Tough par 3 holes, dogleg par 4 holes, water BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging par 3 holes:
This course has a collection of really tough par 3 holes that is among the hardest of any course I've played so far as making birdies. Many of the lines on these holes are very tight. Some have multiple gaps with one gap being favorable over the other but gives someone who is comfortable with that shot (RHBH e.g.) a chance even if it happens to be a lower percentage throw. The inherent tight gaps when combined with the overall distance of these holes (many over 300 and a few around 400 feet) makes for these really difficult par 3's. Unlike so many other courses with par 3 holes these aren't gimme pars at all! If you miss these gaps your disc will probably hit a tree and ricochet somewhere nasty and getting up and down at that point will be quite difficult.
Par 4 and 5 holes:
These holes are longer of course and are slightly more open then the tightest par 3 holes but are still quite narrow and require that big drive or two. Many of these are dogleg holes and there is even a marker in the fairway with "landing zone" showing you where your first shot should be landing or for me my second haha. The ground is mostly open for these par 4 holes so I could see rollers off the tee happening although random roots, rocks, and twigs could be a problem though the course is fairly clean in that respect. Speaking of rollers, many times I found myself missing the landing zone or hitting a tree and bouncing way off line to find myself throwing a FH roller to get out of trouble; these holes really punish your score if you get offline. Hole 10 is the one par 4 hole that has an open drive but then you have to make a double mando going back into the trees.
Variety, multiple options, and risk/reward:
This course will challenge every disc in the bag and probably beat them in a little more after you hit a bunch of trees which you are likely to do. I really like that off the tee (and second shots on par 4 holes) you have multiple routes to get to the same landing zone giving you an option of which lines you want to explore. This makes it one of those courses that you discover over time and never gets boring. I'm sure there are several 'local routes' on almost every hole here. A lot of the time you have to choose between laying up because of danger behind the basket like water or going for it to get that birdie. Overall I don't think this place favors any style of throw over any other and I think someone who throws both BH and FH will do better than someone who only throws the one style.
Usually I'm not a fan of water hazards in disc golf for the simple fact that I don't buy a lot of discs and have very old ones that I've been using for many years that I do not wish to part with. That being said I found most of the water holes here to be quite manageable from the blue tees as you only have to carry 180 feet max sans 18. If you don't want to try your luck or can't throw that far the red tees start after the water. If you really just want to try your luck anyway I recommend bringing along some 'water' discs. Extra discs at this course is probably a good idea anyway.
All three tee pads per hole look to be in great shape even if some of the red pads are on dirt/carpet they work just fine and were long and wide enough for me and not slick. There are next tee signs just about everywhere sans a few in the back but more on that in the cons section. Tee signs show distance and direction of the basket fairly well and even though most baskets aren't visible off the tee (more on that in the cons section) you basically where you should be landing right off the bat.
This is a beautiful area in general and the course isn't any different. You get the river and a few streams/lakes running around the property as well as beautiful views of the mountains when you get out of the trees for a bit. It's mostly shaded and feels very peaceful being there. No litter or vandalism is a huge plus and you can see how much love and pride people have for this course. Playing the par 4 10th you start out near the river and there's a train track running by the fairway. As we were teeing off the train went by and we caught a glimpse of the mountains and train and it felt great. This course really has character.
Cons: Navigation issues:
Like I said above there are next tee signs on most of the course but it gets a little tricky after hole 10. You have to walk back across the big open field to trees against the fence/property line for holes 11-13 which isn't a no brainer transition. The tee pad for hole 14 is right next to the basket for 10 so we asked the locals teeing off and they send us in the right direction. Finding 17 is a little tricky as well, the gold tee is throwing across the large lake but the blue tee (the one we were playing) is a walk past this, over a bridge and into the trees. Not sure why there aren't many next tee signs in the back nine.
