11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is another extraordinarily well-designed championship-caliber course installed outside of Pittsburgh this past decade. It features an appealing variety of Par 3s, Par 4s, and Par 5s in an accessible but sufficiently secluded area of Moraine State Park near its North Shore beach. It's worth visiting simply for wide-open Hole 15 with its spectacular view of Lake Arthur and nerve-wracking drive and approach shots. Each hole, though, evidences careful thought and labor in the hole's creation. The new rubber teepads on the gold, blue, and white tees are a welcome addition.
The Par 66 course features special shot-making challenges from small/dense trees (different from you average Pennsylvania woods course). These trees can make holes feel a lot longer than their actual distance. Drive placement--especially maneuvering with low ceilings--seems to be a point of emphasis on this course's Par 4 and Par 5 holes. Just throwing as hard as possible usually isn't a good strategy here (throw your Katanas and Nukes in Lake Arthur before playing to shoot well here). On this course more than others, a roller is often a better option than an aerial route. Also, there are even a couple of fun and unusual over/under decisions to make when playing the course.
Moraine State Park's genius, though, really is tee-shot decision making for its Par 4s and Par 5s, especially from the gold tees. It seems like many of the holes (2,6,8,10,14,16,18) are designed "backwards" so that the better strategy, percentage wise, might be to play a conservative first shot and then plan to be more aggressive.
Cons: This might sound odd or picky (which it is), I'm not a big fan of the terrain, particularly the trees. Possibly owing to the park's origins with mining, a relatively high percentage of trees are small and dense. Or, maybe just give it twenty years of good growth and this course will be looking good. There are very few towering hardwood trees on this course, unfortunately. Compared to nearby championship course Deer Lakes, Moraine simply doesn't have as many "majestic" shots in my mind for this reason.
Parts of the course can get soggy, but not much more than any other "campaign through the woods" championship course I have played. The easiest tees are 900-rated, so beginners still might be a little overwhelmed by Moraine.
I don't like a few of the pin positions for some of the Par 3s that are situated to make an ace basically impossible (e.g., 1C). Sometimes you can get a course pin configuration in which there's no reasonable line to the basket for most of the Par 3s, and that detracts a little from the fun factor and a minor principle of good design.
Visit at the height of summer so you can play a round or two and then go swimming in Lake Arthur (adjacent to the course). Also, check out Moraine State Park cabin/camping options.
Putting basket available near parking lot. Come out for a Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society monthly at Moraine, as listed on the event calendar at www.pfds.org.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Fly pads now on every tee, great variety from tight woods to wide open "Grip it and Rip it". Pet friendly. Good signage and benches at almost every tee.
Cons: Far from civilization (all though that really is a pro) so playing it frequently is hard to do. Could get soggy.
Other Thoughts: The BEST course in the Pittsburgh area. #15 is the signature hole and probably one of the most beautiful anywhere. Accuracy and placement are key to a good round as the rough is very unforgiving. I highly recommend playing this course if you are in the area, will not disappoint.
3 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Amazing and challenging layout for each and every hole. This can be a very humbling experience from the Gold and even some of the Blue tees. Losing discs hasn't been an issue as most of the wooded holes are loaded with just trees and not too much undergrowth or shrubbery(very well maintaned imo). As most of previous posts say, beautiful scenery, a good variety of uphill/downhill, wooded and open shots. Never seems too busy as i cant remember ever being backed up more than 1 maybe 2 times and usually get waved thru when playing up behind slower groups
Cons: No tee pads or trash cans on the course.
Other Thoughts: Simply a must play. Bring some water and pack a lunch because after your first time through you will probably want to redeem yourself
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Hands Down Favorite.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course layout is varied, challenging, and beautiful. It's obvious great attention was paid to the design of fairways and the placement of tees and holes; you'll find a use for every disc in your bag and shot in your arsenal.
Update: Since I started playing, the local volunteers have done some serious work on this course. The course is now one of the best maintained I've ever played, especially considering how wooded it is. Whether you're a pro on the gold tees or a newbie on the whites, you won't find a better blend of difficulty, scenery, and excitement on any course on this coast.
