Pipestem: Four types of golf and a Gaga pit!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pipestem is an enjoyable beginner to mid-level course. Set within the confines of a tremendous state park, Pipestem offers some great scenery along with some good disc golf.
- Very good for a beginner to mid-level course. This state park offers many different amenities, including disc golf, that this could be plenty of park-goers first taste of the game. Throw in campers, many of whom are families, and you've got a need to keep this course tame.
- If you're wanting to appeal to all players, from the beginners to more experienced players, you need to have fun hole layouts. This course starts off on the right foot with hole #1, an enjoyable downhill throw from a hill overlooking an amphitheater. You also return to this same spot for hole #10, this time throwing to the left side of the amphitheater.
- The front 9 loop is mostly open whereas the back 9 is more wooded. Strategically located trees present obstacles throughout the front 9 (throwing around big trees on #4 & 6 and around the edge of the woods on #9, for example). There's more margin for error on the front side. The back side places much more emphasis on accuracy, not that there aren't still chances for birdies.
- Course has some solid elevation layouts, both uphill and downhill holes. In addition to holes #1 & 10, #9 is another solid downhill shot. It's a dogleg left (234 feet from the white tees) going around the edge of the woods. A high, sweeping fade shot is a good option to try and get close to the basket.
- As for the uphill holes, I enjoyed #15 the most. It's a 175-foot dogleg left that offers several lines to the basket. If you want a challenge, #17 is a narrow-upshot layout, playing much longer than its listed 262 feet. If you miss the fairway here, on either side, you get to add the challenge of throwing out of thick woods while still throwing uphill.
- There are solid views throughout the course. The back 9 especially has a strong nature feel. You're almost completely secluded from other park activities while playing. My buddy and I saw five deer while playing #14. We were able to get within 25 feet of them before they lost interest in us.
- The park itself is the highlight of this course. My buddy and I camped here, so it was nice having a 3 minute drive to the course. Add in to that a gluttony of amenities and experiences at this state park (who knew a state park's restaurant would deliver pizza to your campsite?) and it would be very easy to make a weekend at the park. The park offers every version of golf that I know of - disc golf, ball golf, mini golf and foot golf - along with having something called a Gaga pit. Naturally, it's used for Gaga ball.
Cons: The biggest negative about the course is that it has so much wasted potential. The front 9, especially holes #4 - 7 seem like a total waste of space. I get that the course wants to loop back to the same spot for holes #1 & 10, so they had to get two nine-hole loops. To do that, the options were limited on the front side. It would be much more enjoyable to have more nature-esque holes by taking advantage of the space on the back 9.
- This space is primed for a separate/overlapping advanced-level course. There is so much unused space that could be used for epic hole layouts. There are plenty of course designers who would love to have a chance to turn the unused land on the back 9 into something great.
- As boring as a couple of the holes on the front 9 are, I strongly disliked everything about #16. It's a 278 foot, narrow fairway, dogleg right hole that slopes downhill to the left. Everything seemed slightly off about the hole. It's a tweener design in that it's way too simple for its posted par 4, but it's too unnaturally tough for most players as a par 3. I also didn't like that you can almost be rewarded by missing the fairway (going too long or to the left) versus staying on the fairway and having an even tougher angle. I had two relatively poor shots and still had a very makeable putt for a 3, being somewhat rewarded for missing the fairway and having less trees to deal with.
- There seemed to be little to no variety in the shots from one tee length to another. On almost every hole, it seemed the short tee (yellow) was a slightly shorter version of the mid-level tee (white), which was placed slightly ahead of the long (blue) tee. If there are going to be three different tees, it would have been nice to have some different looks/angles for the tees to add a little bit of variety.
Other Thoughts: - Pipestem is a solidly decent course. For a course that had enough simple holes, I found myself enjoying the majority of my round. And that should be the goal of most courses.
- This is mostly a mid-range course. Average hole length ranges from 264 feet from the long tees down to only 205 feet from the shorts. #13 is the only hole longer than 400 feet, and that's a downhill layout.
- There are plenty of chances for birdies and ace-runs at this course. Advanced players are going to have a field day here. On the flip side, having easy holes help appeal to beginners.
- When finishing a round, I suspect many a player have been tempted to throw a couple final shots down the hill back at the tee for #1/10, only to regret the decision after having to walk back up the hill again after retrieving those discs. That said, this is one of the better opening holes, at least aesthetically, that I have played.
- The course does a good job at being a solid course for its intended audience. This was good for a quick round as part of four courses I played in the region that day. If I were to return to this park, it wouldn't be just for disc golf; but, I would make sure to take in a round or two on the course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
More like 2 9s than an 18
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Different hole layouts for different challenges. Tucked into the park activities area fairly well.
