Interesting Park Course
Pros: This is a park course with plenty of mowed grass, lots of trees, and a couple of large ponds that come into play on a hole or two.
Most of the holes are in the 200' - 350' range, so no bomber holes. But they all require you to shape a drive around or through trees, with many holes rewarding a right-finishing drive. If you have a good overhand you can avoid many of the trees by going over the top.
Good, but smallish concrete tee pads. Some holes have multiple pin placements and a few have two different tee pads. In particular the two water carries (Holes 6 and 8) have alternate tees that allow you to avoid throwing over the water entirely.
Hole 6a calls for about a 300' carry over the pond, though you can bail out at any distance along the right side as it doesn't take you that far off line. Hole 8a has a shorter carry but also allows you to bail right.
Hole 9 has water along the right side of the fairway, so a RHBH player will start their drive out over the water and rely on the fade to carry it back to dry land.
Large parking area.
Cons: Navigation on this course is somewhat confusing, especially on the back 9 (or 11 or 12??). It appears that there has been some renumbering of holes, so right off the bat on Hole 10 you are throwing to a basket marked "11". I asked one of the locals what was up and he indicated that numbers were "off". So for the remainder of the back 9 you are faced with tee signs that have an original printed number and then a second hole number marked over that. some basket number match, some don't. Some baskets don't have numbers. Many areas have a clear path from the basket to the next hole, but I honestly don't know if I found them all or not. The map in the files section is outdated and doesn't help much.
Some of the tee signs are pretty beat up and weathered. Some of the baskets are really old with added chains, rust, etc., but they caught ok.
Completely flat terrain. No big bomber holes if that is your thing.
Plenty of poison ivy coming out, so watch out for that.
Other Thoughts: With updating of signs and basket numbers and a new map, the navigation issues would go away entirely. As a traveling DG'er I appreciate clean navigation, but recognize that locals don't really need the help.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course at Burton Smith features as much variety as you could imagine, as long as your imagination does not extend past flat, Florida swampland.
There really is a decent variety here. There are some open holes. There are some tight fairways surrounded by thick brush. There are a couple of nice water carries that provide just the right amount of challenge(when the water level is normal). You will have to throw long, you will have to throw straight, and more than once you will have to throw up and over.
The best feature from what I can see, is how well it dries out. I was told by a local that recently, two tees were under water. While I could see the line that the water had risen to, the previously inundated land was very dry and the tees were in good condition.
It's a fun course, that should be playable by folks of all skill levels.
Cons: So what's wrong, besides the baskets which have seen better days?
Well, there are some navigation issues, including two holes that are missing, or mislabeled holes. We looked everywhere for 3 but ended up going to what was labeled 5 since it was the obvious way to go after 2. 7 is also in a crazy location as 6 leads to 8. I'm not sure what else we missed but by the end of a 22-hole course, we had played eighteen holes. Maybe the other holes should be dropped from the numbering system. The extra holes could be lettered holes for people that know their way around. And those that want to play eighteen can play a logical eighteen holes with a nice flow and not be constantly confused.
Beyond that, there is a lack of signature holes. Everything is good here, but nothing is great. It's not a course you will remember, but only one that you will enjoy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Most holes have very cool designs. Good use of the land. A few big open holes early, some water holes and then a great deal of tight shots.
Cons: Too too tight, too often. Course would be much more enjoyable with REASONABLY open fairways.
Tees too short. Almost broke my ankle a couple of times.
Very poorly marked. Difficulty to find your way around..
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Welcome to the jungle!
Pros: 1) Kiosk near the cul-de-sac which is close to the first tee . . .you have to walk past #11 to get to #1 but the kiosk makes it fairly evident you are close to the start of the course.
2) Nice grippy concrete tees are always appreciated.
3) Benches and garbage cans are available in a few places throughout this course.
4) Decent signs with Hole #, distance, par and a general hole layout. All the information needed on a course.
5) Baskets seem to catch just fine . . . I couldn't tell if they were homemade or modified old Mach baskets.
6) There is a decent distance variety on this course ranging from the 100's all the way up into the 400's and a lot of in between holes. You need to bring all sorts of different discs to be able to play this course well.
