9 Helpful / 0 Not
The Way Disc Golf Should Be
Pros: There are great disc golf courses. There are great disc golf courses with a strong identity. Then there are great disc golf courses that perfectly capture the image of their home states. Porcupine Ridge is one of the latter. The fact that it was autumn probably enhanced the effect, but the pathways that carve through the old-growth forest would be an outstanding walk, even without discs. With the fall colors out, one cannot help but think upon first entering the woods to find the second tee, "This is Maine."
I'd like to say that the best quality of the course is how natural it is. And it does create a feeling that the fairways were just there, waiting to be discovered. But the best quality of Porcupine Ridge is its variety. There's a ton. The lines support right and left leaning shots at all sorts of angles. There are narrow shots, wider lines and elevation changes. The lengths vary from the low 200s to the high 400s. And unlike many very good courses, there is actual variety in the surroundings. Four holes stretch across the open field near the clubhouse.
Although I prefer wooded courses, I like when there are a few chances to let it rip. I love when those chances are in the beginning. Warm up and loosen up the arm before heading into the woods. Here, 1, 3, 4 and 5 allow just that. A downhill shot with basket on the edge of the woods. A clean fairway with a tree line on the right. A short, placement shot. A bomb. Even the wide open holes all present different challenges. The sixth hole transitions nicely to the wooded heart of the course. The tee is on the edge of the field. The basket is downhill and protected by a few trees. From the green, you cross a bridge and enter the woods.
I'm not going to describe each hole in the bulk of the course. That's been done. I'll just say that each one is beautiful. These are wooded pathways, but wooded pathways out of a fantasy movie. The grass is mowed and edged. Baskets will sit in stone circles, edged to look like a golf course, as if a gold course could lie in the woods. The maintenance on the open holes is nice: the fairways are cut just shorter than the rough, (Yeah, it doesn't affect play but its a nice touch.) but that level of care is present n the wooded holes as well. They're all challenging as well. While there are a couple of ace runs in there, but also some true par fours.
Everything contributes to the feeling here. The tees are cement, with wood boundaries far beyond what could present a hazard. The signs are wood carved, with drawings of the layout etched in and colored. While only the blue tees have the signs, (the whites have simple poles with the number and distance.) on the holes where players wouldn't walk past the blue tee to get to the whites, the sign is just before the paths separate.
I will mention, in finality, the final hole. It was my favorite on the course. From the seventeenth green, golfers approach an actual babbling stream. The blue tee shoots directly over the stream. Whites cross the bridge before they tee off. There's a tee gap a bit past the stream before the fairway opens up. From there, its a sever up hill to to pin perched just on top of the rise. It's a fitting end that the hill opens up to the same field that you started on, and you're approaching the clubhouse from the opposite side you left from.
Cons: It's tough to find anything to complain about at Porcupine Ridge. I could see some players not caring for holes three (a little short) and four(a little long) but I think it adds a nice variety to the four open holes that would otherwise not exist.
Other Thoughts: Visitors to the state of Maine are famously greeted by the slogan, "The Way Life Should Be." At this course, that simultaneously exemplifies great disc golf and represents the quintessence of the state of Maine, it would be appropriate for the slogan to be adapted." Porcupine Ridge: The Way Disc Golf Should Be."
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Porqupine Ridge is worth the drive
Pros: I played from the short tees on this course so my review is based from that.
From this trip I took (in which I played 14 different courses in Maine, I felt this course had the best tee pads. The we're long and they we're of the trapezoid variety that fits most players styles. (Wish they we're more flush with the ground, but that might a Maine thing with the frost?? or colder weather).
I noticed a lot of benches. Don't know for sure if they we're at every tee (both long and short tees), but I saw a lot of them. and Benches are so important on any DG course, especially when your an older player like me and it's a waiting game on a busy day.
Distinct wood carved tee signs really stand out and add a "homey" feel.
very friendly staff (especially their Dog, Seether that comes out of the Pro Shop and meets you with a friendly attitude at the front steps. Seether will also retrieve one of her discs if you want to play "fetch" with her <she also doesn't leave any marks on the retrieved disc>)
I liked the added touches the proprietors have done at this course. Hand made tee signs, steps that lead one to the teeing area @ hole # 14. a small shelter that a foursome could easily stand in if inclimate weather would be present. Several port a johns.(Can't figure out why I needed to picked up a couple of Ice Tea cans that we're thrown in the bushes when there was) Trash cans and cigarettes cans at every tee
I loved playing hole # 14, in fact I threw a drive from the long tee as well as playing from the short tee because this hole was so awesome. To me this was one of their better holes. They could in the future make it a little harder by placing the basket on a slop that's not to far from it's current position or extend the fairway a little more.
