0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The pros and cons of this course have been well documented on DGR and for the most part they are true. But the bottom line for me with this course is that I had a lot of fun playing it.
I was lucky enough to meet up with two great locals who showed me around the course and played a mish mash of the best holes on both courses.
Even with that help I think I still would of had fun. There are holes everywhere you look. Playing with seasoned players of the course, we still found a few tee pads they had never seen before. They told me they think people just come in and create holes to their liking which I think is great.
Cons: - Lack of signage (not a problem for me in this instance but its understandable)
- A few very old rusted single chained baskets scattered about that I wouldn't of had much of a problem with but I did spit out two putts so there.
Other Thoughts: This course could easily go from a 3.5 to 5 if there was a dedicated club around to uniformly take care of the course. Add signs, baskets, etc....
Despite its drawbacks there is a real charm to the course that I really like. One minute you're on a tee looking out over a rock field, the next minute your on a tee in the woods. Theres a great sandbox feel to the course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: lots of different looks at baskets
basket locations are cool some raised some sunk
cant play after rain
cant see most baskets from tee box
hard to stay in order
Other Thoughts: cool course cause it says theres 27 holes but with all the added tee boxes you can play all day. first time i went there i jumped in with a group of people who turned out to have made the course so it was a good experience.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
This course came a long way
Pros: Lots of elevation and obstacles to navigate around. Its good for a big arm with control. It's open enough that the wind current comes from all angles and the pockets on a hole change drastically.
Cons: No water hazards here but if it rains anytime within the last month bring your muddy shoes. This is by a dam and the ground gets very swampy. The local club has built a lot of walkway bridges to assist you. This is some of the major changes they did in the last decade.
LOTS OF TICKS!!!!
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
27 (or more) holes. Front 18 have concrete teepads and signs with basic info. The extra nine holes, which I'll refer to as 19-27, have very beautiful natural tees (crush stoned framed by larger local stone), and half these holes have alternate tee locations (wooden framed). Some benches, some small wooden walking paths in the worst boggy areas.Food/petrol nearby at the I80/I476 intersection, and solid-but-quite-different Hickory State just a bit further beyond in the same direction.
Holes 6 and 20 share a basket. Number-17 is closer to parking lot than number-18 - essentially #18 takes you away from the basket, then you return down the fairway to find the path to the parking lot.
Course plays slightly up, down, and across very unusual terrain. The ground for holes 6-9, 20-26 is very rough and rocky, while grass will blanket the ground on the other holes. You'll always have the sky overhead, but there are plenty of randomly scattered trees - mostly pines, some quite tall, with long branches and needles, other pines very thick, short (barely waist-high), with tiny needles. Occasional groups of small white birches and clumps of hardwoods complete this very diverse landscape
The first five holes are fairly flat, vary in tightness, and are a bit left-turn oriented. Holes 6-9 stretch you arm out as you work your way up the rough slope of tree-lined fairways, with scattered trees to force some shot-shaping along the way. Holes 10-13 offer you similar choices - straight/gentle turners through tight windows near the basket, or spike-hyzers up-n-over the top of mid-sized trees. Numbers 14-15, and 17 stretch you out again, with narrower-but-softer fairways than before, while 16 and 18 require accurate right-turns. Holes 19-27 will offer a variety of holes, starting with 200' #19 and ending with 400' #27, up/down/cross slope, mostly straight/S-shape, except for very sharp left-turning #23, and a decent downhill on #26, woods left, tiniest pond in front, trees behind and right of basket.
Navigation: The day (7/26/10) I played, basket-15 was in place. Basket-9A was NOT, but 9B was. So, if you really want to play 9B (from basket-9, you may see it, straight ahead in the distance), go right after playing #9, find 9A's tee, find the wood teepee to the right, walk to it, find the hole for the basket to its left, and keeping heading that direction, a bit of a scramble up a rocky bank. Find the natural tee, and now look left - 9B is now nearly 800' feet away.
To find holes 19-27, look for a small, slightly uphill path to the right, just before reaching #6's teepad. You should eventually find a natural looking teepad, and to your left, about 200' away, a blue basket - this is #19. Numbers 20 and 21 play roughly in the same direction - #20 shares a basket with #6, so look to the left to find tee #21. Number-22 will play about 90-degrees to the right of the direction you've been heading, and number-23 will change your orientation to the right again. From basket-23 turn 45-degrees to the right to find tee-24, the basket being hard to the left. Slight left for tee-24, basket further left. Hard right from there to find tee-26, the basket down the hill, woods left, small pond just in front. From basket-26 go right to find tee-27, basket-27 quite some distance away, down the hill. After finishing at basket-27, exit right, then hard left down the broad gravel path When the path becomes grassy and just before the bushes are fund along the sides, turn 45-degrees to the right, down a small path, to return to tee-6.
