Nate and Jay Sexton went over to the Grand Opening of the Wilder Disc Golf Course in Newport.
To get to the Wilder Disc Golf Course head south on Hwy 101, and 1/2 mile south of the south end of the Yaquina Bay bridge turn left (east) on 40th St. At this junction there is a very large boat on the left of Hwy 101 - a great way to recognize the turn. Drive up this road 1/2 mile and park at the road side just as you get to a fenced dog park on your right. There is a white sign for the Wilder Dog Park and across the street is a very similar sign for the Wilder Disc Golf Course. The first tee is 50 feet east of the sign and the course is almost entirely within the woods on the east side of the road. Also, for your peace of mind - this course is up a tsunami evacuation route - and so a tsunami would not interrupt your play, as long as the sirens do not disturb your putt.
Over all this is a nice, new, raw, technical, woodsy course with 18 DiscCatcher Pro baskets and a practice basket near tee #1. It is a great addition to the local disc golf courses and provides a DG outlet for visitors to the central coast, which has been a disc golf desert.
This course is in typical thick, second growth, coastal forest of Hemlock, Spruce, and some Shore Pine and Doug-fir with undergrowth of Salal, ferns, and Salmonberry. The ground is challenging to walk on with massive ammounts of down wood in all stages of decomposition, and old logging trails and slash. The ravines, through which this course plays, add great interest, but also make traveling some of the fairways difficult. Ninety percent of the steps you take on this course require concentration. It is not a course for people who might have difficulty moving over rough ground.
The tees all have tee signs with good maps, but the paths to the next tees are not obvious, and several of the baskets are hidden from the tee. The distances on the map and on the tee signs are not to be trusted - we estimated that there were errors of up to 75 feet on distances. As of this writing the sponsorship signs were not yet on the holes.
The majority of holes should be scouted before throwing and spotters are highly recommended for several of the holes in which a VERY SERIOUS RAVINE comes into play.
Very visible disc colors are also highly recommended as thick Salal, ferns, and logs make the rough formidable.
The tees are mixes of gravel and wood chips in a defined box of logs - this is probably the weakest aspect of this course. Design is good
with holes 7, 8, and 9 being the prettiest on the course. The two longer holes are listed on the tees as par 4, but over all, this course plays as a par 54, rather than a 56.
The fairways have significant numbers of trees and tree strikes on the ravine holes can have punishing consequences. Most of the holes are in the mid 200 foot distances, with one at about 400 feet and two holes under 200. A frightening ravine comes into play on holes 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8, and these holes need to be played with well positioned spotters to increase the odds that a ravine bound disc will be returned to your bag. These holes need to be played with avoidance of the ravine uppermost in your mind.
Many players may despair that this course demands more control than they are capable of delivering. It will test your ability to escape difficult predicaments, which are the result of lapses in your control. The tees will not allow you to make run ups, but the lengths of the majority of these holes do not require power. This course is a puzzle requiring finesse, and providing a delightful disc golf experience in the wilds of the coastal forest.
Nate played the course with a first round -5 and a second round -10 with an unbroken string of birdies from hole 6 through 15, and I played a -1 and a -2 round.
The -10 is the new course record, but Nate feels a -16 is possible. All these scores are assuming a 54 par - so based on the tee signs Nate was -7 and -12, and I was -3 and -4.
It is a fun and challenging course. Tell any locals you might see that you appreciate the substantial effort, (in fundraising, negotiation, brush clearing, and stair and fairway building) that went into this ambitious course.
Here is a link to a coastal newspaper article when the plans for the DG project were first publicized: