Gaithersburg, MD 
Seneca Creek State Park Share
Uploaded By: John Merhi Hole #23
3 / 241ft.   3 / 270ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #23 Short Tee



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Best course in Maryland

5+    7/18/2017   7/18/2017
Review By: globetrotter
Played: 88  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 4.9 Years
This review was updated on 7/20/2017
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - 27 holes
- Beautiful park
- Well-defined fairways
- Minimal undergrowth
- Excellent flow and variety
Cons: - Gnats and mosquitos, especially on the front 9 down by the creek
- Everything is marked as par 3 regardless of length (a pet peeve of mine)
- Have to pay for parking on weekends (not a big deal)
Other Thoughts: Seneca Creek is, in my opinion, the best course in Maryland. I've played just under half of the courses in Maryland, and almost all of the MD courses rated in the top 15 on this site, and Seneca Creek is head and shoulders above the rest.
Seneca Creek is a wooded course with a few more open holes as well. The fairways are fair, forcing you to shape a shot, but often leaving enough room to give you a couple of options as well. It has a variety of shots, including tunnel shots and more open holes, elevation change, etc. The one thing it lacks is an opportunity to really air out a distance drive, but there are a number of longer holes to reward the longer throwers. I will agree with a previous review that it doesn't really have a signature hole. That being said, it has 27 solid holes with excellent flow and variety.
For a wooded course, Seneca has very little undergrowth, tall grass, or anything like that unless you get way off the fairway. There is a little bit of OB playing alongside the creek. One thing I love about the course is that each loop has the feel of a hiking trail. There is very little backtracking, and while you end up where you started, you come head out in one direction and come back in from another. There is none of that "down and back" feel you get on some courses where one fairway plays right alongside the previous one.
Overall, I think it is definitely worth making a trip to play Seneca Creek. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of courses in the immediate area, but it is 27 holes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Showing its age

1    5/19/2017   6/14/2017
Review By: Cerealman
Played: 98  Reviewed: 42  Exp: 9 Years
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Seneca Creek offers 27 holes made up of three nine-hole loops that return to the parking lot. More courses need to include this option to improve traffic.

There are some superb challenges at Seneca Creek. Hole #1 is a tunnel gauntlet and foreshadowing of the wooded holes. A variety of shots will be utilized and it's obvious how being skilled at throwing a roller would be a welcomed asset.

A fantastic workout. Elevation is often in play and is used well. Many of the holes are on hilly terrain and good shoes are a necessity to travel the course.

This is not a casual-round course. Accuracy and resiliency are vital as Seneca Creek will show its teeth and threaten to chew you up. Therefore, it's an excellent test of one's physical and mental game.
Cons: Three teepads per hole is a little much, especially since the distance between teepads for some of the holes is less than 40 feet. The multiple teepads aren't clearly marked and can lead to some confusion during first-time navigation. Also, many of the teepads are in mediocre condition.

Plenty of difficult off-the-fairway areas. From unmaintained wooded areas to patches of thorny briars to areas filled with weeds, the "traversability" at this course isn't great.

So many trees. Accuracy is paramount at Seneca Creek as the narrow fairways will provide many challenges and some of the fairways are loosely defined. Some holes (like Hole #16) feature so many random trees that your disc may feel like a Plinko chip.

The lack of variety. While designing 27 unique holes is a challenge, there are too many holes with comparable designs and similar distances.
Other Thoughts: Seneca Creek is a lovely park with plenty of options for fun, including hiking, biking, picnicking, canoeing, kayaking and more. Also, the park headquarters offers a nice selection of discs for sale.

A rating of 3.5 for Seneca Creek might seem a little harsh, but there are a couple of notable shortcomings regarding the course's condition. While some older courses offer a lovely nostalgic impression, Seneca Creek feels more worn out. The holes start to blend together and there isn't a signature hole on the course. Seneca Creek appears to be in need of a whitewash and fresh paint job in order to return to its glory days.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Must play

