Birdsfoot Golf Club
Birdsfoot Golf Club gets its name from the birdsfoot trefoil that covers the course, budding with small yellow flowers. Mature trees also blanket the course, making it an especially scenic round in the fall. The front nine has a links-style layout with more open holes while the back nine has a parkland landscape with trees framing most of the holes. What both nines have in common is the rolling terrain that provides some tricky uneven lies throughout. It is a golf course that requires a good deal of accuracy but it is not overly punishing if you are slightly errant. There are some good eagle opportunities on the course's par 4s and par 5s, though it is also home to four of the toughest par 3s in the Pittsburgh area.
|White (W)||72||5611 yards||73.1||125|
|Red (W)||72||4800 yards||68.5||123|
|Gold M: 74.4/137||388||557||465||167||525||346||405||437||218||3508||377||176||470||522||422||386||515||208||460||3536||7044|
|Black M: 72.0/134||368||545||444||153||517||332||373||442||192||3366||357||164||458||500||400||355||505||178||440||3357||6723|
|Blue M: 69.2/132||343||533||383||138||481||290||329||376||182||3055||303||175||432||444||375||297||470||136||419||3051||6106|
|White M: 66.4/112 W: 73.1/125||309||516||375||110||469||250||319||346||154||2848||282||148||408||416||336||245||437||101||390||2763||5611|
|Red W: 68.5/123||252||457||326||95||395||221||256||275||104||2381||214||118||339||410||262||232||409||71||364||2419||4800|
For such a highly rated Pittsburgh area course it was nothing more than average, below average especially for the price. Bumpy greens, crap sand, gravel bumpy cart paths. Doesn't seem like they have enough carts. There were none for us to take and had to wait about 10 min for two to come in. Your choice of food in the small farmhouse/clubhouse is a plain reg. or bun length hot dog($4.75), breakfast sandwich or cold sandwich from the fridge. Slow play, took a little over 5 hrs to finish the round. No one in my group has played here before and will not drive the hour it took to get here to play it again. Could have stayed close to home and played better for less.
Probably one of the most scenic courses I have ever played. Course conditions were great, although there were only a few greens that had just been aerated so putting was a little inconsistent between those but not a major concern. Pace was terrible, a ladies outing of 12 wouldn't let anyone play though but other than that I was thoroughly satisfied with the round.
Greener Than Ever
The one advantage of our every Friday rain is that courses like Birdsfoot that can get beat up a bit later in the summer hold their condition for most of the season.
Normally in August the greens here are hard and spiked up but this year they are not. They are rolling true and fair.
Despite the rain the traps have held up well and are playable.
Worth the Drive
This course is a 45 minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh, and is worth every second of the trip.
Situated on an old farmstead the course has dramatic elevation changes, forced carries, blind shots and honest greens. #17 is postcard perfect late in the season from the cart path leading to the 18th tee.
While the course can dry out its firm. lush and green this season without the usual August greens that are dried out and spiked up.
Problems with the traps have been solved from last season and although they are still using contractor grade sand they are and honest play.
Love it. Can be as challenging as needed, most holes are tough.
Pick your time to play if in a hurry. As most courses, peak time can and will be slow. Get out early on weekends to zoom around. Use the tee time scheduler on their website, will help you gauge how busy they are.
Owners are great, and they care. Sign up for text mail alerts, when tee sheets are not filled you can get a discount.
This is one of my favorite courses in Western PA but some recent storms have left the owners with some challenges.
Two lines of severe storms in the last 10 days have all but washed out every trap on the golf course. Some still have hard packed sand in them but others have no sand at all to the lip of the trap and several inches of standing water in the base of them. For all intents and purposes they have become unplayable lies.
Several cart paths have become damaged as well, most notably the path on #9, a portion of the path on #12, an area near the tee boxes on #7.
Its late in the season to be pouring large sums of money into the course, but we can only hope that management can take care of these matters before spring and return this course to its fun and well maintained self.
Greens in rough shape
Was very surprised at the poor green conditions. Surfaces were uneven with many, many scars and poorly repaired ball marks. Putts would not roll true. And, I found these conditions to be the same as what I experienced at this course in early June.
Still Up There
Even though this course is an hour's drive from my house it remains worth the drive and one of the best daily fee courses in Western PA.
This is a typical uphill/downhill Western PA layout that will make you think twice over the yardage book (or app). The greens can get a bit bumpy this time of year but they roll mostly true with less break than you think you are reading.
