A casual round on a not-so-casual hill
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Beautiful picturesque setting within the mountains of West Virginia
-Easy access from highway (1st exit off of 68 if you're coming from 79, then a mile or two off the exit)
-Very nice Innova DISCatcher baskets
-Very unique course, I wouldn't expect to ever play another one like it
-Great elevation changes. Holes 9, 17, and 18 are extreme uphill and holes 10, 11, and 12 are extreme downhill. All others have some amount of elevation change as well.
-All 18 holes are located in a close proximity (all on the same side of a steep hill) to the parking lot, so not a bad walk back if you need to leave in the middle of a round.
-A fairly good workout walking up the side of the hill. This may be a negative aspect for some, but I enjoy this about certain courses
-The designers incorporated the trees as much as they could (hole 1 especially)
-Very nice bathroom and course map near the parking lot
-Course is only a few minutes away from downtown Morgantown, where they are lots of great places to eat and drink
Cons: -As well as the designers placed the holes, the variety can only be so great when every hole is in the same setting on the same hill with minimal trees and without any other kind of obstacles
-I think the length of the tees are good, but some might prefer longer ones. They are shorter than, say, Orange Crush or Seth Burton's tees. Also, they are gravel, and some of the tees need to be filled in a little better. Some obtain puddles of water from rain.
-Grass can get tall in the rough, making it a battle to find discs sometimes (although they do mow the entire course occasionally - which is much appreciated)
-As previously mentioned, almost every hole's drive is faced without dealing with any obstacles other than the elevation, making the course pretty repetitive. You can get away with throwing a hyzer on almost every hole and it works. Not much challenge. I don't use a great variety of discs here, either.
- Pretty bad blind shot on 10, and 11 and 12 aren't too great either. This can be frustrating because there is very thick rough surrounding these holes. My brother had the climb the little fence that was at the edge of the woods to get a disc. Never fun to pass over a fence to get a lost disc.
-Navigation can be difficult. Some tees are placed near each other, with mostly every tee sign missing. No next tee signs either. The first 9 flow well, but then 10's tee is back at the top of the hill and way to the right (facing uphill). Tees for 11 and 17 are right by each other, without signs to indicate which is for which.
-When there are tee signs present, it only reads the hole number and the hole length - nothing else
Other Thoughts: I did not enjoy this course the first time I played it: the grass was knee-waist high in the rough and I struggled to find a few of the tees. However, I have come to really enjoy playing here. It is not a course that will challenge you with much variety, unless you aren't used to big elevation. But it is a fun, casual round - type course. I enjoy throwing new discs out here, because of the course's openness. Since I've been coming here, the fairways have always been cut short and the rough hasn't been as bad as the first time I played. This course has beautiful views and is probably unlike any other course you will play. Therefore, it is worth checking out. It is also only approx. 15 minutes away from Morris Park in Pleasant Valley, which has two wonderful courses in Orange Crush and Seth Burton. Stop by Black Bear which is only minutes away in downtown Morgantown after your round, some of the best food I've eaten.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Worth a Visit if You're in the Area
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Dorsey's Knob is located in a very picturesque setting, and its elevation and openness foreground the area's inherent beauty. There were many times when playing here that I simply stopped myself and took in the gorgeous landscape before me. Great views.
The course's unique bowl-shaped hillside location makes for a memorable playing environment.
In my mind, this course's greatest strength and most unique attribute is its extreme elevation. It's on largely open terrain, so elevation changes and smart pin placement are key to generating worthwhile holes, and DK is often successful in this regard. The extreme downhill hyzers on 10 and 11, the uphill, rough-guarded basket on 8, and multiple pins in the shadow of trees provide a few examples of how the course maximizes its inherent features. I've never before played a course so thoroughly dependent on elevation to create interest and variety, so Dorsey's Knob provided a unique experience for me that, while not overly challenging, certainly maintained my interest.
Bathrooms are readily available and perhaps the nicest I've ever seen at a disc golf course.
Gravel tees were serviceable: I've seen better, I've seen worse.
Easy to find off the highway.
Cons: The overall condition of the course seems a bit rough around the edges. The rough can get tall, and in its worse stages can make finding discs that have strayed even slightly from the fairway a real pain. Fairways themselves seem to be well maintained, however.
