2 Helpful / 9 Not
Challenging At First - Easier The Second Time Around
Pros: There are A LOT of pro's to this course!! 1: Its challenging yet fun! Lots of up's & down's, around's & through's. 2: Its very beautiful & scenic! A few wide open, grassy meadows & hilltop views of the bright blue sky! 3: Its rarely crowded. Enough said. 4: You face obstacles you won't find at other courses. The 2nd time through you will do much better!
Cons: I'm not a big fan of the 15th Hole with the water hazard. We lost a disc in there our 1st time through the course.
Other Thoughts: Overall.... this is one of coolest courses I have seen in the Pittsburgh area! I've played Schenley Park, Knob Hill & Philips Park. Playing this course makes me better each time I go back and play the others.
Don't get disappointed if you have a rough go on your 1st time, you will improve the next time, I promise! Everyone in my group did. Just stay focused & don't get down on yourself if you have a bad hole. You will eventually LOVE this course more than you love chocolate milk! :)
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid and Enjoyable Course
Pros: I took my kid (she's nearly 10 but the size of a 6-year-old) and wife and except for the tantrums on a few holes because the kid was scared to walk down a few slopes (kids are soft these days! :D), we all had a great time.
The course has red, white, and blue tee pads that are all ample sized concrete slabs. I have a short-run-up when I x-step and they were at least twice as long as needed.
The signage on the course is great. The tee signs clearly show where the next tee is and most holes have an arrow pointing you towards the next tee.
The multiple tees offer not just the same shot but different angles, which was nice.
The undergrowth is kept to a minimum which allowed for relatively easy finding of discs as well as skip shots and other things that use the ground. There are not too many trees - just the right amount to punish bad shots and reward good lines.
The elevation changes work into the design of the holes *beautifully*. The second hole is a great example of this, and many pins are tucked onto slopes.
I've only played here once but the multiple basket locations are varied on each hole, which is great and will keep the course "fresh" for many, many rounds.
OB is clearly marked on the tee signs AND in most cases marked on the ground with white stakes and even some rope or string. Awesome.
Great scenery. We didn't see much wildlife but the hills are nice and though we could hear other players, we didn't see them more than once or twice. You feel like you have the course to yourself.
There are variations in hole design, from those in the woods the whole way to those in the open the whole way to those, like the ninth, that start in the open with a big bomb and end in the woods. Great variety.
Even though we're all new to disc golf, all three of us found the course challenging but fair. We had a great time.
Cons: Really nit-picky here because this course is pretty darn good. If I could give it a 4.75 I would, but it's not *perfect* so I have to choose 4.5.
Some of the lower holes get pretty damp, but that's just how water works - it goes downhill.
The signs pointing you towards 7 after 6 could be a *little* more specific, and after 9 to 10 as well.
A few of the slopes MAYBE could use some steps, but again, that's mostly because my kid hasn't been in the woods very much. :)
Uhhh... Yeah. That's about it. Like I said, really nit-picky.
Other Thoughts: The PDGA app, oddly, has this course with 18 par threes. I shot +26 or something like that according to the PDGA app, and that's not right. I submitted the proper pars but I don't know if that matters.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 79 Not
Pros: ~ well maintained
~ concrete tee pads
~ well marked with signs
~multiple pin locations
~ multiple tee pads
~ 2 9 hole loops from parking lot
~ many parking lots to start at different holes if busy
~ good mix of open and wooded holes
Cons: ~ muddy at times...bring your waders
~ poorly designed stretch on back 9 (13-15)
~ could be a physical challange to walk if older or have health issues
~ hard to tell pin locations
~ fan boyz sending me threatening PMs about my reveiw
~ back 9 could of been layed out better....wouldve like to seen 27 holes with land used
7 of 86 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 17 Not
Fantastic Western PA Course
Pros: The course has great signs and great tee pads. Good baskets. Great long holes through the woods. Has elevation changes. The signs help you navigate the course with ease going from one hole to the next.
Cons: Has one hole where you have to throw across a lake and there are low hanging trees which will knock your disc into the lake. Very risky shot from the white tees. The course takes a long time to play but it is such a good course that really does not matter.
