Good front 9, harrowing back 9
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -- This course offers some features that I haven't seen on the other courses I've played nearby. It has some holes that are truly wooded, which you don't see a lot in the area (I'm from Michigan, so wooded courses are something I'm very used to). This is a nice change of pace from other courses in the area which tend to have open fairways with either little rough or intensely thick rough. Hole 11 is the epitome of this and feels just like a hole I'd see back home up north.
-- The other feature this course has that I don't think is normal for the area is elevation. There aren't any huge downhill bombers or anything, but there is enough elevation, especially on upshots, to keep you on your toes. On the non-water holes, this elevation adds a great element of risk/reward as you try to avoid rollaways.
-- The variety here is pretty good. It starts up with a few holes that are mostly open but with some dog-leg, then goes to a wooded tunnel then another fairly open shot. Then you get to hole 5 which is completely blind with no visible fairway. Behind a wall of trees and bushes, you have an open landing area to give you a put to the basket. This leaves you with a huge, blind, LHFH or RHBH hyzer up over the trees. A nerve-wracking but fun shot. The rest of the course has a few open fairways but some protected baskets and a lot more wooded shots.
-- Risk/reward is a huge factor on the back 9. There is a ton of water that is made very hazardous by tons of trees, elevation and steep banks that look designed to give you a bad roll into the water. You'll hear more about the water in the cons below, but many of these holes really force you to think about how badly you want a birdie vs how badly you want to keep your plastic at the end of the day. Smart, somewhat boring, conservative play is almost necessary on many holes.
-- Tees and baskets were fine. There were trash cans in many places. Signs could be better but they showed a rough hole layout and distance which was helpful.
Cons: -- The mix of water and elevation on the back 9 just eats discs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are holes where a very good shot can hit a root or get a bad bounce and roll away to never be seen again. This is made a lot worse by the fact the water is a very gross swamp of algae. Your disc could be right off the bank in only 3 inches of water and you will never see it again. Given the high probability of putter roll-ins to the water, this is frustrating. Usually, if my putter rolls into the water, I can easily get it back. Not here. A few holes are nearly unplayable without a VERY high risk of losing a disc. I lost 3 discs on 2 holes. I also saw another group lose 2 discs on the same hole I lost 2 on, and on the next hole there were 2 other discs visible on an island about 12 feet out in the water that were completely unreachable and left abandoned by some other group. One of mine lost wasn't lost to water, but I played what I thought was a safe shot on a water hole and ended up in some very thick ferns and undergrowth that made finding it again nearly impossible.
-- Other park traffic can be a problem. There are a ton of pavilions and some campgrounds bordering the course. When I went, there were hundreds of non-disc golfers at this park. While the course doesn't directly interfere with any other park activities, there was a family with small kids who had literally set up a picnic in the middle of hole 10's fairway. I had to wait several minutes and finally ended up warning them that they were in a bad spot and there were groups behind me as well. There were people hiking around the fairway of a lot of holes in the back 9 and lots of kids playing on the hills near 9's baskets. Even with a lot of waiting for non-disc crowds to clear holes, there was a lot more than normal risk of hitting a pedestrian bystander.
Other Thoughts: This was a fun course for the most part, but a few holes on the back 9 are just too demanding with too high of a risk to lose discs. I fully admit that I might be a bit tainted by losing 3 discs in 2 holes (one bad shot, one OK shot, and one that just missed an ace by inches but skipped deep into the abyss). But I saw other groups lose a lot as well. I've never played another course where the chances of getting very unlucky to lose a disc are higher in more places. If this was just one hole like this, it would be OK, but there are really 4 holes in a row where this risk can be very high.
Outside of the 4 danger holes, I do think this course has a lot to offer. There are a lot of interesting shots to play and the elevation makes a nice touch. But between the water holes and the crowds, it was enough for me to take this course from a solid 3.5/possible 4 to a 3.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Enchanting back 9
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.669 Rating) A challenging par 54 with unique natural terrain.
- UNIQUENESS - Although an all par 3, the course offers just about all the shot layout elements. There is some elevation and water elements in play. The layout also features pocket shots, window shots, tunnel fairways, a 90 degree par 3 bender, skip plays and bomb it opportunities for those that max out at 400. But, what I found most unique about Medard, was the terrain on the back 9. This part of the course plays thru an area called so aptly named "Sacred Hills"
- ELEVATION - A nice amount of elevation changes for a South Florida course. A few up shots and a few down shots. However, the max elevation change on any one hole is about 20 feet, so many parts of the country would consider this course flat.
- SHOT SELECTION - I probably played 70% backhand and the rest flicks. Most drives need to be well thought out and placed, especially on the holes thru the Sacred Hills.
