11 Helpful / 1 Not
Discovered My (Non-Blueberry) Thrill
Has, in abundance, the two core features I like in a course - options, and variety. With multiple tees and multiple baskets per hole, everyone from beginners to professionals can find a challenge appropriate for their level of play. A great mix of open space, scattered trees, woods, water, and various types of elevation changes are blended together to create a wide variety of hole-types, requiring a well-stocked arsenal of throws to overcome.
Maps, scorecards, tee areas, signage - all top-notch.
The on-site store - hard to imagine any better.
The options come at a potential negative cost - some tees are blind from other tees playing the same hole, a few fairways cross, a couple baskets are located near next tees - so there's an increases chance of players, especially when following/followed by players playing a different configuration, accidently throwing on somebody/being thrown on. The day I played, I was both thrown upon, and threw upon! Karma, I guess. :-)
Basket-18's location is too close to the main path from the parking lot to the store's entrance. Meandering pets, straying children, roaming non-players and landloping players all conspired to delay my approach shot for an inordinate amount of time!
As stated in the "Pros" section, this course has options (I played two rounds - red/white), and variety. From the Reds, this course averages ~255', and only quite errant throws have the possibility of finding water. From the Whites, this course averages ~335', and the two water carries were just right for my level, as I barely made them!
The site has a great blend of openness (~1/3rd of the holes), and wooded challengers (~2/3rds). The open-oriented holes are not bland, as they usually include some combination of elevation change (up or down), parallel treelines, slopes, water, scattered trees, or protected baskets. The wooded holes avoid pinball, but require you to throw a variety (early/middle/late, sharp/middling/subtle, left/right) of turning-shots, while also dealing with elevation changes.
Speaking of elevation, you will face not only steep/gradual gains or losses, but also valley-crossing and up-and-over - the entire spectrum.
Find an excuse - any excuse - to be in the vicinity of this course, and come play the course - multiple times. You will find a wide-variety of challenges to exercise your entire game.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Versatility and beauty
Pros: - Huge variety! Distance bombs, tight, technical woods shots, water carries, and everything else in between. You won't be bored or miss out on throwing your favorite shots.
- 4 distinct layouts to challenge every skill level. Even those who dislike throwing over water have at least one layout to cater to their tastes.
- Meticulously maintained. The course is kept in wonderful condition, and there are obvious efforts put in to keeping it not only functional, but also aesthetically appealing.
- Signage is fantastic and highly descriptive. In addition, there are few if any areas where navigation is an issue.
- Amenities are plentiful, with a full pro shop on site (to replace all that waterlogged plastic) and Marshall St. Disc Golf Shop (and another decent course) less than a mile down the road.
Cons: -While there's a lost and found log kept, don't expect much in the way of returned plastic. Between my buddy and I we've lost 8 discs there, and the only one I ever got a call back on was found in Connecticut...
- Personally I found hole 18 to be a bit of a letdown and a gimmicky way to end the course. To each their own however.
Other Thoughts: The pinnacle of Disc Golf in New England. I held off on reviewing Maple Hill until I had a chance to play all 4 layouts, and I'm glad I did. Don't think that just because you're an open level player that you won't enjoy the easier layouts. Every setup has a unique perspective and challenge. From the Gold layout designed to humble all but the best, to the red layout set up to avoid all the water hazards, each has something to offer. The $10 fee (high for disc golf) feels like a steal when you consider the amount of effort and thought that has gone into designing and maintaining the course. While personal preferences may keep some from loving EVERY hole, the course is so varied that there's no way to not enjoy it as a whole, even for the pickiest discers around. There are likely better courses out there, but with 31 courses in 6 states under my belt I have yet to find one myself, and until that day comes, this will hold my sole 5 disc review. Truly a course on which to model others after and one that has fully earned its current top ten placement on DGCR.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 17 Not
Best Course in the Area
Pros: Straight up beautiful views. Best of the best. Four course lay out for all different levels. Water, distance, shorties, midrange shots. Pro shop with drinks, snacks, and all disc stuff. Super friendly staff, and over feel there. Plenty of baskets for practice putting.
Cons: none really.
Other Thoughts: plenty of awesome courses in central massachusetts...but this is the must play in the area.
1 of 18 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
#1 in My Book
Pros: Maple Hill has it all; for all skill levels. Using 2 tees and 2 baskets per hole, along with excellent signage; Maple Hill has 4 different, skill level appropriate, layouts (red, white, blue, and gold) overlaid upon one another. Even though there are 4 layouts, it is always clear where to go, and which basket to play to, due to the color-coded flags on both the tee signs and the baskets. I played the white layout, but scouted many of the other tees, as we somehow were one of only a handful of groups on the course on a beautiful day in May. This course had everything that I look for: Variety in terrain and shot type; elevation change; adequately sized, level tees with good footing; excellent signage; multi-throw holes; water carries; "Appalachian beauty;" challenging, technical greens; and bonus points (as if they were needed) for the proshop onsite. This is a great, wooded course that forces you to hit lines, and punishes you when you miss them. The shots are fair, but challenging for the intended skill level. The water carries are age appropriate (red has none, white is playable for someone who drives 260, and so on.)
