Woods disc golf with varied challenges
3 Helpful / 0 Not
- Tyler East is a terrific example of woods courses. It's tough because it requires you to plan AND execute your shots.
- Every hole has multiple pin placements, so it's difficult to tell you exactly what you'll encounter, so I'll keep my comments about specific holes pretty general.
- I was lucky enough to hook up with a couple of regular players on my first visit. I really recommend this approach, because "local knowledge" (about the lines, the rollaway areas, the OB) is really helpful. If you're playing alone here for the first time, you might want to walk ahead and look for lines and landing zones.
- The course starts with a surprisingly easy narrow tunnel on #1 (if it's in the A position). Don't be fooled - you're headed into the woods!
- 5 is the "cattle chute" - this is one of the first holes where you'll experience the extra touch by the designers (I hit the one on the right by the way. Because, according to my fellow players, I suck)
- 7-9 are where you experience some of the natural features that make this such a great course. Water, cliffs, rollaways.
-10 is another example where what would have been a mediocre hole has been helped by designers: multiple raised pin placements, giving specific challenges based on which position is in play
- 14 is made so memorable because of all the mandos - but it's a really different hole depending on the pin placement. A great, fun hole no matter the pin - because its a really different hole with "C" vs "B" placement. "C" takes you through multiple mandos. "B" finishes with a raised basket and a possible death putt over a trough with a creek.
- 15 is one of those holes that looms in your head before you get there. It's long, it requires careful placement, it's narrow along the fairway until it's REALLY narrow on the upshot. A tough hole late in the round.
- The course has a few open holes near the end (16 and 17). They require distance, but you can't be reckless because of the OB long grass. 16 requires you to consider wind and elevation. 17 is long, and the pin placements are protected in a grove of trees.
- 18 is the perfect finisher for this layout: uphill, wooded - but there are numerous lines. It's not overly long; you can do this with a good mid. You just have to settle yourself at the end of a long round and execute a good shot.
- Tyler is a busy public park. I played on a beautiful Saturday in May, and there was a lot of traffic. Just be prepared. The layout is good enough that "normal" activities shouldn't interfere with the course. But people start wandering around, and the next thing you know, you're looking at kids in a fairway...
- I'm really impressed by the layout and the care this course gets.
- I mentioned at the top how this course requires both planning and execution. I think it's the combination that makes Tyler so good. Other very good course (like Joe Palaia and Allaire) require execution. You stand on the tee, you see the line, you throw. But Tyler seems to make you pause for a few seconds: there are multiple lines, which is best for my game as I'm playing it today? What about the landing zone? What can I expect my disc to do when it lands? What about elevation? Wind? Tyler really makes you think and plan - and it it rewards or punches back based on how well you throw.
- There's an active community and I wish I lived close enough to play in leagues here. It's the type of course that rewards experience and knowledge - but it's also a great place for a one-time visit.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
East is Beast
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: - imaginative holes with lots of elevation changes, dog legs, water, and cool obstacles. There were log pyramids, walls and naturally made obstacles I had never seen before on a course. While I later learned the log piles are there because they can't afford to have them hauled away I think they play as interesting features.
- Course can play night and day different with different pin locations. Par 3's become par 4's, easy holes become tricky, etc
- excellent signage with well named homes, OB, distances, and clearly marked trees and obstacles.
- clearly a popular course, I was one of a half dozen groups playing the east course
-convenient and large parking area by the first tee. Actual bathrooms as well as natural bathrooms everwhere you look
- free entry
- Great course for strategy and shot shaping. Unless you're an Advanced or better player, you should shoot for pars on this course. I ran so many birdie putts and alwys threw lines to get me parked and this course WRECKED me. Shot 10 strokes better the second time playing conservatively.
-so many greens are devilish, baskets perched on the edge of hills, surrounded by trees, or even sit 10+ feet in the air
- park goers seem pretty aware of the course and rarely wander onto holes. You'd really have to shank a shot to throw onto the paved path
-flow isn't bad with obviously marked "next tee this way" signs... but I will say I couldn't figure it out until a local showed me the way.
