5 Helpful / 3 Not
The gem of the Delaware
Pros: This course will push you mentally and physically the entire round. It is long (really long), hilly, rocky, narrow in spots and complex throughout. If you want to play the best course in the region then play here.
Iron Hill forces you to work on your game. As an intermediate player this course will give you opportunities to work on all aspects of your game.
Cons: This course can quickly discourage a beginner if they go out to play the gold to gold layout and expect their scores to be similar to smaller courses.
Other Thoughts: If you are near Philadelphia and have the opportunity to get down to Iron Hill to play, GO! You will not be disappointed.
I travel frequently and often try out courses in other areas but when I am home I will try to play here as often as the opportunity presents itself.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
Tough wooded challenge
Pros: The course provides a long and tight wooded challenge that will test even the best players. There are three tees and two baskets in place on most holes, with nice tee pads for the gold and blue tees and decent natural pads for the whites. Having 4-6 different options on each hole really adds to the variety and replay value here, especially since many times the alternate tees and pins offered a different look and feel to the hole.
The course is pretty long overall, with only a few reachable holes from the tee. There is a great mix of hole shapes on drives and on later fairway shots, you'll need a diverse shot selection to score well here. The fairways are fair, but can be narrow with some punishing rough. There are some areas that have lanes to throw creative recovery shots but most of the rough is thick enough to make you really pay for errant shots. The course uses the elevation quite well with some fun but tough downhills and some brutal uphills. The signs at the gold and blue tees are very descriptive and make the course pretty easy to follow.
Cons: There are some navigation issues at times, a few more next tee signs would go a long way. The white tees felt like an afterthought, with limited signs and rutted out natural pads I can't imagine them getting much play even though they're the most appropriate for intermediate and lower players. There are some areas that hold water, and others where erosion has made some of the hills slick and muddy.
Other Thoughts: From the long tees to either set of pins (but especially the long pins) this course will test the full skill set of even the best players. The shorter tees offer different options for less experienced players and a ton of variety to keep things interesting through several rounds. Even the shortest tee and pin combination isn't all that beginner friendly, the distances are more reasonable but there are still lots of tight fairways and thick rough.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
not for noobs
Pros: This course is the sickest course i have ever played. Sign-age was decent, although i would recommend a map for the first time. Long tight fairways where your control game is crucial. This course is extremely difficult and not ment for noobs, however if you are seasoned player this is the best course in area...didn't wait on a single tee...
Cons: non really.... just bring a map for your first time if you aren't with anyone... oh yeah and the signs says their are tee pads and some of the blue and white markers, but sometimes its just ground... i am sure they are working on it tho...
Other Thoughts: bring your big boy and girl pants, because this one tests your whole game from start to finish
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 16 Not
Good, but hard doesn't equal great.
Pros: This course is challenging from drive to putt. There are no gimme shots anywhere, and it forces you to be on top of your physical and mental game. Signage is outstanding, both with hole descriptions and with next tee signs. The course is well maintained.
Cons: From the long tees,iIt's almost as if some of the holes are designed to have players throw a roc/midrange and the 2nd shot is reserved for the long range driver. Until you're familiar with the course, you basically need to walk each hole before you throw.
Other Thoughts: I live in Baltimore, I'd drive the extra hour to play PawPaw before I came back to Iron Hill.
4 of 20 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Three tee pads and two baskets for each hole. Pro tee pads are very nice concrete. Other pads are mix or crushed gravel or rubber pads. Every pad was in excellent condition.
Great signs. Signs showed each pad location as well as each basket position. And each sign showed elevation for each basket position in feet. Very cool.
Navigation was easy. Paths are very obvious and there are signs and painted rocks everywhere to help you out. Piece of cake even without a map.
This is a very well maintained course. Probably one the best cared for courses I have played. Either the park or the club have really done a nice job locally. Well done.
Length!!! And more length. If you like long holes and woods this place is for you. From the Pro tees it seems like every hole is 600+. A little brutal if you have my arm, but that's what short pads are for.
Very well defined fairways and course design. Not one bad hole on the course. Basket positions on several holes add to the layout.
Good use of elevation where available. You get to struggle up some long hills, and let it rip down some others. Nice mix.
Decent hole variety. Not any super repetitive holes.
If I was going to improve this course probably the only real obvious thing is the visibility of the short baskets. The longs have the bright yellow band, but the shorts have nothing. Some bright tape on the pole or some bright ribbons would help. There, I nitpicked.
Short pads could be concrete. If I was real picky. But they were all in great shape. Even the crushed gravel ones.
Other Thoughts: For people elsewhere in the East this course plays a lot like Nockamixon or Nevin to me. Long wooded holes. Nevin is probably tighter and therefore a little more brutal though. But all three have some long wooded holes that can flat beat you up.
Most of Iron Hill's wooded holes have very fair and halfway wide fairways. They aren't so tight as to give you no decent shot. But there are some holes that stood out.
