This could be a great course...
Pros: Thompson park has 27 holes, with a good mix of open and wooded, short and long holes. There are a few very unique shots here as others have said, throwing off of cliffs, through a creek bed, and some really cool elevation changes.
Cons: Very confusing layout, was difficult to navigate even with a map, and there are several long walks.
Some of the holes could be sweet, but there's no line from tee to basket. Hole 10 comes to mind here. It would be an awesome downhill shot if there was a line.
No teepads, and many of the teeshots are not on flat ground.
Other Thoughts: Seems like whoever designed this course just popped in tee posts and baskets and never really put any other work into it. The design isn't very intuitive, with several very long walks between holes where you're not even sure if you're going in the right direction. There's a lot of potential here for a great course if someone puts the work in. I drove 1.5 hours to play here and will not be making the trip again, or recommending others play here.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Variety, Lack of Course Flow
Pros: Thompson Park Disc Golf Course is located in a huge city park that has numerous pavilions, a pool, tennis and basketball courts, football and baseball fields, and hiking trails. There is plenty of parking space here and there is a bathroom, water fountain, and garbage cans near the parking area. It is located on top of a hill in East Liverpool, and is only a few miles off of I-30 and I-68. There is a board with local tournament info. near the first tee. The course uses sturdy Chainstar baskets that are in good shape and have hole numbers on them. The designers did a great job utilizing a lot of the park's land and the course is largely spread throughout.
-The outback 9 is the most up to date part of the course featuring numerous next tee signs that are very helpful and make that part of the course easy to navigate. The tee signs are newer and include arrows pointing to the next tee. There has also been a serious amount of deduction of trees in the woods on holes like 19, making the fairway more reasonable.
-The best aspect of the course is the great variety of hole types with many open holes that give you a chance to bomb your disc, numerous super tight holes in the woods, and everything in between. There is a nice variety of hyzer, anhyzer, and straight shots in the open and in the woods. The course also offers huge differences in difficulty. The front 9 are all pretty simply, fairly short holes that are good for beginners. You could call some of these border-line throwaway holes as there is not a lot of line shaping or diversity to the front 9, but they can serve as a nice warm-up for the rest of the course. If this was my home course, however, these holes definitely would be boring. The back 9 start out with a few super tight holes in the woods and offer a great variety of elevation and hyzer, anhyzer, and straight shots. Holes 11, 13, and 14 play over a ravine and have a stream running through the holes. Then the holes open up and offer a lot of distance. The outback 9 mostly features super tight holes in the woods and offer a few tunnel shots through hiking paths and have a few open holes (22 and 26). The elevation is greatly utilized throughout the course as there are a few shots off cliffs (13 and 21), extreme uphill holes (15), and holes that play on significant slopes (10, 16, and 17).
Cons: While the course offers a ton of variety, there are numerous - pretty serious - problems that detract from the overall experience of playing here.
-First off, the tees here are awful. The front 9 have very thin and narrow tees that are useless in giving any sort of comfortable run up for your drives. The natural tees for the back 18 holes are often on uneven ground, so they are not too comfortable to drive from either. I enjoyed the drives off cliffs, but they can certainly be dangerous for someone who is young or not coordinated.
-Navigation is pretty horrendous for the front 18, and the course overall does not flow well. There is a lot of back tracking on the front 9, and there is not any flow to the next tee. This caused me to search a lot, even though the front 9 all play in the same section of the park. A few times I went to the wrong tee at first, so next tee arrows would help a lot here. Traveling through the back 9 can be somewhat dangerous if it is wet at all, as it requires you to hike down very thin and steep paths in a few parts. You have to walk over a moss covered tree on hole 13, and if wet at all it is very slippery. I like the hiking/nature aspect of this course but it would not suit players who aren't in good shape and have good balance. This greatly limits some part of the course's playability and should be taken into account. Some of the next tees of hard to spot in the woods due to the small wooden tee signs. There are also many long walks to the next tee for holes 10, 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 23.
-Holes 10 and 20 have nonexistent fairways. I appreciate tight holes, but these two holes require total luck as there are way too many trees. Arguments can even be made for hole 26's fairway and 27's upshot to the basket that those shots require luck and do not have distinct lines. Again, I thoroughly enjoy tight, wooded holes, but these shots require luck only. Simply put, there are parts of this course that are beautiful, but do not have good topography for disc golf and are sometimes even unsafe.
-The front 9 also play very close to and in one case across the park's walking loop, which was highly congested the two times I played here. There were numerous times I had to wait to the throw.