Many of the baskets are blind either off the tee or even at your approach which is tough for a first time player of the course. The baskets are a dull green/yellow color and blend in much too well with the surrounding color of the trees and bushes. Perhaps brightly colored ribbons near the basket or even the basket itself being brightly colored would really help you. I felt like I walked the course twice as I had to go from my disc to the basket to find where I need to throw on a majority of the holes out here.
Safety issues and other park users:
Many of the fairways are next to one another and the course is popular so you're walking to your disc and another one lands next to you or someone on another fairway is playing from your fairway, etc. kind of issues. Although I like the multiple tee pads sometimes a gold tee player may play the hole and be throwing on someone playing the blue or red tees. There were many other people out here fishing, walking, doing whatever and several times we had to wait for people to walk through our fairway before throwing. Hole 18 gold and blue tees are just insane water carries and then you throw right into a bunch of picnic tables that when we played were all occupied so we had to skip throwing and move on.
Other Thoughts: What can I say about this place that hasn't already been said?! It's amazing and I had an amazing time. I really recommend heading into Ogden proper a few minutes away and checking out the local shops they are interesting. I also recommend playing the short course and the observatory course up top as both are worth a play. The short course especially could use some more play and is quite fun. I'm a huge fan of these wooded courses, being from the NW this would probably be more like moderately wooded to us. Quit reading, go play it!
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - good quality baskets
- great tee signs with all the information you could need
- multiple tee pads on almost every hole
- great variety of distances ranging from 230 to 600 feet
- great variety of shots required to hit all the lines
- navigation is very easy
- tons of signature holes, beautiful tunnels shots and over the water shots
- incredibly well maintained
Cons: - a couple of tee pads are turf, and it's not the best turf tees
- a couple of spots on the course could use more navigations signs(this is nit picking)
Other Thoughts: This is course is very special. It may be the best wooded course in a several hundred mile radius. You don't typically find courses like this in the Rocky Mountains. Easily the best course in Utah.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Make the Pilgrimage to See Where “The Holy Shot” Happened
27 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I got word that I had a work trip to Salt Lake City, I was excited to drive up to Ogden to play a Worlds course. Then James Conrad made the greatest shot in disc golf history and I could not *wait* to play it. Even from those impossibly lofty expectations, The Fort didn't disappoint. For fellow disc golf travelers and course baggers like me, if you have one day for disc golf, I implore you to forego the SLC courses (at least the courses as of the summer of 2021) and drive up to Ogden to play The Fort. It's well worth it.
+ This is such a unique setting for a disc golf course. After the epic Conrad vs McBeth battle for the ages at the 2021 Worlds, it feels like hallowed ground. It has a Wild West, desert feel. The course is sandy and dusty with cacti for rough and a valley stream running through it. Mountains surround the area and add to the grandiose backdrop.
+ You want signature holes? The Fort has signature holes. For me, the honor goes to #16 from the Gold Tee, a top-of-the-world, panoramic view with an island green, Lake just behind it, and mountains overlooking it. This is where Conrad sealed the victory in the Worlds playoff. It's way tougher than it looks on TV, of course, especially if you strictly follow the OB rules. I was proud to make the green, even if it skipped out to the left by about a foot. I made the circle's edge putt for birdie (and my highlight of the day); if I'd been playing Pro Worlds, I'd be putting for 3 from the drop zone. You can make a case for 17 or 18 (in the Worlds layout, not the regular layout) being signature holes too, both par 4 holes playing over water from the tee. You simply cannot beat the finishing stretch of holes, 16-18. Is there a better stretch of 3 holes in the world?!
+ Tremendous variety, challenge, complexity, and uniqueness on this course: par 4's and 5's, several water carries (lakes and rivers), several death putt greens on the water's edge, open holes to bomb their still require precision, and technical, wooded holes that punish missed lines. This is what disc golf is supposed to look like: mentally and physically challenging (and interesting) in a unique and beautiful location. I never felt like there was a lull in the course. Each hole is just so different from the one preceding it.
+ Not only does the course challenge your accuracy between the trees, it challenges you up and down (going over or under obstacles), including making a triple mando to access the green for hole #10.
