0 Helpful / 5 Not
Close to Home
Pros: Great variety in kinds of holes
Cons: Tee signs are still a little confusing
That pond is a magnet for my discs.
Other Thoughts: I like the variety in this course a lot. The holes in the woods are quite difficult and present a challenge to most who play. I also like the fact that it is 27 holes. If I don't feel like messing with the water and losing a disc, I just play 18...holes 10-27.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Remarkable potential -- some outstanding hole designs
Pros: This course has some outstanding, 5-star holes on holes 12-27. Some of the gold-to-gold layouts are the kind of challenging, well-designed, par 4/5 holes that are what are bringing disc golf to the next level. This isn't just power disc golf--it involves shot planning, precision, and--most importantly--risk/reward. Tight gaps, tough landing areas, interesting approaches and some fast greens have the potential to eventually bring this course into league with world other world-class PA courses like Moraine, Deer Lakes, and Jordan Creek.
I never saw the old layout. But I think I can safely say that if you haven't played the new layout, it's a must. Of 200+ courses played, this has some of the most fun and well designed holes I've seen.
Cons: Signage is rough. Hopefully this will (continue) to improve. Fortunately, the map is helpful--definitely print a map before attempting to navigate this course.
Front nine is not bad, but lacks the interest or challenge of the rest of the course. Feels like a warmup, but since it's also where most of the easy birdies live, you can't just ignore this section if you're trying to score well across 27 holes. Would be better to separate out the two courses as a 9 and 18 sharing the same piece of land.
Long walks between some of the woods holes. This exacerbates the weak signage--if you head off in the wrong direction, it can take a while to find the right path. Also, without good signage, I spent a lot of time walking up fairways before teeing off since baskets were seldom visible from the tees (at least gold-to-gold). Not a deal-breaker by any means--many great holes are blind tee shots the first time through, but without good signage, this can be frustrating.
Rough is rough. Many of the back holes have violent and unforgiving rough with lots of thorns and close ground cover, making it time consuming to recover discs that kick off the fairway. Hopefully as the course wears in, this will improve. For the time being, I definitely recommend playing with a friend and using a spotter on some of the blind tee shots--will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Other Thoughts: This course--especially the redesign--is obviously the product of a lot of love. My one visit there, I was stopped as I was getting out of the car by Bill, the course designer. He had been driving out of the parking lot, but noticed my out-of-state plates and wanted to answer any questions and give me some tips on layout and finding my way through the course since it was my first time there. I appreciate this type of investment in a course, and in making sure people have a good experience. Based on talking with Bill, I have faith that the course will continue to improve rapidly, and that challenges are being addressed. I expect this to be a truly world class course--at least the back 18--in the next year or two.
For the sake of ratings and for encouraging players to play holes appropriate to their skill level, I'd segregate the course into a front nine, "recreational" course using the open holes, and a second, 18 hole "advanced" course using the back 18. Obviously, keep multiple tees on all holes so groups of different skill levels could play all 27, but the open front holes are so different from the rest of the course that they hardly feel like the same park.
I expect, if I get a chance to play here again within the next year, that this course will easily earn a bump to a 4.0 rating. As it stands, it is a much more fun course (for adv/pro/masochist players) than almost anything else with a similar rating. I'd skip over a lot of 4.0 courses to play here. But I try to rate comprehensively and honestly, and it's got a lot of room to grow and improve. Someday I can see a 4.5 being totally appropriate if things continue the way they've been going. Tremendous work so far, and tremendous potential. My kudos and thanks to Bill and the other volunteers that are investing their time, labor and love into this course. I can't wait to come back.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Awesome, Good, and ugly....
Pros: Very good mix of elevation, open shots, over water shots, wooded shots, left to right, right to left....etc oh and the face there are 27 holes is great! most baskets have an arrow on them pointing to the next tee. Multiple pin positions, and tees for longer and shorter drives.
