You " Have To Play " Climo's Home Course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I pulled into this busy park at 7:40 on a Friday morning , just as daylight was trying to overtake the night . The park was an easy find , just off of RT. 19 with a big sign saying Cliff Stephens Park Disc Golf . As I sat in my car , I could already see walkers treading their miles on the cement paths . I wanted to get on this course before the locals overtook it , and I was glad I did . by the time I was done with the first 9 , there were 30 people on the course , On a Friday . And it was only about 8:30 ! The course starts on the left of the adequate sized parking lot here . There is a kiosk with a map of the course . A Port O Let was nearby from the #2 basket . The signs are excellent , with Hole # , par , distance , and actual pictures of the pins . There are some Next Tee signs that help wit navigation The cement tees ( 2 on most holes ) are large and grip well .There are multiple pin positions and in many cases multiple baskets . Some are yellow , but the main ones are green Discatchers . The amenities are good here , too . Benches and trash cans throughout this course . Plenty of holes here to play . The DGR face page says 25 , but I was only able to play 22 this day .The course splits , as 1/9 play on the parking side of the street that you came in on , and 10-25 makes you cross to the other side . The course is very picturesque , with it's water , large oaks with low hanging branches and Spanish moss hanging from them . I won't explain hole to hole , but I will give highlights . Beware of #1 . Great starter hole at 425' from the long tee , has water behind and to the left of the basket . #5 has a tribute to Climo on it It is 369' from the longs , but is guarded by an oak with low hanging branches even on the ground guarding the basket . makes for interesting putts . Overthrow this hole or ricochet of a branch and you could hit water behind it . #9 is one of the shortest holes on the course at 279' , but you have to lift your drive enough to carry a wall in front of the basket . Throw too hard and go way past . Many holes here will have water on the right or left fairway or right behind the hole . #12 is a safe water carry , but the basket sits way past the water in a clump of trees . I played 2 discs at 16 long . One to throw an island shot , then 1 to play 16 as a station to station shot to the basket on the slight other side of a body of water . #17 is a hidden tee ( print the map ) down to the left , where you have to throw at the island shot , which is really a peninsula throw from the other way , with a long dropoff into the water on either side . Make sure you bring a couple of found or throwaway discs from your trunk when playing this course . It is not hard to have one land in water . And you don't want to go in after them ( explain in cons ) . #18 tee is actually close to the 17 hidden tee , just in the opposite direction . It is a tunnel shot with a small hillside to the left , a tree in the middle of the fairway and water to the immediate left . A true pucker shot from either the long or short tees . The next tee beyond it was unplayable , so you have to take an immediate right and out the other end to play the final holes . #21 ( or 18 as the locals know it ) finishes you off as a 669' par 3 ? What the ?!?! You want to come here when you have time to burn , because this is NOT a fast play . It took me over 90 minutes to play the 22 holes . By the time I was done , there were players all over this course . The park is clean and well kept . I met one of the locals from the Tampa Bay Disc Sports Club back on the hole behind 17 , clearing it for an upcoming tournament . Many very good holes and friendly locals , make this a happening course . Signature Hole : Maybe #16 , where you can throw to an island to throw over the rest of the water . There is a reason that there are so many bike riders and walkers here , with the trees , paths and water . Challenging , yet also friendly for the average player . The course has a more woods feel on holes 2-9 and 18 , and more open , park style and water related on the rest .
Cons: #1 Safety . The only places you have to watch for disc golfers and fairways are from holes 4-8 . , especially after the front 9 , but the cement paths cut through a part of this course and bike riders and runners can come up on you in a minute . Nailing them with a drive is a possibility . Also , on maybe hole 13 ? One goes dangerously close to the busy road that cuts this course in 2 . You can easily hit a car that is coming in from behind you . #2 Water ,,, and safety . You will see more water related holes here than most anywhere . And most are sloped downward . Not only do you stand on losing your prized driver or midrange , but alligators have been spotted in these waters . Let your miscues drown . Bring a couple of second hand discs to throw some of these holes . I had one run-in with a gator at Sunset near Pensacola while putting on the fringe of a small lake . Don't take needless chances . Disc Risk : medium to high , just because of so many water possibilities ( the shorter tees try to steer you away from the water carries , a big plus )#3. Navigation . Even with a printed map , the back end of this course can be a head scratcher . You will see what you think is a natural flow ( 11 to 15 comes to mind , along with 17-18 ) only to be a course hiccup in another direction As scenic as these holes are , the course varies in distance and challenge , but the course is flat ( not able to help ) , and has no bends , station to station throws or doglegs . Shot shaping only goes to the creativity of this course . Some of this course might be a mess after a good hard rain .
