A beginner in AWE
11 Helpful / 0 Not
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
11 of 11 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.
Quintessential wooded course!
7 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Everything's Better at Brewster Ridge
13 Helpful / 0 Not
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!
13 of 13 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.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: There isn't much wrong with this course. It's got tight and open fairways, fields and wooded areas, places to relax and sit, a great pro shop, friendly staff and very clean. It's an all around beautiful course. And with the new improved Fox Run pro course added it makes it even better and more challenging.
Cons: There are a few wet spots on the course but nothing boots or a little sun doesn't take care of. And it can get hot on the Fox Run side, but that's just me being a red head.
Other Thoughts: This course deserves to be in the top 10 courses in my opinion. But I also haven't played a lot of the top courses in the country but if the pros and the worlds tour come through here it must mean something!!
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Punky Brewster Ridge
Pros: Set on a wooded ridge surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks on private resort property consisting of 18 Chainstar baskets with single pin positions and four tees per hole. The Gold tees were recently upgraded to nice concrete tees and these were the only ones I played. The course has very good variety of par 3 and 4 holes and distances mixed and used the available elevation and terrain well. The front 9 mostly plays slightly uphill. The back 9 was my favorite playing mostly downhill. Navigation is fairly easy and signage is good.
You can tell that this course gets a lot of TLC from all the amenities and manicuring down the fairways and walking paths and rock walls...wow! Even playing in early August the underbrush was under control and would be hard to lose a disc except in a few spots. The pro shop is nice as was the guy there at the time.
The course is completely separate from the Smugglers Notch ski mountains which is a pro and the elevation is more moderate. I typically like playing disc golf with some huge elevation, but I'm not a big fan of disc golf on black diamond ski slopes where the best part is typically riding the ski lift up.
Cons: Not much to complain about. Only one 18 hole loop back to parking lot. The shorter holes seemed to be a little repetitive with more left to right turning shots. Most of the holes are single gap straight forward design - no real multi-fairway holes where you can choose your route. No multiple pins/baskets. No water hazards. Hiking paths interwoven with holes. A little tricky navigating from hole 10 to 11. The Chainstar baskets are harder to see in the woods than the original yellow banded Discatchers, not sure why they changed them. The Village 9 course is only available to those that stay at the resort. A little pricey for p2p, but worth it.
Other Thoughts: I played Black Falls which is a great course in its own right the morning before playing at Smugglers Notch and found Brewster to be a little more relaxing experience with less bugs and a little more distance and elevation and of course laden with amenities galore. I stopped in the Brewster River Pub right on the corner of the property for lunch before my rounds and had a delicious Vermont burger with some tasty local IPAs. I even came back after my rounds for another burger and beer and was still just as fantastic.
The Fox Run course was still only 9 holes when I was here and I definitely enjoyed Brewster Ridge more and I typically prefer wooded courses although BR doesn't really have a signature hole although they are all solid, but some of those new holes on Fox Run do look pretty sweet and provide excellent contrast to BR. I'd give Brewster a 4.25 if I could, but there is so much here it is easy decision to bump it up to 4.5. My favorite course in VT is North Calais about an hour away. Vermont is definitely a disc golf destination albeit spread out a bit that has been under the radar, but is now starting to have the spotlight shown on it and deservingly so!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
A notch above
Pros: Brewster Ridge DGC is a slice of Vermont heaven for the destination disc golfer. It was designed very thoughtfully and offers an absolute championship level gold course layout. There are old stone walls all around the course like we are so used to seeing to the VT woods. Brewster Ridge is the original 18 hole layout but there is an additional 9 (soon to be 18) hole course across the road called Fox Run which is every bit as beautiful and challenging as BR. With a full time grounds crew it's as posh and refined as disc golf gets. There is a good pro shop on site and a handful of practice baskets around th parking lot.
Cons: It cost more to play here than other ptp courses. It's charged by round and not by day and it's an additional fee to play the Fox Run 9. It's not going to break the wallet or anything and I don't mind paying for such amenities but just something to keep in mind for first timers.
Other Thoughts: Bonus for travelers- the drive through rte 108 over Smugglers Notch to get to the course is amazing!!!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
One of my 'away from home' favorites.
