Fun 9 Hole Course in the Woods
Pros: From reading past reviews, the tee pads used to be egregiously bad. When I went and played, the course had nice concrete tee pads. The tee pads are not huge, but no holes on the course really need a long run up.
The course is easy to navigate and each hole has a tee sign on it. On most holes, there is a visible line off the tee (hitting the line is another story). There is a little bit of difference in shot selection, from straight to left and right holes. A good diversity is always nice to see on short courses like this.
Although most holes are short, the large number of trees scattered throughout the course makes low scores tough.
I played this course on my way to Fort Walton and wanted to take a quick detour and play somewhere in the Pensacola area. It was easy to access and easy to get back onto the highway.
Cons: The randomness of the trees is tough to merit giving this course anything higher than a 2.5. There are defined lines off the tees on each hole, but the lines are sometimes too tight or have a few random trees in the line that creates a bit of randomness off each tee, which I am not a big fan of.
When I played, there was a group of players that had just started playing. A lot of times their shots would land in other fairways, which could be a safety concern. I do not believe too many people play this course where this would regularly happen, but it is worth noting.
Other Thoughts: My experience met my expectations for what I had of Hitzman Optimist. A very decent nine hole course that will not blow you away, but has a little bit of fun involved. It is a quick play and a good stopping point on a long road trip down I-10.
I am glad to see concrete pads were put in before my visit. It seemed as if it definitely helped bump this course up a few points.
Basic course with some varied approaches to holes
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Easily accessible and fun for beginners to learn the game. Some of the longer holes allow you to let it fly with various routes to get there. Baskets are nice and finding your way around is fairly simple. The park is clean with a good family atmosphere.
Cons: Tee pads are sand and in terrible condition. Do not tee off from them...start from the side or back of them. The signs looked like they were nice at one time but are mangled now and some of the holes are without them. Beginners may throw near you because spacing between some of the holes is not far apart.
Other Thoughts: It is only a 9 hole course. I would not have a problem to play this course if I am in the area but would recommend the Gulf Breeze or Blue Angel courses for intermediate to advanced players.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A Casual 9 Amidst Pines
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hitzman Optimist DGC is set amidst a small pine grove in its own corner of the park. The moderately wooded environment helps offset the general ease of the shorter hole distances. There are no out-and-out gimme shots, and your approaches, if needed, will often have to contend with at least a tree or two. Birdie opportunities abound, but the trees help them feel a bit more earned than at your standard public park 9 holer. There are some tight tunnel shots (5, 7, 8, 9) that will challenge you off the tee at a variety of distances. There's a decent mix of distances here (215'-330', with three over 300') considering the cramped quarters.
Navigation is helpfully aided with arrows on the underside of baskets that point you to the next hole. With these, finding your way around is a snap. Tee signs are nicely done.
The course is easily accessible off I-10. The location is set apart from non-disc golf activities, nicely avoiding conflicts with other park goers. Bathrooms and parking are readily accessible, and there's a nice-looking playground for kids.
Cons: While the wooded environment is nice, the even distribution of trees throughout the property makes it difficult for the designers to construct and force lines off the tee. As a consequence, the tees either set you up with a straight tunnel shot between rows of trees or at an angle to said rows, in which case you're forced to pick a line through the trees yourself in an often poke-and-pray fashion. This is more a natural product of the terrain than a design flaw, but it does lead to a lack of line shaping and an increased luck factor. You can play the entire course successfully throwing a straight shot or a wide hyzer. Creativity isn't provoked, and risk versus reward is largely absent. Only having 9 holes, with only one set of tees (excepting hole 1) and one set of pin positions, further limits variety, challenge, and replayability.
The tees were terrible on my visit: natural in the sandy soil, they have become torn up and pot holed over time. Additionally, many are riddled with roots that pose serious tripping hazards. I found them unusable. Driving from behind or off to the side is possible, but this can be awkward at times.
Some of the fairways play close together: a bad throw or an unfortunate kick off a tree (very possible) can have you playing in someone else's fairway. A few holes border residential yards.
Other Thoughts: Despite my criticisms, I enjoyed my round at Hitzman Optimist. It made for a nice, low-pressure hour and a half stop over on my drive back to New Orleans. In that time I was able to play the course twice, stopping to rethrow some shots and work on my short game. Hitzman Optimist isn't going to throw much at an experienced player that they haven't already seen, but it can be a fun stop for a quick and casual round if you know what to expect.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun 9 hole
Pros: This course had great baskets, signs and directional markers to the next basket. Holes were short and required multiple shot types. Good course for beginners or for working on mid range shots. It was winter but, there were very few places to lose a disc.
Cons: The tee boxes were really bad. This was the biggest con on this course. Most times I would tee off from the side.
Other Thoughts: I really liked this course and would like to play it again. It was a great quick course to play if staying in Pensacola. I wish I had a course like this near home
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: You won't have problems finding each hole.
