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.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pretty and Flat
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.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Really a fun course, short but fun.
The course is maintained really well.
There are multiple tee and pin placements that get changed pretty frequently. The better majority of the course is fairly technical, because of the lay out of the trees.
Cons: Completely level, so if elevation change is your game you won't like it. Depending on time it can be a bit full of people.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Good upkeep, beginner friendly
Pros: The park had taken an obvious beating from a huge storm a few days previously, but the course was in good playing condition when I visited. Some very large mounds of fallen trees and branches, but nothing that hurt playability. Congrats to the folks who did all that work and keep the course in good shape.
Good tee pads, easy to navigate. Fun for a very quick round. I played my first 18 from the whites in about an hour, and never got off track from one hole to the next.
Good use of the trees to add variety. There's no thick woods to shoot through. Almost every hole is short and semi-wooded, but I don't agree with the impression that most of the holes feel the same. The targets often require a specific angle of approach. Several baskets are well-placed to make you think about your throw from the tee. A few examples:
• the huge tree that can block the basket on #8
• the line of trees that run along the left of #9, and eliminate any use of my typical forehand anhyzer
• the low-hanging branches on #10 that beg for a low trajectory
3 - plays a little longer, with the fairway and basket favoring a straight shot through an alley of trees
13 - curls slightly right, following the angle of a slight depression
14 - a more pronounced and protected curl right; trees well-used to frame both the fairway and the basket
16 - one of the shortest holes, but the trees are well-scattered to threaten the drive/approach
18 - enough open space for a longer drive, with the basket again well-placed among a few larger trees
Cons: Overall the course is short, straight, very flat, and crammed into a tight space. Very little challenge for better players. The course suited my hacker's game just fine, but this is far removed from a championship-level test. Not much variety in play between the white and blue tee boxes overall.
The mandos can get incredibly gimmicky. 17 is an extreme example. The gap between the double mando is very tight and far left of the natural trajectory of the hole. Even worse, it's about 15 feet from the tee, and nowhere near in line with the angle of the tee box. To get any hope for a successful drive, you have to throw a banana anhyzer across your body, and just hope you have the arc peaking at the right moment to both shoot the gap and avoid the branches beyond.
Other Thoughts: Not a scenic layout. Almost the entire lay of the land is visible from the parking lot. And even though the setting is clean, the baskets and signage are showing their age. It can be a fun course to play, well suited to beginners, but I don't see much reason to go out of your way to find it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: i am so glad that i picked this course to play while in maryland. the course is beautifully maintained. its well marked, with an arrow and number of the next tee, posted on every basket. the entire area is not huge, but i think it was set up well. some holes you throw across other holes. i actually got a little lost on one hole and threw to the 5th.
the first hole is a short one, but with the mando you need a lot of hyzer on this shot.
the second hole (i believe) is tough, with a narrow tunnel between two trees, which are about 15 ft in front of the tee.
the sixth hole is a fun one, with a long shot with a mando to the right...i threw a champion monarch.
the seventh hole is a chance to rip a long shot, i liked a flick with this one.
hole 13 is a long shot with a dogleg to the right, the basket is set pretty far back, with a nasty little ditch on the right. dont put your disc in there, you'll probably lose it.
hole 14 is one of the few world class holes. its another long shot (from blue) with that ditch on the right. it has quite a few trees in the way on both sides.
the 17th hole is very short, but from blue, its a challenging shot with the small area to throw through, not 10 ft in front of the tee are two trees growing side by side, with a mando between them. i threw my best shot with a valkyrie. i had to throw an anhyzer that faded back to the left toward the basket.
that i remember, 18 is another world class hole. you can throw a bomb here, but careful of that ditch again, its on the right.
Cons: they could use a water fountain or something. other than that, i cant think of too much that i would change. i loved this course.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of Average
Pros: Nice 18 holes. Good tee pads. Multiple pads on each hole. Good signs. Next basket arrows help a lot. Benches on many tees. Zero trash on this course. Kudos to the locals for keeping it so clean despite a lack of trash cans. Plenty of trees here. Holes are laid out well using the trees to define fairways. There are many huge stumps of very old and very large removed trees. Many good, solid medium trees and a number of small today, later to be big, trees. Nice eye to the future. The course plays through well despite the look, at first glance that there is a pad and a basket sort of randomly everywhere. As I played it I was surprised to see it actually made sense. A few mandos marked VERY clearly sprayed on the trees dictate some shot placement.
Cons: Just a bit boring. It felt like all the holes were about the same length. Every hole just sort of felt like every other hole. The baskets are pretty much in front of you and there are trees to thread, go round or pass by… and after a while all the trees, all the baskets and all the holes look and feel the same. The packed in layout uses the space very well… but it does not make for much distinction. Even with 3 pads on nearly all holes… all pads play pretty much just like every other pad. Maybe one pad is a bit longer or shorter, but the shot line is pretty much the same. There is zero elevation change on the course. I get the feeling it is muggy and buggy here in the height of the summer… would be a con later in the year… but not on my visit today. Lack of a course map was a disappointment on the GDCR web site… and after playing through I would love to have a birds-eye view of the course due to the ziggy-zaggy, wanderiness of the layout
Other Thoughts: Every hole here can be an ace run if your arm is big enough. It is really a par 2 course all the way around. If you can set up and land a drive within 30' of the pin you can get your long putting game dialed in and drop deuces all day. I am rating the course as solidly average… which is O.K. Average golf is still good, worthwhile golf. I just doubt I would play here a lot of I had other area choices due to lack of variety. I try to pick a signature hole on every course… and this is really the problem with this course. Except for the nice, deeper hyzer on hole #1 and the mini tree tunnel in which the hold #1 basket sits, every other of the 17 holes looks, feels, and plays exactly like every other hole. None of them stood out in my mind as memorable. When I try to picture any hole I see every hole. One way I was thinking the course could be tweaked would be to alter basket placement using some of these trees… the problem is that with the 18 packed tightly into this area there is little lateral space for alteration from where the baskets have landed. I think the attempt here must have been made to provide variety using all those tee pads… But, as mentioned earlier… there is not real difference in the pads locations relative to the holes. I played Bluemont this weekend as well. I liked that course a lot, compared to this one. I read reviews from another player of both courses and his comments were exactly opposite of mine. He loved this place and really disliked Bluemont. Go figure.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Helicopter buzzing the course
Pros: I really enjoyed the combo of the open layout and the mandos. This strategy makes the course more mental than physically demanding. the fairways are exciting due to the trees that seem strategically placed right where right hand dominant heizer throwers would tend to huck. so...it's a well rounded challenging course.
Cons: crazy helicopter pilot buzzing the course (looked like the president's helicopter). no elevation change. fetid stream where you definitely don't want your discs to go.
Other Thoughts: seriously cool crowd, took my dog and received no hassling. overall a really nice course with many fun and challenging holes. I would say that if you are an experienced thrower, you should maybe play the course all par three with a couple par fours.
2 of 3 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.
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