Best Course In Maryland
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Parking lot, two practice baskets, two tee pads, two baskets
walking trails, course is very clean, great flow, easy to navigate, huge open fields to practice throws
Cons: Hole 18 could be a little more challenging with just a shot back across the field to the parking lot
Other Thoughts: best course in MD
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The sound of plastic hitting wood
10 Helpful / 0 Not
+ Beautiful wooded location, with elevation changes and a stream that comes into play on eight holes. Tees are rubber and they're on graded boxes, so they're flat and fine for play as long as it isn't wet.
+ Don't let the wide open first hole fool you: with the exception of hole #10, you're deep in the woods until the final hole. This clever design gives you a welcome relief midway and at the end of your round
+ The local club has built wooden bridges to help you across the creek in about a dozen locations
+ Lots and lots of navigation signs - sometimes on the holes indicating doglegs, and always helping guide you to the next hole. These are big metal signs with white arrows on blue backgrounds
+ Basket placements are the strongest part of the course design, ranging from short basket #2 atop a rockpile, to the long #9 basket on top of a ridge behind a stone wall, and lots of nicely tucked away baskets calling for shaped approaches. Two sets of basket locations, adding variety for multiple plays
- The old style Mach V's are so hard to spot in the woods. The difficulty is increased because the same models are used for both the shorts and longs. The local club went to the trouble of placing small color-coded flags with numbers on the tops of the baskets, but in this era of brightly-painted bands, these baskets aren't a good choice for being visible in the woods
- The tee signs are also old style DGA's - the white fibreglass kind with the stick-on numbers, tree decals and throwing lines. I know these are less expensive than custom signage - and they work pretty well on open courses where you can see the basket, or where there's no elevation change. But on a heavily wooded course like this, they don't do a very good job of illustrating the hole
- Yes, there are two sets of tees and two sets of baskets. But the two tees were frequently very similar shots, because the tee boxes are located so close to one another. Your choice of baskets makes a much bigger difference to how the course plays
~ I was surprised to see that Mill Brook was built as recently as 2018, because it feels like it's from an earlier era of courses. At times it felt more like throwing discs while hiking in the woods, rather than playing a wooded disc golf course
~ I'm trying to figure out why I didn't enjoy my round at Mill Brook more than I did. It's a good course in a very pretty setting; it gets a lot of love from local volunteers, though it could be made better with upgrades to the baskets and signs. I was often frustrated by having to search for the basket which wasn't visible from the tee, and I felt like some of the fairways were poorly defined. But most of these "flaws" come with my being a first-timer playing this course. After a few plays, I'd know where the baskets are, know what the designed throwing lines are, and enjoy the differences presented by the two sets of baskets. I rated it a 3.5, and certainly understand why others might give it another half-point
~ In the meantime, if you're going to visit Mill Brook, try to latch on to a local. Failing that, I think the most enjoyable first time around is to play the Short baskets: they're a little bit easier to find, and you'll see the Long basket locations as you head to the next hole
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Great wooded course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great course in the woods. The first and last holes are open, but that's about it. Has some very interesting holes with a variety of obstacles. The park and course is very well maintained.
Cons: Not a course for beginners, but seasoned vets should really like this course.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful course in general. For a disc golf course, it kind of turns into a nature hike. I went during the summer and thought that was a great time to visit.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Quality newer NE Maryland course
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Beautiful place. Rolling hills, meandering stream, lots of rocks, tight (but fair) wooded lines, picturesque stone walls, good bridges over the water, not very muddy...really a great experience. We had three young ones with us, and they entertained themselves for 2.5 solid hours while we played. Overall feel is similar to Clark's Run in VA or a mini Iron Hill.
+Get off the fairways and you'll be in trouble, but finding discs is not an issue. We had two low-intermediates and two beginners playing, and never looked longer than 10 seconds for a disc. Course is very well maintained.
+Holes were well-crafted and made superb use of the terrain. Not a junky hole in the whole 18. A few that were pretty memorable (#2, #8, #11, and #15 pop to mind).
+Two tees and two baskets per hole at all times. Course has excellent replayability value. Raised rubber tee pads are in great condition (note con below about rubber) and baskets are too.
+Different layouts provide widely differing challenges. Short-short is good for anyone; long-long (even short-long) will challenge even the best players.
+Has three open holes (1, 10, 18) that let you rip a disc without worrying too much about trees. These are well placed to give a good warm-up, break, and finish after wooded golf.
+Nice practice area with two baskets, picnic table, and lots of small trees to provide tricky putt practice.
+Set in a disc golf-only part of the park - as far as I could tell, there were no hiking trails through here, so no issue with hordes of pedestrians (this course is pretty remote anyway, though).
Cons: -I'm always wary of rubber tee pads as they are death traps in wet conditions (and they might not dry quickly with 15/18 holes firmly in the woods). They were in fine condition on a beautiful September day, however.
