Not A 'Nix' On Nockamixon!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + All holes are within the woods. The population density, tree thickness, ceilings and arrangement vary from hole to hole. It never feels like the same hole twice.
+ Decent rubber tee pads.
+ This course is clearly geared more towards experienced players, but the pars still feel fair.
+ Water hazards on about half of the course add some risky drama to the fun.
+ This place has some pleasant scenery. There are streams and creeks everywhere with a few tiny waterfalls. There is a nice quiet pond. There are many different types of trees. There are dozens of rocks everywhere you go that a player can hop on if you want to play 'the floor is lava.' Walking through the forest is less boring when there are fun things to look at along the way.
+ The course feels as though it has sprouted up from the ground itself in how it coexists with the natural setting.
+ There are quite a few elevation challenges here. Some are stark and steep. Others are slight and steady. It also makes for an invigorating hike. Wear sturdy footwear here.
+ Benches at nearly every hole allow golfers to relax and enjoy the view if they have to wait for others to finish.
+ Holes 9 and 18 both bring you back to the parking lot with bathrooms and trash cans in case you want to get something from your car partway through.
Cons: - It's muddy in several spots. Wear footwear that you won't mind getting messy because some holes seem permanently saturated. Hole 9 is affected most by this. The path leading to it, the tee pad and even the first dozen yards of the fairway are all mired.
- All 'current tee' signs should be replaced. As of early Oct 2018, they are faded hand-drawn diagrams with just the pars and distances. Some have loose illustrations of the hole ahead, but they are not sufficient. For such a great course, this is an odd thing to take a hit on.
- There are also very few 'next tee' signs. A course this large needs signage directing players to the next hole. It looks more professional and keeps the navigational guesswork to a minimum. Otherwise, players could go the wrong way or feel frustrated and more likely to stop playing. The walk between 8 and 9 is the biggest offender of this.
- No trash cans along the way. Please do not litter!
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole at this course might be hole 15 mostly because of that view. You can see the marina in front of a huge lake at the bottom of some forested foothills. It's especially nice to look at as the Sun is setting because the golden orange light catches the leaves and makes a sharp shadow that slowly creeps upward as the colors deepen and it sinks lower behind the horizon at your back. At no other point in the disc golf course is there quite a sight like it. (Maybe at the end of hole 4, now that I'm thinking about it.) Up until then, the player is surrounded by trees in all directions, and it gets a bit tiresome. 15 is a visual treat. Plus, that putting area has a risky downhill slant. One bad throw, and your putter will roll away. My least favorite hole here is the one just before it. To my mind, 14 is a nightmare to play. High grasses + tree pinball = bad time.
As for the course itself, Nockamixon is one of the very best, hands down. It has earned all of the praise it gets from every review before and after this one.
The terrain is adventurous and tricky. While playing here, golfers will cross streams two or three times using only stepping stones and every other time on footbridges. There are many fallen tree trunks all over the course that you can walk on if you want to feel like Indiana Jones. Plus, the landscape is just lovely. There are steep climbs that players will have to endure in order to progress, and they are not without danger. Slips and trips are a real factor here. Just watch where you're going, don't rush, and you'll be fine. And do your best to avoid to mud. Thankfully, there are rocks all over the place that you can leap on like a disc golfing ninja.
The holes are varied and fun. One minute you're throwing through a narrow corridor of trees, the next you're throwing downhill right alongside a rocky stream far below, and the next you're throwing uphill over a small ravine with a running stream at the bottom. Nockamixon is a dynamic and lively course with a ton of variety. Of course, players who haven't been here before might feel a bit confused with the lack of next tee signs and unclear current tee signs, but I'm sure that this will be fixed soon enough.
In closing, Nockamixon DGC is a wonder of the disc golf world. What few flaws there are can be easily overlooked because of the park's beauty and the course's creative, crazy and slightly dangerous layout! If you have not played it yet, you seriously owe it to yourself to come here and experience what Nockamixon has to offer. Be warned that it will not take pity on you. You will have to fight through the trees, hills and distances for those pars, but I know that disc golfers love a good challenge.
