Tocobaga Indians--First Disc Golfers
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I felt like a South Seas islander sitting at the first tee. From the table I could gaze across a palm-shaded expanse of grass and pristine sand to watch swimmers, wading fishermen and sailboats plying the sun-drenched, island-dotted blue waters of outer Tampa Bay.
If mature trees were the only vegetation, it would be a stately, almost ball golf-like course. But the vines, mangroves and infinite palmettos make an adamant statement: This is no course for noobs, beginners, or early intermediates with an erratic arm.
None of the holes are really long[400+ on #11], but if you're RHBH only, you'll learn on #1 that this is a very technical course. #2's basket has a 25 ft. radius of grass/sand surrounded by 30+ yds. of chest-high palmettos. #s 7, 15 & 17 are similar. #s 4-6, 12-13 & 18 have mature trees studding the fairway with less sideline vegetation. #s 8-10, 14 and 16 have mostly open fairways, but the baskets are backed by walls of vicious rough. #s12-13 have shallow water with overarching mangroves near the basket. #18 has a small murky pond to throw over, but it dries up a lot of the time.
The course runs counter-clockwise: #5 tee is toward the park entrance from pin #4, and #13 tee is SE of the gazebo near tee #10. Most of the baskets have a distinct path towards the next tee.
Benches are at most pro tees[funny that people get so worked-up by the course that they don't notice them], and the baskets and tops are anodized a beautiful rich blue. The signs were gorgeous at one time, but were covered in a heavy laquer, and many have cracked and become opaque in the sun. Bathrooms well attended. Gazebos, grills and playground right on the shoreline. The marina just outside the park has soda and beer, some snacks.
Cons: Palmettos. The Blue Angel "Palmetto" course has nothing on this place. I played 3 rounds with 3 different groups, and each group had at least 2-3 protracted episodes of disc-hunting. After #7 my legs and Teva-ed feet were slashed and bleeding, and I whimpered and wailed like a lost soul every time the palmettos closed in.
Any open spaces in the brush will have garden spider webs stretched across them, with spiders up to 4 in. across. I took Arachnidology in college and mostly got over my fear of spiders. Mostly.
A few holes throw over roads or near paths. The roads are one-way and easily scouted, and only a quick bicycle could sneak into your drive on the path.
Humid and buggy except Nov.-Feb., with sudden afternoon thunderstorms possible the rest of the year..
Other Thoughts: 8 years ago a woman named Beth showed up and handed out clippers to golfers, saying the vines and certain other woody plants weren't indigenous and should be eliminated. Eventually the DG community went to court to keep her from altering the course. In the midst of researching park records it was discovered that there were Indian mounds on site. Beth now sued the park and DGers, trying to remove the DGC from the "sacred burial grounds". Archeologists were brought in, and it was determined that the mounds were "middens", or ancient trash piles composed of shells, bones, and broken tools. She lost.
But 16th-17th century explorers' sketches were uncovered, that show the Tocobaga Indians playing a game wherein they threw "disc-like" objects. HA! Take that, Wham-O!!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Man is this place pretty. One of the most beautiful settings for a round of disc golf I have ever encountered. I have played in northern forests, wooded valleys, rolling meadows...and all are great...but Tocobaga DGC at Maximo Park is my favorite to date. The low lying shrubs create a very different challenge in that you can often see the basket, but landing in close proximity is the challenge. There are a couple of pseudo-island greens requiring you to land in the clearing surrounded by these 3-4 foot high shrubs. Add that the ocean is just a stone's throw away. Nice environment.
The holes are pretty cool. I didn't notice any sort of repetition in style, though it seemed as most of the holes were of the average traditional length. (250-350) There are some wooded holes and some fairly open holes. All in all, it is a well-rounded course.
Tees and baskets were in solid condition.
Cons: Not very many benches, that I noticed, but I was playing by myself so it wasn't a major issue.
