2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice, new baskets. Navigation is relatively easy. Decent use of natural terrain, including a babbling stream.
Cons: Lots of opportunities for people to be in the way. The course was also pretty damp, even after a few days of sun. No signage, aside from the bare minimum (more below). Natural tees only, mostly in poor shape.
Other Thoughts: The course is nice enough, for what it is - a town park course. The tees need work, but the layout isn't too bad. It's not a destination course, but if you're in the area it's a fun way to spend a couple hours. There's a stream that cuts through the course, coming into play directly or indirectly on about half the holes.
The course isn't difficult to find, per se; I did however start walking it backwards to find out where everything was, as there was absolutely no signage. The tees are marked by a short stick with a red flag and number; that's the only indication. The course starts further into the park - past where the road curves left, rather than just when you come in. The basket you can see when you come in belongs to hole #7.
Better tees and some improved signage would better this town course a lot. However, enjoy it for what it is, and don't expect too much.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
New baskets. Near amenities. Easy to enjoy, for Beginners to Advanced alike.
Single (natural) tee/basket. Plenty of opportunities for non-players to be in the way (many picnic tables along fairways, kids playing near stream, walkers crossing bridge). Course below road-level, much of it between the road and the stream, so wetness could be an issue.
Course plays in a pretty public park, fairly flat, low-cut grass, a smattering of large hardwoods, with a shallow stream and its nearby brush-growth running through the park. The first four holes are nice but somewhat similar - ~275', small number of hardwoods to miss, what elevation there is (the bank of the road) coming into play - and the creek, ever so subtly, too. Number-5 is long-n-flat until the end, when the basket is down and right, protected by trees. Number-6 is fun - choose between a wide right-turner, or throw over some high brush and follow the stream, dropping to the left at the end. Number-7 is back over the creek, needing to clear the brush early, and some large trees in the background late. A flat, hardwood-littered hole greets you at #8, and longest-hole #9 has you throw across an open field, with trees to mis both early and late.
Navigation: Fairly easy - look for the wooden posts painted orange on top. Course flows in a clockwise direction. Tee-2 is on the other side of the stream from basket-1 - cross the road's bridge to reach it. Tee-7 plays back over the creek, near the park's pedestrian bridge.
A relaxing, fun play, with the hardwoods and stream providing some challenge and nice ambiance. Worth a visit if travelling nearby.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: easlyed played pro may get bored but the cource is beautiful from the varities of trees and wild flowers and the clean , clear creek i played it twice just to get 18 in and wasnt bord
Cons: only 9 holes.only #9 is a long one , its a new cource so they didnt poney up for the money the perminent ones but it was nice playing from a natural pad,just like we did back in 83 .the walk from 7 to 8 is a waist of space
Other Thoughts: #6 is the prettiest, with the creek on one side and an easy out to the left the senery is great and there potental for growth i live in the area,and would play here often and bring friends
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 9 holes with Discatcher baskets. Baskets are in excellent condition. Posts at tees have distance of hole and hole 5 has flight path drawn on post since you can't see the basket. All other baskets can be seen from the tee. Just enough trees in the way to make the holes not open. Great amateur course. Pros may get bored here as holes are not very long. Holes 1-8 require controlled drives. Hole 9 is a 570 ft. bomber hole. Need 2 good throws to have a chance for a birdie 3. If you do throw in the creek, disc retrieval should not be a problem, creek is clear and not very deep.
Cons: Tee pads are natural marked with posts in ground. Tees get muddy after rain. Some holes throw over or near picnic tables. Only one place to possibly get confused. From hole 1 basket you need to go to the right past hole 9 tee and across the creek for number 2 tee. Some holes crossover and/or get too near other holes. Nobody else playing on the course anytime I was there though.
Other Thoughts: Hole 6 is the signature hole. I could play that hole all day. If you wanna go straight at the basket, you need to carry the creek 230 ft. If you don't want to carry the creek, bailout is on left. Hole 7 also crosses the creek. You have to decide if you want to lay up short of the creek or go for the gusto on your drive. If the tees get upgraded to some rubber pads, this course could be a 3.5 star course. I would recommend playing this course if in the area. This course will only get better.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Angelica: a "Rugrat" of a course!
