Beyond Destin: Ferry Park Disc Golf

Savannah Vasquez
Avid disk golfer, Jordan Bush throws the first hole.

Destin has a lot to offer, and although its beaches are world-famous and its seafood delicious, there are hundreds of hidden treasures in the surrounding area of Northwest Florida that yield for fun adventures, day trips and weekend getaways. This column which will be featured on Wednesdays, will follow the wanderings of reporter, Savannah Vasquez, and explore the many opportunities in Destin’s surrounding area. I invite you to explore with me Beyond Destin.

Want a low key outing reminiscent of your childhood but with a hint of competition? If so you’ve got to try out the disc golfing course at Ferry Park in Fort Walton Beach. Disc golf is like a cross between putt-putt and Frisbee, as the game involves throwing a circular disk across a green and into a designated chain-link basket. I thought I’d be a shoe-in for this game as I have pretty good aim with a Frisbee and enjoy light-hearted competition, but the thick rubber disks used in this sport proved to be more challenging than I expected.

We began our play at basket 1 of 18, and just like golf, the object of the game is to get the lowest score possible. I knew I wouldn’t win because the friends we went with are avid players, so my goal of the day was simply to beat my husband Cristian.

We eased into the game and on the second hole, where my friend sacked a hole-in-one, I thought I did quite well by making the par of three shots. However, on the fourth hole I learned just how new I was to the game. This hole was cut in half by a small creek obstacle and somehow after the disk left my hand, the creek jumped out of nowhere and claimed it. After fishing my disk back out of the creek, and being accused by other golfers of nearly missing a duck, I was determined to prove myself a sure-shot.

On the fifth hole, I wound up and used all of my strength to toss my disk across another bend in the creek, but low-and-behold a tree branch reached out and smacked my disk back down into the water. This would soon be the running joke in our group, ‘Can Savannah make it across the water?’ and somehow, much to the dismay of my competitive spirit, every single water hole did me in.

I still enjoyed the game however, as even with all my ‘slam dunking,’ I was running head-to-head with Cristian. By the last hole we were neck-and-neck and I knew I could beat him if only I could avoid the looming water up ahead. I lobbed my disk and it sailed smoothly over the water, landing on the wide lawn beside the last basket. He tossed his and easily made the same distance. I knew I had a chance to get ahead and I gingerly flung the disk for the final shot, but alas it hit the basket and bounced back out. In the end we finished a tied game, so we will definitely be returning soon for a rematch!

WANNA GO?

Ferry Park is located at 54 Ferry Road NE. in Fort Walton Beach. The city park is free to the public and open from dawn to 11 p.m. Besides the 18-hole disk golfing course, the park also offers playground equipment, tennis courts, a roller hockey rink, baseball fields, a 1-mile paved trail, and plentiful picnicking locations. You must bring your own disks for disk golf which can be purchased for around $10 at Ace Hardware on Racetrack Road or Bob’s Bicycles in downtown Fort Walton Beach. For more information on the park call 833-9576.