5 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice work, Bear Creek!
Pros: I played Bear Creek when it first opened, and now again this year. What an improvement on the wooded holes! The paths are tight, but clear cut. And, much of the underbrush has been trampled down. On this particular 18, I like the variety of holes. You have some uphill, some downhill. The longest hole I believe is in the neighborhood of 420 feet. Then, there are some short ace runs mixed in. The tees are in great shape and the right length. The fun factor is everywhere. There are three amazing water holes here. The epic downhiller with the pond on the left, known as #10, is one of my favorite holes of all time. The hole where the creek is the fairway is one of the most unique holes I've ever played (memory is fading, I believe it's #17).
Cons: There are two that I noticed, but one will go away with more play on the course and maintenance. That one is the abundance of nasty shule and poison ivy. Be careful if your disc goes off the fairway. The second is a slight safety issue. Many of the next tees are very close to the prior holes basket. During casual play, this isn't really an issue. But, if a tournament is held that could make for long waits, or your head constantly being on a swivel. Also, on holes 2 and 3, there were some runners going through the course. 2's drive is to a blind basket, as is 3. Be vigilant.
Other Thoughts: Bear Creek is quickly morphing into yet another Lehigh Valley-ish area gem. The course designers and maintenance crew (not sure if they are one in the same) are really getting out there and putting some great work in, and keep the course in great shape. I commend them for the work they have done in clearing out the wooded holes from 2011 to 2012's season. This course isn't as physically demanding as the Mountainside course. So, if you want a nice casual round, with lots of birdies and/or ace potential, and an epic downhill over the water shot, this course is for you! I only rate it a 3.5, instead of a 4, because of the potential safety issues.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: It's FREE! Great Views! Technical w/ a little distance mixed in. The course was not nearly as hard as people make it out to seem, for the first time playing this course I did not expect to score as decent as I did. I guess we will see after the second time I play. The front 9 play really quick, thankfully, because the terrain is a tad rough for the back 9 but it was still awesome. If you think mountain and the thought "not sure" or if you are not active do not bother coming out. French Creek and Iron Hill still way harder. This is an awesome awesome course to play and can't wait to get back and try to Ace.
Cons: lost 2 discs, but I expected to since most people said it isn't hard to do here.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 3 Not
A Decent Ski Course
Pros: Bear Creek is a rugged combination of two disctinctly different courses. The front nine features a pair of open risk/reward holes followed by seven wooded holes. These seven holes feature both left and right-turning doglegs over rocky terrain and includes a wandering stream that could easily add a circle and an extra stroke to your score. The back nine is a verticle hike that meanders up the face of the ski slopes. While most of the first nine holes are fairly flat (#1 and #2 being the exception), the second nine most definitely has elevation in play, including uphill, downhill, and across the fall line.
This course is a great example of the type of course that forces players to weigh the value of "going for it" or "laying" up. This is always in play on the downhill holes, but this really gets kicked into high gear right from the start on holes #1 and #2, throwing over disc-stealing water.
The baskets are in great shape and feature tape to point to the next tee. If that wasn't enough, there is no shortage of arrows that also point to the subsequent tee. Garbage cans are all over the course and appear to be used as there is no garbage on the course. Picnic tables are also available on/between several holes and are a great way to take a break from all the verticle elevation changes. The steps after hole #9 are well crafted and make it easy to start your ascent.
Cons: Some of the lanes on the front nine didn't seem to be quite there yet. Hopefully as time goes on and this course evolves, the lines required on the wooded fairways will be easier identify. For the back nine, most of the holes seemed to be straight throws from guarded tees to open baskets or straight throws from open tees to guarded baskets without many doglegs. WIth the exception of a few holes, most of the fairways seemed to be a similar length.
The walk from the tee on #16 down to the basket is very steep and dangerous. The safer route down is to head back down the fairway to #15, which brings its own set of dangers.
Given all the land available at this course, it doesn't seem that it was utilized to maximum potential. Specifically, the nearly half mile walk from the 18th basket back to the parking lot is somewhat ridiculous.
The elevated tees at Bear Creek are pieced together from pieces of rubber mats and are fairly small. This combination is no good for those holes that require any kind of run-up.