Other Thoughts: Some of the out of bounds is unclear. This course is definitely worth driving 45 minutes or making a special trip for because it uses the land well and is one of the best courses in PA if not the best one. The course takes a long time to play but it is such a good course that really does not matter.
1 of 18 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.
10 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: 18 baskets with three pin positions. Nice tee signs at each of the three concrete tees. Great variety of hole distances, pars, and open vs wooded holes. Excellent use of the rolling elevation, water and terrain. Beautifully manicured fairways and scenery. Rough is not too rough so disc loss potential is low except for the pond. Two loops of nine holes back to the parking lot. Benches and picnic tables a plenty around the tees. Restrooms and water scattered around the park.
Cons: No signage to know which pin the basket is in. This would be easily fixed with some letters, wood hooks, and a moveable lock(or even zip tie) to locate the pin position. Navigation a little tricky in places, but not too bad.
Other Thoughts: Deer Lakes is certainly a top tier DGC and you can't miss if you play here coming from just about anywhere. This course is well suited for just about any type of player from beginner looking to get more competitive to a world class player looking to challenge their game. The whole Pittsburgh area is really sick! When is World's coming to town? I really enjoyed Deer Lakes, but a few minor things that kept me from giving a five disc rating(I've only given a five to Paw Paw). Not knowing which pin the basket is in, and also the alternative pin placements don't seem to change many shots. It'd be nice to have a little more separation between some of the holes. The variety of holes is pure excellence, however I feel the last two holes end a little weak. I think if hole 18 went bigger downhill that might have iced an fiver for me. Maybe it's just a peeve of mine to end with a more epic hole. With all that minor bitching aside I'd highly recommend anybody come play here, it's probably one of the best courses you'll ever play!
10 of 16 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Scenic course winds through a nicely wooded section of a fairly large, well maintained county park that offers several other activities.
• Challenge: Particularly well suited to the intermediate/advanced player, but pros and beginners will enjoy themselves here as well. Only a couple of holes struck me as something beginners should find truly intimidating from the short tees. High marks for a design that can pretty much accommodate all skill levels.
• Shot variety/Course Design: Excellent. Features many moderately to well wooded holes, but still has a few fairways that are open enough to air it out, with a few holes that start out open that have you putting to a well-guarded basket in the woods. Fairways can be difficult, but are reasonable to hit, and if you start bouncing wide off trees, strokes can pile up quickly. Nice balance in terms of fairways that favor hyzer/annie/straight /S-shots from the tee. Some offer several lines, others pretty much restrict you to one or two. Each set of tee pads offers a nice selection of distances (check out the distances on the scorecard).
• Elevation: plenty of it and well used - has you throwing downhill, uphill, and over gullies, with a few holes playing relatively flat. Some pins on or near slopes, so you gotta hit putts and upshots right or you could lose some strokes.
• Multiple Tees: Red, White, and Blue, concrete pads offer increasing challenge. More often than not, they provide slightly different looks at the fairway, and occasionally different elevations... pretty much guarantees an assortment of distances you'll be happy with if you're willing to switch up which pads you tee off from during a round.
• Multiple Pin locations: I don't recall what position the pins were in during my round, but the fact that they vary pin placements from time to time helps keep it from getting boring and adds variety - always a plus in my book.
• Natural Beauty: Deer Lakes is certainly a well-maintained, and pleasant place to play a round. Mature trees, rolling terrain, water, well defined fairways, and mowed grass on open holes, all make for a wonderful setting and a really enjoyable round. I can only imagine how beautiful this place must be in the fall. Not as rough around the edges and rugged as Moraine.
• Equipment: Excellent. Large concrete pads, baskets in great shape. Each pad has color tee markers with hole layout, tee locations and, distance (pretty sure they also showed possible pin locations) . Long fairways equipped with markers to let you know the distance remaining to the basket. Next tee signs to help move you in the right direction.
• Memorable/Unique holes: several 2, 3, 9, 15
• Surprisingly little rough for a course of this caliber.
