Machfive916 review of Paul B Johnson Desert Fox DGC
Pros: The best part of playing the Desert Fox Disc Golf Course is that you get to experience Paul B. Johnson State Park. However, the course itself left me feeling a little disappointed, especially since I made a 2 hour drive for a day trip and was not staying overnight. My 3 star review is on the very generous side as this is a borderline 2.0 -2.5 stars were it not for the great scenery of the park and the potential that is still there for an above average course.
It would have been helpful if the park had signage directing you to the course (hole 1), but we had to drive aimlessly through the park until we finally saw the "Desert Fox" sign.
According to the I-Phone app "U-Disc", the course has 23 holes, as is reflected by the electronic scorecard. However, we only found 18 holes and this was confirmed by the map we printed and actually playing the course. I highly recommend using a map, as the path from hole to hole is not always entirely clear. I think the old course design had 23 holes; prior to the addition of the 9 hole Little fox course.
The first thing I noticed when we started (02/07/2015) was that the level of the lake was very low. Hole # 1 had a nice downhill shot with the basket being near the lake. Be careful of the water's edge, as even though I did not throw in the water, the ground under my feet was extremely soft and I was sinking a little. Note to self to only play this course wearing old shoes, as there is a huge potential to get them muddy and/or wet.
Hole # 2 feature a slight uphill that we had to play through a smokescreen, as the park regularly burns pine needles and leaves to keep the undergrowth at bay. Note to self to bring an extra towel to wipe the soot off my disc from all the recently burned areas on multiple fairways and greens.
Several holes have multiple tees (pro tee & amateur tee) to offer a bit more of a challenge. The baskets are showing their age and many are a bit rusty. However, the chains were all intact and functioned properly.
Hole # 4 is the signature hole and usually throws out to a small peninsula. However, with the water being so low, my throw was over a vast expanse of smelly, shoe swallowing, disc grabbing mud. Note to self to always bring my 18 foot telescopic pole to retrieve discs from water and/or mud.
The park's huge lake comes into play on multiple holes as it borders fairways, pins, forces water carry (when water is not low), and emphasizing precise disc placement.
I actually enjoyed the wood sections that forced you to throw within a narrow corridor of trees. Any off target shots were immediately punished with ricochets off of trees and/or discs entangled in thick blood drawing briars.
All in all it was a good day, and if I ever found myself camping here, I would be sure to play this course again. However, I don't foresee any road trips here solely for the purpose of playing this mediocre course.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Rest Stop to Stretch My Legs
Pros: Nice park setting. Clean.
I loved the island hole over the lake a very nice shot.
Cons: For me was really hard to navigate course got lost several times. Some holes unplayable as they had FEMA trailers in the way. I really hated the basket on top of the "pyramid dirt pile".
Other Thoughts: Not a bad course and would play again if in the area but will not make special trip just to play. I am sure course in better shape since the huricane damage.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a wooded park around a lake. Most of the holes play through mature trees with limited underbrush and multiple options off the tee. There are a few wide open holes, and a few densely wooded holes mixed in for a little more variety. Several holes have multiple tees to give you a chance to mix things up. There is a variety of lengths with several ace runs and a few longer holes where you'll pull out a driver. The wooded holes make you use some different shots, and have some good punishment for errant shots with thick rough.
The concrete tees are plenty big enough and are in nice shape. Most tees are numbered, some have nice hole maps and distance on the large pvc pipes marking the tees. The baskets are a little rusty but catch fine. There wasn't too much trash around, and the course steers clear of walking paths and roads for the most part. There are a few shots that bring the lake into play which makes for some fun risk reward, especially on hole 4 which plays across a narrow arm of the lake to a small peninsula.
Cons: The course feels scruffy and unmaintained for the most part. The wooded holes are pretty overgrown and need some clearing. Unfortunately the water level was really low when I played, so none of the water shots actually had water, I don't know how often this is the case, but it left large expanses of ugly smelly mud to throw over.
The course is poorly marked, so there are some navigation issues at times. It would be nice if the tee markers were more consistent, the couple with hole maps and distance were great but the rest only had hole number (a few didn't even have that). The design gets pretty repetitive, with way too many shots that are basically straight, and either open or with just a few mature trees. More holes in the woods would make this course more interesting and fun, and a little more creative use of the water would add a more risk/reward challenges.
Other Thoughts: This isn't a bad course to play if you're staying in the campground here, it's got a few fun holes and some water shots to keep it a little more interesting. Beginners will find a couple of the water shots a little daunting, and the few wooded holes pretty punitive, but otherwise it's a very beginner friendly course. More experienced players won't find much challenge, and not enough variety to make it worth going too far out of your way to play.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Fairly nice tee pads. Tee pad markers have the course layout on them most of the time. Hole 4 pro pad is a good hole, one you wont forget. Course seems to be decently maintained.
Cons: Many of the tee pad markers dont have course layout.
Hole 3 has no path, its almost like they just decided to put a disc behind a large group of trees without actually considering placement. Several holes have this feel. IMO there are just way too many EASY holes. It has a lot of straight shots with no obstacles except for the water which really is not a challenge, more of something to throw over instead of land. Most of the water holes are easy, and just do not take advantage of the water.
Pro shop did not have a single disc to sell.
Other Thoughts: I saw this course had a 4 disc rating, and was really looking forward to it, but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. If you are staying at the state park, go ahead and play it, but IMO there is no reason to go out of your way to play here. Big disappointment.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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