3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very nicely done beginner level course that is primarily wooded throughout. With two bigger courses on site, Black Bear is pretty much perfectly laid out for inexperienced to somewhat experienced players. About fifteen of the holes are real woods golf. Defined fairways. A mix of straight shots with nice curves to either direction. Tree lines enforcing flight paths and bad shots typically land in trouble.
This is also the kind of easy course that should still be fun for a higher level player. They will be short ace runs, but they will be through woods with some decent elevation and a highly appealing aesthetic quality.
Tough to argue with 18. The most open hole on the course, it's a 600-foot downhill romp toward the clubhouse. It's a nice feature to emerge from the woods after a round of threading around trees and suddenly see all that space. It's not a top-of-the-world shot but it is close. Especially considering the short lengths of most of the holes on Black Bear, it feels right to let one rip at the end.
Lastly, I typically refrain from comment on clubhouse and staff, but the service here is far above the norm.
Cons: For all of its good qualities, Black Bear is still a relatively simple course that will fail to challenge many players and will not leave much of an impression on the majority of them. Fairly standard wooded holes, often a tad too forgiving of errant throws. There's some elevation but not much wow factor. Mostly, the majority of the holes are on the short side. But hey, that's why there are two other courses on site.
The only holes that I did not care fore were the first two. The pre-woods holes had me thinking, "really? This is what I came here for?" I was much happier after I got into the woods.
I will also say that while navigation has been given attention, there are some problem areas, and there are times where you might think you are following the arrows when you wind up on a tee for the Grizzly course. There is typically an arrow in the tee area, but occasionally they are vague and there might be multiple trails that could potentially be indicated by that one arrow.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Tougher than it used to be!
Pros: There's not a lot to say that hasn't been said about the course itself. There is a good variety of shots required to make a good score and the owners have used the natural ups and downs of the land very well. Amenities are top notch including paved tee boxes, clear and present signage, nice score cards, and one of the largest pro shops in New England.
Cons: When they say rough they mean it! Being relatively new to the sport I occasionally send a disc somewhere other than the fairway and every time, it would take a good scrounging to find it. For a more experienced player it can present an extra challenge but amateurs may find the bushwacking troublesome. Even with reduced pars, there are some holes that are simply too easy. While I'm all for improving my ace count, a 150ish ft. hole straight in front of the tee on a clear fairway is not a challenging hole!
Other Thoughts: Ask and thou shalt receive! Many players complained that the par was too high and now that has been rectified! The par 5 holes are now the only par 4's and the rest are all par 3! This dropped the par from 65 to 57 - a much more punishing par. I actually did better on the Grizzly (3 over par compared to +4 on the Black Bear) which is supposed to be the tougher course! This is still the same fun filled course but with sharper teeth!!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
I had fun.
Pros: Great selection of discs at the pro shop along with drinks & some food items. Linda (owner) and Kurt (pro) were both very helpful and nice. You get a nice score card/map and they'll log and track your rounds on their computer. There are 18 more holes on site.
There are benches and trash cans throughout the course. The paver tees are AMAZINGLY smooth. Someone took a whole lot of time to make them level and consistent. The course is well marked and pretty easy to navigate, in spite of stretching through dense woods for the most part. Next tee signs throughout were very helpful. The baskets are all in good shape.
If you like wooded courses, with "fair" fairways, then this is a course for you. With the exception of 3 holes, I believe, the course plays completely in the woods. There are generous lines to hit for most holes but some risk if you miss your line.
The course seemed to favor left turning, RHBH throws a little (OK by me), but definitely mixed in right turning and straight holes as well. Good use of elevation change, both up and down, while in the woods helped change up the design some.
The "non-woods" holes were all three excellent holes. Trees can come into play on each hole, but you do have grass fairways to hit.
If you have an inexperienced player that you want to introduce to a wooded course, this should work well and they shouldn't be overwhelmed. Experienced players can work on their short game and should be entertained.
Cons: As much as I love wooded courses, few of the truly wooded holes stood out to me. A lot of them seemed kind of repetitious. Short length, combined with"open" fairways kind of allowed the holes to blend together to me.
The following did not affect my rating but I feel that it needs to be mentioned. New Englanders probably already know, but... the flies here were terrible when I played. Please be prepared with repellent and maybe a floppy hat or something to keep them out or your face.
Other Thoughts: Check out the links/files section here on DGCR and check out the course site. It has many photos of the course.
I think that par is set pretty generously here. It's set at 65 and I could easily see it being set at 57 without being unfair at all for the experienced player. I shot a 57 and 61 when I played and made several bonehead mistakes during both rounds.
#1 = excellent opener. Starting in the open you have about 200' to a tree line with the basket another 80' or so beyond the trees in a clearing. Hit the gap and you can get set up for a deuce right away. #3 is one of only two holes on the course that I could throw a driver on. (My drives average a little over 300' normally.) It was kind of similar to #1, but on a bigger scale. It has serious danger left, too. #13 is just a short, cool down hill, right turning shot. Good duece material again, but made me get out of my RHBH "Hyzer comfort zone" with a big anyhyzer release. #15 is a long, moderately downhill shot with a decent width fairway. But there's 1 big tree about 1/3 of the way down the fairway and another about 2/3 of the way down that you have to avoid that were right in my "comfortable" line. I need to play this hole more to figure out the best way to play it. And finally, big #18... what a great closer. Big time down hill shot over well manicured grass. This sets up perfectly for a RHBH drive that fades left at the end towards the basket. The fairway is wide, but not totally open. The woods lines the entire right side of the fairway (so don't turn your driver over really badly like I did once) and there are a couple big trees and a little "peninsula" sticking into the fairway from the left.
Hopefully this helps someone decide to make the trip. It should be fun for you. Just be prepared for the possibility of throwing more mid-ranges and putters than drivers. And take some extra cash... if you're anything like me you'll walk away with some new plastic. I controlled myself really well and walked away with just 2 new discs.
And finally, I'd recommend playing Boom Field along with the two Woodland Valley courses if you find yourself in the area and have the time. I feel that they complement each other tremendously.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Good intermediate course
Pros: Good course for beginners and players looking for a nice easy round. Well maintained and a very nice pairing to the more challenging grizzly course. Great warm-up round for the other course as well.
Cons: Not worth it if your looking for a challenge. Some holes are a challenge not to birdie.
Other Thoughts: The owners are incredibly nice and hard-working. They mailed a disc back to Massachusetts for free.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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