3 Helpful / 0 Not
Worthwhile Playing Experience
Pros: Nice balance of 27 wooded and open holes featured in a well-maintained borough park. Open holes play out over pretty, rolling hills while the more technical holes are challenging yet fair. Multiple tee boxes and basket placements exist for most holes. Navigation is pretty easy with "next tee" arrows assisting throughout the course. OB areas- mostly walking paths- are numerous but not overly restrictive. Water and elevation add to the challenge at several holes (long tee # 3 is excellent). Baskets are older but work well. Roland Park has amenities like benches at some holes, water, a porta pottie and a "lost disc" box near the pavilion.
Cons: Elements of the course are very uneven. Some tee boxes are adequate, others are too short. No uniformity with the tee pads, which are made up of four different surfaces (cement, rubber, dirt, carpet). Benches exist at some holes but not others. No bag poles. Trash cans are located by the pavilion but not on the course. Below average or non-existant signage at most holes. Hole 11 is a ridiculous "throw and hope" hole for the average DG'er.
Other Thoughts: Nice locals, a scenic park landscape and a variety of holes all contribute to a positive playing experience at Roland. The good far outweighs the bad. That said, course upgrades remain very much a work in progress. Signage- in my mind a huge component to a top flight disc golf course- is a big disappointment. And others in the area must assist Bill G. at helping Roland realize it's vast potential. Much of the course plays away from pedestrians and other park traffic, which is a plus. Roland and Buchmiller Parks provide two good disc golf venues for a day spent in the Lancaster area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
highly enjoyable roland park
Pros: i really enjoy the variety of challenges and options this course provides with open spaces for longer throws, dense woods (especially #18) and a water feature that comes into play on holes 4,8, and 9 ...as a newbie i play the short course at about even par. the long course looks much more challenging and i am looking forward to playing it as my game improves. the previous reviews do a great job explaining the layout so i wont offer a hole to hole review, although i must say i love #22.
Cons: in the spring after a snow melt or rainstorm i would wear a thick soled hiking boot and bring a disc towel because the terrain on the open holes (#'s 1-9), especially in and around the pond, can be awfully muddy...a total mess! but don't let that detract from your fun just come prepared...also the fairways on holes #19 thru #27 are lined with teeming, tangled masses of prickers on either side so keep it straight, or wear jeans.
Other Thoughts: for 1st time players this course can be a little confusing but with a little extra walking the course can be scouted out rather easily...the locals are friendly and proud of the course so ask for help or ask to latch on to a group and you will not be turned away or disappointed
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The previous reviews on here are right on and describe Roland perfectly. I will try and add more to them from my perspective. It was our (3 of us) first visit to Roland and I had this course on my wish list. I was hoping this course would add to Buchmiller to make it a full day trip to play both. I like Buchmiller but it's not a course I would travel from Baltimore often due to the lack of quality courses (non-mini) around the Lancaster area. Well after playing Roland I have completely changed my thought process on this. Although Roland is not a polished course just yet, it is well worth the travel to play it as it stands now. As the previous reviews indicate, you will have "fun" and you will be challenged. I will be coming to Lancaster to play Roland more so than Buchmiller.
Scenic Park setting complete with Bathrooms, pavilions, courts, walking paths. The lake adds to the scenery and being able to play over it and around it makes this course unique over other courses.
As a Amateur here with about 1 yr experience, I figure I would try playing the open field holes (1-11) on the gold or pro baskets & tees and wooded holes (12-27) on the AM baskets & tees.
Open holes (1-11) were very challenging for me but not overly difficult playing the gold's. The first few holes are laid out just right so that you can warm up your arm with some short & long shots without getting into to much trouble. I was able to reach within putting distance on most holes playing Gold (pro) baskets. There is opportunity for an ace on a couple of the holes. The open holes really offer a nice change of pace from the wooded holes. Maybe It would of worked out better if you could have designed the course to play a few of these holes after like 18 wooded holes but that may be asking to much due to the way the property is laid out. There are also advantages in keeping them separate as well.
