DG in a New Hampshire Forest
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is built in a beautiful area of hilly forest. The amount of work that went into defining and creating holes here is clear.
Hole lengths vary from 195' out to 450', with an average length of 288'. In fact, nine of the holes fall between 250' and 325', with only two over 400'. This is a heavily wooded, technical course. Fairways range from moderately tight, to very tight, to (only a couple of) poke-n-pray.
There is a lot of uphill, downhill, and sidehill play on this course. The hills are steep and you'll want to take your time walking the course. I didn't find a lot of undergrowth to hide my discs, but I was playing in early to mid-Spring and things may grow in.
There are some clever landmarks like Yoda's Bog, The Sisters (a large group of trees), and Mutumbo (a huge, shot-blocking tree).
Infrastructure includes framed-in rubber tees at the long positions (natural for the shorts), decent laminated tee signs, and excellent Innova baskets. In these thick woods the Innova yellow band is an asset.
Course flow was good. I started from the upper parking lot at Hole 5, so the walk from Hole 18 to Hole 1 was longish. But I didn't have much trouble finding the way.
Cons: The course was a little raw and rough in some places. Understandable given the setting, but a few spots could use some trimming. Walking is tough, and you should plan on wearing sturdy boots.
Rubber tees were good, but not great. Some were slick with dirt and pine needles. Brooms provided at each tee were a help, but even after sweeping some remained slick.
The diagrams on the tee signs were pretty basic. The hole diagrams weren't particularly accurate, especially with regard to basket location. A sign might indicate a basket to the right or left of the fairway when in fact it was straight ahead, or (slightly) to the opposite side shown.
The short tees were pretty rough.
Other Thoughts: This is a woods course from start to finish, so not a lot of variety regarding types of hole. If you like open holes this course is not for you!
It is convenient to have an upper and lower parking lot. When I played the park was closed, so I parked in the upper lot and started on Hole 5.
No bathrooms are available until (I assume) the park opens.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
This is what the woods are all about!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: OBDG has the most incredible wooded holes- epic upshots, sweet lanes, big downhills and generally a killer combination of power and finesse needed on every hole. Big upshots in every flavor, wooded downhills, cool snakey sidehills and the like. Not one boring hole.
Also beautiful, beautiful tees- level and well built, with rubber matted tops and a broom with hanger on every tee. LUXURY, I TELLS YA!
Every aspect of this course is lovingly cared for by a dedicated group of super friendly and welcoming volunteers and they do an awesome job. Hole after hole of just awesome, clean trees and incredible landscape to battle.
The weird "5th hole first and play the first 4 last" layout was funky BUT the labeled path out after #9 lets you decide to if you want to replay 5-9 after you do 1-4 (trust me, you will) and that's a fun option, especially when you're in borderline post-coital swoon mode after playing this course haha. Signage and basket arrows are all kept very nice.
This place is a MUST PLAY. The level of accommodations and consideration this place has being a volunteer/donation op is mind blowing. Also, hit up their facebook page, they're always down to play.
Cons: Leaving was the worst part.
The lack of signage explaining where to go after 18 could use a fix. Thankfully you will have to walk past it to leave, but we were scratching our heads about where it was until we saw it.
Other Thoughts: If you haven't been, GO.
The only things I could really imagine being better would be some leaf blowing in the fairways and actual rec tees someday but those are nitpicks. The funky layout actually gives you the opportunity to play more so any confusion is well worth it once you figure it out.
Can't express how impressed I really am with this place and I can't wait to go back! HUGE props to the people that built and maintain this course. Y'all are doing God's work out there in Keene.
Don't forget: Pack it in, pack it out. No pets. Carts are a death slog.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Exceptional course, well done!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lovely use of New England forest. Appreciate the time and care to lay out and cut this course. 18 holes, all with great tee boxes, all with brooms, all with fun lines. All are fair, none simply place you in jail and expect random luck to save your scores. Equal forehand and backhand lines. New Discatcher baskets by Innova, most numbered. There are basket direction arrows, although it can sometimes still be a touch confusing for newbies. The footbridges are nice. Clearly care has been taken to add themes to holes, like Mutumbo, the Chair hole, the Tar Pit hole, the Anthill hole, the Wind Chime hole, etc. Lovely! Little white plastic "sprouts" in the ground at ten meter circle around each basket, perfect for us PDGA players wishing to know step/jump permissible distances.
