Payne Park is for Noobs
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is a great park to learn how to play disc golf. You can practice your drives at one of the only hills in Sarasota. Fun and easy.
You know that you are intermediate if you can score 27 or less on these 9 holes!
Cons: Skater punks. Also the lake in the middle of the course is deeper than it looks so if you land a couple feet from the edge a lot of times you won't be able to recover your disc.
Beware the Sarasota Police Department who have some disc golfers deep undercover to investigate the disc gold black market. Be wary of anyone in trench coats trying to sell illicit disc golfs this close to downtown. Sarasota's jail is a bit too close for comfort.
Other Thoughts: Some say there is a system of connected sewer tunnels somewhere at Payne Park that leads to the lost Scottish Fortress of Sarasota.
To those who found this review unhelpful- haters gonna hate- you're just jealous!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Very good start leads to a somewhat disappointing finish
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Payne Park is a large inner-city park located in downtown Sarasota. A sweet shaded crushed brick walking trail circles the property. There is also a public pool.
+ The first 5 holes are pretty fun. Water comes into play behind the basket on #3, followed by a short water carry on #4. Unfortunately, the fountain wasn't turned on when I played so I didn't get the full signature experience of that hole. There is also some elevation that comes into play, a rarity for this part of the country!
+ Magnificant tee signs! You'll be hard pressed to find signs this good. Clean, easy to read, and very detailed. Two sets of concrete tees and nice numbered baskets on every hole.
Cons: - Holes 6-9 (nice) aren't so fun. I was really considering giving Payne a 3.0-3.5 until this stretch. Open, flat, and bland are three words to describe these holes.
- Knuckleheads vandalized several tee pads with spray paint. Unfortunately that's a typical trait of inner city disc golf courses.
- Without UDisc it can be tough to find the starting point of the course. Park as far down as you can by a wide concrete path to the left of the pool. If you follow that for a couple minutes you'll reach the first tee.
Other Thoughts: Payne Park is really a nice course that fell flat later on in the round. It's worth playing if you're in town, but I wouldn't recommend it during the middle part of the day because there isn't much shade.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
How About A Little Help Finding The Start?
Pros: Payne Park is a fairly large park in downtown Sarasota. Among other things it has is a great circus themed playground. The park has a little bit of elevation which is used well and some decent distance. There are two 4' x 10' concrete tee pads for each hole. The baskets are older DGA models with a small number. The signs are the old school fiberglass ones. You know, the same kind that are trashed at every other course in America and which are becoming scarce. For some unknown reason, they are the basket of choice in Florida and even more strange, they are somehow avoiding the wrath of the vandals.
For being this seemingly simple little nine hole course, Payne does have a couple of interesting holes. # 1 is 233' and plays across a bowl and then up a small hill. Then # 2 is maybe, 350' playing off the top of the hill. Then # 4 plays across a pond. I would guess from tee to basket is 280' but you can safely throw over the pond starting at about 180' if you cut the corner or play it in between depending on your arm/confidence.
Cons: Being a park this big made finding the first tee a problem. I drove around the park twice before parking and walking towards the middle where I finally located both the # 9 and # 1 tees. The problem of locating the start of the course is compounded by the fact that the signs only show the distance not the hole #. So when I stopped and checked a sign (eventually I figured out that it was # 7) all it said was Blue 380. So now way of knowing which hole it was. I did finally discover one tee sign with the hole # on the back of the sign.
The DGCR information sheet does no mention where this course begins. Whoever is in charge, please add that tidbit of information.
Signs are missing on holes 2, 5 and 8.
Other Thoughts: My experience here was certainly dampened by all the trouble I had just finding the start. This could so easily fixed by simply adding that information to the DGCR information sheet and by putting the numbers on the signs.
The Payne Park course is actually a fun little throw once you know where # 1 is. It gives you a little bit of a big air throw, a little trace of a technical throw and a decent amount of a pucker factor on # 4.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Fountain of Youth
Pros: (1.915 Rating) A fun open and beginner friendly course.
