3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's hard to rate this nine hole course in Guelph, Ontario, because there are some unique positives and negatives about building a disc golf course in a university Arboretum (nature preserve). Over time (in this case, seven years since install), a typical disc golf course will open up its tight lines as some flora get trimmed to accommodate flight paths, and some trees are lost to storms and other tragedies. Here, the trees are the focus. So they've grown in to make the course slightly harder than initially intended. Though there is really good signage at the long (blue) tees, it's obvious from the worn turf areas that most folks play the shorter (red) tee positions here. Even from the 'short' tees, an Intermediate player will often find himself confronted with a cluster of trees near the basket, forcing a creative upshot and putt to save a three. But hitting a really sweet line off the tee makes a two a possibility. If you're an advanced player staying nearby, you might really get a kick out of the difficulty of the blue tees, which range from 287 to 439', rather than the reds (221-334').
This course is truly beautiful (I'll be adding some new fall pics soon), and lightly played, so if you can come out on a sunny day, it can be a really tranquil and relaxing round. With nice 18 chain, deep baskets, and using the course map here on DGCR, you will have an opportunity to throw a huge variety of shots in a short period of time. Holes 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 play some different lines depending on which tees you're using, while the others are mostly just a change in distance. There are benches around the arboretum if you need a rest, and a 'WC' near hole six if you need a rest(room). The maintenance out here is really nice for the most part, and they even mow the paths you'll need to follow from hole to hole.
Cons: Finding the course can be a trick, so do this: come out from town on College Avenue past Gordon street, and go slowly, looking for a small gravel road on your right. Then proceed south about 500 feet and you'll see a large course map on your right, and about a half-dozen grassy parking spots. You'll have to walk back up the drive to the first tee on your right, if you want to play the holes from 1-9.
Unfortunately, the tees are natural turf and are now mostly unmarked (they originally had blue and red 'peg' markers, but I only saw a few blue ones remaining). As stated before, the red tee areas are well-worn, so can be found, but could be slippery when wet. The course flow has a couple of spots where it's not obvious where to go. You walk through the woods a little from 1 to 2, cut through the treeline from 2 to 3, along the gravel path near the road between 4 and 5, then back out to the path, across the bridge, and just past the first solid set of trees (before the WC) from 5 to 6. To find the 7th red tee, and traverse the marshy area, you'll walk back from the 6th basket just a hair, and to the south, rather than forward (west) to the blue tee. 7 red is just between a nice maple and a bush. The rest of the flow makes good sense, and you'll finish fairly near where you parked.
There are some places where you could really lose a disc just off the fairway in the long grasses and marshy areas (it's a nature preserve, remember?), and you may wind up getting into a few of the trees, as well, so keep a keen eye on your disc until it comes to rest.
Other Thoughts: Don't be fooled by the shorter hole lengths from the red tees. They present plenty of challenge, due to the mid-fairway and greens approach trees, and are clearly difficult enough that the locals play them more regularly than the long tees!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Great track with good variety of shots
Pros: Well maintained, much improved in last 2 years
Good variety of distance, shape shots, and finesse
Usually not too busy and no public wandering around, just players
Easy to follow layout
Makes a solid 18 when played from blues and reds
Plays consistently tough and is a good challenge for seasoned players
Cons: Wish there were 18 holes, but 9 from each tee works well
Not a lot of elevation change, but makes for an easy walk
Other Thoughts: This is my home course, so perhaps I am partial, but having played courses all over north America and Europe, it's always nice to come home to this little gem. Always plays tough and requires a lot of accuracy with your distance. Play it, you will love it like all the locals do.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Open Course
Pros: This a very pretty and well maintained course due to its location in the University of Guelph arboretum. The course is fairly open, with large lines of trees shaping the fairways. The length of the short tees is friendly to beginners and the long tees add significant distance (5 holes 400'+, the rest 300'+).
Cons: -Watch out for groundhog holes on the fairways!
-The natural tee areas are starting to see significant erosion.
-For the most part (5 holes out of 9), the two sets of tees just vary the distance rather than the shape of the holes, so twice around doing one of each is not as interesting as it could be.
