Strange course in bad decline
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The host campus is very nice, with lots of space and interesting geography (mature trees, big elevation changes, water). Of the 9 holes, about a third are good, a third could be good, and a third are just kind of weird, like they were laid out by someone who hadn't played a lot of disc golf.
Cons: It's clear that the university is not interested in this course anymore. The tee areas, originally gravel (I think), have all but disappeared. There are no tee signs, except on the first hole. The baskets are getting rusty. They even put a tow line for inner-tubers right in front of a tee and didn't bother to move it.
Some holes were badly designed to begin with. #1 goes toward a building and then at 275' cuts sharp left through a narrow gap. #2's fairway goes out about 175' feet and then turns right through a wall of trees. #4 doesn't really have a fairway, and is right next to a road. #9 is almost impossible to play without throwing over another road -- one you can't see from the tee, so you have no idea if a car's coming or not.
Other Thoughts: It's unfortunate that they've given up on it, because as others have said, it could be pretty good course. As it is, I would not recommend going out of your way to play it. Since there are no permanent tees, they could re-position the problematic ones, trim a few trees, and have a decent layout without too much trouble. Disc golf is a growing sport and more college students are getting into it, so it may be worth the trouble.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Challenging Yet Disappointing
Pros: The course is quite big for a 9-hole course and the scenery and campus is very nice. Two different tees to play from depending on your skill level. If you play the alternate tees, most holes are 400 ft or longer which is a lot of fun. You are certainly in for a challenge with this course. There are only one or two baskets you can see from the tees so you'll have to throw based on your brain and not your eyes. There is a nice variety of terrain here with up-hill, down-hill, water and tree obstacle shots. Heck one shot you throw right thru a small snow-tubing park! The course certainly favors right-hand backhanders which I liked a lot! There's also a practice basket near the first tee which is always a great way to warm up. Another nice feature is the mailbox full of scorecards at the first tee.
Cons: So now the bad news. The course is extremely hard to navigate. If this is your first or second time playing it, you're going to need the map. Like others, even with the map I had a hard time finding the tees and the baskets. The tees are in very bad shape being just gravel. Some are so overgrown I couldn't even find them! Also, near the water hazard the horse flies were INSANE! My wife and I were attacked constantly from hole 6 thru 8! It was so bad I actually skipped teeing off at hole 6! The water feature was pretty gross and stagnant. Even if I had a disc floating in the water, there was not a chance I was going to get it! Yuck! The island tee (hole 8) is a great idea, but the trees are so overgrown at this point, you can hardly get the disc off the island; never mind the fact I couldn't even find the tee pad on the island. That was a bit disappointing.
Other Thoughts: This course has a lot of potential, but unfortunately it seems like it wasn't planned out well (or maybe it was to begin with, but since then the trees have gotten too big and features have been added to the campus). At times it feels like the tees and baskets are just randomly placed around the campus. I agree with others; navigation signs would improve the course dramatically! This is certainly the most challenging course I've played in the Altoona area, unfortunately it is almost too frustrating and ridiculous. Most holes you can't even get a good rip in because of the giant obstacles directly in front of the tees. I'm hoping that during the school year the water is a little cleaner because right now the no swimming signs are quite unnecessary. You've got to be a deranged toad to want to put even a foot in there!! Would I play there again? Yes, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to get there when there are more enjoyable courses to play in the area.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The holes are huge and incorperate tight drive windows opening up to open fields. Different elevation changes throughout the holes. You get to tee off from an island and also throw over the corner of a pond.They give you a map at the beginning and the signs were pretty nice.
Cons: The walks between holes were very long, and if I did not have a map there is no way I would have figured out the course. It took me awhile even with the map in hand. Some people were fishing in the pond which affected my #6 tee off. #9 ends very far away from where I parked(could be different if you park somewhere else). It took me a really long time to even find hole number one because there was no signage around campus. A girl was laying out on the #7 green, which I could see being a problem if it is nice out since the course is pretty much on campus.
Other Thoughts: If they added in some in course navigation signs that would help immensely. Improve the tee pads a little, gravel is not that best but a lot had worn away so it was not the worst i have seen. Great course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Nothing Special, had potential
Pros: Some of the holes have potential to be great. There are also some fun shots over water (one from an island tee) and up/down hills. Would be fun to play if you attended the campus. Has multiple tees, which made it a little more interesting (and would allow someone to play it as an 18 holer). Doesn't really play on the campus, so the chances of hitting people are pretty slim.
Cons: Very poorly marked. Often times, we had to walk ahead from the tee to see where the basket actually was. Some of the holes don't have signs marking, which tee you are at, or even how to get to the next one. Found ourselves getting lost a few times tring to navigate the course. Also, it was poorly maintained with high grasses, untrimmed trees, and just a general unkept look. The teepads were gravel, which was very easy to slip on. Plays around the outskirts of the campus where you can tell the groundkeepers care less about.
