2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is challenging and fun to play. The course is a little more open yet, it still has some challenging holes. I played Patapsco before this course, and I felt that the layout and the scenery at Rockburn was much nicer. Rockburn is set in a large park and the holes vary in distance and types of shot you need to use. The course is challenging yet realistic if you are playing well.
I really liked throwing down towards the creek on number 9. It was a well designed hole where you could either end up in the drink, or with a nice lay up shot to the pin. The course was fairly well marked and for the most part you could easily distinguish as to where you were going to go next/throw. The back nine is the reason you come to play this course. With holes throwing out over the fields and some cool shots near the houses, it gives this course a homey feel. You feel as if you could be practicing in your backyard and it is simply a picturesque setting. It is nice to play a course that has so many different types of holes/throws. There are short holes and then there are holes where you can huck it as hard as you want. Many times courses stick with one idea, and Rockburn is not one of them.
Cons: No tee boxes kind of sucks. You don't really know always where to throw from, and it makes it unclear. I could see the potential for people/bystanders not playing disc golf to get in the way up near holes 4-6. There are some benches and open areas where other people might set up blanket and get in the way. I always appreciate courses that clearly mark where you should go after you finish a hole, and this course doesn't do that as well.
Other Thoughts: This was a great course that I will play again very soon. Being from PA, this course is worth the drive to come and play. If I had to choose between this course and Patapsco, I choose Rockburn. I enjoyed the challenge and the variety of holes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Both sweet and prickly.
Pros: The baskets are DGA Mach V's and all were in great shape except 12 which was bent some.
Most of the tee pads are natural, about 4 tees were some kind of artificial turf, the one next to the Doyle house is asphalt (which was once a driveway), and tee 16 is a wooden platform. All were playable. The dirt tees are kind of rough but they are generous with the width to make up for it. On each tee sign there is a set of hooks with a letter above it denoting a basket position. They put a small padlock in a hook to signify which basket to use. This is a great idea. No one can mess with it.
Take time to watch the basket by basket video on YouTube. It will definitely help you the first time you play. The map is useful but it could stand to have the additional basket positions added to it.
Generally speaking the fairways are well defined. They have used the available land well. It is not perfect but very doable. Because of this the general flow of the course is good. The only real blip on the course is going from 2 to 3 where you have to cross over 6 to get to it.
The practice basket is great. It is in the woods and its position allows you to practice all types of putts and approaches.
The course demands an ability to throw a variety of shots to play well. There are plenty of elevation changes, water hazards, a good mixture of lefty, righty, and straight fairways. There are both open bomb throws and very technical throws. Most putting areas are clean and workable.
While the underbrush is a definite bad problem, according to several locals there has been a lot of work to correct this. It is an ongoing work of the local club and if what I have been told is true there has been a big improvement and it will get better with time.
As for course amenities there are a few. It does have covered picnic areas, playgrounds, basketball courts, biking/walking trails, and plenty of parking.
There were benches and trashcans at several tees.
I did not want to write a novel but there is not a hole by hole review so I will try to add one in the 'other thoughts' section.
Cons: The tee signs are fairly new but they are encased in wooden cases with Plexiglas covering an aerial picture. They all are sweating and moisture has built up between the Plexiglass and picture making them hard to read.
The underbrush, especially the briers, is real rough. Particularly from early spring to late fall. Several of the regulars I spoke with had the same general comment "the course is nearly unplayable in the summer if you get into the shule".
Hole 9's fairway is really non-existent. If they were to trim some small trees out it would really help without messing up the hole.
There are no crossing fairways but on 3 you are throwing very near a children's playground. When you are at the tee area for 5 be very careful for errant drives from both 3 and 4 because they do come down in the tee area.
There are some serious drainage issues. The mud and standing water was a constant. Making getting around without wet feet difficult but not impossible. The worst one is 16 which has the platform for a tee. It makes for a very playable tee, but moving from the tee to the fairway you will be jumping form one little semi-dry spot to another in order to keep your feet dry and mud free.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed myself. After 3 three rounds in one day. It was a very good tired. It is definitely a course on the upswing. The club, led by Pro Brian Cooke and his company Disc Outfitters, is working hard to make this a better course. It is a course I will return to to play again.
