10 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid and Diverse
Pros: Civitan Park (John LeMaster DGC) is an interesting mixture of "awe" and "what were they thinking?" First the awe - holes #2 and #18. Hole #2 is certainly the signature hole carved out of the mountainside that feels like it has no real place being a part of this course. It's brutally fun elevated tight rocky madness that makes you love the challenge of a great hole. I personally loved hole #18 as well with it's tight elevated tee box into the pin position cradled by a high burn and tight grouping of trees on the left side. Coupled with #17, a round isn't in the bag until you have conquered the last two holes.
The tee boxes are a mix of mostly good and some bad with decent markers and nice bag holders. Yardage seems fairly accurate, but can be deceiving with steep elevation changes forcing you to make certain throws. Parking is good, and the small community means that you're not going to fight crowds to fit in a round. Basically, it's a good round of diverse disc golf.
BEST HOLE/S: #2; #18
Cons: While the use of elevation is interesting, and I loved the holes that played along the few brooks, most of the course is fairly straight forward and sometimes boring. The beautiful Cahaba River adds an additional feature not seen on many courses, but only comes into play on one relatively easy hole.
Civitan Park also suffers from some course flow issues - especially the transitions from holes #3, #4, and #5. You also have to be keen to watch the transitions after #10 through #13. It's not horribly difficult to find your way, but it would be nice if a local could generate a map for players to use.
WORST HOLE/S: #4
Playing in the winter time - I missed the sheer beauty of how this moderate to heavily wooded course looks like in the summer and fall. With the decent tree cover - it would be a nice escape in the summer heat. However, don't expect to bring the family, this is not a stroller friendly park - this baby is purely disc golf.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience of the this course, but the design issues and overall yawn factor of the middle portion rank it slightly lower than George Ward Park
in downtown Birmingham. However, I still think it deserves a strong 3.5 disc rating, and if you are in the area - make sure you still hit this course and you won't be disappointed.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
An OK course
Pros: This was a decent course that had a few exceptional holes. Hole 1 is completely open. Holes 2,17, and 18 are in very thick woods. Holes 3-16 are in completely clean mowed areas with lots of large trees. I felt like hole #2 was exceptional as was #18. The course was clean.
Cons: I pretty much completely agree with the review and problems ZMann44 brought up. #2 is hard to find. Holes 4-16 are not exactly hard or awe inspiring in any way. You have a basket with randomn trees here and there. You have tons of different gaps are are just as likely to get close to the basket with a crap throw as you are with a good one. All of these holes felt the same and none of them offerred anything different from the ones before it. The basket might be different distances from hole to hole but it all looked the same and was really pretty boring. The course also didn't flow real well. You could see several baskets and tees from 4-16 and sometimes it wasn't real obvious were to go next.
Other Thoughts: I thought this was a decent course but I didn't think it was a four disc like it was rated. I think a couple of the holes are excellent but there are a lot that are just bland and look the same. If you are in th area it is worth playing but I wouldn't go out of my way to play it again.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
This Courses Will Fool You!
Pros: I played # 1. It's a long, boring toss across an open field and I thought, "This is going to be a boring-ass course." Then I played # 2 and it's a super rough, engineering marvel, disc losing, ankle busting hole and I thought, "This course is going to wear me out." Then #'s 4-16 play through a park like setting like many city/state type courses and I thought, "Ok, I'm playing a park like course." Then I played #17 and #18 and I'm thinking, "Wow, this course really had some variety!" This is the first course I've seen down here (in the south) with bag hooks on several holes. I had little trouble navigating the course by myself the first time, a big plus in my book. The next tee signs really helped. There's plenty of parking available. There were three holes that really stood out for me as signature, type memorable holes.
The afore mentioned # 2. It's a little difficult to find. But once you do, you're going to marvel at it's sheer rugged, difficulty and the amount of work that went into carving this monster out of the wilderness.
# 11 is just a little 234 footer. The basket is perched on a small cliff right next to crystal clear little stream. It's an easy birdie but at the same time a treacherous hole. I loved it!
# 17 is a 394 foot (par 4) which starts with a very narrow tunnel shot about 200 feet. Then you can either take a right or left route to the basket. The underbrush is very thick all the way. It's just a really classically well designed hole.
Cons: The board at the beginner could use a nice map. Hole # 1 is boring. Hole # 18 is a bear but this is also a pro. Probably not a course to take a new player to teach them on.
Other Thoughts: This is a fair but challenging course. I'd love to have this as my home course. I highly recommned it to anyone in the area.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This was a very fun course that provided good challenge for the shorter length that it was. Each tee has two tees: a pro tee and an am tee. In reality the pro tee is more like an experienced player tee and the am tee is for newbies. The park is wooded with most of the holes being played on grass with plenty of trees lining the fairways. A few of the holes were in more densely wooded areas and were very unforgiving with the lines that you could throw. When I played the course, it was two days after an A-tier tournament had taken place and so the course was really in great shape. Grass mowed short, signs at (almost, except for hole 1) most holes, benches and bag hooks at several tees. The pro boxes are concrete and the am boxes are on the dirt with small blue wooden markers on the ground showing where they are. The course had good balance with shots up and down hills as well as shots that were straight, right, and left.
