Hills and Bogs and Doglegs, Oh My!
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Teepads, signage, overall design, landscape
Other Thoughts: Edward Medard offers an excellent Central Florida disc golf experience amidst a large, rural park set not too far from both Tampa and Orlando. Like most other courses in the area, the amenities on the course are nice, with good signs, one set of nice long concrete tee pads on almost every hole, and way finding aids where needed. What really sets this course apart from others in the region, however, is the landscape on the back nine - a run of very interesting holes playing up to, among, and out of a set of short but steep hills with (perhaps seasonal) water challenges in the low spots of these holes. The amenities, interesting landscape, and solid hole-by-hole variety add up to an excellent disc golf outing that is worth a road trip.
Edward Medard has a bit of a split personality. For the first eight holes it presents a typically interesting Florida outing; overall, each features a perfect tee pad, is mostly par 3 but on the longish side, is a good mix of open and more wooded, and has enough bend in the fairways to reward both long arms and touch games. Get off the fairway and the palmetto and salt bush will punish you. So a pretty cool course, on the higher end of those in the region. Then #9 plays across an open field, but the basket is set atop a 15-foot or so steep hill, back behind a sprawling live oak. Suddenly, there's a lot more pressure on the approach shot. Then the next eight holes play among these hills, mostly: Come out of the trees back downhill and back into the open; fully wooded holes, playing among the many live oaks; and shots from one hill, across water, to a basket on another hill. Among these holes are some of the most interesting and challenging basket placements I've seen this side of Chavez Ridge in LA. Take a run at the basket for par, miss by a little, and you could be rolling downhill into the water or the thicket and looking at a double, at best. I'd be interested to know if there is a single more steeply elevated basket in all of Florida than #16 at this course. The course finishes with a flat woods hole for #18, however, bringing you back to Florida reality.
I'm very glad I made the trip to Edward Medard Park and really look forward to returning. This is definitely the sort of course that will play better the better you get to know it. Tampa and Orlando disc golfers now have a great excuse to get out of the sprawl and into the country for a top-notch outing. Overall, I rate this course as Excellent, and well worth the effort of a road trip or going out of your way to play.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Not your average FL dgc
Pros: Unique terrain!
Concrete pads are wide and long.
Decent tee markers with basket location.
Signs with arrows to help you find the next tee box.
You can throw a wide range of shots here.
Cons: I can see where bugs may be an issue in warmer months.
If the course is wet, the back nine could be tough to play, due to the dirt/clay hills.
Other Thoughts: $2 to get in to the park was well worth it.
I played on a Wednesday morning and was the only player on the course. Since it was my first time playing here, I played it safe instead of just throwing and hoping I could find my disc, but it was still super fun.
As mentioned in other reviews, I felt like the front nine is longer and a bit more open, while the back nine is more wooded and hilly. I enjoyed he back nine more, but this is by far the coolest course I have played in my limited time in the sport.
There are garbage cans attached to some of the hole markers, yet there was some plastic water bottles, etc just thrown on the course. I picked them up so that he next players wouldn't have to see them. Clean up your trash, y'all!
From what I understand, they have "handicapped" tournaments here on Saturdays at 9:30am, so I may try to go down and try to throw in one - even though my score today was nothing to brag about. I felt good getting par on a lot of these holes!
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good variety in holes (not just left dog legs, or right dog legs, but different vegetation, elevation, trees, terrain.)
Good signage, including help leading to the next holes.
Cons: Other reviews have mentioned misquitoes. I'll mention red ants. Be careful where you walk, especially if you are wearing shorts. The red ants can sting, quite painfully.
Hole #5 is a blind (very blind) dog leg left. I lost a favorite disk into the Saw Palmetto, and I spent a long time hunting for it.
This is a multi use park, and the course is so new that the other park users are completely unaware of it, or disc golf protocol. I had problems with kids picking up my throws, using baskets as jungle gyms, throwing rocks at each other in the middle of the course, and being totally oblivious to the disc golfers.
Considering the length of the holes, I found the concrete pads to be a little short.
Other Thoughts: The Tee "signs" are neat. 4x4 posts, painting park brown, with a carved map of the hole. Very nice Accurate too.
The course is fairly decently long and holes are (for the most part) separate from each other with plenty of space in between (few chances of accidentally getting hit from some other golfers throws.)
I played in Nov, in fairly dry conditions (and not many misquitoes.)
While I liked the creative use of the coral ridge I'm not thrilled about the long term erosion issues this may cause. On the other paw, the other park users are almost certainly causing more erosion than the golfers will.
The rubber pads now mark the recreational (short) tees. I only played from the concrete pads.
There is an entrance fee for vehicles coming into the park. Walk-ins are free (not that walking in is going to happen all that often.)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Great course well maintained
Pros: Front 9 is good to get you warmed up. Variety of difficulty levels. Course is well maintained and has concrete tee pads.