1    4/12/2017   4/15/2017
Review By: DuBose
Played: 84  Reviewed: 12
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Three pads on every hole giving great options.
- Signs and maps on every hole.
- Well marked and laid out.
- Great variety of shots. Long, short, left and right.
- Decent amount of hazards and O.B.'s with minimum chance of loosing disc.
- Not crowded but it was a Wednesday so not sure about weekends.
- Set up like 3 nine hole courses so you end up by parking lot after 9 and 18. Gives great options to play 3 different 18 hole courses if you don't have time for 27. Also worked great for me when I caught a foursome on hole 9. I skipped to 19, and then went to 10 thru 18 after 27.
- Nice scenery including wildlife.
Cons: - Love the options with 3 pads on every hole, but some of the pads are in pretty bad shape.
- Some fairways are pretty close. Guessing it's a problem when crowded.
- With the space they have, it seems like they could spread out some of the holes a little.
Other Thoughts: I wish my home course was like this. Lots of options with the multiple pads. Also can handle more people with 27 holes. I will definitely play this course again if I get a chance. I live in California and have had the chance to play 2 courses in Virginia and 2 in Maryland. This is my favorite for the DC area. (So far)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

What a great course!

1    4/11/2017   4/11/2017
Review By: Chismo
Played: 3  Reviewed: 2  Exp: 12.2 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Shady walk in the trees for nearly the entire course.
Variety of tees and pins.
Variety of terrain up and down.
Well marked with signs and info.
Mostly wooded course, but didn't feel super closed in, with at least a couple of drives to go long on (at least in early April).
Great work went into adding steps, benches, bridges. Rustic but good.
Cons: A lot of thorny bushes growing along fairways already in early spring. I can't imagine how nasty it would be to find a poorly thrown disc later in the summer.
Other Thoughts: As a visitor from MN, it was interesting to see how this course compared to courses I'm familiar with in the midwest. I like that the trees in the park are less dense than those in MN, and there is much less underbrush and tall grass to contend with (at least in early April.)

It was a great time, and our group enjoyed playing very much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

still a classic

5+    12/26/2016   12/28/2016
Review By: discNDav
Played: 345  Reviewed: 78  Exp: 31.2 Years
This review was updated on 1/7/2017
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Seneca was my favorite course in the Mid Atlantic region back in the mid/late 90's, upon returning 17 years later (Dec '16) I found the 9 'new' holes to be just as great.

This course set in a scenic state park has tremendous variety to it: tight wooded shots but none are unfair, great elevation changes up down and across hills, a creek comes into play several times, marked OB rope, at least 2 tees and the majority of holes have 3 tee options, yellow flags on top of each basket, good tee signs, white poles near the disc grabbing cedar trees and multiple pin locations which I'm sure they rotate.

Seneca was known as a 'roller' course but I didn't throw any rollers (on purpose), I was able to backhand every tee shot.

The 3 loops of each 9 return to the start. 2 baskets on 3 holes. Mach 3's are my favorite basket type.

Not beginner friendly, this is a plus!
Cons: Nitpicking here since it's hard to dislike anything about this course...
The last 1 or 2 holes on each 9 are somewhat of a let down, simply not great holes and generally play left to right. I'm a RHBH player.

The tee pads are a mixture in size and material, some old ones have long narrow cement slabs, some have cement pavers and some have gravel around them helping with erosion.
Other Thoughts: Some of the original basket locations have been extended and depending on which tee you are using I thought some are now "tweener holes", a tough par 3 or easy 4.

Seneca is now listed in my "favorites".

Located near several major highways it is close to the exits but the Wash DC traffic is a pain even in non rush hour times.

Don't drive 12 mph over the speed limit on Clopper Rd with out of state plates or you might get a $40 ticket in the mail 2 weeks later.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

One of my all time favorites

5+    4/5/2016   10/12/2016
Review By: jsemales
Played: 43  Reviewed: 39  Exp: 13.2 Years
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Absolutely love this course. I got out and played with a group of 4 and had an absolute blast all day. The course is challenging with lots of tight shots in the woods mixed with plenty of open fairways for big arm players. It will require every shot and disc in the bag to score well.
Cons: The course is tough, but fair. If you shoot well and leave yourself good approaches, you can shoot a decent score. If you make a mistake, you will find yourself hunting to get back into a playable area.
Other Thoughts: BRING BUG SPRAY

0 of 5 people found this review helpful.

Lucky to be my home course!

