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 / 10 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 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 12 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 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Water and concrete everywhere
Pros: Beautiful wooded park; some long shots like #18's 695 ft, but most are in the 250-350 foot range, but quite technical with trees and water almost everywhere, so quite challenging. All tee pads were concrete.
Cons: If you don't like your current bag of discs, this course is a great place to either lose them in the water or scrape them up on the concrete and asphalt paths that are on just about every fairway and near (with 30 feet) of many baskets. Also a little hard to navigate the first time, even with some directions from a local--signage is spotty.
Other Thoughts: Spotted a pretty good size brown snake in the ditch near #11--might have been a mocassin, which is what the lake in the park is named. A local was in swim trunks and had his goggles--standing by to find and acquire stray discs.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Great course for a florida visit
Pros: Loved the alternate Pro and Am tee pads made for some amazing distance on some holes. Lovely scenery and wildlife along the course, quite a different scene compared to Wisco courses. Met a few of the locals while playing the course and grouped up with them, very nice and friendly.
Cons: Some signs were missing on the tees and for this being my first time at the course navigating the course was a little difficult.
Other Thoughts: Water hazards definitely play a role on this course which is quite cool i think, but my friend lost two of my discs (Star dart and my Buzz SS) so ensuring that your throw is dead on about 75% of the time is crucial. I went in after the Buzz but cautious in going after discs as there were plenty of alligator warning signs placed. Also is was very windy out 20 mph winds easily which made things interesting. Overall an awesome course that I wish I could play on a regular basis.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Go big, or go home!
Pros: Alternate t pads, great baskets, elevation, alternate pin locations, home course of the champ. Exciting lay out. It has a little of everything! Forces you to take your shot management very seriously, and stretch out your arm. The course also builds up very nicely, few open and low ceiling shots in the first 9, and by hole 10 you are in a nice groove and ready to crush it over the water at the basket. The back half of the course plays much longer then the front half, almost like a completely different course.
Cons: Heavily played, and worn course. Really needs some tlc. Many of the t signs are non existent, and the ones available are non-informative, and outdated. The practic basket sure could use some mulch around it. Last several times I played there there is a 10 foot circle if water around the basket.
Other Thoughts: This course really needs an overhaul, not in terms of placement, or design. New signage, new pads, more benches, bag racks ect. Would really help this course live up to its legacy. My rating is given mainly due to.the awesome layout, and the pros heavily outweigh the cons.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Cliff's Cool with Me
Pros: Cliff Stephens Park in Clearwater is a well rounded disc golf course that has a few very nice holes. I give the four disc rating based more on the difficulty and length than the fun factor. The front 9 seemed to have more trees that factor into shaping your tee shot, while still having generous fairways. The back 9 + 3 is slightly more open with one big throw over the water. There are holes turning left and right, with water in play on several of them. The park itself is clean and well maintained. The tee boxes are well equipped with signs showing distances and a hole map, and nice, long concrete tee pads. Some holes have short tees as well. The baskets are all present and in good working order.
Cons: Other users share the park for walking, biking or picnic lunches, are not in the way for long, if at all. There are possibilities of losing discs in the gator infested waters, but unless you shank one or get a bad roll or ricochet, you should be fine. Some of the holes are basically unobstructed, and don't require much imagination to picture a line to the basket.
Other Thoughts: Cliff Stephens Park makes excellent use of the available space and is a good quality course. It may not be the most stunning amid other great courses nearby, but I would be happy to be able to play there on a regular basis. Not my top pick for the Tampa/St. Pete area, but I would recommend visiting and playing here if you can.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great course! Mix of everything. Long holes, short holes, open holes, wooded holes, and plenty of water! Great tee's and basket. Multiple pin locations on almost every hole. Water fountains all through out the course so you dont get dehydrated.
Cons: If you dont like water then this might not be the best option for you. There is water everywhere, and there plenty of places to loose a disc(s) Not very good signs. Alot of them are broken or missing.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course. I love playing here whenever I get the chance!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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