Take Your Time At Thompson Park
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Every single tee pad for both the long tees and short tees are all uniformly made with rubber. They feel consistent and familiar from hole 1 to 18.
+ There is very visible signage to each successive hole.
+ The course is lengthy and sprawling. It takes you through peaceful wooded areas and calm open regions. Many holes are 500+ feet for the long tees. Be ready for a walk!
+ All holes feature an anchored sheet metal diagram that clearly instructs the player where to throw, how far, and the par.
+ The whole course is a unique blend of open and wooded with neither type being particularly favored over the other. Most of these holes perfectly encapsulate the 'hybrid hole' variety.
+ The fairways are immense and clearly distinguishable from the thorny rough or OB areas. Due to their expansiveness, even the worst throws can feel somewhat salvageable at Thompson Park.
+ The elevation challenges are manageable and not too intimidating with the definite exceptions of hole 2's long tee and perhaps hole 11's uphill finale.
+ (Update August 4) Brand new information board and lost disc box installed!
Cons: - There is not much in the way of convenience and comfort to be had at this course. There are very few benches, almost no trash cans, and the bathrooms (nearest to holes 2, 8 and 16) are quite a ways off course.
- Two or three of the holes are intersected by a high school cross-country course. If you decide to play here during the autumn months on a weekend, be aware that there is a slight chance you might have to skip a hole or two due to runners and spectators.
- The aforementioned unique blend of open air within the woods means that the course does not demand precise placement or even too much careful aim. Accidental mindless flinging can happen here, and higher-level players might feel unchallenged.
- Some of the holes feel too close to one another. This might lead to some players' throws landing in your flight path.
- (Update August 4) Despite the high visibility of the 'next tee' signs, there are no additional signs during the particularly longer walks to reassure players that they are still headed in the right direction. The biggest offenders of this are the walks between 7 & 8 and 14 & 15.
Other Thoughts: (Update August 4) My favorite hole is definitely 11 because of its grand valley elevation variety, water OB, and difficult distance. It is the first par five I ever encountered. I use it as my metric for how much I am improving as a disc golfer. My least favorite might be hole 1 simply because it is the least hilly and has the fewest trees
Full 'disc'losure, this course is located in the town where I grew up, and it is the course that introduced me to the sport of disc golf. So, I feel a disproportionate amount of pride when it comes to the Thompson Park course.
Barring that, I do feel that the course is excellent by its own merits. It is a very accessible course. New players will enjoy the straightforward nature of the holes. More experienced players will enjoy the open-ended approaches that exist for the holes. Many of them are wide enough to allow for all throwing styles.
Thompson Park is a quintessential 'park-style' course. Most courses I have encountered contain a constant theme of some kind: hilly courses that demand angled approaches, constricted wooded courses that favor streamlined accuracy, or wide open courses that encourage letting loose at full power. Thompson Park is a combination of all of that.
Almost every hole has trees, but they are spaced out just enough to encourage powerful throws every time while taking just enough consideration to aim. This course does not require any one skill in excess in order to play successfully, which means that all players can use their own style successfully. The course does not rely on narrow tunnel shots. Nor does it rely on brute force flinging like any open-air course you may have played. Thompson Park is a 'choose your own approach' course. Regardless of where the lie is, the player will not feel too obstructed or limited because of the space between the trees, which allows the player to open up and experiment. It isn't a very demanding course except by distance, but I think that is the whole point.
Come to Thompson Park if you are seeking a pleasant environment to enjoy some stress-free disc golf. Take in the landscape, listen to the birds, throw your disc, and do it again. You will not be disappointed with Thompson Park.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice park/scenery, fun round
Pros: First time trying this course, which is set in a lovely state park right off of the turnpike i-95 with a deli (Jamesburg Deli) right along the way, a block or so from the entrance in case anyone needs to fill up on water or eat a quick sandwich/breakfast (no beers here FYI).
The course begins and ends at the parking lot, which is convenient
Great signage to show next tees, easy to navigate
Great maps for each hole at each tee, painted on top in white or blue (or both in some cases) so you can see from further away which tee you're walking towards
The entire park was nicely maintained
Overall great course and can only improve with more benches, garbage cans, bathroom options.
Cons: Some of the par assignments are off. We played white (short) tees and noticed this. Par 4's that should be Par 3's.
Other people enjoying the park aren't too familiar with disc golf yet, a couple picked up and threw our disc back after a throw by the road...ugh
Some of the tees aren't level or are bumpy
Not exclusive to this park, but I killed two ticks so beware when entering the bushes looking for your disc..wear repellent and long pants.
