2 Helpful / 5 Not
Delaware Disc Golf
Pros: This course is beautiful. I love the rolling hills and the constant elevation changes presented throughout the course. I like how water is in play for a couple holes and I also think there is a good balance of wooded and open holes. I Like that you can throw some bombs off the tee on most holes.
Cons: The course is hard to navigate sometimes. Some of the holes had no signage and it was sometimes hard for me to figure out where the hole was playing. The park was crowded with people, but I am sure it was because it was the first 80 degree day of the year and everybody was out enjoying it.
Other Thoughts: I am positive you will enjoy this course. You definitely have to play from the long tees to get the full experience but it is worth it, trust me.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are so many positive things to say about this course. Hole number 1 is such a great way to start off a picturesque day of disc golf. When I say day, I mean it. It took our group of 5 almost 3 hours to play this beast. Each hole has something different to offer. You will need a variety of shots in your bag to do well on this course...also being able to drive far will really help! A few of my favorite holes include number 1 and 2 because it is a lot of fun to throw over a lake or near one that has a water feature, which is not a usual thing for a disc golf course. Hole three is a neat hole as you have a great elevation change down towards the basket, which makes for a pretty sweet green to aim for. Another really cool hole is number 12. The hole drops over 75 feet which you don't get to do often, so it was neat to see the disc fly. This course is amazingly maintained as it seems someone who already owned a beautiful horse farm decided to put in the course. The course tries to mix up the holes so you don't constantly play the same type of hole back to back to back.
Cons: There is not a lot of negative things to say but here I go. The lack of signage hurts this course. A lot of times we needed to run up ahead to get a real idea of the hole instead of just being able to go by the tee signs. There were no score cards at the course, but I was able to find one online. Some of the "next tee" signs were really hard to find, and if I hadn't printed out a map prior to the day, it could have made things even more difficult.
Other Thoughts: Four of my friends and I took a disc golf day to Delaware to play some really nice courses. If you are planning on playing Carousel, make sure you have plenty of time. You will not want to rush yourself playing this course. This course is extremely long and some of the holes are long and tight. This course is forgiving as there are not too many wooded holes, but make sure you are getting good distance on your drives.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Horses and all
Pros: I really enjoyed this course. I thought most of the holes were well designed. You can tell a lot of thought went into this course. A lot of open air big shots to test your arm and pin placements to keep you honest. Ponds and streams come into play on multiple holes. There are next tee signs to help navigate you to the next hole.
Cons: Two of the holes share an area with the horse people. The low-lying areas got really swampy. Not sure if this had something to do with the large amount of snow and rain we had the past couple months, but something to keep in mind. Some of the tees are not marked well.
Other Thoughts: My group had to skip hole 8 because there was a group of people with their horses in the middle of the fairway. This is something that really annoyed me because I have an absolute hatred for horses and most of the people that ride them. Don't know why though. Anyway, the course was really windy when we were there that day. Seems like a place that you constantly deal with some type of wind. All in all a very enjoyable course, absolutely a must hit if in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome land, solid design, needs refinement
Pros: This is a solid course with awesome potential. It's rough around the edges, but it appears that is due to the newness of the course, and will eventually be fixed. The continuing evolution and refinement of nearby Iron Hill testifies to the dedication and attention to detail of Deleware disc golfers.
This past weekend, my brother and I got up before dawn and did a marathon roadtrip day of disc golf, starting with the longs at Scarboro Hills in MD, then the gold layout of Iron Hill, then the longs at Carousel, then finishing up at Brandywine Creek. Playing that many courses back-to-back helps highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each one, and despite only one round through Carousel, I already have a fondness and sense of great expectation for the course.
The land is amazing -- the grass is sticky, dense, lush green -- just overgrown enough that it makes it trickier to find discs in the field, but not so bad that the get lost. This also pretty much eliminate skips, which can be a curse or a blessing -- on a course with this many drops and thorns, I think the sticky grass is incredibly helpful if you plan for it.