Nor will you get lost.
Basic shots to get familiar with the game.
Cons: Possibility of throwing into yards past hole 2.
Other Thoughts: Theres tons of squirrels!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Good Par Three
Pros: -Clean course
-Nice tee signs at each hole
-Looked to be a nice family area
-Lots of shade
-Good map and description of how to play disc golf at hole 1
-Good for novice and pros
-Easy to navigate
-Nice combination of shots to use on this course
Cons: -no concrete tee pads as of yet
-not the best place to play after a good rain
-no long distant shots to work on (all shots to the baskets are peppered with trees)
Other Thoughts: I have to say i really enjoyed this small 9 hole course. The first tee is between the parking lot and the road which you enter the park on, so you really can't miss it. The map was nice and new, and the rules ffor disc golf were also good to see. Each tee pad had a good descriptive tee sign which showed direction(s), distance, and par of each hole. There was a kids playground there, plus a couple of pic nic tables and I believe a pavillion w/bathrooms, I did not go there so I am not for sure. A few people playing while I was there. Being a 9 hole course you can navigate your way through a quick game in about 20 minutes. Nice clean park. The only debris was natural from all the rain happening in the area lately. No concrete tee pads which made for some wet and slippery tee pads. Some were really just puddles. For tee offs there are yellow tee blocks in the ground to mark the hole and boundary for each natural 'pad.' This was really my biggest concern, the non concrete tee pads, which may come in the future. Really good shade throughout the course. I did enjoy the different combinations that could be used at each hole. There are opportunities for aces on this course for sure. Birdies for am's and pro's shouldn't be much of a problem. If you can shoot straight and far, you will master this course right away. I believe the farthest holes are just over 300', however the trees can make it interesting.
Hope to play this course again, and the only reason I did not give this course a higher rating was because of the tee pads and it being a short course. There are other courses in the area, but stop by and play this one to get in a good short game.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Not too shabby!
Pros: For a nine hole course, I found the shot variety required quite diverse, and none of the holes are gimmies. It's challenging to shoot under par. The course is tight and technical. There is a good deal of shade and the park is very clean, it drains well, it's easy to navigate and the signage is very professional.
Cons: Rarely do I rate 9-hole courses higher than a 3, and that's when they are really spectacular. If a 9-hole course is worth playing more than once I will rate it at least 2 1/2. While this course was worth playing once, it just didn't capture my imagination, especially when the Pensacola area has so many better courses to play.
The teeboxes being sandy are sure to erode relatively fast. I played from the back or the sides of the teeboxes.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth playing once, due to the course design which is definitely challenging and fun. Kinda feels like playing in someone's back yard as there are several homes backed up against the park fence.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very well marked, not crowded, few areas to lose a disk (just under leaves if anywhere)
Cons: Other people in the park like to use the holes for other things like football targets, tee boxes getting torn up
Other Thoughts: I love this course, 3 minutes from my home, its a fun little 9 hole course with enough trees to make it a challenge for better players, I play between 1-3 times a wk, and if I just want 9 holes its pretty quick!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Good Beginner Course
Pros: 1. Signage- Best I've seen. Color graphic with distance, flight path, pin location and trees. Arrows on the bottom of some cages pointing the way to next tee.
2. Cages- Brand new annd easily spotted.
Course play/layout- Nice short beginner friendly course, but requires enough skill from a intermediate player to to score low. Mostly open except pine trees spread throughout course, but no low hanging branches to impede flight path.
3. Scenery- Nice typical family friendly municipal park with plenty of shade. Almost zero trash even though there aren't any trash cans on the course but, near it in the park.
4. Amenities- Restroom, picnic tables, ball fields and a playground that you could let your kids play at while you play DG around them if you so choose. Drinks and snacks within a block.
Cons: 1. Tee pads- There is a designated tee box area but, it is natural. These are already getting torn up and roots are beginning to be a problem with footing confidence.
2. Course challenge- Shot variety is severly lacking as you can play this whole course with the RHBH and FH shots. There is zero elevation change or hazards.
3. Amenities- Bathroom STANK! No discs for sale/rent in area if you're without and want to play. There were no bag holders or benches which isn't a huge deal but, nice to have.
Other Thoughts: This is not a destination course, but a fun, if you're in the area and don't have much time to play type of course. This is a very beginner and kid friendly course/park with other activies to make for a good family outting. This place was pretty much deserted when I played it so I don't think crowds are a problem. This course has room for improvement, but only minimally so it will never be more than a 3.0 in my eyes. Final piece of advice- If you're limited in time then come here...if you have the time and want a challenge almost any other course in the area would be a better choice!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Great for those trying to learn the game and try out different shots. No underbrush to deal with so it's easy to navigate and forgiving of errant shots ;). Clean and well-kept.
Cons: Only 9 holes. Some tees were not marked very well, but on the other hand it's impossible to get lost.
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