A Love-Hate Relationship
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A relatively short, technical course located in a small township park next to an elementary school complex in Sarasota. A practice basket greets you by the pavilion at the end of the park and a small plexiglass announcement board sits by hole #1. The tee pads consisting of oversized pavers are sufficient in length. Decent signage consisting of PVC pipe and/or metal framed placards depicting hole number and distance. Each hole has multiple basket placements and some have short tees. Navigation is relatively easy. Good use of what little elevation there is on the course, and a couple of elevated baskets add to the challenge. Benches exist at most holes, bathrooms are present on site and many trees provide a needed shady canopy during play.
Cons: Water hazards are everywhere. Parts of the course play in tight quarters, and one must be "head's up" for incoming discs at various junctures. Lakeview will not appeal to the guy who likes to grip and rip.
Other Thoughts: Though an okay course, I did not enjoy my experience here. Any fun factor one could have- and there ARE some good holes- is negated by the ridiculously oppressive amount of water that covers the grounds. One has a legitimate chance of going into the water on 11 or 12 of the 18 holes here (and I took full advantage), and most discs are irretrievable. Not only will bad shots be severely punished, but there's a very good chance a couple of good shots will be also. Few courses place such a high premium on accuracy, and Lakeview can be an exercise in frustration.
I gave this course a fair rating despite my misery here. Prepare to play ultra-conservatively and bring a good supply of plastic.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Most challenging water course I have ever played.
Pros: 1) If you came for a challenge with water this is your course. There are many little pockets of water that you need to throw alongside of, over, and even around. They come into play because of trees, baskets tucked precariously over the water, and there are even holes you can overshoot the basket and skip away into the water.
2) Concrete tees on every hole. Alternate tees available on all holes where carries over water are required and either significantly shortening the carry ot altogether removing the carry. This is an awesome feature to help make this course more playable for all people.
3) The rolling hills in this park add to the uniqueness of this park and DG course. They also contribute to the difficulty level because they will cause some odd skips and they will also knock down a low shot and prevent you from sliding up under the basket.
4) Great park for disc golf and the course is completely isolated from all other activities. There is a dog park but it is fenced off from the DG course. So get here and throw your plastic to your hearts content.
5) Big open picnic area is centrally located in the middle of the course. It is accessible from Hole #1 tee, 9 basket, 12 tee, and 14 tee. Plenty of picnic tables and some garbage.
6) Bathrooms are located at the far end of this park near #10 basket and 11 tee. I am not sure if they are normally open or closed but they are there.
7) This course will challenge you with shot shaping also. There are holes that are a simple hyzer, but there are also a few holes that force you to throw an anny. Shots over water will also require both shot shapes, making the course extra difficult.
8) Baskets have #'s on the posts on them and they also have painted or tapes rungs pointing you to the next tee.
9) Risk/reward is really high here. Not only is the course challenging, but the risk of shooting for birdie is high both in chance of lost discs and how it would affect your score if you overshoot or undershoot.
Cons: 1) Course flow was a little confusing to me. I played #1, then #3 then found #4 tee and figured I missed a hole, so I ended up walking backwards looking for #2 tee. I also ended up playing #12 after #9 and then only seeing #13 tee. I decided to play #14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and then I went back up #13 and crossed the bridge. I found #11 basket and saw the tee in the distance so I walked back there and played the hole. From the 11th tee I saw #10 basket but had no idea where the tee was. Finally as I had given up I saw the tee outside of the fenced area next to the garbage dumpster area. I finally played the 10th hole and made a birdie to end my day so the hunt was worth it. These things are issues in my opinion, my suggestion is to print the map of the course from the Sarasota Sky Pilots. On multiple occassions you might throw at the wrong basket as your first time because the basket visible from some tees is not the basket for your hole.
2) Too much risk of losing discs. I like courses wih the challenge of water but there simply seemed to be too many areas where water was easily thrown into. The tightness of this course has also contributed to the high plastic count in the ponds and rivers because it is still very easy to plunk one into a tree and drop into the water.
3) Some of the posts and signs are missing and/or damaged.
4) Parking lot may be a little small to house a bunch of people on a busy day or a tournament. I would guess maybe 30 cars or so could fit in this lot.
5) Not beginner friendly. Even though the short tees make the water carries shorter, there still are plenty of ways for beginner to struggle here. The trees are tight and there is a canopy over most holes.
6) Grounds had some issues in my opinion. There were many trees that were unhealthy and I would see that this is due to the fact that this is virtually a swamp. There also were a few areas under this dense canopy that lacked turf. It would be tough to maintain turf int his tightly canopied area combined with how tight the area is for traffic. This compaction will eventually contribute to muddy fairways.
7) Baskets were old and rusty. They still caught well I suppose but the baskets could use an upgrade. I guess I would rather have directional signs and tee signs over new baskets.
