Everything a course should be
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Three, long, wide, smooth concrete tees on every hole
-Mach X's, three pin positions per hole
-Not just benches, but picnic tables on most holes
-Amazing use of Pittsburgh area topography; so much elevation change everywhere
-Clean and well maintained, all grass is cut nice and short, trash was nowhere to be seen when I played
-Beautiful scenery - gorgeous, towering, shady trees, steep and wide valleys, rolling green hills, treacherous slopes, and lakes and ponds grace this course
-Highly detailed, very helpful and informative teesigns on every hole; you won't need to walk any fairways here before throwing
-PERFECT balance of wooded, open, up, down, left, right, long, short, par 3, par 4, par 5, and water shots (DISCLAIMER - in my opinion only one, very well executed, treacherous water hole is needed on a course for me - and Deer Lakes does it perfectly)
-Signature holes - almost every hole here seems to be a signature hole, so I'll only list my favorites
- hole 2 - ace run across and incredibly steep ravine, with putting danger on the backside and left of the pin
- hole 5 - ace run downhill at a steep angle through thick woods
- hole 7 - top of the world - not the tallest drop off ever, but still an awesome drop in elevation off the tee, where you can just rip a fairway toward the pin inside the edge of the woods
- hole 9 - long par 5 where you can rip a long gentle hyzer off the tee, and then take another powerful fairway/mid shot towards the edge of the woods, and approach the pin which sits within 10 feet of a looooonnnnnnng dropoff slope
- hole 15 - another steep downhill, dead straight with trees left, right, and above, to a pin on the other side of a large pond
Cons: -There was one hole where I had trouble finding where the next tee was, I believe it was going from 12-13. And I don't recall seeing many, if any next tee signs - I could be wrong though. Regardless, Navigation isn't difficult to get down as whole though.
- A walking path CAN come into play with an errant shot
Other Thoughts: This is my first 5 disc rated course ever, and I don't think I wasted my first perfect rating. When I think of the perfect mix of different holes, Deer Lakes just nails em' all. You will throw every shot in your bag, and every type of hole that exists in disc golf - wooded tunnels, wide open bombers, water hazards, top of the world, flicks, hyzerbombs, rollers (if that's your thing) dead straight lazers, tomahawks (if you find yourself in trouble), and putter drives. Pin placement is immaculate, making you think about every putt - rollaways and sailing down hills behind the baskets can happen on nearly any hole here. You have the top of the line equipment in the Mach X's (which are orange and super visible), and the giant concrete tees. Every skill level can play here, as the blue tees are just night and day compared to the reds, with a perfect balance in the whites, and if that doesn't provide enough variety, there are 3 pin placements per hole to make sure you never get bored. I'm sure I never would if this was my home course. Well, it is sure ironic that it could've been, as my favorite course to date is in my old hometown of Pittsburgh. But nostalgia is NOT the reason for the 5/5 - this course IS the best of the best.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Good variety of holes, long and short, left and right etc. paths for the most part are easy to follow. Change pins frequently
Cons: Muddy! The course has very poor drainage one several holes making some lies impossible. "Next tee" signs are missing. Bridge over lake is rotten and will soon break.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: I feel like almost every hole presents a unique challenge. A good mix of up-hill, down-hill, trees, and open fairways. Each time I play I feel like I meet new challenges (because my throws vary so much, likely).
Cons: It can get a bit mucky out there. A few more planks to cross muddy spots would be nice. Maps and scorecards haven't been available the last couple times I've played. I don't expect this, but they have been available before, so I'm mentioning it.
Other Thoughts: I have lots of other thoughts, probably not appropriate for this form but since it isn't letting me post this without being "more thorough," I thought I'd mention it.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Easy to follow and the three different tees dramatically change the game play. Some beasty and technical holes. I played the short tees twice and am returning to test the long and mid tees. Plenty of challenge for everyone.
Cons: Course was fairly wet in a few different spots which corresponds with its "decent" condition rating. Can't really think of two many other cons. If you don't have good control of your throws, I recommend using only brightly colored discs as there is fair potential you'll spend some time pawing around in the greenery.
Other Thoughts: If you're in the Pittsburgh area, this is a must play course!
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Deer Old Friend
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is what disc golf should be when it is placed in a public park. If a course has this much land, then it has potential. It has rolling hills, tight woods, valleys and ponds.
The course is overall, well manicured and well kept. The local club, the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society, always keeps the local courses looking their best.
