I'd used this site (among others) to locate new courses in Florida for some time until, after playing sixteen new North Carolina courses in two weeks., I decided to contribute, at least to the number score. I rattled off a series of quick reviews. (Which, after playing so many new courses in such a short time and only retaining vague recollections of how much I liked them, was all I could do.) It was a few weeks later that I decided I wanted to put some actual effort into it and to write the reviews that I would want to read. Since then, I've become a course bagging idiot, yet I have managed to revisit and thus rewrite, most of the original sixteen.
Things I Care About Greatly:
Identity. Is a course unique? Is it Memorable? Does it stand out? Does it have a feel?
Fairway Design: I don't think I'm alone in this one. Water, trees, elevation, they all come into play here. How good are these holes?
Aesthetics: Is the course visually stimulating? Again, this ties into vibe/feel.
Flow: Apart from the holes themselves, how do they come together as a complete experience? And how are the transitions/walks?
Things I sorta care about:
Tees: I don't mind natural tees. I mostly have a minimum standard of acceptable teeing of situations. If it's flat, I'm usually happy.
Signs: Always a bonus and necessary in some cases they aren't necessary, or at least it isn't necessary that they be great.
Baskets: Again, it's a minimum standard. As long as they are there and functional.....
Multiple tees/layouts: It's a bonus. But most courses, I know I will only play once.
Things I don't care about:
Benches, Trashcans, Bathrooms: These things are a bonus only. A five-star course could easily feature zero of all three.
Local Scene: If I'm reading a review, I'm deciding if I want to play it, not if I want to join a league there. It's nice information for some, but it's not a "pro" in my book.
How much a course has improved: I review courses as they are. I want to know what they are like now. Unless I'm updating a previously written reviews without rewriting, I'm just never going to tell you what it was formerly like.
Scoring Spread: Or tweener holes, or what pros will score on a course. Essentially I care about how much a course makes me want to play it. How much enjoyment will be gained from each throw. I consider a variety of ability levels, but I care less about the score and more about the experience.
Personal Top 5:
Stoney Hill, SC
Maple Hill, MA
Gran Canyon, FL
Sabattus Eagle, ME
Rock Ridge Park, NC
Hi. Playing Tradewinds Saturday 3/7 @ 10am if you are still in town. I am on vacation next week and heading to Orlando for 3 nights to revisit River City (Tues 3/10) & Turkey Lake on Wed. From there heading to Old Town. May stop by Pine Oaks Ocala on the way up Thursday. P.M. if you are free next week.
Well, the January grand opening date (and February's as well) has come and gone. The good news is that the City of Tampa's comptroller has just retired, which has had the effect of a vat of financial metamucil. Monies that were being held up are now being allocated. Hopefully PICNIC ISLAND mk2 will be ready for play by the mid spring! Naturally, I'll want your thoughtful review on the NEW DGCR listing for 18.
Currently, only 1 hole has split fairways. With PI 2, I'm planning on 9 playing from different angles, and 2 dedicated par 4s with 5 more holes having 1 or more par 4 options. 2 fairways along Tampa Bay (as the OB line) and well over 100 new trees. No definitive word on concrete tee pads but I expect we'll get them on AT LEAST the Blue tees, if not both (& Orange tees) Not for UF. It's the City of Tampa's colors. Can't wait for this one to be finished. It's enough to make me want to move to Tampa!
Thanks for your thoughtful reviews.
Come January, you'll want to revisit PICNIC ISLAND in Tampa. I'm planning on dumping the 9-hole listing and starting fresh with the new 18 listing. Several things will be changing. Hopefully, ALL for the better. If the implementation goes according to plan, (always a concern with out-of-town parks depts) this should be one of my better efforts. Hoping for a FL top 5. Aiming higher.