Cons: Since this was my first time at the course I experienced some of the first timer confusion that happens at a lot of disc golf courses. There was no course map at the beginning and while I am pretty sure that I played hole 1 correctly, I could not find a sign or a well marked tee box for it. The rest of the course flowed moderately well, but we had to make a few longish walks to the next tee and some of those were not terribly obvious. Another small issue with the course was that some of the baskets were in alternate tee positions, but there were no alternates marked on the maps. This meant that it took a little bit of work to find some of the baskets and there were several that did not have accurate distances.
Other Thoughts: My wife and I really enjoyed playing this course. The dual tees made it so that we were both able to play at a difficulty closer to our own skill level. It would have been nice if we had an easier time finding our way around the course, but that is only something that would affect a golfer on their first time through the course. We also had another little challenge as these little gnats were bombarding us. We didn't have mosquito problems, but you couldn't stop moving without gnats flying into your eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. Needless to say, it made putting quite the challenge. Overall, highly recommended to anyone in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Fun Challenging Course
Pros: This is a very nice Course. Has great Baskets and Tees. The Course is well laid out with some great and beautiful holes. My fav hole was the 700 ft Monster Hole 15 through a dense set of trees. Nice benches on most holes.
Cons: Nothing reallly bad about this course. Holes 2, 17, 18 can be very unforgiving if you dont keep it in the fairway.
Other Thoughts: This course has I am pretty sure 3 pin placements on each hole and 2 sets of tees. If you are a new player I would suggest the shorter AM tees but if you want a challenge play from the concrete tees because the AM tees shorten and make the course a lil too easy.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a newer 18 hole course with a lot of potential. There were 2 sets of tees on most (maybe all) of the holes. The long tees are pretty long and will make the long bombers happy. The shorter tees are by no means a pitch and putt however, they are also challenging and perfect for those who cannot throw 350'+ consistently.
The course does have a variety of hole types. The majority of the holes are grassy fairways with several large isolated trees as obstacles. Hole #1 is wide open. There are some holes that play in the dense woods, too.
The large creek/small river does come into play on a couple of holes. One basket is placed near the bank (do don't overthrow your drive), but be careful as the rough near the river bank is high and I spied a snake near the basket.
Cons: It still needs some work, especially in the area of navigational aids for first time players. We almost left after hole 1 because it took us forever to find tee #2! (There are several baskets behind the building that are in view after playing #1, but none of them are for #2. The next tee is on the other side of the building from basket 1. Cross the parking lot and climb up to an opening on the hillside and you will eventually find it.) There were a couple more confusing spots from basket to tee for a first time player. Sometimes there were paper signs attached to trees, but permanent signs and map would be a huge improvement. There was not really a parking lot either, just some gravel and some grass.
Hole #1 was boring, style did not fit the rest of the course, and was not really located with the rest of the course. The wooded holes were very dense, almost overgrown, but I played just as Spring was springing and it rained a lot, but maybe some routine maintenance happens from time to time; if not, those holes could become treacherous in the summer time!
There are no bathrooms anywhere. Some holes play right along a road that apparently is not in the park because people were driving about 30 mph. Some holes are practically in people's front yards, and one tee is a driveway.
Other Thoughts: This a decently challenging course that still needs some maturity and details. It is not nearly as busy as George Ward. It does have variety/mix (1- open, 2-3-tight woods, 4-16 open woods, 17-18 tight woods.) The middle 13 do start to become a little monotonous as the terrain is all very similar. I would have preferred the tight holes to be mixed in a bit more instead of just bookends, but I understand you have to take into consideration the lay of the land and the vision of the course designers who wanted it that way. At times I did not really enjoy this course as much as I had hoped despite the higher ratings from other reviews, but this is due the frustration of navigation. If I had the chance to play it a couple of more times where I could concentrate on my throws instead of trying not to get lost I think I could enjoy it more. Of the 2 in Birmingham, I liked George Ward better after 1 time playing each, but this is still a good course and has the potential to eventually become a great course.
*I realize this is a newer course. I rated it based on my playing experience as it is now, but there is definitely lots of room for maturity and improvements.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Good but not Great
Pros: The Civitan course in Trussville has good tee pads and baskets. Most of the course is set in a hilly, pasture-type area that has some large and mature trees. This makes it difficult to lose discs on these holes. On either hole 11 or 12, the pin was situated within feet of a large creek. Due to the rain last week, this was essentially a river. It was a pretty neat shot, given the conditions. The scenery in the area is great. There is a small creek bed that actually had some water flowing while we were there. This added to the aesthetic pleasure of the course.
