4 Helpful / 0 Not
Cranbury is a solid course made up of solid holes. Great signs, easy navigation and two baskets on each hole add to a very enjoyable experience. The signature element of the course is the use of stone walls to create OB. I'm not one for arbitrarily decided OB lines, but these feel very natural and add to the challenge as well as to the aesthetic quality of the course. Very nice use of an already in-place resource.
The second basket is also a nice touch. Locals can get a bit of variety by playing the blue baskets on occasion without moving the standard reds from their great positions. Alternatively, players of different ability levels can handicap their round by each playing to a different basket. But, if you are just playing once, you definitely want to play red.
The course isn't overly difficult and combined with the low level of underbrush and the existence of short baskets, it should be very playable for novice players, although the standard layout is clearly geared towards intermediates. Just about any player will likely enjoy their experience at Cranbury though.
I do appreciate the variety here but the open holes here aren't very interesting. It's easy to compare the course to Wickham, the in-state neighbor and the open holes on Wickham are all so different from each other. They keep a player interested with a variety of directions laid out over some very significant elevation changes. Here, not so much. The open holes at Cranbury are much flatter and grow tiresome rather quickly.
It's also tempting to compare the course to Borderland, as both inhabit parks built around a historic mansion. Here though, the course doesn't have a hole that opens up to it to create a memorable moment. There is no real signature hole at all. Cranbury is a very solid course, and a recommended stop, but it isn't a destination course. Good discing, but not truly memorable discing. Worth playing but a notch below both Wickham and Borderland, both of which feature the same variety of wooded and open that plays so well here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Cranbury Park is a better than average city park disc golf course. Most of the holes wind through the densely wooded portion of the park while a few of the holes crisscross some of the grassy fields.
The fly pad tee boxes are ample, well constructed, and a pleasure to throw from. The signs are pretty decent for a park course and the red DGA's catch discs efficiently. The routing here is pretty inherent but there are a few areas where a next tee sign would be helpful.
The designers made good use of elevation change but the course's strongest attribute aside from the tee pads must be the treacherous greens. Many of the baskets are on or near dangerous slopes which will make players think twice before attempting a putts from "the wrong side" of the bucket.
Cons: With no legitimate par 4's, Cranbury Park is hardly a test of golf. This is a glorified par 3 course but as you can see by the SSE, a 54 is actually a pretty good score here. This is due to super tight "fairways" combined with awkward distances. There are many holes here that are too long for par 3's but far too short for par 4's. For instance, there are a number of overly tight holes ranging in distance from 300'-375'. On top of that, a few of the slightly uphill holes ranging from 275'-290' played over 300', adding to the long list of "tweeners". There is pretty good directional balance off the tee but that doesn't make up for the course's other shortcomings.
Also, Cranbury could be renamed "Dog Town" if one were so inclined.
Other Thoughts: Because it's located in a city park, the course builders are limited as to what trees they can cut and that's too bad. I realize this is an issue in all public parks but Cranbury suffers more than most from this policy.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course with one MAJOR issue
Pros: Variety of Holes - Cranbury Park has everything for you, whether you're looking for long open field bomber shots or tight inside holes with little room for error you'll find it here and I seem to use more discs at this course than the others that I usually play. There is even a roller hole. Holes are straight, right to left, left to right, uphill and downhill. Great variety and no real filler holes.
Challenge - I can never seem to put up a great score at this course, there will always be a hole or two (or more) that will trip me up. There is not a lot of room for error at this course, some people may look at the many trees and tight fairways as a negative, but to me it is a positive.
Scenery - The course was the property of a wealthy industrialist which was donated to the town after his death, the park is scenic especially in October when the trees change colors. There is a large house near the 1st and 18th holes and the parking area. I enjoy walking through the garden on my way back to the parking area after finishing a round.
Navigation - It is generally quite easy to navigate this course, the flow is logical and easy to follow. The signage is good.
Cons: Environment - This is a MAJOR ISSUE here. The park is very popular with the locals, especially with those who like to bring dogs. The people are either just stupid or just do not care. I cannot remember even a single round where I haven't been waiting for someone (or usually several groups) to get out of the way. They frequently just stand there in front of the tees or in the middle of the hole and just stand there chatting right in front of you, oblivious to the fact (or not caring) they're in the middle of the disc golf course. This is usually the worst around hole 15 (the roller hole and one of the nicer holes on the course) where dog walkers seem to gather. In the prior round I played I had a dog chase my roller tee shot down and grab it, then proceed to run around for a few minutes then deposit the disc in front of its owner, the lady just looked at me and walked away without even saying a word. Just plain rude. The last round I played I had a dog attack me on the 17th tee and the owner again didn't apologize and offered up that the dog hates disc golfers. This same owner walked in front of my group on the 18th tee then proceeded to change direction and zig-zag right down the fairway of the 18th making our group wait almost 5 minutes for him to get out of the way. Besides these examples I cannot even quantify the amount of time I have stood on a tee and waited of people to clear out of the way, again I speculate that most of these people know what they're doing but they simply do not care. Numerous times I have begun to walk up to them to ask them to move and they usually disperse when they see me coming. This is beyond frustrating and can ruin a round. I understand that these people have just as much right as disc golfers to this park, but the things I have seen makes me think that many of these people don't share that opinion. I'm not saying every non-dg'er is like this, but a few bad apples spoil the bunch.