Other Thoughts: Located on the same grounds as the Churchville Rec Center. It was closed due to COVID, but I'm guessing there are bathrooms and water in there. It is a long walk from the disc golf parking lot (which, in turn, is about a 400 yard walk uphill from hole #10 tees), so do plan ahead.
As of Sept 2020, UDisc is off on the pars. Go with what you see on DGCR's hole info page.
If you have little ones in tow, recommend the superb Annie's Playground before/after the round. About 20 min away, close to I-95.
I definitely plan on coming back here from DC suburbs (1 hr 15 min from College Park) a few times a year. Worth the drive.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Quality course in the Mid-Atlantic
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a very beautiful place. The course starts with a large, sloped meadow and then enters dense woods. There is the lovely brook that has several branches and comes into play on several holes. Outcroppings are all over the place, not just at the iconic short basket of no. 2.
I like that the course starts and ends with the wide-open field. One needs to throw at least a few bombs. No. 10 also allows a bomb drive, but then you better get tidy on that approach - if you don't want your disc in the creek at the bottom of the ravine.
The woods are a challenge but not oppressive. There is enough width in the fairways for the good player to hit his or her line with success. For the rest of us, the rough is not terrible. So you can find your disc and play on. The creek (presently) has no deep water, so you walk in (most places) and get your disc. Or toss in your disc retriever and fish it out.
It's a fair course, and I think all of the holes have real design. No junk holes just thrown in to make 18. Some are better designed than others (no question) or offer more challenge, but I think they all are thoughtful designs.
The old-school tee signs have perfect information. The far tee and short tee signs both have full information about the entire hole. The white-on-blue arrow "blaze" signs are a Godsend to get you to the next tee without twirling around lost. It's significant woods, so without such, you could easily be aimlessly looking for your next tee.
I rather like the raised tee pads. I think they are concrete framed by wood and layered with a rubber cover. Said cover is just the right thickness to provide some padding without creating any hindrance. Not sure if there is any slickness after rain; I was present on a hot, dry day. The raised pads also have a gravel pit at the back. Most are level, offering surer footing.
Cons: I only noticed one bench. A stack of cut logs at no. 2. We do need to sit down sometimes. I did use some of the tees as a bench. Sat on the front edge if high enough.
Someone earlier noted you generally cannot see the basket from the tee. That is true, but the tee signs give sufficient information so that walking up beyond the tee or your lie is largely not needed.
I was not too thrilled with having come down a distinct slope on 15 to have to go back up that hill for no. 16. Not the end of the world but a bit frustrating. I parred 15, I threw in a miracle anhyzer putt on 16, and then tossed a pretty drive on no. 17. So I got over my frustration pretty quickly.
Other Thoughts: This is a quality course, and I see why it's been a favorite of tournaments in the past - and hopefully again with the post-COVID future.
There is not much elevation change from holes 2-8. Then the terrain starts to roll into and out of a ravine with some steep places to navigate: approach of no. 9, tee and approach of no. 11, tee of 15, the aforementioned trek between the basket of 15 and the tee of 16, back down the hill to 17. Of course, you have the big meadow descent with no. 1 and rise with 18.
The outcropping (as noted) is prevalent and will hurt your feet. So wear real shoes, preferably hiking boots. No sandals. Also consider bringing a walking stick for the undulating parts of the course.
I saw white blazes on trees, so I imagine there are hikers that come through the course. None encountered on my day there, but fyi.
There are several death putts (short basket): nos. 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 - disc can roll off the cliff or back down the hill or into the creek.
To warm up or wind down, you can use one of 2 practice baskets near the mound at the top of the meadow and/or play the tiny 6-hole junior course on the south side of the Churchville Recreational Complex property.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Definitely going back!
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great nature walk while flinging discs. Fairways are clear and wide, roughs are not so rough so you won't lose a disc on this course. Great signage on both tee boxes and arrows pointing the way to the next tee (but nothing pointing you in the right direction from the parking lot to the first tee - it's kinda behind and to the right of that huge mound). One and 18 are wide open field shots which is fine with me. Gives you a chance to loosen up with a bomb on one, then take out your frustrations on 18 with another one.
Cons: No bathrooms anywhere near the course, but you're in the woods, so... You can't see almost all baskets from the tee, but the signage is clear so it's not a huge deal. Short baskets are just metal with a tiny flag on top and difficult to see even if your sightline is clear.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely my favorite course of the five or six I've played. I'll definitely be back.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
great fun woods course
Pros: Dual tee pads *and* dual baskets make this a very flexible and adaptable course.
Pretty woods and streams.
The practice area is nice with 2 baskets.
Great signage for both individual holes and navigation to next hole.
Shots required are typical, nothing too crazy or too long. Very good for the average player.
Cons: No bathrooms! Unless you walk all the way to the rec center.
Holes 1 and 18 could be improved with trees, ropes, hay bales, anything to reel in the wide open space.
