3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I had a tough time rating this course (see below in other thoughts) but Toronto Island had a lot of good things going for it. That's why I am giving this course a "Very Good" rating.
1) Most of the holes now officially have two baskets: blue baskets and silver baskets. With two sets of tees most holes this allows you to play the course in a lot of different variations. The long tees to the long baskets offer a very challenging course so its great to have the short baskets in place for those wanting an easier course. I also LOVE the fact that the baskets are different colors so you always know what layout you are playing.
2) This course had great signs. Even though the numbering was currently off on the signs, the signs were full color and very detailed.
3) This course had great concrete tee pads. Natural teepads are no fun and rubber is second best compared to concrete so its always good to point out that a course has great pads.
4) The locals were super friendly. Friendly enough to try to buy us food after the round at a wonderful restaurant just near the docks. I highly recommend having some ice cream or some food at this restaurant after playing your round (ferry time permitting). The restaurant is a wonderful outdoor restaurant that is located right next to the docks where you enter the island on.
5) Toronto Island Park is AMAZING. There is so much to do outside of disc golf on the Island that it would be a great place for a family to enjoy a day. If you are a guy and travel with your wife or significant other often, she will enjoy coming here. The park has a lot of great things to do and offers spectacular views of Toronto. I can't stress that enough - the views are out of this world. Also, the ferry ride over to the park also offers spectacular views and is well worth the $6.50 fee.
6) Contrary to what a few reviewers wrote, this course does have water that definitely comes into play. This always makes a course more appealing to me. Two holes have legitimate water hazards (both on the right side of the fairway) and one of the holes has the basket tucked pretty tight on the river. The water was deep and we did have a disc go in the hazard so this added a lot of value to these two holes.
7) This course was extremely challenging for the long tees and one of the harder courses that my buddy and I played on a 16 course disc golf trip. I appreciate a challenge and so that's a pro for me. Half of the holes were between 300 and 400 feet and half were over 400 feet so it definitely favors a longer arm but there were some opportunities for deuces which I know people will appreciate.
Cons: This course was really solid but I do have a few cons:
1) The logistics of actually getting to this course were simply a nightmare. If you do get the chance to play this course (which I recommend) then its advisable to set aside at least 4 hours for the experience. It was very difficult to actually find a place to park near the docks and when we finally did that cost us $20 (there is very bad construction going on in downtown Toronto right now that is expected to last a while). Once we were able to park it was a 15 minute walk to the docks. Fortunately we caught the right boat as it was literally leaving or we would have been stuck for a while. After a 15 minute boat ride (see above for this was also a good thing) we got off the boat and had a 2000 foot walk to the first hole. We of course had to take this walk after the round back to the dock and then waited 45 minutes for the boat to come back. Just be prepared to take some time to get to this course!
2) The rough was extremely brutal when we played the course. We played with a local who lives on the island and he admitted that the rough was brutal and borderline unfair. Some of the rough was above 6 feet tall in some wild grass areas and we did lose a disc. The local did say that it usually gets trimmed down for the September A Tier but that didn't make our experience any easier. Some of the fairways were also a little tight because of the overgrown rough and the local once again mentioned that issue is usually taken care of by September.
3) This isn't a huge con for me but the course has no elevation to speak of. The course is essentially flat on every level. This doesn't take away from the fact that the course has interesting holes but none of that is due to elevation.
4) Navigation was pretty challenging - we walked to what was supposed to be hole 1's basket and the tee sign said hole 17. Fortunately a local guided us the rest of the way but the signs on a lot of the holes were incorrect. Hopefully this gets taken care of soon. PLEASE NOTE: The directions on this site to get to the actual course are spot on. Once you get past the Firehall that is hole 1 even though it currently says 17. Follow the directions on this site and you will be fine but just ignore the signs.
5) Some of the long baskets were tucked into places that seemed to be difficult for the sake of being difficult. Even the local, who was a pro, said some of these newer locations were a bit much. Its not a huge con because we were playing the long tees to the long baskets but it is worth nothing.
Other Thoughts: I honestly found this course pretty tough to rate. I would actually rate the course a solid 3.5 and if some of the cons above were addressed this would definitely be an easy 4.0 for me.
Taking it a step further, I would actually rate the experience of playing the course and the surrounding area a 4.5 or a 5.0. I would then normally bump my rating up a little bit to account for that but the issue was actually getting to the course and leaving the course. Logistically I would rate this course a 1 on a scale of 1 to 5. Putting all of those things together helped me confirm in my mind that it was a 3.5 for me, which is considered Very Good on this site. Just make sure to set aside a lot of time for this experience!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Fun with some challenge
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Practice baskets!