Other Thoughts: Way better than nearly all 9 hole courses I have played.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a beautiful arboretum with all kinds of trees and interesting plants. The grounds are beautifully kept, it's a very serene and tranquil setting for a round. There is a course map near the first tee and basic signage at the long tees. Blue blocks mark the long tees and red mark the shorts, the reds take off some distance and have easier lines on a couple of the more technical shots.
There is some distance variety here, especially with the two sets of tees. A few of the holes make you hit some different lines, you'll at least need to throw a couple interesting lines to score well here. It's an excellent course to have on a college campus, with limited punishment for errant shots but enough obstacles to make things interesting without being to difficult.
Cons: There are some navigation issues, make sure you check out the course map. A couple long walks between holes aren't at all obvious, and a couple spots have multiple baskets in an area making the layout a little unclear. The arboretum is a popular place to walk, on a nice day there could be some safety issues with non-players on the fairways. There isn't a whole lot of challenge here for better players, it's a little open and short to provide a real test. I only mention that because I rate all courses on the same scale of how they challenge and interest me personally.
Other Thoughts: I love to see courses in places like this where they can expose lots of new people to the sport. Not only a college campus, but a popular arboretum is the perfect place for a pretty and beginner friendly course like this. New players will enjoy the scattered obstacles and limited rough, and the short tees are reasonable lengths. More experienced players won't really be tested even by the long tees, but that's not who this course is aimed at.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
a nice college diversion
Pros: This course was very well maintained and it's hard to lose a disc there.
A large map by hole #1 gives you the course layout so you won't waste your time searching for tees or pins.
The shots are not too difficult but are fun and still challenging enough for repeated play.
There's a nice arboretum with walking paths nearby.
Cons: Only 9 holes which lowers my rating.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: well maintained
easy to find holes
clearly marked tees
challenging straight shots
interesting obstacle shots
low traffic area
beautiful scenec course
baskets are great
Cons: too short(9holes)
watch out for Ground Hog holes
Parking is challenging to find
Other Thoughts: You can find parking off of college street just enter where it says...do not enter and you will find parking not too far ahead on your right. If you choose not to park in this area then you can park by the entrance by the university athletic centre and walk the main path until you reach anothe main path on your left and follow it all the way down until you reach the main information board! ENJOY!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very well maintained, serene and scenic park with excellent tee signs.
Cons: The walk from #5 to #6 was long. If I hadn't run into a local it would have been very difficult to find.
Also, early on there are several holes in one area and it was tough figuring out which tee went with which basket without walking over to the tee and investigating. If this course ever gets crowded I could see this area becoming a problem since the fairways play very close to one another.
Other Thoughts: Finding this course was a true challenge. After managing to actually find the arboretum, I walked around for a while and came up empty so I got back in the car and left. At that point, I happened to notice a basket by the road and the hunt was once again on. I re-entered the arboretum and again, I was unable to find tee #1 anywhere near a parking lot. Back out to the main road and I parked off on the shoulder by the basket I saw and after a bit more hunting I found tee #1. There isn't a parking lot anywhere close to the first tee so I parked across the street by some maintenance building. I have since updated the directions and put in the first tee latitude/longitude. If you're coming here be sure to click "Map Location" and take note of where the first tee is.
So, now that the story of finding this course has been told, how about some more thoughts on the course itself? Other than the few navigation issues, this was a surprisingly good course. Maintenance on the course is second to none and it really is a beautiful park/arboretum. The course has just enough trees to present a decent challenge and for those not up to it, there are always the red tees. Elevation is one thing you won't find at Magnolia, it plays relatively flat for the most part but the holes are designed well enough that you won't miss the hills.
This is one of the few courses in the area but I doubt the place ever sees a large crowd as it is tough to find and then there's the question of where to park. It would be a LONG walk from one of the other arboretum parking lots. Then again, I went during the summer so maybe it's busier when the near by university is in session.
I really enjoyed my round here and I'd obviously recommend this course if you're in the this area or passing near by plus it's not like you're inundated with disc golf options out here. Would I recommend making a special trip just to play here? Probably not. It's a great 9 hole course, no question about it and if there were ever a 9 hole course worth traveling for this one would be on the list. But in the end, it's still only 9 holes. I guess you could play it twice but I have a hard time justifying long trips for courses with less than 18 holes.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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