And that's why I really do think that you'll love Nockamixon.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Champion caliber hike!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Championship caliber course with 18 beautiful holes
-Hole length varies so it's not always a huge distance, which makes it even more fun and gives you a break!
-Course is very well maintained and a nice workout trekking across a very large area
-not too hard to find the next tee really except for 8-9, if you've never played it
-uses the landscape to create an excellent assortment of shots
Cons: -Very hard to play if you're new so don't expect to get par or close to it, even if you've played for a while it is still very challenging.
-terrain could be dangerous is slick conditions
-signage needs to be updated and can't hardly be seen some holes
Other Thoughts: Really an excellent course that uses the landscape beautifully to make a champion caliber course, which pros have played on before! Not many things it lacks and it's very fun to play if you have time!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Home of 2005 Worlds and a must play.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Creative and Challenging
Multiple Tee/Pin options
Elevation change, Sweeping fairways, tunnel shots, if you can think of a shot I assure you will find it on this course.
Naturally Scenic beauty on every hole.
Good Facilities (large bathroom hut at course start).
Well maintained (all by locals, thank them when you are out there!).
Cons: Due to its high difficulty it is not quite as accessible to all players, a shorter Tee position might help with this but ultimately doesn't impact my rating.
Extremely rocky fairways lend to slippery surfaces in the rain making this course not only difficult but slightly dangerous if you aren't actively engaged.
Easy to lose plastic, these fairways get tight and if you kick off.... my heart goes out to ya.
Signage is there but in need of a good update as most of it appears to be sharpied onto a white board (although it does add a really neat aesthetic to it).
Other Thoughts: There is one reason you are going to play Nocki: you want to be challenged in a way no other course in the area comes close to. This course is long, wooded, and immensely challenging. For those reasons it was featured in the 2005 PDGA Worlds along with Little Lehigh Parkway and Jordan Creek, So when you walk these grounds you are walking the same path as Greats like Climo, Doss, Shultz, Dunipace, and many others which adds a harrowing/humbling effect to it more so than playing Parkway or Jordan because you know this is where the tournament was truly fought and won. The course snakes and weaves its way through the massive and beautiful Nocamixon State Park giving you a true nature walk feel and lends itself to an immense plethora of views ranging from wooded rocky glens to rolling grassy knolls overlooking the Marina. This course will take some time to play through especially the first time you play it so budget your time accordingly and this course will wear you down even if you are in good shape so bring snacks, water, and don't feel bad taking a break! It is hard to describe just how challenging this course truly is but to give a little perspective Hole 1 is a massive par 5.... and it plays pretty much all of 5 strokes unless your game is tip top. You will need to have all of the shots in your bag and your scramble game on point and that is just to shoot par if you play at an amateur level. This course is hard to criticize as it truly is a best of the best kind of course but to get that coveted 5 disc score it needs to have it all and to me the only thing on my trip that held this course back was its signage. The hole signage is very faded and appears to have been drawn over/on with Colored markers, well enough that you can figure out roughly what you need to do but could use some improvement and maybe a few markers out there pointing you in the right direction for the next tee as there are a few short walks from target to teebox that you might miss. In summary: the hype is real, Nocki is that true tournament level course. It will stun you with its looks, entertain you with its design, punish you for your bad shots, and break your will if you let it but it is a course that everyone needs to play once to say they have and is a course that proves just how difficult disc golf really can be.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
challenging wooded course
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Other Thoughts: Nockamixon is a very long and challenging wooded course with some a couple of open holes as well. If anything, in some stretches the course feels too long, and a couple of shorter holes would be a nice relief. That being said, the course has good variety and a different feel to many of the holes. There are opportunities for aggressive play and places that reward control and accuracy.
