Big Park - Big Views - Big Challenge
West Thompson Lake is a big beautiful course, in a big beautiful park with big beautiful views. This is not a city park, this is the natural land that surrounds the lake operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. I played this course as part of a road trip playing 12 states in 12 days. This was the only disc golf course I played in Connecticut. This course was beautiful, with a real fun vibe that challenged me to play my best. There was no fee to enter the park or play the course.
I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the entire review.
This course covers a variety of terrain. It starts out in the thick woods and moves into wide open fairways that bring the wind and elevation into play. Except for Hole 1, most of the wooded fairways were fair and had ample routes to the pin.
Each tee sign clearly shows the direction to the next tee. I am happy for that as I forgot my map in the car...again! I did not get lost once or have to backtrack to find the next tee. I really love courses that are easy to navigate.
Concrete tees on all holes. These tee are wider in the back and narrow in the front, effectively pointing the way to the target. They were framed and level with the surrounding area. I personally prefer the wide area in the front and just a little more length. The tee signs had great graphics showing hole information as well as that all important arrow to the Next Tee! There were a few picnic tables and trash cans along the way, but plan to carry out your trash.
All 18 in a row
Once you leave the parking area for the first tee, you do not return until after you play Hole 18. Be prepared for a big hike. Even though I play fairly quickly on my own, this course took well over 2 hours to play and I didn't get lost or backtrack.
There was a well maintained portable restroom in the boat ramp parking lot. There were no other restrooms on the course. However, since the course is in the wilderness, there are plenty of opportunities for privacy.
Kids, Carts and Strollers
For golfers, a cart is probably a great idea as this course covers a lot of ground. However, I would say no to kids and strollers as it is just too long and the terrain is not suitable for strollers with kids. The course is far too long for young kids to walk along. You have to play all 18 before you get back to the car. The only restrooms are in the parking lot and I didn't recall seeing any running water.
Except for a couple of missing tee signs, the course is in fantastic shape.
I am not sure there are really any cons for this course, but I do have a few suggestions. The tee pads could be a little longer. Maybe the course could use some alternate pin placements or alternate tees for a few holes to add some variety. It might be nice if there were more holes close to the water to bring the big beautiful lake into play. Seems like a lot of land available for another 9 holes. Again, these are all suggestions, not really cons.
I only had time to play one course in Connecticut and I am glad I played this course. The course was right off the interstate making it easy to reach. Again, this was big and beautiful and worth the stop.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Solid, scenic 18 holer
Pros: Set in extremely scenic park around West Thompson Lake. Good signage leading up to the park, and finding the parking was pretty easy. Hole 1 is just off to the side.
DGA baskets were in good repair and caught well enough. No issues here.
Solid mix of wooded and open holes, with some using both, which creates a nice mix and never leaves you feeling like you've "played that hole before".
Good use of the available elevation here. No drastic changes, but nothing is really too flat on this course, which is nice.
Solid tee signs with plenty of information about distance and topography. Intended lines would be nice, though.
Cons: The tee pads here are concrete and trapezoids, but they're about six feet too short. Also, there's only one set of pads at each hole. This course could REALLY benefit from another set of tees, as some holes are a bit short.
Speaking of that, there's quite a few short holes here. With the open lines on most wooded holes, there's not a ton of challenge on many of them. **edit** Just to explain this a little more...the course itself isn't crazy short, but a few holes really skew the average here.
The water on a couple holes is pretty scummy, and you're really not going to want to go in and grab a disc in those spots.
It's too bad there aren't more holes bringing the lake into play. Would add a lot of challenge and pucker factor.
Other Thoughts: This is a pretty fun course, even if it's not the most challenging thing around. Completely scenic, and even running along a highway for a couple holes, it feels like you're out in the middle of nowhere, for the most part.
If you're in the area, this is definitely a course worth playing once or twice, and would make a pretty decent home course. More of an intermediate course, but advanced players should still find some fun here.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A "Dam" Good Time
Pros: Thompson Dam... er 'West Thompson Lake' course has some seriously scenic moments with the lake in the background.
Variety in the type (wooded/field/water/rock) and distance (200+ to 600+) of holes and direction (left to right, right to left)... You'll never get bored on this 18 hole course.
New signs clearly provide the particulars of the hole you're about to play.
Level concrete tee boxes.
The water doesn't dominate play, although it adds to certain decisions. If you're not packing a floating disc have a friend spot you on hole 16... you'll thank me later.
