14 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!
14 of 14 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.
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.
Is that deer following me?
8 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great signage. I love the spinning piece on the post to show which pin the basket is on. Benches and bag posts all over, Very well maintained park in general. The course had a great variety with some nice challenging woods shots. I was playing in the fall and my driver was yellow... bad call on my part. It was fun to rip shots around wooded fairways... not so fun searching for my yellow disc in yellow leaves.
Lots of signs pointing to next tees.
This course also has a few "pedistal" baskets... mounted up on these really cool landscaped structures. Very cool to look at and make for some persicion approach shots.
Cons: Be sure you pay attention to the next tee signs as you walk down the fairways... if the basket is in the farthest pin, you may have past the sign for next tee and need to go back to look... a few holes didn't have these signs down near the "c" pin position.
This is less of a con and more of a question or something to think about if you don't play this course regularly.... Par for some of the holes was 4 or 5 and I can completely agree when the basket is in the "c" position but if it is in "a"... that would be way high so I assume you adjust par based on pin position but didn't see that on the signage... maybe it is written somewhere else but I know at least one hole was par 5 but the basket was like 300' straight away down a wooded cooridor. C pin was Way back tucked off to the right which clearly warranted the par 5.
Other Thoughts: I got to travel all across PA this week and see a variety of top rated courses in PA... I did like this one the best. Clearly well established and loved. The Park offers great amenities, bathrooms... pavilions. There are even water fountains out on the course though I think it was disconnected for the season. Absolutely worth a drive and trip to go play this course. Lots of variety and 27 holes with 2 tee pads per... so you could play all day and get a new look all day. I play a lot of wooded courses up in New England and this is what I hope our courses look like in 20 years.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Tyler...Home Sweet Home
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Been playing Tyler for 10 years...it keeps getting better. No doubt to the BCDGA crew! I like the flow and mix of terrain, layout is always challenging, especially when in the "C" pin placement. I actually prefer playing in the "C". Makes for an exceptionally challenging 27 holes of disc golf. It's also nice to see all the hard work that has gone into this course over the years, making it one of the best DGC in PA. Signage is good (a better sign/s directing new to the course golfers from hole 18 to hole 19 would be nice, heard some complaints), log lined walkways, wood chips, log barriers, anti-erosion work with improved steps/paths have all been nicely done. Well done BCDGA!
Cons: This is not a big deal, but I've seen a trend at some courses to have rakes or brooms to clean off the tee pads..would be nice. Rubber tee pads would be an awesome upgrade to the course.
Other Thoughts: I consider Tyler as my home course and it never gets boring, no matter how many times I play it, fun way to challenge yourself for an afternoon.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -I Absolutely LOVED this course!
-27 Holes of Awesomeness.
-There are so many unique holes. It keeps you guessing.
-This course has had a lot of time put into it... many holes with different heights, many on built pedestals.
-There are 3 hole positions for each of the 27 holes and the locals i played with said they change constantly for ever changing challenges.
-There is also multiple tee positions at each hole and they are in the middle of building more!
-If you are in the area you need to check this course out. Traveling through PA? make a detour and Play it!
Cons: The signage could be better.. its painted on a piece of wood which some people make like the natural feel of it but I'm more of a well designed computer generated sign. The signs do have a rotating arrow that indicate what hole position the basket is currently in which was fantastic.
Other Thoughts: One of the funnest courses i have ever played.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Didn't get to Play the 5-Disc Layout
19 Helpful / 3 Not
- Championship Golf. (However see below in the Cons section). Due to the course layout, I was only able to play about 6 of the "championship" pin positions… however, I was able to see the other mouth-watering pins positions throughout the course. From what I was able to witness, the championship layout is a concoction of multiple shot Par 4 and 5 woods holes (and a few open ones too) with extreme punishment for bad shots and poor decision making. "Throw a 300+' shot to an optimal landing zone in order to throw a second shot 280' in a different direction to a tight green" type of golf… I LOVE that!
- Hype Worthy? With Tyler State Park being in the Top 10, I was certainly hopeful that the course would live up to its hype… I hate when highly rated and extremely hyped courses don't pan out. Even though the course layout as laid out didn't fully meet my expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed my round at Tyler and could see and feel the hype worthiness.
- Lincoln Logs. They had a great way of stacking their cut up downed trees into 8' long lengths and stacking them into bunker-like pyramids along the edges of some of the holes. I never got behind one of the bunkers, but they certainly looked like formidable trouble to navigate around. Plus they looked cool as hell.
- Awesome Wood Tee Signs. I have never before seen such well designed informative, primitive signs than the signs at Tyler. The carving, paint jobs, extra information, etc… they were well done. Kudos to whichever club member(s) put those together.
