Campgaw Reservation Suggested
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Campgaw Reservation Green layout is short on the majority of its 18 holes, and this is kind of a plus with the mountainous nature of the land. When you arrive in the parking lot, walk the path past the practice basket, the rental stand, the ski patrol, and past the screened patio to the 1st tee. The first and second holes are in trees at the foot of the hill, but on flatter ground. One is short and turns to the right, and two is longer and to the left. Three is back in the direction of hill, over 300 feet, and straightforward. Four is slightly uphill, and makes you choose a gap in the trees to make the green, but still very reachable around 225'. 5 and 6 pick their way through the trees, gradually up the hill, in short measures. 7 is a bit longer in the 300' range, and requiring a narrow line to the pin. I won't give the exact language when I first saw hole 8, but there was a four-letter word and an exclamation point. 209 on the scorecard, but closer to vertical than horizontal. Ok, thats an exaggeration, but it was steep. 9 and 10 are a bit longer, but returning to less extreme footing, both dogleg left. 11 is a fun attempt to run one close for a birdie, and 12 comes into the open, grassy space climbing noticeably. 13-16 finish the run at along the top of the hill, before making the turn and coming down the mountain. 13 and 16 are shorter, 14 and 15 in the 300' range. Mixed lefts and rights through more trees and around the occasional boulder. Everything prior to hole 17 is disc golfing, but just putting in the legwork to get here. 17 tee box is in a bright patch of sun, high above the basket in the forrest below. 400'+ but reachable if you can negotiate a lot of mature trees, once you reach the point of entry about 100' out of the box. I bogeyed, but on an extra throw I was able to put one 30' past the pin. 18 finishes out nicely through more heavy trees and rocks, not far from the parking lot.
Navigation from hole to hole is not hard to follow, and there are some rudimentary signs that effectively guide you along. All baskets are good.
Cons: Tee boxes were kind of an issue on a few of the limited times you want to reach back for a little extra power. Improving these would probably make the rating a 4 to me. The 4600' green layout may be a little weak for the big arm, pro level guys. I am curious about the black diamond layout. I saw it on a paper map, and where the signs were pointing as I walked the greens. It looked rough, and much more difficult, with heavy growth and hard to distinguish lines.
Other Thoughts: Campgaw Reservation Green was fun, and had two or three great holes. Cool course, but not at full potential. Natural tees subject to erosion and poor footing was a factor on a hole like 8. Installing better tees would be hard work, and may have maintenance issues, but would be nice. Glad to get the chance to play, and worth a look, but don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. I scored a 56 (2 over par) on a birdie and 3 bogeys. I missed too many putts, as usual. Lots of room for improvement, under par by several shots isn't unrealistic.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Nice signage, relatively clean (garbage bags on every 2nd or 3rd hole), lots of shade (almost entire course), nice use of terrain (a few serious uphill/downhill holes), nice accuracy challenge for beginners (most holes are narrow and heavily wooded), huge parking lot, yellow band across top of basket easy to locate from a distance.
Cons: Rough terrain, down trees, rocky, watch your step, wet in spots, but not too bad, every hole is par 3 (a couple longer holes would be nice...I guess you can play Mighty Gaw layout for that)
Other Thoughts: Only the 3rd course I've played, so my rating could change as I haven't much to compare it to.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course circles the ski hill in the surrounding woods. The Green layout stays completely in the trees, offering technical lines and some punishment for errant shots with light rough and lots of trees. There is elevation on most of the holes, and it's used pretty well to keep things interesting. There are a couple steeply uphill shots and some fun downhills. Elevation and rock piles around greens add some challenge to the short game with rollaway potential.
There is some length variety, most holes are fairly short but the elevation changes make some play longer or shorter. There is basic signage for both layouts, and a good set of course maps online. We didn't have a problem following the green layout at all.
Cons: The tees are terrible. They're natural pads that are rutted out and have roots and rocks sticking up waiting to break your ankles. At times the signage can be a little confusing, with the black sign on one side and the green on the other, make sure you look at both sides. There are some long walks that would have been a bit confusing without the course map.
The course has a lot of holes with left turning shots, it seemed like there was room to design a more balanced course with a little better hole shape variety. A few areas of the course hold water and can get a bit swampy. Some of the steeper hills have erosion issues and can be difficult to walk in wet conditions.
