Course well-maintained - despite no trash cans, I never see any trash on the course. Three 9-hole loops so you can mix and match as time permits. New tee signs are very nice. Two practice baskets. There are discs available at the Ranger station and at the boat house in the summer. Course plays very differently in the different seasons - come back frequently.
Cons: Not all the new tee signs were there and they are inconsistently placed - some at red tees and some at white. Can get very crowded especially on weekends. I was told by one of the tournament directors that spectators were not welcome which seems bizarre to me. Hole 16 from the red tee seems to have no decent line - I guess you can thumb it or roll it or go very wide right (if you are RHFH) but there seems to be a bit too much chance involved.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course which I have been playing since it opened (so I may be a bit biased). I'm one of those who loved the old 18-hole layout and it took a while for me to warm to the new 27-hole course. They are currently installing the blue tees to complement the red and white tees.
- you will notice red bands around trees with small white arrows on them. These are not mandos - these are pointing to the location of the novice tees. It confused me at first.
- the stretch of road on Clopper (Rte 117) between the 270 exit and the park entrance is a favorite spot for a Montgomery County speed trap - drive appropriately.
- old holes 3, 9 and 14 are sorely missed. Each of them could have been the signature hole - none of the current holes (except perhaps #10) have the majesty of these old ones.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Excellent and scenic course!
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 27 absolutely solid holes with multiple concrete paver tees and pins can make this course anywhere from fairly easy in all shorts to a beat-down long to long. 3 loops of 9 hole back to the parking lot. Rolling hills provide lots of elevation changes. Nice tee signs with pin indication. This is a pretty technical course that rewards accuracy over distance. Bad shots are punished, but if you have good trick shots you can get out of trouble. Well maintained course with defined fairways and groomed grounds for rollers. Great course for tournaments, often forget there are other people on the course and feels like its just your card playing. Disc-golf only area of park. Map in parking lot. Porta-potties. Scenic views and lots of wildlife.
Cons: Navigation can be a little tricky in a few places for first timers, but overall flows well. Tees can get slippery when wet, and some tees are bit too grippy. Holes by the river can hold water and be muddy. Not many holes to let loose a driver and can be repetitive. No trash cans.
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite courses in the long to long layout. $3 to enter park on weekends. The whole park is beautiful and the disc-golf only area makes this course feel really secluded. One of the few courses that the 2 meter rule is always in effect with disc-eating cedar trees on a number of holes. Get ready to roll around the cedars instead of trying to throw air shots. This course is highly recommended to play if you are anywhere near the DC area!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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