10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tyler State Park has one of the greatest followings of any course, as evident by the love it receives on this site and by the amount of people that were playing it and hanging out in the parking lot during my round. Tyler deserves this notoriety, being one of the most cared for courses that I have ever seen. The course is widely spread throughout this huge park, offering a great variety of shots among the never-ending trees and elevation changes.
The attention to detail is amazing here, among the best of any of the top courses that I have played. Between the design of the tee signs, clearing of rough, excavated paths, navigational aids, amenities, and aesthetic qualities, Tyler has an elite feel to it. The navigation is some of the best I have seen, with dozens of next tee signs and cleared out paths lined by logs. Without next tee signs, navigating this course would be a disaster, so I appreciate how the designers met this need. The little aspects of design have been thoroughly thought out as well; I really liked the use of mulch around a few baskets to prevent cheap roll-aways. Benches on every hole and water fountains are also a nice touch.
The tee signs are fantastic and are among the most detailed that I have seen. These handmade wooden signs add to Tyler's rustic character. While the separate tees give some different looks, the multiple pin positions are what truly give Tyler its extensive variety. I have rarely seen a course that so drastically changes its look when changing pin position. Even beginners can probably enjoy the a positions, while advanced players will be greatly tested playing the c positions.
One of my favorite aspects of course design is that a hole offers multiple lines in order to be creative. With its many trees, Tyler does a fantastic job of meeting this need. I really enjoyed how I could play many of its holes twice in a row while throwing a completely different shot with a different disc.
While the majority of the course is in the same type of wooded setting, I appreciate the variety of holes that it had within the tight woods. In the layout I played, there was a good mix of shorter, mid-range holes (1, 7, 14, 18, 19) multi-stage par 4 and 5's (4, 8, 12, 23, 24) and pretty much everything in between.
Good risk/reward using the many elevation changes, the water, and precarious pin positions. Tyler does a good job of enhancing a hole with the many raised pin positions, as well as holes like 7 and 12 with the scary approaches and tight lines to the pin. Even 13's double mando and 18's mando add to the risk/reward element and doesn't come across as gimmicky.
Cons: There weren't too many holes that really stood out to me after my round as being amazing and forever memorable. Despite its extremely solid consistency throughout the course, not too many holes stand among the most well-designed or fun that I have played. This is something I look for in a 5-disc-level course.
While I was fortunate to play the course when about 2/3 of the holes were in the c position, the holes that I played in the a position were often not very interesting. Like other posters have stated, it was tough to play a short, simple hole and then have to imagine what the hole would be like to play in the c position as the fairway became more complicated. It is nice that the a position appeals to lesser players, but it would be even nicer if the c baskets were permanent.
There isn't as much variety in the levels of woodenness as I would have liked. There is an outstanding variety of shots and looks given that this course pretty much plays in one type of setting, but I would have enjoyed more balance in woodenness when playing a 27 hole course.
The course/park was very crowded when I played, so it would have been nice to feel more secluded while playing my round. This is just my personal preference.
Some longs walks between holes.
Other Thoughts: When separating the very fun, outstanding courses from the best of the best, you have to be a little nit-picky and it comes down to what a player most wants to see in a course. There isn't much wrong with Tyler and there definitely are no major detractors. This course is clearly one of the most cared for and loved courses out there and I thoroughly enjoyed the amount of opportunities that I had to be creative off the tee. However, there were just a few little cons that keep this course from being in the very top tier for me.
Regardless of rating, ranking, etc, it is easy to appreciate all that has gone into the past 20 years in creating the beauty that is Tyler and I can't wait to return for another round. With the drastically different pin positions and the room to be creative, I would imagine that this course appeals to a wide level of players. I really can't see someone not having fun while playing here, so go check it out!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Amazing, skill-wrenching course.
Course has a mix of every type of hole, couldn't ask for much more.
Cons: Haven't thought of any yet.
Other Thoughts: Played this course many, many times and it is spectacular. The pins are constantly changed, updates are constantly being made and the course continues evolving into one of the better courses on the east-coast.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: You have the amazing rock piles at Flip City; the immaculate, green fairways at Flyboy; the ruggedness of Nockamixon; the middle of nowhere feel at Highbridge; the intricate greens at Idlewild; the water at Maple Hill. All of the top courses in the world have something unique and interesting about them; something that stands the test of disc golf time and something that is unique and special to that course only. For Tyler State Park I will never forget the piled logs all over the course, whether it was to define a walking path, fairway, green or to just be aesthetically pleasing. It may not be as sexy as Maple Hill's ponds or Flyboy's green grass but its pretty cool.