Also, I do not blame the course organizers for this, they've actually changed the course significantly for the better, the issue here is that wherever you put this course within the park people will always be getting in the way and many just do not respect other's rights to use the park.
Leaves - While this ties in with environment, it's sort of different. In the fall, since this is a mostly inside course, it is not uncommon to have to search for your disc even in the fairway since it easily gets buried under leaves. There is nothing that can be done to remedy this problem and you can spend some time searching.
Other Thoughts: As far as the course goes, it is an excellent course for disc golf; however, I was shocked to see that this course had a slightly higher ranking then Wickham Park in Manchester (4.27 to 4.24). I've played both courses numerous times and Wickham Park is significantly better than Cranbury, from both a pure disc golf perspective and an environmental perspective. If I could play this course without anybody interfering I'd probably rate it 4 discs; however, due to the frequent issues with other users of the park I am giving this course a 3. I've played nearly 125 different courses and this course is by far the worst in this respect I've ever seen. Even in a very tight park like Fountain Hills outside of Phoenix I had no problems with people getting in my way and that park is hardly bigger than the field at Cranbury and easily has as many people in it.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great tees, multiple pins, beautiful course, nice variety.
Cons: Finding the next hole can be a challenge. Some holes have bricks with arrows, some don't. The signs help, if you remember to look at them before throwing.
Other Thoughts: Pretty short holes, I thought I would throw a personal record but the holes can be challenging.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Technical with lots of elevation
Pros: Good variety- shot shaping is required and there are multiple lines that you can throw on each shot. Tight gaps and different lines are in abundance here. The open holes balance the wooded holes very well.
Two baskets on each hole- this creates two different layout options. The blueberry course is more of a beginner while the cranbury layout will provide a challenge for even the best disc golfers that play this course
Elevation- almost every hole has an elevation change whether it be used in a small or dramatic way. One hole is like 260 straight uphill plays like 400
Amenities- practice basket near parking lot. Great tee signs that display accurate information.
Rock walls and the castle- its pretty cool to be surrounded by a 18-19th century mansion. The rock walls mark ob and add something special to remember about this sweet course
Cons: The whole place seemed to be a dog park. On the longer layout there was no way to tell the pin position.
Hole 15- you have to throw a ridiculously perfect roller to make it even close to the basket. The trees are too high for your average person to be able to throw over.
Other Thoughts: Overall this was a great course and I was pleasantly surprised
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Stone Walls and a Castle
- Two Baskets on Every Hole. Every hole had 2 baskets: a Blue/Purple colored basket (short) and a Maroon colored basket (long) that were played from the same tee-pad. The Dual Baskets effectively created Dual Courses: The Bluebury and The Cranbury, respectively... with the Cranbury being the longer of the two.
- Some Fun Holes. Cranbury had some great golf holes... better than average Par 3 disc golf (with a Par 4 or two tossed in). The designers made great use of the natural and man-made features (elevation, large trees, rock outcroppings, stone walls, trails, the castle), creating interesting greens and OB situations.
- Stone Walls. Throughout the course there were these stone walls, that must have been 100 years old or more, flanking the fairways. They made for some OB situations, felt historic, and more or less looked cool as hell.
- The Castle. There is an extremely large, old, castle-like home that: A) not only looks awesome, but B) gives you the feeling of playing the final hole of the British Open with a beautiful stone house in the background as you tee-off on, and walk up the fairway of, hole 18.
- A Few unFAIRways. If I remember correctly, holes 4-7-ish seemed to have slightly unFAIRways: extremely tight, with random trees in the fairways to avoid, and decent length. And, Hole 15 had a wall of cedars with ridiculously low branches to throw under, basically requiring a roller without the proper room to throw one (unless you have a lefty sidearm roller in your bag).
- Dog Park. The entire park appeared to be a dog park. I must have seen 30 or more people and dogs walking trails throughout the entire course during my round... and, it was 8:30 am on a Sunday morning... and it was raining!
- Parking Area Seemed Unclear. I parked near a gazebo in the middle of the park, and had to walk to find hole 1... which wasn't all that bad because I got to investigate the castle and get some photos. If you want to save yourself some time and walking distance, park in front of the castle... that's where you'll find the kiosk and path to Hole 1.
