Don't Niceville Me, Bro.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
- benches at every hole
- nice assortment of sloped fairways
- great navigational signs between holes
- numbered tee signs with distances to the pin
- clearly defined fairways
- challenging design
- intuitive layout, easy to follow.
- well maintained grounds
- season pass is only 20$
- picnic tables and gazebos placed mid way through the course
- hole 18 finishes nowhere near hole 1
- 17 had no pad, was flooded, and had standing water surrounding the pin
- baskets were hard to see, they could use a flag or some more color
- LHBH favorable design
- gravel tees
- thick, thorny rough
- no single day pass available, 20$ is a bit steep for one and done course baggers
- blind tees could use a tees sign with fairway orientations
Anderson Pond is located next to a munitions/bomb range. How amazing, right? It's so unbelievably awesome that you need to watch a tutorial on bomb safety and pay a seasonal access fee before entering the premisses. You don't need to stop by the permit building to accomplish this task. The lady working there at Jackson Guard, which is not on location, is mega bitchy and wasn't the least bit helpful during my pop-in.
Registering for a permit is easy to do and only takes 15 minutes online. I highly recommend taking a screen shot of your certificate once you're finished registering. There's not a guarded gate to the course that checks for proof of registration, but you really don't want to mess around on military land. There's a hefty fine many multiple times larger than the registration fee, even if you don't physically step out of your vehicle at Anderson Pond. 20$ for a full year of access is fairly cheap. The only problem is that there's not a discounted rate for players just traveling through.
On to the actual course. Anderson Pond this is the toughest course in the FWB/Niceville area. Almost every hole uses some form of fairway sloping that adds difficultly to the course. The fairways are gently sloped, up or down, and laterally in one direction or another. If you can't keep your throws in the fairway you're going to have a bad time. The rough is thick and thorny.
Most holes hover around 300ft, a few were under or over. It was a nice mix. Every hole also found a way to use the surrounding woods to shape fairway drives. For example, tees that start in an open field will have a portion of their fairway transition to a pin in the woods. Tees that start in the woods will transition into a more open fairway. And of course, a few holes that start and finish in the woods.
My complains about the course are pretty minimal. The slight over saturation of left to right lines, gravel tees, and 18 ending far away from hole #1 are my only gripes. For the record, I appreciate the added difficulty of the left to right lines, especially down a decline slope, but the current arrangement is a smidge unbalanced. As for the tee pads, they were done really well, however, sometimes you need some better footing for those longer drives. The tees quality could be an issue if or when this course starts getting more foot traffic, like for a tournament. My understanding is that these tees are a decision made by Eglin and not the course designer. Still, having the best course locally with the worst tees is a bit deflating. As this course matures I'd like to see better tee signs, the addition of multiple tees, and multiple pin placements.
Anderson Pond is easily the most challenging course you'll find within an hour drive of Fort Walton Beach/Niceville. Bomber Run DGC @ Anderson Pond is the facebook group for the course. If your coming from out of town reach out to the page to see if there are any events happening during your visit. There are 10$ random doubles events on sporadically planned weekends. My first experience here was a doubles event, it was like having my own personal guides.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.013 Rating) This course must have went thru some major updates in 2016 and 2017, and I was totally not expecting what I got, after reading a few older reviews.
- CHALLENGING - The revised layout is much more challenging than the old layout. Nearly a 1000 feet in length was added to the layout. Some holes it was just a little but other holes were lengthened by a hundred feet. In addition, as before, there are a lot of tight lines to hit, but most of them are fair. (see cons forgiveness)
- SHOT SHAPING - I appreciated the amount of thought I had to put into my throws. Some courses you'll play, any disc or angle will do on many holes. Not the case here at Anderson.
- NEW TEES - They were literally installing new tees during my round (compacted pea gravel) clearly a step up from the natural tees.
- CHARACTER - In addition to the new tees, other course character items include seating at most holes, a practice basket, finishing shelter with picnic tables, a good amount tee shading and satisfactory navigational directions. If I were allowed to add one missing item, I'd definitely add a second set of shorter tees. In all, a touch above average.
- ELEVATION FOR FLORIDA - Compared to the 67 Florida courses that I've played as of this review, Anderson is in the top 10% in terms of elevation usage for Florida. There are probably 7 or 8 holes that change 20 feet or so, up or down. None of the nearby course have anything close to this. This said however, there are probably a few parts of the country that would still consider this course flat.
