2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My first experience with IUP College Lodge was a tournament round in 2016. I was playing the course blind, and as I pulled into the parking lot at 8 o clock AM, I knew the course was something special.
Walking up to the tournament headquarters (a building next to hole 10) I saw a large open valley with rolling ski hills pouring grass into the center. With the sun rising up over the hills providing a beautiful landscape, only one could dream of such a wonderful scene.
Golf wise, the course does not disappoint. It has a mixture of uphill shots and downhill shots, shots that go right and shots that go left, shots through trees and shots in the open fields. Hole 18 is one of the best holes I have ever played. You are throwing downhill, hopefully a crush that will give you a clean upshot towards the basket, with dangers of OB.
Every time that I have played the course it has been in immaculate shape. Mowed fairways, well kept rough, among other things.
Almost every hole is great. Most courses that I personally enjoy have all good holes, but nothing that makes you want to take a picture of it every time you play. However, IUP has those holes.
Cons: Every course has faults. Often on great courses such as IUP, these faults are not that major.
First, the baskets are somewhat outdated. I know, I know, Mach IIIs are fine baskets. However, I feel when you have a course as well designed as IUP, you could have more updated and colorful baskets that would be more visible and catch better than the current baskets.
Second, the teepads and tee signs could be updated. The tee signs do not give enough information as to what I would prefer. Updated tee signs are a huge plus on these types of courses. The white tees are rubber and the blue tees are natural. They are well kept, but concrete tees could go a long way. During a rainy week, the tees will be slippery and with testy footing.
Next, the course is missing hazards that aren't the road. There is a nice pond by hole one, but it does not come in to play. There could easily be an added challenge somewhere on the course that would make it even more special than it already is.
Finally, there are some holes that are subpar. For example one hole on the back nine does not have a true line to the basket. Basically, you throw and pray that you don't hit one of the many trees in the middle of the fairway. Hole 10, is also the same way. Not much of a visible line. I am a huge fan of woods golf, but this seems too extreme.
Other Thoughts: I love the course at IUP. IT has a great atmosphere, and some great holes. With a few tweaks, it could definitely be one of the best in the state of Pennsylvania. It is a hidden gem an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh, but it is well worth the drive!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is overall an amazing course. An old ski hill provides a ton of elevation, the course moves and flows in and out of woods and along what I assume is an exercise trail (though when I was out at 8am in the summer, I was alone).
Specifics things to praise this course for:
- Nice baskets that catch well
- Two tees on every hole
- Multiple pin placements (though only playing it once I can't speak to how good the other pins are...)
- This is the first course I have played that has a legitimate rough. On most holes, there is a beautiful fairway, and if we get off, you are in trees. Unlike many courses I play with trees filled with thorny undergrowth, there is another stretch of trees with no undergrowth. Makes finding discs a snap. If you really have a bad throw (which I had a couple) you will get into some deep undergrowth, but the stuff I trudged through weren't thorns or ivy so I will take that every day of the week.
- Benches on almost every hole
- Even with the steep inclines, this course is pretty easy to get around with well maintained paths and a couple spots with stairs to help for those a little more limited mobility wise. Saying that, I should also note that even with nice paths and such, the course is still a pretty good hike, so take advantages of the benches when you need to!
- A lot of parking, as there are a number of amenities at the Lodge.
- I forgot to mention the maintenance here at the Lodge is amazing! I went before the grounds crew was out, and I thought the fairways were pretty well kept, but by the time I finished up my round, they were cutting them. Definitely no overgrowth on this course, which is a welcome sight to say the least!
Cons: - The biggest, and really, my only complaint is the navigation of the course. The tee signs were only on the White tees (that I noticed) and they were relatively small, and took me about half the course to realize there were directions to the next tee on them. There were also SMALL signs along the main path with indications of where the next tee was, the problem with that, was I was often not on the main path, and the signs weren't always near the basket so I missed quite a few. Mostly, the path leads you where you need to go, but there are definitely a handful of holes that left me scratching my head.
Other Thoughts: The only thing I should add is, when you are leaving, if you are walking on the road, be aware that the road drops off about 2 inches to the shoulder, which isn't a big deal if you are paying attention, however, if you are walking off of 18 catching up your Udisc from the previous two holes and you don't watch where you are going... you can easily twist your ankle.
Moral of the story, score first, THEN walk to the car lol
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Best course in PA
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The course is built on an old ski lodge resort.
Amazing variety of shots. Down hills, up hills, open fairways and tight long wooded ones too.
You need a backhand and sidearm to finish with a good score.
Very well kept.
Benches at most holes.
Cons: NONE, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING COURSE.
WHEN I WENT TO IUP I played this course over 100 times.
Other Thoughts: 2nd course I ever played when I was first introduced to disc golf as a freshman at IUP. Fell in love with the rolling hills.
