A very challenging wooded course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multiple concrete tee pads.
Benches at some tees
Signage was well laid out and direction to the next basket was given
Very peaceful in the woods and not crowded
Very good change of elevation.
Each hole had different types of turns that required different shots.
The overall hole design was really cool, you had some neat holes where both elevation change and doglegs were in play. You could tell that the course designers intended to make the players think, "Ok, so if I get the disc to land right before this turn, I'll have a line to get to this next turn" instead of "If I just bomb it straight I should be ok". It definitely changed the way I played since it forced me to play for my next shot instead of just bombing discs and hoping for the best.
Cons: A lot of the shots are extremely tight wooded tunnel shots. When you get in the rough, you are most likely due for a bogey or worst.
Other Thoughts: This course is very challenging and can be very discouraging for beginners.
Pinchot State Park is very pretty and has a lot to do other than disc golf. Also, Pinchot's other DGC is a 5 minute drive across the lake.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a brute of a course, plain and simple. The course plays through a hilly, heavily wooded area of the park that seems to have been set aside for disc golf.
Playing to the long baskets you are looking at 8000+ heavily wooded feet of holes, with a well-deserved par of 69.
A nice feature is that most holes feature 2 baskets (Hole 3 has 3). The shorter baskets are bright pink to remind you that you aren't man enough to handle the long position. Playing to the short baskets still gets you a 6000' Par 58 course that is no joke.
All holes are wooded. The entire way. From tee to basket. No open ground, period. Being able to drive through the initial gap and into the provided fairway is key. I used putters and midranges effectively to drive even some of the longest holes as accuracy is much more important than distance on this course.
Being able to throw dead straight drives as well as left and right-curving drives is a necessity here. There were very few doglegs on the course, and they were generally near the basket, impacting the approach more than the drive. Having at least a basic overhand is useful for getting out of the rough and back into the fairway.
The "more" open holes (1, 2, 9, 11, 12) play up and down steep utility right-of-way but even here you're working within a 30(ish) foot wide clearing with thick thorny brush lining the sides. Sliding out of the fairway even a little bit is punishing and may leave you with little more than a pitch back into the fairway.
Most of the other holes play through a mature forested area, with tall trees and more open undergrowth. When (not if, when) you hit trees your next shot will depend on how lucky you got on the kick. In some cases I got kicked back toward the more open center of the hole, but more often I was kicked out into the rough where strokes get added quickly.
All teepads are excellent concrete trapazoids with good texture. The tee signs feature simple but effective hole diagrams with distances and locations of the baskets. A few next tee signs help with navigation on some of the longer walkouts.
Innova DisCatchers catch great and show up well, especially the BRIGHT pink shorter baskets. It is a great color that could catch on.
Cons: This is a tough course over rough terrain. Fairways are littered with sharp exposed rock, and in late April/early May were muddy and sloppy. In two rounds I definitely picked up some nicks and cuts in my discs. Couple this with the thick thorny rough and steep hills and you've got some full-contact disc golf on your hands.
While most holes had fair and obvious fairways, a few devolved into throwing through randomly spaced trees. You reach a point on the Par 6 Hole 3 where there is no fairway. Or, if you're a "glass half full" kind of person, there are multiple narrow fairways.
Other Thoughts: I noticed that the much easier Boulder Woods course on the other side of the park gets a great deal more play. I never saw another golfer the two days that I played Quaker's Challenge. So while this is a tough, challenging course it is not a relaxing walk in the park!
Huge parking lot at the base of the course. The lot is 18 parallel lanes of pavement with grass strips in between. You just pull off into the grass to park. As wet and sloppy as it was I was concerned about getting stuck, but it you park on the pavement you've blocked that entire lane.
Navigation was good for the most part, but going from Hole 17 to Hole 18 requires walking downhill in the powerline right-of-way and there is no sign. My first round I wandered around until I found the basket for Hole 18 and then backtracked the fairway to find the tee. A lot of unwelcome extra walking at the end of a long round.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Other Thoughts: Quaker's Challenge is a difficult wooded course with some elevation change. Features some multi-shot holes. The rough was very bad in places, and there are some blind tee shots, so be careful. Not as well maintained as Boulder Woods, but more suitable for am adcanced player. wasnt my favorite, but is like to play it again.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Quaker Challenge is a course full of long, challenging wooded holes. (The longest layout has an SSA18 second only to Iron Hill golds among courses I've played.) The holes offer a variety of challenges, including great use of elevation, a number of challenging par 4s, and even a true par 6. While the holes are varied and challenging, they don't feel gimmicky or unfair. The course opens with the intimidating straight uphill hole 1, the longest 240 foot hole out there. There are multiple baskets or tees on all holes except 1 and 17, which are in most cases substantially different.
