Excellent Links Design
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Sandy soil, rolling elevation and gusty winds provide "links-style" golf on a course with a great design but way too little upkeep
+ You're close enough to the water to have prevailing wind with strong gusts - so the wind can be a factor on every shot
+ I have played a handful of courses on operating or former ball/foot golf courses, and this is by far the best design I've come across. Even though there are wide fairways (with sand traps), the course makes great use of woods and treelines. There are several heavily-wooded holes, plus a handful of others where trees guard the green or require you to shape your teeshots. The back nine is a bit more open, but I never felt the disc golf design was compromised by being on a ball golf course
+ Multiple tees - the back tees add angles and/or hazards in addition to length. Worth playing several rounds
+ The tees are marked with easy-to-spot white PVC posts, topped with flags indicating the Blue or White tee, although some of the blue flags have bleached out over the years. Teeposts have hole number decals affixed
Some holes of note:
+ Hole #1 is a good, open 300+ starter, with the basket placed on a small mound just inside a treeline. Don't be long: there's a 12'-15' dropoff hidden behind the basket
+ Hole #3 is a short, tight wooded hole with a sharp left dogleg. The rough is heavy on both sides, and there's a pond lurking in the woods all along the left side
+ Hole #4 is long with a narrow fairway that requires careful placement of your teeshot. Then your approach up to an elevated green. A really good hole that rewards accuracy. It's worth noting here that par for the White tees are vastly different (uDisc:54, DGCR 63, making this 550' hole either a par 5 or a par 3 depending on which card you're using to score). I'm here to tell you it *should* be a 4 from the whites: 5 is too soft, and 3 is just punitive
+ Hole #7 is a left dogleg that puts you in the woods, with a substantial difference in how the hole plays from the two tees, The Blue tee requires a carry across an open fairway before entering the trees
+ Hole #11 has a steep right-to-left downslope all along the hole. The basket is slightly above the tee near the edge of the ridge, and it's protected by a few guardian trees. A great test of a righty forehand or a backhand turnover, because anything that goes left is well below the basket. The course Facebook feed indicates this is one of the holes that's been changed ("due to Township requirements") since opening. The original layout was along the valley and required a long water carry. I can understand how the new layout is a lot less dramatic, but the designer cleverly moved both the tee and the basket to create a forehand/turnover challenge
+ Holes #12 - #14 are in an open section with tall grasses, rolling fairways and lots of sandtraps. With a stiff wind blowing, you're playing links-style golf: keep it low and release it flat. Any nose up or bad angle will sail on you
+ Hole #16 was probably designed as a signature hole, with large crescent-shaped artificial ponds protecting the green from both the nearer White tee and the distant, opposite Blue tee. Unfortunately for the experience the ponds aren't kept full. The day I played they were almost empty, looking like a lake in Nevada during a drought
- The single biggest drawback is the lack of maintenance. The course was opened in 2015, and it doesn't appear to receive any attention other than mowing. It's evident that the real money-maker here is paintball. I was on the only golfer (disc or foot) on a Sunday morning in July, but there were dozens of paintballers there for organized matches on the other side of the property
- Next Tee signs are decent, but they point to the Blue (back) tee. The White tee is sometimes in the opposite direction indicated by the sign. Carry a map or uDisc
- The direct line to Hole #8 is up a narrow approach through some woods that appears to require that you cross a "no Trespassing" area marked by a neighboring business. I stayed away, and played a route up the open fairway, figuring that the basket could be found in the woods on the left. It was there, but the overgrowth makes the basket all but unreachable from the fairway. I'm still scratching my head about whether they've forgotten to keep it open, or if you're supposed to ignore the trespassing sign
- A few long walks between holes, but it's usually pretty obvious which way to go (and the teeposts are easy to spot from a distance). The most difficult transitions are to #12 and to #16. The uDisc map helps a lot on these, but you might wander around a bit your first time
- I'm not opposed to pay-to-play, but $10 is a bit steep relative to other courses I've played, and it's maddening to pay and find no maintenance to the course
~ As mentioned above, par from the White tees varies widely whether you're using uDisc or DGCR. As an 800ish golfer, I think the par 54 on uDisc is a little tough, and the 63 on DGCR is soft. I imagine there's a scorecard available in the pro shop - but it was closed for my visit during the time of COVID
~ Calverton is a great test of the relative weight you give to elements when rating a course. Lack of maintenance has hurt the experience: no signage, old and rutted teemats, water hazards that have been drained. It's easy to focus on those things, especially when you're in the midst of a tough round. But I found myself liking this course the more I reflected on it, because the excellent hole design and the demands it puts on play overshadows the acknowledged drawbacks
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Calvertons of Fun
Pros: - Variety of shots - you'll use BH's and FH's - some long bombers that still manage to challenge; some tight wooded shots that require finesse; distance gets mixed up as well.
- Great use of the terrain. Water hazards that still have some outs; sand traps from the former golf course that are played OB which adds challenge to otherwise one-dimensional holes.
- Plays a loop
- bathroom and map at the pro shop
Cons: - $10 pay to play (or $125 for the year - a deal I'd definitely take as a local)
- loooooong transitions between some holes
- some back-tracking to next tees which makes navigation a little murky in places
Other Thoughts: - If you're coming from 495 you reach the course on your left very soon after crossing the train tracks. Look for a sign saying Cousins Paintball.
-This is another solid course for LI - a great complement to Heckscher. The crew here have obviously put in a lot of time on the course, clearing woods for some holes to add dimension to a former ball golf course that would otherwise be flat for most and open for all holes. That said, the long open shots have OB that make landing difficult - you definitely have to plan your shot, no spontaneous gripping and ripping.
Interestingly, on the wooded holes you'll see hundreds of golf balls littering the ground - the result of clearing out fairways on a former ball course. Someone could make a few bucks collecting and reselling them. Maybe even enough to pay for an annual pass?
Holes of note - Hole 5 - it's short and sweet but a misfire will put you into some thorny rough - tread lightly.
Hole 6 is a great example of a super long yet wide open shot that would seem boring if it wasn't for the OB sand traps dotting the entire fairway.
Hole 7 is an ace run with an unforgiving sand trap to the left of the basket waiting to hand out penalties and turn a potential ace-turned-birdie into a plain par.
Hole 8 tees from a wooden platform near the road - you should across the ball golf fairway to an opening in the woods which then veers to the left. It's like the best of both worlds.
There are benches scattered about, but they were for the ball course and aren't located near any tees. Navigation isn't the easiest. I'd definitely suggest getting the map in the pro shop - there are large flags marking each tee and next tee signs on most if not all holes. However, there's not yet any hole info at the tees (par, distance, map). I can see how as it's still brand-spankin'-new some of the issues present will be worked out, especially the signage. I can also see how this play could potentially be nice and crowded during fair weather.
Overall I had a great time - it's a long course for sure but lots of fun and well worth the $10 if you're visiting the area. As stated before, if I were local I'd seriously consider ponying up the $125 for an annual pass.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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