Rollin' Amish @ Roland!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 27 holes with two concrete tees (in open), or two rubber tees (in woods), and most the holes have two baskets (in woods), or two pin positions (in open). Lots of legit par 4s from the long tees and baskets while the shorter tees and baskets provide par 3 and more variety. Nice tee signs, and navigational signs. 3 loops of holes back to the disc golf parking lot by the Lions Club. Some benches in the woods. Bathrooms on the other side of the park.
Course starts off by playing through a mix of mostly open holes over some nice elevation changes with OB boundaries, creek and pond from hole 1-11 coming into play. This is where you get your birdies and get to air out some discs.
Then the course twists and turns upside down as Hole 12 starts in the open and finishes into the woods and the rest of the course plays through some great elevation in the woods. There is very little underbrush in the woods for a course of this size.
Cons: Other park users may inhibit a couple of the open holes especially by the pond. Hole 8 tees from the park road, and hole 12 tees across another park road. The mando on hole 2 is upside down. You have to backtrack around the pond after hole 4 to 5. Hole 18 is a bit too tight. Could use some more benches. There are a couple long tees not on the current map.
Other Thoughts: Roland Park is a little Jekyll and Hyde with the front 11 holes being mostly open and the back 16 holes being heavily wooded. It's almost like to two different courses, but they provide a nice contrast and variety overall. Play only the open holes if you have an aversion to the woods or only play the woods if you have have an aversion to the sun and open. I'd suggest to play them all though.
The wooded holes kept reminding me of Idlewild in KY with the rolling elevation, length and toughness from the longs, absolutely phenomenal holes here! I love being able to rip a driver through this terrain. There is also OB in the woods and marked with rope to help separate fairways. I played hole 17 twice by accident, I didn't even realize I had already played it once and threw a completely different shot, so the course has great replay-ablility. The course ends with a phenomenal downhill tunnel on hole 27. The only thing missing from this course is a top of the world hole, and I did spot a place you could do a sweet safari hole.
Roland actually plays longer than Idlewild(24), Seneca Creek(27), and Tyler State Park(27) and is of similar caliber but I think Roland is the fairest course of them all! The open holes are also well designed with enough challenge from trees or water or OB boundaries.
The demographics at the park were about 50% horse and buggy and 50% cars, so if you are from out of town, there's a good chance you might see your first horse and buggy from the Amish or Mennonites and beware on the roads for them. I started at hole 1 with a local who arrived on horse, nice young lad named Darryl. There was a large group of beginners just ahead of us and they let us play through on hole 3. We played the short tee which is a slightly elevated 450' shot and I got to show off for the crowd as they eewed and awed while I parked it! Darryl showed me around the open holes which is the tougher part to navigate and then he had to leave once we got to the woods. It kind of reminded of the movie "The Village" which happened to also be set in PA, where the village people aren't allowed to cross into the woods for fear of the creature, but there really wasn't a creature (sorry for the spoiler).
I highly recommend Roland Park to any player from beginner to pro. I drove 2 hours to play here and was not disappointed, actually I was ecstatic! I can't really think of a beautiful signature hole here like Moraine/Deer Lakes 15, or Nockamixon 6, but all the holes at Roland are top notch. This course is way underrated due to some recent upgrades from previous reviews and it's now one of the best courses in PA IMO.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Has some of everything
Pros: -This course has a great mix of everything. Open/wooded, uphill/downhill, shots over water, etc.
-There isn't any poison here, and the brush isn't too thick.
-Some holes have different tees/baskets.
-Course has 27 holes!
Cons: The only thing that this course could use is some upgrades such as trash cans, better tees (especially on hole #9), more benches, better signage etc. Other than that, this course is great!
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses as it is in a relaxing, picturesque park. I would recommend this course to anyone as it is quite challenging (especially from the pro tees), yet still fun for the the recreational player.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 27 holes of well designed, thought out disc golf. Good mix of open holes to get warmed up, and the wooden holes for the most part are fair. Nice use of elevation. Baskets are mostly decent. Tees are either concrete or flypads, and all are in fair to good shape. Water holes are not too intimidating. Well maintained. Signage not too bad in most places.
Cons: The gripes I had were that there was no silver basket on hole 22, so you had to play to the gold. The signage in the woods pointing to the next hole should be like arrows that are on the open holes, that could be added and I would give this another half-disc. The one hole in the woods is very unfair, your "pinball" hole. Open holes are prone to flooding but were not when I was there.
Other Thoughts: The redesign is very well done for the most part and is definitely a worthy stop in this beautiful part of Amish country, PA. The course redesigners did a great job expanding and redesigning the course and have to be given many props. This was a gem several years ago when I first played it, now it is even better!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Gem off of Route 222
Pros: -Great mixture of holes that are open where you can bomb them and others that are through the woods
-Fun factor where you throw over water on 2-3 holes
-27 holes makes it worth it to drive from a little farther out
-Well maintained park with little to no problems in throwing near people except near lake maybe
-Challenging place that requires accuracy and a mixture of all throwing types (back, fore, over)
-The woodsy holes I found to be really fun and make for a great course when playing against others because anything can happen
-Beautiful views of Lancaster Amish country
Cons: -Very few to speak of if at all
-Not the most fun to play when it is super hot
-Some of the rough can be thick in the last 10-12 holes but that makes accuracy important if you ask me
Other Thoughts: -Overall this course rivals almost any in PA with the variety, difficulty, and maintenance
-It really is two courses put together if you ask me. The first 10 holes are out in the open around the pond and are geared more for beginners.
