Fun times at Fore Palms
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice course in a clean, well-maintained city park with skate park, basketball court, ball fields, walking trail and lots of paved parking.
• Variety: Decent, but not great. Mostly open to semi-open holes with a few scattered trees to avoid. Many light to moderately wooded holes plus, two short, densely wooded, technical holes. Reasonable balance of L/R/straight - most holes allow for multiple lines off the tee but present a couple of obstacles you need to work around, but only a few restrict you to pretty much one or two routes that you have to hit if you want a low score. Has a few pretty good tee and pin placements to make good use of natural elements.
• Dual Tees occasionally change the look and line, but some just add length. Both red and blue span a decent spread of distances, but can be mixed and matched to accommodate a range of skill levels, and provide a richer selection distances. Dual pins on half the holes help keep things fresh for locals.
• Features two respectable water carries from the longs while offering "bail-out"routes from the shorts, allowing distance challenged players the thrill of throwing over as much of the pond as they feel comfortable with while forcing them to take the longer way'round.
• Aesthetics: It's nice a pleasant enough walk around the park, but nothing I'd describe as scenic.
• Equipment: Concrete tees were OK, baskets were in good condition, and tee signs provide the hole's vitals and help you find your way around.
• Reasonably fun and relatively challenging - not a bad place for novices or advanced players looking for a casual round.
• Elevation: Kudos to designers for capitalizing on the very subtle changes in topography, but if elevation really wets your whistle, you'll be disappointed. Create a mound, elevate a pin and create a rollaway green.
• Extra Holes: I think hole "B" is a nice addition to the course, but the other 5 seem run of the mill - not necessarily bad, but other than providing some fun birdie opportunities, they don't really make it a better course. For example, the pin for hole "A" could have been nestled into the woods a bit to put more emphasis on placing your tee shot. As it is, 5 of them serve to screw up the flow without adding much in terms of disc play.
• Navigation and Next Tee signs - as with many fairly open courses, where to go after you hole out isn't always obvious, and finding the next tee was a bit iffy in several spots. Seems like the original 18 holes actually flow pretty well, but the extra holes (A-C and D-F) were obviously added on and don't flow well with the rest of the course. I won't say the map is an absolute must, but it'll definitely save visitors quite a bit of time. A few Next Tee signs would help.
• Could use more holes that that are less forgiving of tee shots that are off target. Players who max out at 250 -300ft can often miss their line, and still place a upshot for a makeable putt to card a 3, while actually hitting the line may not really give them a really good look at 2. That said, for players who can get 300-350 off the tee, being off target on those same holes will cost them birdie opportunities.
Other Thoughts: Fore Palms gets much more right than it does wrong, and fits quite comfortably among other very good courses I've played. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, but destination disc golf... not so much. That said, there don't appear to be better alternatives anywhere in the area. Likely the best course in an area that's simply not a hot bed for DG.
Things to consider: not much in the way of shade - plan accordingly to maximize comfort and enjoyment.
Coexists pretty well with semi-shared use of the park, although there are a few spots where you may need to wait a while for people travelling along the path to clear out of the range of bad shots.
Relatively open layout means wind is likely a factor pretty often (definitely the case during my round). Frustrating to some, challenging to others.
Suggestion for improved routing (don't read this unless you look at the course map):
The flow from 3 to A, then to B & C, and then over to 4 is non-intuitive and crosses the walking path three times. Reversing the tee and pin positions on hole "A" would greatly improve flow. That would have you going from 3 to B, to C, then crossing the path to A, (which if reversed), would point directly toward 4... then renumber accordingly. The resultant routing would have you walking to the closest tee (i.e. more intuitive) and only crosses the walk path once.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Often, it can be tough to peg a course to a specific half point on a five-point scale. It can be limiting, with many courses falling somewhere between a 3 and a 2.5 for example. I'd like to give hypothetical course a 2.8. I think most of us do the best we can with such limitations and it's probably for the best.
I bring this up because Ed Austin to me, is the shining example of a 3.5. If someone asked me to describe a course that deserves a 3.5, I'd just send them a link to Ed Austin. It's a challenging, interesting course, that has just enough flaws that it is clearly not four stars. At the same time, it's definitely better than your local 3 star course.
It boasts a pond in the center of course. Two holes offer carries, but both allow the safe but long way around the pond. This is the course to be fearless, though. A club representative rakes the pond with a big contraption so if you lose one, you're likely to get a call.
While it is apparently a former ball golf course, it doesn't feel like one at all. Other courses of that type can feel like they stuck baskets and tees on the former ball holes. This one doesn't.
