An Ageless Wonder
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Coming over to Northside Park , a short distance from both I-75 and Jonesville park , I wasn't sure of what I would get from the oldest standing course in Florida ( 1982 ) . I figured some old school short holes with a few trees for challenge . I was dead wrong . The course has Mach 3 baskets , 2 grooved cement tees per hole and at least 2 pin positions per hole . The signage is first rate , with hole # , par , and flight path for all of the pin positions . The grounds were mowed and the grounds were clean and trimmed well . I saw several trash cans during my round . Bathroom was near hole #1 , as was plenty of parking . The navigation was pretty easy , and I think I only went to my online map once . The course is also easy on the legs , since this course is pancake flat . For an older course , it has some length to it . there are 5 holes from the longs that are over 400 ft , #16 being the longest at 497' . One of the cooler natural features is that there are pine needles on the fairways that are so springy that it makes your disc jump an extra 15-20 feet when it hits the ground on a level drive . There were several holes that played close to at least some water . Be a little careful on hole 6 which has some nasty water off to the right , and you have to clear a creek at just under 300' . #7 is a solid hole , with the basket buried in between a grove of trees . For the small amount of trees and growth in this city park style course , it will make the normal player have to work for their pars . The 500' par 3 ' #16 has a basket sitting off to the right , behind some palm bushes and trees . This park population is overwhelmingly disc golfers . I only saw a couple of younger people goofing around in the middle of the back 9 , but saw maybe 20 playing here at 9:30 on a Saturday morning . I imagine the course gets crowded on peak times . Course designer Tim Monroe does a great job by hiding pins behind existing bushes and trees , and still keeping the length up ( up to 5862' ) in a tighter than normal park . A very enjoyable round , connecting with the friendly locals on the course , telling me the course and the local news . Disc Risk : minimal , as long as you don't throw it in the water . Signature hole : #12 , a 400' ( 331' from the shorts ) drive that goes from a flat open shot to a raised thin surface protected by a tree in the front and dry creeks on either side of it .
Cons: #1 safety . Some of these fairways are set a little close to each other . Since this is a great beginner or casual player course , a shank or errant drive could hit another player playing a different hole . #2 Elevation . If hills are your thing , then this course might bore you a little . #3 I don't know whether to count this as a con , but I was gypped out of the last 4 holes ( 17 , 18 , 19 , and 20 ) due to construction . This also claimed the kiosk and an alternate tee pad for #1 . It was said that the course has a tendency to hold water , but it was bone dry when I played it . One of the locals said that the park board was going to try to look into a redesign of the missing holes , but ,,,,,, .
Other Thoughts: As much as I was disappointed about not playing the last 4 holes of this 20 hole course , I still left impressed that a 1982 course was alive and well here in Gainesville . Since it is so close to I-75 , and really only 20 minutes away from Jonesville Park , this course is a no brainer . The fun factor is strong here . and it is more challenging than it looks . My Recommendation : This course is suitable for anyone from families and newbies , to the seasoned AM and Pro working on their midrange , drive and precision game . PLAY IT !!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Florida's Oldest That's Still In The Ground
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.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Dont underestimate this course!
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.
2 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.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Small seasonal water features only spot you could lose disc
a/b hole locations keep things interesting
Easy to play without a map
Cons: Lack of terrain
Other Thoughts: Overall a nice course in a park that is almost completely dedicated to disc golf. Course in general is well shaded, and weaves through a mature pine forest. Apart from a shelter and a couple tennis courts, it's all discs. You won't be interrupted by others not discing. Located in the city but still easy to get to even from the highway. Definitely worth playing if you are passing through.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Clean tight little course. Plenty of well thought out lines and many alternate routes. Really good flow. Lots of trash and recycling cans around course. Really nice bathroom near hole 1 with water fountain. I met friendly folks to play with every time I went out there. Nice tee pads. 2 pin positions on each hole. Baskets near water.
Cons: Tee signage could be improved. Missing some signs. The nice blue signs don't have the B pin position on them. No signage to next tee.
Other Thoughts: As a newer player this was a really fun course that was open enough to really develop my longer throws. I had a lot of fun here.
2 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 / 5 Not
Pros: Challenging course! Swampy after rain. Makes it fun. They have pro and amateur tee off points. And the water hazards sneak up on you.
Cons: im afraid of snakes and the park ranger said water snakes were everywhere.
Other Thoughts: Sometimes you have to search for pins.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging, short course
Pros: There are dual, concrete tee pads on almost all of the holes. Also, the different tee pads provide a uniquely different view of the hole and bring different trees and obstacles into play (i.e., the longs aren't just 50 feet longer in line). The long tee pads seemed to provide a challenge for the pros; as the best score I saw in the tournament (from the long tees, long pin placement) was a 5 under 49. While the course isn't all that long, around 5,000', the designer made good use of the saw palmetto and most of the pins are guarded or hidden (so that shot placement is needed to get birdies). On many of the holes, a local on our card, had to show us where the pin was; because from the tee pad, you just can't see some of them if you don't know where to look.
Cons: There were no water fountains or water faucets to fill a water bottle. Also, one of the tee pads is carpet. Because the course has to make use of available space, there are a few holes where the tee pad is too close to the basket from the previous tee. On a couple of occasions I looked to see a slightly errant tee shot almost hit me. Pay attention when things are busy!
Other Thoughts: Northside Park is a moderately short 18-hole course that requires some control to score. From the short tees, a solid intermediate player should shoot par (54) or slightly under on this course without too much trouble. I am an 875 player and I shot 59 & 55 during a local C-Tier tournament from the short tees. Someone who regularly fairway drives 325-350' (under control, not just powering up across a field) has the opportunity for a birdie on 80% of the holes. I really enjoyed this course and the local disc golf club does a great job keeping the course in shape.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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