The Amenities Rank Up There With The Best In The Country, The Golf, While Excellent, Didn't Wow Me!
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: They've made Smuggler's Notch a true disc golf destination. The drive up here is scenic, especially the incredibly tight, twisty turns of Smugglers Notch Pass, the Green Mountains are beautiful and once you arrive, there are a bevy of golfing options available to you.
To start with, the total package of amenities, takes a back seat to probably no course I've seen. Maybe only Bryant Lake Park, in Eden Park (Minneapolis) compares to Brewster in it's total package. The pro shop is well stocked with discs and anything else, you'll need for your playing time here, including discs, drinks, snacks, and most any other disc golf related items. Just outside are honey buckets and a wonderful shaded area with picnic tables.
One of my favorite aspects of this course was the four tee pads for each hole. Playing from most challenging, the Golds to the Blues, Whites and on down to the beginner Reds gives players the option of playing to their own level or splitting their group. Each tee had an informative sign giving all the useful information. Sometimes, two colors would play from the same tee pad. I like this as it forced the easiest Reds to play a longer shot on # 11. There is a professional scorecard available that is first class all the way showing not only the distances for all four tees on both courses but also the course map for both courses.
The tee pads are packed gravel with a wooden border. I thought they were fine although some previous reviewers weren't overly impressed with them. The baskets were the Chainstar models. There were lots of helpful little bridges and wooden walkways built over wet areas. There are benches at every tee pad.
I really like the fact that there are some shorter holes here, actually giving you that chance for a ACE or the tough birdie.
Nick, the Pro Shop guy, knows his stuff and is very helpful. $10 to play all day is more than fair.
Cons: While I loved the option of having four totally different off the tee options here, there wasn't a single hole that really got me fired up, either in it's natural beauty or it's clever, creative design or sometimes just it's sheer difficulty. The golf part of the course just flat out lacked the "Wow" factor for me. I got more excited about a basket placement (# 9 basket sitting up high on a pile of boulders) on the little Village 9 course than anything here at Brewster Ridge. Storr's Pond in Hanover, NH, had maybe 7 or 8 holes that I really loved, usually combining extreme elevation with creative design. Those holes I always end up remembering and think about as I'm falling asleep nights.
Other Thoughts: With the lovely, challenging 18 holes and four tee pads option of Brewster Ridge, the 9 enjoyable holes of Fox Run and the little Village 9 close by, Smuggler's Notch really is a destination worth driving to. Challenge yourself from the Golds and then enjoy a more casual round from the Whites. Brewster Ridge offers great disc golf for the entire family.
Note to Nick: The course we could not locate on DGCR, Rivendell Academy, is located in New Hampshire. And sorry about the 4.0 rating. That is still considered excellent.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Lorenzo loves Brewster!
Pros: Totally worth the green fees, Nick in the pro-shop very helpful & friendly, Excellent selection of discs, course maintenance very impressive given size of course and overall conditions. Tee pads were excellent, signage was best in class, good mix of hole types.
It was a pleasure to play this course, we will be back!!
Cons: too many positives to bring up, perhaps a water hole down the road...
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
This spoiled me for other courses.
Pros: This course is gorgeous. It is well maintained, there are fairway placards at each tee and the course is designed so my wife and children (ages 7, 9 and 12) can play with me (this could go in the cons section but surprisingly the kids didn't fight at all during our last visit). The entire family played from the different tees and had an excellent time. As it had rained the previous night, some of the fairways were muddy but considering the number of streams/creeks that run through the course, we were expecting it and actually enjoyed the extra water traps.
We also enjoyed the "hiking" aspect of the course. It allowed us to get the youngest to realize that "hiking" isn't too bad as long as you're throwing discs.
Cons: This course ruined me for all of the courses by me. The mountain forest views, the size of the course, playing up and downhill surrounded by trees...pure beauty.
Other Thoughts: Fantastic time and people associated with this course. You will not be disappointed.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Super fun course
Pros: Where do I even begin??
- Beautiful location, set in the forest with views of Mt. Mansfield
- Super friendly staff, gave me some tips prior to my round
- Challenging, fun, and extremely well maintained
- Really nice pro shop with a snacks, bevs, and a HUGE selection of discs and apparel
- Great patio area to chill in before or after your round
- Bring your own beer! Can't go wrong at Brewster
Cons: Hard to find any!
I did notice a couple tee boxes that could use a little more stone, but looks like that is being addressed currently.
Other Thoughts: This course as something for everyone. Four different tee locations on each hole means that even if you are a newb like me you can still compete with experienced friends!