In all, it's got a decent amount a variety for a mostly open course, a few wooded hoels, and a few open holes with trees that force your shot. It's got length and some, but not an excessive amount of challenge.
Cons: It's not extremely technical, and the sun will wear you out much faster than the course will. There is not much shade here, and eighteen holes can leave you exhausted .
I'd like to see a bit more obstacle between the tee and hole for it to be a truly top-notch course. There is just a bit much of the bomb-it-and-avoid-two-trees holes for my taste. There are a few wooded holes, but read that as FEW. It's almost a tease when so few holes demand strict control of your drives.
Next tee arrows please. The most simple problem to correct but so many courses forget this. Often at Ed Austin the next hole is obvious, but with the extra, lettered holes, confusion can be created. The worst example is after 3, when the tee for C is visible, and no reason to turn towards 4 is given. If you are going to add extra holes, (and I do like this feature in general) you really need to make it clear how to play 18, and how to play 24. Walking a loooong ways to play a hole you did not intend is a mistake that could be easily averted with a few signs.
Other Thoughts: It's the premier course in northeast Florida by a mile. You'd have to drive 2 hours in any direction to find something better and I'd play this 3.5 again in a heartbeat.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Good Fun course
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Lots of Good Parking. Mostly a wide open course with a few tight holes. Two water holes as well. Lots of fun to play. More than 18 holes to play so you can have plenty of variety if you wish. The course flows fairly nicely. I enjoy playing it.
Cons: Can be crowded at times. Your flight path crosses the walkway several times so you have to be careful for the runners/walkers. 2 holes are in the woods and are tight. The rest are much more open.
Other Thoughts: You can easy taco your disc on the first hole. That is when you launch the disc but instead drive it into the tree a few feet in front of you bending it into a taco shape. Pike's Pine is on the left and sadly, Puma's Pine is on the right! You need a strong arm and/or a floating disc (such as a Dragon) for the two water holes.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nicely maintained course with some nice distance and a few narrow holes to test you as well. Great course amenities, specifically easy access to benches and trash cans.
Cons: No real negatives as you can not expect elevation in Florida, but I personally enjoy a more hilly terrain.
Be careful of the water...
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Jacksonville Course
Pros: Had a great time playing this course. Overall it is a pretty wide open course with a few wooded holes which test your abilities. Managed to lose 1 disc over the Hole # 9 water hole.
Cons: You need to watch out for joggers and walkers who are on the walking path that snakes throughout the course
Other Thoughts: Course only had 2 other players on it on a Monday morning which was nice.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Well laid out course with even distribution of woods, open hole, or water hazards. Clean and well kept up, pets are permitted, and familys walk around the park and through the course on the Asphalt trail. The signs at the tee pads inform you of the OB's. There are a couple of blind holes where the basket is tucked away out of sight namely hole #2.. This park was an 18 hole golf course originally, so it has the look and feel of a golf course. There are an additional 9 holes after the18 on the other side of the parking lot labeled A through I.
Cons: some pads were concrete, some were stone, some even have carpet on the back side. When you enter the course when driving it is hard to find hole 1 unless someone gave you a hint. Hole #9 is a water hazard that I lost my sidewinder on, there wasnt even a way to lay up. #10 is a water hazard also but runs along the pond. After coming out of the woods on 7 looking for 8 it was kind of confusing.
Other Thoughts: Watch out for pedestrians on holes #2 #3 #8 and a couple others the Walking Path is pretty close to the baskets or run alongside the whole of the run to the basket. Easy to hit people if you arent careful and it is OB. Just a heads up!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Fore a Good Time
Pros: Ed Austin Park is home to Fore Palms DGC, on the grounds of an old ball golf course. The amenities are good, with signs and bag holders on each hole, as well as many benches and a few trash cans throughout. The course layout is fairly easy to follow and all baskets are in good condition. There is only a couple of heavily wooded holes, but most blue tees are positioned so the drives vary in shape often. Most baskets are guarded by mature trees. There are two tees on every hole, and alternate pin placements on several holes. Elevation changes are very minimal, most holes are quite flat. Wind was a small factor on the day of my visit. Some water is present, but it is not much, and not very intimidating.
Cons: Overall, Fore Palms is a fun, solid course. The tee pads are good enough, but not the same throughout the course. Some are concrete, some block pavers, and they could be a little longer. The park is also used by other people, so occasionally pedestrians may come into play. There are some spots that are OB crossing into maintenance facilities or peoples back yards.
Other Thoughts: Fore Palms DGC in Jacksonville is a very good course with a few extra holes, in case 18 just isn't enough for you. It is located in a nice, multi-use city park that is clean and well kept. Not a terribly difficult course, but has length, and enough trees to keep it interesting. I enjoyed playing there, and would love to visit again sometime.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *Maps for each hole!
