15 Helpful / 0 Not
Best Course in Western PA
Pros: This course is a beautiful 18 hole course, located in an equally beautiful and very quiet state park. This is a pretty low traffic course, especially compared to others in the area (looking at you Knob Hill). There are three tee pads and three pin placements for each hole (One basket, 3 possible placements). The holes are well marked, with the trickiest being the transition between 10 and 11 (if you aren't paying attention you'll start playing #4 again)
The course is very well kept and you can tell the course maintainers are very active. Towards the end of this past summer (2013), they trimmed back a huge amount of thick brush on a few holes, most notably hole 15. This drastically improved the enjoyment of this hole, since its one of the few holes where you can really let one fly. It also allowed the B and C placements for hole 15 to be used. I believe that all 18 holes now have three available placements making it a unique experience every time the basket location is changed.
Every single hole on this course is a quality hole. There are only 8 holes that could potentially be aced from the white or blue tee pads (1,3,5,7,9,11,13,17) although when the holes are configured in the more difficult placement, this number would be 4-5. There are no throwaway holes here. None of them seem cheap or repeated, and there are no gimmicky mandos. This course was designed from the gold tees and it shows. The longer tees never feel tacked on, and offer a good variety to the course after working your way up from the whites.
6 - A long fairway split in two by a stand of pine trees. It will require you to throw tight lines while covering a long distance. For beginners and experienced players this hole will test your course management skills. If you birdie this hole, it will be something you can be proud of.
7 - You overlook the treetops and a small clearing with the basket sitting below. You have two options, throw a hyzer bomb over the tree tops and drop it near the basket, or thread a shot under the branches for a long putt or a short upshot.
15 - The signature hole. A long right then left S-Curve with a drop in elevation of about 50ft halfway through. Spectacular view of Lake Arthur from the tee pads, and one of the few opportunities to really grip it and rip it.
18 - The final hole is also one of the most technical and interesting holes. There are two OB creek beds that break up the fairway. From the tee you have the option to lay up before the first creek, or try to clear the gap. Once across, two of the placements require a skilled and careful upshot to avoid the second OB gully located behind or in front of the basket (depending on pin placement).
Your course management skills will be tested here. You will be forced to select the right disc and type of shot for each hole and situation, while still allowing different approaches for different plays styles. Bad shots are punished, but not unfairly. The layout of the holes is top-notch, I can't wait to watch the pros tackle this course at the worlds in 2015.
Cons: It would be really nice if there was an indication on the tee sign of which placement the basket was at. In the summer its pretty difficult to see where the basket is on the longer holes, and can affect what shots you take before getting close enough to see the basket.
No trash cans, I'm guessing this more of a DCNR restriction. I think they could probably set one by the road near hole 4 so that people could use it between holes 10 and 11 also. It would be easier for Park Maintenance or waste management to collect if it was placed right beside the road. Also maybe they could put one near the exit, after 18 in the parking lot.
White tees don't have tee signs.
It would be nice to have more tee pad brooms, just for the tees that have heavy tree cover (2,7,13,14,18)
This one is ticky-tacky. A few of the paths between holes could be made more clear. Between holes 12 and 13 there should be one distinct path to walk down the hill, I think there should be one clear trail down to the next hole instead of a few "deer trails". Also between 16 and 17, there is a nice gradual trail beside the washout that leads to 17, the trail could use a little placard or something right beside it to let people know that's where the path is.
Other Thoughts: You should be able to identify poison ivy before playing this course. It's very common to find it amongst the weeds just off the fairway.
There are bathrooms at the far end of the parking lot near the beach. Useful after a round to wash off your legs and remove the oils from the poison ivy, or you know, go to the bathroom.
