5 Helpful / 1 Not
A good place to play
Pros: Free course with nice upkeep.
Cons: Design quirks and little use of the beautiful land.
Other Thoughts: For rating a course I base my ratings on 50% design, 20% course upkeep, 10% basket, tee, tee sign, and signage, 10% amenities, and 10% that special something that defines a course.
NOTE: The course seems to be going through a minor redesign which may have had in impact on this review. I'll try to highlight those areas and adjust the review as I play in the future.
Tully Lake Disc Golf Course is a course hosted by the Army Corps of Engineers at the Tully Lake Dam complex. The course is extremely easy to find as the main road (Rt. 32) drives right over the dam. Parking is on either side of the road. Hole 1 is adjacent to parking on the East side. The grounds contain walking trails and I did see people walking their dogs, crossing my fairway on more than one occasion.
The course is a mixture of wooded and open holes. Holes had a good variety of straight and left or right turns. Length significantly varied with some holes being very short (hole 3) and some being long (hole 10) to extremely long (hole 8). Some holes feature minor elevation drops with a few offering significant elevation change. There are very few (one or two) blind shots and even then the disc is in sight for most of its flight. Fairways seemed loosely designed except for those that followed fire roads and multiple routes were available. Undergrowth along fairways was of a medium nature and an errant throw could pose a challenge for recovery of par. There is one hole where water significantly comes into play (hole 1 left side) and one where a spillway threatens to eat a disc (hole 9 right side) . Some targets are well guarded (hole 18) and some are parked on minor hills (hole 14). There are a few holes (11-13) that seem to be pure luck as trees inside the fairway are so dense that no discernable or adequate fairway exists. The new pin position on hole 18 is in a spot where the fairway does not continue to (at least that I could see). Overall, the course design while nice, does not seem as well polished as it should for a course it's age.
The course appeared to be kept up adequately. Cut logs and trimmed brush piles were observed, placed mostly out of the way of the main fairways. Still though, fairways contained a large amount of saplings and tripping hazards. Course was mostly clean with just a small amount of trash observed. There were trash barrels located throughout the course and coffee cans at most holes for cigarette butts.
Basket, tee, tee sign, and signage:
Baskets are in good condition. Almost all tees are textured cement bases. Tee signs are present at all tees showing direct of fairway and distance. Possibly due to the redesign, distances on some signs varied with those listed on the score card and also angles of fairways did not match with those on the actual course. If unfamiliar, I suggest walking the hole first and not relying on the tee sign for shot planning. Signs are basic in design and offer limited references. Next tee signs were at some holes (3 or 4) but I felt more should have been present. I did have to refer to my map printed earlier for directions to the next hole on a couple of occasions. There were a few temporary signs due to the redesign (holes 9 and 18) for new basket/tee pad position and also giving better course directions (holes 5 and 10).
Located on the other side of the road of hole one I saw two picnic tables with grills (there may be more). There is no practice target (unless you count the basket for Hole 18 right by the tee box for hole 1). There is a very nice billboard with tournament/league info, a course map, lost and found drop box, and scorecards. There is a port-a-potty by the tee box for hole 1. I did not notice a source of water. Benches are at almost every tee. There are no bag hooks. Small whisk brooms were at most holes to clear tee pads. There was no location to practice warm up drives.
That "special something":
The signature hole for this course is hole 1. This is the only hole that really takes advantage of the dam. There are some other interesting holes such as holes 8 and 10 (both long holes with an immediate turn and following a road) but nothing I would classify as very "special".
This is a course I wanted to love but left needing something more. Little things seem to get in the way of it being a high caliber course. At the end of my round I was unable to classify the course as overly challenging or overly easy, it felt balanced. I would not hesitate to take someone here for their first experience with disc golf as it is fairly beginner tolerant. It is not a course to be missed if in the area but it also isn't a course I feel the need to play again repeatedly.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in Mass, so far...
Pros: I highly recommend this course to a novice or more advanced player. Gorgeous setting, amidst backdrop of scenic reservoir. Thorough mix of baskets; Short, steep baskets over water, although primarily winding, shifting dog-leg bends in forest clearings. Sturdy, patio-style tees. Basket 1 and 3 are memorable for steep elevation changes and water threatening on left. Basket 9 can be nerve-racking, as just beyond the fence on the right of the fairway is a 50 foot drop to floodplain (a tedious recovery, but adds to the excitement). 4 and 5 play quickly and intuitively. Alcohol permitted, although course is very clean and players are respectful. Have made 2 hour trek to play here before, will continue to do so (enough said?).
Cons: I have no major gripes with this course, although I would probably have done a few things differently had it been my design.
First and foremost, the maps at each of the tees are misleading. Tee 8 reads a distance of 373 feet, outdated and inconsistent with distance on scorecard (670+). Tee 17 has misleading map; one really needs to go right harder and earlier (nearly lost a disc on this one because I put too much faith on the map). 8 and 10, while favorable to big arms, can seem tedious at times. The first half of the back nine are unremarkable; I would get into detail, but frankly, I can't remember anything interesting about 11-14.
Other Thoughts: While not perfect, Tully Lake is very, very, very good. The front nine are slightly more scenic and interesting than the back nine, but this is nit picky. Great course for all styles of play, although a nice contrast is to head into town to Flat Rock after a round at Tully for something more technical and woodsy. Should host a tournament someday.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Terrific mix of long drives and also some real woody sections not to busy on weekdays and good mix of holes
Cons: can be busy on weekends, trees can cause some anger, can be pretty wet depending on when you go
Other Thoughts: Overall great course and one i really enjoy
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Stunningly nice course
Pros: -Absolutely PERFECT mix of wooded and open, slightly favoring wooded.
