Tampa, FL

Picnic Island DGC

4.335(based on 40 reviews)
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3 7
shirleynotme
Experience: 27.8 years 228 played 2 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Beautiful Florida course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 26, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Great mix of long, short, right and left holes. Challenging but fair. Lots of wind most days. Wind can be a pro or con depending on your personal views so I'll put it in both places.

Cons:

Thick under brush makes finding errant shots difficult on some holes. Lots of wind most days.
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4 4
dondone
Experience: 3 played 2 reviews
4.00 star(s)

A beautiful course on the bay 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 25, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

This is a really beautiful course with all the bells and whistles. Truly a world-class course in every way. Very challenging and will require a high skill level to get a good score. The wind can be a factor being so close to the water and some of the fairways are very narrow. It can be easy to lose a disc here's so be aware. It was a little crowded the day that I was there but seems to have a good flow to it.

Cons:

It can be windy here and a little narrow and pretty easy to lose a disc. Outside of that, this is a world-class course.
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12 5
macfleming1
Experience: 40.9 years 82 played 10 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Picnic is Primo 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 9, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

LOCATION: Wonderful setting on Tampa Bay w/two holes right on the water. Good parking, w/two more lots nearby for overflow. Slight elevation changes aren't much, but give excellent drainage--a huge plus in rainy season. No significant standing water even with our Summer 2015 floods.
LAYOUT: Simply outstanding with good flow and three pin placements and two tees per hole. Pro vs. Am tees add more than just distance. They change the look and feel of each hole, as do the alternate pins, otherwise I'd be tempted to give a hole-by-hole review. On seven holes, the tees have their own fairways. All of the fairways are well defined and frequently mowed; some are scary-narrow, others are more wide open but with some strategically placed trees. The rough is thick in places so I highly recommend a bright-colored disc for driving, especially if you don't have a spotter.
VARIETY: I'll leave the math to others as to how many combinations of layouts there could be (108?). For normal play, I expect a nice mix of super long versus medium-to-shorter holes, pleasing both big arms and older players like me. For tournaments, using all long pins could attract the best-of-the-best pros to the Island.
AMENITIES: Best tee pads around, long with perfectly textured concrete. Great signage, starting with the overall layout sign in the parking lot. Limited benches, no bag hangers. Bathrooms and picnic shelters nearby. Plenty of garbage cans, so the park stays beautiful. For families, non-golfers might enjoy swimming, a playground, a dog park, fishing piers, and a boat ramp.

Cons:

ROLLERS (-0.15): While beautiful, the fairways are a little spongy, so skips n' scoots are rare and rollers aren't rewarded with much distance, even in the winter months. Nice beach on 1 & 17, but too narrow for rolling IMO.
FLORA (-.05): The aforementioned rough can lead you into some thorny situations, but no poison ivy at least. Trees, including several palms are adept at catching discs, some high up. Rocks can knock 'em out of cedars, but the palms can be MEAN.
FAUNA (-.05): Mosquitos are on the prowl. You may be okay if playing alone or with one partner who keeps things moving along. Larger groups bring spray! Lots of racoons, but they likely won't bother you. Some snake sightings have been reported.
HOT: (In the summer, duh, arrive hydrated and bring even more water.)
PARK USERS: Blissfully unaware of the DG course, beware. Especially those who spread out on the beach holes, limited to busier weekends. I've had to spot on 17 or skip it altogether.

