A Floridians Take . . .
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Big parking lot; I'd find it hard to not find a spot ever.
- Practice basket is set away from normal golf traffic; I like that because then you don't have to worry about being thrown on.
- Course flows very easily from hole to hole; the tee pad for the next hole is usually in sight from the previous basket.
- Some really wonderful use of elevation.
- Course really demands a bag full of diverse shots; every shot is required to complete this course.
- Course is very difficult. Very Risk and Reward based, must have perfect control of drives to pipe it right down the extremely tight fairways this course has.
- No real chance to lose a disc, water does not come into play too much, and when it does it is a very shallow stream.
Cons: - You have a relatively good chance of twisting an ankle on the Teriann; a complaint from somebody who is from Flat Florida.
- The black (Carpet) tee pads are VERY slick. Good chance of slipping on them.
- No real signature hole. During my time here I didn't have one hole that really stood out as the "Postcard" kind of hole for the course.
- Hole 18 is nothing special; I like courses that leave you with a strong, signature hole right at the end. Hole 18 blends right in to hole 16 and 17.
Other Thoughts: - Played this course for the Alabama Slammer, this was my first time playing disc golf outside of the state of Florida. Very different type of golf with heavy woods and a good amount of elevation. This course instantly became one of my favorite courses I have ever played and one of the more difficult i have ever played.
- I would road trip for this course again; the course is wonderful, the people of Tuscaloosa are wonderful, just a great all around experience.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Versatile, challenging course
Pros: With three tees and three pin positions on each whole, the course has a ton of versatility. The addition of cement pads on the middle tees was terrific. The course makes great use of its varied terrain as well.
Cons: The course is so heavily wooded that course maintenance is a constant issue. This issue is made more challenging by all the additional acreage added by the various tee and pin positions. It would be nice to see the other tees be replaced with concrete.
Other Thoughts: Alabama summers are too damn hot.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -3 Tees & 3 Pin Locations per hole
-Benches & trashcans at numerous holes
-Nice Variety of shots
-Good use of elevation
-Park drains well; very little standing water on the course
-Pretty, clean & well maintained park
-Restrooms are very clean and located near #5 & #18
Cons: -It appears the basket locations aren't changed very often
-The holes are a little close together, making the course feel a little cramped at times
-Black (long) & White (short) tees do not have concrete tee pad like the Red ones do
Other Thoughts: This is an excellent course for all skill levels. There are big differences between the throws required at the Black, Red & White tees, not just more or less distance.
One of two great DGC's in Tuscaloosa... worth the trip!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Needs a hair cut
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: What a great design. I think this course had an excellent use of the natural elevation. Signage was very good. Although mostly wooded, the 3 or so open holes give you the opportunity to air it out. Fairways were "fair" for the most part. Holes 10 and 18 were my favorite and could be very scenic. Bowers will test your entire bag. One of the later holes has a pin placement right along the creek. Thats a great location to encourage stroke management. I played right after a rain and the course appeared to drain well. Tee pads were very nice. I loved the river polished stones everywhere. There were benches on all the holes. This is a great place to play.
Cons: I had a number of issues with the course. I thikn the design and layout was a 4* but the maintenance was at 2*. The course was like your kids hair after a 3 month summer camp. The fairways were overgrown with 3' tall grass and sapplings. It wasn't "thick" but it really took away from my experience. A number of the holes were really closing in and I think somewhere between 14-16 one of the holes will soon be lost to kudzu.
There is a tee on 12 to no where, it is so over grown off the pad that I couldn't see the fairway. I ended up playing the short.
For most holes I couldnt determine what pin placement the basket was in from the sign. A simple peg or screw system would work. Edit* apparently if they are in "A" they are all in A and I missed this notification at the start of the course. So keep this in mind.
A number of the baskets appeared to be in new locations. Many of these were way too close to trees and bushes, leaving little to no putting surface/green.
The benches are made from 2 4x4's planted in the ground with a 2x10 across them. There was no supporting cross beam, so the bench top wiggles and more and more nails and screws are needed. A number of these have popped up so watch when you sit down. A simple 2x4 brace across the bottom of the bench top that spans the legs would eliminate this issue. There was a lot of trash on this course, I noticed a couple trashcans, but 2 of these were dumped out right at the tee pad.
