A Little Slice of Disc Golf Heaven
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Other Thoughts: South Mountain is one of the more unique courses out there and because of that I believe it's one of those courses where a Pro and Con list is going to be far too subjective to be of much use. If you like heavily wooded courses where elevation change is the name of the game and there are lots and lots of rocks... SoMo is the course for you! If you don't like ALL of these things, you're going to have a bad time, m'kay. It plays between 800 and 1000' above sea level which isn't high enough for thinner air to affect your discs, but it is high enough that some days you can literally find yourself playing inside of a cloud!
Most of the holes involve interesting shot shaping to follow the fairways, some have multiple lines that will get you to the basket and the more open holes aren't as open as they seem. There are now two concrete tee pads on almost every hole and every basket has multiple positions. For the purposes of this review (and my 4.5 disc rating), I will be talking about the throws from the regular tees unless otherwise indicated. To be completely honest, I'm not a fan of most of the new tee boxes that were added last year. Some are so close to the original box that they make no sense and some just ruin a great hole (like 1, 4, 6 and 11). If I had to rate the course on the red tees (I think that's what they are calling them), it would be a 3 or a 3.5 disc course at best. Good thing I'm ignoring those tees here the same way I do on the course. I've played them a few times when friends who haven't tried them feel the need to see what all the work is being put into but would never play them by choice.
On to the course!
Hole one comes at you hard and fast with everything SoMo brings to the table. It's a steep, rocky, uphill annie throw with a utility wire that follows the fairway the first half of the way up. Missing right can leave you in a mess of thorns.
Hole 2 is a blind uphill hyzer.
Hole 3 is basically straight but you are playing across a hillside. The green is grassy and flat with a drop off that goes all the way down the mountain. Great for taking pictures but makes for a scary downhill death putt if your drive went left. Roll aways here can be costly.
4's newest basket position is up on one of the two massive fallen trees down in the green area, it's pretty darn awesome.
5 is a killer uphill with a mando on the right side of the fairway.
6 is a crazy uphill annie with a somewhat open area to start your drive out and then lots of trees as you get closer to the basket. The hill rolls away left of the basket.
7 is more open especially in the straight (you're throwing along a road), but you're still probably going to find yourself in the woods off to one side or the other.
8 is a straight shot with a strong fade needed at the end to get into the green area. If you get through the early trees this hole is about as wide open as it gets here.
9 plays up a fire road towards a water tank and communications tower. They built a nice pedestal off in the woods to the right and put in a bright orange permanent alt basket, but they forgot to make a fairway to get to it.
10. Magical. This is the one where you get to throw over the top of a mountain. Sure, it's really just a blind shot over a little hill but it has a special feeling to it. I was mentioning this to a friend once while playing here and he said, "It's funny you use the word 'Magical' here, the first throw at this basket when it was installed was an ace!"
Speaking of aces, one of the coolest I've ever seen was a skip ace here on hole 11 on Christmas day 2014 (Merry Discmas!).
Hole 12. Oh boy. There is a fairway here. Honest. No, really, there is. And I've seen a thumber line at the basket work. I usually throw a poke and hope flick through the woods right at the basket. Keep an eye on your shot and mark where it lands. I had a hard time finding my disc on this hole the first dozen or so times I played SoMo, and a few of those times, once I found my disc, I had absolutely no clue where the basket was anymore!
There's a picnic bench behind 13's tee, it'll help you find it from 12. There are a lot of tiny little lines to the basket here.
14 is a wide open downhill grassy fairway. Most throws here seem to end up in the woods anyway. As an added bonus, there are utility wires going down the left side of the fairway that I've hit from below multiple times. I've heard but not seen that a disc on top of the wire can ride it down the hill. Oddly enough, my first bird here after many many rounds came from the long tee when they first put in the form for the concrete. It forces a big annie or a roller to get in the fairway, I went with the latter and it went all the way down.
15 is a lot like 12. There's a bit more of a lane.
16 is a straight downhill shot and the first place on the course that OB comes into play (the parking lot). The wind on this hole can mess with your disc like nothing I've ever seen outside of the course at Burning Man. I had one a few feet away from an ace shoot 40' straight up in the air and land half way up to the pavilion.
17 is deceptively difficult. It's just a straight throw up a hill (unless it's in the new short pin position off to the right). The most wide open throw on the course. But the big grassy hill you're throwing up tilts down hard to the left. The basket is tucked in the woods and there's a huge pine guarding the right side entrance from the fairway.
18 is a straight downhill shot with a fade. Once again there are utility lines and poles along the way and too much fade will put you in the OB parking lot. The basket is perched on the edge of a plateau making roll aways likely. I've seen people go so long here their discs have left the park.
