Great course but very susceptible to the Florida rain
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is very well organized and maintained. The route sticks to the outer edges so there is little interference if anyone is using the ropes course or pavilions. The signage provides clear directions but the back 9 can be tricky to find if you don't know to walk I to the woods after hole 9. Once you look down the road, the tee for 10 states right in your face.
The course has concrete tee pads and quality baskets.
Cons: I know it's Florida but being a riverfront Park still overly influences the amount of water on the course. The front 5 are easily flooded out after some good rain.
The tee pads are quite a bit shorter than most courses.
Other Thoughts: Overall a quality course with excellent maintenance. A solid course for an both an avid player or a beginner.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Short and Techinical
Pros: The USF riverfront course is more challenging than that is presented on paper. At around 5000 feet long, the par 54 course will require precision not power.
- The 18 hole layout and uniqueness of the holes is better than your average course. The layout starts fairly open on holes 1 thru 4. Holes 5-9 have slightly more vegetative obstacles. Holes 10-17 are heavily wooded and are all tunnel fairways. The last hole, concludes with a fairly open shot at a course long, 385 feet. Hole types include, water obstacles, pockets left and right, slight dogleg benders, blind shots and plenty of tight tree gaps to hit.
- The course provides a fair amount of disc golf character items. There are several picnic tables placed along the layout for some good chill areas, adequate hole signage, several holes have multiple pin placements (great for a return visit or for regulars) shaded concrete tees, good heavy chains on the basket, public restrooms, shelters and a practice area with basket.
- The raw beauty of the course I find above average as well. The last time I played I saw a heard of white tail deer.
Cons: There are several concerning items with the riverfront course.
- The course spacing has a few substantial flaws. Holes 1, 2 and 3 play around a big picnic shelter. On weekends this is almost always occupied by large non disc golf groups and lots of young kids will be running around oblivious to the game. I've had to wait several minutes before and have sometimes even skipped a hole or two to avoid the perils of nailing a kid.
-- Due to the proximity of the Hillsborough River, hole 4 basket and hole 5 tee will flood for extended period of time during the rainy season.
-- Another spacing issue, after finishing hole 17, you will have to cross 9 and 10 fairway on the way to 18 tee, please be cautious on your journey, which is a 1000 feet away.
-- The last spacing issue is hole 18 itself, which is a head scratcher. The one somewhat long hole, splits the parking lot on the right (I have seen cars hit) and the restrooms on the left (I have hit the building)
- As mentioned before as a pro, concrete tees. However they are 8 feet in length and 4' wide. I hope this practice ends as I find gravel and dirt tees are sometimes better.
- Drainage on the course is another major issue as the course is almost entirely flat except for hole 18. I advise checking the recent rainfall totals before venturing out here. The course conditions are consistently poor from the middle to the end of the summer rainy season.
- The overgrowth and fairway tightness can be quite frustrating to the player without accuracy. It is very similar to nearby courses Picnic Island (Tampa) and Maximo Park (St. Pete) if you've played those courses and don't like them, you won't like this course either.
Other Thoughts: In all, an average to slightly above average course. If you like the shorter technical courses, you'll enjoy this one. If your prefer to see if your bomb flexes out beyond 400 feet, check out 22nd Street Park in Tampa instead.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Fun golf on the River
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very nice park setting. Front nine winds around a semi-open area, making good use of trees and staying outside picnic areas. Back nine is a little more wooded, including many palmettos, but still has well-defined super cool fairways. Good flow/easily navigated. Not overly long for this old man's arm, so nailing your line gives birdie opportunities. That makes for a good fun vs. frustration ratio. Decent shot variety, helped by two pin placements on quite a few holes and good signs describing the hole layouts. Baskets getting older, but are in fine shape. Excellent drainage for being so flat and close to the river, never had a standing water issue. However, when the river rises, 4's basket and 5's tee can be submerged. Great local solution: play 4 to basket #2 and use teepad #3 on hole 5.
Cons: I'm giving extremely small deductions for these cons, but they added up to a point way from perfect. Concrete tees are a little short and several lack much room for run-up(otherwise in good shape). Pro players would likely want greater distance. There are picnic tables near quite a few holes, but I suppose you can nitpick for benches, bag hangers, trash cans. No elevation to speak of, but hey, it's FL. Which reminds me: bring bug spray in hot weather.
Other Thoughts: This is a fabulous park for being so close to Tampa. The Hillsborough River is beautiful here, close to holes 1-5, but not really in play. Hole 14 has a small water hazard to the left of the fairway that I didn't expect, so beware fading left just short of the basket. The "USF-only" rule doesn't seem to be enforced here, but I haven't played here enough to say that conclusively. It's worth a try to play this gem of a course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Loved it, so played 2 rounds
Pros: Combination of deep woods and trees, with some water elements, as well as a few hills. Great tee blocks and baskets. Now they have a few alternate pin placements (10) that are very challenging if you have not played it in a while. Print the map from online just as a guide, but overall very easy to navigate.
