9 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Diversity in a Course
Pros: The course is in a great area of Pittsburgh with a lot to do. Playing a round of disc golf is a short part (but great part) of the things to do when in the Cranberry Area. It's also very easy to get to.
The course has a great diversity of difficulty and hole types. From wooded holes with significant clearings to vast uphill winding holes, you'll enjoy playing the course more than once to get another shot at that hole you loved.
Despite being a relatively wooded course, the foliage is thin enough and land flat enough to never fear not getting to an OB disc. Some of the foliage is thin enough to even add an exciting recovery shot that can highlight your round.
Cons: I tend to get lost when playing this course. There are a couple holes that I always get turned around on and have accidentally skipped a hole one time. Signage is there, but not always. This I compounded by the fact that there are some overlapping fairways and non-associated hiking/jogging paths to add to the confusion. I would recommend pulling up a map of the course on your phone if you're new to the layout.
Other Thoughts: This is a very popular course in Pittsburgh, no matter what time of day. You need to make reservations / tee times online before playing, but that never stops people. Sometimes, people will be there to ensure tee times are held, but not always. This isn't a bad thing as people are very kind and will let faster groups play through, but keep in mind that if you go during the busiest times, you'll likely be waiting to tee off for a while.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Quite the Pill is Knob Hill
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + The whole course plays through a quiet and expansive park setting featuring dense woods, hills, fields and a stream. This is a diverse course.
+ Two practice pins in close proximity to each other to accommodate for tournaments or distance putting.
+ The three tee pads on every hole allow all players to enjoy the course. They are contiguous slabs of concrete that feel level and sturdy underfoot.
+ Just one basket per hole but three possible pin positions per hole.
+ The current tee signs are well illustrated, have a clear system to indicate which position the basket is in and have distances written in both feet and meters, which is a nice touch!
+ The locals here are friendly and welcoming. (More on that later...)
Cons: - Some of the tee pads are damaged. The white tees at 4 and 5 come to mind.
- Some of the 'next hole' signage is missing.
- There are paths all over the place that can and will interrupt your session with pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, dogs without their walkers and even bicyclists. This is obviously a popular park. Please be mindful of your surroundings and remember that other park users always have right of way.
- Fairways 16 and 18 overlap.
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole to play here is hole 10. Regular readers of my reviews know that I have a soft spot for downhill throws, and hole 10 was an absolute joy to play because, despite how open it appears, there are just enough trees in the way to force a player to consider whether they want to focus on distance or accuracy more.
My favorite hole to look at was either hole 17 for its downhill vista of the hills in the distance and the course below or 15 for its picturesque wooded fairway over water with a bridge.
My least favorite hole is probably 18 because it deals with the fewest trees, has the shortest hills and crosses a different fairway.
I showed up in the middle of the local club's end-of-season league tournament. Instead of them turning me away, they greeted me kindly and welcomed me to their course. (Perhaps it was just good timing on my part because they were about to take their hour lunch in between rounds.) Regardless, I caught up and played my round with another coincidental solitary local player who I am going to call 'Trevor' who guided me through the course from the white tees. Nice people, nice people.
On the whole, Knob Hill is an excellent venue to go throw. The good here far outweighs the bad. I like the wide open fields whether they climb up or sink down. I like the various tunnel shots or tree-dodging hybrid holes whether they are flat or slanted. I like the babbling brook in the middle of the back nine. This course has a lot of variety. Every disc golfer will find a hole they liked more than the others.
That's why it hurts to say that nothing really reaches out and grabs the player. Knob Hill plays like a top-notch park-style course. It has great variety to be certain, but these are all the kinds of holes that you've played before, except all in one place. So, it's a great place to throw plastic, but very little stood fresh in my mind after it was over.
In closing, Knob Hill reminds me of disc golf roller coaster. After the ups, downs, twists, sudden turns and splash downs, I look back at it all after hole 18 and can barely remember much of what happened. I remember having a blast from start to finish, but it's a blurry blast. Still, you need to come play here because there really is something for everyone.
You probably have a better memory than I do, anyway.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Knob Hill 2019 Review
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Gorgeous scenery, very private course with little distractions. Holes have good variety with a mix of woods, open fairways, uphill and downhill drives. Nice large tee boxes. Tables and benches to rest at several locations. 3 tee boxes from every hole for all experience levels. A few holes have water hazards which is always a fun challenge. Toilets and practice baskets at start of the course.
Cons: Very muddy. Slightly difficult finding the next hole when playing for the first time. A few holes are tightly grouped together which could cause some disc hazards on a busy day.
Other Thoughts: This is a fantastic course. My favorite part about it is the scenery, like most DG courses it's in a park surrounded by nature.