Final Thoughts: Of the 77 courses I've played to date, South Mountain is easily in my top 5 most favorite to play. It's the farthest course from my house that I drive to somewhat regularly to play. It's a challenging par 3 course but you can score well here if your throws are on line. One of the other things that makes people use the word Magical when they talk about Somo is that you can ALWAYS play here. When other courses are muddy soup, you can wear your good shoes to SoMo and they will go home clean. When it's super hot on all the courses around, the elevation, shade and breeze make it a lot more pleasant to play here than anywhere else. Even rainy days seem better up here under the canopy of trees. It's almost never crowded, I've often found myself alone on the mountain throwing a weekday round. And I know I already mentioned this, but where else can you throw a round of disc golf inside a cloud?!?!?!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Different tee pads 2 different courses
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played this course when they just had the original pad and I thought it was a good course that made you take different shots. But when I came back to hit up the red tees I felt I was playing a completely different course that involved a fresh new look! They did a AMAZING job placing these new pads that involved you taking completely different shots than before! I really liked hole 4, the basket is literately on top of a fallen tree 5 feet up in the air!
Cons: This course is really nice, you have a low chance of losing your disc, which I really like in a course. But hole 18 has a higher chance of losing your disc. Other than that small complaint, its a great course!
Other Thoughts: The people who look after this course do a great job! The course was in great shape and with the additional red pad, it has gone from good to great and a must go! ALSO every Friday night they do a random doubles. All you need is a mini and $5 and they randomly pick team. Its a very laid back fun Friday atmosphere of an event where you can meet new people and just have a good time!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
South Mountain Fun
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Dual tees on most holes, 1 set is concrete and the other set are prepped to be concrete. Mach 3 baskets, decent signage and easy to navigate. Excellent use of the mostly wooded rocky terrain and elevation. Good variety of shot shaping through the woods with straight and left or right turning holes and uphill and downhill and side slopes and fast greens. Great course for every skill level from rank beginner to seasoned vet. Very little underbrush to lose a disc. Benches at every hole. Bathrooms and water mid course. Friendly local players.
Cons: Nothing major, the course is crowded because it's so popular. Other park users might camp out near hole 17 and 18. Hole 18 has the potential to throw into the road. Some broken glass around the course and the rocky terrain is rough on discs and ankles. The course is fairly short. Gnats.
Other Thoughts: Overall South Mountain is a fun little old school par 3 style course featuring great elevation changes and wooded holes. Driving to the course from the southwest is pretty awesome when you come into Bethlehem and see the whole town backdropped by the South Mountain Ranges. I almost aced hole 3, and glad a used an overstable mid range because I didn't know about the drop off the mountain to the right side.
I met quite a few players playing here and eventually joined a threesome on hole 10 and finished the course as a foursome and had a blast with these local characters. Hole 14 was probably my favorite, it's one of the longer more open holes and has a steep drop off past the basket. I parked the basket with a Comet and one of the guys in my group asked me to throw his Comet to see if it flew the same and I just missed the ace. He said, now that's how a Comet is supposed to fly when you have good form.
So in conclusion South Mountain is a great course and will help hone your tree dodging skills. I'd highly recommend this course to anyone in the area, you will have a good time.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
SoMo Lehigh Valley, PA
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging wooded course
Some interesting and fun shots
IIRC multiple tee's and basket positions
Easy to navigate to the next hole
Seating at each tee box
Cons: Trash, lots of beer cans and broken bottles
Leaves (but that's to be expected in the fall)
Stupid mando tree (yes, I missed it)
Other Thoughts: SoMo isn't very far from my and I don't know why I haven't played it sooner. Had a really good time playing here. Some really fun and challenging shots.
Only really cons I have are the amounts of beer cans and broken beer bottles on the course. We filled up a plastic bag of crushed beer cans by hole 6. I don't think this is from the Disc Golfers in the area, I think the mountain is a hangout for teens looking to party and just dump trash wherever.
The course itself is really fun. The view from the basket on 2 (I think it was hole 2) over the valley is really nice. Great use of the environment. Throughout the course I had to use just about every type of shot which made for a good challenging time. Each hole felt like you had multiple options or lanes to take.
Looking forward to playing this course with one disc for "Once around the mountain" tournament.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a great, short course that allows you to work on your shorter, midrange shots. If you need to work on your putter shots, short sidearm shots or midrange shots then this is the course for you.
The course is mostly wooded and offers some fun, short holes. It also does not take a long time to play. If you only have 90 minutes you can easily get through this course in that amount of time.
Since this course is short most of the holes are tighter and have a defined fairway in mind. The course designer had an idea of a shot in mind for each hole and the disc needs to be shaped accordingly. If you can hit the lines that the designer intended then you can score well here! Hole 10 is a good example of this. Even though this is a short hole the design of this hole requires a slight anhyzer or a sidearm shot to get down to the green. Even then, you really have to perfectly hit your line to have a putt.
Hole 4 has a new basket location and it is truly stunning. It is cut into a tree and elevated up in the air. Its a VERY challenging basket that drops off past the basket. If you are behind the basket and putt back to the basket and go long you could easily drop away and have a 30 foot putt coming back.
