Pros: Ship Rock is a "grip it and rip it" style course for the most part, but don't let that fool you. There's a ton of variety, provided by BIG elevation change, water hazards, some woods holes, big wind at times, and some unique features. Favorite holes include hole 1 (a big downhill smash around a corner, setting up an approach as the entire hole takes a U-turn, separated by a peninsula of large trees), hole 5 (I mean, come on, you're throwing over the ruins of a house that is probably a couple hundred years old, cool stuff), hole 9 (a tricky gap in front of the tee opening to a landing zone, then a big mid-range turnover shot as the hole narrows to the protected basket), hole 11 (signature hole, super short tight hyzer shot, but the basket is a mere 2 or 3 stories straight down a cliff at the end of the fairway...one of the most unique holes I've ever seen), and hole 15 (a big uphill crush to the hilltop, then a downhill crush over OB to try to get birdie 3).
Cons: The parking area isn't very big, so when it's crowded or in a tournament setting, cars need to line up aside the driveway and even across the street at times. There is no running water or bathrooms. There is a porta-potty between holes 4, 5, and 6. Holes 3 and 10 piss me off a little, as good shots can go unrewarded, and often punishes. On hole 3, it's a really tight tunnel on a hillside sloping down left to right. You can throw a laser right through it and roll on edge way to the bottom. The good thing is that you can usually still save par. Hole 10 is a turnover shot that is met with an absence of a fairway at the end, as a phalanx of trees protect the basket. There is no skill line through them, only a "hold your breath and hope for the best" situation. But, that's golf, and they're still fun holes.
Other Thoughts: Ship Rock is a ton of fun and offers great contract to Buchmiller and Akron, the other 2 courses in the immediate surrounding area. I would recommend including it on a road trip golf tour if you're going near the Lancaster area.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
DNF but willing to go back
Pros: -Long holes to rip it
-Signage with distance
-Teepads were in good shape
-Technical holes to challenge
Cons: -Grass was overgrown, which led to:
-Flies, bees, wasps, insects everywhere
-Stinging nettle that lines the fairways and cramps the wooded areas, that stuff is no joke
Other Thoughts: -My wife and I came up here to play something other than our home course(s). We started playing and almost immediately after we stepped off the tee the swarming insects began their assail on us. I am not terribly bothered by it and I shrugged off her suggestion that the grass was too high, but ultimately she was right. Way too many insects to enjoy the round so we cut out after 5. Every step in the grass was kicking up what seemed like dozens of flying little
-The stinging nettle was out in abundance as well. Without realizing it, I walked right through a patch of it off of the bend on hole 1, looking for a disc that barely made the turn. Bad decision, as my legs were on fire for the next 4 holes. I played through it and tried to ignore it but it was pretty bad. I took notice of it on the next few holes we played before packing it in and took off for Buchmiller, which I am much more familiar with and was recently mowed and much less bug-gy.
These things are not the courses fault as much as mother nature just doing her thing, and I certainly can't give it a rating without finishing a full round, but for now I'm going to wait until fall to return and hope that it's a little more playable.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
We're gonna need a bigger boat, how about a Ship?
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 Discatcher baskets, rubber tee pads, and nice tee signs for blue or advanced level player. Impressive course layout using every bit of the available land and maximizing it. Excellent use of the elevation and terrain providing some truly unique holes. Lots of long open holes to test out your arm and a couple short technical wooded holes to test your accuracy. Navigation is decent. Disc golf only park.
Cons: Only one set of tees and basket placements. Lower levels of the course prone to flooding and mud. Not much of a park amenity wise, it feels like you are entering a private course on a farm in the middle of nowhere in Amish Country. High number of long open holes gets a little repetitive and in summer it's hot with little shade throughout the course. Parallel fairways on the open holes are a little close for comfort and OB lines are used to help keep you honest.