Cons: Mosquitoes are relentless...they will bite through your clothes, bring plenty of bug spray. Lots of water on this course and some holes are very difficult....over shoot, disc lost, under shoot, disc lost....
Other Thoughts: Course is maintained by a local handicapped group. Beautiful and you can tell they appreciate this course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
"Are you sure this is Florida?"
Pros: I'll admit, this course was a little above my skill level. That said, my friend and I had a total blast playing this course!
The layout was spacious on the front nine, with quite a few grip 'n rip opportunities (#1, #2, and #9 especially). Don't think you'll have it easy after #1 and #2; though...
Hole 5 is totally gnarly! You have to either tomahawk over the trees on the left to a totally blind basket (despite what the tee sign says, you can't drive long and double back) or drive short and wide right to set up your second, and the saw palmetto is thick. Fun hole.
All the baskets and tees are brand new and in perfect shape. These Titan baskets are the best I've thrown at.
Once you throw your drive on Hole 9... you leave Florida. The hills in this park were perfectly utilized on the back nine... uphill shots, wooded shots, poke 'n hope shots, downhill shots, and blind shots. I'd think even seasoned players might find the back nine rough.
The lines on some of the holes are very tricky and really present risk vs. reward opportunities. I say this is a pro because after playing some of these real tight, wooded holes, I learned a lot about decision making and playing it safe.
#10 through #15 might be the toughest stretch of holes in the Tampa Bay area. The sheer drops on these holes really make you stop and think. I would make sure you have a drop and stop putter for all of these holes.
The disc golf course is mostly segregated from the rest of the park, so the only pedestrians are occasional hikers.
Like other reviewers, I consider the $2 entry fee a plus for various reasons. This is a beautiful park and is extremely well maintained. I didn't see a single piece of trash in the entire park.
We went on a weekday and there was one other group on the entire course. Very nature-y and nice and quiet.
Large playground and very clean restrooms close to the first tee (but go before you throw, because a round here takes a while).
Cons: The only complaint I would have is that some of the lower lying areas of the park seem susceptible to flooding. The tee for #2 was very wet and the fairways for #7 and #8 were wet and muddy. This isn't really the parks fault and not a fault in the design, but it does stink when you can't play a hole due to course conditions.
The mosquitoes are an issue, especially on the back nine. Bring some strong Off with you.
Some of the underbrush on the back nine is also extremely thick, so long pants might not be a bad idea, despite the heat. There are also lots of spiders in the undergrowth, so be careful when retrieving discs.
One big issue I had on the back nine was hanging twigs and limbs. The ceilings are low on some shots and you just can't see every single little twig hanging down from up there. I got pwned on a couple of short shots by tiny little limbs. Not really a true con as it adds to the difficulty and I'm all about natural hazards.
The course doesn't come back to the parking lot at all until you finish. Not a problem for me, but others might find this quirky.
Other Thoughts: Spotters here are extremely helpful, especially on the back nine. If you have time and a friend with you, go out and spot each others throws. I'm sure my buddy and I would have lost discs if we didn't do this.
Bug spray, bug spray, bug spray... And a lot of water; a round here takes a while.
If you're not into climbing and hiking, this course may not be for you. I'm 26 and in great shape and this course really took it out of me.
Some hole notes:
#5 - Gnarly. Have a spotter go ahead on this one. Your tee shot is either short and right or totally blind over thick brush right at the basket.
#7, #8 - These fairways seem like they get mucky right after rain.
#9 - Your long drive contest hole. Nothing in the fairway - which is the size of a football field - at all.
#11 - Poke 'n hope. This is the thickest fairway I've ever thrown.
#13 - Do not... DO NOT... overshoot this hole. There's a thirty foot drop into a soggy ravine ten feet behind the basket.
#14 - Ed Medard's signature hole. The basket is on a high bank and there was water all along the left and a ravine down the right. The water was totally rank when we were there, and the mud on the bank is like ice. Be careful on this one.
The other holes are pretty straightforward.
I loved this course. Beginners might find it frustrating, but it will make you a better player. It's all about course management here. The $2 entry is totally worth it, and I'd rank this as the second best course in Tampa Bay behind Taylor (yeah, I'm biased... that's home base for me!). It's worth the drive from Pinellas and a great visit if you're in the area.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
The hills are alive!
Pros: -Concrete Tee's are now installed with nicely crafted wooden posts with distance with maps carved into the post and benches at some of the teepads. (I noticed them at most, but I don't remember how many tee's had benches) It gives the tee area a very nice woodsy look! Great work on the tee posts! Very Nice craftsmanship!
-Gateway Baskets, of which I'm really starting to be a fan of!
-Located in a State Park, ($2 entry fee. Cash only)
-You can get a map and scorecard at the pay station. Guy in the station said they are working on getting some nicer maps made.