Great use of terrain, up and downhill shots, including the longest downhill all-woods bomber in any local course, 490 feet.
Course will teach you how to put on the brakes and disc down for downhill shots that will float much longer than you expected, and will skip like pavement on the packed pine needles. Course will teach you that a 250-foot extreme angle uphill shot will require every ounce of rotation and reach-back to get it up there. What a tough but loving teacher this course is!
I must especially compliment the course maintenance for ridding the holes of nearly all underbrush. Errant shots and tree bounces can still be located, lost discs should not occur here. Thank you. The Keene Disc Golf Club apparently grooms and manages the course...thank you greatly for the time and effort.
Cons: There are almost no cons. Pack in pack out your trash, no cans for litter (hard to maintain, I assume). This is a 100% wooded course, which some would view as a limitation.
Since the area is closed six months a year, it would be great to have a sign on the park road that states the opportunity to start at hole five, or to keep walking to hole one. A newbie walking along the road comes upon hole 5 first, pokes in, sees the five on the basket, and gets wicked confused. The courses uses well plastic-protected paper signs, and one explaining the options right here at the stairs to hole 5 would be a godsend. A sign is needed also at home 18 to show new players (who might be playing "around the horn" holes 5-to-4) how to get to hole one to be able to continue as the two holes are not contiguous and those who started at home 5 are left scratching their heads at hole 18 basket.
Would be nice to add a simple long stick/broom handle hanging on a tree at the "tar pit" to retrieve discs, or a 36-inch "grabber" (less than the cost of a broom). There were not enough dead branches around to help poking our disc out of the slop (and locating a stick delays play for those behind us) and given that carts are not capable on this course, carrying a disc gator is hard to do on a DG bag.
Hole 4 borders on luck. There's no clear backhand line because of one tree in the gap, and there's no long forehand line. Then, deep, trees, trees, trees. Clear a line and give skill a chance here, please.
Given that it's Otter Brook, an otter themed hole would be nice (any chainsaw artists out there that want to donate a big Otter?).
Other Thoughts: DO NOT BRING YOUR CART! I enjoy my cart, as does my brother. We use them without issue at Barre Dam, Sunapee (when we hike up, but not in the lift), and Tully. Here at Otter Brook, pulling the cart broke us (and nearly broke our carts!). Uncle, we call uncle. lol Not a course for carts, every hole with uneven terrain, granite stones, bridges too narrow for carts. In a word, leave your cart at home.
Superb sister Course to Tully. Tully more open, sunny, with only a few holes in the back nine that emulate Otter Brook. Big arms will prefer Tully. Otter Brook is much more technical, more narrow tunnel shots, but always fair. Appreciate greatly that Otter Brook is not just all straight tunnels, which is common for woody courses. Frankly, Otter Brook is an amazing course. No fee to play, so take care of it, players. A ton of TLC and effort has gone into this course for our enjoyment.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
What woods golf is all about
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Terrainimus Maximus!!
* Balanced design (not overly lefty or righty friendly)
* Good mix of up, down, and sidehill throws
* BEAUTIFUL scenic woods trails that happen to have tees and baskets
*Good baskets (placement and catchability)
*Risk reward opportunities
*Almost every hole requires thinking and planning
*Fair flight paths that test your abiiity to shape shots
*Nice tee pads
*logical flow, easy to navigate
*good facilities in the rest of the park with entertainment for the non-disc golfers
*good recovery possibilties when you get off line (not choked with scrub brush)
Cons: *no garbage cans on course (but this could be a pro)
*you might need a hiking stick and a mountain goat to carry your bag
*rubber tee pads get slick when it's humid and rainy.
*alternate tee pads and/or alternate basket locations??
Other Thoughts: Bag used/needed: carried 16 discs, used all of them
Impression: This course is exactly what woods courses should be like in the hills and mountains of Northeastern U.S.: tight, technical, fair, clean, logical, intellectually challenging and fun. I had to hit a lot of good shots and get some good bounces to break par here, and I consider it to be one of my best rounds of the year.
