5 Helpful / 1 Not
Free as a Bird
Pros: 1) Nice concrete tees are always appreciated.
2) Signs are decent with Hole #, maps of the hole and the distances are listed.
3) Nice yellow discatchers are always appreciated for visibility.
4) There is a kiosk at the first hole with some information and also another kiosk with an incredibly large course map by #19 (the first hole in the "Rattlesnake Challenge".
5) Excellent variety of hole type here. There are some fairly wide fairways, then some parklike holes running through turfed areas with just key trees, and there are also some really tight shots.
6) Bagracks again on many holes which must be a local thing as I do not see that in most places around the country. There are also a few benches scattered around for you to take a break and sit down.
7) Parking lot has plenty of parking for the course unless there are a ton of other general park users.
8) Decent distance variation ranging from low 200's all the way up to mid to upper 300's. The back 9 has one hole over 400'. This will force you to have a bunch of different throws and disc selection will be key.
9) Bathrooms located near the beginning and end of the course which is expected because the course runs a decent distance away from the parking lot and other park activities.
10) The best elevation is back on the Rattlesnake Challenge but the front 18 hole course has a couple of minor changes.
Cons: 1) Routing got a little confusing with the additional holes but I know they aren't real old so that will eventually be adjusted. I would seriously consider calling the back 9 a completely different course even though it is located off to another totally different area. The reason for this is with all the extra holes and the confusing layouts people will get bungled up pretty good. There were 2 extra holes on 4 and 5 which maybe need to be played during sporting events on the baseball field because the regular holes play along and across the field.
2) Multiple holes play in areas where people will be walking across the course. There are also a few areas where there are other sporting events that might be in danger. Basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball field.
3) I would say this course is not for beginners. Take the Rattlesnake Challenge away and the normal 18 hole course wouldn't be too challenging but as a whole this course will possibly deter beginners of the game. Ed Austin would be a much better course for beginners.
4) Hole #18 is simply dangerous for anyone in the parking lot. If a straight line was drawn to the basket you would cut off about 25% of the parking lot. I do not remember if the lot was listed as OB but it should be. As it is there are a lot of trees in between the tee and the basket and you could easily catch a tree and kick out into the lot.
5) The map on the teesigns was somewhat generic. Sure it indicated trees and a fairway and the tee and basket location, but the routing on the shot did not always concur with the line they had drawn as their "fairway".
6) Teepads are slightly short. It doesn't bother me much because I have short legs, ut many others with a longer runup might not like these tees.
Other Thoughts: I noticed an area with crumb rubber (recycled tires used to reduce compaction and allow turf to grow better in high traffic areas) near #16. I am not sure of the reason for this but it gave me an idea that it could be a very useful tool to be placed around teepads and basket areas.
The course is named after the late member of Lynrd Skynrd which everyone can appreciate. He is a local hero to Jacksonville and it is only fitting the band who sang "Free Bird" gets themselves a disc golf course named after them.
I enjoyed this course about as much as Ed Austin . . . "Rattlesnake Challenge" is what makes this course as challenging as it is. There are a lot more places to get into trouble back there, but the front 18 holes is still a solid course. You can make some birdies but you can also be punished by a tree or two.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Ronnie Van Zant
Pros: Great Course! 18 regular holes along with an additional 9 hole course in the back. This course also has an alternative tee box and basket for #4, for when the field is covered with pee wee football players.
Cons: Not many water fountains and there is always some football team practicing in the afternoons. All bathrooms are towards the beginning holes of the course.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
great course for average players
Pros: Well marked. Great People. Fast play, new basket placement on 12 & 18, possibly to birdie all baskets for good players, yet still challenging. New back nine (19-27) short but differ cult bends, Alternate baskets for 4 & 5 - great for when park fields are full of softball/baseball players.
Cons: Wear lots of bug spray, ticks are everywhere. Watch for snakes (adds a little danger & excitement to the course).
Other Thoughts: New back nine has thick heavy underbrush, recommend long pants & snake boots and telescopic pole with hook to retrieve disc from all sorts of hazards. Definitely a course worth a visit.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
The new back 9 is up & sweet
Pros: This is a nice large park with plenty of holes ranging in difficulty. The course starts at the parking lot and ends there as well. The baskets are all Innova Discatchers and very nice and new. There are 18 holes on the front that are now well established, with concrete pads. The pads are good sized, not crazy long, but you don't always need that run up anyway. There are lots of benches in well placed areas, not out in the baking sun, but under nice shade trees. There are signs for distance and pin placement on every hole. The signs are all set out of the way so you don't have to worry about hitting them with a stray hand.