The thought of so many wooded holes can be intimidating to a Amateur player but I was pleasantly surprised how fair the wooded holes were. Several of them open up to what seem like grass fairways. Kind of hard to tell with so many leaves on the ground but it was nice having some sun coming through on many of the wooded holes. As previous reviews mention, holes 12-27 offer every type of throw lane, elevation, left-right turning fairways & wooded density that you could ask for. As an Amateur player I did not feel like the trees won and I lost after playing thru them. Oh sure there were a couple holes we just laughed at while standing on the tee (hole 18) while trying figuring how the heck were going to get thru the trees. Holes like that one actually added to the fun and seem to come at the right time after playing some not so difficult holes. The Flow of difficulty of the holes seems to be just right, lighten up when needed and difficult at times. We stopped to talk to another group playing and I said to them, whoever designed this course must known what they are doing because they are some well designed, well though-out holes.
Cons: Navigation - Okay so it is not a polished course just yet, it is still a work in progress and needs some signage and tee pads and a map. Well the map will be uploaded to the web site very soon, which takes care of that. If I can remember correctly the last 9 holes lack signage and tee pads the most. (Not 100% sure about that). Overall, you still should not have too much problem navigating as most holes flow right into the next one. If there is any confusion just follow those little orange flags to the next tee. With a map in my hand I really did not have much problem finding the AM tees and now that I walked it once I don't see a problem finding them the next time. From 17 to 18 and 22 to 23, I had to spend a just little bit of time finding.
Parking - I got there at 11am, not many at the park. I was not sure where I could park other than the lot by the baseball fields which would have been a short hike back to the 1st tee. I ended up parking a little closer down by the lake on that small circle lot. I guess it was okay to park there. There was some event going on in that hall/building next to hole 11's tee. Unfortunately, cars were parked all the way down and across the fairway on hole 12 so we decided not to play over them and moved up into the grass behind them to tee off.
This is nit picking but being that its winter, the rough was not a problem. There is a lot of sticker bush around some of the (20-27) wooded holes that I imagine the spring-summer season will present an issue and require clearing. This is a problem on every course; it just takes a long time and effort to remove them.
Think it was hole 25, the support under the carpet has a hole and with the carpet there you don't see it but you step into it. I would remove the carpet until you get a more stable tee or build up the front section to make it more secure.
If at all possible I would keep Amateur distance right where its at and lengthen the distance on the Gold-Pro holes via baskets or tees on holes 1-11. Not sure you have the room for it but it just seems like it to me that it could be longer. Maybe the plan is already in place in the future when the funds are there to do just that with additional baskets.
Other Thoughts: Its exciting to know that once this course gets more polished its going to be a real gem. I see this course completely taking over Buchmiller. After comparing the two its easy to see where players will out-grow Buchmiller and grow into Roland. If you plan to come to Lancaster area, I suggest you play Bushmiller first then play Roland. If you do it the other way around you will be disappointed you left a second round at Roland to play Buchmiller! Don't let the fact that its still a work in progress stop you from coming to the course as it is now. Its very playable and you will enjoy it.
Hole 18- It made my day that I somehow was able to throw right through the tight corridor of trees to the right and out into the clearing to set up a easy approach shot for par.
Nice job to all who have helped to re-design this course, I am looking forward to the improvements. I am rating this course 3.5 although I feel like it is a 3.8 until the signage and tee pads are in, once that happens I will upgrade my review to 4-4.5
Returned one year later and there are noticable improvements to the course. Most notable, new t-pads on holes where non-existant or needed replacing. Also new hole signs, although laminated paper type they were very usefull and look nice. Some were missing, probabbly due to windy conditions that blew off. Course navigation seem flawless using the orange flags when lost, however future wood hole arrow signs would be an improvement. I now rate this course a 3.8, only due to non permanent hole signs. At the rate this course is being upgraded, I can see it has potential for a 4+ rating. Again your missing out on a true gem of a course if you have not played it. Its 1-1/2 hr away but well worth the drive.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
worth trip now, not before
Pros: To those who put in all the hard work on this place in 2010..thank you very much. The new back nine at Roland is flat out awesome. I live an hour away, been to old Roland once, been to Buchmiller a lot more. From where me and my friends live you could make a nice day trip out to Lancaster and hit up both Buchmiller and Roland. But I've only ever played one course or the other when venturing out that way, and usually I prefer Buchmiller.