Other Thoughts: I didn't realize that Cliff Stephens in one of the oldest course in Florida . This is a first class play . Amenities , good trails and places to sit for family while you play , The course sits very close to Clearwater beach for you vacationers . Very scenic , it's no wonder that you have to dodge foot and bike traffic here .Even if I didn't play disc golf , I would come here , even if to eat lunch . You might even catch some of the local pros playing .If you lose any discs or just want to browse a huge disc golf store nearby , The Local Route is close by on Rt 19 . You might want to look at the Facebook page before coming out . I am told that this course hosts a lot of tournaments and organized play . Checked this course off of my personal bucket list .Thank You Clearwater Parks And Rec and Tampa Bay Disc Sports Club for letting me play this great course . My recommendation : Even with the shorter tees Newbies or local families may want to cut their teeth on North East Coachman Park just a few minutes up the road . Other than that , locals , Pros , Ams , vacationers , travelers will find that this is a must play . You will understand what I am saying immediately after you park your car here . Play IT !! As Many Times As You Can !!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Great Classic Course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has been on my wishlist for quite some time... and it did not disappoint.
*Personal Background as of time of review- 7 years playing DG, course designer of Black Bear DGC in West Portsmouth Ohio. I have played 3 of the current top 10 including: Flip, Harmon Hills, and Idlewild.
As the previous reviewer mentioned, It was really cool to see the Disc Golf sign on the main road that accesses the park. This is very similar to Idlewild. My review is simply for long tees to short baskets. 18 hole design. Holes 1 through 9 play through old growth oak forest. Holes 10 through 18 really open up for longer throws and water Carries.
Without spelling out every single hole, I will say that highlights for me were 2, 10, and 16. Something very majestic about Spanish moss covered oaks. Very likely, this is because it is nostalgic for me having grown up in South Carolina... and then living in Ohio and never seeing it.
Loved the long teepads. These arent a must for a long carry course, but very appreciated. Also enjoyed the signs that hung on the baskets... and tee signs that were in. Having a Kiosk is great.
Multiple Tees and Baskets on every hole. That really allows for different levels of play.
I guess the other thing that cant easily be replaced here... the history. Cool to know that there have been many top pros that have played here.
Cons: Gators... I will put that as a con. No way in hell am I going after a disc. Although... this really made me think the holes and made me play differently than I would up north. Not really a con for me... but probably for most people. I will just leave the disc and donate it to the swimmers.
Again, not a con for me just knowing that this is an old course, but Multi use park with lots of pedestrian foot traffic. There will be several people that will walk through the course as you throw.
Other than the above holes, most of the holes felt like they were the exact same hole. Very few par 4s or 5s.... unless you play to the gold basket.
Other Thoughts: I stopped by The Local Route on my way out. Very close by, and the people seem very personable. Having a great store nearby is almost enough to make the Pros... but since it isnt part of the course I will list it in this section.
I bet this course would be a blast for tournament play.
Thank you very much to the locals and the club for giving me a great course to travel to. I know it is difficult to take care of such a huge course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Not for Beginners
0 Helpful / 17 Not
Pros: Pretty Location
Cons: Green Rings on Baskets Hard to See
Some Baskets Completely Hidden
Fairly Difficult Course
Little Shade on Back 9
Lots of Water
Other Thoughts: Not good for beginners at all. The first basket was quite far, tucked behind foliage on the bank of a pond on the right side of a walkway, with foliage and a steep bank into a creek on the left side. Very unforgiving for a beginner to throw that distance, let alone to do it accurately. On hole 3 I made one of the best throws I've ever made as a beginner player towards what I assumed was the approximate basket location. While headed in the right direction, I had to wander around for 5 minutes before I realized I was just over halfway to a hidden basket behind a bunch of tall grass and trees. The green basket rings don't stand out as it is, but shooting blind towards thick foliage and water isn't really enjoyable either. Maybe this course is okay for more experienced players, but I don't think it's remotely enjoyable for beginners. Unless getting baked in the sun while fishing your disc out of a pond is enjoyable, as the 9 holes across the street feature a lot of water and little shade. As I mentioned, it's nice that the parking area has some shade, and the park is very pretty.
0 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Cliff Stephens DGC Has It's Own Street Sign!
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: About a half mile from the park, I spied a sign reading Cliff Stephens Park Disc Golf Course. I was most impressed. The large park is lovely and features many lakes and canals. It seems as though they come into play on just about every hole.
