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Set within a manicured forest, the Cornwall Classic tournament layout is set up annually using none of the original nine holes but rather a combination of new tee and pin placements set throughout the entire park. This layout is much longer and incorporates more elevation. Holes on the temporary layout range anywhere from 175 to 415 feet, and provide an array of wooded to tightly wooded fairways as well as several open shots. Several holes were completely reconfigured while others were given a longer and more challenging approach. Several annual temp holes were installed as well as last and final hole which is the only hole that is annually changed out of tradition.
With the new layout brought some truly unique holes in areas of the park most wouldn't know even existed, like signature hole sixteen! Just off the beaten path, tee sixteen instantly starts off with a tight gap that requires a slow fading hyzer left that needs to eventually make its way back right at the end. The basket is perched high above a massive boulder with a natural trench below, catching most errant shots if lucky enough to not hit a trunk early or the tree canopy lurking above. Although quite difficult, it was an instant favorite as it took both skill and strategy.
With the course being used only once a year, it is hard to navigate the next tee unless you are a local or have played the layout since it's the tournaments existence fifteen years ago. My group often times had to walk ahead to find the pin or ask another group where the next tee was since the signage was not permanent and no markers/indicators were present. Completely understandable but it did add time to our round and the day we played the tournament there was a torrential downpour and wind storm so time was of the essence.
It's a shame that the Cornwall Classic layout isn't used more often but the course uses so much of the multi-use park that it puts several pedestrians at risk for a serious injury. The permanent layout although fun, is rather elementary, best suited to challenge mostly recreational and intermediate players. However, Cornwall Park is still great for any disc golfer to get out for a quick round with friends or for extra practice. The local community has a strong following and it is a shame that there is not a larger, more professional course with Bellingham's city limits. There are a few within an hour's drive worth checking out, like NRSA in Sedro or Langley in BC, but one requires a passport and the other is quite a bit off the beaten path. It is what it is for now, but if given the chance to play the Cornwall Classic in the fall you are in for a special treat. It is a great group of locals and a friendly, non sanctioned day of fun!
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