The first few holes start out in the woods with some challenging drives through the trees, playing both uphill and downhill. Once you break out of the woods there are a few short holes with some tree obstacles but not nearly as heavily wooded as the beginning of the course. Next you break out into a few long holes with open fairways similar to regular golf. The back nine takes you back into the woods. Hole 9 goes downhill and hole 10 goes uphill before you start to get some more flat holes through the woods. Hole 15 is a short drive over a creek, if you can avoid the trees it's a decent chance at an ace. The final three holes are on a hill side adding a nice uphill drive followed by a downhill drive and finishing with a long power drive for the final hole.
This course is challenging and can give even experienced players fits. In my opinion shooting par is an achievement. I hadn't thrown a disc in nearly five years before playing this course and it completely reinvigorated my passion for disc golf. Looking forward to playing it again!
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Worth a Visit
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has a solid mix of holes. It mainly plays in the woods, but several holes play into thinner woods with a couple truly open holes. It also changes distance and elevation well to give every hole a new look. It is challenging, but not overly challenging. It can appeal to all levels.
Like most Pittsburgh courses, there are three tee locations (two concrete pads, one earth marked by a wooden post) and three pin locations. A local can play as many variations of the course as they want, while an out-of-towner like me can pick the tee that suits their skill level best.
Tee signs were good, navigation was fairly intuitive, and the round was fun. What more can you ask for?
Cons: The course was muddy. Not quite as muddy as Deer Lakes, but still muddy. Waterproof boots are a good idea if it has rained recently.
Don't even bother with the bathrooms. Take your own TP and find a nice tree, it'll be 10x better than using the bathrooms at the parking lot.
Other Thoughts: In my latest trip to Pittsburgh, I played both Knob Hill and Deer Lakes. Both courses are worth visiting, and I hope to play them both again. Deer Lakes is admittedly the better course with the higher ceiling (the mud there was significantly worse than at Knob Hill), but Knob Hill is a little more friendly to the amateur player and still stands out as a top course in the area. It is also closer to the downtown area, so if you are in the area don't overlook this course!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Knob Hill DGC
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -outstanding course design that maximizes the hilly terrain
-great signage, concrete tees & newer baskets
-up to 3 pin positions on each hole provides great variation, making holes play differently
-clean, well-maintained course all around
-challenging lines for lefty & righty players alike
Cons: -very wet & muddy, with natural springs/drainage runs on almost every hole
-course was mobbed with players, which speaks to its popularity, but makes a solo round much slower
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed both rounds I played @ Knob Hill, about a month apart. First round was frosty & freezing, today's was warmer, but the course was full of mud/water. That was the only downside to either round ...brilliant course design & maintenance makes Knob Hill a great challenge for players of all ability levels.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Western PA Is LOADED
Pros: + I'm on my third trip to Western PA and I continue to find terrific courses at every turn! Knob Hill is a large chunk of land just a short drive from Pittsburgh. Features everything from trails, to nature areas, to ball fields and more.
+ The amenities are top notch (besides the horrific restrooms). Two high quality signs for every hole, as well as a basic sign for the red tees. You'll find concrete tees and Prodigy baskets on every hole as well.
+ I love Gary J Dropcho designs, and he was a part of the team that created the course back in the 90s. Great mix of elevation, hole shaping, and tree coverage.
+ I'm not a huge fan of multiple pin positions, but there's three of them here if you're a local who likes to change it up. Each tee sign has a marker that tells you which basket is in play.
+ Just like all Western PA course I've played, navigation is top notch. There's no way you'll get lost playing here!
Cons: - Knob Hill is very, very solid but there's not enough "wow factor" for me to put it much higher than a 4.0. Nothing too wild, besides a few fun downhill shots. With that being said, I don't have too much to complain about.
- #16 and #18 cross paths on a blind hill. Also, #18's basket looks like it was hit by a tree as it's severly dented and leaning to the right.
- Unfortunately, there's other people using the area so watch for dog walkers, hikers, picnickers, etc.
- I'd rather take a dump in the middle of the freaking parking lot than step a foot in these bathrooms. They're nasty, smelly, bug infested hell holes that nobody should step foot in. If the local prison turned these bathrooms into prison cells, the crime rate in Wexford would drop by 40% because nobody would want to go in that place.
Other Thoughts: Knob Hill is very solid, and compliments the surrounding courses well. Western PA is loaded with awesome places to throw!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
You need all shots
Pros: I love the prodigy baskets and that lime green stands out well. I think it is a well laid out course and they knew what they were doing when they built the course. Lots of variety in your shots
Cons: Tee signs were not that great, had a good system for let you know where the pin was at but it wasn't always correct. Holes 13 and 14 get supper muddy.
Other Thoughts: Hole 18 has potential to hit a car if your not careful
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Course Is Great But Children's Play Area Is Even Cooler!