Cons: There really isn't anything that this course is lacking. While I prefer concrete tees to the rubber mats used at Maple Hill; I did not have any issues with the tees when I played.
Other Thoughts: This is my #1 course out of 101 played and counting. I will be revaluating my previous course rankings to adjust for what I feel is the closest to disc golf perfection that I have seen. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Maple Hill and need to invent an excuse to return.
Pay to Play -$10/person/day - I'm don't really consider this a pro or a con. I unfortunately only had time for one round, but was fully satisfied with the money spent.
I can still remember almost all of my drives, more than three months later. Don't miss this course.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
White course with mild wind.
Pros: The course has multiple tee and basket positions with
Easy to identify flags. Very challenging but has excellent variety in terrain.
Cons: Costs 10 dollars to play all day but no format to pay per round. So water hazards are difficult to avoid, but the red tees look like they avoided most of it.
Other Thoughts: Best course ive played. Good pro shop.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 17 Not
First time playing disc golf!
Pros: Staff was great - patient and helpful! Course was well marked and had challenges at every level.
Cons: Only course I have seen listed that has a fee ($10). It's not a lot, so really hard to call it a 'Con' but maybe only charge the fee during peak hours?
Other Thoughts: Only drawback possibly is the parking lot was small, dusty and full of holes.
0 of 17 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
A Disc Golf Destination!
Pros: Maple Hill is on a beautiful property used as a farm for Christmas trees. The course features four layouts that range from a short par 3 course geared toward beginners and the championship level course played by the top pros at the Vibram Open, which Maple Hill hosts. The Chainstar baskets are in great shape and they have colored flags that correspond to the layout to which they belong. The tee signs are are big, easy to spot and also adorned with these colored flags. The grounds are meticulously maintained: the course is clean, well landscaped and beautiful. Navigating the course is also stress-free because maps are available and stones with colored arrows navigate players to the next tee. There are benches or tree stumps at almost every tee and trash bins throughout the course as well. The shots are well varied: uphill, downhill, left, right, straight, wooded, open and just about any other variation you could imagine. Several water holes add to challenge, but the Red course is beginner friendly and has no holes that throw directly over water, though it is in play. The challenging courses are HARD and they will test the limits of your game. There is a lot of variety in distance here too. The course hosts several events, including the Vibram Open and other smaller tournaments. It's $10 to play all day or $150 for an annual membership and it's worth the money. If I lived a lot closer, I'd buy a membership and if I was made of money I'd buy a membership anyway just to support the place even though I wouldn't get my money's worth. Since you'll want to stay all day, there are port-a-potties at the head of the course. I also found the course easy to find. A great pro shop is on site and they sell a wide variety of discs (though they have less selection of European brands like Latitude, Westside, etc.), snacks, drinks, disc golf accessories, and Maple Hill swag. The groundskeepers also run a lost & found system on the course website so if you lose a disc on the course it's likely that it will be found and listed online with the last four digits of your phone number on your disc, so mark 'em! There's also a lunch room above the pro shop where you can hang out, eat lunch, and take in the view from the deck. This place is awesome!
Cons: No major cons, but a few small quibbles and things to be aware of. They are not open during Christmas Tree season. Parking could be an issue on a crowded day as it is not abundant. Make sure you bring plenty of water, as it appeared to me that there is not running water or indoor restrooms on the grounds (if I'm wrong, send me a message and correct me). I wasn't crazy about some of the teepads here. Most were fine, but some were a little small for my tastes. Multiple layouts overlap and several holes share the same tees/baskets. Not a problem, but it should be made clear that this is one course with four layouts rather than four separate courses. The terrain can also be pretty rough here, so wear good shoes and watch your step. Also, be mindful that you are in tick country.
Other Thoughts: You gotta go. This course should be on every disc golfer's bucket list. I'm not against pay-to-play courses if they're worth it, and this one is worth every penny. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was the lack of running water and indoor restrooms. Still an amazing course. It's open from dawn till dusk and you'll want to play all day. Pack enough food, plenty of water and all the other essentials because you won't want to go home.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Everything You Could Ask For
Pros: This really is the Pebble Beach of disc golf courses. There is something for everyone and it's without a doubt a destination course. A day at Maple Hill can really be anything you want it to be. If you want to crush drives all day it can accommodate you. If your game is technical it's got you covered. Nothing replicates high stakes disc golf like throwing a beloved disc over a pond. However, if you miss there is a good chance you'll get it back. Dave, Steve, and co. are CONSTANTLY out working on the course. I personally really enjoy the White course. It's most similar to what I understand was the old "Elements" course. It shaves off some distance and time to the round but it's less frustrating for Ams and I prefer the layout on most holes. It's easier to play 3-4 rounds on Whites than the bigger courses. I have also heard from other disc golfers it's "the worst course at Maple Hill". To each his own. I've played Blues and it was apparent I need to work on distance. The teepads/signs/trashcans/amenities are well documented to be pristine. The property is beautiful and it makes the most of the water, tree farm, woods. It blows my mind everytime that this place is literally 10 minutes outside of Worcester. I have nothing against the Pyramids but I often wonder why anybody would play there when this facility is literally a minutes drive down the road.