Cons: As many times as ive played it....i gotta say it. there needs to be better teesigns. i know Bill is working on it, so i cant knock it too much as i know with time they will come. but expect to see 4x4 lumber with sharpie writing on them. thats about as good as it gets. The front 10 or so holes may have you spinning in circles trying to find out where to go.
Other Thoughts: Bill Giebel has REALLY dedicated his life to disc golf. The additional holes to Roland park showcases his love of the sport, and his ability to design good holes.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
If you haven't been here lately...
Pros: If you haven't been here in the last year, make sure to get out and see the changes in 2012. Tee signs should be up in the spring. The strength of this course is it's variety. The course has been through many layouts and revisions over the years. There are short holes, long holes, open fairways, tight fairways, thick rough, and a good mix of lefty/righty drives. Hole 1 starts at the pavilion near the Lion's Club building. You play in the open around and across the pond on the front 9, then play 2 more in the open before going into the woods. Out in the open, big drives are rewarded. The next set make their way through the trees of the forest. Accuracy and finesse rule in here. The last stretch, the newest holes, are beautiful. Good wide fairways cut through thick woods. Lots of risk vs reward decisions to make. 2 tee positions and pin positions on most holes. Short layout is fun and easy enough for beginners. Go long and you've got a challenge worthy of the pros.
A little tough to navigate, but the tee signs will be done soon. A map helps if you haven't been out before, or check out www.lancasterareafrisbeesports.com
to find a schedule and join the club for a round. Watch for poison ivy. Stay out of the brambles on 20-26 - your legs will thank you. Be aware of the walking paths as they are heavily used (but out of the way for the most part).
Other Thoughts: Take a moment and soak up the view. The course is surrounded by picturesque Lancaster County farmland.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course/park is very well maintained. Some holes have 2 baskets, some holes have 2 tees, and some holes have 2 sets of each. The course is a mix of open/ wooded holes with most being wooded.
- elevation used
- risk/reward with water hazards
- fun and challenging
- beginner and long time player friendly
- opens early closes late (6am - 11pm)
- 27 holes!
Cons: The navigation isn't too hard but it does have it's tricky spots. I would check or print the map especially if you want to play the different tees/baskets.
- some tee areas are not great
Other Thoughts: This is Amish country, watch out for the horse-drawn carriages on your drive in and out of town. Overall I was very impressed with Roland and I hope to be back some day.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
My Favorite Local Course
Pros: Holes 1-9 span over the open areas surrounding a beautiful heart-shaped pond. These are the more open holes of the course, which allow you to air out some big arm shots. Hole 3's elevated gold tee makes for a great long hole. Hole 6's gold tee to gold basket is a tough par 4 clocking in at 633'. Hole 9 finishes up the first set of holes by shooting over the pond.
Holes 10-18 begin in the open, and then take you into the wooded holes. In my opinion, this set of wooded holes are the most difficult of the course. They are technical, and make you think about each shot. The tight woods on hole 13 gold to gold makes for one of the toughest holes on the course. Keeping yourself out of trouble on this hole is very important, placement is key. Coming out with the par 4 is very rewarding. Hole 16 is one of my favorite holes of the course. It's a nice anhyser shot for the silver basket, and a huge sweeping S-line through the trees for the gold basket that is tucked into a protected position. Hole 18 is the signature gauntlet shot through tall pine trees and up a hill. If you haven't played this course, when you come to this hole you'll just chuckle to yourself. No worries, with a little practice there are a few ways to get past everything.
Holes 19-27 are the newest additions to the course. They travel into the moderately wooded back area of the park, along a newly added bike path. Unlike the previous wooded holes through the tall pines, the back nine are located in a moderately wooded area with grass fairways. These holes combine the bigger throws from the first set of holes with the woodsy atmosphere of the middle nine holes to create some neat throws. Hole 19 long has a tricky approach to a raised basket, which is the definition of risk/rewardl. Holes 20-24 really tests your distance accuracy. Long fairways with a few strategically placed trees. Hole 23 being the longest weighing in at 755' from gold to gold. Hole 25 will become one of the signature holes of the course. A straight 315' shot through a tree branch arch, which is only going to get better with time. Hole 26 silver basket is located up and around a huge old tree. The long basket is located way up around the corner in a heavily protected area. The course finishes up with a downhill shot and low celling.
