9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Ft. Hamby DGC is 18 holes of almost entirely wooded golf. I believe only one of the eighteen holes is open. The course will be located by the first parking area on your right as you head down the park road. There's a course kiosk located by the corner of the lot with a nice course map. Hole 1 will be right there as well.
The baskets here are Discatchers. All of the have the yellow top band which helps to spot them in the shade of the woods. Hole 18 appeared to have 2 baskets on the hole. One with an orange top band. Also easy to spot. All baskets were mounted level and caught great. One pin position per hole, besides hole 18. There's also 2 Discatcher practice baskets just north of the kiosk by the parking lot.
The tee signs are nicely done. The have the hole number in either white (short) or blue (long). In addition to that they have par, distance, the other tee and next tee arrow. The hole map on these are pretty detailed. They show the basic hole overview along with any OB in play and even shows the pin location in relation to trails crossing the fairway.
The 2 different tees on each hole do a great job of changing up the shot shape and overall challenge from whites to blues. I wish I had the chance to try out the blues, but it was raining and I still had to hit Rolling Pines before heading north. The whites were no walk in the park though.
The design of the course is well done. The flow is pretty intuitive in most spots. There's a couple longer walks but there's numerous blue or white arrows pointing you in the right direction. The walk to 18 was the most confusing, but nothing major.
The elevation is used tremendously here. The course traverses up and down the hills throughout the whole round. There is not a single hole that doesn't undulate up or down. The trees will be your main nemesis here. The lines are tight and being off even a couple inches can cost you strokes.
The course is almost split into 2 halves that start and end by the parking lot. Holes 1-11 and 12-18 start and end there.
Cons: The number one con here is the tee pads. They're this odd metal or plastic grating over the top of a bed of gravel. I've played on ones like these a couple other times. Not ideal. It was wet and rainy when we played and these things were slick.
The rough wasn't too terrible, but I'd imagine it gets worse as the year goes on. Even today the potential for lost plastic was very real. The water comes into play on one hole and it gets deep fairly quickly (found out for myself).
A couple holes have you throwing over the park road. Holes 1 and 6 from the blue tees. The tees are close enough to the road though, so you should be able to see any traffic coming.
As mentioned in other reviews, hole 5 is just there to get you from hole 4 to hole 6. Feels very out of place compared to the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: This course is right up my alley. I absolutely loved this place. It's not the longest course you're going to see by any means, but it's a fun round. I'd be here all the time if I lived nearby. The two sets of tees give it excellent replay value. While not necessarily a destination by any means, Wilkesboro has 2 excellent courses nearby and is worth a little detour if passing through the area.
$5 per vehicle to enter the park.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Very solid, tricky course
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Beautiful park in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, though with all of the elevation on the holes, you feel like you are in the mountains.
+ Some of the best use of elevation I have seen on any course. Usually you don't have to throw extremely up or downhill (with a couple exceptions), but there are steep slopes all along the fairways.
+ Highly technical, heavily wooded golf demands precision and shot-shaping. Fairways are tight but fair.
+ Ridiculously fast and tricky greens (this could be a plus or a minus, depending on your experience). You will probably end up laying up more short putts than usual unless you are willing to risk hundred foot rollaways down steep ravines.
+ Course is well maintained and tee pads are adequate (if a bit short).
Cons: - No real signature holes, though several are very enjoyable and well designed.
- A bit treacherous due to the steep slopes. Don't play in the rain, as I was forced to during a recent tournament. Though the course isn't that long, it will give you a good workout, especially on a hot day (this isn't really a negative unless you are looking for a lower intensity disc golf experience).
- Very easy to lose a disc in the lake on the short downhill hole, even if you throw a good shot. Use a putter and just barely throw it - gravity will do the work for you.
- As described above, the greens are very tricky and after hitting the basket and ending up 100 feet further away than you started, you probably won't count this as a plus. I kind of enjoyed the challenge, but it seems like they intentionally placed too many baskets right on the edge of slopes.
