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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Very good Technical Course
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.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Loved it! Very Wooded and right on the edge of the hunting grounds in this state park. There are a LOT of great shots here! multiple baskets (Silver and Gold) per tee. The gold being the pro baskets are averaged at about 600 feet per shot with one or 2 at 900 plus. Elevation changes are a little deceptive and some over the hill shots. World Class Course that is well marked and well cared for! The length of the holes makes amature play difficult, but if you're a dedicated player then you'll have a lot of fun.
Cons: The only 2 Cons I can think of are these: 1: This course is right next to/on a public hunting ground, so if you go in the fall, wear proper hunting safety clothing! 2: This course is set on the side of a mountain, so the Uphill/Downhill walking makes it a little more strenuous than mose courses.
Other Thoughts: Play this course ... Make an extra trip to play this course. That is all!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
PA woods and rocks!
Pros: Nice wooded course in a large State Park. Very nice tee pads with rubber mats. Installed very well, and plenty long for any run up. Flat and smooth. No lumps, bumps or problems. Signs at each pad showing both basket positions and flight paths, as well as distances. Silver baskets play short, and golds play long. Sometimes really freaking long.
Course is well secluded from other park users and trails.
Well defined fairways. Also there is very little under growth if you get off the fairway. Not a lot of weeds or thorns to deal with.
Nice choice between a typical wooded, technical course, or playing the Gold baskets, and playing a long Pro level course. Golds play over 8200', and will put you on a course much like Nevin in Charlotte, Nockamixon or Iron Hill.
Decent variety of left and right shots. Course doesn't really favor a particular throwing style.
Cons: Baskets can be difficult to see in the woods. Golds weren't too bad, but Silver was hard to locate in the trees. Could use some bright colors to help out.
Navigation fooled me a few times, but that may have been due to heavy leaf cover on the ground. There was some walkways that were probably more visible inn the summer. Might need a few signs or arrows for fools like me. Print the map, and you'll be fine.
No real exceptional holes or shots that are unforgettable. A little elevation is used, but there appeared to be some land available that could have offered some nice up or down hill bombs.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed a nice round on a perfect 70 degree November day in PA. Course was just about completely wooded, but not overly tight. Hit some very fair lines, and you'll play well. A few holes were tight, but not brutally so. The under growth was almost non-existent so even if you're off your game, you can save par on most holes. This was a very good course, but lacked the wow factor I kept waiting for. The park has a nice lake, lots of rocks and so e decent hills, so I kept expecting some unique or exciting holes. They just never happened. But there was also no bad holes here. Just 18 nice, wooded holes with a short position for us humans, and a long positions for the poor fools that want to throw 450-900' shots through the woods. I would definitely recommend this course if you're close by. It it well kept, and offers two versions for different moods or skill sets.
5 of 6 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.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Two pin positions (gold/silver)
-Rubber tee pads
-Well defined fairways
Cons: -Very tight wooded holes
-Gold pins are very tough and long
-Lots of bugs
-No water in play
Other Thoughts: I just finished playing my first time played the gold pins first and went back and played silver pins right after. Overall very well maintained course. I enjoyed playing and would recommend and come back to play again. Although I listed no water as a con it doesnt bring down the overall rating of the course but would have been nice to have a hole or two that had water in play. I love wooded courses that are challenging and this course is def. both wooded and challenging. As others have mentioned an orange flag on the holes would help out a lot with spotting the holes from the tees which is some times very difficult. A 'next tee' sign would be helpful between 7 and 8, luckily there was a group teeing off hole 1 which helped me to find 8 tee. Very challenging course with very tight almost impossible fairways make playing gold pins frustrating at times. I am no pro so some fairways were almost impossible to stay on. If you are more of a recreational player I would def. recommend playing the silver holes although much shorter still a nice course and difficult.
