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Devens, MA

Devens - The Hill

3.915(based on 52 reviews)
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0 3
Evilhippy
Experience: 13 years 4 played 3 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Wooded Refuge 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 26, 2011 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Good mix of terrain with some exceptional downhill shots, not too long but not too short either.

Cons:

Trees, Trees, and more Trees, don't get me wrong I like trees as much as the next guy but there are a few too many on this course IMHO.

Other Thoughts:

Owner of Killer Bee runs the course, really nice guy. Bring bug spray and good shoes are a must.
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11 0
Everett Evans
Experience: 31 years 116 played 14 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Great workout, great course! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Apr 10, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

Wow, what a course! I had read about the terrain on DGCR and thought I would be prepared, but it can be really brutal in places. Parts of the back nine, when you are already tired, almost make you think the designers were as interested in wiping you out as they were in creating a great course (seriously? another #%@&ing stairway???). All in all, one of the best I have played in New England.

It is extreme disc golf, very focused on uphill and downhill shots, with only a few holes with less than 10' of elevation either way. Even #3, with technically 15' of elevation down, is a workout because the hole actually plays 50' down and 35' back up.

Many, many memorable holes, fun holes, extremely fair fairways, good opportunities for deuces and bogies, and I suppose a few 5s and 6s if you really get stuck.

The signage is perfect, showing you the line, elevation and distance at each tee and guiding you from one hole to the next tee, without overkill or ugly spraypainted arrows everywhere. I think most if not all of the baskets had high orange flags to mark their position, which came in very handy on a few.

Very little trash, just a few pieces of bottle glass here and there where some jerk must have thought throwing a bottle was a really cool thing to do, and might get him women.

All of the teepads were fine, some were awesome, some were just OK, but none were a trip hazard, and the couple that were OK I threw forehand and didn't need a run up anyway.

Speaking of forehand, I threw about 75/25 BH/FH, which I was not prepared for. I usually rely on anhyzer RHBHs to do the trick on left-right holes, but the fairways and tree placement on most of the left-right holes at Devens ruled out a sweeping anhyzer. Much better shot was a low, straight RHFH which faded right at the end. Seeing as I don't throw a lot of those, it was a little refreshing.

Elevation, elevation, elevation!!!! 30', 50' 70'!, 90'!!?!?!?! of elevation on holes under 400'?? And on some holes under 300'?????? Just awesome and a lot of fun.

Portable toilets down at the parking area.

This course is about 70 minutes from me, but I will definitely be back. Well done!!!

Cons:

Only three cons I can think of, all relatively minor:

1) Hole 9 finishes in the middle of the woods, so if you have to break for lunch (like I did), you have to walk quite a ways to get back to the car, then back to 10 to finish up. Not much of a con if you plan on playing 18 holes.

2) Due to the awesome and rugged terrain, your discs may take a beating, which may change your disc selection. There were a few times where I brought out a trusty favorite disc, thought about it, then put it back in and picked another with a slightly different shot in mind, because I didn't want to risk gouging a favorite disc. I often throw an SE Leopard, but never threw it once, although I had opportunities. So, if you are concerned about bashing your favorite Roc on one of the 17 million rocks on the course, leave it home. DX plastic will SUFFER!!

3) Some of the stairs and paths were in rough shape and, in a couple cases, were more dangerous than just clamboring down the hillsides. One stairway in particular (the really steep one on the back 9, #16 I think) had various missing chunks and exposed rebar supports and took some careful navigating to make it down. Honestly, that hole was worth it though.

Other Thoughts:

Bring water, really, really good solid shoes or hiking boots, and take your time. Don't throw your favorite 15 year old DX whatever unless you're looking to replace it.

There were a few missing amenities that you might find at higher-end or private courses (snack bar, tee brooms, bag hangers, etc), but I don't factor them in as Cons, just missing Pros.
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2 2
N8malibu
Experience: 56 played 8 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Killer Hill 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 21, 2010 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

I love the fact that I can get my heart rate up clamoring up to the second hole. The layout was well planned to put the hill to it's best use. I like the fact that it's a technical course and there aren't any real bomb shots to be had.