Cons: Still under development in some regards. Tees are mostly dirt, although new rubber pads and gravel are being installed this year. A few holes get treacherously swampy after storms.
Update: Most of the swamping issues have been resolved through some creative ingenuity in draining the fairways. Cement tees would still do a lot to make this course an 5 star in my book (and more sustainable in the long-run, as the dirt tees are getting worn).
Other Thoughts: Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Moraine offers an exciting course the provides the perfect blend of fun and challenge.
This is a course that people drive to play. Many of the regulars drive an hour or more, bypassing other very good courses to do so. If you're in a nearby state, there's no good reason no to take a day trip to this disc golf haven.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
A sweet slice of heaven
Pros: the care that is put in to the course is great ...the holes are some of the best in the world this is the best course I've ever played hands down (I did not pay well) and still had a great time
Cons: my score but that is on me so no real cons
Other Thoughts: hole 15 the best view just go to 15 and look out over the lake and the trees hands down the best view in disc golf
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: You utilize many shots between anhyzers, hyzers, forearm or sidearm and back hand.
Well marked out of bounds and I believe they are put in good locations to mix up game play
Good mix with wooded holes and open holes
Very challenging I must add and some holes should really be spotted for if you can drive over the hill on number 15
It is a definite course you need to play if needing to travel to it or you live within a reasonable distance
Cons: No cement teepads but what I have heard some might be installed soon in the future
Other Thoughts: Everytime I have been to the course there has been other people playing which is nice to play a round with people from different areas and of different skill levels
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wow! All i can really do here is confirm what has been said below. A course that was obviously well thought out! Every drive must be well planned.
Probably the only course i've ever seen with Specifics on O.B. . Several holes have outlined O.B. with yellow string around those areas.
Also one of the only courses I've noticed that has distance markers along the fairways.
Multiple pins offer multiple decisions . First time out i went with blues.
Scenery seems to constantly change as does the elevation. Low ceilings (#6) for example has a wide fairway but is clear on one side and heavily populated with trees on the other. Not to mention the ceiling semms to get lower the closer you get to the hole.
7 was also pretty cool. Tee of from 50ft up..down into fairway littered with trees into dogleg left. Real easy to catch cross wind there.
13 was pretty brutal . An isle of trees that seems to narrow in as goes further in, making a long drive almost a crap shoot
15...Hands down the, most beautiful hole, (and now probably my most favorite) on the course . The only hole you'll be able to get off an undisturbed long drive. From blue or gold over looking the mountain and the lake.
16....Just a note to the newcomers to the course. Unless your feeling lucky , just play it safe ...TRUST me! it get worse over the hill. Conservative players will just stick to a midrange, and try to plan this one out . Its Beyond hard. Its ruthless!
18 was kinda of different . once again O.B. is labeled, and if you land in the O.B. There is drop spot specifically marked to the far right behind the stream with a 2x4 and a sign to mark it.
All signs indicate multiple pin locations marked A,B,C. One can assume these change regularly so it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to walk these off just to make sure.
Also a putting basket across from the street from hole 1's gold tee. It Has instructions for putting game on top of basket .....Thought that was neat!
Cons: 1,2,& 3 were pretty muddy. If it had concrete tees i would have given it 5
Other Thoughts: The best course i've played thus far. I drove 90 miles to check this place out. Beyond worth it. I could not see this course getting boring. Don't try to beast every drive....you'll be sorry
Plenty of other things in the park as well .
70miles worth of trails
Camping......Definitely hope to spend a weekend here sometime
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 1 Not
African Savannah and Appalachian Woodland
Pros: Unique and quite a challenge. This course will make you think and use your brain as much as your brawn. There is a lot of thinking to do out there. I'm sure this, along with it's 8264 ft length and par 66, makes for the legendary long rounds played here. There are 3 tees per hole and despite being natural the drainage here seems to ensure that the tees are always solid and level. Course plays in it's own section of park so outsider interference is non-existant. There is a uniqueness of what appears to be an almost African Savanah landscape with open fields interspersed often with low trees that are spaced apart from one another. This puts a premium on shot selection as there is often the choice to go low ceiling, weave around or attemmpt to fly over these trees. It may not be as beautiful as thick forrests or wide open vistas, but it makes for beautiful disc golf shots. I would love to go back and try different routes to landing areas etc.....seems the options are endless here. There are also quite a bit of appalachian forrest with elevation drops and gains to keep it interesting as well. There are well defined avenues and many to be discovered lanes to be had in these old growth forrest sections of course. Some of the holes combine the savanah with the hardwoods making for epic and exciting transitions in and out of different landscapes. I particularly enjoyed the following holes:
#2-441 ft drive through huge trees and uphill at the end with a ravine OOB to test your approach.
