Deer Old Friend
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is what disc golf should be when it is placed in a public park. If a course has this much land, then it has potential. It has rolling hills, tight woods, valleys and ponds.
The course is overall, well manicured and well kept. The local club, the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society, always keeps the local courses looking their best.
Going through the course, you go through what are some of the finest amenities that a course can have. These being, benches, tee signs, concrete pads, nice baskets, (Mach X) and signage.
The course has every challenge that somebody would want, with winding fairways both left and right, uphill shots, downhill shots, and more.
If there is something a course should have, it is multiple teepads and basket positions in order to provide variety in a course. This course has both, in the finest form. Three concrete tee pads, THREE! Three pin positions, THREE! The pads are long and grippy, and they are well placed to fit the skill level you are looking to play at.
The course is free. When you have a course with so many great things going on, often they come with a price. Not Deer Lakes!
Cons: When thinking of cons, they are few and far between. There are seriously not many to go about.
Crowded- On warm sunny days, the course can be crowded with fellow disc golfers. This is a problem on all public and great courses, because who wouldn't seriously want to play here??? There are also some pedestrians and park goers on a few holes, but not many. Maybe three or four holes until you are back in the woods or on disc golf dedicated property.
Ticks- I have come home from DEER Lakes many times with Ticks crawling on my skin. Make sure you check yourself every time you play in the woods in the Pittsburgh Area, or anywhere on the East Coast. Not really a con, but a thought to warn about.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Favorite Course I've Played
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Immaculate, well maintained
- Nice concrete pads and good baskets
- Tremendous variety of holes (water, woods, open)
- Shorter and longer holes nicely distributed
- Excellent use of elevation, best I've seen on a course
- Several challenging basket placements
- Lots of memorable, highlight holes (3, 9,11,13,14,15,16)
- Need to use all your shots to score well
- Hole 9 basket is close to the parking lot
Cons: - The old shuttered up, bombed out bathrooms on several holes are an eyesore, they ought to just knock them down and remove them
Other Thoughts: - Loved this course, did a disc golf week-end from Buffalo, NY; played Moraine (4 times), Deer Lakes (2 times) and Knob Hill (once)...Knob Hill I found to be an above average course but nothing special...Deer Lakes and Moraine are both best of the best type of courses, I just liked the highlight holes and basket placements slightly better at Deer Lakes than Moraine...so it is getting my first 5 star rating...though I'd give Moraine and Brewster Ridge (in Vermont) a close 4.75 stars as the next best courses that I've played...
- I just love hole #3; this is just about my idea of a perfect hole...
- I was shocked (pleasantly) by how few people were on this amazing course on a nice Saturday morning in August...
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
The Best Course I have ever played
10 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!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
9 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. This course was good enough to visit twice in one year from six hours away, and a second round continued to impress, reinforcing the notion that this is the best course I have played. Holes 2, 3, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 17 are all good enough to be signature holes.
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.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 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 15 people found this review helpful.
16 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.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Hills lakes and woods
Pros: This course is in my top three along with tyler state park and iron hill. In my opinion it ranks slightly above tyler but is slightly less awesome than iron hill. All in all it is a great course and i hope to be back soon.
Beauty and seclusion- this course is in a secluded area of the park where disc golf is the predominant activity. As far as i know the only other activity that this area is used for is hiking via the numerous trails. Every hole feels unique and apart from everything. Every hole is majestic and outstanding in its own way. This course IS beautiful! 3 as well as 7 and 15 provide beatiful looks through forest as well as some spectacular mountain views. 3 is a fantastic tunnell shot downhill with trees on both sides. 7 provides a downhill bomb with mountains in the background. 15 is a downhill tunnel shot over a lake to a pin 25 feet from the edge.
Elevation- if i remember correctly, ever hole had some elevation change. The elevation was well balanced throughout the course. There were downhill bombers as well as huge uphill shots. If i had to estimate, id say the largest downhill was -60 ft and the larget uphil was +75 feet. I found the elevation on the tight wooded holes to be extremely challenging and provided a challenge like no other.
