Best course in the area.
Pros: Most tees have rubber matting and a map to show where the hole is anf how far from each tee. Also some holes are very scenic and are nice to be able to just sit, take a break, and enjoy the view. Some holes don't have both pro and amatuer tees; some are just one tee for all. Great course for all styles of play. some holes in open fields, in heavy/light wooded areas, some big hills, and some half and half.
Cons: There was no maps/scorecards for players to take with them to navigate and such, though they are'nt really needed. Also, when i played, there was a wedding taking place so we had to skip a hole and go back to it after. Also, the amatuer tees are not rubber matted, they are just marked by bricks in the ground.
Other Thoughts: Great and relaxing all around course and park. In between holes 11 and 12 there is a bird zoo area, restrooms, vending machines,water fountains, and playground.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Awesome course. Great use of elevation changes, great mix of hole styles and lengths. Wickham has exactly what I'm looking for in a well-designed course. First, there are many difficult holes that make you work for pars (while not being so difficult that a par is impossible), combined with many holes that present very reasonable birdie opportunities (while not being 'gimmes'). This makes for a challenging, yet rewarding round of golf. And second, the approximately 50/50 mix of wooded/open holes is excellent, and most of them utilize the constant elevation changes in the park to create even more diversity of holes.
Shorter Rec tees are available on some of the longer holes, which is always nice to promote amateur play. These appear on holes 1, 3, 6, 8 and 11 (but not 7, to my wife's dismay)
Baskets and tee pads are excellent, with tee signs at every hole, offering all the juicy info you need (preferred route, distance, elevation change, par, etc).
Cons: Not too many, and they're mostly picking nits. If the grass hasn't been mowed on hole 1, there is potential to lose a disc, but you can always play the rec tee to avoid that hazard. On busy days (weekends, holidays), it can be a little tricky playing the course with all the pedestrians/sunbathers/picnickers using the park. If you haven't played the course before and aren't carrying a map with you, finding some of the next tees could be very challenging, particularly 12, 13 & 17. Bring a course map with you! And of course, the biggest con is that the course closes down and they pull the baskets in the winter (November through March).
Other Thoughts: There are permanent alternate baskets on holes 2, 7 & 9, with an alternate tee for 8. There are also an additional 4 holes (A,B,C & D) sandwiched between holes 5 & 6. After finishing hole 5, take a left and walk up 6's fairway. The tee for hole A will be in the woods on the right.
The park itself is very nice, with many other attractions, including numerous gardens, children's playgrounds, athletic fields, and a cool little aviary between holes 11 & 12. Great views of the Hartford skyline from hole 7's fairway.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Best of CT
Pros: Impeccable fit and finish - from the tees to the maps to the landscaping. Apparent to me, after stepping up to the first tee, my first time playing, that this is where serious players go. Intuitive flow - constant mix of wooded and wide open. Plenty of elevation changes, down one basket, up on the next. Really brings a little bit of everything to the table. 2 and 5 are short and direct, the stuff of aces. 6, 8, 11 and 18 require considerable power to keep par realistic, with long straight and open fairways. 13, 14, 15 are all tight and narrow, steep elevation changes, and under heavy wooded cover.
The majority of the other baskets (I'm thinking of 1, 7, 10, 12 and 17, in particular) require a soft, usually 45-degree curve, enhanced by gentle elevation shifts. These floaty, twisting fairways are prevalent here, hence I find this to be the trademark, if anything, of Wickham, and these types of fairways can be immensely enjoyable to play on.
Cons: Great courses draw crowds and Wickham is no exception, lots of traffic (which can be great if you enjoy meeting new players, although it can slow play down). More garbage and recycling receptacles would be appreciated. Park could do a better job of offering direction to first time players, as tee 1 is on opposite end of park from main entrance. Lush stuff on left of fairway on 1 is pretty unforgiving. The walk from 11 to 12 breaks up the rhythm of the course, although it's fun to look at the aviary and stuffed beavers on the way.
Other Thoughts: Excellent course. Top-notch facility and meticulously maintained. This is easily the best course I've played in CT and by my estimation, could probably hang with any course in New England (probably one of the better courses in the country). Great mix of scenery, strategy and challenges. 7 has to be the trademark with the long, curving downhill fairway and sweeping view of the Hartford skyline. Literally a "must play".