#5 is a fun little 690' uphill challenge with a pretty tight fairway compared to most. If you manage to get through the fairway cleanly you then get to approach to a basket elevated on a small hill of large rocks and boulders. Very cool hole.
#7 is a cool short 370' downhill shot that then turns into a neat dual fairway with an island of trees in the middle. Very cool designed hole.
#12 is a very tight 520' hole that has the basket positioned in some rocks on the slope of a small hill. Great use of basket positioning to add to the hole.
#17 is just a little 860' hole that meanders through the woods and finishes with a basket elevated on a small hill. If you throw as poorly as I do this hole can crush you. There are a lot of trees scattered throughout the fairway that can really hurt your score if you don't execute your shots.
All in all I really enjoyed this course, even if the Pro pads were really too much for my arm. It is not a super scenic course, or offer any epic shots off cliffs, but Iron Hill never leaves you wishing more length or woods. It is full of simply solid shots. If you are in the area I highly recommend stopping at this course.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid, Challenging Course
Pros: It's clear that this course has had a lot of work put into it and tends to be in good condition. The tees are fairly well marked and the signs are very good. There is a good variety to the holes requiring numerous different shots and throwing techniques forcing you to think about disc selection. Multiple pins are a definite plus. Many holes have multiple tee pads to temper the difficulty.
Cons: Still a work in progress. The tee signs show some tee pads and pin placements that don't currently exist. Very challenging, which isn't necessarily a problem unless you're an inexperienced player. At some points it's difficult to figure out the flow between holes, but there have been improvements in this area since I first played it.
Other Thoughts: Be prepared for a long round. A solo round can take about 2 hours. Getting out of the fairway can add to your score quickly. Definitely the most challenging course I've played in the area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Are You Worthy?
Pros: Varied in terrain, hole length, and hole layout, Iron Hill really is the crown jewl of Delaware's courses. The vast majority of holes are set in dense woods with fair fairways. Elavation comes into play all over the place. Here, natuarally elavated pins, steep downhill shots, gradual uphill punishers, and fast greens come into play often. Risk/Reward is always there. If you think your "the man" and you want a bird and you aren't "the man" then you will be severly punished. Two practice baskets sit just off the parking lot for warming up. Porta-Johns are available off of the parking lot. Unlike most Delaware courses, carousel being the other exception, this course has no entrance fee.
Cons: It's just quite not finished yet.Some of the shorter tees have yet to be either finished or addaquatly marked or even completed. Some silver baskets have yet to be installed but these things take time and of course, lots of money.
Some older heads or fattys find the terrain too rough. It does require hiking so expect a workout.
Other Thoughts: It's important to play the tees assigned to your skill-level. Leave your ego home or Iron hill will rip you to shreds if you think you can play Gold-Gold with the best of them. I'm an AM so I play white-gold and I find that layout to be more fun than any other course in Delaware. AGAIN, YOU WILL NOT HAVE FUN PLAYING FROM THE GOLD IF YOU AREN'T A GOLD PLAYER.I'm not even sure that gold players have fun gold-gold.
There is a box by 1s tee to place found discs in.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Question about Iron Hill
Pros: Awesome course!! My favorite in the Philadelphia/Delaware/Allentown/New Hope/NJ area(been playing for 17 yrs). Tyler, Brandywine, Jordan Creek, Tinicum and Fairmount all come in close second. Huge course, makes use of all types of throws and a variety of discs...backhand and hammer throws; sidewinder, comet, viper, aviar discs. I often come down every weekend and play the course twice. My best score was a 75 from the yellow pro tees. Always fun and a beautiful park, rain or shine! People are super friendly and nice. Close to Brandywine and Bellevue so can always hit those courses on the way home.
Cons: A little far from my home, but worth the hour and 15 min turnpike drive everytime:)
Other Thoughts: I am not sure why the par is listed on this site as 72 for Pro tees instead of 75 (when add it all up from what is posted on the signs). The hole distance doesn't seem to match either. When I totaled them signs up from the pro tees, it comes up to 10415 distance and 75 par. Maybe a comment on the sit somewhere would help explain this.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Toughest Course Around
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I was a young kid I remember the first time I tried to eat with a spoon. It was impossible. I literally failed many many times at doing that. After playing my first round at Iron Hill (I have since played again) that's how this course makes you feel. Fail fail fail. But that's the beauty of it.
