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.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Idaho or Pocono?
Pros: This course offers a playing experience that is quite unique to Pennsylvania Disc Golfers. You will have to throw into the relatively open air and land safely amongst dangerous low scrub pines, bushes and evergreens. There are no obvious fairways defined by old majestic hardwoods. It reminds me of landscapes out west particularly Idaho....has that craters of the moon type feel at some places...really weird but kind of fun in a unique way. The course is close to a cool Dam and reservoir and Pocono resorts and a WAWA conveniance mart are not far away. The course itself has ample length to challenge you. A few unique basket locations, such as the elevated one shown in the photos. A different playing experience. You have to be able to throw over obstacles often...tomahawk/thumber anyone? Playing here is about landing placement and not fairway accuracy....this is a skill many woodsy Easterners never learn and often they just assume the course sucks...open your mind up and your enjoyment and game will improve here.
Cons: IT gets a bit repetitive throwing over scrubby brushed moonscape without any clear fairways. You will search for your discs in the bushes or the evergreens more than once. Not much tremendous elevation here despite being in the mountains and no water despite being a Dam course. IT is like a desert out there...so it's rocky and dry, though flash floody when it rains.
Other Thoughts: This is a must play just because it is such a strange course. It offers a different challenge that will only enhance your game. I would not say it is an elite course, but it is not an easy course to play either. Despite that I think it should be played just due how different it is.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Bearclaws are doing alot of work on this course. Fairways are "Fair" if you choose to play conservative. If you choose to go for it, or try to fight the pines, you might be taking alot of 4's and 5's. If you like rough terrain this is your course. Signage was adequate.
Cons: Rough terrain. Some holes are short and less challenging. I played the day after a rain, and the course was very wet.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area, you must stop by this course. Definately worth the time. Also, drive down to the Dam. It is something to see.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
"Welcome to the Moon with Pine Trees"
Pros: Good length, a mix of left/right holes, completely different terrain than most east coasters are used to (short, thick pines that will eat your discs). Land is not mixed use... no worries about joggers. Well maintained. A unique experience in PA and worth at least one visit.
Cons: Only four alternate tees / holes. No amenities other than a port-a-potty... it's like the desert out here (tons of bugs too). Alternately super dry and super wet ground thanks to the watershed. Rocks will tear up your discs. People who throw big tomahawks will eat this course up as they won't have to contend with the same trees that backhand throwers do. Could use some better signage for finding the next hole, especially on the back nine.
Other Thoughts: Had a great time at the tourney here. Hope they can expand a bit to make the 800-footer permanent. Might be more fun in the winter without the brutal heat and bugs, especially since the pines will stay about the same year round.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This course was very diffrent from every other course I have every played (Rocks and Pine Trees). Some of the holes seem really long (exspecially when going up hill).
Cons: Maps/Signs and pins not marked can make it hard to find the "right" pin on a few holes
Other Thoughts: Everytime I play this course I always have a good time. Just past the course is a Dam with a beatuiful overlook. Everytime I take someone new here we stop afterwords. Definetly worth the time.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
dam fine course
Pros: elevation changes, terrain diversity, bamboo poles added to the tops of the baskets allows throwers to see the target even with some pins being protected.
Cons: course still under re-construction. plays wet in the spring and ticks can be a problem if you don't wear long pants in the spring and summer.
Other Thoughts: what an interesting course! very unique terrain. Can play very difficult if the wind is whipping across the pocono plateau. 17 new mach II's have been installed. The local club is working on a new nine holes there as well.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: A good job was done to even out righty/left holes. Some holes have 2 baskets while others do not.
Cons: Scorecard maps and distances don't match up with the signs often enough to make things confusing. This is not a 4.5 star course.
Other Thoughts: Feels like a high altitude desert. Short to medium height pines spinkled here and there will force you to use overhand shots more frequently than usual. Slight elevation changes keep things interesting. Unlike most dam courses there are no water throws here or even views of the dam.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Variety of short and long holes. Course is generally in good shape.
Cons: Can get very soggy after rains and in the spring. Hard to find a couple of holes.
Other Thoughts: Challenging course, doesn't seem to get as much traffic as Hickory Run.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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