• Navigation/flow: My guide was quite familiar so I can't elaborate, but most paths were obvious and course seemed to flow pretty well. The only section I recall being confusing was where the course opens up around holes 7-9.
• Amenities/Other: Fresh water available every few holes. Large park offers plenty of other activities - fishing, playgrounds, restrooms. Course was spotless - amazing when you consider how long and spread out this course is and the amount of traffic it must get.
Cons: Take these with a grain of salt:
• I like the idea of three sets of pads, but on a few holes, they were essentially longer/shorter versions of the same shot. Ideally, at least one of the pads should provide a significantly different view of the fairway that makes you choose a different line or type of shot/release.
• Water in the lake seems stagnant. Sure, it looks nice from a distance, but up close, it seems a bit on the nasty side.
• Hole 8: I wouldn't necessarily call it a bad hole, but in comparison to the rest of the course, it seemed a bit "meh."
Other Thoughts: This is a long course with lots of up/downhill trekking , plan accordingly; give yourself time to play, bring a water bottle( maybe even a snack), and wear comfortable shoes.
Hole 15 can be soft/muddy around the lake, but it's a water hole, if water level drops, the exposed ground is bound to be mushy - I won't list that as a con.
Standout holes include:
(#3) An arduous 600'+ uphill gauntlet that's fairly tight the entire way, but not ridiculously so. Nose one up and fade hard and you could end up in jail :-( Keep things on the straight and narrow and you win.
(#9) The longest hole on the course is a sweeping bomb that plays right to left from a moderately elevated and unobstructed tee to an open field sprinkled with a smattering of trees below. At the edge of the field, the woods guard a basket (perhaps 100 ft away?) placed on a moderate slope. Approach shots that slide past the basket can rollaway for a two-putt.
(#15) Red, white and blue tees line up like steps with a canopy of trees overhead framing the water you have to throw over. The higher up you choose to tee off, the farther you must throw to carry the water, to a pin that lies close enough to the edge of the pond to provide plenty of thrill. Even if your disc hits solid ground, it could roll back into the water or slide past for a long putt... with the lake now looming ominously behind the basket. That being said - there's no denying this hole is really an Ace run!
Bottom Line: Deer Lakes really is a special course that's a helluva lot of fun to play, and locals have every reason to be proud of it. Every bit as good as Moraine, but in many ways entirely different, everyone will have their own opinions and preferences. Throw in Knob Hill and you really have genuine destination-worthy discing.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Clean and Kept
3 Tee Pads and 3 quality signs on each hole
Amazing elevation changes
The 3 tee pads make it a great course for any skill level, definitely leans more to the advanced player
Shot selection, everything you could ask for
Perfect water hazard design on hole 15
Fairways are perfect both in the woods and out.
Clearly a lot of thought and work goes into this course and every bit of it shows
Cons: The only con I could think of is that a lot of the time the Red, White, and Blue Tees were all one on top of each other in a row. Making them longer versions of the same shot
Some mud in the valleys but it's not near enough to stop you from having a great time
Other Thoughts: I don't like to give out 5's but I came really close on this one. I gave it a 4.5 but it's more like a 4.95. Easily in the top 3 courses I've ever played. The fun factor is off the charts. It's a challenge but not in a frustrating way. Having a big arm would definitely help but it's not a necessity, accuracy is just as important
There is not a shot or an obstacle that this course lacks, I think it's strengths are the elevation changes and this course has plenty of great ones. But it also has great open shots, great wooded shots, it doesn't seem to favor a right handed or left handed person, dog legs, blind holes, open bomb, shots, tunneled bomb shots, valleys, scenery, nothing is left off this course. This place is special.
Each hole has 3 paved tee pads and each one has a well made sign with the distance and course map one it. As I played the course I bounced around from the mid to long tees depending on which one I thought looked more fun
If the elevation changes are the strength of the course then the fairways are a close 2nd. Perfect, The open ones are beautiful and the wooded ones are wide enough to give you a fair line but tight enough to challenge you to shape your shots. I can't say enough about the people that designed and take care of this course. Some of them can be muddy though.
