Don't Hurry Through Cranbury
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Long tee pads made of rubber anchored to a wood frame have enough space for long wind-ups like mine.
+ The tee signs have a crisp graphic of the hole ahead with pars and distances for all layouts. Plus, most of their anchor poles have hooks built in for players to hang their bags.
+ Each hole has two pins for the player to choose their challenge level, and each layout's pins are colored differently so the player knows intuitively which one to throw towards.
+ Every hole has a bench, and there are a fair few trash cans. Please do not litter!
+ The course is set in a quiet park with dense woods for the front nine and more open holes for the back nine.
+ Some nice elevation challenges throughout.
Cons: - Some holes have multiple possible pin locations for the red layout, but there is no way for the player to know which location the basket occupies without spending the time to walk around and spot it. Hole 7 jumps to mind as an example of this.
- All holes in both layouts are par 3. This is just fine for the short layout, but I feel as though two or three pin positions of the long layout's holes ought to be bumped up to par 4.
- Some holes share fairways with each other. 14 + 18 is the most obvious example. There might be one or two others.
- There are no 'next hole' signs. This is combated somewhat by the fairly obvious paths to take and the tee sign diagrams, but I still got lost after completing hole 13 because of the lack of signage.
Other Thoughts: Please note that this review is based on the longer Cranbury layout with the red baskets. My favorite hole here is #4 because of its combination dense tunnel shot and rolling downhill elevation. My least favorite hole is #11 because of how flat and plain it is. To my mind it was the least engaging.
Regarding the course altogether, Cranbury Park is a quiet and efficient course. I'll admit that I tricked myself into raising my expectations upon seeing the fancy mansion and the tiny art exhibit building right next to the parking lot. In my mind I thought that meant this course would be some kind of elegantly decorated and ornate course with pristine fairways and golden baskets. Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but what I'm saying is that the course resides within a very pleasant venue.
Hole 14 here is probably one of the prettiest holes I've played with a postcard-worthy view of a country club (I'm assuming), its patio, gardens, sculptures and statues. However, it was also one of the least stimulating from a disc golf perspective because of how level and open it is. Most of the back nine suffers from that, to be honest. The scenery is nice, but the disc golf difficulty could have been better.
As for the front nine, the vibe is notably different. Those woods are so dense and silent that I half expected to see Slenderman walking about in the background. This forest makes for some fun challenges in the way of tight lines, bending fairways and guarded baskets. The elevation among the front nine is pretty fun, too. I like a well-textured course, and Cranbury Park satisfies that itch.
I barely remember most of the holes, though. Not much reached out and grabbed me other than the scenery. I definitely remember having fun, and I would likely make this my home course if I lived in the area, but I didn't retain much as I played.
Still, I do recommend this course to players seeking golf in the woods, in a few fields and on some tough hills. It strikes me as a course to slow down and enjoy the view while you play, which not every course can pull off. Cranbury does.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Worth coming to from near or far
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Ample parking, free during the winter
- course was in excellent shape, all tee boxes and signed in tact, at least 2 baskets on each hole that have correct hole numbers, no mud, broken in fairways, no fallen trees in patha
-a variety of shot shapes and distances required, overhand shots and forehand will really come in handy
-well placed baskets with greens that are guarded either by trees, rocks or slopes
- short tees are great for accuracy and slower arms. Long tees are sometimes easier lines to hitbut tough to reach. Awesome risk/reward in terms of picking the tees
- the park itself is gorgeous with a performing arts center and lots of beautiful stone buildings
- tee signs were perfect, they show distances for each basket AND the location of the next tee which was a godsend.
-fairly good flow, not too much walking from tee to tee
- mix of woods and park style holes, a couple just shoot across a grassy field
- saw lots of friendly disc golfers, the locals clearly love this place!
Cons: - handful of dog walkers who seemed oblivious to the course
- didn't find any bathrooms
- looks like it coats 10$ to park there during the summer, is that true? If so that seems too steep
- no water or signature picturesque holes
Other Thoughts: This is the first 4 I have ever given and it is well deserved. I had a blast playing this course and sped through it in 90 mins. Excellent condition, creative layout and lots of choices on each hole in terms of tees and shot shapes. Happened to stop by on a drive from NYC to Waterbury and I'm so glad I found this place! Highly recommend anyone to check this out. Had trouble thinking of cons because this was such a joy to play. Thank you to Norwalk for putting so much thought and TLC into this course!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Bugs, dogs, and trees
Pros: -Nice large rubber tees.
