17 Helpful / 0 Not
Knob Hill 16 years later
Pros: I started playing Knob Hill back in 1994 which was the year that the course was installed. I have probably played well over 2000 rounds at this course since that first round of disc golf. This has been my home course for the better part of the last 16 years and is the place where I play most of my rounds of disc golf. The course has had a lot of use over the years and has withstood the test of time fairly well with the locals who have helped maintain this course since it's inception.
Knob Hill is a great 18 hole course with 3 sets of tees and 3 pin locations per hole. The A and B pins are original to the course while the C pins were installed in 2001. The course changes considerably depending where the baskets are located. And the course is considerably harder from the long tees. Your scores can range from the mid 40's to the high 60's depending on the current setup.
There are 3 sets of tees; red, white and blue.
The Red tees are recreational tees that are rarely used and are marked with a red board in the ground and a post. The tees are good for first-timers and we use them for the ace race as well.
The White tees are the concrete tees and are the most-used tees on the course. The tees are 5x15 and are some of the nicest concrete tees out there. Nice grooves minimize slipping. These concrete tees were installed in 2001 I believe and were a major improvement to Knob Hill. The course had gone through 6-7 years of use on the original natural tees which had become very dangerous. Big thanks to Marshall Township for improving the course with these tees. Most pins can be reached from the concrete tees from players with an advanced skill level. Birdies are abundant when at all A-pins, but quite a bit harder to come by when playing to the C-pins.
The longer blue tees are a different beast all together. Throughout the 90's ad early 2000's Knob Hill Long tees to C-pin was consistently rated with the top 10 hardest course SSA for all PDGA events. These tees provide a completely different experience from the concrete pads. Holes become more complicated with quite a bit more distance and accuracy required to score well. These tees are an excellent test of your golf skills. Hot rounds are just under 54 to the A-pin and anything in the 50's to the C-pins is a very good round. Don't be surprised if you finish your round in the high 60's or 70's if you choose to play the long tees. For the full course experience, you have to play a round from these tees to the c-pins.
A great course to practice your game and to hone your skills. Knob Hill is great challenge that continues to challenge your game year after year.
Cons: Knob Hill has been here for 16 years and has become a very popular place since those early days. Back when the course was first put in, you could spend all day on the course without seeing another person. Nowadays if you show up to Knob Hill after 4:00 on a weekday you can expect to see the course full of high school kids who oftentimes play in groups of 6 or more. Knob Hill is best enjoyed early in the day when the crowds are at minimum. But most players in the area are very well mannered and are more than willing to let groups play through.
Knob Hill can get muddy in a few spots depending what time of year it is. The course is pretty much dry and in great shape from June - November. Expect muddy areas on Hole 2, 9, 13, and 14 during the spring months. There is a chance for mud and water anytime during March - May. We continue to try to address the drainage issues and I believe these issues will be fixed within the next few years once the township can put it into their budget to do a drainage project. Until then, us locals will continue to try and keep teh water flowing off the course. But be warned, if you come to Knob in the spring, bring your goretex shoes.
That being said, this year has been one of the driest years that I can remember.
Parking lot can fill up at times. Like I said, this place has become very popular. If the parking lot is full, I would not park along the fairway of 18 or by the basket of 15. Instead, turn around and park by the playground. You can then start on 18 and your car will not get hit by errant shots on 18 or 15.
Other Thoughts: After thousands of rounds on this course, I still play most of my golf at Knob Hill. I helped design Moraine and I love Deer Lakes but Knob Hill is still the course I choose for my daily rounds. A round of golf here can be quick, there are always tons of people at the course to hang out with, and I enjoy the company of the locals that I play with there.
The course has been a favorite of many of the top pros over the years. It has had many years of use with many fairways becoming wider, trees have fallen, and the course has aged gracefully with the help of many volunteers. This is the course that I learned on and have spent so many endless days at. The course that still challenges my game. It is an older style of course that probably will never be seen again in this area. But at the same time, it was so far ahead of the rest of the courses when it was designed. You have to remember that there were only 300+ courses when Knob Hill went on the ground. Knob Hill was a gem then and it still is now.