Two tee boxes, both with pads.
Good mix of short holes and long ones.
Cons: Annoying to get to with the ferry.
Signs on each teebox are getting run down or missing, without them it is hard to find the next hole.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Good, not Great
Pros: There are a number of positive things to say about this course. To start, it's very well signed. There are two concrete tee pads and two baskets for each hole, each tee pad on each hole has its own sign indicating how far it is to both baskets.
As a result of the course having both short and long tees plus two basket positions for nearly all the holes, it gives the course a great replay factor. The front tees are short enough to allow the beginners to have fun but well placed enough to challenge intermediate players. The back tees are quite long on some holes, good for the big arms out there.
What the course lacks in elevational variety, it makes up for in obstacle variety. There are some short tight holes, some open holes with a narrow section to shoot through, tunnel shots etc… There are even yellow fire hydrants all over the place that you could hit if you're not careful. Another factor to consider is the wind. When I played the wind was quite calm, but I imagine it could pick up since this course is somewhat exposed in the middle of the great lakes.
Cons: As others have brought up, the course is very flat, leading to a slight repetitive feel. If this course could employ some elevation, it could really take advantage of the beautiful scenery and incorporate it more into the course layout.
I don't know if it's just me, but it seems as though the holes tend to curve off to the right more than they do to the left, making it easier for a natural LHBH thrower or RHFH thrower to play through the course. I'm all for some challenge but I believe in balanced course design and this course could benefit from it.
For such a highly rated and talked about course, I honestly expected the course maintenance to be better. Not that it's bad or really even much of an issue per se, but I expected more.
I liked the fact that there are two pin locations on each hole but it wasn't consistent and I often couldn't tell which hole location was being used. As a result, I had to walk halfway down the fairway just to see where I was shooting. This caused my round to take a little longer than expected which was ok, but it got annoying after a while.
Other Thoughts: The ferry ride over to the course offers great views of the city!
Even if you're with people who aren't into disc golf, there's a variety of other ways for them to amuse themselves on Toronto Island while you get a round in.
Other people have mentioned the price of the ferry as being a con to this course. The course is but a small part of the Toronto Islands and there is so much else to do that if you play disc golf, maybe go for a bike ride or check out the amusement park, you'll get your money's worth no problem. As of summer 2010, the price of the ferry round trip is $6.50 CAD, a bargain if you ask me.
One last thing, it seems as though if you play early, you'll have the course to yourself, if you play later on, it seems to get quite busy from what I hear. I played around 11am and had the entire course to myself, with just the odd bicycle cruising by.
Overall, this course is good but not fantastic. I had heard all kinds of hype about this course before I played it. I didn't look at the pictures on DGCR before I played and I just expected a bit more. I expected this course to be in my top 3 but sadly its not.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Like everyone else said its a fun challenging course on a bueatiful island. I drive up from Rochester, NY (5 hours) to play this once a year for a tourney. Camping is available on the island. After the first tourney we tossed discs back at the island as we pulled away on the ferry (a local tradition we were told) it was really cool.
Cons: The cost of the ferry ride.
Other Thoughts: I think the fact that the course is really flat isn't so bad sense the course is fairly technical. Look for the Team Discraft player on the island.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Toronto Island Scenic Disc Golf Course (and more)
Pros: Nice baskets. (A short and long basket layout for each hole)
Excellent tee pads (really nice). (Short and long tee pads for each hole)
Very well maintained.
Nice mix of required shots.
Nice views. When you are there, it is hard to believe you are actually in Toronto. It feels like you are in cottage country, even though you can still see the Toronto skyline on a few of the holes (and of course during the ferry ride).
Generous gaps, long course with moderate amount of precision required to score well.
I played this course with most of the baskets in the long position, and it is definitely a challenging course. It is long, with a few par 4's scattered throughout. But, it is tight enough that you have to be accurate on every drive. Most of the roughs are unforgiving. If you are careless, and simply shoot for distance on your drive, you'll likely end up in the rough, and it will definitely affect your score.
It is a nice mix of requiring you to be accurate and/or conservative, while definitely testing your long game. It's tough to shoot under par without a big arm. I only had one birdie my whole first round on one of the par 4's. A few of the holes require you to plan your shots. There is a really nice par 4 right dog-leg (when #8 is in the long position) that can lure you into taking some risk...
