I LUV KNOB HILL
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This review refers to the Blue Tees layout at the 2015 Worlds. Delightful course featuring tight woods, open field crushes, well designed fairways and well placed pin positions that demand a variety of tee shots and approach shots with plenty of nasty rough and some OB tossed in for added effect. I threw every shot in my bag (and wished I had a couple more!). Will test your patience, especially if you hit early trees (especially hole 3). Work on your forehand roller to help get out of jail. This course demands your full attention. Top players can shoot in the low to mid 50s, but if you are off your game you can easily shoot in the mid 60s.
Cons: Can be muddy (thank goodness no rain during Worlds!). Too much traffic near the mid-point, with the long tees of 9 and 11 close together (and close to the basket of 10 and the fairway of 5). Although it would make the course easier, the short tee of 9 would fix the traffic problems and provide one of the more enjoyable shots on the course...a beautiful downhill ace run where the flight of a disc can be enjoyed (or cursed if it sails into the nasty stuff behind the basket).
Other Thoughts: I first played Knob Hill back in the late 90s, and have always counted it among my favorites. After 15 years I wondered how it was holding up, and I was super happy to see how great the course was looking and how much hard work had gone into preparing it for the Worlds. Super kudos to all of the volunteers for their hard work and dedication!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
"Hill" of a course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is one of the best. Prior to anouncing the 2015 Pro Worlds, the course was in good shape. The course then put in new baskets, tee signs, next hole signs, benches, etc. the course has exciting twists and turns, wooded holes and open fairways and uphill shots and downhill shots. It's a must play course in the area along with Deer Lakes and Moraine. The course itself has many different kinds of shots needed. You will need many discs to navigate the course perfectly. After renovations the course is a top of the line championship course. If you are in the area, this is a must play. All the tee pads are concrete and on each hole there are three different pin positions to provide a different course almost every time.At the beginning, their is a nice practice basket with measurements to show how far you are putting. All in all, this course is much improved, and quite fantastic.
Cons: The New Baskets are unforgiving to a bad putter such as myself. Some putts seem to bounce out of the chains, which really sucks because they are prodigy baskets. Also, after a heavy rain the wooded areas get really muddy, making it hard to get out of some bad situations.
Other Thoughts: I love the course. Quite Frankly, the cons aren't that bad considering what else there is to say about how great everything else is, Note: there is no place to quit after 9 holes, but if you look at the map thereare some easily skippable holes. Course navigation is easy and the holes are close together making it easy to get around. If you are in the area, you are lucky because western PA has the best courses in the east. There are no water fountains on the course, so BYOW.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
A great first experience
Pros: All the holes seemed very well designed. I enjoyed how the course started off in the woods, went out into the open, back in the woods and finished on the side of an open hill.
A great variety of holes and terrain.
A nice mix of challenging and not as challenging holes.
Cons: There were quite a few muddy places, which I found odd since it's been very sunny and over 80 degrees with no rain for almost a week now.
Since it's under construction, it's a little hard to know which pins are in place and they're not always noticeable from the tee areas.
Other Thoughts: Despite the course being under construction, we still had a ton of fun playing our first game of disc golf. I think that once the construction is completed for the world disc golf championships the first week of August, this course is going to be fantastic. With all the hills, you'll be in for quite a hike while you play as well, but the course plays so well you won't mind.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
No Frills Disc Golf
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 hole course located in a well manicured and maintained community park. There is a practice basket close to a sign that points to hole 1. Good quality signs indicating distance and flight path. A screw on each tee sign indicates current basket placement (A, B or C position). Three tee pads per hole; blue (large rubber pro pad), white (oversized concrete advanced or main pad) and red (recreational tee indicated by a ground level board). A fluorescent orange number atop each basket helps visibility from the tee. Very nice balance of wooded and open holes. Well-worn paths make navigation pretty easy for 1st-timers. Good use of elevation. Most of the course challenges you to hit lines and places a premium on accuracy. Hole 9- a really nice downhill shot to an open basket, and hole 15- a fun ace run between trees over a small creek stand out.
Cons: Though it evens out, in my opinion, the first 9 holes have too many RHFH/lefty friendly "C" position basket placements to the right of the tee. While navigation is not tough, some more "next tee" signs would be helpful, particularly on the front 9. Areas of the course are muddy after heavy rains. Limited parking could be a problem for large tournaments. There are no issues that should prevent one from playing here.
Other Thoughts: My first visit to the Pittsburgh area did not disappoint. Now 20 years old, Knob Hill has aged well and represents disc golf in its purest form without the bells and whistles. There are no 800 foot signature holes, manufactured OB or other gimmicks, just a good, solid disc golf experience featuring plenty of challenges, With three tee pads and three basket placements for each hole, there's plenty here for all skill levels. Knob Hill is probably underappreciated a bit due to the inevitable comparisons with the phenomenal courses at Deer Lakes and Moraine, but make no mistake: the rolling hills and general seclusion of other parts of the course make Knob Hill a first rate play.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Don't Sleep on Knob Hill
14 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 par 4-focused 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. While not quite as spectacular as some other top level courses, it just comes together in excellent fashion. Play it as soon as you can!