The mosquitos and gnats were absolutely opressive. Large pools of stagnant water all over the course likely serve as breeding grounds for these nuisances. Normally, I'd put this into "Other" because this type of problem is only in play for part of the year, but considering that this course is only open part of the year, this is going to be a full-time issue.
Goose poo was all around the basket on hole #2. Drives parked on this hole might end up being punished anyhow.
Other Thoughts: This course is a workout. The first half requires careful, sure footing. The second half is a hefy cardio climb and will quickly make you huff and puff...even for those in fantastic shape. If you're easily winded, not good on your feet, or not in good physicial condition, I wouldn't recommend attempting the back nine.
Overall, I'm happy to have another course in the Lehigh Valley. Given the space available at this resort, I just wish there would have been a bit more to it from a hole length and variety perspectie (specifically on the ski slope holes). That being said, once you've had a chance to play the championship caliber courses in the Lehigh Valley, give Bear Creek a rip.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Hole 1 & 2 are very fun opening shots for the course. Hole 18 is excellent as well
Cons: Holes 3-7 are difficult and some with virtually no lane or path to the pin. This is a new course so with time these holes could be very fun. The tee pads aren't leveled with the ground which may be ackward for some and also some of the tee pads are on the smaller side. ******* THE BIGGEST CON YET : Hole 18. Hole 18 is an excellent hole with 1 MAJOR problem. The opening leads to the pavilion where people have weddings. On this day after we threw and were enjoying the long drives, when we were looking for our discs, we were greeted by someone from security walking towards us. She was telling us that we were talking to loud and that the wedding party could here us (even stated that she could here us from the teepad) . Now normally I wouldnt mind being told to not be loud except for the fact that she wanted us to whisper as we walked and played. She was also extremely rude and interrogated us about what we were doing (as if the discs in our hand, the pin we were walking to, and the bags of discs on our backs wasnt a big enough sign) and she also escorted us to just about the parking lot. Perhaps they should have thought about placing hole 18 within ear shot of where someone could have a wedding or perhaps maybe the wedding should have thought about having their wedding by where a FREE disc golf course is located.
Other Thoughts: The course all in all was fun since it was new but, with the lack of the front holes being cleaned up (3-7) and the extremely rude personel, this course gets a 3. Once its cleaned up, ill be able to look past the rude persons and rate this course better.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
room for improvement
Pros: Like most people, I was excited about playing a free ski hill course after seeing the pictures on fb (before it was listed on dgcr.) My excitement came to a peak when we pulled into the parking lot and saw the awesome drop from tee to basket on hole1. 30 mph cross winds added to the experience that day! My excitement was quickly squashed when we got to the wooded holes 3-9, none of which seemed to have a discernable fairway. I like wooded holes as much as the next guy, but some use of a chainsaw would make these holes more pleasurable. After a short walk past the scum filled pond-complete with floating dead animals- you get to the open holes 10-18 and the workout begins. There is a nice mix of up and downhill shots with very little hiking in between. My group (2 big guys and 2 skinny guys) didn't really have a problem with getting winded, just take your time and it will be okay. 18 dumps you right at the lodge, so you can clean up a bit and get a drink or food if you like. You might want a drink as you contemplate the long uphill walk to get back to your car. Luckily we had two cars so we didn't have to deal with it.
-The major con is the walk after 18. If I was there with only one car, I would probably park at the bottom and warm-up by walking up that hill first.
-I don't remember seeing any benches or trash cans on the course, not a problem for me but others seem to like those perks.
-There is no water, except at the lodge.
-New course = rough is REALLY rough! Forget about finding lost discs on certain holes. 18 took three of our discs and 1 stole a disc too.
-3-9 need a little clearing and maybe some alternate/longer tees.
-A few of the holes could use alternate/shorter tees to make the course beginner friendly-again, not a concern of mine.
Other Thoughts: -When I heard that someone mentioned having the worlds here in a few years, I literally laughed out loud. This course is no where near that caliber and I don't know if it ever will be. As it sits now, the course is pretty good and there is great potential for improvement, but whoever had that worlds thought needs a reality check.
-Holes 3-9 really bring this course down, but 1-2, 10-18 almost make up it.
-Teebox for the short downhill hole, 16-I think, is the smallest teebox I've ever seen. It's probably only 3x3 and really that's all you need because the pin is so short that a run up would be complete overkill and is totally unnecessary.