I particularly liked some of the more open holes on the back nine.
This was a great course, and I fully intend to make another trip to Nockamixon.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Planning a road trip along the East Coast of Pennsylvania is not easy. Definitely not easy. You have so many courses that are top of the line. However, there is only one Nockamixon. I played a tournament the day before, and I asked local players what course would be the absolute one to hit. Every answer was Nocki, and it wasn't a long pause, then decision. They went into autopilot, claiming that Nocki was the course to play.
The drive lone to the course was scenic enough. You are driving through the back country of PA. You should know what you are getting when you walk into a course in the city called Quakertown, but it is a really nice part of the country.
The first hole sets up what you know is going to be an epic course. You are throwing down into the woods, which at 8 o'clock in the morning, has the sun rising up over the trees, illuminating the dewy grass and the millions of rocks that are scattered through the woods. It is truly an enlightening experience, almost religious.
The holes themselves were brutally amazing. You are curving, twisting, winding through the woods of the beautiful park. These holes were just brutal. Up and over ravines, down and through tunnels, hyzer bombs through trees, anhyzers over bushes. Just wonderful shots, designed with a seasoned player in mind.
The scenic shots were easily some of my favorite. You would throw shots that would just glide over boulders, and this is not something you can dream about. You can't watch a video and think, "Close Enough." You have to do it. You have to hit tight gaps that open up to a cliff like drop off. Same exact idea. Shots over ravines, shots over creek beds. It was insanely different, and difficult. Something you only see at courses like this.
This course was not just a fantastic disc golf course, but it is also one of my favorite hikes that I have ever taken. Just the beautiful rock structures, and well aged trees are jaw dropping, and that was just the sights. I was also climbing over boulders, jumping off mini-cliffs, and just huffing and puffing up and down hills. It was just insane.
Cons: There were only a few cons, and I know that this course is just fine without the extra stuff, but there could be more things that would easily bump this up to a 5.
The tee signs were old, cracked, and not the most descriptive. They were hand drawn, and it was sometimes faded, or unreadable. This caused a bit of a problem, because a lot of the holes, the basket was out of sight. These could easily be updated with newer, better signs.
I can tolerate Mach IIIs, but at a course that is one of the best, they should have the best. An update is definitely in need if they want to keep up with the many improvements that other courses are making.
The rubber tee pads were showing their age, as they were not super long, or particularly grippy. I wasn't slipping, but when you have to throw 350 foot tight lines, you want a better tee to throw off of.
You could add a tee, but what they have right now is a great disc golf course. No real reason to add, but it is not a beginner course. Bring your A-game.
Navigation was pretty tough on a couple holes. The paths were well beat, but there were a few holes with multiple paths. I don't understand why there were not any signs pointing to a next tee. This goes a long way. I feel even a painted tree, or a wooden arrow on leaned up against a rock. I felt there was a cheap solution to a pretty big problem.
Some holes had tall fairway grass, or really bad gnats. Put on bug spray, because there are definitely some bugs you do not want living in the hairs of your body.
Note- Sometimes, I feel these extra perks are not needed. This usually only applies on private courses, because they do not have the daily visitors, or the humongous club. I feel that a state park should have better amenities than some other courses. Amenities are not nearly as important as the golf, which Nocki had amazing golf.
Other Thoughts: This course is one of the reasons that disc golf is the best sport in the world. When else can you go through some of the best looking properties on the United States, sometimes not even touched by a saw, or an excavator. Just raw, natural beauty.
Nocki is that course that you go home and say, you know, that course was awesome. You tell you buddies about it over a couple of drinks, or just dream about the day you get to go back.
I feel like with more time and club work, this course moves forward and becomes a 5 star. I will know too, because I am definitely coming back.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Disc Golf Masterpiece
Pros: It does not get much better than Nockamixon on the East Coast.
here is elevation, water, distance, elevated tees, a hanging basket all layer out in a challenging, enjoyable 18 hole masterpiece.
