Iconic Massachusetts Course
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: From Hole 1 featuring a disc-eating pond with the choice to "go for it" or bail out, to the final hole with its iconic rock wall surrounding the green, Maple Hill DGC features fantastic shot variety.
Maple Hills offers a great variety of holes from quite open to tightly wooded, with plenty of uphill and downhill included. Many holes give you more than one route to the basket, often including both FH and BH routes. You'll get a chance to air out a few drives but you will also have several short, technical drives. Holes 1 and 8 feature ponds, with the water carry being mandatory on Hole 8 (except the red course).
This is actually four courses in one, with Red, White, Blue and Gold courses. This variety is accomplished through ever-changing combinations of tee pads and basket positions. Colored flags at the teepads as well as on the baskets makes finding "your" correct hole relatively easy, but you've got to pay attention.
Infrastructure is solid, with good rubber tees at every position, clear tee signs, and brand new MVP Black Hole baskets. I am generally not a fan of rubber tees, but these were well constructed, flat, and level. In many places there is considerable structure supporting the tee, and the day I played the owners were improving one of the Hole 9 teepads with additional concrete block wall.
The Red Course is beginner friendly, with holes lengths averaging just under 250'. The water carries are eliminated, as is the big downhill throw over the Christmas tree nursery at Hole 11. But it still finishes on the walled-in 18th green.
I played my rounds on the White course, which averages about 325 feet per hole and maintains the water carries and the downhill throw on Hole 11. This is the tamest version of the "full" course but provided plenty of challenge.
The Blue and Gold courses stretch things out considerably and add a few more par 4's, with the Gold course having been featured in the past during the Vibram Open. After watching coverage of that tournament for years it was thrilled to be able to play the course, even though I did it from shorter tees. So many signature holes!
Cons: With the various combinations of tees and baskets you have to pay attention to stay on your selected course. I didn't have any issues with it but could see where some confusion might creep in.
Things were a little wet in a few low spots, but I was playing in mid-Spring and I'm sure things dry out.
Other Thoughts: I look forward to returning and trying the Blue and Gold courses.
The pro shop was closed when I arrived, but I was able to give it a look at the end of my second round. Nice selection of discs and gear. With Marshall Street Disc Golf less than a minute down the road, you won't have any trouble finding something to buy!
Decent parking lot with bathrooms available at the start. I don't recall bathrooms out on the course itself.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Can I live here??!
3 Helpful / 2 Not
-Tee areas are phenomenal, signs are helpful and tees are great, there are sometimes benches to sit on also.
-Baskets have flags on them and are very visible, Baskets are also high quality.
-The Fairways are well maintained, and clear.
-Elevation is used really well when present, many holes play down hills, a few play up.
-Paths are great, and Navigation is intuitive and easy
-This course has an extremely professional vibe, because it is one of the most prestigious courses ever.
-Water is used really well here, you have to throw over Water a couple times, this is a cool challenge you don't often face.
-This course is super pretty, it would be fun just to walk around it and not even play disc golf
-Equal representation of forehand and backhand lines
-No garbage lying around
-This course gets a 4/4 on the new Shoe Index.
-The rough is super rough, hard to get out of, easy to lose something.
-if you play on a week day, it is $10, which is reasonable and worth it, on weekends $20 is pretty steep, even for this amazing course, especially if you want to play more than one round.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
When I think Disc Golf...
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Design- Maple Hill has all the variety you could ever want in a course. You will need to execute every shot in your bag to make it through. Unlike some courses Maple Hill never gets repetitive every hole seems fresh and new when you step on the tee.
Course Flow/ Navigation- The course has a nice flow to it and it doesn't absolutely kill you to hike it. The Navigation is solid for the most part The front 9 is easier to navigate than the back
Fairness- There weren't any fairways to me that were poke and hope you will get rewarded with good shots here.
Difficulty Level- There is a challenge for every player at every skill level, It is amazing in that regard
Beauty- Beautiful Lakes, Beautiful woods, Rolling Hills, Heck even Christmas Trees. Easily the prettiest course I've ever played.
The facility here is great plenty of benches and even a disc shop
New Englands Pride and Joy for Disc Golf
Cons: There are very few cons about the course so I'll just name a few ways I think the course can get better.
