GOLD - long baskets
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: One of the first things I noticed was great signs and tee pads, which is a huge plus for me when I play a course for the first time. Once I found Hole 1, navigating hole to hole was easy and self explanatory with the exception of the walk between 7's basket and 8's tee.
The majority of this course is played through the woods, and most of the fairways are tight! Most of the shots are fair and skill based, but there are a few shots from the tee that do seem to require some luck missing obstacles after a fade or turn once passing through the first gap on bootleg holes. Some tight tree tunnels on 500+ ft. holes leave very little room for fades, annies, or S curve shots. Sometimes you just have to bust out the mid range off the tee to throw a straight line and stay on the fairway. I'm a fan of those situations--when playing smarter rather than giving into to ego and going for near impossibe shots is encouraged.
The variety is nice at French Creek...though most of the holes are played through the woods, some holes have thin grassy fairways, some have notable elevation changes, and all collectively have a wealth of ups, downs, lefts, rights, B A B A Start (wait...we're not gaming in the 90's...flashback). The course did not get repetitive or boring in any way as each hole had its own personality and usually offered multiple gaps to aim for, achievable with various throw types.
This is a difficult course for the long baskets. You don't have much room for mistakes. The park is beautiful, and you should thoroughly enjoy this course...definitely has the "IT" factor.
Cons: Finding hole 1 and hole 8 proved a little difficult, but the rest of the course wasn't as tough finding the way. Ever since playing a handful of courses in Maine (BAP, Woodland Valley, Pleasant Hill, Boom Field) in which most provided score cards, I can't help but wish that mid-Atlantic courses had them, but French Creek's lack of them didn't affect my rating. There isn't much chance to rip over 350 here...mostly a tech course. Don't get me wrong, the holes are long and the pars are challenging, but obstacles usually preventing those 400 foot hucks. I am trying to find something to criticize at this point to be appropriately critical for sake of the review, but there isn't much to change at French Creek.
Other Thoughts: It took me a heck of a time 1) finding the correct road within the large state park, 2) finding the DG course, and 3) locating hole 1. Turn from Park Rd. onto the road that the main park office is located at and make your 3rd left to take you to a series of parking lots near the big pool. Hole 1 is located at the top left of the lot if you're facing uphill away from the pool. The course is on the east side of Hopewell Lake. Conditions were solid for this warm summer day where I did 2 back to back plays of gold course...little bit of growth to watch out for if you let one slip and leave the fairway, but discs weren't too hard to locate. I remember when French Creek was a whole different 2 courses. They were of the first I ever played in 2003. This newer incarnation is great and a must play within an hour drive, and a strongly recommended play for touring players. Easy to route to if you're coming from west doing something like a Moraine, Deer Lakes, Codorus, French Creek, Sankanac, Bear Creek, Nockamixon, Tyler, Brandywine Creek, Iron Hill
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Very good Technical Course
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: this is a review for the silver baskets ONLY! The added pin positions can turn this from a nice techincal course, into a long, world class technical course. Good signage, and decent flow. a very good challenge for beginners through pros. Fairways are beaten in and forgiving. "should" be a complete lack of wandering locals.
Cons: Very Difficult to find. follow signs for the pool, and park at the TOP of the hill. Look for the yellow tee sign and bulletin board. The flow is decent but there are some LONG walks if you're playing the silver baskets. hole 3 basket to 4 tee is so long you think you're getting lost. 7 basket to 8 tee is uphill...and again...you think you're jsut wandering. and of course....18 back to your car is another brutal 1/4 mile(ish) walk back uphill. be prepared to huff-puff around the sid eof the mountain. being left handed...i felt that the overwhelming majority of the course was built for the RHBH player in mind. if your lefty, you better rely on your sidearm or annie-throws. If you can throw straight, and rely on your low speed fade as your finish....you've got the (silver) fairways figured out, (mostly)
Other Thoughts: One of the best courses in the area! im from york and ive made the trek out there several times in the past month just to play the newest layout. an experience disc golfer should make this a destination. play the silver pins first, and once you get the hang of the layout....try the gold. just for fun....play the gold basket on hole 3!!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Challenging PA State Park Course
Pros: French Creek State Park isn't far from some of the major roadways (making it easy to get to), but it's still quite secluded.
