I didn't have fun.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -18 holes of free disc golf in an accessible park with lots of other great amenities (playground, swimming, etc.)
-Three tees per hole
-Some concrete tee pads
-Some nice flora and fauna in the park
Cons: -The fairways are extremely tight and the rough is very unforgiving with thorns and poison ivy. Heck, there's even some poison ivy in the fairways. And ticks are a problem on the course according to the signs, although I didn't see any.
-Most of the holes are heavily wooded. My home course is a wooded course, but Ninigret was so wooded, the disc golf wasn't fun. On a good wooded course, the trees pose a challenge, but you can spot a line and go for it. That's not the case at Ninigret. There are so many trees that you can't do anything but throw and pray. Even on 250-500 foot holes, the best tactic is to throw a putter 150 feet off the tee and try to land at the foot of a tree. If you throw a driver, you're going to inevitably ricochet off of something and end up deep in the rough, which probably means poison ivy. I'm an intermediate player and perhaps better players would enjoy the challenge, but I am highly skeptical.
-Most of the wooded holes have fairways that turn very sharply to the right or left, so you cannot see the pin from the tee. Given the narrow fairways and bad rough, this makes for a round with too much disc-hunting. Plus, it's nice to be able to see the pin on most of the holes, so you can plan your approach and watch your disc soar. That's definitely not how the golf works at Ninigret.
-The few open shots are too open, making them boring and without challenge.
-No topographical changes.
-Some of the holes are just sad. Hole 17 is a par 5 with a very narrow fairway where you play around an ugly fence/wall, throwing 150 foot shots again and again around a sharp curve. If you throw a driver, your disc will be gone in the rough. This is not what enjoyable disc golf feels like.
Other Thoughts: I played about 7 holes on this course 3 years ago and was unimpressed. I read on this site that the course was "new and improved" since 2016 so I went back feeling excited.
I found that while more signs have been added to enhance navigation and a few concrete tee pads have been put in, the course had not changed in a meaningful way. If I were giving a rating to each hole, there are a couple I would give a 3.0. But the vast majority would get a 1.0 or 1.5. I suppose course regulars who have memorized where the pins are might not be bothered as much by all of the blind pin placements, but they would probably lose a lot of plastic regardless.
I'm sorry I don't have something more positive to say, especially because I visit the area regularly. It's clear people are devoted to the course's upkeep, but the shapes of the fairways greatly limits the potential for this course to be fun. For those of you looking to play in the area, the South Kingstown course is 15 minutes away and a much more enjoyably experience.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The New and Improved Ninigret
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Defined fairways - The fairways here are really great. They are obvious varying from mildly wooded to quite open. The course has been really cleaned up in the past few years and is tended to religiously.
2. Great use of space - The holes aren't forced. Holes make sense. Mandos and OB places are not silly and use mostly pre-existing marks to be the mandos and OBs.
3. Tees - Every hole has three different tee locations with about half of them being concrete pads.
4. Signage - Walking this course is quite easy with signs on trees, on baskets, and on trails. Only one awkward transition from hole 3's basket to the tee of hole 4.
Cons: 1. Tees - Also as a con, only half of the tees have concrete and the other half are dirt. The designer, TM, is slowly but surely converting every tee to concrete.
2. Placement of holes 4 through 6 - These three holes are separated from the course by a thirty second walk going from 3's basket to 4's tee and 6's basket to 7's tee. It makes sense once you do it but can be awkward the first time.
3. Potential wind - Since this course is in Charlestown somewhat near a beach, the wind can pick up and potentially play a role in your shot.
Other Thoughts: The reviews from past years were deserved at the time but the course as a whole has been cleaned up so much since 2014. Fairways are mowed, weeds and trees cut way back, wonderful baskets, and a good flow of the course. Many complaints of course design are correct because of holes 4-6 being awkward but to me it didn't take much away from the course and understandably, the designer only had so much room to use. This course was designed to make the player achieve par, not play birdie golf, but there are definitely holes that are easily birdied if the line is hit well. There is not a favoring of RH or LH and the course requires all throws from all players. Hole 17 is a monster, literally, it has a funny Green Monster inspired mando and is a crazy long par 5 but definitely one of the signature holes on the course. This course overall is challenging, fun, and easy to walk. I definitely recommend it to everyone!!!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
The Only 18er in Rhode Island
Pros: Ninigret Park is one of only two (as of the time of this review) disc golf courses in the state of Rhode Island, and the only one with 18 holes at that! The course is located conveniently off the "Post Road" (US-1, the old postal route between Boston and New York before the Interstate Highway system was built). It was an easy pitstop on my way from New Haven to Newport. Each hole sports 3 different tees and they're color coded with red, white, and blue. The Red Tees make a short pitch & putt layout for beginners and kids. The White Tees make a good recreational layout and the Blue Tees will likely give many top pros a run for their money. Many of the multiple tees give a different perspective on a hole instead of making a longer version of the same hole. The baskets are in decent condition and detailed signage at each hole gives hole number, par, distance for each tee, and a color map. navigating the course is mostly easy and signage does help in trickier spots. The pacing of the course is well thought-out. A couple long holes at the start give way to shorter holes for most the rest of the front 9, while distances gradually increase to the climax at the mammoth hole 17. The style of golf here is very different from many other places I've played. The curves are much sharper on many holes and the fairways are tight. There is a lot of variety in in the types of shots here with a wide mix of left, right, and straight shots. Increased challenge comes from well protected baskets, bunkers, out of bounds, and mandatories. While there is little elevation here (Rhode Island is pretty flat) the designer has used the terrain very effectively for a challenging course.There is plenty of parking here and the locals are quite friendly.
