6 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Discing and a Whole Lot More!!
Pros: Charming course on private property with public access.
• Lots of challenging, well wooded fairways requiring control and finesse. Great variety given the land its on: nice mix of distances. Many fairways shaped to offer a choice of lines, with some forcing pretty much only one, but always requiring good execution whatever line you choose.
• Dual red/blue pads genuinely offer amateur vs. pro challenge.
• Tee posts with hole # and distance for both the red and blue tees help you find the next tee, and feature song lyrics; adds a nice touch IMO (someone really appreciates Jerry Garcia's work).
• Well laid out, nice flow from basket to next tee.
• Benches and trash cans throughout the course.
• Great location: with no other courses within 40 miles or so, Magnolia is kind of an oasis in a bit of DG desert. When you consider that this place really does attract people for lots of other activities, it's particularly well located to bring disc golf to people who might not otherwise know it exists.
• Plenty of shade to help beat the heat when the temp rises.
• Restrooms, food and lots of extras on site (see other thoughts).
Cons: Although the course is laid out in a nicely wooded, aesthetically pleasing section of the park, this parcel of land has its limitations. My only real knock on the course has more to do with the land than the design or layout, and I give the designer props for getting the most out of what he had to work with.
• With wooded hole after wooded hole, Magnolia starts to feel a bit repetitive towards the latter part of a round.
• Essentially flat, only a few holes featured a modest elevation change.
The combination of these attributes make the course seem a bit one dimensional. A couple of more open holes, an uphill or downhill shot, and some rollaway greens that increase risk reward would spice things up a bit and make for a more complete disc golf experience. For this reason alone, I can't say the course itself is excellent (4.0), but there's no denying it's very good (3.5).
Spirit of Suwannee Music Park offers great disc golf and a whole lot more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for road trippers with family members who aren't that into disc golf. Check out their website for a complete listingof things to do here: http://www.musicliveshere.com...thingstodo.php
I'll just mention a few key extras here:
• General Store a short walk from the 1st tee, 18th basket (stop here for score cards).
• RV and tent campgrounds on site with bathhouse and semi/private showers.
• Cafe and music hall near the course. After a round, you can stop in for a bite, dancing and entertainment.
SOS's charm, atmosphere, convenience and amenities help make a very good course an excellent place to play, and IMO, are worth an extra 1/2 disc in its rating.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 2 Not
A+ = A musical modern day miracle!
Pros: Here is what I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses (over 215 played so far):
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == A+
(With the combination of multiple airway routes to chose from and narrow gaps to hit (or miss if you get too aggressive or careless), there is plenty of punishment to be had on this wooded gem of a course. One thing I really liked was that it is rough enough to spank you hard in its punishment, yet open enough to offer lanes for heroic recovery tries if/when you get off the fairway. If you are not a solid Blue level player or above it is very possible you might feel that many gaps are too tight and the lengths are too long to be a fair test of your skills. You will be right…..and rightly so since from the Blue tees this course is unapologetically a test of real Blue level DG skills done to perfection!)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me (I rate only from the long tees). I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == A+
(Other than maybe 1-2 holes, this course's length (and length to width ratios) center perfectly around my skill set. A few holes are too long for me to realistically want to go for in "responsible" stroke play, but are worth "going for" either to have fun or if my back were up against the wall in a tournament situation. With the combination of the risk/reward merits of the course, I found myself excited to throw on almost every single tee….and begging for a do-over when I messed up, or cheering for myself when I succeeded. It is a rare experience for a course to provide that non-stop euphoria throughout the round….and Magnolia had me on that high the entire round!)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography. == A
(To repeat for the 3rd time: this course is absolutely right up in my wheelhouse! The only reasons I did not give Magnolia an A+ in this category is it is actually too wooded and could use maybe just a little more variety in having a few holes with a different vibe than the redundantly wooded holes. Obviously a small complaint….and one I do not recall ever making in any review I have written. The other shortcoming of this course is that it is flat…..no one to blame that on except maybe Plate Tectonics. But the design of this course overcame that short-coming to the point that Magnolia has edged out Castle Hayne (Wilmington NC - Harold Duval designed) as my new favorite flat course.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A
(Seclusion is wonderful on this course as you see very little civilization for most of the course and the little that you do see has a rustic unobtrusive feel. The course is very tidy feeling, but I imagine catching it in December as I did was probably prime-time in this department. It is not necessarily gorgeous beauty-wise, but is very very nice. One thing I rarely factor into this part of my rating is the ambiance of the property and the amenities……but, I would have to say that the whole down-home folksy music festival vibe (which is magnified by the cool lyrics adorning the tee signs) did rub off on me and take me to a happy place. A unique experience for me so far in my DG adventures for sure.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == 3 bonus points for this.
