0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: This is my favorite course in maryland. It is extremely well kept, and the baskets stay in place so that I can compare my scores and actually see my improvement.
Cons: dogs must be leashed. Costs money to get in to the park.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 3 Not
Top Notch Disc Golf!
Pros: While perhaps not a top 10 course, Patapsco in the Green Monster configuration can match up with any of the traditional powerhouse courses out there. The shorter pins and tees can make for great variety but to experience the best of Patapsco you need to see the longs; that said, my review here is specifically for the long-to-long Green Monster course.
Patapsco requires an excellent balance of course management, accuracy, mental toughness, and power to succeed (and roughly in that order). Players who possess only one or two of these three will struggle at some points during the course especially those without a flexible arsenal of save shots. As a previous reviewer mentioned, even on many of the more open holes, you'll need to accurately hit specified landing zones to get clean approaches to many of the tucked in pins. On the wooded holes, accuracy is often paramount and gaining 200' of distance down the fairway with good position can often be better than lies closer to the basket but in 'no-no' areas with brutal tree coverage. With the relentless stream of par 4's, you will (probably several times) find yourself with tough lies and even tougher lines to the pin. Those with good course management skills will recognize long-shot hail Mary's that are too long and will know when to pitch out for position. Losing one's cool and patience can quickly rack up extra strokes on these desparation shots.
Cons: The lack of permanent tee pads is the main 'con' to this course. With soooo many awesome holes, you really want to play your best golf and missing a shot due to a slip or trip can be a huge letdown! The only other drawback to the course is the lack of upkeep during the summer when the field holes are full of high grass (and lots of ticks!).
While I love the course design, there are a couple of tee/pin combinations which just aren't conducive to score/skill separation. An example of this is hole 18 in the high left pin which is a big long downhill hyzer shot into a small grassy valley inbetween two well-defined stands of trees on the right and left. Upon reaching the landing zone, the second shot is a very tight, but short uphill pitch to a pin in the stand of trees on the left. On the drive, there is very little a player can to do ensure that he/she will have a good putt for '2'. You do have the option of throwing high into the trees and hope to find a lucky lane to the basket - but this choice is simply to rely on luck and nothing else. The vast majority of players will elect to shoot down to the layup zone and will have a (too) long birdie chance/short up and down yielding an overall scoring range for advanced/pro players from the extremely rare (and lucky) two, ~75% threes, and ~25% fours either because a short putt was missed or a terrible drive/upshot.
Other Thoughts: Out of the nearly 500 courses I've played, Patapsco remains one of my all-time favorite courses. It has all of the basics (woods, fields, elevation, multiple line fairways, challenging pin positions, multiple tee/baskets, etc.) that I look for in a great course and that special character that keeps you coming back again and again.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Top of the Line
Pros: I will keep this short, Fantastic setting and course, variety of holes. Perfectly mix of open & wooded. Other than concrete, best tee boxes I have seen on a course. Its simply a disc golfer's paradise and a must play if you are in the area. Well groomed course. Fairly disk and beginner friendly. There is a lot of clearing around the baskets on most holes. Multiple tees and baskets make this so much more than a 18 hole course. They do give you a map at the entrance. pleanty of parking, picnic tables. restrooms.
Cons: Small wood sign at the bottom of the basket pointiing to the next hole would have been nice. Maybe its the time of year I played but the Nats drove me crazy on the back 9 after the 10th hole. Couple of holes you have to wait for traffic. I did not notice any tee signs or other indicating which postion the basket was in (A B C) I like the way Rockburn does it with the locks.
Other Thoughts: For a $2 course what more could you ask for. Just needs a hot dog stand! pro shop with disc for sale! Its a 1st class course in my opinion and can't wait to play again.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Playing the Green Monster layout (long tees to the green baskets that are permanently in the C positions) makes this a par 4 disc golf course. This is true golf ... not your normal Drive + Putt you find at so many courses. You will rarely, if ever, reach the green with your drive. Players will need a long, accurate drive followed by a long, accurate approach, followed by a putt for a birdie-3. There is a great mix of wooded and open holes and there is plenty of elevation change throughout the course. The wooded fairways are tough but also fair. The course is currently in great shape (May '10) and they have planted a ton of new trees which will help define some of the field holes. I love playing the Green Monster!
Cons: No water comes into play on the course. This isn't really a con as you can only work with what you are given.
Other Thoughts: This rating is for the Green Monster layout only. Be prepared for a hike ... not recommended for anyone nursing an injury.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great course in a nice clean park. The gravel teepads are so good/level that they rival any concrete ones I've played on. Multiple pins makes this very interesting. Nice variety of open/wooded, with some water and a ravine. The scenery was great, the locals were very helpful. Lots of elevation changes, and equal amounts of precision shots and opportunities to just "air them out"
Cons: Can be a bit confusing, no map/scorecards available in the kiosk. Finding the park is a bit hard (street addresses reset so you think you're going the wrong way). Finding hole 1 is also a bit tricky, I started at 4 (without realizing) and then finished with 1-3. Shooting some of the alternate pins puts you out of the way for the next hole.
