Nice Old School Feeling
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A very manageable, relatively short 18 hole course in a well-maintained township park 5 minutes from the University of Maryland. Course is mostly open with plenty of mature trees scattered about on each hole giving you flight options. A nice course information board sits by the parking lot and a porta-john rests on the other side of the lot. There are 2-3 decent sized concrete tee pads- red/blue/white- at every hole for varying levels of difficulty. Old school tee signs (white fiberglass with basic lettering and flight path) are sufficient. Mach III baskets are older but work well and are all numbered. Brown wooden blocks with a number and arrow pointing you to the next tee are secured to the base of each basket. Several benches are located at various holes.
Cons: There are some safety issues here as many fairways play close to one another, necessitating the presence of several mandos. Course is flat and not overly challenging to the advanced player with nothing over about 350 feet in length. Signage should be upgraded with pars being accurately reflected and the colors designating the multiple tee pads should be re-painted for better visibility.
Other Thoughts: Played this course after a recent visit with my niece at U of M and was not disappointed. Nowhere is it written that every "good" disc golf course has to be a monster, and I appreciate playing a course like this once in awhile. Nearly 35 years old, Calvert Road Park is a tribute to disc golf's humble beginnings and a reminder of what the game looked like before modern disc technology and today's infatuation with distance. This is a fun course where casual players can achieve success. Bad drives can be erased with a real good approach shot. And though it will not sufficiently challenge most truly advanced players (birdie opportunities galore here even with the longer tees), one must still execute basic shots off the tee and have a sound short game to score as well as one would like. An ideal course to learn the game and an enjoyable playing experience.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Lots of disc golf here for your efforts
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is very accessible, and is even Metro accessible. It is rarely crowded, and can handle a lot of groups before it feels crowded. Nice level tee pads, three pads per hole. Moderately low canopy encourages good form on most shots. You will almost never spend time looking for lost discs here, which is a huge bonus. This is a dense course, so you will get a lot of disc golf in for a given amount of time spend on the course. Lots of good restaurants in the area, it's a college town.
Cons: No elevation changes, poor drainage leads to lots of mud almost year round, especially around the pins.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Course grows on you METRO accessible
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a great course to take beginners on. Recently moving back east, I've corralled a number of friends to go folfing (DC) and this course provides a decent opportunity to just grip it and rip it for someone who asks why the disc is so small.
Signage is straight forward overall, grass is well mowed. Multiple Tees are available and concrete pads.
The course is METRO accessible too. It's about 1 mile walk on sidewalk from the college park METRO station.
Holes 1 and 10 start near the parking lot giving you a good chance to play front and back 9 without walking half way around the course.
Cons: The course is flat.
While there's trees and obstacles, there really never is a feeling that the course is all that difficult.
It's basically a pitch and putt course by today's standard.
It's a tight course as well. Easy chance to have a misfire land in other DC lanes.
Other Thoughts: If you are at a conference or just need a folf fix this course is a great little toss.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Old School Course With Old School Pars Listed!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Calvert Park is your classic old school course built in 1980. It's held up pretty well through the years but offers a glimpse back to what designers were thinking in the early years of disc golf.
It was very typical of courses then to be shorter then as discs were much more basic, more like your standard mid-range today. Tee pads were often made smaller. The basic fiberglass signs were the rage. The pars listed were laughable by today's standards. There were far more holes ending in hyser left turns than the more creative hole configurations seen today. So this course, which would have "State of the Art" when built in 1980 looks more like a recreational course today. Because players weren't throwing nearly as far, designers were able to place fairways much closer together.
I loved the helpful navigation aids like the wooden next tee sign hanging from the chains. Those wouldn't have been there in 1980. And you really don't need them as navigation is pretty easy anyway.
Cons: The course isn't going to challenge anyone intermediate level or above. It's just a simple, fun recreational course playing through a flat, semi-wooded park. It has no glaring design flaws. Granted, there are a couple of silly Mandos. Skip them if you're not down with them. I really didn't like the one threading the needle between the two trees up ahead.
Other Thoughts: This is another of those course where the listed Pars are totally out of whack with today's standards. These were created by 1980 discs and distances being thrown. Instead of scoffing at them, I like to play them and see how many eagles I can rack up. And how far under Par I can score. I know it's a false sense of accomplishment but I think it's kind of interesting. So let the old man have his fun and shoot a -16. I'm only going to play Calvert Park DGC once in my life.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course was beautiful; there were many old, large trees.
