Top of Smuggs Notch
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Woods. Woods. Woods. Tight lines, par 4s and even some OB to bump up the challenge level. When people picture disc golf, it looks like this. Excellent contrast in comparison to Fox Run.
+More elevation than you may expect. Plenty of downhill tunnels, uphill bombs and everything in between.
+Multiple tees. Choose your challenge. Gold are pavers and the best quality but the rest seemed level and safe.
+Manicured to perfection. Just like Fox Run the pay to play aspect and the resort staff and money lead to ideal conditions. Clean.
+One of the shorter holes (14?) had an alternate pin to test a new hole design. Input taken from players in the pro shop. Cool to see an established and world famous course trying new things and changing based on what players like.
Cons: -No garbage cans. Pack it in pack it out. Not really a con for me but would be an improvement.
-Most holes have one line. Doesn’t mean you can’t forehand, backhand, turnover, hyzer, roller etc to achieve scoring, but not a lot of options as far as multiple fairways. The line you see is what you are aiming for.
-No water hazards. Nature of the land the course occupies.
Other Thoughts: As close to an ideal disc golf course as one can get. If you consider this as one property and include Fox Run, there’s few places better. Brewster will provide you with elation for hitting a line, devastation for missing one and pain when you are pitching out the the landing spot or trying a hero shot that more often than not fails. Ideal drives can result in an ace or set you up for an easy upshot on a par 4. Errant throws can sail over an OB rock wall or come to rest barely behind a tree. Your creativity on this course will not be from off the tee, but rather when you inevitably need to scramble from a bad lie. You quickly enter the woods and remain there for 3 hours. When you come out the other side on hole 18, you’ll be overjoyed or frustrated with your score, but you won’t be able to have avoided the fun that is a guarantee when playing this course.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
A wonderful walk in the woods
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played Brewster Ridge the day after the DGPT event last year so the course was in perfect condition when I played. I played from the longest tees which seem to have the best tee pads. The course was absolutely beautiful. Nice benches throughout, beautiful carved fairways through the Vermont woods. Some nice old stone walls throughout. Everything about the course was just wonderful in my experience. The holes are well thought out, challenging and really just gorgeous to play. Some great downhill holes, some really fun wooded holes, and even a few shots that get into more open areas. Not a lot of undergrowth either so you don't end up in nasty rough very often if you mess up.
Cons: You never really get any views of the mountains around you while playing this course. But you have the other course on site which provides that. There is one spot where the tee for the next hole is much too close to the previous basket, but the course runs on tee times so likely won't be an issue. Hole 18 is kind of a letdown after the rest of the course, but it is a must-birdie hole to finish which keeps it kind of exciting also. It just doesn't have the grandiose feeling that the other holes have.
Other Thoughts: Amazing place to play golf. Clubhouse on site with tons of discs, drinks, beer, snacks. Friendly people working there. Beautiful views just sitting outside the clubhouse and relaxing. Both courses on site are beautiful and offer completely different experiences.
I highly recommend camping at Smugglers Notch State Park at one of their lean-to's. They are great and it's a nice campground with showers and bathrooms.
Also, Martell's at the Red Fox is an amazing little restaurant just down the road from the course. Totally worth the stop if you are hungry. Make a right out of the parking lot and it's less than 5 minutes down the road.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Woods, sure...but it's the elevation that gets you
19 Helpful / 0 Not
+ Iconic New England wooded course with lots of elevation change. Regular stop on the pro tour and occasional site of the World Championship. You can "play the same course as the pros" - the Gold tees are there and waiting
+ Clear and very fair lines on the wooded holes, and there are some mostly open ones sprinkled in
+ Hole by hole, Brewster presents a puzzle to be solved as you stand on each tee: what's the correct angle I need - but equally important, what's the correct height? Because elevation change is so often part of the hole, Brewster requires constant consideration of height as a variable in the throw
+ Four sets of tees (Gold / Blue / White / Red): the Whites are pretty tame for an 800 rated player, and the Blues aren't terribly punishing for shorter arms - because Brewster's challenge isn't as much about length as it is about accuracy and control. The Red tees are so short that several of them are just chip shots; they're truly beginner/family friendly
+ Located at a resort with another world class course (Fox Run Meadows), pro shop and all the amenities
+ There's a 9 hole short loop for a quick round that avoids the toughest of the hill climbing. The great thing about the short loop is that it includes #16: an iconic wooded downhill with a dramatic tee placement
- The variance between the tee surfaces is pretty stark as the quality drops off dramatically. The Gold and Blue are paved, large, and equipped with amenities like brooms, benches and hooks. The Reds are just barely patches of dirt, and the Whites are somewhere in between. The signage is excellent at all tees, but the surfaces don't match up. If you're playing from the Golds or the Blues, this con won't affect your game or experience at Brewster
~ Aging Innova DisCatchers; excellent signage and navigation to the next tee. The short loop is clearly marked; there's a bit of a twisting trail hike from basket #6 to tee #16
~ Greens all featuring fresh wood chips
~ Elevation means erosion; erosion means exposed roots; exposed roots mean unpredictable groundplay (D'Oh!)