The navigation could be a little easier to follow on the back 9 if you are in a rush and its your first time playing you could get a little lost if you don't follow the map carefully, I struggled mostly between 14 and 15. Other than a few more arrows here and there I think you wouldn't have any problems
The main problem right now is the new Hole 10 they changed it to get rid of the wooden fortress hole I can see why they may have done this, but I think they got a little happy cutting down trees on the fairway, its very stumpy and a bit of an eye sore now. I know they will fix this in the future so I'm not too concerned. My hope is that Maple Hill will lengthen and turn hole 10 into their first Par 5. If they don't go that route I can understand because Maple Hill has its own vibe and doesn't really need a par 5 per say.
Some people complain a little bit about the water, I'll admit it sucks being a visitor who may not be able to get there disc back, but honestly as an intermediate player I played from the Gold Tees and didn't lose a single disc in the water when I played. Just play safe and smart!
I'd happily play 20 dollars again to play but I wish they had a deal if you bought a disc from the store you would get a discount entry fee, just a thought
Other Thoughts: This course has some of the most memorable and unique holes that you can't find anywhere else. It's amazing what they did with just some farmland. I live in Florida and if I ever travel to Massachusetts again I'll gladly go out of my way to play it again and again. To date its the best course I've ever played.
Memorable Holes (practically all of them) 1,8,9,11,12,14,18
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Great experience for the inexperienced
3 Helpful / 11 Not
* Fantastic tee signs & pads
* Easy to navigate
* No driving range
Other Thoughts: Had a blast playing the full 18 here. Love love love the red tees: you feel like you're playing a course just like the pros but actually have a chance of a reasonable score. Some of the gold tees just looked... insane!
The layout is fantastic. Every tee is clearly marked, and the baskets have big obvious flags so you know which basket to aim for.
It's obvious the money paid to play goes back into improving the course. Little touches everywhere, like custom benches, really make the course a joy to play.
Highly recommended. If you're in the area, even if you're a noob, stop by and play.
3 of 14 people found this review helpful.
51 Helpful / 38 Not
Pros: Nice course, multiple tees and baskets, some great shots you might not find elsewhere. Challenges every type of player.
Cons: The hidden fee. We traveled several hours to play this course, and were very excited after everything we had heard. When we got there, the price to play was increased 100% from what had been posted online. $20 per person is a little steep, even for a great course.
The other con was the terrible customer service of the employees. I was told I would be kicked out if I tried to fish my disc out of the water (which there is quite a bit of) from shore. Not talking about going in the water or anything, but just grabbing a stick and dragging something a foot away in towards me. Then, when I asked about retrieving lost discs, they told me that they will get them, but they won't call, they don't keep a computer system with a list of lost discs and they don't have a phone, so you can't call them either. Only way to get them back is to drive down and ask if they found them (which for me being so far away just isn't feasible). Otherwise, they bragged, they will just sell them to other customers and profit off of my loss. Just an awful kick in the nuts after I just payed $20 to play your course. Glad they can't put that money towards a phone system.
Other Thoughts: The course is nice, but you will be treated much better and won't be robbed of your money elsewhere.
51 of 89 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: -4 courses for all skill levels
-Course is always well maintained
-Nice benches and tables at almost every hole
-Good sized pro shop on site with another huge disc golf store across the street
-Amazing game room and deck overlooking 18th hole
Cons: - Closes for a month in between Thanksgiving and New Years
- Price increased from $10 to $20 to play
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Don't Go Solo
6 Helpful / 3 Not
I played this course as part of a road trip playing 12 States in 12 Days. I played Marshall Street and Pyramids while traveling across Massachusetts. Since there are already plenty of reviews pointing out all that is good about Maple Hill, I will keep this short.
This is absolutely a five star disc golf facility. There are four completely different courses on site. There are four tees and targets for every hole, although some tees and targets play double duty. Everything is clearly marked. Players can play White, Red, Blue or Gold tees to White, Red, Blue or Gold targets. The possibilities are truly endless. I wish there was such a versatile course near me. The course is set up to play an 18 hole loop and return to the parking lot. Be sure to bring all the water and supplies you need when you head out.
Don't go Solo
This course would have been far more enjoyable if I was not playing alone. There are just too many opportunities to lose a disc on this course when you play by yourself. I imagine there are hundreds of discs hiding among the Christmas Trees. This doesn't include the possibility of losing discs to the water holes, with or without a spotter.
Four Course Confusion
With four sets of tees and targets, at times it was difficult to tell which target I was throwing to or which target I wanted to play. I started playing from the Gold tees, then moved to Blues and finally ended up playing from the tees that looked least dangerous to the most straightforward target. It got more confusing at the end when some colors are on a different hole number from your color.