Now my personal favorite the back nine. The tees pads were laid out but not poured, yet as of the end of March, but I think they're poured now. The first two holes play a bit the same, long hyzers, but the second takes up uphill and is a long hole around 500ft. Florida is mostly flat, but here the land rises up about 15ft. and the plants and animals begin to change, and it's just realy nice. The third hole takes you into the woods, not too wooded, but a change from the more open front 18. I enjoyed that by the fourth hole the only signs of civilization were the baskets and soon to be tees. You can look in all directions for the next 4 holes and see nothing man made, no telephone poles.towers,roads,ect., not even any trash. The last two holes bring you back to the begining of the back 9, so you can pick back up and finish playing the front 18. There are no restrooms on the back 9, but there are a couple spread out on the front 18, along with pavillions and grills. There is also playground equipment and a pond full of fish and ducks to keep kids and mom's happy.
Cons: If you go on a weekend expect to have to play around other park users, baseball, flagfootball, ect. and there are no water holes. If they would have used the pond for discgolf there would have been problems with the fishers and duck feeders, and the pond was there for them before they added the discgolf.
Other Thoughts: The closest stores are a little drive down the road so load up a cooler with drinks and food to save you some time and keep you on the course more.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Well laid out, Van Zant uses the land it is given as best it can. There are long holes and short holes. The terrain is all flat, but this is Florida. Get used to it...
The course is clean, well manicured and never seems like it's too crowded in. There is a very large field that is perfect for practicing drives and more than enough parking. Benches and bag holders are near every hole, trash cans are spread out nicely, signage is good, tees are cement and the challenge level is medium. Some nice open holes to air out a drive, some holes that require precise lines and control. In fact, you start and end on control holes, which is a nice touch. Start with a challenge and end with a challenge.
Cons: This course was put into an already established park and it seems that the locals have a hard time getting used to sharing with the course, creating problems at times. Saturdays are only good for morning rounds, if you can get in before the various family activities start. At least three holes (#4, #5, #8) are usually made unplayable because of other park users.
The course itself has no real flaws, but the signage for each hole is a bit generic and doesn't accurately reflect what you are looking at, sometimes. Tees are somewhat close to the last hole's basket, at times. The teepads are short and narrow, which might become a problem for those that do a run up (I do not).
Other Thoughts: I am a local, but I've tried to rate the course fairly... The course is overall very nice. We local players are friendly and we hole weekly rounds on Sundays and always welcome new people to the group.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Good Central Florida Day Trip
Pros: The park was well maintained. The course has it's own space so other park users are not in danger of being hit. Good for the ego. I don't have a big arm but was able to shoot 2-4 over par.
Cons: My only real con was the baskets and tee boxes being a bit close together. The course was not that full when we were playing but you still needed to keep your eyes open. I would like to see a bit more obstruction on the course to make it harder.
Other Thoughts: This is a good day trip for those in the central or north Florida area. Locals were very nice. Course was very easy to follow. Enjoyed it
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: I have been playing less than a year and shot a 58 on the first round in the morning with calm winds. later after lunch, shot a 67 with 20-30 mph winds
Nice change of pace. some open areas and some precision needed on others.
Loved the park area with the Canadian geese around the pond. Course is well groomed and benches all over the place.
Cons: After teeing off on first hole, spent about 15 minutes looking for disc in middle of fairway. Found my bright orange disc had slid under the fallen oak leaves that are all over the place on holes 1,2,15 - 18.. Not really complaining, Just making you aware to watch your disc and others in your group.
Other Thoughts: local people were great, A nice young couple had suggested a good barbecue place for us to eat and it was good with a good price.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park
Pros: This is a quality course set in the peaceful Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park. Open to moderately wooded holes dominate the course. Holes one, two, and eighteen could be considered heavily wooded holes, comparative speaking. There's an ok mix of hole types out here considering the land that was used. Holes range from just over 200 feet and a time or two almost reach the 400 feet mark. A pronounced dogleg right on twelve and one that is less pronounced on eighteen are the minority as the rest of the holes only sweep left or right slightly and rely on scattered trees to make you shape your lines. I thought hole seven was one of the best holes on the course (it was reconciliation for the worst hole on the course, thirteen). It hinted at an uphill shot for a change as far as this course is concerned with a punch out shot from a pocket in the woods. Seventeen and eighteen were great holes too.
