9 Helpful / 0 Not
Seneca Creek State Park - A real challenge
Pros: This course has 27 holes of excellent disc golf. Each hole has a Am pad and a pro pad to tee off from, and 3/4 different basket placements on each hole. Depending on where the basket is placed depends on where the bead is on the hooks that are located on the map. Each hook has a letter next to it, and the beed will be placed next to the letter that states where the basket is located.
The layout is awesome if you're trying to get a quick 9 in, being in and out in under and hour, every 9 leads back to the parking lot (your starting point) therefore allowing one to chose how long they want to be there.
When I played the first time, as I do a lot of the time at new courses, I waited for some locals to show up... This is a very busy course, and around the last rounds of the evening (anywhere from 3:30-6:00 depending on time of year) are usually very busy and should not be hard to partner up with a local. I happened to get what seems to be the 'core group' of the DG course. A few people who had influence on design, some who helped maintain the course on a regular basis and just those who played there a lot. Really nice getting a personal tour your first round out by those who know it the best.
This course by all means is almost perfect, with a few additions and modifications this course will be one of the best on the east coast.
Cons: There are not too many cons about this course, however, theres usually a few you can find.
No drinks! No water, no vending, nothing! Actually, the closest store is about 2 miles away (the shell is a good place to stop on your way in from highway 270 to stock up on whatever you need.
Some of the tee pads are great! Some of them need some work. Not that they are run down, but when it rains, some of the concrete patio slabs they put down just build water and make for a very slippery surface. However, if your wearing the right shoes/boots this should not be that much of a problem.
Other Thoughts: The course is awesome, a must play if in the DC area or baltimore area. Please respect the course and take out what you brought in, or at least make sure that it finds its way to a trash can around the starting area.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a large disc golf exclusive area with no outside interference. Some holes play through tight tunnels in the woods by the creek and the rest play in grassy areas dotted with trees and occasional rough. Even the more open feeling holes have enough obstacles to make you shape lines and think about landing zones, especially around the cedars. There is a decent mix of hole lengths, there aren't many real bombs but you will get to throw some drives. You will need a full complement of shots to score well here with all kinds of fairway shapes.
The course is designed in three loops of 9, always a bonus with multiple starting points and the option to play just 9 or 18. The park is nicely maintained with cleared wooded fairways and nicely mowed grass. The signage is nice with all tees and pin positions shown, and there are markers for the current placement. There are poles in many spots for getting discs out of the cedars, nice touch for sure.
Cons: The layout here is solid, but none of the holes really stood out as signature holes to make the course truly memorable. There weren't any filler holes, but at times some of the holes did get a little repetitive. It's a shame they couldn't use some of the bigger hills in the park to add a little wow factor.
There are some spots where navigation is a little tough. Some of the longer walks aren't at all obvious and we ended up at the wrong tee a few times. Many of the pin placement indicators were missing or wrong which made the blind shots a little frustrating. Many of the tees are a little narrow, and the bricks were a little wonky at times making for occasional footing issues.
Other Thoughts: From the long tees to the longer pin place,nets this course offers some really nice challenges. You'll need to shape all kinds of lines and play some tricky low shots to avoid the cedars and rough. Newer players will find the course pretty approachable from the shorter tees, though there are some pretty tight shots that could frustrate a beginner. This course will definitely push you to be a better player, I recommend a stop if you're in the area.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
A war of attrition
Pros: This course is obviously well taken care of. There is very little litter, fairways in the woods are clear, and the grass is mowed.
The 27-hole layout plays as nine mini loops. This gives you the option to play any nine, 18, or 27 hole combinations. It also allows you to chart your own course through the course. On many occasions, we play the three loops out of order to avoid playing behind large groups. It's also nice to circle back to the parking lot after each nine to restock on water, etc.
Each hole has at least two tees. The long tees present a nice challenge to the big arms while the short tees give a little more friendly look for the less experience player.
