Skip front 9 and play back 9
Pros: Back 9 is interesting golf. Holes 10-13 are really fun and different than most courses in Florida. Shade for the whole course is nice. Gorgeous walk in the woods. Nice elevation changes (for Florida).
Cons: Front 9 is a series of tunnel shots through ridiculously tight fairways with thick underbrush and trees on the side. It is frustrating golf. Imagine Charlotte Disc Golf with "fairways" that are as narrow as 5 feet. Many reviewers describe this as challenging, technical, etc. I don't mean to offend, but I think these holes are poorly designed. It is poke and pray golf at it's worst. This is old school disc golf course design that should be fixed with wider, "fair" fairways.
Other Thoughts: With the quality and amount of land available, this could be one of the best courses in Florida. Perhaps the designer was told he couldn't cut down a single tree. If this is the case, it explains a lot about the design and would make the situation more understandable.
pros and cons
3 Helpful / 1 Not
This one will test you. It's tight and technical. It won't test your arm, and there's aren't any true par-fours, or really even any long threes but it will test your accuracy and punish deviations. It actually has a bit of a North Carolina feel, and I don't mean just the pines. The way the fairways are constructed. The way the fairways are constricting. It should all seem somewhat familiar to those experienced in the Tar Heel State. There is even a bit of well used elevation.
The flow is incredible, helped along by top-notch maintenance, especially in the front nine. The course takes a very natural flow through the woods with clearly delineated paths between holes and navigation aids where needed. This is especially true of the front nine, where the word pristine would not be an incorrect description. The fairways are a perfect size and there are some nice throwing lines in a variety of directions.
The back nine gets a bit crazier. 10 and 11 are the two beasts of the course. 10 requires a very straight long throw along a raised area and if you veer off the fairway, trouble is immediate. The path back to the fairway will be both uphill and tree-covered. 11 is more of a zig zag with shorter paths linked by sharp turns. Definitely fun in a novel way.
The holes are at the best when they involve the elevation present in the back half. There's a really cool hole that's just a short throw over a pit, with trees that should be able to be thrown over, but the danger is really from how small of an area that pin stands on, and how likely a roll back is, especially if a tree is even glanced.
Technical holes. Check. Tight fairways. Check. Interesting, signature-type holes. Check. I feel like the front nine is a 3.5 and the back nine is a 3.0. There's a lot to like here, and if giving out 3.25s were allowed, this is a perfect course to receive that mark. I debated 3 vs 3.5 the entire time I was writing this. I do think that the present score relatively underrates it in the area, but I would never allow that to affect my rating. It's almost a 3.5. And it could be, eventually.
The first hole could be easier to find. There's that nice big arrow pointing towards the first hole on the side of the pool. What I would like to see is a nice arrow on the kiosk pointing towards the existing arrow. It's really the only flaw in the navigation here, but it's an easy fix. The directions here say the right corner of the swimming pool, but that's vague enough that's I'd like an arrow. (Although that direction is very helpful in finding the correct area of the park.)
But that's an issue that affects the play only once. A more significant con is the amount of poke-n-pray shots. Other reviews mentioned that the park won't let any trees come down, which is a shame, because just a few small trees are keeping this from being a true 3.5-level course. You know what I mean: an otherwise perfectly tight, challenging fairway has one or two thin trees left standing in the center of it. It's not that many trees either. I'd say cutting the right 20-25 over the whole course would be game-changing.
While a lot of the back nine holes are tough and interesting, they are often "weird" tough, and not tough in the sense of championship-caliber course. Weird angles. Weird obstacles. A bunch of not-really-golf-shots. Fun and often creative but just not the kind of holes I would think of if someone described a course as tough with no further explanation. There's not a real par-four here and there isn't much distance, with all but three holes measuring in under 300 feet.
So while you should not expect to find a true challenge of disc golf skill in the conventional sense, it also is very beginner-unfriendly. For those that are just learning to disc, this course is probably a pass. The only issue for most traveling players is going to be the blind throws. The tee signs aren't that helpful. It's a course that probably plays much better for locals, but visitors will occasionally have to throw at areas that they hope feature a basket. The front nine is not so bad here, as the fairways offer very natural lines that can bee seen even if the basket isn't. The back definitely has some holes with guesswork, or require scouting. Part of this is because the fairways disappear in some places, and the immaculate nature of the front half is not continued.
Other Thoughts: For me, Whispering Pines is better than a bunch of area courses that are rated higher. Before comparing the raw numbers, look back and find that Whispering Pines has a bunch of low numbers from years ago that are bringing the average down. It seems clear that those ratings date to a time when the course wasn't as good as it currently is(as do the uploaded pictures here). In my opinion, this is a significantly better play than Floral Park or anything in the Tampa area besides Medard and Cliff Stephens. To sum up, this is a recommended spot for travelers that play above a beginner-level and take the relative ratings with a grain of salt.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course keeps drawing me back. It is in a lovely wooded area and there are several natural ridges that are utilized with excellent course design.
Cons: The first hole is not easy to find and for a first time player some of the next tees need signage
Other Thoughts: This course is all in the shade so for Florida it is a very cool course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was a lot of fun to play. We really liked the rare (for Florida) elevation changes. Hole 10 was like playing on top of a levee and was as interesting as it was tough for us. Hole 11 had the basket high up on a ridge. The front 9 taught us to throw low straight drives.
