5 Helpful / 1 Not
21 holes of DG in a classic Florida setting.
Pros: Perfect quiet scenic park for a DG course! 21 holes total with plenty more un-utilized land onsite. Plenty of wildlife (including alligators in the ponds and occassional wild hog sightings). Nice mix of open/wooded fairways. A variety of shots required. Great course for intermediate - advanced players wanting to work on their all around game. Signature Hole 6 across a lake makes for a good risk/reward water hole. Overall a very fun course once you figure out your way around it.
Cons: Signage needs some work, specifically "next tee" signs. Only one set of tee pads and only a few holes with multiple basket placements. Baskets look prehistoric and worn out. Most of the new alternate holes are hidden and can be easily missed if you don't know where to go.
Other Thoughts: I've been playing this course occassionally for the past 4 years and more recently it appears to receive more maintenance as well as the additional holes that have been added. Grass is mowed regularly on most fairways. This park is rather secluded, particularly the back 9 which goes back into the woods away from other park amnenities. It's Florida and the park land is rather "wild" so expect lots of bugs, snakes, etc.
5 of 6 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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hole 4 was nice except for the OB long to the right. Hole 6 was an interesting looking shot over the water. There were only 6 other people we saw out playing the course in the 4 hours we were out there and it was Saturday so I imagine you'll never run into crowds.
Cons: This course really needs to be trimmed back. A lot of the fairways are narrow to begin with and palm fronds were drooping down narrowing them further. A few of the holes are just too short and rely on heavy foliage to create a challenge, but they aren't really fun as a result. Many holes are designed to strongly favor either lefties or righties and provide little option for the other. There are literally about a dozen doglegs between 230-270' which get monotonous after awhile.
Other Thoughts: As many other reviewers have said, it was very swampy. It rained 3 days before we played, but everywhere else had already dried up. I imagine that it will be swampy no matter what so waterproof shoes are recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good mix of holes, use of environment is great. On the holes in the thick i felt like i was on the set of the early 'Treasure Island' movie from long long ago. Good hole signs for the first timer and easy to figure out the layout with a little looking around at times, but a quick glance at the course map near hole one will do wonders. Decent tees when not under water. Overall very nice course worth throwing around. Great use of the space provided.
Cons: Lost a disc on hole 9 (pond, star TL if anyone finds it, enjoy it. was my best disc), with the natural curve and wind in my favor, the damn disc still finished right, so not the courses fault, but an awful act of some angry god. Played on a rain day, so it was quite swampy, like all the florida courses would be i imagine, and again, no fault to the course for that. a bit more help with 'next tee' is all it really needs.
Other Thoughts: Hole 6 was a bit difficult with the wind, pond, and highway all in one. Hole 7's tee was taken over by construction so we played 8a to hole 7 (dog leg right and over the road in), 8b to hole 8. The trials of the front nine water lead into a very scenic, tight back nine that we enjoyed very much. A fun course for all.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Burton Smith Disc Golf
Pros: Challenging and fun course with a lot of tight holes and alternate basket placements. Recently this course started to be maintained on a weekly basis so the grass is always mowed and some of the shrubs were cut down, which is good, it was becoming overgrown! I play on a weekly basis and enjoy the challenging holes. The back nine has a lot of opportunities for an easy birdie. More than the front nine, but does have a lot of tighter holes where you need a bit more accuracy and cannot throw for power. The front nine is a bit more open, but has the most challenging holes of the course, hole # 6 and hole # 8, the 2 water holes. Hole # 6 is probably the most difficult of the two because the lake is a good size lake and loves to gobble up discs. If a lot of your discs heizer, then watch out. I really enjoy the 2 extra holes that make this a 20 hole course. All the baskets are from the old Rockledge course so some are worn, but they are slowly changing out the chains and tightening the baskets. All holes are marked and the signage allows for alternate placement too, which is always marked as well. Fun course for all!
Cons: A lot of trees and palm brush. Some holes you have to be so precise or your disc will definitely find a nice big palm tree to hit. Tends to flood a lot when we have a lot of rain.
Other Thoughts: Can get crowded on the weekends. I usually play at 8 or 9 in the morning on Sundays and there are always about 10 to 15 guys already out there. make sure you bring a golf ball retrieval pole. It is a a great tool to have with you when your discs get stuck in the high palms!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
F. Burton Smith-first timer.
Pros: Open and tight and technical holes. I liked both. Something for most everyone. The two discers I played with (Steve & Steve) were very helpful in guiding me around the course. So...friendly players @ F. Burton Smith.
I would play F. Burton Smith again and again as long as it was dry.
Cons: No cons here as long as I have a guide.
Other Thoughts: Being from S. Michigan, I felt as if I were on Safari in old Florida. Very pictueresque. Course was dry for me. I would not play this course alone until I knew it perfectly. But I would play it often as long as it was dry. I did not see any gators, boars or snakes during my round. Nor did I lose a disc.
Thanks should go to the course manager "Steve" and volunteers who have done alot of clearing in making F. Burton Smith somewhat user friendly.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: challenging. not crowded. friendly players.
Cons: water hole is kind of a far shot and really easy to lose disc. took a little bit to find hole 1. A lot of blind shots and signs are a little miss leading
Other Thoughts: saw some boar while searching for for one of my disc and saw a couple of gators
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth a visit if it's dry, bring a spotter
Pros: Pretty, natural-setting Florida park. Covered pavilions with grills and a small playground for the kids. Close to the beach, for travelers. Course provides a good challenge for white/blue level players. It requires players to be able to shape shots in a variety of ways. It also provides some decision-making opportunities, particularly when deciding between tighter lower routes and throwing over the top, but putting the disc up into gusting/swirling winds. Allows players a few opportunities to air it out.
Cons: First, and probably most importantly: this course is a bit of a jeckle and hyde, depending upon how much it has rained recently.
Much of the course can become very soggy/swampy following recent rains. Some of the holes on the front nine become nearly impassible with lots of standing water. It is a much more pleasurable experienced to play F. Burton when the ground is dry.
The routing of the holes is flawed in a number of instances. Right out of the box: Tee #2 is visible from the parking lot, but tee #1 is not. After searching around and playing hole #1, players must walk directly in front of tee #10 to get to tee #2. (head scratcher)
It is very easy to skip hole #7 as hole #6's basket is very close to hole #8's tee, while hole #7 is across the park road without any directional signs.
Hole #17 is played in the opposite direction of hole #18 and must be fully backtracked to play the last hole.
There are several instances where the signage is inadequate. There a few shots where the park road and parking lot come into play and pose safety hazards. (#7, #9, #10) Also, the forced water carry on hole #6 is inappropriately long and many, many discs find the water.
The final 1/3 of the course has too many back-to-back-to-back dinker shots. There could have been more variety in length of holes in that section of the course.
The back nine has many blind shots, with heavy schule surrounding the fairways. I'm not arguing that the holes are unfair or necessarily overly difficult, except for the fact that spotters are virtually mandatory on about 1/3 of the course. There is a strong likelihood of losing plastic on the back nine and this detracts from the overall experience.
Other Thoughts: Overall:
Not the worst course. I enjoy playing it and will make the 40 minute drive there on occasion AS LONG AS IT'S DRY.
Remember: Don't be a dirty disc golfer. If you pack it in, pack it out!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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