Fun, but exhausting, course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Challenging layout
- Numerous holes with water in play
- Holes are widely varied, so no boring repetition
- Beautiful campus
- Very well maintained
Cons: - Climbing the hill near the stadium (repeatedly) can be exhausting, especially in the summer heat
- There are some long walks between holes. If you're not familiar with the course, it could be difficult to follow the layout.
Other Thoughts: I played this course for the first (and only) time during the 2019 Ironwood Open (2 rounds). I went to college at Slippery Rock and really wanted to play a round at my old stomping grounds.
The course is fun to play, but be prepared for a workout. Part of the course is tucked in close to the main campus buildings, while the other half is well removed from them, playing up and down "Hurricane Hill" (as it was called in the 80s) and within the woods around it.
Numerous holes have water directly in play, so bring backup discs if you plan to throw over the ponds. The water holes aren't long, but a good, skilled shot is still needed to keep your disc from finding a new home in the murky waters.
I found the variety of holes to be a good mix of short and long, with no holes being similar to another. There are wide open holes that navigate up, on top of, and down from Hurricane Hill, and each one presents a new challenge. There is often high winds at the top of the hill, adding to the difficulty.
There are multiple holes that navigate into the woods, although only one is a true woods hole, with the trees in play from tee to green. But that is also the shortest hole on the course at under 200'. All others either have woods lining the hole, or start off in the open and navigate either through or into the woods to finish.
Overall I enjoyed the course, although after my 2nd round in 85 degree heat I had very little left in the tank. The course can be truly exhausting in the heat, so be prepared and bring plenty of water or Gatorade.
If you're in the area, I would definitely recommend playing the course. It isn't the most beautiful course you'll ever play. It isn't an amazing layout. But it is a fun, challenging course on the beautiful campus of SRU that will bring a smile to your face, and likely leave you a few pounds lighter when it's all said and done.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Superior Campus Course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was my second stop of the morning , ( Moraine was first ) , and after playing a round here at Slippery Rock , I am not sure what to think . I will evaluate this from throwing 16 of my 18 drives from the golds ( White on 1 & 18 ) . THe campus itself is a busy place . I was there at 8:45 on a Saturday morning and there were many cars parked in the lots with students all over the place . I can't imagine what it is like during the week when school is in session . Anyway , I was told that I did not need a parking pass during the weekends . I needed a little help finding the first tee , as I parked right up next to the tee for #2 . As far a campus courses go , and I have played many ) , this one is considered very good . Once your bearings are straight and you have your course map in your hands , which I am SURE YOU PRINTED , you can begin . All of the tees from the longs or mids are rubber or cement . The Innova baskets are more than adequate , tee signs are good . Some of the areas around campus have directional signs trying to keep you on course . One of the nicer qualities of this course ? having it divided up into out and back six hole stints , where you can park , play and finish up after 6 , 12 or 18 hole rounds , and mix or match your favorite sections . The course is well manicured , water coming into play into several holes , mainly 1,4, and 18 . To keep this course on campus , the course designers did a very good job . They were creative in both the tee areas and especially pin placement . great examples are #1 , with the pin guarded by a large hanging tree to the immediate right and water in front and to the left , or #2 with a creek to the left and the parking lot to the right, or #14 that sits on the side of a hill . If you are in the Pittsburgh area , this is a great course to couple with Moraine . It gives a completely different feel . Moraine being very technical and mostly woods , and Slippery Rock a bomber course that is mostly open . The course utilizes all of its elevation , mostly after #6 . Many risk-reward opportunities are on this course . Fences , parking lots , roads , water , You will also battle elements . Since most of the course is open , the wind will add another challenge for you . Signature hole ? I liked several holes equally . #4 , over the lake , hyzer around a clump of trees with OB road on the left and the lake to your right . #7 par 5 . Straight drive forward with fence coming iinto play constantly on your right , then straight up a steep hill to a basket placement on the top of a hill . #12 long downhill bomber that seems cut into sections , with dorms on the far right and a kind of plateau for a green .#17 par 4 .a 750' drive that will take you a little to your right , at the bottom of what looks like a small ski or large sled hill ( don't throw to the top , the basket sits beyond the woods in front of you ) then throw through about 70' of woods , out the back end to a clearing where the basket sits , or 18 par 4 , an obstructed drive to a door shot approach over water to a basket with water to the left , in the front and also behind it ( 500' ) . You shouldn't lost a disc on this course as long as you can take the water out of play on a few of the holes ( or you throw it on the dorm with a big crank on #12 )
Cons: Several cons to this course . #1 The risk of clubbing some poor unsuspecting student , especially on holes 2-5 and 12 comes into play .#5 is a blind shot that wraps around a building Be attentive . Don't give the campus reasons to close off part of or all of this course . #2 cars . A gust of wind on your drives can easily nail a car on a few of these holes . #3 Navigation . I had to have help to find hole #4s teepad , had to look around for #5's tee . Without a map , you might have to look for #7 up the hill beyond the parking lot ( long walk ) .12 basket to 13 tee pad , 17 basket to 18 tee . You are getting my point . #4. Parking . Make sure you have permission to play and receive a permit during the week . A $50 ticket will ruin your round . #5 Wind . This is just an unavoidable barrier with wide open courses . The wind can be fierce . I took a 6 on hole #7 because the wind took my '10 putt and deposited it 20' away . No benches or trash cans , so carry out what you bring in .
