4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Wonderful settings, great use of land.
Cons: Challenge geared towards beginner to amateur level.
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.
West Thompson Lake Disc Golf Course is a course hosted by the Army Corps of Engineers at the West Thompson Lake Dam complex. The course is slightly difficult to find as roads in the area are missing street signs. I suggest researching your arrival route and printing a street map if possible. Parking is in the public boat ramp parking lot. Hole 1 is down an access road at the beginning of the parking lot. The grounds contain walking trails and I did see people walking their dogs very often. At no time did they cross my fairway though.
The course is a mixture of wooded and open holes. Holes had a good variety of straight and left or right turns. Length significantly varied with some holes being short and some being long (hole 10) to extremely long (hole 15). Holes played mostly flat with only a few offering elevation changes. There are very few (one or two) blind shots and even then the disc is in sight for most of its flight. Fairways were well established but limited shots. Undergrowth along fairways in the wooded holes was very light in nature and an errant throw would pose little challenge for recovery of par. Growth along open fairways was medium to heavy and would challenge recovery of par if entered. Water only came into minor play on a few holes (Hole 14 water behind basket, Hole 16 basket sits on a peninsula). Landing areas around baskets are pretty clear and none sat on significant hills. Overall, the course design is very thought out and uses the existing wooded lands very well. Challenge is on the light side and I anticipate advanced players would be less enthusiastic about the course than beginner and medium skilled players.
The course appeared to be kept up very well. Very few cut logs and trimmed brush piles were observed, placed well out of the way of the main fairways. Course was pretty clean with just a minor amount of trash observed. There was trash barrels only observed at two locations throughout the course (Hole 1 and Hole 11). More trash barrels would go a long way in eliminating the amount of litter.
Basket, tee, tee sign, and signage:
Baskets are in good condition with only one showing any abuse (bending of basket). Tee boxes consisted of cement bases. The design seemed odd though. They were trapezoidal shaped favoring width over length. More often than not I had to begin my X-Step off of the tee pad. The transition was smooth though as the surrounding ground was graded at the same level as the pad. Tee signs are present at most tees showing direction of fairway, distance, and par. Signs are fairly well detailed offering good graphical references. Next tee signs were at very few holes (Hole 2 to 3 I believe, and directional sign between Holes 8 and 9)) but I felt more should have been present. I did have to refer to my map printed earlier for directions to the next hole on a couple of occasions
In a grassy area at the parking lot there are three picnic tables with grills. There is no practice target. There is a billboard with a course map and a place for scorecards although none were present. There is a port-a-potty in the same grassy area as the picnic tables. I did not notice a source of water. Picnic tables are at a lot of the tees, but at tees where there were none there were no other benches or other seating arrangements. There are no bag hooks. There was no location to practice warm up drives.
That "special something":
If you go to this course expecting great use of the dam or wonderful views of the lake you will be disappointed. It wasn't until around Hole 16 that it fully dawned on me that the beauty of the course isn't the dam itself but the wonderful lands surrounding it. The course plays like it is on a cross between a farm and an English Manor. Beautiful fields, bushy outcroppings, and winding fairways weave you in around the property. The course is as much a please to walk as it is to play.
This course was a lot of fun to play and a nice change from the very technical courses in the area. The challenge level of the course was on the lighter side. It is the type of course where someone could achieve their first par for the course as there are ample birdie opportunities. After achieving said par, I'm not sure if my enthusiasm for the course would continue though as I would be searching for a higher level of difficulty. I would not hesitate to take someone here for their first experience with disc golf as it is very beginner tolerant. If in the area I would highly recommend a visit to the course not only for a round but also for a nice stroll around the grounds.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
thought it was great
Pros: thought it was a great course. definitely go back.
18 holes , free
there were some great scenic holes..#16 was right at the lake.
Cons: popular. seemed pretty busy..but the course goes fast..so it's not that bad.
Other Thoughts: pomfret is about 15-20 minutes away ..so if your taking the trip hit them both up.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Dam course
Pros: The pin position makes somewhat boring holes challenging: fifteen comes to mind here, long straight shot with the basket right in front of some bushes on a small hill. On the water holes there is a very good use water OB and the pin placement is optimal there. A really good mix of holes and distances make the course less monotonous than it could be. Hand made tee signs are clear and very helpful. There are concrete tees on about half the holes. There are trash cans on two of the holes, some scattered picnic tables, and a welcome board near hole one. Some of the views (hole sixteen basket) and wildlife is pretty cool too.
