16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two tee signs (short, long) at every hole with distances listed. Navigation mostly easy - only one "next tee" sign was hard to find. No conflicts with other activities unless you are really off-target. There is a fitness course and several playgrounds if you are with family/friends that don't want to follow you around. Variety of shapes, mostly in the woods. Short tees (the reds) are very reasonable for newer players. Nice park. Has a practice basket.
Cons: Very poor drainage. No bathrooms nearby. One big loop of 18 (rather than two loops of 9). Few benches. Only one bag hook that I saw. After #15 you either have to go to #16's basket and walk down the fairway or go back down #15's fairway and cross over to #16's tee (they are parallel). Navigation from #5 to #6 was a little unclear (sign says take right at path but not to turn left on other trail after the bridge). After #10, the tees for #11 and #13 are close to each other (aimed in opposite directions). Some of the short tees in the back 9 are still just dirt.
Other Thoughts: #4 is just a throw in an open field but it has a raised basket as its challenge. #7 was also pretty much open (a few trees around the basket). Mot of the trees on the course are young so not tall and no thick trunks. A couple of holes have a lot of trees in the fairway.
Be careful of the pond on #8 (hidden behind a line of trees/bushes).
Only a few longer holes (#10, #15-#18).
The walk back to parking lot from #18 is not that bad.
There's not too much that they can do about the drainage but they have worked hard on it. I played two days after a rain and the front 9 was very soggy. In some cases you can detour around but a few really only had one path to the tee and it was a slog.
I was the only one playing on a Friday morning and it was peaceful although I did get serenaded by ducks.
Bottom line is that it is a fun recreational course that I will visit again when it is much drier and the trees have filled in (which I'm sure will make it more challenging).
Course could easily be a 4 if the drainage could be improved (and a few more tees added).
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Mostly easy to navigate
Very well maintained
Tees that are in place are excellent and large
Mostly shaded woods, but not safari golf
Cons: A few navigational signs or arrows are missing (I'm taking cable ties with me next time to affix some fallen arrows)
A few tee pads still under construction it seems
Very long walk back to the lot after 18
Other Thoughts: I've been playing for about a year and typically avoid wooded courses, spending half the day searching is a real bummer. Then again, I'm not crazy about completely open courses and baking in the sun (I'm looking at you, Heritage Farm). This is the perfect mix for someone like me. Navigation was a breeze for a first timer, except for maybe a few missing arrows or signs. #6 comes to mind, and an arrow or directional sign after #18 pointing towards the parking lot would be helpful. The turf pads that are in place are plenty large. There are at least two holes where it's just a prayer shot to avoid hitting any trees, looks like a damn Plinko board. There is some surprise water on a couple holes, I think around #7 or #8, I might be wrong. It's very flat which I must admit was unexpected, given it's location. But the beginner in me appreciates that. Overall, I really enjoyed this course, I just wish I lived closer.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Still In the works, but really coming to life
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: 2 sets of tee pads in the works. The course is getting better every week. Great variety of shots, from ace runs, open holes, tight woods, 2 small ponds and a finishing par 5 (long tee) You could play this course with 3 discs or your whole bag. Easy flat walking. The town is very involved as are the locals. It's going to be great
Cons: Can be a bit wet in spots. But in the works to help that out
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Woodsy fun in a swamp
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I enjoy playing this course. It is a fun, challenging, and technical wooded course. With short and long tees on every hole, Emmitsburg is suitable for players of varying skill levels.
May 2022 update: Most teepads are now constructed of turf over boxed-in fill of crushed gravel and stone dust. These teepads are very nice, and it looks like the club plans to finish installing them on all short and long tees. Other teepads are boxed-in gravel and stone dust. These tees are well packed down and serviceable.
Level, white-banded baskets caught well. White arrows on baskets and trees direct you to the next hole. Tee signs show hole number, distance, and basket direction.
Except for a few open or semi-open holes, this is a predominantly wooded course. Holes feature a variety of lines and distances, and each hole feels unique. This variety is a testament to the designers, who carved an interesting course from a relatively featureless landscape.
