Best of the three courses on site
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Oaks is the best course in the Pensacola area because it is challenging, it is well-kept, and features a diverse group of holes that require numerous types of shots to master. It even has a little bit of elevation here and there. The concrete pads are a huge plus. Nice and shady during the hot summer months, never too windy even during the winter months. There's a store in the recreation area where you can buy cold drinks and beer, then you can toss your empty cans in one of the numerous trash cans on the course. Lots of benches to relax on too. I like the rough off the fairways that punishes errant shots; to me that's what golf is about, rewarding good shots and punishing the rest.
Cons: The relative lack of significant elevation is the only thing that keeps Blue Angel Oaks from being a 5-disc course in my opinion. It's very tight on most of the holes, so if you don't like woods courses you won't like this one. I like woods courses because I like a challenge. It's not free to play, and that's always a con to some broke disc golf riff raffs.
Other Thoughts: The Oaks features fairways that are much more pure and natural than the Palmetto course's jarring right angles, and the Oaks is much more prettier to look at than the Pines course. It's also the toughest of the three courses at Blue Angel.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Who Snuck My Wooded Golf Down South?
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This review relates primarily to the pro tees.
Oaks is the most thickly wooded course at Blue Angel Park, and even features some legitimate elevation: holes 2, 3, 8, and 11 all play downhill to varying degrees, and 10's basket is perched just high enough on a hillside to make a rollaway hurt you. Given the absolute flatness of the other two Blue Angel courses, not to mention the gulf coast in general, the elevation at Oaks was a pleasant surprise, and added to how the course played.
The signature holes here are long, winding, narrow fairways cut through the woods lined by unforgiving rough. The course builds you up to these: 1 is decently long but open, and 2-4 are tight 200'-250' midrange shots that finish first left, then right, then brutally straight. 6 is your first hint of plus 400' of distance, but it's 8 - a slow-breaking RHBH turnover or tight S curve that's 417' from the pros - where the height of Oaks' challenge lies. Holes such as 11 and 14 rehash this tightness in their own distinct ways, and elsewhere the course throws a variety of other kinds of shots at you, such as a 425' open bomb with a shielded pin in 13 and a short, tree-studded fairway with a hillside pin in 10. The diversity and balance of holes is nicely done, and the course mixes in its distances and obstacles nicely. It never gets stuck in a rut, and rarely threatens to repeat itself.
The challenge here is moderate to high from the pro tees, and relatively forgiving from the ams. More than anything, the ams take out the extra twists and turns that make Oaks' pro tees such a challenge in the tight environment. I appreciate the balance struck between the two tees, though personally feel as though there's a lot of interest lost in the ams (see below).
Tees, amenities, and grooming are great, as they are throughout Blue Angel Park. I love the well-stocked water coolers sprinkled throughout. Great hand-drawn tee signs (though some are a little weathered).
Favorite holes: 8, 13, 14
Cons: As hinted at above, the course seems built for the pro tees; there's a lot of quality golf lost when playing the shorts. The most challenging holes at Oaks rely on a combination of heavy woods, tight lanes, and moderate to lengthy distance to provide interest, so chopping 150'+ off of several holes really takes away some of their character. Oaks tests your ability to stay in the fairway more than to shape lines, in that you're usually straightish shots and hyzers, so what is a noteworthy hole from the pro tees often becomes a straight forward 250' tunnel shot from the ams. It's always a balancing act between providing an appropriate level of difficulty and maximizing interest, but I feel that the course loses some of its respectable oomph when played on the ams.
Shot selection is usually dictated by the hole, meaning there isn't a lot of room for creativity or decision making in tracing your route to the basket. This can be hard to avoid in such a densely wooded environment, but the mental game of shot selection is missed a bit.
While the course for the most part maintains a high standard, a few holes, such as 9 and 12, seem there mainly to get you to the next hole. These can come off as transitions between holes of interest rather than noteworthy themselves.
No alternate pin positions. Having two other 18 holers on site mitigates this lost variety tremendously, but a change of pace and multiple options never hurts.
