Pinnacle is just that
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Pinnacle has the benefit of beautiful New Hampshire forest, mixed with solid course design and creative basket placement.
-Incredible downhill fairways, especially hole 14, 15 and 18. Just incredible use of elevation.
-Course has very simple, but effective signs and trail markings to lead the way.
-Just the right amount of challenge without becoming frustrating.
Cons: -Tee boxes need attention. They are constructed out of wood borders with stone dust or dirt inside. They are worn to the point of being rutty, and hole 16's box was literally impossible to tee off on today. It was wet and if I tried to use any sort of x-step or run up shot, id have fallen for sure, I had to stand next to it to throw....
-Old baskets tend to spit out discs that were seemingly scored...
-A few uninspired holes amongst many "signature" holes
Other Thoughts: Pinnacle is one of my favorite courses. The design and layout, and more tan anything, its use of elevation, are stunning. What is missing is updating and maintenance. Regardless, I HIGHLY recommend this course. You dont want to miss it.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I think New Hampshire, I think mountains, so I was glad to see some big elevation here. It's not exactly mountainous, but it is set in the big hills in the woods behind a middle school that has a ton of outdoor sports (football fields, tennis courts, hockey rink, track, a ropes course, etc). Only the first hole is in the open.
Design is really solid. There is a nice mix of tough par 4s and birdie-able shorter holes. As I said, elevation is used and used well.
Hole 2 is a 375-foot uphill hole with a drive along the path and then an even steeper approach over the hump of the hill through a gauntlet of trees. I liked this approach.
Hole 18 is a fun short downhill hole through a reasonable gap with the basket on a slope. Feels like an ace run with a lot that could go wrong.
There are technically three sets of tees, but only the long ones have any kind of tee pad. The others are just stakes.
Cons: The tee pads are all natural or gravel. They weren't in bad shape, but I'd like to see rubber. Put those in and this is a four-star course.
Tee signs are adequate, and I usually had a pretty good sense of what the fairway was shaped like, but they're not great.
I'm sure there are good reasons, but I really wish the ski jump area (seriously, there is a ski jump tower next to one of the fairways) could have been used for a great hole.
One of the holes late in the course has a short drive around a corner before a maybe 100-foot uphill approach. I don't love the design of this one. I don't see any way to get a 2, but getting anything worse than a 3 would take a serious screw up.
Other Thoughts: Really enjoyable course in a nice part of the state where the White Mountains fade into the Green Mountains. There are worse places to spend a summer afternoon.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
My Heart Rate Has Yet To Return To Normal!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pinnacle plays on the mountainside behind Newport Middle & High Schools. This mountain also has Nordic Ski trails, some kind of a challenge course and a large wooden ski jump practice facility. There is a kiosk at ground level (the start) with course map, disc golf rules, advertisement for Mount Sunapee Resort Disc Golf, etc. The signs are homemade. There are two sets of natural pads, plus The Box, which I didn't exactly get? The Blues are longer than the Reds but sometimes the Box is longer yet. Sometimes they're the same. The baskets are older models of a brand unknown but they do have the large, yellow number on top.
I appreciated the helpful next tee arrows that are placed around the course. I also greatly appreciated the many benches. I rested on each one of them.
This course is truly a challenge, both physically demanding as it is and mentally. The extreme technical nature of the course combined with the constant up and down elevation changes makes for some dramatics moments as you'll see almost great shots carom off a tree and rocket well off the fairway.
I feel that # 17 is the signature hole on this course, if only for it's Epic danger factor. It's a 374' downhill throw with kind of a "S" curve action needed. The fairway narrows closer to the basket. There is a deep rough on the right that is OB. The basket sits on a narrow ridge, maybe 50' wide. On the left of the basket is a 30' deep tree filled ravine. And just six feet behind the basket the deep ravine continues.
# 18 is so much fun, too. It's just 225' almost straight down to a visible basket. The route is there if you can just put the right amount of touch on your tee off and hit your line.
Cons: # 16 requires to walk up quite a few steps in order to get to the tee pad. And the hole is? A very steep 214'. I can't throw when I'm turning blue!
The natural tee pads are not the best answer. They are rutted in places, usually when you want the best footing.
The signs are not the most informative.
The baskets are old but catch well enough.
Other Thoughts: I played Pinnacle first thing this morning, then three easier courses ( Tilton Park, Singing Hills & Foster's Meadows), then finished my day with another James Beaulieu designed course, Storrs Pond Recreation Area. I have now decided that I truly hate Mr. James Beaulieu. He is obviously a sadistic human being. Doesn't New Hampshire have any nice flat land to build a disc golf course on?
I have also completed what I consider the tri-fecta of mountainous type courses around here and close by in Vermont. This is how I would rank them, for my personal enjoyment.
