I recently got the chance to play a small, 9 hole course located in Altoona, PA, not too far from where I currently live.
This short course is definitely a great, fun course to play for the casual disc golfer, and just challenging enough for any serious player to check out if they’re in town.
I definitely wouldn’t call it a destination disc golf course, unless you plan on playing the other course across town, but nonetheless it is an enjoyable course that will allow you to make an ace run on just about every hole.
Now, let's get into the full review!
To learn more about Highland Park, CLICK HERE!
Course: Highland Park
Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania
Pay to Play? No, free to play
-9 Holes, One tee pad and one basket locations
-Half the course is relatively hilly, and most of the holes are wooded, some more than others
-Cart friendly but there are hills!
What I liked:
Good difficulty for a 9 hole course, but beginner friendly
Many ace run opportunities
Signage with hole length
What I didn't like:
Quite a few blind holes that force you to walk down the fairway to check out
Tee Boxes- 4/5
Each tee box features a rubber mat that offers plenty of room for a run up on the short holes you’ll be playing.
Some players may take more of a run up, but most players with decent arm strength will find that the length is adequate as most of the holes are less than 300ft. in length.
The mats were clean and mostly free of debris as well as dry when I played, so I had no issues with grip.
The rubber tee pads with wood edging were simple and got the job done!
All 9 DISCatcher baskets performed as expected during my outing at the course.
They do show some signs of wear as expected for a mostly wooded course, but with minimal, if any rust.
They could use a good cleaning and some of the baskets appeared to have been messed with at some point, but not to the point that made them incapable of catching discs.
As a nice bonus feature, many of the baskets featured a directional sign to help you find the tee box for the next hole!
The baskets were in good, playable condition, and gave me no problems at all when I played
Navigation of the course is extremely easy, and most holes can be found with little to no effort at all.
The paths are well maintained and certainly wide enough to get a cart on, with the only difficulty being some exposed tree roots from being nestled in a wooded park.
Signage is throughout the course as needed to point you in the right direction of the next basket, and each tee pad has an information sign that gives you the Hole number, par number, and distance to the pin to aid in disc selection.
One thing keeping this course from earning a 5 here is that because of elevation/terrain changes, several of the pins require a good bit of walking to actually see where they are.
This is just a minor inconvenience, but is somewhat annoying to have to walk the length of the hole to finally see where the pin is located.
These signs on each hole were very useful for finding the basket and choosing the right disc for the shot!
Despite being a fun little course, the difficulty is slightly less than average in my opinion. It is definitely challenging enough for a beginner or casual disc golfer, but anyone who plays regularly will find this course to be somewhat on the easier end.
There are some technical components such as tight fairways, moderate elevation changes, and sharp dog legs, but nearly all the holes are between 150-250ft, outside of Hole 7 which is 295ft flat across.
I only threw mid-ranges and putters on this course because of the shorter distances, but it is fun in that it can help you improve your approach game, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to make ace runs.
On the holes you can't ace run, a birdie is well within reach.
While not overly difficult, the course does provide just enough of a challenge to make it fun for a quick outing
Overall, the course very clean and maintained as well as you could expect for a city park.
The grass is mowed where needed, the walking paths are well used and free of large debris, and the tee pads for the most part were in great condition.
While the course needs little maintenance in terms of tidiness, some work could be done to make the course more disc golf friendly such as cleaning up some weeds here and there as an example.
Simply put, this is a disc golf course integrated into a city park, not a city park integrated into a disc golf course, so the primary focus is the park and the course is merely an activity you can do there.
This walking paths are all in great shape and make walking from
hole to hole a breeze, with or without a cart
Putting it all together, and this small community 9 Hole course earns a respectable 3.7 out of 5 on our rating system. Which is great considering how little maintenance the course requires and gets.
If you happen to be in the area, it is a great course to stretch the legs at and play a quick round in 40 minutes or so, but is definitely not a course you're going to drive hours to play.
Mostly because it is only a 9 hole course and also because it is what you would expect of most small, wooded courses located at parks or schools.
If you're looking for a fun little course to play with some downtime, or to take the family for some fun time, then Highland Park will certainly satisfy those needs!
When in Altoona, PA, be sure to stop in and play this course and let us know what you think!
Have you played this course before? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments!
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