The overall vibe at the course is nice with views of the lake on a lot of the holes. It also seems like there is a good chance to see wildlife. Holes six through twelve added to the personality of the course as you play around the wooded areas at the back of the course. I really enjoyed the walk down the trail between six and seven.
Fresh Innova Discatchers, nice tee signs, (small) concrete tee pads, and posts with bag holders are all here. Benches were scattered around on a lot of the holes. Next tee signs were posted on trees where it counted and kept the flow moving along very well. You'll find ample parking and a informative course map near hole one.
Cons: Though the tee signs are very nice, they are inaccurate at times. Some are worse than others but the "map of the hole" doesn't really represent the actual hole at times. The most inaccurate is for hole five. If you went by the sign you would be throwing at 7's basket which is ahead and then fades left, as the sign suggests. In actuality, the basket is perfectly strait ahead, almost blind, and behind some scrubby palm brush. That leads me to point out that the course is packed in at places and with so many baskets visible from the tee, without carefully looking at where you throw you an easily drive to the wrong basket. I soon discovered that the hole numbers on the baskets always face the tee so even if I couldn't clearly read them from the pad, I was pretty sure I was playing the course properly. Other times I noticed where holes play closely to other park activities. Hole one for example plays pretty close to the parking lot. The wooded area where holes one and two reside really only has enough room to support one hole. No big deal if the course isn't crowded but it is worth noting if you're planning a tournament, etc. Three throws towards a volleyball court and a RHBH drive with a skippy driver could create a problem. Lastly, there are some baskets fairly close to tees and could create a dangerous situation if the course is crowded. Finally, the tee pads were smaller than most disc golfers are going to appreciate. These cons are really not as bad as I make them sound. There's nothing terrible out here really. I am just being nit picky.
Other Thoughts: This really is a fun course with more pros than cons. When I am back in town it'll definitely be a course that I'll play again. Beyond the course, this is a great little park with lots of extra activities so making a day trip with a family is not a bad idea. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time when I visited but if you can, try to give yourself enough time for two rounds. The course plays quickly and it's one of those courses that you know you can shoot better on once you play through and learn the layout. Enjoy!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Come on, play freebird
Pros: This is a great course with a variety of shots and challenges, but still offers some open holes for ace possibilities.
-Bag holders on every hole
-Plenty of trash bins
-Professional(but slightly misleading) signs
Cons: What the course offers in shot shaping it lacks in terrain(mostly flat). Hole 9 is far from the parking lot making it hard to leave or regroup.
-Some holes close to park amenities
-Not many benches
-Big groups on weekends
Other Thoughts: All together the pros far outweigh the cons for me. A mix of short to medium holes, some with tight lines and hammer or thumber throws needed made for a concentrated and rewarding round. The course had sandy holes with medium trees, which flowed into an open field, into a forest, and back again. I wouldn't take the tee signs into consideration before a shot, but would use them to find the pin. If it were closer to Gainesville I would play here often, but I still would recommend this course to any northern FL or southern GA residents to check out.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Like many of the Florida courses it is well maintained and pretty clean course. Only saw a few limbs down from the resident pine trees but otherwise pretty free of debris. It is a little tough to find the first tee if you don't see the disc golf bulletin board/map (I had a few large trucks obstructing my view) but once you are past that the course flows pretty well. All the holes have a tee sign with distances and cement tee boxes.
Cons: There isn't a lot of variety of shots out there. In fact there was probably only three holes out there that played better if you threw sidearm or lefty backhand. Otherwise all the holes are reachable RHBH. With as much land out there I was disappointed there were no holes over 400 feet. All the cement tee boxes are only eight feet long and since I have a three set run up I had to start from off the pad most of the time. Some of the pads weren't even with the ground so be careful running up or going past the pads. There is some confusion on which basket to throw to on holes five, fourteen and fifteen. Hole thirteen just needs to be completely redesigned as there is no defined fairway to the hole and really is a danger to those playing on hole 11 and the walking path.
Other Thoughts: Another typical Florida course with no elevation changes but otherwise very pretty. The walking path that lines the lake has fish and native water fowl. This would be a good park to spend an afternoon with the family. Get a morning round, grill some hotdogs by the lake for lunch then play another round.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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