Update June 10, 2014: It occurred to me today upon returning to Knob Hill that part of what makes it difficult to rate is that it's almost exclusively par 3, whereas many other what I consider top courses have significantly more par 4s and 5s. Knob Hill is certainly the best par 3 course I've played - it covers an astonishing amount of ground for that format. I still teeter between a 4.0 and a 4.5 but it's all semantics: this is a fantastic course.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Very Clean, Very Balanced, Very Fun
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Located at the end of a very nice park with multiple pavilions, baseball fields, and a playground. There is a practice basket and a board with local club and tournament information near the foot of the trail to hole 1's tee. This is one of the most superbly manicured and maintained courses I have played, and it is clear that an ongoing effort to evolve the course takes place here, with it always improving. There are very nice benches and trash cans located at each of the holes, the grass is always freshly mowed, and I have never seen trash on the course. The park is easy to find - only a few miles from I-79 - and is located near numerous great courses in Two Mile Run, Moraine, Schenley, Linbrook, and Deer Lakes.
The tee signs are in great shape, tell you distances from every tee to every pin position, and point you to the next tee. The white tee signs are the largest and show you maps of the hole layout, with the blue and red signs being small and only displaying the distances. The course offers three sets of tees on every hole (red, white, and blue), with white and blue tees being very long and wide concrete tees that are in great shape. I've only seen concrete tees as comfortable to play on at Idlewild. The Mach 3 baskets are in great shape and display hole numbers on them. The three tee and pin positions offer a great variety in the type of shots and distances. The difficulty is significantly different from red, to white, to blue, so this course caters to every kind of player.
You can pretty much find every kind of shot here, and many of the holes offer multiple lines to the baskets. There are a large variety of hyzer, anhyzer, and straight shots, as well as a great use of elevation changes with uphill (4, 7, 8, 10, 16), downhill (6, 9, and 17), rolling hills (5 and 11), and side-sloping hills (3, 12, and 18). All but a few holes have some sort of elevation, which is the beauty in Knob Hill. Hole types are very nicely intermingled, as you start with long shots in the woods, play through more open holes over rolling hills, head back into the woods for a few tighter holes, and then finish with three open holes. The constant changes in hole types make this course so fun to play. The stretch from holes 5-12 is one of my favorites stretches of any course and is on some of the most picturesque and disc golf friendly topography I can imagine. There are also O.B. markings and mando's on a few of the holes. Depending on the pin position, holes 6, 14, and 18 can offer death putt scenarios. I've never had a good lay up on 18, as my disc always manages to roll away from the basket.
Finally, the course flows very well and feels natural for the most part, and I don't think a map is needed to get around. The only confusing part is that you have to walk back past 9's tee to get to 11.
Cons: All of my cons are a little nick-picky, there are no serious detractors at Knob Hill.
-Not a ton a parking space, which can be a problem on the course's most crowded days
-This course is very popular so it gets crowded in the evenings and on the weekends. The main problem with this is found in the stretch from 5-11. 5 and 11 share the same fairway (albeit different sides) and errant throws could land in yours or someone else's way. Holes 9 and 11 tee off very close together. Not a significant problem, but 9-12 are all closely jumbled together.
-It'd be nice if the red tees were concrete (instead of natural) for beginner players
-The pin positions that are marked in the tee sign are sometimes in the wrong spot. Not a huge deal though as you can see most of the baskets from the tee.
-Not a lot of long distance holes, except if you play from the blue tees. Still, nothing super long.
-Course often seems to be muddy in a few spots
-Most of the holes offer wide fairways, but the rough is thorny and thick. If you land in the rough, it can be hard to find your discs and there is no real chance of making a decent throw from inside the rough.
-I definitely wouldn't call the last few holes (16-18) throwaways, but they are a let down from the rest of the course IMO as they are pretty much wide open. Significant elevation changes are used, though.
Other Thoughts: Knob Hill is a great stop in between playing many of the other great courses in the area. I would say it is a little easier than Moraine and Deer Lakes, but it offers a similar feel and the high level of quality disc golf is still there. It is also within minutes of Old Economy and Linbrook, if you want to stay in the Cranberry/Wexford area. I would recommend anyone to play this well taken care of course, and there is an active club scene here. Only takes me slightly over an hour to play, so you won't be here too long, and it is located close to many gas stations and a variety of great restaurants. Only about 15-20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh as well.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The different pin placements on each hole can drastically change how you play it making for great replay value. I enjoy the variety of open and wooded holes that go in and out of the woods. The tees and signage are in solid condition and the course is typically well maintained.
Cons: A number of the holes are prone to being very muddy if you catch it at the wrong time. Typical with most par 54 courses, the hole lengths don't stretch too far.
Other Thoughts: This course is a slight step up from the courses I play the most (Schenley and Phillips) so I enjoy making it a point to come out at least a few times. Usually the pins are varied enough to keep me just out of even par range, which is what keeps me coming back.
While the course isn't the longest, it makes it up with the variety and is at least worth a solid warm up round for some of the more challenging courses in the area.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 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 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Standing Strong with the Best
Pros: 18 hole course set mostly in wooded areas of a nice, town park.
