Disc Golf With Historical Value
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rutgers, Douglas College Disc Golf Course , in between buildings on the lawn of the college is an 18 hole course .The parking lots aren't always numbered . Just remember to park in the back following directions as closely as you can , leave the car in one of the huge lots , and look for any baskets . Make sure you print a map . I am guessing that unless you find an open door at the college , you won't be able to use a bathroom .
The Equipment - This looks like a time capsule was emptied out into a small area of the college . The tee pads are all natural . Not the most even areas . There are at least dirt spots where you know you are supposed to tee off . The tee signs are really old school , not even the old white signs with green images and printings . They are just metal pole signs with red backing showing par , hole number and distance . There is a little fairway pattern next to it . The baskets are supposed to be Mach I according to what they posted ( ? ) . They are pretty old and rusty , but that's okay .
The Landscape - The grass was a little high and the branches are starting to make the grounds a little unkempt while I was here in late August . The course is small , the area is flat . There are a couple of small grades . There is a creek that comes into play on hole #10 ( ? ) on the left if you limp-wrist your shot . Except for this hole , the buildings shouldn't come into play . You will cross a driveway or sidewalk or 2 on a drive . There is also a scattering of trees , a few even serve as obstacles .
The Highlights - The course itself is a highlight . Think that a group of students and locals played these holes 42 years ago . I played behind an older gentleman who said he has been playing the course for many years , and only knows that the present pin and tee positions have been around since he started playing .
Signature Hole - If I had a hole to pick , it would be the creek hole on #10 . It is a slightly elevated tee , but goes over a slight gully , and the basket is tucked up and to the right .. at 259' , it is a hard ace , but easily deuceable .
Even though the course is only 3495' ( I saw no long pin positions ) , it still had several groups on it the Saturday morning that I played . I think that both the students and the locals value playing here .
Disc Risk - You will have to work hard to lose a disc here . The creek is shallow and it has some small overgrowth next to it . Other than that ,,,, nothing . Disc Risk is improbable .
The Time - Once I found #1 on the other side of a building , it took me about 40 minutes to play here . A group of 4 will blaze this course in an hour and twenty minutes .
The History - take it all in . I only wish I could have a 1978 era disc that I could throw here , just so I could get used to the way that players shot shaped and controlled them back then .
All of the locals seemed real nice when I was there . There were even a couple of fathers with their sons .
Cons: #1 Safety - The course map says that Rutgers Douglas can be played 24 hours a day . During the week when school is in session , I figure that the sidewalks would be filled and students would be standing near the fairways talking or reading . Would you want to be The Guy , that caused the college to take down this relic because he beaned a freshman in the eye with your drive ?
Navigation - The map is small and hard to read , but you might need it in case there are no locals playing . A couple of long walks to dissected parts of the course can be confusing ( 2-3 , 9-10 , 17-18 ) . You may have to do some exploring .
Challenge - Some will complain that the course is too easy . Gee , No @&%*&! This course was played with coffee can lids and Whamos back then . . This is a course that you can study and enjoy , not conquer . If you need a challenge , go south to Thompson .
I never read where you had to check in with campus security , or that it was sticker only parking . The visitor lot in the back will suffice . Rutgers Douglas College seems very welcoming and accommodating .
Other Thoughts: I have a couple of courses ( 1979 and 1980 ) near where I live back home , and have played them every year since 1994 . These are courses that make you appreciate and enjoy . I am glad that this course is played regularly and hasn't been abandoned . Read the 2 reviews before mine . They give you some bits of information that I would have never known ( The course was given as a gift and the university , even though they probable didn't know what disc golf was at the time , accepted it ? ) . I know the chains are rusty on the baskets , and the natural tees suck after a long rain , but keep the course exactly the way it is . Changing it would cheapen it . Thanks to Rutgers Douglas College , Course Designer Dan Doyle , and the local Disc Golf club chapter for keeping this course relevant .
