The Superior Experience.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Of the two courses at Barnett Park, this is clearly the superior experience.
It starts out very similarly, with a few holes in the park proper. It's on hole 3 where it starts to get interesting. That's where the course heads into the woods, with a number of narrow fairways, punishing rough, and risk/reward shots.
With the exception of 6, 3 through 11 are all very fun holes. My favorite was 8 where he basket is tucked into a nook of woods to the left of the fairway requiring good distance control to properly set up a chance at birdie. 11 is wide open, but the tee is nicely set up on a small bluff looking over a small creek.
Even 12 is almost a good hole. It runs along the aforementioned creek and you can run a nice forehand shot over the creek and fade it toward the basket. If only the football field was not directly to the right of the fairway.
While the end run of holes is less than stellar, the final hole is close to a great hole. It's an island green, that should give you the option of going for it off the tee or throwing along the lake and crossing a smaller stretch of water for a bogey. But the tree on the island has long, thick branches that hang out over the water and will knock down most shots approaching the green from the tee, right into the water.
It also stays a lot drier than Parkside. There was much more rain in the days preceding my round than in the days before I played Parkside, but the North course was dry with the exception of 15-17. And on 15, you can walk around, and hopefully shoot over the drenched area.
Additionally, while there are a few holes that abut the housing at the edge of the park, it is not a problem as it is on 17 Parkside, which may be the worst hole I've ever played.
Cons: There are a few factors that keep it from being the 3.5-level course that it should be. The most significant of these is navigation. Too many of the holes here, especially in the beginning and head section end with the player scratching their head, wondering where the next tee is. I downloaded a map and was still confused on a few occasions.
The worst offender is the 16 to 17 transition, which wasn't even represented accurately on the map. I walked around a tennis court and then past the 15 tee to find it eventually. It's a bit odd.
There's also a few long gaps between holes. The one where you have to walk between the fence and the woods for a longtime? That's not great, but could be improved by a next tee sign after the long walk. I wouldn't have minded a longer walk between 5 and 7 if it allowed for the removal of the terrible hole 6. Not only does that one run along a fence, the hole 7 tee is essentially halfway down the fairway.
Between the transitions and a few extraneous holes, there is room for improvement here.
The other issue is the tee signs, which are inconsistent. Some, while old, are descriptive and even indicate which location the tee is in. Others are worn out or fail to indicate water, such as the small pond right before the 16 basket.
Other Thoughts: It's got some some problems but there are some interesting, challenging holes here. Much more so than the Parkside course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Island Greens are fun!
Pros: Challenging course that did not have any gimme birdies. The short holes all had wrinkles to make them challenging. Had a few shots I haven't seen before including #1 that required a choice of going high over the treetops or weave through them. Low treetops throughout the course made approaches difficult. The 18th hole is a thing of beauty. 315' to the pin lying on an island green. Must be 290+ to carry the water and the green is not huge. I stood there and threw several just for the fun of it and to enjoy the scenery. Course was open and remote enough to allow dogs off leash on middle holes.
Cons: Park seemed a little rough around the edges. Not sure I'd be comfortable playing there alone or as night approaches. A few holes were under construction. Did have a few "chuck it and pray" holes (defined as holes where there are lots of trees and no clear path through them all).
Other Thoughts: I'd love to go back here and play it again. If nothing else, the 18th hole makes the course worth playing. Also, pretty close to I-95 so makes for a nice break on long road trips.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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