12 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Challenging PA State Park Course
Pros: French Creek State Park isn't far from some of the major roadways (making it easy to get to), but it's still quite secluded.
The course design incorporates two baskets per hole. Obviously, this creates two different playing options, but in the case of French Creek, these options are VERY different, really creating two very unique playing experiences. Distances between the baskets ranges from as little as 30' all the way up to over 530'. Yeah, that's a five-hundred thirty foot difference on hole #3...it's a frickin' monster.
Despite being completely wooded (though some fairways are wider than others), all holes are technically-oriented but fair. Granted, a kick off a tree may send you into the rough and it may cost you a stroke or two to get back to the fairway, but you can get back to the fairway (and possibly recover). The course also features some variation in elevation. There is some rough on the course, but the vast majority of the fairways are in rocky, old growth woods, so the chances of a lost disc is somewhat mitigated.
Both the tees and the baskets are in great shape. The hand-carved and painted tee signs/posts are easy to spot and are a really professional, yet personal, touch. There are benches available on a few of the holes and some are made up of tee signs from the previous course layout. Did I mention that the course was CLEAN? It was very clean. I don't remember seeing any litter anywhere.
Cons: A lot of the fairways seem to share the same shape and a sense of repetition begins to set in after a while. Many of the holes require the same drives to go the same distance and then finish with the same left-turning fade. Some additional variety that could have helped the course would have been to make the most of the changes in elevation that were present, find a way to work in a few open fairways (sure, wooded courses are tough and fun, but some change of pace doesn't hurt), and to make use of the water that is adjacent to the course.
In a few cases, the fairways from different holes seem to be too close to each other and may pose a saftey risk and cause some confusion.
Although the tee signs were awesome, getting to the next tee was a chore a few times. Having good navigation to the next tee is important (especially when there are two baskets per hole) and this is expecially the case between holes 7/8 and 12/13. Although finding the first tee isn't that difficult, the park has very little (if any) signage to point visitors to the course.
A couple of holes were very boggy and had swarms of mosquitos hanging around.
Other Thoughts: The local group (Dead Dogs) busted their @sses to build this course and continue to put forth effort to maintain this beaut. I ran into a few of them while looking for the first tee and not only did they point me in the right direction, but they offered a scorecard, course map, navigation pointers, and other course tips.
If there were more and/or different fairway shapes, types (open vs. wooded), elevation changes, and the incorporation of water, this would add enough variety to easily bump this course to a 4.25, if not a 4.5. That being said, I'm looking for an excuse to head back down to Birdsboro/Elverson so I can play French Creek again.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Two pin positions (gold/silver)
-Rubber tee pads
-Well defined fairways
Cons: -Very tight wooded holes
-Gold pins are very tough and long
-Lots of bugs
-No water in play
Other Thoughts: I just finished playing my first time played the gold pins first and went back and played silver pins right after. Overall very well maintained course. I enjoyed playing and would recommend and come back to play again. Although I listed no water as a con it doesnt bring down the overall rating of the course but would have been nice to have a hole or two that had water in play. I love wooded courses that are challenging and this course is def. both wooded and challenging. As others have mentioned an orange flag on the holes would help out a lot with spotting the holes from the tees which is some times very difficult. A 'next tee' sign would be helpful between 7 and 8, luckily there was a group teeing off hole 1 which helped me to find 8 tee. Very challenging course with very tight almost impossible fairways make playing gold pins frustrating at times. I am no pro so some fairways were almost impossible to stay on. If you are more of a recreational player I would def. recommend playing the silver holes although much shorter still a nice course and difficult.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: two baskets every hole
yellow post at every tee with basket locations
just dirt and trees so not easy to lose discs
challenging course forces a lot of skilled shots
Cons: long walk back to your car from 18
prepare to hit trees
Other Thoughts: big course easy to navigate. a definate recommended course to play. the course isn't where the map for the park says it is.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Good PA Course
Pros: Another quality course located in a nice PA State Park, French Creek is a densely wooded & technically challenging course. It has oversized rubber tee pads which are flat and in excellent condition. A yellow 6 x 6 post at each hole is numbered and has both the silver (short) and gold (long) distances and desired flight path. Permanent baskets are in position at both the silver and gold layouts on each hole. Benches are provided at many of the holes for a needed rest. There is balance for both the lefty and righty thrower, and there is good use of what little elevation there is on the course. Mulch or wood chips define and spruce up some of the fairways. Navigation is pretty easy with a couple of exceptions.
Cons: Course crosses the line between being challenging and flat out oppressive on numerous holes with its tight fairways and walls of trees. The countless large rocks that exist in the fairways (French Creek makes Boulder Woods look like a sand trap) prevent run ups and good footing. Some trash cans and some "next tee" markers at a couple of confusing junctures would be beneficial. Difficult to see the gold pins from the tee box, and as someone else suggested, a bright flag or marker would help considerably.