Overall Roland Park Disc Golf Course has a wide variety of shots that should please disc golfers of all types. The risk reward factor and this course makes it very enjoyable. Since there are three sets of 9-holes, you can play the course in different configurations. Almost all the holes have multiple tee pads and or baskets, which makes the possibilities endless.
Cons: The brush is rough. Stay on the fairway as much as possible. The members of LAFS do their best to keep the brush tamed on the back holes, but it's a hard job. I'm sure it will get better as the newer holes get worn in. Some of the tee pads on the front nine are shorter, which causes you to adjust your run-up. Hole 9's tee pad should really be redone and given more length. There is poison ivy in some areas of the course. If you're allergic I suggest wearing high socks, pants, or put on Ivy-Block. As long as you pay attention to where you're stepping it's not a huge problem.
Other Thoughts: Flags on top of the baskets would be a nice touch for some of the wooded holes where you're shooting blind off the tee. Bill Geibel and all the LAFS members do a great job keeping the course in shape. They have put a lot of time and work into the re-design, and it's nearly complete. Once this course wears in a little bit, it's going to be really great. Bill does a great job of collecting lost discs for people, as well as selling new and used plastic during local league events. If you haven't checked out the course in a while, I highly recommend you check it out again. You might be surprised.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Amish Country Adventure
Pros: What does your palette desire today? Basking in the sunshine on the lawn or a stroll under the woodsy canopy? This course offers both.
The first 12 holes play out in the open with moderate elevation changes, partially around a lovely pond. This pond and some moderate tree line and shrubs (schule) shape the (mostly wide open) fairways to keep things honest. If you go into the schule, be prepared to add some strokes.
Holes 13-27 are in the woods and provide a mix of reasonably groomed fairways, some clear, some heavily treed, but ALL are lined with a punishing rough, that you will want to avoid. Elevation plays into a great number of these holes as well.
The real treat is that 19-27 have dual tees and pins on most holes which adds real challenge and variety for intermediate to pro level players.
The front 12 holes would be more accommodating to beginners, and to the lovers of grip and rip play. Some of them, however, have additional long tees that add challenge. With due respect, they are fun and utilize the terrain effectively but aren't as interesting as the woodsy counterparts.
Cons: Navigation was confusing for me, being a newbie so definitely print a map, you will need it. There are posts at most tees, but no signs indicating the hole number. I do recall tiny numbers on most of the baskets, though.
The vegetation on the edges of the fairways (even the open holes on the the front 12) was BRUTAL! This is no fault of the course designer, as the holes 19-27 are young and also a local PA guy told me that the rains have been really heavy this last spring, causing a rapid growth of vegetation that is unusually early and heavy. So, damn thee Mother Nature! Anyhow, anything that went a foot off the fairway could get lost in the thick thorny hell. It felt like having deep water off the edge of the fairway, which made me weary to use any plastic that was precious or wasn't really bright. Anyhow, I'm sure many of these issues will fade with normal weather, maintenance, and wear and tear. Unfortunately, I was alone and could not send a spotter out.
Other Thoughts: I give real props to the designer for a nice mix of inspiring (and long) holes in the woods. It's the start of a great thing. Keep it up!
Hopefully, they can at least carve hole numbers and distances on the tee poles until they get proper signage.