Going through the course, you go through what are some of the finest amenities that a course can have. These being, benches, tee signs, concrete pads, nice baskets, (Mach X) and signage.
The course has every challenge that somebody would want, with winding fairways both left and right, uphill shots, downhill shots, and more.
If there is something a course should have, it is multiple teepads and basket positions in order to provide variety in a course. This course has both, in the finest form. Three concrete tee pads, THREE! Three pin positions, THREE! The pads are long and grippy, and they are well placed to fit the skill level you are looking to play at.
The course is free. When you have a course with so many great things going on, often they come with a price. Not Deer Lakes!
Cons: When thinking of cons, they are few and far between. There are seriously not many to go about.
Crowded- On warm sunny days, the course can be crowded with fellow disc golfers. This is a problem on all public and great courses, because who wouldn't seriously want to play here??? There are also some pedestrians and park goers on a few holes, but not many. Maybe three or four holes until you are back in the woods or on disc golf dedicated property.
Ticks- I have come home from DEER Lakes many times with Ticks crawling on my skin. Make sure you check yourself every time you play in the woods in the Pittsburgh Area, or anywhere on the East Coast. Not really a con, but a thought to warn about.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: Well maintained. Challenging. Lots of benches along the course. Multiple pins and tees. Easy to navigate.
Cons: Its a long hilly course. Some of the terrain is a bit rough. Par is a bit tough of some holes unless you have a big arm and fairways are a bit tight in places
Other Thoughts: Overall a fun course to play.
1 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Favorite Course I've Played
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Immaculate, well maintained
- Nice concrete pads and good baskets
- Tremendous variety of holes (water, woods, open)
- Shorter and longer holes nicely distributed
- Excellent use of elevation, best I've seen on a course
- Several challenging basket placements
- Lots of memorable, highlight holes (3, 9,11,13,14,15,16)
- Need to use all your shots to score well
- Hole 9 basket is close to the parking lot
Cons: - The old shuttered up, bombed out bathrooms on several holes are an eyesore, they ought to just knock them down and remove them
Other Thoughts: - Loved this course, did a disc golf week-end from Buffalo, NY; played Moraine (4 times), Deer Lakes (2 times) and Knob Hill (once)...Knob Hill I found to be an above average course but nothing special...Deer Lakes and Moraine are both best of the best type of courses, I just liked the highlight holes and basket placements slightly better at Deer Lakes than Moraine...so it is getting my first 5 star rating...though I'd give Moraine and Brewster Ridge (in Vermont) a close 4.75 stars as the next best courses that I've played...
- I just love hole #3; this is just about my idea of a perfect hole...
- I was shocked (pleasantly) by how few people were on this amazing course on a nice Saturday morning in August...
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Playing Deer Lakes this morning was a great disc golf experience! I was impressed with so many things about this course, and I know I will be echoing what many have already said, but this was an absolute blast of a course to play.
Has all the necessities for a great disc golf course:
- Multiple pin locations, and 3 sets of very nice, long, and textured tee pads. Never once was I worried about my footing.
- Very nice Mach X baskets with beautiful orange coating on the basket itself made spotting where to go a pretty easy adventure.
- A wide variety of long and short; par 3s and par 5s, with a number of par 4s as well. I never once thought that these ratings were too high or too low, but really right on the money.
- We played from the red tees, as I had a friend of mine new to DG, and I felt challenged on a number of holes. I also felt like I had a legitimate chance to do well on every hole. Balancing those two from the easy pins is difficult to do, but Deer Lakes does it well.
- Benches spread around the course, and the paths were pretty easy to follow.
- Course is maintained exceptionally well, and the undergrowth was maintained appropriately. You could lose a disc here, but it would be difficult and I assume would come from a tree kick out or something along those lines.
- As many have said, the amount of signature holes... amazing. The shot over the water on 15, the elevated tee on 8, the compound open and wooded hole of 9, and the short drive across the valley on 2... there were just some unique shots that made great use of the land available and are absolutely memorable.
- Ample parking
- 18 holes (I play a lot of 9 holers, so it is nice to play an 18, but given the terrain, I was pooped after 18 and consider myself in pretty good physical shape. I can't imagine throwing 20+ holes in a day, let alone doing it twice at a tourney.)
- Easy to spot and use practice basket
Cons: - Though the practice basket was easy to find, navigation to the first hole was not. We visited the back of 9, found 10's tee pads, and then walked to the other end of the parking lot before we spotted something that resembled 1. Where the practice basket is located is ideal for practicing, not ideal for course navigation.