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Home Sweet Home
Pros: This course is beautiful, nice views, well maintained, easy to navigate. Great chill spots with benches. 4 New holes A,B,C, and D. There are usually plenty of people out playing. I am still a new guy and I enjoy watching others throw better than me.
I enjoy the variety, Hole 1) off the top of a hill down and left. Hole 2) stay low but keep it long.
Hole 3) Awesome hole if you miss those trees.
Hole 4) it's not as long as you think go easy now.
Hole 5) Lob it and stay off the grass.
Hole A) Lauch sequence initiated! stay a bit right but it is thick in those bushes.
Hole B) is a fave of mine it's blind but if you know where the pin is you'll get there.
Hole C) 2 Approach options clearly marked
Hole D) Fun is all I can say
Back to Hole 6) Long and Straight to start can you crest the 2nd hill? then hook left.
Hole 7) Long dog! just huck it and you'll see
Hole 8) Striaght down (i do prefer the short 8 pad)
Hole 9) Go left of the trees trust me
Hole 10) With a good tee shot you'll be fine.
Hole 11) My nemesis, for me it's a par 13
Hole 12) Down the hill easy enough if you over shoot it the woods are thin there and you should locate your disc easily.
Hole 13) Back into the woods for some tomahawkin if you make it to the top in one your fine.
Hole 14) Send in a spotter.
Hole 15) My tomahawk birdie hole.
Hole 16) Test of skill/luck with these scattered trees.
Hole 17) Back in the open with a cool treeline shot that can easily result in a bird.
Hole 18) Giant uphill shot kind of plain.
Wickham is my 3-4times weekly course so when I play other courses the bar is set rather high.
Cons: I don't usually care about amenities but I would like to see a couple more trash cans. I get pissed when I see bottles and butts everywhere. Over 22 holes there are only 2 trash cans and I see too much trash on the ground. I bring cigs and beers and you'll never see any of mine left behind. Pack out what you pack in. I think a couple more cans might help get that message out.
Other Thoughts: In my opinion there is only one con to this whole place and that's the jerks that throw their trash wherever they want.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
BEST COURSE IN CT
Pros: The Park is very easy to get to, right of 84, exit 60. The fee to enter the park is very cheap, only $5 for complete access until sunset.The park is super clean and not too crowded. The pads on each tee are very clean, and most of them had places to sit, and garbage cans to dispose of trash. The course is very wide-spread all over the park, giving you a chance to see a lot of nice views along the way. There is a nice aviary you can walk through after leaving hole 11, a good thing to see all the interesting birds. This course offers many different elevation changes on holes, not just the same old dog-leg lefts or rights... It is very challenging and offers you to perfect your skills in open fields and narrow tree shots. There were few places to misplace your disc for more than a few moments. The tees were very easy to find, most of the next tees were visible from the basket of the previous one, but having a map helps when you're not sure where you are.
Cons: Honestly the only bad thing about this park is that there are not enough signs leading to the first hole of DG. Other than that this course is perfection!!
Other Thoughts: I will be back to this course as soon as I have the chance, which will be very soon!! My girlfriend & I loved it and having played several other courses in the area, this by far is our new favorite!!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is an awesomely maintained park! Well manicured, great facilities, and very convenient to the interstate.
Chainstar baskets are in great shape and catch well. Rubber teepads are not quite as nice as concrete, but are done right and pose no issues. Plays in the open as well as in the woods. Nice variety of terrain, both uphill and downhill, which I loved. Grass well kept and while it doesn't look like they mow it once a week or anything, you won't lose a disc or anything in it.
Parking was plentiful next to the first tee. Even when busy I can't imagine it would fill up completely.
My memorable holes:
1 - Long-ish downhill hyzer shot, with a bunch of shule covering most of the land on the way down, OB. Takes a deceiving amount of distance to clear the OB, then the basket is tucked in some trees to the left (not visible from tee).
3 - Talk about a pinball hole. It takes a very accurate shot not to get caught up in all the thin trees. Uphill and no direct line, better to play safe (which unfortunately I didn't do!).