~ Pro shop stocked with all major brands (and some smaller brands like RPM!)
~ As good as Brewster is (and it is!), I don't think it's as much of a "standout course" today as it might have been some years ago. I haven't yet played Maple Hill, which is the obvious New England comparison. The growth of the sport has brought some worthy challengers in the category of purely wooded Northeast courses (I'd offer Rockwell in CT and Wilcox in NY as matches - they just aren't at a resort, and aren't next to Fox Run Meadows)
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - All the holes are very interesting and fun
- Most of the holes are in the woods but there are two or three open holes.
- All the the different kinds of shots are required
- There are 4 different tees to accommodate all players. The different tees aren't just changes in distance. For most of the holes, the different tees provide different looks at the holes as wells.
- impeccable signage. The provided map and scorecard was hardly needed
- All the wooded holes were completely fair. You always had a lane to get back on the fairway if you found yourself off the beaten path.
- The area surrounding the course is amazing and offers lots of other things to do like biking, hiking, and skiing.
- There is a great pro shop on sight for all your disc golf needs.
- There is another championship level course on sight which provides a very open disc golf experience. The two course compliment each other very well
Cons: - The non gold tees could be cement as well. I think the red tees are just stakes in the ground ( very minor problem)
- I did not rate this course a 5 because although all the holes are interesting and fun. I didn't really see any hole that just made my jaw drop like I have seen in some courses like Flip City. However this is still one of my favorite courses that I have played and if I lived in the area not 6 hours away I would be back to play many more times.
Other Thoughts: This is the first course I have played with tee times. Although it is a little inconvenient not to be able to drop in on the fly, it is really a good idea to keep the course from getting to congested.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Put The Notch On You Bucket List
Pros: Driving up straight from Cincinnati , I could tell this was a Pro setup from the start . The parking lot was adequate , ( Port O Let outside ) but the pro shop and its ground is first class . There are multiple picnic tables with umbrellas on a concourse , and a large pro shop stocked with discs and also having snacks and cold drinks . The nice men behind the counter arrange a tee time for you ( you might want to call ahead for a tee time during summer weekends ) . He put me on this course , Brewster Ridge , first . I played mostly the golds because of the challenge .
The Equipment : The equipment must have taken an upgrade since it has been hosting A tier tournaments like Green Mountain every year and hosting the 2018 Worlds . There are 4 tee pads per hole . The gold ( longest ) are great looking pavers ( a couple turf ) , the blue are mats and White has crushed rock and red are natural . There is descriptive signage at pretty much all of the tees with distances from each tee . The baskets look new , Maybe Mach X and have flags on top to spot easily . . There are plenty of Next Tee signs to keep you on track . Nice putting basket near the pro shop .
The Landscape - The course is meticulously kept . Mowed , trimmed and no sticks in the fairways . Brewster Ridge has some elevation on this course . It runs through an attractive woods that would make you take a nature walk through it if you weren't playing . It was quiet during my round and you could see wildlife throughout your round . There are some rock formations on the course that add to the scenery Mature trees provide natural tunnel shots on some of the holes . . This is one of the more picturesque courses that I have ever played .
The Highlights -. A lot of this course is highlight . One of the nicest things about this course is that when your drive wanders off the fairway ( and it will ) , you still can find a lane to drift back onto the course . #2 ( 550' from golds ) is an S drive ascending a long fairway that slopes up the whole time , with a wall of rocks on the left and little more open on the left The basket is in a small green protected by thin trees .#11 ( 615' golds , 450' blues, 350' whites ) was an incredible downhill left to right bender to a level green at the bottom protected by mature trees . #12 has a left to right drive with a downhill and creek lurking on the left of the fairway The green is tucked away in a small tight area of the woods .
Signature Hole - #13 par 4 520' golds , 340' blue . . moving slightly left to right . The fairway is thin and the slight uphill approach is even thinner .
The Amenities - benches everywhere , the pro shop , the concourse to relax after a round .
The Time - It took me an hour and a half to play . I took my time just because of the scenery . A group of 4 playing the golds will take around 3 hours .
Disc Risk - Low . Surprising for a course that has blind shots and ricochets , but this course is so clean and well kept , that you might lose a disc under leaves in the fall or way up in a tree, but that's about it .
