1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Playing Deer Lakes this morning was a great disc golf experience! I was impressed with so many things about this course, and I know I will be echoing what many have already said, but this was an absolute blast of a course to play.
Has all the necessities for a great disc golf course:
- Multiple pin locations, and 3 sets of very nice, long, and textured tee pads. Never once was I worried about my footing.
- Very nice Mach X baskets with beautiful orange coating on the basket itself made spotting where to go a pretty easy adventure.
- A wide variety of long and short; par 3s and par 5s, with a number of par 4s as well. I never once thought that these ratings were too high or too low, but really right on the money.
- We played from the red tees, as I had a friend of mine new to DG, and I felt challenged on a number of holes. I also felt like I had a legitimate chance to do well on every hole. Balancing those two from the easy pins is difficult to do, but Deer Lakes does it well.
- Benches spread around the course, and the paths were pretty easy to follow.
- Course is maintained exceptionally well, and the undergrowth was maintained appropriately. You could lose a disc here, but it would be difficult and I assume would come from a tree kick out or something along those lines.
- As many have said, the amount of signature holes... amazing. The shot over the water on 15, the elevated tee on 8, the compound open and wooded hole of 9, and the short drive across the valley on 2... there were just some unique shots that made great use of the land available and are absolutely memorable.
- Ample parking
- 18 holes (I play a lot of 9 holers, so it is nice to play an 18, but given the terrain, I was pooped after 18 and consider myself in pretty good physical shape. I can't imagine throwing 20+ holes in a day, let alone doing it twice at a tourney.)
- Easy to spot and use practice basket
Cons: - Though the practice basket was easy to find, navigation to the first hole was not. We visited the back of 9, found 10's tee pads, and then walked to the other end of the parking lot before we spotted something that resembled 1. Where the practice basket is located is ideal for practicing, not ideal for course navigation.
- Navigation, as first timers on any course, will always be an issue. For the most part, the flow is pretty logical, but there are a few intersections where it was easy to get turned around.
- We played the morning after it had rained, and encountered a number of soggy areas. Obviously, it couldn't be helped, but a con is a con. I would imagine that this course is that much more enjoyable when it is beautiful and dry out.
Other Thoughts: This is such a great course, I knew it was close enough to hit up, and have been waiting for the right time. Finally found a morning and I am so glad that I did. All my local 9 holes are going to feel somewhat lacking now, but I enjoyed this course, and if you are anywhere in the Pittsburgh region, it is definitely worth the drive to play Deer Lakes.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The Best Course I have ever played
9 Helpful / 0 Not
-Outstanding layout, course utilizes land well
-Beautiful and scenic area for disc golf
-Outstanding tee pads
-Wide open, elevated, wooded, and water holes
-secluded park, dog friendly (with poop bags!)
-No snakes were observed
-Only 18 holes :-(
-6 hours away from my home :-((((
-navigation to the course was less than stellar but manageable
Other Thoughts: -
-I have played a lot of courses and after playing this course I came away so impressed it is my new number one overtaking flip city.
-Signature and epic holes galore! Each and every hole is memorable and exciting. Usually the best courses have 3-4 signature holes, this course is honestly in the double digits of sig holes. Totally awesome and unexpected.
-The course is fun, challenging, and fair.
-Huge fun factor, you will never be bored on any set of three tee pads. The designers did an excellent job with the layout.
-Very challenging course. This course offers so many types of shots on each hole. I found it very challenging yet very fair. There is a line on every hole and each hole can be a birdied or bogeyed depending on the shot.
-The amount of variety on this course is superb. It has all sorts of different types of holes. Long elevated, tight wood holes, and an excellent water hole.
-Well done to the designers of this course! It was a privilege playing this course. The atmosphere is excellent, abundant wildlife, a bird watchers paradise! It was a loud cacophony and chorus of birds singing to me the entire round and I loved it!
-I never had so much fun playing a disc golf course and I have been playing for awhile now. Do yourself a big favor and play this gem in Pennsylvania you will not be sorry!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Few courses anywhere have any holes that could approach any one of ten or more holes at this magnificent example of disc golf ecstasy. The grassy-yet-rocky terrain bordering a major stream such as the Allegheny River makes for a near-perfect, moderate-to heavily wooded disc golf experience. This includes top-notch forest holes (Holes 1, 6, 14 and 16), protected grassy fairways (Holes 2, 8, 10 and 12), hilltop tees that let you air it out (Holes 7 and 17), and plenty of elevation change for those hungering for it. On top of that, you also have ridge top views that are somehow wind protected (Holes 4 and 5), the best-executed water hole I have ever seen (Hole 15), and a long tunnel hole that rivals the best you will find (Hole 3). Hole 9, a super-long compound hole with a long meadow leading to a tee on a ridge in distant woods was also notable.
Other perks include excellent signs at all three cement tees, bright orange baskets easily seen from several hundred feet away, picnic benches, clearly marked out-of-bounds areas that are rarely a problem, and no mandatories. The course design is terrific with great pin and tee placement; I couldn't find a single course design change I would make given the opportunity. This course was conceived of by true disc golf lovers who know how to make a course with just right levels of difficulty without sacrificing any fun factor. Appears to have full access for free, yet another reason to recommend this course.
