Cliff Stephens DGC
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Perfect mix of long and short tees
-This course has some of the best water hazards that I've seen. The water really brings in the risk/reward factor to several holes.
-Concrete tees on all holes, both long and short.
-Some of the best tee signs around. They give you a close-up of the basket and show you the location of the next tee which makes navigation a cinch.
-The course plays in a figure 8 with the parking lot conveniently located in the middle.
-This course is a "Tale of Two Halves" with the front being a bit shorter with more trees in play and the back being longer with less trees and more water hazard. This was probably my favorite aspect of the course.
-As long as you avoid the water hazards it's pretty easy to recover from a poorly throw shot.
-Challenging, but not brutal.
-This being The Champ's home course is a definite plus.
Cons: -The biggest con for me was how crowded this course was. I arrived at 10:30 am on a Wednesday morning and the course was still packed.
-Lots of pedestrians to contend with adds to the slow down on the course.
-There's a real risk of losing a disc here.
Other Thoughts: Cliff Stephens really is a fantastic course with a great ambience. It's challenging, but doesn't beat you down. This was my second favorite course of the 7 I played in the bay area.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Championship level course
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 2 sets of tees make for a good challenge for each skill level. A mildly wooded course accuracy is needed to score low. Distance helps but isn't a must. Tee signs are present on each hole with accurate distances for each pin and actual photos of each hole which makes it easier to ID where certain pins are.
There are concrete tee pads so footing isn't an issue from the tee.
The course has a lot of variety in terms of distance and routes to the pin. You will find yourself throwing a different shot on nearly every hole. You definitely don't get a lot of "same disc, same line" shots.
The course is kept very clean. This is clearly a course that gets a lot of play and has pretty good upkeep making for an enjoyable round. When I was there multiple groups were out playing which is always the sign of a good course.
Cons: While the tee signs are accurate there isn't a way to tell on multi-pin holes which pin is in play at times. Holes 2 and 9 have pins within about 60 ft of each other so an errant throw on either might find you in someone else's putting green.
The added holes are a little awkward just in terms of getting to them and navigating them. Hole A is straightforward enough and was actually a really nice peninsula hole. Unfortunately you then have to backtrack down As fairway and trek through the woods to get to B. Hole B is the only "bad" hole on the course and I say that only because it doesn't really fit the design of the rest of the course. A very tight tunnel shot it just doesn't fit the rest of the course. The walk from B to C then takes you through the woods again in a not very clearly defined trail (but easy enough to figure out).
The only other thing to be aware of is the course is split in half by a fairly busy road with at least 1 hole coming into direct play alongside it where an errant drive could easily hit a passing car.
Other Thoughts: This was the 2nd of two courses I played on a trip back to Mobile from St. Petersburg. It was a fun course that challenged my game from start to finish. You have to think about each shot and really need to have every shot available to your disposable to score low. There's a good mix of distance and no real gimmicky shots. Definitely worth the play if you're in the area or passing through.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
All That I Thought
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Course offers a great variety of shots. Every disc in your bag will be used.
* Edit...I have been told that the nice signs are new. Well, the course has very clear, colorful signage and flows well. Apparently this is an improvement from before.
* hyzer, straight and turnover lines are all used.
* Water is prominent, and not insignificant, but there are typically safer routes. (Except 10...That one you need to carry)
* Front nine offers some lightly technical woods shots, while back is more open, and the variety is appreciated.
* The course is expansive, and does not feel too close together.
* Hole 16 is a flat out awesome hole with an extreme challenge. However safe routes are available.
* Walking paths all over with water fountains which is great for humid, Florida days.
* Challenging pin positions often perched on the edge of slopes leading to hazards.
* There are some slopes leading to hazards. This kind of elevation change is not found on most, Florida courses.
* Bonus holes available A, B, and C near the end. Can be skipped, but adds to the challenge.
* Multiple basket positions, and short pads to play if you prefer.
* Nine and 18 finish toward the parking lot, so the course is intelligently set up.
* Fun course! If you cannot get amped up to play Cliff then you shouldn't be playing.
Cons: * This is a popular course and can get very crowded.
* One hole on the back nine runs by a very busy road. It's a nice semi tunnel shot, but it would be easy to lose a disc (and get it run over) on that road.
* The above are more just observations. I loved the course!
Other Thoughts: Cliff is a big, expansive course with the front nine running through woods and beside a large creek. The back is across the street and runs near a pond and a much larger lake. The course is well marked, has large tee pads, and offers a variety of shots. I really enjoyed the change between front and back nines. It was like crossing the road between two different worlds, because the nines are different in distance and cosmetic makeup.
