5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was in Jacksonville on business and after reading a few reviews on courses near my hotel, I decided to check out Fore Palms and I'm glad I did!
The course is settled in a large and well maintained park and all the locals I ran into seemed very friendly. Even though there was a decent amount of foot traffic, pedestrians seemed aware of the game and the sidewalks are relatively easy to avoid throwing towards (worst case you can wait 30 seconds and they're out of the way completely).
I found that the course had a very balanced challenge for a variety of players. It isn't a technical and punishing course by any means but it also isn't a wide open field either. I found myself using a decent variety of shots as most holes have a couple of routes you can shoot for.
Aside from the lake in the middle of the course, errant shots that go into the rough are pretty easy to find and won't annihilate your score on the hole. There's also the A-C and D-F bonus holes which I thought were a pretty cool addition.
Cons: Most of the cons I can think of are either nitpicky or of no fault by the course designers.
While I had great weather during my visit, I can see it being pretty brutal in the summer with a lack of shade. It was nice to have benches and bag hangers at almost every hole but some more trash cans would be nice (even though I saw little to no litter on the ground).
The A-C bonus holes were fun (B and C are open bombers) and flowed with the rest of the course but D-F felt like an afterthought and didn't jive very well with the layout as a whole.
Some of the blue tees were only a few feet further back and situated right next to an obstacle which forced you into an odd throw. To me it felt like the course was designed around the red tee pads with the blue being there "just because".
Navigation can be a little wonky and I was lost my first 9 holes until I started playing behind someone to see the direction of the next tees. After one full round, I had no issues navigating but without a little help it can be confusing.
Other Thoughts: During my visit to Jacksonville, this was the only course I felt like visiting. Sure it may not float everyone's boat do to lack of elevation and lots of ground play but its an overall great course in a nice area which is more than I can say about a lot of places I've played. I was in between a 3.5 and a 4 rating but I feel like its fair to round up a bit for the pros instead of down for the easily overlooked cons.
I will certainly be back the next time I'm in town.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course on a former Ball golf course
Pros: Great variety of open to wooded shots. good mix of par 3, 4, and a 5. Nice public park with sidewalks and a pond two of the holes throw over. Love the mix of distance and tec. used just about every shot in my bag.
Cons: 1. Baskets are starting to show there age chipping and some rusted chains. 2. Pads love the length but bumpy and lumpy accident waiting to happen. 3. traffic lots of people use the sidewalks and were walking around both of the rounds i played.
Other Thoughts: The public has a great understanding of disc golf here and waited for our shots at times only had a couple of ppl not understand the dont pick up the disc while i am shouting dont touch it. This was during a C tier that i played the 2 rounds and only got to play the 18 but did check out the extra holes.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a nice mix-up being a Florida course in that it has some geographical character...mainly some nice elevation change on quite a few holes. The course has a good size pond in the middle of it which is used as a hazard for a couple of holes which adds some suspense to the round. The course layout is well done and really uses every bit of the property it can (even fitting in some bonus holes) There is a nice variety of holes from wide open bombers to some shorter technical to even a few in very dense wooded areas. It is nice that the course is more than just 18 holes (There are several bonus holes which I already mentioned)
Cons: The park seems to be a popular spot to come and walk/run, we were there on a Sunday late morning/early afternoon and the place was fairly busy with people everywhere so there were several holes spent waiting to get a clearing to throw. I would have liked to see a restroom here or there throughout the course instead of just one wretched facility near the park's entrance. I am not one to like too many trees but I feel this park could benefit from a few more obstacles on many holes. The lake is a nice obstacle but other than that the course is fairly each to navigate.
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses that I've played in Florida mainly because of the variety of hole layout and elevation change, it definately has features that will suit every skill level and I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun round in the Jacksonville area. We drove up from Daytona Beach to play.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice course in a clean, well-maintained city park. Fairly busy. Long course requires a long walk. Tees and baskets are good. Decent variety of long open holes and short holes in woods. Plays through very tall pine trees and a couple of open water-carry shots required. Decent variety but nothing extraordinary. Mostly open to semi-open holes with a few scattered trees to avoid. Some good pin placements to make good use of natural elements.
