Suggestions for Weeklong Roadtrip Through VA-MD-PA-NY-NJ-DE

Give your questions or comments on your favorite or least favorite courses, locations, etc.

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Postby tim » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:51 pm

Some notes on the courses:

Overall, if I were handing out awards, the most enjoyable courses to play were Jordan Creek and Tyler State Park, both in PA – they are both beautiful, incredibly well maintained, with minimal thorns/briars, great shot variety and a good balance of challenge and fun. Jordan Creek has the more memorable holes of the two; Tyler gets extra points for incredible navigability with superb signage and great flow throughout the course.

The course I would most like to have in my backyard is Warwick, simply because the range of play options with the dual teepads and baskets on every hole makes it one of the best courses in the country for practicing every aspect of your game. Playing Warwick every day will hone your skills like few other courses.

Most beautiful course is an easy win for Nockamixon. It would also win for “course I would most like to play a tournament at.” I can't say enough good things about Nockamixon, so I won't try -- you have to see it to believe it. But if you're prone to any ankle problems, wear hiking boots -- lots and lots of rocks and your feet will thank you.

Most challenging course would be Iron Hill – brutal. My understanding talking with the locals is that the course record so far is a 61… and they’re making the course longer. I shot a 72 and felt like I was probably playing 980-level golf. I’d guess SSA out there is ~ a 69, and there are more places there to blow-up and take a snowman or worse than any other course we played. Iron Hills will crush your mental game if you’re not careful… I don’t think Quaker’s Challenge is quite as high an SSA, but it has a similar “@#$@#$%@%” factor for your mental game.

Most fun/unusual goes to the mini-basket course at Codorus, with Campgaw as a runner-up. Playing with minis was great fun, and the only course the entire time my brother beat me at. He’s just better at throwing minis than I am, but it was a great time. Campgaw is a blast because every hole is elevation, with most holes being birdie-able, but lots of rocks, roll-aways, fast-greens, crazy shots present throughout the course. It’s in its normal layout right now, but we went off-course to throw a few off the top of the ski-slope and that is a blast to throw – never had that chance before. But even the normal layout is great to play.

Other notes worth mentioning: camping is pretty decent at Tinicum – just call the parks department on Monday or Tuesday and they’ll reserve a campsite for you. Ground is flat and root-free, and you wake up right next to the course. It’s great to wake up, grab your bag and start a round. So props to Tinicum for camping convenience – though make sure to call the parks in advance, because it is hard to track down a ranger at 9:30 p.m. to explain you want a campsite. The course isn't stellar, but is a great deal of fun -- mostly flat with slight hills, big trees and a beautiful setting, with a good flow and course design. It feels like a John Houck, Austin, TX, course to me -- which isn't a bad thing.

Quaker’s Challenge has the best opening hole – probably 280’ forward and 80’+ uphill, beautiful alley with rocks the whole way. Virtually unreachable, but a truly impressive opening shot. The course will be great someday, but right now it needs some breaking-in – underbrush is devastating and nasty, and there are a lot of points where the “fairways” are anything but. I am a masochist when it comes to tough courses, but having a good shot get an unlucky bounce and getting scratched to pieces in the undergrowth trying to find it, makes playing a much less enjoyable experience. Especially when that happens every third hole. Overall, Quaker’s Challenge lived up to its name, but wasn’t as enjoyable as the other courses due to the severity of the undergrowth – but I can’t wait to see it again in a few years to see how it develops.

And thoughts on any courses not yet mentioned specifically: Codorus is a great place to play, but it was overshadowed by many of the other courses during the week. I like the red loop much better than the blue loop – great variety on the red, and the XC holes offer a great challenge. The blue loop in contrast, starts to feel pretty repetitive with much less interesting holes and a lot less variety. If you’re playing there, prioritize the red loop as the better course – especially from the pro tees. I think the blue loop would have played better from the short tees, since I think it would have created more birdie-runs on the normal 18, and would have allowed the longer additional 9 holes to feel more distinctive.