-Nice tee signs.
-Dog friendly (also a con).
-Nice mansion, gardens, and meadows.
Cons: -Lots of bugs!
-Nice signs but not always accurate. Need clear Next Hole signs.
-Dozens of dogs, all off leash. One lady had 6 by herself. Not surprisingly, this leads to lots of dog crap on the course. Watch where you step!
-Blue baskets are very old and extremely hard to see in the woods.
-Good amount of blind holes.
-A few holes use the walking trails as fairways which can be annoying.
-People picnicking and lounging on the fairways on a few holes.
-Lots of trees, some holes don't have clear fairways.
Other Thoughts: Good course but very buggy and you may have to wait a while for pedestrians and dog walkers to clear out. I just played it and not one hole stuck out to me as memorable.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course for a hot day.
Pros: lots of shade.
Fun 'tricky' shots with trees and technical challenges.
There is a sort of hut with a bulletin board, benches, a table. A good place to muster for a group or wait for others to play through. Overall, this course is well built for high traffic with benches, bag hooks, signs, multiple baskets per hole and I think you are close to the parking lot for the fron/back turn.
Cons: lots of trees.
If you like to make long drives, you may not enjoy this course.
Other Thoughts: I will definitely return!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Super technical, but fun!
Pros: - Great signage
- Fun wooded holes
- Many options of baskets distances, for beginners or experts.
- Overall, beautiful course and a beautiful park
Cons: - Back 9 can be difficult with park members and dogs. So be careful!
- Bugs, make sure you bring some bug spray.
- Pay for parking for out of state residents
Other Thoughts: The first hole starts off pretty innocent, but very quickly becomes a very technical course with various wooded areas.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A Solid Wooded Course
Pros: There are alternate pin locations at every hole, with the red pins usually playing longer, but not always in the more difficult location. Blue pins play considerably shorter, but mix in quality pin locations to give the recreational player a good challenge. Length is varied, ranging from just under 250' to 550', but with most holes being heavily wooded, the length mixed with tough lines will challenge even the advanced player. Many of the pins also have blind locations from the box and some have tall flags to help with this.
The tee boxes are solid with thick rubber mats and encased in the wooden frame. Boxes are around 5' by 10', so most players will have plenty of run up on their drive. The signage, while not spectacular, is solid and gives the player the necessary info on both pin locations. Finally, the elevation changes throughout the course are fantastic, with a fair amount of great up and downs. When you mix this in with pins installed on boulders and huge stone walls, it really does make for a memorable experience.
Cons: I'm sure most players will argue that a course of this caliber has few flaws, and my observations are mostly nit-picky ones that are more based on preference than anything. First, I always enjoy when a course circles back on itself as Cranbury does, but to achieve this - the location of the first tee is a good distance from the parking area. Again, nothing major, but it can be confusing for a first-timer to the course. In addition, I would suggest bringing a map, because transitions from one hole to another are a bit dicey in the woods. There was usually a rock or indicator with an arrow, but that only does so much.
Finally, players who prefer a more open course may not enjoy Cranbury to its fullest. It's a wooded more technical course with some open shots to satisfy most players, but some holes play extremely tight. Though I only felt that only one to two holes where the best line felt more like luck than skill. Just know what you are getting into - there are trees but if your skill level is good, none of this should be any real negative - just more of a preference thing.
Other Thoughts: Cranbury Park has almost everything you would hope for in a wooded technical course. Being from Houston where an overpass is the only elevation change - I loved the great up and downs that force to be creative and think out each shot. The thought the variation in distance was just enough to keep my attention, and keep the course highly enjoyable without feeling unfair. I can see why it's currently rated the second highest course in Connecticut. It has no glaring negatives, and gives players of all skill levels a challenge.
While the course didn't blow me away like some signature courses in some states that I've played - it's simply solid. It's basically one of those courses you wished you lived near to help you improve on your skills as a technical player. I would love to come back and play Cranbury whenever I'm here, and you should too if you're in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 holes with two baskets, a short (blueberry) and long (cranbury) to each hole. Mostly wooded with a few open holes mixed in as well. The course doesn't play favorites among lefty or righty because they will both be equally challenged. You will need to execute a full bag with controlled power to have the opportunity to score well. Baskets in fair shape. Arrows underneath cranbury baskets point the way to the next tee. Tee signs are quite nice and accurately depict the hole. Clean. Tees are rubber mats in great shape.
