8 Helpful / 1 Not
An awesome setting for disc golf
Pros: This course has almost all the elements you could ever desire in a course: a beautiful creek, interesting elevation changes, all types of different trees, opportunities for open bomber holes, and very well-designed Par 4s. Just about every hole is unique and qualifies as very memorable in my mind with holes 1-12 being simply an outstanding stretch of holes that raise the bar for Pennsylvania Disc Golf. There are lots of really cool disc golf shots to be thrown at Camp Sankanac. The church camp in the woods provides a neat setting, and the bouncy suspension bridge across the creek Hole 6 is almost as memorable as some of the holes. Most holes are well-designed in relation to par and make for a blue-level player's paradise that matches what I've come to expect in Western PA's elite courses.
Cons: Skill-specific par issues pop up on occasion, especially on the longer Par 3s. I can't see anyone but pros scoring birdies on the longer Par 3s, but amateur players bogies won't be that common either. The shotmaking awesomeness comes at the cost of long walks between holes in a couple instances. I played on a day after it had rained, and the rubber teepads ended up being pretty slick. Bushes of briars are abundant on the sides of fairways. A Par 5 would be nice.
Regarding the baskets, after observing several rounds, I'd guess that they might reject about 1-2% of "good" 30' putts that the more expensive baskets would catch. So, differences exist, but it's not a big deal.
Other Thoughts: Again, I'm really really impressed with how well the terrain was utilized and well-designed course that resulted. Great job! Please respect the camp's stricter-than-usual (but understandable) rules and regulations so that others may enjoy this gem.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: all types of layouts from huge open fields to crowded trees or over the streams. a few holes with interesting OBs such as hole 10. OBs are marked very well and the course has great flow because of all of the "next tee" signs.
Cons: the streams can be a problem for some. I wish there were benches on atleast a few holes
Other Thoughts: highly recommend playing here, beautiful and versatile course
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: really fun course to play, this course is very close to where live and i am able to play often. all types of holes on this course. very nice area to play in and the camp the course is on is very pretty in the fall.
Cons: some of the water holes are very long and hard to get across. you must be sure of your throws if you dont want to go swiming. the water is getting lower do to lack of rain but some parts are still deep, you must be very careful with your throws while teeing off. the course is closed almost the whole summer so riite now is the best time of the year to be playing this awesome course.
BEWARE OF PICKERS!!!
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
A Disc Golf Creation Tale!
Pros: While playing this course you will encounter every element of disc golf you desire. Unsurpassed variety for the region is found here. Unlike other area courses that follow a unique theme. This heaven on earth has every type of hole a serious DGer would desire with water (5 shots teeing off over water and water lurks by on a handful of baskets), Plenty of woods, Plenty of open air, Elevation both rising and dropping (with 2x as many shots firing downhill as up!), Interesting ace runs and demanding par 4s, and a balance of anhyzers,hyzers, straight shots, and doglegs. What really wowed me the several unique looks you get here off the tee. Every tee was a surprise treat with either glorious downhill crushes or interesting lines you don't get at other courses. I emptied my bag a handful of times.
Some Highlights (not one dud hole but these standout)
Hole 12 was a reasonable fairway under 300 feet with ample room but was essentially similiar to throwing down a canyon of hallway trees. Dense enough off the fairway to ensure a 4 but if you hit it right you could garner birdie. I loved it.
Hole 9 is similiar to hole 7 at Morraine SP (only longer and more demanding) with it's temptation to throw over the tree tops from a hillside tee but with canopy below the treetops forming a lane to a faraway basket. From the tee your looking directly at the treetops with canopy lanes below and and crushing overhand/flex shots above you. Only the second time I've encountered this shot off the tee.
Hole 4 was a R turning dogleg downhill out of the woods to an open field and then uphill slightly right to a 90 degree bend and the basket.....be sure not to hyzer off or your gonna end up further away from the basket than the initial tee shot. Better off to have a flick in your arsenal.
Downhill open bombs like 5 and 7 keep the adrenaline flowing. The open fields require negotiating wind and shot placement to ensure par....you get to bomb but landing in the proper area is optimal. Technical holes are sprinkled throughout that often demand mental discipline and mistake free golf or you could be a risk taker and shotmaker.
