Hard to Navigate, Great to Play.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Big course sign on your way to the first tee. The tee signs themselves do the job. A good map of the hole with fairway shape and distances. They are in the process of being updated as a second pin has been added on almost every hole (if not every hole). When I visited, the mix of short and long pins in use was excellent.
The dark blue MachX baskets stand out against any background. Trees, sky, dirt, doesnt matter. Holes 4, 15, and 17 have baskets set in both positions to add some different playthrough options.
With having to cross the road this many times, the directional signs for those crossings are very helpful.
There's a nice flow of difficulty here. The first four holes are simpler, the next four more open and long, and the rest in varying thicknesses of woods (except 14) with all different distances. Some close enough to ace run, some requiring two spot-on drives.
Several holes have difficult tee spots; a rarity as I more often see the basket being the tougher point to access. But holes 7, 8, 11, and 17 have some decent challenge getting off the tee. This bumps my enjoyment factor up greatly as it pushed me to try some different lines than normal. Along with this there's some very unique and challenging greens. 2 deep to the right, 3 on the island, both pins on 4, 10, 15, and 16 right.
Maintenance was very good. Grass was short in the fairway and long off of it.
Mandos are used very well to keep shots from erring out onto the road. There are only a few holes that actually run that risk (8, 12, 14, 16, and if you get really creative on 11 like me) but the course has been designed with that in mind.
Cons: The closest parking to the beginning of the course has a baseball field in the way. The basket of 18 is also on the wrong side of left field.
At a course of this caliber, there's normally a practice basket... but, not here.
The walk under the highway between 4-5 and 15-16. I know it was necessary to fit the course in, but it does have to be a mark against.
There are unfortunately a few holes that feel like filler. 3, 9, 16 and 17 all suffer from this. Especially 17, as it's a ridiculously sharp dogleg left that requires a miracle skip to have a decent birdie look. Luckily the rest of the course is high quality.
The long, blind holes could really use some sort of marking system. On 5, thru 8 it is almost impossible to see either pin placement from the tee. A little A/B washer system would work wonders here.
A few safety concerns, holes 3, 10, and 18 throw right toward a fence, the aforementioned road bordering four holes, and players having to cross the road four times. Normally I wouldn't mention this, but the road curves sharply right near three of the four crossings, and people drive about 50 down this road.
Other Thoughts: Bartlett is a track with a lot of really good and challenging holes, but also a lot of flaws. Major navigational annoyances, clear and obvious filler holes, and not knowing whether to throw a 12-speed or a 6-speed off the tee. Despite the negatives it is still a really fun, difficult round that will test your control and accuracy over pure power. Definitely a course worth checking out!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Great pin positions
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Hittable gaps, just enough terrain, always new pin positions, plenty of trees, creeks, pretty well maintained.
Cons: Hole 17
Other Thoughts: First course I played, got me hooked. Hole 1 has swirling winds, don't err straight into the rubble abyss. Hole 2 looks simple: carry the bridge and do not go left or right. Hole 3 is usually an island that should be simple. Hole 4 was my first ace, tomahawk poke-n-hope to the short pin (that funk smell... but the water looks clear,..?). Don't turn one over on hole 5, my favorite hole - new extra long pin rocks! I hate the limbs left on 6. Hole 7 is straightforward: hit the right tree, go in the creek, get double bogey. 8 short is nice, but low clearance. 8 long is a tough par. 9 is great uphill hole. I also hate the tree left on 10. I learned forehand, literally because of 10. Hole 11... those three trees... I have actually hit all three trees in one throw. Hole 12 is my backhand-cut-roller-to-the-parkway special. Hole 13 long is maddening with leaves on the trees. Hole 14 short I can hit metal but no aces. Hole 15 is a really nice hole that hates me. 15a... that one puny crooked sapling! Hole 16 is also a great hole, especially long. Hole 17 (aka 'first available') hates me and I hate it. Hole 18 is the spike hyzer.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Bartlett Boasts Big Boundries
Pros: The freshly instituted course in St. Joseph is a pretty good one that is still evolving. The 18 holes all have concrete tee pads and sweet new Mach X baskets.
