12 Helpful / 2 Not
State of the Art
Pros: Outstanding disc golf shots on a championship caliber course with unique gold/blue/white/red layouts. The Christmas tree farm setting actually gives a good disc golf equivalent for rough, as you must hit fairways on the open holes or face shots challenged by small trees. OB defined by ponds and rock walls make for many dramatic shots. Well defined fairways give a nice frame to the wooded holes with good shots generally having good results and bad shots landing in trouble.
In addition to great aesthetics and course maintenance, the goal seemed to be to tailor the course's difficulty to gold (1020), blue (980), white (940), and red (?) level players. I wholeheartedly applaud this goal. To execute this, each hole has multiple baskets and multiple tees--both marked by the colored flags, which look great! This must have been difficult to plan and much work to accomplish, but the layouts were fun to play and very easy to follow. The different tee/baskets combination also mean that playing the blues vs. the whites, for example, give very different looks at the course.
In the week after I played and lost a disc to one of the ponds, someone from the course took the time to call me and offer to return the disc when it somehow turned up.
Cons: Just nitpicking...with as much effort as what went into unique gold/blue/white/red tees/baskets, I played a few of the holes and sort of scratched my head at if they were really properly calibrated to get a good scoring distribution. For the blue tees, there seemed to be a few 350-400' slight uphill holes that the longest arms might occasionally get a 2 but everyone else will almost always take a 3 (I'm thinking of 10, 17, and maybe 16 and one or two on the front nine). It's frustrating to stand at a Par 3 designed for your skill level and not be able to find a shot in your bag to reach the basket, or even the circle. But a sign was posted that layouts are being tweaked currently, so we'll see how things work out.
Other Thoughts: Prepare for a long grueling round and for a couple risky water shots, not necessarily because of the length but because of trees guarding the near or far bank. Play the course appropriate for your skill level, and note they're a little more difficult than PDGA standard ratings for each color.
Navigation was very easy, especially with the flags and next tee markers. Wildlife was abundant and diverse (we ran across three types of snakes: garter, black, and water).
Now that I look at other reviews, I think this course is underrated. It will probably be miserable if you're <900-rated and try to play blue or gold (or maybe even 940-rated white tees). Also, I see many other reviews cite maintenance as an issue, but everything looked great when I played it in June 2011.
I really loved the feel of the course and view it as a leader in what a disc golf course should be. If some of the blue Par 3s were a little more manageable in terms of distance, I think this course would get a '5' and surpass Deer Lakes for top slot in my book.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 31 Not
Pros: There are options for most players, beginners will have trouble.
The store has a good variety of discs and has decent prices.
Hole 18 is very unique.
Cons: Water! Way too much water. Especially for folks unfamiliar with the course, LHBH shooters, and beginners. I thought I was an OK player, but I hit the water on three separate holes. One was within reach, the second I got with a stick and a wet foot, and the third is waiting for their crew to dredge it up.
I got confused/misdirected several times the multi pin/ multi tee layout is not conducive to a good game flow. I can see several spots where someone could get hurt if they are not paying attention (especially 15). There were three intersecting fairways from three tees to three pins.
There was garbage, pop cans, and beer cans sitting at almost every pin that didn't have a can (and some that did). I know it was the end of the day, but it seemed like they hadn't cleaned up from the weekend ( it was Tuesday).
Other Thoughts: although the pin to tee trails were marked, I still got confused.
Very cool volunteer thank you setup.
6 of 37 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 18 wonderfully laid out and challenging holes of disc golf, with four unique layouts. There is something for everyone here. The baskets are brand new Mach X and I am permanently spoiled and thrilled with these awesome baskets. There is a mix of open/wooded holes, lefty/righty holes, short/long holes (even on the same layouts) with water hazards and other OB challenges (such as the famous island green on 18). Pro shop is stocked with great plastic from all disc companies. Quite possibly the best all-around course in New England. Nominal daily fee is to keep this course well maintained and in awesome shape. Trees on 1, 11 are low in January after the Christmas tree season. Flat fly pads and other tees are still flat and not slippy at all in dry weather.
Cons: You only find gripes with your own game while playing this course. There is really nothing to gripe about here as far as the course is designed.