Navigating 19-27 sounds harder than it is, and the holes were really good, and the natural tees looked incredible - make the effort to find/play these holes! From a terrain-perspective, probably the most unusual course I've played, other than The Dunes of Cape Henlopen
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Playing on Mars
Pros: This location is isolated from any other state park users. When you pull into the parking lot there are two port-a-potties. This is a unique terrain for a PA disc golf course, and I thought it was fun to play. It has the feel of playing some place like New Mexico not Pa. Most holes are in the 250-300' range with 4 about 400+. There are 9 additional holes located further back beyond the 18 holes up front. There are some great shots on the back 9 that are enjoyable with natural tees that blend into the surroundings. Crushed stone tee pads with rocks surrounding the tees as benches and stone lined walk ways. These are all repainted baskets that had rusted up on the front 18. They are painted bright colors that stand out and make them easy to spot. Some shoot down hill, others up and even one that shoots over a small pond.
Concrete tees on most of the 18 front holes. There are quite a few blind tees, so you have to walk out and get a look. The difficulty in playing many of these holes is that they look simple and you underestimate them. The fairways are quirky and sometimes appear narrow due to the scrub pines. These pines are drive killers and won't let you shoot through. On a errant drive or approach they will stop and drop you into a crap lye. If you try to drive up and over your discs will go for a elevator ride in wind pockets. So what appears simple, is not and you are in for a few surprises. Many holes have benches, logs, rocks to sit on and even a glider on one hole. Many baskets have extend flags on top so you can see them better from a distance.
Cons: The basket for hole 15 is missing and we had to use hole 18's basket as a substitute. We had 3 groups of people looking for basket 15, gone. We did find the pole cup in the ground broken where it should have been.
The map for the front 18 works and you can follow the trails for the most part to the next tees. To play the back 9 you need a guide, they aren't on the map, don't have tee signs and the baskets are numbered funky like 1b, 2b. The back 9 would be a great play if they had flow and where incorporated into the course as 27 holes. To find some you walk up a trail after hole #3 away from the parking lot. You can find 5 holes if you look around. The next 4 will be found walking out from 14 and looking hard. No tee signs, no signs to point them out and they aren't on the map. This course is played on the top of a ridge with a lot of stone and little shade. So be smart bring the sun screen and extra water. There is no water supply here and when we played it was in the 90's.
The concrete tees! Thanks for the work but many are to short and you can't get a X-step off of them. They need to be like 4 feet longer, yet some are okay. I guess someone caught on after half were poured.
It appears this area holds water after heavy rains, because there were a lot of wood walk ways. Stone and rock fields don't drain well, but it was completely dry when we played.
Other Thoughts: I think this is a great park and a lot of fun to play. It's a work in progress and some improvements are evident. I really liked the natural settings on the back 9 tees. Hard to find, but better than the short concrete tees for run ups. I know it's a lot of work but they should use the local stones to enhance the course. This is a unique course and they should capitalize on it. Maybe even rock piles or arrows of stone showing the next tee. Spray paint the rocks to make them stand out for directions. This could easily be a 4+ rated course with some hard work and good thinking. For those that need food or other amenities it's just 2-3 miles up the road where 476 & 80 meet.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Play in NE Pennsylvania -- feel like you're in Idaho or Colorado!
Pros: The close proximity to I-80, I-476, and a Wawa convenience store is a HUGE perk for me!
I absolutely love the terrain of this course. Rocky and martian-like, with the resemblance of the great American West. The placement of baskets on the rock piles add to that effect!
I feel like there's a ton of variety in these holes. Lengths (in feet) range from the 180s to 500s with varying difficulties and risk/rewards. Hole #6 is by far my favorite hole. The tees and signs are maintained pretty well and the concrete teepads are heavenly.
Compared to the nearby Hickory Run State Park, there are virtually no people here; you should be able to navigate 18 holes pretty quickly.
Cons: The rocky terrain can be pretty rough on some discs -- especially DX and Pro-D plastics. I'd recommend using champion, star, ESP, or Elite-Z discs on this course to avoid seeing your plastic get eaten by the ground!
Another issue is the presence of swampy water in parts. Watch out where you step or you might be walking around with wet feet for the rest of the day. Trust me, I know!
Finally, the course can be a little tricky to navigate the first time. As such, you should probably bring a map.
Other Thoughts: I go to college about 2 hours away from this course and it's totally worth the drive! It's challenging enough for an experienced player, but not too difficult to frustrate a beginner. I can't think of any course in Pennsylvania that resembles this place and for that, I think it deserves a visit!
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
A jem in the Poconos
Pros: Great mix of left and right, a lot of blind pins - which I like, elevation changes, easy to navigate, almost impossible to lose your discs (in the fall months) unless you tree one high, reminded me a lot of courses out here in Colorado. The scenery is so different than Hickory Run (lots of leafy trees) or Prompton (long grassy open fairways) that it is worth playing just for the experience.
Cons: There is a lot of ground level standing water, so you might not want to play it in sneakers. Some tee boxes were very wet/muddy.
Other Thoughts: The only things I'd change around/reconfigure would be the positions of #16, #17, and #18 so the course finishes out by the parking area. And, concrete tee pads all the way through.