As an outsider, I don't think there is as much difference between the front and back nines as the previous reviewers noted, but that might be because there are now solid tee boxes on both nines. Both nines have some longer holes, shorter holes, uphill holes, downhill holes, lefty/flick friendly lines, righty backhand friendly lines, ROLL AWAY basket placements, risk/reward opportunities, etc. etc. etc. I couldn't relax at all, I had to think about every shot... which is how it should be in the woods. There was only one time I felt unfaired upon at the tee (hole 16), but that was because the best route needed a strong righty forehand uphill drive, which I can no longer throw with my 52 yr. old shoulder. A lack of a shot due to lack of skills... yeah, that's on me, not on the hole design, which did have a very narrow backhand alley available if I dared to use it.
This is a mature course in a mature forest, and thus not all that frustrating. What undergrowth there was has been hacked away, the piles of dead sticks are well away from the fairways and baskets, the lines are clean as long as you hit them and if you don't you are not very likely to lose your disc as a result.
This park is very VERY pretty, and a nice place to hang out either before or after your round (picnic tables, benches, bathroom facilities, beach, lake, trails, etc.)
This course is right up there with Hyzer Creek and the Highlands of Conway as one of my favorite woods courses so far. I highly recommend playing here.
On a scale of 0 (horrible) to 5 (heavenly):
Ease of navigation: 5
Tee pads: 4
Baskets (catchability): 4
Baskets (location): 5
Bomb factor: 2
Risk/reward opportunities: 4
Use of terrain: 5
Beginner friendliness: 3
Non-disc golfer opportunities for fun: 4
About the reviewer: I've been playing for over 20 years, and playing seriously since 2007. I throw RHBH predominantly, with a wide arsenal of other shots that I use when I need them; my drives average about 320 feet +/- 30 feet on flat ground. My PDGA rating hovers around 900, which means on good days I shoot a few below par, on bad days a few above.
About my preferences: In my opinion the perfect disc golf course is an interesting walk in a natural space, with a wide variety of challenging but fair opportunities that test ALL of your shot making skills regardless of which hand you favor for throwing discs. I am happiest when I have to think my way from tee to basket hole after hole after hole and have to weigh risks versus rewards. In my opinion the worst disc golf courses have nothing to offer but holes that a) only test of how far you can throw b) only favor one particular type of throw on the majority of holes
c) feature "plinko" lines choked with obstacles where luck is more important than skill d) are so short that a putter is all you need e) are so wide open that the only challenge is one of judging distance f) feature lines that discs were never meant to travel (such as a hole with two 90 degree doglegs in opposite directions) g) force you to lose a few discs if you dare to play. I am saddest when I feel bored or cheated by a hole.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 technical and fun holes playing through thick New Hampshire State Park forest with bright yellow Discatcher baskets in permanent positions. All holes have well defined fairways and there is a wide variety of fairway shaping required navigating your disc through the woods and over some steep rolling elevation.
Secluded disc golf only area of park. Signage and navigation was decent. Course was clean and well maintained with little underbrush.
Cons: Only one loop of 18 holes back to parking lot. Some might list that there are no open holes or water hazards, and some holes have debatable "fair"ways where luck may play a larger role. Back nine tees are a bit rough still being natural, but imagine they will upgraded soon.
Other Thoughts: I barely made it to the course before sunset, my GPS had me on the opposite side of the dam, so I thankfully had some cell service and was able to figure out I should be on the other side. Finally get there and see the gate closed, and my heart sank a bit, but I saw some people at the small top parking lot and suddenly had a ray of hope. I asked if they knew how to get to the course and told me to walk down the road and start on hole 5.
IMO the course plays better starting on hole 5 since you end with a couple epic holes. The actual front 9 is a bit better than the back 9 as others have mentioned, so starting on 5 spreads the wealth a bit more. My only wish was for a couple more par 4s, there's only two - hole 7 and 15 and those were two of my favorites, although I liked every hole. Hole 3 was a lot of fun playing a huge downhill shot with a choice of the left or right fairway. I also really enjoyed hole 4 which was my last hole and started laughing after reading the tee sign, the hole is called Mutombo and has a tight gap between a couple massive trees. I could visualize Mutombo waving his finger and saying "no no no not today!". I ended up parking it, and waving my finger back!