Other Thoughts: Maple Hill has something for every disc golf player, and is quite the thrill, especially for those who play it for the first time. Memberships here are 150, so if you're a local, get one and make it worth it. Your money is getting poured back into the land and the course that is on it, and trust we it is every bit worth your 10 dollar fee. Can't believe this is only an hour from my house!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: when i first got there..i thought..this is where they have tournaments? didn't look to great....but once i stepped onto the first hole ..i understood why.
great course..very challenging..and just a great walk
plus i got there early in the morning..only one there..so it was great to get to take my time.
Cons: the 4 courses sometimes confused me..but it was more because my first time playing the course.
I was afraid to throw the holes that had water hazards.
Other Thoughts: you have to play to play (but it's worth it)
pyramids down the street
newton hill 10 minutes away
3 of 18 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
This is one of the finest course i have ever played!
Pros: Absolutely a championship quality course! The whole course plays through woods and around a breathtaking lake. The Tee pads are made out of Vibrium which is a very cool material that give you a lot of grip on your drives. This is a very challenging course
Cons: Lots of water to loose discs in this is not a course to bring a first time player to. Its a private course so its $5 to play but still very worth the money.
Other Thoughts: There is a cool pro shop. I got to talk to the owner for a little bit and he showed me that above the pro-shop there is a club house for the members of the course which was just getting finished when I was there but is very cool if i lived in this area I would be a member of this course.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Great first experience
Pros: Even though this course is very challenging, we had a great time playing as a family. Awesome variety of sceneries. Eveyone there is so friendly. This was our first time and we will go back.
Cons: Easy to loose discs in the water.
Other Thoughts: Great to know that we can bring our dog next time. Make sure you bring a snack and plenty of water.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pro-level course with something for everyone!
Pros: Pro-level challenge, but with multiple tees/baskets to suit everyone except maybe the beginning player.
Every tee is clearly marked and every basket has color-coded flags to clearly demonstrate which basket you should be shooting at when there are multiple baskets on a hole. Tee pads on the ground are rubber, but done solidly, while elevated tees (on slopes) are of wood construction, similar to a deck. Plenty seats, tables, trash cans, etc throughout the course to make DG'ing easier.
Course navigation was pretty easy, even without a map, most holes had very good marking for the next tee, and a lot had a well worn path right to the next tee. The map (on the scorecard available in the beginning barn) was handy though for orienting yourself while on the course, and helped clear up some confusion for me on exactly where hole 12's basket was.
The scenic beauty of this course is amazing, and the use of the terrain and flora available is nothing short of magnificent!
I also had a chance to chat with the owner for about 30 minutes while waiting for some rain to clear, really great guy. He was even going to loan me an umbrella in case it started raining again while I was playing! I also ended up getting a sweet star Ontario roc with the Maple Hill stamp for a great price! I got to see the lost and found room, and let me tell you, he could make a fortune off the volume of discs that have been found, but alas he is a great individual, and catalogues them and will return them if contacted (I believe a list of these discs is on the course website). There were literally hundreds of discs waiting for their owners. How many private course owners take this much time and effort? I know of only one other that goes to these lengths, Howie at Holler in the Hills.
My memorable holes (I won't write a novel and mention them all, since they were all pretty memorable, but here are my favorites):
1 - I can't not mention this hole. Everyone knows what a beast it is, but I have to restate it. The view from the tee is downright intimidating. A solid 30-40 foot elevation drop, with a good sized pond at the bottom, and the basket perched JUST on the far bank. I went hyzer, lost in the ditch on the right, and still managed a 4.
4 - Downhill shot through the woods, a narrow path to hit. I was so excited to clear down close to the basket until I realized it was not the basket I was shooting for from the tee I was on. Dangit.
5 - Another cool shot through the woods, this time on level ground. The pro route over the water on the left with a right turning path was very tough, especially since my forehand is horrible.
8 - Long-ish carry over the water, basket just on the other side, abutting a hill. This one was a little less intimidating and safer than 1, but still quite a challenge. I dropped into the water RIGHT before the green, so luckily there was a pole there to reach the 5 feet to retrieve my waterlogged disc.
9 - Start with a platform (deck) tee, then throw up a corridor over a hill. Then you have to go down and back right, clear some water to the green. The course site says that 17 people got a three on this hole during the Open, I would love to have seen those, as this hole utterly kicked my rear.
10 - Amazing uphill drive with trees left, a steep rise, then the basket is protect in a castle-like turret at the top that is elevated ANOTHER 5-6 feet.
