On the Bay
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are a ton of courses where it feels like eighteen holes were squeezed into a too-small space. There have been many times where I have said something like, "this could have been a really good nine." Well, Picnic Island is one of those places where they actually listened to my inner voice and build a good nine holes instead of forcing in eighteen subpar ones. Given the setting, right on the bay with the waves washing up to the eighth fairway, this course is a delight to play.
It's not the most challenging design, but that doesn't mean there is no challenge. True, most of the fairways are wide and generous, but there is typically something that increases the difficulty on each hole. The best example is 3, which features a long, open drive that still needs to be placed carefully because there is a narrow tunnel leading to the basket. Between late tunnel, narrow gaps and protected baskets, this isn't an "easy" course, though it definitely shouldn't turn off newer players.
And that's before you consider the wind. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing there is typically a strong wind coming off the bay. I'm sure it varies, but on the day that I played, I had to take a few of my favorite discs out of the bag after nine holes because they just weren't cutting through the wind. And once that wind grasps a disc, it can go a long ways from the target zone. This is particularly an issue on 8, a memorable hole that is practically on the beach. It throws parallel to the coast with the basket around a tree clump and up a slight hill. You almost need to throw an anny route over the bay because otherwise, the wind will push a throw up to far, leaving you to put back into the wind.
That leads to 9, where the tee backs up the waves and the wind is at your back, throwing uphill with the wind at your back, leading to a raised basket. It's one of those rare courses that should appeal to both beginners and veterans, in one of the best settings for disc golf that I've seen.
There are only nine holes. If there were nine more like the ones in existence, this would be a four-star course for me. There are two sets of tees but only one(hole 4) provides a significantly difficult look. (This is good because the short on 4 is one of the weakest holes here.)
Navigation is also not always intuitive and I was referring to a downloaded map repeatedly during the first go-round. Easy to remember where to go for the second nine but its confusing in a few places, especially after 3 where the likely route drops you onto the middle of the 4 fairway. 7 would also be tough to find if I hadn't walked up to it thinking that it was 1 earlier. And I didn't see any arrows on the basket either. Those would definitely help and would probably be all that was necessary.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Tampa Bay is the largest water hazard I've ever seen!
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First off, gorgeous views of Tampa Bay from several holes! Even when you go back into the park, the lay of the land is gorgeous and the local vegetation is used perfectly on this course. Nice job.
There is a good amount of elevation for a course in coastal Florida. I really liked the chance to test out this part of my game as well.
The tee positions made a lot of sense, were well marked, and really helped provide for different difficulty levels, as well as left-right vs right-left throws. Great job.
The rubber tee pads were really nice, I was actually a big fan. Not terribly long, but super grippy and well maintained. Never played on these before.
Again, as with Taylor Park up in Largo, the active pin position was perfectly marked at every hole. Mapping was very helpful and generally never left me wondering much.
For being 9 holes, the course felt very spread out. I didn't feel like the designer tried to shoehorn this course into an area that wasn't made for it. This section of land feels like it was built for DG and is designed like it as well.
Bright orange baskets were very visible and "catchy".
The park was very well maintained, no trash or garbage evident.
Cons: Watch out for the breeze off the bay! It can mess with you, even though it's a relief from the heat as well.
There were no signs pointing you to where you were going -- I pulled off at the first turnoff I saw with baskets, but that's right by 4 and the dog park. It's a pretty long hike over to 1, so keep going down the road.
I was left wandering several times looking for holes, which was frustrating since there was signage up at each basket supposedly pointing you in the right direction. Maybe some help on the signs at the tee pads would be good?
There are a surprising number of lost disc opportunities around here. 5 has brush that can eat up your drive/putts if you don't play it safe. 8 literally plays beside Tampa Bay. And, if you were driving by last Thursday, I was the moron on 2 frantically throwing his bag at the huge evergreen trying to get his putter back. Be careful on your throws! (Yes, I got the putter back)
Not really a fair "con", but you're playing very close to Tampa International Airport, so be prepared for a lot of airplane noise.