It is very easy to lose discs in the low shrubs. I lost a disc that I loved there but there is simply no way to gauge some of your shots when playing alone. Scouts are almost necessary on holes where the shrubs are found. They are pretty, but make this aspect of the game difficult.
Around Hole 4, you come to a corner of the park that is really close to the main road and it is really noisy. There is also a marina that can be seen. For some reason, I felt like this was the kind of place that Horatio Caine goes to find the bad guys. That part of the course was not as pretty as the rest.
There are some definite navigation issues on the course. Since I was by myself, I was scouting each hole alone. Add in that I had to walk around trying to find the next hole, and this became a pretty grueling round. Directional signs were occasionally found but more would have been helpful.
Other Thoughts: Even though I don't think there are any in the area since it is so close to the ocean, I was petrified of coming across a gator in those shrubs. A little reassurance or the fact that someone else was there with me may have helped. Being by myself, I was sure that if I was attacked, no one was going to save me. In any case, I saw no gator and this gorgeous park was empty the day that I played.
Tocobaga is a cool course. Definitely worthy of a "very good" rating. However, it simply doesn't provide the "wow" factor that I often mention in reviews that would bump it up to an "excellent" course. It is definitely unique in style, but nothing that is jaw-dropping. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who happens to be in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. It is a good, solid course that most any player would enjoy.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Fun and challenging. Fast and short. Mix of holes: woods, open, underbrush. Lots of blind shots.
Cons: Poorly marked, easy to get lost on.
Other Thoughts: This course is a blast. Wicked fun and gnarly. Worth the trip. This is a course you will be glad you played. Don't miss it.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: technical shots on many holes. nice varienty of short, tight fairways and longer slightly open shots. great visit for the out of towner looking for a challenge. this is my home course and by far my favorite in the area.
Cons: it is a little easy to get lost if you have never played here before. i find people wandering around almost every time i play here.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - Worth a drive from most places
- Technical, not a beginner course
- Variety of different shots and holes
- Variety of plants
- Beautiful park
Cons: - Tee Signs, 15 sign in a tree near 16...but you can figure most out pretty easy. One tee is on a sidewalk near the boat place so make sure to watch for it.
- Some bugs if no wind out, but hey the sport is outside
Other Thoughts: Use bright discs and a spotter down course to prevent losing your discs in the saw palmettos. It is easy to lose track of were your discs go in them. Never really had a problem getting stuck in trees. A few holes near the water, but very very hard to lose a disc to the water because plants protect boundaries well.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Take Me Back to Tocobaga
Pros: Tocobaga DGC is one of the best parks in Florida as far as I can say. A lot of distinctly different looks from hole to hole, and a few of the most perfectly framed, scenic views from the tee pads. Loved the plant life and crazy lizards around the course. The park itself seemed tidy and well kept, and there were basic amenities as far as trash cans and benches. The tee pads and signs were adequate, but there was room for improvement there. All of the baskets were there and in fine condition. I liked the consistent changes in direction and line height from hole to hole. Many of the fairways are short enough to drive the green, but there are also some longer ones where you can throw as hard as you can. Nice opportunities to practice forehand drives on a couple of holes. Overall this course rewards versatility, skill, and making your shots. There are low ceilings and high spike hyzers. There are narrow corridors and wide open grassy fairways. Usually the trees and vines will pose a formidable challenge, but Tocobaga is very playable and a whole lot of birdies is not out of the question.
Cons: As much as I liked this park, there is some room for improvement. The biggest fault to me were the short tee pads. They were smooth, level concrete, but were just too short for my run up, and messed up my footwork once or twice. I might give another half point on my rating if the size of the boxes was increased. The tee signs were a bit rough, but OK. The only other downside is the possibility of losing discs. I have never seen so many discs get stuck in trees. Me and the guy I played with each lost one the tree tops. Visible, but not retrievable. Several more hung up, but we got them back somehow.
