Solid 9 holes
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -It's the only course for 25 minutes in any direction.
-Easy parking (park by Hole 6 during business hours if you don't have a UMass parking permit)
-Baskets in great shape
-The course design is great. There is a nice variety of holes (up and down hill, dog legs, obstacles, hyzer bombs, etc.).
-Big range in difficulty of holes. 1, 3, and 6 are ace runs. 4 and 7 are challenging. 2, 5, 8 and 9 aren't too hard or easy.
-Crazy blackberries and apples for public picking in the summer
-Great use of previously under-utilized land
Cons: -The rough gets really rough in the summer with poison ivy, thorns, thick grasses, and lots of trees. It's easy to lose discs or get poison ivy trying to recover them.
-Only 9 holes.
-Sometimes the fairways don't get mowed for too long and even a great shot within 25 feet from the pin takes 5 minutes of searching through tall grasses to find.
-Of the 9 holes, only one has a tee box.
-Most signage has come down, so it would be very hard for a newcomer to play without a guide.
-A couple long-ish walks between holes
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I've played it about 75 times since it opened 18 months ago. The fact that there are no other courses around makes it an extremely valuable resource for disc golfers in town. The layout of the holes is beginner-friendly, but the rough is not. All the thorns and poison ivy and thick rough are the biggest drawback of this course and it doesn't help when they haven't mowed the fairways for four weeks in the middle of summer. I know many newcomers who have lost discs. The course design is fantastic, with several holes having multiple drives based on your level of ability. 2 offers a big blind hyzer spike for those who can throw 275', while newbies have to go around the big bush in the middle. On 5, a 275' hyzer bomb gets you over a whole mess of trees, while those with weaker arms are presented with a nice dog leg right. The course needs tee boxes and permanent signage, otherwise it cannot be played by newcomers unless they have someone to show them around. Hopefully this course gets the improvements it deserves (9 more holes, permanent signage and tee boxes)! With the addition of tees or permanent signs, I'll bump my rating up to a 3. If the course gets these features plus 9 more holes, I'll give it a 3.5 rating (or maybe even a 4 if the additional 9 holes are even better than what's currently there).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Make it 18!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A very nice course when it has been recently mowed. When there are tee markers, they are great. Nice mix of hole types and a great beginner course while still offering enough variety to keep better players interested. Baskets are in great condition, the future of this being 18 is exciting. For locals, this could be an amazing resource. As a UMass alum and a lifelong resident of the area, I hope they will take it to 18 and foster the growth of disc golf in the Valley
Cons: No tee markers 1-5. No really clear route from 4th hole to 5th tee. Tee boxes are marginal, at best. For rec playing though, i'm nitpicking, I thoroughly enjoy the course.
Other Thoughts: Make it 18 and it will be one of the better western Mass DGCs
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: nice layout of holes. well marked trails to next tee box. a few holes have very nice views of the surrounding hills. brand new pole holes. well mowed and groomed. Plays fairly quickly.
Cons: need for future tee pads and better signage. some signs are already missing. The few remaining do help with the hole layout.
Other Thoughts: Sign in parking lot directing players to first tee. (Go toward the cell tower.) Hoping this will get the thumbs up for 18 holes. An alternative is two different tee boxes at different length and angles to give you a slightly different "back" nine.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Work in progress
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice new baskets, interesting layout.
Cons: Thorny brush lining a fair amount of the holes.
They need to remove the barbed wire topped double fences along the left side of hole four. I got trapped between the fences, and had the dickens of a time getting to my disc.
Lack of decent tee boxes (being so new, I expect this will be gradually be addressed.)
Other Thoughts: I am hoping that the students, and public, get behind this course, and play it often, so that the University decides to go ahead with the additional 9 holes.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Good hole design
-Great location for students
-Nice mix of beginner-friendly holes and tougher holes
Cons: -Fairways are good, but the areas on the side need to be thinned out (too many thorns)
Other Thoughts: Plans to make the course 18 holes would really enhance the experience. Adding teepads and signs would help, too.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Good 9 hole loop that shows promise.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Definitely a fun little 9 hole loop that hopefully garners enough positive attention from the campus to be turned into the full 18 hole course it is planned to be. No, it is not a full course yet and there is of course some work that can still be done, but considering this was day one, I think it was quite a lot of fun. Most of the course was midrange or putter drives 200-320 feet, and it made good use of the elevation and land UMass allowed to be touched. Hole 1 is a short, mildly downhill shot in the open, woods waiting for you if you go long or left. Hole 2 is about 350 but so far downhill that it is a midrange shot. There is a cluster of trees and rough if you go short or right, so if you don't have the arm to make it, take the left hand route and settle for a three. Hole 3 is easy but there is water in play (see cons). 4 has a long (over 500ft) and short tee and we played long once, short twice. The long tee isn't too bad and definitely has a well thought out fairway, but the rough is ridiculously painful right now, so we decided to avoid any risk. Hole 5 is a flick (RHFH) or turnover (RHBH) to a basket protected by some trees and woods/rough waiting for anyone who goes short, but again, if you don't have the distance you can take an easy three by throwing a straight shot to the gap, then shooting in towards the basket. Hole 6 is a short little hole that is an easy birdie. 8 is a fun shot that can be attacked from a couple different angles, just the right number of trees/obstacles to keep you honest. Hole 9 can also be approached from a flick, turnover, placement shot or big hyzer over the trees. It conveniently finishes the loop not far from hole 1 so you can get started up again.
Once you get to the course (I agree it can be difficult to find if you don't know where to go), the signage is great and guides your from hole to hole easily.
Cons: Still unfinished, the rough is rough and full of thorns. Not a clearly defined line on hole 7. The rough there is also quite punishing, (nicked a vine and went careening deep into the thorns). People are not supposed to touch the pond by hole 3, but I am worried someone will go in anyway and ignore the signs. Maybe that basket should be moved a little back from the water. Can see parking without a permit being an issue during afternoons (plenty of free parking after 5pm).
As a local and a grad student at this school, I hope the course is a success. Being able to have a course to go to whenever for practice is great. I also hope that it being on campus will help get students curious about the sport and hopefully attract new players. I know I will be bringing as many of my non DGing buddies out to try the sport finally, since it is much easier to convince them to go on a 5 minute walk than a 30 minute drive to try this game out.
For anyone who doesn't know the campus well, you can find hole 1 right by the observatory: http://parking.umass.edu/imag...orParking.pdf
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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