Palmetto Fields Forever
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.247 Rating) A nice looking challenging tropical course with menacing rough.
- RAW BEAUTY - I enjoy the aesthetic appeal brought on by South Florida vegetation and Ann Dever delivers this aspect on 90 percent of the course. A couple holes are littered with Spanish moss covered pines too. Overall I scored the course about 60 to 65 percentile. The monotonous feel of the last 15 holes kept it from being higher on my scales.
- CHALLENGING - I rated the course as a par 57 instead of the listed par 54. Even with this raised figure, the course still felt like Intermediate level difficultly. The biggest challenge here is going to be the fear mindset of losing a disc, or at least it was for me. Numerous lines will be exhilarating for those attempting to run at the baskets. Precision will be rewarded and wild gunslinging will be punished.
- CHAINS AND TEES - DISCatcher baskets and big concrete tees.
- COURSE MAP AND NAVIGATION - A course map of 9 holes is posted at tee (1) and tee (10). Not entirely to scale but decent enough to understand how to transition when pulling up a picture of the map on the phone.
Cons: I did not find this course fun to play.
- PALMETTO BUSHES - A controlled fire needs to go through here. Palmetto bushes line both sides of the fairway on the last 15 holes. Several baskets are within 20 feet of palmetto bush fields and there are fairways less than 20 feet wide through the stuff. I was in constant fear of leaving a disc behind in the numerous thick palmetto patches and thus they greatly impacted my play. The disc searching time and disc lose potential is extremely high here. I could see some people rating this course below a 2.0 just based on this factor alone. I suggest hiring a spotter for the day.
- MONOTONY - The first four holes all have a different feel. Unfortunately, as has been noted already a couple times above, the last 15 all play through a palmetto jungle and have a similar feel (exception hole 8). A vast majority play right to left and there is no more than 5 foot mounds and swales. The course is listed as a par 54, but there is no indication of par figure on the signage. For this reason, I gave the course credit for having placement par 4s. Holes (8), (10) and (12) all felt like placement shots from the tee to set up an approach shot.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - I think a few holes play along or near walking trails. Hole (1) has a dog park fence in play and hole (2) has parking about 12 feet from the basket. Overall not a major detractor. I've seen much worse.
- GATORS - Warning signs are posted by the water on hole (2) stating that gators may be present. For this reason I played a safe putter run short of the water and then threw across. The clear distance should be posted on this hole. The distance on (2) reads as 570 feet, but it's only 285 feet as the crow flies according to satellite.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Beginners that play here will never play disc golf again.
- FINISH FROM PARKING - Hole (18) finishes about a 2,000 foot walk back to tee (1) and those choosing to exit after (9) holes, have to walk about the same. This left a sour taste in my month when leaving.
- TIME PLAY - I don't see how a group of four plays here without some extended search periods. I'll guest 130 to 140 minutes for a foursome. It took me an hour as a solo and I was rushing.
Other Thoughts: A tough course to rate and I could see rating scores for Ann Dever all over the board. The biggest factor in one's rating here is going to be the palmetto rough's impact on the experience. Personally, it really impacted mine. I didn't bring any throw-aways on my road trip, and so I often found myself throwing 150 to 200 foot safety putter plays and then attempting to make par from 100 feet out or so. On a few of the longer holes the best I could hope for was a 4. This aspect really took a lot of the enjoyment away. In fact, I scored the fun factor here almost a zero and I doubt I'd play here often if I lived in the area. It's not surprising to note that Ann Dever has the fewest recorded Udisc rounds in 2020 when compared to the 5 nearest courses (Wellfield, Bird Bay, The Preserve, Franz Ross and South County Regional.) If it weren't for the pleasant stroll through the attractive jungle and the exhilaration of the couple throws were I rolled the dice attacking the basket, I may have scored it even lower. For those visiting the Port Charlotte or the Sarasota area, I'd say skip this one and head over to The Preserve, North Water Tower or Lakeview. Overall I'd like to score it a 2.25 with a good ½ point shaved off for palmetto rough brutalness.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
will be good
Pros: park like, good length
Other Thoughts: A new course which means until the rough is trampled you could lose a disc. They should just eliminate 1 and 2. 1 is a good opening, "get loosened up" hole, but #2 is a waste. Over too much water for most throwers. 1 being so far from 18 adds a ultra long walk back to cars. They could easily add 2 holes in the woods as all holes are spread out. Tough to tell where baskets are in woods but if you keep it to the fairways, no problem.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Don't bring the good plastic and dont play alone. Heck, Bring the ex, so she will never play again.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice tee pads and baskets. Crushed shell around every basket.
Hole 2 featured a nice water carry that followed John Houck's recommendations for water holes that reward those who go over the water, but position the hole to the water in a way that it provides a safe, but still fair opportunity for less skilled players.
Bathrooms on site alond with a nice dog park and a skate park for non-discgolfing family members.
Cons: Hole 2 was the only highlight of this course. The remainder of the course was so repetative that I played with one disc the entire time.
Bring your travel discs and don't attempt this course alone. We had a spotter on every hole and still spent hours looking for discs (losing one). The fairways are narrow and the palmettos are dense. It is easy to lose a disc on over 75% of the holes.
No sign or navigational aid after 3. We walked all the way back to the dog park looking for hole 4.
