Stop by Sarasota!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a gorgeous park in the north end of Sarasota. There was ample parking available and restrooms, gazebos, and benches throughout. Beautifully landscaped park, loved playing under the palm trees and Spanish moss.
Good variety of shots; I really dislike tunnel shots and excessively wooded courses, but this one uses its woods and trees very well without feeling overwhelming. There's also a couple holes where the bigger arms can open up and let it air out a bit, which was impressive for a park this size.
Concrete tee pads, benches, and trash bins everywhere. Signs were very informative and help significantly with the navigation; the photos of approaches and baskets are particularly helpful.
Nicely used water hazards; enough to keep play interesting, but not deep enough to lose a disc in really. I didn't notice them causing a problem with bugs while I was there, by the way.
Few opportunities to lose a disc; the park seemed well-manicured and tidy when we were there, with minimal underbrush.
This park is very clean and well-maintained. Kudos on whoever helps keep this place clean, we appreciate it.
Cons: As has been stated multiple times, this is a park first, DG course second. You do have to keep an eye out for off-leash dogs, walkers, and people just milling about in general.
Holes 1 and 9 both are perilously close to people's fenced yards; throw a nice drive and this won't be a problem, but just be aware of it.
The course is very compact and contained in a relatively small area; while a gorgeous park, it felt a bit constrained and like we were looping around a lot in the same terrian. Which we were. No big deal at all, but I personally prefer more spread out courses.
I thought navigation was a bit tricky on several holes, especially from 12-13 and 17-18. Thank you to the friendly locals that helped us out!
Some of the back 9 did start to feel a bit repetitive, possibly just because of the current pin placements. Also, it would have been nice to have some way to mark which pin position was active, since almost all holes have multiples.
Other Thoughts: This course is a few minutes north of downtown Sarasota. If you're coming by on I-75, take the University Blvd exit, head West towards the Gulf, turn left on the Tamiami trail, and then look for the signs for the park.
I was surprised to see the majority of reviewers commenting on the neighborhood; we didn't even think twice about getting out of the car here. It looked perfectly fine; however, I did notice a couple of bike cops rolling through while we were there. I'm not too familiar with the Sarasota area, so I could just be ignorant on this one; I was also here at 3PM on a weekday.
I really felt this course was on the verge between a 3 and a 3.5. A bit more variety in the lay of the land (which I understand is just part of the area) and slightly better navigation, and it'd be a solid 3.5. I'll be happy to re-rate and edit after I play a few more courses to get an idea of what the area courses are like. While there aren't the hills like in the courses around my native Kansas City, there were palm trees and Spanish moss galore, which was really just amazing. Happy discing!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice course with some flaws
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Friendly course design in a friendly park
-Variety of shots - medium-tight wooded balanced by long open holes, right and left, rollers and air shots
-Concrete tees, bathrooms, water fountains, covered picnic tables
-Water hazards are there, but when I played in early spring, water was non-existent or very shallow
-Good use of trees to create protected baskets, protected greens and tight tee shots on many holes
-Benches, trash cans throughout and I saw very little trash - nice clean course
-Ideal introductory/beginner course that won't be a total bore for more experienced players
Cons: -Traffic - this is a park first and DG course second - you'll run into a lot of pedestrians, cyclists, children, dogs off-leash, etc. and nobody yielded to disc golfers (which is fine by me, but makes for a slow round)
-Signage was not clear - many showed multiple pins, but in fact only one pin was installed (the short one) and I found it a little challenging to find my way from hole to hole - paper course maps would be nice
-Nearby airport causes some loud airplane noise which can be distracting
-Pros and experienced players may be disappointed - only one truly long hole, a couple medium long - most holes were drive and long putt/approach for me (and my drive is pretty weak)
-Typical of FL, but there is zero elevation change here - some elevated pins or better use of what little elevation there is here (if that is even possible - entire course is bounded by backyards) would help
Other Thoughts: I have ZERO clue why so many reviewers suggested this neighborhood is sketchy - looks like your average middle class neighborhood to me. Had no problems - everyone was either aloof or friendly - don't let those comments turn you away from playing this course. I had fun playing and relaxing while my wife took the kids to the beaches that aren't too far away - would recommend to others. Good beginner/introductory course, too.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Jungle in the City
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. There is a good variety of shots to be had. You'll use many different discs and many different lines...
2. Signs are clear and Teepads are of good size.
3. there are multiple tee positions and some multiple pads. There really is a lot going on here.