11 - Another downhill-looking shot, but without the water. The trees however, are a challenge of their own. Being a Christmas tree farm (?) there were tons of rows of fairly tall conifers (6-7 feet mostly). If you find your drive in the thick of these, good luck getting out easily. The basket is on a cool little "ridge" just into the woods (although the anchoring looked like it needed to be redone).
14 - Out over water again, then back left, hard line to hit, even harder basket to reach. It takes a pretty hard hyzer to get there.
16 - CRAZY shot out over some marshy area, then up and left through some thick woods. Pack a lunch for this hole, and whatever you do, don't hyzer out on your drive!
18 - Monster 650 foot par 4. Nothing overly complicated except its uphill, with trees on either side, and some in the fairway. Website again states that 12 people got threes in the Open, I can't imagine!
Cons: I have to qualify my cons. The first is a small con for me, the rubber tee pads. I prefer concrete but these are so well done I can't really detract from my score because of them.
I generally think of pay-to-play as a con, since I've seen so many other free courses that are exceptional, but again this doesn't factor into my rating because well, it is simply more than worth $5 to play this course.
My only other con, which is legitimate, is the nasty soft ground in a few places, most notably on hole 12's fairway. There are a bunch of 1x8 decking boards laid out, but it was treacherous. Filling that area would allow that area to be easily traversable, or perhaps some sort of stepping stones. Anything would help, but I suppose the boards were better than stepping in ankle deep muck. This is literally my only true con!
Other Thoughts: My rating of a 4.5 means just what it appears. This course is almost perfect. I have played the likes of top 10 courses Idlewild and Holler in the Hills, as well as the legendary Renaissance Park, Hornets Nest, to name a few, and this one almost tops my list. I would say it is a close second behind Renny. Like I stated before, the only true thing I found wrong with it was some swampy areas on 2 and 12. Fix or do something to bypass those and it's an honest 5 in my book!
If you are anywhere NEAR this course, and I mean within a few hours' drive, you must make time to play it. For a pay-to-play private course (maintenance on the course is well worth the $5) it probably has the highest bang for the buck I've seen yet.
Keep up the awesome work, and you better believe I'll be back for a second round if I get back to Mass!
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This was an amazing course! This Course has a wide variety of holes and really challenges the player. There are elevation changes and it mixes wooded shots with wide open shots. It was a blast playing this course and was definitely worth the 5 bucks. The view was great and all the holes had great views. I would play this course everyday if I could!
Cons: This course had a lot of wooded sections and you can lose your disc on a lot of holes. A LOT of water and if you overshoot the hole you are going for a swim. Also some holes had some tall grass and took a while to find my discs in the Christmas trees.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course and I had a terrific time playing the course. This is a challenging course and cant wait to go back and play again.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun & Challenging Course
Pros: -Three different sets of tees: Red for Beginners, White for Intermediates, and Blue for Pros.
-Home to the Vibram Open every summer.
-Great tee signs
-Well designed course
Cons: -Very easy to lose discs as there is lots of water (though they do send out dive teams and post their findings)
-One mistake can ruin a round
-Caters more to players with big arms
-Needs some cleanup
Other Thoughts: Maple Hill is a fantastic course with some great holes, from the "Christmas Tree" hole 11, to the daunting hole 8 with the drive over the water. With 3 different skill levels, this course is sure to please players of all ratings.
Make sure to bring some "beater" discs unless you're certain you can clear hole 8 (and hole 1 for blue). While they do send out dive teams on occasion, losing discs is quite easy due to the use of water on much of the course.
This course consistently gets 4.5 and 5 star ratings. I'm giving it a 4, because I prefer courses with more technical elements. There are wooded holes at Maple Hill, but they weren;t overly technical in my opinion.
Still, for $5, this is a must play for anyone in New England. Parking can be an issue if the course is crowded, but it's worth the attempt. Bring some friends and have a great day at an excellent course.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 11 Not
Great, Challenging Course
Pros: Extremely varied holes. Great risk/reward potential on several holes. Some holes are truely memorable and will keep you thinking long after you leave for the day.
Cons: The risks sometimes outweigh the rewards.
Other Thoughts: A truely fantastic course. I recently played it and there was some work that needed to be done to clean things up from the winter weather. There are a few holes that seem very inviting, but looks can be deceiving. An errant throw on this course will often result in 6s and 7s.
There are three separate courses (red, white, blue) which offer challenges for players of all levels. If you can make the trip out, you owe it to yourself to play Maple Hill.
2 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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