Nice mix of short and longs, a crew periodically moves the baskets to keep the course seeming fresh to the regulars. I believe they are soon to put in multiple baskets on a few of the longest holes for permanent flexibility in course options.
A few looks for aces, I had a look on #9 that was "oh so close" (basket in the short position).
A nice practice area with two baskets that can really help space out the groups (which is needed, see [*] below).
The ferry ride can be a nice touch if you are from out of town and want to see Toronto. It is one of the nicest ways to see the skyline, take a picture, etc... Plus, there is plenty of other stuff to do on the Islands.
No elevation change to speak of.
The ferry ride.
The cost. $6.50 for the ferry, plus parking plus transit.
You are bound by the ferry schedule. Not necessarily going to negatively affect you, but you lose the flexibility of simply arriving and leaving whenever you want to. Do check the ferry schedule before you leave. You could be waiting as long as two hours for the next ferry to leave if you arrive at the wrong time expecting to just hop on a boat.
The course can be crowded with other golfers. On the nicest days, the golfers will flock to the island in droves, and they all get there at the same time (on a ferry[*]). And yes, they do watch the weather. If you arrive there on a nice Saturday, and it's your first time on the course, you might feel a bit cramped by other groups playing around you. It's not the easiest course to navigate (though with a map you shouldn't have any trouble) Link: http://img72.imageshack.us/im...landdicz0.jpg
, so the first time on the course you are likely going to encounter regulars that are able to play the course faster than you. It shouldn't be a problem, as I think just about every Canadian Disc Golfer is super friendly, but if you are looking for a nice quiet isolated game, this probably isn't the ideal course unless you are playing at a particularly low-traffic time.
The water is really only in play on one hole #9, but it can be pretty intimidating. I saw about six or seven discs sitting on the ice.
Other Thoughts: I don't get it. Don't get me wrong, this is a great course. But, between the commitment of time getting there, the ferry, getting into the city, and getting back, the experience on the whole wasn't as spectacular as I'd hoped. Maybe I am spoiled (I live 5 minutes from White Spruce Park in Brampton), but I think a "just as good" or better Disc Golf experience can be had at either WSP or Bronte Provincial Park. Personal opinion: If I were from out of town, was looking for a really great DISC GOLF experience, but had the chance to only play one course, it wouldn't be the Island. The other courses are just that good.
If you do go to the Toronto Island Disc Golf Course, take my advice: go early, take the whole day, bring a bike and a lock, and see and do more there than just Disc Golf. Take a tour and enjoy the rest of the island and the scenery, then it will truly be worth the investment of time.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Would be a good challenging course to accomplished players I'm sure. Precision shots required on many of the holes, and there are plenty of challenges, doglegs to the left and right, tunnel shots, and a few 'big arm' holes. Scenery is varied and interesting, from views of the Toronto skyline to Lake Ontario to marinas full of sailboats, and surrounding islands and channels.
Cons: Rough can be frequently unforgiving, we wasted a lot of time poking through the mosquito infested schule searching for errant throws. After a while the flat terrain got a little monotonous, even a molehill would have been a welcome distraction. Very pricey to play for someone out of the area, parking ($$), subways ($$), and ferry ($$) made this the most expensive course we played during our recent vacation.
Other Thoughts: Allow plenty of time to visit these islands, aside from the disc golf, there was a lot of the island that we didn't get to see because we were stuck to a tight schedule. A very picturesque little place to visit, and the ferry ride is quite short and painless (about 5-10 minutes)
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the price of admission
Pros: Very well maintained, Dual concrete tee-pads, multiple pin positions, a practice area with 2 baskets and signs at each tee with hole maps. Also, benches at most tees and very friendly locals.
Cons: First-timers might have difficulty making their way from hole to hole without a map. No elevation changes. Also, price to play ($6 Ferry plus parking.. so ~$15 or so).
Other Thoughts: This was a great course with a lot of challenging holes and diversity. Water comes into play on 2 holes although it is a only a major threat on one of those. Each hole has plenty of trees and bushes to contend with as well, making even some of the shorter shots a potential challenge. As far as length goes, most holes on the island play in the middle. There aren't any that I would consider too short nor are there any that are particularly long. In short, disc golfers at any skill level can have an enjoyable round here.
So, should you play this course if you're in the area? Definitely. There is a great mix of holes here in a very scenic park that I can't imagine anyone not liking.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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