Other Thoughts: It don't want to make it look like I am picking on this course . Even though I am surprised that The course I played hosted the Worlds ( 2015 ) , I still consider this a fantastic campus course . Typical campus courses are much shorter , very vanilla and more attractive to the casual playing student looking to get an after school 80 minute round with his buddy . This is more of a showcase , and the Slippery Rock name gets passed around to many in the disc golf know . By having a few younger high school students coming onto campus to play a round or 2 , they even might have enrolled in this nice campus after touring the grounds and talking to a couple of the students . Beautiful campus , great course design , nice area . My recommendation : PLAY IT .
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A New Style
Pros: First off- this is NOT your typical campus course. If you are looking for a pitch and putt, go somewhere else. It's definitely not here.
Wide open bombs throughout, it is an obvious change from the more frequently visited wooded courses nearby. (Knob, Moraine, Deer Lakes) If you don't feel comfortable throwing long distance shots, a lot, then be ready to test yourself.
With most shots being wide open, it can sometimes be hard to force different shots, but Slippery Rock does a good job of making this possible. You will often find yourself weaving around OB paths, buildings, and the ever so ominous ponds on property.
Another challenging factor- wind. When you reach the middle part of the course, you are working straight up 'heart attack hill" (Hole 7) This means, you are in the wide open, on top of the highest point in the property. You will be faced with heavy winds, especially during certain times of year.
With wide open shots, there are often holes that can be boring, but also spectacular. One hole that really sticks out to me is Hole 12. You are throwing a wide open, down hill shot. OB looming right, but with the right angle, and a good amount of wind help, you can throw shots that you had no idea you had the capability of.
Amenities- Innova Discatchers in good shape. Gold tees have nicely groomed rubber pads, the rest are natural, or painted on paths, but not worn out. Tee signs are helpful and informative. Many facilities nearby.
Cons: A lot of the pros I listed, also have another side to them. Sure, it is nice to bomb out every once and a while, but...
Repetition- I did say that there was a large range of shots, but no matter what angle you throw on, at SRU, you are throwing for max distance. You don't have short technical shots to test those parts of your game.
Tee pads- Gold Tees are fine, I prefer concrete, but the rubber tees hold up and are groomed nicely. However, for mere mortals who aren't Paul Mcbeth, playing the white or green tees are less awesome. They are in good shape now, but with time, they could be a problem. On a campus course, it is hard to have three permanent tees, so I understand, but a con nonetheless.
Crowd- Campus Course. During School days, and even some non school days, you have many people walking on the walking paths, walking across fairways, playing on the soccer fields. It can be unsafe, but with playing smart, you can avoid issue. So... PLAY SMART.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Get out your high speed drivers
Pros: The course at SRU is a bomber's dream, consisting of many long, wide open par 4's and 5's. The redesign uses the potential of the property well with some pretty drastic elevation changes and by having formed a few much-needed wooded holes. I'd imagine the pros enjoyed playing this style of course, especially for a final 9 setting, being able to showcase their power and accuracy in throwing some ridiculous bombs. This course tested my power probably more than any other one I've played.