The course has big, level tee pads, with benches at every hole. The signage is great, including representative hole maps and useful next tee signs. The bright pink short baskets are the best homemade baskets I've seen. The course is pretty secluded -- it doesn't overlap with other park activities or hiking trails, and it's out of the way enough not to get too busy.
Cons: Given that the course is in the same park as a beautiful lake, it's a bit surprising that it doesn't have any epically scenic holes. The rough here can be painful -- there's a lot of thorny bushes that can leave you bloody. Despite the course's length, there are no open holes where you get to air it out. Hole 13 is kind of a weird hole, feels a bit "poke an pray".
Other Thoughts: This course is long, with lots up and down the hill. Be prepared for a challenging round, even in the shorter layouts. It is not a good course for (most) beginners.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
A Beautiful Beast
Pros: beautiful layout. excellent signage. the local club has done a great job creating and maintaining this course. played at the beginning of august, so it was thick if you missed the fairway. the design of each hole was well thought out, allowing for multiple options for different style players. this course has a shot for backhand and forehand drives and the exercise is awesome!
Cons: others may say that, on some holes, the walk from basket to the next tee can be long. i am a hiker, so i didn't mind. gives you time to get your head together for what is coming next, as it seems to just get better and better.
the rough is extremely rough. many briars and spiderwebs and THICK brush. stay in the fairway. hehehe.
Other Thoughts: my wife and i were passing through the area on our way back to virginia. we decided to stop and play here, as i had looked it up before we left home. i have been playing for eight or nine years and this course beat me up a bit, but it was very well worth it. we met a guy and girl clearing rocks and weed-eating on hole 3 and they were local players. extremely nice folks. i would definitely have played better if i knew the layout. can't wait to come play here again. walnut creek, outside charlottesville va is my home course and usually takes us an hour and a half to play. quakers challenge we finished in three and a half hours! awesome fun. awesome exercise. going back in the fall, for sure.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Excellent signage.
- Excellent teepads.
- At least 2 permanent baskets on each hole, with short tees on some.
- Tons of different possible layout options to play.
- Seating on nearly every hole.
- Isolated, even in a massive family swarmed state park.
- Great use of the elevation and surrounding land.
- Holes have well defined fairways.
- Awesome wildlife, I saw the biggest red tailed hawk I've ever seen, absolutely stunning.
- Very easy to navigate with next tee arrows on every basket.
Cons: - Thick underbrush is unforgiving to an errant shot, lost one myself.
- Some holes (for me) just didn't flow well, hole 4 was kind of weak with how it was set up (people would argue and say thats what makes it a challenge) one of the holes on the back 9 felt like it was just a filler hole.
- The place was pretty swampy/muddy in some places.
Other Thoughts: Well the name has it right, what a challenge!! Walking up to hole one and stair up at the basket gives you a sinking feeling of "what did I get myself into". Course has a great combination of uphill/downhill shots, Tight tunnel shots, and some more open shots. Neither right or left hand favored. All in all a great course, and a great challenge!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Challenging. Great hike.
Cons: Trees, trees, trees and nothing else.
Other Thoughts: Full disclosure, I had a terrible round here. That is my fault and my problem, but it did leave me a little incensed at the course. I understand why it is rated so highly. We all like challenging courses. However, I felt like it was a little one dimensional. There is more to disc golf than threading trees all day, just as there is more to it than wide-open holes.
Again, I understand the desire to be challenged, but I felt that Boulder Woods across the lake was more enjoyable while still challenging. Maybe the bad round is clouding my judgement.
I will say, if you are one of those people who base their lives on reviews, don't miss this course on my behalf, but I think you'll see what I mean.
Thanks for listening.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a dense forest with thick punishing rough. If you miss your line on the mostly long and tight fairways, you'll be losing strokes and often blood. There is great variety in hole shapes, with a nice balance of left and right turning shots along with some well shaped multi-shot holes that offer different landing zones and options to get to the pin. There are many longer holes, with a few shooter but still technical holes mixed in. Several holes bring elevation into play in various ways, including a very tough first hole straight up a steep slope.
The tees are nice concrete pads with some texture, many were wet when I played and the grip was still fine. There are detailed tee signs on every hole showing hole layout and distance to the multiple pins. The alternate placements changed the course up quite a bit in most cases, and the scorecards available showed the current layout.
