Palmetto Rounds Them Out
9 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 intermittent 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 destination in the area 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.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Baskets caught well and were in good condition
Great practice area with three baskets
2 other courses on site
Water coolers, benches, and bag holders around the entire course
Cons: It cost me $6 to get in the park which was not listed anywhere on here.
Signage - the tees were horribly placed and often in between the long and short tees. Several holes were hard to find the tee area.
The fairways - my home course is tight and technical. Most of these fairways were just unreasonable. U-turns, 90 degree turns...mostly blind tee shots. Not fun to play for me.
The concrete tees in another setting would be fine. I played after a very short rainfall, and between the wet sand and wet tees, there was no traction anywhere.
Sand - every walking trail is sand. If the course is wet at all, it will cling to your shoes like crazy and you can forget about having any sort of traction on tee shots.
Mosquitoes - bring some hardcore deet if you want to play here. They SWARM.
Other Thoughts: Played from the long tees. I was unimpressed with Palmetto, so I didn't play Oaks or Pines. I drove 40 miles out of the way for this course and I had planned on playing all three until I played Palmetto. The fairways could use a tree or two cut. They seemed almost 'mini golf-like' with all the twists and turns and thick fairways. The tee signs were not consistent with the location. There was only 1 sign for 2 tees, sometimes in the middle of the two holes, sometimes not. One hole, I think 8, was so far out of the way after hole 7, it took forever to find the tee. The short tee was less than 100' from the basket with a fairly wide open fairway. I was not a fan of the design at all.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Same site as two other (similar) 18-hole courses. Two 9-hole loops.
Fully-appointed tee (two per hole) areas. 5'x10' teepads, benches, trash cans, bag-hooks, signs. Random water coolers.
(White) sandy soil, a low canopy, and random structures/
decorations" make for a pleasant setting.
Despite the lack of a map, a fairly simple course to navigate.
Flat , as one might expect for a course on the Florida panhandle.
(Minimal) cost to play.
A few holes on the extreme boundary of my personal tightness-tolerance.
For this review, I played the course from the short tees.
With an average length of 200', and only two holes >300', the focus of this course is definitely about control. Moderate-to-tight fairways are defined by gnarly, mid-sized trees. The branches of these trees quickly merge together, forming a low canopy, making many of the holes have a tunnel-feel to them.
Left-turning shots somewhat more frequent than right-turning shots - rarely will your tee shot need to be straight in its entirety. The sharpness, location, and duration of the turns are the biggest variable between the holes.
Minimal chance to lose a disc, as the underbrush is not overly thick. For the most part, trees are typically spaced out enough to allow recovery shots from errant drives.
Enjoyable play, more so considering the two co-located courses. The combination of overall tightness, near omnipresent low canopy, and the variety of required turns provides as excellent test of control.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: This course is best I have ever played. When I say course, I mean the experience of playing all three. We met the park manager, Jay when we got there who invited us to play with him after finding out we had never played course. The previous manager, mike who helped design the course also played. This helped a lot in navigating the courses. Not all courses have people this helpful as I have been to many cities and had to figure them out by myself as no one invited me to throw with them. The holes are not very long, unless you play from pro tees which should take care of that complaint, but more than make up for it by being extremely technical. They all have a window to make your throw or a well defined fairway. You can get in trouble a lot by missing fairway or window and find yourself in jail but with short holes, you are usually able to save a par or at worst a bogey.
All holes had garbage cans that were emptied daily and there were even water coolers at strategic places that were refilled daily. I have never seen that before on a dgc. They also have a driving range that has markers every 50 feet to gauge your distance. Never even heard of that at a dgc. We didn't make it to that but am going back in two weeks and am looking forward to trying that. It was very shady with all the trees and the breeze off the bay that boarders the course was nice. There is even a good selection of discs at the little store close by that you can buy very reasonable and has discs that you can rent which is another first for me. The course also had little flyers tees on most holes that were a lot closer and benches at every hole.
Cons: Going to be hard to find but I will mention a few as I always try to look at both sides of any situation. For you guys that like to air it out, there are hardly any holes you can do this. The pro tees that are long have some serious dog legs to the right or left that stop you from just throwing hard. On the longer straight fairways, you have to keep it low and tight or you will be in trouble.
The course is not real close to any restaurants (there is a Hardee's not too far away) so you should bring lunch or you can pick up a microwaveable sandwich and chips at store which was fine with me as I came to throw, not eat. You should bring bug spray as for some reason I (noone else seemed to have this problem) was getting bit by probably no see-ums which is odd for this time of year but this is northwest fla. you will def need it during summer with close vicinity to water as swatting mosquitoes all day can be a drag. Only negatives I can think of.
Other Thoughts: Enjoyed this park so much that I am going to drive the 100 miles from Panama City in two weeks and stay there for the whole weekend to get in two days of playing. Thank you to Jay and Mike for your hospitality.
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Very well maintained
-Benches and water coolers throughout
-Variety of shots needed
-Lots of shade
-Store for discs on property
-Another TWO eighteen basket courses within a few yards!
