5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pristine, natural course
FOR COURSE MAP AND SCORECARD:
I have played 8 different courses, in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas, and Florida (including Cliff Stephens, home of Ken Climo), yet Crane Hill is the most beautiful course I have ever played. The designers have done a fantastic job preserving dramatic natural elements of the property and incorporating them into the course. A few examples come to mind: The old-growth oak on 8 has a huge branch that hangs low over the fairway, forcing a low flick or turnover drive from us RHBH throwers. Another, even bigger oak shades the 9th tee, which has a ring of benches around it. A stream gurgles its way down the hill next to the tee (it's a downhill drive), following the fairway its entire length, making for a beautiful spot to take a break. Here the RHBH-friendly fairway follows an old footpath, and at 350+ feet in the middle of the woods, this hole requires both power and precision. The new hole 14 (aka "The Ravine Hole") is my favorite on the course; the ravine itself leads down to Twelve Mile Brook, which forms the northern border of the course. At the 14th tee, the ravine is less than 200 feet wide; it's short but kept interesting by a narrow driving window framed by 2 tree trunks. The basket is perched just on the far edge of the ravine, so an unlucky landing may well roll to the bottom, 30 feet below the rim (oh yeah - don't fall off the tee!). Watching people drive from the bottom of the ravine reveals the genius of this hole - while the net elevation change is ~0, the fairway is 30 feet up in the trees! Finally, your round will end with a wide-open, slightly downhill 380' drive across the field to the pin, which is nestled in a stand of low (apple?) trees. It's a lot of fun to really let loose with a driver on this easy hole, especially after taking some bogies on 15 and 16 (which will probably happen as often as not).
Cons: Crane Hill is a tough course! Forget about driving the pin on most holes; shooting even par requires a proficient shot every time, and in the woods, you'd better be darn near perfect - or better yet, lucky. Some holes like 6 and 11 have no clear route to the basket, so luck will often decide between birdie, par or much worse. Other holes have only one realistic route to the basket, so it's hard to get creative, especially after an errant drive.
Many people have complained about navigation on the course. There used to be nice plywood signs, but they didn't last more than a year or two. At the beginning of my review I posted a link to the original course map, but 13 and 14 are slightly different after some recent changes.
People have also complained about the natural tee pads, but I have been told by the course designer that cement pads are in the works.
Other Thoughts: For more info about course changes and EVENTS (i.e. doubles league, monthly tourneys), check out New England Flying Disc Association: nefa.com
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: DEFINETELY WELL PLANNED OUT. THE CHANGE IN ELEVATION AND THE CHANGE FROM OPEN FAIRWAYS TO WOODED FAIRWAYS IS INTERESTING. THE AREA IN WHICH THE COURSE IS SITUATED IN WILBRAHAM IS VERY NICE. ALL IN ALL A VERY PLAYABLE COURSE. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING THIS WEEKEND.
Cons: YUP NAVIGATION IS DIFFICULT AT TIMES. BUT ONCE YOU KNOW THE COURSE IT IS MORE ENJOYABLE.
Other Thoughts: I EMAILED THE PERSON THAT DESIGNED THE COURSE. HE DID EXPLAIN THAT HOLE 13 AND 14 ARE NOW COMBINED TO MAKE ONE HOLE, SO AVOID TEEING OFF ON THE 14TH TEE BOX WHICH IS STILL THERE. HOLE 14 IS NOW OVER A HUGH DITCH AND IS UNIQUE. GO AND CHECK THIS COURSE OUT, IT REALLY IS A NICE COURSE AND NICE AREA.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There was a very good variety of holes here. The course was thoughtfully layed out for the land. There were a few holes that were what I would consider memorable. There was good elevation changes, and the fairways were clear enough to experience good flight. The baskets were of good quality with the exception of 13 which had no basket. Just the base and a stick sticking out of it. 15 was a super cool hole that shot over a deep gully. The course was something that would be worth the trip to anyone in the general area. I really enjoyed my playing part of the course. Notice I said "playing". I would go here again if in the area.
