Calling Daniel Boone!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Whispering Pines is one difficult course to locate. We drove from one end of this large park to the other end trying to find the course. It's amazing that you never see any trace of this course from the park's road. We finally located a kiosk that had something about disc golf on it and a poor excuse for a map. Finally, a maintenance man drove by and we asked him where the course was. He was hesitant but finally told us it started out behind the pool. And thus I started my adventure.
The brush in this park is very thick but the course did have some legitimate fairways although they were often very tight and technical. Throwing straight for about 200' is a prerequisite on this course.
The DGA baskets have an orange # on the inner pole. It makes them easier to spot in the thick forest here. Most have the next arrow signs hanging below the baskets. The pads are rubber mats. Most of them have the hole # and distance stenciled on them. That serves as the tee signs and makes them difficult to locate because there is nothing sticking up to see. The front nine is better signed and easier to navigate than the back nine.
# 10 gets my vote as the most difficult hole here. It's 358' down a raised road bed about 15-20' wide. This raised road is anywhere from 6' to 15' above the surrounding land. Without resorting to just throwing my putter about 50' at a time, I would never, ever get to the basket without tailing off into the rough below. Definitely not my personal favorite type of hole.
Actually, my round went into a deep funk here. The next arrow sign pointed the way to # 11. I never located it. I found 17 and 18 right below #10. I stumbled around and located a few other unmarked tee pads and baskets but was never able to get on track. Finally, lost hungry, thirsty and scared, a jogger passing by pointed escorted me back to the parking lot and my patient, waiting wife.
Cons: Poorly signed. # 1 says nothing so you have to walk up and read the # on the basket.
I hated # 10. IMO, that's a horrible, unrealistic hole.
The back nine is poorly signed.
I hate courses that play over walking/jogging trails, BMX trails, cross country ski trails, horse trails, snowmobile trails, nature trails or any other kind of marked trails. The back nine here played around three separate walking trails that were all signed (confusingly signed I'd say) making navigation a nightmare to me. After playing almost 1200 course, I like to think I can find my way around a course.
Good luck locating the course. Hint, hint! It starts behind the swimming pool.
Other Thoughts: The front nine was a decent, technical course with challenge. The back nine was a total waste of my time. # 10 was an ugly hole. Climbing down from the # 10 basket was a slippery slope with leaf covered hills.
Thus is one course that I wouldn't care to call my home course. I prefer to call it the 1191st course I've played and leave with almost 100% certainty that I shall not ever be returning and won't be left huddling in the woods trying to rub two sticks together to start a fire, Tim Hanks style.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.712 Rating) The most heavily wooded course I've ever played as of this review (108 courses)
- RAW BEAUTY - Bay far the most redeeming quality of Whispering Pines is its natural beauty. Wonderful terrain changes for a Florida course this far south. Fully wooded with vibrant vegetation and superb natural fauna. I spotted a Pileated Woodpecker on the back 9. (Woody the Woodpecker for those that know the old cartoon)
- CHALLENGING - Despite the short length, this course is tough. League postings at the community board showed not one of the 25 course regulars with a sub-par handicap. Advanced players will probably struggle to crack par. Having a good mid range recovery game will be key to shoot low.
- SHOT SHAPING - Your discs will need to work some magic. There is typically only one angle of attack on every hole. You will have to release at the right speed and angle, and make sure the ending curves correctly to avoid the thousands of trees in play. Good luck.
- ELEVATION FOR FLORIDA - Great elevation changes for a south Florida course. There's probably more elevation here than at the nearby Floral and Quarry courses combined. A nice 25 foot up shot on (12) followed by a nice down shot. However, several regions of the country would consider this course flat. No more than 30 foot of change on any one hole.
- CHILL AREAS - The entire course is entirely secluded and has an overall Zen feel. There are a few tee areas with seating and there's shade at all of the tees as well.
- SPACING - Well spaced out holes with no chance of running one into another fairway. The drawback however is that a few of the holes have longer walks between basket and next tee.
Cons: This course is beyond heavily wooded. Note, the DGCR photos only represent about half of the current course layout. It's been partially redesigned and is even more constricting than the photos represent.