After playing this course 20+ times, I'm still coming up with different shots or lines to try to improve my score. I think that really is a testament to how well thought out this course is.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the Best
Pros: - Great Layout - The course makes good use of elevation changes, features a number of right-to-left and left-to-right (and straight, too) holes, and generally routes you around pretty nicely. You face open shots, tunnel shots, technical shots, and more. You will use every shot in your bag, from flicks to sky hyzers to rollers and more. Truly, I could go on at length about the shot values here, but you'll have to play it to believe it anyway.
- True Par Fours - I'm one of those who believe that for disc golf to become "better" not every hole is a par three, and if you play at Moraine, you would agree. There are several true par fours on the course that require two good shots just to get within a range where you'd consider running a putt or laying up beneath the basket. There are plenty of true par threes, and few of the gimme birdie holes that plague courses with artificially high pars. The par is rated 66 from every set of tees, and there aren't many holes with which you can argue the stated par - particularly when the 559/692/852 foot 15th is (correctly) rated as a par four. Anyway, like I said, a bunch of true par fours. Disregard the PDGA app telling you they're all par threes. :)
- Good Signage - Except for the lack of signs on other tees (see a nit-picky Con below), the signs are nicely marked with trees, hole locations, measurements to the center of the "green" area (for all three baskets), and so on. They're small and unobtrusive, yet placed right where you'd expect to find them. They point to the next tee accurately as well.
- No Throwaway Holes - That's not to say there are no easy holes - the third hole can play relatively easy depending on the basket location, for example - but there are no throwaway holes at Moraine. Every hole - every single hole - presents a challenge that must be overcome. The use of OB on three, a few trees on 17, the sheer magnitude and views and downhill and wind on 15, the awesome downhill spike hyzer approach on 7, they're all good holes with good balance. There are holes with tighter fairways, but the green sits in a little clearing and on relatively flat ground. The tougher greens usually have the slightly easier fairways. You won't dread playing any hole here - not because of poor design, anyway! You may dread it because you don't have the shot for that hole, however!
- Great Baskets, Well Naintained Teepads - As you would expect at a top-tier course that will play host to Worlds in 2015, the tee pads are in great shape, as are the baskets. There are brooms on several teepads should you need them. They're not concrete - they're the flypad style - but they are in great shape and play well even when wet. The baskets have a bright strip of orange tape that makes spotting them relatively easy, and catch well without being overly generous.
- Limited Disc Loss Opportunities - Aside from 15, where you get a LOT of airtime and your disc can go over the hill, you shouldn't lose a disc at Moraine unless you're REALLY bad at either throwing (300' and 45° offline?) or you routinely play with camouflage discs and leave your contacts or glasses in your car.
- Parking Aplenty, Nearby Beach and Bike Rental - Just what it says. Lots of parking, because the parking lot for the disc golf course doubles as the parking lot for the beach area, so it's HUGE. The beach is right there, and there are several other places nearby to rent bikes, bike trails, kayak, etc.
- Grove City Outlets 20 minutes away - If your wife or girlfriend (or boyfriend/husband?) doesn't play, Grove City's outlet mall is a great way to kill two, four, or more hours, and it's close by.
Cons: I have to be really nit-picky here to come up with any cons. There are only three, and they're really not that important:
- Other tees could use signs. On most holes the tee signs are only located on the blue tees. While this encourages more players to play blues rather than golds, when you choose to play white you have to walk back each time, and then there's no indication (that I'm aware of) as to whether the pin is located in A, B, or C.
- No garbage cans/restrooms on course. It's a carry-in, carry-out park, which I can respect. Some garbage cans near 4 and 11 tees wouldn't be too difficult to empty, though, as they're right by the road. Restrooms can be found 300 yards from the 18th basket and first tee down by the beach.
- Really stretching now, but the parking log closes during the winter and you have to park outside and walk 1/20th of a mile down the road to start on holes 4, 5, or 11. Like I said, really stretching here! If there were more cons it wouldn't be a 4.75 course!
Other Thoughts: Even though I live in Erie, PA where we have ZERO in terms of disc golf, I feel blessed to have Moraine within 90 minutes of me. I can't say enough good things about the course.
