Has anyone mentioned that this is a destination course yet?
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Sabattus Complex is fantastic. There are three courses on the property, and each have their niche. The property is a mature Maine woodland, which is every bit as lovely as it sounds. Everything is perfectly maintained, and the courses have every desired amenity. All in all, as others have mentioned, very professional.
The Eagle course is the most challenging of the three. Though the listed Par of 72 is, shall we say, pretty generous, the course is definitely not easy. The vast majority of the holes are wooded, narrow, relatively long, and usually with some degree of dogleg. Elevation often plays a factor, and there is shallow water on several holes. Put all of these factors together, and it is very, very tough to stay on the fairways.
The best compliment I can give the course is that there are no boring shots, and every hole is memorable. My personal favorites were probably 8 and 11.
Lots of par 4s and 5s, which I enjoyed.
Cons: The hole designs were somewhat atypical. The doglegs are so extreme that they take a lot of shots away (which is how a 350' foot hole becomes a par 4). A few holes bend so much that the fairways form a "U" shape. Some may like this; I did not. In some cases I was more rewarded for missing a fairway than for hitting one.
There were sooooooo many extreme left to right shots. 1, 6, 9, 13, 16, and 18 all fit this category. There are R->L shots too, but those tend to be more open, shorter, and with a greater margin for error.
Finally, I felt that the tee signs weren't very helpful. The lines they showed didn't match the lines on the course.
Other Thoughts: A full day of play for $10? Sign me up. The day I spent here was one of the most enjoyable days I've had with the sport.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Of all the disc golf complexes I've visited (Highbridge, Horning's Hideout), this is by far the best taken care of. Disc golf is the entire focus of the property, and the attention is evident. Everything is mowed. Woodchips cover every possible wet area. The pro shop is one of the largest I've seen.
Eagle is a terrific, multi-shot course. Hole 3 really set the tone. The drive is a full drive across a field. Your second shot needs to get you around a mando as you negotiate a gentle downhill at the same time as a 70-degree turn to the right with a stream guarding the left side, and then long, accurate approach to the basket. I'd love to play this hole until I can get a four on it.
Hole 8 is my favorite at the complex. Your drive is an uphill drive that needs to fade left down the fairway toward a pond. Your second shot needs to be a low shot across the pond to the basket on the other side. If you set yourself up nicely, it's a standard shot where you really just need to keep any thoughts of a worm burner out of your mind. If you put yourself behind a tree, you need to decide if you're going for an awkward shot across (this is the only water hazard on the course where you probably won't get your disc back). Oh, and you can avoid the pond altogether with an easy but boring 5 by going around. I haven't played another hole quite like this.
There are long bombers. Hole 14 is a 635-foot wide open hole that is a refreshing change and a fun chance to see if you can give yourself a look at 3. But there are several great short holes, too. Hole 4 is 254 feet downhill with the basket sitting at the edge of a slope with a thick part of the stream sitting behind.
The tees are concrete. The baskets are top-notch Mach X contraptions.
Cons: The tee signs (not the ones in the pictures). Not a fan. I only played to the wrong basket once (it was twice on Hawk). But the tee signs show the paths to the baskets for both Eagle and Falcon, which is an overlay to this course with separate baskets. The paths shown to the baskets take weird swooping paths that in no way represent the actual fairway. Please replace these. They don't fit with the superior standard that this complex has set for, frankly, everything else.
This isn't a true con for me, but just know that Eagle is not a true championship-level course. I imagine a real pro could shred the course. But whatever. There was no unnecessary beatdown here, just legitimate challenge combined with really fun design. We do play for fun, right?
Other Thoughts: Maple Hill is the best designed course in New England, but this is neck and neck with Smuggler's Notch for second. But why limit it to the Northeast? With the incredible condition of the course, the woodchips everywhere, and overall feel of the complex, this felt like a cross between Blue Ribbon Pines and Horning's Hideout Meadow Ridge.
I drove up from Boston on a hot summer day to get some cooler weather. I can't wait to get back.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: A variety of shots are needed.