Course navigation can be difficult for new visitors, and there are several reasons for this. First, DK's openness means you're often seeing multiple baskets and tees simultaneously, so it can be hard to tell where to go next. Coupled with the common absence of tee signs - which apparently get stolen often by local kids - and it's hard to know what tee belongs to what pin without piecing it together or asking a knowledgeable local (which, fortunately, seem to be friendly, present, and often visible). The tee signs which are in place provide minimal information - only a hole number and an often-seemingly-inaccurate distance. Graphics would go a long way to tracking down a tee's associated basket. Beyond this, the tee signs are generally crappy: corrugated cardboard attached to a metal pole with zip ties.
From a technical perspective, the absence of numerous or varied obstacles often makes traveling to the basket a singular proposition - straight, left, or right - in which small or moderate deviations go largely unpunished. There's a fairly large margin for error on many of these holes. The lack of variation in regards to woodedness and distance limits the playing experience, and the lack of alternate tees - very desirable given the relatively low difficulty of the current tees - reduces replay value. This would be a hard course to grow with if you were a local, given its low difficulty and quirky nature (due to the extreme elevation). The course does have alternate pin positions which are more challenging than those currently pictured and listed on DGCR, but I'm uncertain as to how often they switch back and forth between these positions. Even so, the course is simply too open to challenge intermediate and advanced players.
Other Thoughts: Given its openness, wind is more of a factor here than at other courses in the area.
Despite my listed drawbacks, this course was actually much funner than I expected it to be. I think catching the rough at a relatively low height (based on what locals have told me it's capable of being) contributed to this: we didn't have to spend a lot of time looking for discs. Dorsey's Knob plays quickly, and provides a nice alternative to the technical challenges of nearby Seth Burton and Orange Crush, making for a great stopping point on your way to or from those more noteworthy courses. It's certainly worth a visit.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Up, Down, and Around
Easy to navigate. Two, 9=hole loops. New, quality baskets, including a practice basket.
Bathroom on site, in an air-conditioned building, which was much appreciated on the 9o+ degree day I visited!
Tee locations a bit small, and gravel-filled. While the map indicates there are two tee locations per hole, there appears to be only one.
Course plays up, down, and across the end of a horseshoe-shaped valley, with the tee locations marked by easy-to-spot yellow signs, containing basic information..
After number-1, a short/tight right-turner through a patch of woods, down and right from the practice basket, holes 2-5 are quite open, as they slowly work you across/down the slope, heading for the back-right edge of the park.. Numbers 6-7, also open, play across the midpoint of the slope, and begin to bring you back towards the start. Number-8 has the patch of woods along its left side. Number-9 is short but straight uphill, with the basket out of view, near the woods on the left (most visible baskets from tee-9 will be #18 and the practice basket.)
Tee-10 is to the left of the practice basket, and, while open and short, plays blind down a steep hill. Numbers-11 and 12 continue the steep downhill trend, introducing a large tree (#11) or fairway defined by groups of trees (#12). Now near the bottom of the valley, flat-n-open #13 continue to take you away from the start. Number-14 regains some of the lost elevation and begins returning you to the start, and open numbers-15 and 16, playing parallel to but below numbers 6-7, head back towards the start. Numbers 17-18 are both straight uphill for an exhausting finish.
Definitely on the open side, the primary challenges coming from the extreme elevation changes found on ~1/3rd of the holes. The shorter distances make the course playable for intermediate- players, and advanced+ players should have several birdy opportunities. Not far off I68, so if you like your courses open and don't mind some steep slope walking, certainly worth a visit if passing through the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Up, Down, then Up again!
Pros: This newly installed course has great proximity to the booming college town of Morgantown. This course is very accessible from either interstate 68 or 79.
The baskets are brand spanking new Innova Discatchers!
There is a packed gravel tee in good condition on every hole.
Decent facilities for such a small park. Bathrooms etc.. near tee number one.
A good kiosk right next the the practice basket, which usually has maps and scorecards.
For a course that is located exclusively on a steep hillside it is well maintained. The fairways were wide and mowed well.
The course designer took advantage of literally every thing available on the property.
Cons: This course is located on a very awkward piece of land. The entire course is on a steep, mostly wide open hillside.
Many of the holes are very short and the course overall is very easy. It would be no stretch of the imagination that a good player could go 18 under on this course.
This course has a little bit of a navigation issue. Not because the tees are far away from each other but because you can see so many baskets and tees all at once. Since they are now hosting PDGA tournaments here there are now some temporary tee signs and navigational aides around the practice basket area. These are helpful but there can still be confusion in the 1, 9, 17, 18, 10, 11 area of the course.