Cons: Since I Noted "playing" let me explain. As you have or will read in other reviews about this course, the navigation info at the course here is among the worst I have ever come across. Only one other course I have played in Oklahoma was worse. I would venture to say without a doubt I spent as much time trying to find the next hole as I did playing. It really sucks to be on a high from just sinking a birdie to really blowing your next drive because your frustrated from spending 10 minutes trying to find the next tee. After walking up and down trail after trail and not even being sure that where you are throwing from where you are supposed to be. I had even read the reviews the night before about "piss poor" navigation as one reviewer put it. So I went to the town web site and printed a map of the course. The map did help some. Don't get me wrong. It was just a very bad experience as far as navigation was concerned.
Other Thoughts: To those of you who play this course regularly, please think of us out of towners who are visiting your wonderful course, and put up some signs, flags pavers or something to aid us in experiencing what there is to offer here. Even taking a sharpie and writing on the tee signs that are old and unreadable. Playing here has made me want to rethink the navigation on my home course to see if there are any areas that need better signage.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
MISSING BASKET! Course needs signs, but its fun!
Pros: -Nice people
-Lost of different types of holes
Cons: -extremely poor navigation
-hard to figure out where you are going
**Hole 13 is missing the basket as of Aug 21. This is one of the reasons its so hard to find your way around! If anyone wants to pitch in to get a new basket or make one, get ahold of me. I may print out and laminate some sings for navigation when I have some time.
Other Thoughts: My wife and I, JUST started playing disc golf. This is one of the first courses we have had the pleasure of playing horribly at, due to our skills not the course in question. :) This place needs more signs. Its really hard to figure out where the next hole is, we actually missed about 4 holes and were thoroughly confused about the placement.
BUT I did just find the website and added it to the links section. It contains a course map. I might make several copys and laminate them and affix them to each tee area.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great for All Skill Levels
Pros: -This course is located in a town owned "park", but more accurately is unused land converted to a disc golf course
-Course is secluded, so you don't have to worry about throwing over roads or near pedestrians
-Fair in its layout (good shots are rewarded, beginners have a chance, and advanced still find it challenging)
-Good mix of hole types forces lots of different shots (some low ceilings, wooded, open, narrow gaps) and this variety adds to a fun round
-New course so baskets are in excellent condition
-Practice basket is convenient right at the parking lot
Cons: -Natural tee boxes are very difficult to throw on in wet conditions (roots, rocks and dirt get really slippery)
-Tee Signs have not been well maintained (some are missing, some damaged)
-Baskets can be hard to see from a distance as there are no color markers
-I was lucky enough to play my first time with someone who knows the course well, but I could see the biggest con for a first timer to Crane Hill being the navigation. It can get confusing (3 to 4, 11 to 12, and 15 to 16 especially), so you may consider trying to meet up with locals or tagging along with someone there for your first time around.
-Hole 1 and 18 were really overgrown in June, but the course has been mowed since then
Other Thoughts: The course is still going through changes (the 13th hole is transitioning to a par 4 using the current 14th basket, and the 13th basket is being repositioned for a new 14th hole) and there is talk of putting in concrete tee pads. There is enough land here for another 18 in the future. I live only about a mile away, so I like the convenience, but I would drive farther to play this course in its current condition.
Added: Message me directly if you want any navigation details. I'd be more than happy to help anyone with course navigation if you plan on playing this course for the first time.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Needs a Little Work
Pros: Not a bad course in an area midway between Worcester and Springfield. Baskets are in nice shape. Some nice wide-open holes.
Cons: Hasn't been tended to. Lots of overgrown areas. The creative signage was not preserved and has fallen apart. No course map. No way to tell where the next hole is. WAY too easy to get lost. Lots of mosquitoes and ticks.
