Another "if I lived here" course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One thing that I love about this course is how it manages to play around a potentially busy sports park. Fort Nugent has football fields, soccer fields, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, and a giant playground, but the course doesn't really interfere with any of these. Lowell Shields did a great job with the land available to him and managed to fit 18 holes into a pretty condensed area. It doesn't look that condensed, but considering how narrow the area available to him was it's actually pretty impressive. Having played several of his courses now, I'm starting to see a lot of similarities.
The baskets, while not in "like new" condition anymore, are still in solid shape and catch just fine. I'm not a big fan of DiscCatchers, but they work really well on this course because you can pick them out amongst the trees. The teepads are in solid shape as well and are plenty grippy (although they're unnecessarily long).
The navigation is relatively easy. Each teepad has a sign showing possible routes, basket placements, and lengths. Tape on some of the baskets would have helped, but overall the flow was easy to follow.
The variety of shots here was decent. There are opportunities for tomahawks, thumbers, flicks, and backhand shots. Even on the short holes in the woods there's opportunity to throw shots you aren't used to throwing if you go off of a tree and into the rough. I have to give credit where credit is due on this, because any time that you're forced out of your comfort zone? The designer did his job.
Favorite holes: 1 and 18. 1 is a fun little shot from the field into the trees. 18 is a good close to the round by finally allowing you to air one out for 472', but it's still narrow enough with the road and soccer fields that placement is extremely important.
Cons: I just couldn't fall in love with this course. The lines were there, the shots were there, and the fun factor was there, but it just didn't feel like it was worth the drive.
The worst part of the course had to be the length. Holes 1 and 2 make you think you're going to have to work for your pars, but after that you settle into a nice run of short and technical holes. Some of these are even laughably short. The course flow here is kind of messed up as well. No disrespect to Lowell, but this seems to be his biggest weakness. You can see this at Terrace and North Park as well. You hole out and then have to walk back across your fairway, or up it, or find some other way to expose yourself to throws from other holes. There are even holes that throw back toward the previous teepad with very little protection other than a few trees. Why there aren't any mandos here is beyond me. You run into this through most of the wooded holes starting with the clash between 5 and 6.
Then you get to hole 14, and it just gets repetitive. Throw 250' or so with a fence 10' to your left. Then do it again. And again. And again. And again. Hole 16 was kind of interesting due to the low ceiling directly in front of the tee, but other than that there's zero variety to the field holes. They're really a lot shorter than they need to be too. This is evidenced by the walkout from 17 to 18 that is longer than two or three of the preceding holes combined. I'm thinking that this 18 was added later, as there's an unused teepad along the fence between 17 and 18. Hole 18 does finally let you air one out for about 425'... With a road on your left. But at least the road is farther out than 10', and it adds a nice challenge.
Least favorite holes: All of the ones under 200'. I landed some birdies on these and I guess it forced me to throw in ways that I wasn't accustomed to, but it just feels like you're being cheated when you play an 18 hole course with 133' holes on it.
Other Thoughts: I did enjoy this course, and if I lived on Whidbey I'd be here every day. It's a great "tweener" course for people who are ready to step up their game a bit from the easy nine holes of the state, but don't think they're ready for the "tougher" courses out there. But it's so far away from everywhere else and it's not that challenging, which keeps me from wanting to go back. It's a fun course and is definitely worth a stop if you're in the area, but don't make a day trip of it unless you plan on hitting other courses or going somewhere else along the way.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun but not Great
Pros: - Fun technical shots
- Challenging, yet easy
- High Fun Factor
- Unique tee shots
- Good concrete tee pads
- Bag hooks on every hole.
Cons: - Extremely short course
- Strangely shaped fairways
- Too easy
- No tee signs
- Minor navigation issues
- Some holes become unplayable due to other activities going on in the park
- Holes 12-16 are extremely repetitive.