5+    5/11/2016   5/14/2016
Review By: ramonstone
Played: 8  Reviewed: 5  Exp: 6.3 Years
This review was updated on 5/27/2016
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: I am lucky enough and spoiled to have this as my home course. 27 holes with three loops that all circle back to the lot, there are great options to play as much or as little as you'd like. There are two or three tees every hole and two to four pin locations on every hole that get changed pretty regularly. Mr. Bill and the regulars out there keep this course in amazing condition. From week to week more and more areas get cleared for optimum playability. It is challenging, it is fun, it is mostly wooded and there is a creek that provides nice ambience. Makes me feel like a kid out there. There aren't long walks from pins to tees mostly and it was designed very well when they redesigned it to 27 holes. I am biased and the course from most pros POV would be a 4.5, but to me, I haven't been anywhere better. I love this place and consider it a must play to anyone that hasn't been fortunate enough to play it
Cons: The only con is this course has spoiled me and ruined a lot of other courses for me

0 of 7 people found this review helpful.

One of the best in the area

1    4/29/2016   5/2/2016
Review By: BigAl724
Played: 144  Reviewed: 125  Exp: 4.4 Years
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Seneca Creek State Park is a huge, beautiful park, with the course being tucked away in one corner on its own away from other park activities. I'm sure the locals love playing in a setting like this being so close to D.C. This is a really nice area to play in and the course has that established feel that makes it special. It's apparent that the locals have put in a ton of effort to get the course to where it is today. A lot of attention to detail with ample signage pointing you in the right direction, indicators for the current pin position, and paths and steps to guide you to the next tee.

The course weaves its way throughout a few areas that offer different levels of woodenness. You have some tighter shots at the bottom of the hill and near the stream (mostly on the front 9) and then plays through more moderately wooded sections with a few more open holes near the parking lot. Conveniently, each set of 9 holes begins right next to the lot.

This course is a beast when the baskets are in the C position, often taking me two long throws to reach the circle (if not more). It offers a real nice balance of challenge while still playing very fair. In the long position, the baskets were often located in precarious positions, whether being tucked away among trees, near a stream, or located on a fast green. The multiple pin positions do a fantastic job of changing up the hole, with the A and B locations still being challenging but more friendly to beginners.

The streams add a nice effect by offering a possible chance to land O.B. on your drives or approaches.

The tee signs are great and are very helpful. The tees are a little mixed, but I had no problems with any of them. The designers did a nice job of changing the look of the hole between the three tees.
Cons: When taking the holes for what they are in and of themselves, this is a great course. There are two problems when having 27 holes like this though. For one, they started to blend together by the last 9 holes. I agree with another reviewer that I at one point throughout the round may have rated the course higher. Other people may feel differently about this, but I like to rate the course as the sum of its parts. I noticed some people playing only one or two of the 9 hole loops, and I would probably do the same thing if this was my home course.

Also, the course is congested and fairways often run close together. Sometimes there were multiple baskets in view and it could cause confusion for some players. I personally didn't have any problems with the course layout for my round, just something to keep in mind on a busy day.

Nothing that takes away from the course, but keep in mind that there is a small fee to enter the park on the weekends and the gate closes at sunset.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely worth going out of your way for, I really enjoyed my round here. State park courses are hit and miss, but this one definitely has seen a lot of care and attention. This is a beautiful area worth taking your time and spending the day at. Definitely one of the best in an area with a lot of solid courses.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Challenging, fun course!

1    4/30/2016   5/1/2016
Review By: thirtydirtybirds
Played: 14  Reviewed: 9  Exp: 2.2 Years
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent shot variety here. Great mix of dense woods, with some more open shots. Lots of route options on this course, that will test every shot in your bag.

The signage is good, with well thought out tee and pin positions. Pin Positions were clearly marked.

Maintenance was great! well defined areas of play, well landscaped, with well worn paths. Good tee boxes.
Cons: Some of the holes run fairly close to each other, with mediocre to bad shots often sharing the same space. This really isn't too much of an issue, but if you aren't paying attention you bight get beaned by a rogue throw.

Other Thoughts: This really is a great course. Every hole offers excellent variety. There are doglegs in all directions, and lengths from ace run to long bomb. The trees are dense in some spots, but there is almost always a choice no matter where you land.

This is a fair course that really challenges and rewards thoughtful play. Its a good workout for your decision making and course management, which I thought was very fun.

As said above, some of the holes are pretty close together, and when it gets busy can be a bit crowded. This is something that I'm just not used to, but its not that big of a deal.

I have only played here once, and all the pins were still in the long position from the recent Seneca Soiree. This is a tough layout! I will definitely be returning to see the other pin positions, looks like pin position has a big impact here.

