Wild & Wonderful West Virginia
11 Helpful / 0 Not
- well maintained, good tee pads (hard & level with turf surface), good baskets (Discatcher), good tee signs
- fun, tight wooded golf
- commendable use of lots of elevation
- beautiful natural golf in West Virginia
- rough is rough
- could use more benches
- relatively easy to lose discs, especially on some long downhills with heavy rough
- relatively long walks 1) from #9 to #10 (signage could be better; e.g. one near SBM's #9 baskets facing toward the road) and 2) from #18's basket to course start
A QUICK NOTE ABOUT THE SETH BURTON MEMORIAL DISC GOLF COMPLEX: The funding behind the courses is provided in memory of Seth Burton, a young local who passed tragically but whose memory is alive and well. The courses have been around for years, but they are still loved and benefit from locals' (including Seth's dad, Phil Burton) tender loving care. These are courses that the local community takes pride in, and this shows at every visit. Course condition is always good, whether in the peak of summer growth or immediately before the annual A-tier. I've recently moved to the Morgantown area, and I've adopted these as my home courses. Each course has its particular character, and I've enjoyed the distinction of one manicured and more open (SBM DGC) and one wild and super tight (OC).
Orange Crush is the course away from the park road, a hike through the woods rather than a park course. It is rugged with significant elevation change and wooded hillside used throughout. It has that desirable combination of natural beauty (yes, it's Wild & Wonderful West Virginia) and enjoyable, technical disc golf. It's exhausting but a blast.
BEAUTY: One of the first things I noticed is that pictures don't do it justice. Many course photos were taken from late fall to pre-spring, so the green beauty of the course may surprise you -- all 18 holes have a beautiful leafy canopy. Almost every time I've been here, I've seen deer (including some fawns and a buck) that seem to regard disc golfers as part of their natural habitat. My nephew joined me for a round and carried a poor box turtle for at least 5 holes before I convinced him to leave it at a nice spring. In short, being here is relaxing and refreshing despite the inevitable exhaustion. It's also far away from the park road and park paths for the most part, so there is practically no interaction with other park users, and little chance of throwing on someone.
WOODS THEME: As for the golf, it is tight, technical, and challenging. Holes can be tight enough to feel close to "poke and pray" golf, but they are kept just open enough to be reasonably challenging without being frustrating. Add to this the well-maintained nature of the course, and it's one of the best woods courses I've played.
ELEVATION: As the course is basically on the hillside sloping down away from the park, all but maybe two holes use elevation extremely well, especially from the long tees. As with a lot of these hilly courses, the more memorable shots tend to be the downhills. The back nine had the most memorable holes, with #10 (distance downhill tunnel), #11 (tight, blind downhill), #14 (technical downhill across small creek), and #16 (initially open into steep downhill tunnel to baskets nestled among creek bed) being possibly the four most memorable holes on the course. #2's downhill approach to the green and #4's steep uphill and are also great uses of elevation. I'll stop there, but the use of elevation is commendable here.
Any iteration of the course's 2 permanent baskets and 2 permanent tees will be fun, but you have to play from the long tees to get the full Orange Crush experience. Every time I walk up to #10 long I get the exhilaration of trying to execute a nose-down drive, lacing perfectly through the tunnel. When I walk up to #11, #14, and #16 from the long tees, I simply laugh at myself and choose my shot with a "here goes!" and "hope I can find my disc!"
While reviewing past tournament scores, it appeared to me that it is easier to score well on Orange Crush than on the upper Seth Burton course. Perhaps that's because there's less OB, or maybe because there's less distance, or maybe the pars are a bit more generous. At any rate, it feels more challenging to me, while playing, simply because of the technicality of most holes.
Rating: I'm going with phenomenal (4.5). You'll be hard pressed to find a course with such a good combination of woods/technicality and elevation. It keeps me coming back... get out here!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Disc golf heaven, West Virginia...
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Seth Burton Memorial Disc Golf Course in the 112 acre Morris Park includes two championship level courses with 36 permanent tees and 36 permanent baskets. This place is like four different levels of seriously challenging disc golf. This review is for Orange Crush, which is the newer of the two courses.
