12 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Course that Fills a DG Void
Pros: Pymatuning State Park is located directly off Route 322 and is easy to get to and fills the NW PA disc golf Bermuda triangle that extends from NE Ohio to Pittsburgh to the Buffalo region. The park itself is well-kept and offers many amenities...not the least of which is disc golf.
Saftey should be one of the first items to consider in the design of a course. In this case, the design guides most throws away from other public areas, walkways, and roads and keeps pedestrians and bystanders safe.
The course design offers lots of variety and a few memorable holes from short shots at the basket to long-bomb, wide-open fairways to tight wooded holes to moderately wooded fairways to any combination in between. Ace & birdie opportunities were present on many holes, especially from the short tees (but, see the cons). In general, there was good use of elevation, incorporating the gently rolling hills throughout the park. There was also some use of water in the design (but see the cons).
Holes 8 and 18 both incorporated water into the design and were the biggest the risk/reward standouts.
Multiple tees on every hole is amazing and makes for a great experience for all levels of play from beginners to long-time, well-seasoned players. Additionally, multiple permanent baskets on par 4 & 5 holes really expands the layout and play possibilities.
Fairways were mowed and well maintained. The rubber tee pads (on those tees that had them) were in great shape.
Next tee signs were present when really needed. The tee signs on some holes showed fairways, all tees, and fairway direction (but, see the cons). Additional convenience features included score cards at the first tee and a practice basket that was accessible at the start of the front and back nine.
Cons: On several of the holes (especially from the shorter tees), the layout was repetitive. Numerous holes were simply straight drives or gentle left-turning fairways. Right-turning fairways weren't quite as prevalent. There were many blind baskets on a lot of the longer holes which made throwing decisions difficult.
Additionally, there was limited risk/reward aspects on most of the holes. As such, water OB could have played a larger role in the course design.
While a few of the holes had rubber tee pads, others had gravel and some had none at all. To really set this course off, concrete tees would be a massive foot forward.
While some of the holes on the back nine had detailed tee signs, most holes did not and this type of perk would help the player better comprehend the layout of the fairway and any obstacles.
Once you arrive at the park, navigation to course parking lot is difficult as there are no signs indicating a disc golf course. Further, navigation to first tee from the parking lot can be difficult as well.
Although the fairways and fields were mowed, there are some serious, blood-letting briars and rough along the edge several holes making a lost disc or numerous lacerations a good possibility.
Garbage cans weren't really present on the course. While litter wasn't much of a problem, having a can here or there would help.
Even though route 322 is a major US route, Pymatuning State Park isn't really located near anything and is kind of "out there".
Other Thoughts: All things considered, Pymatuning State Park's disc golf course was well done and is an enjoyable experience. The variety of play at this course is extensive and caters to all level of player. This course is another testament to the PA State Park systems willingness to work with the disc golf community to install solid, enjoyable courses. If only Erie Bluffs or Presque Isle State Parks would take a hint from Pymatuning, Western PA could become a go-to disc golf destination.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Nice Course
Pros: -Located in a beautiful state park with tons of ameneties. There are something like 6 seperate, very well kept, bathrooms along the course, which is the most I have ever seen at a DG course.
-Very Nice DG Terrain. This course plays over gently rolling hills, in and out of wood, and briefly along the lake. No dramatic elevation changes but rarely straight out flat either.
-Hole Variety. There is a great mix of short (200' )and long (750'), open and wooded, left turning and right turning holes.
-New baskets. I think they were Mach V baskets and were in great shape.
-Pro layout. Each hole has three tees. but there are some holes that have an extra pin that makes the hole play much longer adding that little bit extra difficulty
-Distinct Fairways. Each fairway was very distinct with lines clearly available. Each fairway was mowed and in good condition.
-Punishes bad shots rewards good shots. The rough can be pretty thick and punishes shots that get a little loose (I should know since I was in it pretty often) but if you play the holes right birdies are plentiful.
Cons: -Tee's on the front nine are gravel and are not in the best of condition. Hole number 4's pro tee slopes down is hard to throw from. These tee's are by no means dangerous but I like the flypads they have on the back nine.
-Hole Number 4 from the pro tee allows Forehanders and Lefties to just swing out and around all of the trouble and gaps that make the hole intersting. Two good forehands and I am sitting under the pin. A couple of small trees planted correctly would funnel everyone into using the fairway.