Other Thoughts: This course is in south Tampa near the port. From Pinellas County, take the Gandy Bridge over and hang a right on Westshore, which turns into Commerce. Follow the natural flow of the road and you'll get there. Don't worry if you drive by several industrial areas, you're probably on the right track.
You know that feeling where you think about the holes you played days after you played them? I have that about this course. I've replayed 4 and 8 in my head over and over again, savoring the views of Tampa Bay. That's what a good DG course should do.
Fix the navigational issues and I might be inclined to even up this rating -- but, this feels right for the course. You'll be wishing for another 9 holes after you play, provided you brought enough water to deal with the Florida heat. Happy discing by the bay!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Signiture Florida Course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great tee-signs; really informative with vegetation and very accurate with distance.
- Custom baskets add a nice touch.
- Plenty of facilities in the area to have picnics, as the name of the course would elude too.
- Challenging course that offers a different taste than the normal Florida courses; has some elevation changes, some wide open shots.
- Course has a good flow to it; the land is used to perfection here.
- Signature hole played along a sandy beach of beautiful Tampa Bay.
- Outstanding for a 9 hole course.
Cons: - Course is mildly difficult to find.
- Bugs are a terrible problem here as it sits next to an industrial park, the bay, and some swampy areas. Bug spray is required.
- Tee pads are a bit short; personally I don't enjoy the wood border either, but that's personal preference.
- Located in a not so fantastic part of town.
- Good chance to lose a disc; bring a friend to spot.
Other Thoughts: - This course is absolutely beautiful, one of the more scenic courses in the area.
- I would make a day trip for this course; come out, play the course, have a picnic, sit on the beach, play another round. This course is the pinnacle of Florida Disc Golf.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful and well maintained course on Tampa Bay.
Nice variety in holes.
Cons: A bit of walk between some of the holes, but if a 100' walk is a problem then you should probably not be playing disc golf.
Lots of vegetation (sabal palm)! Spent a lot of time looking for discs. It's a park first, and a disc golf course second so I doubt the issue will be addressed.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course. We spoke to someone who told us there has been talk of expanding to eighteen holes.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
When will Picnic Blossum?
Pros: Scenery, solitude, adjacent fenced in on the bay *with* beach dog park.
Cons: World Champion Disc Golf Design must be populated by folks under 30 chugging energy drinks all day. Hiking half the distance yet again from one hole to the next tee seemed unnecessary, but the scrub shrubbery is ludicrous.
...and all they have to do is clear the brush and the course would leap, in my opinion, from a "1.0" to a "4.0".
Other Thoughts: Yesterday I made a third attempt at playing Picnic Island. Never got further, and played the first 7 of the nine holes.
The beautiful scenery somewhat offsets the over walking design (very bothersome), but when you add that the shrubbery needs to be cleared altogether (trees are fine, but unless your aim is impeccable, you're loosing discs).
If I'm spending more time looking than throwing I don't see the point.
I'm rootin' for ya - I can just imagine how great it'll be to play someday - Just Clear the Scrub!
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Nice scenery but expected more
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: I liked the rubber tee pads. The scenery was pretty good. Baskets are flawless and have multiple pins and arrows to guide players to the next tee. Couple of nice par 4s from the pro tees (3&4). Lots of wildlife including pelicans, herons, raccoons and fish.
Cons: This is probably the first time that I encountered a course that doesn't jive with its score here at DGCReview. I was staying at a hotel by the Tampa airport and I usually don't bother with 9-basket courses if I have a choice but this one was rated so high and it was pretty close to the hotel so I figured it would be worth the effort. Well, I'm still trying to figure out the allure of this place. Yes, the views are nice and there's a decent variety of holes with varying lengths and difficulty but I really wasn't as impressed as the previous reviewers of this course were. I was pretty bored.