Cons: No bathrooms that I could see. Maybe inside the Senior Center. We almost quit after hole 1 because we couldn't locate hole 2. There are some navigational issues that can hopefully be attended to in the near future. I have read in previous reviews that there are a few that really work to improve this course. Tee signs and navigation directionals would be a great start. There are a few benches...but not very many.
Other Thoughts: I will just say what I feel...I was extremely disappointed with this course. It has nothing to do with those who take the time to put it together. It is a good course and is definitely above average. However, from reading the reviews, I was expecting a much more difficult course with a better design. There were a few mandos that added to the challenge, but not nearly enough. Most tee shots had multiple routes to the basket which doesn't mandate a lot of shot execution or skill. Some holes were long, but that doesn't add difficulty in my opinion. The wooded holes (2,17,18) were rather difficult. However, they were rather overgrown and "gimmicky" when we played them.
After playing hole 1, I thought "they are giving you an easy hole before they throw you to the wolves". After hole 2, I thought "if the rest is this hard, it will be a long day." From that point on it was rather boring until hole 17.
Again, I offer my opinion up solely as a reference for other users of this site. I understand that many may not feel as I do. If I lived in the Birmingham area exactly halfway between this course and George Ward, I would play George Ward 90% of the time and use this course as one when I wanted something a little different.
Again, this review is not meant to bash those who put their efforts into installing and maintaining courses. It is meant as an honest review of the course. This is a good course and I feel extremely confident and fair in my rating as a 3. If I had reviewed it immediately after playing it, it probably would have received a lower rating because I was immensely disappointed.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Top notch course design. Well maintained park. Not crowded, as of 03-26-09.
Cons: Bathrooms? Poison ivy
Other Thoughts: Tee signs, concrete tee pads, some benches on some of the holes. Several short, technical holes and a couple of +500 foot holes, the rest of the holes play 350 to 450 feet, with trees to deal with. Separate temporary directional signs between holes, a necessity for first time players, especially from hole 1 to tee pad 2, hole 11 to tee pad 12. There was no directional sign between hole 13 and tee pad 14, but this was talked about in a previous review and that helped a lot.
This course has wonderful terrain variety, starting in an open grassy field, then moving up into dense wooded areas with tight and hilly fairways. After a couple of holes it then breaks out into more open space with mature trees, and grassy fairways, still with elevation changes to deal with. The course has a creek running the length of the course but only comes into play on hole eleven when the pin placement is in the short position. The final two holes are played in the dense wooded area again, and will challenge you to finish your round at the same level as you played the rest of the course. In other words, 17 and 18 are not "feel good" holes, their level of difficulty being the highest on the whole course. Which is what the course designers wanted (Tim Keith, and Joe Thacker), the final holes a chance to make or break a tournament round when everything is on the line. Overall the course design is very well thought out, making the players execute a variety of shots - hyzer, annhyzer, tight controlled midrange tee shots, uphill and downhill shots. Every tee shot has trees to deal with, not unfairly, there are preferred flight paths that you will need hit to get your par, or have a chance at birdie. The heavily wooded fairways (holes 2 , 3, 17, and 18), have opened up compared to how it was a couple of years ago, still very technical though.
This park is user friendly, a solid, well balanced course all levels of ability will enjoy. Beginners wont like hole eighteen, but the pros will love it. Pros probably wont be challenged on hole 11, if its in the short position near the water, but beginners will. After talking to Sam the local, who was gracious enough to show me the course, he said there arent a lot of people who play this course compared to the George Ward course in Birmingham, just south of this course. If you want to avoid crowds and play a very fun and challenging course, this is probably the one to go to in the Birmingham area.
Last thoughts, which has nothing to do with the course, is when leaving the freeway to get to the course, or going back to the freeway during rush hour traffic, allow for extra time as the surface streets can get to be bumper to bumper and will feel like the longest mile you've ever crawled, which may be the case. You could certainly walk it faster. That section of road really needs to be upgraded. Once again, this is not a negative for the course, its just something you should be aware of and account for.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course, one of the South's finest.
Pros: The river, the concrete tees for every hole. Great mix of wooded and open holes. Very sweet course.
Cons: A little difficult navigating between holes 1 and 2. A little bit of walking between holes. I can imagine that this course would suck you dry in the heat. Signage is a little confusing too. Just minor things for such a great course.
Other Thoughts: Highly recommend this course to all players of all skill levels. It is worth the drive.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: fun,very scenic with some holes that rewards good play and punishes bad.has a mix of heavy woods and pine thickets which gives good variety and a picturesque river close to the course
Cons: grass was high and some confusion on a few tee pads to which basket to throw at.The back 9 has long walks between holes.
Other Thoughts: beautiful scenery laid out well don't let hole 1 fool you into thinking the whole course is that easy.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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