1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.203 Rating) Florida's oldest active course. The years of love has gradually improved this course.
- CHARACTER - All the bells and whistles that you'd expect of an established course with a big club following. Pre round goodies includes a practice basket, course map and community board. Two sets of concrete tee pads and each are with their own seating and signage. Lots of multiple basket placements. It seemed like every hole had at least one alternate location. Upon finishing, there's a shelter with picnic tables and a restroom building.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - Two set of tees with a nice difficultly level separation, Northside has managed to find the perfect middle ground between too easy, and too hard. The course has probably attracted a wide range of skill levels. Several open-ish longer holes (+400 feet). Mildly spaced fairways in general with just enough obstacles in play from the back to make an advanced player work for it. Also, several guarded basket placements that will dictate the ideal angle to attack from. In addition, if I lived in the area, this is the type of course I'd bring a newer player too.
- FORGIVENESS - The overgrowth is very minimal for Florida standards. Errant shots will usually still have an open lane towards the basket. There is some water in play on the last couple of holes. Be sure and error to the left on (18).
- CHALLENGING - The back tees at Northside Park are tougher than I was expecting. The all par 3 course averages 335 feet from the back. Figure a couple down to even for an advanced player rated around 950. Rec players should play the front tees and will probably finish a few over.
- TEES - Numerous newly poured tees of above average size. However, there were still a few of the old ones. It appears from reading an earlier review that the process to pour new ones is still ongoing.
- NAVIGATION - I personally did not have an issues. I snapped a photo of the course map and it kept me on track thru the entire round. I will also note that this course in perfect for disc golf strollers.
- QUICK PLAY - Other than at prime times, I think Northside will play surprisingly quick. I played all 20 holes solo in under an hour. This translates to about 2 hours for four skilled players on a non busy course. However, expect extra waiting during prime times, this course get heavy use.
- MAINTENANCE - Course was in great shape during my round. No trash and numerous well spaced garbage cans. Mowed fairways with minimal overgrowth and no dead tree limbs in the fairways.
- NIGHT GOLF - If this park is open, I would not be surprised to hear of a night league occurring during the winter.
- HISTORY - The oldest course you're still able to play in Florida.
Cons: A great everyday course with only a few preference issues.
- UNIQUENESS - About average, but for courses I've rated 3 or above, its subpar. Most fairways only have a spattering of trees in play. Baskets are lightly guarded in many instances. Pocket shots are nonexistent or lightly defined. No par 4s or 5s although (15) could be labeled as such for rec players when in the far position. There's a water clear shot on (19), but it's so short that the exhilaration in clearing it is lost.
- ELEVATION - Zippo. They don't get much flatter.
- SPACING - With the lightly defined fairways and tight layout, you can expect some discs to find other fairways. I'd keep my head on a swivel here.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - Unless I missed something, but when playing (18) to the far basket placement, the optimal line runs adjacent to the shelter. I had to baby my drive to avoid the possibility to nailing someone in it.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Average. No unsightly holes but no standout holes either. (18 and 19) where the water comes into play were the only holes with some natural flare. I typically can recall an entire general hole layout from memory for months, but I was not able to so for this course. To many holes have the same look and feel.
Other Thoughts: The first course I ever played in Florida and it has aged gracefully. I currently have both Northside and Jonesville rated within 0.25 of each other and I have a sense that there is much disagreement among the locals over which is better. If you like courses with lots of amenities you'll love Northside. If you prefer to have a bunch of shot shaping technical plays, you'll enjoy Jonesville more. Personally I enjoyed them both.
- BOGGY - I read a bunch of reviews regarding soggy conditions. The course look like a place that doesn't drain well. However, I played during the middle of the rainy season and got a completely dry course. My advice would be to check rainfall precip totals. Often in Florida during the rainy season, an area will get 10 inches of rain over a week stretch, but then only an inch or two for the rest of the month. Most Florida courses will flood somewhat when getting a weekly deluge like this.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Florida's Oldest That's Still In The Ground
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Florida's oldest course with basket targets, that's still playable. 20 holes in a moderately wooded setting with virtually no rough so the chance of losing a disc here is very small. Except for the water hazards which expand and shrink based on the amount of rain received. Like most Florida courses, this one is best played in the wintertime. The course is very popular and boasts a large and competent league.
Cons: Being an old school course, there are a few cons. Some of the concrete tees are breaking up, but I did notice some newer tee pads so hopefully, they are being updated. Some of the tee pads are aimed at old pin placements and are not in line with the newer pin placements.
The park is very popular with those that don't throw also, so keep an eye out for walkers and bicyclists passing through.
Other Thoughts: A great course to throw a fun casual round with your buddies.
The course is heavily played so if you are coming to bang out all of the Gainesville area courses in one day I would recommend playing this one first.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Dont underestimate this course!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Very clean and well maintained.
-Course is easy to navigate.
-Open field to practice drives (parallel to #16)
-Practice baskets (near playground and technically hole 20).
-Trash Cans on every hole!
-Concrete Tee Pads (both AM and Pro).
-Two pin positions each hole.
-Trees "strategically" positioned to offer technical shots.
-Hard to lose a disc unless you find water which there isn't much except for 5,7,12,18,19
-Lost and Found box on Info Board with timely return
Cons: -Poor drainage, you will walk with soggy feet when it rains. I suggest waiting two days after a solid rain before playing.
