"Champ's Turf" Needs T-L-C!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *** Added some navigation tips below ***
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 I've never played).
- 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.
Cons: - Well, as everyone has mentioned, the course does need a little bit of a makeover. 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.
- Very few alternate pin positions, so play can get repetitive if you play here often.
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...!
The railroad tracks are a good reference to where north is.
The pad for #1 is directly north of the parking lot.
#1 to #2: Walk back west right by the water.
#2 to #3: The am pad is straight south of #2's basket. The pro pad is back toward the tee for #2 near the water by a picnic table.
#4 to #5: Turn around north after #4. The pro pad is past the picnic table.
#6 to #7: The tee for #7 is almost due north of #6's basket, close to the sidewalk.
#8 to #9: The am pad should be visible from #8's basket; it's almost due south back across the sidewalk, and the pro pad is a bit further back.
- After #9, you have to cross the street. The tees for #10 are near the big info sign on the west side of the road.
#10 to #11: The tees for #11 are right near the water south of #10's basket.
#11 to #12: The tee for 12 is the one pointing south closest to the basket for #11 and throws across the creek.
#12 to #13: Walk straight east after #12's basket.
#13 to #14: Just walk along the guardrail of the road.
#14 to #15: Cross the bridge again. The tee for #15 is west of the tee for #12 and points into the little patch of woods.
#15 to #16: #16 actually has four tees. The two pro tees can be found by walking along the sidewalk. One is close to a palm tree hanging over water closer to #15's A position. The other is right next to the sidewalk. Walk further on the sidewalk and you get to the two am tees. #16's basket is almost invisible, especially if it's in the trees.
#16 to #17: Walk back using the walking trail to the two am tees for #16.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
The Champ's Course. Awesome, but it could use some work.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course itself is set in an amazing park. The trees are HUGE in spots and some of the lines play through what can only be described as "impossible spots" to try and get a disc through. This is mostly on the front, but the back has some neat looking holes, like 16, that sit out on an "island", surrounded by gator water!
There are two pads for most of the holes. Could be all, but I did not find them all if they were there for all 18.
The baskets catch well and are in very good shape. Of the four Florida courses I played this week, ALL of them had very good baskets.
The park has a great variety of shots as well. Long, straight shots. Tight anny shots that play very tech like. And 18 is a long hole with water that comes in to play.
There are signs on most holes, and they lay out the distance from each pad.
Good use of natural obstacles like trees, palmettos, and water.
Lots of seating, trash cans and other amenities on the course.
Cons: The pads seem very short on a lot of the holes. VERY short in fact on some of them. I would like to see these fixed first.
The signs on several holes are either broken, inadequate, or missing information. For a course with so much history, I feel like it deserves MUCH better signage. (see Taylor Park's signs for PERFECT example).
Navigation is not easy on several holes, especially on the back. There are a couple of holes where you have to double back and the flow just seems wrong.
Other Thoughts: At the end of the day, I was expecting an amazing disc golf course. I mean, it is the Champ's home course, right!? That said, I feel like I got a very average disc golf course. Especially when compared to the other courses that I played in my time in the Tampa/Clearwater area.
With a little work, this could be a 4 + star course. But with the broken signs, navigation issues and small tee pads, I feel like a 3.5 is a fair rating. Calling this course "very good" is right where I feel comfortable.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course to play!
Pros: Variety of holes with a light mixture of different altitudes. Beautiful course location with a combination of shaded holes and sun-covered fairways. Extra long concrete tees allow for much needed space for a variety of throwing styles. Pro/Am tee choices make it an adaptable play for disc golfers of all ages and ability.
Cons: My biggest problem with this course is the lack of a few hole signs making a few holes tricky to read for first time players. The back 9 holes had some slight confusion about where the next hole is and what hole to throw to.
Other Thoughts: We stopped here while on a vacation to Tampa, and I wouldn't hesitate to stop and play it again. The great weather and overall gorgeous setting made Cliff Stephens more than just your average course. Water was in play in 5-6 holes, but not in an unavoidable state. It's courses like this one that keep me, (a below average player) loving the game.
4 of 4 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.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Variety of holes and different shots, Very nice setting...Looks good and well put together, There were long tee-pads which is always a plus, There were amateur tee's and pro...so if you need to take a step up so you don't throw in the water or into a tree your good!
Cons: My biggest problem with the course was that some holes had missing signs...can be hard to navigate, it was pretty frustrating.
Other Thoughts: Over all a very good course!! while on a vacation to Tampa, I would like to try this course out again! This was a very nice course! Water was a factor on a couple holes, but you can avoid it. I love this game!
0 of 4 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.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: very technical course. not too many trees but lots of water. as a fairly experienced player this course will sometimes get the better of me. great signage and variety of looks.
Cons: this course is not for the inexperienced player. recommended to you guys out there with a big arm becuase some of these holes are pretty deep.
Other Thoughts: hole 18 is awesome. 700+ ft pad to pin is a challenging play.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: This is the Champs course. Do you really need any more info?
Other Thoughts: Water hazards so bring floaters or some discs you won't miss. Get ready to throw far! This place is huge. If you're a beginner you might want to try youth guild or azalea before this place.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Beautiful course and scenery!! Great variety of shots require that really pushed my skill level. Plenty of water to keep you on your toes too. Just beautiful scenery to walk through even if I wasn't playing disc golf. Solid tees and baskets w 3 extra holes. I could play this course every day and never get sick of it. I have some awesome courses here in Orlando, but Cliff became my favorite course in Florida as soon as I played it. Definitely a must play course.
Cons: We did play w a local who knew the course so signage wasn't an issue for us but I could see how it could be. Regardless though this is an awesome course. Of course if u are new to the game u could lose a few discs.... Bring your dragons and wahoos!!
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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