5 - Nice downhill right-turning tunnel, give it a soft anhyzer with a neutral fairway driver, and let it float on down to the basket.
6 - Says that it's only 510 feet, but plays like 1000! Uphill for several hundred feet then left, into the trees. A big arm could get lucky and have a look at a 2 with a perfect drive, but alas, that is not me.
7 - Really cool tee tucked into the edge of the woods, you throw out over a large field downhill, and the basket is in the point of another stand of trees 600 feet away. The thing that really gets you is that if you don't keep it low, it will dive wayyy left into more trees..
9 - Tough, tough, tough. Almost no line, but not much distance either. Best shot I could come up with was a severely hyzered forehand. It did not work well.
13 - Up a big gulley, about 30 feet elevation change, very, very tough shot.
18 - Finishing hole was pretty cool, up a gentle hill, then the basket guarded by some mature trees.
Cons: My biggest complaint is course flow. I suppose it is a tradeoff between flow and using the best areas of the park to make great holes, but some holes have some long walks in-between, and even with what seems like a very good map, I still had considerable difficulty finding some of the next tees. Walking between 11 and 12 was a little challenging, but got to see some cool animals in the aviary on the way. Likewise I had a little trouble finding 17's tee.
Probably not a common thing, and I won't let it factor in my rating, but when I got there mid-afternoon, they were getting ready to shut the park down. One of the very cool rangers let me go ahead and play as long as I promised to make it quick, thanks again man!
Other Thoughts: My rating of a 4 is based on this park being so well-kept, and well-designed, although a few of the holes are a little simple, but the difficult ones make up for it. It could be a 4.5 in my opinion if they upgraded to concrete tees, and improved the navigation.
If you are in the Hartford area, you HAVE to go play Wickham. From my initial research of the course, I didn't expect a lot, but it appears it is a hidden jewel. I can't wait to make it back to the area again to play it some more!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Beauty in the hood
Pros: For where this course is it is amazingly beautiful and well kept. The course is in a multi use park but you don't run into the other activities very much, if at all. Even though the course is wide open there is a huge use of elevation and OB which keeps you honest and defiantly challenges you to make a good throw. The tee signs are colored and mounted on nice stands that clearly show the basket location, distance, par, and second tee position(if available). The tee pads are rubber, on the long tees anyway, and nice and level. Some of the holes have multiple baskets with one tee and this makes for an even more unique experience. The layout is awesome. There aren't many trees on the course but they are used to maximum potential. Whether the basket is in a cluster of trees, they run next to the fairway, they are in front of the tee box or somewhere else they always make you second guess your shot. Make sure to bring your strong arm because the sheer length of this course is daunting, and that doesn't take into account the changes in elevation. There are some restrooms located behind hole fourteen's teebox. The cleanliness isnt the best though.
Cons: Some of the baskets could defiantly use some TLC as they are damaged and/or rusting. The short tee pads are not well marked at all and hard to find. There is a really long drive once you enter the park to get to tee one. The tee pads have pine needles and grass clippings all over them. A broom would be a much welcomed addition. There are very few next tee signs which can be confusing without a map. There is a constant wind which toys with your mind (not sure if it is a con but the wind takes your discs and they can be hard to find in the tall grass). Even though the grass was recently cut it was still almost ankle deep.
Other Thoughts: Admission to the park is $4.00. Make sure to request a scorecard because you will need the map. Hole seven's fairway offers a gorgeous view of downtown Hartford. There is a playground near hole twelve as well as a bird sanctuary and food stand.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wickham Park is a gem from start to finish. Getting to Wickham is extremely easy and is right off I-84. Once you've arrived at the park and paid to get in, you get to see what your money paid for. Wickham is a beautifully manicured and well-maintained park that includes numerous gardens, an aviary, playgrounds, tennis courts, a nature center, and bird sanctuary. Stone staircases and old, long rock walls add to the overall ambiance.
Wickham Park covers a lot of bases with a great variety of holes. From short, wooded, and technically challenging to super-long, wide-open, grip 'n rip monsters. The course also features numerous elevation changes, some of which are extreme and can prove to be very challenging.
