One of the best in the area
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great variety, starts off with a few long shots, and then makes it's way into some tightly wooded areas, then finishes with some longer holes. The holes are marked great, and there are multiple tee pads on most of the holes. The fairways are kept nicely, and there is hardly any trash. You can tell it's a well maintained course.
Cons: The rough gives no mercy for the most part, if you lose track of a disc, good luck locating it. Not really that much a con, but worth noting. Also, definitely bring bug spray, as most of the course plays through wooded area, and near swamps.
Other Thoughts: Great course, wish it was there when I lived next to Merrill Field. One of my top five in the area, which includes both Hudson Mills courses. I enjoy the challenge of having to make some accurate tee shots, but it feels great when a hyzer makes it through the trees and 10 feet from the pin. Hole 14 is the mando hole, which is interesting and not for everyone. I don't care for it, but I wouldn't call it a con. It definitely is a challenge, and one of these days I'll be able to birdie it.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Public with a Private feel
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Pleasantly laid out over hills, through woods, bordering a big park
+ Mixed, but balanced hole lengths and layouts
+ Balanced between tight and technical and fairly open (still technical)
+ Fairly easy navigation with necessary signage
+ Tee signs: #, distance, AM/Pro, and elevation change listed
+ Permanent blue 30' putting circle markers in ground
+ Other signage: ace post, nice course sign, #14's fences
+ Some good benches
+ Wood chips around baskets and in other needed areas as well
+ Nicely cleared fairways and walking paths
+ Pea stone, some gravel, and logs at tees to hopefully reduce erosion
+ Very clean and nicely groomed/mowed
+ No stumps left over from clearing
+ Some very scenic wooded areas, especially the last couple holes
+ The surprisingly steep hill bordering the left of #7's fairway helped me gain a few strokes on my competitor
+ Wind came into play on several holes
+ Practice basket
+ Lots of trash cans held in place by metal rods
Cons: - No par levels on tee signs
- Walking/biking trails nearby
- Hole #8 is a a beast: 350', heavily wooded, very rough on the edges, narrow, curving, with the basket tucked away
- Signature hole #14 was fun, but it would SUCK to retrieve discs in The Gulch - wonder if beginners will skip this hole
- #17: just a basket in the middle of an aesthetically pleasing bit of forest
- No signage directing visitors from the park's main entrance to the DGC
- Not a fan of tee signs with semi-accurate carved fairway shapes and pin locations - still requires looking ahead a lot
- Thorny bushes, a little poison ivy, and overall roughness is still bad
Other Thoughts: Two intermediate throwers played this course for the first time on a nice, warm fall Sunday morning. We threw from the Pro tees where available and felt very challenged since we thought the course was all Par 3's. FYI, it really isn't (see the Course Map/Rules under Links/Files). Regardless, we both threw 65.
The course is aesthetically pleasing because of how groomed it is and how nicely preserved they kept the grounds around the fairways. The amenities are everywhere and in great condition. While the rough is really rough in spots, the fairways are appropriately clear and there aren't any stumps to trip on. The forest isn't destroyed by discs yet, but I could see this being a popular option in the area as pay to play isn't enforced. Regardless, right now it's a very nice place to play disc golf.
The course flows from open with mowed fairways, then into some tight woods, and then back out into some longer, open wooded spots. Overall, I think The Gulch balances challenge well by mixing terrain/elevation with different hole lengths and curving fairways. Several holes were a frustrating combination of length, tree coverage, obstacles, and sometimes pin placement (#8). Some fairways are intentionally shaped oblong to force different kinds of shots (#4). A couple holes aren't rewarding to throw and can be quite frustrating (#17). A couple short and sweet holes felt a little lackluster (#10-14). Put me in the camp who thinks The Gulch hole (#14) is gimmicky, but I still enjoyed it. Overall, the mix of holes may be balanced, but the layout/design itself just doesn't qualify as 4.0/Excellent.
The Gulch has only been open a few months, so it came with a lot of pleasant surprises and some unpleasant disappointments. In terms of challenge and design, the course itself is a 3.5 out of 5.0. My rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 takes into consideration the obvious and much-appreciated efforts to maintain the course and elevate its quality with many amenities. A 0.5 disc boost is appropriate and well-deserved. Hopefully you can take a look at my Pros list, play the course, and consider the rating justified. If not, just trust that 4.0 is the most honest assessment I can give The Gulch.
Thanks for reading!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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