Other Thoughts: I have only played 3 courses in NJ (Campgaw, Field of Dreams, this one) and find this to easily be the best one of the three. Next up I'll be trying Greystone Woods.
Very convenient that across the exit is a pizza place AND ice cream shop..which were both fantastic
There's a good amount of shade, but also a fair amount of direct sunlight, so it's best to apply sunscreen and bring a hat/shades.
Tip - on the course map, the number location indicates where the side where the tee is.
On hole 13 be careful not to throw the disc over the fence by the hole..it's then in the zoo for the deer to keep!
If you're playing with friends who are novice or are close to the next step, this is a good course given you can see the hole from almost all tees and there are a good amount of short/easy holes.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Thompson Park is a superb disc golf course. It has 2 sets of tees (White or Blue). Beautifully maintained with nice elevation changes. Most of the par 4 holes are scoring holes. The course is forgiving, so if you have a bad shot, you can still manage to scramble to get par. The course has a good feel to it. There are other people doing other activities in the park on any given day, but they never hinder the game as the course is designed where nobody could interfere. Its a different round than simply playing in the woods with nobody else around. One of my favorite courses in NJ. Go & Throw!!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Pros: This course is challenging, but if you mess up a shot it doesn't tend to punish you with deep brush or lost discs.
Its an amazing course that's well maintained and has the right distance on holes to present a fun game for new or advanced players.
Each hole is completely different which makes the course that much better. We've all seen the courses where it's practically the same play on the majority of holes.
Super easy to navigate with well marked tees and baskets, and the guides to the next tee pad on each basket are great.
Cons: Possibly a few too many trees mid-course resulting in a lot of obstacles.
Only 1 or 2 trashcans with easy access and the 2 bathrooms that are available are pretty far off course. For a course of this length there should be amenities a little closer to the course as newer players can expect to take a few hours to finish if in a group of 3 or more people.
Other Thoughts: Overall the course is great and absolutely beautiful. Would like to participate in leagues and tournaments on this course.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun, easy, long course
Pros: I'm a big fan of courses like this. There are lots of mature trees, creating a bunch of cool fairways and unique golf lines, but not much undergrowth to lose discs. It isn't a "woods" course, but rather a park-style course. What's really unique about this course is that the long layout (Blue) is a relatively long par 64 layout, but EASY. Most long layouts are challenging. This puts this course in a unique sphere of its own, and the name of the game is to get your 3's on the par 4's. I guess that's always the name of the game, but failing to do so here means that you will have trouble competing. The layout, tee pads, tee signs, navigation are all strong here. Plenty of variety exists hole to hole. Some favorites include hole 3 (a long par 4 through the trees, with the end of the fairway clearing up, lots of options off the tee); hole 6 (a nice turnover bomb off the tee with a protected approach to the basket); hole 8 (another cool par 4 with plenty of trees to pick a line through); hole 11 (the signature hole, huge par 5 that requires a great shot-shape downhill bomb, an approach over an OB creek, then another 300 feet of up hill dogleg approach to the basket, awesome hole!); hole 13 (cool, low ceiling slightly downhill par 4, big drive distance potential on this one); hole 15 (awesome downhill par 4, probably another signature hole, tee shot tempts you to throw a big full flight over an OB road, fading back into fairway); and hole 18 (long downhill par 4 with a drive busy with obstacles near the tee, but a pretty open approach, cool finishing hole).
Cons: There are some repetitive or filler type holes. Holes 1 and 9 are similar, 300 ft. straight shots (some play anhyzer line). Holes 5 and 10 are very similar (straight or slight hyzer putter shots). Holes 16 and 17 are very similar (straight or slight turnover uphill shots). Sometimes, pedestrians are on the fairways, as this is a popular dog walking park.
Other Thoughts: The course is only a few minutes off of Jersey Turnpike exit 8A, so it's really easy to get to. I like this course a lot! The only other course in the mid-Atlantic area that I've played that seems similar is South Hills in the Lebanon, PA area a few hours west of Philly.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
High quality course
Pros: great layouts and a nice variety of shots.
You are not likely to loose any discs.
Nice tee pads.
Park is very well maintained.
Cons: No kiosk with a score card or a course map for new visitors.
Par 4s are more like 3s.
