It's half finished, but are they still working on it?
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Some fun elevations and woods tunnels
The areas that are maintained are maintained well.
Rarely busy although that's often a con too.
The 3 holes out in the open are kind of fun....
Cons: ....the 6 holes in the woods kind of are not fun.
There are multiple fairways that are directly down walking paths or each other. Not that the place is ever that busy, but if it were, you'd be throwing right at other people's foreheads most of the time.
1, 2 and 9 are good holes for beginners. In fact, I'd just play those 3 holes in a loop and forget the rest because if you're 30 feet off the walking trails, you're going to have a problem finding anything.
After two rounds here I'm not sure I need a third.
Other Thoughts: I'm not sure why a municipality would agree to put in a disc golf course, but then never finish it. Someone clearly wanted to jump into the disc golf craze, so they laid out a few holes in the woods in a public park, but after they installed the baskets and put up a few signs...well, that's about it! There are no tees, no real fairways other than the asphalt walking paths, and it's mostly just somewhere to go to throw a bunch of 150-foot shots and beat your putter and midrange up.
The 9 holes here aren't terrible, someone knew they could be pretty decent, but once the tee signs were put up and the baskets installed, nothing else happened. There was no clearing out of any fairways in the woods, no tee pads, no directional signs, although really once you find your way around once it's not overly difficult.
The park doesn't have room for 18 holes, and that's fine, but there definitely is room to make 9 good holes and so far they are choosing not to do it. The Borough of West Reading crammed 9 holes of good disc golf into a busy park around a pool, some courts, a track, a river, and a walking trail, but there's some pride and effort there and some interesting challenges. They even take lost discs to Borough Hall and call people. Here though, you're on your own to wander the woods. And if you don't walk up to the basket first to make sure it's safe to throw, you're eventually going to hit someone. And it'll be your fault if they sue.
The course is somewhere between "passable" and "poor". The other course I gave 1.5 stars actually had cement tee pads, but the rest of the course was usually a swamp. Here the course is a somewhat better design and in better shape, but there are no tee pads and a lot of opportunities to blast pedestrians. Both places can eat discs for lunch. It's not "poor" but neither is it quite "reasonable" so "passable" it is!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Shillington Park Willing To Par
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Some lovely elevation to be had in the beginning and ending.
+ Some nice woods in the middle portion.
+ The tee signs are basic with just hole # and distances, but they are tall and visible to compensate for...
Cons: - ...No 'next' signage of any kind.
- The tee areas are just worn down dirt if anything at all.
- Some fairways either pass very closeby one another or take up the same spot.
Other Thoughts: Hole4 looked the coolest to my mind because it takes the player into a dark portion of the woods away from everything else. Plus, walking around that yellow gate blocking the path made me feel as though I was getting away with something sneaky. Directly after that, hole5 was my favorite to play because its tunnel was just the right length and width. My least favorite hole was either 3 or 8 for the same reason. They both use the same walking path as their fairway. That presents an obvious safety risk for other park users.
As 9-hole courses go, Shillington Park has some nice features. I was stunned by the steepness of hole1's hill. Out in a wide open field, it is a brief but respectable climb. 4 and 5 had some nice foresty golf. 3 and 8, although annoying, were decent enough de facto tunnel shots with the heavy undergrowth on both sides of the wide pathway. 6 and 7 were pleasant tree-dodgers. It's just a collection of holes in the middle of a well-maintained park.
It still has some growing to do, though. I felt unsure of where to tee off because there were no established tee areas beyond the dirt patches. Then again, it is a small 9-holer that literally doubles back on itself, as seen in holes3 and 8 sharing the same exact fairway. It gives the player the sense that the course was installed as an afterthought in a small corner of the park. The designers did the best that they could with what they were given, and what is here isn't terrible. It's got way more elevation than my home 18-hole course!
So what it lacks in infrastructure it compensates for in setting. If you play here, you may very well appreciate the respectable hills and the brief stint in the woods. I could recommend it to dedicated course baggers since there are two other 9-hole and one 18-hole course nearby. I could also recommend it to new players, especially if they are local. The distances are long enough without being too demanding, and the varied landscape makes this a respectable training ground. It's nothing too special, but its existence means one more place to play with friends.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's a round of golf with good exercise. Playing it twice for a full 18 is a great workout. Also searching for discs in the THICK rough is a workout. Hole #7
Cons: Tee pads are rough (rocks, roots, ruts), uneven, small, basically terrible. Flight lines are bad. It needs more maintenance, trimming by actual disc golfers. Share fairway on #3 & #8 over a walking path... Feels thrown together by non playing park staff.