Cons:

Not a great course for the beginner, some tight tree littered shots. To far from me to play on a regular basis :(

Other Thoughts:

New Killer B pro shop located behind hole 12 has a fine selection of discs, bags and other necessities for the golf nut. Friendly and helpful staff, check 'em out!
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3 0
smalcome
Experience: 42 played 9 reviews
3.50 star(s)

pretty neato 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 11, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

-excellent signs- not only were they easy to read and in great shape, but they had distance and elevation noted
-elevation changes- it made the course pretty unique, there's one hole that is like throwing your disc off a five story building, and that made disc choice pretty tough
-nice terrain
-quality baskets in good shape

Cons:

-very wooded, it is still fun, but if you start playing pinball off the trees, it is easy to get frustrated
-not much fun when its wet, as slipping along a rocky wooded path can be dangerous

Other Thoughts:

i had a lot of fun playing this course. it is too far away from me to play regularly- so i think this fact makes it better. it would be a very challenging "home course," which would make you 'better' but also might cause people to not stick with it if they are a beginner- i suppose it's all how you look at it. i'll definitely play it again- it's well maintained, though that's because of the locals who pick up and carry out trash from other a-holes who leave it there. there are no baskets, so you need to carry out your garbage. and avoid glass bottles as i saw a few broken ones that weren't going to be picked up anytime soon- a great use of land. it'd be sweet to build an 'open' course on some of the flat land near by with some open distance shots of 400 feet or so... maybe even a 9 hole-er to play with this one.
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0 1
eastcoastf
Experience: 13 played 13 reviews
4.00 star(s)

loved it 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 25, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

what a great course.. well laid out and mapped.

very challenging and fun holes to play...i had a blast..wished i lived a little closer.

this is what i wish more courses were like.

Cons:

nothing bad to say about it.

but bring a drink..it's a workout

Other Thoughts:

park at the soccer field parking lot and cross the street where the american flag on the fences is..first hole on the left.
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1 2
kanekasey9
Experience: 16 years 18 played 3 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 20, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course is very challanging. If you don't like hills and alot of trees ( all woods ) it is not for you. Loved the challange of this course.The course is very well marked and very well layed out.I think hole 16 is the most challanging. It is marked that it goes down 90 feet, and they mean it. The walk down is a little ruff but they have steps and a rope to hold on to.

Cons:

The course is behind a school and on hole 18 a class was out there, could not finish my shot, and they picked up my husbands disc and gave it to him. Other then that I liked the course.

Other Thoughts:

Veyr easy to get to and will go back again.
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3 1
FrankieDG
Experience: 3 played 3 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Devens Heavens 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 21, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

Well marked, well laid out, challenging course. Crazy dog legs around big boulders. Intense long tees. Great variation from hole to hole.

Cons:

Only cons I can think of is the distance the course is from NJ and it was a little difficult to find. If it was closer I'd play it often.

Other Thoughts:

Please respect your fellow golfers and not litter the course. Thanks!
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1 4
Jeffro Skull
Experience: 15.1 years 115 played 12 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Where the 17th Tee? 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 15, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

Short overall distance 1.6 miles makes for fast play, if uncrowded. Lots of trees and elevation, but well played drives leave plenty of birdie opportunities.

Cons:

mosquitoes

Other Thoughts:

If you are visiting the Boston area, make sure to add this to your wish list.
If you use your GPS (Garmin, specificly) to locate, use the city of 'Ayer' instead of 'Devens'
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2 1
spinderella
Experience: 14 years 8 played 3 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Love this course! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 1, 2010 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

One of the best laid out courses out there! Big elevation changes, challenging shots, and beautiful scenery!

Cons:

No negatives on this course, unless you count the toll it takes on your legs!

Other Thoughts:

This course is an hour plus travel time for me, but well worth the drive, by far one of my favorites! Wear good hiking shoes and bring a water!
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4 4
Smithcok
Experience: 14.6 years 13 played 4 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Nice wooded course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Feb 20, 2010 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Great use of terrain (trees!) and elevation (especially back 9). Not a super long course, but will require a lot of accurate shorter drives and midrange shots. Ample parking, variety of holes, and plenty of trees to keep fairways tight.

For people that like a good hike when playing, this is an amazing course.