Other Thoughts: I say this in half of my reviews, but I REALLY wish I could have played a few more rounds at Tocobaga. The course was fully enjoyable. Unique visually, mixing fun and challenge. Played with local dude, Tim, and had a great time shooting a bad score. Loved the course as a whole, and I know I could shoot a much better score (given a couple of more chances).
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Nice Scenery, but rough flow
Pros: Some helpful tee signs (but navigation signs are needed).
Concrete tee pads
A good variety in challenge, distance (165ft-450ft depending upon tee), and foliage density.
Water in play on 3 holes.
Low canopy and palms add challenge and variety, course offers a chance to rip it and chances to practice specialty shots (average hole is 300ft on blue).
Bathrooms near tee one, and not too far from 17 if you need to go before you go.
Cons: Picnicers, other tee pads and busy walkways are occasionally in possible flight paths and can create a safety issue on the weekends.
Navigation was difficult especially with the numbered holes. 6a and 8b really hurt the flow of the game, but they were needed to keep it 18.
The locals said that we all lost out when hole 18 was moved and replaced with a mediocre replacement.
Hole 17 was surrounded by foul, putrid, swampy water that attracted all of Florida's helicopter sized bugs (half suck your blood and half are just there for the rancid smell. It is shallow water, but the ride home will be a bitch if you go disc diving. The discs you find will smell and the interior of your car will hold the odor, don't let the stories of tons of free plastic lure you into that water!
Other Thoughts: The level of challenge and the sharp foliage make this a less attractive option for new players.
Course is located just a few miles from Clearwater Disc Golf Store, which is a must stop destination! If you think Jrawk got excited about the bathrooms, you should hear him talk about the store!
Course was crowed, I had to play the course out of order in order to avoid long lines at certain tees, but the crowds of locals were all friendly and very helpful with the navigation issues.
If you have to choose between the 3 St. Pete area courses (Youth, Taylor and Tocobaga), this is your best bet.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course will force you to pull out every possible shot in your bag. There are holes that are best birdied by thumbers and rollers and others that just require a nice, straight shot. Several holes around 380-450 will challenge your arm. Several holes are very tight and technical. There are still a couple you can let rip. The locals are very nice and have regular events (handicaps and doubles) at the park.
The park is well maintained and typically pretty clean. It is a multi-use park with a nice walking trail (that interferes with DG every now and then), pavilions with grills, and a boat ramp. Be prepared to enjoy the beauty of this park right on the Gulf of Mexico.
Cons: Navigation/signage - due to local issues 2 of the holes have been moved. This has killed the flow of the course. Hole 5 has been removed and there is nothing really to tell you how to get from 4 to 6a. After 6a, there is nothing telling you the teepad for 6b is 25 feet from that pin on the path. People walk around aimlessly looking for these holes.
Hole 18 has also been removed. This was the signature hole that shot out to the edge of the beach. It was beautiful. Now there are two holes at hole 8 to replace hole 18. The navigation issue is a serious problem.
It also looks like some of the key trees are going to be removed from the course. If this happens, it will make some of the more technical, difficult holes much easier to birdie and will hurt this course.
Rough - Stay in the fairways. The rough is rough. It is very easy to lose discs here. This is especially true on holes 3, 7, & 9.
Water - hole 17 (now the last hole) has a nasty water pit in front of the pin. Don't go in that nasty stuff. You will want to rake out your disc. I pulled someone's putter out of there and it STANK. You can't hardly get the stink out of a disc that has been in there any length of time. So don't get in that.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Fun course to play with a beautiful scenery. A lot of birdie shots. There was also a verity of holes
Cons: Missing two baskets and was kinda difficult to locate the tees for my first time. The tees came in all shapes and sizes.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Location, location, location!
Pros: 1) Dual concrete tees on the entire course. (except 8B, just compacted shells, but plays just fine). Generally they are in good shape, and they are not too slippery despite all of the sand in the ground in this area.
2) Helpful teesigns, have pin locations marked, distances, hole #. Consistent design of tee signs, so it actually helps in finding the next tee. Signs were posted on top of a 2' telephone pole.
