2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Long/challenging course with plenty of elevation change.
- Gorgeous park with beautiful waterfalls and creeks.
- Several signature holes (1, 4, 5, 14, 15, 18)
- Four very different tees, golds add at least a shot a hole to the whites.
- Two very different sets of nine holes; front 9 is almost all up and down hill with the majority of holes in the woods; back 9 is much more flat and only #14 is in the woods.
- Some very challenging/unique basket placements (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 18)
- Relatively uncrowded
Cons: - Natural tees are in pretty rough shape.
- Long walks between tees.
Other Thoughts: - Best course within 30 minutes of Downtown Buffalo and ranks in the top tier of Western New York courses along with Brown's Farm, Parma and Lakeside Beach State Park.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Love to hate this course
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Lots of terrain in play. Uphill. Down hill. Flat...oh crap...that was more up or down hill... Overall and excellent use of the varied terrain that keeps you thinking. After a few really steep holes some that look flat sneak up on you are over/under throwing a hole that you thought was flat but snuck in some elevation.
- Varied basket placement to challenge even short putts and approaches. One with a small mound (really too small to consistently land an approach on - but enough risk that a putt off the basket will be a roll away 25' elevate putt. One on the edge of a steep slope with a smaller LZ at the base - but still that rollaway risk if short. Another where your approach most likely leaves you putting downhill slightly to the pin with only a few feet behind the pin a slope down to an OB creek (~25' away...but the slope makes the rollaway a real possibility).
- Legit Par 4 & Par 5s with some great risk / reward choices in the placement of your tee shot. Many of these are short enough par 4s that a hero line could get you a long look at eagle (or a bogey if you miss it). Or you could play it safe off the tee and leave a challenging upshot. Or - bite off somewhere in the middle.
- 4 sets of legit tees offering a challenge to all skill levels. To give some context - Par is 70 or 71 depending on tees. The tourney we played the winners averaged over 2 rounds - Open (gold) 73, Advanced (blue) 70, Intermediate (white) 73, Adv Women (red) 72. There were a few rounds in the 60s....but nobody averaged under par and folks were cashing with rounds close to 80.
- The longer tees don't just add distance for most holes - they add additional challenge in line shaping to the shot. Quite a few I threw from the white....and was challenged. Looked back at the gold and wondered how you could even make it.....walked up to the red and saw a different challenge than I was presented with. Very nice.
- Hole 1. It smacks you in the face to start. It is fair and makeable if you have excellent control, but man can it make you pay. It is a long (782/934/1100/1166) downhill down a very tight ski slope with some reasonably thick rough off both sides. There is also enough of a curve to it to force your hand on your second & third shots (assuming you were in the fairway) as you are trying to keep it in the fairway. It then opens up the last 100' on the flat at the bottom - but you still have an OB ski shed right and OB road behind / to the left.
- This course is a test of accurate line shaping and placement over pure distance...and you'd better bring more than just a hyzer line....you'll need em all. I found myself breaking out a large variety of discs and shots off the tee (and a whole lot more for recovery/2nd shots). Definitely not a course where you'll be throwing your primary driver on a hyzer line then putting more often than not.
Cons: - Natural tees were in pretty rough shape. It didn't help that it rained on / off all day and the night before. That certainly made them worse. Even without that they were a big con - some had big pits from wear. Some had roots sticking up in them. They are marked with painted bricks on each side which would likely be difficult to find normally (they were flagged for my tourney). If these were fixed - even to be just leveled, filled in, marked, and graveled - I'd raise the course to a 4.5.
- Navigation can be tricky. There are lots of parking areas by a few different holes (we actually started at hole 11). There are some long walks which aren't always obvious. Unless you are adventurous - I'd grab a guide if possible your first time through.
- Although the tee signs were well done and had all the info - they were back at the golds which very few play and are in many cases out of the normal walk from pin to red/white/blue tee. This made them a lot less helpful.
Other Thoughts: This is an excellent course that I wish were closer to me so that I could play it more often. It reminds me of a good 'ole backyard tackle football game - you come home bruised and battered - but man was it fun.
It is important to realize what you are in for though because I could see someone being upset if they didn't have realistic expectations. More holes than not are tight and wooded with some rough lines and big consequences for failing. Physically - the course is demanding. It is long. There are additional long walks between holes. These walks are up and down a LOT of terrain. After 2 rounds all but the most in shape were beat just from the wear and tear of the course. You will hit trees - a lot of them. You'll probably grab some birdies...and some bogies (or worse). And if all that sounds good - you'll want to come back for more.