- Nice entrance - after passing playgrounds, pavillions and large parking lot, you see a sign for the course pointing you along, you pass a couple baskets/holes and there is a small parking lot at the end of the road with bulletin board, restroom and practice basket
- Playgrounds, baseball fields and pavillions show that it's a multi-use park, so other activities around for non-golfers and/or kids
- Of the 5 course I played in the area, this one was closest to "civilization", so you're not far from gas, food/drink, etc.
- Large grassy areas appear to be mowed and maintained, while the wooded areas have pretty defined fairways and pathways in between holes
- Parking also availble down below basket location for #7 if main parking is really crowded
- Apart from holes 16-18, you seem to be off on your own in otherwise unused areas of the park, so not a high chance for interference
- 3 tees on each hole (flypad for longs/blues, concrete in good shape for mids/whites and natural for shorts/reds)
- 3 basket positions on each hole, some with significant variance between positions, giving completely different hole experiences
- Nice Mach 3 baskets in good shape
- Detailed, colorful tee sign at each white tee (probably the most commonly used tees, if I had to guess) showing par, nice hole map, location of all 3 tees and pin positions, flight paths, nut/bolt system to designate current pin position, next tee arrow and distances from each tee to each basket
- Post at each blue tee (and maybe some red tees?) with a sign indicating hole number and lengths only, I think
- Course flows very nicely and there aren't really any long walks between holes (a little bit of a walk from parking to tee #1, but not too bad)
- Nice hole setting variety - some holes are open (#7, #8, #18), some are heavily wooded (#2, #3, #4), many are a mix with room to drive, but enough trees to keep you honest
- Hole designs present you with a lot of shots - uphill on #4, #8, #16; downhill on #6, #9, #17; left on #10, #16; right on #2, #5
- While this course didn't really have the "wow factor" holes of other top-notch course, there were plenty of just really solid golf holes - I really enjoyed hole #6 - downhill hole where you have to avoid some trees close to the tee, then it opens up where your disc needs to settle near the pin perched on the edge of a fallaway/little cliff - real nice hole to let a mid-range/fairway driver float out and turn from left to right all the way - hole #13 was also pretty cool, with 2 fairways separated by a clump of trees in the middle - take the right and it's a more direct path to the basket or take the left and it's open for a while longer (not the whole way), but you have to get your disc to turn voer left to right to get in close - you're greeted with the basket down in a little shallow gully with stone pavers acting as steps to get you down there
Cons: - Hole #16 always crosses over the main entrance road, as well as the white tee crossing hole #18 (depending on pin position, I think) - definitely not a good design considering the crowds that this course apparently gets
- Pretty muddy in some spots in the woods, but it had rained a few days before I played
- By having the main tee signs at all white tees, along with varying teeing surfaces, it's pretty obvious which tee you're on, but it would be nice to have the full tee signs on the other tees as well
- Red tees are natural and although I wasn't playing them, I did try to look for them as I was walking and couldn't find some of them
- While the nut/bolt for pin location on the tee sign is a great feature, a few of the indications were not accurate and a couple holes were missing the bolt altogether
- Even though it's very short and meant to be this way, hole #16 is a bit too plinko-like for my taste
- I don't think there was a course map on the bulletin board - I like having the map there in case you don't have a printed one or you don't have a smartphone to pull it up online, you can take a picture, sketch your own quickly or at least get an overall look (I didn't have great service, but already had the map pulled up on my phone)
Other Thoughts: - You're not anywhere near the parking lot after 9 holes (a feature I like), but the course layout is such that you could skip a handful of holes (6-10, for example) without any extra walking, in order to cut your round shorter down to 10 or so holes if you're in a rush
- Trash cans and benches near a handful of holes, but a small amount of trash was out on the course anyway
- I generally like the bands on the Innova baskets due to visibility - on the open and slightly wooded holes, these baskets were very easy to pick out, but obviously tougher on the heavily wooded holes
- No next tee signs that I remember, but as mentioned above, it flows pretty nicely and the map is very accurater and helpful (almost played #11 before #9 and #10)
This course was a great addition to my Pittsburgh trip. For what appears to be an "old-school" course, it certainly didn't feel that way (especially after playing Schenley). It must have been truly incredible back in the day and even now stands up to the best of the best that have more recent/modern designs. I love the variety and hope to get back to play it again. Thanks to those who designed, installed and maintain this great course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Average at Best
Pros: The course is close to Pittsburgh and attracts a lot of players. It has some good holes, with various challenges. Baskets near steep declines present a particular challenge.... The tees are nice (concrete / rubber). The course is well marked (yet last time I played the screws on the signs were not updated). Also despite being in a community park there aren't many people walking through the course.
Cons: As mentioned in the pros the pins next to steep declines....yeah we get it, 1 or 2 would be cool. The drainage on the course is awful. After even a light rain half of the holes contain a spongy swampy muddy mess.
Other Thoughts: This course always leaves me wanting more and wishing I had gone somewhere else. It's decent, but needs some work. That being said, it's ok and close.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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