4 Helpful / 1 Not
A Beautfiul Course Worth the Visit
Pros: + Excellent Teepads and Signs
+ Great Variety
+ Multiple Types of Challenges
+ Solid Flow of the Holes
+ Beautiful Scenery and Great Use of the Land to Create Hole Layouts
+ Fantastic Pro Shop Nearby (Clearwater Disc Golf Shop)
Cons: - Gators in Water Hazards (I personally dug this, but if you ended up with a disc in the water it'd certainly make you think more than twice about going in after it)
Other Thoughts: I genuinely wish I could play here more. While visiting a friend down in Sarasota recently I decided to make a trip up to Clearwater to check this course out and thought it was well worth the time.
I played from the long tees and didn't find the distances to be overwhelming, but rather quite appropriate for someone who has been playing for a while. The short tees looked to be great for someone new to the sport. A few of the holes were long enough and pins positioned in a way that you really had to think about your drive placement and not trying to reach the pin, which I love. Lots of water holes which was fun and intimidating at the same time, but mostly just fun. If there wasn't water there were lots of trees to work around and I appreciated the line shaping required.
I left Cliff Stephens Park happy and extremely glad that I was able to play it. If you live there I'm sure you already play this course. But if you're visiting the area and looking to get in some disc golf its well worth the visit.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice, but not great
Pros: This is a great course because of the local pros and Ken Climo started here, as has been stated in previous reviews. Based on this I was very excited to play this course. I have played North East Coachman a few times before I played this course. I might be harsh on this course because my expectations were very high and I was comparing it to Coachman. Based on that, I do have some good Pros and Cons.
- Great diversity of tee pad locations. At times, almost too much variety, but it will allow the most novice player to really enjoy their round.
- The course did a great job fitting into a compact area. There are some good long holes, but most are compact with a good variety of hyzer and anhyzer shots.
- The park seems quite popular and it's always nice not to be the only one around when you're playing.
Cons: There are a few things I didn't like about this course, but I will keep my bais out of the cons. I already told you that this course was a letdown for me, but I am still not sure how much of that was my expectation vs. the actual course.
- There are some hazzards to be aware of when you're going through your round. I played alone and I would have benefited from having a spotter with me.
- Not a lot of opportunities for facilities and water once you get into the course.
Other Thoughts: Overall this was a good course, but it will be awhile before I play it again. When I go to the Tampa area I try to either play a new course, or I just go back to Coachman. Coachman is just around the corner from this park and if you've got the time I would say fit both of them into your schedule.
Also, you must go to the Clearwater Disc Golf Store on US 19 & Sunset. It's minutes from both courses and it has a fantastic selection of discs. Every Innova, Discraft, and other brand with most any plastic and color selections. If they don't have it they will order it for you. Also, the staff here is a great resource for Disc Golf tips on playing (I have called them from Tallahassee to ask for disc recommendations), and they all know the local courses very well.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
cliff stevens park clearwater fl
Pros: very nice course with lots water shots to test your skills with your driver and your medrange shots...and there are many alternate pin placements.The grass is cut low and there are paved sidewalk throught out the course.witch is a plus if you bring the kids like in did.
Cons: the course would be a lot nicer without the died fish an trash in the water.besides that its a clean course
Other Thoughts: make hole 16 little eazier to read from the pad, you see many baskets
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
just played this course
Pros: good variety of holes, nice course layout,
Cons: too much water and poor pin placement on the water holes,hole 16 was togh to find
Other Thoughts: lots of trash in the water, took away from the beauty of the course. One of the better courses we played in the area,
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Couple this with Coachmen for the ultimate in variety.
Pros: 1) This course has concrete tees . . . an essential component of a highly rated course.
2) Turf is in good condition all throughout the course. It even looked like a few areas had been overseeded. This is a nice touch if this was the case because can see how some of the worn areas will be very bare when in the offseason.
3) Alternate baskets and alternate tees on some holes makes for a course that can have all sorts of different setups. I always appreciate courses that can have different layouts and can be played from different tees.
4) Unique basket locations on multiple holes. My favorites were #5 underneath and surrounded by low hanging limbs that actually reach the ground. You could block yourself from a clear look at the basket only 5-6' away if you dont put it in the right spot. #9 is also a really cool hole that throws over a valley and just above a timber tiewall. If you hit the timber wall you may very well miss your uphill birdie putt over the wall. If you land on top of the wall you might overshoot the hole by a good distance, but if you can get your disc to stick above the wall and in the soil surrounding the basket you may end up making yourself a birdie.
