The History of MDGA Courses: # 1 Amherst/Pugwash

The first formally recognized public disc golf course in the Maritimes was located in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Built in 2007, it was a nine hole basket course that made good use of farm fields and limited elevation changes.  One of the funnest holes of all time anywhere was the #4 hole, “the smokin’ hole”, so named for the smokin’ hot shots you would regularly see there.  The smokin’ hole was equipped with an outdoor couch and one small birch tree, limbed and strategically left placed slightly off-centre of the elevated basket.  Although it was only 165+ feet long, both a 6 and an ace were in play… and there were more then a few aces.

Not long after this course was established, a second 9 hole course, 30 minutes away was also built. After a brief period, the two courses merged to form what is the now Disc Golf Pugwash. DGP is an 18 hole course with a blend of 9 Innova Disc Catchers and 9 Homemade baskets which add to the “charm” of the course. There are 3 distinct layouts for these 18 baskets; a local pro route (unmarked), a birdie route (green signs with distances), and the regular course (fence posts with orange dots that point to the basket). For all intents and purposes we will focus on the regular course, as that is the one that gets the vast majority of play.

Pugwash has the classic small park feel with several holes measuring 250 feet or less, however the course does not necessarily play small or short.  There is almost always a significant wind and pin placements often require sizeable hyzer on anhyzer routes.  There is a pond, which you cross once and play around 6 times, a road, OB (other side of the trees) and the 2 meter rule which will all come into play at some point in your round.  The front 9 are significantly more technical and local routes can definitely help, but it’s safe to say with a good mid-range game and some precision shots through the trees you can have some sweet scores on the front. The back 9 starts with a sweet hyzer up the hill before playing to a very tricky uphill anhyzer (second hardest hole on the course). One more tight squeeze on 12 and then you are out in the open. The next 5 holes, although longer (300′-400′) can be straight runs at the basket, but you are contending with the wind and sometimes tricky placements (17). The course finishes with the hardest hole to score on, with trees in tough driving positions, again playing with a local on this hole probably saves you a stroke.

The course record is -10 set in a tour event round. Overall this is the kind of course you can play everyday (especially with the alternatives) and not get tired of it. This is also home of the current MDGA president who very rarely misses the opportunity to share the space with other disc lovers and gladly shows off the local routes to anyone willing to take them. There is also a private course a few minutes away… but that deserves its own page.

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