Finally a home course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) The biggest pro this course has going for it is that it's the only game in town. On days when we can't drive to Dryden, Syracuse, or Pennsylvania, those of us who live in the Binghamton area finally have a place to get in a quick disc golf fix.
2) This course is great for teaching new players how to play the game. It is short, easily navigated, and will punish your scorecard for inaccuracy, but you shouldn't lose many discs (The vegetation along hole-4 can eat a disc, as can the pond on hole-11, but other than that you should find just about any disc with some persistence)
3) Although there is little distance variety, the course is fairly balanced for lefties and righties.
4) As is the case with most courses I have frequented, a small friendly group of regulars can be found here. If you're new to the course and run into somebody that looks like they know what they're doing, speak up and say hi, most of us would be happy to share a round with you.
5) Signature hole: Hole-8 - A nice drive will get you into a shaded grove along a stream at the foot of a steep 7-foot high slope. The basket lies on a plateau up the slope. You'll need pinpoint accuracy on your approach to be in range for a good look at a birdie- 3.
Cons: 1) The course has come a long way in a year, but there is still some debris on the course and stumps in the fairways that need to be removed.
2) There are a couple of holes that feed redundant. For example, holes 1,6, and 14 are all about the same length and dead straight with narrow fairways.
3) The course is short. You only have two real opportunities to grip and rip. (Holes 11 and 17)
4) A couple of the holes force tee shots at odd angles. Hole-10, an uphill, U-shaped shot, is the best example. Although, I do feel this can be a con for travelers, I also think it is actually a pro for locals. Once you get these holes dialed in, your trials-and-errors will result in lots of rewarding birdies.
5) Parking on campus is a no-no if you don't have a pass. There is no enforcement on weekends (5 p.m. Friday to Sunday night at midnight), but don't park on campus during the week unless you're ok with a ticket. Luckily there is an easy solution. If you don't have a pass, simply park off campus on Murray Hill Road and start on hole-5 which is merely 100 yards away. Play the course from hole-5 to hole-4 and enjoy!
6) Not a big deal at all, but hole-13 is a par-3. I can deal with 8, 11, and 17, they can be par-4s, but they should change the sign on hole-13.
Other Thoughts: I know the designer had many, many restrictions when planning this course. Considering what he had to work with, I think he did a very nice job. So the walk from 1 to 18 is a tad long, I've seen much worse. So, there's a bit of a walk from 10 to 11. It's worth it! Holes 11 and 13 are two of my favorites on the course and I'd walk twice as far to play them.
BU is a fun little course and is only going to get better with age. The area finally has a viable disc golf venue to grow the sport. This little course has brought local players together which will lead to more courses, which will lead to even more players, and eventually a vibrant disc golf community in the Southern Tier. Thanks to BU for your investment in a great sport and for a nice course that I don't have to drive an hour to get play!!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
OK...but could use some tweaking
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good scenery
Not usually crowded
Cons: Too short
Fairways need some cleaning up
Other Thoughts: I haven't played this course since last fall, so I can't say how well it plays after the harsh winter. However, after reading the recent reviews, I did a walkthrough in mid-June. to address some of the issues brought up in other reviews.
First off, bugs. Are there bugs on the course? Of course. Anywhere in the woods and near slow moving water is going to have bugs. And sure, they will bother you if you don't use bug spray. But that is the key point. I don't think there is a course anywhere where bugs will not be an issue on a hot summer day when you are sweating. It is just common sense to use bug spray if you are going to sweat outdoors. So give yourself a good spray before you leave your car and you should be good to go. As for parking, I have always gone while the college was not in session, so I park in the East Gym lot. But I can see where it could be a problem during SUNY semesters. The placement of the 1st tee was clearly done with students in mind, as it is close to the East Gym entrance where they can check out the discs. So it is pretty far removed from the bulk of the holes. But the walk from the off campus parking isn't really THAT long. Certainly not enough to keep you from playing.