- water isn't in play quite enough to make you lose your disc. Seems like Hole #5 is the only possible spot so make sure you throw conservatively there
Cons: - Drainage is very poor so course is often muddy and full of puddles, make sure to bring boots! And extra towels for your inevitably muddy discs
- With the c pins and the long tees this course will likely be too frustrating for rec/novice players and first timers. The second time I played it they had brought a bunch of tough basket placements closer and the course was much less frustrating for a sub 900 rated player...
- Can be a bit tough to navigate and some holes have a decently long walks between them
- I can appreciate the homegrown backwoodsman feel of the hand painted tee signs but I do think a more geographically accurate map of each hole might help people with shot selection.
Other Thoughts: UPDATED REVIEW as of 6/19/19
Came and played this course a couple times while in town for a wedding and was shown the ACTUAL course layout by Shea, one of the board members of the course. He gave me a ton of history about the course and the design and it was an incredible experience.
At first I wasn't too impressed with this course but it has really grown on me and I know put it easily in the top 3 courses I have played [La Mirada and Coyote Point are the other two if you're curious]. Would honestly give this course five stars if the drainage was better and the navigation a little more straightforward. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a challenge and in interesting course!
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Too Pleased With Tyler East
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Every hole has solid and sturdy concrete tee pads for run-ups.
+ Nearly every tee area has a bench and/or giant tree stumps for sitting and a rack to hang your bag. Trash cans and flushing toilet facilities are peppered throughout the course as well. Please do not litter!
+ The fairways are easy to tell apart from the rough and OB. The course is well broken in. It is always obvious to the player which way to throw.
+ All holes have three possible pin positions, and most holes have two tee boxes.
+ Every tee sign is hand designed with loose sketches of the hole ahead, the distances and pars to the different pin positions and sometimes fun little drawings. Each hole has its own unique name, too, which is a nice touch.
+ Excellent signage. It is visible and prevalent. A player will have to try very hard to get lost here. There are signs pointing players towards the next tees and reinforcing signs for the player if the walk between holes is a bit long.
+ Some love and attention went into making this course feel as though it is a part of the landscape itself. The course looks like it was designed to incorporate the natural features instead of changing/removing them.
+ Some lovely views of nature such as giant trees, trickling streams, curious rock formations and a quiet river.
+ A few elevation changes on some holes give the course a dynamic texture.
+ Some interesting and exciting basket placement (depending on which pin position is in play, of course.)
+ This mostly wooded course with varied ceilings and tree densities challenges players to focus on accuracy rather than power.
Cons: - The player never truly feels totally immersed at this course. There are walking trails all over the place, and a few holes play near a busy road. Joggers and dog-walkers will sometimes obliviously pass right across the fairway.
- Tree stumps, rocks, and exposed roots are a problem here for most of the course. Just walk at a leisurely pace, and you should be fine.
- Only two, arguably three, wide open holes to throw at full force.
Other Thoughts: My favorite hole at this course is definitely 7. When I played this course for the very first time, I was flabbergasted by the view from the basket. The player overlooks a dam and its river far below with a very steep cliff just in front of you. The hole itself is actually quite boring and straightforward until that one point, but it's still my favorite because of its grand vista.
My least favorite hole here would have to be hole 17. It's flat. It's almost always muddy. There are no obstacles to avoid.
As for the course as a whole:
Tyler East is the kind of disc golf course that a player wishes they could experience 'for the first time' over and over again. Seeing each hole's name for the first time gets a chuckle. Viewing some of those huge trees for the first time boggles the mind. Hearing and witnessing that dam and rushing river from atop hole 7 for the first time causes a player to stop and stare. And then you can never go back to your former self again, can you? The course twists and winds. The fairways go left and right to make the course feel accessible to players of any throw style. You are led up and down through a picturesque state park. It's just as much a fun stroll as it is a disc golf course.
This is decidedly wooded disc golf, though. There are more than a few tunnel shots and many instances of tree dodging. The fairways could seem rather constricted sometimes, depending on your previous experience with throwing in the woods. Throwing out of the rough can be a nightmare, too. Some players will be instantly turned off by all that. In fairness, there are a few wide open holes and some wooded holes with enough space between the trees to feel open, but those are in the minority. Successful play will be achieved by dealing with the present situation and getting past those one or two trees that are blocking you from the rest of the fairway.