I like the 4 tee system here . It enables older or younger players to experience this and not have to burn their arm put trying to throw from the golds . This course will challenge you with its tight but fair fairways , and give you a lot of variety . It seems there are equal left and right holes here . Play at least 1 hole from the golds just so you can say that you were in the same tee box that the best players in the world threw from .
Cons: Maybe upgrade the non gold tee pads .
I was warned that some hikers and trail bikers might cross paths with you ( I never saw any on a Monday afternoon ) .
Bring liquids . You don't return to the start until hole 18 ends .
Cost - Worth mentioning . $10 per round . $15 for a day pass which includes Fox Run . A bargain for most , but maybe not for a family or someone on a tight budget .
Other Thoughts: If attainable , this destination should be on everybody's bucket list . World Class disc golf on a beautifully maintained course . Brewster Ridge is a technical course and will test your resolve and force you to create while maintaining your concentration . It was hard to do this because of the beauty of a Vermont forest , which is why it cost me shooting a +7 here ( i'm going to stick to that story ) . I think that the idea at Smugglers Notch is to create the perfect disc golf course experience , and they are moving close . 2 courses within 50 yards of the parking lot that are world class and offer varying experiences and lines .Make sure that you avoid the many gatherings and tournaments held here by checking out the homepage and local club pages so you don't waste time or a trip .
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
A beginner in AWE
Pros: After playing the last 3 months between Center chains(9), Wrightsville beach(2), and White River(1) disc golf courses, i decided to try my skills at the 'pro' level wooded course at Smugglers notch.
I am by no means a 'pro' having started tossing discs in january and learning the game at a local 9 hole high school course for 2 months prior to the last 3-4 months of 18 hole courses. I play from intermediate tees always as it gets me to work on my scramble abilities from errant drives.
This course made me use all of my skills to the max. having developed a servicable forehand recently helped me a great deal and allowed me to shoot a +3 for a first time visit.....
the drive up route 15 is nice and the notch road is always exciting. lots of scenery and just fresh air.
plenty of parking at the pro shop.
pro shop is very well stocked with most any companies disc. staff helped me find a lighter weight fairway driver to help me drive farther. plenty of practice/warm up area close by. think there was a small putter only course near the disc shop(saw on walk back after 18th hole)
the course is very easy to follow. had no problems finding the next tee as there was plenty of markers saying to next tee. abundant seating at each of the four tees per hole. course well was maintained and there was little danger of losing a disc( i lost a few off the fairway, but easily found them for next shot)
tees were gold(pavers) blue(rubber mats) white(crushed rock) red (all natural mostly) and had beautiful signs with distance and tee/hole locations. Again benches/seats at each tee in abundance
beautiful walk overall with little danger of tripping/slipping. plenty of squirrels and chipmunks rustling around. (saw a yearling white tail just off of hole 8 eating quietly in the underbrush)
Cons: (just information)
there are trails that criss-cross the fairways and you probably will run into hikers and bikers... generally everyone has eyes open and is aware of each other, so just be aware.
Some areas look to have places for being wet, but hey its a ski/hiking area wear good footwear and be safe
Other Thoughts: took me about 90 minutes to shoot the 18 holes here. longest course i have played on(intermediate tees) i think is 3700'.
The same tees here are 4600'.
10 dollars to play a round is decent, and its 15 dollars for all day both courses. I enjoyed myself very much and hope to play fox run before the GMC in september
i'm 45, a tad out of shape, but was not tired from all the walking and throwing.... trying my first 400' hole (7)was fun
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great variety of terrain, ups and downs, shots and challenges
Country club level maintenance.
Cons: Not a whole lot holes for a non- pro to attempt an ace run.
A bit confusing finding the next hole at times but not too bad.
Other Thoughts: It's turkey a championship quality course and the cream of the crop for the east coast.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Quintessential wooded course!
Pros: Literally the best all around course I've ever seen. Well maintained grounds, 4 tees per hole, varied terrain and HARD AS HELL.
I could go on and on about how much this course has to offer, but it's kind of redundant with all the mega high rating reviews here. Instead I'll just echo what has been said before- this is THE example for every other course as to what's possible, and what is proper practice.
Best pro shop I've ever seen in my life. Shockingly nice.
Cons: Every hole is a variation on a huge tunnel shot. If you don't have your throws dialed, the trees are going to eat you alive.
Tees below expert level are not very well maintained
Baskets are not as nice as I would have thought (But were swapped out for Worlds so this is a moot point I didn't deduct points for)
The walkways between holes are easy to get lost on, so PAY ATTENTION to the map and the little arrows they've placed everywhere. If you miss one you could be walking for a hundred years.