Other Thoughts: The second best course in Wilkesboro (after Rolling Pines), but well worth playing if you are in the area. Does cost $5 per car as an entry fee, but the park has a lot of other activities including fishing, boating, and camping.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Solid 2nd option in Wilkes County
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: If you're road-tripping to Wilkes County for disc golf and haven't played Rolling Pines, that should be your #1 destination. However, if you have time for more than one round -- or if you've played Rolling Pines and want the next-best thing -- Ft. Hamby is the one. (Highland Hills is the very extreme, not for the faint of heart, third option, in my opinion.) Ft. Hamby is also just one of many options at this beautiful park. You could easily turn Ft. Hamby into an all day or all weekend adventure, complete with fun woods golf, fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, and camping. I didn't check out the whole park, but I understand it has a basketball court, horseshoe pit, and outdoor amphitheater too. This is a beautiful, well-maintained, multi-activity, destination park.
+ See above: beautiful destination park with multiple activities, including disc golf. (And the disc golf course is absolutely *not* an after-thought; it's a well-designed and executed track.)
+ This is a heavily wooded, technical course that will challenge all skill levels. With white (intermediate) and blue (advanced) sets of tees, there's something for everyone. I am an intermediate level player and only had time for one round, so I played the whites. Going in to the round, I didn't have super-high expectations because at only 4,095 feet from the whites, I thought this layout might be an easy, borderline red (rec) level track. Wrong. Don't let the short lengths fool you. The 5,538-foot (also pretty short for an advanced course) blues looked very challenging to me. Also, the blues are not simply longer versions of the same layout. On numerous holes, the blue tee approaches are not only longer, but from different angles or just entirely different layouts altogether. There is only one truly open hole (#5) -- probably the weakest hole on the course. Everything else is very technical, requiring lots of touch and accuracy. This course hits the two most important marks, in my book: challenging and fun.
+ This is the most physically demanding 4,095-foot course I've ever played. Granted, I played on a hot summer day and I could probably stand to lose 20 pounds, but I was absolutely gassed by the final 4-5 holes. There is a lot of elevation on this course: one of the biggest pluses, for me. But there's also a lot of elevation in between holes as you walk the course. This thing is a hike!
+ Going back to elevation for a minute, because it deserves repeating and is my favorite unique aspect of this course: the Ft. Hamby designers went out of their way to fit in numerous fun and challenging downhill holes. Sometimes the walks between holes are a little bit longer -- but the payoff greater -- to get to downhill holes. There are also some uphill holes, of course, but as with most tracks, the downhill ones are the most fun and memorable. The standout to me is the second-shortest hole on the course at only 150 feet from the whites: hole #13. It's a steep downhill tunnel shot to a small green surrounded by water. I threw a soft putter shot dead straight. It went over the basket by about 2 feet -- 2 feet! -- and skipped right into the water. This is a great risk/reward hold requiring all kinds of touch. And the lake is so clean, clear, and beautiful, I had no problem wading into the water to get my disc back.
+ Speaking of risk/reward, there are several fast greens that challenge you to confidently hit your putts...or timidly miss and endure a roll-away. I know some people aren't fans of placing baskets on hills and ridges (or on islands surrounded by water, as mentioned above), but I love this aspect of course design and think it's the best way to make putting more exciting, interesting, and challenging.
+ Navigation was simple and there are arrows for both the blue and white layouts. Many times there are separate goat paths for the two sets of tees, as the holes are laid out quite differently for white vs. blue.
+ Nice parking area with course bulletin board, scorecards, and a couple of practice baskets.
+ Beautiful piece of property and well-maintained. I didn't see any trash at all on the course.
+ While I didn't throw too many drivers off the tee (a negative), I was forced to use a lot of different types of shots: hyzer, flex, anhyzer, and flick.
Cons: Nothing major, but a few nit-picks. Overall, this is a very good course and well worth the trip.