2 of 4 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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Good PA Course
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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Rough Yet Refined ... And A Bit Repetitive
Two baskets per hole. Fantastic rubber tees - long, wide, flat, graded. Very good, easy-to-spot signs with distance and location information. Bathrooms on site.
Some baskets, especially the shorts, a bit difficult to spot from a distance - an orange band on the vertical pole would help. Basket-18 a bit far from tee-1.
Course plays in three wooded portions, separated by a parking lot and access roads, of a very large, multi-purpose park. The trees are tall and thick, the shallow tree roots are plentiful, and there are many rocks scattered about (i.e. the "rough"), but the course is very well manicured, too (i.e. the "refined"). Many of the walking and/or throwing paths are lined with downed limbs, and have mulch or crushed stone on them. Several of the baskets are nicely landscaped - a retaining wall here, some crushed stone there, surrounded by mulch and encircled by downed limbs, that sort of thing.
Perhaps it is because I played to the short baskets, but the course seemed a bit repetitive. Nearly 80% of the holes fall into the 200'-300' range, and about that percentage could be described as flat/minor elevation change, with somewhat-tight but fair throwing lanes defined by very tall trees (i.e. playing amongst their trunks, vice branches posing a problem), mostly-straight early with a turn (left/right mixture) needed towards the end. All very fine holes, in-and-of-themselves, but after awhile, it is like having your favourite pizza for multiple meals in a row - still enjoyable, but you're interested in having something else after a few rounds.
Other than #2-long, and #3, which play along a broad, grassy path with a bushed-filled slope on the left, the chance of disc loss is fairly low, as the undergrowth is fairly thin. The course is a bit easier to navigate if playing to the long baskets, as most next tees are more naturally found from them, and the map is useful in helping you determine which way to go when the way isn't obvious, which it typically is.
French Creek is yet another example of the very fine Pennsylvania park system, and the course is quite good and well maintained, as are the other courses found in the other State parks.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Deep woods and rolling hills
Pros: If you like a well maintained course with tight fairways, and nice tee pads? Then this is the place for you. Even as we played there were locals leveling the fairways with cinder and mulch. There are clear lines/fairways for getting a nice drive from the tee pad for some birdie opportunities. Good mix of fade right & left drives and a dogleg here and there to spice up your game. This area of the park is free for the most part of non-disc golfers. You may run into one or two near the parking lot/swimming area. Over-all a great park to challenge your skill level with both silver and gold basket positions. Pars are fair and even a little generous on some holes. Many of the holes on this course require you to play a smart game with more emphasis on shaping lines and keeping your drives in the fairway. Errant drives aren't dreadfully hard to recover from. Clean drives and disc placement will give you Par on 90% of this course.
You don't really need a map to follow this course it flows nicely from baskets to tees. There are maybe 2 tees that you have to look a little for (8 &14).
Cons: Some of the gold baskets are over 600 & 700' in deep woods. Other than a few brutally long holes which, keep in mind are gold.
No water to be had that I could find
Some tee post combination signs aren't in the ground yet. It's still a work in progress, but won't effect your game.
The first 7 holes play on one side of the parking lot, which you will loop back to find hole 8. This area is buggy as all, so bring your bug spray. Don't guess about it, if it's summer? You bring bug spray, period.
Please put some trash cans on this course and especially near Tee #1, parking area.
Other Thoughts: From the two old courses that were here, one truly great course has been made. Kudos to the locals for a very smart choice!
For a relatively new course this park plays great. With double baskets (silver & gold) on every hole, it will suit your skill level.
Keep in mind this a rural location played on the side of a rocky hill. Wear some good foot wear, no water in play.
In the summer you can walk around the pool house to the concession widow and buy whatever you feel like eating or cold drinks.
The landscaping around some of the tees shows how much the locals care about this course. One of PA's better disc golf locations and if your passing through, a must play. You won't be disappointed. If you hate wooded courses or are relatively new DG'er it will be a tough play. The more you play this park the more you will grow to love it.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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