On to the woods holes. They are demanding, but I would say that they are all possible. I might accept that maybe 1 or 2 might require both skill AND luck to get par, but the rest are OK. My problem with these holes are that if you are off by even a tiny bit and hit a tree, your disc could go anywhere in the ricochet, and now your next throw could be totally blocked. There isn't much chance of a recovery par in that case. But my biggest concern with the holes in the woods is all the debris on the ground. This is not a course where you want to casually chat with your buddies while walking to your next throw. There are so many roots, fallen trees, stumps, and large rocks on the ground that it really feels like you're hiking, rather than playing a sport. So make sure you pay attention to where you are stepping when walking to your disc. And a pair of sturdy boots is better than loose low top sneakers or shoes. And I'd definitely avoid open toed shoes like sandals. (and be careful....there are quite a few animal holes in the woods, so definitely watch your step especially on the hills.) Another problem I have with the debris is a perfect throw could hit a stump on the way down and roll into no man's land where your next shot is completely blocked. I feel a fairway should be a fairway. I'd like to see them make actual fairways by clearing out the path of all the debris and laying down woodchips the way the school did for the nearby High Elements Training Course. It'd make the woods holes both safer, and more fair. Even if the path was just a narrow path to walk (like a cart path in real golf) it would give it a nicer look and make the hike safer.
My biggest complaint about the course is its length, or lack thereof. There are also some baffling placements that make holes shorter than they need to be. For example, after the 2nd hole, which is in the woods, you come out of the woods for the 3rd tee. However, when you exit the woods, the tee box is a good 50+ feet away. Why not make the tee right out of the woods to make the length of the 3rd hole longer? Also, understandably, most of the holes in the woods are very short. There are two 3-hole segments that total only about 600 feet. I'd like to see those 6 holes turned into 4 by combining two into one, or three into two. For example, take out the 15th hole and 16th tee and make that one hole. Or move the 5th hole in more, then move the 6th tee closer to the 7th hole, making the current 7th hole the 6th. This would add some length, and free up 2 holes that could be used in the area of the 5th or 13th hole to make some nice long Par 5s. This would especially appeal to new players who tend to like to just throw as hard as they can. I think they designed it to have as little impact on the land as possible, meaning that no student walking to class would have to worry about getting hit by a disc, but I'd love it if they basically took a small part of the outer edge of the East Gym field and made it just for a few holes of the course. No real reason for students to walk around there anyway.
As one previous review said, this course set up is probably not the best for making new players take up the sport regularly, which is a shame considering it is a college campus and will likely get many new players.. In fact, when I did my walkthrough last week, I saw a groups of players coming in and starting on the 3rd hole. I asked them why they were doing that and they said the first two holes are pretty far away from the off campus parking and are pretty much the same as some of the others so they usually skip it and just play fewer holes. (They said every so often then will play the first two holes several times in a row so when they play in leagues they would not be at a disadvantage.) They also said they sometimes skip 10-13 as well, which was strange since IMO, 13 is the best hole. But I guess since the 14th tee is so close to the 10th hole they decide it isn't worth the walk to the 11th tee.
All in all it is not a bad way to spend an hour or so. The course is well marked, except for the 12th tee which is a bit removed from the 11th hole and I didn't see any "Next Tee" sign like all the other holes have. (It may be there, but I didn't see any.) It is definitely a course that will appeal to hikers and nature lovers. Plenty of wildlife around, ranging from baby chipmunks, squirrels, and deer. I heard some woodpeckers a couple times, but couldn't find where they were. The course could definitely use some tweaking, but I think that is true of almost every course, especially newer ones. I don't know if there are plans to make changes based on feedback, but it would be nice. At the very least, they need to clean it up quite a bit in the woods. But what I'd love to see is for them to build a second course and really utilize more of the campus. They've got a short par 58, now go for a long par 72! Start at the East Gym field and work your way across the entrance road to the West Gym. (obviously not to throw across the road) Maybe even have a hole cross the creek and go onto the rugby field. Or go more south beyond the current course's 13th hole. Make this course more open, and with much more length. Give players a choice. But I guess having two courses on the campus is expecting a bit much right now. I think for the students, especially those who live in Newing and Dickinson nearby, it will likely be a nice distractions once in awhile, maybe even just playing a few holes here and there, and with a regular Frisbee. Nothing wrong with that. That's how the sport got started, after all. But I'm just not sure it is going to get students in the other 5 communities to want to make the walk to play.
I want to add one thing...even if you don't like all the wooded holes as one reviewer obviously doesn't, don't let it scare you away from playing. You will surely find 9 or so holes that you would enjoy. And if you are just playing for fun, as opposed to tournaments or leagues, there is no reason why you can't make up some new holes on the spot. The land around the course definitely allows some alternatives. So if you don't want to play all the short wooded holes...don't. That's the beauty of this sport. It doesn't take much more than a disc and some creativity to play, even if it means that for some holes you won't have a basket to throw to. After all..In MY day if we wanted to play, we have to throw dinner plates 5 miles in the snow...uphill...BOTH ways! OK...maybe not. But there was only 3 baskets in the one park that had any. And the rest we had to make up by picking a tree, or having to touch home plate at the little league field or whatever. In some ways, that can be more fun. But this course should give most people at least 12 set holes to enjoy, and the others shouldn't scare off or bore too many others.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Good but still needs a little work
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Good mix of wooded and open holes. I especially liked hole 13 although it should probably not be a par 4 (down hill tunnel shot about 325ft)
- Well marked signs
- Tee pads on every hole, although made of rocky-gravel. (Some will like it, some won't)
Cons: Hole 10 was a bit of a joke with the trees in full bloom. There wasn't really a feasible line other than a large hyzer bomb. Even then you'd need some luck to put it close.
