A Truly Wooded Course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
It says a lot about a course when no matter how bad I play I enjoy playing the course. That is what Jack is to me.
This course offers challenges for all players
The Fairways are Fair and rewarding (with few exceptions)
Most holes are birdie able with few exceptions as well.
Moderate Elevation is used very well and makes the course more fun and more challenging.
Favorite holes- 8, 10,14 the infamous ? mark hole, 15, 16,19, 23. Some of these holes are people's least favorite, but it's only for the level of difficulty. I appreciate their uniqueness.
The course is the most beautiful wooded course I've ever played it. The slight elevation adds a great challenge to the course. There is even one pond hole, but it is rarely full so its hard to say that there is a water feature on the course. None the less the trees here are incredibly beautiful, don't pass by this place if you are in the area. The tree's also make for great shade from the Florida sun.
Some people don't like the baskets here. I have moderate spin on my putts so I don't spit out much on these baskets. If you have a lot of speed on your putts be careful if you aren't hitting the pole. The Tees are average to above average. So as far as baskets and tee's go I'm pleased.
Cons: Jack does has some strange Pars I will say. Everything is a par 3 except hole 10, and 16. Hole 10 in my opinion may be a little short for a par 4. I think if you can make the first gap you can three fairly consistently. 2 is also possible with a fantastic slight turnover tee shot.
16 is probably a fair par 4 since the first drive demands more of a placement shot. Although once I was only 60-70 feet from the basket with my first shot, but ill probably never be able to shoot that well again.
The one hole that is a true par 4 is 15. It's a tight uphill low ceiling dog leg left. the most perfect drive will leave you 70-80 feet short. the fairway also gets tighter and there is a huge oak tree you have to throw around to give yourself a putt.
very difficult birdies/-1, you can have a great drive but you will probably need to make a long uphill putt with trees in the way. 2, fairway kind of disappears at the end, 3, open then way to tight, 15-near impossible 2
My biggest problem with jack is that almost every hole requires a straight shot. It just needs more variety in that regard.
Other Thoughts: Jack Mclean's difficulty does not make it a bad course. There may be one poke and hope shot from the tee, and the par player can get a good score here you just have to hit the fairways. So please stop giving courses bad rating for difficulty. That being said if you love wooded courses this course is for you. One of my favorite courses I've ever played. Enjoy a shaded round in Tallahassee.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Hardest course I have ever played
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course will challenge the best of all players there are.
Mach III baskets catch much better than I expected them to.
Cons: This course is so challenging, it just gets very frustrating unless you are throwing truly amazing shots. Around hole 18-20 I got to a point where I was just ready to finish the round and get back to Tom Brown.
Mach III baskets are very very very difficult to spot on this course and is best to play with people that really know the layout and can try to help guide you to the basket
Other Thoughts: This is definitely the hardest course I have played, and although it was a good course, there wasn't a single hole on the course that made me think "wow this is a great hole" most of the holes feel like you're playing the same hole over and over because of how insanely tight the fairways are. I would've given it a better rating if it had at least one of these types of holes,
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Very Challenging Course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.593 Rating) Perhaps the most challenging course in Florida.
- CHALLENGING - If you love a good beat down, then you'll love this course. Hands down the toughest course I've played in Florida. (68 Florida courses played as of this review) It's neither the longest or tightest course in the state, but it's way up there in both aspects. At a recent tourney, only 3 open players broke par from the blue (back) tees. These players had personal ratings of 1030, 1027 and 991. 37 other open players shot over par. All 31 advanced players shot over par as well with the best score coming in at +6.
- SHOT SHAPING - Some serious thought process will take place on most tees. You better have both a forehand and backhand perfected or you're going to be seriously handicapped here. Some holes you'll need to be a magician to avoid all the obstacles before you.
- ELEVATION FOR FLORIDA - Compared to the all the Florida courses that I've played as of this review, Jack McLean has the most elevation usage as a total, but not the most elevated shots on an individual hole basis. There are more than a dozen holes with a tee to basket grade difference over 20 feet. That stated, I don't think any of these change by more than 35 feet. So elevation yes, but nothing like the courses in the Appalachian foothills and mountains.