(Lots of spectacular par-4's on this course! True 2-throw holes where placement on the drive is key on many just to have an opportunity to attempt a challenging and rewarding upshot for a birdie 3 putt attempt. And, on others reward is to be had by taking more risk by trying to push the drive further up the fairway. Unfortunately no par-5's….although on a couple of the holes my scoring average would certainly be on the north side of 5!)
PS: I grade courses on a school grading system…60-100 with no F's and the average/center point being a B-….been doing that for a long time and started transferring my ratings list to the similar 11 level rating system here when this cool/amazing site came online.
I gave this course a grade of 96….which is the low end of an A+, but a 5.0 on the DGCR scale.
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (215+ 18-hole, 120+ 9-hole as of late 2011), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me…..and that's the fun of things here.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As the title suggests, I found this to be a fantastic course. This was my first time here and I put that I have played the course once, but technically I played it through from the front tees and then turned right around and played it through once from the back tees. The tee pads were all in excellent shape and a good size. There were a bunch of trash cans on the course and I believe at least one bench at every hole, if not one at each tee pad. The tee signs were simple, but adequate and seemed to have accurate distances and basic basket direction. The flow from hole to hole was very easy to follow for the most part and there were several next tee signs or arrows to assist. I love that 9 and 18 both bring you back to the start so you can grab something out of the car, drop something off, etc. The course plays fairly challenging from the front tees, but with a number of opportunities for birdies. The back tees create more of a pro-style course that makes it extremely difficult to shoot par or better unless you've got all the shots in your bag and know how to use them.
Cons: I wish I could remember which hole, but after one of them I looked up for the next hole and didn't see it or any sort of sign. I did just kind of walk off to the right though, and found it, so not a big deal. As I mentioned in the Pros, the course was easy to follow, but I mention this because it's hard to come up with Cons on this course. It's always a Con to me to have to pay to play, but this course is well worth the 2 bucks (or less if you have a carload). Don't bother looking at the park signs for anything disc golf related. It's almost like they don't want to admit that it's there. Ask the person at the pay booth for directions, but basically go behind the first building you see to the left after the pay booth and you'll see a crude course sign, picnic tables, a practice basket, and the pads for the first hole. One other thing that wasn't a big deal to me, but that would go in the con list is that the baskets are not all the same and some are taped and some are not.
Other Thoughts: I'll definitely be back to play this course and I hope I can make it over for one of their tournaments. I've had a conflict during the last 2, but I'm still hoping. This is one of the best courses I've played (out of 16 in 4 states at the time of writing this) and I really feel like if I lived closer and could play this course a lot, it would make me a much better, and more accurate disc golfer. If you are anywhere close, make it a point to go play this course!!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two dollars to play a course during the week that I had it all to myself. Hard to play. All types of shots are required...as a novice I learned plenty this day. Some long holes and some short. Really a great variety of hole types. A few low canopy shots where you are on an elevated tee pad. It's a bear from the long tees and slightly less bearish on the shorter tees. I enjoyed this course for the most part.
Cons: Cons are: some difficult navigation from hole 7 to hole 8 if I remember right. I didn't see any signs to the next tee. I read the reviews that this has been fixed. Only other con was yellow jackets. I can't remember what hole but when I reached for my disc I got jabbed three times. My disc landed right on top of their nest.