Lehigh Valley is a beautiful place to play – very much like a golf course, with some gorgeous holes, but it didn’t feel like the designers had taken full advantage of the potential of the land. It’s a great course, but could be a better one with a few of the baskets moved around. On a continuum, it lies somewhere between Nockamixon and Jordan Creek – less beautiful/challenging than Nockamixon and less fun than Jordan Creek. Still an amazing course that would be the jewel of almost any other city, but Allentown has such unbelievable golf that Lehigh doesn’t feel like it quite reaches its full potential.

I may also be biased and bear Lehigh Valley a little bit of a grudge because it consumed my favorite Wizard (the only disc I lost this trip). If anyone finds a white, medium-stiff Wizard on the short hole adjacent to the railroad ties (maybe hole 7?), please, please let me know. My name and e-mail are on it. I threw, not realizing how unbelievably nasty the underbrush is just left of the hole. I threw a RHBH putter shot off the teebox, it skipped down the railroad ties, and I think it fell through to parts unknown. 15 minutes of searching provided no luck. So let me know. The Allentown disc golf courses are so beautiful, I’d be tempted to visit in person to reclaim the disc and play golf there again.

If I were to give a recommendation for a single best disc golf destination for a person, I’d have to say: go to Allentown. Between Lehigh, Jordan, Nockamixon, Tinicum, you have an unbelievable couple days of golf. Add in that Tyler is also nearby, along with other PA courses, and you could fill up a week, easy, and never go more than an hour or so from a home base in Allentown. Huge, huge props to the clubs that designed and maintained those courses.

Thanks again to you all for your help. If you have questions about any of the courses or the roadtrip logistics, let me know and I’ll be glad to help in any way that I can.
Flick long and prosper.
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Scores from the trip

Postby tim » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:34 am

We didn't play great -- some of that is just seeing pretty much every course for the first time -- but I wanted to post up scores for posterity:

Codorus, Red Course, Pro Tees
1-9, tim 26, michael 30
10-18, tim 25, michael 32
CC1-CC9, tim 35, michael 41

Codorus, Blue Course, Pro Tees
1-9, tim 30, michael 32
10-18, tim 28, michael 28
X1-X9, tim 37, michael 38

Codorus, Mini Course
1-9long tim 36, michael 30
1-9long tim 31, michael 30
1-9short tim 27, michael 28

Pinchot - Quakers Challenge (mostly in long pins, except for 3 holes)
1-9, tim 34, michael 36
10-18, tim 37, michael 40

Jordan Creek (Allentown, PA) - played two rounds
1-9, tim 30, michael 31
10-18, tim 30, michael 30
1-9, tim 26, michael 33
10-18, tim 29, michael 33

Little Lehigh Parkway (Allentown, PA) - brother was feeling sick and walked this course, so no score for him
1-9, tim 28
10-18, tim 29

Nockamixon - heavy rain, so walk-through with putters for both of us, no scores.

Tinicum (Erwinna, PA) -- played 27 holes
1-9, tim 30, michael 33
10-18, tim 28, michael 30
1-9, tim 26, michael 32

Campgaw (Mahwah, NJ) - played twice, it's in normal layout
1-9, tim 26, michael 30
10-18, tim 28, michael 30
1-9, tim 25, michael 28
10-18, tim 29, michael 30

Warwick, NY - Silver to Silver layout -- played twice
1-9, tim 26, michael 33
10-18, tim 27, michael 26
1-9, tim 24, michael 30
10-18, tim 28, michael 29

Warwick, NY - Blue to Blue layout
1-9, tim 36, michael 42
10-18, tim 37, michael 38

Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA) - played twice
1-9, tim 26, michael 28
10-18, tim 29, michael 35
19-27, tim 30, michael 31
1-9, tim 28, michael 27
19-27, tim 31, michael 36
10-18, tim 28, michael 32

Iron Hill, DE - pins in long layout, pro tees
1-9, tim 33, michael 39
10-18, tim 39, michael 47

that's the wrap. lots of fun.
Flick long and prosper.
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Postby ericdmb » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:29 am

Thanks for the re-cap

Being from PA, I feel very lucky to have all of these courses so close to me! I get to play Tyler multiple times per week and have played all the others you did and I must agree - great times in the LV!

