The Hill’s meaner bigger brother
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: It is the opposite of the Hill, the other course on the same property (you get two different courses in one trip), which you can play through the first three holes to get to hole one. It is a longer, more technical course requiring a variety of shots. There is a mix of holes that make it challenging from long tight tunnel shots to valley shots with a low ceiling to hyzers over rock out-croppings this course delivers. It has all the same amenities as the Hill does; ample parking, porta john, restaurants, practice basket, throwing fields etc. Tee signs are informative and have all the info you need. Tee pads are 5 x 12 fly pads and mostly flat. Walks in between holes are well defined and easy to follow. You could also park down at the shopping plaza and start on hole 12 and play through that way. There are a few really challenging par threes that make you hit your line and punish you if you don't. Having another course on the same property is really nice and allows you to make a day of disc golf. (Coggshall Park is less than 10 miles away as well).
Cons: It is a newer course that needs some tweaking and minor cleanup. Some of the tees need to be leveled again. The walk to the first tee is long.
Other Thoughts: Once this course beats in it will be mint.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: True test of your control game. Very tight. Very technical. Each hole has a 20 foot drop or incline, at the least. Gorgeous sylvan setting. Tee boxes are brand new & excellent. Several blind tee shots. Not a single level hole. Lots of benches at almost all of the tee boxes to rest and chill. Brand-new DiscCatcher baskets. These two courses at Devens shows that the disc golf scene in Boston is quite healthy. The folks who put this incredible complex together deserve huge respect. They love the games and these two courses demonstrate that as a fact. That's a big pro.
Cons: No cons really. I guess this course is brand new, having just recently installed the tee boxes. I had no problem finding my way around but some more pathway signage and fancier hole maps would enhance the shine on this already awesome course. I wager that the designers & builders have that in the pipeline already because the existing signage & hole signs & maps looked temporary.
Other Thoughts: Love this place. I live in LA and am only in town visiting my folks who live in Newton. I played The Hill on Wednesday and The General today. Other reviewers seem to think that The a General is longer than The a Hill. Didn't seem that way to me but it could be the case. If The General is longer, it's not by much. These two courses are very similar in quality. The General might be a shade more technical - maybe. Other than that I view this Devens complex as one awesome 36 hole course. Each hole on both courses is tight & technical and each has elevation elements and each hole is unique. This entire complex engages the player on every hole. Not once did my attention stray or my concentration wane and that's down to the quality of the holes specifically and the complex in general.
Well done, designers & builders. Well done.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I really wasn't expecting too much. I thought it would be an afterthought. I'd just played The Hill and I figured it would be similar but with less elevation. I played the first two holes, confirming my expectations. They were well laid out but not especially memorable. Three and four were more interesting, with steep sideways drops that forced you to hit a landing zone or suffer. Then I stepped onto the fifth tee. I found myself staring into the mouth of a beast. I thought, "Can I even throw this hole?" 520 feet and a slow climb to the basket. Not a lot of room for error in any direction. From there the course began to show its character.
The General doesn't feature holes that are sharp climbs or steep drops, like The Hill. It has holes that go up and down, over and around and all over the place. That's just hole seven. What a cruel bastard that one is. A narrow gap before a sharp drop then a leftward turn as the disc passes over the low part of the fairway. Then it climbs back to a guarded basket.
The rest of the holes don't disappoint. Incredible pin locations. Numerous tees that make you pray for salvation. It's a hell of a layout. Perhaps the most difficult that I've encountered. Eleven is another screamer. With the tee in the raised location and the arch of the fairway, it would be a tough, technical par three if the basket was 280 feet down the fairway. This particular basket is 467 feet away.
I didn't get to play the entire course. The rain had steadily picked up since hole and after twelve, the thunder was approaching. I had a choice. Play another three or so and risk getting caught out there. Or jog the rest of the fairways and at least get to see all of the holes. I chose the latter. My decision was partly impacted by the fact that my arm was falling off. Eighteen holes on The Hill and twelve on The General had me feeling like I had played five rounds that day. But as I saw it all and made it to my car just before it really broke, I'm happy with the choice.
