Criss-Cross Will Make You Jump
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Located in the corner of Massachusetts, Amesbury Pines is a unique city park with huge, mature pines occupying a chunk of the park.
The first ten holes play in the wooded fairways. The pines are so old that there are no low-hanging branches, so no ticky-tack deflections. There are fairly defined fairways with both right and left-turning shots required.
The later holes move into the open, duck back into the woods, and then throw over the ponds twice. Both are pretty holes, with 16 requiring a 150-foot shot to clear the pond and 18 requiring a longer shot (but having bailout options).
The holes are almost all in the 250-325 foot range.
Cons: Tee pads are among the worst I've played on: rutted out, exposed roots, and generally not safe.
Navigation is simple in some areas and confusing in others. I'm not sure I ever found the tee pad for hole 6. There are several tee signs that indicate a "winter layout" and don't seem to correspond to anything else. They show distance and a photograph of the fairway with directional arrows, but many were missing the pictures.
Baskets are a mishmash of styles and generally old.
But the worst part is the criss-crossing fairways in the woods. Not a good idea. The fairways that don't cross are almost on top of each other, so a throw that fades too much or goes a little off line is probably in another fairway. The chances of someone getting hit are really higher than necessary. You'd hate to see a course get pulled over an issue that could have been prevented by more sensible design.
Other Thoughts: I understand wanting some great wooded holes (and I do love these kind of trees for disc golf), but they tried to cram too many holes in the woods. They either should have shortened some of the holes or put a few more holes in the open, or both.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Decent course that is right off the highway and offers a few decent holes. It's solid for new players as it won't offer much challenge.(Well in the throws it demands, tons of challenge in figuring out which basket to throw to.)
The high point is the pond on 16. It's a very good "first" over water attempt: Not to far across and good, clean water that has a slight current. In other words, no matter where you put your floater, it's coming back.
While most of the other wholes are pretty uniform in terrain and distance. The high amount of trees make for a variety of shots with slight elevations and hooks that need to happen at different points along the path.
It's a nice, clean course that can be played quickly and faster if you already know which hole to shoot for.
Cons: However, there just isn't enough space here to create a really good course. The same space is utilized by several holes, and while there are signs, they aren't clear enough to always indicate which basket is the target. Often, several are visible from the tee. Moreover, the baskets themselves aren't labeled too clearly. More than once I walked up attempt a putt before I realized that it was the not the cage corresponding with the tee I had thrown from.
All of this makes it extremely likely that you wind up in the path of someone else's disc on greens and fairways and even tees. It's just too compact.
Other Thoughts: If you're breaking up a trip to or from Maine, it's a nice easy stop. It's not a destination.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Amesbury Pines offers something for everyone. For the experience player, it offers a lot of nice ace runs and birdie opportunities on nearly every hole. For the inexperience player, the clean, brush free floor provides a forgiving setting to hone your line shaping skills without fear of lost discs or added get-out-of-trouble strokes.
The course makes use of two small ponds to create some nice (although short and unintimidating) water carries.
There is a nice balance of hole shapes, no one throwing style is favored here.
Cons: The course has one of the smallest footprints I've ever seen for an 18 hole course. Each hole feels like it's been shoe-horned into the layout. On most holes, an errant shot off the fairway puts your disc on another fairway, green, or tee.
There are a couple areas where roads or parking lots come into play creating some potential safety issues.
In addition to the roads, other park users can come into play on the later holes. Hole 13 plays along a baseball field and 17 comes in close proximity to a playground and basketball court. Although those particular attractions usually don't come into play, people tend to wander out into the grass without realizing they're on a fairway.
Many old baskets with rusted, single chains provide pretty treacherous putting targets.
Mostly natural tees provide little improvement to footing.
Other Thoughts: On a quiet day, this is a nice place to get a quick, easy round in. However, as the park gets crowded with other players and other park users, play can get really slowed down, upping the frustration level.
Plan to lose one or two strokes simply from basket spit-outs.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
With over 2/3rds of the holes playing in-to, out-from, or within a flattish piece of ground containing extremely tall, scattered pines, the carpet of pine needles makes for a very refreshing play, and discs easy to find. Two tee locations per hole, the shorter marked by white in-ground boards, usually on a direct line between longer tee location and basket.
Tee locations were ridge-n-furrow, making x-steps nearly impossible. Multiple chances to negatively interact with others, both players and non-players. Mixture of old baskets, about half of which were single-chained.
