4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Estero was a surprisingly good course tucked into southwestern Florida. It provides variety, challenge and a whole lot of water. More holes feature lurking lakes than don't and even a conservative estimate would consider four of them to be true carries of real difficulty. Two sets of tees mean that discers can opt to tee off from the water's edge on most carries while thrill seekers can back up to the long tees which distance, obstacles, or both to the drive before the disc even reaches the water. This is definitely a course every experienced player passing through the area should not pass up.
The course is mostly open so bombers will definitely find their chances to let rip, whether over water or land but several of the holes are what I would refer to as semi-wooded, with clumps of trees providing gaps or alleys that force the payer to bend to the course. The long tees sometimes used a well-placed tree to remove a specific line that would be attainable from the short tee. I particularly like the use of short palms to create early gaps off of either tee. But make no mistake, this is a mostly open course and water will be the most formidable obstacle throughout. Those who can make the carries will love the natural flights of their discs over the beauty of the ponds and palms. Those who can't should probably skip this one.
Cons: The course is not for everyone as the long hole-lengths and heavy use of water would not be appropriate for lower level players. Some of the carries are over 250 feet even from the shorts. There are also several points at which non-disc golfers may cross or use parts of the course. A few of the holes are very sketchy in this regard and I would hope that specific points of the trail are not used by non discers.
It appears that the course does not hold water well as there several points where casual water had flooded fairways even when it hadn't rained much recently. You should probably be prepared to walk through some muck and for an occasional disc to disappear in unmarked water.
Other Thoughts: Solid variety. Solid challenge. Easily the best course in this section of the state.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Prepare to Sacrifice a Disc (or two...)
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The designers did a great job of installing 18 challenging holes within this large, multi-use park. More water in play and water carries than any other course I've played, and that adds a real element of interest/risk to the course.
Two very nice concrete tee pads for each hole. I usually play the more advanced tees when I try a course, but I opted for the short tees and am glad that I did. Some of the water carries from the longs are beyond my comfort range, so I'd be bailing out on those.
Though the course is mostly open and flat, the basket placements require careful ranging and shaping of your drive to score well.
From the shorts, holes are mostly in the 250' to 350' range, with two par 4's that run 447' and 546 feet. The long tee jump the "typical" range up to 350' to 450', with the par 4's running 518' and 715'. So if you love to crank out long drives, the "pro" tees will be right up your alley!!
Hole 1 is one of the most intimidating starting holes that I've encountered. The basket is in a narrow strip of land with trees and a fence line on the right and a large pond on the left. I thought I had thrown my drive perfectly, only to have it fade just a bit more than expected and splash right into the pond.
Four ponds are in play on various holes, either with the basket placed near enough to a pond to require care with placement of the drive, or by requiring a water carry on your drive.
Holes 16, 17 and 18 make good use of the one significant hill in the park, giving you one uphill drive and two downhill holes. The finishing hole is a drive from the hilltop to a basket placed right next to a pond. Another hole where too much fade will cost you a disc.
Huge parking lots available, along with restrooms, water, benches, etc.
Cons: The odds are good that you are going to lose a disc here. On the very first hole I threw my drive exactly as I intended, only to see it fade a bit extra and splash into the pond. The water is deep and murky enough that I didn't recover the disc. So bring a couple of discs that you don't mind donating.
No signage, though it sounds like it is in the works. With the excellent map and scorecard available the lack of tee signs wasn't much of an issue for me. But without the map navigation would be challenging for a first time player.
This is a large, heavily utilized public park, and there are plenty of chances for conflicts with park users. On a Monday afternoon I was surprised at how busy the park was. WIth lots of folks walking and jogging the trails and a few family groups kicking soccer balls around I had to wait several times to play holes. The hill with the 16th and 18th tees and the 17th basket was a particularly popular place for kids to be playing around.
Other Thoughts: This was my 87th course played, and had by far the most water in play. The water carries and baskets placed adjacent to ponds are what made this course interesting and different that any other.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course lay out is fairly easy to follow the first time out. I liked the how some holes were very challenging and some were moderate to easy. The park the course is in is very nice.
Cons: Lost a disc in the water on hole one. I was poking around in the long grass on the edge of the water and I surprised a small alligator. Scared the you know what out of me.
Other Thoughts: I will definitely play the course again when I am back in the area.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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