- DESIGN - I'm not sure of the design constraints, (For example, not being allowed to cut trees down) but as it sits, I would say several holes are poorly executed and are flawed holes. It's almost as if the baskets and tees randomly fell from the sky and you have to figure out how to get from point A to point B. Several holes have their widest lane at around 4 feet. A few holes don't have a discernible angle to the basket. A couple wider holes, with 6 and 8 foot lanes, have a tree left in the middle of the lane, way down fairway. I like to refer to this type of hole as the "Middle Finger." Hole (10) "Three Middle Fingers" looks seemingly awesome from tee. It's a straight 350 foot hole along a 15 foot high ridge with a 12 foot wide lane. Scores of trees, left, right and top form a tunnel. In addition, there are three 4 inch diameter trees mid fairway, making four 3 foot gaps in the 12 foot lane. The random statistics to make this gap, and that's if you keep it low while staying in the 12 foot wide lane, is 44%. If you fail to hit the lottery on your shot, you will be greatly punished. Your upshot will have to get back on top of the ridge but it's almost entirely blocked off from the fairway lining trees. Hole (11) is another poorly designed hole called "The Beast." From tee it looks like a 400 foot poke and hope shot. But there is a lane there. It just makes 4 solid turns and is 6 to 8 feet wide. After (11), I actually began to like a bunch of holes.
- FORGIVENESS - One of least forgiving layouts I've ever played. I may have scored a few birdies here, but I still hit a tree on every freaking hole.
- OVERGROWTH - I played in early March and the overgrowth was already coming back with a vengeance. If you play here during the summer peak overgrowth, it's probably because you hate fun.
- NAVIGATION - Passable, but I've experienced much better on other similar type courses. To start. printing or downloading the map to your phone is a must, and I repeatedly checked mine. There are a bunch of directional ques along the layout, but it's not enough for this wooded course. I got lost for a few minutes between (10) and (11) as the map is a little bit off. The tee is farther south, or that is if down on the map is south. There's no north arrow on the map.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - Way too difficult for beginners and many recreational players. I could also see higher skill lever players also not liking this course if they don't like heavily wooded technical courses. Floral Park, farther south, will draw a much wider swath of skill levels.
- CHARACTER - Probably about average as a whole but lacking in some aspects. The teeing experience was not the greatest. Although shaded, the tees themselves are rubber mats. Several were lumpy and uneven. Hole number and distance were on the mats and it appears some were beginning to fade. In addition, there are other things lacking, like no extra tees or extra basket placements and no practice basket. There was a little bit of seating, but there could have been a few more benches.
- UNIQUENESS - 18 very technical wooded shots. Just about every shot has to be played from just one angle. There is no water along the course to force a line. Not that there's a need for another hazard. No par 5 or dogleg holes either. There is however a bit of elevation, as mentioned above in the PRO comments.
Other Thoughts: Whispering Pines needs a serious redesign, as the land it graces is stunning. The course feels like a polar opposite to nearby Floral Park. I applaud the locals who brave to play this course day in and day out. I'm sure by now all these players are precision masters.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Not For The Faint Of Heart
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tight and heavily wooded and featuring hills, ridges, cliffs, bumps and a hole in a hole (15)! Challenging. Some of the narrowest fairways that I have ever seen (And my home course is the technical Preserve course at NPC). Fun. If you don't let it wear you down or get in your head. Scenic. Very pretty course with a good variety of tree and plant types.
Cons: Unfortunately, there are some cons.
No tee signs at all. There are hole #'s and distances on the passable mat tees, although some of the distances seem off.
There are some hikes between holes, and blind/hard to see pins that require first timers to walk down some fairways. Navigation can be tricky. Use the map!
There are apparently baskets and tees still in the ground from extinct courses or future ones perhaps that make navigation even tougher if you stray from the main course.
The course can have some harsh roll-aways if you don't land flat. Not really a con as that is the price to pay for playing a hilly bumpy course, but it can become frustrating.
The terrain can be harsh with steep difficult climbs in places. I would wear sturdy hiking type shoes and recommend that weak constitution types avoid this course. Also, I would recommend that beginners stay far away as this course would discourage most new players.
The course intersects with several popular hiking trails. There were way more hikers than disc golfers on a nice Saturday morning.
Other Thoughts: I like rustic disc golfing, and this course has that in spades. It is not for everyone (DGCR user R2sandman described this course as "whack" after playing it). All of the local dgers that we ran into on the other nearby course said that they played this course once and were done with it. So I guess it never gets too busy either. If you go bring your big-boy game and bring durable discs as tree hits are inevitable.
I believe that this course needs to be modernized. Put in some concrete tees, tee signs, better navigation aids and tweak it a little bit and this course will rival the best in the state.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great park with great potential for improvement
Pros: The land is beautiful and heavily treed. Nice changes in elevation. 27 holes available to play. First 9 are supposed to be the easiest and the new last 9 are supposed to be the hardest.
Cons: Course lacks proper signage. It's not obvious where the first T is located. Pads are in need of leveling. Steep paths on some holes are dangerous and not cart friendly. My biggest issue is with the lack of proper lanes. Too many scrub trees in the flight path. Unless you are a pro or extremely lucky you are going to hit trees on most holes. A couple weekends with a crew and chainsaws and this place could be really be cool to play.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Midranges and Putters
Pros: This is a tight wooded course that really gives you a chance to work on your tunnel shots with midranges and putters.