+ Alluded to earlier, but great use of risk/reward elements from tee shots to putts.
+ Simple navigation with well marked holes and tee signs for the Blue and Gold layouts. There's also a Red layout if the Blues and Golds are too tough.
+ There's a pro shop right next to the 18th green (in the regular layout, not the Worlds layout). Stop in and get a souvenir disc, shirt, or hat!
Cons: As I said, this is what disc golf is all about. I had to adjust my ratings for my previous top 5 courses to accommodate The Fort. I really don't have a legitimate "con" to the course, just one element of other near-perfect courses that this one mostly lacks: elevation. Besides the epic downhill tee shot from #16, there isn't much elevation here. That said, this course has a lot of elements (particularly unique water obstacle holes) that the other near-perfect courses I've played lack.
Other Thoughts: Bottom line: this is a destination, must-play course. Put it on your bucket list!
27 of 27 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
What a Great course
Pros: I played the Blue Course (Intermediate), and it was a blast. I warmed up on the other on-site course then walked over to The Fort. This course has a lot of things going for it in a big way. Some of the other reviews were from the initial setup, but I assure you, that is not the course I played today. Pros:
- Active water in play on a number of holes. 1 Gold goes over a creek, 2 Int plays over an 80' river, 2 Gold plays over the same from further back. 3 plays back across said river (except rec). 3-5 other holes have water as a backstop or water hazards included. However, other than the pond around 16/18, you'd be able to retrieve your disc if you're willing to get wet - you can see through the water and locate it.
- A great mix of RHBH and LHBH holes. As a lefty, I'm sensitive to RHBH courses that are "Hard" because they are usually routine shots for me. Not so here. There are holes that test all the tricks in your bag. The course builders have done an excellent job of narrowing the fairways with trees and "historic" looking fences that keep with the theme of the course. 9 in particular stands out as having an awesome dogleg with fences lining the beginning 200+' drive to the ideal drop zone. You know where you can go and where it would be foolish.
- The ground action is a given but can be unpredictable. Many of the circles have been filled out with wood shavings to complement the hard packed dirt, making for a great intellectual challenge of how to best use that. The course is fairly skippy, but not always.
- Probably 14 of the 18 holes have an OB (pro) / circle marked with downed trees that have been lovingly placed to mark in versus out. I played on a Monday but it was like being in a tour, you know when you've had a great upshot and you know when to groan.
- There is a LOT of shade. This is Utah and it is high in altitude, so I got a great sunburn. However, there are plentiful trees around, natural benches at nearly every hole, and a trash can at 9. This isn't one of those courses where you get baked and there is no respite from the heat.
- The tee pads are extremely well marked. This may be a Utah thing, but all of the pads had nails at the pin-side corners with little plastic cords coming out with the color of the tee - blue, gold, or red. Drop zones were orange with a board countersunk in the ground with "Drop Zone" engraved in it. It made navigation so much easier, since you could look for the ground identifiers instead of having to get to the tee sign to read the small letters that say "Red Tee".
- All tee levels have EXCELLENT tees. They have the 5X8X4 trapezoids - wider at the front, smaller in back, level, and concrete. This was for all of the tees - golds, int, and rec. That takes a lot of effort and helped push this up a half rating. Sometimes the rec tee is just a brick or a "front of tee" marker but this course seems to want to grow the sport, and that comes from helping rec players feel good. There are also tee signs at all tees. Again, to the previous point. Newbies aren't second class citizens.
- Navigation wasn't always stupid easy, but it was always easy. I used the above perk and an quick overview of the map to get my bearings and only had to look at the map 3 times during the round. Next tee signs were easily found from the pin and the paths were well worn. I like to play different courses, and for a Pro-level course, this was surprisingly easier than other courses where I give the map a once-over and then just play.
Cons: - Water is in play on 2-6 of the holes. You may have to retrieve an ace disk if you're foolish enough to lose it like me. Otherwise, they do have a lost and found which posts to facebook.
