17 Helpful / 1 Not
Greater Birmingham's Best Course
George Ward Park represents the fundamentals of maximizing a given space and showing players what good course design looks like. Its looping design allows players to play a quick nine holes (front or back at their choosing), take in a full 18, or be a little adventurous and play the bonus six holes for a full 24 hole experience.
Much like Civitan Park (John LeMaster DGC)
, this course makes good use of the elevation, trees, water hazards, and other terrain features. Plus, I love having water hazards come into play, but never have to worry about actually losing my disc.
There is decent length variation from the short 200' shots, to some high 300' and 400' bombs indicative of early 90's designs. The longer holes are very open allowing you to really shape a big drive, while many holes make you shoot a precise line if you're hunting for birdie.
Also, there are three possible basket locations, which get rotated frequently to keep the course playing fresh. In addition, holes #5 and #13 had an additional long basket to shoot for if the front placement isn't enough challenge for you.
BEST HOLE/S: #13; #15
Cons: Some of the tee boxes definitely show their age, and I almost sprained an ankle on the absurdly short #12 box, which is unfortunate since it plays as such a nicely elevated tee area. Crowds can also be an issue - with this being the only course centrally located in Birmingham. Plus, there are many other walkers and other park uses you'll need to be wary to watch for. If you're not a crowd person - this course can be a real pain.
The bonus six holes - is this a negative or just an interesting bonus? The good - you get six more tree lined holes to play that again utilize the elevation, obstacles, and length to its greatest advantage. The bad - they are completely unmarked, so you had better be willing to scour the hill for worn down dirt pads tees and shoot to what you hope is the correct basket. Hole F is the easiest to spot being in close relation to #14 and #15, so you'll just have to make the choice if you want this additional experience. My ranking doesn't suffer because of these holes, but it certainly doesn't improve it much either.
WORST HOLE/S: #5; #7
Other Thoughts: Although I personally wasn't playing well that day, I still was impressed how a 20-year old course could still hold a challenge to today's player. I had an equally good time playing Civitan Park (John LeMaster DGC), but rate this course higher based on the better overall course design and versatility that has made it the most popular course in the greater Birmingham area. Play it, and enjoy.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Great designed course!
Pros: Great course hole designing! Multiple holes. Ace tee pad. Great atmosphere! Well maintained park! Go play this course,, its worth it! Holes are easy to find. A-F extra holes after ur 18!
Cons: Have to wait to civilians to walk before u tee off. A-F holes dont have good hole directions.
Other Thoughts: Great course to play. one of my favorites yet!
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Best one I've been to
Pros: Lots of variety. Well maintained. I beat Johnny G and the rest in our group.
Cons: It was crowed, but I was playing on a Saturday afternoon.
Other Thoughts: If you get a map from Google maps to the coordinated for this course, it will take you to a dead end next to the park. Enter the park through the main entrance.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Just a really fun course
Pros: This course is right off of I-65 and is very easy to get to. The course is set in a clean park and has concrete pads, mulitple pin locations, and a couple of pro pins as well. There are an extra 6 holes inbetween 14 and 15 that you can play if you like but don't have too.
This course was not a tough play and is pretty begginer/intermediate friendly but was a ton of fun to play. You have a good mix of up hill, down hill, long, short, water, woods, and open. There are no reall heavily wooded holes and the wooded holes are very clean. Not much underbrush. There was almost no poison ivy on the course. #6, 13, and 15 stand out the most to me and were my favorites on the course. The course was extremely easy to fallow and flowed well. There wasn't a hole on the course that I really disliked.
There is a nice disc golf store right before the park that had a good selection of discs.
Cons: The signs are faded and some cannot be read at all. They need to be replace.
The course is pretty easy. Do not expect a championship style round.
Other Thoughts: THis was just a really fun course to play. I played it twice while I was in town and really enjoyed it. If you are a good player you are not going to find a lot of stress but you will still enjoy the variety of holes and nice clean setup. This course is very well designed for anyone to be able to play it. If you are close it is well worth playing.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice City Course With Lots of Pedistrian Traffic!
Pros: The local club has put a lot of work into this course with muliple basket positions, kisosk, signage, some engineering work such as steps and bridges. It's fine land for a course with nice rolling terrain, enough trees for shade on the Alabama days and a drainage ditch to throw over and around. The course is very well designed in that both the front and back nine start and finish at the parking lot. This gives one the option of playing 9 holes (front or back), the full 18, or the extended 24, all the while starting and ending at the lot. Six additional holes have been added up on a hill. This course is not the longest but provides enough challenge but most every players. Pros are probably looking for a course with more distance. The local pro always seems to be in the parking lot selling discs and talking golf.
Cons: It's a high use park and much of the course crosses a new walking/jogging path. Also a picnic shelter comes into play on one hole. The recently installed walking/jogging path creates some very tight OB on some holes. Local pro giving unsolicted advice.
Other Thoughts: The added six holes aren't yet fully developed, no teepads or signs, but that will come. It's a little bit difficult to find the park as the park entrance isn't signed. Read 33tango other thoughts on getting to the course. Well worth playing in the Birmingham area.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course could be a 4 or 4.5 if not for the walking paths. It presents a variety of fairways which demand creative and accurate shots without artificial OB's or masses of trees. Only a few holes are actually in the woods. Most wind through a well-manicured park, and use the available elevation, water, trees, and shrubberies to great effect. The alternate pin positions are significant but mostly add just distance. The concrete tees are good size and have excellent signs. There is also a great putting basket near hole #1. Restrooms, trashcans, water, and other ammenities are available but not overly convenient. The locals are friendly, I've never seen the course empty, and on average the course seems to be used by more skilled players than most courses. (So, you can probably get a good, competitive round in when you drop by.)