17 and 18 are a pair of downhill shots where IF you split the gap on 17 you are parked, 18 requires 2 precise shots to set up a chance at birdie.....a long sweeping downill hyzer after a massive tee shot with defined OOB to the right. Excellent finisher as your score may birdie or get dirty here.
This course is just a treat to play and is best experienced for the variety and uniqueness of many of the holes. The fun factor is prevalent here all round long.
The tees, signage and baskets were ample especially for a pvt course. A great bonus to your donation is a course map/scorecard....invaluable and the right thing to do.
Cons: The designer clearly took the I want the best 18 disc golf holes out of this property and he maxed out. The price is several longish walks or a few holes with baskets close to other fairways. Not a big deal as saftey is not an issue as the course is not going to be too crowded and being a pvt course the ignorant DGer types should not venture out here. I was always rewarded after the little walks with a hole that was easily worth the extra steps.
It's not quite a gold level challenge despite the multi shot holes. Par is set at 60 and this is reasonable. Breaking par would be an accomplishment. Several longer par 3s that favor the bigger arms...might discourage the mortals. A lot of the course plays in and around roads, cabins, equipment, etc....so while camp won't be in session theres no doubt your bombing across a soccer field or around this bldg or road. The shots are phenomenal but you will notice and if you allow this to be a con it can be. (if you can appreciate the shot and focus you won't care)
The greatest con is probably the many vines which thwart throwing lines in the air and are killing trees and the thick thorns which make retrieval a rather harrowing experience...as the course matures and some vines and thorns get snipped this course will only become more astounding.
I am searching for cons here...its really an amazing experience and I felt both welcomed and not pressured by the Christian Camp personnel here.
Other Thoughts: This course complements nearby grueling French Creek. Pair these two and you have one heaven of a day. Keep in mind that it is a Church Camp and there are kids present for school and retreat activities may be in session so please refrain from bringing your Ds here. Dogs, Drinking and Drugs are not appropriate here. This place is about enjoying yourself and playing disc golf in a relaxing atmosphere. If players who make the trip here care enough about it as the man (pastor Jeff) who nurtured this course from practice basket to pro worthy experience than this venture will be a success unmatched by others in the region.
With Sankanac Eastern PA now has another must play.....Thank You God for spoiling me.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
great private course
Pros: Reviews aren't suppose to refer other reviews but Zapplayer12's review is perfect below. #9 does remind me of Moraine near Pittsburgh.
I found this private course surprisingly great. I wasn't expecting much, I was wrong.
The land and terrain used on this piece of property
work out very well for disc golf. The secluded peaceful setting with hills and creeks make this a disc golf sanctuary.
Great variety of shots required...long, short, open, tight, left, right, up, down, OVER WATER, around camp make this a good challenge. Plenty of OB to contend with which can affect your strategy while playing some holes. Drop zones are clearly marked near the creek.
The clearing of most of the fairways thru the woods was done very well and you don't see a lot of cut brush lining the fairways except on a few holes.
Clean property, no litter at all, let's keep it that way!
The downhill drives on #'s 4, 5, 7, 17 and 18 are a lot of fun.
Six legit par 4's.
For homemade baskets, they caught well, they are very similar to DiscCatchers.
I met Pastor Jeff and he was making improvements on the course as we played, this course can only get better.
Tee signs with the distance listed on them and good rubber tee pads, some longer when appropriate.
Cons: Finding basket #1 and throwing over a road to get to the pin.Yellow street signs on #1's approach shot may get in the way, my playing partner hit one.
Spotting the silver painted baskets in the woods is sometimes very difficult.I'd suggest a different paint color or flag on the top of them.
The long walk between 13 and 14, many more next tees signs have been added since I first played it.
Since the course hasn't been played much by the public, the rough isn't trampled down yet and there are plenty of stickers bushes off the fairway.
#13's and #17's rough if you don't hit the gap on your drive.
The front nine ends up furthest from the start, no loop for each 9.
Some of the baskets have rusted inner chains on them yet they caught very well.
The limited days (no Saturdays) and seasonal play are a drawback but I understand it's a kids camp
first and course probably not even second.
Other Thoughts: I found about this course on DGCR just last week and made the short trip from Philly within a week, it's about 40 minutes from Center City.