Other Thoughts: Would love to get back here someday to play the other set of pins.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
The Green Monster
Pros: Situated in a large, beautiful park along side the scenic Patapsco River, you can quickly forget you're actually in the suburbs of a large industrial city. Two landing strip-sized crush-and-run tees per hole. At least three pin positions and two installed baskets per hole, with one green anodized pin permanently installed in the C location allow you to tailor the level of punishment to your mood that round (the other pin floats between the A & B setting). Most fairways feel open (and long), but there are normally a few trees or obstacles that force you to shape your drive. Drive placement is important since most pin settings (particularly B & C) are tucked into pockets of trees that have a favored approach lane that you won't want to miss. All holes have some sort of elevation change or contour to negotiate, uphill, downhill, sidehill or across a ravine. No filler holes, though 14-16 do have an element of deja vu. A couple of the C pins overlook the Patapsco River. There are two nine hole loops that each return to the parking lot.
Cons: The tees, like any gravel tees are subject to pitting from wear (concrete wasn't permitted by the park). No epic downhill drive though there are some serious hills around (pretty sure they are protected areas). MD State Parks charge a $2 entry fee ($3 for out-of-state), well worth it in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: I've held back on this review as the major improvements that were carried out this year have been rumored for some time. Most of the knockoffs for this course have now been addressed. The tees, while not concrete, are enormous and allow a serious run up (you'll need it). The Park management is now very supportive of the course, even helping with the new tees. It's also reflected with improved mowing of the fairways, particularly on the back nine where it was needed. Some of the newer C pin settings are exquisitely painful. The full punishment mode from the blue tees to the green C pins is known as the Green Monster layout at over 9200'. This layout is used for the A tier Patapsco Picnic which draws some of the top pros in the country.
Favorite holes for me are #5 ( tight uphill drive through some large pines), #7, (probably the signature hole), a long rip through the woods with more turns than an episode of 24, and #8, a tight straight drive along a sidehill sloping down to your left, and #17 (very similar to #8 but with more trouble if you go left.). #18 is also a great finishing hole. Any golf trip the the DC/Baltimore corridor should absolutely include this gem.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: this course has it all. tight fairways along with open fairways. lots of elevation along with flat areas. great baskets, two baskets to putt on before the round. two tee pads along with several pin postions per hole. you will need every shot in the bag to shoot hot on this course. great local people to show you around. picnic tables throughout course. mowed paths on each hole. well maintained.
Cons: tee sings would be nice. more trash cans too. besides that amazing course.
Other Thoughts: best course in the balitmore area. must play course. patapsco will test your game.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: 18 holes, 18 Blue and 18 Red Tees, 8' x 16' level boxed crush stone, 18 Grey Baskets w/ Multiple Pins, 18 Long Green Baskets. Lots of elevation changes, Scenic views and wildlife in State park, Nice baskets, mandos, wide open, woods, tunnel, left, right, mixed, uphill, downhill shots, use most shots in the bag, challenging physically and mentally, can be creative and technical. Awesome course in the Punisher layout Blues to Green Baskets 9400+ft!
Cons: Deer in the winter, and yellow jackets in fall. Needs Signage, bring a map or someone that knows the course if its your first time.
Other Thoughts: State Park $2 fee, well worth it. Nice bathrooms, water, camping, biking. This is the best course in MD now and really tests your whole game! Ptap would be a disc golf mecca with another 18 hole course.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful, brutal, beast that can ravage your mental game. But it's worth it!
Pros: This course is among the most challenging and rewarding courses anywhere in the country -- especially when playing the new Green Monster layout (available as of Sept. 10, 2009). Each hole has two permanent pins -- short pins (moved around between A and B), and the long Green Monster pins (permanently in the C-positions). From the blue tees to the Green Monster baskets, this is true next-generation disc golf at its best, with a layout of ~9,500 feet -- none of it wasted or redundant.
New teepads (Sept. 2009) on every hole are 6'x16' tamped, crushed gravel and are excellent to play on. Two teepads and two permanent pin positions per hole help provide immense variety and very high replay value. But even more important is the high mental challenge demanded on every shot. Even at a 1000-rated pro level, many people will play this course and not take a single two in a round -- there just aren't that many opportunities. There are lots of very challenging par three holes, many true par fours (some of them HARD fours) and even a legit par five on the course. But this course doesn't add strokes by adding gratuitous distance (like some courses do); rather, this course is on an amazing piece of land -- rough hills, sharp drops, large rocks, old massive trees -- that demand you shape your lines carefully and plan your landings or you will be taking single-, double-, triple-bogeys in abundance. You have to know your discs to play well here. It's not enough to aim for the basket -- you have to think about what speed your disc will be going and what angle it will hit and how to keep it from rolling/skipping 100+' past the basket.
