Rock Solid Rockburn Branch
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + About equal presence of open, wooded, and hybrid holes means good variety.
+ Some very wide open holes to allow for max power throws.
+ Clever wooden arrows at the bottom of all baskets point the player towards the next tee.
+ Only one pin in play on most holes, but all holes have multiple possible pin possibilities.
+ Fun elevation challenges at multiple holes throughout the course.
+ The wooded holes are mostly fair and encourage forethought.
+ A few water hazards add to the fun.
Cons: - The 'current tee' signs ought to be replaced. Most are too badly damaged to be of any use to the player, and some are missing altogether.
- One tee area per hole, and the tee pads are hit or miss among rubber, natural and concrete.
- Some 'next tee' signs at the bottom of the baskets were pointed in the wrong direction. Luckily, they can be moved with some effort.
- The eyehook and padlock system used here for telling players were the pin is located needs to be updated or replaced because multiple 'current tee' signposts were missing them.
- Some of the flight paths share space with walking trails and roads. Please watch for pedestrians and cars.
- No running water anywhere here that I could find. Make it a point to bring your own fluids!
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole, as I am sure is the favorite of many others, is hole 15. It is a striking downhill tee off that starts among some trees and opens to a wide field below and drops into a creek. My least favorite hole is the one right after it. 16 felt way too narrow, and I didn't like how the player is expected to throw such a blind left turn.
As for the course as a whole, Rockburn Branch is very much worth your time. It is a varied course that takes a player through open, hybrid and wooded holes both with and without elevation. During my session in late August 2018, most of the holes' distances were longer than 350 feet, which makes for a fulfilling session of disc golf. Keep in mind that the pin positions can change- though I do not know how often.
The course itself is implanted within a decent sized community park, but it is clear that the disc golf course was a later development within the park planning because some holes have you throwing over roadways or popular foot traffic areas. During hole 3, for example, it's hard to not feel like a sideshow as you're teeing off so close to a basketball court and a playground right alongside a maintenance roadway.
Thankfully, most of the course plays away from the general public. There are some dense tunnel shots within the woods like hole 7, several lovely downhill open glides like hole 13, two or three water hazard holes and some tree-dodging hybrid holes like hole 6, just to name a few examples. I do think that every disc golfer will find something to enjoy at this course because Rockburn Branch does not overly emphasize any one kind of hole; it is a very good well-rounded course.
The overgrowth needs to be better addressed, though- especially in the back nine's wooded holes. During my most recent session, there was a crew mowing lawns and weed-whacking, but there are undeniably some hard-to-reach spots where ride mowers simply cannot travel. This makes those claustrophobic woods more difficult to manage. Just throw with intent and keep both eyes on the disc, and you should be fine.
So, in closing, make it a point to come this way if you find yourself in the Baltimore/Ellicott City area. I recommend Rockburn to anybody who enjoys getting a wide sampling of everything a disc golf course can offer.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Elevation change
- Excellent variety
- Right off of I-95
Cons: - Rough is really nasty in places
- Disappointing finishing holes
- Wooded holes aren't as interesting as the open ones
- As of the last time I was there, some of the signage was broken or missing, and navigation is tricky at a few places
Other Thoughts: Rockburn Branch is a solid course, with some really cool holes and others that aren't so great. About two-thirds of the course is park style with some really open fairways (not just a basket in a field type holes, though) and a couple of holes with tunnel type tee shots that open up towards the basket. The remaining third of the course is wooded, including one hole that plays down through the woods and across a small creek.
In my opinion, the park style holes are much better than the wooded holes, many of which feel like the generic "wooded" holes that can be found on any mediocre wooded course. That being said, there aren't very many of them, and they still do provide a nice contrast to the more wide open holes on the rest of the course. The park style holes are a good mix, with some tighter fairways and some longer, more open holes.
As others have mentioned, there is a lot of elevation change, which makes for some fun shots - although the downhill holes are more controlled shots rather than distance holes. There are also a few holes with basket positions located on down slopes or side slopes, which makes for a tricky landing zone.
Overall, I think the variety is excellent, with the exception of a stretch of wooded holes at the end that gets a little repetitive - kind of going out on a whimper rather than on a bang.
