Can't wait to get back!
8 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.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 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.
7 of 11 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.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I really enjoyed layout. This seemed to be a popular course, lots of players here on what appears to be an average Saturday. Probably had 10-11 holes at a time on course on play at any time. Some very challenging holes for me, as a relative beginner. Yes, update: Holes now have maps/numbers at Tees. Great job, nice signs, they should last a while. It is great to see regular maintenance take place in the "woods", hacking out paths to retrieve errant discs !!
Cons: Wish there was some vendor action here. I know it's a park. But a fella can dream...sell soda, hot dogs, munchies, water, some basic discs.
Other Thoughts: Holes now marked.. Many nice "rest" spots to gather your thoughts. This is a popular course, always seems to be people playing. Even Thanksgiving Day morning, plenty of people out to work up the appetite. But surely one of the better taken care of courses in the area that I have played.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Good Local Course
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a very good local course, and right off I-4, and excellent stopover in an area where there aren't too many courses. It's a quick play, with a decent variety of shots that that should give you the chance to throw most of your bag.
There are a few open shots, and a few in the woods. A lot have that lightly wooded feel where you need to shape around specific trees.
The best hole on the course is 10, a canopy hole, that forces you to keep it low for the entire throw, as there are two live oak trees to the left of the fairway. Each has a thick branch that arches over the tunnel where you will want to the throw. If that isn't enough, a third live oak typically guards the pin.
12 is also interesting. The tee is in a a short but narrow path through the woods, after which your throw ideally fades left as it traverses an open field so that it can land where you will even have a shot at throwing towards the pin. There is a narrow path through trees from the field to the the basket.
The rest of the holes are less interesting, but most are well placed in the terrain, and all have interesting pin locations at times.
Cons: I do have to say, that there is such a thing as too many pin positions. In part this is because of how often they are moved here, with no indication of where it will be. But mostly, it is because some of the positions are just inferior and its disappointing to find the baskets in those spots. In particular, most of the holes have a close position that is far too short.
In addition, unless 7 is in the long position, there is little length here and essentially no elevation.
But the biggest flaw is the signs. As you may know, this was formerly a nine hole course, and while all tees are concrete now, the old signs are still up. Thus, 6 has sign labeling it 2. 18 is labeled 9. No signs would probably better than inaccurate signs.
For the most part, navigation is logical, but it took me several rounds to figure out how to get to 13 from 12. And the way to 15 is pointed out from one of the possible 14 pins. But if 14 is deep, a newcomer will probably be lost.
Other Thoughts: A course I'll return to again and again. It's not an exceedingly memorable course, but its incredibly accessible and there a ton of good throws there.
UPDATE: Brand new signs have been installed. They alleviate most of the navigation problem, and what's more indicate which of the pin placements is currently in play. The course is also being maintained much more consistently recently, in conjunction with newly poured tees. (two everywhere) It looks much better and is much more friendly to visiting players now.
4 of 5 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.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Great course right off of I-4
Pros: I'm biased this is my home course.
I wanted to wait until the course was complete to review.
Practice basket area.
66 pin locations.
2 sets of concrete tees.
-Awesome tee pads. Grippy, never slipped on them.
-Very versatile course. Can be set up in many different kinds of layouts.
-Amazing property. 100 acre park set along the St Johns River.
Cons: -No facilities yet.
-Teesigns are yet to be updated.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Becoming a Good Course
Pros: The Local Club has been working on this Course. They have mainatined Greg Hosfeld's orginal design. There are now 18 baskets for 18 holes. Repeat......................................
River City Nature Park in Debary Florida is no longer a nine hole but it is an 18 hole course.
Cons: There still is no bathrooms.
Club is currently working on getting concrete tee pads for the other nine holes.
Other Thoughts: The Club plays Handicaps on Saturday and
Best shot Doubles on Monday. Please visist DiscGolfersRUs to see updates and additional information regarding the Club, it's progress, and the Course.
3 of 3 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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