Even though this course probably doesn't have a signature hole, it does have a signature view. The view to the right of hole 3 is simply stunning. Its a view down the mountain and is truly stunning.
Cons: Here are the cons for this course. Don't take these the wrong way as they are just the things that keep the course from being a 5:
1) This is essentially par 3 golf. None of the holes are more than 360 feet so the driver can essentially be kept in the bag. There was an alternate pin on one hole that was just installed and I think that would add one par 4 but it was a two shot hole so there were no opportunities to air out a drive.
2) Navigation was very tricky in the middle of the course. I fortunately played with a local and had printed a map beforehand but even with the map I may have been confused. The confusing holes were 6 through 9 so I would recommend reading Optidisc's review of the course on how to navigate these holes.
3) Expect your plastic to take a beating. The course has some serious boulders and rocks in and around the fairways that will eat up lesser quality plastic. Also, this course is not an easy walk in the park. The rocks, boulders and elevation make for some challenging walks.
4) Even though this was a fun course with some nice holes, the course really didn't have any true signature holes. This is not a huge con for me but don't come to this course expecting any massive bomber holes or water hazards. This course has a lot of solid holes but nothing that I would call a spectacular signature hole.
Other Thoughts: This course is a great compliment to one of the best areas for disc golf in the country. While this course doesn't have the allure of Jordan, Lehigh, Nocky, etc it does offer something different and variety is a good thing. Not every course is going to be epic and not every course is going to be hard. I played this course on a lazy Sunday afternoon and actually had a nice, fun time. I was able to play the course with Allentown legend Optidisc and if you haven't had the chance to play with him then send him a message. I would highly recommend playing Nockamixon and Sellersville if you are in the area. They are good compliments to South Mountain if you want some variety.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Wooded Course
Pros: Fairly short technical holes that can provide a decent challenge for most.
Holes are laid out pretty well to allow quick play through, but it can be slightly confusing the first time you play
Tees are in good shape, new Pro tees are being put in slowly and there are a few holes with them already done.
Cons: Again, the layout can be difficult for new people so I recommend trying to play with someone who ha splayed there before your first time.
When it is crowded, it is very possible to have crossover on the holes
Other Thoughts: This course is the course we generally go to when we only have about 2 hours. Takes me about half an hour to get there and then two of us are able to get through it in about an hour and a half. The holes can be challenging and the new pin placement on hole 4 (literally drilled into a downed tree) is a very cool hole but a pain to get the discs out of. This is a great quick course though.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Delivered on Expectations
Pros: I really liked this course because it was challenging without the threat of tossing a disc into a waterway. Lots of elevation with the mix of trees and rocks/boulders. This was sweet as it demanded a different approach to almost every shot. There was just enough baskets that were pretty wide open. A handful of holes that left you rip it and some holes that forced me out of my confort zone and throw a few shots I found fun and challenging. Lots of nice, new concrete tees.
Cons: Navigation was a little rough. If it wasn't for the group in front, we'd have been searching for the next hole quite a few times. Marking of short and long tees were a tad vague.
Other Thoughts: I had a preconceived idea about what I was about to face from videos and other reviews. I was pleasantly surprise. Looking forward to my next round here and plenty more after that.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Will play again and again
Pros: Everything about this course will attract both the first time player as well as the seasoned pro. Living in an area that has a lot of top rated courses, I always come back to South Mountain. Even after rainfall, this is a course that you can play the next day without drudging through mud and flooded tees. There are so many courses that you find to be interesting from the first time playing. South Mountain may be a tough the first few times through, but once you've figured out the proper angles, it may be a place you will find yourself at again and again.
Cons: Could use a longer shot or two and maybe a par 4 or 5. There are not too many times that most players would bring out the "big arm" distance driver, but probably makes for a more interesting round.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the Lehigh Valley, this should be the first course to get to. Easy to find, Good mix and, will always run into other friendly disc golf players.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
fun short coarse
Pros: no ridiclous long shots like tinicum trees are a big thing plus rocks so rollers are a no-no alot of dog leg left and right shots theres times were baskets are moved.
Cons: lot of hills making walking not fun. other than that it's great.
Other Thoughts: like some longer shots
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice par 3 course
Pros: Was a fun course to play after hitting Nockamixon 2 days prior.
Wooded and rocky course pretty easy to navigate in most spots.
Tees are marked with short posts giving hole # and pin distance(s) -
Cons: Could use signage or colored spokes directing you to the next tee in a few spots.
Could use hole layout signage.
Other Thoughts: New framed crushed stone tee pads were in the process of being installed.
Played on a Sunday afternoon - plenty of players but no backups or waiting.
Yellow poles are the alternate pins.
Would return to play again - had a 3rd timer and 1st timer with me - both enjoyed playing there.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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