Morris Park reminded me of Rosedale Park in Kansas City, which has an upper course, where the people are, and a lower course, where there is solitude and more technically challenging disc golf, plus elevation. But Morris Park is in West Virginia and that means the mountains and trees are more formidable.
It was breathtaking to stand in the forest of Orange Crush on the side of a mountain and watch a herd of deer go by while I'm throwing plastic. Most of my disc golf experience has been in Southern California where I live, and being here inspired me to write the below lyrics to John Denver, Bill Danoff, and Taffy Nivert's famous West Virginia song. I was in a long line at the bank the other day and started writing this and had some fun with it, but I'll delete it if I get too many thumbs down votes (unless Tim deletes it first).
The tees are great. The baskets are great. The tee signs are great. The layout is great. This is really a great course by design and care. The next tee signs are great; this cannot be underestimated when you're going through a forest and see clearly marked red signs with arrows for both the short tee and the long, which are usually in different directions. For the most part this makes navigation very good here, except for after the 9th hole, which I address under CONS.
The back nine of Orange Crush has several signature holes which throw down a hill in narrow fairways and dogleg either to the left or the right.
Cons: The biggest negative I can come up with for Orange Crush is that it is in Fairmont, WV and that it is so remote that most disc golfers will never experience this beauty of a course. But the fact that it's so remote could also be viewed as a positive depending on your perspective. Although there were pedestrians walking through the upper level course none of them ever came into play on either course. But in the Seth Burton Course you need to be more conscious of them than your are on Orange Crush.
A more realistic CON is that the Orange Crush mountain forest is particular rough and forces many "poke and pray" shots that can easily roll away. I had a birdie turn into a double bogey from a horrific roll, but I suppose that's disc golf and I shouldn't complain.
Another complaint some may have here is that the rough can get really rough. But when I was there it was not that bad. And considering the effort to keep a remote area pleasant for disc golfers it's easy to sympathize with this problem.
After the ninth hole on Orange Crush I got lost and ended up on Seth Burton's tenth tee. This is not bad since mixing up the two courses turned out to be a nice mix. The baskets are orange at Orange Crush and yellow for Seth Burton so I knew I was lost, but played the back nine of Seth Barton after the front nine of Orange Crush then did it the other way around for a second round. There actually are signs leading you from the ninth basket to the tenth tee, but I missed them. And if you see them you'll realize that it's a LONG walk down the park road on the upper level to get to the tenth tee of Orange Crush.
I wish there were a PDF version of the course map that you could zoom in and see detail better. The map on this site is a picture of the sign near hole one and it's very blurry on my phone when I zoom in and therefore not that helpful.
Other Thoughts: When I saw the Seth Burton Memorial sign I didn't give it a second thought, since I figured it must be some world war II veteran from West Virginia or something like that. After I wrote much of the below lyrics I decided to research who Seth Burton was and it caused me to add a verse about the high school athlete who was lost in a car accident and his parents created Orange Crush in his memory. Wow. It slowed me down on the song, which started out as fun, but anyway here ya go...
Disc golf heaven, West Virginia
Orange Crush mountain
Rollaways will happen
At Seth Burton, There are many trees
Narrow the fairways
Discs fly'n in the breeze
Seth Burton, flick a disc
On a course which is strong
West Virginia, Throw some plastic
Flick a disc at Seth Burton
There are memories of Seth Burton
From a high school that lost a man so young
Now it's disc golf, thanks to his parents
Mamba on the mountain, tear drop in my eye
Seth Burton, flick a disc
On a course which is strong
West Virginia, Throw some plastic,
Flick a disc at Seth Burton
I lost a Beast in the forest and it calls me
I find a Mercy* but it's not the disc that I flicked
And driving down ten's fairway I get a feeling
That my Mamba might find a way, find a way!
Seth Burton, flick a disc
On a course which is strong
West Virginia, Throw some plastic,
Flick a disc at Seth Burton
* If it was your Latitude64 Mercy I found then send me a message I'll get it back to you somehow. There was no name or number on it.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great hike
It's on the side of a mountain
Cons: Disc eater
It's on the side of a mountain.