Park in the gravel lot directly across from the office (# 68). The first tee can be found near the picnic tables just right of the bridge.
I have no problem paying the suggested donation of $3, I gave $5 towards to course. It's so worth it.
A few benches along the course would be upgrade since it is a long walk not only on the course itself but between some of the holes too.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
When Camp's Out, DG is in!
Pros: • Fly pads were level and in excellent condition. Some have an extra textured pad for run ups! One tee (#4) was concrete. There were also what appeared to be 'old' tees at some (#17 for example) and a possible alternate at #8 (no tee sign but a fly pad). Also had drop zones (10, 11 and I think #1 also)
• Handmade tee signs showing distance, pro par, water, OB, trees, pin location, etc.
• Next tee signs throughout the course, be aware and use them - they are your friend. Scorecards/map available on site. Course website has printable map (I encourage first timers to use).
• Homemade baskets were in good condition - the chains were a mix of new and old/rusty. When a mixed combo was used, they wisely opted for new on the outside and old on the inside.
• Well designed with a ridiculous amount of variation (elevation, distance, OB, hazards, hole types, throwing style options, handedness balance, etc.) which I could go on and on about. Essentially on many holes I was considering multiple possibilities and running through various scenarios in my head before finally settling on a decision. It encourages creativity, thought and consideration - these are course characteristics which will keep me coming back for more!
• The calm, relaxed seclusion of private property cannot be stressed enough. No conflicts or distractions with people, cars, noise, crowding, etc. $3 'donation' worth it just for that...not to mention the terrific course to boot.
• Well maintained, excellent piece of land. Bridges, steps, ladders, etc all in great shape.
• Challenging Pro Pars - the smallest mistake can easily add a stroke to your score!
• Prepare for a time investment, there is a lot walking on this course. I played it solo & it took nearly 2.5 hours to complete, so plan accordingly (water, other provisions, factor in drive time due to course hours of availability).
• Overall an extraordinarily enjoyable place for a peaceful round of championship caliber disc golf.
Cons: • Homemade baskets seemed a bit stiff and were not the best catchers so be accurate when putting. Being silver colored, they were not always easy to see. On some holes, long poles with orange flags on top would help (for example on #8).
• Navigation/course flow observations: There are a couple long walks between holes - noticeably 13 to 14 & 16 to 17. The backtracking on 2's fairway to get to the short woods hike to #3 needs mentioning as well as the moderate walk between 8-9.
• Many thorns and sticker bushes off the fairway so be careful! Also there's a decent chance of disc loss or retrieval issues with the many water hazards and thick rough bordering some holes.
• Course could use some alt. tees, pin positions and amateur par on tee signs or scorecards.
• Plays around buildings, lots, roads and what I'll term 'camp stuff'. It was so quiet and secluded that this is a nominal con.
I recommend reading the review by the_lung as well as visiting the camp website's disc golf page for more details (http://www.campsankanac.org/disc-golf.html).
Since I've never done this before in a review, I'll add a hole by hole description:
#1 -The course starts with a makeable straight shot over water bordered by a bridge on the left and
a road in front of the grass landing area. The pin is across the road on the left on a severe uphill, fast green.
#2 - is another water shot - this time as part of the center/left fairway with a small OB
island in the middle! Beyond the red shed you'll find the pin situated in front of the French Creek.
#3 - Backtrack up the road toward #2's tee and follow the next tee sign on the left up the
hill and into the woods. It's a bit of a short hike but rewards with a little, wooded ace run.
#4 - This concrete, elevated tee starts in the woods with a downhill shot emerging into an open field and finishing up on the right.
#5 - is an open, long bomb/roller opportunity starting at the edge of the tree line gradually sloping downhill toward a tree protected pin
#6 - is another makeable throw over water. The drive is through a gap in the tree line which borders the creek. An open field awaits with an uphill pin at the woods edge. Be careful crossing the suspension bridge!
#7 - is an elevated tee throwing downhill across the open field it shares with #6. Through the opening in the neighboring woods is where you'll find the pin with the French Creek as backdrop.
Going left, a moderate walk up the gravel path leads to #8's tee.
