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I played 4 courses in the Buffalo, NY area today, all run by a Niagara area club. They are all in decent to great shape, mostly well marked and easy to play.
I was en route to Farnham, when my gps said I was in Orchard Lake, so I stopped and re-programmed it to play Orchard Lake (Chestnut Ridge) first. This course is INSANELY tight from the blue-long tees. Many shots have no line, throw a putter then a putter on 300' holes. The other tees were more realistic and made a great course. It is very challenging I shot well over par. There is a ravine along most holes, that is maybe 60-80' down and too steep to climb. I don't know what they do to retrieve their discs, because it's dangerous to go down there, most times not even possible even with a rope. I guess they walk a long way back to the shallow part and treck upstream. The water is like 1/2" deep though and trickles over the rocks. This course is a must-play because of the land and the fact that it keeps you on your toes. I recommend short tees first so you get a feel for it.

Next at Evangola State Park in Farnham, NY I was lucky to arrive 30 seconds behind two guys going out to play a round. They were ALREADY (very new) members of DGR'US. We played the long tees. This course is very open, with enough trees to craft shots, and there's almost no chance for 2's because of the length from long tees. It plays 9 up one side of a road and 9 back. There is some water, but not the kind to rob your disc. Well maintained and marked. Decent grass teeing areas. Very tough, I shot something like +4 with just two 2's (back to back). Those guys bomb for relative newbies to the game. This makes a good tournament course.

Como Lake Park in Lancaster, NY- this course has it's ups and downs. There are 3 sets of grass tees, good signage and baskets. One thing that stands out the most is that often you have to walk 1,000 ft to the next hole, the park is divided by a river and there's only 2-3 bridges, it's the only way to do it so it takes a long time to play. It is also mostly open, with no real deep woods. They use MANDOS to force shots on holes I'd otherwise throw a different way. I am not down with that, it doesn't let me take advantage of the shots I am good at, which leads to no competitive advantage. I played longs, and there is NO score variation here. Boring Scoring I am gonna call it. I shot +1, with 17 THREES and 1 FOUR. Most holes are 390-500, meaning usually an easy 3 unless you make a big mistake, and also meaning no shot at 2 usually with the trees in play and water. That's just from longs and for the game I play. I found a disc on a fairway, and was able to return it to it's owner :).

Pinewoods Park in North Tonawanda, NY: - I cannot comment much on this course, as I was unable to find ONE tee-pad. There is so signage, not even on the baskets (as it says in guide) so I had to play safari. Nice park, maintained grass with lots of trees in an open area.

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Comment by Ben Calhoun on May 11, 2008 at 10:32am
just played grand island...shot -5 whites no 4's..probably didn't play your ob's not on signs..high winds were the main obstacle..blue tees looked tough but I always play cement if I can..great tourney course..you could host worlds around here..heading to lewiston w super dave right now..teeing at about 10:45-11:00..
Comment by Justin Ernst on May 11, 2008 at 9:06am
If you like scoring spread you should have played Beaver Island which I believe is the best competition course in the area and we are holding states there this year. It's on Grand Island NY 14072. Tee pads, great view, well kept, many holes can be a 2 or a 4 assuming you know and are playing the ob's, even from the blues (which don't have teepads...yet). Also Joseph Davis has 27 holes, tee pads, most holes are either a 2 or a 3 but are very birdable. Holes are shorter on the average because (as I understand it) the original 18 was possibly one of the first 10 courses in the world. Baskets are in rough shape though. We have a singles league at Beaver Island every tuesday. www.nrdg.net
Comment by Gary Burdick on May 10, 2008 at 11:45pm
Find Jim Palmeri when you go there. He is in the directory, phone #. He started the discgolf movement back in the early 70's in Rochester. Later.
Comment by Ben Calhoun on May 10, 2008 at 11:35pm
yup, went there for worlds '99 actually got to witness that bit of history
i remember throwing 1st run dx teebirds at chili, fishing discs out of the pond at black creek and playing a super dog leg at ellison
Comment by Gary Burdick on May 10, 2008 at 11:33pm
Ben, Will you be going to Rochester next? Ellison Park is one of the oldest on the East coast and has some nice down hill shots. Throwing off a tobaggon run, at the top of the hill. Nice. Later, GB
Comment by Ben Calhoun on May 10, 2008 at 11:15pm
I left out the water because to me it was extremely easy to avoid, so I figure for everyone else too. It takes a bad shot to get wet, the shots near water are clear enough to make if thrown properly. 'Ridge would have been better from middle tees I think, less just tossing halfway there. I can't believe anyone tries to go down the cliffs, that's asking to break a neck, could be fatal if you fell far enough. CRAZY, when you can walk a long way around safely.
Comment by Walker on May 10, 2008 at 11:12pm
Chestnut Ridge is a great course. Very fun to play. What's the point if every hole is wide open? "park it and putt it" is boring. Your dead on about the Ravine, there's a couple of easy access points but a long walk, and then there's the daring (read: stupid) way down, but either way it's not easy.

I enjoy Como Park as well. I'm surprised you didn't mention that 14 of 18 holes have water in play. Granted some holes would take a really bad shot to end up wet, and hole #14 is almost a guaranteed sunk disc. I think the mandos make up for the openness. They take out the routes that dense woods would take out .

I like your reviews, they are more helpful then most. Hope to see you in Rochacha!!

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