*One more note on the tees. Be realistic as to what your skillset is and play that tee. They will offer PLENTY of challenge. If you are an INT player playing from the golds...well...it'll be a LONG day.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Should be a Double Black Diamond
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Black Diamond is very tough, from any layout you choose. With four sets of tees, you can trim some length off of the course, but you are still looking at a par 70 or 71. Not a course that is beginner friendly. There are tee signs showing all tee positions, pin position, distances, Tee boxes are differentiated by color coded markers in the ground. Elevation changes are fantastic, water and woods are formidable, and all shots will be needed.The baskets were all in ok condition. I played the white tees, and shot a 5 over par (75). Red tees are shortest, then whites, blues, and gold the longest of all. I thought the entire front 9 was great, and 10, 14, and 18 as well. The others were not entirely without charm, either. Hole 1 is crazy, a swerving 40' wide ski run downhill with heavy woods lining both sides much of the way. White tee is listed at 934' and I pulled an awesome second shot with my roadrunner, to make an unlikely 4. 2 is another tough one, with water behind the basket. Woods are heavy, and elevation climbs through the rest of the front nine. 10 is across the street from the parking lot. The back 9 loops around another part of the park, and is a little more open, but just as challenging. 14 was a cool one downhill into woods near the edge of a stream. 17 has a very large, odd mound protecting the basket. 18 is just a good hole through beautiful old trees. This is surely one of the most challenging I have ever played. An incredible park with things you won't see in most disc golf courses.
Cons: I parked in the wrong place, near the tee for 14, and picked up with a couple of guys from there on the final 5 holes. They gave me some much appreciated tips on the rest of the course. It was a total pro they helped me out, but I did have trouble finding the beginning of the course. A map for the course can also be very useful. Some weird transitions between holes. Rough can be brutal in places, and water might get you too.
Other Thoughts: A very serious challenge. Don't go if you want a quick round, or you get frustrated easily. If you like what you're reading, the go, by all means. It is a course with lots of personality, and a favorite of mine after playing one round. Emery Park is pretty cool, I loved seeing the ski lift, waterfall, and several other points of interest and/or natural beauty.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Misleading Course Score
Pros: It was a very scenic park lots on interesting and cool waterfalls. Some really cool holes. Especially the first one down the ski slope.
Back 9 was a solid course. With actual lines to baskets and interesting ways of getting there.
Cons: The front 9 was boarderline unplayable. Hole 1 and 2 where good holes using available space and trees to make them difficult holes in a reasonable fashion. The next holes 3-7 aren't really holes as far as I'm concerned. There is throwing in a highly wooded area which imo should allow for some sort of line to the hole to exist. Instead on some of those holes I was throwing into a highly tree dense forest with no possible way to get where I was going. Holes 8 and 9 brought us out of the forest and gave us some lines to throw so they where a welcome sight compared to what we had just been thru.
Tee pads? What tee pads? Finding the tee box at every hole was a chore as we searched around for the 2 colored stones about 4 inches long and 2 inches thick almost always grown over by grass.
Restrooms at this park and even in the surrounding area where practically non-exisistant.
Other Thoughts: I was driving thru Canada on the way to the finger lakes in NY. I chose to stop at this course because of its stellar ratings. It wasn't worth the stop. Maybe if I would have just played the back 9 it would have been ok.
This course has a ton of potential thou the ground is so muddy thou it would require cement tees, a couple guys with chain saws, lots more signs clearly pointing to the next tee.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Tough, long course!
Pros: The course is a great mix of open and tight wooded holes. The front nine is very challenging with a lot of elevation change and the back nine wraps it up with some more open holes that still feature the rolling hills that Emery Park has to offer. Great starting hill throwing down the ski hill, really showcases what is to come for the rest of the round. Pins are located very strategically around the course and offer great risk v award shots. 4 tee pads at each hole offer a good variety for whatever your skill level might be.
Cons: The only cons I see are the natural tee pads, the courses close proximity to the main road, and holes 3 and 4. The natural tee pads are marked by bricks sunken into the ground and can be at times tough toe see, especially when the leaves start falling. The courses close proximity to the main road (holes 10, 17, and 18) makes an issue for safety. And holes 3 and 4 had such potential to be great holes with their pin locations but the two holes are ruined by the fact that there is absolutely no defined fairway. I love tight fairways but these two holes are kind of a crap shoot when you go to throw.