Other Thoughts: Being from central Pennsylvania there aren't many courses to choose from. This course just didn't seem worth the trip for me (I live about 25 min away). There were some holes that had potential, but it was just so poorly kept at the time and very difficult to navigate, that it made it hard to enjoy. We went at a time when school was just getting ready to start, so you'd think they would have wanted to grounds to look better, but that wasn't the case.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Two (3x6, flat, crushed gravel-filled) tee locations per hole. Top-quality tee signs at long tees (except at short on 6 & 8). Practice basket. Scorecard at tee 1. Quite long for an university course.
Minor navigation - re-trace steps from basket 3 to tee 4. Bit of a walk from basket 9 to starting parking lot. Lots of goose poo near pond. Several shots long, turning, and/or blind near high grass or thick brush create a moderate chance for disc loss - spotters recommended.
Course plays up, down, and around the grounds, building, roads, and pond of a small campus set on a high plateau with nice views. Averaging over 300' from the shorts, and over 400' from the longs, this is not your typical short university course. On the open side of things - you'll have some trees to avoid, and woods to stay clear of, but will normally have lots of room to swing your shots as wide as you need. Variety of elevation changes, but other than a few extreme turns on the early holes, most initial shots are fairly straight.
Without the map, the first few holes would be a bit difficult to navigate. The map has an error - baskets 5 and 6 are switched on the map, so #5 is actually straight, NOT a right-turner, while #6 is up the hill, NOT in the copse of trees, and requires a throw across the corner of the pond from the long tee. Basket #8 is closer to the left, vice right, side gap, but this brings the edge of the woods into play. Too long on downhill-towards-pond #7 is where the water will most likely come into play.
Very solid course, and not too far out of the way if travelling from Altoona to Indiana.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc golf has a patron saint!
Pros: - Water hazards. A medium-sized pond comes into play on three of the holes. One of them is a diagonal shot across the body of water, another one has a basket close to the shore that could potentially punish a downhill drive with too much distance, and the third is the...
- ISLAND HOLE! There's a tiny island in the middle of the lake (you get over to it by a bridge). Should you choose to play the pro tee, you get to drive off the island and clear two pine trees while trying to send your disc uphill to the basket. Fantastic! This hole is really worth the drive; I promise.
- Great use of alternate tees. Rec tees are satisfying for beginners, while the pro ones are more challenging and have more risk-reward. For example, water doesn't really come into play on the 3 rec tees, which is nice if you're a noob and not really keen on seeing your brand new discs go into the drink.
- Nice signage. I've never actually seen a Houck sign before in person and they're really nice. Scorecards and pencils are also provided at the first hole.
- The course utilizes elevation well with both uphill and downhill drives. For only nine holes, you run into a lot of blind shots. The terrain also varies on the course from hardwoods, to open grass, to a thick grove of evergreen trees. In fact, holes 2-3 feel like you're playing more on a Christmas tree farm than a disc golf course! The views throughout the course are spectacular and the lawns are nicely manicured.
- This isn't a weenie course. Lengths on the advanced tees hover around 400 feet on average and involve tons of doglegs. Like any good institution of higher education, the course makes you think about your shots!
Cons: - Navigation is definitely a con. While there is a map, the layout isn't very intuitive, as getting from hole to hole can be tricky for first timers. The biggest challenge is the hike from 3 to 4.
- Perhaps the biggest shortcoming with the course is that it doesn't loop around. 1 and 9 are a good hike from one another, but you kind of see why when you play the course.
- Only 9 holes. This tends to be a trend in Central PA - especially around Altoona. I understand the economics and logistics, but man could this course be special if it had more holes - especially more technical ones.
- Parking close to the first hole may be an issue when students are in for the academic year. Student pedestrian traffic across the campus/course may also be problematic.
- Some buildings and roads could come into play, but this I suppose is typical with college courses.
- A lot of the par 4's could probably get away with being par 3's. They are the more challenging holes, after all.
Other Thoughts: Of the handful of collegiate disc golf courses I've played, this is definitely the best. I'd give it a 3.25, but since that's not possible, I'm going to round down with a 3 -- although it's a 3 worth visiting. It does a good job of being part of the campus without having buildings and walkways being overly intrusive. It's just a downright pretty course, too! Despite some shortcomings, the 9 holes here really have you craving for 18. I think it's really neat that the student government bought this course for the university, its students, and the public good. Makes you feel hopeful about more springing up in the future! If you're traveling through Central PA along US-22, make a stop here. You may be 'blessed' with a good score...
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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