The spirit is here and the spirit is fine
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was at a conference in downtown Jacksonville and noticed there was a course a little over a mile away, which made for a nice sneak away round. You don't usually get a course that close to downtown, so the course is unique in that way.
Other than that factor, Springfield DGC is a pretty standard short, park style course. The course winds its way up and back in a fairly narrow park that runs along a creek. None of the shots were really great or notable; it was a pretty standard set of shots. The park is flat and lightly wooded, so the land isn't really going to allow for a very challenging layout. The park had good signage, the tees were weird but adequate, the flow was fairly easy to follow without a map and the two times you have to walk under a bridge is marked with directional signs.
There is a big arching railing next to a walking path that you throw over on holes 8 and 17 that is somewhat unique. There are also some sculptures on one end of the park that are pretty cool. Hole one gives a nice downtown view. There are enough of those sorts of thing to keep the course somewhat interesting, even though the shots themselves are not very interesting.
Cons: A lot of disc golf courses are retrofit into multi-use parks and end up with some dumb shots just to keep you moving from point A to point B, but this course has quite a few "there really should not be a hole here" moments. Holes 4, 13, 14 and 16 all made me say "Really?" off the tee. They are just crammed into places a disc golf hole ought not be. Hole 10 is really too narrow for a golf shot; it's too easy to hzyer into the stinking creek or flip your drive into a busy road because there really isn't enough space for a 400' driver shot there. Hole 18 shoots back at the parking lot with the basket too close to the lot; if people are there at that end of the lot you have to throw right at them.
There are walking paths pretty much all through the course so you really have to watch for pedestrians everywhere. Some of the pins are so close to walking paths that you really can't even play them O.B. The whole course is crammed into the park so conflicts with other park users is a given. If safety is a pet peeve of yours, you would want to skip this course.
The golf isn't great. The course is mostly flat and lightly wooded so it doesn't really force you to do anything. The shots are fairly short and get pretty repetitive.
The tees are...weird? Some of them are nice; some of them are painted lines on sidewalks. At least one (Hole 17 I think) was a sideways painted line on a sidewalk with bits of an older sidewalk left in front and behind the new sidewalk to form a tee. Hole 11 I never did find the tee for. As weird as they are, they are mostly adequate and there are multiple tees per hole. I didn't find them to be a problem, but I'm sure others would.
As noted in other reviews, there are two places where they direct you to walk under bridges and they direct you to go back under them when you work your way back. The day I was there the path from 9 to 10 was clear, but there was a tent city on the walk from 6 to 7 and walking through there was kind of terrifying.
Other Thoughts: The series of small parks that the course is on are really old circa 1900 parks, and there is a mix of cool old features and crumbling old infrastructure. The big railing by holes 8 and 17 is a leftover from when the Jacksonville Zoo was in that park in the 1910's. The Springfield neighborhood has been revitalized in the last decade or so, and some formerly dilapidated housing has been rehabilitated. The area is still somewhat depressed, but it's a lot better than it has been.
For me, the site is a mixed bag. It's a somewhat unique site with some cool aspects you don't generally see on a disc golf course so that counteracts a little the fact that the golf is below average. The golf is below average, though. I really didn't find to cool factors cool enough that I would play there very much if I lived there.
However, I got there in 30 minutes from the downtown Hyatt on foot. If you end up in Jacksonville on business or for a conference, it's right there. You almost can't avoid playing it at that point.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Under the Bridge
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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course takes advantage of the land available very well. The gold tees are pretty tough concidering it is in an open park. The Blue tees are shorter but are still fairly tight but good for beginners and practice. The grounds are well groomed and baskets are in good shape. While short the tee pads are concrete. This would be a great course to play with a group of friends.
Cons: The community surrounding the course and wandering the course did not make me feel safe. The abandoned buildings along side the course and homeless people on the course made it feel sketchy. This is most pronounced in the transition under the bridge where there were several people sleeping and stored goods. This is the point where we decided to leave.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
I really like this course, but it is a bit sketchy ...
Pros: - Mostly open course -- great for field work.
- Some variety, including low tunnel shots under branches and (for RHBH) forehand shots or backhand anhyzer to stay out of the disgusting canal.
- Went there on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and it was pretty much completely empty in contrast to the Fore Palms, which is typically too crowded on weekends to play a quick round.
- Open areas are clean and well maintained. But if your disc strays into the wooded areas lining the canal, I did see some camp sites used by the homeless.
Cons: It's a bit sketchy. A couple of holes suggest you walk through underpasses, which also serve as shelters for the homeless. Probably harmless but why chance it? Walk around and be aware, especially when golfing by yourself.