After # 5 (excluding hole # 2) IMHO this course ranks up to the best in New England. Grip and rip courses are okay, but I like to bend it like Beckham through the trees.
# 2, seems like I'm talking a lot about this hole. But this is the kind of hole that any course would love to have a part of the course wherever you are. Long mostly straight fairway with trees bordering both sides of the fairway. Stay on the fairway and you'll be looking good. Short tee had a raised tee pad that was so big I could of parked my car on it.
I liked a lot of holes on this course and # 6 was a beauty. The Basket is on the downside of a hill that isn't readily seen from the teeing area. Shoot to hard and brush or worse yet a creek could come into play.
holes # 17 and 18 we're great finishing holes. I chatted with the owner about moving the basket closer to the creek, but Maine laws restrict this so... What can one do. But hole # 17 is still one of their signature holes and even if the owner can't put the basket nearer to the creek.
# 18 was featured once in a Innova calendar. And I could see why. Even from the short tee the creek comes into play if an errant drive is thrown. The one has to navigate a steep up hill fairway. I wish the basket was more on the slope than we're it was. But it picture perfect or at least Calendar perfect.
Cons: I thought the first 5 holes we're bland (except for hole # 2).
The Pro shop had limited amount of Discs to select from, but the Shop it self has a lot of potential and since this is a newer course and after talking with the owner. I'm sure that the Disc selection will improve over time (so this really isn't a big issue to me)
smallish gravel parking lot, but this is Maine and there's plenty of room for expansion.
Other Thoughts: This course is a Pay to Play Disc Golf course ($5 for a round $ 8 for all day play. Cheap if you ask me considering all the owner is doing besides providing the Disc Golf a very challenging Disc Golf course.
This course is in Augusta, Maine and the property borders the city of Vasselboro.
The owner is very knowledgeable (and friendly) having been in the landscaping business and I'm sure as time goes on you'll see more and more positive additions.
Owner has a lot of unused property and hinted that possible expansion would be added in the near future.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Exceptional course. So much care and professional landscaping went into the construction of this course. No expense was spared on drainage, culverts, bridges and surfacing. Wooded holes often have shade grass amongst the trees, which really pulls together the holes as a comfortable easily shot-navigated fairway, instead of just a rough cleared extention of the woods. The best feature of the design, in my opinion, is that trees are used only in moderation as obstacles. There is plenty of technical challenge without the need to constantly have to thread the needle. I hit my share of trees, but the layout is such that I never felt uncomfortable unloading a full swing from the tees or fairways. I'm not sure I swore even once on this course? Overall a very high, quality, level of enjoyment and challenge. This course is clearly one of the elite in the state.
The course is laid out linearly instead of back and forth through the woods - Rarely can you see one fairway from another. This makes for no noise or visual distractions to contend with fro other course-goers. Safety concern over disc air-traffic is non existent. Overall, this feature really adds nice seclusion, almost like having your own private course.
Cons: Really none that are of any concern. The clubhouse is gorgeous, but only functionally stocked with a small rack of discs. Being new, there are a couple of spots that could use some of the underbrush bordering the fairways thinned a little. Hole 2 might be the only obvious one, most other holes there is little hardship in searching for wayward shots. There are established walk-ways on many of the holes, often surfaced with stone. A couple aren't yet and would benefit from it to sure up the footing - Hole 17, for instance, plays along a left sloping surface that was a bit greasy of a traverse on the day we went.
Other Thoughts: Before heading into the woods, the course starts with 4 of the first 5 holes on prolific, well groomed, field. Personally, I'm a big proponent of always having some grip-n-rip holes mixed in - Who doesn't like to rip off a few long ones - this course delivers that chance. I pity the person who mows it all though.
We had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Bob Grieg the father of this disc-enthusiastic father and son owned/operated course - Personable owners always enhance the experience.
Favorite holes: 13 & 14 white - both beg for a long S-curve threaded through the trees. 18 white is like throwing up an elevator shaft, perfect for my 166 vulcan.
Least favorite: #6 because I just can't make a disc do what I want on this hole - not really the hole's fault, I suppose.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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