Cons: Bathrooms very limited and way too far away from course. Signage is very lacking. I lost the "bonus holes completely. I could tell the general area where they were but was not interested in wandering the wide open area to figure out where to start and how to play. Dual tees primarily just added a little distance with no real change in the hole layout or shot required.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very big with 24 baskets including the A-C and D-F bonus holes. Decent variety of long open holes and short holes in light woods. Plays through very tall pine trees that drop pine needles for the perfect skip shots on several holes. This was a ball golf course once upon a time and that means the land is not board flat but rather has some playful undulations. Park is always free to enter. Long holes with big fairways to let it rip. New bag holders, tee signs & some new longer pin positions. Long and short cement tees are in good shape. Benches on a number of holes and other chill spots along the way help to keep you refreshed through 24 holes.
Cons: Restrooms are not close enough to disc golf area. There is a walking path that is close to a number of holes so there may be an occasional wait for safety reasons.
Other Thoughts: Ample parking and practice basket by first tee. Popular and busy course. Always someone to play with or guide you. Holes 9 and 10 bring a small pond into play but it doesn't add much interest (not pretty) or difficulty (not that long).
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun times at Fore Palms
Pros: Nice course in a clean, well-maintained city park with skate park, basketball court, ball fields, walking trail and lots of paved parking.
• Variety: Decent, but not great. Mostly open to semi-open holes with a few scattered trees to avoid. Many light to moderately wooded holes plus, two short, densely wooded, technical holes. Reasonable balance of L/R/straight - most holes allow for multiple lines off the tee but present a couple of obstacles you need to work around, but only a few restrict you to pretty much one or two routes that you have to hit if you want a low score. Has a few pretty good tee and pin placements to make good use of natural elements.
• Dual Tees occasionally change the look and line, but some just add length. Both red and blue span a decent spread of distances, but can be mixed and matched to accommodate a range of skill levels, and provide a richer selection distances. Dual pins on half the holes help keep things fresh for locals.
• Features two respectable water carries from the longs while offering "bail-out"routes from the shorts, allowing distance challenged players the thrill of throwing over as much of the pond as they feel comfortable with while forcing them to take the longer way'round.
• Aesthetics: It's nice a pleasant enough walk around the park, but nothing I'd describe as scenic.
• Equipment: Concrete tees were OK, baskets were in good condition, and tee signs provide the hole's vitals and help you find your way around.
• Reasonably fun and relatively challenging - not a bad place for novices or advanced players looking for a casual round.
• Elevation: Kudos to designers for capitalizing on the very subtle changes in topography, but if elevation really wets your whistle, you'll be disappointed. Create a mound, elevate a pin and create a rollaway green.
• Extra Holes: I think hole "B" is a nice addition to the course, but the other 5 seem run of the mill - not necessarily bad, but other than providing some fun birdie opportunities, they don't really make it a better course. For example, the pin for hole "A" could have been nestled into the woods a bit to put more emphasis on placing your tee shot. As it is, 5 of them serve to screw up the flow without adding much in terms of disc play.
• Navigation and Next Tee signs - as with many fairly open courses, where to go after you hole out isn't always obvious, and finding the next tee was a bit iffy in several spots. Seems like the original 18 holes actually flow pretty well, but the extra holes (A-C and D-F) were obviously added on and don't flow well with the rest of the course. I won't say the map is an absolute must, but it'll definitely save visitors quite a bit of time. A few Next Tee signs would help.
• Could use more holes that that are less forgiving of tee shots that are off target. Players who max out at 250 -300ft can often miss their line, and still place a upshot for a makeable putt to card a 3, while actually hitting the line may not really give them a really good look at 2. That said, for players who can get 300-350 off the tee, being off target on those same holes will cost them birdie opportunities.
Other Thoughts: Fore Palms gets much more right than it does wrong, and fits quite comfortably among other very good courses I've played. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, but destination disc golf... not so much. That said, there don't appear to be better alternatives anywhere in the area. Likely the best course in an area that's simply not a hot bed for DG.
Things to consider: not much in the way of shade - plan accordingly to maximize comfort and enjoyment.
Coexists pretty well with semi-shared use of the park, although there are a few spots where you may need to wait a while for people travelling along the path to clear out of the range of bad shots.