Other Thoughts:

Although Picnic Island is near the southern tip of the south Tampa peninsula, it's not really that far out-of-the-way. MAKE THE TRIP. Take the Gandy Bridge in from Pinellas, the Selmon Expressway in from the east, Westshore or Dale Mabry from the north. Here you'll find great Bay views in a gorgeous setting to go with some seriously challenging disc golf. UPDATE 3/2016: with winter and more traffic since becoming 18, I'll have to adjust my roller/skip comment. On the plus side, there are indeed more roller/skip opportunities as the fairways have firmed up a bit. On the minus side, these can happen more easily around the baskets (e.g. roll-aways). 5/2018 update: further amenities (benches, bag hangers don't appear forthcoming, rating dropped to 4.5).
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1 11
squashbuc
Experience: 28 played 1 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Wonderful course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 15, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Tee signs
plenty of variety
challenging but not impossible
scenery

Cons:

It does feel abnormally hot, even for a Florida course. But bring plenty-o-water and you'll be fine

Other Thoughts:

An absolute destination course. Must play for hole 1 alone
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5 0
Dana87
Experience: 12.2 years 27 played 6 reviews
4.00 star(s)

As picturesque as it is fun to play 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 4, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

This is one of the most picturesque courses I have scene. The view of Tampa bay really makes this course memorable.

The tee signs are outstanding. They not only give you all the information you need on your hole with a great visual but they also show where the next tee is so when you are done, you know where to go. They also have signs handing from the basket to show you where the short and long tees are.

Holes 1 and 17 play along the beach with the water being OB. I love those holes.

The course has all kinds of shots, long, short, tight, open, challenging, easy.

Cons:

To me the biggest con is how easy it is to lose a disc. You have to be a decent player to stay on these fairways. It is not the most beginner friendly course because of that.

In the summer it is blazing hot as there is not a lot of shade. Bring a lot of extra hydration. 3 of us went through 10 gatorades and could have gone through 3 more.

Bring Bug spray, any shade there is, there are bugs.

Other Thoughts:

This has become one of the go to courses in Florida.
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7 0
t4nkd
Experience: 2 played 2 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Literally on the beach, wow. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 9, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

Literally on the beach. You can't get any more "Florida fun in the sun" at a disc golf course anywhere else in the area. It's really great to see Tampa make room for this course and to be honest, I wouldn't mind if they moved the dog park to a more isolated area and expanded some of fairways.

The course is reasonably challenging and offers one of the more naturally scenic set ups in the region. Few parks look as "naturally Florida" as Picnic Island and they did an excellent job of placing the tees in a way that showcases that. On the front, back, and "middle" tees there's a lot of room to maneuver and throw. However, many of the holes are very tight corridors and sometimes don't open up at all on their way to the pin. I definitely lost a Roc on one of these tight fairways and just consider myself lucky it was DX plastic, while I enjoy the challenge there's no way you will make it into certain areas of the thick.

Overall, pin placement is diverse, and many of the orange (short) tees provide ample challenge without being overly challenging. I would absolutely play this course again even though it's a full 40 minutes away from my house.

Cons:

So, I'll just say that disc golfers generally are cautious about their surroundings when throwing, especially off a tee. There are a few fairways (2 in my experience) that are literally perpendicular with an area where people casually walk with their dogs. This would be less of a problem if the intersection of the two paths wasn't completely blind. I had two elderly people step out from behind a bush, straight into a tight corridor (probably 10-14 feet wide?) with their dog, without a care in the world. If I had launched a disc at the wrong time I could have severely injured them, or their dog, or worse. Another time a woman idly walked around the tees/pins for the 16/17/18 holes with her tiny dog off a leash, beckoning it to follow her to the caged beach area. Again, an easy way to injure someone by complete accident and these people had no caution, and completely ignored signs warning them that the area contains (dangerous!) flying discs.

Aside from people being cavalier with their animals and their health, my only other complaint would be that there's no much shade on many of the tee areas. I would really like to see some shade, at least on holes with tighter fairways where there is already a lot of foliage. There's several beautiful pagoda like structures to sit down and enjoy some food, beverage, and take a break in the shade which was a godsend. Playing this course alone in the Florida heat, without any kind of spotter at least, is pretty challenging and very draining.

Other Thoughts:

This is a course that you really ought to bring someone with you at. There are so many pins that are blind from the tee and so many dense areas of foliage that it really helps to have someone with you. Also, in the Florida heat this course *will* beat you up, especially if you're wearing heavier footwear or darker clothes/gear. This course is as close to "on the beach" as you can possibly be, so, the closer you can dress to beach attire the more comfortable I think you'll be.
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1 9
sigeptoast
Experience: 8 played 1 reviews
4.50 star(s)

One of Tampa's Best 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 18, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Great range of hole design. Fantastic views.