I will say, that standing on each tee, that wow factor is present a lot here. Perhaps nowhere as much as on the eighteenth fairway. From the tee, it's a gradual uphill with a central bank of tees. Players can go right or left. I've played many holes like that, with the basket where the two paths meet. Not here. It's that point, where I would expect the basket, that The General snagged my breath for the last time. It's a long straight downhill, with a boulder guarding the hyzer route. Great end to a fantastic layout.
Cons: It still needs some work. There are some fairways that need to be weeded or those things are going to ruin the course eventually. It's new, so I'm not worried about the things that are likely on someone's to-do list. There is some stuff that needs to be moved, and some paths are not yet lined the way that most of them are. I'm assuming that those will get done in the near future.
One issue that new players will find difficult is getting to the first tee. There are no navigation issues once you are on the course but I would like to see some arrows pointing towards, "The General," from the first tee of The Hill. Yes, there are directions available, but arrows would be better.
Like, The Hill, The General does not work well as an everyday course. Whereas many will find the older course strenuous to walk, more will find the young gun tough to throw often. It's very demanding and not suited for inexperienced players.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
The General is For Real
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Longer, more challenging, but overall better than the hill. A true wooded New Englad course with a lot o variety in distances and good elevation chanes.
Cons: Could use more garbage cans and better signage on how to navigate to the course from parking lot.
Other Thoughts: Bring your Hiking Shoes!
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is the second course on the terrific piece of property known as Devens. When I read that the elevation changes weren't as dramatic as at The Hill (the original course), I was a little worried that The General might a lesser course. Wow. No need to worry about that.
I don't remember a single hole that was anything approximating flat. The ups and downs are the things that great courses are made of. You are challenged to keep the disc on the fairway while negotiating the tall trees that shape the fairways and the rocky hills that test your decisions. I had one throw that was a beautiful dart down a declining fairway. On most holes it would have landed gently in the middle of the fairway, but the receding ground gave it room to fade into the woods. I had to change my disc selection and consider laying up.
The holes are longer than The Hill. There are certainly birdie opportunities (I had two), but there are also plenty of holes where you can't see the basket from the tee. I wish I could have played a second round. It takes a round or two to figure out where you want to land, especially on some of the uphill holes.
Navigation wasn't bad. There are next tee signs nailed to the trees, and every basket has a brick underneath with an arrow pointing the way. I did have to consult the map a couple times.
Cons: Tee signs are tiny and not quite as descriptive as the ones on The Hill, but they may be temporary.
The tees are all natural, which is understandable given the age of the course. Most were pretty level and fine to throw from. One or two were on slopes, though, and not easy to get much of an X-step going.
While the elevation matches up well to The Hill, there are no holes with the epic elevation changes you find on the last few holes at The Hill.
To get to the course, you have to walk partway down the fairway for hole 1 of The Hill and follow a trail past hole 4 to get to The General. It's not hard to follow, although it would be nice if you could start a little closer.
There are a few places with branches piled up that you don't want to end up in. I assume these will be removed in time (or maybe not).
Other Thoughts: I'm happy to have such a fun course be my 100th review.
From what I have read, this course was conceived late last year, so I didn't have huge expectations for the state of the improvements. I was blown away. The fairways look great. The tees are usable. The log staircases add to the character. The Devens club is a testament to what can get done quickly with the right organization. I would put the course as it is now at a little under a 4.0 (rounding up), but it will be a solid 4.0 when rubber tees are in.
Devens is quite a piece of property. Last year if I had to choose a location to get a second course on site in Massachusetts, it would have been Maple Hill or here. This is a great place to come and wear yourself out.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Devens gets an upgrade!
