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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great terrain and diversity. You will learn to control your throws or the trees will get the better of you. The tees and baskets are all clearly identifiable. Variety of distances makes it easy.
Cons: Just watch for basket placement, they have moved slightly since last year. Some throws are narrow, so again control is the name of the game.
Other Thoughts: We enjoy the course, not much low brush, easily walkable, and great diversity.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
A unique playing experience
Pros: Challenging holes, orange flags on top of holes to aid in locating the target. Maps are available online, and this course is very easy to navigate by your second time playing it. Benches, restrooms, and garbage cans are on the course.
Cons: Very hilly course (as it is built on a mountain) so sometimes your disc can roll far away from where you intended to throw it.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
Compliments Other Valley Courses
Pros: • Excellent use of elevation
• Heavily wooded/technical
• Rewards accuracy rather than power
• A number of holes have alt. tees and/or pin positions to increase challenge
• Not too tough to 'bounce back' from errant shots due to short course length
• Broken in - the layout flows for the most part, there's low disc loss probability due to lack of undergrowth, baskets are intact, there are amenities (bathrooms/pavilions/ample parking), course is regularly used & easy to get to.
• Makes for a fun, quick, easy play
Cons: • Rocky to the point of ridiculous - footing is definitely an issue (be careful in unsavory conditions and wear the proper footwear)
• May be too frustrating for some due to the terrain/heavy woods/elevation/lack of tee signs & 'next tee' directional arrows - and at the same time not nearly challenging enough for others because of lack of diversity, variation, length
• Heavily used/incredibly worn gravel tee boxes
• Neglected & deteriorating
Other Thoughts: South Mountain was my introduction to disc golf & is my 'home course' so consider me a biased reviewer.
Back when this course was first built, it was one of just a few in the Lehigh Valley. Therefore it was given great care and
well maintained by the now defunct 'Barking Spiders' disc golf club - basically some of the 'cons' listed in the reviews here were at one time 'pros' (tees, signage, etc). But that is no longer the case. As the years have rolled by and more courses have been built in the surrounding area, South Mountain has been left by the wayside. Which is a shame because I really like this course for what it is - a short, technical, heavily wooded course that for the most part flows well, plays quick and gives a decent workout due to all of the elevation changes. It also has a nice balance of left/right/straight holes and when some of the baskets are in their long or alt. positions, it can be a challenge to make par since accuracy is the name of the game here (all holes are par 3 regardless of pin placement/tees used).
For those visiting from out of town, it's easily added to a 'courses played' list with its quick, straightforward play, easy access off major roadways and close proximity to other area courses. But don't confuse this with a destination course. If you're looking to just tackle the highly rated, world class courses in the region (Nocky, Jordan, Little Lehigh, Tinicum and Blue Mountain when available) then you'd be better off skipping this one as it may disappoint in comparison. However if you're local and haven't yet discovered this course, I recommend giving it a play as it offers a unique dynamic which complements the other valley courses.
Even with the neglect, deterioration and surplus of area course choices, this place still gets a good amount of play. The 2010 Lehigh Valley Disc Golf Ice Bowl is being played there this Saturday, Jan. 30 so that may give some indication of the regard the valley players still hold for this place.
South Mountain DG will always be special for me as I remember all the good (and sometimes frustrating) times learning the game, playing with groups of friends and meeting new people. Overall I give it a 3.5 discs as my sentimental, nostalgic memories, while fading, haven't gone away entirely and I still to this day enjoy playing here.
Side note - A year or so ago, I was having a casual discussion at work with a contractor and I mentioned playing disc golf at this course. He proceeded to tell me about how, back in the early/mid 1980's, he and his buddies used to play disc golf here (with Frisbees - you know the Wham-O type) and created their own object course. He mentioned how that layout is spray-painted on the water tower at the top of the mountain (check it out if/when you play here). I just thought this was an interesting piece of history showing how people have been enjoying various mutations of DG here for some time now and encourage others to continue this tradition.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This primarily wooded course will test your technical game (be prepared to drive with mids, hit your gaps, and be able to have good long upshots from a standstill)
2 Basket locations per hole, and some holes are mutliple tee pads.
Course is for Dg'ers only
A pavilion to use for relaxing, lunch, tourney
Cons: Lack of signs is the major downfall here, print out a map to have any shot. There are paths to baskets, but no "next tee" signs.
Wooded Post signs are old and sometimes show a distance to the two baskets (only one in at a time, you may see two baskets nearby, but they would be different holes, please refer to map)
Natural tee pads can be uneven
Other Thoughts: There are a lot of rocks on this mountain. While it is fairly short having 18 par 3's, it is a good workout. Bring appropriate shoes. You can get a quick round in with a buddy in just over an hour. Plenty of parking availaible and you won't have long waits on holes.