The three possible pin positions for all holes and two tee pads for most holes ensure that the course has a lot of replayability. It will keep players adapting to situations, which is a good part of what disc golf is all about and, I imagine, a reason why people keep coming back to experience Tyler East again. The basket on a simple straightforward hole today might be down and around a bend hidden amongst some trees two weeks from now.
I will admit that some of the distances and challenges could be intimidating for newer players. During today's session, hole 10's basket was atop the tree stump pyramid, hole 13's basket was at the C-location 700+ feet away, and the dense trees at holes 15 and 18 aren't exactly beginner-friendly. Not to mention holes 7 and 8 are pretty close to a cliff and a river respectively. If they do not have discs to spare, they may be hesitant to throw. So this course may not be ideal for true novices, but I still encourage a visit to this course if you enjoy scenery and a challenge.
Bottom line: Tyler East is one of the best courses on the east coast for its landscape and wooded toughness. Find any excuse to get there and bring a snack.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Unique. You'll definitely enjoy this course
Pros: Handmade Wood Tee signs with painted on hole layout (each hole is named, e.g. "serenity now", that are both funny and foreshadowing the difficulty of the hole assuming you don't throw a great shot.
Concrete Tee pads
Benches to sit on for every hole, bag holders on most holes as well.
Multiple Pin locations on every hole. Every hole has an A,B,C position with A generally being the closest and easiest while the C is the farthest and most difficult. This provides and ever changing layout for the course. This also means that if you play a round in one month, you are likely to be playing a completely different layout if you come again a month later.
The Course is well maintained (especially considering there is an entire second course and the maintenance is almost entirely volunteer work)
Challenging and Unique hole design that you don't often see at the average course. It was designed by a left handed pro (Joe Mela) but it has an almost even mix of backhand to forehand shots off of the tee.
Mostly Cart friendly (carting to hole 8 from hole 7 is the only challenging route I can think of)
"scoreboard" above the lost and found box. This will tell you what pin locations the holes are currently in. Also if you happen to lose a disc, you have a good chance of getting it back as they make calls and post lost discs to facebook weekly.
Course navigation is mostly straight forward. If you think you will have any trouble, take a picture of the course map on the back of the "scoreboard"
Bathrooms- located near the main parking lot (near hole 18s green, on the walk to hole 4 (this one is open and heated during the winter) and the third is right buy hole 15's tee pad.
Trash cans (with lids) on holes 1,3,6,11,13 and 18. They're emptied 2 times a week I believe, so they usually are not overflowing.
Scenic, with plenty of wildlife and friendly locales.
2 practice baskets near the parking lot (one around trees and the other in the open grass)
Proximity to many restaurants if you are hungry before or after the round.
Cons: Some of the teepads can be slippery from plant debris or after extended rainy periods.
Although the course navigation isn't too difficult, because of the changing pins, it can be a little more difficult for some holes if its your first time. An example of this would be hole 3. In the A position its a short par three with a long walk to the next hole. When hole 3 is in the C position, the holes plays as a par 5 and the walk is probably 400ish feet shorter.
The course is in good condition but could be better. This is likely due to the local club focusing on rebuilding Tyler Park West Course after many tree had to be taken down because of insects that were killing ash trees. I can see this improving after the west course is fully rebuilt.
The course gets crowded on weekends. Sometimes these casual players will not understand the etiquette/ customs of disc golf and the pace of play will be extremely slow. The earlier you come, the less chance you run into these problems.
There are many holes that border asphalt walking paths which increases you chances of hitting a park-goer. Be careful when throwing on these holes.
The baskets are a mix of mach 3's and mach 5's. They can can be tough to see on some holes and the mach 3's should be replaced as they don't catch as well as they used to.
If you're an intermediate to advance player, you may be disappointed by the layouts in the summer. The course is set up to "grow the sport", and is set up very easy because of that. If you want to play the course in the more difficult layout, come during the week of the Eric C. Yetter Championship cup (Pins on in the C position) or during the fall/winter.
Clueless park goers in the fairway at times, but this probably isnt unique to only Tyler park.