Other Thoughts: While returning back to Florida from Memphis I decided to disc golf my way home. This was one of the stops. It's been a year ago and I should have written this earlier but never got around to it (or writing my trip report also). This was one of my favorite courses. I just wish it was closer to Cape Coral.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very challenging, plenty of obstacles, variety of turns, 90 percent shaded play, multiple tee-pads, well maintained, no discs lost, very easy to navigate w/o a map, well marked tees and trails
Cons: It gets very hot in the summer regardless of the shade(get out there early or late in the day), bring a Camelpack or a big water bottle full of gatorade because you will sweat.. A LOT
Other Thoughts: I've never played from from the anything except the blue tees... until this course. The first day I played the 1st 9 on the blue pads and did terrible and was very frustrated. This course is extremely challenging from the blue pads. The second day I played all 18 from the red pad and actually enjoyed myself much more, but it was still very challenging.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Playing in the Forest!
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: We are locals that have the pleasure of playing this beautiful course every day. The course layout is great, 9 and 18 bring you back to the parking area which is right behind the General/Country Store. The store is conveniently located where they sell everything you could need including discs with maps of the course. You can also pick up scorecards in the store with a map printed on the back. There are many other amenities that are available in this park such as the SOS cafe, homemade ice cream, canoeing, camping and much more. This is a very challenging course from the blues or the reds which requires a definite variety of shots all around and don't forget to bring your bag of tricks. All the tee signs have been updated or replaced recently so navigating the course is not a problem. It is a beautiful course under a tree canopy for the majority of the course and is well maintained. Benches have been put in at every hole for the red tees not all of the blues have been done yet. There are garbage cans at every other tee so let's keep the park clean!!!
This course gets a little rough in the summer months, it is the forest. Bug spray is a requirement in the summer as it takes care of the mosquitos, ticks, biting flies, etc. You can't do much about the poison ivy, oak and sumac or the banana spiders. It is a pay to play course although the price is reasonable, $2 per person or $5 per car. There are a few weekends throughout the year that they have music festivals and other events where it is more to enter the park so be sure to check on that. If you have not made it to a music festival here I would highly suggest checking it out www.musicliveshere.com.
Other Thoughts: Other posts indicate that it is difficult to find the course once inside the park as it is not marked well. The people that work at the booth where you pay to get in are very helpful and maybe this will be helpful as well. After you leave the booth where you pay to get in, look to your left and you'll see a big building (Music Hall) turn into the parking area just before that building and follow around to the back side, at the end of the little wooden fence look to your left again and you will see the wooden sign with course map just off into the woods that is where tee pad 1 is.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
One of Florida's Best
Pros: -All concrete teepads for both red and blue tees, which must be quite new, based on some of the older reviews
-Nearby amenities -bathrooms, drinks, snacks in the store, trash cans all over the course.
-On the weekday that I went, I only saw one other group the entire day
-Between the longer blue tees and the shorter red tees, the course can fun and challenging to a variety of skill level players. You have to be precise to play this course well!!
The blue tees would be difficult for pros because of the length and hole design. The red tees are challenging for rec players but also include some shorter holes (~200 ft) to give them good birdie chances.
-I say the hole designs from the blue tees are challenging because there are some fairly long holes with dogleg fairways that would require two easier drives or one long, creative drive - risk versus reward!
-Dense tree canopy shades almost the entire course and leaves a bed of pine needles and leaves on the ground. This means very little underbrush or grass, which makes it easy to find to find discs and walk the course. You probably won't lose any discs. There was also very few bugs, but that's probably because I went in early March
-The fairways are well carved between the trees - they felt like the right width to be fair and challenging… but you will pay if you don't hit the line you shoot for. At the same time, there aren't any ridiculous tunnel fairways.
-Some of the signs and directional arrow aren't in great shape, but there are plenty of them so it was very easy to find my way around the course - even without a map. There was never a time when I wasn't sure what direction to go
-Elevation change! In Florida!! OK, I know…. Not that much compared to other states, but c'mon, this is Florida. To have SOME elevation changes /hills that affect the game is a great bonus.