Other Thoughts: Fort Nugent DGC is a short course that has both tight woods and open field shots. Despite its short length,I found the course extremely enjoyable to play. Most of the tight woods holes are gimicky tight wooded shots, where the fairways don't necessarily "fit" the flight of a disc. On most of these holes it is "ideally" easy to score well, but if you get off the fairway the woods have the potential to add strokes. The open field holes add some distance but are extremely repetitive and RHBH friendly. Some of the open field holes also compete with other activities going on in the park. My group had to skip two holes because of football parents sitting in the fairways watching their kids practice. There were also minor issues with fairways overlapping. A group had to wait for us to tee off on # 10 before they played #13 and we had to wait for a group to tee on #2 before we played #1. Overall, the course was groomed pretty well, and the rough was bad in spots, but manageable. With proper disc golf amenities such as tee signs and better designed holes that avoid other activities this course could maybe stretch to a 3.5/5. With that said, this course is unique and enjoyable to play. If you are in the area I would give this course at least one play before you move on to bigger things.
*For those worried about water, the hazard is merely a shallow creek and it should not be difficult to retrieve your disc.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Fort Nugent DGC
When entering Fort Nugent Park DGC you are overwhelmed with the amount of things to do for the outdoor adventurist. Whether it be basketball, football, baseball, disc golf, or the most amazing playground ever built for kids, there is enough there to make an entire day of it for you and/or the family. Located in the heart of Oak Harbor, this course is about 40-45 minutes from the Mukilteo/Whidbey Island Ferry and is easy to locate. Fort Nugent Park DGC is surrounded by beautiful towering Pines and other native foliage which make it relaxing and a lot of fun to play.
The course layout for the most part was well thought out for being such a new course, and well mixed including several tight wooded holes (#'s 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12) and several open (#'s 1, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18). With the exception of hole two, all give you a chance for birdie once you know the layout well enough and even a few shots at an ace (#'s 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 16). A lot of time I found myself trying to go for the ace and overshooting the basket therefore I had to make some long putts to keep my birdie or par. However, I did like how most of the pins were heavily guarded which made it that more difficult.
The DISCatcher baskets were in excellent condition and were so new that the foam wrapping was still on parts of them which was cool because it felt like I was the only one playing the course. Tee pads were all cement and were plenty long to get a big run-up when needed (necessary for only holes 10 and 18, both par 4's). The signs were top notch as well, showing both distance and pin placement, and were in full color about 4 feet off the ground making the next tee easy to spot. Another thing that made the course easy to navigate was the signs letting players know where the next tee was located (great for first time players).
For being brand new I tried to take it easy on the course because I know that in order for things to be perfect it takes time, patience, and a lot of work.
That being said, there was definitely some things that could be improved. As Ninja-Don stated in his thorough review, trash cans and benches are a must, especially on those busy days when there are several people playing the course (although there was little to no trash in view when I played).
Cleaning up the fairways is a must as well. Holes 2-9 had a lot of foliage on both sides of the tight fairways so if your accuracy is off or you get a bad deflection off a tree you will be spending some time searching for your disc. Although I didn't think #'s 3-9 were that bad (as long as you have a spotter) hole two was ridiculous. The fact it was 320 was not the problem but rather that the fairway was 15 feet wide and had unbelievable amounts of bushes on either side. My first two shots were in the bushes and without my wife, I would have never found my disc. My third shot was from about 40 feet out and with a huge anhyzer I pulled off an amazing par shot.
I could also see some issues with hole 10 being that you must throw a huge anhyzer/ sidearm 400+ feet past a ball field so if you don't have distance and/or control, or are a novice/amateur you could find yourself in the middle of some kids playing baseball which would be embarrassing.
Overall, I was very impressed with Fort Nugent Park DGC. It seemed like it was a great little course to learn the basics on. There was plenty of room on the ball fields to practice form and distance on and quality pads/baskets to work on the basic fundamentals of teeing off and putting. The course gave players a chance to experience some of the elements that make disc golf so much fun including water, elevation, wind, woods, and at times distance.
Playing this course once I was able to score 8 under and know if I have a chance to play it again and try to not go for it so often I would be able to go double digits under par. With the course being so new, like a fine wine, it will get better with age.
However, I can't imagine it ever being better then 3 stars due to how short the course is ( 8 holes =/< 200, 4 holes < 300, 4 holes < 400, and 2 holes >400) unless they end up purchasing the land behind the course which would most likely raise my score up to 3.5+ stars.
There is a lot of potential not only for this course but for Whidbey Island as a whole. I would love to see more expansion, adding some courses further south towards the Mukilteo/Whidbey Island Ferry for those who come from the south.
My hats off to all those who helped to get this course in the ground and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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