Ponds add challenge on several holes. Hole 6 is 217', slightly uphill, with less than 200' of water carry and the basket tucked behind young pine trees. Hole 8 invites a 240' righty sidearm, but finishing right of the basket risks skipping into the pond. On hole 4 the pond is located at circle's edge if you throw long past the raised basket.
Practice basket near the parking lot and first tee. There is enough open space around the practice basket to work on your approach game when the course is not crowded (and I have never seen the course crowded).
Ample parking with plenty of trashcans and a dog-waste station located near the parking lots. No port-a-pot in the winter, but I think one was available in the (non-pandemic) summer months.
The course is located in a pleasant community park with a variety of fitness activities and lovely views of the Catoctin Mountains.
Cons: The local club has obviously made heroic efforts to dig drainage channels and mulch wet spots, but the land is quite swampy and may remain wet for many days after a rain.
Despite mild elevation changes on a few holes, this course is mostly flat. A few holes lacked a clear line, and might benefit from judicious removal of trees in the fairway.
On a few holes, walking paths can come into play on bad tee shots. There are signs warning of flying discs at appropriate places, but walkers, dog walkers, and joggers are probably not thinking about dodging flying plastic so the onus is on disc golfers to ensure their safety.
Fairways can get a bit shaggy during the growing season. More frequent mowing would enhance the playing experience.
Navigation is tricky in a couple of places. Hole 9 is the most visible tee after playing hole 6. Similarly, the hole 13 tee is most visible after playing hole 10. Fairly long walk back to the parking lot after finishing hole 18.
Other Thoughts: This challenge of this course is more technical than distance. Those who prefer throwing big open bombs will probably not appreciate this course, but those (including me) who appreciate the challenge of hitting lines in the woods will probably enjoy playing here. If they can keep their feet dry.
This is not a long course, but the long tees on two holes reward controlled distance: hole 10 is a long, straight tunnel; and hole 18 is long and slightly uphill with a reasonably wide but obstructed fairway and unforgiving rough. These were two of my favorite holes.
The local club has obviously done a ton of work to redirect standing water away from fairways and walking paths. Even so, this course is built on a swamp and much of the course will be wet and mucky at times. If you play here after heavy rain or during spring mud season, wear appropriate shoes.
This course is still new, so typical new-course issues are present such as toe-stubbing stumps in the fairway and unforgiving rough. I will continue to follow the course's progress and may update this review as improvements are made.
Wildlife abounds, including a chorus of spring peepers and a resident barred owl that I have encountered several times while playing.
Emmitsburg is a pretty town of 3,000 souls, just south of the Mason-Dixon line and about 15 minutes from the Gettysburg National Military Park. On the road to the course you will pass the Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the National Emergency Training Center, and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
As I gaze from this flat, swampy course towards the Catoctin Mountains I cannot help thinking wistfully about how the forested Appalachian foothills would provide optimal land for an absolutely epic disc golf course. Oh well, the designers made the most of the land they had available.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Beautiful view of the mountain, open holes, wooded holes, holes near water, long and short tee pads (currently putting permanent pads), long can be challenging and shorts can be fun for disc golfers of all ages and skill levels! The course only gets better everytime with all the hard work being out into it.
Cons: After heavy rains can be swampy in areas (currently being worked on - trenches being dug to drain water off course, plus what course doesn't have standing water after heavy rains), ticks (I'm sure as the water situation gets better and more course maintenance, there might be less ticks)
Other Thoughts: A definite must try course! I am happy to drive 45 minutes to play this course!
I am sure this course rating will go up as the year(s) goes on.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Well laid out, some short holes and long holes and well maintained, thoughtful placement of baskets challenging but not over whelming. They are improving it adding long tees and so forth.
Cons: Can be a little marshy in some areas
Other Thoughts: Maryland disc golf rocks!!!!!