My biggest complaint about the course is the rough, which can be downright nasty in places. There is one hole in particular with a tight fairway lined with nasty rough until you get about halfway to the basket, which I am just relieved to get through without losing a disc. Hole 18 also has some nasty undergrowth (and a blind landing), and I've had a couple rounds ruined by spending a half hours searching for a disc on the final hole. But, there are only a couple of spots that are really bad.
Overall, I think Rockburn Branch is a solid course. It's one I wouldn't mind having in my backyard, but not one I would go too far out of my way to play. It is located not far off of I-95, though, so it's worth considering if you are passing through the area.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Nice course - wide range of terrain
Pros: Nice course.
Plenty of challenges.
Had to throw all types of throws depending on hole.
Cons: Tee location and organization was tough. I got lucky and joined up with some locals that were able to show me tee and basket locations.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Good parts are good; Bad parts are bad
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Some really creatively designed holes
-Good use of hills, I enjoyed the blind shots
-Multiple basket locations. This is a huge plus if you play the course regularly (which I don't since I don't live anywhere near here).
-Text file in the files section of this site helped tremendously with finding our way around the course. This leads me to the bads...
Cons: -Navigation is terrible. Many of the tee signs are broken, and they don't give you enough reference to figure out where the basket is, or where the next hole will be.
-Fairways for 3 and 5 are so close together that you could hit someone on the other fairway.
-Baskets should have numbers on them so you know where you are. There should be signs telling you where the next tee is. The navigation is bad for a first-time visitor.
-The rubber tee pads are very slippery. The astroturf pads are even worse. I fell down once teeing off.
-We played in early spring, before there were any leaves on the trees. The narrow fairways on many of the wooded holes were challenging in the conditions. In the summer, they'd be almost unplayable by recreational players.
Other Thoughts: Overall, a good layout and a good course. My rating would be 3 if there were cement tee pads, and if the broken signs were fixed. Some navigation signs would also help. It would take just a small investment to fix the signs.
Even though this is the closest course to my son's house, I'm not sure I'd come back, especially in the summer when the leaves are full. I liked the holes that were more open, but I'm not a fan of disc golf in the deep woods.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice course, but not worth the drive
Pros: Beautiful setting, mostly manicured, and a nice mix of open and wooded holes. Great up- and downhill holes, and even some historic buildings along the course.
Cons: The layout is not intuitive! We finished hole #3, went to the next logical tee pad, but it was hole #5. It took us a few minutes to find the basket for #4, then found the tee pad. This was not the last time. We even had a guy with us who had played before. I'm sure it would have taken longer if we had been without him.
Other Thoughts: If I lived in the Baltimore area, this would definitely be a go-to course! It has some "grip it and rip it" holes, as well as some that challenge accuracy.
I'd go back if I was passing through the area, but not just to play here. That being said, if you are going through, and have time for only one round, this course will not disappoint you.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
I really dug this course!
Pros: -18 holes with multiple basket positions
-Tee pads: some rubber, some fake turf
-Maps on most tee pads
-Some great up/down elevation shots
-Great mix of open/ wooded
-Creek for OB on some and tight corridor fairways on some as well
Cons: -Very tough /Near impossible navigation! I can not stress that enough not FTF (First Time Friendly) at all! Even with the print out on this page still hard to nav without a guide.
-Confusing layout (sort of combined with last statement) You actually pass a hole to get to another hole only to return later to passed hole!?
Other Thoughts: Other than the confusing layout, this is a very fun course! I was lucky enough to meet up with a group of locals (Thanks Joe and friends!) to play a round with. Without them I can safely say I would never have finished the entire course and that would have been a shame because, spoiler alert, It's a great course!!
-The holes are not impossibly long (even in the long position) nor too short. Not too wooded or too open (a great mix actually). This course is just balanced and right! Great mix of BH Vs. FH drives, great mix of wooded and open, there is even a tight corridor or two (if played as concrete being OB) that can prove very challenging. I hope it shows in the review, because I really dig this course!
-There is even a multi-use playground/recreation area near hole 3 or 4 that is a great addition if you want to bring a family out to use as you throw a round alone!
-The creek adds a hazard to a couple of holes and the elevation shots are a blast!