Other Thoughts: We stopped here on a road trip for a break and some exercise. It took us 3 hours to play, and probably an hour of that was spent looking for discs. The fairways are rough, and the rough is often Bush.
Today discs were lost by losing sight, off a tree, or just the thick rough, poison ivy, and brambles eating them.
The "fairway" is a foot path. On some holes, if you don't land on that foot path, you're in 2 ft ferns, Bush, briar, tall grass, possum ivy. Or down a mountain in 2ft ferns, friar, Bush, etc.
Control is key on this course, as there are no open holes. It's all woods with narrow lanes to put discs, and some big trouble if you miss.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Great course! Well designed holes with two tee pads and two baskets per hole. Perfect mix of terrain and shots. The scenerie is also great
Cons: Only bad part is the walk. It's a long course that moves up and down hill. However it's good exercise and still worth it
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course challenges the most physically and mentally fit people, as it offers steep slopes both up and down, and tricky lines through the dense forest. It is quite fair however, as the park is very clean and well kept. You will find yourself on an adventure through the hills of West Virginia, and then back at the safety of your car. With two tee pads and two baskets, red and orange, this course offers a different round everytime. I played from shorts to long (orange) and found it to be quite fitting for a rec/adv player. The course challenges all the shots in your bag, with rolling hillsides and sharp turns. You really feel with nature, in fact, I saw a deer not 10 feet from my disc! The baskets are very catchy, and are well placed to add for difficult putts and risk/reward situations. Course signage was great, signs directed you towards the next tee, and the basket if it was out of sight! I'm No hole felt the exact same, and I absolutely loved it.
Cons: For one, the tee pads were not the best. The shorts were mostly either gravel or natural. I did not have any real trouble, but concrete would go a long way. Also, it does not loop right back to where you started, but with a little poking around you will find your way. The course is not for the feint of heart, so bring lots of water and snacks, so you can maybe play twice ;)
Other Thoughts: This is an ideal course for the disc golf junkie. You will not be disappointed if you play this course in any of the 4 formats available. You can pair it with Seth Burton Memorial, and this is a top destination. Only an hour and a half outside pittsburgh, this is truly a gem.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: If you want to challenge your game at the utmost level of extreme disc golf then this is the place. You aren't given any breaks here but, the course is very well maintained. So the only difficulty is the course! Lot's of hill climbs and descents, almost 300 hundred feet of elevation change!
Other Thoughts: The distance between holes 9 and 10 is an easy walk on a very flat road, 2 minutes tops.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Rush to Crush
Pros: Orange Crush plays through the edges of Morris Park's wild, wooded, mountainous feeling hillsides. There are cool DISCatcher baskets with orange rims, and occasionally they are boosted off the ground on block pillars (1, 8). Getting to the pin position isn't always easy, because trees abound throughout the course. Gravel tees were serviceable, and short and long were available. I played the long tees, and actually shot 2 under par (63), according to the scorecard I printed. One of my all time best first rounds at any course. Tight fairways, and sloping fairways are tricky to negotiate. Distance on a number of holes is a bit longer than average, and terrain is not exactly favorable for kind skips, rolls, or bounces. I liked hole number 8 and the pedestal basket there. The back nine has great holes in succession. 10 was killer, and 11 was really fun, also. Steep downhill drop in elevation on hole hole 14, 377', fun drive unless you catch a tree. There are not any holes you can sleep on here, but there are ways to get it done.
Cons: Late August afternoon heat was getting up there. Hiking this one took a good bit of energy. There is some serious rough in spots, and bad bounces can really cost you. The tees are not premium, but work ok. Dogs must be leashed. Parking was kind of weird.
