Disc golf on the Eastern Shore: the courses

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EASTERN SHORE POST/RYAN WEBB Raul Gildo Barrios putts on the Murray 7 hole at Indiantown Park in Eastville.

BY RYAN WEBB, Shore First —

The Shore is home to three free public disc golf courses — Indiantown in Eastville, the Historic Onancock School, and Sawmill Park in Accomac. There is also a private course that is pay-to-play in Exmore called Lynwood Forrest.
Indiantown is my home course. It’s where I learned the game and the course I have played the most since I started all those years ago.

There are 36 holes and several different ways to play. You could play the North 18, South 18, the Main 18, or the Murray 18.

When I first started playing in the summer of 2011, my friends and I stuck to the Main 18 because all of these holes have gravel and paving stone tee pads and use Innova DISCatcher targets.

The Murray holes use older targets that don’t catch discs as consistently as the Innova baskets (when someone misses a shot that looks like it should have gone in, it’s known as “getting Murrayed.”) They also don’t have tee pads.

The North 18 and South 18 incorporate holes from both the Main 18 and the Murray 18; half of the holes are Murray holes and the other half are Innova for these two layouts.

At Indiantown, a lot of the holes are between 150 and 300 feet, with a few being shorter and others a bit longer.

Most of the course is heavily wooded, which means there are a lot of trees to miss on your way to the basket, although sometimes trees give friendly redirections that actually reward errant throws. As the old saying goes, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”

But playing at Indiantown will definitely hone your ability to shape shots and hit gaps on your drives and upshots. There are plenty of “gimme” birdies, but there are also some harder holes that will test beginners and seasoned veterans alike.

If you play at Indiantown in late spring or during the summer, be sure to bring bug spray and wear long sleeves, as the mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers can be fierce down there.

The course at the Historic Onancock School is also fun. There are nine holes with DISCatcher targets, and there are several ways to play a full 18-hole round.

I haven’t played at OHS very much, but the times I have played there have been really enjoyable. I like the way the course is designed around the landscape; it makes excellent use of the hills on the property to create some unique, challenging holes. None of the holes are overly long, making OHS a pretty beginner-friendly course.

However, the most beginner-friendly course on the Shore is Sawmill Park in Accomac. There are nine holes with Innova baskets that you can play twice to make a full round of 18.

All of the holes are between 175 and 315 feet, and there aren’t many obstacles to speak of. Most of the shots are wide open compared to a course like Indiantown. Shooting well under par is very doable for experienced players.

On the other hand, Lynwood Forrest, a private 18-hole course in Exmore, is the most challenging on the Shore.

Shooting well under par at Lynwood is truly a feat and requires basically a professional level of disc golf prowess. It’s like Indiantown’s bigger and more intimidating brother.

There are plenty of wooded shots but also some wide open lengthy par 3s and 4s. There are no easy sub-150 foot par 3s like there are at Indiantown; the shortest hole is 196 feet and the longest comes in at 725 feet.

The fairways are attackable, but if you find yourself in the rough, par is almost always out of the question. Hole 18 is iconic; it requires you to throw two big shots over a pond if you want to card a birdie.

I’ve only played Lynwood once, and it was a difficult but enjoyable experience. It’s an awesome course, with concrete tee pads, professional targets, and well-maintained fairways, and I’m looking forward to playing it again soon.

If you’d like to play at Lynwood Forrest, text Will Smith at 757-894-8454 with your name, number of people, and tee time. There is a $5 fee to play.

If you’re interested in learning more about disc golf or think you would like to give it a try, check out the ESVA Disc Golf Club on Facebook by searching “ESVA DGC.”

The club welcomes players of all skill levels, and its main goal is to grow the sport on the Eastern Shore by introducing new players to disc golf and teaching them how to play. The club also holds monthly tournaments at courses on the Shore. Disc golf is fun alone, but it’s definitely more enjoyable with a group of friends, so join the club and get out on the course today.

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