The course starts near the parking lot with the front 9 looping back here. There is a Sani-can, a course rules sign, and a small kiosk here. There are extra long concrete tee pads (14 feet) on both the Longs And the Shorts. The signs show the distance for both and as well 2-3 basket placements along with those distances. The baskets are a very pretty light green Discatchers. Or are they Pea Green?
There are benches at most every pad as well as garbage cans and bag holders. Both 9 and 18 finish at the parking lot.
I thought there was a nice mixture of hole lengths as well as difficulty. From the shorts, # 3 and # 9 we're both fun little Ace runs. I loved the difficult basket placement on both # 2 (stuck in behind this tree with multiple limbs sprouting up) and # 5 with it's basket just above the waters of the pond.
There were water carries for everyone. # 10 features a 280' carry if you throw directly at the basket. Then # 12 is just about 100' carry. # 16 is a monster especially from the longs and especially today with a brisk wind kicking up. And these don't include the other 7-8 lakes and canals border the fairways.
Cons: As with just about course with added A-B-C type holes, I found this somewhat confusing. Firstly, my DGCR map shows a map with 21 holes numbered 1-21. There is no mention of any lettered holes but the information side states the course has 25 holes. I did find a basket just beyond # 16 basket labeled C. The cool island hole is listed as 17 on my DGCR map. I do see that there is a path leading off into the woods beyond the # 7 tee pad. If I had spent a little more time searching, I would've have figured it out.
Not a con but when you combine windy conditions with scary water carries, that's a situation.
All the water here that defines Cliff Stephens could also be considered a Con to many. Losing your plastic is a Con.
Hungry gators are a Con.
Course is flat.
Other Thoughts: To me, Cliff Stephens lived up to it's lofty spot among Florida's top courses. The amenities were great. The water was lovely to look at, provided some nerve wracking moments throwing over or around it and is not advisable for rescuing little wayward discs out of. I liked the hole variety of short Ace runs and others like the 669' last hole. I don't know which number to bestow upon this behemoth (Is it 18' 21 or 25?) but I like the fact that there was some shaping and accuracy involved here as well. For me, # 16 was a little too much for my game but how I would love to watch any kind of a tournament group playing it.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
TOP GULF COAST COURSE
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The holes flowed nicely from one to the next. No really long walks from basket to next tee. A couple of true bomber holes that also needed shape on the shot, mixed in with some intricate shorter holes. The scenery was beautiful, and many holes had tree cover, which was a welcome break in the heat of August !!
Cons: Nothing course related at all. As a Canadian playing on his 2nd day in Florida, the heat was a little hard to get used to.Should have come back to play later in my trip; by day 4 I was more used to it. Lucky not to come across any snakes, but did see a gator, so a disc close to or in the water may be one you want to consider leaving where it lays!
Other Thoughts: I don't think this would be a course a beginner would want to take on, what with a fair bit of water in play, but for those with a little more experience it will be well worth the trip. I'll be back!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
A Florida Classic
Pros: -- Cliff Stephens is a well laid out, 24+ hole course with multiple tees on many holes and multiple pin placements. This means there is a lot of fun golf to play out here. There are long shots, tight tunnels, nerve-wrecking water carries, and a lot in between. The only thing really missing here is a lot of elevation, though there is some (especially the riverbanks). The variety is what really makes this course for me: I throw just about every disc in my bag and use every shot I know how to throw every time I play it. Many holes have different lines you can play based on what you are feeling that day.
-- Risk/reward. With all the water in play on this course, there is a lot of decision making between a safe shot that won't fly/roll into the water or that perfect line that you *know* you can throw but may not be the highest percentage shot for you. Hole 16 really embodies this, with a HUGE carry over a pond on a very long hole. From the long tees, you can try to carry straight (a 330-400 foot bomb depending on where you aim), play short to the right to get to dry land, or play out to the left onto the peninsula with hole A's basket. Launching one out there and praying that it barely carries to dry land can be a lot of fun or just plain miserable depending on whether the disc golf gods decide to listen that day. Hole A is another risky shot (that is an extra hole not always played) where you shoot out a very narrow peninsula fairway to a basket surrounded on 3 sides by dangerous water.
-- The tees are nice concrete tees with plenty of length. They could be wider, but they aren't narrow enough to be problematic.
-- There are benches, trash cans, and bag hangers all over the place. The signs are also very helpful with actual pictures of the holes showing the various pin placements. The only thing missing from the signs would be an indicator of which pin placement is currently installed.
-- The legend and history of this course. Being built in 1986, it has seen a lot of rounds by a lot of players and has become somewhat infamous. It is also the home course of The Champ, Ken Climo.