My Recommendation - Everybody can take Something away from this storied course . Perfect intro course for incoming students or curious locals . Great for families to do as a group- not long or time consuming . Fantastic date course . Locals can hang with their friends after a quick round or 2 . Intermediates and up will get a history lesson here , and might pick up an ace as a parting gift. To travelers , this is a short and ideal leg stretch course right off of I-95 . The course collector will like a fast course that will help to combine with courses like 9 hole Heavenly Farms . If traveling through New Jersey , and want to experience a permanent course that was created only 3 years after disc golf was invented , and the oldest disc golf course in the state by 14 years , drop by and
PLAY IT !!!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Crash Course At A Classic Course
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + The distances are very short. For the red layout, 284 ft. is the longest on offer. This is good for a college course because it reduces the risk of striking a person, and its brevity encourages multiple playthroughs.
+ Friendly locals are very proud of their home course.
+ This course has stood the test of time. One can't help but feel as though they share a bond with disc golfers from decades past as they play here.
+ The whole course plays within the college campus. The player is taken on a brief tour around some of Rutgers's buildings and well-maintained grounds. However...
Cons: - The whole course plays within college campus grounds. I can imagine that this course would be barely playable due to roaming pedestrians during the school year.
- I would have loved to play from the long tees, but where were they?
- As this course is integrated into a college campus, there are too many civic structures at risk of hitting. I often felt the need to skew my aim to miss striking things.
- All 18 holes have natural tees, which were uneven at best and rooted & muddy at worst. Also, there are few indications of where they begin and end- just worn down areas of earth.
- First time navigation was a bit of a mystery. There are a few signs pointing you to the next hole but nothing consistent. Many baskets have arrows on them to guide you. Most of them are correct.
- Almost all of the baskets are dead ahead on open flat ground with scant trees to avoid.
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole to play and look at was hole 10 because it has the player throw down a gentle hill alongside an OB stream, up a gentle hill and to the right. In fact, holes 9 through 11 were the most enjoyable to my mind because they felt the most challenging with their denser trees. My least favorite hole was 18 because it felt dangerous to throw with all the people and parking lots. (That pin placement was fun, though!)
As for the course as a whole, Rutgers has already earned its stripes. During my session, I let one of the regulars play through, and he told me that he'd been playing this course ever since it was installed here in 1982 (dgcr says 1978) back when the sport was properly called frisbee golf, which used those larger discs. (My parents weren't even married yet that long ago!) It is a popular course, and it's not hard to see why.
Freshmen to the sport can get a satisfying round in because the distances are perfect for practice and training while the peppering of trees on each hole introduce angle control. Super seniors of the sport can get a satisfying round in because the distances are perfect for ace runs and birdies. Despite the negatives I am about to bring up, that word 'satisfying' is the perfect descriptor of this place.
The baskets can be charitably described as 'historic' or 'rustic' and uncharitably described as 'outdated' or 'rusty.' They are relics from the sport in its early days, though, so they fit the theme at a course like this. I acknowledge that these baskets really shouldn't be replaced because that would rob the course of its charm and history. Having said that, just be sure to be extra accurate with your putts!
There is some aggressive undergrowth on some of the fairways. Holes 5 and 6 come to mind. It is likely that I was simply playing before the groundskeepers had a chance to mow.
The challenge boils down to distance control once the player understands that this course wasn't originally designed for these faster and sleeker discs we have. I'm not sure if the walking paths are OB or not (I always operate under the assumption that they are). If they are, then the player has to tone down their throws, which can be a fun challenge. The trees almost become a non-issue for the experienced player because these fairways were meant to stump a larger disc. Our discs can be thrown around it all or just sneak through. Not to mention that the course it almost completely flat with the exception of three or four gentle gradients. All of that combined makes most of Rutgers feel like the same thing ad nauseum.
But! It's still a satisfying play, as we've already said. Newbies will get a good taste of what disc golf is like. Journeymen will get a good taste of what their efforts are yielding. Old hats will get a good taste of how far this sport has come since its infancy. So, if you are interested in glimpsing what a disc golf course of the past looks like and feeling how one plays, then come give Rutgers a try.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Not a bad lunchtime 30-40 minutes Course
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: You will never lose a frisbee or disc here. Haha.
