Palmetto Rounds Them Out
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Palmetto is the flagship course at Blue Angels Park. It's the oldest of the three courses on site, and there's something that just screams "Florida" about it to me, between the namesake palmettos, the scruffy trees, the sandy soil, and the enjoyably-glitzy course decorations. Well signed and even better tended, the course would be a joy to play even without the other two quality 18s on site.
BAP - Palmetto plays tight and wooded, especially on the back 9: holes like 14 will have you searching for a safe route to the basket off the tee. There's a lot of shot variation to help mix things up, with an impressive variety of turns and angles: big hyzers, slight turnovers, overhands, RHFH lines, and straight-up-the-gut tunnel shots all make an appearance. There are few longer holes thrown into the mix early on in the course (3 and 4), and a few more over 300' if you're playing from the pro tees, (although these can encourage layups, so opportunities to stretch your drive aren't always there). 4 even gives you a momentary reprieve from the woods to further spice things up. For as tight as the course is, there's a decent amount of shot selection, with some options as to how you play your lines (i.e. turnover vs RHFH vs thumber, laying up at a turn vs making a run and risking the rough). There's a bit of an old-school feel to this course, particularly with the shorter hole lengths, but the tight lines and disc-swatting branches keep you on your toes throughout, while the varying shot shapes always have you trying something new. There's some good variety for what the course is.
The tees are fantastic: concrete, long, wide, and perfectly level. Navigation is a snap.
Cons: Palmetto flirts with poke and pray territory at times, especially on the back 9 from the pro tees. There were a few places (14 and 15) where there isn't a clear line to the basket. Tight is fine; nonexistent, or virtually so, not so much.
Palmetto lacks elevation and focuses on shorter hole lengths; it's a tight, midrange-focused par 3 course. This lack of optimal variety caps its ceiling a bit and limits its appeal. I think there's a nice variety here given the basic parameters, but such parameters are indeed in effect: if you're looking to air it out, or for challenging par 4s, Palmetto isn't the place to go. Fortunately you can find some of these opportunities in Oaks or Pines. Still, Palmetto itself won't appeal to everyone.
Already short, the course loses some luster from the am tees by removing a lot of the extra turns and angles that keep things interesting from the pros. I'm a mid 800s level player, and I stuck to the pro tees. For a superior player to myself, and there are a lot of them out there, Palmetto might have limited replayability. Lack of alt pin positions doesn't help with that.
Yes, you have to pay, though it's a negligible amount ($3/person to enter the park, and $2/person, honor system, for the entire day of golf).
Other Thoughts: Palmetto as a setting has a nice bit of wow factor: the awesome grooming, the sporadic and well-kept water coolers, the quirky decorations, and the presence of two other courses on site made quite an impression on me. As a course, Palmetto isn't overly impressive, it's just really fun: the shorter hole lengths are offset by the enjoyable variety of lines thrown at you, at least when playing from the pros. It's a well-executed short course that benefits handily from having two other quality courses on site. I didn't like it as much as Oaks, with the latter's longer holes, more serious challenges, and intermittent elevation, but it still makes for an enjoyable round. My father, a very casual discer, really enjoyed his round here.
On the whole, the Blue Angel Park courses combine to make one of the most notable disc golf destinations in the Gulf Region; a local New Orleanian calls it "Disc Golf's Disneyland." It's hard to find this kind of variety and quality in such a localized area in the region, and I'm not aware of another single destination that can tout this many holes and of such high quality. I'd recommend Blue Angel Park to anybody; at the very least you'll find it solid, and you could walk away very impressed.
Any thoughts or comments? Feel free to PM me! I always love talking courses and course ratings.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great course. Can't really say much different then all the others. Very large tee's, water cooler's all around course. The throwing ceiling was pretty high so you are safe with most shots thrown. When we played not many others where playing so we had course to ourselves. It was a work day...LOL
Cons: Not much to say here. I guess the only complaint I would have is it is hard to find your way around. Some holes have arrows pointing to next hole but others you need to look for. Baskets need to have fluorescent paint on basket poles. Mach baskets are hard to see in woods.
Other Thoughts: Meet with the course builder and designer. Very nice guys and very good player. I will play this course again when I have time to travel to it.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
More blind shots than Stevie Wonder at a gun range
Pros: Great signs, good quality baskets, 3 sets of tees (blue, gold and little flyers), a double loop which takes you back to the parking lot in the middle. Water coolers around the course which generally were full and had cold water in them (an absolute godsend).
