4 Helpful / 0 Not
Best Course in Tallahassee
Pros: This course is a test of shot execution and recovery shots. A difficult test. I found that the course didn't require much creativity in that not many holes forced you to choose a route. Most holes had a clear, well-defined fairway with just that route. You couldn't walk up to every tee and find a hyzer line. You are given a line, and asked whether or not you can execute. Can you throw a straight shot that fades a little right at the end? Can you throw a long slow hyzer shot? Now can you throw perfectly straight shot with no fade? Or an anhyzer shot, even though a forehand might be a better option? You get the idea. I personally found this to be a very fun and unique challenge.
Overall, the course tested just about shot type at least once. Many of the holes had some distance, so some risk-reward came into play as you had to choose between going for it on the drive or laying up to stay in the fairway.
In this case, well-defined fairway also meant well-defined rough. If you miss a fairway, you will be punished. The rough is thick and for the most part does not allow bad shots to get lucky and find their way back onto the fairway. That said, you're forced to try all sorts of awkward stances and throwing styles to get out of trouble. Specialty shots like woods rollers and overhead shots will help you.
One more thing I absolutely loved about the course were the fairway markers. Many of the baskets were blind from the pad. But every blind hole also had a small, highly visible metal sign 200 or 300 feet down the fairway with an arrow pointing in the direction of the basket. As someone unfamiliar with the course, I found these to be extremely helpful.
Cons: The thick rough lends itself to lost discs quite easily. You really have to pay attention and watch every shot. There were also some holes with poor routes, which in my opinion offered no legitimate birdie chance, and a few wayward trees which could punish good shots and reward bad ones.
Other Thoughts: I played this course while visiting some friends at FSU. I liked it so much I went back the next day and played two rounds. I also felt it was worth writing a review to try and get more players to discover this gem of a course.
Standout hole worth mentioning is the 'hogback' hole, #13. Loved it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Bold and Beautiful - Designed to Humble
Pros: 1 - Excellent utilization of elevation change (no hole lacks some subtle change in elevation - lots of uphill / downhill basket locations with most notable being Hole #13, a basket on top of a ridge ~15' ravine drop to left , 8' drop to right and behind making for a tough approach!)
2 - A lot of different shot shapes, from Hyzer, to Anhyzer, to S-Curve, to a couple of shapes that are indescribable and may not be physically possible for a disc to follow.
3 - Narrow fairways forcing shot shaping and great control, use every disc in your bag (some will see this as a con)
4 - Good tee signs and almost all wide and long cement tee pads (a couple of rubber / carpet pads)
5 - Nice flow to course, easy to follow.
6 - Well marked OB in areas where residential homes come into play
7 - Long holes, with 19 of 24 holes being 300' or more!
8 - Bathroom facilities are good
9 - Small waterpark, basketball courts, tennis courts, and baseball diamond located in the park
Cons: 1 - Lots of underbrush makes losing a disc a possibility
2 - Not enough open holes hurt the overall variety and "fun factor"
3 - Not beginner friendly course (due to thickness of woods, length of most holes, and multitude of difficult shot shapes necessary to score well)
4 - Not enough garbage cans or benches, which I think should be located at every other hole...the garbage cans were sporadic and not even placed at the beginning of holes...benches few and far between.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I was taken with the beauty of this course. I love the rolling hills and the challenges presented by the woods. Water doesn't really come into play here (unless you go to the water park to cool off), but don't worry, there are plenty of chances to get your penalty strokes in by losing discs in the woods. If you're playing this course, be ready for a supreme challenge and expect to have nightmares about forests closing in on you. I think a beginner could play this course, but I'm not sure it would be productive, since it demands many different shots to score well. If you're not worried about score, however, and want to work on accuracy, look no further!
I recommend this course for people who don't get hung up on what their score is, but rather enjoy a great challenge and enjoy being forced to throw on many different lines and angles. Par is great on this course, birdie is superb, and bogey is pretty decent, too!
If I'm in Tallahassee again, I'd love to play this course (along with Tom Brown)!
Side note: I lost my CryZtal Buzzz, yellow-green translucent, on hole #4 throwing from the bend down towards the basket - disc went off to right maybe 60' short of basket and appeared to shoot further right once it hit first set of trees. I didn't let this impact my review, but if you happen to find my disc sitting in a tree there, call me and I'll give you $$ for returning. :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!