If you are in the area and the weather is nice, come on out to Knob Hill for an early round. Then drive the 35 minutes and either hit up Moraine State Park, Deer Lakes or drive 8 minutes and play Linbrook Park which is being built as I type.
Tuesday night doubles 5:00 - 6:00 start from March to November is a great place to meet the local players.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Great layout. Good Challenge and cool placements of Tee and Holes. Good variety of wooded and open holes. I liked the use of terrain to make the holes more interesting.
Cons: Lots of underbrush, my friend lost his driver (though it was getting dark at the time). There are a few areas that you can lose a disc with a off throw as with any course but there are some spots that you dont see that are deep spots etc.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Stalwart of the Pittsburgh Region
Pros: • Three Tees: blue/rubber/long - white/concrete/medium - red/natural/short
• Tee signs at white tees
• Multiple pin positions available
• The balance of heavily/moderately wooded & open/semi-open holes combined with available elevation made for a sensible flow and required a variety of shots to score well.
• Easy to navigate even without a map
• Course well used and broken in so very little punishing rough (except for ridiculously errant throws on some holes) resulting in low disc loss possibilities
• Clean & well maintained
• Park is multi-use and has bathrooms, etc.
Cons: • Finding first tee not obvious - disc golf sign has you going over bridge through some woods to a path that splits with no directional info on which way to go. Would be easier to point players up gravel pathway away from parking area as first tee is just up there a short distance. There's a map at the info board for reference however.
• Not crazy about design of holes 16-18 which are fairly close to one another and play near to/over the road leading to DG parking lot. Saw many non disc golfers walking up/down this road so caution is warranted.
• Three pin positions per hole but no way of telling what position pin is in (most pins you can see from the tee, others you'll have to scout)
• Red tees on some holes are wood boards on the ground so players using these may find them difficult to locate
Other Thoughts: With 25 reviews on site, going into detail here seems unnecessary and excessive so I'll stick to some general thoughts:
It's always interesting playing a mature, well established course designed in the early 90's and seeing how it withstands the test of time. Knob Hill seems to be enduring quite well as it appeals to a wide range of players, is challenging but not overly long or technical & has extremely strong support from the surrounding community -and for good reason - this is a fun place to enjoy a relaxing, low stress round in a pleasant park setting. If I lived in the general vicinity, I'd be playing this one regularly.
Some of the reviews/ratings on the site seem to be somewhat inflated as the course doesn't quite have all of the qualities I would have expected to justify the rating. Even so, it's a more than solid course and I cannot fault those who play it regularly for showing their devoted appreciation.
Therefore labels like 'championship quality' or 'a must play destination' are not applicable here. Nevertheless, it's totally worth a play if in the area.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Three tees per hole - rubber at blue, concrete at white, natural at red. Signs at blue and white tees - only distance info at blues, breadth of information on signs at whites. Three pin positions per hole. Scattered benches and trash cans.
Current basket location pegs not used. Red tees on back nine marked by hard-to-find in-ground boards. Numbers 16&18 have crossing fairways. Boggy in places - 2,9,12,15 were on the damp side the day I played.
Course plays in the woods, fairways defined by pockets of forest, and wide-open spaces, of a public park built on one very large hill and surrounding flat spaces. Nice mixture of elevation changes - flat, moderate, a couple quite steep. Fair blend of tightness - course cycles through tight woodwork, then scattered, larger hardwoods at random points, to fairly open, then repeat. Lengths are "typical", i.e. the tighter the hole, the shorter the hole. Variety of turns needed, a bit more emphasis on right turns.
Navigation: If you find yourself in a small parking lot with a baseball field to your right, you can start here - basket-7/tee-8 is just up the hill - or jump back in your car, find the main entrance about a half mile away, and find the kiosk at the end of the shaded parking lot there. Taking a digital photo of the map at the kiosk proved useful - follow the obvious path out the back of the parking lot to find tee-1. After basket-8, the most obvious tee is #11 - #9 is farther down to the right, and the hole plays down the hill, and then #10 will return you to the top of the hill for tee-11.