Cons:

Windy days can make this course difficult to play.

Other Thoughts:

This is one of the best courses Tampa has to offer. It is easy to lose a disc in the tall grass. I would suggest a spotter on many holes. Bring bug spray.
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1 9
SaltyDiscDude
Experience: 1 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Best course in tampa bay!! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 18, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

This course is truly the gem of Tampa. Has a little bit of everything to test your game. Hole one is the best starting hole of any course I've ever played. Big hyzer out over the waters of tampa bay!! Numerous par fours, and a great mix of some technical par 3s. The setting is second to none, with a couple of beach holes, and more hills then one would think for the tampa area. A must stop for anyone in the area!!

Cons:

Not many here, except for: bring the bug spray!
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10 0
Peter S
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 29.9 years 165 played 32 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Picnic Island 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 9, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

Great new 18 hole layout with new flawless concrete tee pads. Nice new orange baskets with flags that stand out against the Florida green. long & short tees each with tee signs. Simple navigation for first timers with next tee direction and arrows on baskets. Course requires every throw you have (I even did a rare thumber on 14 or 15). Nice mix of short technical shots, nice tunnel & S shots, long shots through or over trees. #11 is a very long hole that dared me to try a roller. New hole 1 is a big rhbh hyzer down to the beach (blue). Nice to start off with a great signature hole. I enjoyed all holes and find the new holes both challenging and fun. Elevation, since this is a beach there is a drop in elevation from the grass to the beach and hole 1 and 18 make use of it with 18 throwing up the hill to a raised basket. The raised basket is a nice touch as it was a blind uphill shot but you can now see the top of the elevated basket over the crest of the hill. Since the course sits high up on a hill above the bay it seems to have good drainage and while Cypress Point and Coachman were drowning Picnic Island was dry.

Cons:

Some holes by beach may have people laying in the sun. Please walk down by beach to make sure no one is by basket 1. There is a lot of dog walking and beach users so please be sure to recon blind holes. Lets be safe and courteous to other park users. Rough can hide discs on some tougher holes.

Other Thoughts:

One of my favorites. Great dog course, who's ready to throw boy! Bring your dog & swim suit to cool off after a round. Multi use park with beach for swimming, dog park with dog beach, restrooms, boat launch, fishing. With the upgrade to 18 holes and the fun of the beach I think this course has made a leap from a fun day trip course for Florida residents to a true destination course from wherever you are.
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3 3
mcain18
Experience: 26.9 years 4 played 1 reviews
4.50 star(s)

18 holes on the beach!!! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 23, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Great to play in wet conditions. Excellent drainage and very few spots hold water. Technical holes along with wide open distance shots. Nice large teepads (am and pro) multiple pin positions, great signage and baskets with flags. Awesome layout! This course is the total package! Beautiful scenery and what else can I say "You're at the beach!". Awesome sunsets!

Cons:

Tough to play alone without a spotter or help finding discs in trouble. That's about the only con I can think of.

Other Thoughts:

One of my favorite courses! Loved it even when there was only nine. A full 18 on the beach! What more could you ask for! Very well maintained park. Bring the family and enjoy more than just the course.Loved it even when there was only nine. A full 18 on the beach! Love it!
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5 6
WAR813
Experience: 27 played 4 reviews
5.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 30, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

- located in a beautiful park
- multiple pins that drastically change the hole
- long and short tees
- fantastic design and use of space
- scenic views
- well maintained
- top notch signage
- well defined fairways

Other Thoughts:

This feels like the most complete course in the area.
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7 0
wrightstork
Experience: 26.3 years 1 played 1 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Picnic Island 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 4, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Well-maintained.
Good signage
Variety of pin locations
Some terrain
Outstanding views of the bay
Attention to details in every aspect from signs to basket sleeves

Cons:

Park users can decide to setup a picnic on your fairway despite the signs. If you ask nicely to play, it's usually a good opportunity to introduce them to the sport.
More benches are needed in shady areas.
Better boundaries need to be established where beach traffic is an issue.