What is it with PA and having so many awesome courses? The Allentown, PA area may just have some of the best TOP courses in the country. Charlotte may have more 3.5 to 4 star courses but Allentown has a CONGLOMERATE of 4.5 star courses, led by this darling and the ever wonderful Nockamixon. Here are my pros for Tyler:
1) 27 holes with multiple teepads and basket positions. You literally could play a super challenging course one day and then a fairly easy course the next day. More on that below.....
2) The care that was put into this course reminds of me of the Country Club I used to work at. Sure, no one is there to clean my discs or offer me lemonade but the walkways are awesome, the course is clean and the course is manicured very well. There were mulched walkways and mulched greens. That's disc golf country club style!
3) Don't let the homemade, wooded signs fool you: these things are awesome. They are carved signs that are very descriptive and have everything you want. Who needs full color graphics when you have signs like that? I can't say enough about the signs. The signs even showed the slope and angle of the hills.
4) Navigation was a breeze. There were signs directing you where to go and I was never lost. Local players sometimes forget about navigation because after playing the course once you never can get lost but its a big issue for people that like to travel.
5) Over 27 holes with a course mostly in the woods you would imagine things could get repetitive. Not here. Not at Tyler. Every shot feels unique and every shot feels new. Its like a first kiss.....OVER and OVER again.
6) I hate when you have alternate pins and have no idea of the current location of the pin. Not the case here as it is indicated on the sign. Huge!
7) The design of this course is great. Even the best courses have "filler" holes but this course did not have them. For 27 holes I can't think of a hole where I thought....that sucked. I will try to name some of my favorite holes below but that's one of the interesting things about Tyler: there's no insane signature hole but just a bunch of awesome holes. It may not have the top of the world shot or the 400 foot carry over the pond shot (and if it did I may actually give this course a 5) but it still has plenty of great and phenomenal holes.
8) To me you can't be a 4.0 course or above and not have interesting greens. If every green has 40 feet of open space in any direction from the basket its going to be tough to be a great course, in my opinion. Tyler does a great job of having elevated baskets, well placed trees and tricky greens.
9) Just when you maybe were getting tired of being in the woods Tyler decides to go out of the woods to mix it up. This was actually a very nice and refreshing change. Even though there are only about 5 holes that are not in the woods it was still a nice changeup and allows me to say the course has some nice variety.
I tried really hard to pick a favorite hole and I couldn't. Is that a bad thing? No, no its not. Its not a bad thing because there are so many solid holes that there isn't really one hole that stands above the rest.
DISCLAIMER: I played this course in mostly the short positions (on two different occasions). I was drooling at the championship positions. LITERALLY drooling. I literally threw some extra shots down the fairways of those holes because I wanted to taste what it was like to throw those beautiful holes. I was pretty sad not to get to play those holes in all of their glory but oh well.
Cons: And that is my biggest and only real con with this course: you just never know what you're going to get. After speaking to many locals it sounds like its very rare to get the championship design, and that's frustrating. Its frustrating because I would hate to go to Maple Hill expecting to play the Gold to Gold layout and then have them tell me that most of the pins are in the red/white layout and that I was more than welcome to play the Gold tees to the red pin. I would feel frustrated, like I missed out on the best candy in the world.
But that's just it...Maple Hill has two baskets in the ground at all times. Problem solved! I wish wish wish that Tyler did the same thing. When I played my round the course was LITERALLY jam packed, so I can understand the erosion argument a little. But this keeps the course from being a 5.0 to me. I would actually rate Tyler in the longs (from what I could see) a solid 4.75. I would rate Tyler from shorts a 3.75, at best. If the course had permanent baskets in the longs I would strongly consider a 5.0 rating. As the course is, its a 4.5 in my book.
A few more cons:
1) Some of the walks can be very long between holes because of the aforementioned issue with multiple pins.