-Every hole has several approaches
-Some great risk/reward putting
-Aside from a few holes (like #1) near water, low chance of losing discs
-Requires a diverse throwing selection (flicks, backhands, tomahawks, rollers, etc.)
-Free, public course
-Leashed dogs are welcome
-Scorecards available at first hole
Cons: -Sometimes it can be hard to see the baskets from the tee
-Can get a big soggy/flooded after rain
-Have to cross the road at times
Other Thoughts: I just played Tully for the first time today, and I was absolutely blown away. It is easily my favorite "Central MA" course thus far. This course takes everything that's great about Barre and expands it to a whole new level of awesomeness. Enough trees to keep you honest, but not so many that you feel like you're throwing in an uncleared forest.
I can't say enough good things about this course. It is an absolute MUST for anyone in the New England area. I want to go back already and I just got home. Try it out as soon as possible, and bring a nice assortment of discs with you.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
One of my favorites
Pros: Beautiful setting, good variety includes elevation up/down, water, open holes for driving, tight lanes, very tight wooded holes, long and short, enough length to make it a challenge but not ridiculous, almost all holes are fair (even the tight ones that challenge your ability to hit narrow lanes).
Cons: Front nine and back nine don't both end at parking area so you can't play just 9 easily (though there is a 10 hole "loop"), kinda in the middle of nowhere (and not near me), no practice basket but 18 is right by the parking area
Other Thoughts: For where my game is right now this course offered me a great challenge but was totally reasonable. Many holes in the 300-400ft range are great because they let me test my range in a real-world situation, plus a few longer holes that are par 4s and make you exercise course management skills. Well worth the 1 hour drive for me, wish it was closer.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
IF YOU LOVE THE COURSE....DONT LEAVE YOUR TRASH!!!
Pros: This course has it all. Its great for the novice and expert players. #1 Alot of water on the first, very dangerous!! #8 is alot longer now, at times i love it and others I cant stand it. Id have to say the worst hole has to be either #10 or #12. #10 is just a long dirt road that favors the right handed throwers but has major drops into the woods if you cant stay on the road. #12 you just close your eyes and throw as hard as you can and pray you dont hit a tree. Overall TDG is a great course with very friendly rangers and alot of volunteers help out thanks to the Adopt-A-Hole thing we have going on.
Cons: PEOPLE THAT LITTER!!!!! I love the scenery!!! Just imagine this: Your walking on a beatiful morning, no wind, birds chirpping, sun shining and then you see this wonderful ALUMINUM CAN, BOTTLE OR CIGARETTE BUTTS. Dudes come on IF YOU CARRY IN PLEASE CARRY OUT!!!!!! I know alot of people love this course but if this litter trend continues the dam will have no choice but to close it down...(the rangers and volunteers do a good job picking up) but we all need to do our part to be able to keep this FREE course and continue doing something we love.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very fun course to play. Good combination of wooded and clear holes. Easy to navigate. Most woods shots are pretty cleared of debris. A lot of volunteer effort to get the course into pro shaped. The tee boxes they're steadily putting in are nice, wood bordered paving stones. A good amount of chances to open up the arm and doable ace holes.
Cons: The bottom 4 suck, (10 through 13) In the dark woods, very wooded shots. 12 is pure throw and hope, beyond technical, almost absurd. The tees that don't have pads yet can get very muddy and slick. 8 is a b**ch to find your disc if you shoot on the bank and its so tempting to just slam it down the road.
Other Thoughts: They changed 8 to a par 4 and moved the basket way down. They changed 9 to a par 3 and moved the tee up the road so people aren't shooting and walking over the reataining boulder field. Love the course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: updated review because of recent play there. First off,,Tully has the only brick tee pads in MA. They are nice brick also,,,not too grippy but not too slick either. They put a ton of hrs of work into the course this summer and it really shows.
The Scenary is amazing with a big lake right on hole one.Generally a wooded course but with a few "let er rip" holes. The variety of holes is great,,,some short//some long//good balance of flick/bh holes.
Im updated my rating simply b/c of the work thats been done. The tee pads are the best in MA (especially if you have knee issues from all the fly pads). Changing the tee pad location on 2 and 8 really makes a big positive change to the course. Add the scenary and variety of holes and its a phenomenal course.
Cons: Someday i think this course could get a 5. Tee signs are the obvious con. several of them are innacurate (footage on scorecards are correct though). Also i thought taking down a couple more trees up near the basket would make it a better hole.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Best course around
Pros: Good use of obstacles/water
The baskets are in excellent condition
Last fall they started making stone tees
Every hole is completely different
Cons: Bugs can be depressing
Very minor swampy spots (like 2)
Hole #10 is Spider Ally
Other Thoughts: Cant seem to find a better course around here! I would recommend anyone to take a nice drive up to Tully Lake!
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
My home course
Pros: This course has it all. It is a great course to learn and great place if you know what you are doing. Well marked off and well kept up. They have a league ever sunday that is a blast. It is a great place to meet people and a great place to go if you want to just play. You will be impressed
Cons: To busy sometimes.
Other Thoughts: You need to play this course it is great. Don't pass it up if you are near it. Sundays at 1:00 are league and they are lost of fun. Any question call the disc barn in Orange
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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