In some ways, this is a 9,000'+ touch course for Blue/Gold-level players. You have to have the arm to drive a disc with power and precision from the teebox, and then a touch approach shot to have a chance for the threes... It's a course that will force you to work your mental game, fight frustration, and keep yourself composed. But the rewards are totally worth it.
For those who aren't as experienced / masochistic, the course also offers the short tees, which have a similar experience but make the threes a lot more likely and open up a few actual birdie opportunities... the course still plays with an SSA of ~60 from shorts to C-pins, but with a mix of pin placements, scores in the low/mid-50s are possible for Blue/Gold rated players with a lot of short pins. Short tees are still an intensely fun experience, because with Patapsco, most of the time it's more about the touch approaches and the awesome basket placements than it is about just the teeshots...
Long tees: holes 3c, 7c, 9c, 10c, and 17c are my favorites. Some of the best shots anywhere in the state. But the rest of the holes aren't slouches -- they are still pretty amazing. There is almost no repetition and this course demands every shot in your bag to have a chance.
Tournaments here are especially amazing -- they are when the course is in it's best shape -- so play if you can.
Cons: So with all of the praise, why isn't this a 5-Star course? Well -- there used to be a lot of reasons, but with the second pins and new teeboxes, the reasons have gotten a lot fewer, and the rating has gone up.
* long grass in the summers (can be very hard to find discs)
* mediocre signage
* park fee (it's only $2, and it's worth many times that to play, but it's still worth mentioning so it doesn't surprise people.
* few food options nearby (bring your own snacks and drinks)
* takes a very long time to play a round (which is true of most great courses, but plan for it)
Definitely print a map before you go -- and if you can, grab a local in the parking lot and ask them which pins the holes are in -- especially holes 1,3,6,*7*,13,15,18 -- as those holes are hard/impossible to see from anywhere near the teebox. With a few new teeboxes built, the map currently needs updating, but is close enough you can find your way.
The first time I was there, I was fortunate that a local player gave my brother and I a map, or I am sure we would have missed some of the holes (and never would have found the pin for hole 7 -- the C-pin on 7 is so far around through thick woods you think you must be on a different hole if you haven't seen a map or played the course before.
I think with really good signage on the tees (including a way to show pin placements) and signs guiding players between holes, this course could deserve 5 stars.
Other considerations include: bring rugged footwear -- this course has tons of elevation, some mud, lots of rough terrain, and you will need to be prepared for it so you don't injure yourself. This is not necessarily a "con" of the course -- but it is a HUGE con if you aren't prepared for it ahead of time. If you play in winter (playing in the snow), I highly recommend soccer cleats as they give excellent grip in the snow (though at the loss of ankle support).
Other Thoughts: Patapsco is a beautiful course, and can be enjoyed by disc golf diehards as well as by the most casual of players because the scenery is so serene and beautiful. It is more like a lovely hike through the woods than it is like a traditional disc golf course.
Winter 2007, a friend had just moved up from Texas -- dynamic little 5'-tall Texas blonde who'd just graduated from college -- she wanted to see woods and had never played disc golf, so I invited her to tag along for a match-play round out at Patpasco. I think the high that day was 17-degrees (probably colder than she'd ever been in her life), but I brought plenty of extra fleece and a thermos of hot chocolate, and she had a great time out enjoying the snow and the hike, because it really is that beautiful. (Though if I'd have stuck around for a second round, I think she would have killed me.)
I know that might seem like a bit of a digression, but this is "other thoughts," and I think it helps make the point that this is such an amazing course to spend time at that even non-disc golfers could enjoy walking through it with you simply for the view. There is no such thing as a bad day of disc golf at Patapsco, because even if you're shooting the worst round of your life, you're doing it in one of the most beautiful places to ever put up baskets.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Pros: At the "Patapsco Punisher" tournament this course is a "5 - Best of the Best". The tee pads get raked flat, and all the pins get moved to C pushing the course to its full 9236 feet of punishment!
Multiple pin postions with two gravel tees per hole.
Full service bathrooms with water.
Cons: Patapsco is normally set up in some mixed length of pins, and the tees get a little rough.
$2 entry fee to the MD State Park. If a ranger is there then ask for a map!
The course is hard to follow until you play it a few times, many pins are not visable from the tee pad.
Other Thoughts: If you want to see this course in it's peak, then pre-register and play the Patapsco Punisher ... you will not be disappointed in that tournament!
The 2008 Punisher SSA was 66.58!
An Any Given Sunday Seneca is the #1 MD course, but it is close when Patapsco is in the Punisher layout.
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