- TEES - They are all concrete and are 4 feet wide by 10 feet long. Adequate and in good condition in my opinion. There are also 2 tees for all 9 holes for pros and ams.
- ELEVATION - "Good for a South Florida course that is" about average compared to the 44 Florida courses I've hit. Probably 20 foot of change throughout the course layout, which is about 20 feet more of elevation change when compared to nearby North Water Tower DGC. However, just about all parts of the country would consider this course flat.
- FORGIVENESS - The odds of losing a disc due to an errant shot is low with a few exceptions. Throwing long on (3) and throwing short on (4). This risk only applies to the long tees as the short tee pads offer an angle away from the water thus significantly lowering the odds of throwing one in.
- MAINTENANCE - The grounds appear to be constantly mowed, trimmed and manicured. I don't recall seeing any trash on my visit.
- QUICK PLAY - A single could easily complete a full 9 in under 40 minutes. Groups of 4 probably would finish in under an hour and 15 minutes.
- ACEABILITY - A few of the holes are highly aceable, especially holes (1), (8) and (9), which are each under 250 feet from the back tees.
- CHAINS - The baskets are in great shape. Unfortunately a typical comment when you run out of good things to say about a course.
Cons: Could use a lot more trees.
- UNIQUENESS - The holes themselves in terms variety are well below average. 6 of the 9 shots are completely open. Trees only come into play on holes (5) and (8) and slightly on (4). There is one water carry, hole 4, which can be a challenge if the wind is howling.
- CHARACTER - Well below average. No tee shading, no seating, no map, no community board, no practice basket. There is hole signage on 6 of the 9 holes. (missing on 4,5 and 6) and there is a picnic table after 9. but that's it.
- NAVIGATION - You will probably need the course map on the DGCR site. I did find navigation to be a minor issue being solo and a first timer. I had check my map after a few hoes. Basket 6 to tee 7 is probably the most challenging navigational issue. Head north along the sidewalk east of basket 6. In all though, you will eventually figure it out without a map. I will add, that it was ideal to have hole 9 basket end at 1 tee so a second loop for 18 holes can occur seamlessly.
- LAYOUT - Hole (1) is not located by parking and neither is (9). It pretty much starts out in the middle of the park.
- WAITING - Lots of park patrons using park for other reasons. On my first round here, I had to stop for walkers, joggers, dog-walkers, kite flyers and other disc golfers.
- SPACING - Slightly below average. If the course was full, there would be a few tees that could be reached by an errant throw because of no tree protection. A few fairways also feel partially shared.
- DIFFICULTY - Not much of a challenge to advanced/pro level players as they should have no problem breaking par. Recreational players may be delighted however as it can be a feel good round. It's a great opportunity for those players to finish a couple above par.
- WIND - Due to the lack of trees, wind will likely be an issue.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Perhaps it was the time of year I played, but I did not find the course to be vibrant. The grass, for the most part was dead, and for what few trees and shrubs were there, they were not lush green. The fountain was kind of cool until hole 7 when then high winds blew the water droplets all the way to the basket. By all means not the worst course out there, just a bit below the average Florida course I've hit.
Other Thoughts: A beginners and recreational players course. It's an easy one to check of the list if you feel the need to play every course once. For those in the area looking to play only one course or for one with a more substantial challenge, please consider checking out North Water Tower or Lakeview Park instead.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Wide open downtown park plays across green spaces and around a small pond complete with fountain. Two hole stand out: 4 carries the pond with opportunities to carry short and earn a long approach or attack the basket over a much longer stretch of whiter, while 2 lets you tee off of the highest point of the park and let the disc fly over an open field. Nice baskets and tees make for a fun and easy round for experienced players while beginners will be able to learn discs while challenging themselves with the distance on a few holes. The whole area is aesthetically pleasing and well landscaped. A really great place for the beginning player.
Cons: The location means that sections of the course are prime real estate for those looking for a place to sleep.
You will probably require the map to find some tees.
There isn't much of real interest here. An on-the-way course.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Quality par 3 open and easy.
Pros: 2 concrete pads and many holes had decent signage.
Some baskets had yellow arrows on the poles to guide you to the next tee to aid in navigation.