Cons: Many of the holes (particularly on the front nine) require throwing over walking paths or drives. My favorite hole, #15, is a great shot off a hill and out of the woods over a creek, but it is marred slightly by crossing a road and by its proximity to a patio-like seating area. A few of the tees on the back nine are hard to find the first time. Also, beware the red clay of Alabama; when the guys before you have tracked it onto the tees, they will stay slick.
Other Thoughts: I'm partial to a course that starts and ends with a relatively easy shot near the parking lot. This course does so.
The best thing about the course is Tom Monroe hanging out in the parking lot. Talking to him would be very usefulf for new players, but apart from that, I'd recommend the course to more advanced players. The holes are a little long for newbies, and the hills can be wearying if you're just out for a lark in the park.
The local disc golf club is active; check their event calendar if you are planning to drop by.
The park has a few entrances. Not all of them will lead you to the disc golf course. Check a map; you need to get to the top of the hill, behind the tennis courts.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A great mix of long, short, and medium holes. Hole 5 is great to grip-it-and-rip-it with a pin around 415 ft. and another permanent hole for a little more experienced player that is around 480 to maybe 500 ft. away. Different pin locations that change every 2 to 3 weeks. Very fun course and will play for years to come.
Cons: Not a fun place to play when it has rain the days before. It can get very soggy n wet. Very to twist your ankle if you don't watch your step. Hole 13 can be somewhat difficult for right handed players with a good 6 ft. deep ditch/creek right in the middle of the fairway.
Other Thoughts: Great course to play. I would recommend it to anyone in the area.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A gem of a course
Pros: Parking lot is situated to where it is centered on course, course flows away at #1 and back at #9, away at 10 and back at 18. Local vendor on site selling discs. Concrete tee pads. Lots of friendly locals, at 4pm on a Wednesday course was seeing heavy use but it moved along pretty quickly. Course layout makes good use of elevation especially on #15, a great signature hole starting you out at a height throwing down across a bumblebee laden clover field next to a stream, very scenic. A very fun course with interesting pin placement and shot shaping requirements to get through the vegetation in places.
Cons: Many unleashed uncurbed dogs leaving canine landmines on the front 9, especially at the water on #4. Slight safety concern on #16, lots of players hyzering near a group of people at the pavilion having to yell "FORE" to try and avoid hitting other park goers. Improved erosion control needed in places. Some irregular sized (short) tees or tees with unforgiving drop offs at the end. The bridge from #15 to #16 needs some work.
Other Thoughts: I played alone rather than try and find a group but the group ahead offered to let me play through. I declined and watched the group ahead so I knew where some of the tee locations are. Asking around before starting my round I got the tee locations (all in "c" position noted on tee signs) and warnings about blind water in places(left side of #4). If you only have time to play 9, play the back nine so you can play #15. Did not notice any restrooms. Enter park from the north heading south, turning in off 16th Ave S. through entrance to what looks like the projects apartments. Somewhat baffling, there is no sign for the park on 16th Ave. As you drive into the park ignore the first parking lot and bear left at the tennis shop, continue to the end and that is the disc golf parking lot.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course at George Ward Park has had a great deal of work put into it. I think that the landscaping around the course gives it a country club feel. There is an informative kiosk beside hole 1. The tiered stairs down to the tee pad at hole 1 are very well groomed and start your round off with an interesting ambience. As for the course itself, all baskets and tees are in excellent shape. The design is solid and elevation and doglegs are used well. It is not the most difficult course I have ever played, but I still found it to be challenging.
Cons: The 6 extra holes need maturing. There are no tee pads there yet. There are also very few dirctional signs to follow to locate the next tee. Since this was only for the new 6, I didn't let it factor a great deal into my rating. I am sure that eventually these will be better. We were from out of town...and the park was busy...but no one else ventured onto these 6 holes. All the locals we saw skipped them.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course. It was definitely the best course we played in Alabama on this trip. I have played UAH as well and i believe this course is on par with it. Not from the difficulty standpoint, but I found George Ward to be much more enjoyable.
While I am not sure of the number, my favorite hole is the sweeping hyzer that plays downhill and over the large trench. Since it had rained so much that week, there was quite a river flowing through it. I just really loved that shot. I also enjoyed hole 1 and the basket location. (in a group of rocks) I am sure they move the baskets occasionally but I thought it was a very neat location. Geaorge Ward Park is a great stop for anyone passing through. There are a few other courses in the Birmingham area, but in my humble opinion, George Ward is the cream of the crop. The locals were extremely friendly and even gave us directions to our next stop. Many were just hanging out in the parking lot, just talking to each other. They must have a very solid local club.
To close the review, The course design, groundskeeping, and terrain make this an excellent course. The friendly people are the icing on the cake.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
fun and great atmosphere
Pros: I liked the variety of terrain some flat some elevation mixed with wooded and semi open.water hazard adds to the course,it was truly fun to play
Cons: some holes were harder to find and a bit confusing with multiple pin placements with the signs not changed.
Other Thoughts: anytime I am in the area I would play it again,it has a great atmosphere and degree of diffuculty which is worth going back for.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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