The opening five holes are nice shots -- a few obstacles (pond, OB fence, peninsula greens, etc...) that aren't a problem in calm, but would be very challenging on a windy day. Mostly wide shots for some big air, but lots of elevation change keeps things interesting. The landing area on hole 3 will be particularly beautiful in few years, when fully cleaned up and hopefully grown in with some new grass. Nothing crazy exciting here, but good options for lefty and righty shots on every hole.
The end of 5, on into 6 and 7 bring some serious woods and thorns into play. Fun shots, but all of them are blind (as is a lot of the course). I'm not against blind holes, but blind holes without teesigns makes for challenging play.
Hole 8 is all about the huck -- big field at 800', thorns on the left, with a basket tucked into the edge. Fun par-4 hole that benefits when the wind is high to add some interest.
Holes 9, 10, 11 are a mix of woods/fields, all elevation, with a good mix of left and right throws required. Take you to hole 12, which is one of the signature holes -- a 75' drop down a tightly-treed alley with a stream out the back. Great hole, but the downside is that since the first 60' or so of the hole is flat and the drop doesn't happen until halfway down the hole, there is no way to watch your disc. This hole needs a spotter, but it is also a shame to have such a beautiful tunnel elevation shot without a way to watch your throw. There is something beautiful about watching a disc in flight, carving the perfect line down an alley throw, and here you can't get that thrill... I think a short teebox near the edge of the drop would be a lot more fun/exhilarating for casual players... this is a signature-level hole that has no view from the teebox. It's like the designers got greedy/eclectic and gave up a picturesque hole for a harder shot -- both options should be given.
Holes 13 and 14 are awesome holes. 14 -- especially from the "tournament tee" is a sick shot over the small dam to a long, narrow fairway between awful thorns and an OB-fence to a basket around 700' away. A great par-4 and would be a signature hole as well at most courses.
Hole 14 tees back on the other side of the thorns, back towards the dam and the water. Another amazing par-4 with thorns, a pond, stream and fast green to make it more interesting. Lots of air and room to get greedy on the tee shot, but lots of risk and reward on the upshot.
Holes 15-17 -- see below.
Hole 18 -- Nice hole - not as epic as some of the others, but a good place to finish the round as it offers a lot of potential for greatness and a heavy risk vs. reward mix. 500' uphill with lots of air but a narrow landing area between thorns on the left and OB horse fence on the right. The basket is elevated about 3' on a raised platform green -- hard to land on the small green, and without it, you've got a tricky uphill putt. Again, in wind this will be an awesome finishing hole to test every player's skill.
Cons: Blind tee shots on almost every hole on the course make this a real challenge. Definitely a course that will give locals an advantage. Not a bad thing, but without tee signs and well-marked distances, the course is hard for beginners to play right now. Hopefully some a-list tee signs (similar to Iron Hill) will be coming soon.
Navigation is tricky. Map available on this site helps, but is not 100% clear in many places. Map lacks distances or elevation or any other helpful info.
Thorns have a lot of beating-in to do in some places, especially in walking between holes 3 and 4 and 13 and 14. Some very marshy places as well. Grass could use a good mowing.
Holes 15-17 are the weak spot on this course. 15 is decent -- an uphill shot that is a tweener for pros. It's a tough 3 or a super-easy 4 on calm days. Much more interesting in the wind... Nothing at all in the way.
Hole 16 feels forced -- it's a short downhill, probably 270' or so, with lots of open air, but the basket is on a steep green, and lots of room for shots to skip past the basket. This wouldn't be a bad thing except that the area past the basket has a walking trail people use for dogs and fishing. Lots of families out when I played, and this hole is asking for a pedestrian injury -- there is nothing to stop errant shots -- especially in wind -- from being a danger to others.
