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The Gowen Park Experience
Pros: The course is one of the only free courses to play in Maine and the only one in Southern Maine.
Some of the holes are fun. Worth noting is hole 1, although you do have to shoot over the parking lot for the most direct route. Hole 7 is a picturesque hole, it plays just over 400 feet (longest hole) up to a beautiful rock wall with attached stone gazebo. Otherwise there are no other holes worth mentioning.
The park was not busy, even on a Saturday afternoon. The locals seemed to be cognizant of the course and were also friendly. My best bet is you could bring your dog along for the round also.
Cons: The course design is rather awful. Don't get me wrong, there are a few holes worth playing, but on the whole I'd even skip it and pay for a course that would better my game. And that's the travesty, the land available could have offered so much more by the way of layout. Gowen is filled with short dump shots and sometimes quirky holes.
The natural tee pads are hit or miss. I teed off from beside them to avoid a broken ankle. The sand is soft and often times the slope of the teebox is upwards.
Although hole 5 has been cleaned up, it is as if they threw down a (natural) teepad in the middle of a forest and just assumed putting a basket 200 feet away it made a golf hole. Not the case. There is almost no line to speak of, this is not a golf hole. Cut down a couple trees and we're talking.
Other Thoughts: My suggestion would be to take your discs and go throw them in the field at Gowen Park. Until the course is redesigned to be a golf course and not a quirky dump shot disaster, field practice is the only way you're going to improve your game at Gowen. I do love the aspect of the free course in Southern Maine, but I would rather pay to play a decent course than settle for Gowen.
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