A turd among gems
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It's rarely crowded.
Cons: It's rarely crowded because it's a flat-out lousy course.
Other Thoughts: Yes, I want to find something positive to say (anything, really!) about Overlook. But the few decent holes (i.e. 1, 6, etc.) only stand out in testimony to how bad everything else is. The more I visit this park, the less I care about details such as what kind of baskets it has or how the tees are (or are not) constructed because, ultimately, Overlook Park Disc Golf is a complete failure of course design. Concrete tees won't save it. Mach X (or insert your favorite brand) baskets won't save it.
We locals aren't just harsh in our evaluation of this course because we have so many other great options nearby. We're harsh because this course cries out for a comprehensive redesign by somebody who actually knows the sport. It's all the more galling when you look at the park with an eye for what could have been. They have woods. They have not one but two potential water features. The only thing that's absent is changes of elevation. This could have been so, so, so much better.
South central PA has plenty of excellent courses to offer and this is not one of them. If you love the sport, don't waste your time. If you're trying to introduce someone to the sport, *please* do not bring them here.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Course is alright, better ones in area
Pros: Course has some good length. Basket quality is great. Good signage. Course has some variety in shots. The wooded section from hole 12 to 18 is fun and offers some challenge.
The park is really nice!
Cons: Tee boxes are dirt rings with a tee sign; it'd be nice to have pads as the rings get muddy where you throw. Not much elevation change on holes. There are three significant walks that the player must make (its more of a time and flow of game issue than the exercise). First long walk is from the lot to hole 1. After hole 2 you have to backtrack to hole 3, but I'm not counting this. From hole 5 to 6, its probably about 1/3 mile. From hole 6 to 7, its about 1,000 ft.
Other Thoughts: The first 5 holes are in a different area of the park. The first hole is cool, but then the rest are just long open holes, which gets boring. The course could be laid out better for flow, but I understand constraints with the park and usable real estate.
All in all, its a fun course to hit over lunch! Also, the park is really great. There are a lot of amenities there, such as golf, driving range, walking trail, ball fields, jungle gym, pavilion, and even horseshoe pits.
ok but confusing
Pros: Nice open park setting with ample space and good baskets. I imagine it's a good course for new players to become aquainted with the sport. I only played the front 9 but from what I saw the course is well maintained.
Cons: Confusing layout and signage. Like i said I only played the front 9 but that was because i couldn't figure out where i was going so I ran out of time. The lack of tee boxes adds to the confusion. "Boxes" are circles drawn in the grass which are tough to find and even when you do you're not exactly sure where you are throwing. I basically looked for the worn part of the circle and figured that was the way to the basket. Given the space available I think the course definitely could have been more interestingly designed.
Other Thoughts: This is a pretty open park with people doing other activities around you which takes away from the overall experience. Front is mostly bomber holes across windy meadows but all in all I'm sure it's fun once you know the lay of the land. If proper tee boxes are installed and the signage is made a bit clearer I'm sure this course will improve.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Course For Beginner/Intermediate Players
Pros: The setting for this course is very nice, and the course itself appeared to be very well kept. There are very few obstacles, so it's a great course for picking up the sport, and as an intermediate player it made me feel better than I really am. The openness really gives you a chance to work on your long drives.
Cons: The signage was plentiful and pretty, but not terribly helpful. The first tee was not particularly easy to find (behind the dog park), and there were no arrows on the baskets indicating the direction to the next tee. There were tall posts on the path indicating what direction to walk to stay on the disc golf course, but some were close enough together (and pointing in different directions) that you didn't know which to follow to get to your next tee. They should have been numbered to indicate which tee they were pointing towards. Combine that with a couple long walks between tees (2 to 3, 5 to 6, and 6 to 7), and the course became pretty confusing to follow. The pictures on the tee posts often did not show the tee, and the tees were circular as opposed to the standard rectangular, so on a few of the tees it took me a minute to figure out which direction I was supposed to throw. This course is also very flat.
