New York’s Best Disc Golf Courses: Empire State Discing

Some of the best disc golf courses in the U.S. are in New York, with 216 courses spread throughout the Empire State. Most non-New York residents don’t realize how rural New York really is. From Joralemon Park to Frost Valley DGC, the variety of challenges New York has to offer is extensive. 

As a disc golf player with over 10 years of experience in the game, I’m digging into the best courses in New York, from the most challenging to the most fun, along with everything in between!

My Picks For The Best Disc Golf Courses In New York

New York is a very diverse state. Forty percent of the state is over 1,000 feet above sea level, including the Adirondacks, Catskill, and Shawangunk Mountains. Then, there are the lowlands, valleys, rivers, and massive lakes. In other words, a field day for disc golf course design across the entire Empire State. 

The disc golf courses on this list run the gamut of topographical features, challenging and pushing disc golf players, new and veteran alike, to new levels. Some of these courses require every disc you have in the bag just to deal with the changing dynamics of the course. 

  1. Joralemon Park – Coeymans (Best Overall)
  2. Mine Kill State Park North – Blenheim (Runner-Up)
  3. Frost Valley DGC– Claryville (Best Challenge)

If you’ve read any of my previous “best courses” articles, you know I abhor gimmicky course design. There’s nothing worse than a course design that features trees or rocks in the middle of a fairway “just because.” If it forces disc golfers to lay up 99% of the time and impedes the fairway, it’s just dumb. 

Most courses have at least a tiny element of this going on. However, I try to stick with fantastic course designs that minimize this sort of “feature,” for lack of a better word. These courses are the best that New York has to offer, and more importantly, they are very well-designed. 

Top 8: Best Disc Golf Courses In New York

Once you get out of New York City, the rest of the state is a stunningly beautiful place. A huge part of the disc golf scene is the exploration and adventure aspect it offers, especially for amateur players. Not only are these courses tough, challenging, and a blast to play, but they’re also a great excuse to get outdoors, touch some grass, and sling some plastic

Joralemon Park – Coeymans (Best Overall)

Features

  • 5,900’ to 8,600’ course length
  • 38 holes
  • DISCatcher baskets
  • Pavers tee pads
  • Single pin locations
  • Single tee pads
  • x4 water hazards

Most wooded courses feature a lot of trees that help to shape the fairways. Joralemon takes a new tack and goes with rocks instead of trees in a lot of instances. It’s a nice aesthetic and lends a vibe to the course that’s different from most. It’s also designed to play through all 38 holes, which makes for a very long day if you’re up for the challenge.

If you don’t, the holes are set up as a set of four, using directions on the compass for names. While most courses have signature holes, there are far too many to list here, at least in just a couple of paragraphs. The course is extremely diverse, with each hole providing a unique challenge to elevate your game. 

Mine Kill State Park North – Blenheim (Runner-Up)

Features

  • 4,800’ to 7,700’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Mach V baskets
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Pro and amateur tee pads

The name of the park certainly indicates that it should belong in the most challenging category. However, it’s not as bad as it sounds, though the course will challenge you. The best aspect of this course is the multiple ways you can play it. Every basket has two tee boxes and two permanent pin locations. 

You can make your way through the course and play either tee pad or basket, getting a different game out of it every time. If more courses did this, it would drastically improve their standing. It helps that Mine Kill is very well-designed and maintained. There’s also a good mix of elevated shots and fairways that require tight lines throughout. 

Frost Valley DGC – Claryville (Best Challenge)

Features

  • 5,800’ to 9,000’ course length
  • 18 holes
  • High tree density
  • DISCatcher baskets
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Single pin locations
  • Pro and amateur tee pads

Frost Valley DGC is a tough nut to crack. This is a course where you have to carve very tight lines and fit your discs into tight windows. A little late or a little early on your drive release, and you’ll feed the trees plenty of plastic. If you hate trees, this is not the course for you.

If you want an even tougher experience, you can back it up to the pro tees and try to carve tight lines at a much longer distance. This is a course where you will need to bring your entire bag of discs, with the possible exception of your distance drivers. Overstable mid-ranges will serve you well throughout the majority of this course.

