Solid Intermediate Course Everyone Can Enjoy!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rockburn Branch Park is a large sprawling park with plenty of room for the disc golf course. The course features a wide variety of terrain, from wide open fairways with elevation change, to tight tunnel shots with nasty thick rough to some more wooded holes with a creek that comes into play.
The course starts with a nice information sign and arrows pointing you to the # 1 tee. It has extra long, rubber tee pads. The signs are nice and informative but badly faded in places making them hard to decipher. This course uses a unique system for showing players which placement, A-B-C-D, the basket is currently in. There is a small padlock locked to a hook showing the placement.
The terrain starts with some lovely rolling, grassy hills which then transform into some tighter tunnel holes.
There are benches on many holes.
# 15, as previously mentioned, stands out as the signature hole. Everything about it is pretty special and unique from it's clever tee pad placement to the long downhill throw and then on to the basket across the creek which is tucked into the woods.
Cons: Navigation is a little difficult at times. Signs were missing or unreadable for 3-4-5. I missed playing # 4, I think. I ran into some locals and followed them which helped out quite a bit.
And navigating around the barn area, # 12-13-14-15 is kind of confusing. The locals explained it to me and I'm still not sure if I played those four holes correctly.
There are some definite "Kiss Your Discs Good Bye" holes here. # 9 &10 are tight and then # 11 is one where an errant anhyser toss might be gone forever.
Other Thoughts: This is just a good, solid course that most players can play and enjoy. I wouldn't exactly call it newbie friendly but you could bring that newbie here. Maybe have them skip a couple of holes. Advanced players could player here and find challenge.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Nice Balanced Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Good mix of wooded tunnels, wide open, hyzer and anhyzer holes.
- Many of the C position tees are a beast no matter how hard you can throw. I went today and most of the pins were in C. Very humbling but, in a good way.
- Good variation between pin positions and they are changed often.
- Local group keeps adding rubber and turf tee boxes. good upkeep and improvements all the time.
- Three nice "air it out" shots
- Great use of hills and elevation changes.
- Nice use of the Rockburn Creek on 2 to 4 of the holes (depending on basket position). Creek is very shallow. Discs can easily be fished out with a downed stick. You are better off NOT using a floating disc on hole 9 and 15 as they will sometimes float downstream as opposed to rest in one spot. Holes 9 and 15 always have the creek come into play to some degree. Holes 7 and 8 border the gcreek only when in the C position.
Cons: - VERY easy to lose a disc. Lots of undergrowth and viney trees to devour discs. I have lost more discs here than any where else. Holes 6, 10, 11 and 15 are the worst offenders and a few bad throws on these holes can lead to almost as much time easter egg hunting as playing the actual course. Unless your game is flawless expect some time bushwhacking.
- Some trees and limbs could be trimmed. Certain branches are in just the right spot to deflect a disc. While this is a nice challenge at times, it can also be annoying. For example, hole 15 could be trimmed to make the opening a little wider. This could relieve some of the problems with lost discs and allow for more of a comfort zone to air out the throw from the hill. One mistake on this hole and you lose a disc. Hole six is also a pinball machine/lumberjack hole and near impossible to not hit a tree. Take a few trees out (and plant some elsewhere) and this would be a more of a skill tee drive and less of a cross your fingers shot. However the big tree on hole 10 is an excellent obstacle that makes you have to execute a hyzer or anhyzer to avoid it.
Other Thoughts: Overall this course is very good and I'm lucky to have it as my second closest local course. Some minor improvements with the excessive brush on some holes and fairway tree limbs could put it into the upper echelon and with all of the nice work that is constantly being done it may just happen...
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great location near BWI. Nice layout through multiple use park. Well maintained by park staff cutting grassy areas. Variety of shots required from open grassy to narrow carved fairways. Risk / reward layout. Off the fairway is very thick in places.
Cons: Could use a few more signs for first timers. Used to concrete pads. A few blind shots through multiple use areas look like could be trouble? Had a mountain bike rider go through group on tee - not very polite?
Horse/rider on 18 like they owned the park?
