13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Haverford Township acquired this property, the site of an old hospital, in 2007, and subsequently converted it into a fantastic community park. Sandwiched between I-476 and the Haverford Reserve housing development, the park features soccer fields, baseball fields, playground, dog park, community center, and a beautiful woods with hiking trails and 18-hole DiscGolfPark.
-The course is a pitch-and-putt, with no holes longer than 250’ and most holes 200’ or less. Birdie and ace opportunities abound, but the tight fairways and elevation change require concentration and precision. It’s a fantastic place to practice technical approach shots.
-Even the shortest holes are cleverly designed. Baskets positioned just around corners and behind trees tempt ace runs when much simpler shots can be played to 15 feet.
-Memorable shots: Hole 5 shoots out of the woods into the meadow with an “island” green defined with OB stakes. Hole 13 is my pick for the hardest, requiring a forehand flex shot uphill. Hole 18 is an “elevator down” shot to a beautiful green in front of the creek. There are several other downhill holes that require no more than 150’ power but really test your finesse and angle control. (Remember: discs have more time to fade going downhill!!)
-The tree canopy is generally dense enough to keep the undergrowth reasonable. There are a few thick spots, but the holes are short enough that losing a disc is not much of an issue.
Cons: -I assume the artificial turf tees were part of the DiscGolfPark package, but after two years of play, they are already in terrible condition — small, lumpy, and loaded with dirt. Two tees have been replaced with concrete pavers; hopefully there are plans to replace the rest.
-A few holes don’t have a reliable line, requiring an “aim at a tree and hope to miss either side” approach, or a Plinko shot.
-No holes exceed 250’, which is understandable. Longer holes would have required a lot more tree removal and would create a safety issue with all the hiking trails.
Other Thoughts: -The network of hiking trails and associated signage can be confusing. The bright orange signs with arrows are for the trails, the disc golf Next Tee signs are white. Several holes require a short walk on a hiking trail to the next tee.
-If there’s ever a course to change your bag setup, this is it. Take out all the drivers and grab every putt & approach disc you have. Several holes will tempt you to stand on the tee and throw until you park it. Or, take 2-3 putters for a casual round with no bag at all. Regardless, Haverford Reserve is a lot of fun and a super quick play, perfect for an early-morning or late-evening round.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Short Technical 18er
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Parking Lot 'C' seems to be the fastest way to get to and from the course. Driving in on Monday at noon in July, this is about the most crowded I've seen a park on the weekday, nearly every parking spot on every lot was taken. If I had more time, I would have liked to take in the environmental center and such, but now that I know about it, next time.
On the DGC itself, it was empty of players until I got to #17, when I heard the basket rattle on nearby #7. It's the shortest 18er I ever played, just averaging under 200' (197.4' to be exact) which is about the median as well. Longest hole clocks in at 246'.
Despite that, I never got bored. This is like an 18er that strips aways the drives, leaving you only with heavily technical approach shots and the putts. Elevation plays a pretty heavy role here and it probably had every common variation in flat but also downhill, uphill, and some sideways. If that sounds appealing, Haverford Reserve is exactly for you.
This course also plays the basket-on-the-right card pretty heavily and often and what's not on the right is typically straight on. I can only recall one that ended on the left, maybe there were several. Hell, I think LHBHers and RHFHers get the short end of the stick fairly often on courses, so good for them.
Has good tee signs, baskets, navigation was generally not a problem, etc.
Like Hyoomac pointed out, #18 was a total surpise and a saving grace for being memorable. I threw it as softly as possible, and it still sailed way past, plus I had to run right after from the tee to the edge to even see where the disc generally went. A spotter helps here.
I had a good time overall and will have a better time next time now I know the pitfalls.
The biggest cons I found was #5&6 which are disc traps in growing seasons. They are the only two open holes around. #5 starts out in a forest tunnel out into open, while #6 was lined on the left with forest edge and a basket left. Both have very narrow fairways right now, cut amongst masses of growth which might as well be water.
A lot of this isn't simply growth that can be swept aside browsing for lost discs quickly, but are rather tangled bushes voraciously that eat and stubbornly hide anything tossed their way. Paired with lots of virginia creeper and poison ivy. No thanks. On my tee off I hit a branch and the disc played hide&seek for a good 10 minutes, despite seeing exactly where it went. Being too dumb to get the message, I lost that disc for good with my second bad throw. SKIP RECOMMENDED around summers unless you're throwing good that day and sure of your aim.