Other Thoughts: As I stated above, I appreciated the course's diversity of open and tight holes, something a 27-hole course needs. The tees (or lack of) and navigational problems on the front 18 are what hurt this course's score for me and are certainly below average. The variety of hole types offered here are great, so that balances out the rating as being "typical". My favorite holes were:
13- Very tight shot through trees and you drive off of a cliff
16- 600 ft. anhyzer of a slope that plays through a few trees. A nice chance to air out your disc after playing the tight shots in the woods
21- Another straight shot off of a cliff with a tight line
23- Super tight and long tunnel shot
Took two hours to play by myself
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of potential, but needs attention
Pros: Located in a beautiful park, with a creek that comes in to play on many holes.
27 holes- if your goal is to get a lot of throws in, this is a good place to do it. Holes provide a good mix of open and wooded shots.
Good use of natural features- I love it when course design incorporates the natural landscape. Two holes on this course feature medium sized boulders as tee pads, which is great. Also a good use of elevation with holes that go both steeply up and down hill.
Cons: Tee pads!!! The tee pads are horrendous on this course, making a run up nearly impossible on several of the wooded holes. Natural tees are not always a bad thing, but the tees at this course need to be leveled and generally cleaned up.
Lack of maintenance. A few of the holes on the back portion of this course are nearly unplayable from the tee- you will be standing on the tee and looking at a wall of forest between you and the basket. I am all for difficult, technical holes that weave through trees, but the golfer must be provided with some sort of line to aim for. Many of the holes require some tree removal and trimming to make them realistically playable- there is more to designing a golf course than just placing a tee and basket 400 feet apart in a forest.
Single tee and basket locations. In fact, the baskets lack a "female piece" in the ground, and instead the poles are just buried in the ground, which makes the target 8-12 inches lower than a typical basket. A minor issue, but something I noticed nonetheless...
As already mentioned by other reviewers, but worth reiterating, the course has little flow, and the golfer is faced with several long walks from basket to next tee.
Other Thoughts: Despite the problems of this course, I still enjoyed my round. However, if you are traveling from the Pittsburgh area to play this course, as I did, I would advise sticking to Deer Lakes/Moraine/Knob Hill, as these are all far superior courses in my opinion. If you are looking for a wooded course and want to venture away from the city, I would suggest the Orange Crush course in WV, which provides a challenging, but better maintained, wooded golf experience.
This course has a ton of potential- with better tees and some course maintenance, this could easily be a course with a four disc rating, but as of right now it is only average.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Thompson Park - It's Ok
Pros: This is a very nice park with great trees and neat surroundings. The Front 9 is short but makes good use of the trees, elevation changes and some difficult pin positions. The front 9 is good fro all skill levels. The Back 9 is a collection of very different holes, huge elevation changes, wide open and tightly wooded. I really enjoyed the wooded holes (except 10) they were very imaginative. The course plays very quickly and is very fun.
Cons: This course has zero flow at all. The holes do not really follow a good path at all. Hole 4 took a while to find since it is actually significantly behind hole 3's Tee. Hole 9 finishes in the middle of the park and there is no indication of where 10 might be. Also hole 10 should just be removed from the course. 10 is a steep downhill hole that has absolutely no path to the hole. You just throw into a wall of trees and hope that you don't land too badly. (I threw both a hammer and a backhand and neither of them came close to getting through the trees). Also its a fair hike from 18 back to the parking lot. The tee's on the back 9 are kinda scary and have no room at all for a run up.
Other Thoughts: You can tell that this course was designed by amateurs and with that in mind it came out pretty good. With the space they have, especially in the woods it would have been nice to see all 18 holes tie into each other a little better. The park was also somewhat busy when I played but everyone seemed very pleasant and helpful.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
We're gonna have a good time
Pros: This course is very enjoyable to play. The front 9 is nice and easy with some decent holes. All of the holes on the front 9 are reachable yet have some challenge involved. The trees in the park are spectacular. Some very old trees and quite a large variety. Beautiful park. Cool little amphitheater that you play by is pretty neat. The front 9 will give you a nice walk through the park that anybody of any skill level will be able to enjoy.
The back 9 is a very fun back 9 with many shots with elevation change and some water thrown in as well. There are some really neat shots out here. Cool pin placements on rock outcroppings, near the edge of a nice little creek. Kinda reminds me McConnells Mills in PA.
Cons: As much as I like the back 9 of this course, hole 10 is just plain silly. It's actually a really cool hole, except there are 2 trees that really ruin what could be a really great hole. It's basically a poke and hope through some trees downhill 300 feet or so.
The teepads on the back 9 are very rough, and are often muddy or on some sort of angle. Not much chance for a run up or follow through. Yet even with the pads it is still fun to play.
Other Thoughts: After playing 130+ courses over the last 15 years, I would have to say that this is a really fun course to play and most people will have a really good time. It has a few memorable holes on the back 9 which give help to give it a good rating. The front 9 is a great place to practice your midrange game, and the back 9 will have you wanting to throw lots of extras because of how fun some of the holes are.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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