1 Helpful / 7 Not
behind the high school
Pros: great course, very challenging.
Cons: very hilly.
Hole #3 is confusing to find..it's to the right after disc catcher under oak trees that form like a bridge..walk through it and your all set the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: 10 minutes from maple hill and pyramids
20-25 minutes from buffeman lake
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wide fairways for a wooded course. Challenging to all levels of play.
Cons: No amenities at all for being part of a public park.
Other Thoughts: For rating a course I base my ratings on 50% design, 20% course upkeep, 10% basket, tee, tee sign, and signage, 10% amenities, and 10% that special something that defines a course.
Newton Hill is a course developed by Jason Southwick (Marshall St. Disc Golf, Pyramids) in conjunction with the community group Friends of Newton Hill. Normal entrance is via the upper parking lot of Doherty Memorial High School. Note that during school hours players have been told that they are unable to use this parking lot. Secondary access is by continuing past the high school to Pleasant St., turn left and park along the road. Hole 7 tee is at the edge of the woods between the tennis courts. This hill is lined with walking trails and it is not uncommon to see people jogging or walking their dogs, although these people do not have an effect on any fairways.
The course is a wooded course. Most of the holes are straight and more often than not the basket is within site of the tee pad. Some holes feature minor elevation drops with a few offering significant elevation change. There are very few (one or two) blind shots and even then the disc is in sight for most of its flight. Fairways are wide and well defined with multiple routes available. Even though the fairways are designed mostly straight, trees are well positioned to make a straight shot not possible or challenging at best. Undergrowth along fairways is generally light enough that there is little fear of losing a disc due to an errant throw. There are no shots where water comes into play. Target areas are mostly clear and level with only an occasional chance of a missed put rolling away down a hill. The course feels well designed and thought out.
The course appeared to be kept up fairly well. Cut logs and trimmed brush piles was observed, placed mostly out of the way of the main fairways. Course was mostly clean with just a small amount of trash observed. There were trash barrels located next to the tees on two or three holes.
Basket, tee, tee sign, and signage:
Baskets are in good condition with only one or two showing minor bending of metal. Tees are rubber mats. Tee signs are present at all tees showing direct of fairway, distance, and par. Interestingly, fairways that are slightly angled are shown as straight and those dead straight are shown slightly angled. No impact on play though. Signs are basic in design and lack any graphics of trees/rocks. Next tee arrows are painted on bricks at the base of most baskets although most of the next tees are within sight of the previous basket.
While technically part of Elm Park (located across the street) there are no facilities located at the disc golf course itself. There are no picnic tables. There are no grills. There are no practice targets (unless you count the basket for Hole 18 right by the parking lot). There is no billboard. There are no bathrooms. There is no source of water. The high school football field is located next to the parking lot and warm up drives can be taken there.
That "special something":
Finding a wooded hill perfect for disc golf in the middle of a large city such as Worcester is truly a gem. The course just being where it is gives you the impression that you have found a hidden sanctuary. This is highlighted by a few holes who's tee pad is right on the edge of the woods offering you views of urban life before driving your tee shot back into the forest. This course offers some holes that aesthetically are on the cusp of being some very pretty holes. There is no hole I would classify as a "signature" hole, but there are many that are close.
This course is a good example of how disc golf can be added to a public park and add value to the area. It is well designed with the novice and experienced player in mind. Fairways are open enough to allow you multiple routes and reward good shots but contain enough trees to challenge a player of any level. At the end of my round I was unable to classify the course as overly challenging or overly easy, it felt very balanced. I would not hesitate to take someone here for their first experience with disc golf. If in the area, this is not a course to be missed.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Perfectly located just off of Park Ave with a vibrant green setting contrasting the grey of the city. Challenging, varied course The new work on the course is fantastic, the volunteers really put their all into fixing up a haven in Worcester with plenty of garbage cans to help keep it clean. All new baskets and signs for every hole.
Cons: Hill hazards? Every shot just eats your disc up and sends it rolling down the hill, out of line of site. Doesnt matter if your shooting up hill, down hill or across the hill - the disc rolls. With most discs getting lost playing with 3 people it was 20 mins of searching for a par 3. Hole 11 and 17 were especially bad at eating rolling discs.
Other Thoughts: Not a course for beginners. Lots of up hill and down hill and some more up the same hill, so at least double the amount of your water bottles.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: tight course and forces you to be accurate, great change of pace course, easy to find your way around the course and not very busy, a lot of elevation dont bother bringing your drivers most are short and i ended up overshooting a lot of holes that are out of sight
Cons: teepads are not so hot, UPHILL almost all the holes are striaght up or on some weird angle, if you land out of the fairway you are gonna be looking for a while and extremly woody outside of the fairways
Other Thoughts: Cool course to change up your game not a long course and a good course to practice your midrange game, Other players are extremely nice lost a teebird in the woods and a day later i had a call this is refreshing compared to playing other courses where you lose a disc you know your not getting a call i really enjoyed this course and i will be back soon
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Beware the rent-a-cop!
Pros: Love the fact that they are working on constantly improving this course. I go there and play at lunch, as it's close to where I work. Great elevation changes and a fun course to play!
Cons: Poor signage, it's easy to get turned around... I attempted to play this course at lunch time this week, and got chased off by a rent-a-cop who said that I couldn't park in the school parking lot until after 2:30? It was disappointing to say the least!