- UNIQUENESS - A touch above average. In addition to the elevation, there are tunnel runs, a couple open shots and baskets pocket both ways. Water can also be in play in the wetter months as well. All this stated, some of the holes kind of meddle together as its mostly technical wooded shots. In addition there are no par 4's or 5's and the course lacks a true dogleg.
- SPACING - Superbly spaced out holes with no chance of running one into another fairway. The walk between holes however is sometimes bothersome. The journey between hole (9) to (10) is about 500 feet.
- RAW BEAUTY - The natural elements here top every nearby course. There are marsh lands, older pines, scenic terrain changes, great fauna and minimal man-made features in view. Until I played here, I had considered Ferry to be the mirco-region's most beautiful course setting.
- LOCATION - Only a two mile drive from another course (Boggy Bayou) so a good opportunity to extend an afternoon to hit both courses. In addition, only a 15 minute drive from I10.
Cons: Anderson is not for everyone's taste. I could see many beginning players hating this course.
- FORGIVENESS - Having an off accuracy day here will be quite punishing. Not the tightest course around but when you get off fairway the terrain will start to eat you up. In addition there are a few holes that are boarder-line poke and hope shots. Hole (1) in plainly unfair. It's one of those holes that you can clearly read the 6 foot lane but they left one 6" tree in the middle of the lane 150 feet down fairway, on a 300 foot hole. I personally refer to this type of hole as the "Middle Finger"
- OVERGROWTH - I played in early March before the vegetation re-growth exploded and still found myself searching. If you play this course in the summer near the peak overgrowth period, you may end up leaving a few disks behind as well taking home a few scrapes and cuts.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - Way too difficult for beginners and many recreational players. I could also see higher skill lever players also not liking this course if they don't like wooded technical courses.
- FINDING THE FRONT NINE - Don't take the first left after entering the park. You'll find only the back 9 and promptly get lost trying to find (1). Take the second left after entering the park to find (1).
- CHILL AREAS - This is Federal Land. No alcohol and other extracurricular activities, or you might end up in jail. They don't mess around here.
- PAY TO PLAY - You'll need to get a permit to play here. Cost recently went up to $20 for the year, but it is still $5 for the day. I personally thought it was worth the price of admission.
Other Thoughts: I consider Anderson to be a solid course. If you haven't played here in a while, you'll be surprised by the greatly enhanced challenge. Definitely the most difficult course in the Destin Fort Walton Beach area.
- PERMIT - You can purchase a permit at Jackson Guard (aka Eglin AFB Natural Resources), which is located about 3 miles further south of the course, on FL-85. The process takes about 20 minutes. They are closed Sunday.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Definitely needs attention by maintenance
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1. Very challenging with a few elevation changes.
2. Heavily wooded
3. Recent maintenance by a super group of volunteers have immensely improved the layout.
Cons: If possible, the areas outside of the flyways could be thinned out. This would help discers find those errant shots.
Other Thoughts: It is amazing what a group of volunteers can do with the support of management at Jackson Guard.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -marked pretty good but not great
-you can navigate through it pretty easily
-good veritie of holes
-cool Florida feel to it
Cons: -allot of tall grass
-the rough is rough but that's not unusual for a disc golf
-we seen a 3 foot diamond back rattle snake out there
Other Thoughts: I'm happy there is a disc golf course close by but I do wish it was better but at least its hopefully growing the sport! If your going to Destin just go play there it's super simple and family friendly more than this one.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the short drive
Pros: This course has the benefit of being new and a change from other local courses. The semi pay to play concept on federal property MIGHT discourage illegal activity. Course design requires skill and variation of shots, without being overwhelming. Some elevation changes are also a welcome change from other local courses. There is a nice pavillion/rest area with very scenic views.
Cons: short holes with natural tee pads.
Other Thoughts: Once the concrete/other pads are in place it will be much easier to enjoy the course. Fresh land clearing has left the course very uneven. Once people get out there and are trampling the ground down it will flow a lot better. Due to the nature aspect this course could be rough on the body (joints, heat, bugs etc). Overall once it gets settled in it will be a very enjoyable course with some memorable holes.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Very new but nice
Pros: Finally got new course in Florida. Pros are nice scene to look at. Very technical. Have to throw low and straight to get a good score. This is the only course that has hill and slopes in my area. Most courses I play are pretty flat. And there is water hazard if you throw to far.
Camping/Picnic area on course also there is a pond for fishing.
Cons: Not very long. Natural tee's. But cement tee's will be in soon.
Other Thoughts: Carry bug spray in summer.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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