A classic wooded Lehigh Valley treat!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Overall, this is one of the most peaceful and picturesque wooded courses I've played in awhile. The lush foliage, paths, and all of the rocks make it look like some kind of setting of a fairy tale. I guess the fable here is that you need to throw with precision throughout the 18 holes!
- Each fairway is cut with a certain line in mind; this course does a nice job of making you shape a lot of different lines with little margin for error. Several holes have a lefty and righty line to the basket. Lots of punishment if you make errant throws. Nice balance, IMO, of righty and lefty holes with a few straight lasers to the basket as well.
- Great use of elevation, both downhill and uphill. I thought the long bomb downhill on #18 was a great way to finish, especially when the road and parking lot played OB.
-Practice basket, info kiosk, bathrooms by hole #8, tees are marked well and the paths are well defined. Definitely has that worn-in but cared for look and feel, which I enjoy.
- Not too busy for being a Friday afternoon. Saw a few souls but didn't have to wait to throw on any holes.
- Some nice stand-out holes here. Hole #8 must clear a sightly tight gap between two trees, but then it opens out into a giant expanse with plenty of approach room! Hole #14 was a near-400 foot downhill bomb down a pole-line to the basket. Errant shots make par difficult to achieve. #16 is a nice downhill shot that cuts hard to the right and 17 balances its previous hole with an uphill bomb to a basket guarded in the woods that can utilize either a sidearm or backhand.
- I think I played this in a little under 80 minutes, which isn't bad for never playing here before. It's definitely a quick round if the crowds are thin!
Cons: - The rocks. They're everywhere. I mean everywhere. Just big enough to bust your ankles if you're not watching yourself. Wear good footwear and be mindful of the rocks. Also, if you throw primarily with low-end plastic, either disc-up or be prepared to turn your drivers into rollers.
- With the exception of #17 and 18, there aren't many chances for wide open bombs. I think this would be a nice balance to the excellent wooded holes present. Then again, maybe you want to come here for mostly a semi-technical challenge :raises hand:
- The old DGA baskets. So many spit-outs! Some of the tees were uneven as well, but it looks like some new tees are about to be put in.
- Only one mando on the course; I forget which hole, but it was on the middle of the front nine. Would have been nice to see another mando or two just to make the shots interesting and really require pinpoint accuracy. Not sure if the road on #9 is OB, but it should be.
Other Thoughts: When this course was installed a decade and a half ago, I'm sure it was a bear! Now courses like Nockamixon make this seem a little easier--not to mention a better variety of discs! Like its Nocky neighbor, you have to thread many trees and stumble over many rocks to get to the basket here. The main difference here is that you can bring an inexperienced player and not scare him/her away! Overall, I think it's another solid course in the Lehigh Valley and is a nice complement to Allentown's Little Lehigh Parkway and Jordan Creek--especially in the sense of practicing line-shaping, throwing low, meandering doglegs, etc. I'd definitely come back!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The long, wide, and flat concrete tees were a pleasant surprise
Friendly locals - we arrived at towards the end of a one-n-done tournament, and we managed to integrate in without any problem, and got to spend some time talking about the local courses.
With some the baskets being hard to spot (no coloured band) and some holes having multiple pin positions, a map at the tee and an indication of the current position would be nice.
Lower-grade plastic will be eaten up - my Pro-D Stratus looks as if it was gnawed on by Preston.
Course plays across (often), down (sometimes), and up (infrequently) the ridge/slope that forms South Mountain. Despite being on a mountain, the elevation changes are not overly extreme, but the rocky terrain certainly is - wear stout, firm-soled shoes. Scattered, mid-sized hardwoods and evergreens are used to form primary (and often, alternate, so you do have decisions to make) throwing lanes of various width, from tightish to openish, but nothing extreme nor unfair. The trees are not so dense that recovery is not impossible, and the undergrowth is not existent (its rocks), so disc loss chance is minimal.
From the white (concrete) tees, from where I played, the average length is just under 260', ranging from 200'~350', so, when combined with the omnipresent trees and bending throwing lanes, makes this course about control. Shape-wise, a variety of lefts/right/straights will be needed from the tee, with moderate turns needed mid-fairway, or subtle turns needed late - at times, both.
Navigation for a first-time visitor isn't too bad with the map, as long as you pay attention to the "mixing bowl" that is 6-8.
Favourite hole: While I very much enjoyed the view across the valley from basket-3, and trying to throw the perfect S-shape down the straight ~350' #14, number-15 was my favourite, requiring a "classic" right-turn-then-hold-the-line at the midpoint of this gradually descending ~300' hole, with many a hardwood ready, willing, and available to knock the disc askew.