Cons: -- Water, water, water. And gators. Water plays in on a very large number of holes, with some just having river along the side or back of the hole barely in play but with others carrying over a good amount of water. I don't know if I have ever played here without losing at least one disc. I've had a few that I could see in the water, but with all the signs everywhere about gators, I wasn't about to go in and get them. I can also attest that these signs aren't exaggerations, the last time I played (Feb 2017) I saw a tiny 2ft gator on the back of hole 5 and thought "oh cool." That was until I got to hole 7 and saw an 8-10 foot gator sitting on the shore just downhill behind the basket. Playing water shots is fun, but be prepared to lose some plastic here.
-- On the theme of losing discs, hole 17 (I think locals call it "B" or something, but is the one listed as 17 on this site) is also a bit ridiculous. It's a short hole, but incredibly tight (15 to 20ft wide) with really thick woods on the right and a few tree trunks, thick bushes, and a creek on the left. While the creek is pretty shallow and narrow, the bank is steep with very thick brush. A slightly errant shot can barely catch a tree and bounce way left or right into very serious trouble. This hole always takes me forever.
-- While this course has decent variety, I'd say it tends to play largely open. There are some more tightly wooded holes towards the end, though ideally I'd want the open and wooded holes a bit more spaced out to balance the front and back nines and keep the round a bit more interesting.
-- Some holes play next to or over a bike path and a road. The road is only one hole, but the bike path comes into play a lot. I've had to wait on quite a few holes for bikers and walkers to clear the fairway before throwing, and on a super busy day I could see risks of someone getting hit with a disc.
-- Towards the end, it is confusing to know where to go. Hole A feels natural after 16 but is rarely played. The original 17 is also right there, but if you do that you miss the new holes in the back (listed as 17-22 on this site). A sign after 16 directing players where to go based on whether they are playing 24 or just the original 18 would really help.
Other Thoughts: While some of the newer courses in the area - like Cypress Point and Picnic Island - are better, this is a must play course in the Tampa Bay area if for nothing else but the history of the place. It is a very fun round, but I'd recommend bringing some throwaway plastic for some of the water shots (but don't worry, Clearwater Disc Golf store is just up the road in case you need to reload your bag after a round). Enjoy, and watch out for gators!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Loved this course! I played in the afternoon, and the low sun was lighting up the moss that hangs from the mature trees and making them glow. It was really picturesque!
On to the course: First 9 is mostly moderate length holes, thru mature tree lines. Water skirts a few holes, and sits quite lower than the land, so flirting with the edge could lead to a roll away disc, but only if you make a bad shot. The water really shouldn't be in play too much for most throws. I really like the multiple lines offered by the mature trees, and the mentioned slight elevation changes, which are both kinda rare in parts of Florida. I played conservatively throwing straight at most baskets keeping the disc low. And making good approach putts lead to easy pars. There a few legit birdie chances to be had. Back nine the water comes in to play more, but the trees thin out a bit, so it's a wash. I little easier to stretch out your throws, but you better be accurate! A couple of water carries, but there are areas to bail out if you aren't feeling on top of your game. I did not play the extra holes, so cant review them...was running out of daylight. Overall, the pads are concrete, in fine shape, and the baskets are adequate.
Cons: Small parking area as you arrive. Really need a course map and sign directing you to the first hole. I walked around a bit like a newb looking for the first hole until I found it. Be aware of walkers, bikers, etc. There are paths throughout the park. Also, gators and snakes. Baskets are set a bit low to the ground. Could use a little more variety in this regard. But I'm nitpicking...the course is really really fun.
Other Thoughts: It was a beautiful park, played in beautiful weather. I played +1 which I thought was great for first time through. I did put one in the drink on #16, but it was fun going for it! Played with a beginner who played from the short pads, and she was able to get some pars and really enjoy the course, as well.
I recommend this course, definitely one of the top 10 in FL, and you feel the history of the course when you play it.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Home of the Champ - Ken Climo
Pros: (3.838 Rating) (REVISED - replayed September 2017) Generally regarded as one of better courses in the Tampa Bay region. The layout will test the nerves of a seasoned player and ruin the day for the kid with just one disk.
- MULTIPLE FORMATS - The thing I find most intriguing about Cliff is the ability to choose between multiple hole formats based on skill and the time one has available. For example, starting at 1, you could play 1-9 as 9 ends at parking. you could play 1-18. Adjacent to (16) is a loop of 6 additional holes (19 thru 24). There is also a 25th Hole (A) and it's a signature bonus hole and is generally only played during casual rounds. It's a must play if you have the time. The basket for hole (A) is surrounded by water, as is only connected by a small isthmus from tee and basket. It will intimidate even the surest of players.
