2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: For a wooded course fairways are very fair. Teepads large & level. Baskets caught well & in great condition. Navigation is easy except for 2 holes but not difficult to retrace steps to next hole. Elevation changes & pin placements make the course special! Loved some of the baskets embedded in rocks although my putters didn't. Par 61 seemed a stretch the 1st round I played (shot 58). 2nd round (62) it played to the pars. Beginners luck on round 1 I guess?? Aced #9 during Rnd2!
Cons: I'm pressed to find any negatives about this course. If any, the tee signs are pretty basic. With the elevation changes & length a flag or some color on the baskets would be nice for locating pins.
Other Thoughts: If you are near this course I strongly recommend playing it. Played in early fall with perfect weather but can imagine it being just as enjoyable in any season.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tee boxes are in excellent condition and most have brooms to clear off debris.
Tee signs are simple but informative, which I like.
Some holes have picnic tables which must have been a pain to move into the woods.
Park was clean! Course Map at entry to course; take a picture with your phone.
Cons: Some lack of sign-age. I got lost between hole 9 and 10; wound up playing 14 instead of 10.
Too many trees.
Other Thoughts: Unpopular opinion: I thought this was okay. I gave this a 3.5/5 because I know players who are better than I, will enjoy this and the course is beautiful.
Maybe this is a sign of how green I am, but I found it very difficult to navigate past the trees on any drive. On ~15 holes, my initial drives were interrupted by trees.
I found a few of the fairways to be incredibly narrow (lookin' at you, 17). Typically, my drives bank a little which made getting through these narrow fairways, without losing my disc to the woods, impossible.
Given the number of trees, and the distance of some of these holes, I would seek to add a stroke to most of the pars.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
wooded N England challenge
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Basic tee signs yet very informative showing the intended flight path along with the distances. Large flat rubber tee pads with brooms available at times. Very clean park/course, I didn't see any litter to pick up. Tons of elevation which I love in DG, this is definitely a 'hike'. Some parts are STEEP both up and down hill.
After 3 holes, I was wondering why this course was so highly rated, but the rest of the course presented a great challenge with many pars 4's and two par 5's. My notes show I really liked holes 4, 5 ,6 ,7 and 11. Some of the shorter par 3's had 2 very distinct paths which is very good design.
Cons: Bugs very annoying but not terrible. A few muddy spots, some had wooden bridges/planks to help keep you out of the muck. A colorful flag on the baskets would certainly help with seeing the basket from the tees.
This course isn't easy, I'm sure beginners would feel frustrated, maybe this is a pro for experienced players like myself.
Not located very near an interstate while driving in CT like Cranberry and Wickham are.
Other Thoughts: I played here the day after 501 in MA and kinda got tired of walking/hiking over rocks/boulders, such is the terrain in the region.
Don't let the name "Field" mislead you, every hole is in the woods.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A Gorgeous Hike in the Woods – Plus Disc Golf!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a gorgeous, challenging, well-designed and well-maintained course. Rocky, mature deciduous woods with elevation is my favorite environment for disc golf, and that is exactly what Nichols Field offers. Excellent variety of hole designs: short and technical; long and challenging; right- and left-turners; tough uphill grinds and big downhill bombs; and several holes with multiple lines available.
Often I stepped up to the tee and said "Ooh!" Of particular note are hole 14, a 511' right-turning controlled bomb off a cliff, and hole 17, an 822' straight to right-turning bomber with danger on both sides of the fairway. On both holes the fairway is temptingly wide but the rough will punish transgressions.
I expect this course has excellent replay value. Playing solo on an uncrowded June weekend I was able to throw extra drives to practice different lines. Usually I ran out of suitable discs before running out of options.
Large, grippy and level rubber mat tees over framed substrate. Shaded practice basket. Plenty of benches. Brooms available at many teepads. Port-a-pot and trash cans by the parking lot.
Friendly locals who are justifiably proud of their course. I don't know if the course ever gets crowded but I had Nichols Field pretty much to myself on a glorious Saturday afternoon in late June.
Cons: Rocky fairways add beauty and challenge but can chunk up your discs. This could be an advantage if you need to season discs quickly.
Gray metal baskets are sometimes difficult to spot. Adding a brightly-colored flag would be helpful. Some chance of disc loss if you get a bad kick off the fairway.
Some mosquitoes, but nothing 40% DEET wipes couldn't handle.
One big loop, so no opportunity to stop at the car mid-round.
Other Thoughts: There are a goodly number of short, technical holes. This suits my game but some might prefer a few intermediate-length holes (number of holes in the 325-425' range = ZERO). Overall there are 3 holes < 200', 9 holes in the 200-325' range, and 6 holes > 425'.
Nichols Field is woods golf. If you prefer wide-open bomber holes, this probably not the course for you. If you enjoy the challenge of throwing precise lines through fair fairways, you will probably enjoy playing here very much.