It's a nice walk in the woods.
The pro shop is very nice and staff are knowledgeable.
Lots of shots next to a body of water.
The bottle bins and butt cans are at every hole.
Cons: There are a few water holes. They do give you ways to retrieve discs though.
It does share some tees with another course the falcon.
Other Thoughts: This is hands down my favorite course to play. It has both open and tight drives. This course is a must play for anyone in Maine.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Gorgeous property. Expertly laid out and immaculately maintained. Great use of terrain. Nice baskets, signage and pads. The three and a half courses offer something for every player level. Peter Ruby and his team have put their heart and soul into this property and it shows.
Cons: I haven't encountered a problem with traffic but one of the intermediate courses shares tee boxes (but separate fairways and baskets) of the champion course for first several holes. Par is "generous". Grooming is so nice that the rough isn't a death sentence.
Other Thoughts: I travel and play extensively, love Houck courses as noted by reposado in an earlier post and agree with his comment about pin placement, but would still rank Eagle at Sabattus as one of the all time fun rounds to play anywhere. Artful use of the gorgeous meadows and wooded terrain with open water and streams in play, (but not as ridiculous hazards). The fairways are immaculate and well laid out with excellent signage - the lanes will challenge (but not intimidate the best players) - and they are thankfully devoid of the huck and pray config typical of New England wooded courses. Only con for a pro course is that a few holes are generously parred - good for the ego but easily overcome by a bit of score adjustment. Besides the pro-oriented Eagle, Sabattus offers two other very playable 18 hole intermediate runs, another 9 hole beginner course and a nicely stocked pro shop. This is a destination course for all levels. If there was a brewpub onsite I'd move next door.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
the course of the future, today
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: People often talk about the future of pay-to-play courses. Well in Sabattus, Maine, the future has arrived. There will always be a place for a true private course, a labor of love tucked far off the beaten path. But I think the growth will come from private, for-profit courses like this one.
People often talk about a course being manicured. Typically a course that is considered manicured means that apes a traditional golf course. Often, such courses are former courses. That's not how I would describe Sabattus. The courses here are manicured but with an original aesthetic that is specifically designed for disc golf. The gravel paths are striking. They look both professional and unique. There is grass too but often covers a glen, or a hillside and not a fairway. The entire operation just screams, "Professional."
From the first tee, a gravel path stretches ahead of you across the remainder of the open space and into the woods. The line isn't too demanding but it is long. You want to throw a straight shot down that gravel path. If you miss, you'll hit a tree, ruining a chance for birdie but there is very little underbrush, even off the fairway.
The second tee is the one that started me thinking that I was on a potential five. There is a creek just after the tee after which the fairway goes up and to the left. The bridge that crosses that creek will make every other course's bridges look amateur. Three is another killer hole. Over an open field on Eagle's high point. Past the standing stones, the first drive wants to cut left into an opening in the woods. From there, it's a narrow path to the basket.
Four, (and this is the last hole I'll describe in such detail) throws down along the path and into a glen that feels like discing in Hyrule. The basket is on the opposite hillside. The rest of the holes...man, they're all unique. The course really takes advantage of all the different slopes and shapes available on the property. There is quite a bit of water. Some of is merely aesthetic, but often the creek that runs along the course will come into play. It may lurk just behind the basket, making a run risky or it may require a crossing, but in every case it adds astounding beauty to the layout.
There are a lot of different shots here. There's a nice carry on twelve. There's an open pit which isn't a true carry but it is fun to attempt one there. There are even a few open holes where the big dogs will get a chance to eat, even for the big arms. There isn't any big elevation but there are a ton of bumps and ridges that will force players to reconsider flight paths.
The layout is fantastic. I think I've made that clear. But it's the professionalism that really stands out here. The grooming. The signage. Just the aesthetics. It's the course of the future, but you can play it today.
Cons: If you are looking for a Houck-style course with specific landing areas, where holes are designed with par in mind, this isn't it. In my opinion, if you take a course like that and combine with the presentation of Eagle, you have a five. For the first third of the course, I was wondering if Eagle would warrant my first five. It didn't quite get there and mostly because of this lack. (And also, a few holes toward the end aren't as interesting as those first few.