This course is very shaded, so consider this a nice alternate on hot, sunny days to a more open Little Lehigh. Hole 7 has a pro tee, and an AM marking that you might miss if you aren't looking for it that is on the pavement.
Open holes on 14, 17, and 18. 18 is a great downhill hole (I prefer the long basket) with two tee pads. It has a OB road behind the basket. Great hole to finish on (when in long). Many people play from the lot up to the Practice basket as an onofficial "19", but be careful with cars.
This course is a great compliment to the open Little Lehigh located nearby. It should be included as part of a great day of DG with Little Lehigh and Jordan Creek. If you can only play one, it shouldn't be this one (unless you really prefer wooded courses, but even than I'd suggest Jordan). If you can play several, this course goes well with all the Lehigh Valley has to offer.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
I Miss This Course
Pros: Great Elevation Changes
Lots of Trees
Wild Deer and Chipmunks
Variety of Shots
Cons: Dirt Tee Pads
Telephone Poles in Play
Other Thoughts: I use to live in this area and this was my favorite course to play. It really improved my game. If you can make it to the pin in one shot it feels truly satisfying. I currently live in central Texas and I still contemplate driving all the way up there to play this course once more. Before I die I will throw South Mountain DGC again.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Quick Round in the Woods
Pros: South Mountain is easy to get to from two major highways, I-78 and US-22 and is right off of PA-378. Like so many of the other Lehigh Valley courses, South Mountain is a DG oasis within the urban sprawl.
Although the course is almost entirely wooded, there is enough variety to the different holes to make the course interesting. This includes some significant elevation changes as well as numerous fairway shapes.
South Mountain can be technically challenging. With the exception of two holes (maybe three), you won't be able to rip a monster drive, but you will need to use some well-thought technique to get to or under par. Once you can chase the dust bunnies out of your head and see the lines you need to throw, there are several birdie and ace runs.
Each hole averages around 300' and is a par 3 which makes South Mountain a quick play.
The concrete tee pads are in fantastic shape (with one exception) and the baskets are still holding up well. Freshly-painted tee markers help to spot the tee pads.
Cons: There are several holes where you may find yourself putting into the wrong basket or having difficulty finding the next tee box.
Although I did indicate a variety of wooded holes, and a quick play, because the hole length is roughly the the same for each hole, there is a spot of tedium by the time you get to the back nine.
Other Thoughts: If you have a big arm and like throwing for distance, this course isn't for you. If you play with finesse or you want to hone your midrange and approach game, come to South Mountain. The rugged course is a nice compliment to some of the longer courses in the Lehigh Valley and is great for fast, technically-oriented play.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Another tech woods pa course
Pros: risk is almost non existant once you learn the lines you need to play to get birdies, there are some alternate tees on some holes which provide completely different lines you need to play.
Cons: you need a fair amount of luck to get real close as some of the holes are about a 50/50 even if you are on your game there are to many trees on some holes but some like it some dont.
Other Thoughts: not alot of fun for starters you will spend alot of time hacking trees or sliping on rocks if you arent wearing good shoes
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Rock Tree Park
Pros: I live close to it. It doesn't take long to play. It's a convenient place to get a round in when you are pressed for time.
Low scores are possible. There are one or two very good holes. The long one down the powerline is very nice, as is hole #2. #16 is a fun downhiller with OB long, and #17 is a short, hard turning uphiller where a good righty two finger with something overstable works well.
Cons: Too tight for my liking. Birdies are there, but the element of luck is too predominant. Horribly rocky and very tough on plastic. That's no body's fault- It's on the top of a rocky mountain.
On the whole, either of the other two major Lehigh Valley courses, Parkway and Jordan, are a lot better.
Footing is treacherous- footwear offering ankle support is recommended.
The course was designed by newbie players, and it shows.
Other Thoughts: Not likely to make any experienced player's favorite list. But I still play here, and it's better than nothing. On further reflection, I've downgraded my rating. It's really not a very "good" course at all.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
a very solid course
Pros: lots of elevation changes and challenging shots through the trees. most holes have a decent tee--cinders surrounded by wood (and most have both a red and yellow tee). peaceful settings atop South Mountain and close proximity to Lehigh Univ. great locations for enhancing your experience, as well...
Cons: sometimes the underbrush makes it easy to lose discs and lack of upkeep can lead to trash in the woods. heavy use can mean backlogs in play.
Other Thoughts: this is the course where i learned to play. ive played here many dozen times and it is my benchmark to which i compare all other courses. whenever im back in bethlehem, i play a round because it is an excellent course.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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