- UNIQUENESS - In addition to the elevation, the overall variety of the sum of the holes is above average. There's a really good dog leg right on hole (10). There a nice 300 foot water clear on (5) from the blue tees, which was my favorite hole and was the only time I shot from the blue tees. Hole (21) has a fun split elevated fairway element to it. However, this course is short of the uniqueness of nearby Tom Brown. No par 5, no true dogleg left, just one water play, no open holes, and no clear iconic hole. In addition, the final 14 holes play up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down... Which oddly becomes sort-of annoying after 8 or 9 holes.
- CHARACTER - I found the disc golf extras and amount of comfort items to be above average. First and foremost, 2 sets of concrete tees and with holes signage at every tee box. The tees are also in the shade in every instance. The blue concrete tees could be a bit longer in length but I'd still rate the teeing experience well above average. Other niceties include shelters with picnic tables along the layout and the baskets are in great shape. If I could add some items, I'd add some more benches (only saw a couple), put in multiple pin placements and build a third set of shorter tees.
- SPACING - The course is laid out really well. I don't recall any times of being in an adjacent fairway and the walks from basket to next tee always seemed less than 200 feet.
- RAW BEAUTY - The natural beauty of this course is top notch. Among the better ones I've seen in a Florida course. lots of cool terrain, lots of sloping fairways and lots of older big pines to avoid. I read on many other reviews stating that trash was an issue. It's either been rectified or I got lucky to be there after a major clean up. I really didn't see that much trash at all.
Cons: Jack McLean is limited in its reach.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - Way too difficult for beginners and recreational players. There are 2 sets of tees, Blues (adv) and Reds (rec). But they play more like Gold (pros) and Blues (adv). As a players with about a 900 rating, I didn't even crack par from the red tees. Jack McLean would really benefit by adding a third set of true Red tees. I'd be willing to bet that many local players play this course once and then stick with Tom Brown going forward. I played my round here on a nice Sunday afternoon, and I was the only soul throwing.
- OVERGROWTH - I played in late March just as the vegetation re-growth was starting to come back a bit and found myself searching quite often. If you play this course in the summer near the peak overgrowth period, you may end up leaving a few disks behind as well taking home a bruise or two. In addition, I spotted poison ivy.
- FORGIVENESS - From the short tees, if you can't throw consistently 325 to 350 threw a 20 to 25 foot wide lane, you're going to find yourself scrambling for par. If its summer, and your disc cuts into the overgrowth, you'll probably consider bogie a treat.
- FLAWED HOLES - There a couple holes out here that are just plan unfair. Hole (3) is the best example which starts out fairly wide. But then makes an abrupt turn down a 6' foot wide lane about 250 feet from the tee. Discs don't fly straight, turn 20 degrees, and then fly straight again. A smart player should probably lay-up to the lane and then run a hundred foot birdie try, rather than risk the random draw of a likely ricochet.
Other Thoughts: I consider the challenge a course presents a major pro in my ratings. However, when there's a course like Jack McLean, that really only caters to one skill level set, it will be slightly impacted in its overall score thru my scoring method. Had this course had a more reasonable set of short third tees and also the widening of just a couple brutal holes, this course would probably score a 4. I very much enjoyed the challenge, but I will be back at Tom Brown the next time I'm in Tally.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I just played this course yesterday for the first time, despite living in Tally for over a year. It took some balls to try a course other than ol' reliable -- Tom Brown.
I'm gonna give a rating for each aspect (all going under pros, just treat this as the whole review)
Difficulty: 9/10 this course thoroughly rustled my jimmies. There are lots of trees and thick brush you must avoid. Also a few water holes (two retention ponds, though only one had water in it as of 10/3/16) Don't be fooled, though, it's still a ton of fun.
Cleanliness: 4/10 Unfortunately there is a LOT of litter. Not much else to say besides pick your sh*t up when you're done with it. Also, there were some fallen trees in the fairway that you have to climb and throw over. Not too difficult.
