River City's a real gas!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wonderfully designed course in a clean, quiet area where I didn't see much else happening.
• Design: The park is full of hammocks, (dense stands of trees), separated by open meadow. The naturally occurring spaces between the hammocks comprise most of the fairways, but it's the masterful way in which the tees and pins were placed that allows you to appreciate just how much good discing they squeezed out of this parcel. There's plenty of open space to work different lines, but pretty much every hole narrows at one or more points, forcing you to hit certain windows (regardless of the route you took to get there) to get to a nicely tucked or otherwise well-guarded green. Almost the entire course is some variation on this theme, yet the course never felt repetitive or boring - probably because you always have to think about how you're going to get around this or that obstacle to set up your next shot for a good look at the pin.
• Variety: Nice balance of L/R/straight and some more complex shots off the tee. Distances range from short Ace Runs to bombers and everything in between. Distance can definitely help on some holes (especially from the longs) but every hole requires placement to score well. Long and short tees often present reasonably different looks. Combine with a plethora of rotating pin placements (I'm not kidding), and locals have a course that plays a myriad of different ways.
• Equipment: Textured concrete was grippy, even when wet. Nice signage at both sets of tees show hole layout, and distances for multiple pin placements. Yellow Innovas are easy to spot.
• Navigation: Intuitive routing, generous use of next tee signs and easy to spot tee markers making getting around a pleasure - only had to check the map 2-3 times.
• Aesthetics: Lush, green, and quite eye appealing IMO. I like courses that intersperse open areas with wooded sections. Not much nasty underbrush, although there are some places where discs could be tough to find.
• Risk/Reward: Full of holes that appear seemingly innocent are misleadingly tricky. They set up for easy pars and birdies if played well, but can easily cost a stroke if misplayed, particularly if you cut into the woods early. Unlike some open holes where worm-burners can be made up with a longer 2nd shot to set up a par, you may need to back off on your 2nd shot to hit the window to set up your approach and putt for a bogie. Rewards you for playing within your game, and punishes you for taking things for granted - most of the times I got burned were for being too ambitious on tee shots I knew I could pull off …if I hit 'em just right.
• No no elevation to speak of, and lacks variety in terms of different fairway types.
• Gas pipe installations are a bit of an eyesore on a course that's otherwise very pleasant to look at.
• Fire ant hills all over the place - watch where you place your bag (and your feet).
• More of an FIY than a con: the abundance of possible pin placements means you'll have to walk numerous fairways to see where you're throwing. That said, River City features an almost embarrassing number of pin placements on some holes. Several tee signs show 5 possibilities, and # 14 lists eleven! (although a local told me only 5 of those 11 actually have collars).
Other Thoughts: Loved playing here - just might be my favorite course in the state. They did a wonderful job laying things out to create a course that's fun, challenging, and makes you think your way through your round in a setting that's visually appealing as it weaves it's way from open fields into the woods.
Makes up for what it lacks in terms of elevation and differing fairway types with cleverly laid-out holes using multiple tees/pin placements… this place is chock full of good spots to nestle a basket in amongst the trees. As much as River City kept me engaged the entire round, I love me some elevation, and think this could've been a 4.5 if the terrain had some real ups and downs.
There's an orange tree near 9's short pin.
Just 11 miles from the camp grounds at Blue Spring State Park. Even if you're not camping, it's worth a visit to see manatees, tarpon, gars and more bathing in the crystal clear, warm, spring waters feeding into the St. Johns River.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This was the first time I've played here and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a good flow of the course. I've heard threw the local league players that the signs were recently updated and I gotta say they pretty sharp.
The course is pretty well maintained with short, but technical fairways. Good for all levels of players. I love the scenery, it reminds me of Georgia or South Carolina minus the mountains.
A lot of great people to socialize with about the game.
Cons: They could use restrooms and water fountains. I could see someone posting up a hot dog stand on the weekends and making some $$.