Brewster is a must to check out while in the area!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
great 4.75 course
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: So many to list and worth the $10 pay to play all day because:
- pro shop on site with snacks available
- plenty of cold water coolers at the start
- 4 tees per hole
- great tee signs at each tee
- six par 4's
- easy navigation
- phenomenal manicured course (reminded me of Sabattus in ME) with wood chips, gravel, cut grass, rock walls, benches and small wooden bridges
- plenty of elevation...the front 9 plays gradually uphill and then the back 9 is a lot of fun downhill shots
- scenic beauty of Green Mountain
- small stacked rocks (a poor man's Flip City)
- rock walls similar to other great N England courses
- very wooded but nothing too tight or unfair
- the staff called me about my disc left behind
- very clean port a john
- #4 putting area, simply gorgeous
- #7 fun ace run
- #10 fun downhill throw
- #11 fun downhill throw
- #12 good par 4
- #14 reminded me of hole at Hyland Orchard in MA
- #17 one of my 2 birdies
Cons: - the tees weren't cement, the long pro tees had rubber pads while the others were gravel
- #9 felt like a 'filler' hole, it was the only hole I didn't like
- #18 was rather boring after so many other great holes on the back 9
Other Thoughts: Be sure to enter or leave the Smugglers Notch area from the south. The drive to this resort is STUNNING through the mountains.
This was the only course I played in my first time in Vermont after a 6.5 drive the day before. I considered other courses but decided they would only be disappointing after playing here at Brewsters Ridge.
This course has been added to one of my favorites list on this site. I played the blue ADV tees and shot 62.
Bring food with you if you staying for more than a half day, I didn't see any convenience stores nearby.
Another 9 holes (and soon a full 18) called Fox Run of hilly prairie golf is also onsite.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The drive to the course through Smuggler's Notch (the pass, not the ski resort of the same name) is probably the most dramatic approach to a course I've seen. You climb quickly up some windy short switchbacks before driving through several huge boulders that the road had to be built around. The walls of the mountains tower on each side, and then you're flying down the other side toward the course.
There are four configurations here: red, white, blue, and gold. Many holes feature separate tee pads for each, but some holes combine two of them.
The design here is great. It takes some work to make multiple compelling configurations on each hole. I played the blue tees and enjoyed the holes with multiple lines and challenging features. Elevation here is significant and is used well.
Among the best holes:
Hole 11: A fun downhill toss through the woods. The basket is basically straight ahead, but you'll need a straight arrow shot or some kind of S-shot to negotiate the shape of the fairway.
Hole 13: A 520-foot hole that starts flat, disappears over a slight hill, and curves right once you are on the downslope into a grove. A three would take a couple excellent shots.
Hole 9: An uphill tunnel shot that is barely over 200 feet. If you have an accurate drive, the birdie is waiting for you. But unlike most holes on the course, the rough on this hole will give you no looks. The dense, spindly trees will have you tossing back out to the fairway. I got the score I deserved on this hole, and that's as much as I'll say.
Holes 1, 6, 10, 17, and 18. None of these are signature holes, but they are what I would call "meadow golf." Lightly wooded, well manicured greens, with trouble here and there but deceptively easy holes. Highbridge in Wisconsin is the pinnacle of these types of holes, but Brewster Ridge reminded me of them.
Tee signs are great, and navigation wasn't hard with the map.
Cons: If I could give this course a 4.25, I would. And the reason is the tee pads. Most of the gold tees are rubber, but the rest are crushed gravel, and the tees are not long. Put in rubber tee pads, and I can justify a 4.5.
Lots of good holes here, but no real signature holes.
While I didn't play the gold tees, many of the holes didn't look that challenging. I felt like I could have managed okay on the golds, whereas at Maple Hill and other places, the golds require shots I just don't have.
Other Thoughts: At $7 per round or $10 for the day (including the adjacent 9-hole Fox Run course), the fee is more than reasonable. Note that while Smuggler's Notch is a ski resort, the course is not on the ski trails. This is a good thing. Courses on ski trails are usually mediocre design with tee shots that are fun until you're searching for your disc that went 500 feet down the hill. Anyway, no lift ticket required here.
Whether you like skiing, hiking, disc golfing, drinking top notch craft beers, eating Ben & Jerry's, or simply never showering, this is one of the best corners of the country. I love the scenery. While the Rocky Mountains are majestic and imposing, the Green Mountains are accessible and inviting. Everyone here is glad they came.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Everything You Want In A Course
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: * Well Maintained
* Stocked Pro-Shop
* Awesome Variety of Shots, Woods & Field
* Professional Course, Need I say more?
