22 Helpful / 1 Not
Open air, mad elevation, but not much else...
Pros: I half expect to get reamed for giving this course a 3.0, but before you judge, read the justification... let's start with the good: elevation. Elevation. ELEVATION. Pretty much every shot on this course plays up or down a hill, sometimes some very steep hills. I love elevation shots, so this is a huge plus in my book. It's great fun to empty a bag on some of these shots and just watch the discs float through the air. The fun factor is pretty high in that regard...
The course flows pretty well from hole to hole without a lot of long walks, the rock walls throughout the grounds are beautiful and are a nice change of pace from just trees and streams as obstacles. There are several places where the walls are put to good use and force elevated putts, create fast greens and mandate arced putts (hole 9).
The streams are clean and clear (at least when I was there), but are pretty fastmoving, so watch discs that might get washed downstream... but risk of losing a disc is pretty low.
This is an amazing place to watch the sky, since you're elevated on a lot of the holes and have so few trees in the way.
There is good parking, the printed maps available on this site are very helpful in navigating. When the wind picks up, this course is an amazing place -- one of the best courses in the country -- to practice wind shots, especially wind on hills.
With all the open air, it would be tempting to recommend this course to beginners who are learning the game, but with the frequent gusts at "Brandywind" it is likely to be frustrating to new players unless they are there on a calm day. Poor disc control + wind + lots of elevation = epically awful shots.
For players with a little more experience under their belts, this is a great training course, since you're not likely to lose much and can throw a lot of shots and watch their unhindered flights through the air. You can practice elevation, you can practice wind, you can see how all of your discs -- drivers, putters, mids -- really fly. And there is so much elevation that its tricky to get footing on some of the approach shot runups, so it also encourages practicing stand-and-deliver shots from uneven terrain. The training potential here is probably, to me, the biggest strength and best reason to play this course.
Cons: This course, for all of its elevation, feels pretty repetitive. I like elevation, but I also like obstacles -- at least every few holes -- and this course lacks much to get in your way. The few trees are mostly short enough to throw over, or spindly enough to throw around. There are only a couple of holes that require any sort of gap to be hit on the tee shot. This makes for a lot of the same. In a competitive round, most people would take their driver and thrown 18 hyzer hucks off the box. Done. Very little shot variety is forced, and this weakens the course significantly in my opinion.
The course is also showing its age -- teesigns are lose and not entirely helpful -- there are various tees marked, but with some holes playing blind, there needs to be some indication of which basket position is in play. It would also be very helpful to have elevation change marked on the signs. Teepads are aging as well, tilted and crumbling at the corners.
The rock walls -- while great -- also get in the way on a couple of the teeboxes (hole 1 stands out), where the wall is in the way off the box -- it's not a matter of throwing over the wall -- its a low wall -- it's a matter of having the teebox pressed directly against the wall, framed by two large trees -- its dangerous to get any follow through without risk of hurting yourself. I'm all for obstacles, but tee areas should have enough clear space for runups, throws, and follow-through that injury should never be a concern when driving. Safety should always be a top concern in course design, and there are places this is ignored at Brandywine.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent of the course is the nasty grass/weeds/thorns that cover the hills. A shot in the middle of the fairway can be stuck in low-lying thorns with no-possible runup, and thorns and nasty-dry-prickly grass is pretty much ubiquitous on the course. If you land in a fairway, you shouldn't have to worry about scrub tripping you or thorns slicing into you. The course gets better towards the end, but on the front 9 especially, the sheer ugliness and animosity of the groundcover takes away from the enjoyment of the game.
And, as should be mentioned before, it hurts a little to have to pay $3 instate and $6 out of state in park fees to play a so-so course. FWIW, the night I was there, the park ranger did come around, empty the self-serve paybox and checked cars against their receipts, so even if no one is around, I advise paying the $6 on the honor system just to avoid a potential ticket. Try to have exact change in the event you have to pay the honor system like we did.
Other Thoughts: At some point in the past, I think Brandywine might have been a more impressive course. If the grass were lush and green and freshly mowed and the tees were level and you were there on a perfect day with an epic swath of clouds painted across the sky, you could mistake this for a paradise...
However, it just doesn't hold up today, especially with the new duo of Iron Hill and Carousel practically in its backyard. Carousel offers a lot of the same elevation, but has amazing grass and a mix of open and treed shots, lots of OB, and much better course design and variety (albeit no signs or permanent tees yet). Iron Hill has a challenge, beauty and attention to design detail virtually unmatched anywhere. With these two courses as options -- and both free -- it's hard to find a compelling reason to head to Brandywine for anything other than some good practice throws and the relative solitude that exists there.
In short: Brandywine is a great place to PRACTICE disc golf, but a mediocre place to PLAY disc golf.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Open and windy
Pros: This is a very nice course in northern D.E. The setting is pretty and old timey. You play around a field and old rock walls. The use of the layout varies so that you alternate going up hill and down hill. 3, 4, and 9 are awesome looking holes. THe practice basket area is really cool. There are blocks starting at like 5 feet that pinwheel around the basket at increasing distances to aid in practice putting. Tee signs are nice and informative.