- Long Pins Not Permanent. I am rarely an advocate for having dual tee / dual pin courses, (especially where the course is impacted with various levels of players), and I understand that it may not be environmentally friendly (from a State Park preservation perspective) to have pins in certain positions (steep hillsides, near water, or even in one spot for extended periods of time) during certain times of the year (winter)… but, Tyler State Park, a Top 10 Ranked course in the World according to DGCR, needs permanent long pins in order for it to have that title, (in my honest opinion).
I played, what I would call, a severely subdued version of Tyler, with most (12 or so) of the positions in the "A" position. I didn't drive all the way to Tyler to play golf the type of golf I could play at 1000 other courses in the country. I came to Tyler to play the Top 10 ranked course… which I am assuming, from my requirements, to be the course with all (or nearly all) of the pin positions in the "C" position.
I'll put it to you this way… I shot -11 with 3 bogeys and about 5 missed 25' putts. Now, I'll admit, I play decent golf: -2 at Idlewild from the Longs, +3 on Maple Hill from the Golds, +1 at Iron Hill on the Golds, +1 at Winthrop Gold in the USDGC layout… -11 at Tyler? Come on. Where's the beat-down? Where's the epic battle? Either I was on fire, (which I'll admit that I was a little bit), or it's unfortunate I missed the championship layout.
- Walking Past the "C's" to get to the Next Tee. It seemed like on most holes we would finish the "A" position and have to walk past the "B" and "C" pin positions to get to the next tee… what a tease! Here I am, having to walk extra distance to the next tee pad while being emotionally crushed that I didn't get the opportunity to "throw at that pin position… FUCK!"
- Overall. I can see why this course is ranked in the Top 10… I saw numerous Top 10 worthy holes… and even played a few as some of the pins were in their "B" and "C" positions. With the entire course set up in those pin positions, it certainly seems worthy of all the hype, and Top 10 status; HOWEVER, with 2/3rds the course set up in their seemingly regular "A" pin positions, I didn't personally get that Top 10 experience. I could have played better holes at hundreds of other courses, which is not a good thing for a Top 10 course to have said about itself.
With that said, the course is still AMAZING. Long and short tee-pads, multiple pin positions, 20+/27 extremely great holes, better than adequate amenities (tee-pads, signage), and some super sick golf. I hope I can play it again in the future, but with everything set up in the "C" pin positions. Until then, I have to rank this course as a 4.5 Disc Course.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
one of the best in the world
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Unreal. The course is challenging but fair--you will have to work for birdies but par expectations on most of this course are fair if you have a 300'+ shot either off the tee or from your lie after teeing. Most of the 27 holes traverse through tall, open woods. There are these awesome log piles that create a really cool atmosphere (some holes would make a great speedball paintball course).
Hole 7 has a great view of Neshaminy Creek and a small waterfall--a great spot to stop and bask in the beauty of this course. Right upon stepping into the first tee box, the visual aesthetic hooked me in immediately; I fell in love by hole 2's tee box, which shows a picturesque downhill hole dotted with evenly spaced trees that don't necessarily form a tunnel--allowing a few options of lines to take through toward one of the 3 basket positions.
Tyler has the best signage I've ever seen. The signs are carved and painted wood, which keeps a natural/DIY vibe. Bonus: every hole has a name (Soggy Bottom, Constant Sorrow, Serenity Now, etc.)! There are 3 pin positions on almost every hole with a brilliant pinwheel under the sign at the tee box telling you which location to expect the basket. I've yet to see these be inaccurate.
There's pretty good canopy cover for light and medium rain through about 85% of the course. It won't hinder your round unless it rains hard. Tyler is very well marked, making navigation simple through most of the 27 holes. There are water fountains every so often with good clean water.
Though this is a big course in the woods, there's not too many places to lose a disc (haven't played with dead leaves in fall yet). Visibility for most shots is good. I love the mando's that occur on a handful of holes, because they take away back door lines that some would otherwise take advantage of (hole 5, 6 and 18 good examples) to avoid the intended challenge.
The obstacles and challenges on this course are exceptional: mando's, skinny trees, big trees, tunnels, big elevation changes, log piles, tall grass, bootleg lefts that can switch to bootleg rights with a different basket position, etc. The field holes at the end of the front 18 and back 9 are good chances to open up, although they're long and definitely not easy birdies to pad the stats like you may hope. Overall, this course exercises nearly all of your disc golf skills.
Cons: Sometimes crowded because of all these awesome DG course reviews! This is a difficult course, but ironically enough, there are beginners here quite often. Most that I've encountered are friendly and allow my group of experienced players to play through. Navigating between holes 3-6 can get a little tricky. There are markers but it wouldn't hurt to have a map screenshot on your phone if possible.
Hole 19 starts down near the tee area for holes 3 and 18, and it's the only hole on the course that, in my opinion, seems squeezed into the course for lack of a better alternative. I don't have a constructive suggestion to alleviate this, so it didn't affect my rating, but I like to try to contribute constructive criticism in any review (even for next to perfect courses like Tyler) to give designers feedback that may help in future decisions. So have no fear, I'm not putting this course on blast in the Cons section, just pointing out anything that falls short of immaculate.