Signage: 9/10, solid signage. A few holes have like 100-200 feet between them but most have small signs with arrows to the next hole. If not, there's a wear-n-tear trail you can follow to find your way.
Population and community: ?/10 My dad and I were the only ones on the course. I don't know if it gets crowded on weekends/evenings or not, but weekday mornings are dead quiet.
I think this is a solid 4-star course. I feel the reason it's a little lower is the difficulty. You should NOT go to this course expecting it to be middle-of-the-road difficulty and be pissed when you lose a couple discs. It is unforgiving and pretty dang hard. It is well spread out, not crammed onto two acres. Some elevation changes but nothing too crazy.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Tight fairways abound on this course! This is a wooded-courses lover's dream.
-You will use every shot in your arsenal.
-The entirety of the course is shaded, so it would be the perfect course to play in the heat of Summer.
-I found navigation out here to be pretty easy.
-varied elevation (both up hill and down hill shots)
-Impressively, Jack McLean is moderately hilly.
-While the park itself is not DG only, the areas designated for DG are not multi-use as many parks like to do.
Cons: -The biggest con for me was the overuse of blind holes. A few per course is fine, but we had to walk up and look for just about every single basket.
-This course really needs better signs. There were 2 or 3 tee pads on most every hole and it was extremely rare that all tees had signs accompanying them. Even when there were signs present they were not very accurate as it only gave you a vague line which did not always finish where the basket actually was.
-I threw way more FH on this course than I normally would (and I'm usually 50/50) as this course overused having holes finishing to the right. I also did not throw a single distant driver (despite some decently long holes).
-All tee pads were at least partially covered and many were nearly completely covered in sand, dirt, pine needles, leaves, etc.
This is a very challenging course that will leave you frustrated at times, but can be very rewarding when you hit your line just right. I made a day of playing this course and pairing it with the nearby Tom Brown and they just go so well together.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through the woods surrounding a recreation/community center, so facilities are easy to find. Plenty of shade and a nice walk. And once you start throwing, you won't be bored. Definitely not a "pitch-and-putt" course. If you like a challenge, this is the course for you. I found myself using every technique I knew (and some I didn't).
Cons: The map online has the holes numbered (and placed) differently. The signs (where present) are very rudimentary. (When the signs aren't there, you're often throwing blind or walking through the woods to find the baskets . . . which are older, hard-to-see DisCatchers.) Sometimes there is one tee, sometimes three (most often two).
Other Thoughts: I live a bit closer to Tom Brown Park, so I play there all the time. II find that one to be better suited to my intermediate level. I can't fault Jack McLean for being difficult, but I can for the poor signage. I'm used to having a good idea where the basket is, even if I can't see it. Going hole to hole isn't as much of a concern as tracking where you're supposed to go from the tee box (and WHICH tee box) to the basket. With better signs, this could easily be a marquee course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: McLean is not without flawed holes, but there are a lot of good ones here. Once it has a few holes under its belt, the course begins to produce tight throwing lines through fairly dense woods with a surprising amount of elevation. There may not be anything resembling a signature hole but almost all of them are quality. They are definitely tight, though overly tight for intermediate level players. You will be asked to keep a disc on a straight line for up to 200 feet. You will be asked to hang graceful anny lines. And really, you are going to be asked to throw lines that bend at multiple points.
A ton of variation here, with all of the holes bringing something unique. There is one stretch of holes where you play an up hole then a down hole a few times in a row. But each time the shape is different. You won't be bored.
While some of the lines are unusual, they are mostly fair. What you won't find are random trees in the middle of a fairway. You hit the line, you are good. McLean does punish missed drives. Go off the mark, you will hit a tree. You will likely get kicked into thick brush. There are some spots where disc searches may be difficult but as long as these are in places where you will only land if you screw up, I don't mind them. It's like Magnolia in that way. The best way to describe McLean might be a shorter Magnolia with more narrow fairways. And a bit less precision in the design. But on the other hand a lot more elevation
For most of the course there are next tee arrows where needed but man, were the first three transitions tough without them. The map as downloadable here is not very helpful either and I spent a significant amount of time trying to find the third tee.