Cons: -I printed a map from this site to find the Suwanee RV park and general area, but it would be about impossible to find the course inside the park without asking someone. The first tee is tucked back behind the store.
-The density of the trees is very consistent throughout the course. I would have preferred a little more variety - like a couple holes that were more wide open, for example.
-Could have used a few more benches / tables
-The tee signs are pretty amateurish, but I'm nitpicking
Other Thoughts: -I paid $2 to the woman at the entrance to the RV park to get in. I would have paid more for this awesome course. It seems very well taken care of.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Far Exceeds Expectations!
Pros: While on a 20 course roadtrip through Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, I have to say this was the biggest surprise and definitely one of my favorites from the trip. Set in a sort of a vacation village the course for the most part is quite quiet and away from all other activities. It wraps through moderate to tight woods and from the back tees has several extremely challenging par 4 holes. From the blue tees you've got a great mix of distances, right/left/straight angles of all sorts, layup shots, and a few multiple fairway windows to navigate. While there are several birdie holes out here, you'll need a well thrown shot to get'em. Both a pro and a con, the blue tees had holes that would challenge skill levels across the spectrum from amateur to elite pros. While this means that pretty much anyone who can manage tight woods will be tested by this course, it also means that there are holes out there that will play much too easy for the top golfers.
Cons: In my opinion, the red tees made this course a bit too recreational for most tournament disc golfers - as mentioned above, another slight con is that the blue tees aren't consistent in terms of challenge, some holes will play very easy for gold level players while others will provide great challenge (perhaps too much for amateur and below level players).
Not really a true 'con' but hole 14 would be amazing if lengthened by about 200' or so. There is a grove of really tight, nasty, twisty trees behind the pin with a natural entrance window. To expand this hole to a true par 4 or par 5 would create a really interesting layup to the edge of the grove and then an intense scramble to the pin through the grove, kind of a mini Paw Paw or Patapsco!
Other Thoughts: This course is killer and remains my favorite Florida course, beating out the very impressive T2 course down south in Orlando. Take a trip, you won't regret it!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A great equalizer
Pros: I normally don't write reviews but because of my experience I thought I would on this one. Also, there have been a number of changes that have not been mentioned on here. I have had my eye on this course and I finally got to play it. The facility and staff are great and were very nice and helpful when a friend and I showed up to play. The general store that's there has custom stamped Innova discs that are great for souvenirs or if you need a new disc in a pinch. They even sell beer if you're looking to partake on the course. Restrooms are in the store for the ladies and are easy to get to after holes 9-18 like a good course should.
2011 UPDATE (from what I've read on here): The course now has concrete pads for the entire course. The old carpeted ones have been removed. I also read on here someone stating that there weren't enough trash cans and I saw plenty out there but I really wasn't keeping track of those. The course offers different pin positions to change it up for the locals on some holes but I only noticed this option for the back nine.
I loved this course! I titled this review as an equalizer because it is challenging and makes the big arm bombers lose their pride as they are forced to play golf rather than flexing muscles and bragging about it. I played on the red tees per the recommendation because I am not a power thrower and had birdie chances all day and my first chance at an eagle on a par 4. I only saw three or four holes where in my opinion the blue tees would require a big arm. Maybe I'm used to longer courses???
I can see where depending on which tee you choose could change the course around to make two courses out of one although there are some that the blue tees should be combined with the red. The course still has tight, narrow fairways that make you play smarter, not aggressively. This course really puts everyone on an equal playing field to test every throw you have in your bag.
Refer to the previous reviews from others for detailed info on the holes. I really enjoy the technical courses although it would be nice to have one hole that you could really unload on.
