12 Helpful / 0 Not
Vander Yacht Park DGC
As soon as you pull up to Vander Yacht Park in Ferndale (just seven miles north of Cornwall in Bellingham) you can't help but notice the large open fields and brand new DISCatchers all over the place. Before you start playing the course there are two practice baskets allowing either several people to putt at once or a smaller group to putt back and forth saving a little time and effort which is great! Besides the beautiful baskets, I also quickly noticed the slick new Fly Pads with both short and long placements on each of the nine holes. These alternate tee pads help to make the layout of the course more challenging for the advanced/open players where the shorter tees are more appropriate for amateur/recreational players (Although it is best to play both sets making a complete 18 holes).
Although our fellow reviewer below stated the grass was long when he played I was fortunate to have it recently mowed which made it much easier to locate my disc. Maintenance was apparent as most trees were trimmed although there were some serious rough patches on the edges of holes 1/10, behind holes 3/12, left of holes 8/17, and to the left of holes 9/18. The park had a few garbage cans which helped to eliminate some of the trash although I still found people leaving stuff on the ground in the parking lot which kills me being that there was a garbage can 15 feet away.
As far as difficulty, the first four holes were short and gave players a chance for a birdie and maybe perhaps even an ace. Holes 1/10 although somewhat short was still challenging due to a tight fairway with rows of trees on either side as well as a river to the right. If you are not accurate you WILL lose a disc since the right edge just drops straight down into the water. The next three holes are much more open. Holes 5/14 start off a little tight but has you throwing a hyzer into the trees where the pin is protected. Holes 6/15 is wide open and holes 7/16 has you throwing another hyzer around some wetlands. Hole 16 or 7 long is one of my favorites as you find yourself throwing over a pond and when the wind is up (like it was today) it can be challenging. Holes 8/17 are the most difficult on the course, with extremely tight fairways and a pond that is very much in play on the right. If you can par this beast (especially on the long placement) you should feel great! Holes 9/18 is just pure power. The long position is par 3 and around 800 feet.
Since the course is new I am sure it is still a work in progress. With that being in mind, a kiosk with a map on it and club news would be fantastic and desperately needed. Tee signs would be great as well although if a kiosk in built you really wouldn't need to put in signs and it would be much cheaper. However, an arrow showing first timers where to go after holes 4/13 would be helpful and maybe a couple more garbage cans.
Another thing that stood out was the gravel walking path which intertwines throughout holes 5-9 and 14-18. Several park users wander through during a round (usually with at least one dog) and tend to just stop so I found myself waiting from time to time. Eventually a permanent dog park will be going in towards the far southeast corner of the park (near holes 6/15 and 7/16) so this will hopefully eliminate the waiting time as well as the dogs running throughout the field.
Last, a few of the tee pads could be more challenging. There really was not much of a difference between the short and longs (with the exception holes 16 and 17) except distance. It would be great to see a few of those pads or pins get tucked more into the trees and bushes that surround the park (although with all the restrictions they did what they could).
My hats off to Big Mike and the Parks Department for getting this course put in the ground. The course has a lot of potential and is a great place to get in a quick round or practice your skills on. When the wind is up (like it was today) this course can be challenging, but not enough to be frustrating. The baskets and tee pads are great and the flow of the course is great. Hopefully more land can be used up in Ferndale, and more courses can start popping up to help compliment this little gem.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: VanderYacht Park is a brand new disc golf course located in Ferndale, about five miles north of Bellingham. The first four holes are on the north side of the park while the last five holes are on the bigger, south side of the park. Holes one through four are fairly short and wide open, while the final five holes are quite long that play in an open field. There are two teepads to make eighteen or to use as the amateur and pro tee pads and teepads are the rubber with painted on numbers on the ground to let you know you are on the right hole or not. The course plays near a river and also has a medium sized pond in which alot of holes throw around and the pro tee for hole seven throws across the pond. The local disc golf club donated money for two (yes two) practice baskets that were placed next to the parking lot so multiple players can warm up before a round. The baskets are all brand new Innova disccatchers with that big yellow band on the top.
Cons: The course starts out as a friendly course and by hole six it becomes wide open with tons of length. Navigation is fine for most of the course but there is a huge walk from hole four to hole five and hole five to hole six and not knowing your way around the place as a first timer it can be hard as there are no tee signs or next tee markers. The disc golf portion of the course is just wide open fields with tall grass and by the end the course is pretty boring with exception to holes five and seven in which one basket is placed in the trees and makes you throw a dogleg left and hole seven has the pond and the tree line in play. There was more trees and obstacles that could have been put to use here that would have given the course more life.
Other Thoughts: It seems as if they architects of VanderYacht Park couldn't decide whether they wanted a short and open family friendly style or a very long and open advanced or pro style course but this was done on purpose and it makes sense as the whole family can use holes one through five and advanced players can have a challenge on holes six through nine after ace running the first ones. If you are a novice player, skip holes six through nine as these are long and danger awaits at the pond. I wouldn't drive out of my way to play it and can't endorse it as a great course but it's better than nothing I suppose.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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