Surprisingly for such short distances, there were plenty of times I could not see the baskets from the tee whether from trees or trajectories. The Disc signs were well made but I don't think it always told the entire story for some reason, especially when elevation was involved. First time I ever wished for topographical lines to be on a DG map.
Hand in hand came some trajectories I'm not sure are realistic. Like on #1, I was expecting the basket way more to the left than it actually was just from the way the tee was pointed and how the fairway seemed to be going. I'm not really sure if exaggerated 'S' curves in just 180' in some of these fairways are all that realistic. I would normally say not to bother bringing drivers here, I didn't, but I think the extra fade on some of them would have helped sometimes.
Navigation is easy when the baskets are clustered together but #4 to 5, 9 to 10, and several others had quite long jumps. There are sometimes white signs with tiny lettering on trees pointing out the next tee. The trail right before #18 could have used a sign as well.
Many of the tees are rather short, framed in wood and covered in artificial turf, are already rather lumpy. No big deal on standing throws at these distances, but I wouldn't want to running start on them.
Outside of #18, I don't remember most of the other holes a day later. It's a solid course for its purpose but, as is, shouldn't be anyone's far-away destination course.
After 18, exit footbridge and then left. Takes you back to Meadow Trail.
Amenities: None seen on course..
Check their facebook page if an event is taking place that closes the course like a 5k run.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Short, Wooded, New in PA
15 Helpful / 0 Not
3500' new course designed by Dustin Keegan. Plays almost entirely in the woods, with a little bit of water and elevation
+ While the length doesn't vary much, there are a few standout holes:
Hole #3 puts a single tree dead center off the tee, and it's a narrowing fairway all the way, with a significant dropoff just past the basket. Getting that tree out of your head so you can concentrate of the line and the landing is a challenge
At 240', Hole #16 is one of the longest, It has some large trees to avoid along the right side which protect against the big hyzer route, and the basket is guarded by two beautiful old beech trees
The elevation on Hole #18 comes as a complete surprise: you'll find yourself throwing off a bluff, similar to several of the tees at Tyler West. The hole length is only 200' and the basket is slightly to the left, so the challenge is to throw an easy and controlled fade. There's water short left. You won't see the basket from the tee, so a spotter would come in handy
+ Very good distribution of right-to-left and left-to-right holes. As a right-hander, I probably used FH on four holes and turnovers on a couple more
+ The course is pretty, it's clean and it's well-marked. It won't provide much challenge to intermediate and above, but it offers ace runs, lots of birdies - and the occasional bogey penalizing a sloppy throw that you can't scramble out from. 60 - 90 minutes of very pleasant disc golf where you can concentrate on hitting lines with low power
- The only significant "con" is that some of the holes get a little samey-samey: there are more than a few straight 200ish holes, and you'll initially step up to the tee with the same disc in hand, thinking "oh, this again." But clever use of the woods keeps them from becoming carbon copies of one another: every hole has its own "signature" variation of trees to avoid, lines to hit, elevation to consider
- The tees are a little short (but, a 200' throw doesn't require much run-up)
~ Reminded me of Waveny Park in CT: another short, wooded layout set aside in a park and in immaculate condition
~ Although the disc course is apart from the main park, a walking trail (and cross-country running course) intersects at a few places. Signage on #18 asks you to yell down to the trail before throwing from the bluff
~ After some debate, I gave this a 3.5 instead of a 3. Other than the relative shortness of the course, there really isn't much to criticize here. Sure, it's no Tyler or Nixon, but it's a very good short wooded course that will make you think before you throw
Discgolfpark fixtures, meaning good baskets and excellent signage, with a very helpful overall map at the entrance. Tees are carpeted. Largely cart-friendly - just a few spots with tricky transitions.
There is so much to choose from: you're close to Sedgley Woods (and Edgely Fields). You could start here as your warmup, and then you have Fort Washington to the north, and Kerr Park and Anson B. Nixon to the west. You could even drop down into Delaware and play Bellevue and Brandywine. Have a ball!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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