(yes, these are the biggest gripes I could even think of, that's how nice this place is)
Other Thoughts: The Gold Standard! The Smuggs crew is awesome and I take my hat off to them and their incredible efforts.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Everything's Better at Brewster Ridge
Pros: Smuggler's Notch Brewster Ridge is quite possibly the epitome of what wooded disc golf should be. A large variety of lines, elevation, and distances, this course has everything.
I played in the United States Junior Disc Golf Championships, and my division played the all gold tee layout, the same layout that the Pros will be attacking at the World Championships, and the gold tees are incredibly challenging.
Extremely tight, but fair, lines through the trees, with a single kick possibly sending you into the dense forest.
The holes are not even incredibly long, but they demand very well executed shots to score birdies on them, making any score right around par, usually a few over, very respectable.
The paver gold tees are nice, as they grip quite well, but also have a pleasent aesthetic look to them. The tee signs are informative and colorful, and the course has shiny Mach X's with a nice flag to aid with visibility.
While I believe the Gold Tees are the best option for a travelling player, there are some great layouts for local players to try out, or players who struggle with hitting lines, or just want to relax and play. There are three other tees, ranging from the short red tees, to a still very challenging blue tee layout.
Cons: This course is World Class. Top Notch. (Pun Intended) However, there are a few cons.
The course does not loop back after the front nine, or ever, so pack everything you need to complete the round.
The red, white, and blue tees are not all the same quality as the paver tees, and can provide for some tricky footing.
There is not a hole on this course that I would consider open, meaning you will be hitting lines, and bringing trees into contention on every shot. However, the Fox Run course, literally across the street, is a great course to challenge your open distance.
For me, the biggest thing holding this course is the lack of par 4s and 5s. THere are some great par 4s on this course, six to be exact, but not a single par 5. There are lots of opportunities to extend some holes into Par 5s, but for now, they are all quality holes.
Other Thoughts: Recently, they removed two holes, old hole 6 and old hole 9, making a new hole eight and hole nine, both incredible holes and improvements that I feel made this course even better than it already was. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy this course, and Fox Run Meadows, two courses that are incredibly deserving of the Disc Golf World Championships!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Challenging, Technical and Beautiful
Pros: First off, the location is gorgeous, right in the middle of the Green Mountains. You don't see quite the vistas you do on the more open Fox Run course, but it is still an an amazingly beautiful place to play.
Pro Shop: The pro shop has a nice selection of discs. Everybody I talked to there was friendly and helpful.
Elevation: The course makes great use of elevation, with a number of tight technical uphill holes and also a number of touchy downhill throws.
Fairness: There are only a couple of open holes on this course; the vast majority of tee shots are tight and technical. That being said, I saw lines on every hole. There were a lot of lines that I didn't have the skill to hit, but I didn't see any holes that could be considered unfair. A course that is laid out like this makes you want to be a better player.
Wind: It was very breezy in Vermont on the day I played, but there was hardly a whisper of a breeze on the course. You don't need to worry about wind on this course.
Cons: Signs, signs, everywhere a sign (not): I realize that they are working hard to prepare for Worlds, but some signage, even temporary markers, would be helpful on the new holes. The guy at the pro shop warned me about the new holes, which was good, but having on course signage would be a lot better. The existing holes were pretty well marked.
This is definitely a mixed-use area, and you have to be aware. I mostly ran into this on the back nine. I ran into two groups of mountain bikers,two groups of hikers, and almost hit a golf cart piloted by two course workers with my GStar Mako3. You have to be really careful with the blind tee shots. That being said, the woods are quiet, and you often can hear others before you can see them.
Other Thoughts: Tee Boxes: With the exception of two newly-configured holes (8 and 9, I think, which currently have astroturf over sand), the long tees are all pavers. The shorter tees are a mishmash of rubber mats, rock dust, and at least one starts on a wooden bridge. I like the footing of the paver boxes, so I played them, even though they exceeded my ability level somewhat.
Discs in the woods: The underbrush was cleared out enough on the holes that I had no trouble locating the ten or so discs I threw off the fairway. Bright colors are definitely a plus. Your results may be different if you are throwing a tie-dyed Roc3.
Overall layout: For me, the front nine is quite a bit more difficult due to the long uphill par 4s, but there are several technical holes on the back nine that can blow your scores up quickly. Hole 16 kills me every time. My favorite hole is probably 11, a beautiful downhill 615' par 4 that is very gettable if you are straight off the tee.
This course is going to be way beyond amazing when all of the current work is done, and it is already my high water mark.
I was wondering why my drivers weren't acting as they normally do (I don't have a strong arm, but I can always get a little flip on my Champion Sidewinder), and I realized that this course is about 1000' higher in altitude than where I usually play in Virginia.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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