Undoubtedly I gave short shrift to the actual design and play in the Pros section above. Frankly, I did so because I could talk about how great each hole is, but I figured nobody would want to read all of that! Suffice to say I really enjoy each and every hole out there, even if I don't have the best scores on some of them most of the time. The course is a blast to play, with true multi-shot holes, challenging and varied shot requirements, and good scenery.
It's the best disc golf course I've ever played, and I don't know that my opinion will change on that very soon, and even when/if it does, Moraine will be in the top five for a long, long, long time to come.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful, Technical, and Immensely Enjoyable Course
Pros: -Very well maintained park and course; has a country club quality to it - always in top shape and I can't stress enough how great of a layout the course has
-Flows very well from one hole to the next and there is a minimal chance to get lost. Only confusion may be from 10 to 11, as you walk back through hole 4. Just follow the signs for 11 and cross the road to the tees
-Maybe the best quality of this course is that each shot is very important on every hole. Well thought out execution must be performed off the tee as the drive off every hole greatly determines the quality of your upshot
-Mach 3 baskets in prime condition. The pins are thoughtfully placed and are often changed to the 3 different respective positions, adding to the course's already immense variety. On some holes, there is a risk/reward type putt with the pin on a slope. On many others, the pin is nestled behind trees or around a tight corner, making the upshot very important.
- 3 long rubber tees (white, blue, and gold) are strategically placed throughout each hole, causing an even greater throwing variety
-Strong variety of shots with uphill, downhill, hyzer, anhyzer with multiple open, super-tight, and semi-tight, semi-short, medium, and long distance holes. While a tough course, it is a great course to learn how to play on if playing from the white tees (this was my first course and caused me to gain great interest in the sport). There are absolutely no throw-away holes, each has tremendous quality. OB is also present on many holes, adding to its technicality. Tremendous amount of lines and shot selection on almost every hole as well.
-It is somewhat of a hiking experience, adding to the enjoyment of the round
-Course map with local club and tournament information
-Plenty of space for parking
-A beach very close by with picnic tables, nice restrooms, and a snack bar
-Accurate tee signs telling you everything you need to know
-Some of the longer holes have distances located in increments of 100 feet, something most courses do not have
Cons: I have to reach to think of any cons for this course. These aren't necessarily cons for me, and did not detract from my experience. Just a few noteworthy things that may bother some people.
-No garbage cans or bathrooms are located on the course itself, if that bothers you
-It is a little bit of a haul to get to as you travel a few miles on windy park roads, but I am really reaching here. Not a whole lot of restaurants close by.
-There is some thick rough surrounding a few holes (1, 7, 11, 15). They actually have recently reduced the rough on these holes, however
-No tee signs for the white tees
Other Thoughts: This course is a tremendous example of a course that the park (at least this part) is centered on a course, not a course that is affected and attributed by the condition of the park itself. As I previously mentioned, there are no throwaway holes on this course. I would not call one hole disappointing in any way. Some holes rise above as spectacular however:
2- A visually stunning - though technical - hole. Plays long and through many trees and then uphill as you reach the pin
6- Super long hole with well-defined but challenging lines
12-Starts out open and then ends up back through the same woods the course starts in
15- One of the premiere holes in Western PA. Gives you a great view of the lake and plays long, hard right, then downhill. If you hit a roller just right, you may be able to birdie this hole
16- Toughest hole on the course, along with 6, IMO. Super long and technical, many dynamics to this hole
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Believe the Hype
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: What a fantastic course. The thing that really sets it apart in my mind is how consistently memorable it manages to be throughout its 18 holes. Be it an interesting OB placement (hole 3, 18), a gorgeous view (the highly-regarded hole 15), an engaging angle or elevation (the rising corkscrew of hole 10), or a serious technical challenge (too many to reference), each of Moraine's holes seems to have something to offer. There's a lot of variety here, and a lot of attention to detail in terms of hole layout/pin placement/etc, enabling Moraine to maintain your interest and challenge your game over the course of a round or the course of a season. The course feels like such a complete offering, in which the progression between holes and the balance of various shots utilized are both well-considered. This is an even further achievement when you take into account Moraine's well-conceived flow and ease of navigation: hole 18 spits you out right next to hole 1, right back into the parking lot. I've never needed a map here; the tee signs, navigation markings, and clear-cut pathways make finding your way a snap.