-The hills and terrain give a healthy risk/reward
-Fairly easy navigation, though a map will come in handy on the back 9
-Back 9 is spectacular for the scenery. These tall hills have baskets on the edge of a tall drop off.
-Front 9 is mainly flat, but the back 9 is very rugged and hilly. (A nice surprise for Florida)
-The course is segregated from most of the activities.*
-It's 18 holes out and back to the parking lot.
-rubber mats appear to be laid out for alt teepad locations. *There isn't any distance for these, and some may have been moved.
-Front 9 is beginner friendly, but the back 9 could become frustrating even to a seasoned player.
-The water on 14 was dried up when I played here. (Didn't even know there was a water hole till after I played here. Florida is very dry right now)
-The baskets on the hills are all about placement. If you don't land flat, you risk an approach overshooting a hill, rolling down the hill, or trying to play an upshot from the side/bottom of a steep embankment. Placement is crucial.
-The state park looks like it would be a great destination by itself
-Playground near, but separated from the course. If you have kids, then one spouse could take the kids to the playground while the other plays DG.
-Fishing and Camping on site.
Cons: -*The course is segregated from the rest of the park, but don't be surprised to run into someone taking in the beauty of the park itself, or just wandering around. There was a group hanging out near one of the baskets.
-Some baskets are hard to locate, and you'll have to look for them before you throw. Not a serious issue, and it only happened a two or three times for me.
-Mosquitos started in on me around hole 11, so bugs could be an issue.
-Busy weekends! I played here on a Saturday, and there was a party that took up the whole first fairway, a baseball and soccer games happening on hole 9.
-Really needs some "Watch out for flying discs" signs. When this place is busy, the back 9 can be full of People and kids running around. As much as I want to say "It's a disc golf course, watch out", It is a very cool area to explore.
Other Thoughts: I had an absolute blast here! The hilly area in- the woods was spectacular! You'll find a variety of different holes that you'll have to work different lines. Whether it's an open field, narrow woods, or trying to land square on top of a steep hill, you will find yourself using different shots for different holes. Medard is unique in that most of the courses in the area are flat. Playing these unique hills at Medard was a pleasant and fun surprise. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but given the location of the old rubber mat teepads, they may be considering adding some more teepad locations. (Pure speculation) I wouldn't be surprised if there is more work planned for the future at this course.
You will have to do some hill climbing, and you will be in the brush. So consider your footwear, but you may be alright with shorts. There are some thorny areas, and they can tear up your legs. It's about 10 miles off of 75, but not hard to find. There are nearby restaurants and a Race Track gas station near the Hopewell/Turkey Creek intersection.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
The Icing on my cake!
Pros: I love this course. Of the three courses that I played in my time in Tampa, this was my second favorite by THAT much. So close. It really is a neat course.
First, I love the elevation changes. The use of the park and the way that it rolls up and down is so ridiculous and different from every other park I played this week. Punishing, roll away greens that spank you hard if you miss a putt. Brutal, deep valleys full of thick brush, should you decide to throw a wayward drive. Holes that run from teepad to basket on a ridgeline that can''t be more than 10 foot wide, and has to be 15-20 drop off on each side. Brutal, Hard. and amazing! You won't get this type of disc golf in the surrounding area. Period.
Shot variety is also different here. There are a couple longer holes that I didn't see at the other courses. Lots of tech stuff, for sure, but some longer holes that still demand accuracy. Good anhyzers, hyzers, overhand shots and rollers available all over this course!
Let me say this, and I know it's not popular throughout the community, but I see the fact that it costs two dollars to get in to the park as a plus. It keeps out a lot of the usual undesirables and it feels like they are really keeping the maintenance up on the course and park with this money.
Navigation was super easy on this course and it flowed very well. I never got lost one time, and everything seemed to roll right into the next hole. Even if you got a little turned around, there are signs by the pads that are very easy to see.
The pads were nice. Long, wide enough pads made of concrete. I think that these are pretty new, but however old they are, they are great.
The signs are adequate. Not amazing, but good enough. Again, Taylor Park is the gold standard in signs, but if you have a rough map of the hole, distance and some other info; i works for me.
The park is super clean. I saw no trash. At all.
Most of the holes have benches by the tee pad. I don't remember if there were trash cans or not, but it occurs to me that there were.
Cons: I feel like I am nitpicking here, and I probably am. But there were a LOT of civilians in the way when I played. Especially when I got around to the back by the rest of the park. Loads of people darting in and out by the baskets and fairways.
Florida thorn bushes REALLY hurt!
Other Thoughts: I am rating this course a solid 4. I think that to get to 5 star status, this course needs multiple tee pads, and pin locations for every hole. I also think that the signs could be upgraded. Again, I know I am picking nits here...but that's my job as a reviewer right?
Oh, I also aced number 3 (288, straight away, low ceiling.) with an anode! but I was by myself. soooo...no count ace is no count. :(
Great course. So go play it!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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