Other Thoughts: IN THE GOLD POSITION: This course defines the importance of "fairway golf", as veering off course will invite loads of trouble for even very skilled shot makers. The course gives you few breaks and features challenging hole after challenging hole, many in the 500-600 foot distance range. The intermediate or recreational player better get his pars where he can and will likely be mentally drained (as I was) after 36 holes of Gold in a recent tournament.
IN THE SILVER POSITION: The course is much shorter, and thus much more manageable for the average player, though certainly not easy. Mistakes can be erased with good follow up shots and/or recovery at the next hole.
I appreciate the work that has been done here- like many of the disc golf courses in the tri-state area, French Creek has a loyal following which works tirelessly at course improvement and promoting the sport. Definitely worth playing here, but you'd better bring your "A" game.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Rough Yet Refined ... And A Bit Repetitive
Two baskets per hole. Fantastic rubber tees - long, wide, flat, graded. Very good, easy-to-spot signs with distance and location information. Bathrooms on site.
Some baskets, especially the shorts, a bit difficult to spot from a distance - an orange band on the vertical pole would help. Basket-18 a bit far from tee-1.
Course plays in three wooded portions, separated by a parking lot and access roads, of a very large, multi-purpose park. The trees are tall and thick, the shallow tree roots are plentiful, and there are many rocks scattered about (i.e. the "rough"), but the course is very well manicured, too (i.e. the "refined"). Many of the walking and/or throwing paths are lined with downed limbs, and have mulch or crushed stone on them. Several of the baskets are nicely landscaped - a retaining wall here, some crushed stone there, surrounded by mulch and encircled by downed limbs, that sort of thing.
Perhaps it is because I played to the short baskets, but the course seemed a bit repetitive. Nearly 80% of the holes fall into the 200'-300' range, and about that percentage could be described as flat/minor elevation change, with somewhat-tight but fair throwing lanes defined by very tall trees (i.e. playing amongst their trunks, vice branches posing a problem), mostly-straight early with a turn (left/right mixture) needed towards the end. All very fine holes, in-and-of-themselves, but after awhile, it is like having your favourite pizza for multiple meals in a row - still enjoyable, but you're interested in having something else after a few rounds.
Other than #2-long, and #3, which play along a broad, grassy path with a bushed-filled slope on the left, the chance of disc loss is fairly low, as the undergrowth is fairly thin. The course is a bit easier to navigate if playing to the long baskets, as most next tees are more naturally found from them, and the map is useful in helping you determine which way to go when the way isn't obvious, which it typically is.
French Creek is yet another example of the very fine Pennsylvania park system, and the course is quite good and well maintained, as are the other courses found in the other State parks.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Deep woods and rolling hills
Pros: If you like a well maintained course with tight fairways, and nice tee pads? Then this is the place for you. Even as we played there were locals leveling the fairways with cinder and mulch. There are clear lines/fairways for getting a nice drive from the tee pad for some birdie opportunities. Good mix of fade right & left drives and a dogleg here and there to spice up your game. This area of the park is free for the most part of non-disc golfers. You may run into one or two near the parking lot/swimming area. Over-all a great park to challenge your skill level with both silver and gold basket positions. Pars are fair and even a little generous on some holes. Many of the holes on this course require you to play a smart game with more emphasis on shaping lines and keeping your drives in the fairway. Errant drives aren't dreadfully hard to recover from. Clean drives and disc placement will give you Par on 90% of this course.
You don't really need a map to follow this course it flows nicely from baskets to tees. There are maybe 2 tees that you have to look a little for (8 &14).
Cons: Some of the gold baskets are over 600 & 700' in deep woods. Other than a few brutally long holes which, keep in mind are gold.
No water to be had that I could find
Some tee post combination signs aren't in the ground yet. It's still a work in progress, but won't effect your game.
The first 7 holes play on one side of the parking lot, which you will loop back to find hole 8. This area is buggy as all, so bring your bug spray. Don't guess about it, if it's summer? You bring bug spray, period.
Please put some trash cans on this course and especially near Tee #1, parking area.
Other Thoughts: From the two old courses that were here, one truly great course has been made. Kudos to the locals for a very smart choice!
For a relatively new course this park plays great. With double baskets (silver & gold) on every hole, it will suit your skill level.
Keep in mind this a rural location played on the side of a rocky hill. Wear some good foot wear, no water in play.
In the summer you can walk around the pool house to the concession widow and buy whatever you feel like eating or cold drinks.