Other Thoughts: This course was my hands-down favorite at Blue Angels. I love the tightly wooded environment, long narrow winding holes, and the variety. The elevation, while not dramatic, was well-incorporated where present, adding an element not often seen in the Gulf Coast. Oaks offers the greatest challenge of Blue Angel's three courses, and a slightly more rugged feel than the other two courses that I enjoyed. With the occasional elevation, it reminded me a bit of some of the heavily wooded courses I enjoy playing up north.
Taken together, Blue Angels' three courses complement each other well. There's something for everyone, be it the quirky and predominantly short wooded holes in Palmetto, or the bipolar Pines, with some more tight wooded holes on the front 9 and a longer shot shaping clinic on the back 9. These three courses combine to make for one of the Gulf Coast's premiere disc golf destinations. Well worth a visit for anyone!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Family Trip 2013
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Baskets - very nice Mach's
Tee Pads - concrete, long, level.
Tee Signs/Maps/Markers - Tee signs on every hole with distances and hole numbers. Some where slightly hard to read.
Foliage Maintenance - maintained full time by Thomas and possibly others.
Benches & Trash bins - on almost every hole.
Camping - there are trailers for rent. Not sure of all the details on them though...
Water Jugs - with ice cold water.
Three Courses in one spot.
Cons: Pay to play - but very reasonable considering 3 courses and the courses are maintained nicely.
Lacks variety in some ways. Holes were either straight on or 90 degree turns.
Other Thoughts: On each basket, there is orange paint indicating where the next tee is. The paint is on the metal rung where the disc comes to rest.
Pay to enter park (around $2). Pay separately a green fee of $2. Parking is fine for a small crowd. There are port-a-potties.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring Your Hook
Same site as two other (similar) 18-hole courses.
Two-thirds of the holes have two tee locations.
Flat , as one might expect for a course on the Florida panhandle, although it does contain what little elevation change is available between the three courses.
Of the three courses, the most difficult to navigate for a first-time/infrequent visitor, as several times, the most obvious tee is not actually the next hole, and a few times you need to retrace your steps to find the correct tee.
(Minimal) cost to play.
For this review, I played the course from the short tees. With an average length of 250' (only two holes > 300'), and most of the course playing under/around a plethora of trees, this course is mostly about control. The few open and longer holes are encountered towards the middle/end of the course, and do offer some chances to let loose a driver.
Flightpath-wise, from the tee, only a couple of short, right-turners were needed. Straight-and-true would serve you well on about 1/3rd of the holes, meaning about half the holes were left-turners. Some of these leftys were quite sharp and/or occurred early/mid fairway - as a RHBH player, my Firebird received quite a workout!
A few navigation tips:
- tee-1 is near Pines basket-18
- left from basket-1 to tee-2
- retrace/right from basket-5 to tee-6
- holes 10 & 11 to right of basket-9, then cross behind basket-9 to find tee-12
- avoid the right-side fence on #14! :-)
- retrace steps from basket-16 to find tee-17
Favourite hole: #8 - a fair-but-challenging tunnel formed by attractive canopy, with a touch of left fade needed at the end.
The Oaks is a solid course, requiring good control, with an emphasis on left-turning shots. Its co-location with Pines and Palmetto make Blue Angel an enjoyable, well-shaded, multi-course destination, well worth a visit if anywhere in the area.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 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
-Could take a minute to find some of the next tee pads
-No water holes
Other Thoughts: 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 think you would be satisfied.
You do have a fee of a whopping $2 (joke here) 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. This course does have a couple of long range holes where you can launch a driver. Now when I say launch a driver, for me I use a driver if it looks to be over 225'. 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. You do have OB's on the other side of a fire hose running by the road and there is a fence on one hole that separates an RV storage parking lot. 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 or need a 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. The three courses are shaded by oaks and pines with palms, leaves, and sand that make up the terrain. The 'art' that decorates some of the holes is really unique as well. All three courses are very similar so my other reviews of the other two will be very close to the same.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Tee Pads- Exceptional cement tee pads with both Pro and Am/Rec tees. All long enough for confindence in your footing while performing almost any type of throwing style.