Campgaw in the Mighty Gaw layout is a beast! too bad you did not have the opportunity to play it - you throw from the top of the mountain twice!
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Postby deaddisc » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:05 pm

I played part of the Might yGaw layout with a friend a couple years ago and I have to say that I was mightily disappointed with it. It felt like they just put 2 of the normal layout holes together and called it Mighty. IMO of course but in all honesty i wished I had just played Warwick for another day, that place is amazing
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Postby Solty » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:19 pm

ericdmb wrote:Thanks for the re-cap

Being from PA, I feel very lucky to have all of these courses so close to me! I get to play Tyler multiple times per week and have played all the others you did and I must agree - great times in the LV! !


I'm glad too i'm only 45 minutes from these courses as well :)

PDGA C Tier @ Jordan Creek - Sept 20th
PDGA(Sanctioning Pending) @ Lehigh Parkway - Oct 18

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Postby plastic_fondler » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:32 pm

Nice...I should be the area for work then....might have to hit Lehigh Parkway up!
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Postby roadkill » Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:33 pm

Tim

Thanks for the update. I pretty much concur with most of your reviews. I've always felt we have a lot of great challenging courses in this area and I'm glad to hear someone from outside our region has similar appreciation for our courses.

Enjoyed the story about you parking the 438' hole at Jordan and then your brother acing it in front of the other golfers. That'll be memorable for a long time.

I'm impressed with how much golf you actually got in. Btw my favorite layout at Warwick is Silver tees to Blue baskets, next time you should try some mix and match combos there.

I just figured out who you are and I'll be seeing you at Paw Paw next weekend. By your scores you posted I figured you were between 960 and 970 rated and sure enough saw you're at 967. I'll be playing Masters (get to play the Woodshed twice, yes!). I just hope the weather is as nice as it was last year.
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Postby jist313 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:03 am

Tim,
I glad you had a blast playing the tour, as i am sure any discgolfer would love to get to play all the courses you two were able to. I thought it was you when we met in the parking lot at Tyler that had posted about the tour. If you or Mike are ever wanting to come up and play any of the courses again I would like to join you. If you can make it come up for the Yetter cup on Sept 13, 14.
Eric
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Postby tim » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:53 am

roadkill wrote:Tim

Thanks for the update. I pretty much concur with most of your reviews. I've always felt we have a lot of great challenging courses in this area and I'm glad to hear someone from outside our region has similar appreciation for our courses.

Enjoyed the story about you parking the 438' hole at Jordan and then your brother acing it in front of the other golfers. That'll be memorable for a long time.

I'm impressed with how much golf you actually got in. Btw my favorite layout at Warwick is Silver tees to Blue baskets, next time you should try some mix and match combos there.

I just figured out who you are and I'll be seeing you at Paw Paw next weekend. By your scores you posted I figured you were between 960 and 970 rated and sure enough saw you're at 967. I'll be playing Masters (get to play the Woodshed twice, yes!). I just hope the weather is as nice as it was last year.


I look forward to seeing you out there this weekend. Hopefully a lot of other folks here will make it out to WVO. I'm hoping that all the recent golf will help my chances at playing well at PawPaw -- some of the courses we hit were even harder and more tree-lined than PawPaw will ever be, which is just crazy.

I encourage anyone with a masochistic streak to start planning for a trip to Iron Hill next spring, once the course is a little more ironed out and the spring undergrowth is in full flourish. I'm expecting it will be an SSA ~72 when they finish, which is just sick, and would put it comfortably among the top-five hardest courses in the country.

At Warwick, we wanted time to play more layouts, but by that day, my brother was fading hard -- we'd both been sick that week -- and he wasn't really up to another, harder layout. So on the third round, we decided to go with the Silver-to-Silver again... not just because it was shortest, but also because it was one of the few chances the entire trip to replay a course layout to see if we learned anything the first time through.

At some point, as much as I love new holes, there is a whole different satisfaction in getting to replay a course a few times and "win" against holes that destroyed you the first time through. The downside of a whirlwind trip is that you don't get enough chances at that type of satisfaction.

