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.
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.
8 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.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Lorenzo loves Brewster!
Pros: Totally worth the green fees, Nick in the pro-shop very helpful & friendly, Excellent selection of discs, course maintenance very impressive given size of course and overall conditions. Tee pads were excellent, signage was best in class, good mix of hole types.
It was a pleasure to play this course, we will be back!!
Cons: too many positives to bring up, perhaps a water hole down the road...
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
This spoiled me for other courses.
Pros: This course is gorgeous. It is well maintained, there are fairway placards at each tee and the course is designed so my wife and children (ages 7, 9 and 12) can play with me (this could go in the cons section but surprisingly the kids didn't fight at all during our last visit). The entire family played from the different tees and had an excellent time. As it had rained the previous night, some of the fairways were muddy but considering the number of streams/creeks that run through the course, we were expecting it and actually enjoyed the extra water traps.
We also enjoyed the "hiking" aspect of the course. It allowed us to get the youngest to realize that "hiking" isn't too bad as long as you're throwing discs.
Cons: This course ruined me for all of the courses by me. The mountain forest views, the size of the course, playing up and downhill surrounded by trees...pure beauty.
Other Thoughts: Fantastic time and people associated with this course. You will not be disappointed.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Super fun course
Pros: Where do I even begin??
- Beautiful location, set in the forest with views of Mt. Mansfield
- Super friendly staff, gave me some tips prior to my round
- Challenging, fun, and extremely well maintained
- Really nice pro shop with a snacks, bevs, and a HUGE selection of discs and apparel
- Great patio area to chill in before or after your round
- Bring your own beer! Can't go wrong at Brewster
Cons: Hard to find any!
I did notice a couple tee boxes that could use a little more stone, but looks like that is being addressed currently.
Other Thoughts: This course as something for everyone. Four different tee locations on each hole means that even if you are a newb like me you can still compete with experienced friends!
Brewster is a must to check out while in the area!
4 of 7 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.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The drive to the course through Smuggler's Notch (the pass, not the ski resort of the same name) is probably the most dramatic approach to a course I've seen. You climb quickly up some windy short switchbacks before driving through several huge boulders that the road had to be built around. The walls of the mountains tower on each side, and then you're flying down the other side toward the course.
There are four configurations here: red, white, blue, and gold. Many holes feature separate tee pads for each, but some holes combine two of them.
The design here is great. It takes some work to make multiple compelling configurations on each hole. I played the blue tees and enjoyed the holes with multiple lines and challenging features. Elevation here is significant and is used well.
Among the best holes:
Hole 11: A fun downhill toss through the woods. The basket is basically straight ahead, but you'll need a straight arrow shot or some kind of S-shot to negotiate the shape of the fairway.
Hole 13: A 520-foot hole that starts flat, disappears over a slight hill, and curves right once you are on the downslope into a grove. A three would take a couple excellent shots.
Hole 9: An uphill tunnel shot that is barely over 200 feet. If you have an accurate drive, the birdie is waiting for you. But unlike most holes on the course, the rough on this hole will give you no looks. The dense, spindly trees will have you tossing back out to the fairway. I got the score I deserved on this hole, and that's as much as I'll say.
Holes 1, 6, 10, 17, and 18. None of these are signature holes, but they are what I would call "meadow golf." Lightly wooded, well manicured greens, with trouble here and there but deceptively easy holes. Highbridge in Wisconsin is the pinnacle of these types of holes, but Brewster Ridge reminded me of them.
Tee signs are great, and navigation wasn't hard with the map.
Cons: If I could give this course a 4.25, I would. And the reason is the tee pads. Most of the gold tees are rubber, but the rest are crushed gravel, and the tees are not long. Put in rubber tee pads, and I can justify a 4.5.
Lots of good holes here, but no real signature holes.
While I didn't play the gold tees, many of the holes didn't look that challenging. I felt like I could have managed okay on the golds, whereas at Maple Hill and other places, the golds require shots I just don't have.
Other Thoughts: At $7 per round or $10 for the day (including the adjacent 9-hole Fox Run course), the fee is more than reasonable. Note that while Smuggler's Notch is a ski resort, the course is not on the ski trails. This is a good thing. Courses on ski trails are usually mediocre design with tee shots that are fun until you're searching for your disc that went 500 feet down the hill. Anyway, no lift ticket required here.
Whether you like skiing, hiking, disc golfing, drinking top notch craft beers, eating Ben & Jerry's, or simply never showering, this is one of the best corners of the country. I love the scenery. While the Rocky Mountains are majestic and imposing, the Green Mountains are accessible and inviting. Everyone here is glad they came.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Everything You Want In A Course
Pros: * Well Maintained
* Stocked Pro-Shop
* Awesome Variety of Shots, Woods & Field
* Professional Course, Need I say more?
Cons: * No Camping on The Slope
Other Thoughts: This course is a true disc golfers dream, the woods are amazing with a ton of intricacy and variation, amazing flow and just an overall great time. 4 different tees on most holes. Oh and Uncle Mike Got a Hole in One on 16 so there's that haha. Get out and play, then head over to Brewsters Pub and grab a barrel aged Saison and Putt from the balcony!
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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