The walk after 18 is very long. The course does not end anywhere near where it started. It seems the only thing well planned on this course was the trash can near hole 18.
Wire loops stick out of the sand near the tees causing a tripping hazard.
The redundency and risk of disc loss sucks the fun out the round. Even with a spotter you can spend more time looking for a disc than playing disc golf.
Dogs everywhere. This facility is created for the use of the dogs first, walkers second, and disc golfers third. Everyone seems to work togther and understand etiquette.
Other Thoughts: Hole 1: Open and easy, next to the dog park (a minor risk for a horrible throw, but otherwise safe hole)
Hole 2: signature hole, but not without some issues. It is a good 250+ water carry with an area to lay up and cross a narrower section on the left for those who can not throw 250. There is a grass parking lot in the middle of the hole. People can park all over near the basket.
Hole 3: Blind, somewhat open shot. Palm patch and 2 trees in front of basket with 2-3 clear options to get to the basket.
Hole 4: THE START OF HELL. It was a dense shot that required a spotter. I would soon learn that nearly every hole for the rest of the round was a variation of this hole.
Hole 5: a blind (count how many times I will say blind in the next few holes) hook shot that gets narrower as the hole continues.
Hole 6: a carbon copy of hole 5. Narrow hard left with dense palmettos on each side of a narrow fairway.
Hole 7: ITS A QUESTION MARK! you go to forward then right, then into a left horseshow. and once again it is blind with dense palmettos that will cut you more than a malevolent redcap and eat your discs.
Hole 8: Another huge left hook that will make you feel like you are in the movie Groundhog Day. But, Hole 8 is different...It features poison Ivy on the right side of the fairway.
Hole 9: a tight left turn through the palmetto tunnel.
Hole 10. This hole is 2 par 3's smooshed together because apparently distance makes a bad hole better. The hole has the distance, but the fairway is so narrow that I literally touched both sides of the fairway at the same time in 2 seperate places.
Hole 11: Finally a basket you can see from the tee!
Hole 12: long striaght and narrow disc eater. At this point I no longer wanted to finish the course.
Hole 13: Long winding and narrow with a left turn at the end.
Hole 14: another long blind tunnel, but don't worry, this one features barbed wire if you go to far to the right. That makes it different.
Hole 15: long blind narrow. At this point the course feels more like work than play.
Hole 16: a short ace run! It is blind and to the left because that is all this course knows how to do, but it is aceable.
Hole 17: Another ace run, and it even finishes right, just beyond the stagnant black pond (massive puddle).
Hole 18: a short anit-climactic hole
I do not see myself ever returning to this course. The course seems to be influenced by Tim Townsend design and is basically a longer version of Franz Ross park.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Welcome to the Jungle
Pros: As I approached the first tee, a local golfer gave me a quick lay of the land, saying hole 1 was the easiest hole, #2's a nice water carry, and then after hole 3, turn left to enter the 'jungle'. After a relatively simple first 3 holes and then turning left, I entered the 'jungle'. I was half expecting to see toucans flying above or monkeys swinging from the trees. Didn't find any of those (though I swear I heard a Tarzan yell), but what I did find is myself walking down every curved palmetto-lined fairway trying to locate the basket and assessing the numerous hazards. I realized quickly that my goal was not necessarily a good score, but instead, not to lose any discs. I also realized this is a not a course to play alone, especially as a first time. Spotters are a must.
Cons: Being a brand new course, it still needs tee signs and some directional arrows, particularly after hole 3. I wouldn't have know to go immediately to the left hadn't the local told me.
Definitely wouldn't recommend this course to beginners, as it can be very frustrating, from both a challenge angle and a disc-searching angle.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoy courses that make you think your way around it - which disc to use, how aggressive to go at it, making a good bogey instead of a sloppy double or triple. This course has all that. I did end up throwing my backup discs for fear of losing my good ones. And I'm proud to say I only lost 3 discs and somehow escaped the saw palmettos and stickers with nary a scratch.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Carved Out Of The Florida Jungle Forest
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Brand new course. Nice concrete tees and fresh mach-v baskets. The course starts out with an out of place hole 1 that is fairly short and easy. Then jumps to a scary water carry and then goes into the coastal Florida jungle/forest The course looks to have been carved out of the wilderness by some kind of Lorax machine that ate the trees/jungle and spit out the mulch behind it. So most of the fairways hook back and forth 20-40 feet wide with dense jungle rough on the sides. This course will make you think about your lines and test your resolve on the risk/reward looks. The course is scenic, for the most part, and even has a couple of signature type holes. Hole 2 of course and I like the holes around 14. Navigation is super easy. I would describe the course as moderate length and technical. The course is fun to play. There is one picnic table (hole 10) and a few trash cans on the course. There are two separate course maps. One each for the front and back nine.
Cons: There are many blind pin placements that will require first-timers walk down the fairway to locate baskets. The rough is dense. I would recommend spotting on holes 3-18. There are no tee signs but the tees have the hole number stenciled on them.
Other Thoughts: I love that new course smell! This course is still a little raw and rustic but already plays well, mind the rough. I already have this course in my top 25 Florida courses out of over 100 FL courses played. I think this will be one of the areas best courses when she breaks in.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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