2) Not a huge con for me, but the course doesn't have a true signature hole that blows you away. The course is memorable in that it has so many GREAT holes but it has nothing that brings you back for just one hole. As I said, this is not a huge con for me because one hole is just one hole. Tyler has 27 holes and one hole doesn't define a course. Its just worth pointing out that this course doesn't have one hole that makes everything sparkle and would be called a signature hole.
That's it for the cons. Come play this! Better yet, play this course around tournament time and maybe you will be lucky to play the longs!
Other Thoughts: Allentown, PA does it again. Its no wonder they host a large A Tier every year and hosted worlds. Tyler is such a great course that gets A TON of play. I can see why!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: 7 MILE WALK!!!
Great variety of skill and open shots.
Well groomed. Every time Ive played here, pin locations are completely different.
One of the best I've ever played
Cons: Bring ur hiking boots and ur cardio because this course is long; but beautiful
Other Thoughts: Wow!
Top 2 I've ever played
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
The Tyler Two Step
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - This is one of the nicest parks a disc golf course weaves through I've ever seen. Everything about this course let's you know how much love and care went in to it. There's multiple pads and pin position on top of position that can go from a short par 3 to a brutal par 5.
The course is 27 holes and it uses all of it to combine so many elements in to one grand design. Shorter and longer par 3's, multi shot holes that require not only gap hitting drives but force you to carefully place the disc at a turn to set yourself up for the next shot. On top of all of that there's elevation changes throughout the course as the landscape moves up from the water.
There's short tight shots that really make you work a disc and worry about going off a ledge then big shots out in the open that also require placement to keep away from the OB high grass. The design of the course really is phenomenal and it shows through from hole 1 to 27. You have to think about just about every shot on the course with the exception of a few of the shorter point and shoot pin locations.
There are so many unique features to this course it's hard to remember them all. Some really awesome greens, I mean one after another that made you go wow. There were some tucked near a small creek or near a drop off; some under the canopy of large trees in the meadow. Some were tucked inside trees or up on rocks I mean this place really has a great collection of unique pin positions.
Another great feature were the piled up logs they used to create sides to some fairway sand seperate them from other holes. They also were used as obstacles in a few places.
The multiple pins here are done in a way most courses should envy. They not only completely change the shot on many holes but change the hole aspect of the hole and it's par. They can branch the fairway off in a few places so you play different ways. I really wish I lived closer to this course so I could play it in all it's iterations.
As I mentioned earlier a creek does play through parts of the park creating some OB as well as the high grass OB I mentioned in the field. It adds just another dimension to the course that it makes it great.
Equipment - Concrete pads that were large and level. The teesigns are very well done and a little arrow shows you which position the pin is in. Great navigational aids throughout the course which are neccesary due to some long transitions. Baskets are also in good condition. There's water fountains throughout the course although not all of them worked. Kiosk at the parking lot for course info as well as a practice basket.
Atmosphere - This park is gorgeous, as I said it's one of the nicest public parks I've ever been in. There's so many elements to all of it that make it so unique and memorable. I can see why this course gets so much love and I really wish I could play it more. It has an old growth feel to most of it so the canopy is pretty high in most parts with not a lot of smaller trees. Beyond that you have rock faces and elevation changes and the creek and river next to the course. Wow it's just a superb place to put a disc golf course.
Cons: Layout - My biggest gripe, and only gripe really, with this place is the fact the longest pin positions aren't always in. I heard the complaints before I got here and when you see it you really understand how frustrating it is in a few parts. When you play a simple straight 200' shot and then walk all the way down the possible fairway that goes 500' more it kind of irritates you as to why there was even a pin position way up there.
With all the possible positions it seems like they should just leave the longs in all the time then move the shorter ones around. The erosion argument doesn't make much sense when you end up walking down the whole fairway in most places anyway. It seemed like we played the longer pins on the overall shorter holes and the shorter pins on the overall longer holes. There were definitely a few par 5 type holes we played a short little dinker par 3 on that really aggravated me. This is the one slight against this place, if the longs were always in it's a 5 for sure and definitely deserves the top course recognition it gets on this site.
There's some mandos thrown in that aren't really for safety just to make the course cheater proof. I'm always against that but it is what it is.
The transitions from hole to hole in places are super long. I get with a course like this that's probably necessary and they're marked very well but it makes a long walk even longer. If that affects you keep that in mind.
