McBeth was here
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Other Thoughts: Deer Lakes is is a mixed course playing through a new growth forest with "natural" fairways and over open, rolling hills in the park nearby. The course features a good mix of one-shot and two-shot holes as well as a few that will probably fall somewhere in between. Some of the holes are very memorable and challenging, in particular the water carry and a couple of the more open holes (7 and 9) in the middle of the round. However, there are also some holes with less of an individual character which feel as though they could have been pulled from any number of typical wooded courses.
There are opportunities during the round to attempt some exciting shots (again, the water carry on 15). There are also holes where smart placement off the tee, or even on your second shot, will be crucial in order to score well.
I think it is a very good course. It was overgrown in places when we visited (hole 3, in particular, was bad). There are a couple of holes that I absolutely loved, and others that I thought were much more average. All in all, it is a great course and worth a visit. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as some of my favorites, but I hope to play it again sometime.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Amazing! Lived up to the hype
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Been wanting to play this course for a couple months now since I really just got back into the game. When I first started playing, my home course was Cal U's course in California, PA. It is a brutal course but great for someone learning to really throw accurately. Since moving back to the Irwin, PA area, my new home course is Schenley.
Deer Lakes managed to mix everything I loved about both Cal U's course and Schenley's course and wrap it up all into one, WITH A BOW ON TOP!
This course is great. The signs are very well done. Some courses have low detail signs, if any signs at all. Honestly, that is the first thing I look for in a course. I hate having to play something blind.
There is a great deal of parking. AND in the parking lot attached to the big disc golf sign, there is a scorecard with a layout of the course. LOVE seeing that.
I had watched a few videos of the pros playing this course from last years Master's and the videos just don't do the course justice. You really need to play it to get a feel for it.
I will be honest, I played the white tee's and some of the holes gave me some trouble, but that is in no way a bad thing. Getting into trouble on the course can only help to make you a better disc golfer.
This course has a great mix of open field shots with some very well wooded shots. Plenty of holes where you can really let it rip and not get into too much trouble.
The par 5 holes are true par 5's. I never like seeing a hole labeled "Par 5" that can be easily made in 3 shots. Don't think they exist? Go check out Monroeville's Hole 8 and play in from the "Pro" tee. Made it within the 5 feet of the basket on my first throw and I definitely do not throw my discs as far as most.
I really enjoyed the water hold. It definitely played with my head. I ended up slicing it so hard that it basically landed on the path to walk around the lake.
Another great feature are the practice baskets. It has not only one, but two. First time I have seen two baskets for practice. Really goes to show that it is a course really made for people who love the sport.
I can't wait to play there again! That being said, no matter where you are coming from, it is pretty easy to get to. Just a few roads once you get off of the turnpike.
Cons: I went on a day where it rained early in the morning. It was definitely wet and a little muddy. Never realized how necessary a towel can be until my disc slipped out of my hand on a throw. My only thought, if you think it will be muddy, it probably will be so where shoes you might not care about or some boots. Especially if you think some of your shots could go off course. The fairways are generally fine, but once you get into the rough areas it can be a mess.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Everything a course should be
6 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.
6 of 6 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.
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