Nelson Park Disc Golf Course
Disc Golf in Decatur, Illinois
Course Review by Ken Laundra
FULL COURSE REVIEW W/ PICS AND A HOLE-BY-HOLE ANALYSIS AT:
The Nelson Park Disc Golf Course in Decatur, Illinois is a surprisingly challenging course with both short and long holes, undulated fairways, a variety of open fields, ridges and valleys, large oaks and dense forests, savannah fairways with tall grass, and several hidden pins. Elevated tees, some steep and unbalanced shots, narrow fairways with punishing rough full of tall savannah grass or dense woods, and some technical shots into tight pin placements amidst large oak and pine trees make the course both challenging and interesting to play. The course offers three par 4’s and a par 5, making birdies and eagles (and perhaps an albatross?) more abundant and three holes offer players the choice of two routes to the pin. For whatever reason, there is an overabundance of dogleg right holes, favoring the right-handed, forehand shot (or left-handed, backhand hyzer) over the more typical right-handed, backhand hyzer. This is a new course with concrete tee pads, picnic tables, shaped and landscaped tees and pins, and an imaginative course design that attempts to use the natural terrain for optimal flinging of plastic discs. The course offers glimpses of nearby Lake Decatur and since the course is still relatively unknown there’s never a crowd.
It has to be said that the course design also includes some unnecessary collision spots with decapitation potential for fellow players and/or other park users (e.g. tees that cross walkways). Other reviews have suggesting some obvious and easy solutions to some of these collision zones. The park is still under construction so players have to contend with the background noise of dozers [and situations like this]. Other reviews have mentioned typically windy conditions at Nelson Park. A few holes play very near a fairly busy intersection, so there is some traffic noise to deal with. If you are allergic to poison ivy or oak, beware of holes 1, 3, 6, 8, 15, 16 and 17. There are no bathrooms or convenience stores within walking distance of this course. Players unfamiliar with Decatur will wonder where the constant smell of burnt curry and ass originates (it comes from the nearby ADM industrial zone).
The Decatur Park District converted the old front nine of a regular golf course into a fun and challenging Disc Golf Course. The course features many hills and trees, with exciting down hill holes followed by daunting up hill holes. The Disc Golf Course was a great addition to the community!
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