7) Decent shot variety here as you have some hyzers, some anhyzers, a few straight shots, and even some over the top holes where you could throw big spikes, thumbers or tamahwaks, or even the straight stall shot. Be careful or you will lose discs in the trees if you go high (I only lost 3 discs in palm trees).
8) Water incorporated into this course on a few holes. There are bailout areas if you want to play safe and conserve your plastic.
9) Nice unique basket locations on a few holes . . .#11a (13) is set up on a little mound of soil which makes a simple hole a little more interesting.
Cons: 1) Lost discs all over the place. I tried shots perhaps I shouldn't have but it's hard to get discs down when you cannot even see them in the palm fronds.
2) Routing is confusing because there must have been a hole added (4 seems to be the most likely addition, making Hole #5 the old #4, #6 the old #5, #7 the old #6, #8 the old #7 etc. Then two more holes were added after hole #12 (not 11) and they simply continued the numbering where 11A became 13 and 11b became 14. Then the directional near the end of the course points towards 17 and 18 when they are actually 20 and 21. Talk about confusion, I am just happy I finished the course without getting lost.
3) Not all of the baskets are numbered and they seem to be older than dirt . . .I don't think I had any spitouts I would blame on their condition but I like new baskets.
4) This is not a "pretty course" by any stretch of the imagination. It is mostly open early and in a wide open flat area that looks to be a flood plain. Then when you get into the tighter holes you are basically going through jungle . . . sure there are fairways but it just is not what I would call a scenic course.
5) Relatively flat park overall . . . they used some old elevated areas to create the feel of a rolling fairway in a couple spots, but otherwise there is negligible elevation change.
Other Thoughts: There are plenty of positives on this course in terms of disc golf . . . but some of the issues I have raised really take away from my desire to go back here. It is not scenic, it is swampy, the routing is confusing (although I wouldn't probably have a problem the second time through).The wildness of the course is a little off-putting for someone who does not know the local flora and fauna. If I could compare it to a local course I would say it is a lot like Dineen in Milwaukee. I do not go there because it just feels goofy, despite there being a decent amount of challenge on the course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The disc golf course at Burton Smith Park appears to be a rather typical Florida course which has a little bit of oldschool flavor to the design. Although the course page indicates it was designed in 2005, while playing the course you get the feel that the course was designed for an era well before the Valkyrie. Many of the tighter holes involve a little flick around a corner or an easy up-and-over the top shot. The more open holes in the fields can play a bit long but offer little in terms of danger (with a few out-of-bounds streets and the potential for water possible but unlikely).
Variety: Burton Smith has a lot of it, from open to fairly tight, right/left fading shots, water in play (for amateur players), and low/high ceiling shots. Where it lacks mainly is in elevation changes (there aren't really any) and hole distances (all very much in the traditional par three range).
Wildlife: If you aren't from Florida (we weren't), you might see quite a few interesting little critters. We played near dusk and I saw my first armadillo in addition to bats, largemouth bass, snapping turtle, a small snake, and many different types of birds. Not bad for one round!
Skill level: This course clearly fits those who have some experience but are still developing skills. I'd say anywhere from 850-950 will probably find this course an excellent choice - too low on this range and players will likely be intimidated by a few holes with intense shule and the water holes and too high on this range and the course sets up as a pitch'n'putt.
Cons: The description says that the pins are 'Mach I's' but this is not the case, most holes actually are an old Mach II design with the shallow dish, similar to those found at Lakeview and Watertower in Sarasota. So in a way, it is a positive that the course has baskets that are better than the super oldschool I's but at the same time, you've got to have a soft touch (and a bit of luck) to avoid bounce-outs on these shallow basket targets.
