Almost a great course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Beautiful scenery
2) Cliff shots
3) Good mix of wooded and semi-wooded holes
4) Elevation changes
Cons: 1) No concrete tees
2) Only one set of tees
3) Difficult navigation
4) Subpar signs
5) Lack of discernible fairways on some holes
Course design: 3/5
This course is mystifying because it seems like it should be outstanding, but it falls short.
The course's front nine plays way different than the rest of the course. Here, the course is on well manicured grass, dotted with some trees throughout. The majority of the holes are 250' or so. Nothing special here.
Once you hit hole 10, however, the course changes dramatically. From here on out, there are some very challenging holes, and the majority are in mature forest, with fairly significant elevation changes throughout. The setting is gorgeous back in here and there are some amazing tee shots from cliffs that are a sight to see. Some of the holes are both challenging and fun, but some of them are just plain frustrating because there is no discernible path to get through the woods to the target (hole 10 comes to mind).
While the course has some appeal, the negatives quickly outweigh this appeal. From the get go, I found myself lost and wandering around to find the next hole...and this was so even though: 1) I had a map; 2) there was yellow tape on the target pointing to the next hole; AND 3) sometimes there were arrows on trees pointing in the direction to travel. Something needs to be done to address this problem because it really detracts from the enjoyment of the game; especially because this course has so much elevation changes, that it will exhaust you. The last thing you need is to walk an extra mile or so up and down hilly terrain just looking for the next hole or trying to find the target.
Next, the lack of concrete tees made it particularly troublesome as some of the tees were on uneven ground. This made it difficult to get a run up, on top of the fact that it can be slick in spots because the grass is worn down to dirt (which was muddy when I was there).
Last, the signs looked old and many of them had the hole number obscured by a screw used to mount the sign onto the sign post. This just added to my navigation woes.
The bottom line...This course has so much potential to be great. It just needs some tweaking and some TLC and it could be a 4 star course. I can't say that I'd recommend taking a road trip to this course until they get the above issues fixed, especially since there's such high quality disc golf just over the border in Pittsburgh.
The average rating for the course was 2.6, which I'm rounding up to 3. Really a 2.6 should be rounded down to 2.5, but I felt there was enough there to warrant a 3 just because of the setting and the potential.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Like many 27 hole courses, this can be basically broken down into three 9 hole courses. The first set of nine appeals to beginners and families playing disc golf, as the shots aren't very long or difficult (they play wide open with a few trees here and there).
The middle 9 holes (10-18) are the best IMO. Some holes play through dense woods with a giant ravine in the park. Thus, nearly every hole plays with steep elevation changes uphill and downhill. The holes proceed out into the open with #16 and 18 being 600 and 400 foot drives, respectively. It's a nice balance of steep wooded elevation and wide open bombs on this set of nine. Hole #18 is kind of a unique hole, throwing the whole way over a baseball field from a top a hill. Can you hit a home run?
The last nine holes, called "The Safari," aren't bad, but they're not as memorable as the middle nine. Some of the holes play open in the open park space, while others are wooded fairways with varying lines to the basket. I feel like in an effort to get the last nine to wrap back to the first tee, they sacrificed some uniqueness and challenge for the sake of looping.
Cons: - There's a long walk from #20 to 21. Navigation in general is kind of iffy in the sense that it's not intuitive and some holes aren't right next to subsequent ones. I was definitely happy I had a map.
- The park was pretty crowded when I was there, but no people really came into contact with the holes. I'm not sure how often this could be an issue with joggers and other park patrons.
- The first nine are comparatively boring compared to the other 18, but I'm glad to see some variety--especially for less experienced players.
- The tees on #1-9 are too narrow and short, and the rest of the holes have no real tees to speak of at all. A set of concrete tees on #10-27 would be awesome.
Other Thoughts: I've been meaning to play here for quite some time and I'm glad I did. In addition to a quality 27-hole course on site, there are other recreational opportunities in the park, such as a nice swimming pool, pavilions, tennis courts, etc. In fact, Thompson Park has that big city park feel, like I was in Denver or Indianapolis or somewhere. In fact, without overstating it too much, this park kind of felt like a very short and slightly less challenging version of Water Works in KC, MO.
IMO, I think the course does a nice job of accommodating both beginners or experienced players. The first nine satisfy the former, and the last 18 satisfy the latter.
Nearby Chester City Park and Tomlinson Run State Park are other opportunities for disc golf in the area. Play all three in a day for a fun experience and a sore arm!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Beautiful scenic course with plenty of challenging holes. 27 holes in one location. Creative use of space. Very friendly course supervisor.
Cons: Some trees need to be removed to make a few of the fairways a little more reasonable. (I'm not being a baby go play it and you'll see what I mean) Tee pads would be a great addition.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good mix of shots. Front and back 9 completely unique, not alike. Beginners can stay up top and if you got the guts try the back 9 but you need to be in shape. Challenging. Scenery.
Cons: No flow. Back 9 was added later, but neither 9 flows well or together, long, blind walks. Tee posts sometimes placed in the only spot flat/safe enough to tee off from making a good shot near impossible. Poison ivy is unavoidable in season.
Other Thoughts: I helped design the back 9, didn't plan to leave it 'unfinished' like it is, but I can't do anything about that. If they could clear more trees as was planned it would be epic.
With some tree work and some better tees and signs this would easily become a destination course. Time will tell if that can happen.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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