#4 385 ft Starts in open then climbs into a forrest with fair lanes to wooded basket
#6 Never played a hole like this and I hated/loved it. Basically a 934 straight shot on dead flat terrain but having 2 lanes one right and one left. Can you throw straight, can you roll straight, can you throw straight and low consistently 3 times in a row.
#7 Another unique throw I never encountered anywhere else. It plays downhill to the left after tee off but you can attempt to throw over the trees to basket below or go low ceiling and hug the terrain down to the basket. Choices!
#8 long 564 foot throw with several turns in fairway requires long shot placement and line shaping to score well.
#10 fun dogleg left that rises uphill at bend to a protected basket above at 465 ft.
#12 Amazing long transition hole that blends the best of the savanah with a dive into the hardwoods for the last 200 feet. Not many holes anywhere have such dramatic changes as this one.
#13 a solid 300 ft Eastern tight woods hole.
#15 The most famous hole on course and only chance to truly rip into open space. Downhill 852 dogleg right to lake below. Beware the wind and the elevation drop can mess with your mind.
#16 this hole is just hard hard hard. Precise drive uphill to very wooded fairway to a basket with a sloping fast green behind. 624 feet of frustrating fun.
#18 a wooded fairway that if your able to clear the fairway and the high banked creek your sitting pretty looking at the open basket with some steep green around her. Much trouble if you shank your initial drive or end up in the creek.
Plenty of friendly players who enjoyed showing off the course as well giving me anecdotes about the course. Like how Schultz eagled this hole etc. Always makes a round more fun to know some history!
Cons: Holes 1,3,5,9,11,14,and 17 though solid did not offer much in the way of memorable disc golf like the prior holes did. I found hole14 to be just long and brutally hard. Maybe I just could not find the lanes or ended up on the wrong side of the fairway?(part of reason I'd like to play it a few times to learn the nuances) Not a fan of the ground rule regarding the tiny drainage halfpipes as being OOB. Seems a bit punitive and random as these are throughout course and unpredictable to a newcomer. Seems they would play better as casual water. I am not against short holes but a few of them really offered nothing special. I like my short holes to have some kind of charisma.
Other Thoughts: This course is really an amazing course and despite my cons remarks I would rank it easily in my top 10. Western PA has some amazing disc golf options and should be on any disc golfers radar to be explored one day.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Must Play in western PA
Pros: Fantastic variety; well kept; friendly locals; hole 15 is a top-ten hole; rewards placement (just because you CAN throw 350 doesn't mean you should); restrooms; mostly easy to follow as there are "next tee" arrows on the signs and in ground by basket (or just print a map); pets allowed
Cons: I played two rounds from the longest tees, and there was no concrete (although I wouldn't want walk around that course setting pads!); I don't recall seeing any trash cans; signs were detailed, although some distances just felt slightly off
Other Thoughts: All around a fantastic course; I played Moraine, Deer Lakes, and Knob Hill in 24 hours, and this was my favorite of the three; some blind holes, so bring a friend and spot each other; concrete and trash cans just might make this a 5-disc rated course, although to be fair a lot of the tee boxes were in good shape for natural tees; some rough is thick, but it was my fault for being there; cheap camping nearby; somewhat difficult to find the start as this park is pretty big; go to the South Shore and follow the signs; pack a full bag; first time there from back tees took us 2 full hours
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Absolutely a great and beautiful course. Plenty of challenging holes, including several long holes that give you a good chance to really lob a disc out there more than your average 250 ft par 3 you'll find most other places. Try to time your game so you play hole 15 around sunset.
Cons: Natural tees can be a little sloppy depending on the weather.
Other Thoughts: I can't wait until they build the second 18!
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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