Some holes require a big hike down/uphill, but the course has great steps and/or ropes run to help out.

Lots of opportunities for high risk, high reward shots.

Cons:

A few more signs designating tees may help. No complaints other than that really.

Other Thoughts:

Watch those downhill putts (especially the one on hole 18!)

Bring bug spray and lots of water.
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7 0
ScottyD86
Experience: 16 years 5 played 1 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Best course in the area! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Nov 10, 2010 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Devens DGC sits on an old military training facility and is shrouded in woods. The only time you are outside the woods is the first tee shot, and then it's all woods and hills from there. Par for each hole is 3, but depending on your skill level, a handicap can help your confidence. Steep elevations both up and down from hole to hole keep this course a constant challenge. This is the course I play most often (because it's the closest to me) and I rarely play a round free of at least one 5+ hole.

Brand new recycled rubber teepads have been put in on most holes, making for consistent tee-offs instead of worrying about slipping on dirt or tripping in a divot on the teepad.

Cons:

Both a pro and a con, this course has a lot of steep elevation changes (See holes 14 and 16 especially!), as well as a few holes where it helps to have a second person to watch your tee-shot, as you'll have to throw around some sharp doglegs that go around large boulders or thick sections of trees, so playing this course alone comes with the risk of losing your disc. Missing a putt on downhill holes can be catastrophic for your score, as most misses result in a long roll down the hill.

Other Thoughts:

Definitely a course where you'll want to bring shoes or boots good for hiking, bug spray, and water, especially when playing in the summertime.
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13 2
Dave242
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 30 years 394 played 276 reviews
4.00 star(s)

A- = Amazing course! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 19, 2009 Played the course:once

Pros:

What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:

1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == A-
(Being a tightly wooded course with pretty dense rough, there are quite a few holes that will slam you for bad performance off the tee and a few that will add extra strokes for mediocre drives - that is a good thing! Some holes are just too short though to make it difficult to recover from bad throws. This aspect is the main thing that kept me from giving a higher score here.)

2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == B-
(Only about 1/3 of the holes feel really rewarding for me to birdie. There is a real variety of lengths.....effective lengths really (taking the effects of terrain into account). This variety makes some holes too short to be rewarding and others too long from me and people of my arm strength to ever hope for birdies....rather just an easy drive, easy upshot and tap-in par = boring. It seems the designers tried to cater to everyone in this regard.)

3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == A
(This is an area where this course shines - lots of up/down/left/right/late-turn/early-turn. IMO, there is potential to have had more creatively designed holes - the type that would have gotten an A+. Great use of terrain - I love the way the transition paths (from basket to next tee) take you uphill on almost all holes. This leads to more of the very fun downhill shots.)

4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A+
(Extremely secluded and very beautiful after you "Walk past piles of junk and follow green chain-link fence to 1st tee" (from course directions - ouch!). Rock out-croppings, beautiful trees and a healthy under-story make you feel like you are hiking the AT. Amazing!)

5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == D+
(There are 1.5 legit par 4 holes (3 is a right angle dogleg that you throw putter-putter-putter & 18 is slight dogleg that is reachable with some luck) and they are not really challenging as far as good par 4's go. But, some bonus points for adding multi-throw holes!)

Other Thoughts:

It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.

I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
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2 5
Flashy Pete
Experience: 11 played 1 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Use a spotter!!! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 12, 2009 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course really is a great mix of short and long holes and causes you to use every shot in your bag

Cons:

Some of the short holes are very easy. In the fall you should really use a spotter on some of the holes with large elevation changes or risk loss of disks under leaves.

Other Thoughts:

Wear good hiking shoes! I thought I would be fine in my New Balance. This was not the case with leaves all over the place. Def worth the hike though, fun place to play.
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6 0
lazy cake
Experience: 17.9 years 514 played 5 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Good stuff! 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Oct 25, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