The three sets of tees at Moraine provide a wide range of challenges, making the course playable for all skill levels, although beginners should expect some moments of frustration regardless of the tee they play.
One of pluses of this course is its natural beauty. It's situated in a well-cared-for, well-attended state park, providing a lot of beautiful sights. This is especially true in the fall. My wife doesn't play, but she's accompanied me on rounds here just to enjoy the walk and the sights. There's a lot for non disc golfers to enjoy at Moraine.
The course is isolated (while not being distant) from other park activities, meaning you won't have to worry about non disc golf traffic or interruptions. It begins conveniently close to parking, bathrooms, and water fountains. There's even a snack bar! (In the summer, at least.)
For as much elevation as this course has, walking it isn't overly draining. I assume this is because elevation changes are mostly gradual rather than drastic.
A lot has stuck in my head from my rounds at Moraine. Here are just two of my favorite aspects of the course:
- Holes 6-9 play through a series of clearings filled with well-trimmed saplings. They progress from a long, narrow fairway with saplings densely grouped in the middle (6) to an elevated shot under or over the trees (7) to a bottlenecking fairway that enters a picturesque clearing (8) to an open area where the trees form lanes to the basket (9). These holes seem purposefully connected in their scenery, obstacles, and topography almost to the point where they form a course within a course. It's a lovely progression of holes that within itself offers a lot of variety.
- Hole 12's dramatic reentry into thicker woods after the relative openness of holes 6-11 really strikes me. The course starts out in woods (1-2), then gradually opens up. The return to the woods two-thirds of the way through the round is very striking. My wife's reaction the first time we were out there together was, "whoa."
Cons: Not a lot of noteworthy cons here.
I think Moraine's baskets are situated a bit low in the ground. At times this has thrown me a bit for the first couple of holes in a round.
There aren't usually signs for the white tees, which seemed strange to me since the gold and blue have them. It'd be nice to be able to get the distance from the white tees to the pin while out on the course.
There are some definite opportunities for losing discs, such as hole 15. Spotters come in handy at times.
Other Thoughts: I grew up less than 20 minutes from Moraine, oblivious to disc golf in general and the spoils of Western PA in particular. On a visit home during summer 2013, my brother suggested we try playing on a whim, at Moraine, and we loved it. My only complaint now is that I currently live over a thousand miles away. On trips home, I've caught myself fantasizing during a round about moving back here just so I could have this as my home course.
Moraine provides a phenomenal disc golfing experience that captures the best of what the area has to offer, in terrain, technicality, and quality. It's my personal favorite course in the area, edging Deer Lakes for reasons I find hard to articulate. It just seems like the total package to me. Rather than trying to explain further when words are failing me, I'll just urge you to play this course as soon as you can manage.
July 2, 2016 Edit: Changed to a 5! The more courses I play, the more it's clear that Moraine is truly elite.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
True Disc Golf Wonder
Pros: Beautiful pro-level 18 hole course set in the woods and other unused areas of a large state park.
- Gorgeous setting right from the start - distant view of the lake from the parking lot, practice basket nearby, nice framed entrance into the woods for hole #1, lush grass, etc.
- Kiosk right near first tee has a really good course map (also available online), flyers, scorecards, tourney results, etc.