At any given time, there is only one pin location for each hole, however there are three potential spots for each. The baskets seem to be moved fairly regularly, so each time playing can present a slightly different course. This helps keep things interesting for the regular player.
Full color signs at each tee give length and layout for all tee-to-pin combinations. Also, next tee signs help point the way and make navigation on the course very easy.
Cons: There are no real short holes mixed in among the 27. Even from the short tees, there are no real putter shots off the tee. In fact, the only time I ever even reach for a mid on the tee is on holes that I know are foolish to try to reach the green on. With 27 straight driver holes, the course begins to feel very repetitive and frustrating.
Trees on the fairway are a common theme here and appears in many flavors. Many of the wooded holes are dotted with trees throughout the preferred throwing line. These trees will spray tee shots in all directions and tend to value luck over skill. On the more open holes solitary trees have a habit of wrecking otherwise good drives. Most of these trees are not large enough to constitute a fair line shaping obstacle. Instead they provide an opportunity to take an unlucky glancing kick into thick brush.
This combination of unforgiving trees and length creates a lot of "tweener" holes. Threes, fours and fives dominate the scorecard here. In fact, the numbers really do tell that story here. In 2208 holes recorded here on DGCR as of 7/9/12, only 81 birdies have been recorded compared to 975 pars, 814 bogeys, 268 doubles and 70 triple or more. That's only 3.6% birdies.
Other Thoughts: This is still one of my favorite DC area courses. I make sure to play here whenever I'm in the area. However, as I play it more, it begins to get boring. The fact that it plays more as a war of attrition trying stave off bogeys makes it frustrating.
Clearing a few nuisance trees and shortening a few holes can bring in some of the excitement that comes with a good birdie opportunity, making the course more fun and interesting.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Excellent course with tons of narrow fairways and obstacles providing plenty of risk/reward shots. The tee pads are some of the best I have played on. The course is also settled in a valley so wind has never been a factor on any of the times I have played here. Tons of vegetation but not overpowering to the point where I have ever lost any discs here. Did I mention there were tons of trees? I dig the narrow fairways, it makes you take a little off your throws and become more accurate. The distance on the holes was good too, not too short, not too long, just right for a good time.
Cons: I honesty can't think of any at the moment. The course is very easy to navigate without a map if you are a first timer, there are well walked paths to follow so you wont get confused.
Other Thoughts: I'd say this is the best course in central Maryland. It is everything a disc golf course should be. Get out and enjoy it
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: it was a beautiful course. i loved the way it was laid out. i also enjoy the fact that it is a 27 hole course.
Cons: i can't really think of any cons but this wants me to type more so i am
Other Thoughts: it was middle of winter. it was very cold and about a foot of snow on the ground
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Play It Over and Over Again
Pros: 27 Holes. Multiple pin placements. Multiple tees (3-4 depending on the hole - includes special novice tees which can be used for a fun ace run). Great variety - open holes, wooded holes, aces possible but not easy. Pin locations rotated frequently so each trip is slightly different. Park is beautiful; course is isolated in its own area. Good local following. Course well-maintained - despite no trash cans, I never see any trash on the course. Three 9-hole loops so you can mix and match as time permits. New tee signs are very nice. Two practice baskets. There are discs available at the Ranger station and at the boat house in the summer. Course plays very differently in the different seasons - come back frequently.
Cons: Not all the new tee signs were there and they are inconsistently placed - some at red tees and some at white. Can get very crowded especially on weekends. I was told by one of the tournament directors that spectators were not welcome which seems bizarre to me. Hole 16 from the red tee seems to have no decent line - I guess you can thumb it or roll it or go very wide right (if you are RHFH) but there seems to be a bit too much chance involved.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course which I have been playing since it opened (so I may be a bit biased). I'm one of those who loved the old 18-hole layout and it took a while for me to warm to the new 27-hole course. They are currently installing the blue tees to complement the red and white tees.
- you will notice red bands around trees with small white arrows on them. These are not mandos - these are pointing to the location of the novice tees. It confused me at first.