-Gorgeous setting on a hill in central Massachusetts.
-One of the best designed courses I've ever played. Beautiful use of the natural landscape, it really feels like you're taking a walk in the woods and there just so happens to also be a great disc golf course laid out on your path.
-Extremely challenging. I've played here dozens of times and am still nowhere near par (+6 is my best round).
-Terrific hill action. Holes 1-6 play relatively flat, with the exception of number 3 (major drop, hard dog leg to the left, and back up the hill again to the basket). Starting with number 7, there's very little level terrain. Dramatic uphill shots mixed in with exciting downhill shots keeps things exciting. Plus, hill climbing makes for a good cardio work out.
-Well designed and high quality signs showing distance to the basket and change in elevation.
-Chainstar baskets. I prefer these for some reason.
-Pretty much unlimited opportunity for creative shot making. The change in elevation, trees, boulders, etc, provide new scenarios each time I play.
-Abundant wildlife. Frogs use the pond behind the 6th basked as a mating ground in the spring, it sounds like a UFO is landing for about a week. I once spent 20 minutes watching a snake slowly eat a frog on hole 17's fairway.
-Off the beaten path. You don't run in to mixed use problems here.

Cons:

-The other type of wildlife: abundant mosquitoes from June-September. Vicious biters, bathe in DEET before playing. .
-Natural tee pads. It's sloppy during the muddy season.
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6 0
MadChillMojo
Experience: 18.2 years 7 played 7 reviews
4.00 star(s)

All Hill, All the time. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 26, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Hands down my favorite MA course. I play here a LOT and my best score so far is a grin-inducing -2.
Additionally, my one and only Ace to date was carded here on Hole#2 during a tournament.

Devens is technical in every way imaginable. Challenging from drive, through approach, and right up to your putt. Putt with care! Too often if you front-lip it with a low or high flyer, your disc may roll back waaaay past you for some negative distance and subsequent elevated blood pressure.
There are elevation changes galore and a nice easy-to-navigate layout. The signs at the tees have good informative pics and there are signs leading from basket to the next tee on each as well.
The underbrush is light for the most part which helps when you have to go hunting for a stray shot. Last winters' ice storm did a lot of damage here, but the upside is that it cleared out a lot of troublesome obstacles.
I've been playing here quite often since I started playing in 2006 and it just gets better and better as the volunteer staff upgrades it. While the tee boxes are still natural, they're gradually leveling them out and boxing them in with 4x4 lumber. Except for a couple holes, you won't need much of a run-up for your drives. Concentrate on accuracy v.s. distance and you'll be in good shape.
The course is easily accessible from Rt.2 and the gas station in "town" has all your drinks, food, etc. to set you up for a full days play.

Can't say enough good things about Devens. The technical aspect of this place continues to make me a better, more shot-conscious DG'er.

Cons:

Not for the out-of-shape or respiratorily challenged player. The phrase "all hill all the time" is their own advertisement and their logo is a severed head on a stick. You will often feel exactly like that after a hot summers day of playing.
Beginners will have a tough, though educational time of it here and if they can stick it out, will learn a lot about the game.
Mosquitos and black flies will welcome you to dinner with open...ummm... arms? These guys are Army trained so I recommend you do battle with them with some military grade DEET.

Other Thoughts:

Hole 18 can crush your spirit if you don't approach it carefully. The downhill approach to the higher-than-normal basket is a nightmare. Unless you're a dead-eye downhill putter from inside 20-40', I recommend playing it safe with a scoobie-slider and lay up for the easy put-in. Bogey is a good score on this one! If you over-shoot the basket or get up on edge, it'll sail/roll away on you and you're in for a loooong recovery coming back up the hill to finish out.
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3 1
turtlehill
Experience: 17.2 years 14 played 1 reviews
4.50 star(s)

loved it 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 5, 2008 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Loved everything about this course its challenging and beautiful. Extreme elevation changes this course will make you shoot every shot you know and maybe teach you some new ones this course is one of my all time favorites

Cons:

the only con i would think of is its not nice to beginners but thats why its so good for the rest of us

Other Thoughts:

even if you have to go out of your way i recomend trying this course
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5 0
RHINESEL
Experience: 14.9 years 7 played 6 reviews
4.00 star(s)

A Pleasurable Challange 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 6, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Clean, well marked, challenging, quiet.

Cons:

Natural tees, a bit too physical for some people, not the most beginner friendly course.

Other Thoughts:

Devens is an extremely challenging course set on a hill in a former military base. The course uses elevation extremely well challenging even the most seasoned players. This is the type of course where you pull just about every disc out of your bag once and shoot every shot in your arsenal. No round is ever the same.