Other Thoughts: ** I have updated my review from a 3 to a 4 after being informed that a number of the issues have been addressed.** I left the comments but have change the review.
I enjoyed this course but left dissappointed, holes 4-18 had some extreme potential.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 3 sets of tees for each hole. There are also 3 pin placements for each hole. Course has plenty of natural beauty. mostly shady for those hot summer days. easy to navigate with excellent signage. restroom close to the beginning of the course. Nice use of terrain with elevation changes throughout.
Cons: not much bad to say. The long and short tees are not concrete but I did not see a problem with footing. Almost all the holes are in the woods so if you like open holes not much there for you.
Other Thoughts: very nice course. One of the best I have played. The pins were in the short position when I played but I could see most of the other placements. I love the 3 sets of tees so that different skill levels can play together and/or you can pick the sort of challenge you want. There are lots of trees but there seemed to always be a path to the basket although quite narrow at times
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent wooded course
Pros: 1. Conveniently located right off the interstate
2. Multiple tee pads/baskets
3. Ideal amount of elevation change
4. Requires a full variety of throws
5. Concrete tee pads (though still in the making as of 12/26/12)
6. Well maintained
7. Beautiful piece of property with some water holes
Cons: 1. Has but one restroom which can only be accessed on holes 4 and 18
2. Back/short tees poorly thought out, all with carpet tee pads and some having trees blocking the hole
3. Not enough trash cans, plenty of soda cans and beer bottles to be found throughout the course
4. Too many trees on some holes, including 5, 8, and 11, where you just throw randomly and hope for the best
Other Thoughts: This course is an absolute beauty, and I feel that holes 10-13 are some of the best holes you will ever see. All four are downhill, with water in play on each except 10; nevertheless, 10 is my all-time favorite hole, where you throw about 50 feet downhill over a ravine--absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the next 5 holes are a painful trudge uphill to get back where you started, so be in shape before you play (at least there are plenty benches on the course!).
The baskets can be difficult to see for a first timer, which is why I wished they would have flags on top, but no biggie; they have decent signs for each basket location.
And if you decide to visit bowers, I suggest you play the middle tees. It seems as though the course were designed specifically for them. The front and back tees are off the beaten path and are still hard to find even when I've played here dozens of times. They will often have trees directly in front of the tee pad and look as though they were essentially thrown in random places throughout the course. I bet these tees will remain carpet for the rest of their lives. As I stated earlier, the concrete tee pads for the middle tees are a work in progress, with the first 9 holes being completed (perfectly so far), and I hope the tees will be finished by summer.
Speaking of summer, if you play here during the hot months of June, July, and August, be sure to bring plenty of water and bug spray, and wear long pants, because there are plenty of thorns and poison ivy. Also, watch out for snakes! I've seen too many water moccasins in the creek already.
Anyway, I think this course deserves a solid 4 stars because it offers an excellent combination of beauty and variety, while still challenging players of all skill levels. To make this course 5 stars would require concrete tee pads for all three tees on every hole, more cleared fairways, more trash cans, and possibly basket-holders for the more "indulgent". Other than that, Bowers park is an excellent course, and is a must-play for any disc golfer in Alabama.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great wooded holes! Loved throwing over the ravines, and nice hike. Found the next holes easy with the markers supplied.
Cons: First couple of holes not much to talk about but gave a good warm up for the woods.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
As Good As It Gets in the Woods
1. Great, memorable holes with loads of character.
2. Beautiful wooded hike.
3. 3 pin placements and 3 tees per hole.
4. Obvious signs of improvement in progress.
1. Restroom was out of order when I played.
2. Difficult to see baskets in some places.
Other Thoughts: Other Thoughts:
I loved this wooded course. I played it in November with my 3 kids (15, 13 & 12) to almost no complaining for a pretty long-hiking course. I think that's because it was just beautiful to hike. It had a great variety of terrain and each hole gave you a new "look". I thought that the design was very well thought out. There are several memorable holes that are among the best I've ever played. . I've played some courses that were better maintained but very few with as much character.