In the summertime a few of the holes have very long grass that marks the out of bounds. If you happen to throw your disc in this grass it will be difficult to find.
Other Thoughts: I tried to be as thorough as possible with my pros and cons.
That being said, if you love disc golf, you will probably love this course. If possible I suggest coming during a week day and to take your time to notice all of the details that make Tyler park truly unique.
Take a look at the tee signs, read the name of the hole (you'll probably laugh), drink some water on the bench and see what animals decides to pop up in the fairway. Curse your putting abilities when you decided to run one of the elevated baskets (hole 10c). Smile when you throw a perfect line through one of the tight tunnels in the woods (hole 4c). Admire the tranquil sounds of the water by the Neshaminy Creek on hole 8. Ponder on how old the gigantic tree on hole 11 is. Square up a tree and think "why couldn't the ash borer get THAT tree.Throw some weird overhand shot you've never attempted before because it's the only short you have. Hit all three mando's on your way to a birdie on hole 14c. Unload the biggest shot in your bag on hole 17. Throw a frozen rope down the tree alley on 18 or hit the first one in front of you while you think of the disappointing horn sounds from "the price is right".
Whatever you do, enjoy life, enjoy disc golf, enjoy Tyler State Park East Course...it's one of the best in Pennsylvania.
P.S. Make sure that you are indeed playing the East Course (there are two courses, the west course is still open but still needs to redesign a few holes)
Another reviewer did not understand how the pins work at this course. Each hole has three pin locations but only one basket per hole at any one time. (i.e. there are not three basket per hole).
P.P.S. If you're reading this in September/ October of 2018 almost every hole is in the C pin or will be there soon. Come test your skills in Tyler's toughest layout leading up to the courses' biggest tournament.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Tyler State Park
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Beautiful grounds, nice scenery. Good park. A lot of holes.
Cons: Not sure why this course is rated so highly. I played the first 18 which only has one basket per hole which sometimes is only the really long C baskets. All the other ones were missing. I believe they change the baskets from time to time so check what its at before you go because you can get stuck with only some or all the long C baskets. Very technical shots required and from the basket to the next tee can be a really far walk. Baskets are old, and lower then normal. Some tee pads are small.
Other Thoughts: Nice course, but not sure why this course is rated so highly. This course can be difficult for Amateur Recreational or even Intermediate level players. Friendly people around.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Very nice course but limited in diversity.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Really nice park. Great to have two courses on the same property. Nice to have trails and other activities on the premise,. however, this also limits the options available for disc golf. The course can't really open up based on the landscape. With the walking trails weaving through the course, it forces "technical" shots and really nothing else. Feels like luck plays too much of a factor compared to other great courses I have played. There is a great sense of history at the course with the enormous trees and age of the park. Really enjoyed my rounds at this course.
Cons: I obviously mentioned some of the shortcomings in the pros but I will quickly review. Great course but many of the holes feel less skill than luck. Also, a fairly short course in terms of distance and even the holes with length are a little janky. Would 100% recommend the park if ever in the area but be prepared to have many good shots penalized based on the limited options the course provides.
Other Thoughts: Wonderful park. Very cool setting. Amazing, huge trees and a nearby creek/river really create an awesome sense of ambiance. Great course for midrange and putter throwers. Fast discs that are a hair off-line will be deeply penalized.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Tyler Park East DGC
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -great course design, utilizes the terrain brilliantly
-very good & whimsical tee signs/hole names
-concrete tees (2 sets on most holes), modern baskets
-challenging for disc golfers of all ability levels
-navigation is decent, but the course map was a huge help...without it I might still be out there
-very helpful, friendly locals, with a shop/tent set up in the parking lot
Cons: -not really any...it was a bit crowded on a Saturday afternoon, which you'd expect from a course of this quality
Other Thoughts: Took the 25 minute ride from Trenton to play the East course in between my kid's soccer games this afternoon, and I'm glad I did. After reading the (mostly) stellar reviews, my expectations were high, and Tyler Pk East did not disappoint. The lines on some of the holes are challenging, but it forces you to be very thoughtful about where you can attack, and where you need to lay up. Outstanding course design & maintainence are evident here...my only regret is that I did not have time to play the West course!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Anticipating The Next Hole!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pennsylvania's top rated course, Tyler East did not disappoint. It plays through a wooded park and uses the elevation to the maximum. The engineering and landscaping work that has been done here is amazing in both the amount and the quality of this work. The trails, bridges, T-pads, basket placements, retaining walls, signs have all been given first class treatment. Maybe trailing only Bryant Park in Minneapolis in this regard. Then again, maybe not.