Hole 5,7, 15 and 16 are probably some of the most scenic and fun to play for a hundred miles. But there isn't a wasted hole there. Even the shortest hole, #13, is this nice technical, ace run of a shot. A chance to catch your breath and get your score a little less lopsided.
This is a course where after you play it, you look at other courses differently for a little while. That 425 ft Par 4 on your home course? A lot less into intimidating after playing 18's 730 ft Par 4.
Cons: Could some things be improved? Sure.
Updated signage, new baskets (I find those older DGA baskets really hard to see in the woods)
Other Thoughts: No disc golfer should go through their playing career without experiencing Nocki at least once.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
One of a kind
Pros: Wow, what an awesome course and experience. Nockamixon offers a unique round, one that any serious disc golfer should experience at least once. The course plays through a heavily wooded area in a large state park. Make sure you enter through the marina entrance. There is a course map, bathrooms, and a practice basket next to the parking lot and right by the tee for hole 1. There was no interference with other park users, which is always nice.
This is definitely an intense course, but it's incredible how fair it is at the same time. There was never a time when I felt the design wasn't fair, despite how challenging it is. This is even more impressive since it was designed in the early 2000's. There were probably hardly any courses like this back then (Paw Paw, but I'm not sure what other courses would have had a layout even close to this other than there). The name of the game at Nockamixon is hitting long lines to landing zones. The fairways give you room to be creative and the lines are clear. Missed shots are punished but not impossible to recover from. There is a tremendous variation of pars - more so than most other top courses out there - with ten par 4's and two par 5's. Where else can you play a round that a par 3 is the exception?!
My favorite aspect of Nockamixon is that you almost always get multiple options for how to approach your drive or upshot. The thick woods provide line after line and allow you to be creative while you tackle this beast. Other times, there are two very clear options that force you to weigh out the risk vs. reward. Hole 5 is a great example of this, with a longer, more open route to the basket, as well as a shorter but tighter line over a creek that's tougher to recover from. It's great that even the par 3's like this one are very memorable.
The pin placements are phenomenal, often placed in precarious positions. There are a few very sketchy placements near steep slopes, like hole 4, which is bordered by a huge drop-off. Even on 15, by far the course's most open hole, the pin placement makes it more interesting as it is on a very steep hill from a blind look at the basket. Most likely, you won't be able to see the basket on your drive or upshot, so it makes a potentially straight-forward hole that much more scary. This attention to detail and pin placement really adds to the terrific design and fun of playing here. There are even a couple holes with two permanent positions that really change up how the hole finishes.
Elevation is incorporated tremendously, whether it's the use of rolling hills, sink holes, or dramatic drop-offs. You get a couple really fun downhill shots on 5, 15, and 16. I like the use of water here. There is never really a chance that it'd cause you to lose a disc, more just like, you'd rather not have to get stuck throwing from there. It's mostly used in the form of streams that run through fairways or near pin placements.
The flow of the course is great, and transitions between holes are straight-forward. Not sure why the 9-hole loops were switched around, but I think I prefer this way over how it would've been before. There are a few more open(ish) holes on the back 9 now, which provides some relief. The course conveniently loops back near the parking lot and rest rooms mid-round.
It's very well maintained and I rarely had to look for discs despite a lot of blind shots. I'm sure early fall is one of the best times to play here, before the leaves start falling.
Cons: There aren't many cons here, and non that would make me remotely consider knocking it down from a 5-disc rating, but there are a few things that should at least be mentioned. For one, the rocks can be annoying. However, it definitely didn't bother me to the point where it hurt my enjoyment level.
I'm sure it's not always this way, but the gnats were really bad when I was there. Not on every hole, but when there were around they were in swarms.
The other thing that could be a con to some players is that it can only be tackled one way with one set of tees.