- As mentioned, for a short course (yardage wise), it's extremely physically demanding, technical, and challenging. That said, it would be nice to throw a few more drivers off the tee. Sure, your response to that is: "Well, you should play the blue tees." True. And next time I will. But as an intermediate player, I expect the white tees to provide the best challenge to my game that's not going to completely crush me. If/when I get to play the blues, I'll get to throw more drivers, but I'll also likely be traipsing through the woods and rough more too, as I don't have the long-distance accuracy that an advanced player would. And advanced players still are likely not throwing too many drivers off the blue tees. It's just a shorter course at both difficultly levels, that's all. It still has plenty to throw at you in terms of challenge; distance just isn't a key element here.
- There's a good bit of underbrush that could stand to be cut down and pulled out. There is some disc loss potential. (I mentioned the lake, but to me that's an acceptable risk and worth it for a beautiful hole.) But it's never fun to lose a disc after throwing a good drive that's either just off the fairway...or even *on* the fairway...a fairway that's overgrown.
- Not a major con in my book, but it is unique that the course really sets up as a front 11 and back 7. Hole #11 finishes near the practice baskets and parking lot. The hole #12 tee is the closest to the parking area, other than hole #1.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course. Put it on your wish list, if you haven't played it yet. This is a great destination course that you could make a day out of playing -- and enjoying the other aspects of the park.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Not a beginner course....
Pros: -the course was very shaded which made for a reasonably cool playing session on a hot summer day!
-Trails were clear for the most part
-Walking distance between each hole was short, and overall course was short but definitely enough distance to enjoy.
-There are TWO practice holes, a lot of courses don't even have any so I was pleased to see a couple here.
-there is a box for score cards that actually contained fresh scorecards for this course (pencils not included)
-The directional markers to find your next hole are very visible and finding each cup wasn't a big deal
Cons: -The wooded areas are pretty tight and any mistakes you will most likely pay for
-For a beginner and a left-hander, this is a tough course. The majority of the holes stray left from the tee which is typically the opposite of where my drives like to fade
-there are a lot of muddy banks and slippery areas, proper shoes are a must for this hole
-there are minimal benches, some of the benches were rotted or broken
-the tee off's are very rough, my feet caught on multiple. they are not of good quality at all.
-no water fountains or ground faucets anywhere on this course! nearby rolling pines has about one per every two holes
-have a stick handy this time of year because I passed through over 50-60 spider webs in the middle of the trail
-It is 5$ per car to park at the course / no other way in.
Other Thoughts: I would consider playing again, but with Rolling Pines in the same town, it's hard to have a desire to revisit this course. I think being a beginner, some of my negatives could have came from discouragement, but overall didn't enjoy this course as much as others I've played. I think Fall season would be a much better time to revisit this one!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Located in Wilkesboro, Ft. Hamby is probably overlooked more than it should be. This course is located in Ft. Hamby Park. You do not have to worry about the course being crowded, because parking is $5.
The atmosphere of the course is one of best a course can hope to adopt. It feels very welcoming, and for the front 9 you feel both secluded and like you are hiking around a small mountain town. During the back 9, the lake comes into view, and although the water only comes into play in 1 or 2 holes, being so near the water breathes a new life into the round. I enjoyed the entire course, but Holes 13-18 were honestly the most enjoyable holes of Disc Golf I found in Wilkesboro.
Ft. Hamby features a variety of shots from the tee, and will reward players more for their accuracy than their ability to throw big distances. There is really only one open hole on the entire course, the rest will test a player's skill at choosing and sticking to a line from the tee.
The course features both white and blue tees, allowing players to choose the difficulty level that best represents their skill level. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten the chance to test out the blue tees yet. I was in Wilkesboro for a day and wanted to get through all three courses before returning for a tournament that will feature short tees.
Tee signs were all well done, with distances, fairway layouts, and OB all indicated. The course features DisCATCHER Pro baskets, and has 2 practice baskets.
Other courses should look at Ft. Hamby and learn how to finish a course out. Hole 17 is a nice downhill forehand shot, with a low ceiling and a little bit of water behind the basket. It is pretty hard to get the water to be in play, but if you skip past the basket as far as I did you will start to edge up on that line. Hole 18 starts out with a placement shot over a large gulley, that filters down into the lake, or features the lake if the water levels are up. These two holes were very memorable and are a great way to finish a course out!