- the stretch of road on Clopper (Rte 117) between the 270 exit and the park entrance is a favorite spot for a Montgomery County speed trap - drive appropriately.
- old holes 3, 9 and 14 are sorely missed. Each of them could have been the signature hole - none of the current holes (except perhaps #10) have the majesty of these old ones.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent course condition for January. The weather has been pretty gusty around these parts so I was impressed that the fairways were all clean of debris. This is a beautiful wooded course even in the winter.
Excellent tee box locations. The concrete tee boxes while covered with about an inch of snow were not too difficult to get footing.
Tee box markers: Wow! Really nice tee box markers. Multiple layout of baskets, etc..Just very nicely done. Sign attached to a set of poles.
I think the layout is challenging yet forgiving. The shot can be difficult but if you can make a good throw you are rewarded for your efforts. Less is more on this course.
Lots of trees!
The course is located in an area designated for disc golf. So no real hikers or recreationists impeding play.Our goup realy took our time and we finished in under 2 1/2 hours.
Practice baskets to warm up on are located next to parking lot.
No fee to enter park this time of year. Park opens at 10am. We got there at 9:35am and the gate was locked.
Cons: The snow on the ground made it cumbersome at times to get around the course.
The out of bounds markers are usually very obvious however the poor weather has covered the OB strings with debris. You just need to really watch out for this along the water holes in the front 9.
Hole #7 does not have a tee box marker. After completing hole #6 follow the "yellow" sign for Hole #7 (attached to the tree located behind #6 basket) up the slight grade and you will see the tee box to use for #7. Not a big deal, we walked around for maybe 5-7 minutes before we realized where we needed to be from previous visits to course.
Some of the baskets looked to be a bit beat up.
Other Thoughts: This is a "pack it in,pack it out" course so there are no trash cans on the course itself. There is a trash can at the bulletin board.
An up to date course map was available at the bulletin board. If I am not mistaken the course had a little different of a layout than the last time I played in 2010. The map really was helpful to locate Hole #7 (see above).
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Easily one of the most beautiful courses out there.
Short, long, open and tunnel holes.
Good pro shop.
27 holes that will keep you busy for a long time.
Other Thoughts: I love this place and wish I still lived in the area to play it more.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is located in a very large, and very nice state park that offers tons of ameneties and non DG related activities. Bathroom at the parking lot.
-Seneca Creek is extremely well taken care of. Each fairway was clear and there were no branches or debris on the course. Zero litter. The local club puts a lot of work into the course and it shows.
-Most holes have three different pin placements and the pins make the holes radically different. Some adding more than 100 feet to the hole.
-27 Holes. At least two tees and 3 pins per hole makes for an infinite variety of play.
-Good Fairways. Each hole had distinct fairways and clear routes to the hole.
-Great elevation. Even though this is not the hilliest area in the country there are plenty of elevation changes on this course without any brutal up hill shots.
-Nice variety of open(ish) and wooded holes.
-Benches at almost every hole. This is very nice when you are playing long tees to B or C pins or trying to get in all 27.
-Aesthetically pleasing. Seneca is a very beautiful course. Very green, with a nice creek and good looking cedar trees and mature hardwoods all around. Not much in the way of thorns, prickers, or whatever you call them in your area.
-All three nines loop back to the parking lot so you can mix and match your nines and always have a short walk to the car.
Cons: This course heavily favors lefties and RHFH. Playing short tees to short pins I threw 16 RHFH shots from the tee.
-Lack of garbage cans. There did not seem to be any even in the parking lot area.
-No water near the course. There is some in other areas of the park but not at the DG course.
-Tees. You can tell alot of work went into the tees but a solid slab of concrete would be a litte safer that narrow brick tees.
Other Thoughts: This course is not very far away from Washington DC and is just off of interestate I270 making it very convenient to get to. The locals are awesome and the course offers so much variety that I would love to play it another twenty times.
The course itself not that strenuous of a walk but there is no water at the course so be prepared, bring water and bug spray.
