Under the Bridge
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.206 Rating) A course with some issues but also some solid views of downtown Jacksonville.
- SIGNAGE - The first thing you'll notice after the views of downtown, is a wonderful course map located across the parking from tee (1). The course map also describes the rules, but doesn't show the gold tee distances. Regarding the hole signage, it's more than adequate and does the job intended by showing obstacles, baskets, tees and distances. Number (8) tee sign was vandalized.
- NAVIGATION - I took a picture of the course map and had no issues solo first time thru. I do not recommend going under the bridge after (9) if homeless people make you uneasy. However, if crossing the street at that location, you will have to contend with cars zipping by on a major road. I went under the bridge. Another iffy spot is between (7) and (8). Either go around to the right of the large overgrowth patch, or deal with a 2 foot wide path on the left and directly next to the river.
- FORGIVENESS - The odds of losing a disc here seems really low. A bunch of water in view but I never came close to it. I did think about the creek however, as I know grip locks happen from time to time. Unless the water is up, the creek seems very much easy to retrieve a disc with a retriever or a long stick. In addition to low disc loss odds, the fairways are pretty wide open. I hit a tree on a few holes but I was never further punished.
- ACEABILITY - Numerous holes are aceable, especially from the blue tees. But you'll also have great looks from the gold tees on holes (1,7 and 14) as well.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - I think Springfield will play fair to large swath of players. Everyone from lower tier advanced players threw beginners should enjoy the challenge from the appropriate tees.
Cons: Lots of issues with this course.
- LOCATION - Although easy to get to from I95. The park is located in an economically challenged area. During my round, as I walked under the bridge, there were people sleeping under it. Definitely an uneasy feeling and it had a horrid smell.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - I normally don't knock a course that plays next to roads and paths, but on this course it's pretty extreme. The layout plays next to basketball and tennis courts, but also along major roads, as in 4 lane major roads with cars going 45 mph!
- BEAUTY - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The course has a lot of potential. Great views of downtown on holes (1 and 17) In addition (17) has some great landscaping to further the tee shot's luster. Being an Architect, I loved the 100 year old homes that framed parts of the park. However that's where it ends. Homeless under the bridge and the course is just littered with trash. The trash is most pronounced in the river that winds along the course where in addition to your normal plastic bags and cups, a bunch of tires and a bicycle were observed. Probably among the most trash I've ever seen on a course. It would take a semi-annual major cleaning to keep this course up due to the area its in.
- TEE PADS - A few are great, but a majority are in poor condition. The tee surface is mixed. Some are nice 6x10 concrete pads, but others are asphalt, some are sidewalks, some are dirt and some are I have no idea. The worst by far are the sidewalk improv jobs, where a tee uses several adjacent slabs that are heaved together at different inclines. Tee (18) is... some sort of... maybe... a 30 year old asphalt path? I have no idea.
- CHARACTER - In addition to the poor tees listed above. Springfield falls short on extras like that of other established courses. Not much in the way of tee shading and only a couple of benches at the tees. Plus I don't recall a shelter or any picnic tables at the end of round gathering point. There are a couple highlights, see pros for signage and there is also a practice basket.
- UNIQUENESS - For an 18 hole course, the variety is pretty bleak. Mostly an open layout with a spattering of trees. For the most part, no pocket shots, doglegs or tunnel plays. The layout is all par 3's. There is however parallel water plays to force lines, but most of them are easily avoided in lieu of grip lock and there are no water clears. The hole lengths do vary quite a bit for the gold tees, from 195 to 518.
- ELEVATION - Very little elevation change. Probably varies by no more than 15 feet on the entire course and no hole varies by more than 12 feet, hole (17). Surprising to some, but this is only a touch below average for the state.
- DIFFICULTY - Not much of a challenge to advanced/pro level players as they should have no problem breaking par on a calm day from the gold tees. Intermediate and Recreational players should probably play the blue tees and should also have a good shot at breaking par as well.
- PARKING - Normally not a concern for most people but the parking lot is in need of repair as it's pitted everywhere. If you have a low riding car, id consider parking elsewhere.