Multiple tees allow both advanced and amateur players to test their abilities with distances that are appropriate to their skill level.
Tee signs were very detailed and showed both tee positions (when applicable), distances, and expected lines. Tee pads were in great condition and several tees also had paver surrounds. The baskets were also in great shape.
Wickham Park was refreshingly clean and lacking litter or garbage.
Cons: Very few things detracted from the overall score at Wickham Park. The most disappointing aspect of the course is the fact that it's only open from April-October. As the preeminent course in the area, local players need to play lesser courses half of the year.
While course flow and layout is great, next tee signs would be helpful.
Multiple unsigned/unlabeled baskets on hole 9 was very confusing.
Other than mild elevation changes, most of the wide-open holes lacked any obstacles or technical challenge, just a looooong drive (or a couple of drives) followed by a direct putt. Having a basket or two tucked behind trees, rocks, or other obstacle would up the challenge factor. Additionally, I'm sure that there are streams/ponds on site, adding some water OB would also increase the risk vs. reward aspect of the course.
Other Thoughts: This course is amazing. If the course could be modified to incorporate a few more obstacles on the longer holes, add water OB, or (most importantly) stay open year round, I'd be able to easily bump my rating to 4.5 and would have to carefully evaluate whether a score of 5.0 would be warranted.
I will be playing this course again. The next time I pass through the area, I'm going to make it a point to play at least one round at this beautiful park.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 5 Not
B = Be too open & Be too long
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B-
(By in large this is an open course - 2 of the 6 wooded holes are too short to be punishing as recovery from a bad shot is automatic on them. As such, good decision making and execution do not benefit you much above doing so poorly. 3 of the 4 wooded holes that remain are superb.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == B-
(I think that this course caters best to Red level players (250-275' drives) as the long holes are legit par 4's for them whereas they are routine/boring par 3's for me....and the short holes that are too easy for me, would be cool/rewarding holes for shorter arms. Big arms will love the long holes, but will be even more bored by the short holes than I was.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B-
(Again, this is not really a wooded course. If the ratio of wooded to open was flipped, I would rate it much higher in this area. There is decent R/L variety and use of good DG terrain.
The coolest hole in my book is #14 - the narrow wooded 324' hole starts out flat/slightly down for about half the fairway, then drops off precipitously - sign says 70'! To go for a deuce, thumbers might work well, or maybe a touchy yet powerful anny putter shot. But if you screw up, be prepared to pay! I have always wanted to design a hole like this since I have never seen such a hole implemented....but now I have. Nice!)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B+
(Very nice park! The wooded holes are beautiful and secluded as are many of the holes crossing beautiful meadows. Seclusion from other park users and neighborhood is lacking in about 1/3 of the park.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == D+
(Slight bonus points for having 4 par-4 holes. 2 of the 4 are nothing more than long. Hole 6 is a dogleg with a long and open first throw followed by a very short and routine 2nd (not a strong hole). Hole 8 is a passable par 4 despite it being quite open. It forces you to throw long and place your drive well. If you are off, you may well have a very difficult upshot to a guarded basket.)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me.....and that's the fun of things here.
12 of 17 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Relatively easy to find, great course layout and generally good flow from hole to hole (a couple exceptions), a couple HUGE holes for big guns, excellent use of terrain, a very wide variety of shots necessary from real finesse to full-on hurl... I'm running out of superlatives, here. Suffice to say that it's on par with Cranbury Park in Norwalk (CT), the Black Rose in Kamloops (British Columbia), and Stafford Lake in Novato (CA) - stellar. Definitely tied with Cranbury Park as the two best courses in CT.
Cons: Not very many... beginner/intermediate players might be intimidated by the huge holes... can get crowded due to the "per vehicle" rather than "per person" fee... closed from October to April, definitely a con...
Other Thoughts: I played this course on my own, and was happy to bump into a few locals who showed me around. Amazing course, truly; if I lived closer, I'd play it all the time. Totally worth the drive, though. The parking fee is nominal, especially considering what you get. I do wish that there were better signs for the next tee a la Cranbury Park, but all in all this is in my top three favorite courses.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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