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed playing this course. About 10 mins off of I-95. Free public course that is dg exclusive. Most holes are between 250-325 feet.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Hidden Gem of Maryland
Pros: This course is the hidden gem of Maryland. It may be the best but certainly one of the best courses in the state. Multiple tee pads, multiple pins - very well thought out. The signage is good, there is elevation change, creek water hazards - this course is really fun and challenging. The fairways are fair and wide enough. I really love this course.
Cons: Does not seem to drain very well. It gets really boggy really fast. I would not suggest playing during or after a heavy rain.
Other Thoughts: I stil think Patapsco is the best course in MD, but Mill Brook is pushing Turkey Hill for the number 2 spot (IMO). This course will challenge you - it is well laid out. You will not be disappointed if you make the trip.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Wooded, fair and lots of different throws
Pros: Two pads and two pins per hole allows for excellent variation across all holes
Disc golf specific area in a nice park, ample parking
Nice pads, signage and infrastructure (bridges) throughout
Cool use of rock outcroppings on number 2 and eight
Tight on some lines but fair and usually with choices
Cons: Can get muddy on some holes
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Mill Brook is a must-book!
Pros: + Two tee pads and two baskets for every single hole with the same colors indicating the same difficulties each time!
+ The signage is great. Both tee pads for all holes have their own 'current tee' signs featuring the distances and pars for both baskets and basic but intuitive diagrams of the landscape ahead. 'Next tee' signs are plentiful and plainly visible.
+ For the longer walks in between holes, there are follow-up signs to reassure players that they are still headed in the right direction.
+ A lovely practice pin area with benches, young trees, and a tall hill.
+ All tee pads are flat and sturdy raised platforms of rubber atop gravel and wooden frameworks.
+ The occasional hill or valley add a dynamic touch the course.
+ Trees everywhere encourage players to focus on accuracy instead of power.
+ The course plays mostly within a quiet and undisturbed forest setting.
+ More than a few water hazards add a nice basting of risk to the course.
Cons: - Just three wide-open holes to let loose at full power.
- Some of the fairways feel a bit too narrow. Holes 8 and 13 jump to my mind as key examples.
- I don't remember seeing a lost disc box when I played in August 2018. (I could be wrong about this. I didn't look everywhere.)
- Some of the holes feel repetitive in how a few are similarly flat and similarly wooded.
- Very few benches and almost no trash cans outside of the parking lot. Please do not litter!
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole here might be 15 because of how it snakes through the trees with a downhill left before finishing flat to the right. I find it fun to play holes that change direction partway through. My least favorite hole here could be 13. To my mind it felt the least engaging.
As for the course as a whole, Mill Brook is an excellent example of what wooded disc golf can be. The course is very approachable to players of any experience level with its two sets of tees and pins. Absolute beginners can feel that they are getting good training at tree-dodging just as easily as more seasoned dolfers can feel that they are tackling a challenging course.
For fifteen of the eighteen holes, players are surrounded on all sides by trees. This means that Mill Brook focuses on tactics and accuracy more than it does power and distance. Successful play will be accomplished by breaking the holes into smaller chunks and dealing with the obstacle at hand. Beginners will appreciate how straightforward the holes are at the shorter distances, and experienced players will enjoy the course's demand for accurate play from the longer distances.
This also means, however, that some holes will inevitably feel copy-pasted. For some of the holes a player might see the landscape ahead and think that they've already played a hole very similar to it. Woods are woods when in the woods.
I do want to say that the course does toy with one's expectations somewhat from the start if they've never been there before. From the practice area and the first hole in that wide open field, a player can see quite a few other baskets dotting the hillside, which fooled me into thinking that this course takes place out in the open. Not so! Once I was directed to hole 2, the feel of the course changed dramatically for me because I wasn't anticipating it.
As soon as one leaves the open field and embarks into the forest, a player feels as though they have been transported into some other realm where the only thing that matters is disc golf. Nothing else can be seen except for trees, gentle slopes, streams, tees, and baskets. It was quite a gratifying experience to play the course with very few man-made objects in sight.
Speaking of man-made objects, there are foot bridges to help players cross the many streams found throughout the course. These water hazards do a great job at forcing the player to focus yet aren't so deep that you cannot get your disc back. I love courses with character, and Mill Brook is a great example of one.
So, in closing, make it a point to play at Mill Brook if you find yourself in the area. Leave the big gliders in the car because the only open holes are at the beginning, middle, and end. (Literally, they are holes 1, 10, and 18.) Yes, it is disc golf deep in the woods with some lines that I feel might be overly constricted, and it has a largely flat landscape. That combination may bore and/or frustrate a few players.
Still, if you wish to experience a peaceful course with a fair assortment of obstacles and different throws, Mill Brook will be a good fit for you.
P.S. Be sure to pick up a long stick along the way to scout ahead for spider webs!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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