Overall I'd highly recommend Otter Brook DGC to anyone that enjoys technical wooded disc golf and elevation. The grip and rip open course lover crowd might think a sadist designed it, but I don't know how you could go wrong playing here as there's so much to like and I had an absolute blast!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
fun, unique course
Pros: -The park itself is great, very unique feel, it almost feels like your in alaska or something.
-Course is fun with alot of elevation and variety.
--plenty of fun downhill shots, 3 in particular you feel a little dizzy on the teepad if you have issues with heights. 2 and 18 also fun downhill deuce holes.
--some extreme elevation which adds greatly to the fun factor and uniqueness of this course. Hole 7 in particular is downhill through trees for the first part of the hole then at around 280 or so it shoots almost straight uphill. It plays like 350 to the basket from the bottom of the hill but im sure the actual footage is more like 200 or less. Really unique and fun.
--basket locations were great. A good number of holes start out flat but end with the basket up on a hill of some kind. This certainly adds difficulty and alot of the holes play longer than there actual footage. I thought it was unique overall and a very good use of the terrain in terms of basket placement.
--very secluded feel to the course, especially on the back 9. I mean really secluded, like nobody would know if you decided to play naked for some reason (i didnt i swear, and im sure its against park rules).
--great mix of holes overall. No gigantic/long holes here but the longer holes they have are great, and a couple play alot longer than there actual footage. 2, 10 and 18 are the shorter downhill holes. Everything is in the woods, nothing open. This is a pro in my book, this is the 5th Dam course i believe and this one has a much different secluded/woodsy feel than any of the other Dam courses. Great to see all the hard work rewarded with such a great course.
--small river/creek that runs through some of the holes, footbridges built where needed.
--arrow signage showing next hole was great.
Cons: -walks between holes felt long on parts of the course (this adds to the course feeling secluded so some might say this is a pro). Con for me though.
--wish they could have used that elevation between 8 and 9. Hole 8 ends at the top of a big hill. then you walk back down the backside to 9's tee. maybe a future pro tee up on top to the right of 8's basket? idk. Just feels wrong to walk down something epic like that when you could throw a disc down it. Not a huge con though just giving my impression.
Other Thoughts: 4 is a very high rating. With this rating i am assuming the back 9 tee pads will be the same quality as the front. Im also not knocking the course for being new (back 9). Great job otter brook dgc!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
everything but the otters
Pros: just about the most jam packed fun You can fit on a course!
-just about every hole is risk-rewardalicious
tight lines you can bomb but fair density on the "fairways" to allow lines to the basket. now. if you get off the course, it can be deadly.
-I saw more rolling discs here than in Napa or delaveaga ! every hole has elevation and challenge and
-huge birdie opportunities. and will test your gumption. lots of strokes to be found outside the "fairways", and some extreme foresty terrain. like squamanagonic style, only a more rocky and rolly
-if not for a couple holes where I made bad putts I could have scored under par, and could imagine for the locals who learn all the crazy Jedi tracks thru the trees, it could be a great course to play often. for the first timer it's best to come prepared with water and trash bags ;)
-obvious trails and signs and b tees too!
-there were benches but I was having so much fun I don't remember sitting down.
-nice mix of impossible puzzle holes and ace runs !
-it's free !
- reminded me at times of the mighty Stub Stewart
Cons: no trashcans.
the back 9 tees are ruff.be careful. my rating is implying they are going to be like the others. it's a good enough course with innovative and tricky fun holes that I can just assume the tees will be installed eventually
a map would be nice. if not just for a memento.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
18 Hole Otter Brook Course A New Hampshire Treasure!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Otter Brook DGC is located in the state park with the same name. However, this course is being built and developed by the Keene Disc Golf Club and one can readily see that they are doing things first class.
The property that the course occupies is on your right as you enter the park. You might say it's the quintessential piece of New Hampshire forrest, rugged, extreme elevation changes and unparalleled beauty. The park service has allowed them much freedom in trimming and cutting as needed.