Start at the large parking area for the swimming pool at the north end of the park, and walk around the pool fence until you find the first tee. Tee pads are rubber mats that are decent, though there are some lumps and bumps in them. Hole number and distance are stenciled on the pads, and there are no other signs. All baskets did have useful "next tee" arrows.
This course is mostly short, tight holes in the 190 - 250' range. In addition to the tree-lined fairways many have one or more tree in the middle that introduces an element of luck into the holes.
The front nine is made up of very similar holes, with the only variety being the basket placement a bit right, a bit left, or straight ahead.
Hole 10 is quite different with both the tee pad and the basket up on top of a levee type ridge, with big drop-offs on either side. The top is quite narrow and it is a real trick to keep your drive on top.
Hole 11 is labelled as "The Beast" and that is a good name for it. It is the only par 4 hole and the only hole over 400'. The drive is blind and requires a right turn then a left fade to position yourself for the second shot. Miss it by even a little and you're in the thick stuff and probably working on a bogie or worse.
While the front nine is pretty flat the back nine offers some good elevation changes, which add another challenging element.
Hole 18 seems like a gift as you drive down a dirt road that seem positively wide open compared to the other 17 holes.
Cons: There is a good bit of similarity to the holes on this course. Holes 10, 11, and 18 introduce some variety, but for the most part this is a short, tight, woods course.
If you like to air out your drives, this is not the course for you.
There are no tee signs and you will find yourself walking forward on a number of holes to spot the basket.
The rubber teepads are pretty good, but on one hole I did catch on a bad spot and stumbled off of the front.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course for working on precise drives down narrow fairways. I enjoyed the course as I don't often get a chance to play one this tight.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Skip front 9 and play back 9
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Back 9 is interesting golf. Holes 10-13 are really fun and different than most courses in Florida. Shade for the whole course is nice. Gorgeous walk in the woods. Nice elevation changes (for Florida).
Cons: Front 9 is a series of tunnel shots through ridiculously tight fairways with thick underbrush and trees on the side. It is frustrating golf. Imagine Charlotte Disc Golf with "fairways" that are as narrow as 5 feet. Many reviewers describe this as challenging, technical, etc. I don't mean to offend, but I think these holes are poorly designed. It is poke and pray golf at it's worst. This is old school disc golf course design that should be fixed with wider, "fair" fairways.
Other Thoughts: With the quality and amount of land available, this could be one of the best courses in Florida. Perhaps the designer was told he couldn't cut down a single tree. If this is the case, it explains a lot about the design and would make the situation more understandable.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
pros and cons
This one will test you. It's tight and technical. It won't test your arm, and there's aren't any true par-fours, or really even any long threes but it will test your accuracy and punish deviations. It actually has a bit of a North Carolina feel, and I don't mean just the pines. The way the fairways are constructed. The way the fairways are constricting. It should all seem somewhat familiar to those experienced in the Tar Heel State. There is even a bit of well used elevation.
The flow is incredible, helped along by top-notch maintenance, especially in the front nine. The course takes a very natural flow through the woods with clearly delineated paths between holes and navigation aids where needed. This is especially true of the front nine, where the word pristine would not be an incorrect description. The fairways are a perfect size and there are some nice throwing lines in a variety of directions.
The back nine gets a bit crazier. 10 and 11 are the two beasts of the course. 10 requires a very straight long throw along a raised area and if you veer off the fairway, trouble is immediate. The path back to the fairway will be both uphill and tree-covered. 11 is more of a zig zag with shorter paths linked by sharp turns. Definitely fun in a novel way.
The holes are at the best when they involve the elevation present in the back half. There's a really cool hole that's just a short throw over a pit, with trees that should be able to be thrown over, but the danger is really from how small of an area that pin stands on, and how likely a roll back is, especially if a tree is even glanced.
Technical holes. Check. Tight fairways. Check. Interesting, signature-type holes. Check. I feel like the front nine is a 3.5 and the back nine is a 3.0. There's a lot to like here, and if giving out 3.25s were allowed, this is a perfect course to receive that mark. I debated 3 vs 3.5 the entire time I was writing this. I do think that the present score relatively underrates it in the area, but I would never allow that to affect my rating. It's almost a 3.5. And it could be, eventually.
The first hole could be easier to find. There's that nice big arrow pointing towards the first hole on the side of the pool. What I would like to see is a nice arrow on the kiosk pointing towards the existing arrow. It's really the only flaw in the navigation here, but it's an easy fix. The directions here say the right corner of the swimming pool, but that's vague enough that's I'd like an arrow. (Although that direction is very helpful in finding the correct area of the park.)