Excellent use of elevation throughout this course. Hole 13 is a wonderful shot that is a nerve-racking Ace run. Holes 8 and 18 make use of deep gulleys to penalize players with extra strokes when their discs roll into them.
Cons: The tee pads are crushed gravel with rubber mats, which would not be the worst thing in the world- but the tee pads are not all level. I flubbed a couple of drives when my footing got messed up on the tee. This is an even bigger con, for me, when you are playing a course like Ft. Hamby where a lot of finesse is needed off the tee, and a bad drive can result into a lot of wasted time searching for a disc.
The rough is a bit too much on this course, at least in the middle of June when I played here. With the fairways as tight as they are, you should be punished for a bad throw, but your punishment shouldn't be half an hour looking for a disc. Luckily I stayed on my lines, but if a beginner was out here, I could see some serious time being spent looking for an errant throw. This is really my biggest issue with this course, because the fairways are about the appropriate length and width to show a beginner what NC wooded courses are like, but the rough is so thick it discourages them from playing here.
The cost of parking at the park isn't that steep, especially for a seasons pass - but it seems enough to where this course really isn't getting the foot traffic it deserves, or needs. If this course received more traffic the fairways and rough would both beat in quite nicely.
Some of the tee signs are rather close to the tees. I never noticed, but my buddy kept saying he was afraid I was gonna hit the tee signs with my hands while I was throwing. This might be something that could affect other players.
Some areas could use better erosion control, with erosion bars and/or switchbacks. This course can be a bit unsettling to play when it is muddy because of the lack of steps in some places. Hole 8 comes to mind.
Other Thoughts: This was a tough decision, but right now I am rating Hamby at 3.0. It's worth mentioning that I believe this course could/should easily merit a higher rating: the hole are all designed really well, but a huge chunk of this course's potential could be reached by fixing the uneven tees, unkempt fairways, and the really bad rough lining said fairways. Hopefully this course receives some TLC so I can come back and give this rating another look. You could feel the potential oozing out of this course as you play it.
Favorite White Holes: 5, 13, 17, 18
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A great mix of holes with several that play close to the lake. Theres two sets of tees here. Lots of elevation for sure. Wear some shoes with great traction and don't forget your water. Great signage to help you get around the course easily. You can play holes #1 through #11 and end up in the parking lot. Hole #12 is straight across from the parking area. The course got beaten up pretty bad last summer from the storms. There was a lot of fallen trees all over the course.Since then the course had been cleaned up and is in awesome shape it appears. Worth the park fee to come and play.
Cons: The rough is not a place you wanna be. Some of the fairways are tight and unforgiving. If you can keep it in the fairways you'll shoot well. if you get in the rough here the strokes will add up quickly.
Other Thoughts: There are camping areas nearby if your interested in staying. Lots of work went into getting this course back in playing condition. Park personal,the local disc golf club,and numerous volunteers worked many hours at Ft. Hamby. Everyone should come out and enjoy this wonderful wooded course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has great signage, which is something I really appreciate. The white and blue tees are different enough in their spacing and placement to make the two options play like two completely different course. The path to each tee is marked as they often require a different trail to get to white/blue. Navigating here without a map is fine. I think there is something here for newbs and advanced players alike.
There are signs at at every tee pad, not just the shorts or longs as at many course. The tee pads themselves were large rubber mats and were level and worked just fine for me.
The course itself is heavily wooded and the rough can be rough and punishing. Roll-aways are a danger on many holes. A fair mix of left and right and up and down holes. There are some really fun downhill throws on this one. Just be careful on 13 as you could go in the lake.
The course has lots of elevation and I enjoyed the extra workout. Where the holes require a throw over the road, visibility is high and not likely to cause issues.
Not sure why, but we were the only disc golfers out on a beautiful 70° Saturday morning. I don't know if this is normal, but I enjoyed it.
Cons: The rough is rough and there are lots of blind throws. I might be inclined to use a spotter on some holes next time as I lost a brand new disc that must have rolled far away.
#5 did seem a little out of place and just a straight throw across an open field from the white tees.