5) Practice basket is present at the first hole which is always a plus.
6) Portopotty is also present near the first hole and is really only easily accessible from holes #1 and #9 and after 18.
7) There are picnic benches and garbage available at the first tee area which the local league was absolutely taking advantage of when they finished their rounds. Benches and garbage are scattered throughout the course also.
8) Creek/river runs along a few holes which adds to the variety of this course. Not only are there the forced carried on 5 holes, but now there are holes with a creek running along the fairway.
9) Moderate elevation changes on the first 9 holes. This is the best part of this course in my opinion before opening up to the monotony of the water holes. The valley is used very well on a few holes to create interesting approaches if you havent gotten your drive close tot he basket.
10) Creative design but fair. It challenges you, but it also is fair enough in that you can avoid the water in most situations. It uses all of the best features of the park for sure.
11) Nice PVC signs. They have Hole #< par, and good hole layout showing much of the obstacles and really giving you a sense of where you want your disc to go.
12) Course layout is great the flow is just fine, you can always find the next tee from the previous basket. The only thing that gets confused is hole #16. There is a basket out on the peninsula that is not hole #16. That apparently is one of the 3 extra holes. I only know where the tee was for hole C so I bypassed A and B apparently.
Cons: 1) The water makes this course not very beginner friendly. I doubt you would see many beginners out here because of the threat of losing discs.
2) Path crosses multiple holes on the course. Some are in the direct path and some holes run just along the path creating dangerous spots. I feel these intersections can be minimized and should be addressed whenever possible.
3) There water part of the course is a little monotonous and not as challenging as the beginning 9 holes. I like the variety it adds tot he course and when mixed front 9 back 9 it is a great all around course.
4) There are a few areas where compaction and erosion are evident. The slopes of the valley on the front nine are a little thin and could be dangerously slick when wet.
Other Thoughts: I have to agree with some other people. Cliff Stephens gets all of the hype but Northeast Coachman is also a pretty good course. Coachmen doesnt quite have the variety because of less water and no elevation, but the canopy that is created and the shot shaping required at Coachmen is also lacking at Cliff Stephens. It is more open and longer, while Coachmen is more technical and tight. I could make an argument for both courses being rated about the same but for different reasons. In the end I gave Coachmen a 3.5 and Cliff Stephens a 4. The main reason for these ratings is that Coachmen appears to remain wet for much of the year in the rainy season. It also lacks the elevation changes that Cliff Stephens has. Cliff Stephens has a lot of water in play but is more open. I would rather play a tighter wooded course than a more open course with water. Sure there is challenge on both, but an argument can be made for both courses. Cliff Stephens simply has a better variety and constant challenge, therefore I still ended up rating it higher than Coachmen. I would certainly always play both courses if I had time, but my choice mught come down to what I was looking for in my DG day.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Best Course in Tampa Bay
Pros: Besides the fact that this park is beautiful, home of the Champ, and has friendly locals, this course will make your game better. I don't know many courses that such offer such a great variety of shots. This has everything: Tight holes, water left, water right, long, short, trees, open, great roller holes, and even a bit of elevation (rare in Florida).
3 Bonus holes behind hole 16 make for some extra fun. It is also in close proximity to Coachman so you can get in two great courses in a very short amount of time.
Cons: Alligators, water moccasins, and police (who can potentially ticket you for swimming after your disc). The course is a bit tight in some places where you are throwing toward another tee. Not the greatest facilities (just a porta-potty and a couple water fountains).
If you are not confident in your driving you might lose a few discs on this course due to water.
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course in the Tampa Bay area as it is probably the most challenging. It takes power and finesse. It helps to have a big arm (450ft power) on 3 holes where it might save you a shot but on most holes it is going to pay you for accuracy rather than power, which is how it should be. You will not regret playing this course unless you lose a disc or two along the way.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Cliff is worth the visit
Pros: This was an awesome course that had a variety of throws to challenge me at every turn. Most holes were straight shots, but were well hidden . Water comes into play in about half the holes. A few long holes to bomb out/ keep you honest, but, most were in the 350' range.
The teepads were long and concrete with signage. Plenty of trash cans to keep it clean (more people need to use em).