Cons: Variation is between front and back 9 but not really mixed inside either nine. Tees are worn and can be muddy after rain. No variance in difficulty between tee boxes.
Other Thoughts: Front is short and simple while back is long, technical and challenging. Would be fun to play with music in the park as you play on both sides of the amphitheater (although the hill top 1 and 10 tee could be a bit daunting with a crowd below you). Enjoyable setting and a nice mix of difficulty overall.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Mad Mix Beyond AmpiDome
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Multiple tee locations per hole.
Two 9-hole loops. Easy to navigate.
Many tees much too close to previous basket.
Parking lot and walking paths (even an amphitheater if you're quite wild) potentially come into play.
Course is set in the midst of a very impressive public park, primarily playing up, down, and across open grassy areas, occasionally playing into/within small batches of woods. The majority of the holes would be classified as open, either in their entirety, or with a couple of trees to miss late, or with a treeline along one side, forcing a swing around the other way. Only a few holes play within the woods in their (near) entirety, with the toughest holes being right-turning/across-slope/walking-path wide number-16, followed immediately be dead-straight/uphill/broader walking-path wide number-17.
While shared tees 1&10 are concrete, located in the midst of cul-de-sac (nice touch), overlooking the baskets (set some distance away on either side of the amphitheater), the remaining tees are natural (worn-out dirt spots). At times these tees (typically three), in addition to being too close to the previous basket, don't change the distance nor look-angle to any great degree.
Varied play, as there are few holes quite suitable for every level of player, but not very many for any in particular.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A good mix of tight-wooded fairways, open fairways, doglegs left and right, uphill and downhill shots that require accuracy but not a great amount of power. Each hole is unique and dissimilar from all others.
Multiple tee pads on most holes, but not as much variation between them as there could be.
Easy navigation and good enough signage. Scorecards and map available at pro shop.
Quiet course on a beautiful Friday afternoon in mid-June.
Overall a well designed course for the limited amount of space provided.
Cons: Tee pads: At the time of the review, several holes (1,9,10,13) needed tree trimming in front of the tee pads. Overgrowth from trees which hang over the tee pads make the designed lines nearly impossible to take and quite frustrating. Being mid-June, the course should have been in prime condition.
Grass/dirt tee pads don't necessarily affect my review here because they are in good shape. Only slightly negative is that they can get worn down and muddy, of course.
I really disliked holes 8 and 18. It seemed like they needed to squeeze in two more holes to make a full 18, so short, tightly wooded, HARD dogleg holes were thrown in. I really would have liked to see a more epic 18th hole to end this course.
Other Thoughts: Only two holes I can think of are high risk, high reward drives (16 and 17). Both are tight fairways lined by trees with drop offs that will add strokes if you aren't accurate. Most holes will allow average players to stay in the fairway and score par. Seven of the holes have a good amount of trees to avoid that require accuracy. Not a lot of power is needed to score well here, accuracy and a bit of luck is needed to shoot under par here.
I can imagine non-disc golfers getting in the way on a few holes due to this park's popularity, but that does not negatively affect my rating. The design does a fairly good job at avoiding trails and common areas.
I did have high expectations due to the course photos and potential at this great park and left only slightly disappointed. I am a bit of a snob since I've played so many courses, but with so few courses in this area, this one is definitely worth traveling to. I had a great time and definitely plan to play it again, and again.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Nice baskets.
-Tees mostly flat.
-Good use of terrain and hills.
Cons: -Tees are grass/dirt (can get really muddy).
-A few holes feel too short/too sharp a dogleg.
Other Thoughts: The course wasn't bad, but I think I had higher expectations. The tees were mostly flat, but in places that retained water easily and got really muddy. As you probably know, teeing off from mud is a world of trouble. Also, some of the holes were really short, with a really sharp dogleg. It just felt kind of awkward. Best idea would be to play here on a dry day from the long tees. If you're down in the area, definitely check it out.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course is laid out great! Has some easy birdie holes, but also several challenging holes. Course is always in GREAT shape!!!
Cons: Only con I can think of is I wish they would reposition the tee boxes from time to time. A couple of the tee boxes are in an area that doesn't get much sunlight, so they can be a bit slippery at times
Other Thoughts: I hope that sometime in the near future they may think about adding another 18-holes.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Play This Course
Pros: It is a technical course without many opportunties to "let it rip" Well groomed with good signage. It is fun to play and wraps around the area well.Brand new and baskets and tee areas are in perfect shape.
Cons: It has several holes that require you to play more like ball golf , with needing to layup with extreme bends in the holes .Several blind holes that you will have to play the course to know where to throw.
Other Thoughts: It costs $3 to play but it was built and is maintained by the state and is part of state park. You can make a good day at the park with lots to do.The staff are very nice and helpful. If you are near the area stop in and give it a try , you will have a good time.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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