Other Thoughts: Starting off hole 1 was awesome and unique, my favorite hole here, you throw a massive downhill bomb and make a U-turn around the woods where the basket is tucked in. Hole 2 was another fun downhill shot but short and with the creek behind the basket. Hole 3 was a short uphill technical wooded hole with a severe left to right slope, another great hole. Hole 4 is wide open downhill par 4 hole with the basket on a fast green. Hole 5 was a unique hole with the remains of an old barn and the basket on a mound. Hole 6 plays uphill parallel to hole 4 and is a long open par 5. Hole 7 plays downhill parallel to 6 and 15 and is a fairly easy par 4. Hole 8 and 9 are fairly flat and straight forward open par 3s. Hole 10 takes you back into the woods briefly for a solid left to right par 3.
Hole 11 is probably the signature hole even though it's only 204' long it's the most unique hole I've ever played and have mixed feelings about it. You tee off looking at a right to left turning hole with a couple small trees scattered in the fairway and then you come to the cliff with the basket about 35' below you and water right behind it. It's crazy to go for the basket off the tee because you are likely to end up in the water and have about zero chance of acing, although a circle 3 is not a bad option and hopefully you can find your disc in the water. Laying up to the edge of the cliff you have a shot at a deuce, small chance and it's unlike any other deuce you have ever tried to hit almost straight down, I nailed the center of the top of the basket and narrowly missed getting wet. Holes 12, 13 and 14 were fairly boring, flatfish, open and 14 was long. Hole 15 is a long open sloping uphill par 4. Hole 16 plays back parallel to 15 downhill and you get to throw a bomb here on an easy par 4. Hole 17 plays back uphill and next to a cornfield that tapers the fairway down on a par 4 and the basket tucked between a couple pine trees. Hole 18 is a long uphill par 3 that takes you back to the parking lot, kind of a bland ending as most people will par it.
Ship Rock is a little weird and you will see the reviews all over the place rating wise. Generally I prefer more wooded courses even though the open holes here do provide some variety. It's not really my cup of tea, but if you really like long open holes this place may be your dream with 2/3 of the holes being fairly wide open. I'm rating this course as very good, as it has a couple amazing and unique holes and elevation is awesome, but overall the rest of course is just ok. Due to that it's not quite what I'd consider a destination course, but if you are anywhere near the course I highly recommend playing.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: -dedicated to disc golf only, which is always nice
-nice teepads and signs
-porta john (also nice to have,but doesn't affect my ratings)
-easy to find your way around since it's pretty much wide open
Cons: -kinda boring. no offense to anyone involved, but there wasn't a single memorable/signature hole. I need some sort of "wow" factor to give a high rating.
Other Thoughts: It's a nice course, but i wouldn't go too far out of my way to play here
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Scenic, beautiful course
Pros: Plenty of opportunities for both airing out a disc and tighter technical shots.
Excellent course design using natural obstacles and some man-made O.B. lines.
I really can't say enough just how beautiful I thought this course was. Can't wait to go back.
Cons: I really have a hard time thinking of any cons.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Par 64 Layout with Unique Holes
Pros: Ship Rock succeeds in having holes that are fun, strategically interesting, and diverse. The layout features seven well-designed Par 4s and one Par 5 (at a ~950-975 rating?) and winds its way over an old farm and inside a big bend of Mill Creek. Cool and unique shots abound. Wrapping a big hyzer around the remains of a barn (Hole 5) and a tough 150' shot to the edge of a steep drop off with the pin below (Hole 11) stand out as highlights. I really enjoyed the spike hyzer approaches on Holes 7 and 16, and the drive/approach strategic decisions on Holes 1 and 4. A birdie means something on just about every hole, and the designers did a good job creating Par 3s that are both ace-able and bogey-able.
Cons: Holes 13-14 and 17-18 are weak compared to the rest, although Holes 13 and 14 should be able to be improved through pin placements or tree plantings. The course seems susceptible to mud and wind. The open holes didn't bother me too much as it's fun to let a drive rip, but I don't think I'd look forward to those holes on a very windy day.
Other Thoughts: The course is very well-designed, especially when you consider it's the work of a couple talented local high school/college students. They put in the hard work for good tees, signs, and baskets, but also used their imagination to create a couple holes that cannot be found anywhere else. Ship Rock is a great course to play in conjunction with Buchmiller Park and is a fantastic asset for the area. Great job!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Well Done Bomber
Pros: -Long, mostly open course that stays interesting throughout.
