DHARMA Disc Golf
4 Helpful / 0 Not
* Well-maintained course.
* Good balance of all types of shots: Right, left, tightly wooded-into-open, open-into-tightly wooded, s-curves, a few water hazards.
* Plenty of opportunities to air out a disc with a nice balance of finesse shots as well.
* Great road trip destination. 5 minutes off of I-20 (as are 2 other JUDGES COURSES - Moccasin Bend in Morton and Center City, just down the road in Pearl).
* No cross-traffic with other park users when I played. You can basically have this area of the park to yourself.
* LOADS of cool vibe and character! Very unique setting for a disc golf course. Butts Park is the location of a former Army Corps of Engineers site from back in the 1930's that had a scale model of the Mississippi River Basin that they would actually flood to simulate scenarios for flood management of the river. There are lots of old pipes and other things laying around in the woods throughout the course which add to the vibe, but be sure not to miss the killer area west of hole 3's fairway for sure.
I took my 13-yr-old with me when I played, and there were multiple occasions where we both said things like, "Whoah! What's THAT?!!
* Navigation is a beast on Jackson's newest course. Print the map from the judges site: http://www.jacksondiscgolf.org/courses.html
* Flow issues. Many of the fairways almost overlap in the open area in the middle. There's a lot of backtracking across previously played areas.
* New course = temporary signage from last tournament (Thank you for those!), natural tee pads, few garbage cans, no on-site maps and such.
* Sketchy walkway between 14 and 15. After teeing off at hole 2, be sure to watch your step, but especially watch it crossing from 14's basket to 15's tee. I was struck by how cool the surroundings were with the old drainage system, but in November with leaves covering everything, it's kind of a treacherous walk. Be careful.
The baskets are mostly in great shape. (I saw one or two that looked older and were missing a couple of chains). There are natural teepads and temporary signs. Message the local club at the above link or on their facebook page and find someone that will take you out there if you're unfamiliar.
Print the scorecard and map for sure.
In terms of flow, the course loops back to the parking area when you hole out on 9 and 18. This is always a great bonus, but I feel like the course flow might be hindered by it. Flow is generally good on 1-8 and 14-18, but to make it come back out after 9, the course kind of goes back over areas where you've already been on 9-13. You have to cross right by many other baskets and tee boxes to get to the next tee box.
Good signs and (possibly design tweaks) are strongly needed to make navigation better. There actually seems to be a lot of thought in the order of the holes. So, they probably just need really good signs, including multiple directional signs on a few holes (which there were in temp form). For example, after the crushing 1000 ft+ hole 3, there's a shorter ace-run that shoots into the one nearby cluster of trees to give you a welcome shade break in the hot Mississippi summer.
Hole 3, by the way, abuts the now virtually forgotten Mississippi River Basin Model which, at 200 acres is the largest concrete, hydrolic model in the world. It's unmaintained and is quickly disappearing into the woods. Urban decay bloggers are big on this one as something to check out. There's literally nothing else like in on the planet. If your round gets destroyed by torrential rains, count it as a sign, and go check out the world's largest in-miniature river system flowing behind that fence.
There are many very memorable holes on this one. Hole 8 is a beautiful left-to-right curving hole through woods with routes on either side of an island of brush. All the wooded holes on that side are great. Using the road's height to give as much variation in elevation as you can get in this delta landscape. Hole 11 is a great 611-ft right-to-left dogleg that finishes with the basket on the left hand side. You don't find many wooded holes with that kind of length in the state and that one's a beauty.
14 was a monster hyzer shot into the opening in the woods north of what's marked on the current course map. (3 was also different; slightly more west, around the corner of the fence). Honestly, I've never played another hole like 15. It drives out from an opening just outside of the woods, slightly uphill and right to a small window cut into a tightly wooded area that turns left and then right again. It's a beautiful hole, ending with a target whose top is made from some old, industrial gear.
Holes 16 and 17 look like something from the DHARMA initiative with remnants of the Corps of Engineers work back in the 40's strewn about. (You'll be looking for "the hatch" from Lost.) 16 is a beast and offers epic play along DHARMA creek. 18 ends on the creek... beautiful.
I was kind of mixed as to the merits of the course after hole 9, but the final holes definitely make up for it. Holes 14-18, 7-8 and 10-11 are really fun shape-your-shots disc golf with very respectable length on many. The open holes give you plenty of opportunity to work on your distance.
Good job on this one, JUDGES. This is a really fun, interesting course unlike any other you'll play in the state. The JUDGES are super active on facebook, and it would be very easy to get a local to show you around the first time. I'm impressed at the level of interest they've stirred up in the Jackson area in a relatively short period of time. When I moved away from Jackson about 8 years ago we'd just gotten our first "real" course. Now, they're everywhere.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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