Other Thoughts:

Tampa has set the bar on quality course design and attention to detail. Now we need to get the city to recognize the growth of the sport and educate park users to get them to participate,
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1 7
Haufsolo
Experience: 22.5 years 1 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Great course in all aspects! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 1, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

This is a wonderful course all around. It is very easy to navigate and the difficulty level can be very easy, but also taxing if a simple mistake is made. Being that the course is on the beach it of course has wonderful views. Love this course, go play it!
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3 4
JayCizzo
Experience: 13 played 1 reviews
4.50 star(s)

My Local & Favorite Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 30, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

A little of everything. Short holes, long holes, technical shots, water, elevation. Awesome park with plenty of picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms. On Tampa Bay. Beautiful sunsets.

Cons:

Some of the holes are close together. They are planting trees to separate fairways better though. Thick brush, easy to lose discs on quite a few holes. Use spotters when possible.

Other Thoughts:

Bring bug spray. Watch out for other park goers, especially on holes 1, 16, 17, and 18.
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5 4
listen2bob
Experience: 9.9 years 1 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Scenic Challenge 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 10, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Beautiful park located on the bay with a couple holes playing on the beach. Good mix of distance and shaped shots, both open and tight fairways. Majority of the course plays through Florida coastal scrub so shots that miss the fairway can be punished. I like the use of the no now areas as on to help separate fairways.

Cons:

Bring sunscreen year round and bug spray during the rainy season. Watch for other park users on the beach holes and near the dog park.

Other Thoughts:

Another top level course design by Hos. I enjoy the challenge of many of his other layouts, but the location on the bay has really set this course above the rest. Park has excellent facilities and many other activities available. The course and park would be excellent for hosting a high level tournament.
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12 1
The Miniac
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 47.9 years 383 played 35 reviews
4.50 star(s)

WCDGD's new flagship course 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 16, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Pros: Plenty of variety with dual tees (Orange & Blue) and 3 pin positions (A-B-C) per fairway. This is a solid Blue level course from the Blue tees and Red level from the Orange tees. The "C" positions extend the course, bringing the # of par 4s to Seven!
14' long concrete tees, most of which are very level, will insure good footing off the tee. The course flow is fairly intuitive, but could still use a few more directional signs. Pay attention to the arrows under each bucket! And each tee sign also shows color coded arrows to the next tees. More trees, benches, trash cans and water fountains are on the approved list of future amenities.
Custom Orange DISCatchers. The flow comes back to the parking lot after #3 and again after 7, if you like. Also at #16. NINE of the fairways are 'split', or have a different look at the pin. #12 has 3 completely different pin areas.
#1 & 17's fairways are right along the shore of Tampa Bay, making the OB lines subject to the tides! If you time your round right, you'll have a beautiful sunset backdrop on holes 17 & 18 to finish!

Cons:

Cons: Only a few benches (unshaded), but there will be more soon, as well as more trash cans. The only restrooms are at the turn of #11 and south before you play #02. The restrooms at #08 are rarely open, unless the park is jammed. #01 & 17 are prone to picnic-rs and sun-bathers. Signs have been installed to let them know they are in a disc golf area, but you may need to politely remind them to make way.
#01 is a bit more of a challenge than I would like for the 1st hole, but it was the best way to flow the course so that no one would have to walk across a fairway from 18 to 01 in a tourney.
Gets VERY hot during the summer afternoons. There are mosquitoes when it's hot and 'no-see-ems' when it's cool. Bug spray is usually a necessity.
Tight fairways and heavy underbrush make it very easy to lose a disc if you get off of the fairways. Aggressive play will have to be backed up with some finesse. ALWAYS put your name on a disc you intend to throw @ P.I. And please get accustomed to helping your group find lost discs to speed up the process. Spotting and paying attention will go a long way to spend more time playing and less time searching!