- Navigation, as first timers on any course, will always be an issue. For the most part, the flow is pretty logical, but there are a few intersections where it was easy to get turned around.
- We played the morning after it had rained, and encountered a number of soggy areas. Obviously, it couldn't be helped, but a con is a con. I would imagine that this course is that much more enjoyable when it is beautiful and dry out.
Other Thoughts: This is such a great course, I knew it was close enough to hit up, and have been waiting for the right time. Finally found a morning and I am so glad that I did. All my local 9 holes are going to feel somewhat lacking now, but I enjoyed this course, and if you are anywhere in the Pittsburgh region, it is definitely worth the drive to play Deer Lakes.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
The Best Course I have ever played
11 Helpful / 0 Not
-Outstanding layout, course utilizes land well
-Beautiful and scenic area for disc golf
-Outstanding tee pads
-Wide open, elevated, wooded, and water holes
-secluded park, dog friendly (with poop bags!)
-No snakes were observed
-Only 18 holes :-(
-6 hours away from my home :-((((
-navigation to the course was less than stellar but manageable
Other Thoughts: -
-I have played a lot of courses and after playing this course I came away so impressed it is my new number one overtaking flip city.
-Signature and epic holes galore! Each and every hole is memorable and exciting. Usually the best courses have 3-4 signature holes, this course is honestly in the double digits of sig holes. Totally awesome and unexpected.
-The course is fun, challenging, and fair.
-Huge fun factor, you will never be bored on any set of three tee pads. The designers did an excellent job with the layout.
-Very challenging course. This course offers so many types of shots on each hole. I found it very challenging yet very fair. There is a line on every hole and each hole can be a birdied or bogeyed depending on the shot.
-The amount of variety on this course is superb. It has all sorts of different types of holes. Long elevated, tight wood holes, and an excellent water hole.
-Well done to the designers of this course! It was a privilege playing this course. The atmosphere is excellent, abundant wildlife, a bird watchers paradise! It was a loud cacophony and chorus of birds singing to me the entire round and I loved it!
-I never had so much fun playing a disc golf course and I have been playing for awhile now. Do yourself a big favor and play this gem in Pennsylvania you will not be sorry!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Few courses anywhere have any holes that could approach any one of ten or more holes at this magnificent example of disc golf ecstasy. The grassy-yet-rocky terrain bordering a major stream such as the Allegheny River makes for a near-perfect, moderate-to heavily wooded disc golf experience. This includes top-notch forest holes (Holes 1, 6, 14 and 16), protected grassy fairways (Holes 2, 8, 10 and 12), hilltop tees that let you air it out (Holes 7 and 17), and plenty of elevation change for those hungering for it. On top of that, you also have ridge top views that are somehow wind protected (Holes 4 and 5), the best-executed water hole I have ever seen (Hole 15), and a long tunnel hole that rivals the best you will find (Hole 3). Hole 9, a super-long compound hole with a long meadow leading to a tee on a ridge in distant woods was also notable.
Other perks include excellent signs at all three cement tees, bright orange baskets easily seen from several hundred feet away, picnic benches, clearly marked out-of-bounds areas that are rarely a problem, and no mandatories. The course design is terrific with great pin and tee placement; I couldn't find a single course design change I would make given the opportunity. This course was conceived of by true disc golf lovers who know how to make a course with just right levels of difficulty without sacrificing any fun factor. Appears to have full access for free, yet another reason to recommend this course.
Cons: Bring what you need with you, including discs, snacks and drinks. The drive up to the park is winding and slow, and is a long way from the nearest gas station, let alone a disc shop. A couple of hole interchanges were slightly tricky to follow, but nothing horrible in terms of navigation.
Other Thoughts: Congratulations to the Pittsburgh area for having the best course I have ever played in 14 years of golf (numbering 90 courses in eight states and one province), dethroning perennial champs such as Flip City, Leviathan, Coyote Point and Lincoln Ridge. This is my new personal gold standard for disc golf. This course was good enough to visit twice in one year from six hours away, and a second round continued to impress, reinforcing the notion that this is the best course I have played. Holes 2, 3, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 17 are all good enough to be signature holes.
In addition to disc golf pleasure, this is a bird watchers' paradise. We saw a rufous-sided towhee right next to the basket for Hole 4, common flickers, blue jays, a red-bellied woodpecker, and a pair of pileated woodpeckers on Holes 3 and 5. At the basket for Hole 7, a huge hawk swooped down and perched on a tree 50 feet from us.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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