*Good beginner course
*Variety of hole types
*No tall grass
*Hard to lose disc on 16/18 holes!
Cons: *Two serious water hazards
*First hole can be hard to find
*Path intersecting hole #17
Other Thoughts: I very much enjoyed this course. I went with my uncle and it was his first time and he also enjoyed it. It was confusing for about a minute when we got there but then it was fine (once someone helped us). Towards the end the hole's start becoming longer and more open it seemed like which was nice. I would deffinitly recomend this course to any disc golfers in the Jacksonville area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The converted ball golf to disc golf course
Pros: -2 Concrete tapered Tee pads for each hole with a painted strip on each (red and Blue) to identify the tees. This was a nice touch. Even signs at both tee pads!
-Bag holders at the tees. This was first for me and a very nice amenity!
-The signage at the beginning was extensive and thoughtful. There was a place for scorecards(although empty the day I was there)
-Good use of the land that has a ball golf open feel to many of the holes but with added tight wooded holes to break up the monotony of the open holes
-Two water holes add a risk/reward to the course
-Most baskets are surrounded by a sandlot which keeps your disc from rolling away when you approach
-The added bonus of palm trees on the course gave it a vacation feel(out of towner here)
The course is set in a very nice park with some open ball fields if you want to "go to the driving range" with your discs before you play.
-The open holes add a forgiveness factor on your long bomb shots with that new driver you just bought.
Cons: -With a number of open holes, there was a bit of redundancy.
- Hole #1 can be a bit hard to find (although, I always use my GPS Longitude and latitude) so it took me right to the parking lot of hole #1.
-Navigation on the front nine go slightly confusing but nothing drastic. With a little wandering, I found my way.
- The added "extra holes" a,b,c on the front and d,e,f on the back come into play in the middle of each respective 9 hole set. Due to time, I skipped these if you use the scorecard on this site, it adds them into the # of holes you played. (While I realize this if not a fault of the course, it messes up scoring on this site.
- the course tends to often play left to right so I found myself playing more sidearm than backhand. Again, not a huge problem but for those who only play backhand, you'll either be throwing a lot of anhyzer shots or playing the long way around.
Other Thoughts: Fore Palms has a "different" feel to it compared to most county park courses I have played. This is a welcomed addition to the sport. The converted ball golf course feel allows for a lot of open play with minimal trees to deal with. There are trees to deal with. The added wooded holes add a nice change of pace to the open play and forces you to really hit your line or hit a tree. You'd be hard pressed to lose a disc here other than on the two water holes. The water adds a nice touch. Hole #9 allows you to grow into throwing over water as you can go around to the left to the basket or gradually take the risk with some water and hyzer off safely or go for it straight to the basket.
The day I played it was wet and slightly rainy. Most of the ground throughout the course in sandy with grass and the small little gnats that live in the sand are everywhere so bring bug spray.
I think most who play this course will remember it for its different feel than other courses even without any signature holes. (I'm actually looking forward to playing it again.) The front nine were definitely the better nine if you had to choose.
The course is well laid out and the locals are friendly. Definitely a place to add to your wish list.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Very nice Fla. course
Pros: Great use of an old "ball" golf course. The sign at the start of the course is great, full of information. There are flush restrooms close to hole #1. Important to my wife, playing with me that day.
I thought the course was adapted nicely from the old ball format to disc and basket. Nice use of the old tees and greens to give a little elevation to an otherwise very flat piece of property. There are both open and wooded holes available and for those of you with the big arms hole 18 is 660 feet of disc bombing pleasure. There are multiple tees and baskets for every hole, plenty of variety. I especially liked the bag rack at each hole along with many benches to rest if needed. The fact that both the red and the blue tees had signs was a nice touch also. A lot of thought and effort has gone into designing and maintaining this course.
It takes a pretty hefty throw to clear the water at 9 and 10 if you go at the basket. There is however plenty of space to play safe. This is not a driver and putter kind of course. You will need a variety of shots, both power and accuracy are required to score well here. Great test of your skill.
Cons: Without directions it is hard to find hole 1. For the most part the course is fairly easy to navigate. However, there are a few tees that can be hard to find for first timers. A few next tee signs would help greatly. Unfortunately I have to add the restrooms to the con list also as the doors would not lock. This required me standing guard outside the door.
Other Thoughts: All in all this was a really fun course. Plenty of variety required and power needed also. I especially like the baskets tucked behind trees and up on the old ball tee boxes to add some
difficulty and interest. All the locals I ran into were friendly and helpful. Next time I am back in Jax I will be looking for another round.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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