Other Thoughts: There is pretty good fun factor here, the technical lines and elevation combined with the rocks make for some interesting shots. Beginners will find the distances reasonable, and though you can get kicked pretty far off the fairway on an errant shot there are lines for recovery shots. More experienced players won't find it terribly challenging, most of the course is mid and putter practice for better players. I would definitely stop here again if I'm in the area, especially during the season when the black layout is available too.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - awesome terrain changes
- beautiful trees
- well designed challenging, yet gettable shots
- never crowded despite being close to NYC
- plentiful parking
- nice baskets
- sense of seclusion pervades the entire course
- good mix of straight, left, and right turning shots
- excellent use of elevation changes. Several uphill shots on the front nine, accentuated by the difficult 8th hole, which is a fairly extreme uphill shot. Nice drop offs and basket positioning on several holes. Hole 17 is indeed a gem of a tunnel shot, quickly dropping at least 40 feet from the tee and then sloping gently most of the fairway to the basket.
- other amenities available, like bathrooms, and a soda machine with gatorade
- benches at most tees
Cons: - tee pads are mostly natural and a bit rutted. Perhaps understandable in the context of the ski hill course, but concrete would be a major upgrade here.
- signage is inconsistent and unless you know the course, can be difficult to follow. This needs to be rectified for this permanent course. The kiosk says that all the tees will be marked with the green circle (to maintain consistency with the ski hill system) but as of 10/26/2011, the signage doesn't readily indicate this.
- course drainage is a problem on the holes at the bottom of the hill. This affects holes 1-4, and holes 17-18. Boots are recommended
- a few too many RHBH hyzer holes. Overall the course has good but not great balance. A few new basket positions would cure that.
- no need for drivers. The entire course can be played with midranges and putters. Maybe a little more length would be good? Though I suppose if you want length, the mighty gaw gives it to you.
- the infinite amount of boulders and rocks make groundplay unpredictable and will chew up your plastic.
Other Thoughts: All in all, campgaw is a very nice course. If it had concrete tees and was a bit more balanced out I would give it 4.5 stars. I highly recommend playing the course in the autumn (though do not use orange, yellow, or red discs!) as the scenery of the leaves in full foliage is unforgettable. I like to take a jog and play this course with 2 or 3 discs, though the footing is tricky for anyone, so be careful out there. I do love how easy it is to get to from the NYC area, and how seemingly unpopular the course is (especially compared to other courses in metro areas). Has the disc golf bug not hit northern jersey yet? I know there are some amazing courses, but perhaps the bada bing! is a bigger draw...
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
No Walk in the Park
Pros: 18 hole course which is a shorter version of Campgaw's "Mighty Gaw" layout, although it incorporates some of the same holes. Very technically challenging with terrain, elevation, trees and other obstacles which test your skills. Distances ranging from 200-350 feet make it manageable for most players. Tee boxes and signs are present at each hole, and there are benches/logs at many of the holes to rest. Baskets are all in good shape. Is appealing to both the advanced as well as the intermediate or recreational player.
Cons: Despite the presence of some "next tee" signs, navigation can be tricky in spots and pathways aren't always clearly defined. Crushed stone/dirt tee boxes are often uneven. Some of the signage consisting of temporary foam placards is in poor shape. Rough terrain prevents run up shots on most holes. Ammenities like trash cans and poles to hang your bag at each hole would be welcomed. Can be a muddy, icy, slushy mess depending on the season.
Other Thoughts: Don't be fooled by the shorter distances of the holes; the Campgaw layout is a grueling exercise in disc golf. The terrain is tough on a GOOD day; it can be absolutely brutal in bad weather. Twice I've played here in driving rain/ice and footing can be treacherous. The rocky surface and elevation make it essential you are prepared to play before entering the premises.
Trying to install cement tee pads or provide other amenities at each hole on a course like this is no doubt a major headache, as access up the mountain is awfully tough. Despite this, there has been talk of the Skylands Disc Golf Club trying to pursue these ambitious goals.