Other Thoughts: The course is probably the best in Western NY but has so much more potential to be a true top notch course. All it needs is a cleanup on 3 and 4 and concrete tee pads and this course could easily support an A-tier. The course is at Emery Park and when your done playing a round you can go enjoy the other things the park has to offer.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Black Diamond Beast!!
Pros: The Black Diamond is an absolute beast. If you want a challenge this is the place for you. The park is spectacular. It's very large and scenic. The course has the most variety of terrain of any that I've played. Open, wooded, water, elevation, ridges, rock structures, humps, and waterfalls. What a beauty. If you like hiking this is the place for you.
Hole #1 is one of the most memorable hole 1's on any course that I've played.
There are 4 distinct tee pads on this course.
Reds-Recreational 6,136 Ft
White-Intermediate 7,771 Ft
Blue-Advanced 9,052 Ft
Gold-Professional 10, 468 Ft
True par 4 & 5 golf.
Excellent baskets. Discraft Chainstars.
Great tee signs. Very descriptive with hole number, distances, hole design, and all tees.
Although the tees were marked with painted blocks they were all fairly easy to find on each hole. They maintain them nicely.
The front is distinctly different from the back. The front is mostly wooded with great elevation. The back has a lot of long open holes.
Cons: The biggest con I have are the tee pads. They are natural and were super muddy the day I played. It's really hard to enjoy a course when you are slipping all over.
Bring a map. It can get tough to navigate the first time thru. Try to set up a guide. With a course this long there are tons of blind holes. It adds a lot of time to the round. Don't expect a quick round here.
The tee sign is only located at one of the 4 positions on each hole.
If you play the Red tees you'll have a ton of walking to do.
At one time the baskets had flags on top of all the baskets. Many are missing now. They could use new flags or some kind of bright tape on them. It's super hard seeing the baskets in the woods and from some of the long distances.
Other Thoughts: With proper tee pads I'd bump this rating to a 4.5.
Get an update on conditions. If this course is dry it's fantastic terrain.
This review is coming from playing the White tees. I did check out all the tees on each hole.
Bring a map. You'll need it.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Four tees. The shorts/reds are actually respectable. The whites are what the locals typically play...starting to get some honest distance and challenge. The blues are a brutal 9000+ foot workout. The golds are double diamond, kick you in the face, who's your daddy now, 10,000+ feet of "did I really submit to this?" disc golf debauchery.
Strong elevation here...built on an old ski slope. Expect a heavy dose of up and down.
Typically there were defined fairways. At times, multiple lines and distances for landing zones were evident. Lots of risk/reward here.
The natural beauty toward the back was quite nice. Scenic creek, gorge and waterfalls including a deep one that has an old haggard set of stone steps leading down to the base.
The signage is top shelf.
Cons: There were times I felt the course grew monotonous. Perhaps this is simply due to the awesome length boasted here. You will throw your plastic many, many, many, times before you reach hole 18.
I wish more of the natural obstacles (besides trees) played into the course. I would have loved shooting back and forth over some valley's and water more...rather than always laying up next to them.
The four tee layout was nice but typically the tees were only separated by distance. There were few different lines and rarely did the longer tee present new challenges beyond length.
Other Thoughts: Definitely a very good course. Worthy of a road trip.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Difficulty is Foremost
Pros: - Several tee markers, sometimes they're tough to find especially beneath leaves.
- Difficulty is a plus. This course IS difficult, so it's not a con.
- It's a small workout. Other reviews complain about the walk, but I rate the difficulty of the walk as "moderate" and no more. I'm in reasonable shape, though.
- The baskets are in good shape and the course signage is nice and illustrates things reasonably well. Tee signs on just one tee, though.
- 18 basket has a cool "amongst a cluster of trees" thing going for it. Nice way to finish.
- Ample parking. And free skiing in the winter? :)
- Some awesome holes, including the first. The 17th is one of my favorites, too, and the back has several sweet holes. #2 is cool as well.
- Despite getting lots of rain lately the course was reasonably dry in most places. The bottom of the ski slope by #1 basket was the wettest for obvious reasons, and it was still just wet, not puddling.
- #9 basket can serve as a practice/warmup basket. The first time here we thought that's what it was.