Cons: Being one of the highest spots in DE. this course is very windy. It helps that the course is basically wide open with little obstactles. I prefer a course where you have to think a little to play shots. Here you can just grip and rip with little thought to shot placement. Especially in the winter when the grass is short there is little challenge to the course. Tee pads are a little short, somewhere around 8'. Most are made from 2 different sections that have settled at different angles. This leaves rises in the middle of the pads that are trip hazards. The tee pads were not poured level so you have to throw from up, side, and down hill lies off the tee. If you look at the picture for hole #3 here you will see exactly what I am talking about. Some of the basket locations are too close to the next tee box and there is enough traffic here for it to be dangerous. On a few holes like hole 2 you are in the fairway of the last hole teeing off, this is a pet pieve of mine. The oldschool baskets are ok but they can be hard to see. Pay to play courses are no fun :-(
Other Thoughts: If I lived in the area and could justify a park pass I would play here often. I play mostly wooded courses in Charlotte NC and have grown to appreciate shot selection. I think this course reduces that cereberal part of the game with the low amount of obstacles. All in all a nice course that was a pleasure to play. It is not however a 5, which is a perfect course that could use no changes. The condition of the teepads alone prevent this course from recieving a 5.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: The course is Wide Open be ready to RIP your Driver. Beautiful Scenery its if your in a Civil war type setting the people keep it looking great. Experience Beauty and the Beast.
Cons: Holy cow the WIND can be BRUTAL.... During October/November you can expect to be mauled by Gnats (Breeding Season).
Other Thoughts: People willingly volunteer there time at Brandywine to keep it looking heavenly and I had an opprotunity to speak to one of the people and praised his efforts....The people that volunteer make this course the Best of the Best.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
beautiful windy hill beast.
Pros: The scenery was great with lots of elevation changes and several risk vs. reward shots and decent flow.
There was a practice basket set up with stones to play around the world or horse while you wait for hole 1, wait for your friends, or warm up.
Putting areas were perfectly groomed and overall the course was well maintained.
multiple pin positions and cleary visable cement tee pads and decent signage.
Long flags helped make the pins visable over the elevation changes and showed wind direction (very important here)
I like hole 9, putting over the rock wall, but holes 4 and 5 are the signature holes "the beauty" and the "the beast".
The beast was a 666ft totally blind up hill shot (basket hinding under a broken tree in the brush). Holes 6 and 10 have risky drop offs that make you think about your approach.
Once you get away from holes 1,9,and 10 there is little other traffic on the course.
Cons: worst con: putting $6 in an envelope, sliding the envelope into an honor system box in the parking lot and walking away from your $.
All holes seemed to have the same formula: wide open with trees around the baskets.
If I did not take notes and prepare mysleIf, I would have wasted alot of time finding some of the baskets and would never have found hole 17.
Tall grass and thorns can eat your plastic, so watch your throws very carefully, you may need spotters in some areas.
I am sure this course is brutal in the summer with the long walks up and down the hill totally exposed to the sun for hours, bring water!
Other Thoughts: Before you go to this course go to the links section and take check out the course walk through (take notes).
The wind makes the course much colder in the fall and winter and adds a whole new play element.
Be prepared for atleast a 2 hour work out. The course is shorter than Carousel, but a harder workout. The distance between pins is 6,000-7,000 feet (which is over a mile for the math inclinde)
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I've been 'round this track many times, and (almost) always had fun. If you want to improve your wind game, this is the place. It's located on the highest point in the state- admittedly Delaware is not known for altitude- and it gets severely windy here. Some days a ten foot putt is going to be be the hardest shot you play. (some windless days that's true...for me!) It's scenic, and varied, and wide open. #15 has always been my favorite hole because of it's look, not because I play it particularly well. Honorable mention to #3, a very birdiable affair with elevation danger if you miss left.
The famed beauty/beast combo is somewhat over-rated, with beauty being far superior to beast as a golf hole. Driving on the beast is just plain uncomfortable, and awkward. But the beauty is a joy to drive on, provided you don't go right, or get unlucky and land in the creek. Love it- play here if you can. Pick a windy day for maximum challenge.
Cons: Very few cons here. Can be rather brutal on a hot day, and there are some strange drives required on a few holes. The grass gets tall so watch your disc closely. There have been days when it's just TOO WINDY to have a good time.
Other Thoughts: When this course was first installed, it was a 9 holer, and the late great Pryor Hendrix shot a round of 18- total score. Pryor did stuff like that. I miss him.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Go For a Ride on the Grip-N-Rip Rollercoaster
Two pin positions per hole. Good signs at tee showing current basket position and distances. Nice long-n-wide concrete teepads. Two nine-hole loops starting/ending near parking lot. Baskets with flagpoles making them easier to spot from a distance. Great views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the hill. Stone walls along some holes an interesting feature. Easy course to navigate. Very impressive webpage at http://playdg.com/courses/?s=...;c=brandywine
$6 to enter park. The edges of some fairways are defined by tall, featureless grass - combined with the woods and creek along/backing some holes, and there is a moderate chance to lose a disc. A couple of teepads too close to the previous basket, causing a delay in teeing off.