Pros: 9 holes with all new DIScatcher baskets, very bright and easy to see from all the tees. Not hard to work your way around. A little elevation but no serious drops or hills. Several holes play around the Angelica Creek, a tributary of the nearby Schulykill. The creek is shallow enough to retrieve errant tosses without a major hassle on your hands. Lots of birdie chances with a long hole to round out your day, and the course doesn't play hand favorites. Quite wooded in some areas but there are no "pinball" type holes. The course is good for lesser experienced and smaller arms while not boring for the better players. One pro par 4.
Cons: For now, the tees are natural, and being in December here it'll probably be at least March, if not later, to see flypads or something a little better. Some holes had a light rock base. The signage can be improved just a bit but is better than most places. Holes 1, 8-9 will be the most prone to flooding in heavy rains.
Other Thoughts: For the first course in the Reading area, you can't really complain. Several holes stood out in my mind: How tight hole 4 will be in the midst of the summer season and seven with the choice for smaller arms of laying it up or going for it. Hole 6 reminds me a little bit of the old 4th at Unami Creek Park, where it plays over a majority of the creek with a creekside pin location. Nice job to Jon and Jeff on the first course in the immediate Reading vicinity!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: i love this course, it's right by my house, usually never people playing in front. I'm also an amateur so its a great course to learn on
Cons: holes eight and nine tend to become a marsh
Other Thoughts: It's a great course, i would like to see it expand into 18
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice to Newbies yet Exciting for Experts!
Pros: If your a resident of Reading, PA suffer no more. Theres disc golf in the city proper. This 9 hole course was well thought out in how it can offer a solid introduction to beginners while still offering a clever fun round for more polished players. How it appeals to beginners:
-baskets visible from most tees
-no frustrating lose your disc holes(little shule and it's tame and the water is shallow and disc retrievable)
-longer hole #9 gives enough space for beginner error
-gives a glimpse of what is so enticing about our game without overwhelming(mild elevation, mild water,mild shot making lanes,mild challenge)
-introduces players to a bit of the cerebral game as well with decision off the tee of many of the holes
In essence you can introduce someone to the game here and they will get a sense of what the fuss is all about. Pitch-n-putts bore pros and beginners alike but this place has some really interesting yet unintimidating shots to negotiate.
How it appeals to Better Players:
-Clever holes that will test your shot-making skills.
-Birdie Hunt on every hole and ACE potential on several but None of the holes are simple or plain though.
-Theres risk on every hole that makes the round fun
-Moderate length for a niner and one 500+ ft hole to finish the day
I really enjoyed my round here and am glad the first course in Reading was not a bland municipal engineered throwaway course. As an intermediate player, I felt at home here. I truly felt my pro friends could have fun here for a casual round making ace or birdie runs while my Noob friends would have enough fun here to perhaps branch out to more challenging courses one day. Beautiful City Park sets good backdrop for disc golf.
Cons: This might get touchy as I realize the course designer did a fine job of addressing many of the limitations of the course.
-Tees are natural (I didnt mind especially since the stakes had hole info on them) and many scoff at this, as the course matures and tees become rutted or dangerous I am sure justification for better tees will be made.
-The picnic benches in a few of the fairways are inviting trouble (does not matter that designers have asked city to remove them and they are not used excessively..the bottom line is they are still there and for a city unfamiliar with disc golf it just takes one incident to tarnish the course and sport..lawsuit anyone?) I would suggest at least moving tee for #9 30 feet to the right...you still have a great tree gap shot off the tee and your not driving a high speed driver over a picnic table that is sure to be used as it is one of the few next to the scenic creek. (just because there are no full flegded picnics going on does not mean a smooching couple, an older woman with a dog or a man smoking a cigar won't choose to rest on such a spot) Also remember Noobs often don't adhere to the safety or the fellowship/ettiquete of our game so sadly we have to foresee the ignorant public and ignorant player into layout...If the tees are adjusted or the tables moved this gripe becomes little ado about nothing. (more a hint to city than designers)
-The walkways though not used often pose a similiar risk...but for the most part there are no blind areas where a drive would surprise a walker or a walker would surprise a golfer...I was hesitant to throw over the bridge for #7 but I could see all traffic from the tee and there was none.
