The Hard One
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course features two sets of nice large grippy tees, nice tee signs, and plenty of fairway and navigation aids. The course is mostly set in a heavily wooded area and features plenty of decent northern Florida elevation changes. The course has the length and difficulty that better players crave. The course has a couple of signature-ish holes and is fairly scenic. The course is well maintained, for the most part.
Cons: The course might not be in the best neighborhood but the locals we encountered were friendly and we didn't have any problems.
Some of the tee signs were missing and there was a little trash here and there. I think they might have just had a tournament at the course though so the course overall was in good shape.
The course is long and difficult with plenty of elevation changes so it's probably not the best course for low-level recs, new throwers, and those with a weak constitution.
The course occasionally plays near other park features and randoms sometimes mosey through the fairways.
Other Thoughts: A solid course that whipped our asses and wore us down but we still had a fun round. Maybe more of a should play than a must-play for me, provided you have the endurance to make it around!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Might be one of the hardest
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a Very Tight and wooded course. Lots of elevation changes. If you have an issue with hitting your lines, you are not going to have a good day. Most baskets are heavily guarded with trees.
Cons: This layout is old. The city does not have a dedicated crew to keep it mowed and limbs cut back. So the area has a lot of growth. This is why a lot of the baskets are now kinda hidden. Local kids walk through the course and drop trash pretty often.
Other Thoughts: Bring your own drinks. Not much water on the course. Do not come thinking you are going to shoot your best game. This course has been known to knock a lot of Pros down. If you shoot an even round that is above a 950 rated round.
I use to really hate this course. The more I have played it, the more I love it. Really hoping the city will allow for a redesign of this course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Jack McLean seems like a well beloved old dog for the tallahassee area. It's been a round a long time, but i went out there early on a saturday morning and by the time i was 9 holes in there were already about 8 or 9 other golfers starting a round.
Holes are long and wooded. The shorter holes, from the short tees, are still around 300' plus, with the minimum distance around 260'-280'. These average a little long, but maybe it was just bc it was the morning and my arm was not awake yet.
Tee signs were pretty good. It looked like a big tournament was coming soon or had happened maybe the weekend before, so everything was in great condition- even the circle had been marked on a lot of holes.
The course plays through some light woods on light hills/slopes around the park. It's pretty scenic. There's a couple water features (one on hole... 9 or 10? that's blind from the tee so just kinda be aware) that are incorporated nicely.
I was impressed with the length of the holes given what seems like a tight area. But they really don't feel crammed in there at all.
Cons: The length of the hole coupled with the tightness/woodedness of the fairways makes the challenge here pretty advanced. My amature skills just couldn't keep up (plus i was way too ambitious on most holes).
That's really the big con. There's not much else to complain about, but there wasn't really anything that made me think "wow this is great design" or "wow this is stunningly beautiful" either.
Other Thoughts: But it is a decidedly Good course. If it was a little more accessible for those who wanted to go for the basket off the tee, then a 3.5 would be a given. But right now it's just asking a little too much, a little too dependent on luck.
This old-dog of a course still has a lot of teeth, but a good player can make it heel. A regular player like me just has to have fun but be ready for some rough play lol
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Some great holes, many repetitive holes
Pros: I played from the Blue tees so this review is targeted for the long placements. The course is well signed with a handful of creative and challlenging holes on the front ten and last four or five holes. The elevation is used well and the fairways are well defined. There are concrete pads for every hole and I had little problem navigating the course. The first ten holes are generally tight in their lanes but fair and with little undergrowth. The holes are long so strategy comes in to play with many needing a good placement and an upshot to bag the three. A few birdie opportunities. The course appears well maintained and the baskets are in good shape, but it doesn't seem like it gets a lot of play.
Cons: When I was here the tee pads were damp from previous days' rain and covered with detritus, making them slippery (and many I just drove from behind or off the side). Holes 12-19/20 are generally repetitive and ultimately not a lot of fun. The fairways are around 40 feet wide with deep unpleasant undergrowth off the sides. They are long enough that there's not really a good run, which results in two mid range shots up the middle and a putt for three (hole 15 is a challenging exception). Don't get me wrong, a few of the holes would have been a nice complement to the others, but nine of them in a row quickly becomes repetitive.
I was there when the nearby schools dismissed, so had a lot of foot traffic through the park--not too bad but delayed the game a number of times. Otherwise, the course was empty.
Other Thoughts: This would be a great 18 hole course if you cut out half of the filler holes. The middle nine might be more interesting from the red tees, but from the blue tees it's a rather humdrum experience. The rough is so rough I lost a midrange XD on what looked like a great shot landing about 40 feet short and to the right of the pin (hole 20). That was the only casualty of the day, but illustrates part of the problem. Early fall the spiders are out and really creepy here--webs between trees that look like they could catch a small child, and a spider the size of my palm was hanging in a web between basket 15 and a near by tree.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
A Truly Wooded Course
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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Hardest course I have ever played
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,
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Challenging Course
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.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 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.
6 of 6 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.
3 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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