Other Thoughts: I had a really great time playing this course. Talking with a few of the regular guys that are the "locals" (even though they are not that local) it seems like the State Parks department is really behind this course and is willing to work hand in hand with disc golfers to create a destination course. And they are well on their way to doing so. This is a great course in a very nice park.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has such awesome potential - think a mix of Granite Ridge and Idlewild. There isn't as much elevation here at Pymatuning, but the mowed fairways are really neat and the course is still more hilly than your typical course. In addition, each hole has at least three sets of tees (pretty nice flypads), with some holes having 4 tees! Also, some holes even have multiple baskets (not just alternate pins, but multiple pins). However, there seems to only be 4 holes with extra pins now, as of June 2010. The course is mainly long and open (why it makes me think of Granite Ridge at Highbridge), with mowed fairways (which makes me think of Idlewild). The course will challenge the best of players. However, the course offers multiple tees and offers lesser players the chance to have fun because the courses ranges from 6000 to 9500 feet. In addition, the multiple tees weren't just thrown into the design. The multiple tees were well thought out and really add to the course. Even though the front nine was only partly playable (I will get to that in the cons), the front nine is going to be as enjoyable as the back nine. Holes 11, 13, and 16 were awesome holes from the back tees (hole 13 was the signature hole, which started out of the woods, went into the woods, down the hill, and back out of the woods into a protected green...and was 900 feet from the golds), and holes 1 and 9 really stood out on the front nine. See the cons for the main problem with this course...
Cons: As of right now, the front nine is only partly playable. All of the tees are in on the front nine (multiple pins per hole), and sign posts are in...but there are no signs yet so you don't know which hole is which. However, it was pretty easy to tell which hole was which because the navigation is pretty easy in the course. Also, the baskets have numbers on them. However, holes 3 through 6 do not have baskets in the ground as of June 2010 (just poles). Holes 1 through 2 and 7 through 9 are playable - however, hole 7 had some trees that were starting to tighten the fairway, as did hole 9. Hole 8 was a true gem, 340 feet slightly downhill with the lake in the background. However, some of the fairways on the back nine were getting a little long, and some of the fairways on the front nine weren't as nicely manicured (they were getting a little long). The main problem with this course is that it doesn't appear to get a lot of play, which is really a shame. Another con was the hole 14 gold tee - the back tee was no longer player because of a big tree with some overhanging branches. Also, holes 16 gold tee was playable, but some low hanging branches made for a tough drive. Bridges would have been nice on hole 16 and 18, with 18 forcing you to jump a small creek or trek through tall grass. And it wasn't a small jump....16 wasn't bad, as there was a small path through the tall grass, but any rain would have made the path very wet. The path from 17 to 18 was extremely wet and overgrown, but was manageable. Even though there are sign posts in the ground, the signs on the front nine do not have numbers or signs yet to indicate the lengths of the hole or the number of the hole. So as of right now, I would advise you to play the back nine (by shelter four) and then after hole 18 walk back up the hill towards the shelter and give the front nine a shot. While the navigation is somewhat difficult, its not near as difficult now because all of the holes do have tees. Keep in mind that holes 3 through 6 have everything (including hole poles) but baskets. Hole 6 looked a little tight around the basket (some more clearing was maybe needed around the basket), and hole 15 was awfully tight from the back tees, but I guess it was supposed to be hard from the long tees.
Other Thoughts: While some of the other reviews mentioned the navigation issues on the front nine, those have been addressed by all holes having multiple tee pads. The course has such awesome potential, but the maintenance appears to be lacking what some of the other public or state parks get. While the course is still very fun and challenging, the course is still missing 4 baskets and the front nine is still missing hole signs with distances and numbers. While it is now pretty easy to find your way around because the holes are laid out in nice order and the multiple tees make it easy to find holes (the only navigational issue would be after hole 2 you just walk across the road to hole 3), distances and hole signs would be nice. In addition, some of the holes on the back nine didn't have tee signs on every tee pole. While every tee had a pole in the ground, some poles didn't have the hole picture. This was only a big deal if you wanted to know the distance, and I think hole 17 was the only hole on the back nine to not have tee signs on every hole (each of the four tees). The main frustration with this course right now is the fact that four holes have the multiple baskets in the ground, while four holes currently have no baskets at all. Wouldn't it make sense to move the four multiple baskets to the four holes that currently have no baskets at all right now? Once holes 3 through 6 get baskets, and the front nine gets tee signs (keep in mind they already have sign poles), the course will be a 4.5 in my opinion. If the course gets better maintenance, the course would get a 5 rating in my book. It's not like the maintenance was bad, but there were some overgrown areas and some of the grass was long. But it wasn't enough to detract from the experience. For the most part, the fairways were nicely mowed and really added to the overall experience! I would definitely recommend Pymatuning.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Ready for Takeoff?