3) Challenge is ever present. There really is only one complete throwaway hole on this course and it is #8B. It obviously was not part of the original design, but for some reason #18 had to be removed and this took its place. Its a shame because #18 looked to be an incredible hole. Every hole challenges you to shape your shot and hit the right gap.
4) Sure there is little to no elevation change, but they use low spots and hollows and slight rises effectively because the top canopy can also pinch the gap that needs to be hit vertocally (I hope that makes sense. It may be a wide gap but only 6' tall).
5) Variety was increible on this course and it was evident in the design of the course. Shot shaping is required on most holes and it isn't just a simple hyzer, you have a lot of throws that need to be straight for a while ti hit the gaps or mandos, that may need to turn left or right.
6) Enough benches and garbage to be considered adequate. There also is at least one shelter that I remember by 10 and 13. Bathrooms at the first tee area, I didn't use them but from jrawks description maybe I would have enjoyed a nice visit before or after my round! Practice basket is always nice to have also.
7) Baskets are Chainstars and in good shape. All installed properly too.
8) Maintenance on the course seems to be adequate. I think there would be a lot of work needed to pick up all the palm fronds that continue to fall to the ground, and they can be heavy too if a tree loses a bunch at once.
9) Nice sandy soil in the woods with leaves and pine needles on the ground to give some cover. The open areas have adequate turf coverage. Generally the grass is a little thine, but I know the bermuda is dormant now, so in season it may be more full.
10) In general course is isolated from other park activities, except on a few ocassions. The danger of the road/paths in play is more of an issue than the other park uses.
11) Course has a good variety in hole length. Effective hole length also can change based on the hole. It is nice to be able to throw different discs from time to time.
Cons: 1) Tee signs could use some revamping. Many of them seemed to have plexiglass melted to themm making it difficult to see the diagram or read the info.
2) Wooded holes could get wet from time to time, especailly in the little hollows. WHen wet these areas could get slippery too.
3) Layout can be a little confusing because you are hitting 3 or 4 distinct areas of the park. 1, 2, 3 are all on one island of the course (surrounded by the entrance roads). 4, 6, 6B are on the same piece of land as hole #17, south of the entrance road. 7, 8, 8B, 9 are on another section, 10 - 16 are all in the same area, but it is broken up by a road or two and some walking paths. Tough for a beginner, fortunately I followed some locals so I could see where they were going generally.
4) Course crosses paths and roads and something is in play on hole #3, 4, 6, 6B, 10, 13, and I think again on 14, 15, 16, and you throw through the boardwalk area on #17. Dangerous and a nuisance, but couldnt have been avoided without hurting the design of the course. I could imagine how this would affect me if I playd it all the time, or when it was busy. Fortunately only about 10 other people on the course and a handful or two of other walkers.
5) Course is not beginner friendly because of all the vegetation. Sure the forward tees are helpful on the distance, but they do not change the foliage you need to be threading through, so beginners would be fristrated for sure.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course. It is way better than the other Florida courses I have played to date. Sure it still has the Palmettos but it isnt an entire grove of them. You have to avoid a couple areas and finding a disc in this stuff can be difficult, but just keep your eyes peeled. It has plenty of challenge and an excellent variety. It is very scenic and is a nice walk through the property too (my wife walked along and just took pictures with her new camera, and she had a wonderful walk. It sits just on the north end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which is an awesome sight from a park (Fort Desoto Park) just 8 miles away, or beach area of the park.I highly recommend driving ove the bridge and having a look, but also seeing it from Fort Desoto is pretty cool. If you need some property in the area, let me know my Uncle is THE Realtor in the area and has been known as the realty resource for the area for a long long time. I even took him to the course today because he was inruiged by the sport. He also stood about 25' away on the third basket and I showed him how to putt . . . he made his first putt from 25' after I showed him the technique, and he said . . . that is the best it is going to be, so I am going to retire from the sport, but at least he gave it a try once.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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