But that's an issue that affects the play only once. A more significant con is the amount of poke-n-pray shots. Other reviews mentioned that the park won't let any trees come down, which is a shame, because just a few small trees are keeping this from being a true 3.5-level course. You know what I mean: an otherwise perfectly tight, challenging fairway has one or two thin trees left standing in the center of it. It's not that many trees either. I'd say cutting the right 20-25 over the whole course would be game-changing.
While a lot of the back nine holes are tough and interesting, they are often "weird" tough, and not tough in the sense of championship-caliber course. Weird angles. Weird obstacles. A bunch of not-really-golf-shots. Fun and often creative but just not the kind of holes I would think of if someone described a course as tough with no further explanation. There's not a real par-four here and there isn't much distance, with all but three holes measuring in under 300 feet.
So while you should not expect to find a true challenge of disc golf skill in the conventional sense, it also is very beginner-unfriendly. For those that are just learning to disc, this course is probably a pass. The only issue for most traveling players is going to be the blind throws. The tee signs aren't that helpful. It's a course that probably plays much better for locals, but visitors will occasionally have to throw at areas that they hope feature a basket. The front nine is not so bad here, as the fairways offer very natural lines that can bee seen even if the basket isn't. The back definitely has some holes with guesswork, or require scouting. Part of this is because the fairways disappear in some places, and the immaculate nature of the front half is not continued.
Other Thoughts: For me, Whispering Pines is better than a bunch of area courses that are rated higher. Before comparing the raw numbers, look back and find that Whispering Pines has a bunch of low numbers from years ago that are bringing the average down. It seems clear that those ratings date to a time when the course wasn't as good as it currently is(as do the uploaded pictures here). In my opinion, this is a significantly better play than Floral Park or anything in the Tampa area besides Medard and Cliff Stephens. To sum up, this is a recommended spot for travelers that play above a beginner-level and take the relative ratings with a grain of salt.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course keeps drawing me back. It is in a lovely wooded area and there are several natural ridges that are utilized with excellent course design.
Cons: The first hole is not easy to find and for a first time player some of the next tees need signage
Other Thoughts: This course is all in the shade so for Florida it is a very cool course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was a lot of fun to play. We really liked the rare (for Florida) elevation changes. Hole 10 was like playing on top of a levee and was as interesting as it was tough for us. Hole 11 had the basket high up on a ridge. The front 9 taught us to throw low straight drives.
Cons: It was a pain to find the first hole. Unforgiving fairways. For someone like me who always manages to hit a tree in front of me, it was frustrating at first. The back 9 is too hilly for a cart. I like to bring my cooler and an extendable long pole that isn't practical without the cart.
Other Thoughts: If you are looking for a well manicured park with great signage and cement tees with long open holes, Floral Park to the south would better suit you. However with the short tight elevated holes, Whispering Pines is a great compliment to Floral Park. Play Floral early in the morning before it gets too hot and then head to shady Whispering Pines.
Don't bring your cart. Instead park to the back of the lot near where the 10th tee is. This way you can leave your cooler in the car and freshen your drinks at the midway point.
While the 3.5 rating I gave it may be ambitious, the course deserves to be higher than a 3 due to the rare elevation for the area. Only the back 9 of Edward Medard Park in Plant City approaches the elevation changes.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A true GEM for disc golfers who are wanting to improve their game. The course is laid out in a beautiful heavily wooded park that actually has the best elevation I've seen in Florida. The holes are very intelligently designed to make the most of the elevation and tight openings in the trees. Each hole from #1 to about #11 get progressively more difficult and challenging (if you love a challenge then you will love the course). Some truly memorable holes.... one with a tight tunnel shot on a ridge with about a 10 ft wide fairway and about a 15 foot drop off on each side.... another shot where the basket rests at the top of a 25 foot high ridge with only about a 4 foot wide green and another 25 ft drop off on the other side.... and then the next tee is at the top of that ridge with the basket about 300 feet down another tight fairway. And the best part is that you are completely isolated from the rest of the park in a dense forest.... very tranquil! :)
Cons: Not a beginner friendly course!! My friend who played with me commented that we would have hated the course about a year ago when we didn't know how to throw a midrange on a straight line for 280 ft. Not a course where you need your drivers. Probably only one hole that I threw a driver, but not all courses need to have every shot for it to be a great course. :) One thing I would add to the course is more signage to show distances and maps of the different holes. Also, we didn't find any signage to point us to the next hole, but we didn't get lost once so it is not hard to stay on the right path.
Other Thoughts: Probably my favorite course at this time, since I know playing this course will make me a much better player who can throw tight and straight lines. Would actually rate this a 4.0 or 4.5, but since the course has such a low rating currently I just wanted to boost it up a bit so it gets its recognition. ;-) Definitely a must play!!!!
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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