Cons: There were some spots that didn't drain well and got pretty muddy. There were also some areas that were a little overgrown with long grass on a couple fairways. The rough can be pretty brutal at times, thick enough to lose discs in and full of thorns and briars, it often means a pitch out rather than any room for creative recovery shots. The last hole brings the parking lot into play, it could be a safety issue.
Other Thoughts: This course offers a great variety of tough wooded holes that challenge you to throw many different types of shots accurately. Experienced players will be tested here, with enough variety to keep it fun. Most beginners won't have a good time here with long tight fairways and nasty rough. This course makes a great complement to the easier course on the other side of the park.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: great concrete tee pads.. great baskets.. great shady course.. we played on a very hot day and were reasonably comfortable..
Cons: sharp rocks.. watch your footing.. you'll find lots of stickers and poison ivy while disc searching..
Other Thoughts: I see that there is no recent review of this course.. We played today and it's in great condition. The local club is doing a great job.. Thanks guys..
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
I Hope You've Got Your Game Together
Pros: Quaker's Challenge at Gifford Pinchot State Park has a lot going for it and it will give you a run for your money. Nestled in the tree-studded rolling hills between Harrisburg and York, the park is easy to get to. Once in the park, it's not difficult to find the course and there is ample parking. The upper portions of the course offer exceptional views of the lake below. The course is amazingly clean and is a testament to the hard work of the local disc golf club, the Boulder Woods Country Club's Fighting Llamas.
Quaker's Challenge requires a robust, well-rounded skill set. The course is completely wooded with tight fairways and makes exceptional use of the natural features. This starts on the first tee as you stare uphill at a basket you will be hard-pressed to birdie, let alone par. This continues throughout the course as numerous difficult uphill throws are required on many holes. While the downhill fairways aren't quite as extreme, there are still risk/reward trade offs on nearly every hole. Additionally, there are very few straight runs at the basket (and fewer ace runs). Many of the holes have some type of left or right dogleg, if not an "S" or serpentine-like fairway. Further lending to the solid design is the incorporation of multiple pin positions on many of the holes.
Newly constructed concrete tee pads are now available on all 18 holes, giving players sound footing while throwing. Additionally, several stone and timber retaining walls help keep the tee pads elevated while also providing a nice aesthetic.
Most of the baskets were in good shape and had clearly-visible numbers around the chastity belt as well as next tee arrows on the bottom of the baskets. The tee signs themselves were exceptionally detailed and included distances, pars, next tee, and possible routes for all the different pin positions. The benches that were available everywhere were great for taking a load off or keeping your bag elevated and handy and were more than just a little handy.
Cons: Safety comes to mind as a possible con in several spots throughout the course. There are a few spots where the path to the next tee crosses a fairway. Additionally, the footing on some of the severe uphill fairways can be extremely precarious. The last hole is in close proximity to the park road and parking lot, increasing the potential danger to other park users.
The same qualities that elevate the design of this course above others could also be a detractor. Because the fairways are so tight on many of the holes, any throw that is even remotely off the mark could easily result in several additional throws just to get back on the fairway. This is especially (and perhaps unnecessarily) punishing in numerous locations as many holes have thick and sharp briars along the edges. In some cases, the low ceilings make certain types of throws difficult if not impossible, severely limiting the way in which a hole could be approached.
Drainage might also be a problem as there were numerous portions of the course that appeared to be easily water-logged. As much as I can praise the new teepads, there were a few that had standing water and might cause some slippage during a run up. Although there was little to no garbage (a positive), there were very few garbage cans.
Other Thoughts: The terms frustrating, demoralizing, and humbling could all apply to your experience at Quaker's Challenge, but not necessarily in a negative way. This course demands your A-game and if you don't bring it, you'll pay dearly. The technical skills required to conquer this course are reminiscent of Nockamixon and Tyler. Accuracy is paramount over distance at Quaker's Challenge While I don't believe that this course is appropriate for beginners, it would certainly test their chops. In this regard, I believe that Quaker's Challenge is a solid 3.75. Given the rating scale, I don't think a 3.5 is warranted, so I gave the course the benefit of the doubt and scored it a 4.0. As solid as the design is at Quaker's Challenge, I think that there are enough subtle issues to keep it from a true 4.0.
Although the scorecard from my round showed a final score far north of par, the experience I had at Quaker's Challenge was fantastic. Despite the cons I mentioned, challenging yet enjoyable disc golf is built into the design at this course. I fully intend on playing this course again and would highly recommend that other players come here to see what they're made of.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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