Hole 4 is a properly executed water hole. The closer you get to the basket, the longer the water carry. plenty of choice on how safe you want to be, plus a second tee pad that does not play over the water.
Course makes the most of the land it is on and has some attractive views especially around the fountain.
If you are travelling with family, the playground is one of a kind and will entertain any age kid for the length of your round.
SUN KING Disc Golf store is less than 15 minutes away.
Cons: The course is not challenging for experienced players. Par on this course would only take a sub-900 rated round. Expect to birdie half the holes if you are an advanced player.
Navigation in some areas gets confusing. The arrow on hole #1 pointed the wrong way. After hole 2 it was difficult to find 3.
Hole 5 was entirely to close to property lines.
Several holes are missing signage
Course has a Hobo infestation. So many homeless people on the course. On hole 5 I took a bogey because I had to play around a homeless man who refused to leave the fairway.
Other Thoughts: It is a fun quick course once you have played it and understand the flow. I would play it again if it was not such a far trip. It would be a nice add on to any trip to the area.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
lots of fun
Pros: open with quite a bit of elevation. In a great very multi-use park. Baskets are good. Tee pads are good.
Cons: Short and only nine holes. No real hard challenges
Other Thoughts: This is a course we played after playing North Water Tower.What a great time we had playing this course. I would tell everyone to give it a try once. Disc purists and snobs may not like it because it is very easy. Give it a try, you will have a good time.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Well maintained open course
Pros: Nice landscape with a few changes in elevation. Nice pads and baskets.
Cons: Short holes.
Other Thoughts: My review is short and sweet. This course is good for beginners or just a quick round, being that it's only a nine hole. Holes are short so a putter and midrange is about all you'll need except for a couple other holes. Nice park. Good little course.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -This park is absolutely beautiful!
-Located in Downtown Sarasota it is close to various stores and restaurants.
-DGA Mach Vs are great!
-Dual tees for all holes. All tees are concrete.
-The water hazards add some difficulty and a fun challenge.
-Fountains and hills (despite it being a Florida course).
Cons: -Way too open!
-Fairly short course
-Shots/holes are somewhat redundant
-Some transitions between holes are a little long.
-No signs by the alternate tee pads.
Other Thoughts: This course is gorgeous with fountains, Palm trees, Spanish moss, and well-manicured grass. It's worth a play if you're in the area and is a great compliment to North Water Tower Park as it offers a completely different look.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Very nice multi-use park with concrete sidewalks and gravel multipurpose path. Large playground and skatepark are available as well. Well manicured green spaces and clean for the most part from what I could see.
- Central location
- Baskets are in 'new' condition
- 2 sets of concrete tees: shorts good for beginners/children, longs are not challenging for MA1 and above players but still entertaining
- Course makes good use of limited elevation and water. For a wide open location, the designer managed to use what trees are present to shape some holes very nicely (Hole 5 is somewhat of a tunnel shot, Hole 8 has trees between the pin and tee forcing a RHBH anny, RHFH, or my favorite: thumber)
- I really like the pin location for Hole 1 on the crest of the large hill. Very fun RHBH spike hyzer shot. (also fun to throw from the large hill to any basket you can see for safari holes)
- Felt like a mini Fountain Hills with the two fountains (from what I've seen of FH on videos). Hole 4 is a fun/easy water carry.
Cons: - Next tee signs would have been nice (could be as indiscreet as an arrow sticker on the pole of the basket). Navigation was pretty straightforward without a map, but knowing exactly where the next tee is located would be nice.
- Lots of people. Obviously have no control of the # of people present but I did have to wait a couple times for people to walk by on the paths. No biggie though
Other Thoughts: - As a disc golfer, I'd love if the classic gray DGA baskets were brighter/more visible ... HOWEVER ... I like the overall aesthetics of the park with the gray baskets and no garishly bright colors sticking out randomly on the landscape.
Overall a fun, solid little 9-holer. Felt like a 3.25, but as that's not an option, I gave it a 3.
Worth a stop if in the area. Nice contrast to woodiness of North Watertower Park
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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