Cons: A little muddy down by the water but that is to be expected. I would recommend to wear a nice shoe with good treat or you will miss a par put like I did and try and blame it on the mud.
Other Thoughts: Very friendly and helpful group of guys out there who gave us some tips and invited us back every Sunday. I have only played 3 courses, but I sure do love this one the best!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Fun Florida Style Course
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Fun, typical Florida Gulf Coast style course, that starts out mostly open by a nice river, meanders into some tighter areas, heads into some light woods, and finishes with a bomb throw.
One set of decent concrete tees, tee signs with hole layouts indicating new alt pin placements, and decent enough baskets make for good times.
The course is very easy to navigate, and flows well, except for the walk between 17 to 18.
The course has a huge fun factor, with plenty of route options, but may be a little short for the big guns.
Plenty of benches, picnic tables, garbage cans, pavilions, restrooms etc also enhance the experience.
Cons: Not much to complain about here. The course may be a little short for some. Some of the tee pads are eroded around the edges and could use a little build up.
The park is multi-use with nondg'ers moving around on the course doing their own things.
Other Thoughts: A solid, fun course. Signs say that the park is for USF staff, students, and their families to enjoy, and the local police do roll through the parking lot, but as long as you play it cool and act like you belong there, you shouldn't have a problem. Not a must play course, but definitely a should play!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Yet another one of those "tale of two nines" courses. The first one is more open and the second is more wooded, though both feature low scrub as the primary obstacle. On paper, I would assume that the wooded section was the better of the two, though on this course it is the open section that I enjoyed more. The reason is that the first five play around the river, which doesn't impact the course to a great extent and they aren't the most challenging holes, but there is a lot to like. The 1 pin is nicely placed on the bank. 2 runs parallel to the river, and its probably the best of the bunch. While 3 backs up to the river, the basket 4 is back on the edge of the water.
I also like how the scrub affects the mostly open holes and forces shot shaping. This is most evident on 6 through 8. Though more open, the scrub is just as difficult as that in the first few holes of the wooded nine. There is a solid variety of lines to throw and there's a fun factor present.
That said, I don't mean to slight the back nine. The first bunch of holes there offer some varied scenery to go with similarly-difficult, intermediate-level throws. Really there are just more trees around and it's a little more punishing to off-target drives, even if the fairways aren't any more difficult.
The last set of holes here represents one of my least favorite types of holes. They play along a trail that existed prior to the course's construction and which is still in use. The tee for this type of hole is usally set to the side of the trail as is the basket. This trail is fairly wide and it does make a solid fairway, but I just hate holes like this. It doesn't feel like a disc golf hole, if that makes any sense. It feels tacked on. But your mileage may vary with these.
I'm also not the biggest fan of 18. It really needs at least one next tee arrow as there are two paths that lead away from the seventeenth green. Then it's a long walk which feels out of place on the course, making you feel as if you chose the wrong path. The tee is back on the field where the course began, and the hole is a bit underwhelming. It should play to where the practice basket is, on top of a mound. It would be much more finale.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
My first love
Pros: -Ace runs. This course can be difficult at times but there are a lot of fun ace runs! You still have to hit your lines but there are definite possibilities.
-Distance. I think this course is a good intermediate distance course. I think there is only one hole over 330' and only 3 over 300'. Very fun, definitely not pitch and putt.
-Variety. The front 9 is open and the back 9 is wooded making this a very fun course giving you a change of scenery.
-Finesse. The back 9 of this course is short but can still be very punishing if you aren't careful. Hole 15' is a 275-300'ish hole that has maybe an 8' fairway, you definitely have to throw accurate or you will struggle to par.
-Difficulty. This course is a ton of fun and I think the front 9 is unbelievably fun for beginners. If you are a more advanced player it will definitely show on your score, we have some locals who throw -11, but beginners will be able to throw their first birdies here.
-Florida scenery. This course has a definite Florida feel. Three of the first four holes play by the Hillsborough River. However, if you are wise you shouldn't have any problems of losing a disc. There are also palm trees which makes it fun for out-of-towners.
Cons: -OTHER PARK TRAFFIC. Make sure you do not come to this course on holidays, meaning times when they would have events for college students. They very often rent this course out to USF student organizations and they will have parties making 1-9 completely unplayable. The park is also closed whenever USF is closed. So this course is very fun if you get to play it, but there is a chance that it will be bombarded. I suggest calling USF and finding out first.
-Summer. This course gets muggy and dominated by mosquitos in the summer. It is also very prone to flooding.
-Palmettos. This course has saw palmettos all over the back 9, if you go in the woods, you will definitely lose some skin.
-Signs. They aren't accurate.
-Disc traffic. Some of the fairways have overlap so you should be careful that there isn't another disc golfer playing there.