-Other park activities close by as well
-No water holes
Cons: -Couldn't find a map for the course
-No really long holes for distance drives
-Could take a minute to find next tee pad on some holes
-No water holes
Other Thoughts: Where to begin? I played this course after playing for about 1 1/2 yrs. now. I really like to play new dg courses and this one was fun. Didn't have a great day for my score, but had a lot of fun at this course.
Lots of pros, not many cons. There is so much to offer at this course. I must say this first. There are THREE 18 basket courses at Blue Angel park. We got there around 11 a.m. and played all three courses + the 1st 9 back at this course and finally left at 5 because it was getting too dark. So there you have it folks, six hours of disc golf without playing the same hole twice, except for the 1st 9 I mentioned. You could spend a weekend playing these courses and I don't think you would be unhappy.
You do have a fee of a whopping $2 per person to enter the park, which goes towards upkeep of the park more than a playing fee. Right next to the 1st tee pad are three paint ball ranges as well. This park is very well maintained and you can see that people take pride in this park. There are trash cans at every hole, along with benches and water coolers at some holes. The water coolers are maintained daily, as I asked about them.
For play on this course you do need a variet of shots. I do not use a flick much, but after playing this course I definitely need to improve this shot as it comes in handy here. I don't think you really need a driver here if you can launch a midrange 225'. There are no real long drive holes on this course, which is why I gave the rating I did. I like really long fairways on a couple of shots. However for beginners, am's, and pro's looking to develope and work on technical shots, this course has it all. There are no water holes on this course. From what I remember there are an equal amount of hyzer and anhyzer drives right off the tee pad which is really nice. Oh, and there are plenty of straight drives as well. The entire course is par 3's with nice size tee pads for am's, pro's and even 'little flyers.' This is the first course I ever saw where there were tee pads for kids. Awsome! Tee signs at every hole and baskets look like they have been there a while, but do a great job grabbing your disc. I believe they have mach IV baskets. If you loose a disc of bag have no fear because there is a small store with what you need to play the game right there on property. Really just a neat and fun course to play. All three courses are very similar so my other reviews of the other two will be very close to the same.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Unique, fun little course
Pros: The Palmetto is a nice woodsy course. Most holes are on the tighter side, with fair routes. It'll really challenge your accuracy game.
The course is one of three on location, making for a great destination for travelers.
There is a lot of cool decorations on the course and there are plenty of benches and even some water coolers.
Cons: The rough is a little thick in places and sometimes it can take a while to find your disc.
Other Thoughts: Definitely stop by Blue Angel Park if you're in the area, it's well worth the $2.
1 of 3 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.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
My favorite course
Pros: Very clean, well kept course. Water jugs at multiple locations on all 3 courses. Variety of tough shots that will teach you to be accurate. My personal favorite course out of the courses in the area. Mobile included. Great signage, great tee boxes, marina/store to buy discs, bags, snacks, drinks etc.
Cons: Not much distance. Only one shot I can think of that you really have to rip on. Not a big deal, but I know how some people like to throw bombs
Other Thoughts: Great course, along with the others at Blue Angel. Bring some finesse game with you, you wont need the huge arm for this course. Very fun, very clean. Family friendly course
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very technical course. Course is heavily wooded and requires you to not only think before you throw, but to also throw your shot accurately as well. When compared to other courses I've played, this course has helped my game the most.
Cons: Can be extremely frustrating if you are having an off day.
Other Thoughts: Great upkeep and there is always someone around who is willing to give advice.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Great technical challenge
Pros: This course is one of three 18 hole courses on this site. The course winds through trees and sand with both hyzer and anyhyzer shots required. Although a few of the tee shots are slightly redundant in flight pattern, each shot is independent of the others because of the strategic use of trees. I played the rec tees and although it was not extremely long it was plently long enough for my skill level. With all of the trees and obstacles, it requires you to have both flick, FH, and BH shots. This was an enjoyable round. This course has pro and am tees. It also has NEW signs that show both tees. (The tee signs are different than the ones shown in the media photos as of the time of this review.) Most of the tees are also color coated either blue (pro) or yellow (rec) by use of the wood framing each tee box. The players that were at the course at the time I played were very helpful and pleasant.
Cons: About the only con is that for a newcomer like myself it would have been helpful to have better directionaly markers for the next tee box. I played the first nine by myself and I had trouble finding a couple tees. The tee signs are usually placed near the pro but sometimes between the pro and rec tees.
Other Thoughts: I played 18 with Mike and Thomas and they were very enjoyable and helpful. Mike built the courses and was very knowledgeable.
The Blue Angel now has three courses, including the Pines and Oaks. The Pines was not listed at the time of this review. I played part of the Oaks and Pines but I ran out of time to finish. The Pines was not in as good a shape as of yet as the other well marked courses. If your on vacation within driving distance, I highly recommend these courses.
Also, there is a place to purchase discs at the Marina/Store on the base. As you leave the course from the parking lot for Palmettto, turn left (towards the water) and go to the end of the road (water ahead) and turn to the right. You will see the Marina/store in a short distance.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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