At one point I wasn't paying attention and skipped holes 12-15. I didn't take me long to figure out my mistake so I went back for them and I am glad I did 15 barely beats out 3 for the title of signature hole. It plays 200-250 feet straight down a hill depending on which tee you throw from then about another 80 feet over a lake. If your skill level is not very high or your a coward you can also throw from the bottom of the hill straight across the lake. I would have sat on top of that hill and emptied my bag before moving on but I parked my first shot and was afraid that pushing my luck would just result in lost discs.
If I had a complaint it would be that a lot of the times the alternate tee pads were just longer versions of the same shot. Some of them provided different changes in elevation and that's great but I always felt pro tee's should give you a completely new and harder shot at the basket. On courses I play a lot I like to jump around to different tee pads. The different perspectives keep courses that you play routinely from becoming stale. I have had this argument on this site with some of you before and I know a lot of you disagree but it's just my personal preference.
I struggled a bit and I wish I brought my 'A' game that day, I wish I didn't have to work so I could get in another round and I wish I had time to hit up Morrain while I was there but none of that stopped me from enjoying your wonderful course. Much to wonderful to be used by all those annoying obnoxious Steeler fans that live down that way. (I know that remarks gonna cost my at least 10 thumbs down votes. Travel any distance to play this course. If you live nearby and don't play it regularly, shame on you. It's definitely one of the best
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Best course I've played.
Pros: -The best all around course I've played. Deer Lakes really doesn't disappoint anywhere. I played it the day before the PFDO, so I saw it at it's best, and the local club really deserves mention. The upkeep was stellar on every hole, and I'm now spoiled by this course. I really wish I had played it more while on the East Coast!
-Two practice baskets
-Three perfect concrete tees at every hole, each one changing the dynamic of the hole and each having it's own sign. If the tee is on a hill, it has been leveled, using beautiful brickwork to shore it up.
-Three pin locations on each hole. Between the tees and pins, you will have a ton of replay value, and a wide range from beginner friendly to pro caliber.
-A beautifully maintained park setting, with very little non-dg traffic to get in the way of your round.
-The hole variety is superb. There are wide open bombs, and tight holes throughout the course.
-The terrain here is fantastic, with rolling hills and a very deep gorge to play around.
-The pond on 15 presents a very real hazard, with losing a disc a great possibility. Really ups the ante from the pro tee.
-Navigation is a non-issue, as the course flows intuitively from one hole to the next.
-The "giddy" factor is very high here. Every tee seemed to give me butterflies in my stomach as I looked down the fairway. When I messed up a throw, I wasn't upset about my scorecard. I was upset because I really wanted to hit that gap, or really wanted to see the disc hit that line. Every hole leaves you begging your disc to do as it's told, just so you can see it's flight.
-Moraine and Knobb Hill are nearby, making this a great disc golf trip. Deer Lakes isn't quite as challenging as Moraine, but the fun factor is on a whole different level. I guess that's what I really loved about the course. It doesn't seem to be designed to punish players. There's definately a challenge here, but a fun and amazing round of disc golf seems to be the name of the game, and Deer Lakes delivers that in bucketloads!
Cons: -I'm really digging for a con, as they've really covered their bases making sure there are none. That said, the last few holes didn't end with a bang, but more of a fizzle.
-I hate to use the cliche "I wish it was closer" con, but damn...
Other Thoughts: The Pittsburgh area has really become a gotta play, and Deer Lakes has bumped the ever powerful Moraine as the crown jewel of the area. It's worth noting again that I played it the day before a N-T, so I saw it at it's best, but the entire park looked spectacular and I have a feeling the upkeep is generally top notch. I have never played a course that really has no legitimate cons. After hosting the AmWorlds in Rochester, I thought I knew where the bar was set on great courses, but Deer Lakes just shattered my expectations.
On a side note, I got to play behind Avery, Val, and Doss for my round. If that doesn't make for a memorable day, I give up!
Kudos again the the club for getting this course in, it truly deserves every 5-star rating it gets!!
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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