Altogether, there is a huge variety of distances (156-879') and pars (six par 4's and three par 5's). And if you love using you high speed drivers, you'll get plenty of chances from the gold tees with the shortest hole being 315'. Many of the holes incorporate elevation changes in a wide variety of ways, most notably 7's extreme uphill shot and 12's downhill bomb.
Water is used very effectively and in different, interesting ways. You get a few straight over the pond shots (1, 6, and 18), a spike hyzer (4), and a creek behind the basket (5).
This course provides some pretty unique holes, like 17's sharp left to right shot that starts out open and then plays through an opening in the woods. The multidimensional holes like this and 15 help elevate the course and give it more variety.
As usual with campus courses, it's immaculately clean, maintained, and for the most part free of any rough. This is appreciated when a course is long and open like this one - bad shots don't get punished with searches for your disc. But, there are chances that you'll get punished by throwing O.B., which is well used throughout the course.
While there are some long walks between holes, navigation is well guided by an abundance of 'next tee' signs.
The tees signs and baskets are great and look brand new. The gravel-filled rubber mats from the golds are comfortable to throw from and are a great size.
Cons: Sometimes campus courses are conveniently tucked away on a more secluded piece of college property, like the nearby IUP course. Others are campus courses in the truest sense and play right through the middle of the action. While some holes are more secluded, playing here when school is in session means being interfered (or being the one interfering) with people and events. On the Monday evening that I played, the campus was sprawling with students and sports activities. The first six holes or so play close to and even over a congested walking path. Also, some of the middle holes play next to sports fields which could cause some interference. With wind, hole 12's downhill bomb could cause errant shots to hit off the dorm or onto the patio area. Trust me, I did both.
The open nature of the course got repetitive for me, but I should note that I much prefer shorter, wooded holes than longer, open ones. Luckily, there were a few wooded holes sprinkled in there. I would have preferred less completely open shots, but that's more of a personal preference kind of thing.
While I appreciate that the different tees cater to a wide variety of players, the green/white tees are a big drop off from the golds. I feel like this course is meant to be played from the golds. Also, the green/whites are natural with spray painted boxes.
Other Thoughts: SRU has one of the best campus courses that I've played. The designers did a great job setting the course to Worlds/Pro standard with its emphasis on long, accurate drives. Any time a course stands out for something - this one being its incredible test of power - it's worth playing. A few tips: play when college is out, or if during school after 5pm so you don't have to worry about getting a parking ticket, and give yourself enough time to play from the gold tees.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Slippery Rock University's disc golf course is characterized by long, open shots with treacherous elevation throughout and numerous out-of-bounds. Water hazards of various forms are intermittently scattered through the course, and clumps of woods change up play at a few points, namely on 9-10 and 15-17. An open style emphasizing distance drives, placement, and negotiating elevation predominates, but there are also some dramatic lines, technical windows, and challenging landing zones to navigate. The course favors big arms, especially from the gold tees (where 400'+ of controllable D is basically mandatory), but does stress alternative skill sets at points. Aggressive distance can be punished given the water, elevation, and out-of-bounds, especially on a windy day, so there's a lot of weighing conservative versus assertive play.
One of Slippery Rock's advantages is that its open style complements the region's tendency towards technical courses. Nearby Moraine, for instance, plays much tighter. While I think Slippery Rock would have benefited from a few more technical holes, it does open distance and placement golf very well, and there aren't any courses like it in the greater area. That makes it a novel offering in a region blessed with great courses.
I found navigation to be easy owing to the excellent signage. The layout is quirky, with several long or unintuitive transitions, but these were made seamless thanks to prominent and extensive signage. Kudos to the designers on this front, as the navigation could have easily been rough.
Three sets of tees on each hole accommodate a variety of skill levels. Some holes feel clearly built for the golds, but many do a good job of maintaining interest across the whites and greens as well.
My favorite stretch of holes was 15-18. 15 is an awesome open-to-wooded transition with a guarded pin that is especially tricky in the C position, where it's really tucked away and makes for a challenging approach. 16 is a short left-to-right shot in tight confines. 17 is quirky, playing around a bend, up a hill and through a tree line, with both placement and tight windows to deal with. And 18 is a great finisher, with a prominent water hazard factoring in both off the tee and on the approach. A great series of holes that does a lot to round out the course.