I have been playing for over 5 years now and this is by far the best course I have ever played
LOVE LOVE LOVE the LODGE AT IUP!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very fun course to play. I played all 18 holes and didn't see one piece of garbage anywhere on the course. Plays through the woods and some open shots too. Paths are lined with logs. Very well maintained! Worth the drive :)
Cons: The only thing I can think of is the paths that take you throughout the course are used by runners and bicycles alike. It is an exercise trail with exercise stations also. Not really a con but make sure to look out for other people before your next throw.
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite courses to play. Shout out to the grounds crew! Keep up the good work :)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is one of the most well maintained courses I have personally ever played. The course itself and the nature trails around the park are pretty well flawless when it comes to trash and excess debris. The course offers everything from beginner skill level shots to holes that are going to favor the more advanced and experienced players. Lots of elevation change from hole to hole not only offers a great challenge and variety to the course, but you get a good workout while playing also!
Cons: Although the white tee's are topped with rubber fly mats, the blue tee's are natural and some of them are in rough shape. Be careful!
Other Thoughts: With the upcoming 2015 Indiana Open, the course has had some serious fairway maintenance and some new features. The steps from hole 2 to 3 have been completely reconstructed not only making it safer for players but a lot easier on the back getting up the hill! Fairways have been cleaned of great amounts of debris making it easier to find your disc if you get a little off the beaten path, and easier to navigate from hole to hole.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Not Your Average Trip to the Lodge
Pros: The IUP course at the College Lodge is on one of the most nicely landscaped properties that I have played on. A lot of work has clearly gone into the course to make it as well groomed as possible and it maintains this professional level of grooming throughout the round. In addition, there is a huge parking lot that provides a nice porta-potty and is close to the first tee.
Blue and white tees are offered, as well as two pin positions which do a good job of changing the approach. Tee signs and baskets are in great shape and I appreciate how they have painted blue spots on the trees next to the blue tees to make it easier to find them.
There is a good variation and flow of hole types here, as the course constantly takes you in and out of the woods. I really enjoyed how the first few holes had a completely different feel to them then the other wooded holes on the course, though I would've liked to have seen more of these types of holes. There are many chances to throw open shots on holes like 4, 8-10, and 18, but there are also holes that force you hit a super tight line in holes 14 and 15.
The course's best - and most memorable - attribute is the crazy elevation changes. Hole's 2 and 3 play on the side of a huge slope, while holes 4 and 5 take you to the top. Hole 4 is probably the most extreme uphill shot I have ever played on, and the pin position on the fast slope makes every approach scary. In addition, hole 18 is the steepest and longest downhill bomb that I have played. There are also a few holes in the woods throughout the back 9 that incorporate elevation - holes 11 and 14 do an especially good job of combining wooded paths and the elevation present.
The course was very easy to navigate, even with multiple pins in view at certain points. There was hardly any extra walking at all to the next tee and the front 9 nicely loops back near the parking lot/bathroom. This course offers a great round of exercise as there is a lot of uphill climbing (which you are rewarded for with three separate downhill bombs).
Cons: -One of the biggest drawbacks for me is that the open holes are, well, very open. I appreciate the uphill and downhill bombs - that's what gives IUP its character, but I would've liked to have seen more opportunities for line-shaping on some of the open holes.
-I played from the blue tees, which presented a few minor problems. The natural tees were sufficient for the most part, but they were muddy/slippery on a few holes. Also, I often felt that they didn't incorporate a very different look compared to the whites. They generally were just placed a little bit back behind the white tee and maybe at a slightly different angle.
-It doesn't seem that a lot of carving was done in the woods as most of the wooded holes play along a path. Some may disagree, but I get bored with this type of design fast when you continually have to hit one single lane and don't have as much of a chance to be creative in how you approach the hole. This is especially disappointing given the vast amount of woods that is there; however, I am not sure how limited the designers were in being able to carve out holes in the woods.
-Runners use the wooded holes' paths at many different points - we almost drove off the tee as runners rounded a corner near the basket. I'm sure this is a bigger issue when school is in session as well.
-Not a con for me, but there is a lot of uphill hiking on this course sure to exhaust even the more fit players. I don't often feel the need to sit during a round, but I did here.
Other Thoughts: I have played many of the area courses that were designed by the Dropcho's and I always really enjoy their courses. I would've liked to have been presented with more opportunities to be creative within the woods, but holes 1-3 start out the course with good looks at this. Locals are passionate about this course and it seems to often be a favorite for out-of-towners. This makes sense, given its unique layout, and I recommend anyone passing through the Pittsburgh area to go out of their way to play the beast that is IUP.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: IUP's College Lodge course makes its mark with some unbelievably dramatic elevation changes. Whether its the uphill shot on 4, the rolling hills on 14, the sloped terrain guarding numerous pins, or the immense downhill shots on 9 and 18, elevation changes are found on nearly every hole and in nearly every possible fashion, and really serve to enliven the course. Of the nearly 60 courses I've played to this point, none has the extent and variety of elevation that IUP does, and few come anywhere close. It's the course's selling point.
