8 Helpful / 0 Not
Old Florida at it's Finest!
Pros: Wonderful course on the site of the old Sunshine Springs and Gardens. A botanical gardens park with swan boat rides on a canal that winds through the park and a spectacular ski show on Sarasota Bay that was open from 1955 to 1959. The gardens are mostly gone, but the canals, the trees and the Old Florida feel remain. There are no long holes, only 5 holes are longer than 300 feet and the longest is 352. It is instead a technical challenge and a severe mental challenge to not let the water get into your head. The course ends, by heading out on a peninsula that is surrounded by Sarasota Bay. There are some great views and two challenging finishing holes - 16 and 18.
Cons: The tee pads are very short thoughout the park. The signage is very poor and the baskets are not marked.
Other Thoughts: Start off with lots of old growth oak trees, complete with plenty of hanging moss. Add in a peninsula on Sarasota Bay that was once home to a great ski show. Next, add a meandering canal that served as a prototype for Cypress Gardens and you have one of the most beautiful parks and disc golf courses in Florida. This course has a feel unlike any other other in Florida. It also has a very cool dog park at one end of the course. There is a lot of water here, it comes into play on 14 of 18 holes. On most holes, it is more a mental than an actual physical challenge. The water that you need to clear is usually pretty close to the tee. The exception to this is hole 18. It is 262 feet but you have to cross water to get to the hole on another small peninsula. The crossing is about 240 feet, and the landing area isn't huge. For most players, it is a definite lay-up hole. For your first time, you should print out the course map. If you forget it, just remember that the tee for hole 10 is actually across the entrance road, next to the dumpsters. If you follow that painted basket clue for the next tee, you will end up playing hole #12 instead of 10. Make sure you take a little walk and cross over the road for tee pad 10. That is really the only hard tee to find and the only place that the course doesn't flow well.
This course is only 5 minutes off I-75. Do yourself a favor and add this course to your wish list and take the time to get a taste of Old Florida. It is definitely one of my favorite courses and is a wonderful round spent going back in time.
8 of 8 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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
High risk, high reward
As jaymon1 noted, this is a unique and wonderful course. The water takes what would be a pitch-and-putt course and makes it truly competitive. You don't need to lose any plastic here--every hole can be parred with a lay up shot. It is one of the few courses I've played where it isn't grip it and rip it, but aim it and place it. And it's a beautiful setting with the unique trees and water.
One tip on course layout... the baskets have one wire on the bottom painted red--it points to the next tee. Check the map at http://www.sarasotaskypilots.org/lakeview.htm
if you want more guidance.
Finally there's a great old couple who play here and will show you around and give you a history of the park (once a water ride theme park).
Cons: Water was getting low when I was there and was indeed swampy. I hear there are plans to stabilize the water level with drainage to the lake, which would be ideal.
Other Thoughts: No big holes, but the mental challenge and strategy make it worth a visit.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth a visit, if you don't mind losing discs
Pros: The park has a unique "old Florida" feel to it and many unique holes as well. It's a short, technical track that will definitely test your accuracy and nerve.
There's a lot to think about strategy-wise and those with strong emotional/mental games will be at an advantage.
Cons: There's a very good chance of losing discs in the "creature from the black lagoon"-type water that you won't want to wade into.
The shape of the available land is not conducive to smooth course flow. The routing is tricky to follow and course signage is inadequate.
The course is not good for tournament play due to the routing issues and some holes crowding on each other.
The tee pads are small and some are in poor repair.
Other Thoughts: This course is very unique. I enjoy playing it a lot, but always pull out some old beater discs that I don't mind losing to play with.
Remember: Don't be a dirty disc golfer. If you pack it in, pack it out!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Plastic Eating Course!!
Pros: The course offers many challenges for all skill levels. Mostly tight technical shots and on almost all holes water comes into play, either over, around, or along side. Nice neighborhood and locals.
Cons: water, Water, WATER!!! Lost plastic is something that should be expected, I played here yesterday and didn't loose any for the first time. In fact, I have a bag full of factory seconds and old discs that I call the lakeview bag. I wish the course had atleast 1 or 2 holes that top 300ft. The course is tough to navigate as there are no signs to direct you where to go next, but if you look at the basket one of the basket wires is colored to destinguish what direction to go for the next hole (local tip). Cleanliness and park maintenance are almost non-existant.
Other Thoughts: I play here from time to time to improve my short game but if this was the only course around I would definately play less.
2 of 3 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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