Other Thoughts: There is normally a $5 entry fee, but the guy at the gate told us it was a "free" day. This course is right off a major highway that I travel a few times a year. I'll be stopping back through, for sure.
My dad and I are noodle arms so we played the white tees.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
It is what it is
Pros: -Know that third course in Wilkesboro? The one you pay to play at and is by the lake? At a campsite? That's Ft. Hamby. It has that Wilkesboro feeling to it, the elevation, the funky hole design, and the danger!
-The road runs right into the park entrance, so it's very easy to find. It's five bucks to play but hey, it's worth it. I didn't personally love the course but many people do so there is a good chance you will too. There are arrows that point you to every activity available here. The course is toward the end of the road, there are practice baskets beside the parking lot.
-Some cool laid out holes here. There are six par 4's on the blue pads. #5 actually stood out the most to me, even though some of the previous reviewers wrote about how it has a "filler" feeling. It starts off steep uphill and turns left out in the open. The short pad is just a toss in the open but the long gives it a different and harder look! There is a drop off past the basket so it definitely had more to it than I thought. That was my favorite of the par 4's.
-My favorite hole at Ft. Hamby is hole 2 long. It's a narrow downhill 333' par 3. Basket is dead straight but gives enough room to get there. It plays along the side of a hill so can be very dangerous if you kick. Can be easily birdied or fived.
-Holes #13-18 all give amazing views of the lake nearby and it can play as an obstacle on #13, if you go long on that hole (which is very likely), you could be wet. Holes #14 through #18 just give great views, which are in general very cool.
-Very easy to navigate, even though there are a few long walks to the next holes. There are two next tee arrows on each transition. That's probably because the blue pads and white pads give different holes. The whites were very easy for me because I'll be 905 rated by May 21st on pdga.com and the blues, believe it or not, can be crazy for their mostly innocent lengths. The tightness, and steep elevation changes make this course terrifying to tee off on.
-Tee signs on both sets of tee pads. The fact that this course has dual pads is a huge pro because that makes the course fun for all players. The whites are mostly short, like under 300'. The blues aren't much longer but they are much different in a tougher way. There are also two baskets on holes 10 and 18!
Cons: -The rough is crazy in spots. It is thorny, thick, dangerous, and discs will vanish like it's going out of style! The fairways are not always going to be hit and the spots you can land in will leave you with the "Are you kidding me?!" response. Some holes also seem unfinished because holes such as #3 and #13 have inchoate fairways. They are not completely formed and this course is already played in tournaments. Holes #3 and #4 are both very silly from the short pads.
-I like rubber pads, but if your shoes are too muddy or wet, you might fall. I do it a lot on concrete pads!
-Some hole designs here that I simply can't stand. Hole 3 is ridiculous from the long. You have to throw a very precise skip hyzer and try to have some sort of look for a flick upshot. Hole 7 is a pain. The green doesn't look too daunting but I always roll and get either a four or five if I have some sort of birdie look. The basket is on a very tiny ledge that is connecting to the ravine you throw over. Just a very irritating hole. #8's short tee pad is facing the woods and not where the fairway turns. Why? I could go on, because there are more holes here that I don't enjoy because you'll have to get somewhat lucky to hit the line the way you want. You'll have to barely dodge a few trees and just when you think you do, you don't. Not fond of #10's green in the long pin either. The fairway itself is good but the green makes this hole a bummer to play. The approach shot is drastically downhill and continues at the same declining rate. You obviously have to put some power into the approach but if you throw it nicely down the fairway. Well, you might not be coming down for quite a while because it's really downhill to the basket and past it. You have to hit a tree in order to not go too far. Requires the perfect tree kick rather than a clean upshot. Annoying.
Other Thoughts: -I had a lot of love/hate relationships with some holes here. For instance #13 long. The extreme drop shot can be fun or a serious nightmare! It all depends on where you land. It's hard to dislike a hole like this but WHERE IS THE FAIRWAY? Many fairways here are just really difficult to solve either because they are weird or the hole in general is tricky.
