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.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Playing in the Woods
Pros: Trees allow for some great and creative shots. Some of the views in the woods are just spectacular. It's a quick 18. I usually play it in about an hour and a half.
Cons: Easy to lose discs. Holes are not well marked, you can get lost easy. Trees eat your discs alive!
Other Thoughts: Love this course forever, so much fun to play every time.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
my home course
Pros: God bless the people who shovel the 3 feet of snow off the tee pads.This is a great winter course becuase it is short. Also great for beginners to get accuracy down.
Cons: Do you like trees?
Other Thoughts: This is the only course I play when there is a ton of wind and snow.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Set in an interesting spot on South Mountain. Easy to get to. Some elevation changes and a variety of short and long holes. Usually pretty empty. Has a practice basket.
Cons: Poorly marked, its easy to get off-track. Tee boxes in rough shape. So many trees everywhere, lots of "thwack" sounds.
Other Thoughts: Expect to wear out some discs here.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Located in a well shaded, separate part of a park, this course has multiple tees and basket locations on most holes. Many holes offer an elevation challenge, either up or down hill. Most of these holes are moderately to tightly wooded and are quite difficult. This requires very accurate and precise throws and will challenge your mental game.
For the most part, navigation of the course is fairly easy without a map, even for first timers like me. Holes 6 - 9 are a little tricky, so you'll need the map for them. Tee signs at every hole.
There are bathrooms on site, as well as a nice pavilion for tournament central. Plenty of parking spaces too.
Cons: The terrain is very rugged, and can be difficult to traverse in spots. Very hard on your plastic, so premium plastic is recommended. Tee signs are only located on one set of pads, so the other set may be hard to find.
As mentioned before, holes 6 - 9 are a little confusing to locate without a map. Baskets 6 and 8 are too close together and can potentially have you throw to the wrong basket.
Other Thoughts: This isn't an overly long course, but the well placed trees add a lot more difficulty. If you like wooded courses, then you will really like this course, if you are like me, and are a tree magnet, this course will be not as much fun.
With the rocky, rough terrain of this park and course, I would be surprised if many non disc golfers use the park, so I think pedestrian traffic would be minimal. The terrain might be too difficult for young children or people with mobility issues. Also, a cart might be near impossible to use on some of the holes.
The course is very convenient to both Allentown and Bethlehem, and is easy access off I78 or Rte 22. Just make sure you bring your hiking boots.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
South Mtn- 3/27/09
Pros: Very nice short course with lots of elevation changes and trees.
This course requires hyzers, anhysers, forehands and back hands.
Very convenient to route 78. We stopped by for a break on a 5 hour car trip.
The locals were kind and friendly. They pointed us in the right direction and let us play through without asking. Very kind.
Hole 16 was our favorite. My 9 year old son parked his drive with forehand shot! The powerline hole was pretty cool too.
Cons: The first few holes were very rocky.
Very crowded- well used by the locals.
Very short...but hey, every course can't be long.
Other Thoughts: It was 5 minutes off of route 78 in Bethlehem. We played in 1 hour. Excellent break from a long car ride. Will play it again.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: South Mountain is a course that requires placement and accuracy. This is a course that is good for varying skill levels as not many of the holes are long. The rough is forgiving for the most part, and recovery for par from an errant shot is still possible. The holes offer variety despite them mostly being heavily wooded. The elevation that comes into play adds variety to holes that would seem monotonous otherwise. Clearings in the woods are used well for fairways and alternate lanes. I enjoyed #10, which is a shot over a small, open hill; the basket is down and to the right. Also, #18 is a great finishing hole. The downhill drive adds distance to your throw, but accuracy is still needed as this is a fairly tight shot.
Cons: There was a definite lack of signs, though many places have a nicely worn path for you to follow. Printing a map out was quite helpful, especially in looking for how a hole was laid out. There are two tee pads on some of the holes, and two basket placements on some of the holes, but it was far from consistent. Along with that, I didn't really know where I was throwing and from #8's tee I wanted to throw to #6's basket. The tee pads are natural, though far from the worst I have played. Birdie 2s are tough to come by on this course, but a par 3 is pretty easy, even with a less than stellar drive. I used a Roc on about 75% of my drives from the tee.
Other Thoughts: Overall this course was a good course, and definitely needed in the area to balance out the openness of Little Lehigh. It was short and quick - good for a lunchtime round if you are in the area. If you are stopping in the Allentown area and have time to play 1 course, this isn't the one I would recommend. If you have time to play several courses, though, you can add this one to the list. It shows the variety of land offered in this area of the country. South Mountain does a good job with what it is given, though the "wow factor" isn't there as much as for some other courses.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Two paths diverged, and I, I took the one less traveled ...
Pros: South Mountain is a very technical, challenging course located in a heavily wooded park with major elevation changes. This course reaches over 1000ft above sea level and as you play it you can tell … the view from pin 3 is awesome. South Mountain may be a short wooded course, but it compliments the other local courses very well.