Other Thoughts: It needs some golfers to adopt it, work on it and perhaps tweek the layout. Could be good, but right now it's not quite.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
New But Not There Yet
This new community course is 1/3s open to 2/3s woods holes ratio, with brush playing a role on #3/#8. A respectable amount of elevation is in play especially on #1 and #2. It's passable and definitely playable, but it could end up much better with some fundamental changes.
+Three open holes were good (#1, 2, 9).
+#6, #7 forest holes exemplified what the forest portion should have been about.
+They invested in quality baskets, doublechained DGAs, which caught really well.
+Definitely has potential, I hope this is only a start and they're willing to adjust the course as needed.
It's the least polished course in the immediate Reading area. They should have used the forest more in creating unique and varied holes rather than going along established trails for #4 and 5, which were tight for the length. I also hate throwing along well established hiking trails that curve, for fear I will will hit someone simply walking around. There is enough forest to use here, so an unneeded risk.
-No teepads, just posts. Normally this would be okay but many are situated in awfully bumpy or uneven ground. Even standstill drives were challenging.
-Tee signs only display hole# and distance in yards mislabeled as feet. Triple it. Without Udisc, I would have been lost.
-#3/8. They share the same fairway, a single lane road plus a few feet of grass, with wet muddy brushy nastiness on one side. Twice over on a 9er is too much.
Terrain Potential: XXX - Hilly, open and forest parts.
Actual Execution: Xx - Lazily conceived holes, wasted potential. Hard to tee off.
Upkeep: N/A - Brand new.
Difficulty: XXx - Intermediate. Some forest parts seems like a challenge.
Fun Factor: Xx - Passable. I almost had a good time here but not quite.
Overall: Xx - Passable. Tweaks and some reconfiguration could immensely improve this place.
Amenities: The bathrooms at Pavilion #3 were locked beginning March, as is typical around here.
Starting Point: Parking on E Broad Street Looks like the farthest walk. Branching off from there is a parking lot for the main office and going even further back is 'Ice Skating Pavilion #5' by the lake which is adorned with multiple "No Skating" signs. Yup. Undefined parking spots but close to #1 around 40.295046, -75.959161 on google maps. Also, uphill on one-way Butch Bare Lane, there's an Overflow Parking Lot 40.295658, -75.960352. That one's near Tee#2 and Pavilion Three, that's where I parked and played #1 last.
Course Layout: It loops. #1 is a short uphill, #2 is a long downhill towards where Butch Bare Lane turned left. #3 goes into the forest, using the road as fairway, tight. #4 is on the gravel path to the right, where the yellow gate is. It curves left. #5 heads back. #6 goes deeper into the forest in the same direction #3 was going, but takes a left turn. #7 heads back. #8 is the same fairway as #3. #9 connects to #1.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Mixture of park and wooded trails
+ For a 9 holer dropped in at the edge of a small park, this course has a surprising amount of length on some of the holes
+ For a course that starts in an open park, the middle holes really feel like playing a woods course like Greystone or parts of Tyler
+ The best holes are once you've crossed into the woods: #4 - #7. Holes #4 and #5 play along a hiking trail: #5 is a tight par 4 with a long slight left bend to it
+ Hole #6 and #7 continue in the woods, and they add some elevation change. The throwing lanes aren't quite as clear (and the #6 teeshot is blind), but they're still better than the early and late holes
- No tees, just signs on posts. The signs have good diagrams, but they mistake yards for feet (!)
- The layout starts with a steep and short uphill, and then a long, fading downhill. These would be "meh" holes in the middle of a good course, but they really stick out here because they're at the start
- Holes #3 and #8 use the same narrow valley (with a paved road through it) to connect the open and wooded parts of the course together. If there are other players on the opposite hole, you'll be throwing directly at one another
~ Shillington is a "Nice try! Good effort!" kind of course: Four or five decent holes, and seeking to mix in open and wooded settings. But the land they're working with doesn't lend itself to a course with good holes. In the end, it's really just a set of baskets and teeposts trying to make something up, without shaping or cutting in any real disc golf holes
~ Living in the disc golf desert of Northern NJ, I hate to be critical of any town's efforts to bring disc golf to a recreation area. Shillington is a nice try, but if you're looking for a quick and fun 9 holer, you'd do much better to visit nearby Angelica Park
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice park setting. Good variety of shots required. Rest rooms at Pavilion #3. New equipment. Easy to find next tee from previous basket.
Cons: Tees are grass and uneven. Tee boxes are not defined. Distances on tee signs indicate feet, but they are actually in yards. There is currently no course map, which makes scouting a requirement before playing the blind, wooded holes.
Other Thoughts: If the purpose of this course was to introduce new players to the game, it misses the mark. The course is better suited to players with some experience. Amateur tees, avoiding blind shots, would have achieved that purpose. Distances on the tee signs need to be corrected. Been told a course map will be posted. That will be a needed improvement.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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