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It's truly amazing how great this course looks given how young it is. A lot of hard work has gone into the course and it certainly shows. The fairways are all cleared, beautiful teeboxes with flypads have been built on every hole, and nicely groomed walkways help guide players between holes.
The course features a really nice mix of holes. There are a couple short ace runs, some nice longer par 4s, and plenty of challenging par 3s that will really test your ability to shape a variety of different lines in the woods. The landscape is used well to create a lot of elevation changes. However, it's certainly not as extreme as the Hill course. This makes it feel less gimicky and seems to play more fair. The bad luck rollaways that can wreak havoc on a round on the Hill are not nearly as prevalent on the General.
There's not a lot of repetition here. Each hole seems to present it's own unique set of challenges that will keep players interested throughout the round.
The course itself features an interesting mix of holes, including a few short ace runs and a couple longer par fours that will challenge players' placement in the woods.
Some basic signage is in place to help players navigate the course, and to show some basic layout information at each tee. On my first time through, I got a little lost a couple times, but was able to quickly find my way.
Cons: The majority of shots on the general are blind. In the thick woods, that means you're frequently watching your disc disappear over a hill or around a corner. So there's an ever-present danger of lost discs. It also can be extra frustrating for players on the course for the first time. The signage is often misleading as far as pin position, so it's a good idea to scout ahead to see where the pin is before throwing.
While the course presents plenty of variety for a wooded course, it's definitely missing other elements. The terrain really doesn't provide any opportunities to air out big drives. There also aren't a lot of good risk/reward scenarios in play. For the most part, the course is all about hitting the lines available and trying to stay in the fairway as much as possible.
With the thick woods, and rugged terrain, this also creates a lot of blind shots. In the spring, when the woods start to grow in and become thick with undergrowth, there will be potential for a lot of lost discs here.
Other Thoughts: I felt obligated to completely rewrite this review after just a couple weeks because of how much the course changed in that time. The addition of nicely built tees and additional cleanup around the course really turned it into a nicely polished and fun to play destination.
Many people say it's a nice compliment to the Hill. I say it's an improvement to the Hill. It uses the same rugged, wooded terrain that has defined Devens from the start. But it adds in a bit more length than the Hill with fairways that are cleaner and more fair and just enough elevation change to be challenging without feeling gimicky.
Beginners may still find the Hill to be a more fun and less punishing place to play, but more advanced players will gravitate to the General as a tough test of wooded golf.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Really good mix of left/right/straight shots as well as uphill and downhill.
Fairways are challenging, but fair.
Rough has chances to escape in most places with great shots, just the way it should be.
Cons: No tees yet makes some of the shots even more challenging than otherwise might be and makes it difficult to know how they will play with better footing.
Course is still really young so it can be rough in places. Wear pants unless you plan to keep everything on the fairway.
Other Thoughts: Baskets are in but tees are not so some things may change or be tweaked as play dictates.
This course is a great balance to The Hill on the other part of the property. Check it out!
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Very nice addition to the Hill
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: A ton of elevation changes. Challenging uphill 275-300 ft holes along with downhill 350-425 ft holes. Easy to navigate despite it's raw state - the local guys deserve credit. Most importantly it maintains the spirit of the hill the original course was founded on. Bring your hiking boots and be ready for a workout - this time with some longer holes. And no gimmicks. (maybe 18 with the blind two path shot or #12 pin). Temp signage on most of the holes is helpful.
Cons: Not a con for me, but it's no stroll in the park. The tee pads aren't done yet so you need to be careful with your footwork. There is still brush on the edges so you need to keep an eye on your disc. Temp signage on a few of the holes is missing, or simply not accurate.
Other Thoughts: I went right on #4 and landed on a 30 ft boulder with a huge drop further right. Taking my second shot from there made me think this is what Deven is all about. Ken & crew did a great job expanding an already nice layout with this 18. I look forward to the addition of tee pads and other improvements.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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