After playing Roland once last year, I'd rather go to Dutch Wonderland than play it again. Why? Because it was confusing as hell. But when I heard there was a new layout I was curious to go back and check it out. Bedsides, at least I knew there was that one cool over the pond hole that I kinda-aced last time. Kinda because it wasnt on my real drive...its one of those holes you want to throw every disc in your bag on.
A newcomer will still have a tough time navigating this place. Once you know the layout then its a fantastic place to play a round. Like I mentioned in my scorebook, the next tee signs and orange flags helped me find every hole but they werent great. Ultimately I found every single tee and basket, but there were still many times I had to walk ahead and do some re-con.
Previous reviews actually helped me navigate, so this next part might help others. I dont play here regularly so forgive me if I'm not totally accurate, but this is what I found here when I came:
Tee 1 was up on the hill overlooking the pond. There is a pavillion and a red port-o-potty there. I parked down by the pond in the cul de sac shaped lot and walked up the hill to the first tee. Basket 1 is about 320 and slightly downhill. Very ace-able, great starting hole. I also threw several discs here to warm up.
Tee 2 is to the left of basket 1. A short left to right fairway with a mando left pole on the right side. Probably 250 feet slightly uphill.
Tee 3 is new since my last time here. Its up past basket 2 and has you throw your drive out into the open field from an elevated perch. One of the longest holes here, probably more than 500 feet across the open field, corn field on the left..prob why I kept turning my drive over, if you go left its gone. Might also be a short tee for this one down by basket 1.
Hole 4 tee is to the right of basket 3 and brings the pond into play. The basket is located up over the edge of the pond, about 300 feet from the tee. Between the trees.
Hole 5 you walk back towards tee 4 and follow the edge of the pond. Tee 5 has the pond to your back and a yellow basket in the left corner of the field, a drive of about 300 feet gets you there, with some nasty rough behind the target.
I believe hole 6 is the first one with two baskets. Tee is straight behind basket 5. You will see tennis courts to the left of fairway 6. This hole has some rough in the middle, a choice for your drive to go to the left or right side. Short basket is maybe 400 feet, long one is about 90 feet past it.
Go to the left to find tee 7. There is one basket up past the volleyball court and towards the road. A good drive on this one can net you a nice deuce-putt opportunity. Not sure if there is a long basket for this one. Theres a bunch of nice land across the road that seems ideal for inclusion in the course.
Hole 8 I assume you use the road as the tee. Its a big open drive to a basket that is maybe a little over 400 feet from the tee area. The pond is to the left so be careful, the basket is out in the field to the right of the pond. I had a nice anhyzer throw with my stalker land 20 feet away. Missed the putt tho (of course)
Nine throws over the pond. No long tee to my knowledge, and the tee itself is a very short concrete slab.
Hole ten has a short tee to the right of basket 9, and a long tee back and to the left. This is the old number 1, I think. Basket on top of hill to the left of tee 1.
Tee ll is to the left of basket 10. A downhill drive to a basket that is reachable from the tee on a good day..and certainly a nice chance for a deuce. Just dont hit that house.
I believe 12 has two tees and two baskets? Long tee is straight past basket 11 near the road. There is an old rusty basket about 400 feet back up the hill into the woods. An un-numbered basket is installed another 60 or so feet past it.
Hole 13 also appears to have two tees and two baskets. The to the left of fairway 12 I found the long tee for 13 and played this hole through the trees and to the left about 600 feet to the second basket.
Seems 14 has two tees and one basket. Tight uphill shot.
Following the orange flags to the left, 15 is your first taste of what the back nine will be like. A gorgeous mowed fairway with a few scattered tree obstacles, and thick and disc-eating rough on both sides. I only found one tee and one basket for 15..its a straight shot about 350. Got a deuce here.
Hole 16 seems to have two tees and two baskets. Long tee to long basket is probably over 500 feet...you go straight through a tight wooded fairway then downhill where I found one basket on the right and a longer one about 75 feet past it.