6/16/2010 - Added course photos. Special thanks to my wife for taking the photos while I was playing!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Some holes are pretty challenging and suprisingly long for par 3s. Fairways are tight on most holes and the "rough" is overgrown and unforgiving. By the 4th hole, I wasn't sure if I was playing a pure par 3 course or not. I managed a par on a 584ft hole and hit some beautiful long putts out there, but it was tough.24 holes in a small park. Not crowded at all. Most of the holes give you a reasonable line to carve out your drive, but there is a bit of variety so you will have to throw some different shot types.
Cons: Park has some questionable patrons that aren't exactly using the facilities. Hard to navigate the first time. It may take you longer to find the first tee than it will to play the rest of the round. However, if I had read these reviews prior to coming out I would have probably found that 1st tee.
Other Thoughts: Tree Hate!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
I actually love this course
Pros: I really enjoy playing this couse unlike the other reviewers and people who have shot a round here. There are plenty of positive aspects about this course, but there are negative ones as well.
- This is a very challenging course. There aren't too many holes to just grip and rip. You have to be very strategic and you will use every disc in your bag! If I get to use all of my discs and often, I think that's a huge plus.
- Pretty simple to navigate around the holes, especially on the back 9 where they zig zag with one another.
- Good elevation changes througout the course.
- Plenty of shade since the holes are mostly in heavy woods. Great to keep you cool, but I tend to avoid the course in the summer.
- You have a great selection of anhyzer and hyzer shots with long and short holes. Just a really solid course design considering the density of the woods.
Cons: - Summer months are very rough here and I tend to avoid the course. The brush grows rapidly and it's really tough to find a disc if you veer off course (which you will often).
- Tics will be there in the summer too since you're in the deep woods.
- Fairways are very narrow, almost too narrow at times. I have a big arm and if I don't hit the fairway exactly I will be hunting for a disc in the brush (even in the winter when it's died back you can still struggle to find a disc).
- Rough part of town. I have not ever had any problems here, but some other locals have either been harrassed or heard stories of harrassment. Based on this I will never bring my wife and daughter here to play with me. This is a men or adult only course in my mind.
- Most of the negatives of this course for me have little to do with course design. Some people think this course is too much and think it requires luck more than skill. I disagree. This is a great course to really challenge even the best player.
Other Thoughts: If you will be in Tallahassee long enough to play two courses then I would say you have to try out "The Beast", Jack McLean. If you can only play one round I would recommend Tom Brown Park. Tom Brown is a great DGC, but Jack McLean is a very different park.
If you're looking for a really frustrating and challenging day of disc golf, this is the place. I would say that you should avoid going alone. Not just because of the surroundings, but if you're going to have a rough round it's much more fun to struggle with someone so you can laugh about it later.
This isn't a course where you will play par 3 for each hole and feel good about yourself afterwards, but that being said I can get a score in the low 80's on a good day with all 24 holes.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Not My Cup of Tea
Pros: -good potential to be a great course
-easy to navigate
-must be very precise or you'll be hunting for your disc.
Other Thoughts: I personally play disc golf because it is an extremely fun sport. For beginners and veterans alike. For me, this course just isn't fun. every shot is like threading a needle. if you're off by a few feet, then you're in deep woods. I spent more time looking for my discs then playing. I played this course a handful of times while living in Tallahassee when it was pretty new. They basically cut through a forest to make the holes. A great improvement would be to double or triple the width of most of the holes. There just isn't enough room for us non-pros. I haven't played there in a while so there is a good chance they've made some improvements. one of the other reviewers put it best "Obviously this is not beginner friendly, it may not have been designed for beginners, but I mention it for information sake, and I consider it always a negative when a course can't provide for multiple skill levels, unless clearly designed for tournament and professional play." I'm glad this wasn't my first course I played otherwise I might not of found out how much fun this sport can be.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Most frustratin course ever . . . but in a good way!
Pros: 1) Extremely challenging course. There is not an easy hole out there without some good execution.
