Punky Brewster Ridge
6 Helpful / 1 Not
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!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
A notch above
0 Helpful / 1 Not
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!!!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
great 4.75 course
Pros: So many to list and worth the $10 pay to play all day because:
- pro shop on site with snacks available
- plenty of cold water coolers at the start
- 4 tees per hole
- great tee signs at each tee
- six par 4's
- easy navigation
- phenomenal manicured course (reminded me of Sabattus in ME) with wood chips, gravel, cut grass, rock walls, benches and small wooden bridges
- plenty of elevation...the front 9 plays gradually uphill and then the back 9 is a lot of fun downhill shots
- scenic beauty of Green Mountain
- small stacked rocks (a poor man's Flip City)
- rock walls similar to other great N England courses
- very wooded but nothing too tight or unfair
- the staff called me about my disc left behind
- very clean port a john
- #4 putting area, simply gorgeous
- #7 fun ace run
- #10 fun downhill throw
- #11 fun downhill throw
- #12 good par 4
- #14 reminded me of hole at Hyland Orchard in MA
- #17 one of my 2 birdies
Cons: - the tees weren't cement, the long pro tees had rubber pads while the others were gravel
- #9 felt like a 'filler' hole, it was the only hole I didn't like
- #18 was rather boring after so many other great holes on the back 9
Other Thoughts: Be sure to enter or leave the Smugglers Notch area from the south. The drive to this resort is STUNNING through the mountains.
This was the only course I played in my first time in Vermont after a 6.5 drive the day before. I considered other courses but decided they would only be disappointing after playing here at Brewsters Ridge.
This course has been added to one of my favorites list on this site. I played the blue ADV tees and shot 62.
Bring food with you if you staying for more than a half day, I didn't see any convenience stores nearby.
Another 9 holes (and soon a full 18) called Fox Run of hilly prairie golf is also onsite.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Firm, fair and fun!
Pros: The first thing players notice about Brewster Ridge is the maintenance. The first hole plays through a nice wide fairway with cleanly mowed grass to a pin surrounded by wood chips and picturesquely nesteled under a lone tree. From there, signs guide players along a wood chipped path to the second tee. The next 17 holes play throughout a series of snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. And new for 2014, the "Fox Run 9" has been added as a permanent addition to the course. This gives players an additional 9 holes in a more open setting with tight OB lines to punish errant shots. The nice manicured feel of the course continues through all 27 holes. The resort employs a pair of maintenance workers who keep the course looking great throughout the season.
I use 3 F words to describe how the course plays: firm, fair and fun. Tricky pin locations create the challenge at Brewster Ridge. I was really struck by the fact that the course never gives players a chance to relax and make a lazy shot. Short upshots that can be mundane and boring at many courses are still very challenging at Brewster, with trees, bushes and elevation all looking to wreak havoc on a lazy throw.
These tough pins are fair though. A good tee shot will set up a much easier upshot or putt. The tees themselves are fairly open, giving players the flexibility to choose their own lines off the tee. This also cuts down the frustration (and use of a certain other F word) of having tee shots cut down early.
And that's where the fun comes in. Players of all skill levels will have plenty of chances to see their discs really fly off the tee. Rather than getting cut down early, bad tee shots will find tough lies that force players to scramble and find creative ways to get to the pin.
OB is used well. In the woods, rock walls provide some nice, intuitive OB lines along tree lines. With thick woods beyond these walls, shots that cross those lines are going to be punished harshly one way or another. At least by making those areas OB, players aren't forced to try to play out from there.
In the Fox Run 9, the OB lines serve a very different purpose. They help to create some interest risk/reward opportunities and turn otherwise boring field holes into interesting challenges.
Cons: The course can get very muddy. The muddiest areas are kept out of play, but walking between holes can get very sloppy.
It would be nice to see a bit more variety from the different tees. Currently, each layout plays very similarly, with the major difference being the change in distance. A little more variety in the layouts would help to create more repeat playability.
Some of the wooded par 4s (2,4, and 8) could benefit from better defined landing areas. Currently, they require a good tee shot and a bit of luck to line up the second shot just right. Taking out a couple trees to open up the lanes a bit could help take the luck factor out.
Other Thoughts: Smuggler's notch is quickly becoming one of the top disc golf destinations in the northeast. You can even book a condo at the resort or camp at one of the nearby campgrounds to turn a visit to the course into a family vacation.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
One of the best
Pros: This course is nestled in the green mountains. The best course close to Burlington that I have played yet. Its about an hour drive from Burlington.
- Excellently maintained: Great benches, woodchip paths between holes.