There's good use of elevation, variety of shot types and differing distances. There are legitimate risk/reward decisions to be made on many holes. There are a couple of ravine holes with undergrowth to be avoided beneath. The creek also comes into play on several holes and is used to full effect. On one hole, you play across and then alongside the creek to a basket tucked into a cluster of trees.
I didn't find many poke-and-hope holes at this course, and I've played too much disc golf at wooded courses where that was the main feature throughout. The tightest one was the pinball wizard (and that's kind of the point). You've got to have some shots to play from the long tees for sure, but my kids had a great time playing from the shorts.
I think the course would be much improved by putting some large neon flags on top of each basket like I've seen at other courses. We probably spent too much time looking for them throughout, but it's obvious that there's still a lot of work being done out there. There were pallets of concrete under tarps and other signs of construction throughout.
We played on a wet day after a good rain and didn't have much problem with mud. There are now a lot of concrete tee pads (mostly for the middle tees I think) and there are solid bridges for the creek crossings. I played the longs for the most part and the kids played the shorts. We didn't have too much trouble finding our way to any of them.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fun course for most levels of players.
Multiple tees offer differing lengths and/or challenges for different levels of players. There is a true difference between the pro tees, the regular tees, and the am tees on most holes.
Multiple Pin locations change play severely. I went out and played on Oct 31 when pins were at location "A" and finished at +8. The next day, I arrived to see that pins had changed to "C" and proceeded to stop keeping score because I was doing so poorly.
Friendly locals (mostly college students)
Fun to hike around.
Varied shots, open shot on 1, lightly wooded on 2 and 3, then heavily wooded for the remainder. Water comes into play.
Good variation between FH and BH throws.
Good distance variety.
Good use of elevation.
New bridges for creek crossing in most wanted locations.
Cons: One creek crossing point needs to be improved (though it'd be really hard to build a bridge there).
Signage could be better (tee signs and course navigation).
Mud is an issue after it rains.
LOTS of underbrush/fallen leaves. Not hard to lose a disc if you throw out of the fairway.
Might be too much of a hike for some people, but I thoroughly enjoy it.
Other Thoughts: Located in a park with multiple Gazebos, playgrounds, baseball fields, and a pool. Plenty of entertainment for any non-golfers you may travel with.
Really fun course with great holes, though none are signature, I thoroughly enjoy 9 (uphill shot over a very large fallen tree), 10 (big downhill shot), and 13 (downhill shot over the creek). 13 in pin position "C" is a ~400ft anhyzer shot (for RHBH throwers).
If you're driving down 59/20, you should DEFINITELY stop by for a round.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
1. Variety of shots required (or recommended)
2. Variety of distances (from the 200's to 300+)
3. Excellent use of elevation
4. Situated in a nice park, but doesn't interfere with other park activities
5. Restroom facilities are good
6. Multiple pads
7. Multiple basket placement
8. Good signage (including "Next Tee" signs)
1. Carpet tee pads ( I prefer concrete )
2. Limited garbage cans on course
3. Creek crossings are less than ideal
Other Thoughts: Overall I thought this course was excellent! In fact, I played 4 courses in the Birmingham / Tuscaloosa area, and Bower's Park was definitely the best. The overall flow of the course is great; it's fairly easy to find your way along the well worn paths in the woods. The rolling hills are nice, and there was (for me) just the right mix of open throws with wooded obstacles. There's a nice variety of throwing uphill, downhill, and over valleys. Water does come in play, but it's only a shallow creek (at least it was when I was there, could get high water in the spring or rainy season, I suppose). I played the long tees except for 1 hole, where I got "lost" and threw from one of the alternates (I later backtracked and found the long tee box without difficulty). There happened to be nobody else out there when I was playing - Saturday morning on an Alabama football game day, so I found the park to be very peaceful. My only suggestions would be to improve the creek crossings, add some trash receptacles at a few of the tee boxes, and chip away at putting in concrete tee pads. Overall, I had a great experience and wouldn't hesitate to play this park again!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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