-I can't really say that I will go back anytime soon, maybe because Tyler, Nocky, Iron hill etc are closer to me.
-Bear Creek is a resort that hosts some expensive weddings and other functions, so I can't help but wonder if dirty/sweaty dg'ers will be welcome in the lodge during such functions. I can see it now: daddy pays 30k for the wedding only to have it spoiled when someone yells F**K after losing a disc and it echoes down the hill and interrupts the vows. Just kidding, I don't know if sound would travel down the hill that well.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Pros: Amazing layout, design and condition. The tee boxes are rubber and pristine. Course was easy to follow and filled with signature holes.
It's a disc golf experience that you won't forget, for many reasons, almost all of which are good. There are however, some challenges to overcome, see the cons.
Cons: I hesitate to call some of the problems cons. You can't have the joy of incredible elevation changes without having to traverse that elevation. And if I'm not in shape, it's my own fault. But seriously, this is a physical challenge that shouldn't be underestimated.
If you're not in excellent shape, make sure to take some breathers from 10-14, or you will be hurting and unable to enjoy 15-18. I'm not in great shape, and I was suffering.
Poison Ivy is everywhere on the back nine. It's nearly impossible to avoid.
The joy of seeing your disc sail downhill on the epic 18th is quickly washed away when you look out over the lodge and see your car in the parking lot. It will look like a matchbox. It's a LONG walk in from 18. And it's uphill, but if 10-14 didn't kill you, my money is on you making it.
Other Thoughts: Some hole information:
If you came, played 1 and 2 and left, you'd still have an experience.
#1 Right off the parking lot, under a gazebo you'll find the pristine # 1 tee box looking out over the a lake. You better have your A game or a disc you don't mind losing. Thick woods on the right, nothing but lake to the left and a precarious strip of sloped land where the basket sits in the middle.
#2 - This has an L shaped fairway that hugs the water. You can go for the pin but it's all carry over the lake. I'm not very long but I throw consistently between 280-300. There's no distances out yet for the course, but it looked closer so I took some off my drive and came up just short. I recommend throwing it a full 300 and being safe. I was able to recover my disc with the help of a big stick left behind by others.
#3 - #7- **EDIT (ALL of these holes have a clearly defined lane now. They are all fair for short holes. I removed my previous criticism). It is well laid out and the next tee box is almost always visible from the basket of the hole just finished. There are also orange arrows pointing you in the right direction.
#8 - This plays along a creek bed and has a clearly defined fairway. It requires a little anhyzer shot. It's a short hole with a lot of character.
#9- This hole is tight as well, but has a fair gap.
#10-14- I'd love to go into detail on these holes, because I think they were cool, but I was so intent on putting one foot in front of the other and not passing out that I can't recall much. They go up. That much I'm sure.
#15 - I was so happy to get to the 15th tee and see that I was going across the mountain. The mountain to my right the slope to my left. I throw a right hand backhand. I threw a pretty good one and was pleased, until it started hyzering down the slope. 250 feet later, I realized that I'd have to trek down and fight my way back up to the basket. Great hole, stupid me. (EDIT - If you get one of these hyzers...leave the disc, get it after putting out on 16, you'll thank me later.)
#16- This is a steep downhill short touch shot. It's easy to overshoot. The walk down is steep and I was tempted to just roll down to the basket to save energy.
#17- This is another side hill hole but without the threat of losing a hyzer down the mountain. It's a good solid hole that one day I hope to enjoy without being exhausted.
#18- This is an epic bomb down a massive hill. If you have anything left to give, you'll love this hole. Try not to look for your car over the lodge though, because the walk that awaits you can be depressing. (Keep a close eye on your disc, it's traveling a LONG way and can be tough to find.
I'll play this course again, but I'll make sure to take 10-14 real slow and hopefully I'll be in better shape. My hat's off to the designers of the course. They had an epic vision and pulled it off. I'm a diehard and I never thought I'd say this, but it might just be too much course for me. I gave it a 4.0. If 3-7 gets some more defined throwing lanes I could easily justify increasing that ranking. Not sure if anything can be done about the poison ivy, there's just too much of it.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Another Lehigh Valley Gem
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Other Thoughts: The original review for this course is no longer applicable as half the course is a different layout. The 'old' layout should have been listed on the site as 'extinct' and a new page created for the redesigned layout.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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