The landscaping around some of the tees shows how much the locals care about this course. One of PA's better disc golf locations and if your passing through, a must play. You won't be disappointed. If you hate wooded courses or are relatively new DG'er it will be a tough play. The more you play this park the more you will grow to love it.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: A world class course in south eastern PA. thats all i have to say about it.
You want wide open fairways take up ball golf!
Cons: WERE STILL WORKING ON IT!
Other Thoughts: Now i know alot of people think this course is too long or too tight... the golds arnt a course for beginners... I have put untold hours into this course and that pails in comparison to how much others have done.. I tip my hat to the DEAD DOGS.. they have been the driving force behind the new course...
We dont have the club sizes that enable other courses to be as well maintaned and to be completed as fast... in the times that the ground is soft enough to do anything with the work parties that can be thrown together dont get higher numbers then 8 or 10 people... which isn't to say thats all that go... Its just going to take time...
By the way if your interested in helping at all you can contact the dead dogs for a work party schedual... im not quite sure how to do that other then showing up for one of the local leagues... all are welcome...
And to those who bash this unfinished jewel... Learn how to golf or stay off our course dont bring it down because your not good enough to play it.
5 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 10 Not
Stay away if you do not like tons of trees. Seriously.
Pros: If you think that the South Mountain course in Bethlehem, PA is too wide open, then you'll enjoy French Creek. Almost every single hole has practically no fairway. Though there is space to throw that is only because trees are not a solid wall and must yield SOME space. But don't expect lanes, don't expect to be able to visualize what will work like you can at South Mountain. It's all guesswork and luck shots.
Cons: Bring the course map, you will need it. Many holes have no paths from the basket to the next tee. Many of the baskets are hard to see for a first time player as well since there is so much growth. There is almost no variation among all of the holes, almost every hole is relatively flat through a whole bunch of trees. I enjoy the good challenge that trees provide but IMO this course needs to remove at least 100 trees to be any where near enjoyable - unless you love trees.
Other Thoughts: Really - unless you LOVE the idea of not being able to figure out a shot that will work on almost all of the holes, unless you want to hit tons of trees, unless you want to spend time rooting through undergrowth for your disc, unless you want to hunt down the next tee (which will inevitably be a copy of the hole yo just played...), unless you find all of that enjoyable, do yourself a favor and make the drive to Nockamixon or anywhere else really.
By far the least enjoyable course I have ever played.
3 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two choices of holes on each hole (silver and gold) means that players of different abilities can play together happily.
There is a good variety of hole distances, and none are too short or too easy.
The tee signs are helpful.
Very challenging - you'll need to be precise.
Cons: Not much open space so get used to hitting trees.
It's a minor thing, but the 18th hole is kind of ugly - from the tee pad, you're looking at a fence and a dumpster.
Other Thoughts: First time playing since they re-opened the course, and it is an improvement on the two older courses. The hole placements seem pretty intuitive and appropriately challenging. If you like making big, wide open throws, you probably won't like it because the woods are in play on almost every hole - about the only exception might be the 3rd hole which has other challenges (like its 880 foot length). It's great having two choices of pins, and unlike Tyler where you have to play it in the position it's been placed, you get to choose which basket to go for.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
South Mountain with a Vengeance
Pros: This is an 18 hole course with flypads in excellent shape. The baskets are also in great shape, having been moved and probably touched up from the old courses. Gold baskets are marked on the pins in some kind of yellow backing. Many holes are tight, kind of like Bethlehem, PA's South Mountain course. A few holes have some open fairways but don't expect a lot of big arm fairways. The silver baskets will yield a few birdies while the golds will leave you fighting to save par or even bogey... or worse. The course mixed some lefty and righty holes and will also require some tomahawks/thumbers. Poor shots are punished, as there isn't a lot of open space if you miss the "fairway". Playing it safe and being smart will result in a good score. The tee signs are like Tyler State's, mapped pretty well and are for the most part accurate. A bit of elevation change but no severe drops or hills.
Cons: The first seven holes play more towards the upper lake, and therefore are definitely more buggy than the last 11 or so. Bring the OFF. The course wasn't too hard to navigate but maybe a little extra signage couldn't hurt. Roads are very narrow in the S.P. so please take care and don't drive like you're on 422. Do beware the course has a lot of rocks and small stumps, so watch your footing.
Other Thoughts: Pinned in the higher elevations of French Creek S.P., this course definitely beats Doggy Woods and it's fairly similar to most of old Pleasure Mountain. The course was bone dry, mostly because of the fact that it hasn't rained in 7 or 8 days. It'll take a few good minutes to walk to the car after the 18th basket. Park in the highest row possible, because the first hole is next to the bulletin board. Great job to those who helped take the old baskets to the new course, cleared paths, and everything else. This was a treat to play and will return soon!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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