Cons: * No Camping on The Slope
Other Thoughts: This course is a true disc golfers dream, the woods are amazing with a ton of intricacy and variation, amazing flow and just an overall great time. 4 different tees on most holes. Oh and Uncle Mike Got a Hole in One on 16 so there's that haha. Get out and play, then head over to Brewsters Pub and grab a barrel aged Saison and Putt from the balcony!
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
My favorite place to play!
Pros: I love how clean and manicured this course is. You can tell the grounds crew put in lots of time and effort to get things right! The course itself is challenging, but well laid out with many opportunities to throw those long, sweet shots. Pathways between holes are also well taken care of, making for an enjoyable experience, even if you're just out for a walk. The pro shop is a great spot to snag any new plastic you could need as well, they have a great selection, and carry lots of other DG related items.
Cons: No complaints here, love coming to play this course!
Other Thoughts: I heard rumors of an addition to their Fox Run 9 hole course, can't wait to see what these guys put together!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Brewster Ridge Rules, Smugglers Notch is Nifty
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The scenic beauty of the region rivals or exceeds any other place I have been. Driving through the mountains of Vermont is a great way to spend a day. The highways were full of people taking advantage of the wonderful Saturday afternoon in late August, biking, hiking, fishing, and of course, disc golfing. I did not catch any trout, but I did play a really good course on Brewster Ridge. The pro shop furnished a scorecard, and I was on my way. The course had picked up rainfall recently, but was still very playable. You can tell course is maintained impeccably, grass was mown, some mulch had been put down recently to improve paths, and zero litter. There are four sets of tees, ranging in difficulty from easy to very technical, and really nice DISCatcher bastkets. Rubber pads on the gold tee boxes were expertly installed, roomy and level. I played the longest set, and was 6 over par (66). There are 3 par fours on the front nine, and 3 par fours on the back nine. I made four of my six bogeys on the par 4 holes, so it is safe to say the long holes gave me the most trouble. I think the subtle to moderate elevation change along with the extra distance makes them very tricky. I did not make any birdies, but the chances are out there, with 5 holes under 300' from the gold tees. Pin locations are tucked into some great spots, near large rocks, or underneath or behind clusters of trees. There are signs in between holes that point out transitions fairly well, and a map on the scorecard. The ratio of open to wooded holes is good, and none are flat out, wide open boring. There is usually elevation change, up or down, but gradual slopes that affect play, but are not extreme. Layout changes directions and mixes lines well.
Cons: There are trails for walking or cross country skiing that cross over the course in several places. I did get confused and lose the way once or twice. There are streams running near a couple of holes, but no big threat.
Other Thoughts: Brewster Ridge is a challenging, professional caliber course in the gold layout. The equipment and amenities are super. Excellent is the least you can say about it. Every hole is good or great, but none stood out as a signature hole. I did not play the Fox Run 9, or the beginner level Village 9, but it can only make the resort that much better.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Gem of the North
Pros: +Amazingly well maintained.
+Wooded nature of course is beautiful from the fruit blossoms of spring, thru the verdant green of summer and right into the explosive colors of fall.
+Despite the proximity to the thousands of guests of Smugglers Notch Resort the course never feels crowded and wildlife sightings are common.
+Surrounding area provides numerous secondary reasons to visit including; restaurants/bars, breweries, distillery, winery, outdoor recreation, stunning natural beauty of Smugglers Notch.
+Separate tees allow for players of different skill levels or ages to be competitive.
+While course is well established, subtle things change from year to year and even within the season creating new and fun challenges.
+Multiple basket locations also keep things fresh week to week.
+Well stocked and knowledgeably staffed Pro Shop ensure that you will always have the disc or snacks you need for your round.
+A diversity of holes and challenges keep a player on their toes.
+After 18 holes, the option of another 9 awaits across the road on Fox Run Meadows. Its open meadow shots provide a different experience and can be played a little later in the day as fading light makes the wooded Brewster Ridge to dark.
+Finally when it comes to events Brewster Ridge starts off the season with the Brewster Ridge Open in the spring, and sets the bar with the Green Mountain Championship in September. Not to be missed, either as a participant or spectator!
+Best $5 you can spend, a "Must Visit".
Cons: -In the early spring before the course opens mud can be an issue.
-On occasion I have had to either wait to get the maintenance crews attention while they had hearing protection on and were working on the course or had to skip a hole do to more serious course work.
Other Thoughts: Don't feel like I can deduct points for my Con's so 5.0 it is!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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