11 Helpful / 0 Not
Well-Designed Course for the Big Dogs
Pros: Although it's only 9 holes in its present incarnation, Linbrook offers a degree of epic challenge I've rarely seen on 18 holers. 3 and 5-7 are all well over 500 ft from the short tees, and are complex, multistage par 4s with lots of obstacles and elevation changes. These holes really challenge your game from drive to putt, and it's rare to make par without a textbook play through. The remaining holes consist of tight, turning lines down wooded fairways (2, 8) or more open shots forcing you to choose and navigate a challenging window (1, 4, 9). The last of these are your best chance for birdies, but they're far from gimmies: drastic elevation changes and thick rough mean that one unfortunate bounce or roll away can add 2 or 3 strokes in an instant. Overall, Linbrook is characterized by thick woods, tight windows, extreme elevation changes, long holes, and smartly-designed, unique lines that require you to accurately control the entire course of your disc's flight. It's a spectacular challenge whose golf stands with the best courses in the area.
Navigation flow is well done, considering its penchant for winding paths; the course is helpfully marked where needed.
The proximity to Knob Hill and other quality courses makes this an easy course to hit as part of a larger disc golf trip to the area.
Some holes to single out:
3 is one of the hardest holes I've ever played. The combination of distance (584 or 680), hazards (plentiful mid-fairway trees, a winding creek that borders the fairway's right before cutting in front of the basket), tightness, and elevation (the hillside to the left if you end up there, and the fairway's gradual upward rise) combine to make this a very challenging 4.
6 is another tough 4: a slight hyzer up a steep hill whose fairway straightens out to play along the hillside. Plenty of rollaway potential here, with a tight cluster of trees guarding the pin and some serious rough beyond the basket combining to really challenge your approach game.
7 is a beautiful downhill hyzer that plays into a gorgeous clearing. Birdieable if you hit your drive right. Playing too far to the left means some challenging upshots through the many trees that shield the basket.
Cons: Without a doubt Linbrook's biggest con is its rough present state. The tee pads are natural, and are vulnerable to getting mucked up. The rough is largely ungroomed, making shots from off the fairway almost impossible on several holes. When the fairway gets overgrown, even your most well-placed shots can be swallowed. Coupled with a tendency towards blind shots, having a spotter can make or break the enjoyableness of your round.
Tee signs would be welcome, especially given the quirky nature of many lines and the frequent inability to see the pin from the tee. There are white tees on some if not all the holes, but I think I've only been able to pick out one or two of them. Even the blue tees can be hard to find on occasion.
The level of difficulty is extreme here. If you go in knowing what to expect, it's fine, and the fact that there are only nine holes helps temper the sense of getting beaten on. Beyond all that, I appreciate Linbrook's challenges - they're part of the fun - but if things aren't clicking it can be a downer of a round. I've come out of here feeling the sting of an especially tough round more often than not.
There are some limits to the hole variety to be had here given the constantly wooded environment. I think the course design is pretty brilliant, but playing in the thick woods does rule out certain portions of your bag. Coupled with the fact that there are only nine holes, Linbrook presently makes for a very particular kind of disc golf, which can be good or bad depending on how you take to its challenges.
Other Thoughts: The course was in pretty rough condition the first time I played it (July 2013). I was disappointed, and it marred my overall experience of it, but I decided to delay my opinion until visiting again after hearing from locals that the course usually looked better. I'm glad I did, because this is truly one heck of a course: the long, winding holes are really unique, and the entire thing challenges your game in a way I hadn't experienced before. I think this one is really worth a visit, and presently overlooked more than it should be.
There are plans to expand the course to 18 holes, once the park approves. I sure hope they do, because I feel that a well-groomed, well-signed, 18-hole Linbrook would become as highly regarded as Moraine and Deer Lakes. As it stands, it's still a unique offering to the area's embarrassment of riches.
It's worth noting that, all things being equal, I'm inclined to rate an 9-holer lower than an 18-hole equivalent. I had been inclined to give Linbrook a 3.5 because of this. Linbrook's spectacular challenges and unique holes deserve special consideration, however; three months since my last visit, I'm still thinking about them. As such, as of Jan 2014, I'm bumping my rating up to a 4.0.