Cons: This course seems to lack a "wow" hole; there are several good holes that require different shots, but not one that leaves you wanting to come back just for that hole. Definitely not a beginners course. The dog park comes into play on 15, so if you're laying down a roller (which I recommend if you have one) make sure dogs don't go chasing after it, or much less chasing a dog away with your drive. People picnic on the 18th as well (wasn't an issue when I played, but after all it was under 50 degrees when I played).
Other Thoughts: This is a good place to come and challenge yourself, but when you do, be prepared to make sure you score when you can (the open holes and some of the shorter holes). This is worthy of a trip if you're in the area, but there are courses with more of a wow factor in CT. The locals do a good job with keeping the place maintained. All in all it is a solid course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Cranbury Park is beautiful and challenging
Pros: Cranbury Park has some great highlights. If you are into architecture or horticulture, the grounds have much to look at. The wooded course has some very memorable holes. Overall the course is designed to be purposefully challenging, and it succeeds.
Cons: The pedestrians (aka aimlessly meandering city folks) and DOg walkers can become annoying REAL quick. You regularly find yourself standing on a tee box waiting to drive, because people are on the fairway taking selfies, as if totally unaware that its a disc golf course. The dog park is also a pain because dogs regularly will grab your disc and run away with it.
Other Thoughts: Dont expect to get near parring this course unless you are playing a godlike game.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Went early on a weekday
Pros: -Every hole had Rubber Mat/Wood Framed tee boxes that were neat and level.
-Signage at each tee describing the hole layout, distance etc.
-A good mix of landscape...majority of wooded holes with some wide open field holes.
-Some nice elevation changes on a few holes
-Challenging tight fairways in the woods on some holes that advanced players will enjoy.
-I found navigation (first time player) pretty easy, because of adequate markings/signage, a little help from the course map found online, and the beaten paths probably created from frequent usage
-wooded fairways had sort of a "groomed" look, seemed to be mostly clear of fallen branches, overgrowth, and "debris". It helped with navigation.
-I went early (6:30am) on a weekday and had the course to myself (no other disc golfers)
-Nice setting on the grounds of a mansion.
Cons: -Challenging tight fairways in the woods on some holes that beginners might find difficult to play through.
-Whether you do or don't like dogs, be prepared to see some dogs. I like dogs so it didn't take much away from my round, but there were several dogs and dog owners passing through on a handful of holes.
Other Thoughts: All in all I was impressed by the effort put in by the design and maintenance of this course. You can tell the locals love their course. Cant say when I'll get to play there again, but I'm glad i checked it out.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Do you have to let it linger?
Pros: This will draw inevitable comparisons to Borderland, and for good reason. The course plays around the woods, rock walls, and the lawns surrounding a nice mansion with two baskets on every hole. I don't know how they got a course installed here, but congrats to whoever did.
The multiple baskets is a huge plus. It's an expensive option but a great way to add to the replayability of the course. The red baskets - which are pretty visible - are the longer baskets (the "cranberry" layout; see, because cranberries are red), and I would recommend these for anyone above a novice level. The blue baskets are shorter. That layout didn't look boring but certainly had more ace runs.
Elevation comes into play on many of the holes and really add to the challenge. Hole 9 was one of the best, a 375-foot throw over a hump with the baskets on a second incline. Hole 8 was also a fun one with the red basket perched on top of a rock pile. If you miss your putt, it might get stuck on a rock edge or more likely will roll away.
Tee signs were good and showed what you needed them to show. Tee pads were good.
Cons: Park users come into play on a lot of holes, particularly the late ones. On hole 18 I was afraid I was throwing past a huge clump of shrubbery in the fairway and wasn't sure who might be walking on the other side. I can't imagine what it's like on a weekend when the foliage is in full bloom. The dog park hole (15, I think) is another. I was nervous throwing here because there is no good route to the basket that I could see other than a roller, and I can only imagine what most dogs think when they see a rolling disk ("red squirrel!").
Navigation was mostly okay, but I had to consult the map several times. The course plays in a non-intuitive square late in the round from holes 13-17.
Other Thoughts: To complete the Borderland comparison, Cranbury has much better elevation, slightly worse design, only one tee pad per hole, presumably much less traffic (I was there on a Wednesday, so I don't know what a summer weekend looks like) but is pretty comparable in fun.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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