First trip of many more to come
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This being a WCDGD course I held high expectations going in for my first round, and it delivered!
My first pro was driving into the park. It's clear that you are entering a dedicated disc golf course, and the quality grooming is apparent. Hole 1 sits adjacent to the parking lot, with hole 9 bringing you back here as well for easy access to leave or reload.
Some other stuff you will notice upon arriving:
-2 pads per hole (red/white)
-signage every hole (both tees)
-large, grippy pads (both tees)
- great condition Innova discatchers & a prac basket
Something that falls into both pros and cons for me is the amount of pin locations, which I have very mixed feelings about. Hole 1 has 4 positions if I recall correctly, and this was suiting. I really like that some holes were given room to "grow" or "evolve", and that one day you may have a par 3 and another day a long par 4, dramatically changing the way the course is played, and keeping you focused and preventing complacency in your game if you are lucky enough to be a local.
Next tee signs were also very helpful, but I would give them a 3.5 out of 5 as a micro rating. Many times they grabbed my eye and brought me to the next pad without much struggle, in fact finding the next pad was only hard once; from 14 to 15. 14 was in a newer, shorter position and the walk to 15's pad brought you through a couple bends.
Another thing I always enjoy in a DG course are its level of amenities. RCNP had plenty of benches and trash cans. This is always a huge plus for the course's well being. I also very much enjoyed the aesthetic of the bridges that cross a few streams that run the course.
A con that I have read in previous reviews does not add up for me. Elevation at RCNP, while nothing to brag about, is present. hole 3 comes to mind immediately, with its sloping right to left hill which I know could create trouble. A few more holes throughout had slight changes around the basket or at the tee to give some shots that extra need for consideration.
Flora - RCNP is, to me, what Florida should look like. The pines, oaks, and palms throughout are very FL. Around many baskets you will find a sandy bottom, which also gives me that good old FL feel. There are several runoff/streams that add an aesthetic to this place too. As for the fairways, most are clear cut and without much underbrush at all, although this place will CERTAINLY punish your errant shot on many holes, a big PLUS to me.
Another big factor here was the courses ability to make me throw different shots and think about lines very intently. There were several holes that demanded you to pick your line and TRUST it. Every time I was not confident in my shot things went poorly and I was off the fairway. This certainly added to the challenge factor, as it made me want to play smart and focused, while many courses allow you to fall asleep at the wheel.
Cons: The pros far outweigh the cons, but one thing certainly stands out for me and others; pin navigation. This can be a nightmare for a first time visitor, and in my opinion, the tee signs did not reflect where the hole was on many occasions. This created a lot of walkups before throwing. Lose for the infrequent player, but a win for the local and weekly player. Also, depending on the frequency of basket moving, I would imagine some pin locations would be seen only once or twice a year, personally defeating the purpose of having so many, although thinking pragmatically, one could imagine this is a way of testing the hole configurations out, with intentions to remove pins as they become less desirable.
Only other con that comes to mind is that I did not see any bathrooms, although a port-o may have been nearby.
Other Thoughts: This was my first trip to RCNP, after many times saying "we should go". I didn't know what I was missing!
We made it out later in the day and were only able to complete 15 holes, but are headed back there today.
This course was a refreshing change for my general enjoyment of our sport. Now, as a resident of Orlando, I will be at RCNP as much as I can.
Before this gets too long, I would lastly like to say that a course review should sometimes express opinion towards the local club that maintains and runs weeklies at a course. Great job out there Debary Disc Golf Club!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Great condition course
Pros: Course is well maintained. Fairways are all mowed and clear of normal Florida overgrowth. Pads are in great shape and very grippy, plenty of variety available in various pin placements. Holes can be in very hard positions one day, much easier positions the next week. Nice variety in difficulties between the various pin placements and the club does a good job changing up the basket placements in small batches so you can learn one placement really well if you play the course often.
