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.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Not For Everyone's Tastes
Pros: Has 18 featured holes plus an additional 9 in another area of the Dam. With its unique topography ranging from grassy fairways and landing areas to asteroid-like rocky ground, F.E. Walter Dam starkly contrasts many of the other Eastern PA disc golf courses. Good mix of both open holes and ones scattered amidst pine trees, providing a challenging and unusual obstacle throughout the course. Signage is present and navigation is relatively easy. Baskets are all in good shape. Some course improvements have been made, including cement tee pads at numerous holes and wooden walkways/planks in particularly swampy areas of the course. Good balance of distance ranging from 200-800 feet, with most holes in the 300-400 range. Close to hotels, gas and food if you're paying a visit.
Cons: While I appreciate the effort at getting cement tee pads installed, they are too short. Swampy areas around some of the holes are a mess after rainfall. Signs, while adequate, are basic and don't stand out. Only a few holes have benches/logs to rest on and none have poles to hang your bag on. No ammenities at The Dam near the course.
Other Thoughts: While this is not a bad course- it is challenging and unique in many ways- I must be honest: I didn't care for it much. Others will disagree with me and be perfectly fine with it. Half the course is loaded with overgrown, tall grass in the fairways and the other half feels like you're playing in a rock quarry. Pine trees are drive killers at multiple holes unless you have a great tomahawk in your arsenal. It has none of the inherent beauty of many of the other fine disc golf facilities in the state. The novelty of the surface and overall appearance is worth a look but not repeat visits.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
not that great
Pros: a few open shots nice t boxes most cement
Cons: i did not like this course at all i guess maybe its just not a begginers course but me and my freinds spent more time looking for discs than throwing them. alot of the time you cant even see where youre disc lands. its muddy and wet not very enjoyable and its very very confusing if you do play i would highley recomend printing the course map otherwise u will never make it through. if youre in that area u may as well go to hickory run much better place
Other Thoughts: it is a fun course thoe some shots of 500 ft its like playing ontop of a mountain pretty cool scenery wouldnt recomend it thoe
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
second time playing here
Pros: Nice and open with some good long holes. The pars are hard to come by on some big holes. Great set-up. the bear claws did some great work up there.
Cons: The wind can get out of control. the good part is you can laugh like crazy when you hae a bad shot and just blam it on the wind. The tee boxes are a little short, but better than not having them.
Other Thoughts: I lost a blue 173 champion Valkyrie on one of the seldom played back holes and don't know how to log it
1 of 10 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.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Evergreens and Bogs
Pros: A fairly decent, moderately long golf course in a great part of the world. Plenty of parking, and the flow is pretty good. Pin-point accuracy is not required, especially if you're able to throw high and far. There are plenty of holes where twos are possible. As others have stated, it's really different from other courses in PA, because of the landscape and flora. It's not a tough hike, and it's a pleasant, scenic spot. It's fun to play at the Dam.
Cons: Many holes are pointlessly blind, requiring first-time visitors to hike out to check the pins. There are boggy spots on the course, and lost discs are a possibility in the evergreens. It's remote, and amenities are primitive or non-existent.
Other Thoughts: I've hardly ever played this place recreationally; mostly in tournaments. I'm not sure I would CHOOSE to play here, just for fun, although I have had fun every time I've played here.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Frances Walter Dam
Pros: I love this course. It's only about 20 minutes from my home, and I play it as much as possible. This course has a little bit of everything, from some awesome ace chances, to some incredible difficult holes to par. Also our local club ( the bearclaws ) have been adding concrete tee-pads to make the course even better.
Cons: The only complaints I have about this course is that it can get very wet, especially after heavy rainfall. Also a few of the holes are somewhat rocky, which can eat up discs. Overall, the amount of cons are minimal.
Other Thoughts: It's awesome to have this course and Hickory Run's course in the area, considering they are complete opposites, so you can never get tired of switching up play between courses. Frances Walter Dam also has been adding some great hidden holes, which has turned the course into 27 holes.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Good but not great
Pros: Great layout of open and technical holes with excellent elevation changes. Varied terrain, not what you would expect for a disc golf course. Local club very active here...currently have started installing concrete tee pads. Thanks "bearclaws" for your work here and elsewhere!
Cons: Some signage hard to follow, especially on blind shots. Had some problems navigating, but not too bad. Course was overgrown in several spots. In fact on some holes on the back nine there were no safe landing areas. Very good chance of losing discs on those holes.
Other Thoughts: I was not overwhemled w/this course. I think this course would play much better in the fall when underbrush has subsided. Wear some waterproof shoes, the course gets swampy in spots! I will come back to try again just for the unique terrrain.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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