I am glad I got the opportunity to play all the courses on Marshall Street and cross this course off the personal bucket list. Hopefully I can return some day.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
What dreams are made of
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 4 awesome unique layouts to give lots of different options of play.
Beautiful views and gorgeous scenery. I've never played here when it wasn't immaculate conditions.
Baskets and tee pads are all in great repair.
Proshop has anything you would need.
Scorecards for each layout have the different course maps.
Navigation is super easy and signage is great. I just love the colored bricks and flags to point you towards
The right layout.
Huge elevation changes and tons of variety. Water shots gets the juices flowing.
Just spectacular golf at it's best and great people looking after it.
Cons: I can't think of any. Unless of course you don't like paying a small fee for premiere courses.
Other Thoughts: This course just has a way of letting you know you are somewhere special as soon as you walk out the car. Not many courses I've played have done this in the way Maple Hill does.
I love the flow and how different each layout looks without actually being 4 courses. It's really an impressive design and never does it feel cramped or crowded. The nature is gorgeous and while you definitely don't want to get off course with your throws, unless you throw into water it's pretty hard to lose a disc. And if you do, it seems that people primarily do return discs to the proshop.
It doesn't hurt that there are some other pretty great courses within the area including Marshall Street's own course Pyramids that you could practically walk over to.
All in all, I love Maple Hill. One of the few courses that when I sleep, I literally will have dreams of.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Maple Gold Syrup
Pros: Four color coded tees/layouts and multiple baskets with color coded flags providing lots of variety suitable for beginners to expert players. Nice Mach X baskets on Gold layout.
Excellent design incorporating the terrain and elevation. Big downhill bombs over water, long uphill shots, some tight and technical wooded shots, as well as the up and over and valley shots. Multiple fairways on some holes while others force certain shots.
Great signage at tees and navigational directions for each layout. Benches are plentiful. Portapotties by Pro Shop that has lots of discs and maps and scorecards.
Cons: Overlaying layouts can lead to unexpected backups and being thrown on or throwing on another group.
Lots of water and Christmas trees that can lead to long searches(backups) and lost discs.
Only one loop of 18 holes back to parking lot. Course can get crowded. No real restrooms.
Other Thoughts: Maple Hill is a phenomenal course and I can understand why it is so revered by most disc golf enthusiasts. For me there's a little too much dichotomy for a perfect rating although I'd definitely recommend playing here along with Pyramids just down the street for one of the best disc golf destinations you might find. Here's my break down of the Gold layout.
Talk about starting out with a Big Bang! - The signature Hole 1 is the most beautiful starting hole I've ever played out of the 150+ courses I've played and possibly one of my favorite all time holes. From the Gold tee and videos the hole looks more intimidating than it actually is as there are bailouts you can take. The elevated tee with the basket way across the pond and Christmas trees is an absolute joy to play. The green is the most dangerous portion of the hole with the other side of the walls being OB.
Holes 2, 3, and 4 were great. Hole 5 lets you choose your poison, take the risky "open" route over the water, or take the tight wooded tunnel to the basket.
Hole 6 the fairway bottlenecks with OB wall to the right and OB water to the left. This is tough for even the top pros. Hole 7 is a nice wooded tunnel shot slightly uphill with the basket just over the ridge. Hole 8 was one of my favorites with the basket on the edge straight across the water.
Hole 9 is one my of least favorites playing up and over a tight wooded gap to a blind island green with water left and right. Hole 10 from the Gold tee is another unfavorite as the layup landing zone is really hit or miss for the next shot for your throwing stance. From the shorter tee, it appears to be a great hole though and really like the basket with the wall.
Hole 11 is a fun elevated tee and you get to unleash a bomb across the tree farm to the basket tucked back into the woods. The downside to this hole is searching for discs in the pine trees. Hole 12 is different than I had recalled and not a big fan of the change of play. It used to start in the woods and play into the open, now it's the opposite starting in the open and playing into the woods.
Hole 13 is a favorite with another grand elevated tee, I believe the biggest elevation change on the course. The green surrounding the basket was also one of favorites as it's quite fast not just from the tee which is easily reachable, but if your drive is short your approach is tricky.
Hole 14 is my least favorite on the course despite looking like one of the coolest shots in the world with the elevated tee and island green. The puckering forced water carry with no bailout is ridiculous. I played with a sponsored pro and he was less than 50% hitting inbounds. The wind is unpredictable and can knock down seemingly perfect shots or carry them across to the other OB. The drop zone is also a precarious shot.