Cons: No restroom facilities or running water. The only negative about this park and facility. I think many people would rate this course as the best in Central Florida if it had at least one bathroom facility similar to Turkey Lake park
Other Thoughts: Would love to see this course grow to a permanent 22 or 24+ hole setup.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Overall Score (4.6)
Tee pads (4/5): Level, rough concrete tees that are suitable for size. Nearly every hole has multiple tees, and many tees had a broom to sweep it clean. The only reason that the tees aren't a perfect 5 is because they're unusually rough.
Baskets (5/5): New DISCatchers with yellow tops. Baskets were very easy to identify on all of the wooded holes. They caught well, and all chains were in good condition.
Layout/Design (5/5): This is perhaps the best designed course I've ever played. I don't know where to start. First of all, for having no elevation to use, the course uses the land perfectly - loops back to the parking lot after 9 and 18 and includes a great variety of entertaining holes. Every hole challenges you, even the short ones, while remaining highly "par-able" if played correctly. The variety of possible pin locations just blows my mind! Every hole seems to have a minimum of three possible placements, with four or five being the average. Hole #14 has 11 different placements! Don't believe me? Look at the tee sign! Which reminds me, the tee signs are immaculate. The only thing they could use is a better method of marking what location the basket is currently in. This course also makes good use of arrows to show where the "Next Tee" is.
Scenery/Surroundings (4/5): Beautiful course that lacks any eye-popping sites. As mentioned in other reviews, look for bald eagles around hole #4. The locals seem to be very nice and into the sport of disc golf quite a bit. The course was incredibly clean, and very few overly rough patches off the fairway... but that's expected.
Likeliness to Return (5/5): I would absolutely have to return to this course. The word is that they're going to be adding more holes. And I can't wait to see what the other pin locations are like in the future.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
18 Baskets and concrete pads!!!
Pros: Park now has 18 Baskets, and the concrete pads are in except for the pro pad on hole 7. Great layout, easy to follow for the most part. People are friendly. Wooded area are pretty easy to retrieve disc if toss into a woods.
Cons: No Bathrooms
Other Thoughts: My Favorite coarse in the area. Quite and peaceful. reminds me of growing up in Deltona and playing in the woods as a child.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf reaches DeBary, FL
23 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Pros: Easy to navigate with your legs and your discs.
Great tee pads and signs. MANY new pin placements! Extremely versatile course!
Neither intimidating to new players nor boring for avid players. 3 minutes from I-4.
Cons: No restrooms or water…yet. Although word has just come down that there will be a pavilion in 2014 and water may follow. Not certain about future restrooms. White tee pads could be longer. (Both sets of tees are 5'x10')
Oil company owns easement through park and 2 power lines also cut through.
The #7 'white' tee is carpet because it sits in easement where no 'permanent' equipment is allowed.
Park is in 2nd lowest grid in the county, so there may be standing water in the rainy season. Gortex is your friend.
Other Thoughts: It's a fairly rare opportunity for disc golf to be the first amenity in a park. Such is the case with River City Nature Park. The parks director had played and when he visited the Innova booth at the Florida Recreation and Parks Association convention, he understood that disc golf would be the perfect inexpensive way to utilize the land without developing it. Not a single living tree was cut in the construction of this course.
Located halfway between Orlando and Daytona, RCNP perfectly bridges that gap.
Course design by 87 PDGA champ, Gregg Hosfeld of World Champion Disc Golf Design. All 18 were designed up front, but the 'best' entry level 9-holes were installed first to introduce disc golf to the area.
The first 9, installed in 2008, featured two sets of very grippy concrete tee pads at the red and white levels with only 1 pin position. Phase two was installed in 2013 by the newly formed DeBary Disc Golf Club according to the original design. All of the hole #s changed, other than hole #1, and many new pin positions were added. Well balanced but can lean toward a lefty or righty-flick bias.
25 new oaks and magnolia trees, along with brand new tee signs were added in November 2013 prior to RCNP's 1st sanctioned event. Extra 'temp' holes were added. The park has enough room for a 2nd 18 hole course.
Although an avid player can expect to be putting for "birdie" on most holes from the short (red) tees, the longer "white" tees stretch out enough to give an advanced player a bit more of a challenge. Designed to stress basic disc golf skills, RCNP will rarely punish a well-executed throw. All holes have at least one par 3 position, and 6 can play as par 4s. Longer "Blue" tees were designed into many holes, but longer pin positions and budget may preclude their phase-3 installation.
