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.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
French Creek Reborn
Pros: From the ashes of Pleasure Mtn and Doggy Woods comes one beast of a course. The 36 baskets were combined to make a 18 hole, 2 baskets per hole course. The silvers (shorts) are a nice par 3 wooded course with many tight, technical shots, but nothing too overwhelming. Most holes under 300 ft. The golds (longs) however take the game to a whole new level. Tight, technical wooded shots still yes, but now long and many of them multi-stage. By this I mean there are only 2 golds you can drive to the basket on, most you play for the fairway to set up you 2nd (and 3rd) shot to the pin. Several holes have fairways the make 90 degree and hairpin turns. The hole design (which feels safari at times) and the heavy woods and a bit of elevation change make for some true par 4s and 5s. Needless to say, making smart shots and playing for the fairway is a good idea here, one errant shot off a tree will leave you with no hope at par.
French Creek also offers some nice features and creative pin placements. Short rock walls line some fairways. A couple pins sit atop rock cairns and a few pins are protected by log and branch barriers.
Course navigation is easy, with the exception of 7 to tee 8 (up the hill a bit, on the side of the road, you passed it on the way in) and the bright yellow posts that serve as tee signs are easy to see through the trees.
Benches are available on most holes and a good thing, you'll do a bit of walking here, especially playing the golds.
The ground here offers a bit of a challenge as well. The terrain is rocky and uneven. A shot that lands in the middle of the fairway can still leave you with questionable footing, forcing you to stand and deliver.
Tee pads are rubber and brand new and along with these its easy to see a lot of hard work has been put in here. Greens are trimmed and often mulched (different color mulch too) nice stone steps built and lined pathways. The club has been putting in some good hours here.
Speaking of those 36 total baskets and work by the club, the course can be played in a short hole 36 pin layout. For each hole throw to the silver and then find nearby on the ground find some painted green markers (usually rocks) throw from this 'tee' to the gold pin. The green markers are easy to find and utilize the fairways you already use. If you've played the course a couple times, you probably noticed some already. And just like that, 36 hole course.
There are not any other courses in the general area (at least, not 18 holes) so having the multiple playing options is great for the locals.
Cons: A few of the fairways, little more than just walking paths, can be brutal. Holes this long and heavily wooded can be very frustrating when your disc is deflected 30ft off the fairway.
The large, bright yellow posts that are the tee signs are a good idea, but leave little room for a hole map. The golds are so long and sometimes make such dramatic turns, this is just not illustrated on the posts.
Be prepared for a long uphill walk to the car after finishing. it almost makes sense to park in the middle of the large, tiered lot to split up the hike.
Towards the middle of the back 9, the holes get a little bit repetitive. Long heavily wooded shots. This isn't a critique on the design, the park is like that and this was the land available. Its just a feeling I get from it and I'm a big fan of variety.
Other Thoughts: I like what I see here and having been seeing it more and more in courses. The availability of short, faster play course on the same location as a tough pro level course. The silvers are a fun, fairly stress free 18 and good for beginners, I had a great time playing them. I love the golds, tough holes with no mercy that will challenge any level player. It was a shame when French Creek had to shut down its 2 courses, but the new layout is a serious upgrade. I look forward to coming back and seeing the great work the local club continues to put in here.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Another Class Act
Pros: • In a PA State Park; expect quality
• Sign posts at each tee showing flight path/basket locations
• Rubber Tee Pads in practically new condition
• Benches or logs for seating at most tees
• Cleared fairways with mostly mild rough
• Dual pins (silver/gold) on every hole
• Clearly defined paths leading to/from virtually every hole from each pin area
• Baskets in great shape
• Tight, heavily wooded and extremely challenging fairways
• Serious length when playing 'Gold' pins
• Loop back to the parking lot (between 7 & 8)
• Appears to be disc golf only area so minimal conflict with other park attendants
Cons: • Lacks variety: primarily wooded - no open or semi-open holes
• Water not in play
• Generally mild elevation changes
• Back 9 plays too similarly
• Gold color on top of long baskets not easy to see in the woods during summer - needs more prominent orange flags!
• Long walk back from 18 to parking by hole #1
Other Thoughts: Hole #1 is quite an opening hole - esthetically pleasing (see posted photos) and a fun one to play. However inviting this hole may be, it's deceptive; the rest of this course is quite punishing - but in a very good way (if you like long, narrow, heavily wooded, mentally challenging disc golf!). And if you don't, you can play to the silver pins and still experience some of the challenge but without the length and certain frustration.