I like the three tee options and the multiple pin locations; that's a huge bonus.
The tee signs and markers to the next tee were very helpful.
The course was fun and the layout was good considering the area of land into which it fit.
Cons: Some fairways were very close to others.
I could see there being problems in a tournament setting with how close some of the baskets were to other tees, etc. There's probably an ideal layout for a tournament, but's that's going to limit which tees and pins you could use.
Mando's - there were too many. I know mando's serve a purpose, for instance safety. Some of the mando's seemed like they were for safety; however, many were a bit ridiculous. It's like someone got bored and said "I want to make people throw this stupid shot before completing the hole".
Another con on the mando's: I didn't understand which ones to shoot for. Some were marked different colors, so I thought maybe that corresponded to which color tee I was playing from. Some holes had multiple mando's - of different color - per hole, so it got confusing at times.
Other Thoughts: Below I have shared a rating system I use to help me calculate a course's score. I use many categories then an importance to me. The importance is a weight in a calculation, with 0 - 10 possible. Then I assign my rating for each category, with 0 - 5 possible. I use a spreadsheet to determine a score that fits in the DG course review stars system.
Baskets...........................8 imp, score: 3.5
Tee Pads..........................7 imp, score: 5
Tee Signs/Maps/Markers....6 imp, score: 4.5
General Course Design.......9 imp, score: 2
Foliage Maintenance..........7 imp, score: 4
Benches & Trash bins........7 imp, score: 4
Elevation...........................5 imp, score: 0
Epic Holes........................5 imp, score: 1
Camping...........................1 imp, score: 0
Restrooms........................6 imp, score: 2.5
Running water...................3 imp, score: 1
Variety of hole distances....7 imp, score: 1.5
Variety of shots required.....7 imp, score: 2
Mix of tight & open.............7 imp, score: 2
Overall challenge................7 imp, score: 3.5
Parking..............................5 imp, score: 3.5
Scenic beauty....................3 imp, score: 4.5
Crowded or not...................4 imp, score: 4
Regular events...................1 imp, score: 2.5
Attitude of locals................1 imp, score: 4
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Oldie but Goodie
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Well maintained. Beautiful lightly wooded course with grassy fairways. No rough to speak of. Well marked. Multiple tee pads for every hole. Very little littering noted.
Cons: Short. It's an old course and most pins are completely drivable with modern discs (some might not consider that bad.) The death of many of the original trees has opened up the course more (the hollies that used to be on 16 are particularly missed.)
Mandatories are not always clearly marked.
No water, no restrooms. A Jiffy Jon is over by the picnic area in the rest of the park.
Other Thoughts: I noted a few replanting of young trees. It would be good to see additional ones planted in the stumps of the old trees to help rejuvenate the course.
Practice basket is oldest basket on the course, an original DGA basket (shallow basket and all). Rest of course uses Mach IIIs.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Pretty and Flat
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful Course
Multiple Tee Pads, and Good condition
Multiple Pin Positions
Cons: No Elevation Changes
No Epic Holes
Pretty much every hole is technical
Not a lot of shot variety
Other Thoughts: The Mando usage is a bit ridiculous. Most of the Mandos aren't even used for safety purposes, they're just used for the sake of having more mandos. Some of the Mandos even force you to throw toward another hole more than if there was no mando. However, overall the course was still pretty fun, and definitely pretty.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Old School Technical Course!
Pros: - Nice course tucked away in the heart of Terrapin country, not too far away from the Beltway.
- Even before you play, there are signs pointing you to the first tee, as well as a kiosk with a bunch of information about the sport.
- Concrete blue, white, and red tees provide varied challenge for each hole, although their blue tees are the equivalent of a modern-day red one.
- Signage is present on each hole, although they're showing their years of wear. They are, however, still readable.
- Course flow is very easy to follow since you don't have to do a lot of walking from basket to tee. "Next Tee" signs underneath each basket also help provide direction. Bringing a map is encouraged, but certainly not necessary. Course wraps well from 1-9 and 10-18 to the kiosk.
- There's only about 2 or 3 true doglegs on this course. With that being said, you're going to find yourself using dogleg-like shots due to the placement of trees relative to the tees and basket. I found myself scheming a lot of sharp hyzer backhands and tight forehand shots to manuever around the trees. I even found myself using a roller or two. This challenging aspect redeems the course a litte since it has no real elevation changes or variety in hole types.
- Mandos on numerous holes make your shots more interesting, forcing you on hitting a certain gap or line to the basket.