2) There is a disc golf sign at the entrance directing you to the course, and also little signs located by hole #18 and also by the building directing you to the #1 tee which is sortof in the corner. Very nice to have directionals like that to help a first timer. I was especially glad because I arrived in a little bit of a mist and the sun was barely helping to shed any light through the clouds.
3) This course uses tight woods on virtually every hole. There are a couple holes early on that are not quite as needle threading as the rest but every hole has some groupings of trees in your way and that forces you to work your disc. These tight woods are made of massive trees that seemed to be 100' tall and provide an incredible canopy and back country feel to this course.
4) The elevation changes on this course are incredible. Again, there isn't a single hole that has zero elevation change. There are some ups and downs evenly spread throughout this course, but there are even a few holes that really use sidehills and slopes to challenge you even more.
5) Couple the elevation and the tree density and you come up with the hardest course I have ever played. I do not know that this is all positive, but I do have to use it as a pro. I will likely also give it as a negative, but it deserves a mention on both categories.
6) White posts and sign by all tees. Signs have hole #, distances, and hole shape. These are always positive in my mind, especially for a first timer.
7) Restrooms are located on the 9th hole and are easily accessible from a few holes because of the back and forth layout they use on that section of the course.
8) There are 2 concrete tees (some have 3) on every hole except for a few that are made with carpet. I love it when a course can have three different tees and all concrete. This is an absolute plus because you need full confidence in your plant foot on every shot to try and execute the shots needed to manuever these sadistic holes!
9) There are yellow posts along many of the fairways, I am not sure exactly what they are for but it seemed they were to mark the beginning of a dogleg. If that is the case then this is an awesome idea . . . especially on this brutal course.
10) Hole #11 is an incredibly unique hole. You throw up what I would call a gulch and you can go right of the gulch but it is a tough shot to execute. If you end in the gulch you will have a tough putt to try and get close enouhg for the 3 because the basket is on top of the mounding above the gulch but it drops off to both sides and long of the basket. It is a cool hole and very very tough.
11) There are enough benches and some garbage spread sporatically through the course. There is an adequate enough amenities to make this manageable.
12) OB was marked by posts when it was clear they didnt want anyone in an area (which is located along the residential area).
13) Although water was barely in play when i played, I could imagine the two holes in the wettest time of the year could be much more in play. The water level on hole #23 was low when I played and I cleared the area by just 10-15' so if the water was higher it might be more in play. Hole #2 was totally dry when I played but in the wet season it may be filled with enough water to make your approach shot very difficult to clear.
14) DGA baskets in good shape and number plates all facing the correct tees. This is a wonderful help to a first timer . . . especially one who was afraid he was being followed. No way I was gonna squeal like a pig!
15) Course was pretty well balanced. Many holes required an anhyzer, many required a hyzer, and many required both. If you got offline on many of these holes you were left with a trouble shot and definitely one that needed to be shaped. If you can keep it in the fairway you will not have to execute quite as many shots like this.
Cons: 1) Course maintenance could be stepped up in a few situations. The ground is basically bare soil covered in leaves, twigs, and other fallen plant material. I didn't see much mulch used like is normal for washout or eroded areas, but that could go a long way in keeping the fairways in better shape. Basically they are hoping whatever falls on the ground with serve as mulch for the fairways, but it may be inadequate in some areas.
2) OK here it goes. This is my contradiction of all contradictions. This course is so difficult it becomes as much about luck as it does about skill. Now I am no pro for sure, but I am pretty good at executing shot shaping. The shot shaping here is necessary to play well, but so is some luck. There are enough situations where luck is too big of a factor. I am not sure what the top pros would shoot here, but I can only imagine it won't be super low. Wave BYE BYE to your ego!
3) Obviously this is not beginner friendly, it may not have been designed for beginners, but I mention it for information sake, and I consider it always a negative when a course can't provide for multiple skill levels, unless clearly designed for tournament and professional play.
4) Soils are very compacted which can create a slippery situation on wet clay soils. The mulch cover could help this if it was better.
