(1.791 Rating) (REVISED - replayed November 2023) A lightly wooded MA4 and MA3 level course with 2 tee options.
- NEW LIFE ON GREAT BASKETS - The Ken Johnston course exists because another course got the axe. The basket band of the Innova DISCatchers here, have the words “Drake Springs” written on them, which was the course they used to be located at. The old site was not the greatest location due to the constant flooding and drainage issue and I doubt there were even 50 rounds of golf being played on them in an entire year. So, it’s great to see that these fantastic baskets are finally being thrown at on a daily basis.
- QUICK PLAY - Course baggers will be able to bag it and tag it in 20 minutes if they have a navigational app. It may take a second or two to locate the next tee as many tees signs can be seen from each basket, but it’s not like someone is going to get lost. First time players without an app may struggle to figure out which direction to head to.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - I think this course will work well for younger and newer players. Generally open or lightly wooded fairways. The short Red tee layout has holes averaging around 220-feet long. Newer players will be able to work on form and distance with almost no worrying about losing a disc or searching. Hole (3s) water along the right is the only substantial disc risk spot.
- MULTIPLE TEES - In addition to the Red tee layout, there is a long tee layout (Blue) as well. This layout averages nearly 50-feet longer per hole over the short Red layout. Perfect for MA3 level players and plenty long enough to appease this noodle arm MA2 level player.
- NIGHT GOLF - A local inventor and owner of Disc In The Dark, has installed permanent glow lights on all of the baskets here. One can literally bag this course after sunset without much issue. The park does close however. I want to say 9pm is the closing time.
Limited by land size and quality of said land.
- YOUTH - The baskets were planted in February 2022. Things like concrete tees are not installed yet. Nearly every City of Huntsville course has concrete tees, so I am hopeful these will be poured eventually. Tee signs were thankfully installed this past summer.
- LAND QUALITY - Although I think this parcel is better than its predecessor Drake Springs, it’s still not the greatest. I measured just 9.5 acres on google earth pro. It’s mostly flat and there’s only about 25 trees in play on the entire layout. It simply wasn’t possible to deliver a destination gem on this property. The layout designed by Larry is about as good as that was achievable.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - I’m going with 20 percentile on my ledger. The setting is most similar to area courses like New Hope and the Calhoun 6 holer. It is better looking than the nearby dud that is Kent Robertson. However, all the 18 holers in town have better landscape aesthetics imo.
- NOT FOR BOMBERS OR PROS - Players that can chuck-it 400-feet or are rated above 935 will not be challenged here. The longest play is sub 350-feet. Several people in town have already thrown 9 down on the red layout.
This course very much reminds me of my old local league course in the Tampa Bay area called Youth Park, but with nine fairways here instead of 18. I gave my old stomping grounds a 2.5 and thus I feel pretty good about projecting Ken Johnston into a solid 2.0 course if the tees ever get addressed. Among the 20 courses listed within 15 miles of downtown Huntsville, I personally have it ranked as the 14th best. I have scored it better than all the 6ers and 9ers in town except Asbury and Journey Church, but none of the 18 holers. For the Huntsville area, this is not a destination course to those coming in from out of town unless quantity of courses is the goal.