"Very Good" Disc Golf
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -My buddy and I pulled up and were warmly greeted by Helen, who showed us around and helped us get oriented. We also got to hang out with Sean, who made us feel at home on his property. Fabulous course owners!!
-Easy to find the course and a cute sign with a mini basket on it to let you know you've arrived.
-Course is easy to navigate. Use the map on the score card.
-Every hole has a well-defined fairway
-Great mix of open and wooded holes
-Great mix of holes that favor different throws (RHBH, LHBH, etc.)
-Composting toilet out front.
-Beautiful property with gardens, berry bushes, and a nice pond that comes into play on the last two holes.
-Benches and seating all around the course. We had lunch with the owner at a picnic table outside the barn.
-The golf is rather challenging, but nothing to frustrate you. The water is easy to clear and there's a rec tee if you're nervous about getting over it. This is a great course for beginners and advanced players alike, despite only having one set of tees and pins.
-Easy to find your disc.
-No poison ivy or thorns.
-Three hanging baskets add character to the course.
-Lots of maintenance done regularly to keep fairways clear
Cons: -Somewhat buggy.
-The "maps" on some tees (hole 2 especially) were not very accurate. I drove to a blind pin, thinking I knew where it was and I was very wrong.
-Course lacks signature holes and wow factor.
-Not much going on topographically.
Other Thoughts: As I wrapped up my round, I started thinking of how I would rate the course. Very often, I find myself wavering between two ratings, asking myself, should I give this course a "good" or a "very good?" Flat Rock is a clear cut VERY GOOD course in my eyes. It's a wonderful round on a wonderful course in a wonderful place with wonderful people. But it's clearly not "excellent" because of a lack of stunning scenery, cutting edge design, a lack of topography, etc. There are a few places on the course that are aesthetically impressive, but not many. This course was totally worth the $5 and the 45 minute drive. To me, it's a perfect fit for the "very good" description.
A final note: I think Helen told us it's $5/round or $8/day, but the info on this site says $5/day.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's a private course, so right away I'm interested. When I approached the shed near the parking lot, I heard music playing within. There were disc golf pictures, league scorecards, signs about soda you could buy, but none one in sight. It felt a little creepy, like a Stephen King novel.
The course is primarily wooded, but there is great variation in distances. A few are tempting ace runs in the 250-foot range, and a few are great multi-shot holes. Hole 7 is my favorite, starting with an uphill drive where you need good placement for your approach. The fairway from there is my favorite kind: wide and lightly wooded with numerous lines to the basket. Hole 15 is another good one, starting with a big drive across one of the few open parts of the property, before narrowing to a tough downhill tunnel shot.
There are two water shots. Hole 17 is a pretty easy shot across. Hole 18 is a full throw and not an easy one.
There is a lot of character here that I love to see on a private course. Hole 13 brings it all together. There is a crazy stick figure guy with discs for hands that stands sentinel on the right side of the fairway. If you're not careful, his hands will give you the Dikembe treatment. A net off to the left keeps another tee pad safe and features some glow sticks and a huge (fake) spider. And behind the basket rests some hanging planks, spaced evenly to keep discs from getting through (also to protect another fairway). I like it.
Elevation is present on most holes.
Contrary to the pictures, none of the baskets are the homemade monstrosities shown. They're all normal baskets. About half of the tee pads are concrete, which I'm told are recent.
I never looked at a map. The only tough navigation point was after hole 7, where you had to walk down the road to get to 8.
Cons: I am a dog owner and not generally afraid of dogs. But I didn't care for the neighbor's German Shepherd that barked menacingly and came out into the street (I yelled at it, and it retreated eventually). It doesn't look like bringing your own dog is forbidden, but it won't be relaxing for you if you do.
The tee signs tell the distance but are otherwise not that useful.
The only hole I didn't care for was hole 2. It's a left to right drive with an uphill approach from there. The approach didn't look realistic, and I was annoyed that the tee sign didn't show the true shape of the fairway.