Cons: The tees are not ideal. Several are constructed of sheet metal which does not have the same amount of give as traditional tee materials. The layout is wonky, as an be seen from looking at a map. Navigation between holes 11 and 12 is especially tough. Some walks between holes also put the player in the path of other player's discs. The course could greatly benefit from more tree trimming and probably a few trees could make the fairways a little fairer. Word on the street is that the course gets buggy and overgrown in the summer, but late fall early winter is probably an ideal time to play here. Many other nice amenities are lacking here (restrooms, running water, benches, trash bins, etc). Additionally the course is pretty tricky to find. The part of the Post Road where this course is is a weird stretch of divided highway without exits on both sides.
Other Thoughts: My sense is that this course has improved immensely over the years. Additionally, time of year can make a big difference in the playing experience here. Don't believe the negative reviews; this course is worth seeking out. Plus it's a good way to check the union's smallest state off your list. Hopefully, the state of Rhode Island will continue to grow the sport and develop more courses. I like the style of golf on this course and it would be great to see more courses like it with sharp curves, tight fairways. and low ceilings.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -3 tee locations (blues, whites, reds)
-Course has been much improved over the previous year.
-Unique scenery with low oddly branched trees and large boulders.
-Great diversity from hole to hole.
-Tight yet open fairways, trees and foliage are heavy on each side, but down the center is generally open field. Makes for a challenging yet fun route to the basket.
Cons: -A few teepads are still unfinished and have small boulders / roots that make it difficult to get a solid approach when driving.
-From the blues, several holes are nearly impossible to birdie. Makes for a pretty frustrating round. Whites are much more enjoyable.
-Chains are a little soft, they don't quite catch as good as they should.
Other Thoughts: I am very happy with the work that has been put into the course. Many of the tee pads for blues, whites, and reds alike have been redone with cement. Granted it is currently winter, I could still tell there has been work put in to thin out some of the fairways. I look forward to seeing how well it is maintained throughout this coming summer.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Poor Rhode Island
Pros: Nice baskets. 16 chain DGA baskets caught better than I thought they would.
There are some interesting shots on this course, for sure. The first 2 holes are very nice.
Decent navigational tools on the course, which is good. More about this below.
Cons: Where to start.
The tee pads on the course are a mess, outside of a couple holes. You'll find tee pads that are painted on roads, natural tee pads with large rocks and roots in them, a few concrete pads (which were nice, to be fair, with one huge trapezoid that felt completely out of place), and even large chunks of sheet metal for tee pads, which is quite possibly the worst idea in the history of tee pads.
Calling this course scruffy would be a slap in the face to all dirty hippies that pride themselves on being scruffy. Seriously, this course has potential, but a boatload of work needs to be done. Even on the "signature hole" (#17 with its craptastic Green Monster remake), it feels slapped together. I wonder if somebody wasn't just wandering around a junkyard looking for stuff to stick in a disc golf course.
The layout of this course is below average, to be generous about it. Holes seem to be just slapped in wherever they could possibly find any space. Several hole transitions lead you directly across other fairways. It's just a mess, especially since there seems to be ton of unused space in this park.
Several holes have ridiculously low canopies. Several other offer no line, even from the short tees. Cleanup and pruning would go a LONG way towards helping this.
Other Thoughts: The first thing I noticed when I walked up to the course was the course designer's name scratched off the information sign. That should have been a red flag...either somebody else was that mad, or the guy felt that bad about having designed this course.
If I lived in Rhode Island, and this was my only option to play, I'd probably quit. I genuinely feel bad for the locals that have to call this place their home course.