Cons: The navigation, even with a map, is a little tricky. The tee sign at two holes were missing. The natural tee pads are very uneven. The concrete pads are very small as well. The paths between the holes are pretty overgrown as well.The baskets in the woods are hard to see; a cone on top of the basket would help out immensly. The grass throughout the course, including the fairways is at least lower shin high. There are no next tee signs; at least none that I saw. Hole eight to nine took me forever to find. There is a crazy amount of bugs when you play close to the water.
Other Thoughts: The directions take you to hole six. I would suggest you start play there.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Thompson is awesome
Pros: Free-play, fun holes, and great scenery will keep you coming back for more. Thompson Lake has great variety (long open field, straight, obstacles, turns, and wooded technical holes) for the thirsty golfer. They seem to keep updating the course with a few more concrete tees and signs here and there. Keep 'em coming. Over all, the course is challenging and a great time.
Cons: There is chance of losing discs at Thompson. If the grass hasn't been recently cut, it'll make you uneasy at the tee on a few holes. And watch out for the lake! It will easily swallow your discs. Rarely, the lake will rise up and make holes unplayable.
Other Thoughts: I've been playing this course for more than 5 years and I still love it.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
buncha big shots
Pros: West Thompson Lake is a good mix of huuuuuuge long holes and tightly wooded, technical shots. I have about a 400' max drive on my best day and a couple of these holes demanded that I uncork everything I had just to keep it within hope of seeing Par range. Good fun! Minimal Elevation changes throughout but there's some to be taken under consideration to keep it safe on some shots that include the lake itself. The scenery is amazing and the basket/tee placment on most holes are tough but enjoyable.
For the most part, the course is well maintained by way of mowing and general landscape upkeep.
You'll have a chance to use just about every disc in your arsenal to navigate the variety of shots necessary to score well here from your biggest driver to you gnarliest turner. Some of the water shots are delighfully challenging with one being out on a small peninsula, and another is an upshot to the elevated tee with the lake immediately behind and downhill to gobble up your missed approach.
Maps are generally available at the kiosk near the gate by tee #1
Cons: Tee signs. They exist from time to time but seem to be a favorite target for vandals. One week I was there they had almost all of them in place, the next week, most were missing. On some drives, I found myself running up to get a look at where the basket actually was to plan my shot accordingly.
There's no wading in the lake, by law. If you happen to lose a disc in the lake you technically aren't allowed to go in after it. This rule is strictly enforced by the patroling rangers. Be aware of who's watching if you REALLY need to get that disc back!
Other Thoughts: parking. You'll want the first entrance that leads to the boat ramps, not the second, smaller and plainly visible lot further down the road. This isn't immediately apparent when you're looking for the place the first time or two.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Best in CT
Pros: Beautiful surroundings, with well manicured grounds. Great remember able holes with the risk versus reward factor. Use of landscape for hole variety. Take with maps and scorecards available.
Cons: No tee sign, And with out the map you might get confused at a couple spots.
Other Thoughts: I really wanted to mark this one higher because the park is just beautiful, with multiple views of the lake, and extremely well kept grounds, but with single tees and no tee signs I couldn't. The park it's self has your basic amenities as camping is likely one of the big draws for the park. Pick up the map/scorecard, so you have all the info you might want. The course is easy to follow but the cross from 8-9 and 12,13,14 go me to check the map a couple times. The gravel tees have held up pretty well with a couple having a bad spot or two. The course has such a great mix of holes from the woods to the fields, and multiple water hazards. The fairways are well defined and manicured, even the field holes which were mostly mowed fairways in tall grass(which normally I hate), were wide enough so it was a true fairway. The use of minor elevation changes made for some fun shots, like #14 a downhill and to the left to a hidden basket on a slight elevation with an open back to the lake behind.
Overall I think this is the best course in CT. What it lacks in some areas it makes up for in beauty, and design. If They put a little more money into adding a second set of tees and some tee signs this would be hands down the best and likely jump a disc.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: 18 hole course, only one set of tees and no signs. But it is pretty easy to get along. A few holes on this course stand out as being very well designed and unique. Hole 11 is about 650 feet with OB Rocks (Rip Rap) along the right hand side, and trees covering the left hand side for the first 270 feet. The "green" area is close to Rip Rap, and close to trees requiring a nice risk/reward shot. A 3 is a birdie on this hole. The other unique hole is number 16 which is a down hill shot shooting onto a Pennisula. But it gets even harder when you add large tree/bushed at the face of the peninsula. Some great holes that I will always remember.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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