There is a park service sign as you near the first tee warning you of park hours and the time you need to be out of the park, It was 6 pm the day I played.
The tee boxes on the front 9 are especially great. They are rubber matted, absolutely flat with a wooden border. The same mats are coming for the back nine. Brooms are available on each hole, I believe? The signs are metal with all the info that's needed, hole #, par, distance and best route to the basket. The baskets are new Discatchers with the yellow band and a prominent number facing you. I'm guess I'm free of Vermont and their cheap temporary Discatcher Sport models! (Sorry-Inside joke inserted here!)
There is a second set of tees on the front nine (called the B's). They have natural tees, but the designers are working hard to see that they give players a totally different look at the basket, not just a shorter distance.
You will hit some some wood here! Make no mistake, this is a technical course. But, threading the needle 375' away is no easy task. There are always fair routes to the baskets, just sometimes it appeared that there were more trees growing up beyond the fair routes.
You are quickly greeted by two delicious downhill throws on 2 & 3'. # 2 is just 225' but the basket is heavily guarded. # 3 is 395' and once again, there is a opening but you better be extremely accurate or very lucky or both. And # 9 might be the signature hole on the whole course. 450' uphill. You need to place your first shot through the trees in order to land on the first plateau in order to have a look at the basket still high above you and up a very steep second hill, of course with the mandatory trees providing protection.
Cons: My cons probably aren't cons as much as tasks that just haven't been completed yet.
The back nine still has natural pads. They're small and rough in places.
I didn't get the "Wow" factor playing the second nine. I felt it was more pedistrian like. Maybe, I was just worn out, dog tired, after a long day of disc golfing.
Other Thoughts: I'll definitely reserve the right to raise my rating on Otter Brook when the back nine is completed. This course is being done right and when finished will probably rank as one of the finer courses in New England. I'm hardly an expert on New England disc golf courses having only played a small sampling thus far. But I feel fairly confident that with the passion and fire that this group has for disc golf and having this lovely piece of property, the course, once finished, will be a source of pride for all who play Otter Brook or who were involved in the process.
UPDATE: April 2017. I've been contacted by course officials with news that the back nine tees are completed and with that bit of good news, I hear by gladly raise my course rating to a 4.0. I love this course and only wish it wasn't 3000 miles from Washington state.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great road trip stop
Pros: I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS COURSE IS NOW 18 HOLES. THE REVIEW BELOW WAS FOR THE 9 HOLE COURSE.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this course! Pros include:
-Close to Keene and directly off the highway (Rt. 9)
-Easy to find without a map
-Easy to navigate
-Two tees per hole
-Beautiful wooded setting. The underbrush has no poison ivy or thorns, just lots of nice-smelling pine needles. There are some creeks and a couple of muddy spots, but there are nice footbridges to cross them. The secluded, natural feel of the course is special.
-Incredibly sexy tee pads. With brooms for sweeping.
-Great use of topography! Some huge uphill and downhill shots, while others use more subtle topography to make things interesting.
-Clearly cared for by the local DG community
-Shots that bend left and right
-Very wooded, but clear fairways
-Challenging yet fair
-You can play a round here quickly. Although you'll want to play 2 rounds... or more
Cons: -Only 9 holes.
-I wish there were a few less trees on some holes. Slightly wider fairways would be nice, but I'm being picky.
Other Thoughts: This is a great 9 hole course. I'm so happy I stopped by on my way to Concord and will be sure to do so every time I'm in the area. I met Rob, the designer, and he assured me that the back 9 are being installed. Very exciting. Once these go in, the course might earn a 4-disc rating. (For now, it's a 3.25, but I decided to give it 3.5 discs because Rob was super nice). I wish this was my local course!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The tee boxes are very nice
Nice layout - good use of the natural features
Long and Short Pads offer a good variety
Cons: Only 9 holes
Too far from my house for regular play
Other Thoughts: Keene DGC has done a fine job. Lots of potential and will need to get back after the other 9 pins are in the ground.
I am always a fan of alternate pin locations for erosion control and more variety.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.