I was delighted with how the course was maintained overall - the amount of time and effort put into it is obvious. No navigation issues, footing problems off the tee, problems with disc retrieval (even when off the fairway) and many other subtleties which provide mental comfort when tackling an intricate course such as this for the first time.
Some of the fairways are extremely narrow, are tough to consistently stay on and getting out of trouble off the fairway is a tough task. It'll be interesting to see how this course plays once the leaves are off the trees - although I imagine still extremely difficult & technical!
Even though listed as a 'con', I wasn't bothered by how wooded it was - very typical of the region. I was somewhat disappointed in how similar the back 9 played and the lack of significant elevation change. I was hoping for a 'wow' hole and never really got it. Nit-picking, yes but this course replaced TWO 18 hole courses and for that I was expecting a little more. But I love how the 18th hole on this course was previously hole #1 on one of the old courses. That made me smile big!
The dual baskets help such an otherwise outlandishly tough course to appeal to a wide audience of disc golfers. If I had played to the 'silver' baskets instead of the 'gold', pars would have been the order of the day with many birdie opportunities. That's not an indication of me being good or anything -they're just that short.
This course is impressive overall & was a joy to play. I'm familiar with heavily wooded PA courses and therefore it wasn't out of the ordinary. It's barely over an hour away from where I live so I'll definitely be playing it again. If you live in the greater region or are passing nearby, by all means, give it a play and write a review. But I wouldn't call this a 'destination course' you'd go completely out of your way for.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
bring a machete to clear a path
Pros: There were several hole layouts that were very unique and fun, this made the experience very memorable and made up for a lot of the other issues.
Each tee has a big yellow post/sign which makes them easy to locate.
Cons: A few of the holes are just way too woodsy, throwing down a path no more than 5 feet wide at times.
The signs at the tees are often misleading and are generally useless for determining where you are supposed to throw. This compounds when you are on the particularly woodsy holes and can not see the hole.
Tons of rocks on the ground even on the paths/fairway, wear hiking boots, I wore sneakers and my feet were very sore by the end.
Other Thoughts: Only a few holes were really bad when it came to dense woods, they were all relatively wooded but most were manageable.
By the way there is only one course now, make sure you stop by the front desk to get the updated map. Its a pretty bad map for finding you way to the first hole, but once your there it is easy to make your way through the course due to the yellow posts that I mentioned above.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: holes 1-2 are a good use of elevation, 3-18 are long drives down narrow fairways. the tee pads and landscaping are great and they spent a lot of time making the course clean. The trails between holes are well kept and easy to manage. silver baskets are short and gold baskets are pretty long shots ( seemed as though they were all nearly 300 + feet )
Cons: After the first three holes there is not much use of elevation, no water hazards on any holes, most fairways look alike -- very long wooded and narrow . It would have been great to play downhill shots of throw around the many lakes in this park, maybe even a long open fairway in the end.
Other Thoughts: I dont want to degrade all of the hard work put into making this course-- but it doesnt live up to the hype. Make sure you get to the park early or the office will close and you will not be able to get a map or scorecard ( early meaning before 500 )
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: There is everything to love about disc golf at this course. For example: there are silver (am) and gold (pro) baskets. The layout is awesome, i would know. Also, the course reflects so much pride, the tees are awesome pieces of art with rubber non slip pads, and gravel lining the tees. There are also rock stairs a nice touch. Great verity, hole 3 is 800ft+ and one hole (7) is about 150-. Very hilly, like on hole 2 your drive is up a steep slope to an elevated basket by rocks. Which brings me to my next pro, the basket positions are great. Many are elevated (2,4, and many more) Great use of the land. Every type of hole, strait and long, and short and sweet, doglegs. The silver and gold tees are superb!!!! There are so many pros to this course you can't count that high!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cons: Not anything comes to mind, but it is still not the greatest course on the face of this earth. The only con is that the course is not 100% finished which is why i rated it at a 4.5, instead of a 5.0. Maybe the navigation could be a little bit easier than it is at this stage of the course's completion.
Other Thoughts: This is where discovered disc golf 2 years ago! Recently remodeled only making the course better! Awesome pool located in the park. People with bad knees, stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 of 22 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
French Creek DG
Pros: Long, challenging holes, many very tightly wooded. If you're not a very accurate thrower, it isn't inconceivable to hammer-throw from 6-8 tees.
