Pardon My French Creek
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + All 18 tee pads here are great! Each one is a stable and sturdy slab of thick rubber anchored atop a bed of crushed gravel housed by a wooden frame. Plus, they are extra long for people like me who take needlessly drawn-out windups.
+ Two pins per hole make for two wildly different difficulty settings, and they are visually distinct. Gold baskets for expert/pro players have an eye-catching yellow flag on top and the silver baskets for anybody else are more readily seen in the first place because they are positioned closer.
+ White wooden arrows are attached to all baskets to guide the player to the next tee.
+ From start to finish, all tee signs are bright yellow for visibility within the woods. They clearly feature the layout ahead with hand-carved and painted planks of wood. The distances to each pin are prominently shown.
+ The venue is peaceful and contemplative. I had the whole course all to myself and felt dwarfed by the immense trees, steep hills, and muffled silence all around.
+ Those hills and trees combine in different amounts at this course. Trees are always around you, and there are a few big elevation challenges.
+ Virtually every tee area has a bench for players to sit and relax as they wait for their turn or just to recover a bit from the strenuous walking.
+ Hole 7 ends right next to the parking lot in case a player needs something from their car or has to leave early.
+ The parking lot is enormous.
Cons: - Every single hole takes place in the woods, which means no real chances to let rip at full power. And with nothing really memorable outside of the occasional elevation shift to differentiate the holes from one another, they felt very interchangeable. Very little about the course sticks out in my mind.
- Why don't the tee signs have pars on them for the two pins?
- Some of the fairways seem a little too constricted in my opinion. Holes 4 and 6 jump to mind as examples of that.
- Most holes are flat or, more accurately, the elevation shift is gradual enough to make them feel and play flat.
- Any slight deviation from the fairways leaves little to no chance for a recovery. The course is quite unforgiving with the density of its forest.
Other Thoughts: Before I go any further, I'd like to make it known that this review is based upon my experience with the long layout (golden baskets).
My favorite hole at this course might have to be hole 17. It was a nice downhill glide with a wide tunnel that felt equal parts fair and challenging. My least favorite hole here might be 6? It's hard to be sure when they feel like different variations of the same hole.
But as for the course in its entirety, French Creek State Park is a great place to train for wooded disc golf. Every throw needs to be spot-on, or you'll have a tough time fighting out of the rough. This is the kind of course I wish I had regular access to. And maybe I ought to have played the silver layout for my first time here. It certainly would have been easier. I could tell that I would have made par on most of them, but I won't be back this way for awhile, and I wanted to have the full experience. So, golds it was!
The tight wooded corridors and occasional elevation obstacle force the player to get better on the spot. It would certainly provide excellent training for the disc golfer to deal with just about any wooded course out there.
It is a double-edged sword, though, because there is absolutely no wiggle-room. One error, and you've got an instant bogey at best. But something tells me that's the whole point.
Wide open courses challenge the power players to throw their farthest each time. Courses like this one challenge the precise players to throw intentionally each time. But even when a player goes in equipped with this knowledge, it is no less frustrating to smack into the skinniest tree in the whole forest fifty feet away from where you just were. I hope the squirrels will forgive my choice of words during such times.
And it's rinse repeat, really. Holes 1 through 18 are different plays of wooded disc golf. Some tunnels are wide, others narrow. High ceilings, low ceiling, a few no ceilings. Left, right, center. Uphill and downhill. It's all here in different combinations deep in the woods.
Bottom line: French Creek State Park has a very good disc golf course that excels at forcing the player to plan ahead instead of just throwing for maximum distance. Such an approach will get the player into trouble. Sometimes, it is best to break up the hole into digestible chunks.
If you find yourself at French Creek, forget about flinging your furthest and instead have fun dealing with the immediate things in your way.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
The World’s Largest Disc Golf Parking Lot!
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: French Creek State Park is a huge state park where one the main attractions seems to be this humongous swimming pool. Actually maybe, some of these parking spaces might be for the swimmers. The disc golf course seems to e painstakingly well taken care. Someone cares about this course. At the start is a kiosk complete with map, info, etc.
The tee pad area is pretty amazing. Besides the benches at just about every pad, the rubber mat tee pads are a thing of beauty. They are "absolutely center plum level." I think some person used a level to make sure every pad is perfect, not a dimple on any of them. Plus many of them are surrounded by a perfect crushed gravel border and then a board. And a broom to sweep as needed. The yellow tees signs are hand written but easy to read. Each hole has two baskets, the longer championship Golds and the more intermediate Silvers. The Mach II baskets have the next tee arrows hanging below. The Golds play much longer and with these tight wooded lines, can sometimes make for treacherous, dangerous holes. An extreme example is # 3. It's a fairly simple 295' hyser to the Silver but a whopping 930' to the Gold baskets. That's has to be one of the biggest discrepancies between the Long and Short on any hole in the disc golf world.