#8 - a tough, pro-style hole. Lots of trouble off the mostly flat, narrow, turning fairway ending with a sever uphill approach to a pin in the woods . Great hole.
#9 - another longer hole starting at the woods edge on an elevated tee, throwing downhill into a field with rough and woods on the right and dotted moderate trees on the left. Reminiscent of Moraine State Park. Very nice.
#10 - Outstanding hole. Flat with attainable length, starts in the open then adds a creek in
the middle/left of the fairway about 1/3 of the way through with some knock down trees on the right.
#11 - Another great hole! An ace run/birdie chance - short, uphill poke over a
water hazard & ob landing area to a sloping, fast green. Fun!
#12-13 - Both are flat, birdable woods holes with non-disc eating rough & hardwoods lining
the sides of the well defined fairways. #12 is a straight shot while 13 goes right.
Go left up the gravel path and after the longest walk between holes on the course...
#14-16 - are mainly open with a few scattered trees and challenging pars for the distance. Plays
in the fields surrounding the Traber Center and its parking lot. 14 has a little uphill elevation while 15-16 are mainly flat.
Going right up the gravel path, this is the 2nd longest walk between holes on the course. Look for the next tee sign as you approach the road.
#17 - returns with an open throw off an elevated tee over the main road & an open field. About 3/4 of the way through, a non-disc eating creek, lined with trees and thick rough, offers only a narrow gap leading to an open field pin. So much fun!
#18 - finishes with an open bomb - a field of schule on the right and building on the left are the main hazards. The latter part of the hole slopes down left and in the small gap between the tree line at the bottom is the pin, situated by the OB gravel road.
In some ways, the limited availability (closed mem. day to labor day) is good. I wouldn't want to
play here when camp is in season or when there is heavy use as it could be dangerous. Conversely, the course is only available sun-fri. So if you work 'business hours' mon-fri, don't live close and factor in darkness, the opportunities to play here are diminished. However I made the time to play here and will do so in the future because it's absolutely without a doubt worth it.
A 'must play' if in the vicinity and when coupled with nearby French Creek State Park, a perfect compliment and definite destination play.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: The Course is layed out very nicely, and the upkeep and maintnence is remarkable. The scenery is pleasing to the eyes, and it's a very peacful setting. There is a good mix of open and wooded holes, along with diffrent elevations. There is a nice rustic cable bridge you have to walk across that adds to the charm of the course.
Cons: They don't have any leagues or weekly events planned yet.
Other Thoughts: I would definately say this is a course worth going out of your way to play.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I was contacted during the summer of 2007 by a youth pastor to evaluate the course he designed on the grounds of his church camp & retreat center. With only a few years background playing recreational disc golf and no design course experience, the minister created a fantastic pro par 60 course that makes excellent use of the available terrain. After working with Pastor Jeff to eliminate a few course design flaws and adjusting the location of a few tee pads and polehole positions to make for proper throwing distances for Blue level (950-rated) golfers, the course has evolved into a masterpiece with each hole playing as a different chapter of a book. The course has a little bit of everything - open shots, wooded holes, several water hazards, elevated off-the-cliff drives, a gauntlet tree-lined hole, real pro par four holes that demand both distance and accuracy, roller opportunities, and even a hole reminiscent of USDGC #7, with a wooded wall that surrounds the polehole. It's got perhaps one of the most spectacular finishing holes in Pennsylvania, as the approach on the pro par four 18th hole plays severely downhill to a protected polehole on a natural green area with an OB road just behind it to punish errant shots. Even better, the minister and the camp go to great lengths to keep the rough trimmed back and the course is always in pristine shape when I have had the great fortune to play it.
Unfortunately, as with most camps where kids are present, liability issues prevent the course from being completely open to the public and playing the course is available by appointment only.
Cons: While I'd personally like to see a pro par five hole on this course, it's tough to come up with any serious cons - it really has just about everything you could ask for. I just wish I lived closer and could play it on a regular basis.
Other Thoughts: This course is located on the grounds of a church camp for children. As such, it is a liability issue to be on the grounds without permission. Please do not show up to the course expecting to be able to play an impromptu round. If you are interested in using this course, you MUST e-mail or call ahead for permission. Additionally, all buildings on the property are off-limits. Also, no alcohol or drugs of any kind are permitted on the property.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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