I was really torn by what rating to give it overall. It is a 4 or maybe for 4.5 as a course. But the teepads, drainage, shule, and signs really do hurt it. In comparing it to other courses it came down to details not overall picture. So it gets a 3.5. Fix the signs and teepads and it goes to 4. If the shule (ther briers are thick and mean) can be beat back farther and some simple fixes for the drainage issue can be adopted then this course could be a top 10.
If the local group continues its work this could be a premiere course.
HOLE BY HOLE
1) One is a great start. It is an open field throw over a hill. The hill makes it impossible to see the basket making it a great challenge. There is a pole sticking from the top of the basket so you can locate it from the tee. The distance is perceptive and the basket is on a slope so if the disc lands and rolls it can roll quite a way.
2)You start from the woods and throw down a tunnel to the same side of the hill as 1. It is a straight throw with some limbs to contend with. Do not get into the shule, especially on the left. Again be wary when putting because if you miss the disc can roll a long way down the slope.
3)This is where the playground is and a little OAT could send it right into it. The basket is a straight throw over open area then a tight left at the end around a tree. A bit to much hyzer (RHBH) and you could nail someone on tee 5 if it gets through some scrub trees.
4)I liked this one. Having the basket on a steep hill, and out of site made for a neat challenge. The hill is steep and long. My first time through I threw a Wraith but found it to be to much disc and was at the bottom of the hill with a long, steep, uphill putt. The second time I used a viper and was above it about 30 feet. There is a mando here and it is for safety because tee 5 is to your left and is definitely in reach of most players on any errant throw. We had one come down very close to us.
5) It is over a very open area that is at the bottom of the hill and the basket is in the edge of the trees. A great hole because it is deceptive due to the height above the basket and the shule to your right if you OAT.
6)Down a hill and into the trees for a basket that sits in a prison. A roller or a strong hyzer at the end down an opening on the right will get you there for a duece.
7)A straight tunnel shot with rough shule on each side and a low ceiling.
8)Another tunnel but it has its own personality. When you play it you will understand.
9) A Monster! We played the basket on both sides of the stream which is at the bottom of the hill during different rounds. We found this to be a difficult hole to manage. When you look from the tee the basket is blind at the bottom of the hill and across the stream in its normal position. The only problem is that there is a line of tress at the top of the hill and there is really no fairway through. You either have to be deadly accurate or lucky to get through there. Once past that you will have a great time getting over the stream to the basket.
10)Depending on the basket position you will have a either an up or a putt if you get to the top of the hill on your drive. But that big tree will give you fits and makes the hole a real good challenge.
11) A straight throw down a long corridor and a left at the end with the basket up near the fence. Someone with very good overhand throws could have a strong advantage here by throwing over the shule on the left and straight at the basket. High risk and high reward throw.
12)The photos here are wrong. The tee is no longer on the road but about 75 feet to the left between the house and the pictures position. It is now, in my opinion, both safer and a better challenge. No matter what the basket position is used you have got to get in through the framed opening next to the fence to have a chance at a duece.
13) A great lefty hole. It is thrown from a high position above the basket over an open field into a small clearing on the right. The stream again comes into play if you cannot get around the corner, and if it is to tight the shule will welcome you to its nighmare.
14)Uphill and behind the 2 cedars. Not as easy as it appears. But a nice line to the left. The tee for 15 is just to the right but a big cedar protects it. We saw 4 different discs get stopped by it that were headed our way.
15) The signature basket and a great one. It is from the top again over the open field, over the stream, into the woods, with the basket protected by very large rocks. Even the pros had a hard time here.
16)My favorite hole. This one has the raised wooden platform for a tee. It is a tight throw down a tunnel and a hard dogleg left then through some more trees about 200 feet to the basket.
17)A very difficult left to right. About 100 feet from the tee is an opening on the right and then about 200 feet to the basket. Throw the disc with a hard turn to the right and land on the high side of the slight slope and you will be fine. Also a high risk/high reward alley for good over hand throwers.
18)A great finish but not an easy one. There are three basket positions with one you can see way up the fairway. That one is the course practice basket but is used by many as the basket for the hole. No matter which position nothing is going to happen until you clear the trees about 125 in front of you. Getting past those on the first throw is the key.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Grows on you
Pros: Elevation changes that include 2 really fun shots you get to hurl off the hill and the signature hole near the Doyle House. Solid mixture of open and tight fairways, regularly maintained with a mixture of pin positions, easy access from the parking area, playground nearby to leave the wife & kiddies for a couple hours.
