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.
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.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Fantastic layout...perfect mix of wooded and open terrain. Great location with easy access.Very well mantained with good drainage(which seems to be an issue on western Pa courses). Good variety of hole lengths.
Cons: Only beef is rubber tee pads
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Tons of variety in the holes with some shorter and longer ones. The course winds its way through the woods which is enjoyable. Has rubber tee pads and great baskets. The course also has great signs about the holese and to direct you to the next hole. There is also a big board before hole 1 explaining the course. The course is very well maintained. The out of bounds areas are very clearly marked off with string.
Cons: The tee pads seem alittle short at times when doing your run up. Some of the holes it is easy to lose a disc because the "rough" is very thick.
Other Thoughts: If you are from around Pittsburgh it is an easy 50 minute drive that is worth it. This course will challenge all types of players.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
More Reign! Wave those terrible towels!
13 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: 18 championship calilber holes with mach III baskets and multiple pin positions. Three sets of rubber tees with tee signs and each are designed for specific levels of players. Excellent use of the rolling elevation and terrain. Great mix of shot type requirements as well as multiple fairways through some of the woods. Phenomenal risk vs reward on many holes. Nice mix of hole lengths, and pars. Navigation was decent. Benches.
Cons: Not much. No basket position indication. The drainage pipe that runs across the course. A few holes seemed to reward a player with a big gun throwing over the obstacles too much. From basket #10 you cross the fairway of hole #4 to get to hole #11.
Other Thoughts: Moraine was my favorite course on my trip to Pittsburgh. I was about as close as you can titer between a 4.5 and 5. I really don't think you can go wrong visiting any of the top courses in the Pittsburgh area like Deer Lakes, Knob Hill, Linbrook, and 2 Mile Run, and they all are up there on my list of favorites. IMO Moraine has more memorable holes especially hole 15 and all it's beauty. I also really liked holes 2, 7, 8, 12, and 18 which stand out among my trip. Moraine is a better tournament course to test overall skill with some phenomenal risk vs reward shots, also has better separation/seclusion between holes and an aesthetically pleasing surrounding.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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