Other Thoughts: Navigation was pretty easy, and the am & pro tee pads are close enough together to play them both on one pass. I didn't like the long walks in between 2 & 3, 6 & 7 and 9 & 1. Hole 3 was my favorite, a great par 4 from the pro tee that requires an accurate drive through or over two thick trees and then a lengthy upshot around a lot of trees and rough for the 3.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Fun and tricky course
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very clean and well signed course. Baskets are highly visible and in great condition. One of the best well kept course I have seen so far and the signage is superior though I had trouble finding #4 but thanks to another member of this site he explained where it was. Thank you.
Cons: Some of the baskets have been moved but they forgot to change the position tags on the signs.
On weekends hole 8 can get a little crowded by some beach goers.
Other Thoughts: Holes 7,8,9 have the best scenery of all. 8 runs along the beach so you will be swimming if it fades to much to the left.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
sweet DG hideaway
Pros: signage is exemplary. easily navigated and flows nicely. well kept course, groomed and clean, surprising considering I drove thru some pretty seedy looking areas to get here!
some terrific views of the bay too! great variety of shots here,a challenging course.
Cons: rough area to drive thru to get here.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed playing here,a fun nine hole course with short and long tees and a nice variety of shots
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
No April Fools Joke
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played this course on 4/1 and it is no fools joke. I really enjoyed the layout and disc golf here. There is a little bit of elevation. Signage is wonderful. There are up to 3 basket locations per hole, all depicted accurately on metal signs. A set of metal letters is locked to each sign with the current pin position visible. This is a creative and professional way to indicate what layout you are playing. Some past reviews mark down for navigation. Currently there are metal arrows on the bottom of each basket that direct you to the next tee. Baskets are pristine. Typical FL grass is cut short and provides for excellent traction. The rough must have been cleared out because we didn't notice many hazard areas where you wouldnt be able to retreive your discs. I appreciated the use of elevation. It can be difficult in Florida but there was some here. Wind off Tampa bay probably always is in play, so you will have to plan ahead. Many of the shots you have to plan ahead for because of the rough but I did find myself using everything from putters to drivers even though I typically disc down. The views of the bay and Tampa on holes 1 and 6-9 are awesome. After you come off 4 there is a dog beach park. So if you have a pet, you can run it through the crystal clear water, wash him off with the provided hose and move along. Nice fun break, so bring a ball with you if you also bring a pet. There are also a couple drinking fountains there. All along there are great photo opportunities under palm trees that give you a great Tampa back drop. Shot shape varies and there are a number of places where you are forced between a gap or to a landing zone (from the blues) in order to score well.
Long and short tees were appropriately spaced. You could play the course twice 1 long 1 short and feel like you played a full unique 18 holes.
Cons: Cons are minor:
9 hole course. The beauty and layout leave you wanting more.
Wind. Id bet the course is always windy.
Open - this course is pretty much open. There are areas with trees but plenty of room to manuver or lanes, there isn't much canopy so big overhand players have a real advantage on some of the holes.
Tee pads were rubber and framed in nicely but a number of them weren't level or were level for too short of a distance. I think #3 was tilted uphill, maybe #1 as well.
There were a few layout issues. #1 and #7 can interfere with each other, both in the RBH Hyzer lane of each other. It was wide open but over a crest of a hill so it could be a little dangerous.
9 finished kind of in the middle of the course, so you had to walk back down 7 to leave.
Hole 9 is a pretty 270' uphill shot to a raised basket. There is 1 problem though, you cannot see the basket, it is about 1' short of what it should be. The hole would be really cool if you could just see the tip of the band. 1 foot higher and view off the tee would be twice as neat. (this is nitpicking)
Other Thoughts: I DID "swing" by this course on my way past Tampa. It is a little out of the way but well worth it. It is not long, and pretty easy to navigate quickly. I think you could easily play it in under an hr with 15 minutes both ways in detour time from 75. So you are looking to invest 1.5 hrs and it is well worth it, so swing by and sling some discs. Bring your dog!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: easy to navigate, good tee pads, good use of the terrain, two tees and three basket locations
Cons: only 9 holes, it is a little difficult to find
Other Thoughts: the wind can really pick up some speed over the bay, i would not recommend playing this course on a windy day unless your really up for a challenge (and not affraid to lose a disk)
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.