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Tight, wooded fairways. Short and long T pads, most tea pads have a turf substrate. Multiple waterholes for more fun and excitement! This course is under constant maintenance and improvement. I highly recommend!
Cons: Some parts can be a little swampy after a heavy rain. Fredrock, the local club, has dug several trenches to divert the water from the problem areas.
Other Thoughts: I have played this course almost a dozen times. Every time I play this course I see improvement through maintenance.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 3 Not
New Course with Potential
Pros: The Emmitsburg Community Park course is a newer course in historic Emmitsburg, MD that is a welcome addition to the region. Just north of Frederick, MD, the region has an unfortunate lack of courses despite having a lot of open areas and parks where courses could be placed. The course is primarily wooded, though has a few holes that play into open fields or tee off from open fields and throw into small clearings of trees. Due to Emmitsburg being a smaller town, the course will likely not be heavily trafficked.
Being that this is a new course, I hesitate to judge it too harshly as it is not quite done. The overall design is evident, but many of the standard expected features are not complete: tee pads have only been completed on seven or eight holes, signs are small and difficult to see, and navigation throughout the course is difficult.
Despite this, there are a number of qualities that make for a solid course:
-The overall layout of the course is well done. Hole 1 starts with a fun throw from next to the parking lot into the trees with a well-established green. From then on, the front nine largely follows along a walking path, crossing back and forth over the path through the trees as well as open holes in small fields near the park's ball fields. This goes on until the heavily wooded back nine.
-I never felt as if the course was redundant. Just about every hole is unique, with some beautiful highlights along the way. Hole 14 is a fun straight throw slightly down hill 250' to a beautiful green next to a stream. This is followed by a challenging, but highly rewarding hole 15, which is likely the most impressive hole on the course. Weaving through some early trees, the hole opens up after about 100' feet to a wider fairway lined with lush green bushes and trees and finishes 377' up slightly to the left.
-The baskets are in great shape and white, which is easy to see most of the time. This may seem like a small issue, but I put a lot of stock into this basic item and having high quality DISCatchers is always a plus.
Cons: The main problems with this course are very much related to it not being complete, but there are some things to consider beyond that.
-Not all the tee pads were finished. They are designed with a rectangle of railroad ties filled with large gravel. I am not really a fan of gravel, as throwing off of loose ground can affect my confidence in my throws. So, even once they are all in, these tee pads may make it difficult to throw from.
-Though there is a fairly accurate map and there were arrows after most baskets pointing to the next hole, the navigation for the course needs some improvement. It did not always follow well with how I expected it to flow. I actually played hole 13 before hole 11 due to a lack of signage and understanding of which tee pad was for which hole (they are quite close together). That said, there are fairly distinct dirt walking paths between holes, so you should eventually be able to find your way.
-The tee pad signs did have small diagrams of the hole with numbers and length, but they were little more than small white stakes in the ground, which can be easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. I expect these are placeholders for now, and larger, more detailed signs will eventually go in.
-The maintenance of the course is lacking. Some of the tee pads, even those finished, were overgrown with weeds that I was having to step on to start my run ups. There were many trees in the middle of fairways that did not seem to work for the design of the holes and the underbrush was high, with a lot of thorns. I nearly lost the same disc twice due to it falling into some trees and the underbrush swallowing it up. The fields on the front nine were mowed well, so some work is being done, but more needs to be done through the woods.
-Playing along the path creates problems when other non-players are walking. I had to wait a few times for people to walk by and get out of range of an errant throw.
Other Thoughts: As I previously said, the course is not done as of this date. So, if you choose to make the drive, do not expect easy traversability and navigation. Playing the course right now is a lot of work. That said, I do see the course having much potential. The design is intentional and the park is a fantastic setting for disc golf.
I am giving this a 2.0. The cons are too large to give it much better than that at this time, and I really did not have a lot of fun. Still, with regular maintenance, better signage, and better navigation, I could see this course growing into a solid 3.5 or even a 4.0 course. Once these issues have been addressed, I would love to come back and give it another look.
23 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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