Other Thoughts: Local players fortunate to have the maintenance support from park staff.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Solitude in Maryland
Pros: Not far from Baltimore is a place you can go to feel some solitude and play some quality disc golf. Rockburn offers a variety of holes that are all completely unique - no two are alike, and many are memorable. It's challenging mix of grassy open (but hilly fairways and woods, with heavy (and sometimes punishing rough lining the borders). The fairways are reasonable, but errant throws can be punished. Variety of narrow, wide, elevated, left, right and straight.
The little locks on the eyelets that hang on the tee signs indicate what the pin position is (top is A, Middle is B, bottom is C). Nice touch.
#6 gives you a slight dogleg left with a choice of an open tunnel to the far right or grove of thin trees that cover the entire left side. Do you play it safe or take your chances?
#9 goes downhill through thick trees, and over a creek with a dogleg right after that. Hit early and you may have a rough approach.
#12 goes up through a narrow opening right by the scenic farmhouse. It emerges into a small orchard- a the long pin is at the end of this orchard. I once saw a fox here (still the only one I've seen in my life).
#13-15 go up and down the same hill around the same farmhouse and are truly enjoyable.
Cons: Yes, the rough can be nasty. It is possible to lose discs out there. But as others have said, the fairways are reasonable, but not for a beginner, unfortunately. I took a newbie (1st timer) here and we played 1-8. Holes after that would be just frustrating.
I really wish they would at least flatten some of the tee pads (the natural ones). They do have a few rubber ones on the back nine which is a nice start.
Other Thoughts: Although navigation is fairly self explanatory, print the map- this will really help in a few spots.
I'm not sure why the First hole is listed as a par 4. It is surely a 3 (though I got a 4 because I plain blew it!). Also, hole 1 is a bit odd for a first hole - it goes blind over a grassy slope and hole #2 pin is the first thing you see (as it sits at the end of #1 fairway). So, a bit confusing and (if the park would allow it) I would change the teepad and plant a couple of trees for challenge (it's by far the weakest hole on the course, by design). As for the others - good show!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Another good one
Pros: The course is in beautiful Rockburn Park. The course provides a bunch of technical shots, long drives, and tricky puts.
Multiple pin positions available, MACH 5 baskets are in good conditional also.
The course stretches from one side of the massive park to the other. Obsticles of trees, barns, rivers, rolling hills, and well groomed tunnel shots will challenge even the most experienced thrower.
Course is well laid out on the course map next to the parking lot. There are also paper copies of the course available to take with you.
Easy to find, plenty of parking
Cons: The tee pads need a make-over. As in most of my reviews to I am sensitive to this topic. There are a mix of pads on this course. Most are grass, that are dug out, due to use or poor upkeep. Some have built up wooden platforms with faux-grass covering them.
Other Thoughts: With a couple fundraising events the course can either fill in the tees or put in some more permanent. Overall impression of the course is a 'Must Play'
I love this course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Getting Better All the Time!
Pros: Rockburn Branch is a solid, challenging course which has loads of variety in terrain and hole design. You'll be throwing a wide range of shots off the tee and because of the intense and often prickly rough, you'll have to know how to make save shots from awkward positions or in some cases know 'when to fold'em' and pitch out for a well-deserved bogey. Some reviewers have noted the thick rough as a con, but at Rockburn, this shaggy shule is usually far off course from where ideal shots should land - in this case, the rough acts as an effective punisher for playing beyond one's means or just throwing poor shots. Having said this, I wouldn't recommend Rockburn for the newer player who is still in the process of mastering a straight, controlled fairway drive. Without having a safety fairway shot that you can count on, this course will likely be very frustrating. For more advanced players, the rough very effectively separates players by not allowing an easy up-and-down for three. Successfully managing the rough (and scoring well) means either not landing in it (duh!) or, having the skills necessary to make great saves.
As other reviewers have stated, with the exception of a couple of holes on the front 9, this course is a nearly exclusively disc golf activity area - you will likely not have to wait for other pedestrians to clear out of fairways.
Finally, part of the title of this review has to do with all of the new pin placements and other improvements that are ongoing to make this course the best it can be. Having a number of distinct pin placements adds a lot of replay-ability to this course and will keep players on their toes. The downside to this is that newer players may have quite a bit of difficulty in locating pins on blind turns, etc.