Other Thoughts: If you catch this course at the right time it is a ton of fun, you will definitely enjoy it. However, if you come on a busy day it isn't even worth visiting. I gave this course a 3 for the days that I was on the course by myself. If I were including the chance that you won't get the full experience I would give it a 2.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Not just for students
Pros: Very clean course with good signage. There is a huge difference between the front 9(open) and back 9(wooded). I love this because it is an easy play for amatuer players and with its tight lines can still be a challenge for advanced players
Cons: Its not a very lengthy course, so big arms might have to hold back a little. You also have to be careful on the first for holes. Dependant upon the time of day there are a lot of non dgers walking through.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Large amount of variety! Front and back nine are completely different!
* Signs are clear, pads are nice, and the course follows a good logical flow (other than 18)
* Good shot shaping is needed, especially on the back nine, I found myself considering all my throws.
* Scenery is gorgeous if you like river and woods.
* Huge fun factor. Course has many holes that can be birdied with well designed shots.
* Course was very well maintained in a nice area.
* Baskets are logically placed for maximum challenge.
Cons: * Because this park is for USF students, it is important, (if you are not,) to be on your best behavior. They have every right to ask you to leave if you are not a student or have not been invited by one. Essentially, do the right thing, don't litter, be respectful, and you will probably be fine.
* Hole 18 is quite far away from 17....It is located in the same open field as 1 to 9.
* I'm a Florida guy, and am familiar with the swampy areas and love them. BUT! do bring insect repellant. Do not expect the mosquitoes not to be around. They will be there, and I would assume will consider you a wonderful friend for entering their domain.
Other Thoughts: This is an easy to locate course that is property of USF (see above) The front nine plays in a reasonably open area near the beautiful Hillsborough River. Trees and scrub palmetto are used to make the front nine moderately challenging. The back is very tight, with curving tunnel shots, trees and more palmetto. the distances aren't too long, and other than 18, most holes played 220 to 290. Nonetheless, it was a very fun course to play that echoed some of the better technical courses in the area. The park is full of other activities, such as fishing, wall climbing and canoeing. The front nine is very exposed to other park activities, so watch where you throw. There is an active Sunday handicap, and this is definitely a course that I hope to play frequently.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Concrete Tee's, Signs w/distance,
-Very enjoyable scenery. The moss draped trees and the lake on the front nine, and the Back nine walks through the woods. The back 9 is like a wooded walking trail.
-Excellent Variety of Shots. The Front is easier, more open field with trees to work around and some water to avoid. The back 9 is a lot more technical, Narrow fairways, with doglegs and guarded baskets.
-The Front 9 is very beginner friendly, while the back 9 may be more frustrating to newcomers, it's not terribly difficult. I was able to recover from a few deflected shots, with a decent approach shot. (No tree love today)
-Very clean and well maintained. Garbage cans located throughout the course. Restrooms located near the start/finish
-Good balance of right, left approaches, doglegs, as well as a straight ahead shots. 16 is the Ace Race basket coming in at 191ft
-One could easily get in a quick 9 round.
-Outside of a couple of places, navigation was easy and self-explanatory. .
-Maps are available at the Boat House.
-Has a Good fun factor, and the back 9 is technical and challenging.
-Other activities on site as well
Cons: -Here is the big one; This park is for USF students only! *See first paragraph in Other
-The front 9 primarily, could be unplayable if there are a lot of people using the park. When I played, it was dead, but I could see this park being extremely busy and unplayable on certain weekends.
-There are a number of times when the fairways play close to each other, and a couple of fairway crossings! After you finish 17, you'll follow the path out in front of the 10th Teepad. Then you follow that back up, to where the path crosses the 9th fairway, near the basket. So heads up.
-This may be on the park's map, but... just know that to get to 18, you have to backtrack out by crossing 10's teepad, down the trail, across the 9th fairway and the teepad will be on the other side of the white storage on your right. (Solely a first time only issue. I used an outdated map)
-The Front 9 and the 18th fairway all play around a common area. This is subject to any number of park activities. It would also behoove the park to put up "Beware of Flying Discs" signs throughout the park.
Other Thoughts: First order: I spoke with the lady in charge today and asked her about a Visitor Fee. She said "There is no fee; you must be escorted with a USF Student, Faculty, or Staff member." She then said "They don't check Id's all that often, BUT!!! ...if you give them ANY reason to, they will!" If you don't have a school ID or you are not the guest of someone with an ID, they will escort you out. ...if you give them a reason to check you for an ID!
The front 9 plays more like a rec course, but it does have a very nice setup. It made me think of the 22nd street course in Tampa. The back 9, on the other hand, was totally different. It was more challenging, with more tight technical shots. I'd almost classify as two 9 hole courses that play back to back. Just because they are so completely different.
I had a really good time here, and it is a lot of fun to play. If you can, check this course out! I wouldn't consider it a destination course by any mean, but it is a fun course! The good news is, it's not very far from I-75. If it was closer to where I lived, and it wasn't a "USF Only" course, I'd definitely frequent it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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