Oh, about the map- I recommend using the 2nd one listed (Unofficial Alt Layout), for some reason the first one had circles indicating both the tee and the pin and I kept getting them mixed up! Maybe I'm just a silly dummy.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Worthwhile Playing Experience
Pros: Nice balance of 27 wooded and open holes featured in a well-maintained borough park. Open holes play out over pretty, rolling hills while the more technical holes are challenging yet fair. Multiple tee boxes and basket placements exist for most holes. Navigation is pretty easy with "next tee" arrows assisting throughout the course. OB areas- mostly walking paths- are numerous but not overly restrictive. Water and elevation add to the challenge at several holes (long tee # 3 is excellent). Baskets are older but work well. Roland Park has amenities like benches at some holes, water, a porta pottie and a "lost disc" box near the pavilion.
Cons: Elements of the course are very uneven. Some tee boxes are adequate, others are too short. No uniformity with the tee pads, which are made up of four different surfaces (cement, rubber, dirt, carpet). Benches exist at some holes but not others. No bag poles. Trash cans are located by the pavilion but not on the course. Below average or non-existant signage at most holes. Hole 11 is a ridiculous "throw and hope" hole for the average DG'er.
Other Thoughts: Nice locals, a scenic park landscape and a variety of holes all contribute to a positive playing experience at Roland. The good far outweighs the bad. That said, course upgrades remain very much a work in progress. Signage- in my mind a huge component to a top flight disc golf course- is a big disappointment. And others in the area must assist Bill G. at helping Roland realize it's vast potential. Much of the course plays away from pedestrians and other park traffic, which is a plus. Roland and Buchmiller Parks provide two good disc golf venues for a day spent in the Lancaster area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
highly enjoyable roland park
Pros: i really enjoy the variety of challenges and options this course provides with open spaces for longer throws, dense woods (especially #18) and a water feature that comes into play on holes 4,8, and 9 ...as a newbie i play the short course at about even par. the long course looks much more challenging and i am looking forward to playing it as my game improves. the previous reviews do a great job explaining the layout so i wont offer a hole to hole review, although i must say i love #22.
Cons: in the spring after a snow melt or rainstorm i would wear a thick soled hiking boot and bring a disc towel because the terrain on the open holes (#'s 1-9), especially in and around the pond, can be awfully muddy...a total mess! but don't let that detract from your fun just come prepared...also the fairways on holes #19 thru #27 are lined with teeming, tangled masses of prickers on either side so keep it straight, or wear jeans.
Other Thoughts: for 1st time players this course can be a little confusing but with a little extra walking the course can be scouted out rather easily...the locals are friendly and proud of the course so ask for help or ask to latch on to a group and you will not be turned away or disappointed
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The previous reviews on here are right on and describe Roland perfectly. I will try and add more to them from my perspective. It was our (3 of us) first visit to Roland and I had this course on my wish list. I was hoping this course would add to Buchmiller to make it a full day trip to play both. I like Buchmiller but it's not a course I would travel from Baltimore often due to the lack of quality courses (non-mini) around the Lancaster area. Well after playing Roland I have completely changed my thought process on this. Although Roland is not a polished course just yet, it is well worth the travel to play it as it stands now. As the previous reviews indicate, you will have "fun" and you will be challenged. I will be coming to Lancaster to play Roland more so than Buchmiller.
Scenic Park setting complete with Bathrooms, pavilions, courts, walking paths. The lake adds to the scenery and being able to play over it and around it makes this course unique over other courses.
As a Amateur here with about 1 yr experience, I figure I would try playing the open field holes (1-11) on the gold or pro baskets & tees and wooded holes (12-27) on the AM baskets & tees.
Open holes (1-11) were very challenging for me but not overly difficult playing the gold's. The first few holes are laid out just right so that you can warm up your arm with some short & long shots without getting into to much trouble. I was able to reach within putting distance on most holes playing Gold (pro) baskets. There is opportunity for an ace on a couple of the holes. The open holes really offer a nice change of pace from the wooded holes. Maybe It would of worked out better if you could have designed the course to play a few of these holes after like 18 wooded holes but that may be asking to much due to the way the property is laid out. There are also advantages in keeping them separate as well.
