Not a beginner course....
1 Helpful / 1 Not
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!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 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
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
It is what it is!
4 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
-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.
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.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 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.
9 of 9 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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fort Hamby is a solid, wooded, and hilly course. With a solid design and layout, it ranks as the second best course in Wilkes County - behind Rolling Pines, and edging out Highland Hills.
- Great use of terrain. There are a lot of uphill and downhill holes throughout the course. Lots of variety in the wooded fairway factor - from narrow fairways, such as #8 & 11 - to (relatively) wider ones, allowing players to be more aggressive, such as #12, 16 & 17. Some of the better downhill holes are #6, 9, 13 (great risk-reward hole with water behind the basket) & 17. As for the uphill layouts, #12 & 16 are solid, while #14 will garner plenty of attention for its interesting design.
- Solid risk/reward factor. There are lots of birdie chances, especially from the shorter tees. If you're on your game, you can score very low here. If you get overly aggressive and/or get some bad bounces, some 'easier' holes will quickly turn into bogey (or worse) holes.
- I'll highlight the interesting combo of #13 & 14. #13 is a tight gauntlet layout that just happens to play straight downhill. At 190 feet (long tee) or 150 feet (shorts) You're really just throwing a putt or short flick. DON'T GO LONG - or even come in too fast - or you'll be in serious trouble. The water factor turns this very birdie-able layout into a potential blow-up hole. #14 is the complete opposite in that you're throwing straight uphill. It's a blind tee shot that's listed at 127 to 138 feet (short & long, respectively), but, obviously, plays much longer. I threw a mid-range disc and still came up a good 30 feet short. From there, you're dealing with a basket on the edge of a drop-off, so the birdie putt is even more challenging. Not sure what it says about the state of my game that I came away from these two holes shooting par-par, and I wasn't upset about it.
- Great tee signs. Signs are very descriptive, very easy-to-read, and are overall very helpful, especially for first-time players. Add to that, there is great signage between holes, with arrows pointing to both the white (short) and blue (long) tee pads. I printed out a map beforehand, but didn't need it at all thanks to these steps.
- Great flow to the course. The course plays throughout the winding hills of the park, with holes often alternating between uphill and downhill layouts. I never felt I was playing the same shot/layout too often as there was a great mix of doglegs, straight holes, tight and wider layouts sprinkled throughout the course. It was also nice (usually) having an easier hole or two after the tougher layouts. The lone exception is the tough back-to-back stretch of #7 & 8, where most players are going to have to work for their 3s. At least you get a fun, birdie-able/ace-run layout on #9 after that stretch.
Cons: The biggest issue I had with the course design is that too many holes used the 'gimmicky' trick of placing baskets on the edge of hills. Most courses have a couple of these basket placements. There were just enough here that I noticed it and it became an annoyance. Again, that's my ONLY complaint with the course design.
- Goat paths down (and up) some of the hills could be better designed for safety purposes. I played on an autumn day just after a heavy rain. Between that and the downed leaves, a couple paths were slick and I had on great footwear. Having steps and or ropes (similar to Highland Hills) would be a nice added touch in the future.
- I wasn't a big fan of some of the holes from the long tees. It seems pretty clear (to me, at least) that the course was built for the short layouts first and foremost, then the long tees were added. Whereas some holes have natural layouts and flows from the short tees - holes #2-4 & 6 come to mind - the long layouts have awkward/odd flows to them. Hole #3 has a sharp dogleg within the first third of the hole, then a second sharp dogleg in the opposite direction in the final third. I missed the intended fairway on #6 long bad enough that I ended up in the fairway for the short tee, and ended up in a much better position that my friends who had barely missed the correct, long fairway. Somehow being 30-40 feet right of my target was better than only missing your line by 5-10 feet. Go figure.
- #5 is a complete 'fill in the gap' hole, in that you've got a long walk across the field going from #4 to 6. To break up that walk, it feels like a hole was put in to shorten the 'walk' portion. There's already an even longer walk going from #17 to 18 so I'd rather have a long walk here and get a better hole somewhere in the woods. And yes, there's a tremendous amount of unused space close to other holes that you could easily knock off the worst holes here, and replace them with elite layouts.
- The course isn't really broken into two 9-hole layouts. Rather, the first loop is holes #1 - 11, and the second loop is #12 - 18. After finishing #11, you walk past hole #1 to get to 12. I could see some disc golfers getting confused with layout, especially those who have been inebriated with foreign substances.