Shot variety- each hole demanded its own shot and line but had multiple lines to follow in order to execute the given shot. There were some holes wher i ued 7-8 drivers just to test out all the different lines. I used all of my 11 drivers, all three of my mids and 2/3 of my putters.
Distance variety- there was some massive hole lengths as well as short rewarding birdie opportunity. Hole lengths ranged from 275-850. If you played the longer holes well and executed your shots you could have a look for birdie on almost all of the holes.
Amenities- large concrete tees on every hole provide good grip and help you get the extra power you need on some of the holes. Each hole had three teepads all of them being concrete and had intricate tee signs that displayed the lines to the basket, the direction pf the next tee as well as distance and par for the hole. Two loops of nine holes that each lead back to the parking lot. Sometimes i could see only wanting to play nine holes of this massive course. There are bathrooms as well as porta potties close to the parking lot.
This course will challenge our mental and physical game. Elevation tests your mental game and i could see one shot ruining a hole and if you ant stop the bleeding, i could imagine it uining a round. This is the kind of course where 5's and 6's are not uncommon. Elevation changes as well as multiple shot holes can really test you. You habe to work for your birdies and get them when you can because there arent to many out there.
Cons: Some navigation issues if you do not use the tee sign to locate the where the next tee is. Walk from 9-10 can seem a little wandering.
Other Thoughts: Overall my experience at deer lakes was awesome! I played this cours after 7.5 hours of driving on my way to philly and it was well worth the stop. I enjoyed every moment of this wonderful experience and would love to be back soon. Beware, there is no cellnphone ervice in the park.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course has it all. You get a fair mix of tight woods shots and open bombs, an equal blend of straight, left and right, and a lot of elevation change. Every time I play here, I get to throw every mold in my bag! I make it to this course at least twice a week, and it never gets old. I also appreciate that during the summer months, you can always see improvements being made and baskets being moved to keep holes fresh.
Great signage, easy to follow paths, and excellent flat teepads that setup different lines for different skill levels. This is how a course is meant to be run.
Cons: Well there aren't really any in my eyes. Hole 15 over the water seems to eat a lot of people's discs, so I wouldn't be surprised that others dislike this one. I just bring some old junker disc to toss here and if it goes in the drink, not a big loss.
Other Thoughts: This really is one of the Crown Jewels of the Pittsburgh area. If I didn't live near by, I would still drive quite a ways to play this course frequently. I wish it had 9 more holes, as there is still plenty of land.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: This course is excellent! It has many challenging shots and is very fun! The holes vary in difficulty and lengths. The course is well maintained. I like what they have done with the cement tee pads.
Cons: As with other reviews, the only thing I find a problem with this course is that there are 3 different cage placements an no indication on where the cage will be.
0 of 15 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 6 Not
One of the greats
Pros: The course is layed out well and has a ton of variety to the shots. If you didnt play the course it would make an excellent hike as this is probably the most tiring course I have ever played. There are funny signs on the course that says Knob Hill 20 miles, Moraine 30 miles, with a direction they are in. I played all three courses and they were all fantastic. It has been a couple weeks so I can't give a very detailed review but I can assure that this is one of the bests courses and is a must play.
Cons: There are only 4 or 5 comparable courses here in Michigan! So the con is that its 6 hours away :o.
The only other con, and this is for all three courses, is that there are three pin placements and no way of telling which one unless you can see the basket or walk the hole.
Other Thoughts: Since this course is so tiring I would not recommend playing this course and moraine in the same day. I would do moraine and Knob in the same day or deer lakes and knob. Moraine is just as tiring and awesome, you want to be at your best for both courses.
I wish I kept score with a card but my friend I just played doubles.
The best camping ground we found after 3 hours of driving was Breakneck campground right next to moraine on cheeseman road. It was $8/ night per person with tent. My moraine review gives greater detail on where the campground is.
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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