4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Beautiful state park scenery on the way in
-Various styles of play: field, woods, hybrid, water, rocks, elevation
-Versatile course that can challenge better players but also won't discourage newer players
-Navigation signs were pretty good hole to hole
-A few ace chances
Cons: -Some of the holes such as 1, 2, 4, and 5 are somewhat clumped together, so be careful of errant throws
-Some tee areas were in tougher shape, however I played in January after snow melt, so maybe it isn't usually an issue.
-Not a ton of variety in the back 9
Other Thoughts: This is an interesting course that makes use of a handful of different environments. Hole 1 starts out semi-wooded with a few narrow gaps to choose from to avoid a clump of small trees in the fairway--a nice wake up call to quickly tune your game for a technical round. Hole 2 bootlegs toward the right at the end requiring either a long anny RHBH/LHFH or a big fading RHFH/LHBH if you're trying to park it. Holes 3 and 4 were my favorite on the course and had a unique flavor compared to the rest of the course. Hole 3 begins with a tight woods tunnel that opens to more woods with a large creek flowing in front of the basket area--long and full of obstacles for a par 3. Hole 4 has a tight uphill tree tunnel that exits the woods, before requiring you to change your course almost 90 degrees to the right. This tough par 3 introduces the first real elevation component of the course, traveling uphill. Hole 5 resembles Hole 1 in that it's somewhat open with trees in the middle of the fairway, forcing you to choose your gap wisely. Hole 6 travels slightly downhill with a clump of bushes in the middle of the fairway that turns slightly right, a long RHBH soft anny does the trick. Hole 7 is chip and putt...very short, but a few trees that could steal your otherwise gimme birdie (or ace). Hole 8 is a short throw up a tall hill, but another birdie/ace opportunity. Hole 9 plays down the side of a hill in an open field, the best chance on the course to air one out.
So, the front 9 changed hole to hole drastically enough to give the above play by play, however, holes 10-15 all have a similar straight-forward "woods course" feel to them. That isn't to say they are all the same; actually, they do require different lines/throws, but visually, there isn't much to tell. Still in the woods, hole 16 takes a hard left and the log wall staring you in the face at the turn provides a nice landmark (or disc stopper). Hole 17 starts to open up a little bit, preparing for hole 18, which is somewhat narrow but traces a smooth left curve to the basket which brings you back to the lot. Overall, the front 9 IMHO were more memorable and undoubtedly felt like an entirely different course than the woodsy back 9.
I occasionally visit Scranton from Philadelphia, so I've made it a point to hit a new course along I-476 along the way. Especially for travelers passing through, this is worth the stop. By itself, maybe it is not a destination stop, but if you group it with a couple other courses in the area, it will prove to be worth your time.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Open Then Shut
Random benches scattered about. Beach/water access at #8 if a hot summer's day. Bathroom on site.
Unsigned single dirt/gravel tee locations. Some navigation issues (see below). Many a picnic table and/or grille scattered amongst holes 1-6. Walking path near 8-9.
For the first six holes, take a large, grassy, gently undulating open space, randomly drop some large and mid-sized hardwoods about it - and then add in about twice as many picnic tables and grilles. These holes average a bit over 300' in length, and you'll usually have a few choices of how you want to avoid the trees while reaching the basket. Number-7 is short and downslope to a basket surrounded by trees, tee-8 is at the end of the beach, short throw to a basket at the top of a steep slope, and number-9 is long-n-open. The back nine is where you'll find your shorter, technical woodwork - flat holes, trees throughout, mostly requiring straight or subtle S-shapes off the tee (although there are a few left-turners), well-defined paths filled with rocks and tree roots. Holes 11-16 are quite tight, bordering on pinball at times, but the undergrowth is practically non-existent, so a wayward disc shouldn't be too hard to find.
Favourite hole: #14. Just under 300', fair path through trees the entire length, but a small stone wall about 30' before the basket is reached - very picturesque.