Other Thoughts: All in all this was a fun course. It would be a great place to bring a friend to get them interested in disc golf. If you come here, follow the signs to the dog park parking lot, and then walk up along the fence on the left side of the dog park to find the first tee.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
mediocre course with a unique feel
2 Helpful / 3 Not
- Has a unique feel - a good complement to other area courses
- Never crowded
- Located in a nice park
- Quality baskets and tee signs
- Well maintained
- Lost discs (usually you can find them, but it can be a pain)
- Ticks (depending on the time of year)
- Only one basket and tee per hole, so you can't adjust the difficulty level
- There's a long walk between a couple of the holes - most notably between 5 and 6
- The natural tees can be slippery after rain or in the mornings if there is dew and can get muddy as well
Other Thoughts: Overlook is a park style course, mostly open (really, really open), with a few more "wooded" type holes towards the end. I break the course into three sections:
- Holes 1-5, which are long and pretty much wide open
- Holes 6-13, which are still pretty open, but have some tree lines and obstacles to navigate which will require some shot shaping
- Holes 14-18, which are shorter but tighter, including a couple of tunnel shots and "wooded" type holes.
One thing to know about this course is that it is designed in kind of a ball golf style with "fairways" that are mowed short, and "OB" areas where the grass is allowed to grow long. This is important because for about half of the course the only real obstacle is the OB, and if you remove that element you are left with just a basket in the middle of a field.
I like the idea of using taller grass to create fairways and OB. It's a unique course design (at least for the area), emphasizing where your disc ends up over how it got there, and it turns what would otherwise be just a lot of open space into a more playable disc golf course.
However, there are some issues with the execution:
- First, tall grass is annoying. It's way too easy to lose a disc, or at least spend half an hour looking for one, and depending on the time of year you'll need to watch out for ticks.
- Second, sometimes the township mows everything.
- Third, it doesn't always work.
One example - Hole 5 is 334 long, wide open, with an area slightly larger than the circle mowed around the basket and a narrow path mowed from the tee to the basket. There's also a mowed area for about the first ~75 feet of the hole. If you can throw far enough to reach the basket, you're just going to try to park it - exactly what you would have done if it was just a basket in the middle of an open field. If you can't throw that far, all you can do is try to hit the narrow pathway or throw a 75 foot shot to the edge of the tall grass and try from there.
The farther you can throw, the more often you will have this problem - to the point where a number of holes become "broken" because you will end up simply trying to put your drive as close as possible to the basket with no real obstacles -- because the only obstacle is the OB and you are just throwing past it.
With all of that being said, I like the course -- except on days where I have to spend a lot of time looking for discs, but that's a different story.
I do feel that there is a sweet spot in terms of how much players of different ability levels will enjoy this course. As I mentioned above, players with a lot of distance will be able to overpower a large portion of this course and will probably find some of the shorter holes too easy as well. On the other hand, beginning players may get turned off by the distance (and may be better of skipping Holes 1-5, which are separated from the rest of the course by a long walk anyway).
I said in a previous review that Overlook is an underrated course. On second thought, I'm not sure that is the case - it's more that it doesn't deserve some of the hate that it gets. It's an okay course. Not great. Not terrible. I've played much worse.
I wouldn't travel to play Overlook or even make it a priority if I happened to be in the area (Muddy Run, Roland Park, D.F. Buchmiller Park, and Ship Rock are all better), but I play it sometimes just to mix it up, and it's a nice complement to the other courses in the area. If you're in the area and are on the fence as to whether or not to play this course, I recommend you give it a try.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the time
Pros: Quality cages, generally good signage, some different type holes requiring controlled disc flight, well maintained.
Cons: The tee boxes are actually just large marked ovals, unnumbered cages, incredibly flat.
Other Thoughts: I saw 2 or 3 large raptors (probably hawks). Not many people on the course.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
The only one like it
Pros: It's unique, I'll give it that. Like the other reviewers said, lots of long open shots. Though it is fun to launch a few and build up that distance. The back 9 is pretty interesting, with tight fairways, mandos, and ob. Lots of ob on this course. If you don't play with the ob, it's pretty straight forward. With it, it becomes a challenge. Mulched fairways on a couple of holes are different in a good way. Windy - that's right, I'm puttin' it as a pro. Top-notch baskets and signs. Nice amenities in a nice park.
Cons: Tall grass. The tall grass plays ob which makes the course tougher, but it's too tall and discs are easily lost in it. Wonderful tick habitat too. That could be good or bad depending on your love for ticks, I guess.
Very little shade. Brutal in the summer. No running water. Thousands of dollars into the park and there is no water? Not at the playground or other areas either, as far as I can tell. Bring water in the summer or suffer.
You probably walk twice as far as you need to since there are looong walks between 5 & 6 and 6 & 7. From 5, cross the street and follow the walking path. From 6, follow the path farther for 7.