Other Thoughts:

Other thoughts: This is one of those rare combinations of a terrific canvas and a park manager who is willing to do what it takes to insure that it is done RIGHT.
The canvas is a spit of limestone jutting out into Tampa Bay. PICNIC ISLAND is a 'nature park'. The manicured areas are nicely manicured grass, but other areas are left to grow however they may. Many of the 'fair-ways' are very tight and the underbrush is THICK! You will appreciate a nice breeze during the summer, but the more it blows, the greater the effect on your game! But the flags on the basket should help you 'read' the wind.
I feel as if I got about as much out of the property as one could ask. I even fought for MORE property so that we wouldn't be too cramped. (Hence, holes 1, 2, 3)
The little patch of woods northeast of the parking lot provide the perfect bufferage to allow several holes in a small area. Holes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 all begin and/or end in or along the wooded area, but shouldn't encroach on other fairways.

I won't call this a "Championship" caliber course (we'll leave that to Cypress Point) but I think this will be a very fun and challenging course nonetheless. The "A" pins will provide some fun holes that don't require a big throw. The "B" pins will let you open it up a bit more... especially from the Blue tees. The C pins should push you a bit more to open up your arm a bit on the par 3s and make placement shots on the par 4s. There are several short holes, which is the product of cramped spaces or steering clear of protected areas (hole #03). Definitely one of my top 4 designs.

SIGNS ARE YOUR FRIENDS! Each tee sign has arrows showing the direction to the next tees, and 'pin-dicators' to let you know which position the basket is in. Each basket has an arrow under the bucket pointing to the next tee for easier navigation.

Some basic course rules: OB- Shoreline of #01 & 17. Must be surrounded by water when the waves are out. Staked & roped areas are O.B. (#1, 3, 11) Staked with RIBBONS are NOT OB. They are NO MOW areas, that may go away after trees are planted. All bodies of water (Tampa Bay, lagoon, creeks) are O.B. All MANGROVE areas are protected & O.B.! Also, the INSIDE line (course side) of the ballards (wood posts) that line all roads and parking areas are OB. In the grass between the ballards and the road or parking is OB!

Hole by hole:
#001: A challenging opener from the Blue tee that must carry around 300' of water before hyzering out onto the beach. But don't hyzer out too soon!! The Sea Oats etc to the left are also O.B. (Very punitive stake line if you are short of the A pin!) The Orange tee is very short and forgiving. O.B. from the Blue? Go to Orange. O.B. from Orange? Go to drop zone. O.B. from drop zone? Go home! ;-)

#02: A dedicated par 4 to all 3 pin positions. Mostly open drive curving right. Parking lot is O.B. (Ballard line) Pros might enjoy playing the short tee as a tough par 3. Mangrove area to the left of fairway is O.B. A couple of big trees are planned to further define the Blue fairway.

#03: Split fairway. The shortest hole on the course. Most pins pretty simple from Orange, perhaps a bit trickier from Blue. Mangrove area is protected and O.B.! (Staked & roped) Walk toward road and left to parking lot for #4.

#04: Formerly #1. Up the hill and to the right. If the park keeps up with trimming, you should be able to see the A pin from the Blue tee and the C pin from the Orange tee. Take tunnel behind C pin to 5.

#05: Punch out of the woods... A & B pins are semi-protected par 3s. C pin is short par 4. Lots of tall weeds for those who leave the fairway. Wild shots may result in lost discs. Control is key. From C pin, Right to Orange 6. Straight back & Right to Blue 6.

#06: Same as old 6... A & B are par 3... C pin has extended to a tough par 4 that is heavily guarded. 7 Blue to right. 7 Orange Left & straight.

#07: A split fairway. Orange is a short shot to a tight green. Blue is a slow-turn tunnel.
On restroom walkways and roof is O.B. (I saw it happen YESTERDAY!)

