5 Helpful / 0 Not
Small Park - Fun Peaceful Course
Pros: Phillips Park is located in a peaceful setting in a residential neighborhood away from the busyness of downtown. It is in a small park and the area that the course is in is primarily dedicated to the course. There is a small playground and basketball courts next to the course if your family wants to pass time while you're playing a round. There is a bathroom and water fountain inside the rec area, just tell them that you're playing the course and they will let you use the facilities.
The course has two sets of tees (concrete for the longs) that offer appropriately different looks and challenges and two pin positions that seem to be changed at a decent rate. The blue DISCatcher baskets are easy to spot and in great shape. The tee signs give a very nice depiction of the lines available and the pin positions.
The course designers did a great job of maximizing the park's full potential and created some fun shots using the elevation and trees. The aspect I enjoyed the most about playing here was how every hole offered multiple lines off the tee. This allows the player to be creative in how they approach the holes the different times they play this course, and it's a good quality to make a short course like this more interesting. It's hard to pick a favorite hole here since they are so similar, but I liked hole 2 a lot for its extreme downhill shot and hole 4 for its length and the many lines offered.
The course flows well and it is very easy to navigate the short walks to the next tee. Also, there is virtually no rough at all on the course which is unusual for the area. Couple these two things together and the course makes for a very quick play: took me 25-30 minutes to play a round.
I've never seen anyone else playing here so I'd say you would generally have the course to yourself, which is nice compared to Schenley.
Cons: -Not a whole lot of parking space available
-You have to drive on some very thin, windy roads to get here which can be tough to travel on when cars are going in opposite directions. Nothing alarming, but something to be aware of.
-School traffic could cause problems since it is right across the street from the park. Plan your round time accordingly.
-Not much variety - all 9 holes have a similar feel to them and their distances only range from 165-345 feet between both tees. This is not the course to go to if you like to air out every drive.
-Holes 2-5 play right next to a jogging path and dangerously close to people's backyards. I lost a Stag in someone's backyard on hole 5 - my fault for sure, but the course plays uncomfortably close to their properties.
-The course plays on a steep slope, which can make for some fun risk/reward putts. However, the constant chance at roll-aways makes for some frustrating upshots and drives. It gets old after awhile and holes 7 and 8 are especially steep. Again, fun for a little bit, but not something I want incorporated on every hole on a course.
-The red tees are natural and often positioned on sloping terrain.
Other Thoughts: It was enjoyable to play a course that was made by the faculty and students of Carrick HS; we need more of these kinds of courses throughout the country. According to the course's page, J. Gary Dropcho - one of the leading course designers in the area - designed this course. So, I am guessing it was a collaborative effort between him and the high school, which is cool to see.
I definitely recommend stopping to play this course if you are in the area. It's a quick round and surprisingly technical for being a short course in such a small park. Kudos to the designers for turning this small piece of property into a fun little course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
New baskets make a diffrence
Pros: Phillips Park is one of two courses located within the city of Pittsburgh.
The course plays almost entirely on a grassy slope and each hole is defined by the many mature hardwoods through the park. The slope will make you worry about rollaways and the trees force you to hit your lines.
Almost all of the holes incorporate elevation changes which make this short course very interesting.
There is no RH or LH bias on this course. Most holes have multiple lines available and allow for some creativity.
Brand new baskets have been installed. As the reviews below have mentioned the baskets used to be homemade and in pretty rough shape. Now they are brand new Discatchers and second pin positions have been installed on every hole to add some variety.
There are two tees on each hole but only one is concrete. There are also tee signs for each hole but with the new pin positions the distances are probably off by a bit.
Cons: Playing on the slope constantly gets a little repetitive and with the walking trail and houses nearby errant throws can be potentially dangerous.
The course is a little short and a little easy. Will not challenge an experience player.
Not in the best location. The neighborhood that the park is located in is a little rough. There is also not enough parking for the course. If you play on a weekend sometimes you will need to park on the street near the course.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun little course. The course fits the property perfectly using pretty much all of the available space.
Even though Phillips Park does not compare to the area's 18 hole courses (Knob, Moraine, Deer Lakes, Schenley) it is still a fun fast play that is worth your time and is pretty easily accessible from most of the Pittsburgh area.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Passable 9 holer
Pros: Good use of land to make a course.
Quick nine hole you can play in about 30 minutes.
The city is planning on replacing the baskets.
Cons: 6 of the 9 baskets were made by the high school metal shop when the course was created in the late 90's. They show their age. But they're not that bad
Course gets repetitve but if you live in the area it's better than not playing.
Other Thoughts: I live pretty close to this course so if you're ever in the area and you want to play it PM me I'm in.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
No High School Should be Without One!
Pros: - Course is easily accessible from the Southside and is a nice urban complement to Schenley.
- Elevation changes make for interesting shots, even if they are short in length.
- Two sets of tees (regular and rec) for people of different skill levels.
- Course has many trees and the fairways utilize these well, proving both guidance (safety mandos) as well as obstacles to the basket. Anhyzers and hyzers are evident, as well as semi-technical straight shots to the basket.
- Dropcho utilized the little land that was available and made a pretty decent glass of lemonade out of inner-city Pittsburgh lemons. As a fellow teacher, I am so jealous that he got to design a course right across the street from where he works!
Cons: - One of the hilliest courses I've ever played on. Not sure if this is really necessarily a con, seeing as how elevation changes make the game interesting. Nevertheless, there are two elevation considerations that must be noted for this course:
1.) Blind elevation drops + frequent parkgoers = hardcore spotting and attention when driving
2.) The course is lined with giant oaks, which means a slip on the million acorns will surely send you tumbling down the hill if you're not careful.
- Baskets are quite warped and seem a little larger than PDGA regulation ones. I wondered why I was sinking so many putts :D
- Majority of course (holes #3-6) play around a trail that circles the park, not to mention that a really errant throw will go into the residential neighborhood nearby. Again, watch out for stuff around you!
- Very short lengths on holes; only one hole exceeds 300 feet.
- Signage/tees show their 15-year age. Concrete is worn and the signs are heavily vandalized, although the wooden markers are still in-tact.
Other Thoughts: I've been meaning to play here sooner, but I usually opt to play Schenley, Knob Hill, or Deer Lakes when I'm in Pittsburgh instead. Strangely enough, I didn't even plan on playing here when I did and I only had a spare putter and midrange in my trunk. Needless to say, these were more than enough sufficient and I suggest playing a putter-only round if you want to make this a fun set of nine! Check this place out, but definitely go to the other Pittsburgh courses first.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
My Favorite Course
Pros: This course is gerat for a quick round or two. Nice use of a small patch of land. I love it because it's 5 minutes from my house.
Cons: Women's tee on #9 practically unplayable. City parks should service the grounds more often. NO BATHROOMS
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Nuclear Meltdown Baskets
Pros: Phillips is probably my favorite 9-hole course in the Pittsburgh area. It has some of the best hole designs for the 9-hole courses in our area. If you can find the long tees, they are fun to play, but if not, the concrete is decent. The course makes good use of some horrible land. It's just 1 big hill. From the long tees, a decent player may find it kind of hard to shoot a 27 on the 9-holes. It may be short, but the hill makes for some bad rolls and tough landings.
Cons: It's kinda in the ghetto. Nuclear Meltdown baskets....well maybe they are a Pro since it's better than no baskets.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area and you have already played Schenley, Knob Hill and Deer Lakes, give Phillips a try. Other 9-hole courses in the area include Monroeville and Economy. Both Economy and Monroeville are in much nicer parks, but Phillips truly is unique.
And besides, it was designed by J Gary Dropcho.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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