Watchout on the back 9
Pros: Nice front 9 with plenty of elevation changes and open enough to have some fun on the drives, but dynamic enough to stay alert. Hole ten is a nice uphill tunnel shot, but don't get off the fairway or you could be in for a frustrating bogey.
Cons: On hot summer days the front nine are oppressive. In the fall many times the fields that you play around and sometimes through are used by local sports teams. Holes 11 and 12 have virtually no fairway. Try to imagine someone planting trees in a checkerboard pattern 6 feet apart, and then think of what that would look like on a steep hill covered in boulders 25 years later and you get an idea. While attempting to drive on these holes you must also balance on jagged rocks. Hole 14 is impossible to find and is getting grown over, oak branches hang eye height in the middle of the fairway. 15 used to be a good hole, but again this is getting grown over by scrub oak. 16 had an oak tree fall on the tee. Someone cut the tree off the tee, but large branches still dramatically reduce the ability to drive. The paths from the tee to basket on 17 and 18 are getting reclaimed by nature, so I think most people are getting frustrated by that point and don't bother finishing the course.
Other Thoughts: I live 20 minutes from this course and always want it to be better than I remembered it, but it never is. The coarse is passable and worth playing only if you happen to be in the area with nothing to do.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Fast
Pros: All pros have been noted by others no need for me to repeat. I did have the oppotunity for some nasty drives for birdies on the front.
Cons: I played on a drizzly Sunday in late summer. I will not go back while school is in session. There were only four people on this huge properety while I was there and I still had to wait to throw until they cleared their dogs out of my way.
Other Thoughts: I am over an hour a way from here but I occasionally work in the area. I will bring my discs each time I'm called to work up there because this course is perfect for the "secret commuter round"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Not Much Fun
Pros: -Free to play with plenty of parking
-Grounds on front 9 are very well kept (a result of the front 9 being mowed, manicured as part of the foreground for the college)
-Baskets are all in great shape
-Front 9 has some places for wide open, long throws for the big arms, and back 9 forces you to play position and accuracy as you traverse a very wooded course
-Course map/scorecard available in Athletic Center or online (a necessity if it's your first time here, very easy to follow but navigation might be impossible without it)
Cons: -Not enjoyable: On the front 9 you throw around fences, ball fields, sheds, tennis courts, roads, pathways, parking lots (which all pavement is OB), and the back 9 isn't well kept with lots of trash.
-No tee signage
-Tees are natural (12 and 15 have very short tee boxes, 12 is nasty footing with sharp rocks, 2 tee boxes on the front are pavement walkways)
-Long walks between a lot of the holes (I don't mind hiking or steep grade changes as part of the course, which there are plenty of here, but I can't get into these long treks when I'm not even on a hole)
-Can't play some holes if ball games are going on (holes 7 and 8 are lost if there is a softball game)
-Roads and people (I like to play disc golf, not think about waiting for passing cars, avoiding parked cars or keeping the discs away from pedestrians)
Other Thoughts: This course may appeal to people as it isn't a terrible course strictly based on tee to hole, basket placements, etc. I would recommend that everyone play it and see for themselves, as I think some people may really like it.
Update: I've had a chance to play this course a few more times since my review, and the course has grown on me considerably. I have increased my rating from 2.0 to 3.0 as I am placing more emphasis on the actual course (tee to pin) and less emphasis on the site, surroundings and upkeep of the course (back 9).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun But Needs Improvement
Pros: First bunch of holes were nice. Mowed grass, relatively easy to follow, baskets are in good shape. Nice placement of baskets protected by trees. Arrows are a big help along with hole number markings on the baskets. Located in a easy to find CC.
Cons: First 9 or so located in a very congested area (quiet during the summer as we found out but its easy to see how it would be tough). Tee off areas are in poor shape (mostly dirt, use of pedestrian walkways is ok). Can be confusing finding the next basket/tee area. Throwing around fences and concrete stairs is not fun. Not a fan of the back nine. These holes just did not sit well with me. Brush clearing and placement of trees should have been considered instead of just throwing baskets up randomly it seemed like. This course seem to take forever to play, I was never really into it.
Other Thoughts: Improving the tee boxes, signage and maybe leaving it at 9 holes would be considered an improvement.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First and foremost the scenery is amazing, especially for a community college campus. The navigation is very easy (except for holes 5-8) and the aid of next tee signs makes it very pleasurable to play. There is a huge change of elevation from the front nine (mostly flat and open) to the back nine (wooded and hilly). This adds to the luster of such a small course. The course map is spot on and very easy to follow. You could easily play with just three discs. The course doesn't force you to use your whole bag but makes you think about how you are going to utilize the discs you have.
Cons: Several of the tees and fairways are parallel to the street and/or parking lots. The parking lots and roads were super busy when I went so I had to be super careful. Holes four through eight are way too congested. It's difficult to know which basket you are throwing to. So make sure to walk the fairway before you throw. There are no tee signs or distance markers. When you get to the back nine most holes are on the side of a hill which can make for some treacherous footing. The fairways are clogged with leaves which add to the slippery footing and makes finding discs harder.