Hole 17 seems to have two tees and one basket. From basket 16, walk up to the left to find two tees on the same fairway line. A tight tunnel shot turns to the right to reveal basket 17 sitting atop a slight hill with a very dense background of trees. A very fun hole.
Hole 18 is one of the most intimidating tee shots Ive ever seen. Uphill through a wall of trees. A short basket is waiting about 300 feet up, and the long basket is about 75 past it.
Signs and orange flags bring you to the tees for 19. I believe there are two tees and one basket. The fairway goes slightly downhill than back up, tightly wooded. Basket is old school, yellow tray and rusty chains.
Follow the orange flags uphill to the left to find tee 20. One tee, two baskets. You def wanna stay on the fairway here.
Same advice for 21. Tee shot needs to bend slightly right..another hole with one tee and two baskets that I found. An S-Turning fairway with dense rough for those who stray off it.
The next few holes are real easy to find and navigate. A few of them dont have the tees built yet it seems... but I teed off from the spots where it looks like they will be built.
Hole 27 has a new tee box looking down a fantastic fairway. A downhill tunnel shot through the tree will be your last drive on this course. I couldnt find a basket, I think people are currently using the long 18 basket for 27. Its down the hill and to the right, maybe 500 ft from the tee. There is also another basket in that vicinty, and there is no number on it. Its the one I assumed was the long 12 but I'm not sure.
This is the layout I played, not sure if its right or wrong but I think that this course is a lot more fun to play when you dont have to wander around figuring it out. I hope its helpful if someone needs it. I played the course as a par 3 x27, total par of 81. Shot 88 first round and 86 second round.
Pros include a very scenic park with rolling hills and nice views of Lancaster farm land. A far cry from the city and suburbs I'm used to.
Great variety on the 27 hole layout..open holes, wooded holes....short and long, you get it all here. A very fun course to play.
There is a water fountain near hole 7 but it was out of order. Not sure if there are bathrooms but I assume there are
Cons: Cons- Still a little confusing, only because a newcomer doesnt know which holes have multiple tees/baskets and which ones dont. Its no reason not to come here though. I imagine they are making constant progress. There were a lot of non-dgers on the front nine..kids playing soccer, volleyballs, picnics. No big deal tho.
Some of the tees are in rough shape. Ive never been a tee nazi tho so it doesnt matter that much to me. But some of the newer tees make you with they were all that nice. Same thing with the baskets..some are seasoned but they still work fine. Some are new and shiny. Most are numbered, some are not.
Other Thoughts: Considering the wide variety of holes you get to experience here I would say that Roland is well worth the trip for me now. If I lived closer I would love to get invloved, because this place has the potential to be 4 star course in my opinion. Thank you to everyone who works on this course, your hard work is very obvious and I can honestly say its one of my favorite places to play golf in pennsylvania.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Fantastic Layout in Amish Country
Pros: There really are a lot of fun, high-quality holes at Roland Park. The old gems that allow you to air out your shots with a view of Lancaster County farmland were kept (even improved, at least design-wise), and the new woods holes pleasantly surprised me for how they were fun, challenging, and fair. There are even a couple really cool holes up on top of the hill that take advantage of some light density woods. The course is mostly navigable now, with "Next tee" signs in abundance and little orange flags marking your path to the next tee on many holes. (Update: most little orange flags are gone, but layout isn't terribly difficult to follow.)
The Front 9 (the old Back 9) and plays almost entirely out in the open, basically in a big gently sloping valley. A couple healthy ace runs, a couple long downhill shots, a couple Par 3.5/4 holes, and a couple holes where a pond come into play keep it interesting.
The Middle 9 (including old holes 1-3), offers two open holes before diving into the woods for the rest of your round. Save for a couple short holes and a couple Par 3.5 holes, you're basically playing a bunch of fun woods holes for the rest of the Middle 9 and the Back 9. Almost all remaining holes have a clear grass fairway (with punishing rough to the side) with one or multiple good-size throwing lanes and have some combination of elevation change, sloping fairways, and turning fairways.