South Mountain is a fine course, adding to the varied options one finds in the greater Allentown area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
tight but fair
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A very nice mix of shots that does not favor one type of throw over another. Does not take long to get around the whole 18. No probs at all with lost plastic.
Cons: Not many. Signage could be better. A few arrows would help.
Other Thoughts: If you are hitting the lines, you can put up good number. The trees got me, but I will be back again and again to this fun and interesting track.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Nice Technical Course
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: South mountain is a very technical course with a great variety of shots needed. There is a good mix of hyzers and anhyzers, and I was even forced to throw a few overhand shots. One thing that i definitely liked about this course was the elevation change. My home course is very flat, so this was a great change of pace with several uphill, and downhill shots.
Even though this course was pretty heavily wooded, there was usually a pretty obvious fairway that you had to hit. But, even if you did not thread the needle, the woods were forgiving enough that it did not cost you to many strokes.
The course had very nice cement tee pads, and the baskets were in great condition which made for a better experience.
The terrain of this course is very rocky. Some people may think of this as a negative, but I like it because it forces you to be very accurate with your drive so you can have good footing for your second shot.
Cons: The navigation of this course was a little tricky at times. I was playing with a couple of locals so luckily they knew there way around. Had I not been playing with them, I would have definitely needed a course map at times.
I would like to have seen a hole map on each hole. There were posts in the ground showing you the distances(depending on the pin placement) but we did not know which pin placement it was, so we were a little confused on the hole length sometimes.
The majority of holes on this course are relatively short, and I would have liked to see a few longer ones so you could really rip some drives. I would say that 17 out of 18 holes are pretty easily deuceable if you can keep your drive out of the trees.
Other Thoughts: Overall i thought that this was a very good course, and i will definitely be back to play. It is very well maintained and had several great aspects about it. It is another one of the many fantastic courses in the Lehigh Valley!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A great course.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Well tended, concrete pads work well for any weather. Challenging and varied shots, mostly through forest. Lots of replay value, the holes are each quite distinctive.
Cons: The relatively high number of trees can may you really pay for throwing even a little off target, particularly on drives. Not the best trails from tees to baskets on all of the holes.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
One word: Average
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Peaceful 18 hole course. The course uses elevation very well and you have to be precise to score well here. The course can basically be played with a mid range and putter. I found the course challenging for what it is, a par 54 18-hole course. The setting is great and the park is very clean. There is also a practice basket. Cement tees are in great shape and add to the experience for sure. This is the course that introduced me to the sport, and it did enough to get me hooked. This is pretty much a disc golf only park, so encounters with people not playing the sport are rare. The rough here isn't too rough, so you won't get too scratched up with thorns if you go astray.
Cons: Rocks will destroy your cheaper plastics, so plan accordingly. Tees are clearly labeled with distances, but basket locations aren't always obvious since the tees do not show the hole layout. Most baskets can be seen from the tee, but some (Hole 2) cannot, which can make some tee shots a bit of a mystery.
Other Thoughts: Overall, the course is short and is more of the technical variety. Heavily wooded with rocks galore, so bring adequate footwear. If you want to throw for distance, this course is not what you are looking for. If you want to work on your midrange and approach game, this course will appeal to you. The problem to me is: nothing stands out about South Mountain. That isn't to say it's a bad course, it just isn't that memorable. It's great if you live in the area and want to play 18 holes relatively quickly. There are far superior courses in the surrounding areas (Nockamixon, Lehigh Parkway, Jordan Creek), but this course is shorter and perfect if you are in a time crunch. Not a destination course, but definitely worth a play if you live in the area.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Nice elevation changes. Enjoyed holes 14-18. Beautiful area. Great cement tees.18 hole course,
Cons: Each hole was short and par can easily be made. Hole layout and par was not listed at tee.
Other Thoughts: It could be more challenging once the trees get leaves but without the leaves I felt the course was too easy to get par. It was still fun and there were a few really fun holes14-18
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
One of the Originals
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Short yet challenging 18 hole wooded course located in a township park in the Bethlehem area. A practice basket is located by the parking lot to the left of hole #1. All tee areas have painted white tee posts with the hole number routed into the top and distance displayed underneath. Nice sized cement tee pads. Log benches exist at most holes. Navigation very simple, and course has good flow. Baskets, though older, work well. Excellent use of elevation. Provides a challenge for advanced players yet is a great course for the intermediate or rec player to learn how to hit lines and shape shots. Hole 18 is a good finishing hole.