Pros: Knob Hill DGC is located in the Knob Hill Municipal Park. The course is back at the end of the road just past the awesome looking children's play structure. There is a restroom at the start with a bulletin board on the side of it. A practice basket is here. Follow the trail about 50 yards to reach the first tee. The course has nice, extra long concrete pads for both the Blue (longs) and White (middle) tees while the Reds (shorts) mostly don't have a pad (a couple old red tees at the end do have concrete) and are designated by a stake with red on the top. The tee pads are well built with the concrete has a 6" border of gravel and then both are bordered by railroad ties. You never feel uncomfortable teeing off from these. The tee signs for the Blues and White are metal, nicely colored and have a hole map. The Blues are blue at the top while the White are, Surprise! white on the top. The tee signs use the bolt system on the sign for designating with position the basket is currently set, A-B-C. I played the Whites and I think they played at a difficult recreational level. I'm not sure what you would call the Blues, either intermediate or advanced. Whatever, they looked mean to me. Knob Hill has these pretty, light green prodigy baskets. They are very sturdy looking. There are benches at many holes, garbage cans everywhere and in a first for me, there were some recycling tubs at some holes. Way to go green, Knob Hill.
# 1 plays 410', 235' and 240' through a grouping of trees. # 10 from the White tees is 342' uphill around a corner. # 12 is 281' with a slight anhyser needed and a smallish window. # 17 is a fun 253' downhill Ace run. It's totally open. # 16 from the Blues looks tough with a steep uphill throw needed through lots of trees.
But for me, easily the signature hole is # 9. From the Whites, it's 370' downhill through some scattered trees. It's just a classic, beautiful green fairway.
One more thought! The course is practically litter free. One of the cleanest courses I've encountered. Kudos to whoever is doing their best to keep this course so clean and attractive.
Cons: What cons?
Being picky, there was one basket which had a slight lean like someone had been jumping on it. Sorry, I forgot to make a note of which hole it was.
The course was muddy/boggy in places, especially for late July.
The course shows signs of erosion in many places. Obviously, it gets a lot of use.
I think this course could really benefit from about 10 yards of woodchips to be spread over some of the wet/boggy spots and to be spread around the baskets. I believe most county park departments have a pile sitting around somewhere as they are always chipping branches or fallen trees. Contact either the county road crews or the parks department to inquire about them donating a truck load.
Other Thoughts: This course is great. I especially love beautiful green courses and I especially love courses with rolling hills. Knob Hill combines probably my two favorite disc golf course elements. Throw in one sensational downhill (9) along with a couple fun, downhill Ace runs, a couple open bomber holes and some tougher uphill holes and you have the ingredients for one really nice course.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Multiple pins and tees. Well maintained and easy to navigate. Set up for multiple types of shots. Not too challenging but enough to keep you on your toes. good mix of Holes.
Cons: lots of up and down hills gets tedious. tee pad in the middle of the parking lot and a few holes feel like repeats. Lots of foot traffic through the course that was not other players not sure if that is typical or not.
Other Thoughts: It was fun and I will play it again. Could use a few more benches along the way with all the up and down hill. Take lots of water
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Mother of Deer Lakes Park
Pros: Classic, old-school (designed in 1994) city park-style disc golf. Three sets of cement pads (red, white and blue, in order of increasing difficulty) offer optimal challenge for nearly any player. As is the case with Deer Lakes Park, the major river valley hills in the area provide excellent disc golf topography, in addition to course diversity. The deeply-sloped, grassy terrain provides lots of entertaining drives, both uphill and downhill. The irregular steepness of some of the hills creates somewhat deceptive slopes that can surprise you on upshots, adding challenge and fun. The tree density of the middle portion of the course is near-perfect, rather than being completely open and prone to windy conditions. Holes 7 and 8 are the most wide-open holes, but are still somewhat shielded from high winds and have undulated fairways, keeping things from getting boring. Hole 9 is a thrilling downhill bomb shot with great tee and pin positions that put trees and shrubs in the way, but is still very fair. Hole 10 is a tough uphill drive that requires a huge RHBH spike hyzer, but won't kill you if you miss it. Holes 11 and 12 have the most steeply undulated fairways, as well as blind pin positions that keep the fun factor elevated. Holes 13 and 14 wind around creek ravines and are well-shielded by huge trees, but are not too tight and reward skillfully placed drives. A free course with newer, bright-green Prodigy baskets.
Cons: Course starts with heavily-wooded holes that underwhelm slightly, sometimes giving you a beating you might feel you didn't deserve. However, the course rapidly improves starting at Hole 5, continuing through most of the rest of the course. Holes 7 and 8 are a little too close together for comfort, with neighboring fairways in opposite directions. The parking lot is a bit inadequate for heavy disc golf traffic. Has a couple of holes that feel slightly like filler holes (4, 17), but are good enough not to ruin the experience. The out-of-bounds road bordering Hole 18 seems slightly forced, adding challenge but not adding to the fun factor.
Other Thoughts: Another solid hit in the greater Pittsburgh area, making the area a natural disc golf destination. Those used to driving in flatter-terrain areas might be slightly flustered by winding roads in the area, including the one leading to this course. A great course overall, perhaps not quite up to usual 4.5 rating standards but definitely better than the ~4.0 composite rating on this site.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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