Other Thoughts: If it were possible, I'd give Springfield a 2.25 rating as it just falls below that number in my matrix scoring method. Despite the lower rating I did enjoy my round here and the course would probably be in my rotation if I lived in the area. That said, this is not a destination course, but if you're in downtown and don't have a means to travel far from your hotel, Springfield can provide a fun and relaxing round. However if you do have a means to travel out of downtown, I highly recommend checking out New World DGC on the west side of town.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Bad Day on Boulevard
Pros: - Nice Open Course with few trees to contend with
- Easy to get to and has a decent number of parking spaces
- Nice new Innova Discatchers
- Historic part of Springfield with beautiful homes along the road
Cons: - 2 Tunnels with trash from use by homeless and human waste
- Course runs along Hogans Creek which is constantly littered with garbage and the water quality is abysmal. This creek comes into play on several holes and will eat your disc if you're not careful
- Soggy ground on some holes
Other Thoughts: I loved the area but was disappointed with the garbage in the stream and the homeless sleeping under the bridge. My wife went with me and she is just starting out so has control issues which led to two lost discs this day, both in the creek. I'm not fishing them out of the noisome water and just scratched them up to a loss. Other than that I played a good game but the unpredictable wind that day made for some squirrelly throws. My wife is traumatized (lol) however and refuses to return to this course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
I'm going DOWNTOWN
Pros: 1) This is a very beginner friendly course because it is on completely mowed turf. You cannot lose a disc here unless you end up throwing it in the river to the side of a couple fairways, but even there it is retrievable.
2) There must have recently been a river cleanout because there were hundreds of plastic garbage bags filled with trash and multiple shopping carts out in the road. Obviously this is a park that people care about or this wouldn't take place. It is also just 1 minute from the middle of downtown Jacksonville so it is an image issue for the city I am sure.
3) Tees are concrete and sometimes on exisiting sidewalks where they will mark the actual tee area.
4) Practice basket and a sign by #1 for the park.
5) Nice new discatcher baskets are in great shape and installed properly.
6) I love it when old parks leave the old concrete structures and landscape pieces in place. Here there is what I would assume is a 100 year old curved concrete wall. Sure it has shifted over time and is settling in some areas and cracked, but it is a really interested and historic piece of the landscape. It looks like it onetime framed a concert area or something like that. These small things make parks and disc golf courses attractive. I also like the pavilion building near Hole #4 or 5. That is old and a unique piece of history so it is cool they worked around it.
7) Signs have Par, distance, hole # and sponsors along with a general hole map.
8) There were also some benches and garbage cans in a few spots around the course, more intended for park users and people along the sidewalk but nothing says we can't use them too.
9) An odd feature which I thought was cool is it appears you are walking through a large area of mint groundcover because as I walked through the lawns I kept smelling mint. I thought it was all clover but there apparently was also some mint. Not really a pro I guess but something interesting.
10) I think there was a restroom in the building on the front 9 somewhere but I did not check it to see if it was usable.
Cons: 1) I know I was not in the nicest neighborhood but I was comforted by the fact that the entire park area was framed with 100 year old decent homes. Plenty of people to witness anything that might happen to me.
2) This is a very disjointed course because you play through like 4 different areas of the riverside park. You have to walk under two overpasses and across a couple roads during the round.
3) The lawn in the park could definitely use a mow . . . the clover, mint, and cool season turf is growing still while the warm season turf is still dormant. I am not sure how frequently they mow, but to me this area could see some mowing right now.
4) This is a completely flat course as is standard in Florida. Maybe a few elevated or unique basket locations could have altered the flatness of the ground just enough to have some interest.
5) In general these holes do not have enough obstacles or much interest.
6) Distance variation is only
moderate. There are no really long holes and definitely no par 4's here.
7) Obstacles are few and far
between in my view. They didn't have a ton of trees to use, but at least they did get into a couple of areas that created a tighter type shot.
Other Thoughts: This was not a terrible course at all but it was not the most challenging or interesting and it is located in a slightly poor neighborhood. It felt a lot like Dineen Park in Milwaukee. Not a place I would go to regularly but a good place to warmup for the day. There are not any real unique holes and most holes are just laid out right in front of you to try and execute the shot. I was happy to be on my way to league at Ed Austin Park and later to be playing Ronnie Van Zant Memorial, because this would not have satisfied my disc golf needs for the day.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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