Favourite hole: #10 Long and uphill, pockets of trees on both side. Eventually need to make a sharp left-turn (if too sweeping, you'll catch some trees towards the back), finding the basket a bit farther up the hill, in an opening between two rows of trees.
With three tees and three pin positions per hole, and the variations in tightness, distance, and elevation, this course should appeal to many different types of players.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pittsburgh's Classic Course
Pros: Knob Hill was Pittsburgh's main disc golf course project during the 1990s, and it shows some of the promise the has produced more recent gems. Specifically, elevation is used creatively on the courses "knobby" terrain, resulting in many very interesting greens and engaging tee shots.
A good variety of shots are required, with young shrubby trees forcing you to make shots on the more technical holes.
Three sets of tees and three pin positions per hole make it both a good recreational and tournament course and a worthy host to the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open.
Although one of the simpler holes, my favorite is #7, which is a 300+' slight uphill drive for the 'A' pin position with a big tree 200' out and a tree-line the right side. It's just a really fun drive with my teebird that I look forward to every time I play the course.
Cons: Par isn't well defined (i.e., tweener Par 3.5 holes) for certain combinations of tees and (far) pin positions. Although hole lengths vary, I found it mentally tiring to face these holes where you're just trying to play conservatively to make a 3 because a 2 is unrealistic.
With the shrubby trees and hillsides, I didn't find the holes to be framed as well as Deer Lakes or Moraine. The fairways just didn't feel as natural, and the holes just aren't as memorable. (Changes in disc technology might be partially to blame.)
Course can get very muddy.
Other Thoughts: Nice autumn colors and a good course to play in the winter when the ground is frozen and the couple patches of underbrush aren't a factor.
Your course experience can vary wildly depending on the pin positions you face. Playing a round with mostly 'C' pins (the hardest pins) gave me new respect for this course.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Having three sets of tees was good to see and a big pro in my book. The course had some good elevation and seemingly gets a lot of play. The park is very beautiful and in a nice part of town. The course featured two awesome downhill holes in the middle of the course that stood out from the rest.
The tee signs are extremely helpful and beautiful. For someone who travels to a lot of courses I can't stress how much value a good tee sign adds to a course. Too many courses have terrible or incorrect tee signs and that leaves players frustrated. These tee signs are some of the best I have ever played.
Cons: The course had serious design flaws. Some of the holes were just really confusing with decent fairway routes but poke and hope routes near the basket.15 in particular had literally no route to the basket, and my shot hit the top of the basket by pure luck. Hole 2 was another example of just a "throw it and hope to get lucky." I am a firm believer in having fair but challenging holes but when a green is full of obstacles and tough to access with a good shot it becomes frustrating. Luck should never be the determining factor in a hole. Not all of the holes had this feature but it was enough for me to remember.
Holes 16 through 18 were just confusing, with fairways criss-crossing. The park seemed super busy and I just felt it was a safety issue to have criss-crossing fairways. I think fixing this issue would immediately raise the rating of the course in my opinion. Some of the walks between the holes were pretty long - also, each hole had three pin locations but you could never tell which location the pin was in. Once again, this may not be a big deal for a local but for an out of town player it can be frustrating to have to walk down the fairway to see which location the pin was in. Having a simple washer system on the tee sign to indicate the current location of the hole would solve this problem.
Other Thoughts: This course has a lot of potential. I feel like the course is probably very enjoyable to a local player but for an out of towner it is tough to enjoy a course with guesswork on the location of the pins. Fixing that issue and also addressing the criss-crossing fairways would immediately raise this course rating to a 4.0.
UPDATE: I originally gave this course a 2.5 but after playing it again I raised the rating to a 3.0. Keep in mind that this rating indicates a "Good" rating. This course has great potential and is in a very nice park that is very busy. I just think its important to keep in mind that not everyone that plays this course is a local.
3 of 15 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
A nice place
Pros: A challenging course, with both wide open fairways, and some 'chutes' off the tees. Constant pin relocation makes it different every time I've been there.