Challenge: There are a few holes which experienced players are going to puzzle over a little bit, but most of the holes, are too straightforward to be of too much challenge. The open holes have very few obstacles and little in the way of penalty (other than water which is mostly out of play) and the wooded holes are often too short or too simple to be anything other than a birdie/not-birdie. It is the holes in-between that I thought worked best for this course, those that played in moderate to light tree cover and had multiple routes to attack the pin by (hole seven was a good example of this). The major water hole illustrates the problem for pros very nicely - at only 350' (which is overestimated), it is relatively easy clearance for a pro level player AND directly behind the hole, a wall of trees and brush make for a blocker wall. Experienced players will likely 'game' this hole by throwing too hard purposely, thus avoiding the water hazard, to hit the trees behind the pin and drop down for a 15-30' putt.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I'd recommend this course for a once-over by most players in a moderate to high skill range. Newer players will probably be frustrated by the shorter holes that have extensive rough and the water shots which may prove too difficult. Very experienced players are probably going to see these features in a very different light, in both cases probably wanting a little bit more distance to the wooded holes and to have the water more in play (or longer distance to clear the water).
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the drive from Kissimmee
Pros: Good mix of holes with lots of trees, water and rough. Fairly good signage.
Cons: Signage needs to be updated for new holes, and a few more "next tee" signs would be good for "tourist golfers" like me.
Other Thoughts: I had a great time playing this course while in Kissimmee for Spring Training. Seems to have a good mix of holes with plenty of obstacles. My son, Jason, scored his first ace on hole #14 - a great shot straight thru the palms into the chain. I also heard that some of the baskets came from the old Rockledge course. That's great! For those who didn't get to play Rockledge, you missed a truly unique DG experience.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Decent course for East Orlando or Cocoa
1. Distance variety (~165' to 450' depending on basket placement)
2. Shot variety (possible to throw hyzers, anhyzers, S-Curves, hammer/thumber, etc)
3. Technical aspects provide challenges for all skill levels (beginner to pro, though pros may want more distance)
4. Concrete tee pads (could be a bit wider, but they're adequate)
5. Tee signs are in decent shape at most holes
6. Garbage cans and benches are plentiful (nearly every hole has a trash receptacle!)
1. Difficult to navigate for first timers (Where's hole #1? Where are the extra holes? No "Next Tee" signs.)
2. Muiltiple basket positions not marked (or not marked properly) and do not show accurate distances.
3. Some tee signs are quite faded
4. Poor course flow (As you finish #6, you can see the tee box for 8a, but not #7, which is across the entrance roadway.)
5. Almost no elevation change (small rise on #11 where short basket location is on a ridge)
6. No pets allowed in park (according to sign at entrance, though nobody seemed to adhere to that rule)
Overall, I found Burton Smith DGC to be entertaining and challenging. The "narrow" fairways are generally well defined and don't make you feel chlaustrophobic, while the wide open spaces allow for some grip and rip action. I didn't have a local to show me around the course, so I did have some trouble finding my way (Next Tee signs would be great!). I didn't even know there were A and B bonus holes until I got the chance to study my photo of the small map on the Disc Golf sign.
The overall upkeep of the course was decent (lawn recently mowed, a guy was walking around trimming trees, etc...).
The baskets were a bit rusty and looked to have seen better days, but I guess they catch okay if you hit the chains.
In general, Burton Smith DGC is a fun, slightly challenging course that will allow you to throw a variety of shots with few chances to lose a disc [3 water holes (#6, #8, #9)]. If you live in East Orlando or Cocoa, this is probably the closest and best place to play.
FYI - Hole #1 is located a ways behind the sign at the cul-de-sac. Link to picture of sign below:
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Not bad overall
Pros: Fun holes, pretty scenery.
Cons: The worst signage I've ever seen. Some signs are plain wrong about the location of the hole. Hard to navigate, couldn't even find hole 7.
Other Thoughts: The course needs next tee signs or a map. The course does not "flow" well.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
swampy, couple nice water shots
Pros: This course had plenty of birdie opportunities, as most holes are 300 feet or less. The layout was fairly easy to follow, and all of the baskets were in good shape.
A couple nice basket locations that were on the edge of thick brush, and two baskets placed dangerously close to the water.
Cons: This course had a lot of standing water. More than half of the course had puddles or flood pools.
Would be nice if it was longer and dryer!
Other Thoughts: I played this course when visiting a friend in Orlando. The course had several feet of standing water in places, and I found myself ankle deep in mud and sand on more than one occasion.
Not a bad course, but I would look for other options if you are visiting the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: legitimate shots at hole in ones
Cons: very buggy, narrow fairways, lots of water
Other Thoughts: need to be better marked, but would play it again in a heartbeat
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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