1. Storrs Pond. So many incredible holes.
2. Otter Brook. Front 9 is delicious and it doesn't physically maim you like Storrs and Pinnacle.
3. Pinnacle. Has it's great moments.
4. Base Camp Outfitters. It's best holes don't compare to the top three on this list.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Peak of Perfection
Pros: Pinnacle is unlike most any other disc golf course I have played, because it shares land with the only ski jump practice facility I have seen in person. That should be evidence of the radical elevation changes encountered here. It is a course next to the local high school, that is built and maintained by the students in some resource management classes. They are doing a great job if you ask me. There are lots of ups and downs, and lots of trees as well. It is a workout treading up and down these slopes, worse if you get bad rolls or lose a disc. Hole 2 is a long one, and with a sharp left and steeply up hill at the end. My drive missed on hole 3 to the left, and trust me, you don't want to do that. It is down hill fairly steep and wooded, and slick with pine needles. Very hard to recover. There are three par 4 holes, and this is a tough 57. 14 was a really good hole, long and downhill and turning right. Most of the middle section here are short to medium distance, weaving between trees, up and down the slopes. Making up what it lacks in distance, with elevation and vegetation. I shot a 66, and only managed one birdie on the single round I played. Ironically that came as I hastily chucked discs, rushing through the last four holes to escape a cloudburst. I liked the winding layout that was constantly changing direction, but not difficult to follow. No one else was playing when I was there, and it was overcast but pretty nice out when I arrived.
Cons: The signs and the tees could be improved, but the spirit of the course shines through the minor blemishes. If they leveled the boxes and installed good tees, and furnished nice signage, it would be nice. I played at the end of the summer, and the last 5 holes had some seriously overgrown fairways. Lost a Roadrunner on 14, but was called the next day and it was returned. Big ups to Rudy for the assist.
Other Thoughts: Pinnacle is pretty great by my standards. It thought hard about only giving it a 3.5. Despite the rough tee amenities there are some really fun holes, and some really tough holes. No yawners. Par 54 keeps you on your toes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
You better be accurate
Pros: This is a pretty challenging course for me right now and I need to appreciate that. I have been working on my distance in drives and have played a few more open fairway courses. This was a humbling experience to be back at Pinnacle where accuracy is KEY. The course is clean and well maintained. All the bugs are gone by now (Sept) so it was an extremely pleasant day on the course. If you are up for a wooded challenge, this is the course for you.
Oh.. and it is free... always a plus.
Cons: The trees are brutal. You can through a great drive and it sails down the fairway... but careens off a tree and lands a bit off the fairway. Typically no big deal but at Pinnacle that can add 2 strokes as you fight through the dense trees to find the fairway and basket again. I can totally see this as a pro for the course but on this day... It was very frustrating playing pinball through the maze of trees. My fault for throwing off the fairway...
The Tee pads are a bit eroded and could use a raking.
Other Thoughts: This is a course with a fair amount of variety but the overall theme here is narrow fairways and heavily wooded. I think next time I will put away my distance drivers and focus more on my fairways and mids to keep me on the fairways.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
A fantastic course
Pros: +The best heavily wooded course I have played
+No two holes are the same
+Challenging, different tees
Cons: -Some tees are too close to holes
-Can become quite overgrown in the summer
-Tees aren't ideal for some run-ups (crushed rocks)
Other Thoughts: I love this course. If my high school had a course like this I would've started playing years ago! Unfortunately finding discs can be quite hard once greenery starts growing all over the place therefore this course is best played in the spring and fall in my opinion. This punishing course is well worth the visit.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Free Course in NH
Pros: The Pinnacle Disc Golf course is located behind the Newport, NH Middle High School in the woods. The course is free to play, which is often not the case in New England. The design of this course is wonderful, weaving up and down a wooded hill. There are many memorable shots here. There is plenty of variation between left, right, straight, uphill, flat, and downhill shots. The first hole starts out in the open but then the rest of the course is in tight woods. There are benches on many holes. The course is quite clean despite the lack of trashcans throughout. Challenge here comes from thick woods, varied elevation, some OB, and creative basket placement. Hole distances run between 208 and 511 feet on the long holes and shorter tees will make life easier on beginners. The scenery is beautiful, the area has a lovely smell of pine and the shade keeps things cooler in the summer months. There's also a huge ski jump here which is a sight to behold. I was here on a beautiful summer day and it seemed I had the whole course to myself, so crowds are not an issue. There are many mountain biking trails, and a ropes course here too.
Cons: The tees are functional but could be better. They are made of gravel, but small and often ripped up by an aggressive pair of cleats. Baskets aren't in great condition, but they still catch ok. Hole signs are hand drawn and not very informative and questionably accurate. There are navigation signs, but they are easy to miss. We never got lost, but navigation could have been easier. There are tons of bugs here, you'll want to take a bath in Off! before you arrive. There's plenty of parking, though I imagine it could be an issue during the school day. No restrooms unless you can get into the school.
