Very Good Course to play early or late
1 Helpful / 0 Not
*** If you don't read anything else: Play when park and the zoo are not being used heavily ( go for early mornings, evenings, off-season). This is a good course, but too much zoo and park traffic will make for a bad experience ***
+ Very good signage; indicates lengths, and whether you're shooting at a shared basket (this is helpful reassurance when you're using a basket a second time)
+ Hole #4 is a great risk/reward whether you're playing for eagle (across both water segments) or playing for birdie (by using the intermediate landing area). Even if you're playing for par, you have to push as far forward along the shore as you dare, in order to improve your approach. And regardless of your strategy, any approach that's short or left on the will be wet
+ Hole #6 is short a short ace run across just a little bit of water. The real challenge is not hitting the branches protecting the hanging basket (you'll play this same basket from the opposite side on #14)
+ Following a couple of long and wooded holes, Hole #9 offers a nice bit of relief: a shorter par 3 with the hole clearly visible in an open area
+ Hole #10 features an elevated mound - the real difficulty is the low area in front of the basket that collects short rollaways. Throwing long is safe: there's 15 feet of clearing behind the basket, and you won't be putting up at such an elevation. Just make sure you hit your putt
+ Hole #15 brings the water back in play, with the best shot being a RHFH that's high enough to clear the tall grasses in front of the pin (Look for the flag marking the basket)
+ Hole #16's water challenge is less dramatic than #4, but it's devious. Clear the obvious water between tee and green - but be aware that the water runs all the way along the left side of the green, and a shot that's too high and fades left will probably get wet. There's a drop zone marked by a low post straight across the water
- No teepads. Teeing areas are generally short and a few are uneven. Watch for the occasional root which could cause a trip on your runup
- A little tough to navigate the first time through, especially from #6 to #7. The uDisc map is ok, but has errors. I fixed the pars on uDisc, but the map still needs some work. The Zoo website includes a printable map that was very helpful to indicate pars, distances, shared baskets and water holes. Print and carry that map the first time through
- The first and last few holes are a bit dull. They're not bad, but they're pretty open and they lack the design elements found elsewhere on the course (water, elevated basket, mound, wooded doglegs, etc)
- I personally didn't like the long holes going through the pavilion areas (#7 and #8 on the way out and #12 on the way back). You're throwing across roads, through picnic areas and over fences
~ Roads and paved paths are OB. There's a notice on the kiosk before the first tee. Figure out ahead of time how you want to treat pavilions, garbage cans, fences and other man-made structures You can play different ways, so I suggest you just make a clear ruling for your group before teeing off
~ We paired this up with nearby Ockie Wisting Park for a great morning of disc golf. We played this one first to be ahead of the zoo and park crowd
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Lions, Tigers, and Disc Golf
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + The course is placed within a lively county park. A wildly popular free zoo is within walking distance and deserves a visit if you can spare the time.
+ The tee signs show the distance and par but do not have diagrams of the holes because most baskets can be seen from the tee.
+ Very clean fairways. Rough areas seem well-managed, too.
+ Several satisfying water features.
+ The 'next tee' signs are prominent and dependable.
+ There are dozens of benches and trash cans all over the place. Please do not litter!
+ An ideal course to introduce the new player to the sport.
Cons: - There are five pairs of holes that share a basket. This results in some criss-crossing fairways. Just be vigilant of other golfers.
- Very pedestrian-heavy location with the zoo nearby. Picnic benches and pavilions are everywhere here. Overflow zoo parking can render some holes unplayable. I recommend playing before 10 A.M. when the zoo opens or after 4:30 P.M. when it closes. (The county park opens at 7 and closes at dusk.)
- The course topography is almost completely flat except for the raised basket at hole 10.
- The tee pads are loose rocks/gravel/dirt.
- A bit on the short side.
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole here was definitely hole 4 because of the two water areas the player must contend with and the tensely dramatic challenge of poking through the only window to the basket. My least favorite hole was hole 3. I will always feel uneasy throwing that close to a busy road.
As for the course as a whole, Cape May County Park is a decent park in a tricky situation. The grounds are very commonly visited by people for the zoo and other park facilities. During my session at 5 P.M. after the zoo had already closed, there were still plenty of folks all over the place walking the paths, grilling food, enjoying the sights and making good use of the park. It kind of stinks that the playability of a course is so heavily dependent on how many people are enjoying the other parts of the park- especially the zoo. With all of the pavilions, picnic tables and open grills, I wonder how playable Cape May would be during holidays.
The holes aren't too demanding as most holes are shorter than 300 feet and fall under the 'hybrid' classification-- meaning that they definitely have trees to deal with but the spaces between the trees are wide enough to make the course feel open, too. It's pretty flat from start to finish, and the lines are never too tough. All of that adds up to a course that feels aimed more towards newer players, which I think is great. Freshmen golfers need places to play as well!