The course plays primarily within a copse of large pines, and secondarily in the open space containing two ponds, of a small, multi-purpose park. The holes, in and of themselves, were fine, with distances from the low 200's to the upper 300's, fair throwing lanes, minor elevation changes, and a variety of subtle turns needed from the tee. However, with the crossing fairways, parallel fairways and tee locations in close proximity to each other, the walking paths and gazebo in the midst of the pines, and the popularity of the open space/water with non-players (a birthday picnic was being celebrated in the middle of fairway-17 the day I played), there will be plenty of chances to yell "fore" and/or dodge discs.
Navigation: The blue posts marking the long tee positions were fairly easy to spot, and the photos of the hole atop them were quite helpful. Plenty of "next tee" signs in the wooded part of the course to aid in navigation. When playing to basket-9, note basket-11, to the right. After finishing number-11, cross the parking lot to find tee-12, with basket-12 alongside the walking path which leads to some baseball fields. Tee-13 is near the playground.
Upgrading thee tee areas and baskets, and playing at a time when the park isn't being used much by others, would be ideal.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a decent course that has some fun holes. Most of the holes are in a wooded (tall pines) area but there are open holes with water hazards.
- 2 tees
- variety of turns
- alternate holes
Cons: You need the map, bring it! There are confusing spots especially with the alternate holes.
- crossing fairways
- play near playground
- 16 & 16A play near the road which is bad because they are water throw overs
-some of the natural tees had ruts
Other Thoughts: The park is located right in the middle of town, it's convenient to get to where you need to go, but I prefer a quiet park away from it all.
I would have liked to see 16's tee moved to the middle of the hill and then throw over the water, that road to the right had many cars going by. Improvements can be made here.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Showing its age...
Pros: - All holes have baskets
- Some water holes, some wooded holes, a couple of open holes
- Easy drive from NH seacoast
- Playground for the little ones
Cons: - Baskets are in various states of disrepair, from brand-new to beat up and rusty
- Tees are pretty horrible, huge divots, missing a lot of the original sand/gravel. You think more about foot placement than your drive itself.
- The layout takes a while to get used to, since the signs are not great and baskets are unmarked.
- Some of the holes are forgettable (2, 15, 7)
- Tough to take three steps in a row without either tripping over or stepping on a broken, dead chunk of pine branch.
Other Thoughts: This course is showing its age and could use new baskets, cleaned up tees and better signage. OK if you are playing with someone who has played before, but first timers might get lost easily. Great if you like to walk each hole 75% of the way, assume the basket is the one for your hole, walk back to the tee, forget where the basket was, then poke and hope. I've played the course five or six times now and still had trouble remembering where a few of the baskets were from the tees.
My drive on #13 today was witnessed by two kids playing on a slide a few feet from the tee. If the disc had slipped out early I would probably be in prison now.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There is a welcome board with a large colored map on it; the accuracy is unknown. There are two sets of tees on every hole. They offer two totally different course when played. The holes that have tee sign stands in alright condition do have bag pegs (less than half the holes). There is a pretty good range of holes: from long straight open field to tunnel finish, tunnel start to open finish, some really cool water shots, and a few ace races. The fairways are nice and clear, although the ground is littered with branches and pine cones. There is also some athletic fields and a playground for the little ones.
Cons: Most of the hole maps on the tee signs are missing. There aren't any scorecards in the box, in fact there was trash and lots of dog poop. The baskets aren't numbered and this messes you up on a few holes because you can see two or three of them.The natural tee pads are in pretty rough shape and the short ones are even worse. Most of the baskets are in poor condition and only have one set of chains. A few are new chainstars that were bought to fix broken ones. A lot of the fairways criss cross and turn over on other holes. There are no signs at the second tees just a small board. Navigation is incredibly tough even with the map printed out. Two of the holes play through a busy playground.
Other Thoughts: A map is a must here. Print one out beforehand in case there isnt one at the kiosk.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
It is what it is
Pros: Free, convenient to North Shore of MA, quick to play. Makes the most of what it has. A nice place to work on your approach and putting. A good example for towns what can be done make disc golf accessible.
Cons: Tough to navigate, even after playing it a couple times; not a lot of variety; people enjoying park sometimes oblivious to golf course. Course is relatively short.
Other Thoughts: A very public place to play. Overall, it would be nice to see this type of course in more towns.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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