Compact little course. Good for a quick round.
Cons: Signs get confusing in the middle. Once you've played once, you can figure it out.
Other Thoughts: Feels good to almost get a hole in one on a couple holes here, or make it in the basket in a definite 2 shots, on a handful of holes.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Most holes are 200 ft or less, providing birdie opportunities galore. Despite the short distances, there are (almost) no gimmie holes here. You have to keep it low and/or bend around trees to get there. And if you play "path and beyond" as OB, you'll have to keep it short. So, short, but challenges exist.
Cons: Set appropriate expectations - this is a short course from 1978. Dirt tee pads, minimal signage, no bathrooms.
Only real con I saw in my round was that 16 and 17 are almost identical holes.
Other Thoughts: I played one quick round here while traveling through NJ. I was hoping to pick up a Cubby Ace or two, (nope!).
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course at Rutgers is perhaps the ideal college campus course: beginner-friendly, largely out of the way of the general population, and quick-playing. It plays short, mixing some true pitch and putts with some worthwhile birdieable par 3s. The trees that dot the layout are used effectively, forming low ceilings, impromptu tunnels, or forcing a bit of line-shaping to run the basket. Pin placement maximizes these such wrinkles. Left-to-right and right-to-left lines are both well-represented. Navigation is pretty breezy. There's virtually no rough to speak of.
Cons: The simplicity and lack of major obstacles (no elevation to speak of) cap the level of interest this course can generate: it is what it is and nothing more. It's fully playable with a mid and a putter, and the need for a mid is flexible.
The rutted natural tees are susceptible to muddying, so you'll often have to improvise the point you drive from. Thankfully much of a run up is never needed.
The course wittingly or inadvertently incorporates some unideal obstacles such as lamp posts and the tee signs themselves. Be conscious of where you'll follow through to avoid hitting the latter. There's even a set of dumpsters in play at one point. Destination golf this is not.
While the course seems to avoid conflict with the general campus population overall there are a few spots where you may need to keep a lookout.
Other Thoughts: My visit to Rutgers' campus DGC took the form of a quick round during a trip to visit family. For that it was perfect. This is nothing to get well-traveled players excited but for a quick and casual round you can do much worse.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Short course - lots of fun
4 Helpful / 0 Not
+ Terrific community and FB page. Seem like there's always something going on.
+ Compact layout means quick play (means multiple rounds!)
+ Great opportunities to park 'em for birdies - but by and large, they're not "easy" shots: you have to shape 'em, keep 'em low, etc.
+ Local knowledge is a plus here: the more you play, the better you shoot!
- Other than mowing in the areas where there's grass, the course isn't maintained by Rutgers, so It's showing it's age.
- Those old model baskets are shallow!
- If disc golf allowed for Par 2's, several of the holes here qualify. You can see that in scores. That's not a knock on the holes - they're great challenges as Par 2's.
- Leave your drivers at home. Rutgers offers a very specific kind of disc golf challenge and does it well: if you come looking to play a reasonably technical but shortish course, you'll have a great time.
******* January 2019 Update: Doomed by Tree Removal? ********
My understanding is that this course was a gift to the University many years ago. It's never been maintained by the U, just tolerated as a feature that's been around as long as anyone can remember. In it's legitimate efforts to protect students and the health of the campus foliage, the U has been cutting down a lot of trees. This is really changing the nature (sorry) of many holes. I've been playing Rutgers for less that a year, and even I notice the changes due to the removal of fairway trees and great old guardian trees.
Maybe the course will evolve in a positive way, but without official support from the University, it's hard to see how it will. In the meantime, play and enjoy Rutgers. If you haven't played, get there soon. If you haven't played a tournament with the temporary long set-up, do it! And to all of you who've been playing the course for years, I share your sorrow watching the course be changed in front of our eyes. Even as new courses sprout up around NJ, nothing will replace Rutgers.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Short and Sweet
Pros: - It's a good course for working on your short game.
- Even though it's short, it's moderately technical.