Cons: Not exceptionally well-signed, which is too bad since the signs are relatively new but just poorly designed. Have to keep an eye on the wooden arrows at the bottom of each pin to be successful the first time through. I would appreciate constructed tee boxes too, although the natural tees are in pretty good shape in most places. If you play it once, you'll be back again.
Other Thoughts: There is an active DG community at this course, including the regular presence of DO Fitness, MD's premier disc golf vendor who will be there all summer long! (I have received no compensation, I just like those guys and they know a lot about discs for you newbies looking to upgrade your gear.) This course also has one of the best practice areas around, with a few nice benches nestled in the trees and terrific shade all summer long, and both holes for the 18th to shoot between. A great place to hang out and meet other golfers as they finish their rounds while you work on your putting or short game. All this weighs into my decision to give it a solid 4.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
An excellent play, but choose wisely
Pros: A really nice collection of holes with multiple pins that plays over beautiful rolling hills and through and around some large stands of trees. Initially my general take was that the course was open as there are only about five holes that I'd call 'woods' holes, but almost every drive demands some precision to avoid obstacles and/or rough that is sometimes far worse than you may think at first glance. The course starts with a nice open boomer that plays sidehill along a slope that falls to your left. There can be tall grass over the hill off to the left that you may not be able to see from the tee, if you see your disc heading left try to get a good bead on it. After #1, you backtrack a bit down the hill and to your left to #2 tee, this hole is a pretty straight open fairway, but there are trees on both sides to keep you honest. After #2 you turn slightly to your left and walk past the basketball court on your right to the #3 tee on your left. This is where the 'choose wisely' part begins, the short pin is no problem but if it's in the long position there's some god-awful rough off to the left. If you're not confidant in your ability to keep it in the fairway you might want to throw something expendable here. See the lost and found thread on the MD-Discgolf website for numerous tales of woe here. #6 is is where this course really gets going and doesn't stop 'til your done, this is a nice downhiller across the road to a pin in a stand of trees on the left. #7 is a classic woods hole. #8, #10, 12 and #18 all have two pin positions installed, make sure you walk up and see them both before driving so you agree ahead of time which one you're throwing at;-). #9 is an extremely tight downhill shot to a pin just on the other side of the creek, probably my second favorite hole. #10-12 look pretty open but the rough is again fraught with peril. #12 also has a second pin location that is hell-and-gone from the short pin and is known as Oxen-ho, ask a local about this one, I still haven't played it. #13 is a fun downhill shot and the best ace run on the course when it's in A, #14 is a tester back up the same hill and though an opening in a fence line, the C pin for this one is way back behind the unoccupied house you see from the tee. #15 is the signature hole, a big air downhill over the creek to a protected pin. This one should make most folks 'favorite holes' list. Don't come up short and left or you'll be hunting (again). #16 -18 are some fairly tight woods holes that take you back to the parking lot.
Cons: Tees are mostly natural but that situation is improving. The park has policy against permanent structures (concrete) but the locals are working to get fly pads installed, thanks in large part to a generous donation by a certain local.
The rough is just that and worse, it's just brutal in places. I take out a few 'precious' disc discs and replace them with more expendable plastic before I play here. The routing on #1-5 is what I'd call awkward. Like I said you backtrack to the #2 tee, then over to the back of the park for a loop comprised of #3-5, then back toward the front to the #6 tee located not far from the #2 pin. The flow is fine from #6 on.
Other Thoughts: The extreme rough is what keeps me from loving this course, but then again that's due in a large part to my inability to keep it on the fairway. This is a course where I expect your score could improve significantly after aquiring some 'local knowledge'. I expect that this course will produce some top players because they'll either learn accuracy or quit the game;-) It is also only 5 minutes off I-95 just south of Baltimore, so if you're heading by this way and have some time and your discs (including some spares;-) you really owe it to yourself to hit this one up.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: - Good variety of holes
- Nice layout
- Multiple pin positions
Cons: - Tees are ruts in the dirt
- Terrible hole layout maps
Other Thoughts: This is a great course. The course I learned on and play very regularly. The one thing that would make it one of the best would be actual tee pads (rubber or concrete). I haven't found the poison ivy to be as bad as others. There is a lot of Virginia Creeper (which is very frequently mistaken for poison ivy)
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Warning to out of state visitors --Unplayable due to poison ivy
Pros: This MAY be a nice course, all the other reviews say very nice things about it.