I will absolutely play here again, its worth visiting if you are in the area. The park on the whole is very nice with lots of other well maintained activities.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.

Now that's a DG Course.

2-4    3/15/2016   3/17/2016
Review By: stratedge
Played: 38  Reviewed: 16  Exp: 4.2 Years
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Absolutely beautiful course with some very picturesque holes, with challenges to match. A whole bunch of factors come together to basically make this the best course I've played to date.

The 27 holes weave in and out of a fairly dense forest and back into grassy clearings with much more spaced trees. Each set of 9 holes forms it's own loop returning to the parking lot, so that you can play any set of 9 or 18 holes you desire. The parking lot and start of the course is on the high ground of a hill that slopes down into the surrounding creeks, so there's usually an uphill/downhill factor in most holes.

The baskets are adequate older DGA baskets with no issues, well maintained, and the various tee pads are often made with large paving stones and bricks with a few newer poured concrete pads. All are nice and long though sometimes slightly narrow. The signage is good and most of the course has various indicators of how to move from a basket to the next tee. Navigation was rarely a challenge.

There's red and white tee pads for every hole, and on some of them an additional blue (hardest) tee, that generally seemed to take the tact of giving you a more occluded entry into the fairway without being much further. Then on top of that there's 2-4 pin placements per hole to keep things fresh if you come here often. There's even a bead on a set of hooks on the tee sign to let you know which placement the pin is in!

It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes this course exceptional; everything about it is great with no weaknesses, but what exactly is outstandingly unique about the course? I think there's 2 really memorable aspects for me:

First, it's pretty. Very pretty, at least the parts within the grassy clearings with some trees with lots of character and rolling hills surrounded by the forest. There were a few tees where I just stopped to enjoy the beauty of the hole for a second before throwing. There was one completing a loop, I think it was hole 18, that made me regret not bringing my camera because I could have made a great desktop background out of that view.

Second, there's some really good course design here largely due to just how conducive the landscape is to disc golf, but credit to the designers that they didn't waste it. Some of the holes are really interesting in how they play the ceiling created by the trees against the rolling landscape of the hills. Traditionally when we talk about hitting a gap in disc golf, it's implied that the gap is horizontal in nature, between the trees on the left and the trees on the right. Here, on numerous holes, the gaps are vertical, and you've got to hit a spot between the ceiling created by the tree branches and the floor created by the rising or falling slope of turf.

One hole stands out for me where you have to play downhill and then uphill again, but in the apex of the gully the tree cover will knock down your discs as you try to squeeze out max distance. There's a risk reward decision there and on many holes, challenging how high do you dare throw in the name of distance.
Cons: You can always nit-pick, but the complaints here are really small.

The strongest complaint I can come up with is that there's an over abundance of holes requiring left-to-right shots relative to the right-to-left shots, meaning that a really good RHFH or LHBH game would have a significant advantage here, I think. I have a heavy preference for RHBH but found myself trying to throw a lot of long distance forehand here because the hold demanded it.

Besides that, while the holes that played through the scenic grassy clearings near the parking lot were amazing, some of the holes playing through the forest were a little too "plinko" for my tastes, with the fairway not being fair. I'm pretty confident hyzer flipping up tunnel shots, but there were a few here where all you can do is throw it up the gap and hope you get fairly far before you inevitably hit a tree, and don't kick too deep. One hole I recall, the biggest gap was 3 to 4 feet (it would have been okay from the tee pad immediately in front of it, but didn't play very well from the harder tee). To put this into perspective, though, it's a 27 hole course and this is maybe 5 holes we're talking about where I'd complain some trees needed to go. Generally, there's a well defined fairway to hit even through the wooded holes. This problem is sparse.

The tee pads were a bit narrow. The grass was thin and since it rained the day before it was a bit muddy. Stuff like that. You really have to reach to try to criticize this course.
Other Thoughts: It's a challenging course and I like that. I didn't play great in my 2 rounds here but that's what you'd want if you're lucky enough to get to play this course a lot. It would take time to learn the best shots for all the holes and put up some good scores.

What I'd give to have this as a home course... I could play thousands of rounds here with the multiple pin placements and never get bored.

It's great golf all around, and lots of variety. I am really glad I made the trip out. The drive through the state park to the course sets up some high expectations, and you're not disappointed in the slightest when you get there.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

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