- Restrooms available at far end of the parking lot; beach, grills and picnic tables nearby for non-golfers, along with (I'm sure) the countless other park activities
- I could hear the lawnmowers in other parts of the park, so I'm sure the grassy areas are well maintained
- 3 level, flypad tees on each hole - gold, blue and white - each giving different lines/looks on most holes (hole #6 is a good example - long tight alleys, but you pretty much are lined with with the right alley from blue and left alley from gold and white)
- 3 basket positions on each hole - sometimes significant variation (at least how it looks on the tee sign) to create variety when playing frequently
- Mach 3 baskets in great shape
- Tee signs at each gold and blue tee (not 100% sure, but I don't think white tees had them?) with an "ok" hole map/flight path, distance for that tee, par and next tee arrow
- Almost all (if not all) holes had a "next tee" sign/arrow/post right near the basket locations
- Sign directing you back to the parking lot after hole #9 (didn't take it, but looks like a short walk from the course map)
- Hole #18 brings you right back to the start/parking lot
- Not much "obvious" OB (pond, road, etc.), but there are a few select "natural" areas that create a challenge - a little stream/drainage runs through maybe 4 or 5 of the fairways and definitely in play on holes #2 and #18 closely in front of the pins; there is a little protected depression around the baskets on #3, which creates an added feature to an otherwise short hole; high grass designated as OB on the sides of #15 keeps you from bombing a drive with no concern for where it lands
- The feel of these holes was spectacular - I love "grove" type holes with a smattering of trees that provide obstacles and force shot lines, but don't put you in jail - it seemed like 99% of the course had this natural feel (not created by removing or adding trees) and it was wonderful - I'd love to sit for an hour and unload my bag off the hill on #7, a nice downhill hyzer over the tops of beautiful trees
- To keep it interesting, holes #2 and 13 are more heavily wooded the whole way; hole #15 is the big turnover, downhill bomb
- Not a high chance for lost discs as the course is not covered by layers of leaves or lined with thick brush
- A lot of shot variety on this course - uphill on #2, 4, 10, 16; downhill on #7, 15, 18; right on #4, 15, 17; left on #7, 10, 16; straight tunnel on #6, 13, 18
- This course has many holes that would stand out as the "best hole" on lesser courses - #6 is a long tight, flat tunnel drive followed by a long approach with trees more scattered, but fair enough to give you lines; #7 (mentoined above) is a downhill right to left 275 foot (from the blues) hole that lets you soar your disc over the tops of the trees to hopefully park next to beasket settled amongst them; #8 requires a precise drive right to left to a bottleneck followed by your approach that goes left to right and needs to avoid the grove trees; #9 is a flat grove hole that probably generally leads to a big sky anny out over the tree tops and hopefully cut through the woodline trees guarding the basket (wow - seriously - after typing this, what a freaking stretch of wonderful holes that is from 6 to 9); #15 is the big bomb left to right open field drive and then your approach (depending on drive length) and then a fun downhill approach to a relatively open green; #18 is a tight wooded hole with an even tighter section just in front of the basket with OB on either side of that path; even after typing all of those, I feel I could go on and on about so many more specific holes
Cons: - Hole map on the tee sign is not overly detailed - tough to tell where the pin should be sometimes if you couldn't actually see it (#11 comes to mind - compare the signs at blue and gold tees for instance - is that chunk of trees in front of A and B pin positions really there?)