- Currently, the pins are light green in a forest of light green. I grouped up with two locals that helped me out after hole 9, but a lot of the time I was trusting the tee pad directions and throwing in the blind.
- This is hardly a con, but you're asked for a $2 donation for each round. 2 bucks for 2 hours of fun is a no brainer. I almost want to list this as a pro since the course is so well maintained and you know the money goes towards it.
- There was a lot of off-fairway crap. Probably 9 of the holes had large piles off tree limbs, branches, and "lose your disc here" areas of detritus. Having been a volunteer at a course that got hit by a tornado, I figured I knew what happened. The course worker confirmed - they had 120 MPH winds clocked which makes a massive mess. The first thing is to clear the fairways by dragging stuff off them. Later (the time consuming part you usually don't get as many volunteers for), you have to mulch or break down all the material and it can take a while. I'm certain it will be gone for World's next year, but if you're reading this, a review to confirm the cleanup would be great in a few months.
Other Thoughts: - This course is just fun and filled with nature and some of the 'incidental' pros that make disc golf great. My home state is PA and I was here on a trip. I saw a belted kingfisher, a weasel/ferret, the pond is stocked with fish so fisherman can be bothersome but it also brings in predators. I heard some hawks/raptors but never saw them.
- The branding here is awesome. You feel like the place is more about Disc Golf than the historic Ft. Buenaventura that also sits on the grounds. There are Pin icons wood burnt into a lot of the trees around and a massive 6' wooden sign announcing the course. I'm sure they'll get a lot of play in the Jomez vids next year.
- I got to meet one of the course maintenance leads and we had a great hour conversation about what they're up to. The people in this area CARE about this course, AND they have the ability to affect change. I can't wait to see what they do for World's next year, but that's a given. I can't wait to come back the next time I'm near and play again. I had tons of fun and I know there is a will and an ability to make improvements. I've been to courses that are good, but hamstrung by jurisdictional or right of access issues that prevent them from getting to the next level. The county seems to understand that this disc golf course best serves the citizens as a Disc Golf Course and has opened the gates to making it that. This course is not the course that was reviewed two years ago. Walkers and bikers are now encouraged to exercise those activities in other places, or pick up disc golf and try out here.
- Oh, did I mention they have a pro shop onsite? They were closed on the day I visited, but it's a testament to their course of action that they let a disc shop set up in an historic cabin that was relocated to the site 8 years ago. They also have some SCUBA folks that come by in wetsuits and gear once a month or so to scrub the ponds. They'll post for claimants, and then sell the leftovers as used. Today was my 102nd round of my DG career, but I got started with used equipment and that's how I got hooked. Cheap, fun, outside, and exercise? That's how the sport grows.
- There's a running water bathroom open year round near the visitor's center, about 600 feet from the gold 1 pin. There's also apparently a shower inside, but I didn't look in the door.
Overall, I had tons of fun at this course, even though I lost and retrieved TWICE an ace disk. Shame on me, I know. The layout was interesting, flowed well, and a downright good time. You want some Maple Hill water looks? Take the golds, they'll force you to make some decsisions. Want a phenomenal getting ready to be intermediate place? Try the reds. There is something here at this course for everyone, which is rare at a course of this caliber. A beginner could play here and have fun - but a pro could also play here and be challenged. This is a testament to the builders and designers who have put together something incredible. Well done, I can't wait to come back here the next time I'm in Salt Lake. I know it will be worth the trip.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Future Home to 2021 Worlds!
Pros: -Fantastic for all skill levels
-Nice new Lat 64 baskets
-Long concrete tee pads
-Multiple tee pads at each hole
-Multiple pin positions
-Excellent signage at each hole with map, distance and par
-Navigation is pretty easy to follow
-Benches at most tee pads
-Good balance of shot shaping needed
-Clean and well maintained
-Great wooden structures and vibe throughout entire course
-Hole 16 is an awesome downhill shot
-Restrooms by hole 1
-Disc golf shop on site
-Another 18 hole 'North course' in the same park
Cons: -Lacking in elevation change. Hole 16 is great, and hole 3 (if you have a big arm), but that's about all the elevation there is.