Bravo to the course designers for this one. I look forward to seeing this course blossom.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course, I hope it improves
Pros: The course was well laid out, had some very technical holes, and was long enough to justify driving to and playing a 9 hole course. Some extreme turns, lots of elevation, and plenty of trees to avoid. A lot of narrow shots.
This is a great place to practice and get better at the sport.
Cons: Finding the first tee was difficult for me. Once you get in the woods, the gnats or whatever other bugs become somewhat unbearable. The tees are very rough, the brush is very thick (lost a disc on hole 2 by overshooting the basket, looked for an hour), and when I played the grass was long. Many of the fairways are filled with meadow grasses and weeds and make it very easy to lose sight of a disc. It is also troubling if you don't have high socks or pants on. I saw several snakes, spiders, and other crawlers in the grass in the fairways.
Other Thoughts: [EDIT: I have been playing the course regularly since my review. I really enjoy this course. To clarify my last review, I have no intent on coming and making modifications. I was unaware of the situation and just wanted to volunteer myself to help in case it was needed.]
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Already one of the best courses in the area, despite being unfinished
Pros: -Discatcher baskets, my favorite
-Challenging shots with specific lines
-Great experience in the dense and beautiful woods
-Bathroom between holes 3 and 4
-Many different shots: Straight bombs, downhill then uphill, extreme anhyzers, long downhill shots, extreme hyzers, slight anhyzers
-Good variety of distance drivers, fairway drivers, and mid-range off the tee
-Next tee signage and easy to find next hole. There is no where to go except through the paths that are there. Going to hole 4 was a little confusing for me at first, just go around the bathroom and follow the path to the left.
-The park doesn't get crowded
-In an area with very close proximity to other courses. Just a few miles away from both Knob Hill and Old Economy Park.
Cons: -Natural pads are a little uneven at times
-Gets pretty muddy in the fairway when it rains (but it is in the woods so can't really help that)
-Some holes (3,5, and 7)seem impossible to par at my skill level, but I only played from the gold tees so I can't really complain about that
-Dense rough, and makes blind shots challenging to find discs on the last few holes
-No tee signs, but after playing it a few times that doesn't bother me
-I wish there were one or two open shots to just bomb the disc
-Not good at all for beginners IMO
Other Thoughts: It may seem unfair to rate this a 4.5 without tee pads or tee signs, but the technicality of the holes is tremendous! Each hole is very unique and you will use you entire bag on this course. That is what we're all really after anyways, isn't is? Champion level course in my mind because there is no real luck involved here as there can be in most other courses. Accuracy is a must and the layout is beautiful.
Holes 1, 4, and 9 provide downhill then uphill shots. Hole 2 is a shorter slight anhyzer with a tight fairway. Hole 3 is an extremely long straight shot with a tight fairway. Hole 5 is an extreme anhyzer then uphill. Hole 6 has an extreme hyzer then long straight fairway. Hole 7 is an extreme hyzer and downhill. Hole 8 is a pretty straight shot through a lot of trees.
Holes 1, 3, 7, 8, and 9 are my favorite holes. It is very hard to pick a favorite hole for this course because each one is so unique. Which is why I gave it the rating I did. Can't wait until this course grows to 18 holes and thus, it's fullest potential.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Work in Progress
Pros: Many different kinds of holes that really test your skills. Easy to go from hole to hole once you find #1. Eager to see what the course will become.
Cons: Some real sloppy holes and of course missing tees, hope these will be worked on soon.
Other Thoughts: Promises to be a great course!
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Has its ups and downs (literally)
Pros: Wow! What a nice nine-holer. Can people in the Pittsburgh area make a bad course?
The name of the game here is elevation. You have a nice balance of uphill (#1,6,9), downhill (#2,7,8), and level shots (#3,4,5). The elevation is aided by some nice lines that require some flex shots; this is especially true on holes 3,4, and 8. Other holes here require lazer accuracy on threading fairways.
The best hole, IMO, is #7--an incredible 800'+ downhill hyzer to a well-guarded pin. This hole would stand out on any course due to its length, elevation changes, and tight lines.
For being a new course, there's a lot of amenities that make it seem a little more mature. Multiple teepads (denoted by gold, blue, and orange flags), signs, next tee signs, a bathroom, practice basket, and flagged pathways all make playing here more interesting.