4. Holes go from around 200 ft. to over 500 ft. and, it seems like there is something new around every corner.
5. It really does look like a jungle near the parking lot on the first few holes. There are a couple of Banyan trees as well.
6. Good variety between tight and open holes. It's a nice shotmakers course.
Cons: 1. The neighborhood seems a bit sketchy. Lot of trash not in cans, although the park itself is really beautiful.
2. Homeless people potentially sleeping in the rough. (Almost fell over one!)
3. You're never sure what the basket position is until you actually find it...
Other Thoughts: This was pure fun! Although its flat, the scenery was wonderful with tons of trees of different types. The park really did a great job winding in and out of the forest. Each hole was a treat. Even if you hit a tree, there was usually a chance to recover for par. The local players were helpful, and it seems well supported. This is really a fun, moderately challenging course. Good shots are rewarded, and it is technical at times while never being unfair. I will definitely play again.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nicely-shaped fairways
Multiple pin positions
Some alternate tees
Clean, and fairly well marked
Cons: BUSY. Several fairways cross bike paths, baskets are too close to the next tees in several cases. Back half of the course has a couple of basket-to-tee paths that are not intuitive and are not marked. Scorecard or arrows at baskets would help a lot.
Except for 9 and 10, you can pretty much play this course with a Buzzz and that's it. Not much reason to dig into the rest of the bag.
Other Thoughts: Okay - so I wouldn't call this heavily-wooded, but I guess it is all relative. There isn't much undergrowth, just a bunch of palm groves that shape fairways providing 1 or maybe 2 lines per hole. I believe most of the pins were in the front positions the day I played. It was windy which added some fun to the 3 or 4 holes which were out in the open.
The park is busy and there were quite a few bikers and walkers out along with many other disc golfers, most of whom seemed to be recreational as far as skill level. That, or they were stoned (the group in front of me that finally let us play through on hole 10) or drunk (the 5-some behind me on the back nine, who were actually quite pleasant but who apparently skipped holes 9 and 10 for whatever reason).
All in all, worth playing if you are in the area. Not sure this deserves the four-star ratings I'm seeing - there isn't anything about this course that stands out in my mind. I contrast that with Gordon Barnett and Turkey Lake in Orlando, both of which I played 15 years ago - I can still remember specific holes that were just awesome. This course - I'll remember the palms, but there's no signature hole and nothing to merit more than a "good" rating.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
very fun course
Pros: - very fun and challenging course to play for all types of players.
- there is a sign at the beginning of each hole that shows you where the basket is and where the next t box is.
- easy to navigate from hole to hole.
- water is not really a problem. i went the day after it rained pretty hard and there were only a couple of holes that had a little bit of water.
- concrete t pads.
Cons: - although it was mainly disc golfers in the park, there were some people walking around next to the holes. not really that big of a deal but you still need to watch out for people.
- kind of seemed like a shady neighborhood but everyone i talked to seemed pretty nice.
Other Thoughts: - definitely play this course if you are in the area!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: very fun course for any player. easy to get from hole to hole. good variety of tight, open, long and short holes. nice facilities.
Cons: this course is made for righty backhanders or lefty flickers. if you are a lefty backhander or a righty flicker you better have some experience. i brought a lefty backhander with me and he strugled a lot as he is fairly new to the sport.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Water Tower Park is located in a beautiful park in Sarasota. The ambience from the Spanish moss hanging from the Live Oaks will make this experience memorable.
-Multiple concrete tees, signs (w/map, lines, and distance). As well as Alternate pin locations.
-This course is one of the early courses in Florida; there is a nostalgic feeling about playing there.
-DG Billboard with map of the course
-Beginner friendly, fun for all skill levels.
-Plays in and around the wooded area of the park.
-Good fun factor, well designed, and they maximized the use of this park.
-Lines vary from hole to hole. You'll be required to work your line around trees that are scattered throughout the fairway. You will also need to be mindful of the low ceiling formed by the canopy of trees.
-Good Distances for a wooded course. Range from 250 to 325 avg. There are a couple of holes that are 400+
-The trees are spacious enough, and the brush isn't thick. The risk of losing your disc here is low.
-Each fairway comes with its own challenge.
-The park was very clean, and well taken care of.
-Restrooms are available, as well as picnic tables, shelters and garbage cans. Also benches are available in case you need a break.
-Fairly easy to navigate, but a map will help you on a few of the holes. We did have to look around a couple of times, but it wasn't too bad.
-This course is a popular course, so finding someone to hook up with shouldn't be a problem.
Cons: -The main one would be all of the walking paths that meander throughout the course. The park goers, for the most part, seem to be fairly aware of Disc Golf.