2. Tee Signage- Each hole has a very nice wooden sign that shows distance, desired flight path and pin location to include trees/hazards.
3. Course layout/play- Course starts and finishes in same location and plays pretty smooth and logical. This course is mostly technical due to the amount of trees and requires a variety of shots to score low but, is excellent to challenge both the big arm and technical type players. Not beginner friendly but, beginner playable enough to still have fun.
4. Amenities- EXCEPTIONAL! Benches, trash cans, bag holders, WATER COOLERS, port-o-potty and a snack/drink/disc "shop"!
5. Scenery- Everything you'd expect from a NICE coastal forest park with abundant sights and sounds that make for a great round. ZERO trash, lots of squirrels, possibility of snakes, minimal bugs when I went and lots of shade.
Cons: 1. Cages- While all were in good to excellent condition they are sometimes hard to spot, but manageable.
2. Next Tee- Playing this course for the first time there are a couple of holes that can take you a minute to find the next tee, but again, manageable.
3. Course- Little to no elevation changes or water if you're into that kind of thing.
Other Thoughts: This IS a destination course, especially when you put into consideration that the Palmetto and Pines course are open to play now as well even to the public. If you're looking for a challenge play this Oaks, if you're with the fam and just want some fun go for Palmetto. Either way you can't go wrong. I was kind of nit-picking to find those 3 cons and if they were somehow rememdied I would score this 4.5/5.0 as it's already a SOLID 4.0. Highly suggest this course complex over any location in or around Pensacola.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Oakey Dokey don't Chokey
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The atmosphere of the Blue Angel complex is incredible. In the Deep South, if its not church [soul guilt] or work [money guilt] its gonna be a good time. From the giant disc basket identifying the entrance to close, ample parking to the beer cart wench, you feel almost feted here. In that sense, all 3 of these courses are as one.
The Oaks is less of a "goofy golf" course than the Palmettos. No covered bridge, crab shack, shower, Dutch bell, or unconnectedly bizarre art pieces---something which will probably be corrected over time.
The holes are longer, and there's only a few of the obscene, short 90*+ left-or-right turns that festoon the Palmettos.
A lot of the vegetation is unyielding: if you get off-fairway, you'll have to use whatever shots you can pull off. And I don't mean just BH and FH. If you've got a dead straight/guaranteed-turn roller, you'll succeed here. I had to use tommys, skips, slides and spikes, or a combo of them, when I could, and vertical/overhand putts when it was all I had. Only 2 holes, #s 13-14, are in the open. Break out the Katana! #13 has a big, fat RHBH hyzer that goes out over an enclosed RV parking lot, but a pedestrian gate is usually unlocked right where you might need it, if you goober your drive.
A lot of the time you're under the canopy, so sunburn isn't too much of a concern. Its a very prototypical Southern coastal forest, with hanging moss and sandy soil. You're not likely to lose any discs here, unless they're unreachable in a tree, although white discs can be difficult to spot right in front of you on the flat sandy washes.
Seats and trashcans everywhere, very clean, 1 mile from any traffic whatsoever.
And on busy summer weekends, the beer comes to you.
Cons: If you've never played around oaks, you're in for a serious learning curve. Even the wimpiest 1/8" twig can fling your disc in any direction away from the basket. Trunks and branches twist and bend, obscuring most lanes of travel except the ordained one. The thick leaves group in bunches, and can trap and hide a disc. Expect to hear lots of cursing.
Palmettos have a 1'-3' triangular stem, two edges of which are relatively sharp---or sometimes, to your utter chagrin, serrated. Not so bad on discs, wicked on bare legs. Thankfully they only comprise about 30% of the landscape.
But that's about the worst of it, except for the warm/hot-season humidity and bugs, sudden thunderstorms and poisonous snakes. Heh heh.
Other Thoughts: Marina has snacks, drinks, discs. Its a recreation facility for the USAF, so I'm sure there must be family amenities [playground, ballfield] somewhere. Pensacola is just a few miles east, with various stores along the main route 98.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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