-The last 17 holes meander through the woods and are much more difficult if you ask me. They flow together well but are vastly different so if you detest woodsy holes then just stop at #10, but you would be missing out on the whole package that this place presents.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Close to Home
Pros: Great variety in kinds of holes
Cons: Tee signs are still a little confusing
That pond is a magnet for my discs.
Other Thoughts: I like the variety in this course a lot. The holes in the woods are quite difficult and present a challenge to most who play. I also like the fact that it is 27 holes. If I don't feel like messing with the water and losing a disc, I just play 18...holes 10-27.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Remarkable potential -- some outstanding hole designs
Pros: This course has some outstanding, 5-star holes on holes 12-27. Some of the gold-to-gold layouts are the kind of challenging, well-designed, par 4/5 holes that are what are bringing disc golf to the next level. This isn't just power disc golf--it involves shot planning, precision, and--most importantly--risk/reward. Tight gaps, tough landing areas, interesting approaches and some fast greens have the potential to eventually bring this course into league with world other world-class PA courses like Moraine, Deer Lakes, and Jordan Creek.
I never saw the old layout. But I think I can safely say that if you haven't played the new layout, it's a must. Of 200+ courses played, this has some of the most fun and well designed holes I've seen.
Cons: Signage is rough. Hopefully this will (continue) to improve. Fortunately, the map is helpful--definitely print a map before attempting to navigate this course.
Front nine is not bad, but lacks the interest or challenge of the rest of the course. Feels like a warmup, but since it's also where most of the easy birdies live, you can't just ignore this section if you're trying to score well across 27 holes. Would be better to separate out the two courses as a 9 and 18 sharing the same piece of land.
Long walks between some of the woods holes. This exacerbates the weak signage--if you head off in the wrong direction, it can take a while to find the right path. Also, without good signage, I spent a lot of time walking up fairways before teeing off since baskets were seldom visible from the tees (at least gold-to-gold). Not a deal-breaker by any means--many great holes are blind tee shots the first time through, but without good signage, this can be frustrating.
Rough is rough. Many of the back holes have violent and unforgiving rough with lots of thorns and close ground cover, making it time consuming to recover discs that kick off the fairway. Hopefully as the course wears in, this will improve. For the time being, I definitely recommend playing with a friend and using a spotter on some of the blind tee shots--will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Other Thoughts: This course--especially the redesign--is obviously the product of a lot of love. My one visit there, I was stopped as I was getting out of the car by Bill, the course designer. He had been driving out of the parking lot, but noticed my out-of-state plates and wanted to answer any questions and give me some tips on layout and finding my way through the course since it was my first time there. I appreciate this type of investment in a course, and in making sure people have a good experience. Based on talking with Bill, I have faith that the course will continue to improve rapidly, and that challenges are being addressed. I expect this to be a truly world class course--at least the back 18--in the next year or two.
For the sake of ratings and for encouraging players to play holes appropriate to their skill level, I'd segregate the course into a front nine, "recreational" course using the open holes, and a second, 18 hole "advanced" course using the back 18. Obviously, keep multiple tees on all holes so groups of different skill levels could play all 27, but the open front holes are so different from the rest of the course that they hardly feel like the same park.
I expect, if I get a chance to play here again within the next year, that this course will easily earn a bump to a 4.0 rating. As it stands, it is a much more fun course (for adv/pro/masochist players) than almost anything else with a similar rating. I'd skip over a lot of 4.0 courses to play here. But I try to rate comprehensively and honestly, and it's got a lot of room to grow and improve. Someday I can see a 4.5 being totally appropriate if things continue the way they've been going. Tremendous work so far, and tremendous potential. My kudos and thanks to Bill and the other volunteers that are investing their time, labor and love into this course. I can't wait to come back.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Awesome, Good, and ugly....
Pros: Very good mix of elevation, open shots, over water shots, wooded shots, left to right, right to left....etc oh and the face there are 27 holes is great! most baskets have an arrow on them pointing to the next tee. Multiple pin positions, and tees for longer and shorter drives.
Cons: As many times as ive played it....i gotta say it. there needs to be better teesigns. i know Bill is working on it, so i cant knock it too much as i know with time they will come. but expect to see 4x4 lumber with sharpie writing on them. thats about as good as it gets. The front 10 or so holes may have you spinning in circles trying to find out where to go.
Other Thoughts: Bill Giebel has REALLY dedicated his life to disc golf. The additional holes to Roland park showcases his love of the sport, and his ability to design good holes.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
If you haven't been here lately...