- Overall... Cranbury is a better than average disc golf course with dual layouts, wooded and open holes, beautiful scenery, a historic atmosphere, and more than a few really great golf holes. The course starts off with some really fun holes (1-2), gets a little tight for a minute (3-7), hits its stride midway (8-14), and finishes out with some open shots in a beautiful grassy area with a castle in the background. The Cranbury layout seemed to want to be a championship-ish level course; however, without several more multiple-connector-shot holes (i.e. Par 4's and 5's), it struggles to reach that mark, for me... but still fun as hell, even in the pouring rain, by yourself.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It is at a freaking mansion! Beautiful course with both open and wooded shops. Plays both Cranbury (Long) or Bluebury (Shot). So it is great for beginners and advanced players. Well maintained with some beautiful stone walls. Challenging shots and a wide array of holes.
Cons: People walking their dogs down the middle of the fairway. If you are in a rush, this can be kinda annoying. I was however with my girlfriend who loves dogs. So it entertained her.
Got lost a few times because you had to double back if you were playing the Long baskets. The trails were covered with a lot of leaves so it may be hard to figure out where to go next if you don't have a map.
Other Thoughts: I had a hard time finding the first tee. It is behind two practice baskets down by some old barn. Walk away from the mansion. If you have a hard time finding it. The old lady in the welcome center is very friendly (she will talk your ear off. Be careful) They even have maps! (pretty sure they printed them off from this website though. So you may be able to do that yourself.)
I played this course the day after the Cranbury classic so it was in wonderful shape with out of bounds marked well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Amazing course! Not much to add in addtion to what has already been said.
Other Thoughts: *** Hole 10 on the red baskets has been moved back another 100 ft or so making the hole much longer. it is still listed as a par 3, but IMO should probably be changed to a par 4.
Thought I would point this out as it really changes how you play the hole.
This might be in preparation for the Cranbury Classic in a couple weeks though...
Course is looking clean and clear for the Cranbury Classic next week. Woodchips added on several holes, tee pads are clean and clear and most of the overgrown vegitation has been cleared out leaving the rough a little more foregiving
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the stop in CT.
Pros: 2 baskets on every hole make it basically 2 courses in one: Cranberry and Blueberry.
Practice area and Kiosk with map.
Tee areas near perfect. spacious rubber teepads with excellent signage and even bag hangers and benches.
Dog friendly for those of you who disc with your dog. There is even a water station at hole 15.
Bright red/maroon baskets were easy to spot.
A few memorable holes: 4 was a nice 377 downhill tight tunnel shot with a dog leg left over the stone wall.
9 is easily a signature hole with the basket perched on a large boulder.
15's basket is on a mound basically requiring a 20 foot putt.
Elevation, good variety of holes, clear fairways that can prove fatal to your perfect shot.
Cons: No way to tell what pin position the basket was in for the Cranberry layout holes with multiple pins.
Rec tees are old, unmarked, and difficult to see.
Lots of dogs on the course. Hole one smelled strongly of urine. I also had to wait several minutes for a large group of dog walkers to leave the fairway.
Bugs were horrible, but I can't blame the course for that.
Other Thoughts: This course has a little bit of everything feel it is a solid 4.25, however I have to give it a 4 or 4.5, so I had to go with the 4.5, when else can you play disc golf around a mansion.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Fantastic Course, but beware of dogs
Pros: Challenging course with lots of variety. Good mix of hyzer and anhyzer curves, elevation changes, wooded vs. open, mixed distances etc. A great place to meet other disc golfers in the area. The course is very well maintained and extremely clean. Trash bins throughout the course. Benches at every tee. Good solid tee pads. Public restrooms on site. Beautiful park. Good signage. 2 practice baskets. AND it's just up Route 7 from Utopia, which is probably the best place to buy golf discs in the state. I try to buy a few discs every time I play Cranbury to diversify my bag and support local business.
Cons: In addition to having a great disc golf course, Cranbury Park is also a dog park. Hole 15 in particular requires awareness of canines and it's best to take your shot when the dogs aren't looking. Most of the owners I've come into contact with are very nice and keep their dogs under control but it is something to be aware of. Also, disc golfers should keep in mind that the wooded holes (particularly 2-13) intersect with some hiking trails and sometimes you have to look out for walkers. The bugs are also something of a nuisance in the woods. The park can also be somewhat crowded on weekends due to weddings, reunions, etc.
Other Thoughts: This is a beautiful course with a lot of great amenities. I drive down from New Haven to play this course and it's worth the trip. Also wonderful to have Utopia close by and a vibrant disc golf culture in Norwalk. Just watch out for the dogs because man's best friend is not necessarily disc golf's best friend...
On another note, I found an unmarked disc on June 16, 2012 in the basket on hole 11 (I think). If you're looking for a disc, send me a message with the right make, model and color and I'll arrange to return it to you,
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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