Other Thoughts: I was visiting from Connecticut and had time for one round. I was able to visit the park and enjoy the nice course. A woman walking her dog told me that it was regarded as one of the top 3 courses in the state. If you have a chance definitely visit and play. I will return to play again if I'm in the area.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Totally enjoyed the visit!
Pros: Perfect Park setting course which offers a variation of throws. Basically a disc golf paradise with multiple tees and park amenities. Great course for beginner as well as advanced players. The Par 4's really stand out here along with signature par 5 hole 11. You should not loose a disc here. Easy to navigate. Overall just fun to play.
Cons: Some pars felt off to me in some cases where some should be par 3's instead of 4's. A couple of holes (like 14) could have been lengthen and made better use of the land. Course is still little to short for Pros mostly do to the many short par 3's.
Other Thoughts: Solid course all the way around, its a blast to play, a must stop by if your in the area. Great job of routing the course away from general public areas in most cases. Looks like there is room to expand or revise the course as it grows. More length for pros could bump this course up to 4.5. Its the kind of course you wish you live next to!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Awesome Course in a Nice Park
Pros: Great variation in types of throws, elevation, hole length.
Course is always in good condition and well maintained.
Cons: Update pars on for shorter tees?
(That's about all I can think of)
Other Thoughts: I love this course. Challenging enough to always be fun yet not too hard that an average player could hit par.
Centrally located in NJ and easy to get to from the Turnpike or Rt 130.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Quality Park-style Golf = Lots of Fun!
Pros: -Great use of elevation for park-style golf. Combos of drive & approach uphill, drive & approach downhill, and drive downhill/approach uphill can be seen on Par 4s. Many undulating Par 3 fairways, downhill Par 3s, and even steep uphill Par 3s, one from a platformed tee box.
-Greens were well placed and equally protected. Tree protection varied per green, whether it be tree limbs hanging 50' in front on the RHBH & LHBH hyzer approach, small bushes, tight hallway approaches for both RH & LH, mature trees guarding the front of pins, evergreens closely guarding left or right. Definitely a little bit of everything, with a few open greens.
-The elevation & usage of trees allowed for multiple shot choices both FH & BH from the tee and approaches. Proper drive placement was rewarded on Par 3s, but not required to score on Par 4s.
-Signage was spot on. Excellent graphics.
-Easy access to park, ample parking w/ first tee directly across street.
Cons: -Some Blue Par 4s were a tad short. I didn't play the White tees because of the shortness of Par 4s and repetitiveness to their Blue counterparts
-Teepad areas are still developing, but this does not take away from the quality of the course design.
Other Thoughts: If some of the Blue Par 4s were lengthened, or had their Teepads moved to provide a different drive angle, this would be an epic park course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
NJ Getting it Together
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 hole permanent course located in a nice county park. A practice basket sits by the main gazebo near hole 1. With only a couple of exceptions, there are long (blue) and short (white) tee pads at every hole. Good aluminum signs depict hole #, par, distance and flight path. Good hole and distance variety with hilly terrain adding to the challenge. The fairways are groomed and manicured. Large mature trees force the player to hit lines and create playing options. The par 5 hole 11 featuring a long downhill shot over a creek and then an upshot to the basket provides a nice signature hole. Small "next tee" markers allow for easy navigation. Very nice job on the railroad-tie tiered tee pad at 17. A porta pottie is available near hole 5.
Cons: Many of these "cons" are byproducts of this course being relatively new and will be addressed in time. Quality tee pads must be installed at most holes. The tee posts for short holes 2 and 3 must be moved; they currently sit right in the fairway if playing from the long tees. Cross country runners, dog walkers and the occasional clueless park patron sometimes interrupt your round. A branch or two here and there on a few holes should be cut. Amenities like benches, bag poles and a few trash cans would add to the course.
Other Thoughts: Thompson Park has large picnic areas, ball fields, a lake and a deer preserve. The DG course is one of the better 18 hole venues in NJ, and it's a nice playing experience here. It's obvious time and thought went into its design. It flows pretty well and is balanced. It is challenging yet not overly difficult. Along with some legitimate par 4s, a couple of ace runs are present, especially from the short tees. Thompson provides a good balance between an open and wooded course, and while there are many trees on most holes, it never seems overly wooded or oppressive. The terrain and layout require a variety of throws, and rollers can be a huge part of your game here.
I think an argument can be made that several of the short tee par 4's are "tweener" holes and could be considered a "3". To me, it's not a big deal and selfishly, it works to my benefit.
This course will easily bump up to a "4" once the tee pads are installed. Another quality course in a rapidly expanding NJ DG scene!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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