Looking forward to 18!!
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: To set the table... This review comes from an intermediate level primarily LHFH player with a PDGA rating of around 890.
Scenery - Picnic Island is one of the most unique courses I've ever played. It reminds me of a links style ball golf course with some rolling Florida hills, interesting thick patches of bush and rough to punish errant drives, and constantly changing wind directions. The tall palms at 7 and 8 are pretty darn cool to throw around too! Just don't let those palms catch your disc. They tend to want to keep them on you. Hole 8 you have the most unique water hazard that I've ever played, the Tampa Bay!
Challenge - The challenge factor is there, on the long tees especially. Normally what I do is play 9 from the short, and 9 from the long. You truely get 18 different holes this way. Get your birdies on the shorts, then hang on (unless you are a pro or high level advanced player, which I am not) for dear life on the longs! Hole 3 you have the choice of fading out left and going through that opening, or trying to go for the gusto and go up the gut, a prime example of risk/reward! Hole 4 , do you have the big arm to throw a hyzer bomb around the corner? Or, do you try and thread the long fairway and land in that cluster of trees near the short tee. Don't forget on your approach shot about the swamp! Hole 8 plays along the Tampa Bay. The wind changed from a tail wind on the first time through, to a head wind when I played the longs.
Variety - 3 pin positions on each hole, all of which reflect different shots that need to be made (sans 9, which is generally on top of the hill) and are changed on a regular basis. 2 very different tee boxes (yes, some are only 50-75' deeper but they require discing up to get to the hole unless you are Pro/High level Advanced player). Hole 5 for example can go from throwing a putter at A, to a putter/light mid range at B, to a hard mid range/fairway driver at C. Some holes even go from a par 3 to a legit par 4, such as hole 2 from B to C position (I believe C is 400+' for both short and long, the others are barely 300').
Equipment - Tees are rubber mats. While they are a little short, I've never had footing issues. They are not raised, and are for the most part level, so starting from the grass behind them should not present any footing issues. Baskets are custom Orange Innova baskets. And, they catch great! You can see them from a good distance away. Many holes have benches at them. There is a water fountain in the dog park after hole 4's basket (proceed straight from B position back towards the fence). There are two sets of restrooms, by hole 2 (not always open) and by hole 4's short tee in that parking lot.
Cons: There are only two that come to mind..
Rough - The rough is very rough. There are all kinds of monkey balls, thorns, and other things that will cut you right open. Also, it is very grown in right now. Disc loss chances are high. It is recommended to have a spotter on holes 3 and 4 from the longs.
Other park users - Many of them sit on hole 8's fairway, some of which are quite ignorant with their dogs. I do not understand it, as they have their own dedicated area right behind 9's tee. Otherwise, just a heads up for the walkers on the course. They are very friendly and know when/where to expect disc golfers.
Other Thoughts: It is in the works to go 18. There will be an additional hole that goes along the bay. And, I can't wait! Cypress Point and Picnic Island are going to be a great "one-two punch" to play 36 challenging holes in Tampa, that will rival Cliff Stephens/NE Coachman Park in Clearwater. Add to that one of the greatest Craft Brewers being right by Cypress Point, Cigar City Brewing Company, and you have yourself set up for a wonderful day/night in Tampa! The sunsets are amazing, the disc golf is challenging, yet fair. What is there not to love about Tampa Bay Disc Golf!!!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Fantastic park with lots to do.
- 9 very solid holes.
- Really nice baskets.
- Cool shots on the water.
- Well manicured.
- Good signage.
Cons: - Got a little lost but found my way.
- An occasional non golfer in the fairway.
Other Thoughts: Be prepared for some wind off the water.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
fun & sun
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: multi use park with beach for swimming, dog park with dog beach. Great rubber tee pads. Nice new orange baskets that stand out against the Florida green. 18 coming soon. long & short tees. restrooms. boat launch, fishing. every throw you have. Nice mix of short technical shots, long shots through trees and even very long hole that dared me to try a roller.
Cons: some holes by beach may have people laying in the sun.
Other Thoughts: one of my dogs favorite. who's ready to throw boy! bring you swim suit & cool off after a round.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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.
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