Other Thoughts: I thought every hole of the Orange Crush course is good or great, and the is another 18 course on site. Seth Burton Memorial DGC is also highly rated (with red baskets), I regret I didn't stay and play it as well. Both course layouts are convenient 9 hole loops, allowing for mixing and matching. I might say I liked the back nine a better on Orange Crush. Morris Park is a double course, bonus disc golf destination.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Superbly Technical and Maintained
Pros: -Located in a very well maintained park that contains multiple pavilions, a few children's play areas, a walking/running path around the park, and hiking paths through the woods. The course is very conveniently located next to Seth Burton Memorial. Both courses circle around the park, with Seth Burton circling counter-clockwise directly around the park and Orange Crush circling clockwise around the park lower down the mountain
-The course is in a gorgeous setting
-Signage is spectacular here, could not have been any better in my opinion. I'd like to see a course this heavily wooded match the ease of navigation that's present at Orange Crush. Tee signs are in great shape and include pars and lengths from both tees and for both tee positions. They also very accurately display where the pin is which can be helpful on some of the holes. After every hole, signs point you to both the long and the short tees for the next hole. Very easy to navigate with these signs.
-Tees are gravel but feel great as the gravel is tightly packed and they are comfortably long and wide. Two sets (white and blue) for each hole. Multiple tees give great variety, their is a significant difference in the level of difficulty between blue and white. There are a few holes where the blue tee is simply 20 feet behind the white, but at least half of the holes have the blue and white tees in completely different spots, giving different looks and variety.
-Baskets are DISCatcher, in great shape, and with an orange band to make them much easier to spot in the thick woods. There aren't any real death putt scenarios here, but pin positions are thoughtfully and technically placed. Holes 1 and 8 are sometimes set on top of old stone fireplaces depending on the pin position, which is a cool feature. Pin positions are often and routinely changed.
-Benches for almost every hole
-The technicality of this course is tremendous, and you will experience a great variety of unique and fun holes. Great importance is placed on your drive, as there are no give-away easy upshots. While most of the holes aren't very long, you will be greatly challenged on pretty much every throw between the elevation changes and the tight, heavily wooded, and twisting fairways. The course is very heavily wooded, and while every hole is a great challenge, there are no holes that seem unfair - every fairway is very well defined and you get a fantastic shot selection throughout the course. Much thought goes into each throw - very technical!
-A great deal of care has gone into this course, and the maintenance is tremendous. I have never played here when the rough was bad, even though it is in the thick woods and could easily be that way without care. Every time I play here, the rough is even more reduced and sticks and weeds have been chopped down and burned. This makes it much easier to find discs. Whoever takes care of this course probably deserves a raise.
-Located right off I-79 (less than 1/2 mile)
Cons: -There isn't a lot of room for parking on a crowded day (usually just weekend afternoons is when this might be a problem)
-No bathrooms near the beginning of the course/where you park. When you leave the woods and walk from 9-10, there will be a bathroom on your right.
-Since most of the holes slope down from right to left, bad kicks off trees could have you discs sailing far down on a few holes (most notably 1, 4, and 6)
-I would give the course itself a 5 if it had a few challenging but more open holes out of the woods. Sometimes, this course can really beat you up and it would be refreshing to play a few more open holes. The wooded holes are that good to deserve a 5, the course could just use a little more variety to be perfect. If you want variety in your round, play the front 9 here and then the back 9 of Seth Burton - or vice versa - since they circle in opposite directions around the park.
Other Thoughts: This is a very fun, challenging, and unique course. This is woods' golf at it's best. You feel as if you are deep into the woods for most of the course, but the park road is not too far off. Be prepared to see wildlife here. I've never seen any snakes but see deer every time I play here. Last time I saw three packs of deer on three different holes. This is a heart-pumping hike in the woods as well, bring lots of water.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Brutal but Amazing.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: In the interest of cutting to the chase: this is an amazing course in a gorgeous setting that you should play if given at least a hint of a chance to do so. It also makes for a brutal round of disc golf.
Now, for a bit more detail.
Woods is the name of the game here, as every hole is played in the forest. While fairway paths are often tight and unforgiving, I was surprised at the variety of possible lines and shots available if I looked beyond the obvious lane. Some of these ended up being safer than those the hole was suggesting. To have this kind of shot variety in such a densely wooded environment is a testament to the design and maintenance of the course - the rough certainly seems to me to have been thinned out to allow for multiple routes and relatively reasonable shots from off the fairway (YMMV here - there's definitely the potential for some nasty lies). This variety was a pleasant surprise based on my expectations. Even absurd shanks landing far off the beaten path - which will almost undoubtedly happen - often allow for ways back into play if you're gutsy and capable enough. These chances to redeem yourself lead to some potentially epic upshots that can turn every hole into a memorable experience. One small example: I hit my first tomahawk ever as a desperate attempt to get out of a particularly bad spot on a descending hole on the back nine (16, I believe) and was rewarded with an improbably reasonable putt for par. I still can't believe I pulled that shot off.