Picnic tables along the course.
It's free to play.
It's free to park.
Cons: West Thompson Lake (can I just call it Thompson Dam?) has short, plenty wide but short, concrete tee boxes.
Occasionally could use an arrow pointing to the next tee.
Grass is a little tall on some holes... causing occasional disk searches - in fairways!
Lacks a real signature hole - I think it's supposed to be 16 because you could put an errant throw off the 10'x10' peninsula and into the lake fairly easily... there are better holes, and the whole place is pretty scenic.
Actually the first place I've played where trash along the course is something of an eyesore, if not a small issue.
There are quite a few people doing other things in the park... so don't be surprised if you have to wait a few minutes to make a throw a few times.
Other Thoughts: It's scenic, it's beautiful, and it's a Dam Good Time...
Technically speaking, (that's from a technical course standpoint) in Connecticut all I hear is Wickham, Wickham, Wickham... and that's halfway between myself and a good friend so we play there often. West Thompson Lake (seriously just call it Thompson Dam) is amazingly comparable just short of a little grooming, a little longer or nicer tee pads, and a little more elevation change (but seriously... it's a flood plain and there is some decent change).
Follow the road signs on the east side of the dam that say DISC GOLF COURSE... to the parking lot by the boat launch... don't turn in until you see them.
I drove by this for years on my way to work... never stopped... I no longer drive by it for work... I do, however, now drive THOMPSON DAM specifically to play.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Good beginners course.
Pros: Not many Water Hazards (unless you throw wayyyyy off line). Short technical holes mixed with long distance holes. Great scenery, not very crowded.
Cons: Summer months the grass grows huge and doesnt get mowed alot which makes for easy disc losses when throw in the roughs. No swimming allowed.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun, Challenging course
Pros: Well kept, clean course.
Beautiful setting around lake
Good variety of shots and hole lengths
and nice use of elevation
No danger zones, good separation between fairways
Easy to find your way, good course flow
Overall good design makes for a good tounament course.
Nice concrete tee pads over 10' in length and signage describing hole characteristics
Good use of ob on some of the longer open holes keeping them interesting and challenging
Cons: No real long technical wooded holes
Other Thoughts: This is a great property for disc golf. There is plenty of room for more permanent tee pads and baskets.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
thought it was great
Pros: thought it was a great course. definitely go back.
18 holes , free
there were some great scenic holes..#16 was right at the lake.
Cons: popular. seemed pretty busy..but the course goes fast..so it's not that bad.
Other Thoughts: pomfret is about 15-20 minutes away ..so if your taking the trip hit them both up.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Best in CT
Pros: Beautiful surroundings, with well manicured grounds. Great remember able holes with the risk versus reward factor. Use of landscape for hole variety. Take with maps and scorecards available.
Cons: No tee sign, And with out the map you might get confused at a couple spots.
Other Thoughts: I really wanted to mark this one higher because the park is just beautiful, with multiple views of the lake, and extremely well kept grounds, but with single tees and no tee signs I couldn't. The park it's self has your basic amenities as camping is likely one of the big draws for the park. Pick up the map/scorecard, so you have all the info you might want. The course is easy to follow but the cross from 8-9 and 12,13,14 go me to check the map a couple times. The gravel tees have held up pretty well with a couple having a bad spot or two. The course has such a great mix of holes from the woods to the fields, and multiple water hazards. The fairways are well defined and manicured, even the field holes which were mostly mowed fairways in tall grass(which normally I hate), were wide enough so it was a true fairway. The use of minor elevation changes made for some fun shots, like #14 a downhill and to the left to a hidden basket on a slight elevation with an open back to the lake behind.
Overall I think this is the best course in CT. What it lacks in some areas it makes up for in beauty, and design. If They put a little more money into adding a second set of tees and some tee signs this would be hands down the best and likely jump a disc.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: 18 hole course, only one set of tees and no signs. But it is pretty easy to get along. A few holes on this course stand out as being very well designed and unique. Hole 11 is about 650 feet with OB Rocks (Rip Rap) along the right hand side, and trees covering the left hand side for the first 270 feet. The "green" area is close to Rip Rap, and close to trees requiring a nice risk/reward shot. A 3 is a birdie on this hole. The other unique hole is number 16 which is a down hill shot shooting onto a Pennisula. But it gets even harder when you add large tree/bushed at the face of the peninsula. Some great holes that I will always remember.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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