Cons: There are no signs off the course that indicate where the course is and we had to go into the general store to ask where it was if you're a first timer. Also, the scorecards they offered us were only the back nine. We took two and indicated the difference. I wish there was a course layout somewhere. It is not available online and the make shift board they painted it on isn't very helpful. Symantecs…
Although it wasn't not too bad to figure out where the next hole was, some of the signs were in bad shape. Some were rotted and knocked over and needed to be maintained. The signs themselves are made of paper copied onto the color of the tee and placed in sheet protectors. I would think if there holding women's pro tournaments there that they would put some more attention to those to make the course more appealing. Again, to me this wasn't an issue to effect your game.
Other Thoughts: I don't know if I would recommend new players to start on this course. It could ruin the motivation given how challenging this course is. Living in Florida I agree with the comment that you should only play this course Oct through June. Bugs can get real nasty in courses like this. If you need somewhere for the summer time, I recommend playing Northside Park in Gainesville. It's about 45 minutes south of Live Oak. I am definitely going back!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
A whoopin in the woods!
Pros: Baskets are very nice, mach on the front nine, discatchers on the back nine, all in great shape. Mostly rubber pads on the front, and concrete pads on the back. Tee signs present and very informative and complete. Very nice surroundings, some cool activities available on the grounds, in a music park, with camping available. Nice general store right at the beginning/end of the course, with mini grocery store and a decent selection of discs. Included in their plastic inventory when I was there was a decent stash of flat-top rocs.
The course provided a great technical challenge, every hole through woods, of varying density and tree make-up, and very well-kept. Some of the LONGEST technical wooded holes I've seen before, I loved it.
There is a hole to test just about any kind of shot you can imagine, hyzer, anhyzer, forehand, etc, and trees at every turn to keep you from taking an "easy" way out.
My memorable holes:
1 - Very tight window to hit with a medium flex shot (RHBH). Hit the gap 100' off the tee and a mild fade back left should park for a deuce.
2 - Long slow hyzer to somewhat open landing zone, then a tight approach through some guarding trees to the basket.
4 - Hoe Lee Sheet. When they say this is the most difficult hole on the course there is no comparison. I was HAPPY to take a 7 on this hole. If you can thread the drive out to the bend in the fairway (not easy mind you and several hundred feet), you might have a chance at an approach shot to the basket. I would bet you could count the number of people who've 3'd this hole on one hand.
6 - Long, long, RHFH shot. If you have accurate placement FH you can leave a decent approach for a three. Unfortunately I don't have the FH precision to hit the line.
10 - Very cool short, tight tunnel which I happened to be able to thread and get my 3rd and final deuce on, very satisfying to hit this line!
11 - Start off open and short shot to the dogleg right, decent FH (RHFH) will get you a nice second shot, which most likely won't get you in putting distance. You will probably have to take a 3rd shot to get close enough to then bang chains. A three on this hole and you are truly awesome.
17 - Sugar Magnolia, signature hole? Very tough shot through the gap, over a dip and up the hill. Long approach around to the left. I was very thankful to get a 5, I thought I did pretty good for a noob.
18 - Crazy Fingers is right! I thought I had an awesome shot up to the basket but NO the dang skinny branches of the trees in the middle of the fairway reached out and knocked my great shot down. Great end to a great course.
Cons: My main complaint was that I really like at least one or two open holes on a course where you can unleash. Usually a good course will have at least ONE long open hole for you to really grip and rip. I guess the con here is lack of variety. All holes are wooded. All holes are tight. All holes are technical.
Another mild con is that even on the course website you only have maps for the first nine, and while it is great there is no info beforehand. Also a great benefit would be an overall map, showing how to pull into the music park and navigate to the best parking place for the course. However everyone there was very helpful in helping me find a place to park my truck and navigate the course.
Not much variation in terrain, and some very loose footing in places due to the sand, but what are you going to do? It's Florida after all.
Other Thoughts: I absolutely loved this course, as I really like tight wooded technical courses, however I would have liked a couple open holes. The course was VERY beautiful overall, and very well laid out.
The course page suggests that you have to pay to play, but I did not. I don't know if this is just good timing on my part, but I just pulled up, parked, and played, good times.
I highly suggest hitting this course up, even if it's a little out of your way, definitely a gem hidden back in some off-the-beaten-path land, and great find in north Florida!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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