Cons: Bring what you need with you, including discs, snacks and drinks. The drive up to the park is winding and slow, and is a long way from the nearest gas station, let alone a disc shop. A couple of hole interchanges were slightly tricky to follow, but nothing horrible in terms of navigation.
Other Thoughts: Congratulations to the Pittsburgh area for having the best course I have ever played in 14 years of golf (numbering 90 courses in eight states and one province), dethroning perennial champs such as Flip City, Leviathan, Coyote Point and Lincoln Ridge. This is my new personal gold standard for disc golf.
In addition to disc golf pleasure, this is a bird watchers' paradise. We saw a rufous-sided towhee right next to the basket for Hole 4, common flickers, blue jays, a red-bellied woodpecker, and a pair of pileated woodpeckers on Holes 3 and 5. At the basket for Hole 7, a huge hawk swooped down and perched on a tree 50 feet from us.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 11 Not
My home Course
Pros: Great mix of wooded and open shots, great elevation changes.
Other Thoughts: Been playing this course off and on since it was installed, but I have really been playing it a lot lately. This is my home course so of course I'm biased.
2 of 13 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Extremely wide variety of holes. Open and long, open and short, wooded and long, wooded and short, etc. Bring your distance drivers because this course will challenge you to throw far. You'll also need accuracy in order to land on the fairways.
-I've played on heavily wooded parks like Deer Lakes where the vegetation/ trees are too dense to make it interesting, but Deer Lakes does not fall victim to this. Many holes are heavily wooded, but I never felt like I couldn't find a line to throw at. Also, Deer Lakes is good for making you bust out both your fore and backhand with the curvature of the holes.
-Very few, if any, throwaway holes. Even the short par 3s have many trees or elevation changes to make them interesting. The only generic hole I can think of is hole 4, but it's honestly a nice changeup after the long hole 3.
-Top of the line signage and tee pads. Every hole has three tee pads, each complete with its own sign including distance, preferred line, hole placement, and a guideline for the next hole. As of 8/15/15 they were all in great shape.
-Piggybacking on my third point, the holes themselves are very, very nice. They used a certain kind of weaving or knotting or something with the inner ring of chains to make them very "catch-y."
-The paths between holes are marked extremely well and are well maintained. Most holes have signage pointing to the next hole, and the park employees have put up wooden boards and such to keep your feet out of the mud. Very helpful.
-The course is kind of like a hike. There are some really steep inclines and declines. I personally found it fun to hike, jump, and run around them. It made me feel like a little kid in a great way.
-The end of hole 9 puts you right back out by the parking lot where you started. This is a huge plus for me because it lets you either get a quick 9 in if you live close or, if you see a few groups starting off at 1, you can start on the back 9 and miss the crowds while still playing 18.
Cons: -I loved this course so I'm going to struggle to find legit cons, that being said, if you have a hard time getting around due to weight or a lower-body issue, this course will really take its toll on you. Like I said in the pros section, Deer Lakes is a legit hike. You're going to be climbing steep hills and jumping over fallen trees and such. Be prepared for that mentally and physically.
-If you're a beginner, this course might be a little intimidating. It's long, wooded, and has some impressive elevation changes. As an intermediate player, I felt perfectly challenged, but I could imagine beginner players being frustrated by this course.
Other Thoughts: -If this course isn't a 5 star course, I don't know what is. It's free, located pretty close to downtown Pittsburgh (we got here in about 35 minutes from the Avalon/ Bellevue area), and offers some of best holes I've played. If you live anywhere near Pittsburgh or are visiting, do yourself a favor and play this course. You will not regret it.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This review refers to the Blue Tees layout for the 2015 Worlds: Outstanding course design with a great mix of tightly wooded and open crushes that demands a variety of left-right, right-left and straight shots that will test the abilities of the best players. The majority of the fairways are well defined (hole 14 can be a bit tricky, but there is a way!), and many feature landing zones where a few feet can be the difference between birdie and bogey (or worse). Precarious pin positions invite roll-aways on several holes that will test your mental fortitude. Water is available on the course (look for the pumps). Swirling winds can make it difficult to judge the proper speed and angle on several of the holes.
Cons: Steep hills makes it difficult to use a cart (for those of us with back problems who almost never carry their bag). Thank goodness it did not rain during the 2015 Worlds, as some of the steep inclines would be hard to traverse in mud.
Other Thoughts: A phenomenal course that can be enjoyed by all pro and advanced players. Less experienced folks should play the short tees.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great mix of shots through woods and open fields. This course has about every shot weather right or left, up or down, and everything in between. Fun course to play.