Other Thoughts: This is no doubt a 5-disc rated course to me. The balance of difficulty and fairness is only rivaled by a few other courses that I've played. I can see how the challenge could turn some people off, but this is not a course that's just hard for the sake of hard. Every single hole was very well thought out and a lot of fun. I'm barely an intermediate level player and I had a blast even playing on my own here. No matter how much I try, my words can't do Nockamixon justice. It's definitely a course to experience for yourself to truly appreciate it.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Big course with scenic views. Tests all of your disc golf abilities. Both 9 hole loops bring you back close to parking lot. Love a course where par is a good score and this is one of the few
Cons: A bit rocky and in peak vegetation it can be rough in spots. It's a big course and is a lot of work to keep whole course perfectly manicured.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
this course will nock you around
Pros: This is one of the most challenging courses I've ever played. Great variety of fairways (uphill, downhill, dogleg left, dogleg right, tunnel, wooded, open, etc). Bring your "A" game! Very scenic.
Cons: Course can be brutal some some. Terrain can be treacherous.
Other Thoughts: I love this course. I wish I was closer.
If you want the ultimate challenge, you must play this course.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Perfection!!!
Other Thoughts: I'm not listing any pros or cons for this course as you can decide for yourself what they are. Read through the other reviews and you will find the same thing listed as a pro from one person and a con for someone else. Some people even listed the same thing as both a pro and a con... This is why ice cream comes in 32 flavors.
Nockamixon is the first Disc Golf course I ever played but I've waited 2½ years to review it and until I had played enough other courses to have a good idea of where it fits in amongst them. Of the 75 courses I've played at the time of this writing, Nockamixon stands alone at the top. If I could only ever give one 5 disc review, Nocki would get it.
Sure, it's hard. Might just be the hardest course you'll ever play. And I mean that in more ways than three. I've broken bones on this course and seen my friends go home battered and bruised as well (we've stopped going in the dead of winter when everything is covered with ice, it seems to have helped with this). Even if you don't fall down, it's a long, arduous, rocky hike up and down all day long. And don't come here expecting to score well, I don't care who you are. In an interview a couple of years ago, Cam Todd said about Nockamixon, "It's the hardest course I've ever played." One of the designers told me that when they first put the course in, holes 1 and 9 were the first and second holes. 1 plays away from the parking lot and 9 plays back to it, he said people would come play the first two holes and leave because it was just too hard. Now I know I'm not supposed to comment on other reviews, but if you look at all the sub 4 disc reviews of this course you'll find some common themes, "I just started playing", "It was too hard", "Lost all 3 of my discs". This is the first course I ever played and I was totally hooked after my first round (where I shot a bazillion and a half over par throwing 150' at a time). After the 6th time I joined my friends at Nocki I asked the one dude who had been playing a few years if there were any other courses. A few minutes later I was on my phone looking at DGCR and found out that, yes indeed, there are other courses... And they are ALL easier than Nockamixon! Huzzah!!
Your reward though, for all that hard... Is a truly amazing round of Disc Golf. I have not played a course anywhere that can match up to the sheer beauty that Nockamixon brings to the table. The only one I've played that even comes close is Beachfront Park in Crescent City California where you are literally playing on, over and along a NorCal beach while the sun sets behind a lighthouse off in the distance. You'll probably want to bring your real camera and not just your phone for this one. Vibram used the view from hole 15's tee for their Birdie Bash page background a couple of years ago even though there wasn't one held at Nocki. The waterfall behind hole 2 is a constantly changing spectacle especially beautiful in the winter when it turns into a giant ice sculpture. The sunken green they built for hole 7, besides being a truly spectacular golf shot, is another spot you'll be pulling out your camera. I've seen other hanging baskets but none seem as classic or majestic as hole 17's.
Oh right... The Disc Golf. Nocki will test every type of throw you have in your arm, usually several, on each hole. So far, 6 of the holes have 2 permanent baskets (4,5,7,10,14 and 17) and more are in the works. The course plays as two 9 hole loops from the parking lot. The front 9 is more wooded and rocky but the back 9 isn't what I would call 'open'.