At the parking lot there are port-a-potties, trash cans, and a large soccer field for warm up throws. Adjacent to the first tee there is a billboard with notices, scorecards, and a lost and found drop.

Tee signs are at every tee showing elevation change, layout, and suggested routes. The tees are natural but well defined and mostly flat. Signs exist pointing to the next tee and paths are well worn between basket and next tee.

This course has a large following and an active league play. The website www.devensdiscgolf.com is up to date and includes a course map, detailed directions, and updated lost and found information along with a running blog. The administrator for the course returns e-mail very quickly.

Simply a pleasure to play.
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3 3
sikaranmonkey
Experience: 16.2 years 8 played 6 reviews
3.50 star(s)

technical 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 31, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Awsome terrain. Every shot is a technical shot. I personally love the up and down course. The course is well marked and not confusing. Maps of holes are accurate. Just fun to play. The more throws in your arsenal the better. ie; forehand, flick, s shots, hammer, floaters, etc.

Cons:

If you like the occasional big drive mixed in with your technical game, go to Barre, or Tully, or Maple hill. This reminded me more of Pyramids on steroids except on a boulder strewn hill instead of a dirt valley. Most Tees are well constructed even if natural. A bit hard to find.

Other Thoughts:

No long drives here. The biggest disc I pulled out was a midrange driver. No room for the beast or wraith. Sometimes an easy shot on a steap hill can make for a discouraging roller. We're talking easy chances for negative distance gain.
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10 0
optidiscic
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 22 years 156 played 149 reviews
4.50 star(s)

The Thrill of the Hill! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 13, 2009 Played the course:once

Pros:

Simply the perfect technical course. Course gradually gets better and more dramatic as it unfolds before you....constantly providing that wow..what could possibly be next experience! Utilizes a dramatic and steep hill along with massive granite boulders, rock outcroppings, old growth hardwoods and plenty of creativity to blend all of the elements to both provide fun and challenge in the most perfect mix imagineable. Every shot you encounter here will be burned in your memory. Your either shooting across hillsides with all types of trouble for an errant toss, up steep climbs to challenge your strength or parachuting down in gleeful but terrifying plunges downward. Some distances may seem short but when you realize the elevation shifts are 45-65-70-90 feet on these holes you will suddenly forget about distance. You can get aces here but you can also get a fair share of double bogeys on these same holes also. The fun factor here is unlimited. No shule just old growth stands of pines and soft pine needles for your disc to land in after hitting a tree or large granite wall. The tee pads are natural but were not an issue for me. You don't need a big run up when your trying to delicately drop a putter down a 90 foot drop to a basket below that is reachable only by repelling down with a rope and steep stairway. Who cares about having a big wide open field hole when you have 18 wooded masterpieces to enjoy. I actually threw harder trying to climb 65 feet straight up the hill than I would in an open field anyway. (65 feet..thats a 6 story building think about that!) Who cares about water when an errant throw can sail a hundred feet past the hole or get plinked by a massive tree and your fighting for bogey. I searched for my discs a few times but the smile never left my face. The course is technical but very fair! I had no issues with navigation, everything was clearly marked. Once you find the course which is hidden from the street in an almost Batman Cave location let the fun begin. I have played 80 courses and played some famous courses but this is my favorite technical course....par 54 which will make your legs sore!

Cons:

If it had concrete tees or rubber tees we are talking without question...World Class! It's a hike which might not be for everyone. Bring your own drink and be prepared to carry out your trash. There is no big wide open hole or water to throw over or near...for those who need that.

Other Thoughts:

I played this course on the same day I played Maple Hill...This course is the one I would come back and play again and again. Disc Golf is about shotmaking and there is unlimited shot making here..more than any course I have ever played.
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5 2
dukdukgolf
Experience: 16 played 16 reviews
4.50 star(s)

love it! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Aug 9, 2009 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

i live near here so i play it alot. The more i play the more i like it. Elevation is crazy and it creates unique challenges that are truly different than any other course ive played. Must use many different shots to play this course. Its wooded course but fairways are very defined.

Cons:

updated cons: all rubber tee pads are in and practice basket installed.
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