Not Many Shortcomings Here
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Knob Hill is a superb disc golf course that flows exceptionally well, working its way first into (1-3) and then back out of (4-8) the woods before playing down (9) and then back up (10) a sizable hill, stretching out into some longer wooded holes (11-14) that abruptly end with one of the quirkiest par 3s (15) that I've ever seen before moving onto a mostly open hillside where rollaway opportunities abound (16-18) to finish out the round. The diverse mix of distances, woodedness, and elevation encountered along the way makes for an exceptionally varied round: from tight midrange shots (4) to big open drives (8, 18), huge hyzers (10) to long turnovers (11) to downhill bombs (9), and pins guarded by thickets of trees (3, 14), well-placed out of bounds (15), or precarious elevation (17, 18), this course has it all. It's one of the most diverse courses I've played, and the fact that it nevertheless flows and comes together so well is a testament to its thoughtful design.
Adding to this diversity is the course's three pin positions, which can dramatically reshape a hole. The C positions are infamous for their difficulty, while the As make for birdie opportunities galore. The locals mix and match these positions and change them often, giving Knob Hill an almost innumerable amount of possible incarnations. The course's challenge can vary greatly depending on the layout, but you'll never be bored regardless.
Tees are fantastic size and shape. Amenities are readily available. The park is easy to find and well-groomed. Gorgeous western Pennsylvania surroundings; play it in the fall if you can!
Cons: I don't mean to sound like a fanboy, but: not a lot. It's a very solid course.
I suppose the reason Knob Hill is a bit lower rated than its sister courses Moraine and Deer Lakes is that the wow factor isn't as high here. Whereas I have vivid images of specific shots seared into my mind's eye from these other two courses, my impression of Knob Hill is more of its overall consistency and enjoyment. This isn't to say there aren't unique, standout holes - 9 and 10 down and up the hill come to mind, and 15 is surely memorable, though not a signature hole by any means - but that Knob Hill's ceiling doesn't reach the heights of Moraine, Deer Lakes, and other world class courses. I tend to prefer overall consistency to intermittent oohs and ahs, so this characteristic doesn't bother me, but I can see it standing out to some.
Though the variety of pin positions make it tough to make a general statement on difficulty, I would say that Knob Hill on the whole isn't highly technical when compared to some comparably wooded courses: there's enough space and multiple routes on many holes to be more forgiving than they could be. Make no mistake, this is a very relative statement: this course can kick your butt. It's just not as tight or as long as true game-testers. I happen to think Knob Hill's difficulty level sits in a perfect sweet spot, but I can see it potentially losing a bit of edge for some first rate players. This is more a neutral observation than a true con.
Other Thoughts: The more I play Knob Hill the more I love it. I tend to value variety and consistency, and that's Knob Hill's game to a T. Its holes flow well from one to the next, accumulating into what for me is a very satisfying overall experience. It's a must-play course in a must-visit area.
Ratings-wise, Knob Hill teeters between a 4.0 and a 4.5 for me. Its lower wow factor points to the former, its completeness and variety point to the latter. I'm going to go with my heart and say 4.5 for now, with the possibility to tweak it on down the road.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: A great layout. Very scenic. Challenging hills. Open, but a couple of tight holes. Great views. Good condition. Clean. Nice people.
Cons: Tees can have puddles. Rough can get real high, making it very hard to find discs. Not a huge diversity of holes.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I've played it many times. I love it. It's a shorter course with many birdies to be had.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Has great signs to tell you where the holes are. Has a nice mix of long and shorter holed. The shorter holes are not too easy either. Move the pins around a bunch to change up the course.
Cons: On some holes it is easy to lose your disc if you throw it in the woods, especially on hole #11. Other than some blind throws there are not many other cons.
Other Thoughts: Used to get super wet after rain but since they installed drains it has improved a lot. It is easy to get a decently quick hour hour and a half round in any night. It is a great 18 that will test every part of your game.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Great All Around Course
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: An extremely well-maintained course, Knob Hill is one of the few disc golf courses that could be considered mainstream. Holes are designed to be accessible to a variety of skill levels and also reward players with strong shots and strategy. Fairways are laid out very well, and construction from tee pads to signs is first rate.
Cons: Crowded. This course is the star of the immediate Pittsburgh area and attracts huge numbers of people, particularly on weekends. A lot of families can make play tedious for the speedier veterans.
Other Thoughts: Update: A lot of improvements have been made to this course in recent years, and they've vastly improved the quality of play. Added an extra .5 stars!
A great course all around, just difficult to play an entire round without having to wait a bit. Moraine's Lakeview course is further from Pittsburgh (another 20 minutes up Route 19), but is a superior course with far less crowding.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
45 min drive for us, but worth it
Pros: Lots of variety. Good use of multiple tees. Excellent challenging hole placement. The grassy areas were very well cut. Relatively easy walking for so many hills. I especially liked 5, and 12 - to the right side basket, 13, and 14 (even with the swampy tire tracks cutting through it). My 10-year-old daughter had a great time from the reds. The rest of us found it very tough using the whites - not too surprising at our skill level.
Cons: Some of the holes and tees were hard to find for a first visit. Red tee lines were hard to find on some holes. Area might get very messy after strong rains. Sign at Tee 16 is misleading, but it's kind of obvious to guess where it's going.
Other Thoughts: Not too long from whites - didn't wear out my arm before the end of 18. Water hole on 15 isn't much of a water hole any more. That suited my family just fine. 11 to the C basket was a monster uphill for us. My worst round of the summer score-wise, and I still had a good time. More clear signs to first tee would help, or maybe we missed something. The first visible tee is 18, so we parked before it. That was a mistake. We ended up walking about half the course backward, just to get our bearings and find #1. Next stop will be Deer Lakes.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Cement teepads, more of a open course, trees have sum corrugated piping on them incase of discs hitting wont really damage
Cons: When it rains or day after it is a mud pit, also everything is par 3 some should be par 4s but its a hard course very challenging
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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