The course design incorporates two baskets per hole. Obviously, this creates two different playing options, but in the case of French Creek, these options are VERY different, really creating two very unique playing experiences. Distances between the baskets ranges from as little as 30' all the way up to over 530'. Yeah, that's a five-hundred thirty foot difference on hole #3...it's a frickin' monster.
Despite being completely wooded (though some fairways are wider than others), all holes are technically-oriented but fair. Granted, a kick off a tree may send you into the rough and it may cost you a stroke or two to get back to the fairway, but you can get back to the fairway (and possibly recover). The course also features some variation in elevation. There is some rough on the course, but the vast majority of the fairways are in rocky, old growth woods, so the chances of a lost disc is somewhat mitigated.
Both the tees and the baskets are in great shape. The hand-carved and painted tee signs/posts are easy to spot and are a really professional, yet personal, touch. There are benches available on a few of the holes and some are made up of tee signs from the previous course layout. Did I mention that the course was CLEAN? It was very clean. I don't remember seeing any litter anywhere.
Cons: A lot of the fairways seem to share the same shape and a sense of repetition begins to set in after a while. Many of the holes require the same drives to go the same distance and then finish with the same left-turning fade. Some additional variety that could have helped the course would have been to make the most of the changes in elevation that were present, find a way to work in a few open fairways (sure, wooded courses are tough and fun, but some change of pace doesn't hurt), and to make use of the water that is adjacent to the course.
In a few cases, the fairways from different holes seem to be too close to each other and may pose a saftey risk and cause some confusion.
Although the tee signs were awesome, getting to the next tee was a chore a few times. Having good navigation to the next tee is important (especially when there are two baskets per hole) and this is expecially the case between holes 7/8 and 12/13. Although finding the first tee isn't that difficult, the park has very little (if any) signage to point visitors to the course.
A couple of holes were very boggy and had swarms of mosquitos hanging around.
Other Thoughts: The local group (Dead Dogs) busted their @sses to build this course and continue to put forth effort to maintain this beaut. I ran into a few of them while looking for the first tee and not only did they point me in the right direction, but they offered a scorecard, course map, navigation pointers, and other course tips.
If there were more and/or different fairway shapes, types (open vs. wooded), elevation changes, and the incorporation of water, this would add enough variety to easily bump this course to a 4.25, if not a 4.5. That being said, I'm looking for an excuse to head back down to Birdsboro/Elverson so I can play French Creek again.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: two baskets every hole
yellow post at every tee with basket locations
just dirt and trees so not easy to lose discs
challenging course forces a lot of skilled shots
Cons: long walk back to your car from 18
prepare to hit trees
Other Thoughts: big course easy to navigate. a definate recommended course to play. the course isn't where the map for the park says it is.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Another Good PA Course
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Another quality course located in a nice PA State Park, French Creek is a densely wooded & technically challenging course. It has oversized rubber tee pads which are flat and in excellent condition. A yellow 6 x 6 post at each hole is numbered and has both the silver (short) and gold (long) distances and desired flight path. Permanent baskets are in position at both the silver and gold layouts on each hole. Benches are provided at many of the holes for a needed rest. There is balance for both the lefty and righty thrower, and there is good use of what little elevation there is on the course. Mulch or wood chips define and spruce up some of the fairways. Navigation is pretty easy with a couple of exceptions.
Cons: Course crosses the line between being challenging and flat out oppressive on numerous holes with its tight fairways and walls of trees. The countless large rocks that exist in the fairways (French Creek makes Boulder Woods look like a sand trap) prevent run ups and good footing. Some trash cans and some "next tee" markers at a couple of confusing junctures would be beneficial. Difficult to see the gold pins from the tee box, and as someone else suggested, a bright flag or marker would help considerably.