Other Thoughts: The design aspect of the course is where the course really shines. Lots of great holes with a steady flow, beautiful scenery, and adequate challenge. However, a lot of the basics of a disc golf course do leave a little to be desired. With mediocre baskets, tee pads and signage, this 4 star course gets knocked down to a 3.5. Still worth a visit and plays great, but there are better courses out there.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Wooded golf at its finest
Pros: Beautiful, well-kept forest setting.
Excellent hole variety made up of long, challenging par 3's with a few par 4's and ace runs mixed in. Good balance of left/right tee shots with defined fairways and gaps that are tight but fair. The rough is generally open when you miss your line but it will cost you a recovery shot. Elevation changes are well-used and often dramatic. Pin placements add difficulty with many guardians, side-slopes, and death putts so no hole is a gimme. Many memorable holes and features.
Cons: I played very early in the season when some missing signage made the early holes difficult to navigate first time through. Baskets are antiquated but adequate.
Other Thoughts: An active network of maple taps and a 30meter ski jump tower (moved from Lake Placid in 1976) make for some unique scenery during your round. A well-designed course that rewards good, conservative play and punishes errant shots. I also enjoyed the designer's (James Beaulieu) work at nearby Mount Sunapee and look forward to playing his next effort at Storrs Pond (Hanover/Lebanon) on completion. For me this course is an excellent example of what wooded golf should be.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Very challenging holes, varied, and flows well. Nice environment, and not too busy. Decent tee pads and putting surfaces for a volunteer maintained public course.
Cons: Really a very nice course! Most tee pads were a bit eroded.
Other Thoughts: Not too far from mount sunapee. I enjoyed playing both in one day.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun but not a 4
Pros: - High overall level of difficulty, with a few ace runs and amateur tees to offset it as needed
- Relatively clean and well maintained for a free course
- Excellent use of elevation
- Some unique shots required (hole 2 and 18 in particular)
Cons: - A lot of unremarkable, repetitive holes
- Fairways were rather overgrown
- Signs were not particularly helpful
- Some tees were way too close to the previous pin.
Other Thoughts: My discing buddy and I had been meaning to make the trek up to Pinnacle for a while, trusting that the 4/5 rating was accurate and worth the trip. While the course has many positive features and was a good time to play, I simply can't justify rating it higher than I have with the faults it has. From the very beginning there is a sense of letdown stepping up to the rutted teepad and seeing the remarkably unremarkable hole 1. Many of the holes beyond that had some interesting spots, but for the most part the majority of the holes didn't leave much of an impression. All of the teepads had some degree of degradation, with the worst ruts being found on the longer holes where a big drive is necessary. In addition to the teepads themselves being a bit treacherous, their location in regards to the previous basket was an issue in a few cases. If the course was ever busy (no idea of the usual traffic but it was empty on a beautiful Sunday morning and afternoon), there were spots where getting hit with an approach shot would be a valid concern. Navigation was generally decent though there were a few spots where the aged wooden arrows blended into the trees they were nailed to. The tee signs were very basic but showed the general location of the pins and the distance properly.
Regardless of the design and amenity flaws, there was a lot of good at Pinnacle as well. The high degree of difficulty keeps the course interesting, and there are alternate tees on most holes to allow newer players a less frustrating experience. Based on the cleanliness of the course and the many signs requesting that players pick up after themselves, it's clear that there's at least a couple people that care for the course. There were a few bottles and cans here and there, but overall Pinnacle was quite tidy for a free course. The fairways however, were not tidy. While it must be said that it would take a veritable army of volunteers to maintain the wooded fairways, that fact doesn't stop the overgrowth from being a detractor to the course. There were several instances where one of us had to spend a lot of time looking for a disc that turned out to be hidden in the fairway. There were several very muddy spots that played host to thousands of mosquitos. Some effort had been put into irrigation and creating dry paths, but work is still needed.
The elevation in play is used to maximum effect on most holes. There are about an equal number of flat, uphill, and downhill shots, and the downhill shots, particularly hole 18, were a lot of fun. Most of the uphill shots were tight corners with tiny lanes, which made them a little awkward. Some holes felt forced, and given that there was a fairly long walk from 18's pin back to the parking lot, they didn't have to be. Overall, the par of 57 was tough but fair. I could see where some would feel #14 should have been a par 4, however there were shorter holes that were tougher, and if they were 3s, 14 should be as well.
Pinnacle is definitely a course worth playing, and if I lived within 30 minutes or so I'd likely play it once or twice a week. That being said, it's not a 4 and there are many courses in NH and ME that are rated lower that provide a much better disc golf experience. Worth the trip but not good enough to lure me back.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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