2 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Terrain, Fun Design, & Solitude
Pros: This wooded course plays along several topographic ridges, and up, down, & around large old growth trees. The high tree canopy and open meadows give the player a very spacious feeling with expansive fairways that are technical but fair. This course is challenging and has a great variety of drives and upshots including several par 4s. Even the short par 3s don't feel like gimme birdies.
While most wooded courses rely on pre-existing hiking paths for many of their fairways (ie. Cranberry), this course does so minimally (only noticed it on holes 2 & 3). And I've never had to wait for a dog walker. The course successfully navigates the undulating terrain without exposing the player to the wetlands that exist sporadically. I never felt like I was tromping through wetlands even on bad shots.
Overall this course is very fun and beautiful, maybe because most holes have options off the tee including multiple routes with a variety of risk/reward mental challenges. I love that this course can't be mastered the first time you play it. In fact I found that it takes many rounds and experimentation to determine the best way to score.
The course vibe is very social as the design loops around and intersects a couple times. Despite this, none of the holes are distracting or in the way of each other. No doubt you will thoroughly enjoy becoming a better golfer when you play here.
Cons: It's not surprising that trash is visible in some areas of the course. It appears this park has been used as a dumping ground of sorts for generations (in fact I've seen 2 old rusty cars buried in the overgrown areas near the powerlines). It's great to see all the volunteers contribute so much time cleaning up this land for future generations.
When wet, some of the natural tees are slippery. Overall I would say that drainage is pretty good throughout the course, but some tees still accumulate water. It sounds like more permanent, safer tees will be constructed soon.
Other Thoughts: I understand that this course is very new and will undergo significant change over the next few years. Once the real tees (rubber or concrete or whatever) are in, alternate tees have been established, and fairways meticulously cleaned...this course will rival the other two championship caliber courses Cranberry and Wickham. I don't see why this course can't host major tournaments in the near future. Oh one more thing...since this park is only very occasionally used for dog walking or hiking, you will most likely be playing alone or amongst other disc golfers. This solitude won't last long, so enjoy it while you can.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is one of the easiest courses I've ever located. It's right off the Merritt Parkway (as in you make a single turn off the highway onto Park Ave, drive less than a mile, and then park on the same road). From there, the first tee isn't hard to find as it's right behind a kiosk near the edge of the woods.
Mostly wooded, Veteran's Park features a few open holes and includes changes in elevation. Some baskets are either slightly elevated or had a considerable (but fair) drop off directly behind them making for some interesting upshots and trecherous putts.
Water is in play on a few of the holes which provides the occasional "check yourself before you throw here" mental note.
The bulk of the course sits in old growth woods, so with few exceptions, there isn't too much rough or too many chances to lose a disc.
Tee signs are very descriptive and features expected line, distances, and par. Also, there are pavers at the foot of each of the baskets that point to the next tee. In a few places there are additional navigational aides to get you to the next hole.
The Chainstar baskets are in great shape.
Benches were available on several of the holes. One highlight was hole #14 where there is a disc embedded in the middle of the baseket.
There is some hardscaping on the course that adds a nice touch. Specifically, the protective rock wall that guards against low throw throws on hole #16. In addition, the rock stairs on hole #15 are necessary for the players that don't lay up or make it across the crater in front of the basket, demonstrating a beautifully subtle risk vs. reward scenario.
Hole #12 is a standout. The layout and length of the fairway is fairly vanilla and short, but the real appeal of this hole is the "Y" shaped tree that sits just ahead of the tee. The designers did a great job of taking a natural aspect of the surroundings and made what would have been a boring hole a little more unique, challenging, and visually appealing.
Cons: Any time you install a disc golf course at a public park, you need to stay on your toes around the non-playing public. Veteran's park is no exception as you need to take heed of bikers and hikers before you let the plastic fly.