The majority of the holes are heavily wooded, with only a few holes on the back nine being open. Some of the holes that standout after a round are hole 3 which is a tight fairway flanking a sharp drop-off on the right, to a semi-open basket. The view of the valley from behind the pin is great. Hole 10 was a fun dogleg right that requires a well placed drive to score well. Holes 14, 17 and 18 are the most open holes on the course offering some respite from the heavy woods. Hole 18 was just a fun ending to a great course with a tight downhill fairway shot. A well placed drive will give you chance for the easiest birdie on the course, but beware the out-of-bounds road behind the pin. The course is easy to par, but will make you work hard for birdies.
The course has a bulletin board and practice basket by the parking lot near tee 1. The board has lots of information on the local disc golf scene.
Cons: This course is rough and rocky, especially on the first few holes. If you need to beat in some champ plastic, this is the course to do it on. The rocky ground prevents any run ups on throws and is really rough on the ankles. The tees are all natural and some needed leveling and new gravel. It is easy to have de ja vous on the course since several of the wooded holes are very similar.
South Mountain does not have the best signage and it is very easy to get lost on the course. I did not find hole 6 until I had played hole 8. On the back nine holes there were several points where it was easy to take the wrong path and get lost. Some better means of direction around the course would be nice. Also since the woods are so dense, some baskets are difficult to find from the tee and some indication of where they are at the tee would be nice also.
Other Thoughts: This is a course to learn accuracy on. It requires perfection on every throw and even then sometimes it isn't enough. Although often overshadowed by them, South Mountain really compliments Jordan Creek and Little Lehigh, both of which are predominately open and long.
When I played South Mountain, although the course was pretty busy it was still a peaceful nice place to play.
There are restrooms at a central location on the course and close enough to the parking lot. The bulletin board at tee 1 has scorecards and course maps available.
The Allentown/Bethlehem area offers several excellent courses for a daytrip of DGing. The local DG scene takes a lot of pride in their courses and it really shows. South Mountain is a must include on any disc golf trip to the Lehigh Valley.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Rocks More Trees Blocks Your Threes
Pros: No matter that I have played this course countless times I still take a tree spanking everytime! Such short fairways but trees and hills are just everywhere. Then rocks prevent good run ups so you have to be able to stand and throw off balance often. A technical course to test your game and patience. There are lanes but they are so tight that hitting them and landing without hitting wood is a rare feat. This may sound like a con, but it is the perfect course to perfect your accuracy. There are a few holes I really enjoy playing here:
Hole #3 is a nice drive across the side of a mountain to a clearing where the wind often whips your disc into trouble just as it clears the woods. The views from this basket are amongst the best in all of disc golf...you can see for miles from there....you may be tempted to throw from here! Many have unloaded a beaten driver from this spot!
#8 long tee has a field goal set of trees to score through into a relatively open field and then a protected basket-one of the few fair holes on the course that requires a good drive, room to land, and then a well protected pin that if played right yields a good score.
#16 a tight drive down the mountain. Very fun if you manage to keep disc straight and watch it flow down the hill to the basket area nestled below.
#17 The only unobstructed drive on course...just 190 feet but up a steep grassy hill to a woodline with a huge telephone pole placed sideways to block rollers and require you to strong arm your drive up there...one really well thought out and fun hole..especially after all those trees.
#14 & 18 are both simple tosses down a power line but it is still fun if you can keep it straight. A very big disc golf scene from the locals to the nearby Lehigh University students. Primal Expressions a head type shop at 311 west Broad in town sells a wide variety of plastic. Some alternate tees/basket positions. Plenty of Info here and bathrooms available.
Cons: Trees really can mentally ruin you here. Often I have found myself unaware that there is another tree behind that tree I just played around..Thwack! You have to walk around and really scope it all out. The natural/gravel tees are never in good condition. You don't need big run ups but the ruts and the mud really detract from being able to drive here. There is a confusing area of the course from holes 6-9. Be sure to go left from basket 5 then play 6 but be careful to not play the basket for hole 8. then backtrack a bit to tee for hole 7. throw past bathrooms and again go left after basket and play hole 8, but don't throw at basket for hole 6 and then cross back over fairway for hole 7 up gravel road and play over road for hole 9. Just a sloppy area for newcomers and veterans alike. Not a fan of playing over roads when so much nature is around and the flow literally will have you walking in circles. Holes 14 and 18 are similiar and holes 12 and 15 are similiar. Seems plenty of room in this park to lay out some new holes or alternate fairways to keep it fresh.
Other Thoughts: This park is very close to my apartment. Maybe less than 2 miles. If I was disciplined enough to play it everyday I think my game would greatly improve. I cannot complain too much about the conditions of the course here because I know theres only a few guys who do the work and they are the same crew who work on Jordan Creek and some of the other Lehigh Valley Masterpieces. I would recommend playing this course, it often gets overlooked due to the world class courses nearby..but it is still far superior to many of the courses I have played. I have never broken par depite it's short length.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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