16 Helpful / 0 Not
The Magic City DGC
Pros: Located in the historic George Ward Park, which is just south of Downtown Birmingham, off 65. (Use the 10th Ave S entrance to access the DG course).
-Bulletin board at 1st, this is where you will find the Scorecards
-Well manicured, maintained, and landscaped park
-Multiple Pin Placements
-Great use of elevation. Multiple tee's will have you driving from atop a hill or along a hillside.
-Excellent and informative Tee signs, with maps, all 3 pin locations, and footage. As well as concrete tees. (A couple of the Tee signs are little bit faded)
-9 of the holes are between 300-400ft.
-There is an extra 6 holes between 14 and 15. (For the sake of time, I opted out of playing them.)
-Course is divided nicely, allowing for a quick 9 hole round on either front or back 9. Both Front and back 9 start and finish at the parking lot
-Beginner friendly, yet will still offer a challenge to the advanced player.
-Multiple water shots, discs should be easy to retrieve. ...for the most part.
-Vendors. Tom Monroe does sell discs here on certain days.
-Great overall "Fun Factor", This is one of my favorite courses.
-The people here have been very nice, and friendly.
-The people that are behind this course, have done an excellent job in maintaining this course. It looks great, and it's fun to play.
-George Ward now has a Dog Park or "Bark Park".
Cons: -Course is fairly easy to navigate, but a map could be a helpful aid for first timers. I would print one of from this site. (I threw on the wrong baskets a couple of times. Mainly because the basket appeared to be in the right place. This happened to me teeing off from #4, I threw on 6's basket and interrupted an other groups game. I apologized, though they didn't appear amused by my error.)
-You could find yourself playing near a family reunion or birthday party that is using the shelter house on 16.
-There are walking trails on some of the holes.
-Sometimes they will reorganize the baskets during a competition. They are usually changed the week of, and might still be in the same placements the week after. This could create some confusion, since they are not in sync with the board. (I've ran into this both times I've played here.)
Other Thoughts: I have always enjoyed visiting Birmingham, it is just a great city. Now I can add George Ward to my list of things "To do" while in town. George Ward offers a challenging course, where you will find yourself throwing a variety of shots. Each hole offers it's own unique challenge. Though it may not offer a big challenge to a pro;I have read where a few pros still enjoy playing here. It's a fun course to play, and the park itself is enjoyable to walk through. Here at George Ward, you will find yourself throwing up and down hills, across fields, and working lines between a fair amount of trees. Here you will be required to think about your lines, and plan your approach. Speaking of lines, definitely consider the power line on #7. I've been deflected twice by that power line, mainly because I didn't see it.
While I was waiting to tee off, I got to chat with Tom Monroe, the "course professional", for a few minutes. He talked to us about the history of the park, and the course itself. Which I found very interesting. He also helped navigate me around some of the different pin placements that were left over from the previous weekends tournament.
If you are in Birmingham, this course is a must play. I prefer to come here during the middle of the week, when it is less crowded. Everyone that I have met here has been very nice and friendly. I won't hold anything against the group whose game I interrupted! That was, after all, my fault! ;) I look forward to playing George Ward every time I come to Birmingham.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun Winter Course!
Pros: This is a nice park setting that utilizes many old trees, lawns and open fields. The course accommodates a "grip & rip" type of play for a majority of the drives, while forcing accurate placement for the approaches on the longer holes. Topography is utilized well such as great elevation changes and a deep creek bed that runs through several holes.
The signature hole for me (as many others noted here) is #15, which tees from an elevated position out into a field with some early guardian trees, and the pin positioned in front od a deep creek bed, making most approaches a knee- knocker! If you can only play 9 holes, I recommend the back 9.
Each 9 holes loops back to the beginning- a big bonus. Nice tee pads, benches, and signs (though showing wear).
Cons: Without a map (or a local), there are many tees that would be difficult to find.
The longest hole #5 is a yawner - wide open, flat and not a single obstacle (has an OB path, but you really have to shank one).
Alternate holes (A-F) are not marked so I couldn't play them. Even the local I played with did not know how to play them! At LEAST they could number the baskets and mark the tees with temp. stakes and numbers.
Other Thoughts: Earlier reviews mentioned that the pin positions are ALL in A, B, or C. That was not the case when I was here.
You must enter through the North end of the park, and go to the 2nd lot.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid Course, Fun to Play
Pros: The course has a good mix of all types of holes and shots required- short/long, up/down, open/wooded. The water hazards are interesting, fun, and fair. Other obstacles are trees, boulders, hills, and power lines.
There are 24 holes, with options. If you want to only play 9 holes, you can choose the front or back and each brings you right back to the parking lot. You can also insert the new 6 holes on the back.
I thought the overall course design was excellent, nice variety and spread out. Each hole is unique with several memorable holes (little to no repetition from hole to hole). Tee signs are fantastic and the kiosk is very informative. The locals were very friendly and helpful.
My favorite thing about this course was the combination of 3 basket locations per hole, the tee signs, and the system of basket placement. Each hole has 3 pin placements (A, B, C) and the kiosk tells you what placement is being used that day which makes locating the baskets a breeze. The tee signs clearly indicate the 3 positions. But what I love is that the A location is not the shortest on every hole. Sometimes B is the shortest, sometimes C, same for middle and longest. This means that all 3 rotations are relatively equal in total course length. (In contrast with- one day it is easy breezy day, and another day you decide to make every hole a par 4 so you don't feel so bad, like so many courses I have played.) The course designer and basket movers deserve a lot of credit here.
Cons: The new 6 holes. Yeah, it adds 6 holes, but to me they detract from the rest of the course (at least right now.) First, they are poorly marked, and baskets and tees are hard to find. I played a couple of the holes to wrong baskets. Second, they don't really fit in with the style of the rest of the course, thicker woods with narrow fairways, the area is not as pretty as the rest of the course and, and a few holes are very close to a busy exterior road. However, the nice thing is they are set up in such a way that you can play them or skip them without interrupting course flow or adding long, unnecessary walks. It seems most people were only playing the original 18. So these 6 holes are only a minor con because you have the option (which in some ways could be a plus!)
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Hole #1 is a great starting hole. The 2 holes over the ditch are terrific. Much fun playing here! I would highly recommend this course, I would like to get a chance to play it again.
I like it better than the other popular course in Birmingham (Civitan), and it seems most people feel the same, because this course was crowded and Civitan was practically deserted.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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.
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