- Nice manicured grass on fairways. Debris (with the exception of the recent hurricane damage) is clear and is characteristic of a course its age. I swear these older courses age like a fine wine if well-kept by the community!
- Tiny creek comes into play on the last 4-5 holes, although it was completely dried up when I played.
- Not a soul playing here when I was here, which was around 11am.
Cons: - Flat flat flat. No elevation changes at all. In fact, shot variety isn't really different throughout the 18 holes. Sure, there are different lines and gaps you have to thread on each hole, but it's still throwing through trees on a flat surface for *each* of the 18 holes. Gets kinda repetitive after awhile.
- Hole lengths are clearly indicative of a course that's 30 years old (in other words, SHORT!) I think this is negated by the fact that the holes require precision and avoiding hitting tree trunks and low-lying branches though.
- Pars are clearly outdated. I treated the par 4's like par 3's and the par 5's like par 4's to make my scores a little more realistic.
- Course could use some new signs, but I'm not going to consider this a con, per se.
Other Thoughts: This course must have been something else when it was unveiled in 1980. Even by today's standards, it's somewhat technical and challenging (although very very short in length). I can see all the pros back in the day coming here to test their skills. For 2011 standards, it's clearly not your premiere metropolitan course (I suggest going to Seneca Creek State Park for that). But, if you want a fairly quick round with your friends, some practice with your short/technical game, or want to introduce someone to the sport, this course is for you!
I also envy the U. of Maryland students because they have a nice school, a great basketball team, AND this course! Go Terps!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Friendly Neighborhood Course
Pros: Nice, flat 18-hole course jammed into 4 acres of local parkland. For someone like me, who used to play frequently in college and is now returning to the sport after a long layoff, this course is just what the doctor ordered. After getting beaten up at Seneca Creek the other day, I needed to get back in to the groove, and this course fit the bill.
I played one practice round here where I threw multiple discs to try and re-learn how to throw, and then a second round where I scored 2-over from the middle tees.
So this course is very beginner friendly, but it can still provide a challenge to the more experienced player. . It's very well-maintained with solid concrete tees, and the baskets are in great shape. There are either 2 or 3 sets of tees on every hole. The tees are well marked: red for easy, white for medium, and blue for "World Class", which were featured on about 5 or 6 holes.
There is a small wooden sign at the bottom of every basket pointing to the next hole. Only once or twice did I feel it was unclear where the next tee was, and after one play you get the gist of the layout.
At first I wasn't too receptive to the mandos but I discovered that they forced me to improve my accuracy, so I'll call that a win. I guess this is why this course is often described as one that is beginner friendly and stresses the fundamentals. If you have to thread two trees 30 yards away that are 15 feet apart, you start to concentrate on release and balance, and that can only be a good thing.
Even though I'm still working on my distance off the tee, I found myself with a reasonably realistic birdie or par chance on nearly every hole.
There's virtually no underbrush to speak of, so there's no worry about losing a disc.
It's a 10-minute walk from the College Park Metro.
Cons: It's flat as a pancake. There are no noticeable elevation changes at any point.
One or two tees are missing signs, and some of the ones that are there look like they were installed when the course was built in 1980 - they're weathered.
With such a tight layout, the inevitable crossing of golfers into other fairways will occur here and there, but it's not a major problem.
Other Thoughts: If you do Metro there, don't be like me and put "Calvert Park" as your destination into Google Maps. It will route you to a neighborhood park on the other side of the metro tracks, turning what should have been a 10-minute walk into a 45-minute exercise in frustration. You want to veer LEFT after you go through the fare gate.
On that note, the course is not actually in Calvert Park, despite the name. It is in Paint Branch Parkway Community Park.
I had read that the course gets muddy after a rain, but I played the day after a few big storms dumped a bunch of rain in the area, and I experienced no issues whatsoever with mud or boggy conditions.
About a half mile away, the College Park Aviation Museum has a very healthy selection of Innova Discs, including several championship versions of the more popular models. There were also a few Discrafts on hand.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Can finish 18 Holes within an hour on a compact course with enough room not to interfere with other golfers. Disc's are never hard to find. A great course to bring beginners to.
Cons: No elevation change. Course stays very damp after heavy rains due to all the shade.
Other Thoughts: This was the first course I ever played in 1988 with an Ultimate Frisbee Disc. When I first saw a disc golf disc, I thought how the heck do you throw this with any distance.
BTW - My Bachelor Party begain here with a round of golf followed by many rounds of drinks later in the day!! Love you MB!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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