I'm rating this as a 2.0 solely on it having the novelty of being the only course in a state, and the untapped potential...although it would take a ton of work.
If you're like me, and HAVE to bag a state when the option affords itself, then go play it. Just remember, it's also at the southern end of the state...so you'll have to drive a bit to get there.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Three tee locations per hole, averaging under 200' from the reds, ~275' from the whites, and ~350' from the blues. Teesigns at the blue and red (except #8, white and red) locations.
Navigational aids: excellent online map to help guide you about the course (however, white tee-14 is closer to blue tee-2 than the map indicates). Good signs and directions.
You'll need the map as, at times, you pass by some tees, or backtrack, to find the next tee.
Omnipresent warning of ticks and mosquitoes.
Number-16's "fairway" has a tremendous amount of ankle-to-knee high groundcover, perfect for hiding discs - have a spotter, if possible.
Course is set amidst a near-ocean public park Quite flat, with fairways defined by (mostly short and/or thin) scattered trees and thick brush - you'll see sky overhead at all times. Unused roads serve as out-of-bounds on some of the holes, and also provide tee locations for others.
The majority of the holes, the exceptions being number-2 and "Green Monster" #17, are relatively short. Challenges primarily come from needing sharp turns (both lefts and rights), nearby out-of-bounds, mandos, and, at times, a (too) thick line of random trees just prior to reaching the green.
Overall, an okay course, where you'll mainly be working your control/creative-shot game. If you want to add Rhode Island to your States-played list, then this course is a must play!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Not Much Fun
Pros: The sign at the start of the course says "Only Course in Rhode Island". Well marked with signs to follow the course.
Cons: Illogical course layout has you walking back and forth over the same ground more often than you want. Thick brush make the longer holes just a crap shot to see if you can find your disc.
Other Thoughts: Scrubby and uninteresting
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Good Rep for Rhody
Pros: Excellent assortment of long and short baskets with the shorties bunched in the middle. Nice setting in a scrub oak / shrubby littoral woodland split by old paved roads from an abandoned airfield training community. Signage is now primo! Apparently this is a recent development and it certainly made my solo first time a breeze. If you can't find the next tee or get turned around then you're an idiot:)
Cons: Heavy metal sheet tee pads on a bunch of (blue) tees. When they weren't puddling water they were eliciting ginger f'''ed up footwork that kinda pissed me off occasionally. Nice local found object distinctiveness but functionally suspect for this tosser.
Other Thoughts: Pleased to finally play this only permanent course in my home state! I can recommend it unequivocally and look forward to attacking it on my next visit...
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Tight and tough
Pros: 3 sets of tees to challenge all skill levels.
New tee signs and next tee signs have improved course feel and flow.
A blend of brutally long, and birdie run holes.
Baskets are in great shape.
Course will test your placement, putting and power (in that order).
Good mix of shots needed on this one.
Lots of space to warm up.
Port-a-potties around park.
Lots of parking.
Cons: Thick tree lines can eat discs up.
Grass gets thick between mows.
Some of the Blue tee pads are metal, they have no footing.
Ticks and mosquitoes rule the summer months.
Some of the tee signs come into play.
Other Thoughts: Place will beat you down.
First two holes are long and unforgiving.
Almost all of the baskets here are heavily protected by trees and bushes.
There is a nice birdie run you need to capitalize on from 3-10.
The back nine has limited birdie chances for the average or even advanced player.
Tee pads would be a huge upgrade here.
But, an improvement in upkeep would benefit the course much more.
Place gets a bad rap from past years, but it's worth checking out especially during the fall and spring time.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Call me a Homer!
Pros: - Challenging course, especially the back Nine
- A tremendous amount of improvement since the last time I played.
- Great creativity on many holes with use of Mandos.
- Still remains the best course for miles.
- Ninigret Park is near the coast and beach, so plenty of places to check out nearby.
- If it ever reached its full potential, the Park has plenty of parking and amenities to host a solid tournament.
Cons: - Tough during summer- vegetation grows like crazy
- the whole area is prone to ticks, so be careful.
- The course will perpetually need more maintenance than most, due to the vegetation growth on most holes
Other Thoughts: - I have a tremendous amount of sentimental attachment to this course. It was one of the first ones I regularly started playing when I got into disc golf over 10 years ago.
- The course is challenging and has made me a better player as a result.
- Hole #17 is a classic. I would love to see how pro level players fair on this one. One of the toughest Par 5s I have ever come across.
- Glad to see some of the upgrades with tee signs around the course. It is currently in great shape and it is definitely worth a stop if you are passing through the area. Will always remain one of my top fav courses, wish there were more in my home state of Rhode Island.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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