No one hole completely blew me away. Rather, they are a series of wooded, technical holes not really ridiculously but more along the line of fair. There's always a line available. Hitting it is up to you.
I was kinda impressed with the bench on # 17. The back rest is composed of old tee signs from holes 2-11-12-18.
Another benefit here is there is no entrance fee for the state
Cons: Not enough available parking.
I did see a bottle cap and one plastic bottle deep in the brush. They really need to work harder keeping this course clean.
Not much elevation.
No water hazards.
Doesn't have that one memorable hole or basket placement.
Other Thoughts: French Creek is a beautifully maintained course that with the use of two baskets is like playing two different courses. It would make for an interesting tournament format playing one round Silver and the next on the Gold baskets. Might separate the men from the boys. I could have nightmares playing some of Gold basket holes.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
All Gold Everything
Pros: I played this course blind, in a tournament, all gold baskets, and in the middle of a hot summer day.
And I loved every second of it.
French Creek is a perfect example of Pennsylvania woods golf, with magnificent rock structures, thick trees and punishing rough. Every hole winds through the forests withing the wooded walls of French Creek State Park.
The rubber tees were the best of the kind that I have played on, because even after a slight rain the day before, they stayed very grippy allowing for safe drives when you need both power and accuracy.
The baskets were older Mach III's that caught well, and with two per hole, you have a large variety of layouts that are available to play!
The design of the holes was amazing, as you were throwing shots around all different trees and rocks, with different lines to hit on every hole. You played up hills and down the hills, and with left turning and right turning shots.
Navigation was quite easy, with some signs to lead you down the mostly well marked paths, and the flow of the course was well done, with no holes leading to a super long walk afterwards.
The rough was clear, and the lines were there, even if they were small. You had a lot of different ways to get throughout the hole and escape with a par, and if your lucky you could get a birdie, as some of the holes are able to be gotten!
Cons: There is nothing too major that keeps this course from turning into a true destination, but maybe within the next couple years, we could dust off the old gem and turn it into a diamond.
The Mach III's are fine baskets, but when you have tight lines through the woods, an extra color could go a long way towards fixing any navigational issues. Maybe even new baskets?
Tight lines through the woods are some of my favorite holes in disc golf, but some holes led to me being very angry, with many trees causing severe problems for the less skilled player.
Also, tight lines on every hole can lead to some repetitiveness, which there isn't a whole lot of, but there are some holes that seem similar to each other. The design is well done, but there are a few holes that are just the same throw and pray type shot, especially for the shorter silver holes.
The gold tees are hard. Not a con, but more of a warning if you are hoping to come here and shoot under par, you won't, unless you are somewhere in the 1000 rated range.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed the course at French Creek State Park! A lot of tight fairways and sneaky lines lead to a fantastic course, a course that I could see becoming a true destination along with the other fantastic courses in Eastern PA!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Newer Review to Show Course Progress
Pros: Teeboxes look brand new. Very nicely maintained. Good new signs with both baskets easy to find. Download the course map from DGCR and you are all set.
There is one teepad and two baskets per hole (long and short). Fun to play.
Cons: Rocks. Not just mountain stones (which there are alot of), but the grushed gravel in the fairways is not cool. To keep the weeds down, mulch would have been better here. Giving your discs road rash on every throw is just not right.
Other Thoughts: It is the woods. Getting off of the fairway can lead to some thick underbrush.
Very pleasantly surprised with the cleanliness and upkeep. I will make many return visits.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is really well maintained and have good tee pads. Being almost entirely in the woods makes for a very fun and scenic round. Another positive is that despite being heavily wooded, French Creek lacks the brush and bushes making disc finding relatively easy. Also some fun variations of holes with some fun hills both up and down early on. Fun enough to offset the frustrating aspect of the difficulty level.
Cons: The biggest con about French Creek is the lack of directions after holing out. If not for playing with an experienced friend, I may still be looking for hole 8. Only other real complaint is the 'silver" baskets are sometime hard to locate from the teebox, the simple orange tape around the post isn't always enough and you really have to look. Not an actual con, but as a beginner this course is very challenging. Some holes can be downright frustrating.
Other Thoughts: This is a really technical course that's really hard to negotiate. But despite the frustration from playing, the course is a lot of fun to play, even as a beginner... because your more experienced friends will probably be slamming trees as well. Definitely go out with someone whose played before to work as a guide because the next tee isn't always given.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Super challenging for new player
Pros: Super technical and doesn't take a big arm to be effective.
Beautiful area and vast layout were extremely well maintained.
Silver and gold baskets play like two different courses and offer variable layouts, keeping it very interesting.
Cons: Super technical. Yes, pro and con. You simply have to focus on clean technique as trees abound everywhere.
I would have been completely lost from hole to hole if not for a great group of others leading the way.
Other Thoughts: This was a very tough outing for me personally but I really appreciated the course.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Almost entirely positive
Pros: This course requires both accuracy and distance on every single hole. That's a good thing.