Cons: The only cons I can think of is when it rains this course can get rather muddy. Stay on the fairways if all possible. Rough is very unforgiving. And of course loosing discs on #15 in the water but this is more my fault than the courses of course.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth playing. I guess since I play here the most you can call this my home course.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Where the Deer and the Disc Golfers Play
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A long course, many nice changes in elevation, grassy fairways and some woods, some water. Deer Lakes Park is strong. The park is nearly spotless, and the grass was nicely cut. A really nice variety shifting between open and wooded, and mixing lefts and rights. The triple tees on each hole were concrete, with very nice signs. Mach 3 baskets are good. A number of great memorable holes. 3 is a long run over rolling hills with woods on both sides. 6 is a good one, long and wooded. 7 is a fun bomber, with big drop in elevation with few trees. 9 is really long, also downhill, and crossing an expanse of grass, then moving into the woods. I pulled off an awesome approach and made a birdie on the 846' par 5 beast. 11 is really sweet, downhill into woods. 14 is a really long, thickly wooded and tough. 15 is pretty cool, teeing from an elevated position well up a hill, across a pond at the bottom. Risky, but very fun and exhilarating. 16 us another densely wooded, lengthy hole. Par is listed at 66, I shot a 70 on the first round. Not bad, but left me wanting more. Benches in many places to rest when needed.
Cons: Map available to print, was very helpful for me on a couple of holes. Leash law for pets. Open on half of the holes, a couple are maybe less than phenomenal, but majority are great.
Other Thoughts: Deer Lakes Park disc golf course has a great layout design, that is very fun and pretty difficult. There are lots of long holes with many ups and downs, but they are well worth the effort. Cool tree stump with 3 owls carved into it, I think it was on the way to the 10th tee. I would recommend this course to any player who is in the vicinity, playing this one at least once is a good idea.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
The real deal.
Pros: Every shot you have, you will use multiple times. The course has everything: elevation changes, tight holes, open holes, looooong holes. The course is also just beautiful: SW PA's scenery gets shown off for sure, especially when the leaves are changing colors in autumn.
Cons: The rough on this course is... rough. If you throw off the fairway, finding your disc is quite difficult. There are a few holes that, from the white or red tees, are sort of "gimmie" holes. In my opinion, this is desirable for the red tees, but not so much the whites. You won't play a casual/quick round here, so that could potentially be a con as well.
Other Thoughts: Favorite course of the Pittsburgh-area courses.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the Best
Pros: I have been playing this course since the weekend it opened in 2006 and the improvements have been tremendous. It showed a lot of promise seven years ago and is filling out those hopes in preparation for the 2015 Worlds.
Deer Lakes provides fantastic variety in a secluded setting. It is very rare to see people other than disc golfers on the course although I did run into a wedding last year on #10. There are three sets of concrete tee pads (Red- 875, White-925, Blue-975) on each hole and several of these have taken a lot of work to put in and look great.
One of the more unique aspects of Deer Lakes is the fact that the par of the hole stays constant for each set of tee pads. This allows everyone from beginners to pros to enjoy this course while feeling happy about their score. I think this is a wonderful idea that more courses need to implement.
Now, back to the course's variety. There are 9 par threes, 6 par fours, and 3 par fives on this par 66 course. There are downhill shots, uphill shots, an 800 foot par 5 in a pipeline, tunnel shots in the woods, and wide open field shots for those who like to throw big. This course has everything, including #15 the only water hole in Pittsburgh( if you want to be 100% sure of making it over the water, use the red tees). Most holes present a variety of routes to the basket; therefore, Deer Lakes will test your decision making as well as your arm and your endurance (the course is long and hilly).
Deer Lakes is especially wonderful to play in the fall when the leaves are a palette of colors on the wooded holes. Hole #14 ( par 5 in the woods) is especially spectacular. Most of the leaves turn yellow so you feel like you're walking Oz' yellow brick road.
The tee signs are also excellent. Each sign has a marker pointing to the next hole so as long as you pay attention it is hard to get lost or skip a hole.
#9- One of my favorite holes in disc golf, this par 5 invites you to bomb your drive down a gently sloping fairway. The next shots are more technical as the last 200 feet consist of a narrow, corkscrew path in thick woods.
#3- A long par 5 in pipeline that is probably 40 feet wide. Stay on the fairway or strokes will pile up fast.
#7- A fun, steep downhill par 3 that lets you admire the flight of your disc.
#11- A tricky, heavily wooded, downhill par 3 where the basket is on a severe slope across a casual relief ravine.
#14- One of the most complained about holes on the course, but one of my favorites. This is a par 5 deep in the woods that seemingly presents no paths off the tee. It may seem this way at first but contrary to popular belief there are actually multiple fairways. I throw an anhyzer down the left side.
Cons: There are few negatives about this course. Chief among them is the tendency of a couple holes to turn into shoe-grabbing morasses after a hard rain. #3 and the walk around the lake on #15 are particularly treacherous.
Hole #8 is a little boring, but really every other hole is a pleasure to play.
The park is not located near any major highways and can be difficult to find. Make sure you have good directions if you're not a local and are playing it for the first time.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the top courses I've played along with Moraine, Idlewild, and Nevin Park. I gave it a 4.5 rather than a 5 because there a scant few things that could be improved.
I have played this course over 100 times so I might be a little biased and neglectful of what a first time player might think. Some of the baskets on longer holes (#3, #9, #14, #13) can be in surprising positions.
But in conclusion, if you live in the area, or enjoy traveling to play good disc golf courses, and you haven't played Deer Lakes, shame on you.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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