There were a few tight holes that probably could be made friendlier by removing a tree or two.
Other Thoughts: This course isn't the best I've ever played but it has its own charm. Given that it is in a relatively small town, I was impressed with the quality. If I was living there, I would frequent this course.
The course isn't the most difficult, but it was fun. I shot a -6 the first time playing it and my dad shot +5 and he plays about 5-6 times a year.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Wooded, challenging, fair
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -I was able to make my way around the course on a first-time solo trip thanks to good signs.
-Color score cards with course map available at first tee. NICE!
-Some scenic holes. I like the river (and it would take a terrible shot to lose your disc in it).
-Although the course is heavily wooded, it's pretty easy to find discs due to light undergrowth/brush.
-No poison ivy and no problems with mosquitoes.
-It's great to have 18 more baskets in the ground in a region with so little disc golf!
Cons: -Parking is hard during business hours since you have to park off-campus. Best to play after 5PM or on weekends.
-The first 10 holes (the only part of the course I played) is heavily wooded. Not a lot of use for drivers.
Other Thoughts: I only played 9-and-a-half holes on this course and wasn't going to post a review, but I had a different, more positive perspective than some other reviewers, so I decided to share my thoughts nevertheless.
I have never seen such a heavily wooded disc golf course in the ~20 courses I have played. It was frustrating to only be able to throw drivers 1-2 times. Most of my energy went to finding lines to throw through all the trees. That said, the course was fair and it's not too difficult for a competent disc golfer to throw par on every hole. The lines exist and you can hit them. It feels great when you do and nail that par! This is a great course to develop your tight, mid-range shots.
It's a really bad course for beginners due to the overabundance of trees, but it's not hard to find errant discs among the trees due to light undergrowth. I wish the course was easier so novice Binghamton students could be introduced to the sport through it. I am hopeful that the course will be improved upon in the coming years by taking out a few key trees. But in the meantime, it's a great resource for the community and a good course for developing your mid-range and short games.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Most holes are well marked.
Cons: Too many holes deep in debris filled woods.
Zero long holes.
Other Thoughts: I played a round with the previous reviewer and agree with pretty much everything that was said. Having over half the holes being entirely in the woods was a terrible idea and a waste of the space they had. There were no holes where you could just grip it and rip it. Sure, there were plenty of holes that will require 5 or more throws but not fun ones. The 7th time your disc plunks a tree despite it being a decent throw, you will get frustrated. The 43rd time, you will just want to get the round over with. Thick woods should be the penalty for a bad throw, not a tee shot. The first two holes are entirely in the woods. And even after that, I felt it was too much. Little did I know after I came out of that section of woods to the 3rd tee, that I was going right back in. This course could have been much better had there been only 2 or 3 holes entirely in the woods, maybe 4 or 5 more than either started or finished in the woods (requiring a good slice or hook), and then the rest nice creative, longer shots where the woods only come into play on errant tosses. Up by the 13th hole, there is a perfect opportunity for a signature long Par 5 with a nice clearing, and an uphill. Then another Par 5, this one a downhill, coming back. But they didn't take advantage of it, because they started back to the main part of the course too soon.
I used a rented disc and after playing this course, I'd never use my own. They were so dinged and nicked up from previous players hitting trees 20 times per round that it actually scratched my fingers throwing them. They were like when your skip a Frisbee on a road too often. But considering there is no asphalt, that shouldn't happen. Even the three...yes, only three...holes that were not in the woods nestled the basket between tight groupings of trees. There was just no hole that was purely about skill. IF you played this course 100 times, you could easily score just as badly the last 10 times as the first time you played it. And I don't consider that a good thing because it means it is all about luck.