Cons: Unplayable due to massive amounts of poison ivy. Hole one has a 30' wide mown fairway with high grass on either side. The "grass" has an understory of poison ivy bushes. Unless you have superior body chemistry (immune to poison ivy) any roller going off the fairwawy will have to be discarded for the rest of the game. Hole 2 was not so bad, only a few patches, but hole 3 had a 10' tall bank of PI backing up the pin placement. Any long missed putt is irretrievable. I gave up on the course at this point.
Other Thoughts: Poison Ivy thrives in the Mid Atlantic region. Most people suffer itchy red rashes from it, with about 1/3 suffering from oozing blisters as well, which take 6 weeks to heal. Every course in the mid atlantic region needs to prioritize removing all poison ivy from the course.
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very nice course. Nice variety of challenges, scenery, and elevations. Multiple basket locations an added bonus to keep playing fresh.
Cons: Can be difficult to find your way around the first time, especially with multiple basket locations that are hidden from sight at the tee-box.
Other Thoughts: Played here on a business trip to Baltimore. I some trouble finding baskets without a course map since there are several you can not see from the tee box. There were a few tee boxes that were difficult to find as well. I did a lot of extra walking around until another solo player from the area caught up to me and we finished the course together. With a guide the rest of the way, I was able to enjoy everything this course had to offer and if I'm ever in the area again will make sure to stop by for a round or two. Easier navigation would probably add a point or more to my score. As is I still gave a 3.5 - "Very Good."
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Awesome park with a variety of throws.
Great pin locations. This course seems to be on an old ranch with some major elevation changes.
Cons: Concrete tee pads would be nice.
Other Thoughts: Fun place to play and ride bikes. Not to far of a drive from Baltimore.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Long and confusing
Pros: Loved the layout and it is in great shape.
Cons: Finding tee boxes and baskets was the worst.
Other Thoughts: Whoever maintains this course please update maps and add more/better signs for better course maneuverability. This was its biggest drawback.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The course definitely has a few fun holes and shots. #15 is definitely the signature hole where you throw downhill towards/over a stream with a nice view. The few holes before that play around the same area and are equally fun, scenic, and provide a decent challenge. Multiple pin positions give you some replayability and there's good use of the open and wooded areas of the park that work your shot selection. All the holes are signed and most (if not all) baskets have a marker pointing the way to the next tee.
Cons: Unfortunately, the course is hampered by too many cons to let the pros really shine through.
As others have mentioned, the course layout at times is just terrible. Without the course navigation notes here I never would have made it through. There are a few places where, even with the pointed direction, you are unsure of where to go or you pass a tee pad that is not the proper hole.
The tee signs have the length and par (I think) on the signs along with a hole diagram. These diagrams are fairly crude though and may not be to accurate scale, so they often don't give a complete feel for the hole. On the day I was there water had gotten on the insides and misted it enough so that sometimes I could not see the hole layout properly. The signs and sign posts mark that there are multiple basket positions, but unfortunately there is no indication as to which location actually has the standard for the day/week/month (whatever frequency the positions are changed). While I have no problem with blind shots, these factors make the ones here a little frustrating.
There are a couple of parallel fairways, but 1 and 2 was the only place that really bothered me. After you throw a blind tee shot on one over the hill you will see two baskets in the distance, fairly close to each other. The closer is 1 and the further 2, but you may not realize this without the navigation guide; it would be easy to believe the course, rather than rotating basket positions, has a basket at each all the time. Also, with the arrangement of the fairways, it seems like the second shot landing area for #1 and the driving landing area for #2 are very close for average throws. What makes this even worse is that some holes *do* appear to have multiple baskets present at one time.
The thing that probably bothered me the most is the underbrush/growth. The early holes in open fields either have large swaths of uncut grass or (around 4 & 5) this odd area of low and tightly growing shrubs/bushes. Much of the rest of the course if you don't hit the fairway you'll be in *very* thick vegetation and thorn bushes. These can make it extremely frustrating when you have a disc go off the fairway because of the time and effort it takes to find and the strong possibility of losing it if you aren't watching closely. This was really the worst part about this course from my viewpoint.
Other Thoughts: The course is in a park that has a playground, basketball courts, picnic shelters, and such. It appears the course has a doubles night once a week and a trailer from a local store is occasionally in the parking lot selling gear on the spot.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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