Brakewell Steel – Warwick

Features

  • 4,800’ to 8,800’ course length
  • x2 water hazards
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Mach III baskets
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Pro and amateur tee pads

Brakewell Steel came very close to being the toughest, most challenging course on my list. It’s definitely not the best course for beginners, and intermediate players will find themselves mired in a serious challenge. The biggest thing that separates this one from Frost Valley is the multiple ways you can play it, thanks to multiple tee pads and permanent pins.

If you want to take the challenging but easier route, you have that option. With Frost Valley, you’re stuck with either the pro or the amateur tee. Brakewell also features several steep, uphill throws, so you’ll want to fill your bags with high glide numbers and lighter discs with low turn and fade numbers. A hard fade on the side of a steep hill usually turns into a disaster. 

Hawk’s Landing – Eden

Features

  • 2,800’ to 4,300’ course length
  • x2 water hazards
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Triple tee pads
  • DISCatcher baskets
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Pay-to-play

Hawk’s Landing is the pinnacle of variety and accommodations. Three tee pads on each hole, with multiple pin locations, is an awesome way to get the most out of a small amount of real estate. There are a variety of ways to play the course, even playing two courses at the same time. 

The biggest drawback to this course is the difficulty in playing it in a variety of ways because there are often a lot of people playing or in the area. That’s a good thing, but it also means you have to observe common courtesy and course etiquette, either letting faster players play through or getting a move on yourself. 

Wilcox Park – Milan

Features

  • 8,500’ to 10,000’ course length
  • x4 water hazards
  • Multiple pin locations
  • Pro and amateur tee pads
  • Gravel tee pads
  • DISCatcher baskets

Wilcox Park is an innovative, interesting course that interweaves newer holes with existing ones designed in an earlier phase of the course design. The integration works very well, rather than falling victim to some problems other courses have when doing the same. 

Like several of the courses on this list, Wilcox Park is playable in a number of ways. Every game is different if you choose. Wilcox also has a good variety of open and wooded shots. You’ll carve tight lines on some shots, make careful, finesse throws on others, and all-out drive on the open shots. It’s one of the best mix courses on the list by a long shot. 

Parma – Rochester

Features

  • 5,500’ to 8,600’ course length
  • x6 water hazards
  • DISCatcher baskets
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Pro and amateur tee pads
  • Single pin locations

While the 6 water hazards sound bad, it’s really not, at least most of the time. After a heavy rain, the creek that runs through Parma will fill up, making it more of a danger to disc golfer’s plastic. Outside of that, this is one of the more open and beginner-friendly courses on the list. 

It’s not an easy course by any means; however, it features a lot of open shots, and the tree density is light to moderate throughout. If you like to run up to the front of the tee pad to drive, you’ll like the extra-long tee pads. Approach shots are key here, as even a huge error on the drive doesn’t mean you won’t have a line to hit getting back out of the woods. 

Hyzer Creek – Saratoga Springs

Features

  • 6,300’ course length
  • Extreme elevation changes
  • x7 water hazards
  • StrokeSaver Baskets
  • Concrete tee pads
  • Single pin locations
  • Single tee pads

Tight lines through heavy woods to wide open, grip it, and rip it throws abound throughout the course, with everything in between as well. It’s simultaneously challenging and fun to play. Some courses just get too brutal and rip the fun right out of the game.

That’s not the case at Hyzer Creek.

Another great feature of the course is that it does what even some of the best fail to do—provide a mix of holes that benefit both right and left-hand throws. Hyzer Creek is a very balanced course that manages to maintain it through a number of different approaches. It’s the perfect course to round out my top 8.

Final Putt: Best Disc Golf Courses in New York

The best disc golf courses in New York don’t begin and end with just this list. The state has well over 200 courses, nearly half of which are ranked.

Wherever you live in the state, there’s a good chance an outstanding course is within driving distance.

With the phenomenal growth of the sport, that’s all that a dedicated disc golfer can ask for. 

These eight courses represent disc golf in the Empire State and, as such, prove that New York is more than just the city that overtakes everyone’s image.

It’s a natural beauty, with many disc golf courses that take full advantage of the natural topography and scenery the state has to offer. 

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