Other Thoughts: The tees are marked by painted stones in the ground or spray painted on the pavement. To get to hole 10's tee cross the old tennis court (now a parking lot) go onto the dirt path in the woods. On the right hand side will be the tee box. Make sure to bring the course map as you will need it.
I played with lots of leaves on the ground which made for, as my title states, Treacherous footing. So be careful if playing in late autumn or early winter.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
A Good Weekend Play
Pros: Good Variety of holes. It was getting a little frustrating with all the open holes across fields, but the back nine was a complete change. There are plenty of challenging holes, and plenty of birdie opportunities as well.
Cons: Signage is terrible. I spent as much time looking for holes, and tees as I did playing. I'm sure this will change with more play, but still, it's very frustrating. Also, there were students all around, as this course is right through the heart of campus. A lot of waiting is required for pedestrians, but again, I'm sure this would be solved if I played at a different time.
Other Thoughts: With new tee-pads, and signs, this could be a great course. For new it's an adequate course for locals to enjoy. Good job for a limited amount of work put in.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice campus course
Pros: This is a course that plays through and around some athletic fields in the front portion of Holyoke Community College and then around the woods going around the campus in the back 9. The terrain is somewhat hilly, with good use of elevation in the course design. In the front portion the grounds are very well kept, the grass mowed, etc..
I loved some of the tight shots and risk/reward opportunities on this course. Hole #1 starts off from behind the rec center and you have to get it just in behind the running track's high fence and the hill behind it. You'll find big uphill hyzer and anhyzer throws, roller opportunities, and both long and short holes (fun for big arms too).
And once you think you're getting tired of being in the open, you head into the back part, with tight wooded tunnel shots galore.
This is a great little course, and the vibe was very good when I was there in mid-June, and we only encountered a few other groups of players after playing many rounds.
Cons: A little bit hard to find and navigate at first. Get a map in the rec center or print the map you can find online. Be sure to turn right upon entering the campus, then take the first left into the parking lot and the 1st tee is literally several feet from the rear exit of the rec center.
Some buddies were bothered by poison oak and such in the back 9 (I'm immune to it, so I don't know).
Other Thoughts: Each time we played we had a few 6 packs and kept it low key...we were never bothered by anybody, and even the folks walking their dogs around were very friendly.
There must be an air force base nearby, because we had fighter jets screaming overhead all the time, doing crazy maneuvers, showing off, etc.. Just make sure they aren't coming up while you're putting, it is sure to distract you!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth checking out
Pros: Great variety and use of elevation. Several elevated tees and challenging sloped greens. Arrows at each basket pointing the way to the next tee. Only one other group out on a sunday afternoon. Free to play.
Cons: Hard to navigate. The last few holes have long walks between them. Front nine play around track and ball fields, so several holes would be unplayable during games or practice. Natural and sidewalk tees with no signage. Windy in the afternoon.
Other Thoughts: This course was surprisingly challenging. The woods are thick and rugged and there are a couple of long holes. Park as close to the gym as possible. I parked in the visitor lot up on the hill and the 1st tee was like a half-mile away.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Play the Wind !
Pros: Great mix of open and wooded holes. The front nine are NO indication of what's in store for you out on the back 9.
Cons: Holes that crossover ballfiled and almost each other will be a problem. The wind seems to come and go whenever you DON"t want it to.
Other Thoughts: Play on the weekend, you should be clear of ballplayers at least. Bring your hiking legs, the back 9 are not for flatlanders.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Free disc golf
Pros: FREE! most holes(all but 4) are groomed by campus personel and are in great shape (most of the time),nice use of campus terrian-elevations, small O.O.B. pavement "rivers" and "ponds" to shoot over and around, mixed very open and very wooded holes, no water hazards to lose a disc in, nice mix of distance and finese shots, free map/scorecard is available in the gym (you have to walk around the building from the first tee but the second floor rear exit will put you right there after you stop at the info desk), couple tourneys a year too!
Cons: few muddy tee boxes(all natural), crossing the softball field can be a problem...( but a schedule of practices and games is avaiable on the HCC website), same can be said of the parking lots and roads on weekdays when school is in, navigation for a first timer-(esp. without a map!) can be tricky, the back nine are a bit of walk from where the front stops, on windy days a score over 100 is possible- the winds just tear across the open fields and even small gusts can lift a disc up, up, and away!, the few wooded holes- 11, 12, and 15 could usually use a good clearing in summer and fall Update- the back nine are freshly groomed and look great, leaves are raked, fairways are just limbed and the brush is clear, Kudos to the guys!
Other Thoughts: what a great free course! Jay did a helluva job putting it together, and since the back 9 cages went in- just super. the placement of the cages on the front nine makes for much harder shots than they appear- the few things that are in the way always seem to be in the way and the sloped greens are deadly. I think that 15 needs a mando to keep it a dog leg to the left- its easy to cheat over the road and float into the green...Update- spoke to Jay (course designer) today and he likes the "cheat" over the road as a risk/reward shot!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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