The front nine has some light woods, and the back is open and long. And this course closes strong! 16 is a bearishly long hole that hugs a pond on a hyzer line. Any hopes of a 3 involve skirting with danger the whole way. It's an incredible hole. 17 is a long turnover shot, guarded by trees on the right and one large oak near the tee. 18 is almost 700 feet, skirts a pond that you already crossed on 10, and finishes in what feels like a wind funnel.
This is a wonderfully designed course that is challenging without being unfair. The fun factor is intact, and you will be proud of your good shots while nervously watching your bad ones. Coachman park is very close and the two can make for an amazing day of disc golf!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Terrain features actual hills and drops. (for florida anyway.)
Truly pro level lines
Front and back 9 end at the parking lot (huge + for short round players)
Great drainage (we got 6+ inches of rain and only a few swampy spots unlike nearby N.E. Coachman which was COMPLETELY underwater.
Cons: Signage missing on some holes (cheap pvc poles don't last too long)
Hard too find next tee for many holes (sign on basket would be great)
Ominous water hazards (can be a plus but not for the faint of heart.)
Other Thoughts: Conveniently located near US-19 and Clearwater Disc Golf Store.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Great Variety, Great Challenge
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: + Variation of shots
+ Water Hazard play
+ Great scenery
+ Great pads and signs
+ Multiple Pins
Cons: - Water Hazard play
- Traffic from walkers/bikers
Other Thoughts: Easily in the top courses I've played. Very fun course that brings technical challenges of placement and lines into play. Some holes are easy to bird, but they are few to compensate for the more dangerous birdie attempts that follow. Great course design that keeps entertaining year after year. Note: Golden retriever would be a good tool to bring along for risky shots
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The course is set up wonderfully. Great mix of technical holes and length. Water is a challenge on a couple holes which is always fun to toy with. One of the nicest front nine I've ever played...Back nine was good...not kind.
Other Thoughts: Played on my Honeymoon with a first timer...stopped at Clearwater Disc Golf Store and set him up with a beginner pack...We stepped up to hole 4..."You'll want to aim at the tree on your right...don't throw it down the middle...DON'T throw it to the left"..Big hyzer....brand new Valkyrie in the drink! Oops.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
"Champ's Turf." 'Nuff said.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First thing, right off; it's Ken Climo's home turf. Biggest thumbs up you can possibly get right there. And it's no wonder he got as good as he did playing here all the time.
- Very technical course. There are a couple of wide open grip 'n rip opportunities (#1, #2, #9, #18), but most holes are wooded and have few lines to the pin.
- Water is everywhere here, and it's not casual, either. You throw along it, across it, and have baskets perched on cliffs above it. The course even boasts an island hole (#A, which is an epic hole).
- 21 total holes... that's a plus, being the only +18 hole course in Tampa Bay.
- Beautiful surroundings... Moccasin Lake Park is a great setting for a disc golf course. Plenty of natural hazards besides the water to test your skills... or bravery.
- Cliff is connected to Northeast Coachman Park by the Ream Wilson Trail. This is totally awesome! I love to park at Cliff and play 18 then skate over to Coachman and play 18 more.
- Course comes back to the lot before you play the back nine. Nice plus here.
- Before Fun 'n Sun 2013, they fixed the signage problem. Flashy new tee signs with arrows showing you where to go once you finish your current hole have been added, and they've done some more work on clearing some holes (especially B and C). The 'Champ's Turf' finally got some love!
- A couple more extra pin placements have been added.
Cons: - Well, as everyone has mentioned, some of the tee pads are in poor shape (#2 can get covered by dirt when it rains) and some of the pads are very short and aren't level, either.
- #1, #16, #17, and #18 play along the trail, so waiting for pedestrians is not uncommon.
- No restrooms on site except for a Honey Bucket. This is lame.
Other Thoughts: - If you can't control your drives perfectly, you might want a floater or two here. The water is pretty rough. And you'll walk a little more than two miles in one round here.
- Not a lot of shade on the back nine, so have your sunscreen.
- Bugs aren't really a problem here, but I'd be careful going in after discs. It's not called Moccasin Lake for nothing, not to mention gators...!
- Quick shot to Clearwater Disc Golf Store and Coachman Park. And running into a local pro is not uncommon.... I met Paul McBeth and Kyle Sawtelle out here!!!
Bumped my rating up to 4.0 with the awesome new signs.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: You will not get bored at Cliff Stevens. There is always a tree, pond, or stream to shoot around or over. There are a variety of holes and shots. I really enjoyed the long cement teepads. You don't always see teepads that big and I really liked them. There are also multiple teepads for beginners and pros.