Other Thoughts: Not a terrible part of town, but it's also not the best. Be alert and be aware of your surroundings. This is a fun course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great downtown course/park
Pros: Great downtown course, city skyline in the background, def unlike any other course I've played because of this.
Tees were pretty easy to find from looking at the main map.
CLEAN!!! While I was there they had a cleanup going on... now it didn't even look in bad shape at all, but these local club./volunteers were there picking up cigarette buts, small pieces of paper etc. I wouldn't have even noticed. HUGE Kudos to them for doing this. I know what it's like to try and organize a cleanup day... really hard to get people out.
The course was well designed, a little easier than I would have liked, but given the landscape, it played very well.
Cons: No bathroom facilities from what I could see.
There were homeless under a couple overpasses, but they weren't bothersome at all.
That little river is pretty gross, I really don't blame people for playing it safe and not throwing towards it. I almost had my disc go in, but a tree stopped it thank goodness.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this park because it was so close to downtown. It's a nice change from the 100% natural parks I usually play, was nice to see the skyline in the background and again huge kudos for the cleanup crew keeping the park clean!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Mostly wide open
Will require you to make some interesting shots.
Various obstacles to can hurt. Low hanging branches, cement buildings are a few that you will encounter.
If you can throw shots that can curve left AND right, you will do well.
Not a long course.
Cons: Do not throw your disc into the canal!!! If you do, kiss it goodbye! The 3 eye fish sign for the canal is a warning you should pay attention to.
The very grungy canal on the left side of several fairways is not pleasant.
Some unpleasant smells from time to time.
Parking can be difficult if course is busy due to limited # of spaces but street parking is available.
Other Thoughts: In this area, I would probably go to Ed Austin park for a disc golf game, over this course. However, for variety, I have enjoyed playing here several times. You can shoot a good score if you stay under control and can make a variety of shots. DO not need any water discs such as Dragons. If you disc hits the water (the canal) it's a goner.
If you have average length and average control and can putt well, you could play close to even par. That is the fun part of this course, can you play even par?
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course for everyone
Pros: This course is easy to navigate and beginner friendly with mostly wide open holes. They make nice use of a long narrow park in a historic district. I was able to par most holes but there are some challenges. I was up in Jacksonville for a business meeting and played with three colleagues, each with 3 to 6 months experience, and they were able to play well and have a good time. Some of the trees were just coming into foliage and next month will be more guardian around a couple of the baskets. There are one or two tunnel type shots as you have to thread through lines of trees.
Cons: A couple of homeless but harmless living under the bridge but they kept to themselves. The creek does come into play so carry some sort of disc retriever. The creek has a reputation as "toxic" but it is just a creek in old town Jacksonville. If your disc goes in just retrieve and wash off. It's no worse the dog pooh hidden in the grass close to the bark park at my local course.
Other Thoughts: We played just after work on a Monday and pretty much had the place to our selves. There were a few more playing as we were finishing up. I'm looking forward to playing again when I'm back up in Jacksonville. Overall fun time
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
I'm a fan
Pros: Convenient to downtown Jax and surrounded by beautiful historic homes with a distant view of the big city. Long and short holes with a multiple tees for most holes. Good variety of open shots and shots with big oaks and smaller trees making you think. Weekly doubles tournaments on Thursday evenings.
Cons: Some holes soggy after severe rains. Gang grafitti reminds you this is not always the safest area. You can't pay me to get in that water.
Other Thoughts: The pros definitely outweigh the cons. This park is dog friendly and you will always find someone else using the park for picnics, baseball, basketball, fishing (not recommended), and especially disc golf.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Easy to read signs. Well maintained. Basket are in good condition. Great for beginners like myself.
Cons: A lot of short, straight holes. Might not be a bad thing, but for more skilled players, you might get bored. It's not in the best area, and bad smells show up on a few holes, but it's still a nice looking park.
Other Thoughts: There's a few spots I was nervous about losing my disc. There's a huge drainage line that if you throw it in, it's probably staying there. You could go get it, but is rather suck it up as a loss.
Also, my rating might be slightly biased since I got my first ever ace on hole 6. I've only been playing for a month and shot even, so that's how you can tell how easy this course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good layout with pretty clear layout and directions
Pin signs give very interesting background information
Cons: Very open course (almost like an old golf course)
A little hard to find the entrance
Other Thoughts: My wife and I played the course, and while it's true that there was evidence of a homeless population, we were not approached or accosted. Also, you can tell that the area is getting way better (and used to be incredible)
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.