It began as a par 55 layout, but new pin locations are still being added and I think par will be vary dependent on the layout. Hole 7 was in a new long placement that sure felt like a par 4.
The mix of short birdie opportunities and woodsy runs over moderate distance will be fun and challenging for most players. Half of the holes are under 275' in the shortest configuration. Hole 5 was the only one listed as a par 4 originally, and it is reachable for a birdie if you have a nice second shot or can sink a lengthy putt.
The terrain is not wide open enough where you're able to spray drives erratically around the course and expect clean approaches to the pin. Usually a healthy number of mature trees will be in play at some point on about any hole. Sometimes the rough is bushy and thick. At a couple of places elevation changes are considerable, and pass through narrow windows. Water isn't a feature you will see a lot of, but it isn't totally absent.
The first hole is a good lead off shot. Middling distance with trees near the basket. 2 is a little shorter, and has a cool tunnel fairway that crosses a bridge on a defunct road. The pavement is lined with trees on both sides, and the basket is tucked to the right on the far side of the bridge. 3 is a putter or mid range drive that also uses a stretch of the paved road. 4 is the shortest hole, but it is downhill and crosses a creek bed, with trees that can knock down an errant tee shot. Hole 5 is a 540' par 4 with heavy rough the full length of the left side and a walking trail to the right. With a long drive and well placed second shot a birdie is fully possible. The fairway on hole 7 turns to the left and has thick brush and trees if the drive is too short or long. The short pin is reachable from the tee, but the newly set long pin requires a lengthy second shot from the top of the hill. I took a 5 after coming up short on the drive and not recovering well taking my second shot from under a large bush. Hole 15 is short, but has rough that can cause trouble. I liked 16 because the basket is tucked in a nice pocket of trees near the top of an uphill slope. 17 had a tricky line that works around a bendy path through numerous trees.
Cons: The layout is broken up and crosses over and under several roads, making for a couple of long walks in between holes. Some of these transitions could use signage to help with navigation. Definitely grab a picture or a screen shot of the map if you haven't played it before.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed Bartlett Park, and would urge you to check it out if you happen to be in the neighborhood. It is not a world class course with stunning signature holes, but it is very fun. It can play well under par, but still has a mix of different shots that are not boring or super repetitive.
The park is really nice and well maintained. The course was well thought out, and isn't impacted much by the roads and trails along some of the holes. I loved the new baskets, and will have to check it out again soon to see if anymore pin locations pop up.
I shot a 56 (1 over par by the hole info here) with four birdie's on the scorecard. I also carded three bogeys and a double bogey, but if the new long pin on 7 is in fact a par four I would be even.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
A Misty, Rainy round through Bartlett Park
Pros: SETTING: Winding park set long a parkway.
Quality of Land Usage- 25/30
Scenic Beauty- 20/30
Variety/ Right Left / Elevation - 20/30 Some elevation on hole 1,4,6,9, 16 otherwise pretty flat. Left 1,5,7,17,18, Right 2,,6, 9,15. Straight 3,4,8,10,11,12,13,14, 15,
Obstacles/Shot Shaping- 20/20 I really like the shot shaping throughout the hole course. Tunnel shots both short and long. Good challenging dog leg right holes.
Signature holes- 35/50: Hole 4 maybe my favorite sub 150 ft shot anywhere. Thick trees but lines that are hittable. Not very often is a tomahawk my go to shot for a hole like that! Hole 5 is fun hole if you play the walking path OB. 6 his a great 300 dog leg right with an elevated tee pad and low ceiling.
Skill levels- 15/20: a challenging but very scorable course. I shot 10 under playing well before the new basket positions. There are more birdies to be had. This is a fantastic intermediate to low level advance course which is perfect for the city of St. Joe and growing sport.