One can't objectively rate this course higher than the Mighty Gaw layout, as the distance, travel up the mountain (once instead of twice), and overall layout and level of challenge isn't quite as demanding. But Campgaw is a rugged, challenging course which is totally worth your while and can humble good players.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Mighty Gaw's Little Brother
Pros: Pros and Cons of this course could be very subjective as this is not a typical DG course. Depending on what you like you may love or hate this course. So I will review this course, assuming you are an experienced player that wants a true test. This shorter layout is still difficult, but plays much shorter than the Mighty Gaw layout:
* a PREMIUM on accuracy
* short/long tees on several holes
* will require a large variety of shots and the ability to get out of trouble
* baskets are in great shape
* some spectacular views and amazing use of topography
* plenty of parking and the row closest to the woods is designated specifically for the disc golfers.
* Most of the holes avoid the main ski slope areas, which are known for very high, thick rough.
Cons: Some cons:
* tees are worn in some areas
* signage is not permanent, and has been known to be missing or damaged
* navigation is definately challenging, despite Next Tee signs
Other Thoughts: The Campgaw layout is a shorter version of the Mighty Gaw layout. Technically, they are not to separate courses, but one course with two layouts, depending on season. The Campgaw layout uses much of the Mighty Gaw layout, sometime breaking up a long hole into two shorter ones. This layout takes one up the hill, accross the top and down the other side toward the parking lot, rtather than looping back up. There is minimal reward for good drives, but serious punishment for bad drives. Most of the fairways are very rugged so prepare for alot of standing shots. And being off the fairway may mean settling for bogey to get back on to avoid triple bogey.
While I still wouldn't recommend this course for beginners, this shorter layout is a good way to introduce yourself to such a rugged type of course as it is not nearly as long. Plan on extra time, though.
Prepare for rugged terrain and dress appropriately. Wear hiking boots and be careful!
Because this is a course that is superimposed on a rugged landscape, clear definition of fairways and next tee isn't always obvious, so print out the map. There are "Next Tee" signs, but it's easy to get disoriented. There are several hiking trails that are utilized, but some of these trails are not part of the course and can lead you the wrong way.
There is plenty of parking. Walk from the lot, past the ski lodges at the bottom of the hill to the first tee. There will be a large sign on your way that will have the current layout posted, as the layout changes from the long Mighty Gaw (spring and fall) to the shorter Camp Gaw (up-over-down layout)
Both Campgaw (short) and Mighty Gaw (long) layouts are in place. Since many tees are shared but the hole numbers are different, check both sides of the sign, depending on which layout you are playing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
The Mountain Horseshoe
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A wonderful little mountain course that plays short, but with lots of trees, rocks and elevation on a majority of holes. You will need to shape your shots here, so I would not depend on your longest fastest discs. There are many birdie opps. on the shorter holes to reward an accurate drive, and enough trees off the fairways to make pars challenging for errant drives. The course is a workout as it works to the top of the slope on 1-9 and finally back down on 17-18. You are mostly in a quiet forest, but make sure you take a short walk toward the chairlifts near the 13th tee for a wonderful view (and a sneak preview of the drives you will have when the course is in "Mighty Gaw" configuration.
Cons: Teepads are gravel (all but one). They will one day be concrete and that will be nice. Fortunately, the holes are short enough, so I
don't need a run-up to get distance.
Other Thoughts: Bring bug repellant in the summer for ticks and Mosquitos. Bring durable plastic (terrain is very rocky).
I wish the Skylands Disc Club website listed what the current layout is - whether "Campgaw" or "Mighty Gaw" so you know what to expect. The novice or non-hiker may not enjoy the Mighty Gaw.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
No walk in the park
Pros: Technical course, requires a full selection of discs and shots. Two holes involve downhill hucks that you may want to empty your bag on. A serious workout just walking the "mighty gaw" layout. Some of the most memorable holes I've ever played.
Cons: Not much for nearby amenities, meaning bring lots of fluids and pack a lunch. Some footpaths are fairly treacherous with loose rocks etc.... Teepads are a bit short, however there are not many holes that require a launchpad - those that do have more space.
Other Thoughts: The winter gaw layout seems easier on the joints, as it goes up one side of the ski hill, then behind and down the other side rather than up and down a few times over. The winter gaw layout removes the open ski hill hucks. This is mostly a woods course, which almost always involve some degree of luck negotiating narrow fairways. Campgaw is the closest course to NYC, and is definitely worth the trip if you cannot make it to Warwick from the city.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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