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.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
A Must Play
Pros: -Beautiful water shots
-Multiple tee pads
-Good mix of holes
-Good flow between holes, I never wondered where the next tee box was.
Cons: -Water Moccasins...
-30 driving hours from where I live!
Other Thoughts: A must play if you are in the Tampa area! Oh, and there is always a chance of playing with the champ!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Bring you driver
Pros: My favorite disc store is only 2 miles away! - CLEARWATER DISC GOLF - This course has distance to say the least. I love the challenging water shots, especially #8. Each hole is interesting. Tee box's are long and wide.
Cons: Some holes have benches, I wished they all did.
Other Thoughts: Water is in play on several holes. There are a few bonus holes back by #16, but I haven't played them.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
The alltime best got started here!
Pros: Well to mention the obvious, Ken Climo calls this course home! The biggest reward of playing here is the possability of playing a round with the MASTER. There isn't a better test of your skill than to go head to head with KC.
The course is well laid out and extremely well maintained. Long tees and tricky basket placement will challenge even the biggest arms. The front 9 plays on one side of the street and the back is on the other. Navigating the course is easy and the flow from basket to basket feels right. There are many wide open, long holes so you will find the opportunity to really unleash that new big arm driver without worry.
Locals really love the sport and they take pride in their course. Pick-up games are never a problem to find.
Oh Ya, one of the best disc golf stores in Florida is very close, They have any disc in any plastic you have ever heard of. Ask someone on the course for directions, it's less than 2 miles away.
Cons: Some of the holes back track on each other and overlap, so be aware of whats going on down your fairway. No facilities. It does have a porta potty and water fountain. My Gf Used the porta potty and made a comment about how clean it was, and THAT is a big compliment for her!! You can loose plastic here, but only if your throw gets away from you.
The only other thing is a minor one, there are very few short challenging holes. I'd like to see a couple to feed my Buzzz, but that's why you play Coachman.
There are gators here but no gaint man eaters, I've only seen a couple and they were less than 6ft long.
Other Thoughts: The signature hole is 18. It measures out around 700ft. Me personally, I like 16 the most. It is a straight 500+ft shot across the lake. It feels great to pop one 350-400ft across to the fairway and is probably the most gratifying birdie you will ever get.
If you have a day to spend, checkout Coachman, it's right next door. It is a smaller more technical course, but a great challenge. Between the 2 courses, you will find a reason to use every disc and shot in your arsenal.
You simply cannot go to the Tampa area and not play this course!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Laser Çontrol Heaven
Pros: Wide variety of shots, many 3-D (left, right, ceiling restricted) that reward crisp, well executed drives. Lots of OB will test your nerves and beautiful scenery. Easy to follow, user friendly, kind locals. One of my favorites. Oh yeah, and there is a local player who I hear is pretty good.
Cons: I live on the other side of the country.
Other Thoughts: The first time I played here the locals treated me like family. Arranged a round with KC, he truly is the King.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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