I should emphasize that I really like the new holes (15-17,18-27). It's a PA woods golf dream for anyone who thrives on the hyzer flip. Hole #23 long basket approach shot is really cool with a panorama of Lancaster County farmland in the background through a row of trees. Fairways are very fair and force you to know your discs and make good shots. Fairways seem wide enough but not too wide, and there always seems to be some trouble to get into, so there's a clear risk/reward for playing aggressively. I'd guess you should see nice scoring spreads in tournament play on almost every hole.
Cons: The baskets aren't top-of-the line, and many of the old concrete tees need re-done and the new rubber tees are currently being installed. Informational signs are pretty much limited to the new hole numbers near the tees and on the baskets. It sounds like it's pretty much a one-man show when it comes to work there...thanks, Bill! Hopefully he'll get more support soon.
I like to see better defined Par 3s and Par 4s for the various skill levels. I think the new holes could use a little more variety in terms of length, par, and difficulty...although different tee pads and pin positions could help. The wooded section of the course could use another ace run or two, and maybe a real Par 4 just to give the course a fresher feel. It's tough to play so many Par 3/3.5s in a row without a couple good looks at the basket from the tee. (Update: this aspect looks to be improving. It'll be nice once distances and preferred blue/white/gold configurations are set.)
The new area of the park in the woods used for the disc golf course could use a little more time to get broken in.
Other Thoughts: As the course matures, it looks like the plan is to have long/short tees and long/short baskets.
The open holes are rather unique in my experience, and the wooded holes remind me of some sort of cross between West Virginia's Seth Burton Memorial DGC and Knob Hill Park in Pittsburgh.
Each of the nine hole loops starts and ends close to the central parking area.
If you're a fan of layout, hole design, and shot-making, it's time for you to get back to Roland Park. If you care about tee/basket quality and amenities, you might want to hold off a little longer.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Needs The Final Spit-N-Polish
27 holes. The long-n-wide-n-flat-n-graded rubber teepads on13-18 were excellent. Variety - about 40% of the holes are on the (wide) open side of things, another ~40% have challenging-but-generous, tree-scattered fairways found in small pockets weaving through a wood, while the remainder are on the multi-tree-length-of-hole tight-side of the spectrum. Met course POC Bill Geibel, and he was very helpful.
Some holes are multi-tee, some holes are multi-basket, but w/o any information, other than the hole-#, at the tees themselves, it is impossible for a visitor to know what options are available. The tees on the open front-12 are concrete, but a bit short and deteriorating, while the tees on the back-9, though marked, are a work-in-progress - some are carpet, most are dug-out pits. After finishing #27, natural walk back to car is down #19's fairway.
Course initially plays in the sloping open space, with a pond, then moves into the woods and tracks/paths, of a large public park. The first 12 holes are mostly open, but have some type (change of elevation, hedgerow, water, a few trees) of challenge to the hole. Holes 13-18 are wooded throughout, some thickly, some along the sides with scattered trees at various points, minor elevation changes, relatively tight. The new holes are 19-27 (actually, 19 is an old basket but approached from the opposite direction than previously). The remainder play similarly to each other - grassy fairways surrounded by trees and brush, gentler elevation changes, fair blend of left/right/no-turning throws needed, trees causing shot-shaping early and/or middle and/or late, longer than the previous, tighter holes - very nice blend compared to the early-open and middle-tight.
On #4, the basket is up-n-over the bank of the pond, between the two rightmost trees. The pond ends at the lamppost further right, so if you want to avoid the water altogether, be right of this post. Need to re-trace your steps from basket-4 to find tee-5, which has the pond to its back and goes down to a basket in the far left corner of a field. No basket-27 the day we played, so the designer told us to play to long basket #18. Small orange flags help you navigate 19-27, but essentially 19-23 take you away from the road/parking lot/tee-1/pavilion, and 24-27 bring you back, finishing near basket-18/tee-19.
If you find yourself parking in a small gravel cul-de-sac near the pond, you'll find short tee-10 to your left. Tee-1 is actually up the hill, to the right of the pavilion, which is to the right of basket-10.
Playable, navigable, and enjoyable the day I played (7/17/10), but finishing the back nine tees and having informative tee signs throughout will certainly make this course shine.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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