Throughout the entire park are stacks of cut up wood. The disc golf course uses these stacks to create all kinds of interesting barriers and obstacles. But it still looks like about a thousand cord of firewood going to waste. Doesn't anyone in Pennsylvania need firewood?
The Tyler Park East course starts at one end of the parking lot while the Tyler Park West course starts at the other end. There is a large kiosk which shows which pin position every hole is in. Tyler Park East holes are numbered 1-18 while the West course is numbered 19-36.
Everything on the East course has been done first class. The concrete tee pads are large, well landscaped and pretty to look at. The baskets are Mach II with the hole number on the blue number plate above. The signs show three distances and have an indicator underneath which shows not only the basket placement but the par for that placement, as well. This is important as the difference between an A placement and the C placement is sometimes 300' or more.
After about 10 or 12 holes, I was ready to anoint an easy 5.0 rating on the East course. I had just been totally blown away by the beauty of the course above the dam and river and of course, by holes like # 5, the Cattle Chute hole with it's 8 foot wide chute you need to throw through and especially by hole # 8. The hole with two incredibly cool choices for basket placements. Today, it was in the B placement tucked down against the side of hillside. But I think the other placement up above that right on the edge would be so cool and risky. But somewhere towards the last holes, the course lost it's luster for me. I thought many of these final holes were quite pedestrian in nature and I wasn't overly thrilled with 17 and 18, both just long, open throws over expanse of grass.
Cons: Very little, it's hard to be too critical of the # 1 rated course in the state. But I'll try to find something. OK, I wasn't too excited about the last two holes, just long, open throws over grassy area.
If I'm looking for something, I'd love to see a large course sign at the beginning.
Other Thoughts: I loved the natural beauty of the course up above the dam and the river. There was a steady stream of folks out walking this morning, even though it was a fairly blustery day. The amenities here are great. Especially in that middle group of holes, I found myself eagerly anticipating what I would discover both at the tee box and as I walked down the fairway looking to see what wonderful position the basket might be set in. Although the windy was blowing pretty strong up on the plateau area, it was fairly calm down in the woods. Another aspect I enjoyed here was with the baskets all in the "B" positions today, the course was not overwhelming difficult. Save those"C" positions for the big boy tournaments.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: The holes have some variation but for the most part it is just tunnel shot after tunnel shot. It is a difficult course that will even challenge the best players.
Cons: Definitely not the best course in Pa the signs leave a lot to be desired, the course is confusing and difficult to navigate, long and rough walks between some holes. Baskets are very hard to see even on a sunny day. A lot of work needs to be done before this could even be considered the best in PA
Other Thoughts: A lot of pins are elevated and it gets annoying
2 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Tyler State Park is a historic Park that I have wanted to play for several years. The Park is beautiful and having a 2 course complex is really nice.
This course has a good mix of shots, terrain, length, elevation, and challenge. I found myself attacking some holes while playing safe on others. I enjoyed the risk reward aspect of this course especially on the holes with danger.
Cons: The course was overall underwhelming. I did not appreciate the overgrowth and insane amount of deadfall and branches all over the course. The stacks of logs were cool in some spots but grew to be annoying in many areas. The hole closure was also disappointing but it sounds like this will be resolved in the future.
Course navigation was difficult in some areas and the course could certainly use some additional signage.
Other Thoughts: I was excited to play the #1 course in PA but felt that the course came up short in wow factor and overall appeal. If I were to recommend a bucket list course in PA, Tyler would fall somewhere between 3 and 4 and I've only played 4 courses in the state.
The history of this park and some of the unique features make this course cool so its still on my list of courses to play if your in the area but I wouldn't go out of my way to play it again.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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