-Water is a factor.. one can lose their disc in the lake or river with an errant throw.
Other Thoughts: Where to begin? The Fort checks off everything on my list of Best of the Best other than elevation change. After a long 2 and a half hour round all I wanted to do was play it again!
I played from mostly the gold (pro pads) and for an intermediate player like myself, every hole offered a challenge, but I never thought any holes were unreasonable. I used about every disc in my bag and couldn't get over how well the course is set up. Even the drop zones are in the perfect placements!
The attention to detail and character is great- There are large homemade sign structures at hole 1 and hole 10, for example, and little branded baskets found throughout on stumps and logs.
One can tell so much work has gone into this course in prep for Worlds and it just continues. There were about 4 new pro tee pads that had just been poured and the concrete was still drying. Amazing.
I would certainly call The Fort a destination course and worth the trip to Ogden!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Future Home of 2020 Worlds!
Pros: The course maintenance is excellent. The locals clearly are proud of this course, and it absolutely shows. It's a "donation requested" location but the $2 is very reasonable, especially for the quality of maintenance that you're receiving with that $2 green fee.
Tee pads are concrete and all in great shape; most pads even have a small broom next to the sign that you can use to brush away any pollen and leaves.
Sign posts are also very new and nice looking.
The baskets catch great. They're a Prodigy basket that I had never used before and they were all in impeccable shape. Fairways are cleared of brush.
Beautiful course! And very, very challenging. Water comes into play on multiple holes and there are lots of tight fairways to push your skills to the limit.
Cons: Quite a few holes have fairways that run near or adjacent to each other, some of them with blind throws. That plus the high number of hikers/bikers/fishers we saw using the area makes it appear to be a course with some dangerous high traffic spots. Definite risk of hitting someone with a slightly errant throw.
Navigation can be challenging. Some holes have 2-3 pads, but it's difficult to tell where some are so we ended up just playing each hole from the first pad we could find which ended up being a combination of red, blue, and gold layouts.
The course is definitely popular, which means crowded. We got behind a slow group of 5 (even at 9 am on a weekday) who had no intention of letting us play through so we skipped ahead a couple holes. We then got behind another slow group who didn't let us play through. Be prepared for a long round.
THE BUGS. My goodness, it was a mosquito haven. Our trip to Ogden was nearly insect free, with the one huge exception being Fort Buenaventura Park. For some reason the mosquitos just absolutely love this disc golf course but are nearly non-existent in the rest of the city.
Other Thoughts: While there are a number of aspects of the course that are less than ideal (see 'Cons' above), the upkeep of the course is absolutely top notch and compensates for these shortcomings. It is a course that would become more fun the more you play it, as there are lots of placement shots that are frustrating as a first-timer not knowing where to throw but would keep the course from getting stale if played regularly.
Quite a few holes have baskets located adjacent to the river; that combined with fast greens meant that a couple shots that I thought were parked actually ended up lost in the water. That is admittedly my own fault for playing a new-to-me course aggressively (and not bringing a golden retriever with me to Utah), but for anyone who is reading this review as a potential first time player it is something you should be aware of. This course is not beginner friendly but is an excellent challenge for the intermediate and advanced player.
Overall it is a very nice course, but it does surprise me that it has been selected to host Worlds in 2020. The only other Worlds course I've played is Water Works in KC, and Water Works is a much better course in my opinion. The Fort is very good but it's not among the true upper echelon of courses I've played.
UPDATE: I originally reviewed this course in June of 2019 while on vacation. I am now a local, and have had a chance to play the course more regularly. I've given the course a full point rating boost, for the following reasons:
1. It has an insane amount of replay value. Even if the baskets were to only have one pin placement, the sheer challenge of the course means no two rounds are the same. Every round I find myself in a new spot off the fairway and think "well I've never played a shot from here before..." Add to that the variety of teepad choices and pin placements, and this course always stays fresh.