Right off the bat on the 821' first hole, you have to pick a line through a field of trees slightly downhill to a 90 degree dogleg left to where Nockamixon's signature boulders begin standing up out of the ground. From there you have a more defined fairway but you'll have to shape your shot around some large trees to get within approach range. What's waiting for you is a stone wall protecting the green... Hellooooooo Nocki!
Hole 2: Uphill. Huge trees in the fairway. Giant depressions to land in. Picturesque island green.
Hole 3: Straight up with a cliff to the right. The "Bridge" across the creek here is the natural stone.
Hole 4: Play the short pin, it's a gem! Tiny little green jutting out atop a steep hillside. Huge premium placed on staying in the fairway. There are 'side fairways' if you miss left or right, but you don't really want to be on them. Missing right can go a LONG way down!
Hole 5: Gut check. What kind of a player are you? There's a skinny downhill hyzer fairway or a slightly more open straight/slight annie route flying entirely over water OB (creek) until you get right to the basket. There's a long pin on the left, but it's an easier shot.
Hole 6: Uphill drive to a really uphill approach with lots of trees around the green.
Hole 7: Just spectacular. Downhill throw with power lines, a boulder field, a creek to cross, and a sunken green with a tight approach line and water OB behind it.
Hole 8: How far can you throw a disc arrow straight and have it lay down? 2 ponds on the left and a huge boulder field on the right. The fairway doglegs right before getting to the green. A third pond is waiting if you go long.
Hole 9: DON'T grip lock your tee shot! There's a pond up the hill and you won't find your disc in it. Lots of trees but a veritable plethora of ways to get through. Short basket is elevated, long is protected by a small OB creek that is often dry but a a bit of a deep crevice to putt up out of.
Hole 10: If you can throw long enough to get there in 2, it's a long sweeping annie off the tee and then a hyzer to the basket.
Hole 11: Uphill with a straight line of trees going up the center of the fairway. There's some OB off to the right before the green.
Hole 12: "It's the hardest hole on the course!" (sorry, inside joke). A lot of trees here. A lot of trees. And for some odd reason, the area short and left of the basket never seems to dry out.
Hole 13: For short arm players, this is probably the only ace run on the course. 2 big trees pinch the fairway about 2/3 of the way to the elevated (stone pedestal) basket.
Hole 14: Probably played here 10 times before I noticed the fairway turns right and goes uphill for the second throw. Always took, "The hero route" straight across the tall grass and tees because I didn't know any better. The long basket here is guarded by a slew of small trees and is perched on the edge of a fairly steep 20' hill waiting for anything that goes long or rolls away.
Hole 15: You're just going to want to sit on the bench here and take it all in for a while. How you land your shot on this green is of paramount importance. Anything that stands up and rolls can leave you with a 75' uphill comebacker.
Hole 16: There's a downhill annie line or one of the coolest hyzerbombs you'll ever throw if you have the arm for it. Don't turn it over or come up short though... The rough to the right is pretty awful and really long right is out to the harbor parking lot (been there more than once). I watched a visiting pro jump up and down like a giddy little kid after his first throw here saying, "I wanna throw it again!" Both of his Orc's spiked in within 10' of the basket.
Hole 17: Wow! Straight uphill off the tee with a little fade good once you get to the plateau but too much right or left leaves you scrambling on your second shot rather than picking one of the uphill approach lines to what I already mentioned is the coolest hanging basket I've seen to date.
Hole 18: A semi open drive out to an expansive open field where, if you place your drive right, you get to crush a wide open approach shot down to a heavily wooded green. There's a new longer pin position on this hole as of last Fall.
Final Thought: If I could only play one course, Nockamixon would absolutely be that course. If that ever changes I will come back and edit this, but I doubt it will.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.