The thought of so many wooded holes can be intimidating to a Amateur player but I was pleasantly surprised how fair the wooded holes were. Several of them open up to what seem like grass fairways. Kind of hard to tell with so many leaves on the ground but it was nice having some sun coming through on many of the wooded holes. As previous reviews mention, holes 12-27 offer every type of throw lane, elevation, left-right turning fairways & wooded density that you could ask for. As an Amateur player I did not feel like the trees won and I lost after playing thru them. Oh sure there were a couple holes we just laughed at while standing on the tee (hole 18) while trying figuring how the heck were going to get thru the trees. Holes like that one actually added to the fun and seem to come at the right time after playing some not so difficult holes. The Flow of difficulty of the holes seems to be just right, lighten up when needed and difficult at times. We stopped to talk to another group playing and I said to them, whoever designed this course must known what they are doing because they are some well designed, well though-out holes.
Cons: Navigation - Okay so it is not a polished course just yet, it is still a work in progress and needs some signage and tee pads and a map. Well the map will be uploaded to the web site very soon, which takes care of that. If I can remember correctly the last 9 holes lack signage and tee pads the most. (Not 100% sure about that). Overall, you still should not have too much problem navigating as most holes flow right into the next one. If there is any confusion just follow those little orange flags to the next tee. With a map in my hand I really did not have much problem finding the AM tees and now that I walked it once I don't see a problem finding them the next time. From 17 to 18 and 22 to 23, I had to spend a just little bit of time finding.
Parking - I got there at 11am, not many at the park. I was not sure where I could park other than the lot by the baseball fields which would have been a short hike back to the 1st tee. I ended up parking a little closer down by the lake on that small circle lot. I guess it was okay to park there. There was some event going on in that hall/building next to hole 11's tee. Unfortunately, cars were parked all the way down and across the fairway on hole 12 so we decided not to play over them and moved up into the grass behind them to tee off.
This is nit picking but being that its winter, the rough was not a problem. There is a lot of sticker bush around some of the (20-27) wooded holes that I imagine the spring-summer season will present an issue and require clearing. This is a problem on every course; it just takes a long time and effort to remove them.
Think it was hole 25, the support under the carpet has a hole and with the carpet there you don't see it but you step into it. I would remove the carpet until you get a more stable tee or build up the front section to make it more secure.
If at all possible I would keep Amateur distance right where its at and lengthen the distance on the Gold-Pro holes via baskets or tees on holes 1-11. Not sure you have the room for it but it just seems like it to me that it could be longer. Maybe the plan is already in place in the future when the funds are there to do just that with additional baskets.
Other Thoughts: Its exciting to know that once this course gets more polished its going to be a real gem. I see this course completely taking over Buchmiller. After comparing the two its easy to see where players will out-grow Buchmiller and grow into Roland. If you plan to come to Lancaster area, I suggest you play Bushmiller first then play Roland. If you do it the other way around you will be disappointed you left a second round at Roland to play Buchmiller! Don't let the fact that its still a work in progress stop you from coming to the course as it is now. Its very playable and you will enjoy it.
Hole 18- It made my day that I somehow was able to throw right through the tight corridor of trees to the right and out into the clearing to set up a easy approach shot for par.
Nice job to all who have helped to re-design this course, I am looking forward to the improvements. I am rating this course 3.5 although I feel like it is a 3.8 until the signage and tee pads are in, once that happens I will upgrade my review to 4-4.5
Returned one year later and there are noticable improvements to the course. Most notable, new t-pads on holes where non-existant or needed replacing. Also new hole signs, although laminated paper type they were very usefull and look nice. Some were missing, probabbly due to windy conditions that blew off. Course navigation seem flawless using the orange flags when lost, however future wood hole arrow signs would be an improvement. I now rate this course a 3.8, only due to non permanent hole signs. At the rate this course is being upgraded, I can see it has potential for a 4+ rating. Again your missing out on a true gem of a course if you have not played it. Its 1-1/2 hr away but well worth the drive.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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