2. Course improvements. The club here is SO INVESTED in this course it is crazy. They've installed new bridges, better defined fairways and greens, and done so many improvements since I first played this course nine months ago. Truly a fantastic effort to make this a premier destination course.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Real Good Time!
Pros: Great tee pads. Those Prodigy baskets are good too. Course is beautiful, love the river running nearby for a lot of holes. Course if technical, great challenge. Course if fairly easy to navigate.
Cons: Some baskets are hard to tell where they are, maybe brighter marker poles or flags over baskets.
Other Thoughts: Our first day out, we were not aware of the bugs, the mosquitos just about ran us off, but we hung in there and got through the round. Second day we came out, we brought the bug spray and play was so much better! Don't forget the bug spray!!
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Fort is a mean scene. 18 hole layout with a lot of versatility. There are a lot of holes with multiple tees, alternate pins, water in play, big distance, and densely wooded fairways. The set up may vary widely, but it is not easy even on the best day.
There are great tees paved with concrete and marked with really nice signs. The Prodigy baskets are bright green and have that new chain smell. There are a lot of signs in between holes to help get you to the next tee without wandering all over the course.
Much more challenging than the 9 hole course you see on the way into the park, this is championship caliber. I liked the terrain, using some heavy woods and a good bit of water around much of the course. There are also wide open spaces in areas, but some hazards are still there. The long holes are rarely if ever straight forward, making strategically placed moves from place to place key if you are to play near par.
Hole 2 is a fun shot across the river. An island pin on the other side that is birdie distance, so long as you get past the trees and land in the circle of railroad ties. 3 has 3 tees, and 2 of them play back across the river. A lot of the rest of the front 9 play through woods that can be brutal. The lines are there, but they are often times narrow and have low ceilings. Having several different shaping capabilities at your disposal is a must. Placing a disc in the proper zone to set up the next shot will pay dividends if done correctly.
The back 9 opens up some, but still has water in play on a few holes, and some real bombers as well. Holes 10 and 14B from the long tees will take all the power you can muster. 17 from the long tee and 18 in the B position are pretty long and play over the pond from the tee. The only hill in the park is fairly tall at the peak, and I didn't notice, but there is a long tee for hole 16 on top. It plays to a basket near the edge of the pond, and would make a fun shot off the elevated tee.
Cons: Finding the first hole did take me a few, I walked from the short course. The map linked to the course home page is helpful. The layout is a bit choppy, and even with the extra signage, some transitions may require more help. One basket, 9 I think was sitting on its side next to a sleeve being installed.
Mulch on the fairways must be from horse stables or something, it seemed to have that manure aroma near some of the piles.
Some of the really long holes do not make it clear what you are trying to accomplish from the tee pad. Blind off the tee, and sometimes on the second and third shot, if you are not familiar with the course it takes some guess work.
Other Thoughts: The Fort Buenaventura grounds are good for disc golf and the course is decked out with all the best. I would say this is about as tough as they come, so if you're easily frustrated or in a hurry stay on the other side of the bridge.
I played this on the final day of a long road trip, and it was the last hurrah for my tired arm. Around hole 14 my bicep begin to fell a twinge. I had played a lot of holes in the previous 9 days, but wanted to go to Moab for one more course. Couldn't do it, the Fort sapped my will to throw any more.
The layout was par 60 and I hit 74 on the scorecard. I did make 2 birdies, but only 6 pars and a lot of red ink to get me 14 over. The par can vary a lot depending on the pin placements or what tee you play.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Great course! Technical, long, fun throws
Pros: Good tee pads, good signage, a good amount of technical shots, a few long throws that are not common to most Utah, over 450'. The location seemed good in terms of not having too too many folks just wandering through fairways.
Cons: Some areas were extremely dense with trees and weeds, so there is definite potential for losing discs.
Other Thoughts: This may be one of the tougher courses I have played but well worth the drive up from Sandy.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.