Hole 1 is an example of excellent design on a seemingly simple hole. A 215' hole, slightly downhill, with two lines to the basket. The left gap looks more forgiving but a well-thrown RHBH anny or RHFH leaves a 25-30' putt. To park your drive on the left gap one must force over a stable to OS disc RHBH and get a late fade at just the right time. That's a lot of risk-reward decision-making packed into 215'.
Hole 3 has water just past the basket, but blind from the tee. I was fortunate to leave my drive short or I might have lost a disc. Not a problem for local players who know the course.
Tee signs are basic but sufficiently informative in most cases. Course navigation was reasonably intuitive with occasional map consultation.
I enjoyed this course very much.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Outstanding, challenging woods course with zero redundancy of shots. The variety here is what a New England woods course should be. Especially incorporating the elevation changes. I played it once, and am already a fan. Every single hole is challenging. Even those with the baskets right in your face. Can't wait to better learn this course.
Cons: The challenge here is real. Almost Rockwell park level demanding. I need to play the course more before I get critical of par ratings. Also I lack the skills necessary to make those criticisms worth a damn. Course's fault.
I can see mud and over growth being problematic. Also I lost a disc here. Also the course's fault. I don't make errant golf plays. Stop suppressing my genius, tree/rock/bush/root! That was going to be perfect if...
Other Thoughts: It's not in my backyard. I have to drive 30 minutes to get there. Not fair. Designers didn't consider me when they made an awesome course not super close to me. Rude.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Nichols Won't Shortchange You
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + All tee pads are wide and long rectangles of sturdy flat rubber anchored tight within wooden frames. Many are equipped with brooms to sweep away debris.
+ The fairways are well defined requiring no guess work from the player where to throw.
+ On top of that, the venue was spotless. Numerous signs throughout the course remind players that it is a 'carry-in carry-out' place. Plan accordingly, and please don't litter!
+ The setting is peaceful, secluded and adventurous. The player feels as though they are within an unexplored rural forest with sheer cliffs alongside some holes, a trickling stream during the early holes, stunning downhill glides in the back nine and plenty of rocky and wooded scenery to enjoy all throughout. Much of this course is a fun hike.
+ All holes have benches or some kind of seating arrangement for players to wait and/or recuperate.
+ The 'next hole' signs are visible arrows on wooden planks installed at eye level with multiple signs during the longer walks.
Cons: -The tee signs are shockingly basic. Despite their clean and consistent appearance at every single hole, they contain very little detail beyond the distance, path and par. This leads to hesitation and/or confusion on the longer more complicated holes.
- Safety is a concern here. Numerous exposed roots, stumps and moss-covered rocks are all over the place. A few of the walks between holes require some gentle climbing, too. Wear sturdy footwear, keep both hands free and go at a leisurely cautious pace, and you'll be fine.
- The lovely forest setting will likely feel repetitive to some players after awhile and offers zero opportunities for full-power throws. Also, keep both eyes on your disc as it flies. I get the feeling that discs can be lost easily here.
- The baskets do not catch the eye. In a heavily wooded course like this with tons of overlapping shadows, visibility of the pin is key. Putting flags on top or using brightly-colored cages could fix this minor issue.
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole at this course might have to be hole 13. I've always had a soft spot for downhill throws, and 13 at this course is a gem. It is one of the shortest holes at Nichols, but the position of the pin is so thrilling at the edge of a small cliff and the elevation between the tee and basket is so drastic that I couldn't help but fall in love.
As for a least favorite hole, I might say that's hole 6. I didn't like the feel of the two fairway options. This is purely subjective. Something about it felt off to my mind, and I can't even be more specific than that.
As for the course as a whole, Nichols Field is magnificent. Some true effort went into making this place a dazzling spot to play our sport. The designers and builders knew exactly what they were doing with this piece of land. Every well established fairway, each of the sturdy and reliable tee pads and the purposefully placed pins combine to form a disc golf course that stands proud and tall over a majority of the courses I've played so far.
And the course is tall. Any player that comes here is in for a treat because of the views provided by the gradually rising vantage points as they progress through the holes- not to mention the holes that incorporate that elevation to begin with. Some players will find the endless trees to be repetitive and boring. I think most players would wish that there could be at least one wide open hole to let loose with a grand reckless glide. Wide diversity certainly makes for a great course, but so does marvelously-executed specialization, and Nichols pulls that off without any doubt.
Newer players might be a bit intimidated at first with all of those trees and only one tee & basket per hole, but there are actually quite a few brief holes. Eleven of the holes are shorter than 300 feet, so fresh players will get good training as they learn to manage woods and elevation- often at the same time! A nice example of this is hole 3 where the player is faced with a gradual rise through a tunnel before a gentle left turn sends the player downhill where the basket waits within a wooded clearing next to a lake.