Cons: I hate flymats! I can't stand flymats! I loathe flymats! All kinds of flymats! I hate black flymats! I hate green flymats! I hate flymats with brooms! I hate flymats without brooms! I hate them sanctioned and non-sanctioned! I hate flymats in bunches, one at a time, or playing in groups of twos and threes! I hate flymats!
Other Thoughts: Parking situation is unfortunate in off season. I blame DNCR the course designers routed it well.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Seasoned Disc's after 18 holes
Pros: 18 holes of wooded elevation change, dual baskets on most holes, rubber tee pads, good tee signage, bring your seasoned discs, b/c if they aint chewed up....they will be after a couple rounds..it's rocky.
Brooms at every tee pad...two thumbs up!
I had a blast playing here while camping at French Creek Campground. Well worth taking a trip to this fine PA park.
Cons: First time I played here I had a hell of a time figuring out where the next hole was when playing the long baskets. I don't think there was any signs directing you where to go. Even log lined paths would be helpful.
Other Thoughts: Great course and fun to play multiple rounds. Besides disc golf, this park offers many activities for the family, so if they don't play, there's so many other activities to suit their fancy.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pardon my French
Pros: 18 heavily wooded holes with nice dual tees and baskets providing a variety of distances and challenge of left, right and straight shots. The available elevation is well utilized. Surprisingly little underbrush for such a wooded course. Great signage and navigation for the most part. Seems to be well maintained and gets a good amount play from beginners to seasoned vets. Disc golf only area of park. Bathrooms and water in parking lot by pool.
Cons: Not much. A couple chuck and hope shots off the long tees. A few holes play a little close to roads, and other holes. Poison Ivy rough on a couple of the back 9 holes.
Other Thoughts: I had a bon moment(french for good time) during my round on the long layout at French Creek. The state park is fairly big and has lots of other fun activities, and the course is in it's own secluded area for the most part. Hole 3 was my favorite. There is everything from an ace run to hope I get a 5. Off the fairway is tough to make any recovery shots from and the fairways aren't very big to begin with, but finding discs off the fairway wasn't much a issue. If you don't like playing in the woods you'll think the French are a-holes. There is some repetitiveness being in the woods the entire time and not much room to air anything out. Control and staying in the fairway is the name of the game. I was a little surprised there wasn't much elevation on the course, but there's not much that can done about the land provided. A little tricky finding hole 1 and 8, but after that it's smooth sailing from hole to hole for the most part. I don't recall any long walks playing the long layout, most were fairly close. The GPS coordinates on here took me to the lake not the course. Follow signs all the way to the pool and park there, then walk uphill to the far corner of the lot for hole 1. I'd recommend Frenchy to anybody that likes the woods and with Camp Sankanac fairly close it makes a pretty sweet duo to play when you can.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Good course to play
Pros: Nice Course good. Good layout. Some parts were really challenging. Nice bright yellow signs for the holes lead me right to the next one every time so navigating through the course isn't that bad. There are two holes a silver for more casual or amatures, and there are gold holes for better players or pros.
Cons: Where there's good there's usually some bad and this course is no different. In other reviews some users made the point that there isn't much variety in the holes well that's unfortunately true, it's a very nice course just be prepared to hike through woods...woods and well more woods, I would've liked to see some variety like hills or water for a better challenge. Also that was the second time I went french creek for disc golf, but the first time I couldn't find the course at all, I went to the office to ask but they were closed for the day. I had trouble finding it this time as well and when I went to the park office again they were closed, but the hours said they were open from 8 am to 4 pm, I arrived at 10:30 am, not really a fault on the course, more so a fault against the park. I did finally find the course, if you go though just keep in mind you go down the road to the right of the office and follow that about a mile or 2 down and you'll see the first hole on the right. So they should add some signs for cars pointing to the disc golf course because they have signs for almost everything else except disc golf, they do have disc golf on the map, but it doesn't really help because that's where the course was before they moved it. Also signs to the next tee would be nice, I know I said navigating through the course wasn't so bad but there were some holes that I had trouble finding like # 8 the next tee is usually somewhere near the gold hole but that one wasn't even close. Lastly and this really isn't a major problem, but I can't ignore it either. on the holes I didn't see what the par was on any of them. They could be there and I just didn't see them so that didn't effect the rating, however there were also no score cards and that would've definitely been nice to have that and a map of the course layout on the back.
Other Thoughts: Overall this isn't a bad course. It's good for beginners and pros. but if your a beginner or intermediate like me i'd suggest playing the silver first to get to know the course, because at some holes the gold isn't far off from the silver, but in others its a major difference. (hole 3 for example has about 250' to the silver and over 900' to the gold) oh and also when you play this course you may want to park on the other side of the parking lot from hole 1, because 18 is way over there and nowhere close to hole one. However if you enjoy long walks you wont have a problem
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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