Other Thoughts: I've had some fun rounds here so far. It's unique for sure. Not the greatest course and if I were coming in from out of town I'd hit Roland or Buchmiller first, but it's worth trying out. Seriously though, stay out of that grass in the spring. You can watch exactly where it goes and it will disappear! I have had some head-scratchers there on lost discs. Makes for good risk/reward plays though as you can play it safe in the fairway or push yourself to max distance trying to pick up the birdie.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
The baskets are in excellent condition, and the flags atop them assist you in spotting the basket, and determining if the wind will be much of a factor.
The large, multi-purpose park where the course resides is very well maintained.
The tall posts with the green arrows greatly aid in finding the next tee. Kudos to whoever created the shortcut (look for a yellow disc in a tree, and some surveyor's tape) through the strip of woods from basket-2 to tee-3.
Quite a long walk from the parking lot to tee-1, basket-5 to tee-6, basket-2 to tee-3 (if you don't notice the shortcut)..
Definitely on the flat-and-open, especially the front nine, side of the spectrum.
The vegetation forming the out-of-bound areas on holes 11-13, especially #11, is quite thick, creating a disc-gobbling monster.
The tee areas are grass, large, irregularly-shaped ovals, delineated by a small band of gravel. The tee signs to the side of the oval will provide you with the essential information.
Other than a sharp, right-turn through a broad opening at the midpoint of hole-1, the first five holes are wide open chucks. Hole-6 is interesting, with the tee on one side of a hedgerow, and the basket on the other, ~320' away, offering you several different ways to attack it. Holes 7-10 continue the open theme, although #7 does require a late left-turn, and hole-10 requires a window be hit late - or that you have a good spike hyzer! The final eight holes contain various obstacles - windows to hit early, mounds to throw up-n-over, narrow flightpaths defined by hedges and/or trees, precision turns to be executed - but all dead flat, except for the artificial mounds on 12 and 13.
Favourite hole: #17. The edge of the tee-off oval abuts a few scattered trees, so you get to decide which two trees to throw between. The hole requires an immediate right-turn, then a long straight run down a tunnel, to find the basket tucked slightly inside the end of the trees forming the right edge.
A course worth bagging, but probably not re-visited by the travelling player. If I lived locally, I'd probably skip holes 1-5 - not worth the time, as they are primarily just open hucks, and located on the opposite side of the park from the remainder of the course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
The Biggest Letdown
Pros: -This course has some of the best signage that I have seen. The holes, for the most part, are easy to find and all along the trails there are constant arrows telling you where the next hole is.
-It also contains brand new baskets, each one with another 6 foot flag on top of it to identify the hole from a distance.
-There are a few neat holes that cause you to go back to your bag to change your disc before you throw, but these holes only make up a small minority of the course.
Cons: -The design of this course is almost obviously from a ball golfer or someone with very little DG experience. When I first examined the signs, there were "roughs" and "intricately carved fairways" to each the holes, but in reality you were throwing across a wide open field with no distinction in the grass.
-Even with the incredible signage, my brother and I were unable to find holes 13-16. If these holes exist, the signs led us to 17 and we searched for 15 minutes around the area and never found 1 of those 4 holes. According to what I found in an article in the local newspaper, these holes may not be complete yet. If I was around here more I would go argue to the township board to let someone redesign these last 4 holes before they too are ruined.
-Between hole 5 and 6 there is a ten minute walk and hole 18 and 1 end pretty far from each other which is a little frustrating.
-The course never crosses any walking paths, which is understandable because they would like to protect the kids and families that walk through the park, but gets to be very obnoxious. More on this in "other thoughts"
-The tee boxes are a 10 foot egg shaped plot of grass with gravel outlining it. I played this course following a long night and few days of rain and the tee boxes were a mess. With just me and my brother playing and throwing two or three discs on each hole, the front of the tee boxes were torn apart, slick, muddy, and some of them had already begun to erode where the gravel meets the grass.
Out of the 18 (14) holes, only 5 were not wide open field shots. Hole 1 is a nice "S" bend through some trees which is a short but challenging hole. Holes 2-5 are all in the open 300-500' holes: nothing special or even worth playing. Hole 6 and 7 are a little entertaining, but then again 8-10 are shot across on open field. 10 ends shooting through a small gap of trees. 11 and 12 are again holes that show some of the potential that this course could have but any shot seems to still end with a basket sitting in the middle of a field. Hole 17 and 18 are fun to play and are heavily LHBH favored.
-The openness of these holes also provides little protection from the elements. I played on a windy day which made putting impossible and some of the open holes at least somewhat challenging because I threw against 25 knot winds, but you could play one hole ten times and it would just save you the walk between tees.