I'm also not too happy that they felt the need to clear more trees for this when the campus has lost so many trees in recent years as it is. Had they limited the holes in the woods to a few, the environmental impact would have been much less. I am not a PETA member by any means, but I felt bad seeing so many baby chipmunks scurrying away every time I threw, as well as collapsed gopher holes from people walking on them. And I can't imagine the people living across the creek from holes 6-8 are happy about losing their privacy and the added noise. The woods also means you need to take precautions. First, buy a can of OFF! and be prepared to reapply it a few times. Second, wear strong boots to protect your ankles as even the tee boxes have large rocks that can twist them. And long pants are a must, and you may want to tuck them into your socks. To be walking through brush where you can see dozens of deer have just walked is a recipe for Lyme Disease.
If you go to this course, I honestly think your best bet is to make up your own course as you go along. Play maybe half of the permanent holes, and the rest, just pick a tree in the distance and make that your hole, like we used to do in the 80s before any place had baskets. The area offers plenty of obstacles to go around and elevation changes. It's just a shame the course uses nothing but the thick woods as obstacles. Like I said, the campus lends itself to some nice holes with the right imagination. It's just a shame the designer had none. Or maybe too much. When I was a kid, I had a computer golf game that let you design courses. I thought it would be hilarious to make impossible holes. Fairways that were one pixel wide surrounded by water, or having to hit through narrow corridors of trees with sand all around. The problem is, when I went to play those courses, I quickly found out they weren't fun. This course reminds me a lot of those courses that I made when I was 11 years old. I honestly think that the Campus Rec. just wanted to jump on the bandwagon and hastily built a course without giving much thought to what the sport is really all about
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
It's like an obstacle course
Pros: Not much for the course. Good if you like hiking through the woods.
Cons: Far too many holes in thick woods.
A lot of deadfall and animal holes can break ankles.
Other Thoughts: I suspect the person who designed this course wanted it to be an excuse to hike through the woods and never actually played any holes before making the layout permanent. 10 holes are ENTIRELY in the woods. The pars are jokes as many holes (even Par 3s) require you to zig zag 5 or 6 times and even the best thrower can only make their disc change direction once per throw. The woods are so thick for some holes that it is a pure crap shoot. (see my uploaded images and videos) This makes the course all about luck, rather than skill. Also, don't bring expensive discs as the likelihood of losing one is pretty high, and of them getting banged up by constant tree strikes is pretty much a certainty. And check for ticks when you're done because you will be walking through brush and weeds that deer feed on. This course is like Caddyshack 2 where they turned Bushwood into a mini-golf style regular golf course. And that makes this disc course as entertaining as Caddyshack 2 was. Far too many obstacles to be a fair challenge. I supposed if you like to be in the woods, it is OK...but it is not a balanced course at all. The saddest part is, the area would lend itself to a great course if only the designer tried.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Wide range of shots needed. Tight fairways but not plinko style. The woods are varied and interesting. Not especially long, but a mix of lengths, with elevation kept me wondering what to throw off the tee. Thanks to our guides, Herb and Tucker navigation was never an issue. Got through the course with 2 babies in strollers without too much difficulty. Fun round.
Cons: New course problems, fallen trees in fairways, schule inside the circle. Easy fixes as the course wears in. Parking seemed like a trek, passed a lot of empty parking lots we weren't allowed to park in.
Other Thoughts: Good course overall. Really nice signs.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
New Course - Has Potential
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Mostly well thought out course with a mix of wooded and open holes. Baskets are new and concreted. Tees are gravel and well marked with a hole map at each one. Location is on the campus of Binghamton University and is free but parking is not.Free parking is available on Murray Hill Road with a short walk across a pedestrian bridge. Water is in play on two holes, 11 & 14. Each hole has an arrow to the next tee, although a couple are a significant distance away.
Cons: Being a new course, some of the wooded holes still need a lot of clearing. Brush and downed trees are common. Hole 15 has large piles of trees where it appears they placed all the trees they cut down to make the course. Hole 11 has a pond on the right which should not be an issue as long as you are careful. Hole 14 has a small creek running the length of the hole along the right side. This is very much in play as my disc hit a tree on the left side of the fairway and deflected directly into the creek. The creek bank is 8-10 feet above the water and there is no safe way to go down except to slide down the muddy bank. Coming back up is equally hazardous. Holes 3 & 18 bring the Child Developmental Center parking lot into play.
Other Thoughts: Two holes were closed earlier before we were there today for an event at the Child Developmental Center, but were open by the time we arrived. This course has the potential to be quite nice, but still needs quite a bit of work, especially clearing some of the wooded areas and downed brush.Player safety should be considered on hole 14 as there is no safe access to the creek to retrieve errant discs.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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