Other Thoughts: This is in the top 2 of Central Florida in my opinion. Turkey Lake t2 is my other fav. I live 15 mins away from Barnett Park and that's a nice course too, but I will make it a point to play more out here!
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Solid course worthy or repeat play
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Variety is the biggest Pro for this course. It has long pads and short pads on every hole. It has lots of pin positions on every hole (usually 3+ and up to 11 on hole 14). The course also has a variety of hole types. Some right to left, some left to right, some open, some wooded, some long and some short.
Good baskets, good teepads and great signs recently installed.
Cons: No facilities or running water. No elevation or water hazards but this isn't something that can be designed. However, there are a couple of low lying areas with high grass marked as OB with string lines and flags which is a great substitute for water.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
The secret is out!
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course requires many different tee shots ranging from low touch flicks to long back hand bombs so you WILL be tested!
A couple of unique features of this course are the multiple pin placements and the seclusion of the course. There are no walking trails or playgrounds on around the course. It is very peaceful and the park is beautiful! It is common to see bald eagles and other cool wildlife.
I played the course multiple times preparing for the recent Debary Open 11/23 & 11/24/13. The DeBary Disc Golf Club was very active and the course has many recent improvements:
•New Tee Signs - they look terrific!
•New NEXT TEE signage which makes it very easy to navigate between holes.
•Multiple new trees were planted both Oak and Magnolia for shade and aesthetics
Cons: There are no facilities at this time. I understand the City of DeBary is working with Club to add a pavilion and rest rooms in the future.
Other Thoughts: It is hard to pick a signature hole because the pin placements can make such a big change but #17 is a short par 3 under a full canopy that is a beautiful hole and # 14 with the awesome large trapezoid pad and 10 pin placements are both great holes!
The recent tournament created a huge buzz about what a great course this has become. The secret is out!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Can't wait to get back!
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: What a great course for Central Florida! We spent some time in Daytona for the holidays and made the drive over to River City to check out the course and I'm glad we did. I ended up playing this course every day I was in town.
In the shadow of a giant power plant on the edge of Lake Monroe is tucked River City Park... and the course is the centerpiece.
The course is very well-maintained. Example: the first day we played there were very high winds and the palm trees were shedding leaves left and right. We came to play the next morning (Thanksgiving day, 9am) and there was a guy there who had already cleaned the course of deadfall and was cutting limbs off the driveway.
There are two concrete pads at each hole and a variety of pin placements. The pin placement is indicated by a marker on the signs at each pad. The signs were bright and well made and present without exception and the pads were grippy and clean. These guys even had brooms on most of the pads to help keep it clean.
There is a good variety of short and long holes, with plenty of longer holes to stretch out your throws. There isn't a lot of elevation change in general (it's central Florida), but the course was able to incorporate the elevation changes at the park in the design.
After playing so many Charlotte courses this one was a breath of fresh air. It was very nice to stand on tee pad and not feel like every tee shot is bound up by a hallway of trees and obstructions. I *really* liked the open tee shots and the opportunity to unload with the drives... time after time. But even with that aspect, shot placement is crucial or you will quickly find yourself in a thick rough or with a very poor shot on a tricky pin placement.
From the long tee pads this course is not a "quick play" (unless you know the course, play solo and hustle between shots). I played with one other and we usually played around 2 hours plus. This is a positive in my book.
The setting is beautiful. I imagine this place gets brutal in the summer, but on a cloudy day in November this place is practically paradise.
Cons: Could be more benches and trash cans, but there aren't so few that it affects my rating.
A couple holes are a little on the bland side (6 and 15 come to mind) but I can recognize that it is tough for every hole to be a signature hole.
There really is very little about this course to complain about. No bathrooms or water, but I didn't subtract for that either.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to come back!
I was able to play this course in varying conditions (high winds, occasional gusty winds and calm) and I enjoyed all three.
Saw a bald eagle out there on consecutive days. Awesome.