- Easy to navigate. Good signage.
- Hole variety, I'm a LHFH and it has some holes that play into the lefty flick and some holes that turn the other way.
- Staff, the person who works the front desk is positive and knowledgeable.
- 27 holes!
Cons: - A drive from anywhere, unless you live in one of the small hamlet towns in North Central Vermont.
- If i am really reaching, there can be some wet ground between 9-10, but they usually put boards down. Nothing boots can't handle!
Number 7 can be tough, not much of a fairway. Pray to the tree gods and huck!
All in all this is a beautiful course I would recommend driving up to 2 hours to play at.
Other Thoughts: Check out the surrounding area! There are some other courses nearby that could make a good disc golf vacation!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Great local course, worth the $
Pros: This course is 18 holes of well thought out, well maintained disc golf in the beautiful green mountains. I started playing dg this spring, and of the 13 courses I've played, this is probably my second favorite.
Cons: It does cost $5 per person, and it's not super close to anything but the ski resorts in Smuggs/ Stowe area. But the $ is worth the nice job they do keeping the course up.
Other Thoughts: Continue to support this course, they're going to build us another one with the money we're giving them!!!
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
As challenging as it is beautiful
Pros: +Clean and professionally maintained.
+Top notch tee pads, signage, and baskets.
+Multiple tees to accommodate different skill levels.
+Beautiful setting nestled in the mountains of Vermont with vistas on many holes.
+Gold layout is very challenging with a combination of length and tight lines.
+Well stocked pro-shop.
+Well-designed with a great mix of elevation, left/right doglegs, and length. You need a well-rounded, controlled game to succeed here.
Cons: Nothing significant but if I'm looking for downsides:
-Like all of Vermont can be VERY muddy in the spring. In fairness I played the course for the first time after a historic spring rainfall.
-Alternate tees don't add variety to the holes, just change distance. More variety from additional tee/basket positions would be a cool addition.
-Bow hunters on-course in October made me nervous.
Other Thoughts: One of the most challenging courses I've played - right up there with Maple Hill. I'd play all the time if I lived closer. Definitely worth the drive from New England and beyond. Our group of 4 rented a condo at the resort overnight and had great accommodations on the cheap.
Check out the "Green Mountain Championship" coverage on Youtube for a great preview of the course as played by the world's best. Look for them to make the adjacent 9-hole "Fox Run" (added for 2013 GMC) a permanent addition in 2014. 27 holes of this caliber would really be outstanding.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
- Beautiful location
- Excellent variety of holes
- Very clean and tidy
- Multiple tees to accomodate varying skill levels
- Very well maintained.
- Nice rubber tee pads
- Good signage on holes with information and layout.
- It appears that the resort has dedicated real resources to the maintenance of this beautiful course.
- A couple spots could use better or brighter signage to point you to the next tee.
- Hunters. Whlie I was there I was taken aback that there were bow hunters on the course. I recommend wearing bright colors during hunting seasons.
Other Thoughts: I wish this course were closer to me so I could play it more often! This is what a disc golf course should be. I played here in the fall during foliage season and it was incredible. This course is pretty centrally located to quite a number of disc golf courses so it is easy to make a weekend of disc golfing.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Great layout. Good mix of wooded and open shots. Requires accuracy. Several nice long holes. Several great down hill holes.
Although heavily wooded, nothing was ridiculously tight. There was room to work your shots.
Gold tees were in pretty good shape.
When played sept 25- 0ct 10th this is probably one of the most beatiful courses in the world.
Cons: Could use better signs and concrete tees.
Many of the shorter tees were tiny.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Course is well designed, has four different tee pads to choose from. Gold - Championship; Blue - Pro; White - Imtermediate; Red - Beginner/Kids. Played the course around 1.5 rounds (rained out the first time through on 8/1/2013 and made it only 10-11 holes)
Cons: Muddy, the two maintenance guys are working hard to solve the muddiness issue but have not as of yet. They were in the midst of chipping up some wood to lay out on the muddy sections when I played through.
Other Thoughts: Stopped by the pro shop at Hole 1 (started playing at hole 12 as it was closest to our condo) and talked to the guy there, they are looking for more people to play the course as they only get around 30 players a day currently and would like to see somewhere closer to 60 players a day. He also mentioned that they are starting to build a small beginners 9 hole course across from the pro shop this week and have plans for 3 more 18 hole championship level courses in the next 5-6 years. I wish I lived closer to the resort (around 4.5 hours from where I live) because I would play this particular course a lot. Really well done even though it is still a work in progress mostly.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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