Great low-impact course
Pros: This course is a favourite of my wife because she can stick the kids in a stroller and push them the entire course without much problem. It is low-impact in the sense that the park is very well-manicured and the course designer maintains the course remarkably. They recently took some trees down in some areas of the course which opened up a few holes and made them a little more fair (hole 14, for instance).
There isn't a huge amount of room for all 18 holes, but the course is used well to incorporate all of the area they were given with minimal instances of people playing into each other (holes 12/13, and 16 being the exception).
The mando holes (9 and 10) give the player the choice of taking an anny or hyzer line which is a great way to change a hole with little effort.
Lots of parking available, with a public washroom on-site at hole 10. There are also garbage bins at every tee pad.
Cons: There is absolutely no elevation change on the whole course. For such a beautiful mountainous resort community, it's an interesting juxtaposition having an entirely flat course.
Some holes are more prone to reward luck over skill. Hole 1, 11, 14, and 18 (rhbh line) don't provide a clear, defined line to challenge players. There are fairways, but once the disc is out of your hand and heading towards the basket, chance plays a larger role in determining your shot than it should. Hole 14 was recently thinned out to give a more clear line, but it can be hard to see off the tee. There are plans on moving the tee pad back and to the left to create a soft anny shot.
Some tee signs are missing or incorrect. There are plans on creating new tee signs in the next year or two.
Tee pads are inconsistent. Some are slabs of concrete (former sidewalk slabs), some are shale, and some are just dirt. There are also plans on redoing all of the tee pads in the next few years.
Other Thoughts: The baskets are not consistent throughout the entire course. The baskets on the front 9 are DGAs and the back 9 have Discatchers. Some may like the variety, while others may not.
Pleasant, worth a stop
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The park setting at James White is really nice in the summer, even though it's heavily treed they mow the grass between the trees and it's a beautiful quiet spot near the river.
The course is half nice new baskets, half old DGA Mach something baskets that are okay and do the job. All but I think 2 of the tee pads are natural, however, they're very good natural tee pads. They've had some fine red rock material added and they've been leveled out. There was only a couple holes where I even thought about the ground I was throwing from on the tee (i.e. a root or something in the mix).
And the icing on the cake with this course is that there's a bench at the tee of every hole, and a practice basket in a big space before the first tee.
The raw landscape here is a pretty good one for a course designer to work with, with fairly dense trees throughout but a lot of spacious gaps between to make use of as fairways.
Cons: The biggest concern with this course for me is that, while I mentioned there are some spaces among the trees to be utilized for fairways, there's just not enough of them for 18 good holes. So there's a number of holes here that feel a bit forced to use up the space between the other, better holes. For example, hole 4 is so short you can basically jump putt from the tee. Other overly short holes (like 10 I think) use small windows through the trees to compensate.
Now in fairness, there's no avoiding that issue when you look at the size of the park, and the course covers as much of the park as it safely can. So it is what it is.
However, I have a big pet peeve when it comes to course design, and it's an issue here. I don't think "plinko" holes, where there's no real path to the basket so you have no choice but to throw into a grouping of trees and hope for the best, are very good course design. The course would benefit from the culling of a few select trees in this regard on a couple holes.
For example, hole 1 is a great long steady left to right shot, but about 2/3rds of the way there's a wall of evenly spaced trees with gaps of a couple feet. All you can really do is just throw at the basket and hope for the best; half the time you'll park it, half the time you'll hit and deflect. Take 2 of these little trees out and you've got yourself a legitimate fairway and a great little hole.
It's interesting to note that since the first time I played this course and now, this appears to have been done on hole 14. The removal of (I think) 2 trees creates an albeit still very narrow tunnel to hit. Interesting that they were able to do this in a public park... now I just wish they'd move the tee left so that going the whole length of the tunnel is more feasible.
There's a walking path that makes it's way straight through the middle of the course, which plays as OB path and beyond. This is fair play but it was a bit peculiar the way it comes into play on 18 as it seems to double as a fairway if you're going for the deuce.
Other Thoughts: All in all I'd say I like this course and have enjoyed playing it when I travel to Fernie, but I don't think it's a good course to play a competitive game on as there's such a luck factor to it; missing tiny little windows was punishing depending on your bounce. I had a huge variance in the scores of my rounds depending on factors that seemed out of my control.
If you can accept that and have fun anyway, then by all means you would never want to drive through Fernie without stopping to play a round!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice Park Course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This park course is pretty typical in that there are a ton of mature trees with mowed turf beneath them. No low branches, shrubs, or brush to interfere with your shots near the ground.
The course offers a variety of holes lengths from 157' out to 420', with most in the 220' - 300' range. None of the drives are open, but I wouldn't characterize anything as a tight tunnel either. Just a lot of trees to shape your drives around and through. While it is easy to catch a tree on your drive, the absolutely clear understory makes it easy to save par.
Paths are well worn between holes with most teepads quite close to the previous basket, so navigation is easy.
Mixture of Innova and DGA baskets, all in good shape. Gravel tee pads were decent, if a little undefined at the front. The signs that were still in place were fine but many were missing.
Nice big parking area and convenient privy type bathroom.
Cons: While it is necessary to shape your drive to play this course well, there isn't a lot of variety. No elevation, water, tight tunnels, big bomber holes. Just a lot of holes playing through somewhat open woods.
The gravel teepads suffer from the problem of not being well-defined at the front. The pad transitions directly into a walking path to the basket, and where one ends and the other starts is a bit of a mystery on many holes.
The course is fairly compact, with plenty of opportunities to land your drive near another teepad or on another fairway, Holes 12 through 16 play up and then back along a narrow strip of land. There were also a few holes with picnic tables in the path between pad and basket, so I would be concerned about conflicts with other park users on busy days.
Other Thoughts: Such a beautiful area to visit and play disc golf.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course is in James White Park, which had few users other than the 10 disc golfers I saw. I met some very helpful locals.
Each hole has a natural tee pad and a wooden sign with the flight path and distance routered into the wood.
Most pins were visible from the tee, and it was easy to figure out where the next tee was once you completed a hole. The first 9 are in one area, the next 9 start across the street, then loop back to finish near hole #4.
There are usually multiple options to attack each hole, which I find appealing.
Cons: Mosquitoes. They love me, and I had to spray well and cover up. It is very shaded and I played in the early evening, so it gets cool and the ground seems perpetually moist.
Other Thoughts: I played it in about an hour and shot a 49 with no bogeys. Locals shoot anywhere from 46 on up. If you're in this neck of the woods, stop by and enjoy it.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Second course I ever played and it is a really nice well groomed and extremely fun course. The holes with mandatory shots are also worth noting. Again, very fun course.
Cons: Not sure if this course has any cons. Easier course when compared to Cranbrook.
Other Thoughts: The annual disc golf tournaments and this course are a blast. Go out of your way to go to this one, a lot of great people come out not to mention it's a ton of fun with lots of prizes and give-a-ways.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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