On 9 I came up a little short with my hyzer shot and ended up in the middle of a roundish thicket... When I looked up to scout a shot out I saw I was surrounded by ripe oranges. Had a delicious snack, then got up and down for par.
It may be worth noting, one morning we decided to play the course in Daytona but when we pulled in and saw the course we looked at each other, and said "Let's go back to River City". And so we did.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Nature Park, Indeed
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -This is a great design. It mixes open and wooded sections fluidly, and with multiple pin positions on every hole, you could conceivably play thousands of different layouts. In order to score well, you must understand how to shape shots in tight sections, place them on multi-shot holes, and manage OBs and mandos throughout. Nearly every hole has at least one valid line, and most long holes are followed shortly after by a shorter, touchier shot, creating a flow that keeps the course fresh. When the wind picks up, it increases the degree of difficulty dramatically.
-Look for the eagles' nest between holes 3 and 4.
-Tee signs are new and professional. Distances and pin positions are clearly indicated, with the current location marked by a golf tee. My only navigation issues were finding hole 12 (white) and 15. Didn't take long, but 12 red is most apparent from the previous basket and 15 requires a little hunting.
-Hole 7 is a good par 4. From either tee, it requires a solid drive and a controlled upshot to some of the nearer positions, and for the longer positions brings the OB into play on the second or third shots.
-Hole 10 is easily my favorite hole on the course. Off the white tee, there's the option for a RH flick line, or a skinny straight backhand. The red tee isn't dramatically shorter, but does open up both lines by removing the tight initial gap. If you execute this shot well, you know it, and if you make a mistake, you're liable to scramble for par.
-All of the mandos and OB play fairly, and are clearly indicated on tee signs and relevant obstacles.
Cons: -Despite having all of these alternate pin positions, not all of them significantly change a hole's look or play. For example, hole 13 is a par 4 largely built on the tee shot. A good straight drive should leave an easy upshot to the shortest three positions, pretty much regardless of placement. The designer did say that in the future, the goal is to add a third set of pads to many of the holes, increasing the variety and potential difficulty, which may alleviate some of this concern.
-Hole 15's B and C positions are irritating. The most sensible way to get there is playing a big backhand hyzer (LH or RH), but there really isn't a defined line to get there. Playing up the middle, as makes more sense for the A-pin, has a good set of initial gaps, but the second set is more poke-and-hope.
-Several of the teepads don't align with some of their respective pin positions or fairways (1 is a notable offender). In talking with some of the locals, it seems that they point to the original pin locations from the nine-hole configuration, and others were added later. You can get used to working around it, and they are otherwise in good condition and adequately long and wide.
-At present, there are no facilities or running water on site. I could see some areas getting swampy after heavy rain. These considerations are not reflected in this review; only design and execution.
Other Thoughts: -Everyone who plays this course will talk about hole 14, whether good or bad. It's pretty cool just to have more than ten pin positions on a single hole, but many of them are the same tee shot to one of the near positions, followed by a layup to a deeper one. Interesting concept that ends up playing a little boring. The tee sign for 14 should be rotated to reflect the actual orientation of the teepad and fairways.
-I have mixed feelings about hole 2. It's a great tee shot (from the longs, especially) because it requires hitting a reasonable gap while controlling distance and finish. Unfortunately, the second shot is kind of bland and it makes the hole a fairly easy 3 or boring 4. Granted, if you go left off the tee, you're fighting hard for that 4.
-Parking is adequate. Baskets are new Discatchers.
-The schule is thick. This is Florida scrub, and the palmettos and other undergrowth will eat your discs. As a design concept, leaving it this thick is great! It tends to reward good shots, and punish bad ones--although some greens have palmettos as close as 10-15 feet.
-As a parting thought, this course is really good and getting better. The volunteers have clearly joined together to create a quality course, and I look forward to playing it again, likely in a different configuration. Additional holes, as possibly rumored, would be great, but as it stands this is easily one of the best courses in the area.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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