Cons: There weren't any restrooms to use, just a few port-a-potties. The signage was weak and didn't indicate placement or length. Tons of trash although there were plenty of cans to dispose of it. Just a shame for such a beautiful park to be trashed like it was
These cons don't outweigh the shear fun and challenge the course offers
Other Thoughts: This was an excellent course to visit. If I lived here I would frequent it often and do what I could to clean the park of the trash. Also, the simple signage could be upgraded easily and a wingnut to show placement would help. There are 3 extra holes that were awesome. 1 has an island green
This course could be a 4.5 with these improvements since Clearwater has a local disc golf shop, and no pro shop is needed
Front- # 3. About 330' over a creek on the left. The hole is elevated on a hill about 300' ahead of the tee. The hole is hidden by trees on the right side of the hill with a window on the left above the creek
Back- #16. Water to the left for about 330'. Takes a good throw with accuracy to carry the water and land on the other bank, but you still have another 100' threw some trees. An awesome challenge!!!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent layout with a fine variety of shots. No redundant holes.
There's water on a number of holes, and it is generally well-used. You can always wimp out and avoid it, or take your risk/reward gamble (not as much a gamble for top players as those of us with more modest abilities).
Park is full of sprawling live oaks. They're not only lovely,but provide a number of low-ceiling drives or approaches. There's little underbrush, so if you stay out of water, you're not likely to lose your disc.
Separate front & back nines, across the street from each other.
Cons: Gators. You shouldn't be throwing in the water but if you do, you might think about just how much you really want that disc back.
Actually, there's very little to find fault with here. Not a single hole I didn't like.
Other Thoughts: Always a joy to play when visiting Tampa area.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 12 Not
A Beautiful B+
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B-
(Water is used very well on 1/3 of the holes. Going into the drink incurs both the penalty of losing a stroke and most likely losing your disc. There is not much "early trouble" (a little on 4 & 7) that will punish you with additional strokes if you are off your line. It would have been nice to see more.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == B
(4 holes are unreachable but are short enough to to leave a 60-100' upshot....boring. The rest are a perfect challenge for me!)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B
(This course design does a decent job of forcing particular shots - especially given that semi-open nature of the course. Overall a good mix of holes to keep things interesting.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B+
(This course really "recharged my batteries"! I think it is the water that makes up for the lack of seclusion with the road crossing the park. Course is pretty well manicured. Very nice!)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == C+
(Hole 16 is a wonderful risk/reward hole for all but the biggest arms: choose how much of the water you want to bite off trying to make a tricky approach more manageable. The world needs more of these! The finishing hole (18 when I played it - now 21) is a worthy challenge based solely on distance. I wish there were a few more multi-throw holes on this course!)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me…..and that's the fun of things here.
2 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful park with many large old oak trees complete with hanging moss and lots of water. Perfect picture of Flordia nature. The park is clean and well maintained, benches and trash cans scattered through the course. The locals were very friendly and helpfull.
The course itself was very well layed out. There is not much in the way of elevation change available but what is there was used well. Especially by placeing baskets close to the the banks of water hazards. Presents you with the risk of an errant putt flying or rolling down a bank into the water. Great use of the trees as both intrest and obsticles. Some great use of trees is made in the placement of baskets. You will find baskets placed inside a ring of trees, in one case between the fork of a large low hanging branch. Most of the holes are basicly straigh but you will have to shape shots to navagate around the trees. In many cases multiple paths to the basket are available makeing you choose what is your best line. In many cases you will have to choose between the risk of starting out over water or take the "safe" route away from water. There is plenty of length required from the Pro tees and the Am tees while closer usually bring more trees into play. The second nine definitely brings more water into play, bring your big arm and courage with you here. The flow of the holes was pretty intutive makeing navagateing the course rather easy. The tee pads are he longest I have seen and are concrete both Pro and Am. There is also exact distances labeled on the pads for all available basket positions.
Cons: There are no pernament restrooms, only porta potties. However my wife said they were pretty clean, high praise from her. A couple of the signs are starting to wear a litle.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely a course you should put on your wish list. However, if you have not yet mastered control be aware you may loose a disc or two. My wife decided she did not yet have the skill to play the second nine so just walked with me. Definitely more water risk here. There is plenty of challenge here but there is also plenty of opertunity to score as well. I understand why the locals are so proud of this course.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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