Other Thoughts: Two or three days of work by the town of Wilbraham and this course would be right back in playable shape.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The tee signs that are hung up are very informative and helpful finding the baskets in the woods. Underneath most of the baskets is a painted paver pointing the way to the next tee. The natural teepads are fairly level and have very little debris on them. The flow is ok but the course makes almost a figure eight on itself. The elevation and terrain changes are awesome. There is some wide open flat field shots and then you have very hilly, rocky, wooded shots. Large variety of shots offered on all the holes. A fun course if you dont mind hunting for holes.
Cons: First and foremost the navigation is piss poor. If not for some locals I would only have played eleven holes. The field holes have not been mowed recently. Some of the holes turn around on themselves making navigation that much more tricky. The baskets in the woods are hard to see. This might be due to the fact that there is no orange sleeve in the middle of the chains. An orange construction cone on top would be very beneficial. There are missing and/or destroyed tee signs on several holes.
Other Thoughts: The tee for twleve is right next to three's basket. Sixteen's tee pad is across the field of thirteen's fairway. You should see small red flags when looking from fifteen's basket.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Exciting Course, nice use of natural terrain.
Pros: Decent signage, fun use of terrain. Baskets are in very good shape. Pretty easy to find out where to go. Nice diversity with some longer open holes, holes with elevation change, tight short holes, and holes friendly to righties and lefties.
Cons: Tee boxes and signage need updating. Was a bit overgrown when I played it. Mowing/trimming needs to be done to show more distinct fairways.
Other Thoughts: Very fun course and I want to return to play there again. Bring bug spray in the summer and bring water when its hot since you will get baked on some holes.
More to Come
Pros: This relatively new course is great and has lots of potential. Practice basket is a plus. There is a field big enough to warm up the longest drives I have.
Cons: I could not find any website or person with more information about this course. I had a hard time finding #2 from #1 and played 1, 18, 17, 2-16, which worked but meant I played the longest and maybe hardest hole last then had a long walk to my car. A course map would help. Too bad some of the hole signs have been vandalized.
Other Thoughts: Where are the folks that made this course? What happened that they have not put much information here?
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Beautiful Scenery!
-Great condition Chainstar baskets
-Well designed, diverse course, course leans towards technical tight shots more than distance
-Good use of existing trails
-Creek nicely used as out of bounds on a few holes
-Course loops back to parking area
-Well mowed on areas that need it (grass isn't that thick anyways)
-Tee Signs are "cute"
-Natural seats and benches on hole 9
-Was not crowded when I went (Sat Afternoon during summer)
-Hills will offer a slight workout
Cons: -Natural tees are DANGEROUS/Distracting. Exposed roots and rocks are easy to trip on and avoiding them may mess up your drive. I couldn't see playing when it's wet or during winter.
-Navigation is a bit of a pain. There are vauge arrows at each basket to lead you to the next tee. It is easy to follow the wrong trail. I HIGHLY suggest trying to tag along with a local.
-"cute" signs (they have animal carvings on them) give you an idea of what the hole will be like, but I often had to scout to see where the basket really was.
-no waste baskets (there was slight litter)
-no Entrance sign to course (had to look for baskets from road while driving)
-tee sign for #4 missing
Other Thoughts: This course has amazing potential. I would have easily given it a higher scoreif it wasn't for some flaws. I was only playing this course as part of my visit to Massachusetts, so I don't know what plans are in place for this course, they may be improving it. The lack of cement tees is the biggest short coming for me. These tees really are dangerous and distracting. I found myself driving a lot shorter than I would normally just because I had to carefully approach the end of the tee area. I feel that if there were cement tees that this could quickly become a top level course. Detailed maps and more detailed signage would be great, too.
Please don't let these cons scare you away from this course! If you are careful on the tees and have sense of humor about getting lost (or can find a local to guide you,) you are going to have quite the amazing course to play. It's really beautiful and quite challenging.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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