Least favourite hole: #16. Nearly 400' of continuous left turn, trees thick the entire length, some scattered across the natural flightpath, to a nearly-imprisoned basket.
Navigation: The map (although it doesn't show current #10 correctly - it plays between the dirt access road and the main road) is necessary for a first-time visitor as there is a paucity of signage, next tee signs, etc. Some sign/numbering inconsistencies after #9. Tee-10 is just ahead, slightly right, across a gravel path, and the basket is about 300' in the same direction - but labelled #11. Continue in the same direction, cross the road, to find tee-11, which will then play to a basket labelled as #10. From #12 onward things were okay.
Despite the (lack of) signage, and potential conflict with other park users on the front half, there is a decent amount of variety and challenge on this course, and worth a visit if travelling through the area.. The F.E.W Dam course is not too far away, with food/petrol options in-between.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
A tale of two courses
Pros: The course is divided into two distinct halves that play completely differently. The front half of the course is a fairly open park style course with nice scattered mature trees and grassy fairways. The back half is shorter and more technical with very tight wooded fairways and punishing rough to catch errant shots.
There is a little bit of elevation on the course, with a few holes that play up or down the bluff along the lake. The more open holes bring wind into play, and only one of the holes is completely open.
Between the two halves of the course, you'll need lots of different kinds of controlled shots. The first half of the course calls for shot placement, while the wooded back half will test your line shaping and accuracy. There is an ok mix of holes that favor left/right turning shots and ones that favor a straight shot, with a pretty good balance throughout the course.
The park is beautiful, and a great setting for a round of disc golf. The space available was used well to keep most of the holes separate without too many long walks.
Cons: The tees are not the best. They are gravel or dirt, and few were well-leveled either time I played. They weren't the best surface for any kind of real run-up, luckily there aren't a whole lot of distance shots on this course.
There isn't a whole lot of distance here, and the first half of the course just really isn't all that challenging. The back half is much more challenging, but every hole presents basically variations of the same challenge and it feels a bit repetitive.
The navigation isn't bad, but there are a few spots where better signage would be really useful. The tees could also use better signs, what was there wasn't very informative or helpful. When I played in the summer, the first half of the course had lots and lots of picnickers, which made for a slower and more stressful round, though this wasn't an issue in the winter.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun older course that still has quite a bit going for it. I enjoy the two totally different sections of the course, and they offer totally different challenges. Newer players will enjoy the more open front half, while more experienced players will find themselves more tested on the back half.
If you are anywhere in the area, this course is definitely worth a stop. There may not be huge distance holes or a ton of variety, but this course is just plain fun to play as long as you avoid heavy picnic days. I enjoyed this course playing in the summer or the winter, and the course played totally differently in the different seasons.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Lots of stuff to do here besides DG!
Pros: First of all, I would like to mention how pretty this course is. Even on a very dreary November afternoon, it's very scenic with the lake, fields, and tree placements.
The course is pretty easy to find from the entrance to the State Park. Dog legs and mandos make what would be ordinary holes a little more exciting. Bathrooms and picnic tables are great amenities for the course. In addition, maps and scorecards provided make navigating the course easier. I also like the stone wall on hole 14. All in all, I would consider this a great beginner course for those interested in starting disc golf.
Cons: The course can get pretty crowded -- even in late fall. The tees and signage appears pretty weathered and worn-down. This is surprising considering that most PA State Park DG courses are usually immaculate.
While the back and front nines are significantly different, the holes within them are pretty redundant. Lots of openness on 1-9 and a ton of trees on 10-18. Not much in between.
Other Thoughts: If you can handle 36 glorious holes of disc golf, I recommend visiting the nearby Francis E. Walter Dam course before or after this one. It completes a great Poconos experience!
Also, Hickory Run is known for its glacial till all over the park. While the famous boulder field is the most central location for scores of rocks and boulders, there are quite a number of rocks on the back nine. In other words, watch your step!
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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