In closing, I emphatically recommend Nichols Field. Players who prefer to air out their shots and not worry about accuracy until later will have to tone it back a little. Nichols requires accuracy and tactics. The dull baskets and bare-bones tee signs are kind of letdown, but that's the biggest course-specific fault I can aim at Nichols. Just about any player will find themselves charmed by the challenges on offer here. Newbies will appreciate how approachable most of the holes are. More experienced players will like the more brutal challenges through the forest up and down hills. Add to that a presentation that's consistent from start to finish, and you've got one of the best courses in the northeast!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
18 Holes in Middlesex County
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nichols Field Disc Golf course is located in a public municipal park in East Haddam, CT. The tee boxes here are big, beautiful, and level rubber pads that ensure solid footing off the tee. The course is in its second year and so the Mach V baskets are in great shape too. The designers have put together a widely varied course with all kids of shots and distances required to complete each hole. Fairways are clearly defined and thoughtfully cut out in the woods. Benches are present at many tees and signage is generally excellent and clear. Tee signs show the hole's number, distance, and par information with a hand-drawn map showing the general trajectory of the fairway. This course is very challenging and requires players to negotiate tight gaps, dramatic elevation changes, mandatories, sloping and fast greens, and a variety of angles. Even the shortest holes - there are three under 200ft - are incredibly challenging and have potential to put a big number on your score card. There's a practice basket at the head of the course and an open field near the parking area where one can practice driving. There is plenty of parking and a small playground in the park too. It's a very scenic environment too.
Cons: The terrain is pretty fun to play here, but can be precarious especially in muddy conditions. The woods are pretty punishing and it would be nice to have an open shot to mix things up a bit. Hand-drawn maps don't provide much help on blind shots. The course overlaps some with hiking trails. I can imagine that the bugs are bad in the warm months.
Other Thoughts: There is little that one can complain about here. It's a stellar course. It's great to see a great place to play in Middlesex County.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Nichols Woods - It's in there like Prego!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Excellent course design integrating an aesthetically pleasing and unique nature hike while playing through winding fairways of heavy woods, decent elevation changes, some huge rock outcroppings/cliffs, and wildlife.
Course mixes up the holes very well with some short fun and dangerous ace runs and some beastly par 4s and a par 5. Downhill shots, flat shots, uphill shots, straight shots, left shots, rights shots, snaking fairway shots, you better believe it's all in there like Prego Traditional Italian Sauce.
Nice rubber tees and decent tee signs and baskets. Easy navigation. Underbrush was fairly well kept considering the newness of the course and the extensiveness of the woods, except in a few places with ferns and downed trees.
IIRC there is a port-a-potty and trash can in the parking lot.
Cons: Only one big loop of 18 holes back to parking lot, although you can easily play a shorter loop of 9 or 14 holes. Only one set of tees and basket position set for intermediate-advanced skill level. Rank beginners may struggle, but not impossible.
If you have an aversion to woods golf there is nothing anything remotely close to resembling an open hole although the fairways are generally fair.
Thirsty skeeters. Possible hiking trail interference on a couple holes.
Other Thoughts: Ain't no open field holes at Nichols Field DGC! This gem of a course is all tucked into the heavy woods and rock outcroppings. Nichols is by far my favorite course in CT although I've only played 2 with Rockwell being the other. I feel like the current rating of 4.20 before this review is spot on, and I was really close to giving Nichols a 4.5 rating.
Nichols was my last, but not least course played on another epic New England disc golf road trip, so I was already beat up and ready to go home before I got here, but I really enjoyed playing this course and wanted to stay longer and play it again! Highly recommend this course to any traveling players!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
CT upped it's game
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wow. This course is challenging and fair. The mix of attackable short holes with monster long ones keeps it very interesting. I am also a fan of the lack of OB throughout, and while many people have pointed to the playable rough I disagree. I think, especially for the longer holes, if you find yourself off the fairway it plays like a natural OB. I prefer that to regular OB anyway, keeps it challenging and I don't lose my disc in any water. I also love the use of elevation. Not every course does it correctly, but Nichols uses elevation leading to the pin and also along the hole. Playing up and down hills all day isn't fun, but at Nichols you play up, across, over, and down hills throughout. Hole 17 is a bear that I will one day trap.
Cons: Fern monsters
Other Thoughts: Nichols joins Rockwell as the hardest courses in CT. And since Nichols is 3 strokes higher for par I enjoy that too!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Perhaps it's my love of rock outcrops, but Nichols is a beauty of a course. Lots of elevation changes. Benches, brooms and great teepads. Easy to follow without a map and no long walks between holes.
Cons: Swampy throughout the course which I'm sure will be mosquito infested areas in the warm months. Baskets are hard to spot, could use some high-visibility tape on the pole or number plate. It's a new course, so some more tree removal may be necessary to make one or two of the fairways actually fair.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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