Other Thoughts: IN THE GOLD POSITION: This course defines the importance of "fairway golf", as veering off course will invite loads of trouble for even very skilled shot makers. The course gives you few breaks and features challenging hole after challenging hole, many in the 500-600 foot distance range. The intermediate or recreational player better get his pars where he can and will likely be mentally drained (as I was) after 36 holes of Gold in a recent tournament.
IN THE SILVER POSITION: The course is much shorter, and thus much more manageable for the average player, though certainly not easy. Mistakes can be erased with good follow up shots and/or recovery at the next hole.
I appreciate the work that has been done here- like many of the disc golf courses in the tri-state area, French Creek has a loyal following which works tirelessly at course improvement and promoting the sport. Definitely worth playing here, but you'd better bring your "A" game.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: A world class course in south eastern PA. thats all i have to say about it.
You want wide open fairways take up ball golf!
Cons: WERE STILL WORKING ON IT!
Other Thoughts: Now i know alot of people think this course is too long or too tight... the golds arnt a course for beginners... I have put untold hours into this course and that pails in comparison to how much others have done.. I tip my hat to the DEAD DOGS.. they have been the driving force behind the new course...
We dont have the club sizes that enable other courses to be as well maintaned and to be completed as fast... in the times that the ground is soft enough to do anything with the work parties that can be thrown together dont get higher numbers then 8 or 10 people... which isn't to say thats all that go... Its just going to take time...
By the way if your interested in helping at all you can contact the dead dogs for a work party schedual... im not quite sure how to do that other then showing up for one of the local leagues... all are welcome...
And to those who bash this unfinished jewel... Learn how to golf or stay off our course dont bring it down because your not good enough to play it.
5 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two choices of holes on each hole (silver and gold) means that players of different abilities can play together happily.
There is a good variety of hole distances, and none are too short or too easy.
The tee signs are helpful.
Very challenging - you'll need to be precise.
Cons: Not much open space so get used to hitting trees.
It's a minor thing, but the 18th hole is kind of ugly - from the tee pad, you're looking at a fence and a dumpster.
Other Thoughts: First time playing since they re-opened the course, and it is an improvement on the two older courses. The hole placements seem pretty intuitive and appropriately challenging. If you like making big, wide open throws, you probably won't like it because the woods are in play on almost every hole - about the only exception might be the 3rd hole which has other challenges (like its 880 foot length). It's great having two choices of pins, and unlike Tyler where you have to play it in the position it's been placed, you get to choose which basket to go for.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
South Mountain with a Vengeance
Pros: This is an 18 hole course with flypads in excellent shape. The baskets are also in great shape, having been moved and probably touched up from the old courses. Gold baskets are marked on the pins in some kind of yellow backing. Many holes are tight, kind of like Bethlehem, PA's South Mountain course. A few holes have some open fairways but don't expect a lot of big arm fairways. The silver baskets will yield a few birdies while the golds will leave you fighting to save par or even bogey... or worse. The course mixed some lefty and righty holes and will also require some tomahawks/thumbers. Poor shots are punished, as there isn't a lot of open space if you miss the "fairway". Playing it safe and being smart will result in a good score. The tee signs are like Tyler State's, mapped pretty well and are for the most part accurate. A bit of elevation change but no severe drops or hills.
Cons: The first seven holes play more towards the upper lake, and therefore are definitely more buggy than the last 11 or so. Bring the OFF. The course wasn't too hard to navigate but maybe a little extra signage couldn't hurt. Roads are very narrow in the S.P. so please take care and don't drive like you're on 422. Do beware the course has a lot of rocks and small stumps, so watch your footing.