Other Thoughts: -The amount of paths that are around the park eliminate so many potential holes or improvements. If they were to move tee boxes so you cross a path on a drive, this would not endanger any "civilians" because no disc golfer will throw when a person is 10 feet in front of them. I understand the thoughts from keeping a disc from landing close to a path but there is some misunderstanding in the mindset of a disc golfer to not let a disc cross any paths at any time.
-Walking along the course I saw so much potential and great holes that would be interesting, challenging, and fun for all levels. The course, the way it is now, would be too long for most beginners, and not challenging enough for most players who have played for at least 6 months. The pars for most holes are tweeners. It is easy to par, but it would take a horrible throw to bogey, or a monstrous throw to birdie.
-Overall this course just angered me. With how much money they had, and potential of the land around (it contains a good combination of thick pine trees, marshlands, and LOTS of open space, just lacks in elevation change), the course is a huge disappointment. I feel it will have little draw to bring new players into this course, and unless I lived walking distance from the course, I will rarely go back to it. Next time I go to the course I will take a portable basket and make my own holes. This way I can at least enjoy the game at Overlook. With a little bit of DG community support, I hope that we can breathe some sense into the township board and redesign some of these holes to make this course an enjoyable experience for all skill levels. There are other courses around the Lancaster County area that are worth playing and greatly outshine Overlook.
I played this course again in the beginning of May, 2011. Most of the open field holes have knee high grass and fairways carved into the,. This is an interesting concept but only more of a nuisance to find your disc but not really a problem to throw out of. If these are played as OB, the course becomes very interesting. The new holes (13-16) are nice holes that make use of a few rows of tall pine trees.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
They almost got the idea...
Pros: Built on farmland purchased ten years ago to develop into a township mega-park, this course feels like more money was spent on it than any other course I've played (unfortunately the design is, well, uninspired). Brand new baskets and very nice directional and tee signs help the course fit in with the many other activities of the "Overlook Community Campus". A couple holes are interesting, including a 200' carry over a marsh on "links-style" Hole 11 and a tee shot on 12 that takes you through an early tree arch towards a green flanked by two big man-made mounds. Hole 18 has a unique tunnel through evergreen trees with front door/back door options, and Hole 6 is an aesthetically pleasing open shot over a gap in an old farm tree/fence line.
The tees are basically ~8'-diameter circles of grass outlined with by a narrow gravel path. They are an interesting concept and allow a nice run-up, but I'm skeptical about how well they will hold up.
Cons: The biggest con is that most holes are simply bland long-ish open holes that feel like they were designed by someone who never threw a golf disc before. Holes 3-5 make possibly the most boring three-hole stretch design-wise in Pennsylvania. You could just put two baskets at opposite ends of a soccer field, throw back and forth a bunch of times, and get the idea for about half of Overlook's holes. Hole 17 has a botched teepad location that prevents it from being a good par 3 hole. Layout issues produce extremely long walks between a couple holes. Hole 2 puts pedestrians in danger on a path along the fairway (which you must backtrack to get to the next tee).
Par is not well-defined for many holes, which play as Par 3.5s except for the cannon-armed. It seems to be designed as a red-level course, but I have a hard time envisioning this course attracting beginner/recreational disc golfers because of all the long open holes with no good ace runs.
Other Thoughts: I generally look at courses as an optimist, but for all the money ($30,000+, according to 6/29/09 township minutes) and effort the township presumably put into the course it's a shame they couldn't get a more fun/challenging/professional layout that could engage both recreational and advanced players (or at least one of those two groups). Apparently, early course designs for the course done in conjunction with a certified course designer were jettisoned after a change in park management. It's not ideal disc golf terrain, but it still could have suited a pretty unique and fun-to-play Par ~60 course with a unique "links-style" feel close to a large population of prospective disc golfers. Because of design issues, though, the course really feels like a lost opportunity and a setback for disc golf.
All-but-twenty-year-old Buchmiller Park on the other side of Lancaster City still far outshines Overlook Park for while/blue/gold players as a much more interesting course to play with many holes framed beautifully by challenge-inducing trees. Roland Park, too, in Akron also has holes that make you excited to play disc golf. And consider the wonders of youth-pastor-with-low-budget-produced Camp Sankanac DGC in neighboring Chester County. Overlook, on the other hand, would seem to make an outside observer wonder what's so appealing about disc golf. Hopefully, some of the problems I mentioned will be addressed as the course matures and perhaps they can find ways to create a more engaging course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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