Cons: I hate snakes.
Other Thoughts: I honestly never really enjoyed/understood why this place was so great until I played the White tees. It's important to put aside any ego and play a course that's appropriate for your level. Being +8 is no fun. Throwing a perfect drive only to have to execute another perfect drive was minimal fun for me. I have been playing disc golf for 2+ years on the tight wooded courses of New Hampshire. Maple Hill is a great opportunity to grow as a player/challenge yourself/have fun.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Should be on every player's list
Pros: 1) The Pro Shop - as you walk in, the pro shop is fully stacked with discs from Innova, Discraft, Vibram, and many more! The gentleman running the counter was very pleasant to work with, as he took 10-15 minutes to show us which discs would be good for each member in our group, taking into account our throwing styles
2) Prices - $10 to play for the day is AWESOME. If you want to play two rounds, expect to be there around 6-7 hours depending on your skill level. On top of that, the Pro Shop discs are priced better then any shop I have ever been in, and on top of that the gentleman inside will actually help you find discs (unlike someone at Dicks Sporting goods).
3) The course - When we first got there, the gentleman in the shop said "This is the Pebble Beach of Disc Golf". All I can say he was spot on! This is hands down the best course I have ever had the pleasure to play. It wasn't packed to the point where we waited forever on any holes, there was zero trash on the course, it was mowed, weed whacked, signed perfectly and laid out to the point where it didn't take much to find your pin location. The course was amazingly beautiful, the scenery was amazing, and the course wasn't full of weeds so we could actually play.
4) The divers - The course brings in diver periodically to clean the ponds and retrieve discs. This is great because I lost 3 discs total in the water (oh well). My only thing I can say is that when you have a hole with water, use a DX disc or some other crap disc you don't mind losing...
Cons: Only con I had is that some holes had wrong map on the tee post... but on those, you could see the pin you were going for, so in no way is it enough for me to lower the score..
Other Thoughts: If you live within 150 miles I would buckle up, pack lunch and drinks and come out here for the day!! Definitely bring water and maybe some music with you and get ready for an experience like no other.
Also, on the 14th tee, the sponsor is the local pizza shop. If you call in an order on the 14th tee, they guarantee delivery to the pro shop by the time you finish your round!! So call ahead and save yourself the 20 minutes!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Accessible to Everyone
Pros: - Tee pads and descriptive signs at every hole
- Scorecards with map for each of the tees are available at sign in
- Lots of color coded arrows to direct you to the right tee spots for each hole making navigation pretty easy without a map
- Lots of risk vs reward opportunities dealing with water for those who can make the shots. However with drop zones provided no one has to risk their disc if they don't want to.
- Great use of elevation both up and down hill.
- Good mix of wide open fairways where you can unleash your discs and fairways that require complete control of your throw
- This course requires every kind of throw in your arsenal, including hyzer shots, anyhyzer shots, complately straight shots through woods and uphill and downhill
- Good variety of nature consisting of several ponds,some big, some small; woods and a Christmas tree farm to play through
- Four tees and separate baskets for each hole that don't just add distance but provide almost four completely different ways to play the course. Their are different color flags to designate which tee you to throw from and which basket to throw to depending on which tee you are playing from
- Camping on site which I believe is free with $10 payment for all day use of the course
- Decent pro shop on sight to replace the discs you throw in the water or to add something new to your bag
- The course owners do their best to collect all lost discs and return them to their owners
Cons: - Some of the tee signs have pictures of the wrong hole on them
- The multiple tees can result in two people playing on the same hole and not knowing it, or someone walking down the fairway and another group is throwing on the same fairway from a different location.
- I know every hole can't be perfect but there were one or two fairways that were not anything special
Other Thoughts: The best part of this course is that the course could be challenging for pro disc golfers and at the same time be accessible to beginners depending on the tee you play. However all the tees have different looks at the basket so even the red tees (the shorter tees) are enjoyable to advanced players. The red tees provide a less stressful round by not involving the water, yet you still get to play through the same awesome piece of property. Control is still necessary around the water because an errant shot can still end up in the water. The $10 dollar course fee seems steep (at least for Rochestarians where all the courses in the area are free) but it is for all day and there are four different ways to play the course. If you live in the area and plan to play the course alot you can become a member for $150 a year. The money does't seem to deter Massachusettsians because it was packed the Sunday we played.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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