If you like to watch your discs fly, this is the course for you! The course plays down, across, and up one very long hill which comprises this public park. Most every hole will have some type of elevation change, some quite severe. Holes 1-9 form a roughly counter-clockwise loop, while 10-18 go around in a clockwise formation. Located on a former farm, there are a few ~4' stone walls scattered about, with some fairways playing parallel to them, and some baskets being located near them. Find yourself on the wrong side of the wall, and you may barely see the top of the basket during your putt attempt (#9 is specifically designed this way - immediately behind the wall, thick trees behind it.). On about 2/3rds of these holes, your favourite distance driver is going to get a workout, because they are long, and/or (#5 is an "and") uphill. A few long downhill holes where you'll just get to let it rip and enjoy watching your disc fly. "Touch" shots required on downhill-but-shorter holes 11,12, and 14, and #17 is a short but extreme right-turner. Most fairways are fairly wide open, but the approach to most baskets will generally be somewhat guarded by some trees, or one of the walls.
Favourite hole: #16. One of the flatter holes, just over 400' . Farm building to your left, collection of large trees about 275' away and slightly right. After getting past these obstacles, there is a mild turn to the left and another 150' to the basket.
A very fun course to play, and certainly worth a visit - you'll likely find yourself wanting to play it again whenever you're anywhere nearby.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
More fun than challenging
Pros: Mostly open grasslands on what seems like a mountaintop, using the relatively few trees pretty well. It's true that much of it is "grip & rip", but this doesn't convey the fun of the enormous elevation change. The ancient-looking stone walls come into play as well.
I don't mean to indicate it's not challenging, just that the it's not hugely challenging, but is hugely fun, especially throwing off the hills.
The aesthetics---the views, the rolling grassy fairways, the peace & quiet---are terrific.
Cons: Some of the later holes are rather boring.
If you throw where the grass has been allowed to grow 4' tall, the search is brutal; you can be 3 feet from your disc and not find it.
No water, very little shade, and big hills make a summer round an endurance event.
Little or no O.B.
Other Thoughts: I visited on a windless day; I can imagine the winds this course must get and the adventure playing them.
The entry fee is well worth it.
I might be a little stingy with this rating. Other courses offer better variety and challenge. But Brandywine was great fun, even on a 95 degree windless day, and I could almost give it 3.5 discs instead.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Absolutley beautiful views.
Concrete Tee Pads/Multiple Pads
Two practice Baskets
Cons: Extremely wide open
No protection from sun
not much variety
Wind can be difficult
Other Thoughts: This course has some stunning views of nature that go on for miles. The course plays extremely long, and many of the drives are just "grip it and rip it". Tough to get a two if you don't have a big arm, yet easy to get a three on most holes. Wind can absolutley destroy an otherwise good drive and have you searching through high grass. I did have tics when I left the course and also got poison ivy. Make sure you have all of your plastic marked, as it can be tough to find in waste high grass.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Challenge for Advanced Players
Pros: Idyllic, pastoral setting. Long, Long, Long. Significant elevation changes on both front and back make for a fun, very challenging round.
Cons: Wide open. Players who enjoy the finesse required by wooded courses will not find much of interest at Brandywine. Wind can be extreme.
Other Thoughts: This is a fantastic course that is well worth the hour-plus drive out of Philadelphia to play. Bring your longest driver and plenty of water because it is a real workout.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
One of Delaware's Best
Pros: First of all this is a beautiful course. It has the feel of a civil war battlefield. It is one of the highest points in Delaware so it provides some great vistas of the surrounding area. These high points allow some great long drives even for beginners, holes 4 (beauty), 12 and 14 come to mind. Players with big arms have a definite advantage on this course. However, the length can be deceptive and there are penalties for over driving on some of the holes keeping the big arms honest. Holes 2, 6 and 11 have these fast greens keeping the just "air it out" strategy in check.
This course also utilizes elevation change in a great way both providing great opportunities to watch a long drive in flight and playing mental games driving uphill. Holes 5 (beast), 7, 8 and 15 require a player to drive uphill which can really level the playing field if a player is not used to it.
Cons: I really appreciate a balanced course. One that has open and tight fairways; long, short and medium length holes. Brandywine does not have this type of variety. While there are a couple of holes with protected baskets (holes 5, 7, 8, 14 and 17) most of the holes are almost completely open. A couple of forested holes or technical fairways would really do wonders to round out this great course. Maybe utilize the river, require a shot across the river and through the trees to a basket on the other side. There is a perfect spot for this on the backside of hole 13.
Other Thoughts: This course does take a while to play (about two hours for a couple not in a hurry) because of the length of the course but there is really no reason to rush because of the great setting.
While searching for a disc down the hill past hole 11 I discovered an old tee pad pointing down toward the river. Maybe this course did at one time play across the river?
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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