If you are looking for a course that will challenge top pros, this isn't it. For all of its good qualities, Eagle doesn't scare you. You might walk up to a tee and be blown away, you might eagerly anticipate the throw, but a blue-level player isn't going to walk up to tee and think, "I don't know if I can throw that." I don't think it was actually designed for an ability level but more to take full-advantage of the terrain. Which isn't always a bad thing.
In the end, Eagle is a very good example of a 4.5. It is fully deserving of a spot in the top 100 and likely should be among the top 50. I find it incredible that it has existed for this long without picking up more than ten reviews. Locals, travelers, anyone: get on your keyboard and write.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is a tough wooded challenge with a couple open bombs mixed in. The open field shots break up the wooded holes and keep the course from feeling repetitive, and some offer pins tucked into the woods to add some challenge to the approach. The wooded holes offer tight but fair lines with thick rough waiting to punish an errant shot. A couple very unique features are in play here, including a gravel pit where the tee shot has to hit a tight gap then cross a large open pit. The pin is placed on top of a 15' cliff with rollaway potential even if you do make it up on top with your approach.
There is a unique water hole as well here, with a long U shaped fairway around a pond that offers a local route across the water if you place your tee shot and have the guts to go for the glory on your approach. There is a great mix of hole shapes and lengths here, many of the holes are longer but there are definitely some ace/deuce chances mixed in throughout. You'll need a variety of different shots to score well here, with a balance of left and right turning fairways and a couple nice multi shot holes where placement is key to set up your next shot.
The concrete tees are all in nice shape, and the baskets don't show much wear at all. The signs are very visible, and have distance and hole layout clearly marked. There is a well stocked pro shop with equipment and snacks, and a great warmup area with practice baskets and a driving net.
Cons: The signs show two pin placements for most holes, but locals told me the pins hadn't moved in years and the current placement isn't noted on the signs making some of the longer blind shots a little frustrating to scout ahead on. There are a few spots that don't feel quite as polished as the rest of the complex, with sticks and brush on the fairways.
Other Thoughts: This was the least crowded of the courses here, the recreational players seem to stick to the Owl and Hawk courses. Beginners will not have as much fun here as on the other two, with long technical shots and punishing rough. More experienced players will find the most challenge here, and the best variety of shot shapes to test their full skill set. Combined with the other courses on site, this is a destination for sure and a great model of how to build a successful pay to play facility.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Epic level Disc Golf
Pros: - You will have to use every shot you know, and some you've only heard of.
- Manicured, perfectly designed fairways
- Carefully thought out greens
- The pro shop and snack stop
Cons: - The tee signs can be misleading and a little vague if you don't have perfect spacial awareness and the ability to figure out footage by eye.
- The addition of the falcon redesigned some of the better holes.
Other Thoughts: Simply epic. Every hole is a completely new experience and usually very different from the hole before it. Never did the course seem repetitive. The longer holes were truly herculean experiences, forcing you to shoot for distance while keeping the next shot at the forefront of your mind. The winding river/stream that meanders through the course comes into play over and over again when you least expect it and adds an element of difficulty that marks this as a true professional course. The course par is actually quite generous when it comes down to it, so newer players can still have a fun time and feel good about a decent round on the pro course. Of course, a pro could probably play the course as all par 3s in which case the course would provide a mighty challenge. While the tee signs were a little vague for me, I had previously rated this a 5, but the falcon redesign edged it down a bit, as did playing Maple Hill. Still, the complex as a whole has a fantastic atmosphere that keeps it in my top 3 courses. The second you arrive and see the large basket fountain, you know that this is a haven devoted to the sport. Once inside, the girl at the counter gave us a breakdown of the courses and handed us scorecards. She also pointed out the massive pro shop and snacks that are available. You're surrounded with disc golfers of all levels and nobody looks at you odd if you mention "hyzering a flick" or "bombing a katana". Playing a park course and getting weird looks from joggers and elderly women walking poodles just doesn't feel the same.