Cons: It was a pain to find the first hole. Unforgiving fairways. For someone like me who always manages to hit a tree in front of me, it was frustrating at first. The back 9 is too hilly for a cart. I like to bring my cooler and an extendable long pole that isn't practical without the cart.
Other Thoughts: If you are looking for a well manicured park with great signage and cement tees with long open holes, Floral Park to the south would better suit you. However with the short tight elevated holes, Whispering Pines is a great compliment to Floral Park. Play Floral early in the morning before it gets too hot and then head to shady Whispering Pines.
Don't bring your cart. Instead park to the back of the lot near where the 10th tee is. This way you can leave your cooler in the car and freshen your drinks at the midway point.
While the 3.5 rating I gave it may be ambitious, the course deserves to be higher than a 3 due to the rare elevation for the area. Only the back 9 of Edward Medard Park in Plant City approaches the elevation changes.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: A true GEM for disc golfers who are wanting to improve their game. The course is laid out in a beautiful heavily wooded park that actually has the best elevation I've seen in Florida. The holes are very intelligently designed to make the most of the elevation and tight openings in the trees. Each hole from #1 to about #11 get progressively more difficult and challenging (if you love a challenge then you will love the course). Some truly memorable holes.... one with a tight tunnel shot on a ridge with about a 10 ft wide fairway and about a 15 foot drop off on each side.... another shot where the basket rests at the top of a 25 foot high ridge with only about a 4 foot wide green and another 25 ft drop off on the other side.... and then the next tee is at the top of that ridge with the basket about 300 feet down another tight fairway. And the best part is that you are completely isolated from the rest of the park in a dense forest.... very tranquil! :)
Cons: Not a beginner friendly course!! My friend who played with me commented that we would have hated the course about a year ago when we didn't know how to throw a midrange on a straight line for 280 ft. Not a course where you need your drivers. Probably only one hole that I threw a driver, but not all courses need to have every shot for it to be a great course. :) One thing I would add to the course is more signage to show distances and maps of the different holes. Also, we didn't find any signage to point us to the next hole, but we didn't get lost once so it is not hard to stay on the right path.
Other Thoughts: Probably my favorite course at this time, since I know playing this course will make me a much better player who can throw tight and straight lines. Would actually rate this a 4.0 or 4.5, but since the course has such a low rating currently I just wanted to boost it up a bit so it gets its recognition. ;-) Definitely a must play!!!!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great new challenge 4 me
Pros: This course is hands down one of the more challenging courses ive played so far with its tight tunnel fairways and hilly terrain. I found myself using shots that i wouldnt usually use even in the densely wooded courses of Upstate New York. This course truely is what seperates beginners from vets. i had a few blow up holes ( #11 being one of them) that really tested my frustration but hey! thats what makes it fun when u can come back with a few good shots down the line.
Cons: This course could use some signage to the next tee's or even an arrow or two, my brother in law and i got a little turned around trying to find a couple tee's in this tropical paradise like forest. Yet again if u open your eyes a little and look around they are not too far from where the previous shot hole is.
Other Thoughts: All in all this course is great for tunnel shots, technical shots and can even give some of the younger crowd a workout with its terrain
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Diamond in rough.
Pros: Seperated by other park activities,good elevation for florida.Friendly locals,very good technical course.
Cons: Can be a bit challenging to get up and down steep hills covered by pine needles.But well worth the risk for me.
Other Thoughts: Nice place to visit if you want to play real disc golf,not just a grip it and rip it course.This course has improved my game by teaching me control and strategy.One of my favorite courses.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Misunderstood and lonely
Pros: WP is a shorter, more technical layout with unique elevation changes and gut shots.
-mid range/putter training grounds
-excellent risk/reward lines
-some signature holes
-unique to florida
Cons: I can sympathize with the grudges put on this course. Can seem insanely tough and treacherous.
-lost disc potential
-some holes can really become nightmares
Other Thoughts: In my opinion this course doesn't get the respect it deserves. the day we played was hot as heck but super fun, with one putter ace and plenty of fun navigating the elevation and ridiculously tight, but beautiful and framed holes.
This course could be a mini Magnolia DGC with more cleavage.
Check it out, get ready for #11, and enjoy the challenge or you'll be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: A real challenge.
Tees now have rubber pads.
Nobody around on a beautiful Sunday.
Cons: Hole 10 is unplayable due to trees and DANGEROUS due to a steep ridge.
Not a single driver needed for the round.
Other Thoughts: This course had not been reviewed for 1 1/2 years so I thought maybe it would have been improved. I found it to be an OK short course. The front 9 is OK. Still lots of trees. The back 9 has a lot of dangerous climbing up and down a tall ridge. Pine needles made it like ice.FOR YOU OLD GUYS LIKE ME WHO USE CARTS LEAVE THEM HOME. COURSE IS NOT CART FRIENDLY. I will probably give it a try again in a couple of years and see how it goes.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - PLEASE NOTE: first hole starts to the right rear of the swimming pool
- a couple of uphill/downhill shots that are noteworthy
- beautiful winding course through the woods
- arrows direct you to next tee
- lots of potential for future development
Cons: - nearly every hole is littered with trees
- extremely tight fairways
- NOT an amateur-friendly course
- hole lengths and numbers are written on bucket lids which may or may not be present at any given hole
Other Thoughts: we randomly met the couple that created the course and they even stated that improvements were needed...they simply had to get the pins in the ground...
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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