That's one of the main reasons we replayed Jordan Creek. We both liked that course immensely the first time through -- it was at a level where we both had the skill level to enjoy it (some of the harder, more wooded courses/layouts were a little too challenging for my brother to fully enjoy). So we made a point of playing it twice. I improved more than Michael did, but we still both had a blast playing there...

From talking with locals and thinking through Warwick, I have to agree that I think Silver-to-Blue would definitely be the most fun layout. So I am sorry I missed it, but I'll be back. The fact that it's only ~5 hours from me makes me hopeful I'll be out there for big tournaments in the future.
Flick long and prosper.
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Postby tim » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:14 am

jist313 wrote:Tim,
I glad you had a blast playing the tour, as i am sure any discgolfer would love to get to play all the courses you two were able to. I thought it was you when we met in the parking lot at Tyler that had posted about the tour. If you or Mike are ever wanting to come up and play any of the courses again I would like to join you. If you can make it come up for the Yetter cup on Sept 13, 14.
Eric


Eric,
Just wanted to touch base and thank you and Hobie (Hoby? Hobey? Hobbie?) for your great intro to Tyler. It really was an impressive place, and I can't wait to see some of the long layouts out there.

It's looking like there is a good chance I will have The Yetter weekend free, so now I'm trying to work out the logistics for the trip. Any advice on places to stay/camping near Tyler? Any suggestions are appreciated. If possible, I'll try to plan the trip so I can bail from the office on a Friday ~noon, and be up there in time for some practice rounds on Friday afternoon/evening.

f that doesn't work, I'd probably plan to get up really early, and head to the course Saturday morning before the tourney. So I'd be looking for a place for Saturday night for sure, and possibly Friday night as well.

Thanks for your help. Hope it works out to see you up there on one of the top Pro cards at the Yetter.
Flick long and prosper.
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Postby jist313 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:53 am

Tim,
As you know there is camping at Tinicum, which is like 35-40 minutes from Tyler. It might be quicker than that though.

There is camping at Bulls island through this link, http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandfore ... /bull.html

I thought there were primitive campsites at Washington's Crossing State park but I can't seem to locate it on their site. This would be the closest to Tyler like 10-15 minutes. Here is the link anyway; http://www.stateparks.com/washington_crossing.html

There is plenty of camping in the Allentown area. However, you will probably drive close to an hour to get to the course.

I don't think there is anything in Jersey. Many people coming plan to crash with locals. My place is already full, but perhaps others might still be available.

Does anyone else know of decent camping near by? I hope to see you there.
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Postby ericdmb » Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:28 pm

I can't believe that Tyler itself does not have any camping... that is wierd... perhaps something to consider for next year's event.

Wish I could offer space too, but as it stands, my apt. is booked up solid for the Yetter as well!

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Postby tim » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:22 am

Am I missing something or is there not a discussion forum on the BCDGA site for people to post? If not, where do Buck's County players communicate with one another? I figured I'd throw a post up there, looking for floor to crash on. I figure there are plenty of locals there...

Thanks to both Eric's for being willing to open your houses up -- filled up already is a good thing and shows high props for hospitality.

ericdmb wrote:I can't believe that Tyler itself does not have any camping... that is wierd... perhaps something to consider for next year's event.

Wish I could offer space too, but as it stands, my apt. is booked up solid for the Yetter as well!

Eric
Flick long and prosper.
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Postby jist313 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:24 pm

unfortunately, the bcdga website has not become the tool for connection between members that other websites have become. Our communication comes in form of the old fashioned phone calls, league nights and our monthly meetings. You are welcome to post on the BCDGA website, but you can also post on www.lvdiscgolf.org and www.bearclaws.org, which are much more active forums and close to the area.
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Postby Solty » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:25 pm

ericdmb wrote:I can't believe that Tyler itself does not have any camping... that is wierd... perhaps something to consider for next year's event.

Wish I could offer space too, but as it stands, my apt. is booked up solid for the Yetter as well!

Eric


I always look forward to staying at the 'Casa De Eric'

its a good time!
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