4 Helpful / 0 Not
A work in progress
Pros: Wooded course with some use of elevation
Cons: No signage, course still in development.
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.
Coggshall Park is a new course being developed in an unused section of Coggshall Park. Entrance is through a long unused gate to a long ignored area of the park. The work was started in the Summer of 2009 and so far there are nine holes in playable condition. Over the next year the course is planned to expand to 18 holes with full baskets. I understand that the City of Fitchburg may also consider a second course in another area of town depending on the results of this course. This review will change based on the work being done and the current condition of the course as of my "last played" date.
The course is a wooded course. There is a mix of both right and left hand doglegs. Some holes feature minor elevation drops and one involves a steep elevation change. Target areas are mostly clear and level with no chance of a missed put rolling away down a hill. Fairways are loosely defined with multiple routes available. There are no water shots and the only water on the course are run off areas that may be dry, wet, or damp depending on the day and recent weather. The course has more of a feeling of buckets simply placed in the woods than well designed and executed holes.
Being a new course there has been very little upkeep since the holes were originally created. Fairways are not as defined as they should be with saplings dotting the course. Brush from the previous clearing of the fairway still remain. Trash was observed already such as an empty alcohol container and an empty chewing tobacco container sitting in the middle of the course.
Basket, tee, tee sign, and signage:
Baskets (or in this case targets) are made out of 5 gallon buckets sitting on top of large stakes. Most of the buckets are orange making them easy to see but some of them are white which blends in with the current snow condition. The buckets also have a tendency to sit crooked on the stake unless you right it before your putt. Tees are natural tees with nailed 2x4's simply laying on the ground (not buried or staked). Tees were covered with snow and ice at time of playing so underlying condition was undetermined. There are no tee signs. There is no signage on the course whatsoever such as hole number or direction to next tee.
The parking lot at the gate to the park is small and can accommodate about 4 cars. In fact, it's not a parking lot at all but the area off the road to a barricaded unused entrance to this area of the park. If this course grows to more golfer traffic, the City of Fitchburg will need to either enlarge the parking area or open the gate to allow vehicle traffic to enter the course lest people be forced to park on a busy street. There are no picnic tables. There are no grills. There is no practice target. There is no billboard. There are no bathrooms. There are no trash receptacles. There is no source of water.
That "special something":
Right now there is no defining factor of the course. There is plenty of elevation to work with but most of the holes are relatively flat. This may be changed as the area where the next 9 holes are planned to be installed are on a large hill. No one hole stands out as a "signature" hole.
This review is based on current condition of the course. I fully understand that this course in in it's infancy and look forward to seeing it grow. It is a nice start but more work needs to be done to make it worth coming back to again and again.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun Lil` nine holer
Pros: There is a decent mix of shots needed throughout the bottom eight holes. While there isn't a lot of elevation change there is enough to keep you honest, but not limit your shots too much. The upper ten holes change elevation much more but are still in the "clean-up" phase and are very hard to find. The tee boxes are lined with 2x4's or felled trees which makes them pretty easy to find. The hole variety is pretty decent mix of left, right, tunnels, uphill and downhill. There is also pretty decent parking by the entrance(it says don't use the entrance, but its ok). The Home Depot five gallon bucket targets are pretty easy to see, if the hole has them. The lower holes 1-2 and 13-18 all have brand new Discatchers. Holes sixteen and seventeen are by far the most exciting holes on the course. Sixteen is a short shot straight up the hill with the basket perched on a rock landing. Seventeen is a long dogleg left with many obstacles and a high shot will get lost in the foliage. These two holes have probably the best risk/reward shots on the course. The upper holes have lots of potential and with some more clean-up will be a great asset to the course and park in general.
Cons: Probably the most glaring con is the lack of signage. There are no tee signs or next tee signs on the upper holes. Next tee signs and hole numbers are available on the lower holes. The course currently has eight permanent and one temporary hole on the bottom and ten holes up top(these holes have no signage). Navigation is incredibly difficult on holes 3-11. I spent more time looking for next tee boxes and targets than actually throwing. There are no major design flaws but the hard navigation really drags this course down. There is still a considerable amount of brush and cut down trees littering the fairways of some of the holes which makes for some tricky footing[there has been leaps and bounds made on this on the lower holes but the uppers are still miserable]. Some of the tee boxes are very unlevel and downright dangerous (hole seventeen). No map is currently available and the baskets aren't numbered (not really a problem but would be nice to have).
Other Thoughts: Bring boots as there is a small creek that runs through the park and drains into the lower parts of the park, which just so happens to be where the course is. You might want to wear long pants as well because there is still a bunch of brush that needs clearing and tons of thorny vines all over the course. There is a group that is working on it, and has all of the brush out of the fairway but an errant throw and you could be in trouble. New baskets have helped and sohave some workdays but the underbrush keeps coming back with a vengence.
Here's my breakdown of navigation between the lower holes. Note: actual hole number in parenthesis.
1 to 2 - about 50` down the path after basket 1
2 to 3 - go up the hill turn left and go 70`. The tee box is near where the road starts to bend on the right
3(13) to 4(14) - about 30' up the hill
4(14) to 5(15) - turn to your left and walk 50`
5(15) to 6(16) - go up the trail on the right 100`
6(16) to 7(17) - down the hill to the right 50`
7(17) to 8(18) - 20` down the path
(Note that all distances are approximated)
16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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