Hole 17 isn't a bad hole, it's just not nearly as refined and interesting as many of the others -- feels like filler -- 15, 16, 17 all feel this way. They are in a busier part of the park and just aren't as much fun as most of the rest of the course... a bit of a letdown, especially coming off of holes 12, 13, 14.
Other Thoughts: With signs, cleared thorns, bridges, benches, directions, a good map, etc... this will add a half star for sure. If there is a way to add a hole or two somewhere and change the filler holes 15-17, I'd say this course could get to a 5-star rating. The land is there for it, and I trust the Deleware disc golfers not to rest until this course fulfills its potential. A must play if you're within roadtrip distance, especially with Iron Hill just 20 minutes away. Once both of these courses are finished and fully refined, I'd be willing to bet there will be no finer place in the nation to spend a brutal day playing some of the best disc golf in the world. Carousel has all the green grass and open sky that you miss during a round at Iron Hill, and as a pair they are an incredible compliment to one another.
In my mind, Deleware has become a mandatory stop on any serious disc golf tour of the east coast.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
The best of Iron Hill and Brandywine in one
Pros: The design of this course is exceptional. A beautiful balance of woods and open shots, with elevation, shule, trees and water all coming into play at seemingly perfect times. For example, hole 12 could have been a simple downhill ace run with a creek behind it. But instead, the tee is set about 50 feet back of the drop, leaving you no easy way to get your disc down that slope. That next-level thinking is evident all over this gorgeously manicured course. It helps that it's free! Longer than Brandywine, more open than Iron Hill, it's tough but fair.
Cons: The holes don't fit into an easy par structure... as said below, many seem to be par 3.5. Course is new and has no signage; the tees can be hard to find. Tees are rough. Course is too lefty-friendly, with shule usually on the left side and tight fairways curving right more often than not. Some difficult navigation between holes, like the shule walk between 13 and 14. Low levels get very muddy after rain, and the creek behind hole 3 is a death trap if you're dumb enough to climb down there (like me).
Other Thoughts: To get a higher rating, the course needs to have its pars established, yardage measured, signs on every tee, and the tee areas flattened and improved. But I can already tell this is going to be my most-played course of the coming year.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Championship-Caliber Course with Astounding Shots
Pros: This course has some really grand shots that really allow you to air it out and challenge some interesting terrain defined by hills, trees, and water.
I really liked how the hills and slope of the land were designed into the course to challenge you to make creative or daring shots. The approach shot to the basket on #14 perched on top of a dam is simply sinister. Other fun and memorable shots abound.
Water, OB defined by fences, trees, and a thick briar patch in one case present clear risk vs. reward opportunities and again test your shot-making resolve in ways other courses don't. There's a good mix of hole lengths, too.
It's also nice how the course has a lot of space but is still accessible to a highly-populated region. It should really boost disc golf's exposure in the region.
Cons: I didn't like the number of blind shots designed into the course. These would be fine for tournament play, but would be a pain when playing recreationally. For the same reason, some of the rough looks to be a little too rough.
Although I actually liked the grass tees on most holes (they allowed for good run-ups), some were very muddy.
Finally, it seems like the course needs a couple more iterations and tweaks of tee/basket positions before a par is established. Speaking as an advanced am, I felt like there were a bunch of Par 3.5 holes. Also, I really like variety in terms of par as I'm playing, and it felt like playing a bunch of Par 3.5s in a row. Mentally, it would be nice to have a couple ace runs and clearer Par 4s every once in a while.
Other Thoughts: It's a gem that is worth the trip to play. It will continuously test you, "Are you SURE that's the shot you want to throw?"
Having played championship courses in Western Pennsylvania (Deer Lakes, Moraine), I'd rather have those courses in my backyard to play (more tree cover and less chance of losing a disc). But I'd rather see the top pros play a tournament at Carousel because of the more interesting terrain. I'll definitely be back.
To those who worked to put in this new course, great job!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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