Relatively open layout means wind is likely a factor pretty often (definitely the case during my round). Frustrating to some, challenging to others.
Suggestion for improved routing (don't read this unless you look at the course map):
The flow from 3 to A, then to B & C, and then over to 4 is non-intuitive and crosses the walking path three times. Reversing the tee and pin positions on hole "A" would greatly improve flow. That would have you going from 3 to B, to C, then crossing the path to A, (which if reversed), would point directly toward 4... then renumber accordingly. The resultant routing would have you walking to the closest tee (i.e. more intuitive) and only crosses the walk path once.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Often, it can be tough to peg a course to a specific half point on a five-point scale. It can be limiting, with many courses falling somewhere between a 3 and a 2.5 for example. I'd like to give hypothetical course a 2.8. I think most of us do the best we can with such limitations and it's probably for the best.
I bring this up because Ed Austin to me, is the shining example of a 3.5. If someone asked me to describe a course that deserves a 3.5, I'd just send them a link to Ed Austin. It's a challenging, interesting course, that has just enough flaws that it is clearly not four stars. At the same time, it's definitely better than your local 3 star course.
It boasts a pond in the center of course. Two holes offer carries, but both allow the safe but long way around the pond. This is the course to be fearless, though. A club representative rakes the pond with a big contraption so if you lose one, you're likely to get a call.
While it is apparently a former ball golf course, it doesn't feel like one at all. Other courses of that type can feel like they stuck baskets and tees on the former ball holes. This one doesn't.
In all, it's got a decent amount a variety for a mostly open course, a few wooded hoels, and a few open holes with trees that force your shot. It's got length and some, but not an excessive amount of challenge.
Cons: It's not extremely technical, and the sun will wear you out much faster than the course will. There is not much shade here, and eighteen holes can leave you exhausted .
I'd like to see a bit more obstacle between the tee and hole for it to be a truly top-notch course. There is just a bit much of the bomb-it-and-avoid-two-trees holes for my taste. There are a few wooded holes, but read that as FEW. It's almost a tease when so few holes demand strict control of your drives.
Next tee arrows please. The most simple problem to correct but so many courses forget this. Often at Ed Austin the next hole is obvious, but with the extra, lettered holes, confusion can be created. The worst example is after 3, when the tee for C is visible, and no reason to turn towards 4 is given. If you are going to add extra holes, (and I do like this feature in general) you really need to make it clear how to play 18, and how to play 24. Walking a loooong ways to play a hole you did not intend is a mistake that could be easily averted with a few signs.
Other Thoughts: It's the premier course in northeast Florida by a mile. You'd have to drive 2 hours in any direction to find something better and I'd play this 3.5 again in a heartbeat.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Awesome variety of holes, some wide open, some woods, tunnel shot on #5. Course is always clean and maintained. Great feeling of safety with the police presence.
Cons: Not enough ace runs. #16 is not a fair par 3, almost 500' having to throw your drive low through a bank of trees. 8 also should be a par 4 when the basket is placed into the woods. This course is definitely for bigger arms.
Other Thoughts: Well worth travelling to play this course. I would like to see the pars on some holes reconsidered, as they are not fair to the average player.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
In Great Condition
Pros: Great Course, because it has everything for each shot, woods, water, left to right,right to left, short or long. Cement Tees.Trash Bins, Clean.In Great Condition
Cons: Getting busy. Weekend afternoons very busy park.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Concrete tee pads rule!
-The lettered holes (A-C and D-F) have tee pads made of concrete tiles, but they've been installed with such skill that they are as level and smooth as tee pads on holes 1-18. Great job!
-This is a sprawling course with subtle elevation changes
-With two water holes built around a small pond, you can throw a floating disc with near 100% chance of getting it back.
-With 24 holes, you can opt to skip the two water holes and still play 22 holes!
Cons: -This park gets a lot of use on weekends. With all that foot traffic, you sometimes have to wait to throw your disc.
-With only natural irrigation, the course is pretty sandy. I have lots of sand in my shoes at the end of the day.
Other Thoughts: In terms of design and location, this is a prime example of what a Florida disc golf course should look like. The next time you drive through Jacksonville, I suggest you make time to play a round there.
I played this course again recently, and I continue to be impressed by the design and layout. I can't wait to go back.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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