Located within eyeshot of the St. John's river, RCNP-DGC is a compact 18-holer with a fairly intuitive flow. From the red tees a duo can expect to complete the track within an hour. A wide variety of flora, including pines, palms and live oaks provide shade as well as a reminder of how Florida once was. Keep an eye out for the wild turkeys & deer that roam the property.
You shouldn't need GPS to navigate this track. This is one of the better "signed" courses in Florida. "Next-tee" directional signs after many holes and beautiful full color tee signs on every tee will give you more info than you need, since they list a "Nex-T" arrow and all pin positions, including those to be installed at a later date. There are anywhere from 3 to 11 pin positions per hole.
Hole #1 is a wide-open, "welcome" hole that looks easier than it plays, with 4 pin positions.
Hole #2 is an easy enough par 4 (from proper tee) that crosses a stream with a wide landing zone and takes a sharp left. A well-executed drive provides a run at an eagle and all but insures a birdie-3. There are 4 pin positions including a par 3 position.
Hole #3 is a left to right tunnel with the land sloping down to the left, with a scenic view of a swamp attached to the St. John's river. 3 PP's
#4's two tees are equidistant from pins, but approach from different angles. A short hole demanding accuracy. 3 PP's. Long pin allows hyzer bomb over "schule".
#5 is the shortest hole on the course, but can be tricky in the C (long) position.
Hole #6 is wide open with 2 PP's bordering the right side hedge, set just a few feet from a creek. DON'T GO RIGHT on your drive! C PP is long and open, to air it out.
Hole #7 has 7 PP's and has FIVE par 4 positions ranging from EASY to BEOTCH! Long PP's must go over OB 'dry-swamp' for a run at birdie. It also has two par 3 positions ("B" was a mistake)
Hole #8 has 3 anhyzer par 3 PP's and a longer par 4 PP. Another swampy OB area can come into play for the aggressive driver.
Hole #9 is a hyzer to one of FOUR PP's under what was once the oldest and coolest of the live oaks at RCNP.
Hole #10 offers a straight tunnel under the oak boughs or a loftier left to right shot while never leaving the tree canopy. 4 PP's
Hole #11 is a fairly open straight shot that could find trouble to the left. A wider hyzer option is available from the white tee. C PP requires a well-placed hyzer. 3 PP's.
Hole #12 has two very diverse tees and was the only par 4 in the first phase. The red tee offers both hyzer and "annie" angles to an open area that should provide a shot into the liberal gap through the woods to the pin. And although the pin rests at a "reachable" 380', going for it is usually a sucker-bet, with a bogie in waiting.
The white tee offers no such reward. A strong, slow right turn to the opening should provide the follow-up shot to attack the pin. A "back-door" line requires well-placed landing for attack on green to C PP. 3 PP's.
Hole #13 ranges from par 3 to a short 5. Park the par 3 PP and you'll have an open line to the par 4 PP's. The par 5 requires at least 2 excellent shots for a look at an eagle. 5 PP's.
#14's trapezoidal tee pads allow run-ups from various angles, which is good because this hole has ELEVEN PP'S going off of 3 different fairways.
Hole #15's well-protected pins can be reached with a low-n-slow-turning left to right shot or a big arching right to left spike.
Hole #16's natural tunnel allows for straight or hyzer lines to 3 PP's and one (that I didn't want) on a slight right fade… and no green area at all.
Hole #17 is a signature tunnel shot through the oaks. A reverse view of the fairway reveals 5 oaken arches. 3 PP's. Short but precise.
Hole #18 brings you back to the parking area with an open shot with two pins 20 just beyond 4 well divided palms that look as if they are the living embodiment of the ATT "more bars in more places" commercials. 5 PP's.
Newer players are likely to enjoy "more pars in more places" on River City Nature Park's disc golf course than most other Florida courses. Parks dept offers rental discs (at their office in another park)
DeBary Disc Golf Club leagues: Handicaps Saturday evenings. Doubles Monday evenings.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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