Hole 15 is a nice tight wooded shot over a valley. Hole 16 is a great hole playing straight over some rolling elevation with two different routes to play. Hole 17 is another great hole playing uphill and turns right into the woods.
Hole 18 - the grand finale is an uphill multi-shot dogleg to an island green. Fantastic and dangerous way to finish.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
From The Rec Perspective: Maple Hill Reds
Pros: I'm a rag-armed "old guy", middle of the pack Rec Player who loves the game of disc golf and has traveled enough to have played some of the best courses in the United States. Full disclosure, I volunteer at the Vibram / Maple Hill Open annually and enjoy watching the pros compete over the Maple Hill Gold, a breathtakingly beautiful and challenging layout. But most "average players" can't hope to carry the ponds and navigate the perils on the Gold or even the Blue course. I've tempted fate and played on the White Course, but I know I truly belong on the Red Course. So the big question is if "Maple Hill Gold" is truly one of the "Best of the Best", how does the Maple Hill Red Course hold up? For the Rec Player, is Maple Hill still worth the drive/expense and still hold up to that "Best of the Best" rating?
In a word, YES! I'll get to my hole-by-hole description below, but the Red design stands on its own to be a memorable and fair challenge to the Rec skill level player.
- The signature 18th hole pretty much plays like the Gold, albeit with a 200' shortcut. Plays at 455 feet from the reds, still a challenge to hit the "island" and make birdie.
- The Red course takes most of the water risk out of play unless you really grip-lock or get too aggressive on a birdie putt.
- Holes manageable by a Rec skill level player, with lots of Risk - Reward decisions. Play safe, throw it well, a par is likely. Screw up or take a risk and miss your line and bogey or worse is possible.
- Professional baskets, well maintained. Maybe not upgraded to state-of-the-art every few years like the Gold, but the Red baskets, like everything else at Maple Hill, are first class.
- Greens are fair and not gimmicky. A few may flirt with water, and OB, but not so scary that a rec player can't "lay up" and take what's there. Get greedy and you might have a birdie chance, but you also risk bogie on some of the holes.
- A mix of tee pads... seems to be still evolving. Some rubber, pavers, cement... but all provide solid footing and are adequately size.
- Signage, navigation, scorecards first class.
- Portopotties, benches, trash cans.
- Not necessarily the place I'd introduce new players to Disk Golf (after all, almost anything else after this will be a disappointment), it's pretty newbie friendly. The undergrowth is fairly clear, not too much time searching for lost discs.
- The Maple Hill Pro Shop is well stocked with discs, drinks, snacks, and other goodies. (Marshall St. just down the road along with the excellent Pyramids courses). For a real treat, rent of the Sap House for a party and enjoy the games upstairs!
- Several practice baskets between the Sap House and the first tee. Even a net cage to loosen up (it's up by the Gold #1 Tee).
- Great places to grab food nearby, even a pizza delivery (order on your mobile phone, sign on the 17th tee.) Annie's Hot Dogs is local legend not far down the road.
- Mix of open holes, left turning, right turning, wooded, up, down, up-and-down, down-and-up, favors no particular style. Easy to say "use every disc in the bag" but I only carry five so that's not really saying anything.
- Beautiful New England forest, stone walls, glacial kettle ponds, some interesting wild life. That big black snake on the dam is pretty friendly, don't harass it.
- A good vibrant environment. Even during the week there will be people playing the course if the weather is nice. Busy weekend might fill the main parking lot, the there is more parking just down the road. Seems to be tournaments, "Birdie Bashes" and leagues, and various other activities, not just for pros!
Cons: - Can be crowded in nice weather on weekends. I once got behind an entire college baseball team there for a season-ending celebration. But hey, this is Disc Golf, make friends with the group ahead or behind you, relax, and enjoy the vibe. Everyone (mostly) is friendly out here.
- The four courses (Red, White, Blue, and Gold) are a bit of a mash up, the holes share fairways, tees, and/or baskets with each other and occasionally diverge and re-merge. This means a group you were two holes behind may block you (Red 12 is between Gold 13 & 14, for example). For the most part, things flow remarkable well, if you do cross paths just enjoy the company.
- Most dangerous thing out there is the deer ticks (carry Lyme disease), mosquitos, and poison ivy, but Maple Hill is no worse than any other New England woods course.
- Overshoot or grip-lock and you can find water on several holes, even on the Red Course. Some holes equipped with retrieval devices. The ponds are occasionally cleaned out and notification of found discs seems pretty good.
- Drains pretty well, but in early spring or after a heavy rain a few places need a little extra time to dry out and can be muddy.