-Just an overall fun and almost perfect 18 holes of disc golf. I have played far worse, some better, but not too many. If the navigation issues could be fixed this would have rated even higher!
Favorite holes: There were a lot of nominees at this course and I couldn't choose one, but I have to say the holes around the barn and right after the barn (where the elevation comes in) are very fun and memorable! I believe these holes start at 13 or 14 and continue through 15 or 16.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Nice course that starts wide open through the first six holes and then you enter the woods, where as expected, holes get tighter. After holes 7-9 it opens back up again, but holes 10 & 11 you do not want to go right. It's jail and not even a thumber or tomahawk will save you. After that you play around an old farm house which is pretty cool. You'll have two downhill holes and one up hill hole. And then you finish up in the woods but relatively open. Some hole have two pins placements so you get to choose.
Cons: After hole #2, you have to walk up and around by the basketball courts for the #3 tee. #4's tee box is kinda of hidden behind some bushes, but open your eyes and you'll find it. I always seem to get turned around between #8 and #9 but both paths will get you there.
Other Thoughts: I like this course. You get a good mix of shots in wide open and tight fairways, good mix for both lefties and righties.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pretty Park, Fun Course
Pros: -As the title suggests this is a beautiful course. Rolling hills, mature trees, several places where you cross a small winding creek or the creek frames the green.
-Good signage. it would seem some of the locals have taken past reviews to heart because every tee post has a new sign attached to the post near the pad.
-long teepads are mostly a pro. A few are made of that green carpeting material which i really dislike personally because they get really slick but most are the rubber flypads which work well
-nice mix of shots off the tee. Threw backhand, forehand, and overhand and discs from putters to high speed drivers. good mix of wooded and open shots as well.
-challenging enough to be fun but not so difficult or unfair as to be a chore. i would think a few stokes under par would be a good round in its current configuration.
Cons: -the long pin placements are awkward in several places and a few are impossible to access short of a miraculous shot because discs don't fly the way they are laid out. This would be fine if the longs were true par 4s designed to be two shot holes, but what often happens is you are left with a 80-130 foot pitch to the basket whether the drive is great or just average.
-while the fairways are well defined and well maintained, the rough boarding the course is brutally thick. to the point that if you are playing to a pin position tucked into a narrow alley of rough you really have to play it like an island hole surrounded by water. if a disc goes deep off the fairway the chances of retrieving it are slim.
Other Thoughts: Rockburn provides a really pleasant and enjoyable round of disc golf. the first 5 holes give a chance to air things out on an open track and the wooded holes that follow demand accuracy (along with being a beautiful walk). Hole 9 is one of my favorites, playing either to an island in front of the creek or over depending on pin position. 12 is fun shot framed by a wooden cattle fence on the right and an old barn on the left. 15 is probably the signature hole, teeing from elevation, over the creek and into the wood line.
All in all, Rockburn is a lot of fun and worth a stop if you're in the area. Just pay attention to the holes that have heavy rough near the pins and know which side you can miss on.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Variety in scenery and shots and challenging.
Pros: the course starts in a public park, plays through the woods and out onto a farm. along the way you get a lot of variety where all shots and skills are needed. the baskets change here every few weeks giving good replay value to the course.
Cons: In the summer this course gets wild with overgrowth of poision ivy and sticker bushes. if you play then go for accuracy over distance and wear some good knee high sports socks. holes in the woods 7-9 and 16-18 get very wet after a good rain. i normally wait for 2 days of sun to follow a good storm so your not playing in slushy/swampy conditions.
Other Thoughts: #15 is the signature hole here. you shoot down from a hill and a old rustic staircase, hoping to cross a shallow stream and make it into the edge of the woods by the basket. always fun to watch a disc fly from the tee and get a good 30-45 seconds of airtime! closest to my new job, starting to become a regular, play about once a week here.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: I'm fairly new so it's a bit challenging in a good way.
Lay out isn't confusing
Good use of the land
Cons: Swampy in areas after a good rain
Brush is thick in the spring and summer
Other Thoughts: I'm Staying at a hotel in the area for a couple months and this course is the closest. We play it 3 times a week on average and it's still pretty enjoyable.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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