Cons: There are 3 killer hills, each one getting more severe (16 may require older people to take a break climbing). Some of the red tees difficult to find
Other Thoughts: The park is constantly maintained, and some of the nicest people frequent this course
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I really enjoy playing this course each time I'm down this way from Rochester, Ny and I think thats the biggest endorsement. There's a lot of challenge on this course and while there are a fair amount of chances for a duce, each of them really makes you earn it. The fact that they have flypads on the pro tee's and cement on the white tee's is such a great job thats been done by the local club. The first time I played the course I just walked up to a group of locals to aske about where a basket was and they envited me to play with them which was great. The course was really well maintained which makes coming down for the PFDO really great. I can't recall seeing any trash at the course or signs of vandalism any of the times I've been there. There aren't many chances to really air a disc out on this course but the technical challenge makes up for that ten fold. I played this course for the first time last spring and again at the PFDO and couldn't believe how they had cleaned up one of the holes to really make it a gem.
Cons: hmmmmmm...I think it was a little wet on some of the holes at the bottom of the hill when I played in the spring. ***If your not playing the long tee's to the long baskets this course can be really easy.***
Other Thoughts: I can understand others rating this higher then a 4 but there wasn't anything that had a WOW factor for me. Still a super solid course and a must play.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course for Northern Pittsburghers!
Pros: - This course has tremendous variety with tightly wooded and technical holes vs. long, wide-open expanses. Uphill drives contrast downhill drives.
-Each hole is adequately signed and the trails are well blazed, leading to the next hole with little confusion.
- Particular care is given to the maintenance of the course with litter and debris at a minimum. The grassy fairways are often cut and well-trimmed. I'm sure this is partially due to the PFDS presence here.
- The topography of hole #11 in particular, with some blind shots between the tee and basket, makes for a memorable shot.
- Several large trees make for challenging hazards on long open drives. Hole #7 comes in mind.
- frequent pin rotation makes the holes interesting and unique
- study cement tee pads for the red and white holes accompanied by wooden stumps that serve as benches
- a nice long course with white and blue holes that well exceed a mile in total length. Your arm will get a decent workout here!
Cons: - This course can get incredibly crowded -- even at times when traffic on most courses is usually at a minimum. I've gone on Tuesdays at 1pm and I'll run into 20 people playing. While I'm elated to see people playing disc golf, waiting for people to tee off can be an encumbrance.
- As mentioned in other reviews, the first hole can be a little difficult to find at first; after the first hole, however, there are little to no issues navigating
- The course can get a little muddy and slippery after wet days due to a lack of drainage. Watch your footing on these days!
Other Thoughts: I've played many courses in the Pittsburgh area and Knob Hill is one of the best. Not quite the caliber of Moraine or Deer Lake, but certainly better than Schenley or Old Economy. For those living in northern Pittsburgh, you can't really beat this for a home course!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Well kept and close
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Well designed and well maintained par 61 course, that has a good flow and variety of holes. Will test your shot making skills with open bombs, R to L, L to R, uphill & downhill shots. Course gets a lot of use so paths between holes are well defined.
Concrete white tees are the most used. Newley installed concrete Blue tees are big & grippy. They make playing the difficult blue layout much more inviting.
3 pin placements per hole for the new Prodigy DGT1s.
Lots of work has been done in the months leading up to the 2015 PDGA World Championships and the course is that much better for it. Holes 13 & 14 have been lengthened to make them par 4s. New signage is great. This course has been a part of the annual PFDO for many years and it still shows why.
Cons: Can get very crowded with lots of 2-3 disc frolfers.
Will get very wet/muddy in the spring.
Red tees just grass/board in the ground. Almost non existent.
Other Thoughts: This course is the best "par 3" in Pittsburgh. You can get whatever you want out of this course. The red tees offer beginner friendly looks at the baskets, especially in A pins. Whites offer lots of fun while still challenging golfers of all ages. The Knob Hill Blues tees might be the toughest Blue tees in the Pittsburgh area. Now that they are concrete they should get played a lot more. The Park is very pet friendly as many take their dogs golfing with them. Bathrooms by the practice basket & 18 blue tee.
C pins can be VERY challenging especially when combined with the blue tees!
If you're looking for a fun, challenging round, take the time to play 18 at this great course.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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