-Would love to see the baskets with the creek nearby at least have a 10 ft swath cut out between basket and creek to enhance beauty of basket areas and aid in disc retrieval..would also minimize riparian buffer being trampled if traffic could be highwayed into a clear cut area to get to creek etc....especially for the area by bridge for holes #6 and #7. Plenty of discs are sure to go into the drink here and would be a real pretty area if maintained well...I also envision those small bushes and trees taking over the fairway to hole #7.
-There is nothing wrong with the course design itself, from a purely disc golf perspective. It's a lot of fun and if these matters are addressed I would consider this a hidden gem.
Other Thoughts: When the Kiosk is done and a map/safety warnings/etc. are complete the disc golf area will almost seem as an exclusive disc golf course with the basket and ample parking area.
If the steep wooded hillside across the street is ever incorporated into the course as a next nine and if the course designers can maximize those sweeping cliffs and old growth trees to their fullest potential as they did the first part of the course then this place will immediately become a favorite of mine. Those woods are just begging to be made into a technical wonderland with extreme elevation and dramatic scenery to counter the milder but clever front 9 already in place. I tried to be fair in my review and held no punches. In the final analysis, I would highly recommend trying this course out and look forward to seeing how this course grows. With a golf coach, a college population, a large metro area, city support and a disc golf enthusuast behind the scenes it seems conditions are ripe for something special. Kudos!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Work in progress
Pros: I am proud to announce a new 9-hole disc golf course in Reading, PA. In conjunction with Alvernia University and the Reading City Parks & Recreation Department, a new 9-hole course has opened at Angelica Park.
Angelica Park was known in the area for many decades in the 20th century as a popular recreational spot. A dam was formed on the Angelica Creek, a tributary of the Schulykill River, to form a 13-acre lake which was used for boating, fishing, and ice skating in the winter. It was even lighted for nighttime skating! In June of 2001, a tropical storm washed out the dam and the bridge over Route 10 and completely drained Angelica Lake. What followed was five years of public meetings, debate and negotiation before city officials decided against repairing the dam and instead opted to create a wetlands project and future environmental center. And since the installation of the nearby wetland, with its wildflowers and native grasses, along with the riparian buffer along the creek which slows erosion and provides valuable habitat for wildlife, a variety of birds can be spotted in the area. It is not uncommon to encounter grackles, mourning doves, swallows, sparrows, yellow warblers, goldfinches, orchard orioles, catbirds, and downy woodpeckers. Great blue herons and even kingfishers also frequent the park. So not only will you experience a fun test of disc golf skills, you'll hopefully also appreciate the nature in the park.
The new course plays in a scenic area at the west end of the park, with a mixture of wooded and open shots along the meandering Angelica Creek. The course was designed by Sports Information Director and Head Golf Coach of Alvernia University, Jon King, with lots of input from Disc Golf Course Designers Group member Jeff LaGrassa. The nine holes offer a variety of shots, with some elevation changes, and the water coming into play on many holes - the baskets on hole #2, 3, 6 and 8 lie very close to the water's edge. Hole#7 crosses the creek perpendicularly with the target located on the other side. While most of the holes can be reached for a possible 2, hole#9 is a blue level pro par four hole of some 550+ feet, where two long throws are needed to have a chance at a birdie three. The course has three other holes of 300-400 feet, and five holes less than 300 feet, and can easily be played in less than 45 minutes.
Cons: Being so new, the course is still a work in progress and stakes mark the natural dirt teepads. If the course is a success, future plans may include semi-permanent or permanent teepads, and alternate tees and polehole positions on many of the holes. In the meantime, I invite you to come check out the new layout and the wonderful nature which can observed here.
Other Thoughts: #1) A course can only be designed in the land available. We were very restricted in the available land for this course. It had to be placed in the west end of the park, far away from the wetlands center, the baseball fields, and even the field below the parking lot.