- CHALLENGING - One of the more challenging courses I've played. Holes 12-15 plays thru a mixture of swamps and mounds, which is a disc golf terrain I've never seen before. Missing your shot on these holes can easily end up water OB and likely also a lost disk. Be wary of hole 13, this temping 150 foot ace run of a basket is on a ridge and has water on 3 sides, right, front and back.
- CHARACTER - There is seating and adequate hole signage throughout the course. Most of the tees are shaded well and there are two tees for pros and ams at several the holes. There's a good amount of trash cans and a few bag holders. There is a practice basket and picnic table by #1 as well.
- TEE PADS - Adequately sized concrete tee pads that are in good shape. There should be no footing issues on a typical day, except 13, which appears to be a temporary tee.
- SPACING - Pretty good, There's really no shot of ending up in another fairway. Tees are generally separated well from the prior baskets but not annoyingly far, except for the journey between 12 to 13 which backtracks a bit.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - The raw beauty was well above average. Most courses I've played it's just an afterthought... not here. Several of holes run thru a part of the park called the before mentioned Sacred Hills, which is quite an enchanting backdrop I must say.
Cons: Just one moderate issue about Medard and a few ticky tack things.
- LOST DISC OPPS - If you're the type of player that likes to keep their discs (I fall in this category) you're going to be sweating bullets on holes 12-15. Some of nastiest swamp water calls its home here on these holes. A player will have to be pro like accurate to avoid the trees on 14. A shot that misses an 8' wide lane 200 feet down fairway could very likely smack a tree, and then its 50/50 whether it falls on dry land or into swamp water.
- OVERGROWTH - In addition to the swamp water, the overgrowth is quite extensive through-out. Although I didn't lose a disc in the overgrowth, I did however spend significant time searching.
- TIME PLAY - Course is not a quick play for a par 54. Plan to be here 2 1/2 hours or more for a group of 4 to complete 18 holes.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - This is not a beginners course. The odds of losing a disc here is exceedingly higher than normal. Beginners best to stick to holes 1-9 or plan to go home empty handed.
- PAY TO PLAY - $2 for your vehicle to enter. I however, would gladly pay this numerous times if I lived nearby.
Other Thoughts: Having played just about all the courses in the Tampa Bay region, I can say that this is definitely one of the better ones. Although not my personal favorite, it is tops for several friends of mine. For out area players, you should definitely consider playing this course. Its right up there with the other big 4 courses (Taylor, Picnic, Cliff and Cypress)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Simply beautifully. Nice mix between open big throws and narrow tunnel shots. Very cool setting and some really challenging basket placements.
Cons: It is a little bit hard to get to, I guess depending on where you start.
Good chance you lose a disc.
Other Thoughts: This was a fantastic course that was very challenging.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I learned Disc Golf on this course and we call it "Home Course" because it's the closest to Lakeland FL. It's a challenging course and you're sure to get a work out! I am usually over par quite a bit on this course where as I'm closer to par on other courses.
Cons: Prepare for Florida swamp land at its finest! The front 9 have an open fairway plan whereas the back 9 are swampy and wet. Bring bug spray! Bring floaters! If the area has had a good rain recently, prepare for at least 3 holes to be underwater (2, 7, 8)
Other Thoughts: This is one of the hardest courses I have ever played if you are up for the elements and a good challenging course. . .this is the one for you!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
hello standing water
Pros: don't let the hole length fool you, this place is challenging. (or should i say it is challenging when there is water all over the place). the hills and the land in general are put to good use and require a variety of shots to score well.
Cons: the water...the nasty, swampy, steal-your-disc water may not be all that deep but it sure has a way of holding on to your plastic and not letting it go without extensive search and rescue. I was there mid-week, so i didn't have to deal with any non-disc traffic.
Other Thoughts: 12-15 can be scary if you value the discs you are throwing, so you can a) bring discs you don't care about b) search for your plastic or c) make the shots! I made some and had others roll into the water and spent 1/2 hour looking for one on #11 in 6 inches of water. If it were dry when I played there, I'd probably only give it a three because it wouldn't have been as intense
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has great flow utilizing placement, strategic basket positioning, and plenty of trees to navigate thru while blending in the perfect balance of length and smart planning on your approaches. To me the signature holes are 5 which is a nasty dog leg left in some thick brush (grab a spotter), and 9 and 16 which both have elevated tee baskets that can be punishing.
Cons: Hole 14 sucks the life out of the course and is just plain stupid and unenjoyable. Even the proest of pros should admit the hole is a joke.