Cons: 2 or 3 poke and pray holes which were usually blind on top of that. Lots of really harsh turns, boomerang style harsh turns. A couple holes where a spike hyzer was the only viable option.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course with a few quirky issues. It has a lot of blind holes and with the DGA baskets the only identification from a distance is the thin orange pole. It would be nice to see these powdercoated in a bright color on a course like this where visibility is so low. The amenities were out of this world and the price is well worth it, given you have 3 courses to choose from. I liked the fact that you had to shape lines on almost every hole but with that many holes were hit or miss to an extreme level where one tiny branch could take your shot and ruin it. It almost seemed a little sadistic. Bring your lunch so you can play all the courses. If 3-4 holes were improved a bit I feel this course could easily be a 4.5 or even a 5 but some of these were so ridiculous that it kind of ruined the rest of it for me. I will say that if you play here all the time you will learn some awesome shots and will look at fairways in a whole different manner than those who don't.
The Little Flyer tees were great, set up just for juniors and just the right length for them. We didn't have our daughter with us but I bet she would've played the entire course from these tees. This is a great way to get kids playing more often.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Great family setup
Pros: Played this course today. What a solid setup! It was definitely family oriented. It had pro and am tees as well as "little flyer" for the kids which was usually about 100 feet away from the basket.
You don't have to be sponsored anymore to play the courses. Just pay at the gate and head to the courses which are about .5 miles down. it was $6 for me and my wife to get in and $2 per person on the honor system to play.
Course has a good mix of hyper and anhyzer throws. Another YES! Is the water coolers throughout the course. They were filling them up this morning and the workers were real friendly and it felt like a nice ball golf course with workers maintaining the course and ensuring a nice setup.
The holes are nice and open for a tight wooded course. I wouldnt say there are no "unfair" holes.
There's a nice hanging basket on 17
Nice course for a Roc or Buzzz round or any midrange for that. You can leave your drivers at home. Great course for technical shots and driving your putters.
They have porta pottys right at the parking lot and
Cons: The elevation isn't much, but it's the coast. You can't control that as much. Also, we couldn't find the eighth basket. It looks like it may have been pulled. I didnt get a chance to ask one of the workers out there about it. Also they were rearranging some of the baskets on the 16-19 holes so while you are on the
19th hole the basket says 18. Not a big deal but confusing at times. There were also some blind holes when I had to walk to see the basket to get the line. Not awful, but the tee layout wasn't reliable at times.
Other Thoughts: Despite the nit picking, this is real a great course. For 2 bucks you can play around 40 holes of golf between palmetto and the oaks dg. They have discs for sale at the marina (1 mile down and to the right near the putt putt). Good mix of innova and discraft.
They are also building a new course "The Pines" the manager of the marina said you could play it, but it's not entirely finished and marked out. Will be a nice complex when the third course is put in. Great disc golf complex worth the coin to play.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great course, very technical and challenging. there's a little bit of everything here. Doesn't punish you too much on errant throws but you can get yourself stuck in deep if you don't' watch it.
Cons: Tends to favor the lefty or RHFH throwers so heads up.
Other Thoughts: currently 22 holes of awesomeness...
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
A great compliment course
This is a fantastic disc golf complex! Two courses on-site (21 holes at this one and 24 holes at Oaks). The course offers challenging holes to both lefties and righties. Three sets of concrete tees on almost every hole: "Pro", "Am" and "Little Flyer". The Little Flyer tees are awesome for small kids: they're around 100' and even have a small bench or bag stand for the kids. The tees are all well marked with good signage, including "next tee" pointers on every hole. There are benches with trash containers on almost every hole. There are a couple Porta-Johns available. There's even several 5-gallon water coolers stocked with cold water! The course is almost entirely shaded so even on the sunniest days you play in the shade. Great care was taken with regard to safety, when necessary there's a mando sign and other places have man made barriers like fences to protect vulnerable tee boxes. The course also has character: there are some creative structures like hanging hubcaps, a crawfish boil shack, and a working shower(?) that give this course it's own personality. Hole #17 features a hanging basket, while it doesn't usually add anything to the playability it is cool to see. The main signage is also pretty cool with giant baskets.
