Only stop here if you're coming for the beach
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Virginia Key Beach Park is located on a large and beautiful island right outside of downtown Miami. The course is tucked all the way at the end of the park. Find the carousel and head left and you will find the first tee. There's ample amount of parking.
Chances are that most people playing here do not play a lot, so there are some aspects of the course that would make it appealing newer players. It's pretty wide open with few chances of losing a disc (other than in the swamp). I can't see too many people playing here so most likely you will have the course to yourself.
Super quick play if you only have <30 min.
It doesn't hurt being able to jump into the ocean seconds after finishing your round, and honestly, is the best part of being here.
Cons: I really had to reach for pros here. This just isn't a great place for a course. The main reason for this is that about 3-4 holes play close to a swamp. As others have mentioned, there are numerous signs warning you not to go near the swamp due to it being an American saltwater crocodile habitat. There's enough warnings to make you know that they're serious.
The land doesn't offer much here minus a tree or two and it is completely flat.
The fee to get into this state park is a little ridiculous considering this part of the island doesn't offer much. It's $1.75 to cross over the bridge to get to the island and then another $5 just to enter this section. I usually don't mind paying a few bucks, but for this course it's simply not worth it.
It has a small train track in several of its fairways which, apparently, gets a lot of use on weekends.
Other Thoughts: It felt like a ghost town here on a beautiful Friday evening. I only saw a couple people (near the beach) in this park section of the island. Other than that, it was only me and dozens of iguanas running around the course. Fortunately, I didn't have any run-ins with the much larger saltwater crocs. I would go somewhere else to play if you're in SoFlo, even if you're as close as downtown Miami. This is a great island to spend the day at, but the course isn't worth stopping for.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: In a very smart decision, all holes that border the swamp feature it on the right side of the fairway, so new players are much less likely to land where there are very clearly crocodiles. Baskets and tees are adequate and holes are usually short enough to see the basket anyways. From 3 on, this is not a bad course for beginners. It's easy and open and it's nice enough atmosphere right by the beach. Not a bad place for veterans to throw a few discs around if you are going to the beach as well. (Although none should be advised to come just to play.) Wide open spaces to launch discs and check out the flight paths and sunny Florida skies make the park worth a stop.
Cons: 1 and 2 are pretty bad. 1 throws right at a building. 2 is aimed right at some brush. And yeah, though it should be avoidable, I'm not sure if new players (and that's who the course is suited for) should be throwing or retrieving discs anywhere near crocodiles. The fact that that there is not onewarning sign but well over twenty indicate the threat is not idle.
But basically, it's just a beginner course that isn't very interesting.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: On beach/island, usually a sea breeze for hot Florida days. The breeze also adds an extra element to the course.
Empty on weekdays.
Unique mangrove feel.
Has concrete launchpads and nice baskets.
Hole 6 - Fun when there's a nice ocean breeze!
Cons: Back down to 9 holes - There are only 9 holes, the back 9 that were designed either got taken down or moved to some unknown location.
Busy on weekends with toy train/busy walking paths in the way.
Mosquitoes... too many after rainy days and in summer.
No signage. First couple of times I played I couldn't figure out where things started so I made up my own course until I came here.
Hole 4 - Blind shot, surrounded by shrubs/trees. Little chance of not hitting something.
Hole 9 - Semi-blind shot. They planted several big palm tree about 10-20 feet in front of the launchpad. It's also on a walking path with a nature area on the left side, train tracks on the right. Since this is the closest shot to the water, the wind plays a big factor and the wind can start or stop at any moment.Too unpredictable for a technical shot.
Other Thoughts: Don't worry about the pond- the amount of trees make it difficult to actually get one in there. To do that you need either a rolling shot or overthrow the trees which is pretty tough.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Up and coming?
Pros: -It is now a full 18-hole course.
-New holes on the back 9 are right on the beach.
-Nice, new baskets.
-Challenging design on most holes.
-Great course if you are visiting Miami and want to play near the coast.
-Usually nobody around, play at your own pace.
Cons: -They are just finishing up the back 9, so although all baskets are in the ground it can be hard to navigate because tee boxes are marked with little pink flags.
-No concrete tee boxes on back 9 yet, all dirt.
-Hard to navigate because there is no signage pointing toward next holes.
-You will get very sandy, bring proper attire.
Other Thoughts: I didn't have great expectations coming to this course, but was pleasantly surprised. The park staff was very friendly and gave me a scorecard and map. It is nice to have another full 18-hole course in the area, even though it is pay-to-play. Although there are no long tee boxes yet, they are still finishing up the renovation of this course and will hopefully have them soon (Only one tee box per hole in the "short" position). Depending on how windy it is the day you go, could be a sub-par round. But the wind coming off the ocean can really get after your discs.
Overall, a course I would like to play more often.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Decent but enjoyable. Signs needed
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Nice baskets- brand new Innova Discatchers that were highly visible thanks to the yellow band on the top. They were also very grippy and deep.
- Nice flow starting at hole 3. Holes 3-7 loop clockwise around a swamp with crocodile signs around it. Hole 9 is a little backtracking to get to the throw pad.
- Concrete throw pads. Holes 2-9 had concrete pavers and hole 1 had red brick pavers. Much better than dirt or grass pads.
- Swamp hazard - holes 3-7 loop around a swamp which can eat your discs. (Swamp on right side of the fairway).
- Atmosphere - course had an exotic feeling to it.
- Wind is a major factor for this course.
- Blind Shots - there were a few holes with blind shots. Signage would have helped.
- Beach and 2 playgrounds on site - always a plus if you travel to the park with kids or a significant other.
Cons: - Poorly Marked - There was no course map nor signs for disc golf course on the premise. The baskets did not have a hole number on them. The holes were marked with stakes in the ground with a hole number on them. Once you find the throw spot for hole 1 the rest of the course is easy to navigate.
Signage - no signs anywhere to be found. No par listing, no directional signs, no arrows to point you towards the next basket. There were a few blind shots.
- Small throw pads - the throw pads were about 5 feet long. Since they are pavers it wouldn't be too difficult to lengthen them.
The swamp can be seen as a con. Adds to the challenge.
No memorable holes. Very repetitive shots. Course is mostly open with not many obstacles to go around.
- Only one throw spot per hole - a second throw spot would add that much more variety to the course.
Other Thoughts: I am from Indiana and on vacation to Miami and wanted to play a local course. This course was the closest to my hotel and happened to have no reviews yet so I decided to play it with my girlfriend and two beginner players. Although they enjoyed theirselves they were not very impressed with the course.
The scenery was nice but there was not much variation in the holes. It is nice to have a course this close to a beach. When I come back to Miami I would more than likely play this course again.
$1.50 for Rickenbacker Causeway and $5 park entry fee. I was not disappointed with the price of this course.
Signs, a course map, an additional throw spot per hole, and a few more trees would boost this course to a 2.5 or a 3.
I made a map to help everyone out in the future. Bring it with you when you play the course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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