Pace of play on a weekday got us around the course in right about four hours even with someone in the foresome who is a 20+ handicap. (Editors note: I seldom play on weekends at public courses any more. The pace of play everywhere on Saturday and Sunday in the US is absurd).
The only drawbacks to the place are the cart paths which are cratered in a few more places this season and the sand traps. Most of them on the course are well thought out and are penal but all of them are filled with contractors grade sand. If you are playing right after a rain or on a very humid morning it makes them an odd play.
While many hate the clubhouse I find the converted farm house quaint and with one of the more interesting bars attached to a public courses (Note: If you are a Budweiser/Coors/Miller Lite drinker this is not for you).
The only reason I don't have a membership here is the drive.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS JOKE!
Course has turned into a joke. 51/2 hour round on a Saturday. When I question one of the many rangers about pace of play, he said we were only 6 minutes behind after 4 holes. I said we should be 15 minutes ahead if we did not have to wait on every shot for the group in front of us that was two holes behind by the 6th hole. Then, they send some guy out from the "Hurricane Tour" who proceeds to reset tee boxes for the tournament that was teeing off in an hour and a half. He moves the white tees behind the blue tees. I question him and he says that management said it was ok to do this early, even though the paying customers both ahead and behind us were still playing. Keep in mind, $60 to play in these conditions. Stay away, play elsewhere, and do be sucked in by their marketing ploys. They are completely mismanaged, including the shape of the course.
Frustratingly Average (The Truth About Birdsfoot)
I'm going to be real about Birdsfoot in this review. And it's not to put it down, because it was and IS a special place. But I hope to inspire the ownership to turn this place around!
When Birdsfoot first opened, it was a head turner. It was a bit of a ride to get there, but man was it special. Course layout/conditions were second to none. To be able to play a daily fee golf course like this was really special. Somethings you cannot deny, the views are spectacular. The "links" feel of it is really amazing.
But as the years have gone by, it has become frustratingly average. If i'm paying $50+ there are some certain expectations. Ill split this up to give a little structure.
Pre Round/Clubhouse/Parking lot/Practice Area:
Upscale is how this course is marketed. With upscale, I expect some care to be given to entryway/clubhouse area. Here we just get a gravel parking lot w/ zero landscaping. The clubhouse is an the original farmhouse, which is a cool concept, but for the purposes of a busy golf course, its awful. Again, no TLC given anywhere to indicate that you are on an upscale property. Carts are stored outside and are dirty and beat up. No real signs of ever being cleaned. The driving range had potential to be nice, but its been neglected, the hitting surface is a real mess and the short game area is under utilized. Its simply a place to hit a few warm up balls. Nothing more.
The layout and "style" is extremely above average. The course can play fair or difficult depending on which tees you play. The views and elevation changes are magnificent.
The actual conditions, again, frustratingly average. The greens/fairways are probably the best asset for sure, but are honestly just OK. Comparable course in the area are just as well conditioned. Cart paths are bordering on dangerous in places.
The tees are OK, but are really showing a lot of wear and tear and mis-management of daily tee box placement.
The rough is worse than the average persons yard. Often difficult to find grass for the ball to sit on. Just weeds and dandelions. Again, not something you expect from an upscale property.
The bunkers are unplayable. 99% of the time. They are well placed and often times add to the beauty of the hole, but are never playable. The 11th hole has a bunker surrounding the green, an very cool/unique feature, but again, has never been playable in my estimation. Even on weekends, I seldom see any effort made to have the bunkers even be half playable. Its sad because they COULD really add to the experience.
Pace of Play:
Starter does a great job of managing the flow of the first tee. He has an I-pad so he knows when people have checked in. They do have rangers that roam the course, which is much better than some other places in the area. But they are famous for having afternoon outings, squeezing people out on the back, etc making cart and course availability sketchy sometimes. numerous times, ive been in the first group for the day, only to make the turn on 10 and come to a complete standstill for the back 9.
I will never play for full rack rate at Birdsfoot. Weekends are 63, which is a little outlandish. Thankfully there are enough deals out there that you should never have to pay full rate. They have a ton of really great deals that they sell in the off season that usually never expire. Im talking REALLY good deals. So if you live in the area, sign up for their mailing list. They also have a number of great events. 8 in cup tournamnts, Beer Tasting related events, all of which are great fun and they give away some great prizes to boot!