Pros: If you haven't been here in the last year, make sure to get out and see the changes in 2012. Tee signs should be up in the spring. The strength of this course is it's variety. The course has been through many layouts and revisions over the years. There are short holes, long holes, open fairways, tight fairways, thick rough, and a good mix of lefty/righty drives. Hole 1 starts at the pavilion near the Lion's Club building. You play in the open around and across the pond on the front 9, then play 2 more in the open before going into the woods. Out in the open, big drives are rewarded. The next set make their way through the trees of the forest. Accuracy and finesse rule in here. The last stretch, the newest holes, are beautiful. Good wide fairways cut through thick woods. Lots of risk vs reward decisions to make. 2 tee positions and pin positions on most holes. Short layout is fun and easy enough for beginners. Go long and you've got a challenge worthy of the pros.
A little tough to navigate, but the tee signs will be done soon. A map helps if you haven't been out before, or check out www.lancasterareafrisbeesports.com
to find a schedule and join the club for a round. Watch for poison ivy. Stay out of the brambles on 20-26 - your legs will thank you. Be aware of the walking paths as they are heavily used (but out of the way for the most part).
Other Thoughts: Take a moment and soak up the view. The course is surrounded by picturesque Lancaster County farmland.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course/park is very well maintained. Some holes have 2 baskets, some holes have 2 tees, and some holes have 2 sets of each. The course is a mix of open/ wooded holes with most being wooded.
- elevation used
- risk/reward with water hazards
- fun and challenging
- beginner and long time player friendly
- opens early closes late (6am - 11pm)
- 27 holes!
Cons: The navigation isn't too hard but it does have it's tricky spots. I would check or print the map especially if you want to play the different tees/baskets.
- some tee areas are not great
Other Thoughts: This is Amish country, watch out for the horse-drawn carriages on your drive in and out of town. Overall I was very impressed with Roland and I hope to be back some day.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
My Favorite Local Course
Pros: Holes 1-9 span over the open areas surrounding a beautiful heart-shaped pond. These are the more open holes of the course, which allow you to air out some big arm shots. Hole 3's elevated gold tee makes for a great long hole. Hole 6's gold tee to gold basket is a tough par 4 clocking in at 633'. Hole 9 finishes up the first set of holes by shooting over the pond.
Holes 10-18 begin in the open, and then take you into the wooded holes. In my opinion, this set of wooded holes are the most difficult of the course. They are technical, and make you think about each shot. The tight woods on hole 13 gold to gold makes for one of the toughest holes on the course. Keeping yourself out of trouble on this hole is very important, placement is key. Coming out with the par 4 is very rewarding. Hole 16 is one of my favorite holes of the course. It's a nice anhyser shot for the silver basket, and a huge sweeping S-line through the trees for the gold basket that is tucked into a protected position. Hole 18 is the signature gauntlet shot through tall pine trees and up a hill. If you haven't played this course, when you come to this hole you'll just chuckle to yourself. No worries, with a little practice there are a few ways to get past everything.
Holes 19-27 are the newest additions to the course. They travel into the moderately wooded back area of the park, along a newly added bike path. Unlike the previous wooded holes through the tall pines, the back nine are located in a moderately wooded area with grass fairways. These holes combine the bigger throws from the first set of holes with the woodsy atmosphere of the middle nine holes to create some neat throws. Hole 19 will eventually have raised baskets, which will be pretty cool. Holes 20-24 really tests your distance accuracy. Long fairways with a few strategically placed trees. Hole 23 being the longest weighing in at 755' from gold to gold. Hole 25 will become one of the signature holes of the course. A straight 315' shot through a tree branch arch, which is only going to get better with time. Hole 26 silver basket is located up and around a huge old tree. The long basket is located way up around the corner in a heavily protected area. The course finishes up with a downhill shot and low celling.
Overall Roland Park Disc Golf Course has a wide variety of shots that should please disc golfers of all types. The risk reward factor and this course makes it very enjoyable. Since there are three sets of 9-holes, you can play the course in different configurations. Almost all the holes have multiple tee pads and or baskets, which makes the possibilities endless.
Cons: The brush is rough. Stay on the fairway as much as possible. The members of LAFS do their best to keep the brush tamed on the back holes, but it's a hard job. I'm sure it will get better as the newer holes get worn in. Directional signs are needed to get from hole to hole. Tee signs will be posted in the very near future. They have been designed, and are in the process of being made, but directional signs will be necessary as well. Some of the tee pads on the front nine are shorter, which causes you to adjust your run-up. Hole 9's tee pad should really be redone and given more length. There is poison ivy in some areas of the course. If you're allergic I suggest wearing high socks, pants, or put on Ivy-Block. As long as you pay attention to where you're stepping it's not a huge problem.
Other Thoughts: Flags on top of the baskets would be a nice touch for some of the wooded holes where you're shooting blind off the tee. Bill Geibel and all the LAFS members do a great job keeping the course in shape. They have put a lot of time and work into the re-design, and it's nearly complete. Once this course wears in a little bit, it's going to be really great. Bill does a great job of collecting lost discs for people, as well as selling new and used plastic during local league events. If you haven't checked out the course in a while, I highly recommend you check it out again. You might be surprised.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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