Baskets- 30/30: Brand new Mach X
Tee pads: 20/30: Concrete Just slightly shorter side 10-11 feet.
Grass and Brush- 25/30: Well taken care of park when I played during mid spring.
FUN FACTOR/ OVERALL Impression : 70/100 I really enjoyed the course. I would rate it 3.5/5 with signs and a new baskets positions.
Dedicated use- 10/25 Walking trail comes into play on holes 1,2,3, 5. Decently close to the road on several holes.
Multiple Baskets/Tees: 10/30: Single tee pad and basket 14 holes. Multiple baskets on 7, 8, 9, 17 add to the fun factor.
Decision-making/Risk-Reward- 10/20. Not a done of risking or super challenging shots except hole 4.
Safety Issues- 15/20: Creek crossing on 4 now has a permanent bridge as well as hole 7. Hill after hole 4 to the street needs some type of stairs. Holes 8,13,14 are fairly close the a busy parkway type road. Hole 2-3 are on an old walking trail that I saw other people using. Walking trail on hole 5 is OB, but could come into to play.
Signage- 5/15: Sings in but wrong distances on several holes 8-10 specifically and don't show additional basket positions.
Course Navigation / Flow - 10/20: 1st tee is 200 yards from the closest parking. The walk from 4 to is long and crosses the road. I also had a hard time finding hole 7 tee pad even with he map. Otherwise the course flows well.
Restrooms, Drinking Water, Benches, Parking, Trash Cans- 5/20. Restrooms near the ball fields where the initial parking is located. 200 yard walk to the first tee from the initial parking.
Other Thoughts: Overall the course gets 350/500 by my rating system. . Like I said earlier, this is a great intermediate to low level advance course which is a great step forward for the St. Joe disc golf scene. Not a huge amount of distance, but still plenty of holes to send a full power shot. I enjoy the new addition of par 4 on 7 and 8 with controlled shots off the drive.
I would love to see hole 1 turned into a long down hill par 4 with a tee pad right across the street from the parking area.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Park Golf
Pros: Great variety of shots required here for what is essentially a park golf course. Some holes are lefty/forehand friendly. Some require power, others finesse. Some shots with minor elevation changes, usually uphill. Several shots, particularly on the middle part of the course, where you are playing on a hillside and have to manage the end of the disc's flight carefully to avoid carrying too far. Many holes have low ceiling or quite a few trees that you will have to navigate. Nothing here is unfairly difficult, but neither is it a gimme. Even the short putter shot holes have some obstacles to avoid, or rough that you will find yourself in in if you were not careful. For park golf, this is a good location.
Baskets are Mach X, which is a very welcome change from the Mach IIIs you typically find at park golf courses.
Additionally, in the fullness of spring or summer when everything is green, this is a beautiful park to be in. The course lay out is a long walk from Hole 1 to 18 and back to the parking lot, and that's not a con.
Cons: Navigation is tricky. If you're not familiar with the layout in advance, it's easy to miss some of them. Some holes are still tucked away within wooded areas without any visual aids to tell you to head in that direction. Some holes are blind shots obscured by the terrain or trees. This isn't necessarily a con in and of itself - but you may find yourself walking a bit up and down the fairway to find the target until you're familiar with the layout.
Course is tricky to play when wet, especially if it has been raining frequently. The dirt paths would benefit from wood chips, and some holes would benefit from having some kind of dedicated path in place to prevent erosion of the hillside from foot traffic.
Some holes will require throwing over or near walking paths. Be very careful of runners, dog walkers, and cyclists. This is a nice park, and you may have to share the space.
Use a spotter on hole 5. A walking path runs the entire length of the fairway, and if you throw with power, it's possible you might accidentally hit a walker or biker that you cannot see from the tee.
Other Thoughts: This is a brand new course. The baskets and concrete just went in very recently. The local club is very enthusiastic about improving this course, and a lot of work has gone into making it better. It now has tee signs, a course map near hole 1, and many of the holes have had their lines cleaned up.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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