#08: (Formerly #2) Downhill from Orange. Also downhill from Blue but have to flirt with a rise by Orange tee to reach the B and set up for the C upshot. A is a hidden hyzer position. A & B = par 3. C = par 4. #08 Orange left of B. #08 Blue in woods behind.

#09: Split fairway from two different tunnels and angles. A = Right, B = Left. C = Straight.
#10 tee- Orange past Blue to left.

#10: Split fairway from two very different angles. A & B = par 3. C = par 4.
11 Blue left of C. #11 Orange straight ahead just past shell service road & gate.

#11: Par 4 from both tees. Straight shot that finishes left from Blue tee. Choice of R or L of tree to field from Orange. Pros might enjoy playing Orange as a tough par 3.
12 tees behind row of cedars. Ballard line, staked reeds and Bark Park are O.B.

#12: "Stacked" tees (one straight behind the other) but 3 distinctly different pin areas.
13 tees follow path to right.

#13: Split fairway. Orange is a bit restricted. Blue more open but longer. Open pin area. (pins are formerly #3)
14 tees behind C pin.

#14: (Formerly #5) Stacked tees. Straight to A & B positions tucked in to the right. C pin is straighter & longer. Go left of... or split the goal-post Royal palms.
Go left to Orange 15. Go right to Blue 15.

#15: Split fairway. A pin is par 3. B = a short par 4 tucked behind a 10' high mound. C is long par 4. Many trees to be added on both sides of this fairway to separate it from #05 & 18.

#16: (Formerly #7) Mostly open with a choice to left or right around palmettos. A = short of palms. B = long right of palms. C = long left of palms.

#17: (Formerly #8) The closest we'll get to a Pebble Beach hole with the fairway right along Tampa Bay. A = shorter & to right up the hill. B = medium length & close to the water. C = longer and behind some palm trees. O.B. line is subject to the tides !

#18: Blind shot from near water's edge up & over a rise to a 'horseshoe" green. A = inside horseshoe. B = on top of horseshoe. C = behind horseshoe. B pin is TOUGH putting on a windy day!

In conclusion: I understand that DGCR disc-ourages reviews from the course designer in order to reduce bias. I've never given one of my courses a perfect 5/5 rating. But this is as close as I've come to believing I should. As the course designer, I see every fault and 'con', but also recognize more potential. I knew all along that this would be one of Florida's best, if we could make certain things happen. Thanks to the tenacity of the City of Tampa's project manager, John Dellaquilla, (not a blatant suck-up) nearly all of those things have been accomplished, or are on the short list, which has been approved.
He also reads these reviews and takes them into consideration. So please review this course after playing it. And, if one of your cons has been addressed favorably, please return and change your review accordingly!
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10 7
freddysez
Experience: 16 played 16 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Magnificent 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 11, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

Before I write my review I just wanted to state how pathetic some of you on this sight are who constantly hit the "not helpful button" for zero reason whatsoever. To those who act like childish clowns, I bet if you won the lottery you would complain it wasn't direct deposit.
A lot of times a course that started as 9 holes and is expanded to 18 either shares baskets or does minor variations to make it 18. NOT The case here. You will use your whole bag with a perfect blend of short, grip and rip, left to right, right to left, and dog legs. Navigation is a walk in the park. Well done to the designers, and thank you.

Cons:

It's Florida and very hot in the summer without much shade, but truth be told what can you do but bring sun screen, bug spray, fluids, and a towel.

Other Thoughts:

Picnic Island deserves the same high praise as Cypress and Medard and is a true destination course. Kudos!
Hey look 6 losers without anything else better to do put that this review isn't helpful. What's more amazing is these same losers do the same thing to other reviewers who take the time to compose honest and subjective opinions. Sad really
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5 7
1step2theside
Experience: 1 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Amazing technical course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 9, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

This course has both extremely long holes and some shorts. Bunches of tunnel shots. Big changes when they move the pin from A to B and C it's like a whole new course.