There are a lot of pedestrians that use the walking paths at Tyler, as the Front 9 traces Quarry Trail and Tyler Drive Trail, so be alert to warn pedestrians of an errant throw. I've also had multiple experiences of people picking up my disc and tossing it back to me as I was walking toward it. Obviously, these people are friendly and simple do not know what Disc Golf is, so be patient with them and approximate your lie.
This course seems to have everything under the sun except for water obstacles. Again…something that I'm not faulting anyone for, but had this land naturally had more creeks/ponds (like Nocky for example), it would be THAT much better.
Other Thoughts: It's easy to see why this is one of the top courses in the world. Beautiful, great design, perfectly maintained, challenging, 27 holes, water fountains, mixed terrain, and an ever changing pin position rotation makes this a unique round almost every time you play. Hole 23B/C is one of the most difficult and sweet holes I've played with the B position around a long uphill bootleg left, with the pin on a massive downhill slope on the left side of your 2nd or 3rd shot; with the C position around the bootleg and straight through a long and narrow woods corridor. Very difficult hole to par in B and C locations.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Fantastic tee areas: Long, wide, level concrete pads, surrounded by a rim of mulch. Signs showing the distances/shape of the various pin positions, and also indicating which position the basket currently is in. Benches, and posts with plenty of baghooks.
Multiple pin-positions per hole. Several holes with multiple tees. Between the map and many directional signs, the course was quite easy to follow.
Very nicely groomed. Many mulched walking paths, lined with cut logs, and many mulched greens, too. Uniform, ~7ft. high triangles-of-logs used as obstacles on some holes. Not a bit of trash
Longish walks and/or re-tracing of steps between some baskets to tees.
The course is set, primarily in the wooded area, and bits of neighbouring open space, in a portion of a very large, public park. Disc-eating shule is minimal/non-existent on the wooded holes, and the out-of-bounds tall grass found on the open holes is typically a decent distance off the fairways.
With three wildly-differing length (average of ~225' short, ~350' mid, ~420' long) pin positions per hole, you won't know what you'll encounter when you visit Tyler, but it's all good - quite good. The day I played the course, 1/3rd of the baskets were in the A-pins, ~1/2 in the B, and only a few in the C.
In addition in the variety of distances you'll likely face when playing the course, you'll also have variety regarding …
- Elevation - Flat? Of course. Subtle up/down? Yeah. Steeply down/up early/late? Sure. Up-n-over rise/across valley? Yup. Continuous/variable? Got it.
- Shape - At times you might feel as if you're throwing a lot of right-turners, and other times, left-turners, but as you review your round on the whole, it appears to balance out Turns vary from subtle to sharp, and for some the C-pins, the turn for your approach will often mirror that of your drive.
- Tightness - from wide open to challenging-but-fair, nothing uber-tight. On most holes, errant throws will still offer a chance to scramble to save par.
Favourite hole - most of them? 23B is the one I remember most. Straight up the hill on a narrow path, thick trees along the left, thinner line of trees road on right. Assuming you make it to the top successfully, another straight down-the path shot to the left is needed, with just a touch of fade, as the basket sits on a steep, wooded slope - I was thrilled with my '4'.
I have yet to play a poor course in a PA State Park, and many of them fall into my top 10% of the 260 courses I've played. With Tyler, Nockamixon, and other good courses to the East, Deer Lakes, Moraine, and other good courses to the West, and Quakers, Whispering Falls and below-the-radar Coyote Hill in the Central, think Pennsylvania for your next extended disc golf vacation!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 27 holes with two concrete tees, nice tee signs, multiple pin placements with rotating sign for pin location, nice baskets. Excellent use of terrain and elevation for hole and shot type variety. Mostly wooded and provides good risk vs reward on most shots. Nice walking paths to guide to the next hole. Not much underbrush in the woods.
Cons: Really nit picking for cons here and was close to giving it a five disc rating. There's a couple fairways that are a bit unfair and can send a good shot careening ob and lost. Tall grass ob on the few open holes. The flow is little funky. I'm not sure what to make of the wood pile bunkers and roller dams since the holes are tough enough without them, and some could help a bad shot.
Other Thoughts: This really is an enchanted forrest and I really love Tyler!!! It's one of my favorite courses and it's truly a deserving championship level course and the cons are just minor. Well worth my road trip from DC even though I typically prefer to play the hardest layouts, I was actually glad to play a mix of pin placements after seeing where some of the C pins lay and it was refreshing to have some birdie 2's, with birdie 3's and 4's. In all the C pins this maybe the toughest challenge mentally from what I can tell. The course is also not so hard for the beginner typically. I played Nockamixon after Tyler for a totally rediscoulous day of disc golf!!!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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