Pros: Once the front nine have their permanent tees and tee signs this 9500 foot par 66 lakeside monster is really gonna take off in popularity and reputation. Will battle Little Lehigh, Tinicum, and Prompton for best open air course in PA. The front baskets are set but it is difficult to know where the tees are, thus at present time it is very frustrating. A simple drive and walk around as well looking at the course website gives you a general idea that the front nine are quality holes. Holes 1 and 9 look especially fun. I will report on the back nine which are complete and ready to be played. Multiple rubber tees and multiple baskets make for plenty of options...you could feasibly play 18 on just the multiple basket and tee options of the back nine. The course is set on the southern shores of a beautiful reservoir. Wind could be a factor here. The course is primarily open but don't be fooled shot placement is crucial here to set up approaches for second drives and par opportunities. There are long holes here with long fairways not neccesarily tight but not just open fields either.
Hole 10- Is open with the basket on a sloped hillside making for an elevated approach 355 ft.
Hole 11-Fun open hole with two trees in middle of field which will gobble many a drive. The basket is set on a steeply downsloping green with a creek brooding behind if your too reckless 940 ft par 4
Hole 12- trouble early shooting out of a wooded creekbed and up the bank to a field but requires a low ceiling shot to clear a tree guarding the wide open basket 295 feet
Hole 13-Epic one of the best holes I have played to date requires a perfect opening drive to land to a wooded hillside where your next shot is a tight fairway downhill and over a brooke like area and bridge and then back up to a basket resting in some trees up the gentle rise. Thats right over a field up a hill down a wooded fairway and back up to guarded basket. WOW! 875 ft par 5
Hole 14- A long dogleg left that requires a low ceiling drive then through a doorway in the treeline and down to a landing area where you can approach the basket which has the beautiful reservoir as a backdrop. Scenic 525 ft par 4
Hole 15-A true Eastern Hardwood hole to break up the open air. This one is not a filler but a true quality hardwood hole that woul be at home on any of the best wooded courses anywhere. 300 ft
Hole 16-Another par 4 uphill bomb that doglegs left. requires an accurate drive to set up your big crush up the hill to the protected green atop the rise 710 feet
Hole 17- Finally some relief from the monstrous holes but beware the green and basket area is guarded by the Reservoir so don't over shoot here 360 feet
Hole 18-After a short walk and a clever poetic sign which thanks you for playing and warns of the hole ahead you are met with a truly memorable hole. Its a big drive down to the lake with the basket sitting 10 feet from the reservoir and with the reservoir lining the entire final approach...the drop zone is the short tee which is perhaps one of the most daunting short holes as you must traverse a cove and then the entire shot has the reservoir easily threatening every shot. 675 ft of thrill!
Cons: Obviously the mess that is the front 9 detracts from this course for the current time. (May 2009). Once complete I would raise this score to 4.5 discs. It is rather open except for hole 15. Very Isolated so volunteerism and players may be at a minimum. Some nasty shule at places that with a good volunteer base could be taken care of rather quickly.
Other Thoughts: I really want to love this place and beg everyone to go here. It's just that the front nine were not complete and I don't want to lead anyone astray. If completed and tees and signs are as good as the back nine. Look out World this one will be a must play.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Back Nine is laid out nicely. A good variety of open, narrow and difficult shots. Challenging and interesting. The rubber tee mats are a nice touch. The tee signs contain some good info.
Cons: The front nine is unplayable, without some form of a map. The park office may have one, but it was closed. There seem to be absolutely no markings for the tees on the front nine. We walked a few holes and gave up. The photographs show signs that must have been removed for mowing or something. We could not find any.
Some holes really need a overhead map visual to see where you need to throw. Many baskets are completely out of sight from the tee pads.
Other Thoughts: This course is apparently on its second season, so the front nine should have some marking for the tees until the permanent ones get installed. Other new courses use spray paint or little fags to mark tee locations. This would be a great addition.
The mowed fairways is a nice concept, but must be kept up to work. Otherwise you are playing disc golf in an open meadow, which is frustrating to find your disc when you throw over a rise or around a bend. Best to spot for each other.
This course has huge potential. Keep up the good work guys!!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Very original course
Pros: The part that is complete is nicely designed and well marked. Rubber tee mats put some spring in your step. Has a nice mixture of hilly and flatter holes, extremely open holes as well as one in the woods. The unique two pin system is something I've never seen before, but I like it.
Cons: Still only the back nine is completed. The fact that the course is so far from major metropolitan areas may be hindering its development; there just isn't a large local population from which people can be drawn to build and play it.
Also, I noticed that one of the rubber tees is already disintegrating. I'm hoping this is just an isolated defect, since I do like the tees.
Other Thoughts: Given its location and the fact that it plans to be a par-66 course, comparisons to Moraine are inevitable. Only time will tell if it holds up. Once it is complete, those who play Moraine might want to take a detour to Pymatuning to see this course for themselves.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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