- (This is an "is what it is" factor, not held against it) The terrain was fairly flat. Then again, this is coastal region so that's the way it is.
-The course isn't in the worst neighborhood, but I was told that it's not the best neighborhood either. However, I was also told that nothing major has ever happened here, and there aren't many issues with the park. There are, however, a number of disc golfers out there. So if you feel leery, you'll be in good company. It wouldn't stop me from playing here.
I really had a good time here. The fun factor was terrific, and the park itself is very enjoyable to walk through. As has been said before, this is a must play course. There is a nice stretch of Disc Golf courses to be played in this area, this isn't one to miss. No special footwear is needed; my Nike's did just fine. I played in May, so I can't really say how the bug situation is. If you come from 75, you'll pass plenty of places to grab a bite before/after you play here. Nothing in the immediate vicinity of Water Tower Park though.
If memory serves correctly, it appeared to be fairly balanced between right/left-handed shots. It's tight, but not to frustrating. Some of my frustration came from a low branch that I wasn't paying attention to, or playing too close to the edge. But it wasn't enough to take away from the fun I was having. Even if you get deflected, you can still salvage your shot with a good approach shot. Go, and have fun here. You'll be glad you did.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
loved it- great course
Pros: -great fairways, challenging shapes
-plenty of chances for birdies, but not a 'gimmie' course at all
-pretty good mix of open shots in the beginning and end of round
Cons: -i'm not one to care about a rough neighborhood, but while i was there a pretty spooked guy came out of the hole 5 area saying there was a pit-bull roaming around not on a leash- and it tried to bite him but he hit it with his walking pole... so that had me on edge since i was alone, but within 3 or 4 minutes there were literally 2 police cars driving around looking for it...
-some clueless park users were standing right near the basket for hole 18 using their metal detectors. nice enough people, but i had to wait for what seemed like forever
Other Thoughts: In all, i really enjoyed my rounds at this park. the layout was real low and level- with quite a few holes having a slight left to right which is great shot to learn that doesn't come automatically for beginners.
a lot of local players around even on a weekday.
i really liked the layout and the park scenery- with the streams and etc... definitely worth playing if you're in sarasota.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
The Original SW Florida Course
Pros: The first and finest course between the Sarasota and the Ft. Myers area. The course is well designed and has a good flow to it. Concrete t-pads, several with multiple tees and pin placement. More than enough benches, tables, garbage cans and a nice pavillion. A well established league who host great tournaments! The course was very clean and well maintained. Modern restrooms very close to the course.
Cons: The course is not in the best of nieghborhoods, but it has been seemingly improving over the years. Yesterday morning two punks rode their dirt bikes onto the course, but were quickly chased off by some agressive disc golfers! The course is in a city park and there is a sidewalk that winds through it, but its not that big of a deal.
Other Thoughts: The course is heavily played and as a result of this it has greatly improved the park and the area around it. If passing through and can only play one course in Sarasota, play this one!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Florida Fun in a Discount Size
Pros: Teepads, flow, landscape
Cons: Interaction with other park activities
Other Thoughts: North Watertower Park is a classic Florida course, but without the water and undergrowth. Set in a relatively small municipal park in a modest Sarasota neighborhood, this course is exactly what you should think of when you think of the typical Florida course. It features nice teepads, decent signage, a flat but distinctive Florida landscape of palms and salt bush, and holes that require thought and control, but with a little opportunity for big arms to show off. There's nothing particularly distinctive out here; no big water holes, or holes playing out to a beach, and not much of that Florida wildness either. It's just a sort of small, very well laid out every day course in one of the most visited regions of the country, the Florida Suncoast.
In terms of acreage, North Watertower is small, but it doesn't play that way. Every hole has two distinct basket placements, and many have two teepads also. While woods and foliage are a factor on most holes, there are a few holes that anyone would consider open, and at least two that are long enough to be more than par 3 by most standards. There's no overlap or crossing among holes, yet because the park is relatively small, flow is totally intuitive and wayfinding is a breeze. And while this isn't necessarily a course where you'll need every disc in your bag, shot shaping and course management are still needed skills out here. Most of the holes have flavor, and the varying pin positions change things up sufficiently.
The only challenges are interaction with other park users, as a walking/jogging trail winds across the fairway of several holes, and the two long holes on the course are also the only field in the park, and thus can be used by others that are oblivious to the flying discs. Numbers on the baskets would be a plus too. Overall, North Watertower is a worthy outing if you're in the area; it's always fun to fling 'em Florida style.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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