Cons: Most of the issues here are things that will be rectified by time (better teepads, official tee signs, defined walkways, etc).
There's a fallen tree on #2 that gets in the way of the fairway that will hopefully be removed shortly.
If there would be a way to use the park's land to incorporate some wide open long bomb shots, this would be a phenomenal course.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I was very pleased and found this course to be excellent despite its infancy. Its a well-balanced course that utilizes changes in elevation and a variety in doglegs and lines. In fact, it's one of the better 9 hole courses in Western PA. Kudos to everybody who evidently put a lot of time into this place.
I really hope this becomes 18 holes, as it would be an excellent addition for Worlds in 2015.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course has excellent hole setups, multiple lines on a number of holes and a fantastic chance to grip and rip on hole #7. The first nine are both fair and very challenging, and as a full 18 course, this could easily be the crown jewel of the area disc golf courses.
Cons: Most of these cons result from the new nature of the course itself. First, the edges are still a bit rough, but will improve with play. Second, it needs some nice concrete pads. And third, it needs the other nine holes that are as good as the front nine.
Other Thoughts: Great start to what should be an excellent course!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
New great course with rough edges
Pros: Mostly in the woods with lanes that you must drive through. Some good elevation change holes. The holes stand out and are unlike deer lakes or knob hill. A couple holes where you get to just rip your driver especially hole 7 which is a great downhill hole that slightly goes left
Cons: There are no tee pads yet and is tough to get footing on some holes (but when finished should be fine). There are not really any signs to help guide you or tell you about the hole ( which again should come when it is finished).
Other Thoughts: It is a great course even with a bunch of key things missing such as signs and tee pads and maybe cutting a few more trees down. I would recommend people play this course and I would highly recomment it when it is finished.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid new course
Pros: This course is set up on a lot of land with plenty of variety in the holes. There are a few nice long holes with some elevation changes and also a couple of shorter holes that are challenging, but still possible to hit some 2's.
Cons: It would be good to see some more short holes, but since they aren't done with the back 9 this isn't really a big deal. There are also a lot of big chunks of dirt and unfinished landscaping, but again, it isn't a finished course yet. Not very good signs yet either, but i'm sure this will get taken care of when its all done.
Other Thoughts: All of the cons I mentioned will hopefully be obselete once this course is finished. My rating is also a little low only because it is unfinished. This has potential to be a very nice course once it is all said and done.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 9 Discatcher baskets with multiple pin placements and tees. Practice basket by the pavilion. Excellent use of the elevation and terrain with big uphill, downhill, flat, and ravine shots. Choice of throwing lanes on a few holes with well defined fairways on all holes. Good variety of hole distances with some high risk vs reward off the tee on the shorter holes, while the longer holes are a little easier off the tee. There's no real blind landings even when you can't see the basket from the tee.
Cons: It's still new so the ground and rough is still rough, no signage or permanent tees yet(carpet for now). Navigation maybe a little tricky until the signs are done, but if you follow the flags you should find the next tee. Hole #1 is across the parking lot from the pavilion/practice basket and to the right and tees over the path. After holing out #7, go back up toward the left side of the fairway and you will see the flags and you will hike a good bit.
Other Thoughts: So you thought Pittsburgh had it all already?...Deer Lakes, Moraine, Knob Hill, 2 Mile Ext? Well as George Thorogood said, move it on over, and get ready for Linbrook! This course stacks up well to the surrounding courses and could very well end up being the best of them. So glad I got to play the front 9 of Linbrook twice while toured by Mr. Chris Dietzel! Hole 7 is an absolute beauty and beast, high risk/reward downhill dogleg left nearly 900' long and guessing 70' elevation drop, still dreaming about it! The course has been carved entirely out of the woods, so there's been a lot of work done here and still to go for the back 9. Can't wait to see Linbrook when all 18 holes are ready, it's already so sweet and only going to get better!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: As is such with all PGH courses, excellent use of terrain, necessitating all shots. Multiple tee/pin layouts. This is what you expect when playing golf in Pittsburgh. The first nine are all great holes.
Cons: It's just too new, MORE THAN PLAYABLE, just rough around the edges.
Other Thoughts: The placement of shots required on this first nine makes it so unique and a blast to play. Time is going to make this course stellar. Check these rough holes out as soon as possible, well worth it already.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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