-You won't always have a good shot up here. It just won't happen and it will be frustrating. I shot like a 65 on the longs because I didn't always hit the fairway, but hey, it is what it is. I made many birdies, many bogeys and a six on #17! The right side is DEATH! If it takes more than one shot to tap out, that means the rough needs to be cleared!
-Aside from the crazy rough, and some not fully formed fairways, the course is a lot of fun. Typically it is a lot of fun to play over roads or to practice tricky upshots but it's important to be as courteous as possible to other people around here.
-Sorry about the minority report, I think Ft. Hamby is fun and interesting for the most part! I just think it's a little too rough at times, but hey, the elevation here is spectacular. This is a course I never score well at and I usually can shred Highland Hills and Rolling Pines. Ft. Hamby and Highland Hills are courses where every player screws up at and has a bad round. Those aren't my style, but they are good for casual play.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very wooded, very hilly, very fun. This is an absolute sparkling gem of a park and the course complements it very well. One of the few courses where I spend as much time admiring the great outdoors as I do playing disc golf.
Blues and White tees with layouts differing frequently as opposed to the "one short, one long" that you usually see. I played mostly from the Blues but snuck in a couple of Whites for funsies and neither layout looked to have more than a couple of blah holes on them. The course is more on the technical side but the fairway widths were very fair and appropriate for the lengths.
The best pro is the attention to detail in regards to preventing erosion and preserving all these hills. No stupidly placed tees and transitions to them where bothersome water fall lines will be created that I could see. Despite the constant elevation change, the course is relatively merciful on your legs and there's probably a combo of Blues and Whites that doesn't require much hiking at all.
Lots of valley shots but they're all used differently enough to feel unique instead of the usual "throw over the ravine" repeatedly at a course like a Richmond Hill. I really enjoyed the tee signs, navigation wasn't too difficult if you have a sharp eye for goat paths and the course is laid out well with the loops.
Cons: I'm not a big fan of these rubber hexagon tees b/c they never seem level and this course was no exception.
#5 White is the only hole that reeks of "filler hole."
I didn't have much trouble getting around wearing basketball shoes but if it's wet I imagine I'd probably bust my butt a couple of times.
Trash. There aren't any trashcans that I could see and unfortunately some disc golfers are too lazy to pack it out.
There are holly trees everywhere and man are they annoying/painful to come into contact with.
Other Thoughts: I don't want to say that Rolling Pines is better but it's definitely more "extreme" than Ft. Hamby. Hamby is kind of the Hornet's Nest to RP's Renny. Bigger potential for deadly rollaways, longer, more extreme doglegs, more bomber holes etc at Pines. Hamby might be more fun though if you prefer technical, wooded courses and it's easier on the legs I think which increases repeat rounds.
Hamby is absolutely the kind of course I would introduce people to the game with. It would kick their butts mercilessly but the surrounding nature and the hike around the course is so beautiful that they would "get it." It's what really differentiates disc golf from other games.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
I still like Rolling Pines better
Pros: This was a nice course with a good use of elevation and alot of different shots you will need to have in your bag. It has teepads with rubber type mats and crushed gravel and has new disccatchers. Offers alot of unique shots that you dont see most places unless you play mountain type golf alot. GREAT teesigns and arrows to each hole. This is always a big deal for me. They also took alot of time to carve trails into the sides of hills to prevent erosion in parts which is neat too. They had a couple practice baskets and a nice course map near hole 1.
Cons: I noticed alot of pads are not level. Most of the time I can let it go if it is one or two pads, but this course has quite a few. Wasn't a huge fan of hole 1 and 6 throwing across the roads. Seems it could be a bad idea on a day when the park is open. Not really a con, but they have no trashcans, which is fine with me since I pack it in, pack it out. Some holes have no standing room near the pads which is hard when you're playing with a group. No benches, so take a stool if you think your legs will need a break.
Other Thoughts: Course can be slick walking after a good rain. I enjoyed the course, but didn't fall in love with it. I still think I liked Rolling Pines better, but the Wilkesboro area has 2 great new courses that most cities would be proud to have. I look forward to coming back one day and see the progression this course will make.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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