The challenge here is nicely balanced and well varied. There's a great mix of levels of woodedness, and the elevation changes and OB help to lend the most open shots some degree of interest. Approaches feature guarded pins and many instances of sloped terrain, which can make for some epically nasty rollaways: 4 could easily result in a 400' rollaway that brings you back past the tee, so don't get greedy. For as long as the course gets, especially from the pros, there are few if any grip it and rip it shots off the tee. Even 18's downhill monster requires control to clear the tree line bordering the fairway's initial third. At the opposite end of the spectrum, holes can get tight, like on 7, or very tight, such as in 14's downhill-then-uphill trek through the woods or 15's borderline-unfair tunnel shot through some pines.
The pro tees bump things up a bit with added distance and more awkward angles, but preserve the basic design of the whites, which the course seems centered around. The tees themselves are well-marked and well-signed - navigation is a snap - and get the job done. The pro tees are natural, but level and very useable. I imagine the course drains well, too, given the elevation.
The environment is beautiful, grooming is great, parking is plentiful, and the portapotty on site is one of the cleanest I've ever seen.
Cons: IUP's course seems like it stuck to preexisting trails and pathways, which means the lines cut through the woods often seem unnatural for a disc's flight. The straight shots are fine, if a bit straightforward, but 90 degree turns appear much more often than disc-appropriate curves. These paths seem like they're used for jogging, too, so I'd be mindful when in the woods. We had a pair of runners surprise us in the middle of a hole on the back 9.
Overall, the course doesn't offer very technical lineshaping outside of accounting for the dramatic elevation changes. There are some places you can try to force it, but placement and staying in your lane are more emphasized than shaping lines through corridors. This left me with a feeling that the potential of the wooded holes wasn't fully realized: while the dense woods offer a nice alternative in setting to the more open shots found elsewhere, they don't offer as much or register with as much character as the signature shots up, down, and across the main hill.
I would have liked to have seen a few more multistage holes here: except for 14 and to a lesser extent 7, the other non-par 3s are simply a product of distance. More movement into and out of the woods within a single hole could help develop this feel, and greatly add to IUP's offerings.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed my round at IUP. It's shorter than western PA's two titans Deer Lakes and Moraine, mostly because of a lack of numerous multistage par 4s and 5s, and less technical than Knob Hill, which makes it a bit less attractive destination in my eyes. Still, it's very solid, and has some uniquely dramatic elevation that is utilized very well, and is far from the gimmick it could have been. It's definitely worth a visit!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: There is a ton of awesome elevation changes. There are a bunch of holes where you can let it rip. There are also a fwe very technical holes. So this course basically pleases anyone. The baskets are great so is the signage. The fairways will rival some golf courses.
Cons: The tee pads are a bit skeptical because they are wood chips. Other than that there really are not any cons.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course I highly recommend it to anyone who likes the sport. I would drive an hour and hit this one plus Getty Heights and pine ridge. It makes for a great full day of disc golfing.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The massive elevation changes and variety of holes make this course a must-play for any disc golfer in the area. Good signs and the most carwfully cared for fairways I haveever seen on a disc golf course.
Cons: No major cons to speak of. Wood chip tees make for uneven footing at times. A couple of holes share a common open field, so on a busy day things could get crazy.
Other Thoughts: Plenty of holes for big armed veterans to enjoy, but also chances for new players to not get left behind. Anybody could play here and have a good time.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
(IUP) Insane University Posse
Pros: Beautiful ski hill course with 18 baskets with dual pins and dual natural tees marked with sign/post and wooden block in ground. Excellent use of elevation and terrain. The grounds are extremely well kept like a ball golf course and not much underbrush in the rough so it's fairly hard to lose a disc here. Two loops of 9 holes back to the parking lot. Two portapotties and a soda machine by the parking lot.
Cons: Not much to complain about here. If it was crowded I'd probably keep my head on swivel on the slope to watch for errant flying discs. I'm ok with the natural tees and they were fine, I know that is a con in some people's book. lacks signage for current pin placement. Navigation wasn't too bad, but a few extra signs to the next tee would be great.
Note to get to hole 13 tee walk over the tee of hole 17. After hole 14, the tee to 15 is the woods to the right.
Other Thoughts: This course titers between a 3.5 and 4.0 for me but the last shot bumped it up. Hole 18 is quite epic down the ski hill 800'+. I also really enjoyed hole 14 downhill through the woods. I think most the baskets were in the short pins, and can see how the B pins make it play really sweet. I guess they keep the pins short as it is more of a beginner course due to its location on a college campus. Part of the beauty of this course is that you can take a rank beginners here and they would not be overwhelmed and more experienced veterans will still have a blast here.
I'd highly recommend a stop if traveling anywhere close by in season. I detoured my trip to Pittsburgh from Baltimore to play and it was well worth it!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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