- Lots of holes that allowed me to work on my forehand. I even got to practice a forehand roller on one hole that was short (surprise) and had a low ceiling.
Cons: - Did I mention it's short? Leave the distance drivers at home. Although there is a large field that you can practice drives in if there's nobody around.
- The baskets are OLD. I had 3 perfectly good putts that the baskets didn't hold like they should have. I even used my Nova for most putts hoping the soft edge would help it stick to the chains more. It helped to a small degree.
Other Thoughts: I wish I had known about this course when I lived in New Brunswick years ago, but that was before I knew about DG. It's easy to get a quick round in, but I would suggest having a map of the course handy if it's your first time. Many of the back 9 holes have signs pointing the next one, but the front 9 does not have those signs and it can be a little confusing at times where the next tee pad is.
All in all, it's a short but sweet little course and worth a visit. I couldn't help thinking while lining up many of my shots that Cubby must have gotten a large percentage of his aces on this course!
Also, thanks to whitefedora for the suggestion about parking at the meters on Suydam St and starting on hole 10. I had the course to myself at 7am on Wednesday, July 5th, but there were University police giving writing tickets to cars in the campus parking lots.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Like Rutgers, this course is a fine option
Pros: -Provides a quality course in an area of the state that is lacking for courses
-"Pro" tees help add length to the course but they are poorly marked and documented
Cons: -Holes are generally on the shorter side
-Pedestrian traffic so close to pin locations
-Tee pads are in rough shape, even just doing natural tees with stone dust would be a significant improvement. As it stands tee pads are just a patch of dirt
-Parking is tough. You either park several blocks away or risk a ticket from Rutgers police by parking in the more convenient Eagloton Institute lot.
Other Thoughts: Its a fun course but definitely was not designed as the end all, be all, model for other top flight NJ courses.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Old School Fun
Pros: This is a neat fairly technical course with 18 baskets. Most of the holes have a directional arrow on the number plate pointing you to the next tee. And most tees are only 50-100ft away, so navigation is relatively easy. The holes offer some mild elevation changes and plenty of trees with completely fair fairways. The course is also open 24 hours a day and has a lot of lights throughout the course because of all the walkways and commons grounds which makes for fun nighttime play. There are also tee signs on every hole that have adequate information and plenty of next tee signs also in the ground which particularly help with the tricky to find next holes.
Cons: The baskets have seen better days, but they are certainly not unusable. Just a few bends in the cages and a couple links were taped together, but they all seemed to catch reasonably well.
The safety is definitely an issue and the course probably shouldn't be played during peak school hours because there are many many walkways that are being thrown over. HOWEVER there is a pro to this that I mentioned in the pros and other thoughts.
The teepads were all natural and most were not all that flat, but the holes are short enough that really everything can be shot from a standstill.
Other Thoughts: ***DISCLAIMER FOR PEOPLE THAT DO NOT ATTEND RUTGERS AND WANT TO PLAY THIS COURSE***
You can NOT park in the parking lots here. You CAN park on the metered street of Suydam St by Nichol Ave. and then walk down Lipman Dr. and on your left hand side you will see hole number 10 right after the parking structure.
All in all, I had fun playing here. Shoot, I even bagged half the course in the dark because there was enough light from the walkways. Really neat to play at night and the lines were fun to shoot at. The course definitely feels like a senior in college designed it (which I believe Dan Doyle was when he did) and just kinda winds through the pine forest that students walk through to get from building to building. Definitely a fun little bag.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Short, Technical, Nice and Clean
Pros: Clean signage (besides hole 2) somewhat easy to follow once you have played a few times, technical course with some challenging holes, good mix of holes, great local crowd, met up with 2-3 guys already that were more than welcoming
Cons: longest hole is 280 feet, cant really use any drivers on this course, ALOT of students walking around when school is in which causes delays, course layout is a tad confusing at first
Other Thoughts: My home course, literally a mile down the road, perfect for learning new shots, short game, putting, approach, well maintained, great following of locals, tuesdays are partners night which has a nice following, clean, i play here all the time
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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