Other Thoughts: It wasn't busy when I arrived but had a full parking lot when I left (10 cars or so). It's a cool course and well worth the $5. Based on the notes at the tee sign, it sounds like there was a battle with the zoning board (and probably neighbors) to get this fully approved. This is a victory that deserves to be supported.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Course with Character
Pros: I am pretty new to the sport and this is the 5th course I have played and probably one of my favorites so far. The course has a "groovy" feel with random sculptures. homemade signs and other things that let you know the folks that play here have a good time. Layout was slightly confusing first time through, but what course isn't? I thought it was a cool mix of field shots and wooded alleys. Many holes have obvious multiple approaches which should make fore handers and lefties happy. We had a blast and more than happy to pay the 5 bucks.
Cons: Layout a little confusing the first time. Im guessing it could be pretty mucky in spring or after heavy rain. Also guessing bugs could be pretty bad at times. But again, what wooded course does not. We are only people playing, but could see what some of the other reviewers said about crossing some of the fairways and some pins very close to to tees. The pro's far out weigh the cons!!!
Other Thoughts: Other nice courses fairly close (Tully Lake) and makes an excellent 2 course 36 hole day trip.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Flat Rock Review
Pros: Played this course today for the first time with my wife. Met the owners of the course Sean & Helen (both awesome people). Had an amazing time on a really fun course!
Cons: Some Cris-crossing of holes which didnt seem to be to big of a problem, made great use of the land that was available.
Other Thoughts: Hope to play here again soon. A great course and definitely recommended for those who haven't got to play here yet.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Woody but goody
Pros: Great mix of beautiful woods and cleared drives The old homemade baskets have been replaced with some really great baskets. The owner is a really nice guy who gave my Dad a beer and then didn't kick me off the course when I hit him in the hand with one of my drives.
Cons: Some of the tee boxes are way too close to the previous baskets making for a dangerous drive. Also some of the holes require you to walk/play through or very close to the previous hole which will also put you in the way of drives.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Really Fun, Creative Course
Pros: * Awesome course in a beautiful part of MA. It was just a really fun, enjoyable place to play.
* Mostly wooded, but cleared enough to as to not get beginners frustrated, but complex enough to challenge the best of players. There were a few holes cutting across a field.
* The signage for all holes is very creative and interesting to look at. They are homemade signs showing the tee, basket location and using small branches of various local trees to show where trees are a major obstacles.
* There were 3 baskets that were not moored to the ground, rather they were hanging from trees. I'd never seen this, but it was pretty cool.
* Holes 17 and 18 go over a small pond. The owner has some floater discs that are available to use on this hole if you don't want to risk putting your disc in the water. There are also a couple of disc retrievers that come in handy if your disc is close enough to the edge.
* There were a few loaner discs at the registration booth if you are just in the neighborhood and didn't bring your disc.
* The course is very well maintained and its tough to lose discs venturing off the fairway. Since it is so well maintained it is well worth the $5 per play.
* I believer I saw some free scorecards for the taking at the registration booth.
* The owner of the property is very nice. He came out and greeted my father and I when we were playing. We had a great chat with him.
Cons: * The sign on the first hole was a little odd saying how if you throw your disc into an adjacent property, do not retrieve it. I did a terrible job on that hole as I really didn't want to lose my disc.
* The signage getting from hole 7 to 8 is pretty bad. It took us a few minutes of browsing on this site for a map to see that we needed to go back to the area we started at.
Other Thoughts: This mostly wooded course is set on someone's private property. You park in a lot across from the owners house, go on the other side of the barn and you will find the registration station and pay box. My father and I stumbled on this course by accident, but we both walked away thinking we found a hidden gem. We both loved the creativity and challenge here. I can't wait to play again.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is primarily comprised of tight, alley-style 200-270 ft holes. Lots of character and personality on this course - at the end of one basket there is a large gong and mallet, simply something one doesn't come across at most locations. For those of you familiar with New England courses, borrows elements from Wilbraham course as well as Conway course. Lots of folksy art throughout. Homemade baskets, which may detract from overall experience, but can also add to quirky charm. Combination at very end from 17 to 18 involves some challenging water hazards. All but a select few of the pins are visible from the tee, which can be helpful. 6, with some practice, could be anyone's first ever ace (was nearly mine). Nice range of elevation changes, and if played with discipline, not many trees blocking the fairway. Unselfish use of residential space as part of course, water station a hospitable touch.