Other Thoughts: This is an awesome course with an awesome design (in terms of challenge and variety). It lacks flow in its design and can be very confusing because of its flow issues and lack or consistancy of signage and tee signs. It was very frustrating and it was aggravated by the fact I had already lost 2 discs on this course to the water. It will challenge you from Hole 1 until you make your final putt on #18. When you factor in the facilities and the maintenance this is simply a slightly above average course. Like I said it is an awesome DG course, it has great holes and always challenges but the flow issues, the tightness of some of the holes and danger issues, and lack of signage leave me feeling a little bitter about this course. I would play it, and from now on I will be sure to keep my Dragon with me. There are 4 or 5 shots where I could execute with a lot more confidence if I knew I wasn't going to lose discs to the murky black water. I love what someone else said about feeling like the Swamp Thing is gonna walk right out of the water with all of your lost discs and ask to play a round. Now thats funny right there, I dont care who you are. I wish I could give this course a better rating because it plays like a better course, just a few things keeping it fomr being a 4 disc course in my opinion, and most of the reasons would be easily resolved.
It was cool for a horticulturist to walk through this park and see the variety of vegetation. Apparently it was an old Botanical Garden and some of the flowers and plants do seem a little out of place for a disc golf course. My wife had some awesome pictures from this course of closeups to the flowers and such.
Can you find the pet cemetary? I found 3 graves on the course, 2 of which were in one location. You should not throw your disc near the pet cemetary with 2 graves but you might be able to throw your disc near the single gravesite. Just a little wierd.
Also I noticed a local guy disc hawking both days I played this course. The first day he had 2 discs in his hand and a retriever, and he "claimed" that he just didnt bring his bag along and was walking his dog. Not sure if this was his facade to throw me from the fact that he was disc hawking, but I noticed him today too after 3 days since I saw him the first time. I wonder if he found my newer Wraith and my beat up Viper!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course, bad signs
Pros: Well-designed to make a good course out of a pretty small piece of land. It's short and technical but not frustratingly so, the water is really pretty non-threatening if you can drive at least 220 feet with decent accuracy. The water isn't the most pleasant looking stuff but it's nothing that should prevent you from going in after a lost disc. There's some minor elevation change in a few places which is nice for a Florida course. As far as the act of throwing the disc to the basket is concerned it's a great course to play.
Cons: The signage is terrible, in the few places it exists at all. Nothing at the park to tell you where the course starts and no course map. Many holes don't have tee signs and those that do are just wooden stakes with the hole number and distance, plus some have an arrow showing the direction the basket is in. Not all of the teepads even have the hole number on them so you may come up to one and not be 100% sure you're in the right place. Due to the small size of the park you can often see other baskets from the tee so without a tee sign there are a couple times where you may throw towards the wrong basket. If it wasn't for the orange ribbons on the baskets you'd have to walk the course first just to know where to go. I never did find hole 10's tee, looking on the map online now I see that's because it's pretty far from hole 9's basket and apparently not even in the park itself, it's outside of the fence.
Other Thoughts: In spite of the signage issues this is still a very good course to play. It may get a little too crowded if there are a bunch of groups playing at once due to the closeness of the holes to each other but once you get the hang of the course flow it has a lot to offer. It's absolutely worth checking out if you're in the area and makes for a great day of golfing when combined with a visit to North Watertower Park. Just make sure to print off the map from Dscgl4's review, you'll be glad you have it.
Word of warning: Even if the water levels are down like they were today it's not always safe to walk across the ditches. Some of them look firm but are actually deep mud that you can sink shin-deep into so walk with care.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
B for Beein' Beautiful (and waterful)
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- A-
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- B-
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- B+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- NA
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor…more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I say adds anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Landscape, flora and fauna
Other Thoughts: With prominent water, many old and sprawling live oaks, and a wide variety of other exotic palms and bushes not often found elsewhere in Florida, Lakeview Park has to be among the most distinctive courses in the state. Built on the former site of a classic Florida wildlife and water-skiing park, I'm told, the course plays around the remnants of a wide, meandering canal, with a pond at one end, and a beautiful lake at the other. Nine of the holes play over or very near this water, so the trade-off for the scenery is a high potential for lost discs. The water level in the canals does vary, however; I was there in spring, and during a drought, so the water level was low in the pond, and much of the canal was just a big, muddy ditch. So no lost discs, but less natural beauty too. Yet I could see that with a normal water level the course would be much more beautiful, and much more treacherous.
The course is relatively short, even from the long tees, so you don't need a big arm to clear the water on any hole. You will need, however, control and probably some luck too. In addition to the water, like many Florida courses, another feature of most holes at Lakeview is low ceilings and in some cases, well defined (but never really tight) fairways. Unlike many Florida courses, though, thick palmetto stands and undergrowth are not really a factor out here, as the many large old live oaks have created a large shady hammock with minimal undergrowth. The trees and other flora, not to mention the bird watching around the lake, are the truly distinctive features of this course.
Lakeview Park has numbers on the teepads but not the baskets, and minimal signage otherwise, so you should probably take a map for your first time out here. And while it does have concrete teepads, they are the shortest I've ever seen, and thus can throw you off a little bit. Finally, as the course is tightly parceled in among the canals and lakes, it's both relatively short, with no hole much over 300 feet, and does have a few overlapping fairways that could pose a problem on a crowded day. Considering the space, though, the course is laid out well, with good variety of approach and taking full advantage of the distinctive landscape. If you're willing to take the risk of sacrificing a few discs, Lakeview Park is worth a visit.
Favorite hole - #9 - One of the longer holes on this short course, the flight path goes over a wider part of the canal, then has to hook back into a grove of old live oaks and thick bougainvillea.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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