-Some holes are close together. Look before you throw.
-Course is very flat.
-Ponds by #18-19 eat a lot of discs. Suggest taking "the safe routes" if you're new to the course.
Other Thoughts: Overall I enjoy playing here and Jonesville. I play both courses each weekend and try to visit both during the week.
Great course to learn the sport for novice players at the short pads.
Keep in mind, if you're planning to visit Northside Park. League events are Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:15 PM and Sundays at 11:30 AM. During these times, waiting time can be extended due to an increased number of players attending the course. However, you'll be offered to play through. Refer to the info board at #1 for further detailed information regarding league events.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Solid course that may not thrill you but won't disappoint you either. There's a lot of water, and while there may not be any true carries, the canal is present on many holes. It's nice when it border one side of a fairway. It's even better when you have to cross it. Hole 5 is probably the best of the course, with the bridge over the canal. The water isn't so deep that you shouldn't be able to fish a disc out of it but it's a nice bridge that does impart that victorious feeling when you cross it, having successfully driven across it.
It's also a fairly easy play, suitable for quick rounds and players of all ability levels. There isn't much brush so the frustration factor will be low for beginners. The canals, which add difficulty for veterans, should have less affect for the new players, who likely won't throw far enough for them to be in play. Tees, baskets, everything here is pretty much solid.
Cons: It does seem to be very swampy, and there was standing water approaching the fairways in January. I can imagine this place being very unfriendly in wetter months. The water in canals is good; getting soggy feet while walking on the fairway is unpleasant. There weren't many places where this was a danger. But from the lay of the land, I'm pretty sure it is a problem often.
But the main thing that keeps this course from being top-notch isn't what is there. It's what isn't. There aren't any signature holes. There aren't really any challenging holes. (really too open) There is no wow factor. There isn't much that will be remembered after you leave. And there isn't any elevation. It's solid, three-star golf that you will enjoy, but shouldn't go too far out of your way for. And 19 and 20 feel tacked on and not needed, I think the course is better without them.
Other Thoughts: EDIT: I've since had the opportunity to play the course multiple times and to experience league days. The first change I would make is the comment about the marshy nature of the landscape. Playing in May, even after a storm, I've never experienced the course to be as bad as I did in that first winter round. So I would state that I was probably just unlucky that day.
On the other hand, the course navigates pretty badly for non-locals and I'm surprised that I did not mention it initially. I brought some new players to the course to introduce them to the game and was surprised at how many times I was confused, even after having played multiple rounds.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: T pads were a good length with plenty of grip. There were trash cans or recycle bins at nearly every hole. course had plenty of shade for hot summer days. The biggest pro I can think of is, its a disc golf course!
Cons: The course seemed very congested compared to what i'm used to playing. This seemed like it should have been a 9 hole course, but they managed to squeeze another 9 holes in there making it 18. The baskets were extremely hard to see and a lot of the signs were broken on the next T pad which made you wonder if you were on the right fairway.
Other Thoughts: I drove 40 miles from NE florida to check out this course because it had pretty good reviews. I dont think I will be returning. If i were making a drive i would play ed austin, ronnie van zant or one of the many great places in ocala.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great layout for an 18 hole course. Many open fairways and baskets. Course actual has some tee markers from old UF golf course.
Cons: No water fountains. Only one faucet to fill up water bottle from. The bathrooms are rough (prision style) no doors on stalls. Your probably better holding it or leaving and coming back. There are a couple of dark water ponds that disc tend to go into and are hard to find.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A Florida Classic
Pros: Good tees, baskets, signs, benches, trash cans. Attractive park setting with some canopy for sun protection. Logical course flow that returns to the parking area after 9. Virtually no schule that makes it difficult to lose a disc.
The dual tees provide a fun challenge for all player skill levels. The long tees are right on for blue level players. There is a good variety of shot shapes and distances and several of the holes have multiple options that require some thought.
This is the site of Ken Climo's first pro victory, the home course for the founders of the Fabulous Florida Tour, and the place that the Gurthie brothers grew up playing disc golf. It's about 15 minutes off I-75, so I'd recommend you put it on your "must-play" list when visiting Florida.
Cons: The course can get very swampy following big rains.
Many of the holes crowd each other a bit too much. Pay attention to other players on the course as discs can get into other fairways and come into yours. The design could have been better in this regard as there is additional room around and within the course that could have been better used to provide a better safety buffer between holes.
The bathroom is one of the most disgusting places on earth, worse than county jail. Make sure you make a pit stop for #2 before getting to the course.
Other Thoughts: Don't be a dirty discer. Leave the course cleaner than the way you found it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
B for a Bit Boring for me
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- C-
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- C+
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- C+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- C
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- NA
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor...more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage...if what I say adds anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Love it and hate it
Pros: This course is very difficult but can be very rewarding when you actually get par or even better, get a birdie. After playing 50+ times I still feel challenged every time I go out. The holes are marked very well with little plaques and there are amateur pads that offer a whole new game.
Cons: Like I said in the Pros this course is hard. Every hole is a par 3 and some of they really shouldn't be. It's nice to actually go under par when you have an amazing day... not here. There are a few ponds and a creek that suck discs up but they can easily be avoided. Lastly, this park is becoming more and more popular. Most days you can easily get stuck behind a large group of idiots, especially Friday afternoons.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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