-Intense elevation changes that the layout takes full advantage of
-OB is in play on almost every long hole which protects neighboring fairways and adds a technical element to the open holes
-New discatchers are some of the best baskets on which i've had the privilege of playing.
-Good signage and flypads
Cons: -Holes 13 and 14 stood out as being a little below the standard set by the rest of the course. 13 is a flat open 300' hole and 14 is a flat open tweener type hole that is too long for a par 3 but a fairly easy par 4. I think both could have greens carves into the rough to the right to bring them closer to the creek and make them more interesting and technical.
Other Thoughts: I wanted to talk about holes 15-17 specifically in my review because i have to admit that my expectations of these holes were colored by reviewers that had come before me. I thought they would be long boring throw-away holes and found that nothing could be further from the truth. 15 is a challenging uphill tee shot with OB on both sides to a big sweeping 2nd shot from hill top to hill top. 16 plays downhill to line of trees that runs across the fairway. A long drive still needs good placement in one of the gaps to give a good look at a 3. 17 is one of my favorite holes on the course. The OB on the right and rough on the left narrow as you proceed up the fairway. The more you try to bite off on the tee the more challenging your 1st shot is but a good tee shot makes a three very reachable.
I have really enjoyed my rounds here and try to make the 45 minute drive as often as possible. Some additional amenities like benches would improve things and i've heard that there will be additional trees planted which will be awesome. There aren't many courses like this on the east coast. I think it can be hard to build an open course that doesn't feel repetitive and chore-like but i think this is one that's done right.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Some Sensational Holes Followed By Some Not So Great!
Pros: After reading previous reviewer Croow's review, I was tempted to just cut and paste his review in it's entirety. His is a extremely well written review and spot on with the information he's conveying.
Upon arriving at Ship Rock's sign on a busy county road and driving back a few hundred yards, I wasn't sure as to what kind of a course I was arriving at? A small private course? A large county park course? Turns out this is a county park set in the middle of farm country. It's a wonderful, large rolling area with hills, wooded parts, creeks, etc. And it seems to be disc golf exclusive!
The pads are great fly pads. Nice new Discatcher baskets and great signs with all the information including little arrows hanging underneath pointing you to the next hole.
The course starts out with a major "WOW' factor in my opinion. # 1 is either a downhill 870' (tee sign distance) or 704' (on-line map listed) Par 4 curving around a grove of trees. Bigger arms than me could throw over the trees and shortcut the hole. Recreational types still get to start their round with a big downhill and then possibly cut through the trees. Either way it was a really fun way to begin a round.
Then # 2 is about a 225' touch shot to a basket sitting just in front of a small creek. The tee area is very neatly carved into the side of the hillside. Another fun, great hole.
Then I really liked # 3. It was another hole carved into the hillside where a lot of work has gone into building and engineering this hole. Players are throwing uphill with danger on the right.
I don't think I've been so wowed by a course after the first three holes as I was after these the first three here.
Later # 11 absolutely makes my All-Time list of Unique, Clever Holes. From the tee it appears to be just another 230' hyser throw through the trees. But what makes this hole so unique is when you walk up to find the basket, the basket is hidden down an almost a straight vertical drop of a hill (maybe 50-60 feet). And just beyond the basket is the creek. So your simple little 230' annie now becomes a most interesting tee shot. Throw it hard enough and you could blindly get it down the hill to the basket. Or you could have a most interesting putt straight downhill. Too hard of a tee off and you could find yourself in the creek. Loved this hole!
Another clever, fun hole was the one where the old barn was removed and you're now throwing slightly uphill up over the old foundation works. It's a nice change of pace from the wooded and open holes on this course.
Those players with big arms will love this course.
Cons: As previously stated, the last six holes are overly long, sometimes boringly open, sometimes uphill and sometimes brutally hard. By the time I reached this point, I was spent after a long, hot day so I just walked the course with co-founder Travis and his friend. The course is built and designed for a player like Travis, who throws 400' straight drives and is young and strong.