- This is a small problem that I could see as a possible major one. The second time I played this layout (May 2016), the course was less than a year old. In that time, basket layouts were already being tinkered with...and not in a good way. First off, you've got elite tee signs, so those are now useless on holes #9 & 14. Second, the new layouts aren't improving the holes. On #9 especially, you had a potential ace run hole to a horrible layout that now uses part of a park walking trail as part of the hole. Oh, and you're completely blind from the tee to whether someone could be on the trail. Making the hole worse is bad enough. Adding potential danger to non-disc golfers when there's no reason to do so? An utterly inexcusable and thoughtless choice.
Other Thoughts: Fort Hamby is a very solid course. I've now played both the long and short layouts. The shorts give you more birdie chances, allowing players to be more aggressive. From the longer tees, you'll see a more grueling round, with accuracy vital to any good round.
- This course is open to play even when the park is technically closed. When the front gate is locked, you park in the small lot to the right of the gate. From there, the first hole you come to is #6. I loved starting my round with such a fun layout. The downside with starting the round on #6 is that I also ended my round with the course's worst hole - #5, as I stated above. Still, it's probably easier doing it this way than having a long walk to start at #1.
- From the short tees, this course had lots of similarities to Reedy Creek in Charlotte - a good, wooded and technical course that can appeal to many skill levels. I imagine this being a course many casual and newbies will play. I feel comfortable bringing those players here while also bringing in very experienced players. Courses that can appeal to many skill sets are hard to find/
- After playing this course a second time, I was slightly less impressed than the first time. Several things went into that: the basket changes on holes #9 & 14; the grass was really high on the front 9; not a fan of some of the long hole layouts; and, oh yeah, I had just played a grueling round at Ashe. Still, I'm giving this course a 3.5 rating. The shine on that rating isn't as bright, but it's still a solid, enjoyable place to play. For out-of-towners, it's almost a requirement that you play at least two of the three Wilkes County courses (Hamby, Rolling Pines, Highland) or Ashe County. You do that, and you've got a solid day trip.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Typically when I play a new course with two sets of tees, I play just one set but visually check out the other. Not so at Hamby. I played the blues and on some holes, I didn't even see the white tee. Rarely have I seen a course that so differentiates the fairways of the different tees. When I did see the whites, it was the result of the course's favorite trick: create a solid hole from the white tee, then put the blue tee about fifty feet behind the white, and thirty feet lower. Seriously, I don't know how they found so many sharp inclines to put tees under but I'm so glad they did. This course from the blues is a lot of fun and can be summarized in three words: short and steep. The inclines in general here are so steep that if you don't like throwing up, you should pass. Obviously there are going to be hills in this area but in contrast to nearby Rolling Pines these are shorter and punctuated by flat spaces. And much steeper. There is solid length from the blues and quite a bit of variety when it comes to fairway shape and distance. The holes, when cleared, make for a really nice design. Not a shot here that you want to throw.
Cons: Not sure where the course is in development but while some fairways and trails have been constructed with utmost care, some seem to be not yet built. I would have probably let it pass if it had been listed more recently, but he first reviews are from the spring and at this point there shouldn't be fairways with knee high vegetation. I fear that rather than not yet built fairways, these are areas that don't allow for a riding mower and will be left to fend for themselves. It's only 3-4 holes but it's a big downer. It is very possible that I just happened to be there the day before it was mowed down, but this is a national park with paid labor. It should never be that bad.
Other Thoughts: I can't believe that a town this size has three courses of such a high quality. Combined, the three make a great day trip with very little travel between courses and I highly recommend it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Scott !
Pros: Ft. Hamby is a new nature trail disc golf course located on the north side of W. Kerr Scott Reservoir which combines disc golf,exercise and environmental education. The kiosk,scorecards,tee signs,tee pads,baskets and directional signs are all top notch. I especially appreciated the next tee signage color-coded for the white and blue tees.
The differences in distance and hole shape between white and blue were significant ( well-thought out triangulations) as opposed to just having short and long versions. The job of separating white from blue is unquestionably the best that I've seen in over 100 courses. The course was a blast for our entire group which ranged from advanced to novice.
The land is heavily-forested with occaisonal views of the inviting green water of the reservoir. The hills are small but steep; and provide a perfect undulating landscape for disc golf without beating you up. Trail-building appeared to be installed by a skid steer on the steep sloped areas and are going to be sustainable moving forward since it is a clay soil type. Obviously a mammoth undertaking done right.
The layout, which to me is the most important part of the equation, is nothing short of a masterpiece...not a filler hole on the course.
There is a campground on site within walking distance of the course and two other outstanding dg courses nearby, Highland Hills and Rolling Pines. In addition there are 30+miles of the best mountain biking in the south-east located on the south side of Kerr Scott as well as Merlefest in April.
Cons: The only con is that some folks may have an issue with pay to play, but not for me. I loved having the course to myself.
Other Thoughts: I'm not sure why this course has been rated so low, other than it is not in Charlotte.This is among my favorite public courses in NC !
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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