- Red Course not available around the time of the Maple Hill Open, and the whole place closes during the "Christmas Tree" season. If you get there and the Red Course is closed, just go across the street and play Pyramids Silver, not a bad consolation.
-No golf carts. OK, I got spoiled by Selah Ranch. If they were available I'd gladly pay $40 to motor around Maple Hill and maybe get in 36 or even 54 holes on a long summer day. I suppose there would be some logistics to getting carts around Maple Hill, over the streams, up and down the hills...
Other Thoughts: - Easily in my top five, along with Selah Ranch Lakeside, Creekside, Frost Valley, Nantucket, and Black Falls. Hey wait, that's six?
Hole - by - Hole for a Rec Play:
1) Stand at the White Tee on the first hole. Marvel at the beauty as you stand under the old windmill tower. Look for fish jumping in the pond ahead of you. Now do the math. Figure out that you need a 300' carry off the tee to clear the pond. Remember that you barely throw 250 with any consistency. Slink over to the Red Tee. Tell the rest of your group you're just watching out for them.
Now stand tall on the red tee. You've got a nice straight downhill shot at the basket just 265' away. But before you card that deuce you're going to have to negotiate some bushes and small Christmas trees and depending on the recent rain a dry ditch or a small stream. If you make your birdie say loudly that "I usually play the Whites...".
2) A 265' version of an interesting second hole for the pros. OB stone wall along the right, a grove of trees short and to the left, along with a stream bed. Takes some courage to shoot for the gap between the stone wall and the trees, I always seem to need to scramble out of the grove to save par.
3) A big dogleg right with through a moderately tight gap. Pretty well treed the whole way. Try to cut the dogleg at your peril, those threes are unforgiving. "Only 260'", but still a par is a good score for a rec player.
4) Downhill straight through a very tight gap on a 300' downhill adventure. Some other lines to the basket available too, but you'll need to be either good or lucky. Too aggressive with your approach could easily roll down the hill into water.
5) This is one of my favorite holes to spot at the Maple Hill / Vibram open, as the pros have to come over water for any chance to get close to the basket. For the Red Course, the basket is shorter and pulled way to the "wooded" side of the fairway, taking out that terrifying water carry. Still 195' and heavily treed is no easy birdie.
6) Again, the Red hole is a shortened (240') and easier version of a classic, with a stone wall OB on the right, a well treed fairway, and the basket tucked away on the left with water and OB lurking off to the left.
7) Uphill, well treed, but a reasonable fairway. 240'
8) The Red tee is pretty far up the dam taking the water carry out of play, but the basket is well protected by some trees up the hill from the edge of the pond. You can get wet with a bad throw (yes, by personal experience)
9) Start off of the platform tee box, up and then down, short 260' par 4 with lots of trees and water if you roll one past the basket.
10) The famous castle hole, always well landscaped in summer. A generous shortcut for the Red course, uphill and straight. Plays much longer than the 230' listed. A wide fairway but don't get too far off line. Many times I seem to end up with a short par putt... to a basket 15' above me! Another one of the Signature holes that translates well to the Reds
11) A nifty 290' bomb downhill, in and among some Christmas Trees. Just a few feet can make a difference from having a straight look at birdie or having to bend something to get close.
12) Downhill across a swale, 250' and reasonable open, though the area around the basket can get gnarly if you are off target. From the tee you get a good look at one of the classic holes on the Gold Course, the big carry over the pond to the basket on the isthmus, and you can be thankful that you are playing the Red course.
13) Short (190'), but very tight and uphill. A missed birdie putt can easily end up further away than where you started.
14) A long and wooded par 3, down then uphill. At 270' one of the tougher pars on the red layout.
15) A moderately tight line, the reds get a generously shorter basket at 255'.
16) Short, and some out-of-bounds changes makes this a bit easier than the old days. At 225' you can get a birdie opportunity if you can avoid the trees.
17) Uphill and 200', nothing like the signature "over the Christmas Trees" bomb on the golds. A birdie opportunity if you can bend it around the big trees guarding the basket.
18) Ah, the signature hole, shortened considerably for the rec player, but still, you might have a gallery watching you and you play to the same "island" basket that the pros play. It's a par four, an uphill drive to an open fairway, but way left is some trees that can be trouble, and the stone wall looms on the right. Many ways to play this hole, for the conservative rec player you might want to throw your second shot up toward the right edge of the Sap House laying up short to minimize your throw into the virtual "stone wall" island. If you make the island you should have a short putt for par.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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