5) The entire time I played this course . . . all I could think about was dueling banjos. I swore I heard someone tell me I had a pretty mouth, but it was an echo off of all those darn trees. The surrounding area seems to be low income as many of the houses look to be run down and not in the greatest shape. Now I am not saying this translates to danger, but I did also play this course at dawn on a crappy rainy day and it also happened to be New Years Day. I was hopeful all the crazies were still sleeping off their hangovers, but I just never felt safe in this park. Please tell me if this is a fair or unfair analysis and I can edit this review, but it simply is how I FELT, it doesnt mean it is fact. It was made worse by the fact I never saw anyone in the park the entire time. The rain kept everyone away obviously and many people were still sleeping after partying all night anyways.
Other Thoughts: I was as frustrated as I have ever been in this sport when I played this course. The course was challenging sure, but as much luck as skill was needed to play well here and that is one step over the line in the negative fashion for me. I don't mind some luck needed, but on many of these holes finding a gap was like threading an s curve on tight distances and throw in the elevation change and you have some serious issues. All I was trying to do my whole round was get below a 4 stroke average . . . I never did after Hole #3.
It is an awesome property and an incredible design. The mix of trees, elevation, and basket locations mix together to create the hardest course I have played or at the very least the most fristrating. I had a good time despite the rain and the scores I was taking. I always like to be challenged and a course that is really tough is better than a course that doesnt challenge me at all.
If you go, bring plenty of patience and I highly recommend you try and simply lay up on many holes. I didn't do it and my scores suffered I am sure. There are much easier ways to make a 3 if you can avoid certain trees and tree bounces. I was too stubborn to throw shorter than max drive effort, but I think I could have saved many strokes if I had chosen to do this.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
very challenging wooded course
Pros: I love wooded courses and this one is a beast. The fairways are carved out of the trees and are very narrow. Accuracy is paramount. Tremendous shot variety required, often on the same hole, and a good mix of long and shorter holes.
Cons: Didn't have a map and had a hard time finding where to start. Pretty easy to follow once you've started though.
Some of the fairways could be a little larger. Challenging is fun but a couple of these tighter ones are just sadistic.
Other Thoughts: Been awhile since the one time I've played here so some of the details escape me. Great course though. As someone else said, not the best neighborhood (and I walked there!) but it's not the ghetto.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Tough, Wooded Gem
Pros: The Jack McLean Park DGC is a newer 24-hole medium-long course. The city has worked hard to open up the understory and it has really helped. The course is now very challenging and, at times, humbling (before it was just no fun to play). There is some good variety in the course and, for Florida, there is even a little topography (i.e., hilly for Florida). Jack McLean Park DGC will force you to develop your mid-range game and develop some trick shots, or you will never score. They fairways are small and tight and there is no forgiveness for errant tees shot. If you miss the fairway, your score will suffer. There also are two holes with water hazards on them, but they are water retention ponds and most of the time they are dry. So, 90% of the time there is no need to bring any floating disks.
Cons: While the city has done a good job thinning the woods off the fairway, they need to be a little more liberal with the chainsaw and open it up more. If you throw a disk out of the fairway you will pay for it in stokes and you may loose your disk. While many of the holes have three tees, and almost all have two, usually, only one of the tee pads is concrete. The remaining pads are carpet and can be a little slick when wet (which is common in Florida during the summer). Finally, Jack McLean Park DGC is in a rougher area of town and I would always play with a friend if possible.
Other Thoughts: The Jack McLean Park DGC is one of my three home courses (one is a 9-hole private course not on any website) and I feel fortunate to have it in the same hometown. It is a very good complement to the other public course (Tom Brown Park DGC) which is longer and more open. Jack McLean Park DGC is unique in that is both medium-long and very tight. If you can't throw a disk down a long tunnel, you are going to have a tough time. Overall, Jack McLean Park DGC is a very challenging course that is well worth driving to play at; if you are in the area don't miss playing it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
narrow, long and challenging
Pros: Beautiful wooded course. Jack has spectacular holes coursing high and low through the woods and trees. Each hole has very different challenges. A humbling 24 hole course.
Cons: Out of control drives will have little forgiveness on this tight course. If your drive is into the woods, get to it fast and good luck locating it. Heavy foliage in the summer constricts the fairways even more.
Other Thoughts: Many of the holes have three tees; most have two. Typically each tee has it's own post indicating distance and shape of the hole because much of the time you can't see the pin from the tee.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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