Other Thoughts: Just be careful as the park is busy with people not paying attention or have a clue what disc golf is and the course hosts shotgun tourneys on Sundays.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Not a Fan
Pros: Enjoyed the elevated basket positions on 9, 12, and 16. You don't see alot of that around here. Hole 5 was intresting and fun placement shot hole.
Cons: Let's be honest. For the vast majority of players 13, 14, and 15 are not golf holes. They are throw your disc into the water and slime filled mining pit holes. 7, and 8 were totally flooded and unplayable when I was there.
Other Thoughts: This course is not cart friendly. Leave them at home and bring your bag.
I could not bring myself to play a second round, and that is the first time that has happened on a road trip.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: fantastic course with elevation (yes I said it elevation) open shots and tight shots, hyzers and anhyzers. This course is for people who know how to throw, but beginners do not be alarmed.Beginners may want to bring a couple of extra discs because you can easily lose a few. the back nine tests your placement skills and course management.Front nine is fairly open and easy with a good variety of shots. Number 5 is very interesting.
Cons: very few to speak of I believe it is number 14 that you throw onto a path and if not you will wind up in the muck and mire and you will not find your disc.
Other Thoughts: Great course and a ton of fun to play. When you get to nine this is a hole that you throw through an open field to an elevated pin.If you do not make a good second upshot you can be in a bunch of trouble when we played there were about 15 young ladies practicing yoga OMG what a site :) this is a fantastic course the $2 is well worth it. When we played the park closed at 7pm and the man at the entrance siad 7pm sharp and if you are not gone you will get locked in. I am not sure how true this is but beware.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
From good to bad.
Pros: - Course is located inside of Edward Medard Park; a very large park in central Florida.
- Brand new, concrete Tee-Pads.
- Tee-signs are very nice, hand carved wooden posts with a hole profile and distance.
- Front 9 is one of the nicest, and most challenging 9 holes in Florida.
- Park offers an entire outdoor Florida type experience.
- Course utilizes the space about as well as it could.
Cons: - The entire back 9; two things to note on the back 9. 1.) There are very little fairways, most of the holes are jammed into a small section of woods and play either from tee-pad to basket or down a glorified pathway. 2.) John E. McCray is a crazy man. The entire course is extremely difficult, and could only be created by one of the greatest players in disc golf history.
- The bugs on this course are insane; I had a mosquito the size of my thumb bite me through my shirt.
- No true signature hole, and definitely no true signature finishing hole.
Other Thoughts: - This is a nice course for the space that it is built on; really good use of space.
- Definitely one of the harder courses in the area, each hole is a totally new experience and challenge.
- If you enjoy a challenge then this is a destination course for sure, if not, then don't take a day trip for this one.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
I Almost Loved It
Pros: This course got me at the tee signs. A wooden pole. A map of the hole carved and painted onto it. Very accurately, I might add. I've seen more informative signs but I prefer these to any others that I've encountered.
Going forward, I loved the course through twelve or so holes. I was thinking in my head, "this is a four star course." The holes were occasionally close to other parts of the park, but they were constructed so as not to be an issue.
For the most part the holes were both challenging and fair and I would love to have another shot a bunch of them. It starts out with a few open holes, that require some distance. Then it goes into the woods. Now those are some fun holes, with danger and high rewards. Especially five. The U shaped hole. I could see a bunch of different ways to play that. I also loved nine. You exit the woods to bomb one across a field, trying to place your shot to give access to the nook, where the basket lies on a steep hill. The best part: from the tee, there are two nooks which could possibly hold the basket. I don't even want to spoil because it was fun to play it unsure.
The flow is also fantastic. One hole transitions seamlessly to the next. Into the woods. Out of the woods. Under a tree. Around a sharp and short dogleg to the right. Even when you do have to backtrack from eleven to twelve, there is a nice trail carved outside of the fairway. Going on the last few holes, I was as happy as could be.
Cons: However, at around thirteen, the course design takes a turn for the worse. Some of the holes just seem arbitrary. I think its fourteen that offers no real path to the basket that doesn't mean you have a good shot of a tree knocking you into brackish water. (Although it did allow me to successfully try out my new retriever)
Sixteen uses the same trick that I liked on nine, with the open shot leading to the basket tucked on a ledge but to a far lesser effect.
And then it fizzles on seventeen and eighteen, two of the blandest holes on the course. There is something to said for finishing strong. That doesn't happen here, which is sad because of the expectations the first 2/3 of the course had built up in my mind.
To be fair, a couple of those holes might play better when the waters lower, but that doesn't fix the end problem. Finish with one more hole of the caliber of 5-8 and Medard is a gem.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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