Other Thoughts: Pinned in the higher elevations of French Creek S.P., this course definitely beats Doggy Woods and it's fairly similar to most of old Pleasure Mountain. The course was bone dry, mostly because of the fact that it hasn't rained in 7 or 8 days. It'll take a few good minutes to walk to the car after the 18th basket. Park in the highest row possible, because the first hole is next to the bulletin board. Great job to those who helped take the old baskets to the new course, cleared paths, and everything else. This was a treat to play and will return soon!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Class Act
Pros: • In a PA State Park; expect quality
• Sign posts at each tee showing flight path/basket locations
• Rubber Tee Pads in practically new condition
• Benches or logs for seating at most tees
• Cleared fairways with mostly mild rough
• Dual pins (silver/gold) on every hole
• Clearly defined paths leading to/from virtually every hole from each pin area
• Baskets in great shape
• Tight, heavily wooded and extremely challenging fairways
• Serious length when playing 'Gold' pins
• Loop back to the parking lot (between 7 & 8)
• Appears to be disc golf only area so minimal conflict with other park attendants
Cons: • Lacks variety: primarily wooded - no open or semi-open holes
• Water not in play
• Generally mild elevation changes
• Back 9 plays too similarly
• Gold color on top of long baskets not easy to see in the woods during summer - needs more prominent orange flags!
• Long walk back from 18 to parking by hole #1
Other Thoughts: Hole #1 is quite an opening hole - esthetically pleasing (see posted photos) and a fun one to play. However inviting this hole may be, it's deceptive; the rest of this course is quite punishing - but in a very good way (if you like long, narrow, heavily wooded, mentally challenging disc golf!). And if you don't, you can play to the silver pins and still experience some of the challenge but without the length and certain frustration.
I was delighted with how the course was maintained overall - the amount of time and effort put into it is obvious. No navigation issues, footing problems off the tee, problems with disc retrieval (even when off the fairway) and many other subtleties which provide mental comfort when tackling an intricate course such as this for the first time.
Some of the fairways are extremely narrow, are tough to consistently stay on and getting out of trouble off the fairway is a tough task. It'll be interesting to see how this course plays once the leaves are off the trees - although I imagine still extremely difficult & technical!
Even though listed as a 'con', I wasn't bothered by how wooded it was - very typical of the region. I was somewhat disappointed in how similar the back 9 played and the lack of significant elevation change. I was hoping for a 'wow' hole and never really got it. Nit-picking, yes but this course replaced TWO 18 hole courses and for that I was expecting a little more. But I love how the 18th hole on this course was previously hole #1 on one of the old courses. That made me smile big!
The dual baskets help such an otherwise outlandishly tough course to appeal to a wide audience of disc golfers. If I had played to the 'silver' baskets instead of the 'gold', pars would have been the order of the day with many birdie opportunities. That's not an indication of me being good or anything -they're just that short.
This course is impressive overall & was a joy to play. I'm familiar with heavily wooded PA courses and therefore it wasn't out of the ordinary. It's barely over an hour away from where I live so I'll definitely be playing it again. If you live in the greater region or are passing nearby, by all means, give it a play and write a review. But I wouldn't call this a 'destination course' you'd go completely out of your way for.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: There is everything to love about disc golf at this course. For example: there are silver (am) and gold (pro) baskets. The layout is awesome, i would know. Also, the course reflects so much pride, the tees are awesome pieces of art with rubber non slip pads, and gravel lining the tees. There are also rock stairs a nice touch. Great verity, hole 3 is 800ft+ and one hole (7) is about 150-. Very hilly, like on hole 2 your drive is up a steep slope to an elevated basket by rocks. Which brings me to my next pro, the basket positions are great. Many are elevated (2,4, and many more) Great use of the land. Every type of hole, strait and long, and short and sweet, doglegs. The silver and gold tees are superb!!!! There are so many pros to this course you can't count that high!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cons: Not anything comes to mind, but it is still not the greatest course on the face of this earth. The only con is that the course is not 100% finished which is why i rated it at a 4.5, instead of a 5.0. Maybe the navigation could be a little bit easier than it is at this stage of the course's completion.
Other Thoughts: This is where discovered disc golf 2 years ago! Recently remodeled only making the course better! Awesome pool located in the park. People with bad knees, stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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