Nestled in the small beach town of Lewes, Delaware, just North of Ocean City Maryland is Cape Henlopen State Park. I stumbled on this course while on vacation last summer so figured I would check it out!
Overall, the course was very unique from the sandy greens to the scattered pine trees and I had a pleasant experience while playing.
I later found out that this course is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to the late 1970's!
That being said, let's dive into the full review!
Course: Cape Henlopen State Park
Location: Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware
Tees: Wooden Platforms/ Rubber mats, multiple tees for various skill levels
What I liked: Fun but challenging course, unique terrain features not typically seen on my usual courses
What I didn't like: State Park entry is required ($10 daily for out of staters)the benefit is that once you pay you play all day or enjoy the beautiful beaches, could be better maintained, ticks were BAD for my visit in June so bring bug/tick spray!
Tee Boxes- 4/5
The tee boxes on the course were for the most part in excellent condition and were all either raised wooden platforms with some having rubber matting as well. Several holes also offered more than one tee box depending on skill level. Some tee boxes could use some maintenance, but all in all they were in good shape.
Picture courtesy of PDGA.com
The baskets were all functional with just some rusting present here and there. The course definitely could benefit from a little bit of TLC around the baskets in terms of clearing shrubs and grown foliage.
Most of the holes were easy to find and the course was easy to follow. In some areas, missing signs made navigation a little more difficult but not much effort was required to find the next hole. I had more trouble in some areas (the middle of the course especially) figuring out which tee boxes went to which baskets. Available maps made navigation much easier and without them I would have struggled a bit more to find some holes.
Course map from PDGA.com
The course definitely earns its 5/5 in the difficulty category. Several holes feature blind shots to the basket from the tee box and/or obstructions. I played the course from the white tees and one of the toughest shots was hole 13, a 325 ft hole that starts off with an upshot to a basket that you cannot see from the tee box. Couple the technical and obstructive shots with wind typically experienced at the beach and it makes for a challenging course for all skill levels.
My two favorite holes were 6 and 15. Hole 6 is a straight shot to the basket but is obstructed with terrain features. Hole 15 is a simple dog leg left with 2 clear lines and trees in the middle. Was probably one of the easier holes for a right handed player but I just liked the look from the tee box.
Hole 15 at Cape Henlopen State Park
It kills me to give this beautiful course a 3/5 on appearance but it was evidence that grooming of the disc golf course was not a focal point of the state park staff. More than half the holes were in pristine condition, but due more so to the types of foliage present rather than meticulous care.
The course could definitely benefit from a volunteer work day to clear grown up brush, especially around some of the baskets. The few holes that had grass were all mowed down nicely.
Overall this course earns a solid, even 4/5. The sandy greens are very enjoyable and being the first time I played this course, I had a great experience! As mentioned earlier, ticks were exceptionally bad when I played so just be sure to apply tick repellent or thoroughly check yourself upon completion of your round. I also had one run in with a snake sunbathing on the path between holes.
It is definitely a course that I would recommend and will not hesitate to play again in the future. If you're in the Lewes/Dewey/Rehobeth areas of Delaware, be sure to check this course out!