Unfortunately, years have caught up with Birdsfoot. They really need to consider a pretty big re-grading/overseeding project, major tee box renovations, drainage construction on 12 in front of the green, pave cart paths/parking lot. Build a clubhouse guys. The farm house is cute, but you have out grown it. Nothing too extravagant, but its time. You have great food/beer ideas going on, but just no real ability to execute anything. You are far enough out in the country, you have people there by the hundreds. If you had a restaurant there, people would likely stay and spend more money on lunch/dinner.
If you want to be an "upscale" daily fee facility, you have to spend some money on upkeep, and on the little detail things. There are so many other options nearer to Pittsburgh that are better value for your money. The Foot has potential to be a special place, no doubt about it. And even still is to some extent. I make it a point to play out there once a year for sure because it is a really neat place.
Great and honest review. I also played there since it opened and go back once or twice a year hoping to see changes. Most recent on a Monday 7/10/17. Back 9 had groups $hoved in and took 3 hours. Ranger was deaf to our pleas to have group ahead that was 3 holes open in FROUNT to skip a hole or two. Won't be back even if it is FREE
Hardly any leaves!
I didn't have to use the Fall time "leaf rule" once!
Course is in great shape and challenging
Every time I've played the course it has been well maintained. Greens are in great shape. The course also offers some challenge to an average golfer like myself.
FUN AND challenging
Was traveling from Florida to Canada and wanted to play golf along the way. When I GOOGLED "Stay & Play" golf in the Pittsburg area we came across a winning combination. Unfortunately, they receive quite a bit of rain the night before we were suppose to play so it was Cart Path Only. Regardless, didn't want to miss the opportunity to play Birdsfoot so we braved it, we weren't the only ones either. What a fun & challenging links course. Would play it again in a heartbeat if we didn't live so far away. The other piece of the combo is Paganelli's Butterfly House. A wonderful B&B just minutes away from the course. Make the trip, spend the night, PLAY some great golf! You won't be disappointed!!
Birdsfoot is a bit far for me to travel but very much well worth the trip. Course is always in the best shape. I played this course 4 times and would definitely play here again.
Outstanding layout and course conditions were as good as the private clubs I belong to. A must play in Pittsburgh.
Six hour rounds the norm
If you got six hours to kill on a weekend for a round of golf, this is the course. Rangers do nothing to keep the pace of play moving. They try to run the place like a country club, but far from it. This course has a great layout, but has been on a downward spiral with up keep. The greens and bunkers are just terrible. It's a shame because when this course first opened it was amazing, it's a shame to see a track like this go downhill. Lots of hacks out there. If the pace of play wasn't so bad, maybe the other short comings would be tolerable.
OK at Best
Birdsfoot features a nice layout with some really interesting views. Lots of the holes are very undulated, be it uphill, downhill, or sidehill.
It wouldn't be so bad playing off these uneven lies if the course wasn't so firm all the time and if it were better kept. The pin placements also make it challenging off these lies for the average golfer because they are always tucked. And if you simply play for the middle of the green, good luck navigating your 40-footer through craters of ball marks.
I've played here countless times growing up in the area and playing games with my uncle, cousin, and friends. As I've gotten more into golf, I realize there are plenty more better kept places to play than this track. Also, be prepared for a long round because Birdsfoot is by far the most overplayed course I know.
Would Play over and over again
Birdsfoot is the best public course in the Pittsburgh area for the money. It took a good bit of rain in the morning and course was well drained besides some traps in the afternoon. Fairways were nicely cut and greens were rolling true. You always have people that don't fix ball marks, but that is common at any course. Overall I will definitely be coming back and play some more.
Greens are atrocious
Course used to be great until the masses found it. Hackers slow play hold everything up and they don't care about the course...I repaired at least two ball marks per hole that weren't mine. Ball doesn't roll, it bounces all over. Won't be back til spring when the greens have new life. Course was otherwise in good condition however and continues to be one of the most challenging in Pittsburgh.
This Stays on the List
One of the best public courses in the state.
A classic Western Pennsylvania course that plays uphill, downhill and even across a decent sized ravine that has a ravenous appetite for golf balls.
Only in Western PA would a designer lay out a full blown par 5 that is all uphill carry, but that is what you get with #13.
Perhaps the only downside of the course is that later in the summer the greens dry out a bit and show the wear and tear of play with a bumpy, spiked up surface that has been known to kick a putt or two off line.
If you only have time for one round within an hour's drive of downtown Pittsburgh this course needs to be on your list.