Overall, a beautiful course and disc golf compound that really showcases everything that's right with Disc Golf in New England.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Most Professional Course I've Played
Pros: The Eagle at Sabattus Disc Golf is one of the most professionally designed, built, and maintained courses that I've ever played. From start to finish, everything is top notch. The course has a great layout that will require every throw you have on a mix of L, R (both subtle and extreme), and straight fairways. There is exceptional use of trees, obstacles, elevation, and water. There are numerous densely-wooded, challenging fairways including a few ace runs and a few grip n' rip fairways. Exceptional holes include:
Hole 8 - Amazing horseshoe-shaped fairway that wraps around a pond with two possible routes. The obvious route around the pond (on the fairway) requires accuracy to minimize throws and keep an errant throw from dropping into the pond. The "shortcut" indicated on the tee sign is just as precarious as a carefully-placed drive is needed to get into a position to cross the safely pond. Classic risk vs. reward.
Hole 10 - A very tricky zig-zag fairway that is both tight and long as it stretches between 587-641', depending on the basket. While not excessively punishing, any drive that is off the mark will require at least an extra throw just to get back on track and could quickly lead to many throws over par.
Hole 11 - Straight-forward wooded tee-off that approaches into an empty gravel pit. The basket sits atop a steep embankment, requiring a spot-on upshot. Any overthrown putts made from the top of the hill risk a demoralizing roll back into the gravel pit. From start to finish, this hole keeps you on your toes.
Hole 14 - A fairly standard wide-open field with an unguarded basket at the end. What makes this hole noteworthy are the monolithic stones that dot the fairway and the old farm equipment that is carefully placed on the periphery. The hole isn't so much challenging as it is pleasing to the eye (which is probably why it's the first hole you see as you drive into the course)
Several of the holes featured multiple baskets.
The tee signs at the Eagle were exceptionally detailed and displayed fairways, major obstacles, distance, par, and basket location(s). In addition to tee signs, the course had plenty of signage directing players to the baskets and toward the next tees.
The course itself was meticulously maintained. The concrete tees and bridges were in fantastic shape, as were the baskets. Garbage cans, picnic tables, and butt buckets available on nearly all the tees. The fairways and paths were all clear and wooded lanes consisted of gravel, mulch, or wood chips. Surrounding many of the baskets were wood chip greens. There was very little underbrush and shule, reducing the possibility of a lost disc and making the course more aesthetically pleasing. All things considered, this is some of the finest wooded disc golf available.
Cons: There are very few cons to the Eagle. The main issues were related to layout and fairway navigation. There was a confusing layout on a few holes. Hole 3 was an example where the fairway wasn't very obvious and the signage (while still exceptional) didn't do the best job of guiding players down the embankment at the left edge of the field. Additionally, there were multiple baskets shown on many tee signs, but only a few holes actually had multiple baskets installed which caused some confusion when teeing off or approaching and the pin wasn't where it was expected to be.
While minor, the red baskets blended into the wooded background and made identifying the target difficult.
Other Thoughts: The Eagle is very challenging but fair. The course is designed for accurate throws but isn't overly punishing when discs go astray.
When comparing the Eagle to the other courses at Sabattus Disc Golf (although this had no impact on my rating), this course had tighter and more unique fairways and throwing lines than the Hawk. The Eagle was also much longer and geared much more toward professionals and had a lot more variety than the Owl.
Sabattus, ME isn't exactly in the thick of things, but Sabattus Disc Golf is well worth the trip and I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone that is considering a disc golf trip to Maine. I wish more courses were modeled after the disc golf complex at Sabattus.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: most challenging, well maintained great design
Cons: worst rec players in state, club house will send out groups of 8 or 9 out on pro coarse, have thrown down on disc thieves here, there are 4 layouts for this coarse, been in all long for 2 years
Other Thoughts: lived in sabattus when this was made, loved it! lack of golf eddict and general attitude of the staff is that of a movie theather or other general entertainment sevice. Had pros, players coarses, what happened
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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