In my opinion, the difficulty of this course can't be over-emphasized, but it nevertheless avoids being unfair. I think the uniqueness of the holes, whose strong character proves to be more interesting than just blandly difficult, coupled with the beauty of the environment, are what have prevented my rounds here from feeling like the beatings they were. Plus, there's enough variation in lengths and density of trees throughout the course that good scores are often possible as long as you take advantage of the available opportunities. Still, pars almost always feel well-earned.
There's about as much variety as you could hope for considering this course plays completely in the woods. The holes feature a gamut of lengths, elevation, degrees of woodedness, and tight versus more open windows. The alternate pin locations and multiple tees only add to this, though I can't imagine playing this course from the blues at some points.
Great signage makes navigation a snap, which is quite an accomplishment at some points.
While the tees are gravel, they're so tightly packed that they might as well be concrete. Footing is very sure, even on holes with dramatic elevation changes. Factor in the fact that the forest canopy is dense enough to block out even a moderate rain - I've played here while it was raining and hardly felt it at all - and I'd consider these tees to be very reliable.
The course is about as well-tended as it could be. Debris and overgrowth have been minimized on my visits, and the rough has been well thinned out. Some of the baskets near slopes feature barriers to prevent drastic rollaways, which can be very welcome.
I had an awesome, lengthy encounter with a group of deer the first time I was out here that made a memorable impact on me. It seemed very fitting for the forested environment, and only added to the awesomeness of this course.
Cons: The only true criticism I could levee on the course's design is its lack of any holes outside of the woods. With Seth Burton available, the imperative for this is greatly lessened (and the reviewer who suggested alternating between the courses every nine holes provides a great way to alleviate this problem), but within the context of Orange Crush itself, more variety could only contribute to the awesomeness. That said, I think OC is unique and varied enough to overcome a lack of a change of pace on this front.
The difficulty is high enough to be a deal breaker for some: there's a lot of room for frustration and repeated tree-hitting, especially by newbies. There are few if any easy holes on this course, at least not for a 850ish rated player such as myself, and even on the easier holes there's plenty of opportunity for disaster to strike. Again, I think the course's beauty and intriguing challenges make the difficulty enjoyable rather than frustrating, but I can see someone who is hung up on their score getting very downtrodden over the course of a round.
The tight, technical nature of this course's lines places a heavy emphasis on midranges, especially neutral ones. I've rarely thrown drivers here. Not a big deal, but the course does rule out a certain portion of my bag from the get-go.
Navigating this course is a workout; it's a hike through the woods as much as a round of disc golf. This could easily be a pro - it was for me - but it's worth noting that not everyone can comfortably play a round here. Be sure to bring lots of water, especially in warmer weather.
Whatever the strength of these criticisms, they're ultimately minor in light of how unique an experience this course provides.
Other Thoughts: In general, the front nine play a little bit friendlier than the back nine, and have some real birdie opportunities (such as 3 and 8), depending on pin placement.
Overall, I think this is a unique and special course that I would encourage anyone to play. If you're worried about the difficulty, just keep the competitiveness to a minimum and focus on enjoying the experience.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: nice layout, signs on every tee, long and short tee option,nice quiet park right off highway!
Cons: disc loss very possible,
Other Thoughts: my friend and I were on a road trip to mt morris for the motocross,had some extra time before the race started soooo of course search for a disc golf course! This course was so easy to find (watch the sharp turn into the park) loved the front nine THEN we found out what the orange crush was all about! Every hole was tough! tight! down the hill,up the hill(a good workout) disc hard to find with all the growth so staying on the fairway is a must! all in all the toughest course I have ever played! If you are in the area you got to check it out!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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