Similarly, the tee signs themselves are completely vague. They don't help you identify the shape of the fairway and many areas that look like good landing zones end up being thick brush. Lots of good lines to throw here, but without good tee signs, it is hard to identify what a give fairway is calling for without having played the course a few times.
And that underbrush gets thick quickly. Not a great beginner course as they might spend as much time looking through brush as throwing. Unless they play overly cautious.
Some might complain the fairways often ask for too many bends, or create forced layups too often. I enjoyed throwing most of them, but rarely is there anything like an intended landing zone.
The main flaw of the course is that it doesn't start well. In addition to early navigation problems, the first few holes are pretty much the worst on the course. Rather than carved out of thicker woods, these traverse slightly open woods with scattered trees that don't really make for real throwing lines. It took till hole 8 or so before I realized that I was playing some pretty good holes.
I'm not sure what I think about the water carry. It's unlike any other I've seen as you thrown down the length of the pond instead of over the width. To truly carry would be very impressive and reward a player with a birdie chance. Buuut, any hyzer on the toss will mean that you just throw as far as you can and you will land safely to the left of the water. I might like it, I don't know. It's interesting.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of my new favorite courses, located in a beautiful park. It's very technical, but not overly long. Many holes have two or three tee pads; all concrete and well sized. There are lots of trees, but they are downright unreasonable (i.e. virtually no fairway) on only 2-3 holes. Elevation changes are great (rare in Florida). Signs are satisfactory, so the course is relatively easy to navigate.
Cons: Very few/minor cons in my opinion. Left-to-right-curved drives noticeably outnumbered straight or right-to-left drives. As a right-hander, I ended up driving with a forearm flick way more than usual. You will indeed be punished when you leave the fairways, so choose a brightly colored disc when driving. Very few benches and trash cans.
Other Thoughts: In town only briefly, I almost didn't play because it was 100 degrees out. So glad I did! And the ample shade helped. Earlier reviews mentioned trash and a bad element; I'm happy to report the park was super clean, especially on the course, and the two locals I passed exchanged greetings with me. The Parks Dept map is not accurate. Look for the rules sign to the right of the parking lot--the first tee is there. Loop north around the pool center, then the course zig-zags counter-clockwise around the perimeter of the park.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course has it all. Tight fairways throughout a wooded canopy, varied elevation (both up hill and down hill shots), and varied flight paths. There are some big arm throws however, they must be controlled throws. There are signs on every T pad, and most T pads are concrete or heavy carpet with good traction. This is by far the most challenging course in the state of Florida. Do not miss playing this course as it will prepare you for anything else you will encounter elsewhere. The course is usually well mowed, and downed trees/limbs of size are usually removed quickly as well. The course plays through areas in the park that are used for nothing but disc golf. You will have the place to yourself.
Cons: OK, so this is Florida. Those of you that complain about mosquitoes are just out of touch. Just bring bug spray and deal with it. Contrary to popular belief, there are two restrooms, one by hole 4 and another by hole 12. You don't find many more than that at other parks. There is also a good map and scorecard posted at this website and the parks and rec website as well. I encourage you to download it since you won't find them at the park. Yes, this course does boarder a low income neighborhood, and yes those that cut through do drop trash. It is disappointing. The course could use more benches and trash cans, but then again, that is common among most reviews. All in all, the only con's are the neighborhood, some trash, and the challenge to your own ability.
Other Thoughts: Bring a friend. It sure helps to have a spotter when you play this course in that you can be punished with an errant drive. This course is hard, but hey, it's the hard that makes it great!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Really can't say much here. Very tough course. Signs on the course are good with telling you where to go.
Cons: Very tight fairways. Baskets need to be flagged or painted. Very hard to see in thick woods.
Other Thoughts: Unless you can throw fast stuff very straight throw slow stuff and try not to get out of fairways. Very tough to get out of woods.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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