There is litter absolutely everywhere. Usually I just footnote this, but in this case, it was all over the course including (and especially) broken bottles. The shards of glass create a discinct safety concern (in addition to an eyesore). Not as pressing safety-wise, but still not good on the eyes is the other trash (think old tires) that is strewn throughout the park.
In terms of the course itself, there are a lot of straight & left-turning fairways. There were very few right-turning fairways and none were dramatic enough to force a RHBH player to turn something over, forhand a disc, or do much more than get an understable disc to flip up and over slightly. Fairway layout from shape, to length, to elevation changes seemed to be duplicated on many holes. Specific to the elevation changes, most appear to be uphill or across a slight valley/dip in the fairway. Although the holes ranged from 250-440, most were in the 330 range and began to get repetitive by the end of the round. If some more of the wide-open space was factored into the course, it would add a bit more variety from the frequently wooded holes.
There are a few spots where water could have been better placed and added some spice to a couple of fairways. Likewise, there were a few spots where the water had its way with parts of the course and it was muddy and boggy.
The natural tees were difficult to find in some cases (consisting of two white spray painted rocks) and were somewhat uneven and rutted.
Pretty minor, but the tee sign was missing on hole #16. Hole #18 is situated right by the road and could be a distraction for some players.
Other Thoughts: I recognize that this is a new course and Veteran's park has the right building blocks in place to be another solid DG course along the I-95/Merritt Parkway corridor. I gave the course a 3.75. Some of the more repetitious fairways kept me from rounding up, but the garbage and litter all over the course is really what dragged the score down to the 3.5. If the course could be cleaned up, if the tees were a bit more polished, and if there was just a smidge more variety to the holes, I would have zero problem stamping this course a 4.0.
Despite any of the cons that I have listed, it's still worth your time to at least check this course out. I had a great time and I think most players would also enjoy Veteran's Park. My next trip up to Eastern CT will include a stop at this course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Addition to the Area
Pros: Great layout! Convenient parking. Easy to find discs (with 3 players, we didn't look for a disc for more than 10 seconds in 2 rounds!).
Cons: It would be great to have a course map near hole 1. Following smart phone/gps directions to "Veterans Park" brings you to Stratford. This course is in "Veterans Memorial Park" aka "90 Acres Park."
Other Thoughts: Played two rounds this morning with two buddies...the first time any of us had been there. We wanted to check it out thanks to the recent CT Post article where players compared the course in quality to Cranbury and Wickham.
This course is NOT like Cranbury or Wickham. Those courses have been used for national tournaments for a reason: they have flawless tee boxes, excellent signage, and they are spotless. This course has none of these characteristics.
With this said, this is a great course! Whoever designed the layout of the holes did a GREAT job! I can't imagine any better placement for any of the baskets.
Here's a summary of the course:
Open tee shot across the field. Approach shot is guarded by tall trees allowing overhand approaches. There is trash on the ground as you enter the woods, but this is by far the worst of it, and most holes are totally clean.
Wide tunnel tee shot. Missing tee shot left buries you. Basket is deceptively far as it is on the other side of a small hill.
Tunnel tee shot with slight right dogleg at the end of the tunnel. Straightforward hole.
Tunnel tee shot and long dogleg left...flat for the first half, downhill the 2nd half. Miss your tee right and you might be in a swamp.
This hole sucks and accounted for the most strokes on the day from all three of us. It's a tunnel dogleg left and uphill, and if you don't hit the tunnel off the tee it will kill you. There are a few approaches towards the hole if you miss the fairway, but they are narrow. The basket is located in a nice rock bowl which did seem to attract our discs rather than bouncing them away like a force field, thank goodness!
Fun hole. Tunnels left and right so you have your pick of your favorite throws to reach the basket. Again, basket is located on a mound surrounded by rocks that seem to suck discs towards the target. Nice!
Fairly open tee shot uphill and definite birdie hole.
Another tough hole. Narrow tunnel tee shot into a right hand long dogleg. It doesn't look that narrow a tunnel, but the trees to split are a good distance from the tee and if you miss splitting them, you have problems wherever you end up. Better to miss right than left. Even better to actually hit the tunnel!