Early holes are definitely tougher than the later ones. #3 (only open fairway) and #4 are very long. (If you play the longer, gold tees, #3 is almost 900 feet!) Shorter holes later in the course require just as much accuracy.
Large bright yellow posts by the tees make it easy to pinpoint your next hole.
Cons: Not many cons, as long as you are good enough to throw down the tight fairways. Gold tees are a little too long and silver tees are a little too short, in my opinion.
The course can be a little difficult to find if you don't know where you should be looking, as French Creek is a very large park. Apparently there is an older course near the lake that has been taken down, but some of the signs are still there, so it can be a little confusing.
Other Thoughts: Be sure to stop at the office for a nice map/scorecard.
Also... how big is that parking lot??? DisneyWorld doesn't have any lots that huge!
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Challenging
Pros: This course is long and requires accuracy in each and every shot. There is a wide range of shots needed. There are two baskets on each hole, a silver and a gold. The silver baskets are much easier and would be good for newer players, especially if they are not used to heavily wooded courses (as this one most certainly is). The gold baskets are very tough and will test you on each throw from tee box to basket.
The bright yellow poles which serve as tee signs are quite easy to notice against all the brown and grey of the trees. They help tremendously in finding the next tee. Navigation is pretty easy aside from a couple of spots (see below), especially in the way that the club has lined the walkways and fairways with fallen trees and branches. This helps direct in what is literally a whole lot of trees.
Elevation comes into play, though not as dramatically as the first three holes lead you to believe. There are plenty of memorable holes - some you will remember because of their difficulty, some because of their level of fun. (Often, difficulty and fun walk a very fine line.) The rubber tee pads are in very good condition. Most are smooth, though some have humps in them. The club is very dedicated to working on this course and have put a lot of effort into it and will continue to do so, I am sure.
Cons: There is no freedom from the trees. While there is a lot of variety in the holes, there is no open hole. Hole #3 *could* be seen as an open hole, but chances are you will be in the trees on either side of the fairway at least once.
Despite the name, "French Creek," there is no water that comes into play. There are no scenic views, though the woods have their own beauty. Some of the fairways have brush and very small trees growing throughout them. There is always some form of litter on the course. I always end up pick up a plastic bottle or two when I go.
There are a couple of places where the course "jumps" to a different area of the park. Between #7 and #8 there is a steady walk up the hill along the road and around the bend to the #8 tee. Also, after #12, you walk down the hill by the basket and across the road to #13 tee. There are no signs directing these walks and can be confusing if you don't know where you are going. At this moment, there is no course map. The tee signs, while easy to see and give you distance to each of the pins, do not do a good job in each case of explaining how a hole is laid out. The poles are not wide enough to capture the doglegs on the holes and often give the wrong impression. Playing a round once through will help.
Other Thoughts: Though the "cons" section seems to be long, a lot of these are minor things, things I wish this course had. French Creek is a really good round of disc golf.
Here are some of my thoughts on individual holes: Hole #2 is a great shot uphill through a tight window to an open fairway. Hole #3 is the 888' foot behemoth that requires patience, shot/disc selection, and skill. Hole #8 is a very nice par 4 that has you thread the needle for the first shot and then turn a disc hard around to the right for the second. Hole #12 has a beautiful open green (some of the only grass on the course) that is very tough to reach in 2 shots. There are a couple of ace runs on the course, the easiest probably coming on hole #14. I have played this course several times since it opened and I look forward to seeing some of the "cons" above addressed in the future.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: The new course ROCKS!! Gold & silver baskets on every hole now. Endless variations can be played. This course will challenge EVERYONE!! Most of the course is off the beaten path, so there is a lot less non player traffic then the old courses.
Cons: Sux in winter with the gates closed. It's a hike. The tee signs could be a little more accurate, but they aren't horrible.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great new challenging course. Long, and one amazing, probable par 5. If you've played the other two courses at French Creek, this is more secluded and away from hikers, so less distractions and people walking on the course.
Cons: Hole markers are sometimes hard to determine where the hole is - not exactly where it shows on the markers.
Other Thoughts: I heard they are supposed to have this course finished by early summer 2009 with all holes marked, all silver and gold baskets in and probably maps (because if you don't have someone with you right now - February 2009 - that knows the course, you might not be able to find a couple baskets).
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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