Cons: Drainage and teepads are two of the main drawbacks that I see out here. First, the natural teepads can be pretty rutted, the local club, however does a ton of maintenance out here!, but from time to time, you'll hit Rockburn at a time where mother nature is a step ahead of the volunteers. The local club is starting to put in nicer tees (rubber mats) and is experimenting with some strange raised astroturf tees which just don't work very well as they are slippery and you have to step up during the runup to throw from them. Drainage doesn't need more than a quick mention, but the back wooded holes at Rockburn especially are not the place you want to be when it has been raining - check the course conditions or recent weather before heading out and you'll be less likely to run into unexpected mud.
Other Thoughts: As I touched on earlier, this course isn't for the 'newbie' player because of the 'rough' rough, but it is just this feature which makes Rockburn a great tournament course for more experienced players. Large variety in shots, terrain, and now pin placements will keep you coming back for more!
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Third Best Course in Baltimore
Pros: Lots of space. Tees have giant signs next to them so they are easy to spot. It's a pretty course. When we played, there is an ice cream truck full of frisbees at the parking lot. The guy was very friendly and was selling frisbees at fair prices. The course has a secluded feel that makes you forget you are near a major city.
Cons: sometimes a little tough to find the next tee without a map. When i played (late August) the grass in the fairways hadn't been mowed for a while, and the rough was very rough. I lost a frisbee in one of the heavily wooded holes with the intense ground cover. Had i not been wearing shorts i would have looked longer but was afraid of ticks/poison ivy.
Other Thoughts: This is my third favorite around bmore, next to Patapsco and then Druid Hill
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: All the holes are challenging and fun to play! Some holes are open and some are in the woods. A very diverse course!
Cons: The course has no "Flow" ,always walking back up the fairway to get to the next tee. I never played in a tournement here but I would bet that the course gets backed up in a lot of places.
Other Thoughts: Maybe put in some alternate tee locations so the course flows better.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course is pretty much separate from other park activities. Nice secluded feel for most of the course. Practice basket down hill from parking lot. Directly after 18. Multiple basket positions for added variety. OK signs at each tee box with marked basket positions and a map of each hole. There are also benches at most of the tees.
Nice vary of shots needed. Left, right and straight shots scattered throughout the course. There is also a nice mix of open vs wooded holes. And some holes that start in the open and play into the woods. This course also does a nice job using the available elevation.
Course plays around an old farm so there is not only some nice natural features to play around, but some fences and buildings come into play. It doesn't turn the course into a putt-putt course at all. Just adds a little different challenge to a couple holes.
Cons: Uneven natural tee pads. A few holes also have some turf and/or rubber pads. Nice pads would really be nice at this course. The signs are a little old, and could use some updating. Navigation can be a little tricky so check a map before you go, or bring one with you.
Other Thoughts: Just a nice, enjoyable course. Hole 15 is probably the signature hole. You throw off a decent sized hill, through some trees, and down over a creek into the woods. The basket is then positioned in a bunch of large rocks or boulders. Kind of a Stonehenge hole. I also enjoyed holes 4,5,6,9 and 10 quite a bit. That's a good amount of memorable holes for a course. Plus there really is no bad hole here. Nothing seems squeezed in or out of place. If you are in MD make sure you plan a stop at Rockburn. It may not be as well known as a few of the other MD courses, but it is definitely worth a visit.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Variety a Plenty
Pros: Excellent variety of holes. A great intermediate course, not too easy, not too hard. Some really interesting shots and lots of elevation changes. Hole 15 is a sweet downhill shot across a field and then into the woods down near the creek. Really fun, I threw a few discs on that hole. Markers point you to the next tee.
Cons: Signs are confusing, and getting "off course" can happen often (even with the signs pointing you in the right direction). The baskets can be confusing a bit as well, especially with the multiple pin placements. I threw to hole #2 right off the bat and had to start over. Also, it seems like if you went in the middle of summer, the vegitation and bugs could be a problem here.
Other Thoughts: The weather was great and the locals were helpful so I had an excellent time here.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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