Working with these constraints, concessions around holes running somewhat close to each other had to be made, unless we wanted all the holes to be less than 200 feet long and more pitch 'n' putt than the course already is.
#2) From what I am told, people rarely use the walking paths and picnic tables on the course, even in the height of summer. When we were out there in the summer, we saw no one. It's not like dozens of families come out and picnic all over the course. However, if the picnic tables are in use, please take care and be aware of errant shots reaching them.
#3) We deliberately did not place poleholes in the riparian buffer because this area is protected, will not be maintained and will indeed eventually grow up. While a few holes border the riparian buffer, in the normal course of play golfers will likely not throw into this area. Notice that the "bail out" area on holes #2, 3 and #8 is to the left and in the open where novice RHBH golfers' shots typically end up.
#4) Alvernia University owns the house and yard on which hole#5 plays next to.
#5) People need to realize that this is the first course in Reading, designed to cater to amateur disc golfers and Alvernia University students who will play with lids. This is not Lake Nockamixon. This is not Little Lehigh Parkway or Jordan Creek. This course will almost surely never see tournament play other than an informal league for Alvernia University students. It's not like at any point we will ever have the course full of foursomes where stray shots into other fairways will become a serious safety issue or hold up play.
People should also understand that the course is a work in progress. We deliberately did not put down any semi-permanent or permanent teepads, and do not even have permanent tee signs made up yet. The course can and will be adjusted if what is deemed as serious problems do arise. Golfers should be patient and understanding that the course is in flux and not pass judgment on something that is not a finished product.
Update 8/14/12: Played the course over the weekend. Unfortunately, due to some erosion control work, the basket of hole#3 has been removed, and I have no idea how long this removal will be in place.
Secondly, there is a large tree down near the basket of hole#5 and care must be taken until the tree and brush are removed.
Third, despite what we were previously told by park & university personnel, holes #6 and #7, which throw very close to and over the creek, have not been maintained. The scrub trees have not been controlled and make this area a very wild one for errant shots. Hole#7 is now a completely blind shot up and over the trees, where there previously was a completely open route to the basket. :-(
Finally, it appears that locals have developed a short tee pad for hole#9. That's fine, but remember that the regular tee is the concrete back by the road and makes the hole a pro par four.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
New Course; Some Amenities Missing
Pros: For a shorter course, there are some elements of risk and reward. Many of the baskets are placed near the creek where being off on a drive will mean getting wet (see #3 and especially #6). Many people will end up with a 3 because of taking the "safe" route.
There are brand new Discatchers and are easy to spot. You can see nearly every basket from the tee (#5 is tucked out of view, and #9 is far away, but you can see it). Many of the shots require some skill; nothing is wide open. You will need to maneuver around trees to get a shot at 2. Hole #9 is the lone par 4 on the course, which was a welcome way to end the round. Nice touch for those who are new to the sport to remind them that everything in disc golf isn't pitch & putt.
The park was fairly clean, with trash cans throughout and a nice walking path which is used to get to some of the next tees.
Cons: The holes are pretty short and aren't too terribly tough. They would be great for those learning the sport. Often you are throwing near and around picnic tables and walking paths. This is an issue the designers are aware of and the picnic tables are looking at being moved.
A lot of the tee shots felt similar to me. I am a Left Hand, Back Hand thrower and I threw a hyzer shot on #2, #5, #6, #7, and #8. I did not throw an anhyzer all day. So, you righties, make sure you bring your understable discs. There is not a whole lot of elevation change, but hills are made use of.
There are no tee signs at the moment. There aren't any tee pads either. Navigation is a little bit of an issue because of this, but most of the tees are visible from the previous basket. There are neon orange posts with hole number and distance now marking each tee. No map available.
Other Thoughts: Angelica Park has only been around since the beginning of October '09. It is a quick round with some challenge mixed in. Many of the negatives will disappear as the course matures, including more permanent tees (hopefully) and signs, but this course still doesn't rate real high. It is good, and I can see playing it again myself (because I live close), but this is not a destination course. Once the tee pads and signs are in, will probably go up half a disc.
Par is 28. It is easy to get par, but with the water precariously close, getting a whole lot of birdies will take guts and skill.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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