Cons: There was only one thing that I really didn't like about this course. There were at least 3 or 4 holes with missing signs. If you have never played there it can be very hard to navigate.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed my round at cliff stevens. Anyone from beginners to pros can enjoy this course because of the multiple teepads. However, if you don't enjoy throwing over or around water, this course is not for you. There were at least 6 holes where water comes into play. I didn't mind the water, but it wouldn't be hard to play aggressive and lose a disc. If you are in the area you should play this course. Its a really beauty.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Cliff Stephens Park is a really nice natural setting in the middle of a bustling area. With all of the road construction in the area, it was a little difficult to find, but totally worth the effort. Couldn't even really hear that much outside noise from the park grounds.
I really liked the way the designer integrated the water into the course. Sometimes it seems like a course has a body of water to work with and they use it the same way over and over…typically playing with water on the right side of the fairway. Cliff Stephens had that, but it also had water on the left, a couple of clearing shots and a peninsula hole. Really well done, and kudos to the designer.
I thought the "white" tees offered a good mix of distance differential. Some holes were under 300, but some were over 600. Plenty of 400-500 foot holes mixed in as well. Very well done. I enjoy multi-shot holes and this course had plenty of those. Drive-Putt or Drive-Approach-Putt can get really old. While it is a mostly open course, you really do have to consider your plan of attack on most of these holes.
Climo…it's cool to say that I played his "home course".
Cons: Navigation can be a little tricky for someone from out of town. Had to play the course out of order as it was, but I had trouble when I couldn't see other groups to gauge where they were going. I ended up tagging along with a guy, who led me to believe he was a local, but then after we got lost twice admitted he had only played there once before and he was actually from Minnesota. Maybe the first person I've ever run into on a course with multiple personalities. Guy also said he knew Ken Climo. Maybe he did…but I doubt it.
Other than navigation, the course was pretty good. Some of the baskets looked a little rough, but nothing atrocious.
Also, I did not see any alligators, but have heard there may be some around there.
Other Thoughts: Maybe I just caught them on a bad day, but the locals were not very friendly. They were about to start a weekly event, so I thought I would just tag along and play the weekly event. Evidently it was a "closed event" and "members only"…for an afternoon weekly…hmmm. Anyway, there were about 30 of them and one of me, so I just decided to simply play the course alone. Met up with the guy mentioned above on Hole 10. I guess I figured that since this was just a weekly, and that I was from hundreds of miles away, that these guys would allow me to play without too much trouble. Nope. Ended up playing the front-9 in this order: 1-2-7-8-3-4-5-6-9. When I got to the 9th hole, I waited on the tee for one group to throw. After they holed out, I parked the tee shot, dropped in for my deuce and sprinted to Hole 10 while they were taking a break. I tried not to let this affect my rating of the course, and I think I have minimized it as best I can. Unfortunately my only memories of this course are rushing around trying to play every hole while being looked at like a leper and feeling unwelcome.
The park is connected to a system of trails, and near one of the holes on the back-9, away from the majority of the course, a kid around (16) rides up on a bike. He asks me and the guy I was with if we want to "buy any discs". The way he said "discs" was very strange, and I have a feeling he didn't have any plastic in his backpack. We both declined. Then the guy with me proceeded to tell me how the same kid asks him if he wants to buy "discs" every time he plays there…which I later found out to be only once before. Guy seemed oblivious and harmless enough, so I didn't tell him what I thought.
Back to the course, Cliff Stephens is a cool course. There is plenty of variety here to keep you intrigued. If water is not your thing, then go somewhere else. There's a lot of it here. My personal favorite hole is #17 which plays out onto the peninsula. Beautiful hole and very difficult when windy. I was lucky enough to deuce it. Doubt I could do it again, but I just happened to hit a long putt. This left me with a good feeling over the final holes and made me feel a little better when leaving the course.
Course is definitely not designed for beginners.
If you are in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, this would be the course I recommend the most. My only suggestion is that you try and play it in the morning when there is probably less traffic and no conflict with others. This is definitely an excellent course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
awesome basket placement
Pros: Played only front 9. Review is for front 9 only. Hole 1 is a fooler. Basket is out in the open. This is not how it is to be on the front 9. Basket placements are excelleent. I will declare short hole 3 as a sig hole for this course. Big trees hide the basket. Elevation is used. I did not have a understable middie with me and many times that was just what I wanted to toss on a number of holes. Not enough course play annie. I appreciated this element as I can toss neutral discs annie well.. MY bad not having one w me. 7 is a classic great hole... 2/3 rds of the hole is open... then a tree cluster, then a basket with a fall-away behind it... so many ways to play it. Really good golf. The basket on 5 is in just a great location. NO skip aces going to happen here... Tree is too in the way. Nice! 4 is a blind basket to a nice pin location along water... forces you to go annie to avoid dropping one in the water. basket on 6 is tucked in well, too.
Cons: A few creepy characters lurking about mid-day on a Sunday... the smell of 420 in the air. They were harmless, but it makes it a bit less family friendly.
Other Thoughts: Clearwater DG store to waaaaaay too close for my wallet! Not a con... a very good thing.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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