Other Thoughts: Love the constant improvements that they are doing in this course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Tons of potential
Pros: BIG trees on a BIG hill with lots of elevation. Beautiful fairways, very aesthetically pleasing to play. Challenging for ams and will test your arm on lots of uphill shots along with accuracy to stay in the fairway. Enough long-ish holes to make you put some juice behind your throws esp cause many are uphill. The downhills are super sweet!
Cons: Still no signage but markers in ground by basket point you in the right direction. Pretty open, which maybe isn't a con, but it's not tight and technical with a few exceptions. That said, it's not "wide" open, so you can still hit plenty of trees.
Other Thoughts: Once the signs go in and the teepads are cleaned up (it was super wet when I was there after recent flooding rains) I would rate this course much higher. It was a surprise to play Maple Hill and then hit this on the way home and say to myself, wow, that was really fun. I really did find it beautiful, the big trees really make a difference for me.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Fun course with a few difficult holes.
Minimal change to lose discs.
Good for newbies.
If you can hit the fairways, you'll do well. Very wooded course.
Cons: No signs. No garbage cans, but course was fairly clean.
Be sure to watch your step as there as many tiny tree stumps.
The hills may be dangerous for those who are not nimble.
Other Thoughts: I was visiting from out of town and a friend and I played the course with a local gentleman who helped design and create the course. He has several ideas for improving the course. Since the course is pretty new it appears there are those who are willing to see the development of the course continue which is great to see. A few other locals were very helpful in leading us through the course.
Found a voodoo doll on the course - uh oh.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Excellent Use of Land
Pros: Good use of elevation change. Some holes are very challenging. Beginners will enjoy this course. Overall good design with some very surprising variety given the location. Very tight and wooded.
Cons: Navigation is a problem, a course map printed online is a must. Parking can definitely be an issue when school is in session. No opportunities for long drives.
Other Thoughts: Played this course for the first time this week and I have to say I was impressed. It was a great use of the land with some good challenges. There isn't any real consequences for errant shots, which is great for beginners, but not for more advances players.
The only real problem I had was with the navigation of the course. At times we had to backtrack through parts of the course to find the next tee pad. A map is a must. Some baskets have arrows under them pointing to the next tee, but not all of them. Even with a map getting from the basket at 3 to the tee at 4, and the basket at 9 to the tee at 10 is troublesome.
To get from 3 to four, turn back from the 3rd basket, there will be a little path to follow. Same deal for 9 to 10. The map shows that you should go in the complete opposite direction.
Even with the navigation issues, this course is definitely worth playing. Its free, uses elevation effectively, and challenges accuracy rather than length. Well done.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Public Course
Pros: -Excellent use of the land. The holes are well designed.
-Great risk/reward putting on several holes.
-Nice clean fairways.
-A wooded course that's not overcrowded with trees.
Cons: -Extremely tiring from constant uphill terrain.
-No real ace opportunities.
-Tough navigation (could improve with tee signs).
-Parking can be an issue if school is in session.
Other Thoughts: Worcester finally has a disc golf course, and it's a great one. Located behind Doherty High School, Newton Hill is a fantastic wooded course that is appropriate for all skill levels. While the front 9 was certainly entertaining, holes 12-15 are clear winners.
Unfortunately, even with a course map, my friend and I had a tough time finding some of the tee pads. Certainly, this could improve with the installation of tee signs, which I'm sure will come eventually. I don't think this course is fully finished yet.
All in all, Newton Hill is an awesome free public course. Definitely a wooded course, but the fairways are clear. The course design is absolutely fantasic in terms of correct use of the land. Southwick did a marvelous job designing this course. Give it a try as soon as possible.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
B+ = Be Bery Bery nice!
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B
(For a mostly wooded course, there is far to little punishment for poor shots or decisions. It is very evident that a ton of work has been done recently in clearing as evidenced by neatly stacked piles of logs, saplings and underbrush throughout the course. Great work, great pride, but overdone for my taste. It is suitable for beginners though.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == B+
(While half the holes are a perfect challenge to me, other holes are too long to make birdies even a possible hope. As stated, this course is wide enough for beginners and the lengths are long enough to make many holes legit par 4's for Red level players (250-275' drives). This course does not have the perfect mix of lengths for me, but is still quite fun!)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B+
(Great care has been taken to provide a great mix in all categories of variety - well done! My one complaint is the excessive amount of uphill throws - as evidenced by the large number of downhill transition paths from basket to next tee. While uphill holes test certain DG skills, downhill holes add more to the course, IMO.
My favorite hole is steeply downhill #4. A large sharp boulder is strategically placed about 1/3 of the way down the corridor fairway forcing you to float your shot higher than you want, but tempting you to throw as low as possible risking an encounter with said boulder. A very fun touch shot with big punishment for poor execution.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A-
(In the summer, the foliage will keep you from realizing you are in an urban park other than 11 & 12 where you pop out into the open and see the street and a garage. Overall the course is beautiful and secluded with a large clearing in the middle of the park that the course plays in and out of and around.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == D+
(In my estimation, only uphill 420' #7 is a legit par-4. With a low ceiling and narrow gaps at the hole's mid point, it takes two good medium-power well-placed drives to achieve a birdie 3. A really good par-4....wish there were several more!)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me…..and that's the fun of things here.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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