Really for how short the course is, with all the hillsides, you really have to work for it at this course. A round of 18 or 36 on a hot day might just wipe you out.
Very repetetive. I have no suggestions to improve this on the given piece of property.
There are no amenities as of yet on the course like benches, garbage cans, or descriptive tee signs.
Other Thoughts: Dorsey's Knob is really just a very tiring pitch and putt located on the side of a mountain. I have talked to the designer of this course and have been told that this was not the location that was originally set aside for a course and some form of bait and switch occured leaving him with very little to work with.
Regardless it is always nice to have a new course installed in my region and it was nice to see so many people out on this course getting their first (hopefully not last!) taste of disc golf. I think this would be a great place to bring a beginner since they will have plenty of room to work with and would be able to reach some of the baskets o nthe downhill holes.
If you are coming to play this course please keep in mind that even though the holes are fairly short, overall it is still a work out. I am a regular runner and I still felt a little burn in my quads walking up to 18's basket.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Convenient location a short drive from WVU campus with ample parking and other park facilities.
- Variety of elevation changes.
- Mowed fairways and recently installed tee boxes.
Cons: - Course is very repetitive, as most holes are straight and wide open.
- No signage indicating start of course, and no signs on the tee box or to direct you to the next hole. While finding the next hole is generally pretty easy, making the turn does not follow an obvious path and can be confusing.
Other Thoughts: Though I attended college at WVU, I was somewhat surprised to return to the area on business and find a newly installed disc golf course at Dorsey's Knob. From what I've read on the web it looks like this is probably the first summer that the course has been up and running, and I can definitely appreciate the effort that locals have put into developing the facility, which should be a huge boon for students.
The course is located in an area park and is installed, for all intents and purposes, on the side of a hill in a hayfield. This is definitely a course that is somewhat handcuffed by the real estate that they have. Though I'm sure things will improve as more time is spent developing the course, such as signs and alternate tee pads, there probably isn't much that can be done as far as the course layout itself.
The first hole is somewhat hard to find. Though the practice tee basket is right off the entrance road and many other baskets can be seen on the drive in, the first tee box is tucked away below and to the right of the practice pin in a small thicket. Signage here would be a big help. The first hole is a tight anhyzer through a small grove of trees to a short pin location, but this is really the only "wooded" shot on the course. Though overhanging branches come into play on a few other holes and some pins are nestled against tree trunks, the course is almost entirely out in the open. While this makes for a great opportunity to work on your drives, especially in the brisk winds that come with playing on a hilltop course, there's not a lot of variety and the course gets pretty monotonous. The front nine works back and forth along the hillside, so you will have to throw both backhand and forehand drives to avoid dropping down the slope of the hill, and with the unmowed "rough" being fairly substantial, there is some added value to keeping you drive accurate.
Hole 9 is a short yet almost vertical shot to a pin on the left hidden behind trees. Without signs, this hole is very hard to find, especially since the tee box is directly next to the Hole 17 tee, making things confusing. Luckily I snagged a couple locals who pointed me in the right direction, but without that insight it's not at all obviously where to head from the Hole 8 basket. Hole 10 is likely difficult to find, as you actually have to go back up near the practice basket for a steep hyzer shot down to the basket. That was probably my biggest complain about the course, as it is very unlikely that someone unfamiliar with the course would know to head back up to the top of the hill for this hole. Given, there is a course map available on the web as a printout, but for anyone who doesn't have that, navigation can be tough at times.
Holes 10, 11, and 12 are basically straight downhill, while Holes 9, 17, and 18 are straight up. I haven't played at a course that had more severe changes in elevation so far, so that was particularly challenging. It's very hard to keep your drive settled on the downslope greens, so take care when teeing off not to come in too hot.
The course information mentions alternate tee boxes, but I didn't find any. So far, only one set of permanent tees is installed, with packed gravel in landscaping timber which works pretty well. There might have been alternate tees marked with orange flags, which I saw sporadically as I play my round, but I can't be sure. Again, I'm sure this is something that will come with time.
Overall, this is a fun course and I was glad I could take an hour away from the hotel to come over and give it a try. I can only imagine how much time I would have spent here if it had existed when I was in school, and I really appreciate the investment of time and money that has been put into putting this facility in place. It's not a pro level course by any means, and a top player will probably get bored with the shorter distance and repetitious nature of things, but give the space that the course designers had to work with, I think they did an excellent job of maximizing what was available. Though I wouldn't make a trip specifically to play this course, it's definitely worth playing if you're in the area.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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