Pros: There is a pretty good mix of open vs wooded holes here, and elevation comes into play on nearly every hole. The early holes are mostly open, playing around the hilly, grassy area near the college entrance. Later they transition to wooded holes as you wind your way around the back parking lots.
Hole 11 is the best, a cliff shot through the woods to the fairway below.
The wooded holes were thankfully not overgrown, and I didn't have trouble finding my disc. A few of the more open holes do have thick undergrowth off to the sides (#1 being the best example with thick weeds just feet from the basket). The yellow Disccatchers are pretty visible on most holes.
Cons: The tees on the front half are all natural and none are in good shape. The tees are tough to find, and without the map you stand very little chance of finding your way around, even with the next tee signs on most holes.
Mostly, the holes here just aren't that memorable. Few are bad holes, but not many are really fun. Even hole 11 with its great drive has the basket tucked behind a jail of trees, virtually ruling out any ace possibilities. Hole 2 has road to the left and the sunken running track to the right. I turned over into the track and had to backtrack a long way to get to the entrance. A lot of the early holes have the potential to throw onto roads or sidewalks. It was 4th of July weekend when I played so there weren't a lot of people around, but these holes might be dicey when classes are in session.
Other Thoughts: The property has some potential with all the elevation, but the entire place feels neglected. The parking lots are full of weeds and cracked pavement. The walk to 11's tee and 14's tee took you through some desolate lots. And the natural tee pads are annoying. All in all, it was just an okay course.
Difficult to Navigate
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Fun, challenging holes with lots of trees and good use of elevation.
Most baskets were within my 300' range, but I scored only a couple of deuces due to the narrow corridors between trees.
Cons: Navigation would have been impossible without my iPhone and the uDisc app with GPS and course map--then my battery ran down, since I was using it so much. The tee boxes do not have vertical markers, typically just small bricks laying flat on the ground with the number on them...have to be right on top of the tees to see them most of the time.
Several of the fairways cross roads or paths--fortunately the vehicular and pedestrian traffic was not heavy.
Several fairways go through hilly woods with very rocky surface covered with leaves...requires quite a bit of agility and still exposes the average walker to potentially hard falls and possible twisted ankles.
Other Thoughts: Now that I know my way through the course I would play it again, but only on warm, dry days to avoid slipping on the rocks.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Great start, weak finish
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -18 holes in an area without much disc golf around
-Hole 11 is awesome. You throw off a giant ledge. I felt compelled to empty my bag on such an awesome shot.
-The course is well maintained. It's easy to find poorly thrown discs and there's hardly any poison ivy on the course.
-Lots of the holes are challenging and fair (1, 3, 4, 10, and 11 in particular).
-Very close to I-91
-Lots of the holes are well-designed and fun to play.
-The baskets are old, but they catch just fine.
Cons: -There are a few crumby holes on this course. The first 11 are great (except for 7), but things go downhill after that. 7 does not have a fairway. 14, 16, and 17 don't have real fairways either. And 12, 13 and 18 are just so-so.
-Navigation isn't great. You need a map. There are some signs, which are somewhat helpful, but you need a map to find your way around. Adding signs at the tees would make them easier to find.
Other Thoughts: After the first 11 holes, I was loving this course. If all 18 holes had been of this caliber, I'd give the course a 4 rating. But the last 7 holes left me with a bad taste in my mouth. If all 18 holes had been of this caliber, I'd have given it a 2 rating. Nevertheless, this is a great community resource for those of us in Western MA. I'm glad I played the course and I'll take the 30 minute drive again. It's a nice change of pace from Amherst and Northampton, which get tough to play in the summer due to aggressive thorns, poison ivy, and grasses.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good pit-stop on 91
Pros: This course plays around the Holyoke Community College Campus. There are eighteen challenging holes here. All baskets and tees are numbered. Baskets are also in great condition. Next tee signage helped to facilitate course navigation a bit. The course seems to be well maintained and litter is few and far between. Foliage can get rough in the woods but the lawn holes are very well groomed. I would imagine that one could use restrooms and/or running water in the CC buildings provided that they are open, but I didn't have the need to go inside. Elevation is used and optimized on just about every hole here. There are sharp elevation changes and many baskets are placed on steep slopes that can easily add a few strokes to your round if your putt doesn't rest in the chains or flat on the ground. Other challenges are presented by mature trees, tight shots through the woods, well protected baskets, and OB, provided you choose to play roads and parking lots OB. There's a nice mix of open shots and wooded shots, as well as a variety of distances; though the course is a little shorter than average. The course also demands a variety of different curves as well. Hole 11 is the highlight here as it throws off a cliff through the woods. It's probably one of my top five holes in the game; and I've played over 40 courses. There is plenty of parking here, though it could be tougher when classes are in session. The course is also a very convenient stop off of I-91 making it a great road trip stop. The locals who I ran into were helpful in aiding me navigate the course on my first time.
Cons: I wish there were rubber tee pads on every hole here. I mostly only saw them on the back 9. The layout is a little wonky; the course takes you in a big loop and it's often tough to find the next tee. Bringing a map is highly recommended. The map however, is not the easiest to read. I could imagine some holes may be perilous or unplayable when classes are in session. Some holes throw over the road, park benches, or parking lots, which could pose safety concerns for motorists and pedestrians. It's probably best to try to play during evenings or weekends to minimize the amount of interference you could receive from pedestrians and motorists. It could also be pretty easy to lose a disc in the woods.
Other Thoughts: Keep in mind that the topography here is pretty challenging. Close toed shoes are highly recommended and it's easy to lose your footing on the steep slopes. I played here the Friday before Labor Day weekend so I had no problem with lots of campus traffic, but I could imagine it could be tough to play here during classes. Take care for pedestrians and motorists and watch out for the roll-away putts and you'll likely have a nice time on this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Has a lot of tight woods shots to focus on technique and accuracy. The course goes from pretty open shots in the front 9 to being in the woods in the back which gives a nice balance and gradual ramp up in difficulty of shots. Since it's on the HCC campus there isn't any trouble with overgrowth taking over the course (except maybe the tall grass by hole one). Hole 1 plays great for flicks or turnover shots and is a nice start to the course. The next few are open shots with a couple trees in the way but nothing incredibly hard. Once you get to 7 though the course decides it wants to really punish you. If you miss your line in 7/8 you'll have some work to do which makes scoring well on them feel even more rewarding. Hole 11 is a nice little shot downhill straight towards the green.
UPDATE: Hole 12 and 13 have been changed. The new hole 12 is much fairer now. Playing up the hill then curving left instead of continuing straight up. Clearer fairway but still can get in trouble. Hole 13 is much easier since it no longer plays over the road/OB.
Cons: Some parts in the woods are tricky to walk through with loose rocks and fallen trees. Hole 1 is right over a parking lot / footpath and sometimes it gets annoying waiting for people to walk past and clear out of the way. No really big long distance holes, even the open holes in the front 9 are rather short. Not a fan of hole 12, straight uphill with a huge pile of sticks and wood off to the left and if your disc ends up in there have fun getting it out / having a reasonable shot. Also, don't miss your putt on hole 17 unless you want to roll about 30 feet downhill.
Other Thoughts: This is probably the course I'd call my home course and definitely the one I've played the most. There is a nice big field right next to the first hole where you can warm up with some drives. Since the course isn't really ever too crowded you can also get some warm up putts in on hole one since there is no practice basket.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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