Cons: - One elevated basket is fine. Two might even be okay if they're spaced out. When four or five holes in a row have the same "feature" it gets old, fast.
- Several holes in the stretch of holes 3-8 don't really seem to have obvious fairways (one, I believe it's #5 or #6, has a fairway but it's just a path about ten feet wide for 500' to 700') with little to no room for an S-curve or a longer throw.
- Some benches here and there might be nice, as would some elevated tee signs so you're able to find the tees you're playing more easily.
- A few baskets and holes seem a bit too close to some playgrounds, but it hasn't been a problem when I've played (it was cold so nobody was out).
Other Thoughts: This course presents a tale of two nines (or, really, a tale of holes 3-8 and then 1, 2, and 10-18. Holes 3-8 are "gimmicky" with elevated baskets on far too many holes in a row.
That said, almost the entire back nine and all but six holes on the front are quite nice, with a wide variety of challenging shots, from the wide open to the technical, uphill, downhill, backhand, forehand, hyzer, anhyzer, etc. Your skills will be tested, and you'll have fun.
I'm steeling myself for the local players to give the review thumbs down, but I can only be honest, and I still gave the place a 3.5. It could be a 4.5 with some work. Holes 1, 2, and 9-18 (with the exception of one hole) are worth a 4.3 to 4.5. Holes 3-8 bring down the average.
I ran into some locals (six of them) the last time I played when we caught up to them on the 14th hole or so, and they told us "yeah, we jumped out on ten. We play the back nine twice and don't play the front very often."
Seems like a smart plan. :)
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A very technical course with a mix of play. You need a variety of skills to play the course in par, if your lucky. Terrain plays a major factor here with down hill, up hill, and heavily wooded shots making up the majority of play. Some water but mostly near baskets so be careful on the approaches not over throw. A very picturesque park to play and good accessibility.
Cons: Ok, sorry I have to be honest here so if I hurt anybody's feelings TO BAD. #1 course is quite long and akin to a hiking trip so a few benches here and there would be nice. #2 tree trimming or outright removal is needed throughout the course, this is not chestnut ridge, and yes I appreciate the use of nature on the course but let's be real, mother nature needs to be keep in check once in awhile too make play possible not impossible (hole 5 ). #3 some tee and basket locations make no sense at all, either next to shelters or playgrounds or in case of baskets (hole3) on hill after you just threw the forrest to get there.This park is big, so make use of it, when the park is busy a lot of people are there and holes 11,14,16 I've had to skip so many times due to people traffic. Simplely moving the tees a little would alleviate most of my compliant's. #4 hole 13 is the only real ace able one ( if the limbs were trimmed) so a few new holes in the future would be nice being joe Davies is the only course in the area with more than 18 holes, again this park is big so add a few shorter holes to keep the play pace varied and FUN.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I play several times a week, but I find myself becoming frustrated with it. This course has every thing it needs to be the premier course in all of WNY at all levels of player skill, but only if a little more work and thought are put into it.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Description: ranked 3rd or 4th in ny
Uniqueness: great design on cool property. 1st 9 are mostly wooded with major elevation changes. Back 9 are longer holes, mostly flat but fun holes and a nice change from the front. Get a mix of everything here
Hole designs: great use of terrain. Tight holes, more open; to the left, to the right; uphill, downhill (first hole's about a 1000 feet down a ski slope).
Basket locations: very good placements. Baskets are in challenging positions. Hole 2 has you approach downhill with the basket close to water, daring you to see how close you want to place your drive or approach. Hole 3 is uphill with the basket on a 8 foot mound which will test you to go for the birdie or settle for par. Many other baskets are in cool places, but my favorite is 18 where the basket is set in the center of a circle of pine trees with high branches.
Favorite holes: so many holes could be my favorite, it's easier to think of holes I didn't like, which was only hole 6 (see cons). Holes 1, 17, and 18 are my top 3.
Difficulty: can choose your own with 4 tees per hole
Flow: red arrows help. Long walks between some holes so you could still get lost if you don't have a map or course guide.
Tee signs: awesome. Great graphics and accurate representation of hole
Crowds: lots of groups were here, but pace was still good.
Cons: Hole 6: poor considering all the other holes
Navigation: because flow is pretty difficult at points, this can be a con 1st time playing
Tees: only grass, some are hard to find
Other Thoughts: Easily best course in buffalo. In my favorites. A must play!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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