This is a great course through the cedars.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Tightest drives we've ever played
Pros: My family qualifies as long-term novices. We've played only 3 DC courses thus far, and this is my favorite.
Great concept to have 27 well-designed holes in 3 separate loops. If you don't have the time or energy for all 27 you can pick your starting point and work from there. My son and I started on 10, and played a combination of white and red tees, covering all 3 loops.
Good challenge with a huge emphasis on accuracy. It would help a lot to have more shot selection than we can produce - including a reliable roller, a backhand drive with a flat low trajectory, and a strong tomahawk recovery shot. Many of the holes, from both long and short tee, have trunks and branches tight against the tee boxes which can disrupt your drive. We noticed this especially on #6, #11, #15, #20, #21.
Holes in the grassy areas provide inviting landing areas, but you can't just let the drive or approach drop anywhere. Depending upon basket placement, you can be directed back into the woods, and a potentially blocked putt. That was the case on #8, #9, #14, #19, #23.
The flags above the baskets are a huge help, especially with so many basket placements to consider.
The entire stretch from #12-14.
12 drops sharply off the tee, inviting a longer drive. The fairway curls back uphill to the right.
Trees at 13 pinch the aim of your drive left, but a creek and OB line the entire left side of the fairway. Great natural setting, demanding accuracy with each shot. My choice for toughest hole on the course.
From the long tee at 14 you need to clear a horseshoe bend in the creek. Not especially hard to do, but it's a great view. As close as this course comes to a signature shot.
I liked how the trees frame the fairway for the drive, and the very sharp dogleg right design, with a gradual downhill slope to the basket.
Another gradual downhill that invites a longer drive. The angle of attack consistently tightens as you approach the basket, back into the woods.
Cons: The following observations definitely won't be cons for everyone.
Even though it's relatively short, the course isn't beginner friendly. On most holes, one wayward shot invites another three or four pinballs through the trees.
Most tee boxes are narrow, and made of rough cement blocks. It's a bit tougher to get the best footing for a run-up. More important, when the trees are tight against the tees, a narrow tee box makes the shot selection and angle even more limiting/exacting for the drive.
Baskets are a bit worn, and a few of them seemed to sit especially low to the ground. Not a big deal: from the DG postings, I realize there's no set standard for basket height. And with all the basket placements this course offers, the situation can change from one visit to the next.
Bring bug spray for warm weather. 85 degrees when we played, and we felt we were chewing our way through swarms of gnats. Bugs seemed much less of an issue on the more wooded sections.
Fairways can get overgrown in the summer, and there's lots of blind shots that increase the opportunities for lost discs. This was most obvious on 14. We lost track of a couple throws that were as accurate as we could hope for.
First-time course navigation can be difficult. There's currently no map on the on-site bulletin board. That could be an easy future fix. I downloaded the DG course review map after the fact, and it's very helpful. It shows why we stumbled from 12 to 6, and why we veered to 13 after playing 25. The signage wasn't consistent, but otherwise OK. The longest basket-to-tee walks, from 13 through 16, were fairly obvious.
No clear sign to the first tees. My son and I started on 10 because it's the first tee we found. Tee signs typically refer to blue and red, with red as the long tee. Once on course, it's pretty clear that the white tees - often marked by plastic cups - are long, and reds are short.
Other Thoughts: Seneca Creek looks like a great park overall. Lots of space, which permits the course to stake out its own territory. My daughters took a kayak out on the lake, while my son and I golfed.
There were yellow brick frames set into most if not all fairways. They seemed to be ultra-short tee boxes. If that's correct, they were almost too easy for anybody above the level of my youngest daughter. Or maybe they're non-stop ace runs for local competitions. That of course can be a plus, but it would help if the tees get some kind of clarification/visibility.
Seems like a huge difference between summer and winter golf on this course. It may be psychological more than anything else - but between all the bugs and sweat and encroaching leaves and brush, we may have benefited from better timing. On the other hand, it was nice to see all the greenery, and it was clear enough for us to spot a few deer along the left side of the 23rd hole.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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