Cons: This course is very difficult to locate via GPS; It's better to take Rt. 32 south and then hook a right at the CVS, rather than taking Flat Rock Road. The home-made baskets, while kitschy, may leave pros unimpressed. 15 and 16 are the only baskets that really reward long bombs, the rest of the course favors short, albeit narrow and disciplined drives, which could be perceived as a lack of variety by some. The flow from basket to basket could be better - one has to traverse the length of the course to get from basket 7 to 8 (spoke with the designer and he indicated this would soon be changing, although it does break up the flow under the current configuration). Course can be less forgiving than others for a player not adept at keeping the disc centered.
Other Thoughts: This course makes for a nice compliment to a round up the road at Tully Lake. This is also pretty much on the opposite end of the spectrum; Tully Lake is generally pretty wide open, wide bending fairways, whereas Flat Rock is a much tighter, more technical course. Certainly not short on character, the art is a welcome touch of bohemian kitsch to what may be perceived by many as a technical, unforgiving course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice little gem
Pros: Flat Rock in Athol, MA is a nice little hidden gem. Most of the holes have homemade baskets, but I found that they caught just fine. Course is pretty techincal, requiring plenty of flicks, tomahawks, and rollers. Loaner discs are available at hole 1, and floater discs are available for holes 17 and 18, which play over a pond. There are also nets and 2 paddle boats if you do lose your disc in the pond. The owners have done a stunningly nice job using the land to its full potential. All of the baskets have glow sticks, as night disc golf is popular at this course. Course appears free of poison ivy, and all the fairways are well defined. The tee signs were probably the neatest I've ever seen, with a 3D replica of each hole. Plenty of OB at this course, which adds a fun challenge. Benches at many holes, and several trash cans as well. There is also a U-Pick blueberry patch at the course for those who are interested.
Cons: Arguably the biggest con at Flat Rock is navigation. If you don't notice hole 8 as you're walking to hole 2, it could take about 30 mins to find. There is said to be a "mean" dog between holes 1 and 2, though I did not encounter him. I was advised that a stern "GO HOME" will work, so I would not let this stop you from playing this course. Teepads are all natural. Many of the fairways intersect, which could be an issue if the course is busy. Course is a tad hard to find, buried on a side road in Athol.
Other Thoughts: I would have probably given this course a 4 disc review if not for the navigation issues. To me, the $5 price tag is no issue at all, and I didn't mind the homemade baskets one bit. Hole 18 is really a stunning hole if you have the arm to clear the pond. I had a great time at Flat Rock and hope to return soon. I would recommend giving this one a chance. You might even plan a day of disc golf with Flat Rock and nearby Tully (8 mins away?) in Royalston.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: nice owners,disc will mostlikely be returned if lost look for in lost and found
Cons: dogs on hole 2 and 15 grass on hole 15 and 16 , swampy pond
Other Thoughts: how is 5 dollars expensive ????????????????????????????????????????????
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: The course is very unique. It can be very challenging for the seasoned golfer, but it can also be very user friendly for the newer players. I loved that I had to draw on all my skills to make a run for the pin.
The owner and his family, and the local members have done a fantastic job making this course a wonderful experience for all skill levels.
Cons: The deer fly's are super aggressive when they are out. Bring some bug spray and maybe one of those battery operated bug killing rackets. :)
Other Thoughts: I played this course one time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I played a really terrible game as I am still new to sport, but after playing with the owner and some members of the course, I joined for the full year membership. NEFA members get a membership for 25$ which will easily pay for itself as I intend to play there many more times.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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