Also, I loved the water features. They added a nice peppering of thought and planning to the course. I wasn't even mad about losing a disc to hole 15 because it was my own fault to begin with. The land was used as efficiently as possible, which explains why some holes have shared baskets. This is the first course I've been to that had something like that, but I suspect that the planners were under strict limitations from the park commission, which might also explain the natural-style tee pads.
In closing, CMCP is a course that has adapted to its situation as best it could. The heavy zoo visitor and pedestrian presence severely limits when people can play the full 18. But it's got some devious water challenges that I'll never forget. The short distances and light tree density don't add up to much, but that makes it the perfect course for those just starting out and players who just want a relaxing informal round.
So come play at Cape May (at the right time), bag some birdies, and then see some actual birdies at the zoo just next door.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
New course at the Zoo
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well maintained
Easy to get around
New Mach V orange baskets
Lots of benches
You start and finish right next to the parking lot
You can see most of the baskets from the tee so detailed signs are not needed.
One set of tees. Back tees may be added later.
Hole 1. Cool start. Island green surrounded by OB road
Hole 4. Great par 4. Go for the landing area or throw a bomb over the entire lake. Possible eagle but have not seen one yet
Hole 6. Hanging basket ace hole
Hole 7. Par 4. Tunnel shot
Hole 10. Great hole. Basket on top of a steep mound. Lots of rollaways.
Hole 12. Par 4 protected by OB road
Hole 15. Beautiful anni tee shot over 175' feet of water then goes right around some trees. Safe bailout to the right
Hole 16. Another awesome water hole
Cons: Must play early in the morning in the summer because of overflow parking. There is a great free zoo here that is very popular
There are a few shared baskets but it has never been an issue
Natural tees. No problem with footing
No holes for big arms to air it out except number 4. There are 5 par 4s though
Other Thoughts: This is a completely new layout from the old course. It takes advantage of the beautiful lake by inducing some memorable shots. The design allows for lots of birdie opportunities if you can hit your lanes. The wooded holes are not so dense. You can always find a fair clean lane to throw through. All paved roads are played as OB. This is my home course. I always have a good time playing here. Remember to play early during the summer.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Not isolated. Can be around people for safety, based on time you arrive. I played late afternoon on a holiday Sunday on my first outing in 2018. No people in the way. Only one car to wait to pass before throwing. Interesting layout, particularly holes 7-14. Directional posts guide you to tees, latter are bricks in the ground.
Cons: A bit too much water. You must have power and aim to get over the lake at 4 and 16. I don't possess such yet, so I don't try those two. I may think differently when I am a better player. If pavilions are in use, it will be a dangerous situation at holes 7-13. Go off-peak times. I really like holes 9 and 10 despite casual water in front of the latter. Hole 6 is now longer with plenty tree limbs to deal with before and after the water. Drive and/or approach at 15 can easily wind up wet.
Other Thoughts: I like it. Will play the course every time I'm in the area. Very helpful office staff. Large field in the middle of the park is a great place to warm up and practice.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
South Jersey Gem
- Finally, an 18 hole course nearby South Jersey shore points that is well kept by friendly landscaping staff
- Well thought out, creative use of limited, available land in park that eliminates many of the negative review comments of the former 9-hole course that had traversed picnic pavilions with associated pedestrian traffic
- Variety of shot lines that keep you thinking about disc selection and vary backhand or forehand throws...not biased towards RH or LH player
- Balanced mix of lightly and moderately wooded, as well as water in play holes
- Available restrooms, trash receptacles, playground and GREAT ZOO that is free admission
- Comprehendible signage
- Sandy soil drains almost immediately, so few muddy areas
- Hanging basket on holes 6 and 14, Mound basket on hole 10
- No ticks!
- Holes 8 and 12 fairways are placed in an overflow parking area, unplayable when park is crowded (weekends, bad weather days during summer when zoo visitors peak, etc.)
- Consider course in pre-opening stage, so awaiting paver or concrete tee pads, course map, out of bounds designations, lost disc repository, selective tree limb trims
- Shared baskets sets up possibility for course congestion, in anticipation of widespread popularity during summer season
- Course plays at a high recreational level due to predominant use of woods
- Recommend sunrise play to avoid crowds
- Put some floating discs in your bag for holes 4 and 15
- I played a round with course designers (Glenn and Phil), found out park staff, upon realizing that former 9-hole course had poor reviews, worked with local players to fund baskets and signage, as well as finalize and install course layout. Very refreshing news.
- Advanced players likely to find some par ratings are generous
- Recommend addition of sign coming off basket 7 to direct players to 8th tee
- A really flat course, but, totally expected in South Jersey
- Traversing from basket 10 to 11th tee you get a chance to taunt ball golfers on adjacent, private course...nice touch
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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