Other Thoughts: I would love to see a set of Rec/Beginner tee pads built here at Ship Rock. I loved playing the front nine plus a couple more but the final six are probably too much for many recreational players to really enjoy. If you're an advanced/pro player, or a young strong rec player wanting to play some great well designed holes, you gotta come and experience Ship Rock DGC.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great tee pads (fly pads). Great new DISCatcher baskets. Really interesting holes (but see below). Area is dedicated to disc golf so no interference. Nice mix of hole lengths. Mostly open but some wooded holes as well. All the par 3 holes were fun and not ridiculous. Plenty of opportunities to air out your arm. Pretty easy to find your way around.
Cons: Lots of long wide open holes that get boring after a while unless you can accurately throw 450-500 feet (see below). No amenities. Directions here are accurate but the turn-in comes up unexpectedly on a heavily traveled road with fast moving cars.
Other Thoughts: As I played the opening 12 holes, I was thinking "4.5". When I played the last 6, I was thinking "3.5 or lower" so I settled on 4.0 as a compromise. I got par on all par 3s (actually birdied #5) but I don't have a big arm so I bogeyed most of the longer holes (with at least one double bogey).
It starts out great with a par 4 curve around a wooded area and the basket tucked here the hill side which wasn't that hard despite being listed as 704 feet. #2 is a short from the hillside through some woods to a basket on the other side on a clearing. #3 is a short one up a narrow path with a small landing area (big roll away possibility).
#4 is the first long open hole (par 4, 723 feet, gradual downhill) and was fun to air it out. #5 is a picturesque 244-footer around the remains of a stone building to an elevated basket. #6 is an 853-foot uphill par 5 which was fun for the first one of these.
#7 is a 696-foot par 4 slightly downhill with a mando and a tree line that you need to negotiate. #8 is a fun little 358-footer downgrade with the basket protected by a few trees.#9 is a 486-footer that follows a curving fairway that narrows to a basket in the woods up a small incline.
#10 is a fairly easy straightforward hole with a few trees to get your confidence back. #11 is the shortest hole (204 feet) but perilous as you have a sharp left turn with a cliff and the basket at the base of the cliff. If you overshoot, your disc goes into a large creek where you may lose it. For #12, you throw off a wooden deck through some light woods with the basket out in a clearing.
After this is where I got disappointed. #13 is a flat straight 298-footer in a wide open field. #14 is a flat straight 614 footer farther down that same wide open field. #15 is a 579-footer up a big hill but also wide open. #16 is a 640-footer down the same hill with one tree line to negotiate. Then #17 is a 538-footer up the same hill again (just farther down). Then you finish with #18 which is a 325-footer that starts up the hill and then levels out. It is also wide open and not bad except that the previous 5 holes had already bored me as just drudgery.
It seems such a shame that the course ends on such a boring but still difficult set of holes. If/when I return I will probably just play 1-13, then 5-13, and then 5-6 back to my car.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Addition to the Lancaster Circuit
Pros: - This course was very easy to follow. The signage was simple and never left you guessing. The progression of the holes felt very natural. Somebody obviously put a lot of thought into the design/layout of this course.
- Holes 3, 10, and 11 added some great variety to the course with tight shots and several obstructions.
- Lots of fun elevation changes and some interesting mandos.
Cons: - As of 4/9/13 a large pile of debris in the middle of hole 5 (looks like they tore down an old barn) made this hole a little dangerous.
- This may seem a little petty, but a bench or two (and maybe a few trash cans along the way) would be great amenities for this course. Right now there's no place to sit and rest (save for on the ground), and you will notice the occasional litter (which hopefully would be solved by the addition of trash cans).
Other Thoughts: - Don't overshoot the baskets for holes 2 and 16 unless you want to go swimming for your disc. These baskets are backed-up by a large creek.
- This course is very open (not much shade) so bring sunscreen and be prepared to fight the wind on holes 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, and 18.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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