This is a DG course that I will definitely play every time I visit NEPA.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
A different kind of course
Pros: The course plays through a large disc golf only area with rocky ground and lots of small pine trees and evergreen shrubs. There are no huge elevation changes, but many of the holes play up or down smaller hills adding some difficulty and variety. The trees are great obstacles, and make the course significantly more difficult as the best lines on many holes go over the small pine trees, and the wind plays with the disc a lot when you throw it that high.
This course has plenty of length, with a nice mix of longer holes and more reachable holes. It felt like a good mix of lefty and righty holes along with some straight shots. Some holes have rough that will really punish errant shots, and test how well you can throw for distance while still retaining accuracy. There are some nice unique holes and some cool basket placements that add variety throughout.
There is plenty of parking, with a port-o-potty at the beginning of the course. The tees are natural, but were level and large enough for the most part. There was some signage, enough to figure the course out, and the baskets were in good shape with tall poles to make blind pins more visible.
Cons: The course had some navigation issues for a first time visitor, though we were able to figure things out with a little wandering. The signs didn't seem accurate at times, and made a few blind holes a little confusing, you might want to scout the course your first time through.
The middle of the course felt like there were a bunch of holes that weren't quite different enough for my taste. The scenery and landscape were cool, but base plastic discs tended to get a little beat up on the rocks.
There were some areas of the course that were quite swampy, even though there hadn't been a rain in a while. This also made for lots of mosquitoes breeding in the standing water. A few of the tees in the lower part of the park were affected by the water, and this made for some difficult spots to throw from.
Other Thoughts: This is probably not the best course to bring a beginner to, due to the difficulty and the length. It is a course that will offer a different kind of challenge to more experienced players, and has enough more difficult holes to test most players.
This is a fun and different course, not at all like the other PA courses I've played. I would definitely recommend stopping here for a round if you're in the area, especially if you feel like a change of scenery.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
DAM these pines!
Pros: I have never played a course in PA that has the play and feel at F.E.W. The pine trees are a max height of 40-50ft (good for big arms that can cruise overtop) BUT these pines are very wide and bushy to the ground. (If you land behind one...goodluck) These pines are the dominate trees of the park though there are some hardwoods. Course has a nice mix of distance and accuracy. Tee pads are gravel and little signs of the hole are posted. There are some really nice seats out towards the later holes. (swinging 2 seater, couch) You will most likely throw every shot you know at this park.
Cons: I heard this course will have wet spots even if it hasn't rained in days. BRING TOWELS(It's near a dam) The tee pads can get a little flooded and can really bring your game down a notch. This course was hard for me with a hard wind. Once your disc went above the 30-40ft high trees the wind just takes it. Bring extra socks and shoes that dry easily. The signs aren't accurate.(it may show the pin being straight when really it doglegs right a bit.)
Other Thoughts: This course may be much for beginners or recreational players. I like the different play and feel of this course. Idk if I would make a trip for this one course though. I would definately stop by here and Hickory Run next time I go snowboarding.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Liking the improvements...
Pros: This course has undergone many improvements: concrete tee pads on some holes/well kept natural tees on others, excellent signage at every tee, markers showing the direction to the next hole & boards placed along paths where it tends to be marshy.
As other reviewers have stated, this course is definitely a 'one of a kind' experience for PA disc golf with the scarred, mars-like landscape.
Many 'blind' drives - but the lack of overgrowth vegetation (which seems to thrive at most other PA courses in the summer) helps keep searching for your disc to a minimum - only if you're careful with your placement!
Francis E. Walter Dam will make you use some unorthodox shots and challenge your mental game if you're not accustomed to 'conforming' to a course.
Cons: Monotonous! The rocky, alien, scarred landscape thing gets old. When I arrived, I was the 3rd car in the lot (there was a group of 3 just finishing their round and a pair on hole #5). When I left, there was a group of 3 walking to hole #4 and one person practicing drives on hole 1. This course won't bring in the crowds.
Other Thoughts: First review full disclosure:
I began playing DG in '98, stopped in '03 and started again in '07. I haven't played this course in over 7 years but played it at least a half dozen times previously.
The cons being stated, I really like this course. It's definitely different - I'll give it that. Today, for the first time ever, I threw a tomahawk for a drive...and then proceeded to throw one again and again - with reasonable success. That's how different this course is for us Greater Eastern Pennsylvania disc golfers. We're used to well defined, hardwood fairways with very large - even boulder sized rocks. Not randomly scattered pines & wildflowers accompanied by water-starved scrubs on top of a landscape of reddish dirt and small rocks.
Before playing Francis E. Walter Dam, I played Hickory Run State Park and the contrast was striking: I couldn't keep count of how many people were on the course - from locals, to families, couples, general park goers and the like.
It's obvious which Pocono region course is the most popular and which course is the outcast.
That being said, the Bearclaws give Francis E. Walter Dam much love and if you're playing anywhere in the region, please give the course a visit & write a concise and honest review!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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