3 Helpful / 0 Not
From the Rec Player Perspective
Pros: • This is a terrific "Red Level" course for a Recreational player if played from the short tees. Every hole seemed like a birdie was at least theoretically possible, par was doable, and a bogie (or worse) lurked if I caught an early tree or got careless with an approach shot.
• Design from the short tees is still in character for this as a classic New England woods course. Short tees are available on all the longer holes, though several shorter holes have only one tee. If you can't throw 350+ with accuracy, I recommend taking advantage of the short tees.
• Long tee pads are well-built rubber covered, grip well and are adequate size (though not huge). The short tee boxes are mostly natural (two had small rubber pads) but were at least smooth and level.
• Chainstar baskets all in good shape and catch well. Many of the baskets were protected by some well placed trees and occasionally a massive boulder. Not to mention the "Hot Tub" out of bound on the 6th hole.
• In a nice park, plenty of parking near first tee. Bathrooms and other amenities in the park, but not very close to the course.
• Clean and well cared for course. On a side note the course is so clean when I did find a discarded water bottle I put it in my bag and tossed it in the trash later. I never seem to do that on a course that got lots a trash.
• Easy to get to, just off the highway (also see CON #1 below)
• Easy and nice walk in the woods, not too much strain for older players.
• Good signs and navigation, at least for the first 15 holes or so. I'm assuming that they just haven't gotten around to making signs for the last few holes.
• Navigation mostly fine, a couple times I had to look a bit for the correct path for the next hole. The signs are good, but one or two more might be needed.
• Lots of woods to catch errant drives, but reasonable fairways. The woods off the fairway were tight and made for challenging recovery shots, but not too much underbrush to eat discs. Didn't spend a lot of time searching even when my drive didn't find the fairway.
Cons: • So close to I-84 that the noise from the highway is obvious. One of the tees is very close to the roadway. The noise slightly annoyed me for the first couple of holes but I must have gotten used to it, hardly noticed by the end of the round.
• Only a couple of holes have benches, and there are no trash cans out of the course. This isn't a big negative but keeps this course from getting an even higher rating.
• Loved the design, classic New England woods course, but there is not a lot of elevation change here, no water features, and no "wide open rip it" holes. I guess some could take that as a lack of variety but I found every hole to be a unique challenge.
Other Thoughts: I've avoided Panthorn Park for a while. I've heard it was tough layout for rec players and "very wet". I found Panthorn to be a very pleasant surprise. From the Shorts Panthorn is very Rec friendly, and at least on this beautiful August day the ground was firm and the feared mosquitoes never materialized. It rained 2 days ago, and at least this time of year it must have drained very well.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
An Underrated Gem in Hartford County
Pros: Panthorn Park is a large public park in Southington, CT, part of Hartford County. The course features 18 holes that weave through dense woods. The rubber tee pads are mostly in good condition and the baskets catch well and are easily visible because of the bright orange tape around the center pole. Hand-painted signs provide a crude map of the hole and also supply hole distance. Many holes have short tees for recreational players. There is plenty of signage to aid the first timer in navigating the course. Many holes have benches at the tee area. The tight fairways are well groomed and it appears that course maintenance is regular. Many spots have planks or logs for dry passage when the course gets mucky. The layout works well; there is a nice loop back to the parking lot, and even 14's tee is close to the parking lot too in case one needs to cut a round short. The course flows well with a variety of distances throughout both the front and back nine, and the last few holes are a little exciting. This is great, no frills woods golf. None of the holes are that fancy, just tight fairways, tough windows coming of the tee pads, well protected baskets, sharp curves, and plenty of trees along the way to keep your shots honest. This course is a real challenge and every hole will make big demands on your technique. There are a couple straight ace runs under 200 feet and a couple long strategy holes in the 450-500 range. The park has plenty of picnic space, sports fields, a playground, and walking trails making it worthy of a day long venture. If the sports fields are empty, you can use it to practice your drives, though with a course this tight, you won't need your killer overstable drivers that much. There are restrooms, running water, and plenty of parking. Also a beautiful setting and a great place to take in the foliage in the fall.
Cons: As has otherwise been noted, several tee boxes on the front 9 are very close to I-84. You're in minimal danger of chucking an errant drive into 80mph traffic, but it's distracting and takes away from what otherwise feels like an isolated, quiet course. My one round there was dry, but I can tell that the course gets soaked after the rain. It would be nice to have one or two holes that were a little bit more wide open, but it would require deforestation or taking over some of the park's general use area. There's little elevation to speak of save for the gentle rise to the green on 18. Some tee signs are missing and none of the tee signs have par info. The course lacks distinct signature holes, so you'll be playing pretty standard woods golf. Some of your walks to the next tee put you in the line of fire of the next hole, so be wary, especially if you have people playing ahead of you.
Other Thoughts: Don't believe the low rating, this is a great course. I've been playing disc golf in CT for a few years now and I wish I'd checked it out sooner. It's a real bear of a challenge and the environment is beautiful, save for the interstate situation. This course is just a little bit further out than my home course in Wallingford, and it's a nice change of pace. I'm looking forward to getting to know the lay of the land better here. I believe familiarity is an essential factor for shooting well on a course that's this heavily wooded. Bring your A game, you're going to need it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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