Equipment - The concrete pads were slick when we played. Most people probably don't agree but with courses such as this in that type of locale to me it makes more sense to move towards the rubber grid mats over crush and run which to me is the superior pad in all conditions.
Atmosphere - - The course seems to weave through the park in a multi use area due to a paved path you end up routing down and near quite a bit. We played early in the morning so I'm not sure how much use this part of the park gets by non disc golfers so I can't say for sure. However I can say it doesn't give you that completely secluded feeling most of us like.
Other Thoughts: As I said I really wish I could play the tournament layout so I can see what that's all about. The setup I played personally just doesn't allow me to give the course a 5 even though I definitely believe the tourney setup probably would get a 5 from me. I know that's an argument we've had on the forum and people see it differently but I can only rate what I played and what I played was a lesser version of the monster that really is Tyler.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Beautiful views, no repetition, great signage, lots of elevation and challenges. 27 holes !
Cons: Def had to go disc hunting a couple times in the brush on the narrow areas, as well as the long grass fields.
Other Thoughts: Def worth the stop !
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: *No repetition on any holes
*Balance of A,B, and C pin placements
*Great tee boxes
*Great homemade tee signs
*Benches on every hole
*Trash cans throughout the course
*A few water fountains on the course
Cons: Some pros could disagree with me, but hole 23 was just way too hard. It was a tight 575 foot par 4 in C position with a downhill dogleg to the left.
Other Thoughts: This course is a legendary course, and I can't wait to come back!
3 of 15 people found this review helpful.
I'd live here if I could
2 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Place is just awesome, great signage, clean, organized, awesome mix of short tree holes, and massive deep open field holes, I look forward to coming back again and again, 27 holes and plenty for every skill range, 3 pin placements at each hole keeps this course new and fun every time you play.
Cons: I really cant list anything..... the course is long... so i got tired haha
Other Thoughts: Cannot wait to go back... very very cool course !
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
One of the Greats
4 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: World-class course:
-Extremely well-maintained by the park and local volunteers
-27 holes with remarkably little repetition
-Wide variety of holes (elevation, wooded, open, water)
-Constantly changing (different pads/tees for each hole)
-Good signage explaining where the pin is located on any given day, clear maps with distances
-Signs pointing to next hole with clear paths in between
-Challenging but fair fairways, always pushing risk vs reward
-In the middle of a beautiful park
Cons: Despite everything above, I'm not sure if the course really offers a signature hole ( maybe hole 9 or 17?).
On busy days there maybe be a decent number of walkers and bikers nearby. Never close enough to interfere with play, and never actually on the course, but something to be aware of.
Other Thoughts: A lot of fun to play. If you're thinking about going, do it.
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Fun, but not elite
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Tyler State Park offers everything you would expect from an upper level course. It is well maintained, with concrete tees and nice signage displaying all of the pertinant information for each hole. The fairways are kept very clean, and nicely built walkways help move players through the course without causing unnecessary wear on the landscape. The layout plays primarily through the woods with a few open field holes that help mix it up a little. The fairways are fair and the rough is not overly punishing.
Cons: While the course does everything right to fit the mold of a nice course, it does nothing to really set itself apart. There are no real signature elements and no "wow" moments. It's fun to play, but not overly memorable.
Each hole features three unique pin placements, but only one basket rotating among them. This normally doesn't bother me much. But at Tyler, each pin location represents a very different challenge. The A pins play nicely for beginners, the C pins are tough championship level challenges, and the Bs fit nicely in between the two. But with just one basket, players do not have the option to choose the best layout for them. When I played, the pins were fairly evenly mixed between all three layouts. This gave me a nice sampling of each, but left me feeling like I was missing out on a lot of what Tyler has to offer. And for stat junkies, it makes comparing scores very difficult. The layout I played was just 1 of 19,683 possible configurations (some of which are better than others).
The course shares space with a few high volume walking trails. The trails don't directly interfere with the course, but I did encounter a number of pedestrians that chose to go off the paved trails. Be prepared to exercise a bit of patience, especially on a busy day.
This is a fun place to play, regardless of what layout you find it in. Although, I was a bit surprised by how highly it is rated. At no point in my round did I feel like I was on a truely elite disc golf course. It certainly ranks among the better courses I've played, but it is not at the top of that list.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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