- I'm sure it's nice having the significant variation of the 3 basket positions, but since they appear to be so varied, the distances on the tee sign (to center of green) seem like they can be pretty far off from the actual distance that day (#11 comes to mind again - blue tee to the A position felt like about 250 feet when I played, but the sign lists 303 feet - based on the sign, C position looks like it could be 350 feet or more)
- Would also be nice if the tee sign had an indication of which position the basket was currently in, as well as which tee you're at (the colored blocks in the ground were worn out somewhat) and where the other tees are relative to yours, in case you stumble upon the wrong one
- It had rained a few days before I was there, so it was pretty wet (not muddy) down near basket #15
Other Thoughts: - Benches on a handful of holes
- No trash that I saw anywhere, so the carry-in/carry-out rule works, but it would be nice to have a garbage can or 2, at least near the parking lot
- I generally like the bands on the Innova baskets due to visibility, but these baskets were very easy to pick out in the varying backgrounds
This course was simply amazing. If I could give it like a 4.9 rating, I would. It sucks having to "drop" it to a 4.5, but as the review tip mentions, save the 5-disc rating for the ultimately 100% perfect course. However, this was damn close. As I mentioned, the "grove" feel to the majority of the holes is what my disc golf dreams are made of. Thanks so much to the designers, people who maintain/improve the course and whatever state agency let you guys put this gem in. I can't wait to get back and play it again.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: This is a world class course that rewards hitting your lines and not just bombing it mindlessly in a field.
So many beautiful holes.
Variety of angles and elevations.
Cons: The worst thing about moraine is its location. It is in the middle of a awesome state park, but state parks aren't near the majority of populations. Its merely an small annoyance.
Other Thoughts: If you are nearby and don't visit you are doing your self a disservice.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
lots of cool holes
Pros: Moraine has a lot of really fun, unique holes. Everyone will remember hole 15, the long downhill with great views of the lake. (With lots of room for mistakes despite its sweeping view.) But many of the other holes are great too -- 6 is a long, flat, straight double fairway par 5 with low clearance and nasty rough. 8 is a zigzag with a choke point halfway through. 10 makes a sharp left halfway through to a steep uphill. 18 is a long downhill corridor with OB danger.
Shooting well requires making good decisions, but the course rarely feels unfair. There are opportunities for many type of shots (low clearance, hard lefts and rights, tight fairways, etc.) but no one particular skill dominates.
The course is also well planned and maintained. There are three sets of tees which are carefully calibrated so par is close to 900 rated (whites), 950 rated (blues), and 1000 rated (golds). The course flows well. There are a lot of substantially different pin positions.
Cons: The tees are rubber, and can get slippery during or after rain. (A shame because Moraine drains better than some other Pittsburgh courses.)
Hole 1 and 3 are probably the two most boring holes on the course, right at the start. (Both straight par 3s.) In general, the par 3s feel a little too easy, the par 4s feel a little too hard, and the 5s feel about right.
Other Thoughts: During the winter, the gate is locked, but you can still play. If you walk by the gate, immediately go right, and you're at the tee for hole 5. Alternatively, as you drive in, the tee for 6 is in a clearing on your right just before the gate.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
LOVE this course
Pros: Scenery wise this course is amazing. Gives the scerenety of hunting as you walk thru the nice trails in the woods. Very challenging and has a great mix of open and wooded. If you can play this course you can play anything i feel. I learned on this course and it makes all others seem like nothing.
Cons: As it gets more and more popular you just have to try to make it away from peak times. But really I can't think of any
Other Thoughts: I play this at least once a week and don't think that will ever change. It is always so fun, challenging and makes for a great experience.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Great weekend trips
Pros: Open and long shots all in the same course.
long holes are really long but its a great course to play from all three tees in a morning!
Cons: Hills add distance to some of the "shorter" holes.
Other Thoughts: Go for it, never know when you will have a good lie.
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Beautiful terrain; both to look at and to play. Playing across creeks, up/down hills, etc.
-Very few "stock" holes. By that I mean that almost every hole has a unique feel and challenge.
-Not obnoxiously long. A good many holes required distance ability, but there were very few that felt like you were just throwing, walking and chucking it again. The long holes require stragety, not just distance.
-Few "dumb" holes. You know the ones. They have impossibly narrow fairways, or an obstacle that goes way beyond just adding challenge. You won't go into many holes here thinking, "I am REALLY gonna have to get lucky."
-Lots of fun. It's really just a joy playing this course. So much fun, great layout.
Cons: Not many I can think of. The road the nearby parking lots was closed when I went, but that may have been seasonal.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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