Pros: The pro shop is pretty legit. A good selection of discs from a variety of brands. I spoke to two guys that worked there, one was Jeff the course designer. Both dudes were so friendly, and were really interested in fun conversation and were helpful in explaining what they knew of the discs I was eyeing. They wished me and my friends a good game and we were off.
The course itself was very fun. Its got red, blue, white, and gold tees. It was challenging yet fair. Fun hyzer lines to blast, and quite a few tunnel shots that will give you easy birdies if you hit them right but will give you a rough scramble if you dont. It is wooded, but its not too thick, its just right. I cant stand when there are too many trees without rhyme or reason, but this course has good fairways with clear lines to take.
The gold tees are mostly sweet stone blocks. The rest are rubber matts, wood, and gravel. I enjoy the distance differences beteen the tees.. Id say its quite fair. Makes the gold tees a nice challenge while keeping the reds simple approach and putt shots.
Cons: My buddies and I were confused repeatedly about where to go for the next tee. While most holes were decently marked with 'this way' signs, some were a guessing game for the most part. To go along with that, quite a few of the holes are quite a hike to get to. Its not too big of a deal, but it can add to some fatigue.
Some of the tees (especially reds and whites) werent marked well, as well as had some rough tee pads.
While there were lines through the trees to the basket, there were not -many- lines. Usually one one or maybe two.. I kept looking for huge spike hyzer lines, but there are almost none. A lot of straight long window shots to make, but not much more variety than that. There WERE some holes that did have diverse lines, but there were few.
Other Thoughts: I liked the course and staff enough to overlook the cons, and I did very much enjoy the course and will recommend.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
The Amenities Rank Up There With The Best In The Country, The Golf, While Excellent, Didn't Wow Me!
Pros: They've made Smuggler's Notch a true disc golf destination. The drive up here is scenic, especially the incredibly tight, twisty turns of Smugglers Notch Pass, the Green Mountains are beautiful and once you arrive, there are a bevy of golfing options available to you.
To start with, the total package of amenities, takes a back seat to probably no course I've seen. Maybe only Bryant Lake Park, in Eden Park (Minneapolis) compares to Brewster in it's total package. The pro shop is well stocked with discs and anything else, you'll need for your playing time here, including discs, drinks, snacks, and most any other disc golf related items. Just outside are honey buckets and a wonderful shaded area with picnic tables.
One of my favorite aspects of this course was the four tee pads for each hole. Playing from most challenging, the Golds to the Blues, Whites and on down to the beginner Reds gives players the option of playing to their own level or splitting their group. Each tee had an informative sign giving all the useful information. Sometimes, two colors would play from the same tee pad. I like this as it forced the easiest Reds to play a longer shot on # 11. There is a professional scorecard available that is first class all the way showing not only the distances for all four tees on both courses but also the course map for both courses.
The tee pads are packed gravel with a wooden border. I thought they were fine although some previous reviewers weren't overly impressed with them. The baskets were the Chainstar models. There were lots of helpful little bridges and wooden walkways built over wet areas. There are benches at every tee pad.
I really like the fact that there are some shorter holes here, actually giving you that chance for a ACE or the tough birdie.
Nick, the Pro Shop guy, knows his stuff and is very helpful. $10 to play all day is more than fair.
Cons: While I loved the option of having four totally different off the tee options here, there wasn't a single hole that really got me fired up, either in it's natural beauty or it's clever, creative design or sometimes just it's sheer difficulty. The golf part of the course just flat out lacked the "Wow" factor for me. I got more excited about a basket placement (# 9 basket sitting up high on a pile of boulders) on the little Village 9 course than anything here at Brewster Ridge. Storr's Pond in Hanover, NH, had maybe 7 or 8 holes that I really loved, usually combining extreme elevation with creative design. Those holes I always end up remembering and think about as I'm falling asleep nights.
Other Thoughts: With the lovely, challenging 18 holes and four tee pads option of Brewster Ridge, the 9 enjoyable holes of Fox Run and the little Village 9 close by, Smuggler's Notch really is a destination worth driving to. Challenge yourself from the Golds and then enjoy a more casual round from the Whites. Brewster Ridge offers great disc golf for the entire family.
Note to Nick: The course we could not locate on DGCR, Rivendell Academy, is located in New Hampshire. And sorry about the 4.0 rating. That is still considered excellent.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.