Iron Hill has to be the hardest course in the world. What an amazing test - I shot an 80 and felt like I played well. I actually shot a 71 from the gold to gold layout the second time I played and felt like I played nearly flawless. I played the back tees to the back pins, and the course challenged every aspect of my game. Iron Hill was simply brutal - the average hole length was somewhere near 600 feet. Only two holes were less than 400 feet when I played the course, and the course was almost completely wooded. Holes 3 and 4 were the only non-wooded holes on the course, and really were my favorites. Hole 17 was a fair but brutal beast - 900 feet uphill through the woods to a darn near impossible green to reach with your 4th shot. A big pro for me was the par for the course - even though I shot +8 my first round I felt that the par for the course was fair. Having multiple tees and pins was really neat. Even though the course is completely wooded and very very long, the holes were very fair. I shot poorly because I tried to do much with holes that should have required a 300 foot shot. If you want to get your butt kicked, then play Iron Hill. If you don't want to get your butt kicked, play Iron Hill anyways to say you played the hardest course in the world. Out of the nearly 135 courses I have played, this is easily the hardest. In addition, even though this course is almost all in the woods, it really is pretty easy to find discs off of the fairway (trust me, I had some).
I can't think of a better test of disc golf than Iron Hill. There are courses that are more scenic and more fun but Iron Hill demands your attention...EVERY...SINGLE...SHOT. You can't breathe. When you throw your drive (if you throw it well) you know you have another tough shot coming up. Even the two holes under 400 feet are not easy. The word easy won't be found within 10 miles of this course. Iron Hill? How about Iron Fist!
Cons: The course simply doesn't let up - it's truly brutal from a fun perspective. As much as I would like to say differently, it's not fun throwing 80 times. Also, the back nine became somewhat repetitive - 600 feet through the woods eventually does get boring, even if the designers of the course did a great job distinguishing these holes. In addition, even though I listed the alternate pins as a pro, I can't help but think what they could have done if they had just built a second course.
Other Thoughts: I would highly recommend Iron Hill to anyone capable. If you are a newer player than avoid this course at all costs - Iron Hill is such a tough course that it will totally frustrate you in every way. After hole 10 I was exhausted, and to be honest I didn't have a lot of fun that day. However, the course wasn't supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be ridiculously difficult. Mission accomplished.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
A long walk...
Pros: Turn down Whittaker and drive past two parking lots all the way to the end of the rode and the larger parking lot. The course opens with holes 1 & 2 in the woods just next to this parking lot. From there, get ready to walk from a wide open field with a protected hole just past the tree line (Hole 3). This will lead you into and out of technical holes in the woods. I'd say that the trees here are mostly second generation following early settlers use of the trees they found there. The brush is readily available but not often too thick and discs are easily found. The land features many smaller rock formations and outcrops. The wooded fairways can be littered with roots and these rock outcrops. Roller shots can prove too risky on the wooded holes.
The course also features elevation shifts throughout the course. Some of these were slight with a mild drop or rise in elevation gradually from tee to basket...proved useful to add to a discs glide time. Other holes showed
off hilly elevation shifts usually in the middle of the hole. These could also be the breaking point for sharp dog-leg turns.
Every hole can play very long with the gold tees boasting 600'+ holes! Gold tees were cement and spacious.
Blue tees were on every hole and were often at intermediate lengths. Most of these were still fairly long and very challenging. Some of the blue holes were also labeled as gold (hole 7 comes to mind). Blue tees were cement, crush stone or natural.
White tees were generally easy to spot and could provide an excellent challenge to newer players or for Ace run attempts. That being said, most of these could also prove risky as a slighly errant disc will find a tree or two along it's path. The white tees at the time of this post were often natural and labeled with two small white flags in the ground...several were harder to spot initially.
In addition to the multiple tee settings, an A and a B basket existed on almost all of the holes. The A baskets were Mach V's and the B baskets were DisCatchers. The A and B baskets were often separated by one hundred feet or other appreciable distance. This alone can provide for randomization from every tee setting making a hole seem completely different.
Next tee signs were on large white-painted rocks showing the next hole number and a large arrow directing where to go next. Very easy to navigate without a map. I found that I did not use the map that I printed out and brought with me.
Cons: Not very many trash cans. While the course was fairly clean, there was some litter around from those less inclined to walk out what they walk in.
Overall, there really isn't anything that could be a con really. This course is incredible for those willing to walk more than the average course and to deal with the treejections.
Other Thoughts: Extremely well thought out is my walk away impression. Be prepared for a very long walk. The course flows naturally from the B basket to the next gold tee pad. If you are playing the blues or whites (or A basket) you will need to walk a bit especially if playing the white tees. It wasn't rewarding enough to hunt out the white tees. The course feels like a gold course as a result. Well aimed shots and safe shooting is rewarded often here. The canopy is generally high enough to allow for lower over-hand shots. Anhyzer / turn over shots as well as forehand shooting opportunities on many holes. A good distribution of tunnel shots both tight and wide are peppered in the wooded holes.
Hole 17 (860' Gold tee to B basket) stands out among all the holes. A truly memorable experience (no spoilers here) making the entire run up to here well worth it. Finish 18 and take a break. You will want to go for a second round or bask in the glory of the first. What a truly amazing experience! Take the drive to come here if in the area.
A truly excellent course and easily one of the best around Delaware, NJ and eastern Pennsylvania.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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