There isn't much this course is missing: elevation is one thing, but you work with what the land gives you. The tee signs for the long/pro tees are lacking hole diagrams which makes some of the blind basket holes tough for first-timers. Maybe a water shot or two. Some of the concrete tees are only 8' long which is a bit too short for some of the 300'+ holes. Does hole #18 have a long/pro tee? If so I couldn't find it. The transition to holes #20 & 21 goes across the street to the right, which isn't as obvious as the other transitions.
We played on a hot July day (heat index ~104F) and the water coolers were a life saver. The bugs weren't bad at all either.
I'll mention there is a minor fee to enter the park and then a $2 per player fee that's on the honor system and let's you play all day. The fact that you can see the attention to detail and work that goes into this course... $2 is a bargain. This is absolutely a destination course, considering you've got two great courses on site, doubly so.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent variety of left and right turning holes. 2 tees for almost every hole. tee pads are concrete. fairly easy to follow. there is a 3rd set of tees for most holes specifically for kids which is great if (like me) you have one with you. You could also use this for a wife or girlfriend who is just beginning. port-a- potty on site. Not crowded. Along with the Oaks course you have 45 different holes in one place. cool water placed in big containers throughout the course.
Cons: terrain is not varied as the land is totally flat ie no elevation changes (this is no fault of the designer since this part of florida is flat) No water in play anywhere either. No pro shop or place to buy discs.
Other Thoughts: this is a great disc golf destination with 2 excellent courses on site (45 total holes) definitely worth a trip to play there. this course is the shorter and easier of the 2 courses and very beginner friendly. The short tees are nice for birdies and ace runs or for lesser skilled players and the long tees can be challenging. In the course info it says you have to call or be a military member but as fas as I could tell the course is totally open to the public.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Short but oh, so sweet!
Pros: This course is the little brother of the Oaks course that together make up one of the best DG 1-2 punches that I am aware of. While shorter, the Palmetto course is definately not to be confused as inferior or a "Bunny slope" type course. It can eat you for lunch if you don't respect it. Hole 13 is arguably as difficult as any sub 300' hole you will find anywhere. A couple of degrees off on your throw and its palmetto paper cut time as you play bird dog trying to find your favorite mid range. That being said, there are a lot of Ace run holes for those with good control. The risk/reward factor runs high here as you have to be willing to gamble for an Ace/deuce or play it safe and settle for 3 on many of the holes. Gambling is fun untill you have to try a miracle tomahawk scramble just to save par. Some of the holes are actually lengthy, especially if played from the Pro tees. Hole 4 I beleive can be a 550' pain in the keister if you opt for the pro tee. The fairways are tight but navigable. Accuracy will make or break you here as you would expect with any well designed course. Keep an eye out for cool little curios like tiki poles, bird houses and other neat little touches that really add character to an already scenic course. One basket is built up on a graduated bulls eye while another hangs from a pole. The alternate tees keep the replay value high as they can dramatically alter the required shot. This is a rare course that actually plays well for those who are RHFH dominant like myself. Overall an interesting mix of holes that require a decent level of mastery of mids, putters and even fairway drivers to succeed.
Cons: For the sake of being fair and balanced: Tee signs are just OK and only the Am tees give an illustration of the hole direction. 0 elevation means 0 changes in elevation...this really can't be helped as it is how God created it. NW FL is a flat place. However, all of the other positive factors combine to make the elevation issue a non-factor.
Other Thoughts: My hat is off to Mike and the other guys who have worked so hard to make the Blue Angel courses among the best I've played. It is a rare couse that seems to perfectly blend the fun factor with the level of challenge. They have done it not once but twice here wth these two top-notch courses. I heard it through the vine that there may be an additional 6 holes on Palmetto as well. You can never get too much of a good thing. The courses are part of a Naval Recreation Area that is primarily set up for R&R pursuits of our hard working men and women in uniform. Fortunately, they allow us civs to enjoy the area as well for a diminuative entrance fee (I think it was 1.50). There is an honor box at near the 1st tee on the Palmetto course that asks for 2.00. So for the meager price of 3.50, you can play two of the best courses around...less than you just paid for lunch. A small price to pay for one of the cleanest, best maintained duo of courses you are likely to find anywhere. You really have to experience these courses first hand to appreciate all that goes into keeping them so nice. Already looking forward to my next trip to the FL Panhandle!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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