Cons:

Hot! You are in the sun for a good part of the day and the shady parts have alot of bugs.

Other Thoughts:

This course is definitely one of the most scenic ones around us with 2 holes that run right down the beach.
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15 0
RFrance
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 10.6 years 33 played 10 reviews
5.00 star(s)

My Local Championship Course 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 3, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

To start with let me set the scenery because that is a lot about what sets this course apart from the others. Picnic Island is a limestone outcropping just a mile long and a little over a quarter mile wide located just southwest of old Port Tampa. The island elevation rises from sea level to about 17 feet with the highest point located between the #5 and #6 fairways which gives a spectacular view of Old Tampa Bay. After you pass the shuttered gypsum wall board factory, it is a true park with the only structures being picnic pavilions, restrooms and the ranger office. This is a scrubby flatlands habitat with pine, cedar, and cabbage palms as the predominate trees. The underbrush can be thick and includes saw palmettos, thorny vines and some cactus. There are the typical Florida brush animals such as squirrels, gopher turtles, rabbits, snakes, the ever present raccoons, and lately, feral cats. There are also a host of birds including a resident osprey with a nest tower located between the #4 Tee and the #16 baskets. And don't forget the mosquitoes. The winds are predominately from the northwest in fall and winter and from the east to southwest during the summer months.

Picnic Island offers a variety of challenges for both the novice and the pro. There are holes to test your distance and holes to assess your accuracy. If you can't throw the disc far there are landing areas where a short, smart and strategic shot is rewarded. There are tunnel shots carved out, such as #3 and #7, but also natural, tree lined tunnels like #9 and #14. Some holes have pins that are placed in coves, #6 , #7, #12 and #14, and a couple of holes with pins placed on or next to the beach, #1 and #17. There are usually some trees to navigate so careful disc selection is a must and a few holes offer brush and tree islands between you and the basket as do #4, #6, #13, and to some extent #16. Distance, accuracy, disc selection and shot strategy will all be brought into play on this course.

Cons:

There are a lot of cabbage palms that will nestle your disk in the fronds about 12 feet off the ground and throwing rocks at them won't work. Bring a Fat Max tape measure to push them out. This is a scrub brush habitat so don't be surprised if you lose a disc. All disc colors will blend in and can hide in plain sight. This isn't a design issue, this is Florida. There is a dog bark park located to the northwest side but a number of people still like to walk through the course with their pets. At least they are all friendly, including the people.

Other Thoughts:

I'm afraid my local course is going to get busy. The good side is that I only have to travel less then 10 minutes to play a championship course. Oh well.
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7 5
Duder786
Experience: 2 played 2 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Newest best course to play 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 2, 2015 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

The potential at this course is amazing. Two tee pads and 3 pin placements per hole make this worth playing for the variety. The course is right on the Bay and the views are tremendous. There are short holes that test your accuracy but some long bombs to hang it out too. There are also some elevation changes on a few holes which we don't see much of in Florida. Every hole is fun, and with the trees being planted, it will make more defined fairways as well as an even more beautiful course. Both tees have a well designed sign per hole and the custom orange Innova Discatcher baskets have flags and directional arrow signs to guide you to the next tee. In the southwest corner of the parking lot, there is a large map of the entire course to aid in your round. The biggest pro..... it is a Gregg Hosford designed course and that alone is worth checking out.

Cons:

Not too many cons about the playability of the course. Probably wise to use a spotter for some holes because the brush is thick in some areas and would make finding a lost disc easier. Would be nice to see a few more benches at the tees for resting. And it might be wise to have some bug spray when you go. In the summer they can get pretty bad.

Other Thoughts:

We have been waiting for what seems like forever for the additional 9 holes to be installed and it has been worth the wait. As it stands, this is probably one of the best courses in Florida and there are still plans in the works to improve it in several different ways. It is already a well manicured park and with more trees it will be postcard worthy especially when the sun is setting on the Bay. Come check this place out.
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