Cons: Will not appeal to the guy who loves to air it out. Rocks will destroy your DX plastic on certain sections of the course. Alternate tee pads exist at a number of holes but are not clearly defined. There are no real signature holes here. "Next tee" signs and flight path indicators are always welcome additions to any course.
Other Thoughts: South Mountain is one of the original courses in the disc golf-rich Lehigh Valley Area of Pennsylvania. Though Jordan Creek, Little Lehigh Pkwy. and Nockamixon are all superior area courses, South Mountain is nonetheless a quality play. It is very heavy on the fun factor, for mixed in with numerous challenges also exist plenty of birdie opportunities and ace runs. The installation of cement tee pads awhile back adds immeasurably to playing here. Some of the terrain is tough here, so bring adequate footwear. Very enjoyable overall.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Quick, challenging, and fun
Pros: Elevation changes and heavy tree coverage make for interesting shots on almost every hole.
Orange flags make baskets very easy to spot from a distance.
Shorter average distances make the course great for people with smaller arms while still providing a challenge for all.
Close to a number of other courses that are a bit longer. Makes for a great round to start off the day before moving to something else, or to wind things down.
Cons: Very rocky - Don't even think about playing this course with any discs you're afraid of having beat up. The rocks will tear base plastic to shreds.
Water/Cell towers - While not really a very big con, I'm never fond of OB that you stand absolutely no chance of getting your discs back from. It would require an insanely bad shot to put a disc behind the fences around the cell/water towers, but if you do they'll be stuck behind the barbed wire topped fences for good.
The rocks hillside to the right of the fairway on #3 seems like they would have a tendency to swallow up discs on a mildly errant throw very easily.
Other Thoughts: I played this course for the first time in a one and done last weekend. It makes for a very nice quick round while still providing a nice challenge. The course is full of very rough terrain with lots of loose rocks and elevation changes....don't forget a pair of shoes with good ankle support! Overall, I really liked this course and hope to play again in the near future. I just wish it was a bit closer than the hour and 45 minutes it takes for me to get to it.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
This course never gets old...
Pros: - This course has many elevation changes and a variety of holes. From #17 straight uphill through a grassy field to #4 downhill a smidgeon right, you get a good workout. My personal favorite being a lefty is #3. With a LHFH, ace run is possible from whites.
- A "Thinking person's course". You have to potentially invent some shot types if you are left with a wayward drive and awful lie. There are trees of all shapes and sizes abundant, along with drop-offs in elevation, large rocks, etc. Also, you will be required to think which lane you want to throw through, as the strokes can pile up if you plant yourself behind a cluster of trees.
- Multiple tees. If you want to crank up the challenge factor, try the reds.
- Although the fairways are tight, there are not many thorn bushes or gnarly nonsense should you go astray. The fairway width is definently fair. There is good potential to score low if you navigate the lanes that are carved out very well.
- As the title suggests, this course never gets old. Despite no water and little OB hazards (parking lot, two fenced off areas), there is enough variety with elevation changes, hyzer shots, anhyzer shots all required, some sudden drop-offs too if your disc doesn't go where you want it to.
- Very little non-discgolf encounters, besides with your occassional deer. This is for us, and us only (and the local Lehigh University ROTC on occassion does drills up there on Saturdays). Also, very well-maintaned! Hats off to the folks that take care of the course.
- Cement tees now installed. LVDC, as always, did a great job.
Cons: - Rocky terrain. I do NOT recommend attempting this course in flip flops. Wear something that will support your ankles! I find that tree stumps sometimes try to grab you, too.
- Not for big arms. I am have been playing approximately 3 months now. And, I can ace run a few a holes. But, as I mentioned in the pros, the width of the fairway is fair and there are quite a few obstacles to keep you in check.
Other Thoughts: Sitting on South Mountain in Bethlehem, PA, conveniently off of Route 378, this course has withstood the test of time and evolution of technology. I love this course and will continue to play as I am nearby. I recommend you bring a map for the first time or if you are playing the Red tees. Once you play a few times, you will be able to sleepwalk it. If anyone is ever up for a round there or is traveling through and needs a tour guide to tag along, message me! (NOTE: I have only been playing 3 months. Please treat the review as such. Thanks!) Even if I develop a longer throw (am about 250-300'), this course will still challenge me with its technical play. This is a good warm-up to Jordan or Little Lehigh to get your brain functioning, without destroying your arm.
UPDATE 8/3/10 -> Played on 8/2 on the cement tees. Absolutely amazing! I gave the course another 1/2 disc as they make the experience that much better.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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