- CHARACTER - The course has most of the typical character items that you'd see at an older established course. Brand new baskets as of this revision. Other items include; multiple basket locations, benches, bag holders, good tee signage, trash cans, tables, porta-potty and so on.
- TEES - I find that the concrete tees are satisfactory in length and in integrity. There are also multiple tees pads for a majority of the holes.
- UNIQUENESS - The hole variety and shot selection options are well above the average course. There are heavily wooded and open shots. There are holes along water, over water, and "keep it short" of water. There are right and left pocket shots, blind baskets, and a few gimme holes. There are no listed par 4's, but at 669 feet and with flanking water, (18) could easily be list as such. No par 5 and the course lacks a true dog-leg hole. No hole twists more than 20 degrees.
- CHALLENGING - The two sets of tees will offer a good challenge to a wide swath of skill levels. The back tees are great for advanced players and the front tees are great for rec and intermediate level players. Risk reward lines are present on several holes. Not as much as the shot shaping as nearby Maximo but close. A few holes will also require a nice bomb done the fairway. I want to say that I've used every disc in my bag for this one.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - The Spanish moss on the live oaks is pretty awesome. Lots of water views and the overall landscape is pleasing. Doesn't quite have the eye appear of nearby Picnic or Taylor, but it's up there.
- FUN FACTOR - In general, I find the course to be fun. There are a few opportunities for aces, some enjoyable driving windows to hit and plenty of chill areas. In addition, the regulars will be pleased with a very active club with weekly events.
Cons: Other than the water factor, I find no other major issues with Cliff Stevens, but I will add a few ticky-tack things.
- WATER - The glaring problem with Cliff is the amount of water, which comes into play 14 times. I advise that only Pros and Advanced players play the back tees to mitigate some of this problem. Many area players consider it an accomplishment to complete a round and not throw one in the water.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Due to the above issue, bring a beginner or newer player here is not advised.
- NAVIGATION - There is no course map located within the community board. The map on DGCR is only good till (16) and is not up to date with the new 24+1 hole format or numbering after (16). For this reason the loop holes 19-24 are tricky to navigate. After hole 16, head west into the woods to find tee (19). Hole (20) is due west after (19) basket. (21) tee is north of (20) basket. The tee (22) is easy to find as you'll pass it to get to (21) basket. After hole (22) basket, head south and towards the road (U.S. 19) and you'll find (23) tee. after (23), head east down the path for what seems like at least 500 feet to find (24) Please note these holes were labeled as (17-22) for awhile and (17 and 18) were labeled as (23 and 24). Needless to say, Its confusing.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - There are a lot of bikers, walkers and joggers in the park. You will likely have to pause your round a few times. Hole (13) has a road in play.
Other Thoughts: Cliff Stevens is one of the oldest active courses in the state of Florida, behind Northside Park and Lake Wauburg in the Gainesville area. In addition, this is the home course for 12X World Champion Ken Climo.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
A wonderful course with a wonderful history.
Pros: Cliff Stevens is a beautiful piece of property and has a very well thought out course design. Some of the best disc golfer's in the world play here on a regular basis. I'm a big fan of the new signs that use photographs to guide you through the course. The front nine is very easy to follow with a perfect flow, but the back nine is a little bit more challenging.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Like A Fine Wine...
Pros: Like a fine wine, this grand old course keeps getting better with age. It is a very popular course, that has been constantly improving over the years.
Most holes have 2-3 pin placements, 2 sets of tees, and nice tee signs. The "Home Of The Champ" sign was a nice touch.
The course is very scenic, and pleasant to play. There are plenty of fair water holes, and many trees to shot shape around. The course runs from moderate to long in length and offers plenty of challenge. Not too much in the way of rough, so the risk of losing a disc is low here, except to the water of course.
The course is well maintained, and litter free.
Cons: The course plays close to the road and walking paths/sidewalks on a few holes, so a little waiting to let walkers/joggers/bikers pass may be needed.
I would recommend skipping the alt holes, and just playing the 18 main holes during a casual round. The alternate holes can be hard to navigate, if they are in at all, and are primarily used for tournaments, to allow for more participants.
If you don't like water holes, the amount of water here may be a con for you. I found the water holes to be fair though.
The course may not be the best one for beginners.
Other Thoughts: This is the home course of "The Champ" Ken Climo and is one of the most popular courses in the Greater Tampa area. The large and competent local leagues do a good job of maintaining their courses and hosting fun tournaments.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.