Cons: The course's openness is a limiting factor that impedes variety. It becomes repetitious, especially in the middle, with lots and lots of hyzers in the open, especially if you have a passable forehand. There's enough change in distance and elevation to cause you to reach for different discs, but the lines they'll be flying are often the same. I heard one prominent pro comment at the end of his second SRU round at this past year's Worlds, "I am so disenfranchised with this course." I can understand why.
As mentioned above, distance is largely mandatory. I throw 350' with accuracy and can push 400' on distance lines, and I felt as though I couldn't appreciably play at least a third to half of the holes from the gold tees. This wasn't always an issue, but the design of some holes is really geared towards the golds. At a few points, there's a sense of distance for the sake of distance; 11 is a good example of this.
Related to this occasional push for distance just for grandiosity's sake is a sense of the design aspiring to be more than it can be given the land that's available. Hole 4 tries to provide a scary water carry for even pro arms, but its lack of alternative route means it either plays recklessly or awkwardly for many even on that level. The short tees are an afterthought that make for an underwhelming hole. 12 is one of the best completely open holes I have ever played in its tiered descent towards the pin via carved-out plateaus, but between the distance excess and blandness of 11 and 13 it can easily seem like just another series of hyzers. I can't fully fault the designers because SRU seems tailor built for Worlds 2015, where its length and focus on the gold tees makes more sense, but for everyday play by everyday players it often seems a bit too big in its britches.
There's lot of road OB that comes into play. These are mostly campus roads, but main roads also abut fairways at one or two points. The course also plays near dorms, buildings, sidewalks, and sports fields, bringing about lots of potential conflict with campus goers. My early August round was pleasantly unobstructed, but I see that as being the exception rather than the norm.
OB which is integral to some holes is probably not often well-marked. I benefited from playing while the course was set up for Worlds.
Other Thoughts: I'm of two minds about SRU's course. It's got some fun, unique holes, especially for the area, but also lots of shot repetition and focus on the pro game. Throw in the potential for conflict with campus goers and its hard to see this course as more than good not great. Definitely worth a visit, but only after you've played the mainstays in the area: this isn't a Moraine/Deer Lakes/Knob Hill level course in my eyes. Of course, not many are.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Slippery Rock's campus course. I was pleasantly surprised. Especially after the first 5 holes, how the final 13 turned out. There is a great variety of holes here, L,R, Straight, with risk reward. Hole 1, great looking hole and a nice way to start off the course. 2-5 didnt really do much for me though. The rest of the course, wow, what a workout. Up and down hills, weaving in and out of sparse woods. I found the wind difficult to read, what a great scoring separator. There are so many epic up and down hill throws, its not worth mentioning them all specifically. There are a number of holes where water comes into play. It looks like discs in those areas are retievable, this reviewer did not have to test that theory. Additional risk/reward. Make sure to stop here on your way down 79, and bring your whole bag!
Cons: I found issue with a number of things on this course. First and foremost, directions kind of get you to hole 3. To find hole 1 from there proved very difficult and it would be much appreciated if better turn by turn directions were provided.
Hole distances were off, additionally there were 3-4 pin locations per hole. Many 60' apart...it was very difficult to determine distance especially with all the ups and downs. Better signage and information on where the pin is set (at the tee box) is needed. Asside from that...distances appeared to be quite off on a number of holes.
No bridge access from 2-3 and to get to long #5 tee. That leaves you balancing across river rocks.
I was unclear on some of the OB.
A number of the pin locations were 5-10' from where Tall grass appears to be in the summer. If all those pin locations are necessary, give a decent putting area around them.
it looks like #10 is new or getting a make over. To make that sharp of a turn ESPECIALLY from the long, that tree in the center will need some pretty high up limbing. If not you will have a really nice hole that everyone will score a 3 on with no spread. Also on the transition path from 9-10 trees were cut 4" off the ground, dangerous trip hazard. Either cut 3' or flush to earth. never that height.
#12 That cafe area at the bottom of the hill probably needs netting. Throwing that far downhill, I had an overstable disc turn over and scream into that area. A very dangerous situation if people were outside.
No tee pads at the moment makes it really hard in the muddy uneven ground to throw as far as some of the holes require.
Other Thoughts: I reviewed as if it were a sunny summer day not dreary winter. Review would go up with concrete tee pads.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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