Fairly open shot to basket on top of a hill, slightly to the left. I birdied this one, but it's pretty easy to fade the disc too far left, or yank it right into a tree to the right of the tee. Also, the hill looks like it will cause approach shot roller headaches, but we weren't unlucky enough to experience this.
Tricky hole...dogleg left with a fairly wide tunnel that leads to fair approach shot, assuming you hit the tee shot, which I didn't!
Hole #10 (another approach)
A better shot is to risk the tunnel that leads to the open field where there is an easy approach shot to the hole. Our scores going dogleg route were 5 & 4. Going the direct route through the field were 3,3,4 & 5.
Fairly open dogleg right and even bad tee shots seemed to give good approach opportunities.
Cool hole with "Y" tree in the enter of the fairway close to the tee box. Out of our six drives on our two rounds, none of us hit the fairway for this hole. It doesn't look that hard, but the trees beyond the "Y" kept deflecting our shots like Wonder Woman's bracelets. Bogeys galore.
Uphill, dogleg left, tunnel. Miss the tunnel and it's extra strokes. Looks pretty difficult for a lefty/forehand player.
Nice easy downhill dogleg right. Unless you throw like we did completely missing the fairly wide tunnel to the basket. Out-of-bounds is a threat if you go long. Otherwise, pretty straight-forward.
Cool hole and pretty difficult. Choice of tunnels left or right off the tee. None of us were able to find the fairway off the tee (except for one short shot). The hole is short enough so that an approach can set up an easy par, but the impressive smattering of mature trees combined with what looks like a missile silo creates a very challenging approach.
Tee sign is missing. Uphill slightly right, narrow tunnel. No surprises.
Downhill and straight. It looks easy, but we failed to hit the gap leading down to the hole.
You could argue that this hole is similar to the open holes at Cranbury and Wickham. Tell my buddy that who found the clump of trees dead center in the fairway. You have to choose right or left of these trees and either way, the gaps are far enough from the tee to be somewhat challenging to hit. Still, we managed 5 of 6 tee shots unharmed. On a windy day, I'm betting this hole sucks!
We didn't see anyone else playing, but then we began at 7:30 am on a Sunday morning. We thought better comparisons for this course might be Leonard Park in Mt. Kisco or Page Park in Bristol due to its woodsy nature.
Hole #1 looks a little scary because of all the trash near the basket, but the course is nice otherwise. Nothing a shop vac and a generator couldn't remove in an hour or so. Elevations for the holes would be a nice touch as this information would be useful on many tee shots.
Overall, this was a wonderful course to play. Challenging, fun, and well-thought out.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A Diamond thats no longer rough
Pros: Good variety of open and wooded holes
Good variance of long and short, excellent elevation changes throughout the course
Well marked now with the new signs in place
Getting a lot of love and attention so the fairways are getting cleaner and cleaner everyday
Cons: A little debris and trash throughout the course but whatcha gonna do its bridgeport.
Occassionally you get a douchhebag Dirt biker ripping up and down the power lines.
Tee pads are a bit rough still but this will be fixed in short order
Other Thoughts: A fantastic addition to the course cluster we have in and around fairfield county. I love the way this course looks when the sun is blazing its not a a dark course even though the wood is heavy, light pours into most of the fairways. The streams throughout the course are a nice natural touch as well. This is my favorite "close" course in the area at the moment and I live in stamford (Yes i like it much more then cranbury).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice New Course
Pros: mostly well labeled
Cons: Not always sure where the basket is
Other Thoughts: This is a fairly dense (trees) course with some tight fairways. Very similar to the course in Orange but with longer holes. Although tee boxes are well labeled, it wasn't always easy to tell where to shoot from. Also, had to walk a few holes to find the basket before starting. It would be nice if the holes had markers/maps so you could see where the basket is in proximity to the tee. Course will be very challenging come the spring.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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