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.
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.
3 Helpful / 9 Not
Stay away if you do not like tons of trees. Seriously.
Pros: If you think that the South Mountain course in Bethlehem, PA is too wide open, then you'll enjoy French Creek. Almost every single hole has practically no fairway. Though there is space to throw that is only because trees are not a solid wall and must yield SOME space. But don't expect lanes, don't expect to be able to visualize what will work like you can at South Mountain. It's all guesswork and luck shots.
Cons: Bring the course map, you will need it. Many holes have no paths from the basket to the next tee. Many of the baskets are hard to see for a first time player as well since there is so much growth. There is almost no variation among all of the holes, almost every hole is relatively flat through a whole bunch of trees. I enjoy the good challenge that trees provide but IMO this course needs to remove at least 100 trees to be any where near enjoyable - unless you love trees.
Other Thoughts: Really - unless you LOVE the idea of not being able to figure out a shot that will work on almost all of the holes, unless you want to hit tons of trees, unless you want to spend time rooting through undergrowth for your disc, unless you want to hunt down the next tee (which will inevitably be a copy of the hole yo just played...), unless you find all of that enjoyable, do yourself a favor and make the drive to Nockamixon or anywhere else really.
By far the least enjoyable course I have ever played.
3 of 12 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.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
French Creek Reborn
Pros: From the ashes of Pleasure Mtn and Doggy Woods comes one beast of a course. The 36 baskets were combined to make a 18 hole, 2 baskets per hole course. The silvers (shorts) are a nice par 3 wooded course with many tight, technical shots, but nothing too overwhelming. Most holes under 300 ft. The golds (longs) however take the game to a whole new level. Tight, technical wooded shots still yes, but now long and many of them multi-stage. By this I mean there are only 2 golds you can drive to the basket on, most you play for the fairway to set up you 2nd (and 3rd) shot to the pin. Several holes have fairways the make 90 degree and hairpin turns. The hole design (which feels safari at times) and the heavy woods and a bit of elevation change make for some true par 4s and 5s. Needless to say, making smart shots and playing for the fairway is a good idea here, one errant shot off a tree will leave you with no hope at par.
French Creek also offers some nice features and creative pin placements. Short rock walls line some fairways. A couple pins sit atop rock cairns and a few pins are protected by log and branch barriers.
Course navigation is easy, with the exception of 7 to tee 8 (up the hill a bit, on the side of the road, you passed it on the way in) and the bright yellow posts that serve as tee signs are easy to see through the trees.
Benches are available on most holes and a good thing, you'll do a bit of walking here, especially playing the golds.
The ground here offers a bit of a challenge as well. The terrain is rocky and uneven. A shot that lands in the middle of the fairway can still leave you with questionable footing, forcing you to stand and deliver.
Tee pads are rubber and brand new and along with these its easy to see a lot of hard work has been put in here. Greens are trimmed and often mulched (different color mulch too) nice stone steps built and lined pathways. The club has been putting in some good hours here.
Speaking of those 36 total baskets and work by the club, the course can be played in a short hole 36 pin layout. For each hole throw to the silver and then find nearby on the ground find some painted green markers (usually rocks) throw from this 'tee' to the gold pin. The green markers are easy to find and utilize the fairways you already use. If you've played the course a couple times, you probably noticed some already. And just like that, 36 hole course.
There are not any other courses in the general area (at least, not 18 holes) so having the multiple playing options is great for the locals.
Cons: A few of the fairways, little more than just walking paths, can be brutal. Holes this long and heavily wooded can be very frustrating when your disc is deflected 30ft off the fairway.
The large, bright yellow posts that are the tee signs are a good idea, but leave little room for a hole map. The golds are so long and sometimes make such dramatic turns, this is just not illustrated on the posts.
Be prepared for a long uphill walk to the car after finishing. it almost makes sense to park in the middle of the large, tiered lot to split up the hike.
Towards the middle of the back 9, the holes get a little bit repetitive. Long heavily wooded shots. This isn't a critique on the design, the park is like that and this was the land available. Its just a feeling I get from it and I'm a big fan of variety.
Other Thoughts: I like what I see here and having been seeing it more and more in courses. The availability of short, faster play course on the same location as a tough pro level course. The silvers are a fun, fairly stress free 18 and good for beginners, I had a great time playing them. I love the golds, tough holes with no mercy that will challenge any level player. It was a shame when French Creek had to shut down its 2 courses, but the new layout is a serious upgrade. I look forward to coming back and seeing the great work the local club continues to put in here.
11 of 11 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.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
bring a machete to clear a path
Pros: There were several hole layouts that were very unique and fun, this made the experience very memorable and made up for a lot of the other issues.
Each tee has a big yellow post/sign which makes them easy to locate.
Cons: A few of the holes are just way too woodsy, throwing down a path no more than 5 feet wide at times.
The signs at the tees are often misleading and are generally useless for determining where you are supposed to throw. This compounds when you are on the particularly woodsy holes and can not see the hole.
Tons of rocks on the ground even on the paths/fairway, wear hiking boots, I wore sneakers and my feet were very sore by the end.
Other Thoughts: Only a few holes were really bad when it came to dense woods, they were all relatively wooded but most were manageable.
By the way there is only one course now, make sure you stop by the front desk to get the updated map. Its a pretty bad map for finding you way to the first hole, but once your there it is easy to make your way through the course due to the yellow posts that I mentioned above.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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