Alford, FL 
The Bear Share
Uploaded By: ambroze Hole #5 (Taken 11/2016)
3 / 217ft.   3 / 217ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #5 Tee

Course Rating Distribution

Reviews: 9
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Bear-y Hilly Course

1    7/22/2017   7/26/2017
Review By: Mr. Butlertron
Played: 197  Reviewed: 124  Exp: 15.8 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not

- dual large concrete tee pads
- open fairways were well maintained
- tranquil, scenic
- cabins on location, RV parking
- bathroom on location
- other recreation activities on location
- unique landscape, lots of elevation variation
- challenging course
- quality tee signs listing distance
- high quality scorecard and map with admission
- good distance variations
- friendly staff
- holes 9,18 loop back to the lodge

- baskets not numbered
- filler holes
- no multiple pin placements
- woods needed upkeep
- bugs in the woods
- hole 12 is too close to the lake
Other Thoughts:

The Bear has a mix of technical and open fairways that run in a counter clockwise manner around the Compass Lake in the Hills lodge. The lodge features a plethora of recreation actives, as well as cabin rentals and RV parking. I paid 5$ and received a scorecard with a colored map. The staff were very friendly and informative.

The course starts out utilizing the available park style space in front and to the left of the lodge, then moves into more technical woods. It swaps back and forth between these 2 styes of gameplay throughout the course, all the while using differences in elevation. The general hilliness of the course landscape was awesome. Changes in elevation created a ton of challenge. I also enjoyed how scenic the property was. The view from the baskets 8-12 was amazing. Dual concrete tees were a nice touch as well.

I think the technical holes were decent, but need some work. 4, 5, and 7 had repeating fairways. The only difference is that 7 was uphill. Actually, most of the technical holes felt like filler holes if I'm being completely honest. Also, if I'm paying cash for a course then I'd like the forested/jungle fairways to be in better condition. I was tripping all over prickly vines and thorny fairway growth. Neither basket placements for 11 or 12 appealed to me much, 12 less than 11. At least give me a full 10 meters around the basket to work with. Hole 14 didn't have a realistic window to the basket halfway down the fairway. Hole 16 had a tee pad that wasn't really facing the fairway. Lastly, 18 was a bit anticlimactic. Nobody wants to end the round throwing uphill on a 700+ ft hole, especially if it's wide open.

The Bear is a great course to stop off at and play while traveling the I-10, but I think the current rating (3.75) is misleading. As previously stated in another review, there are some glaring flaws. Still, its a nice area that has a lot of actives to choose from. I could see this being a great option for a weekend getaway or a cabin party with the boys. Don't get any ideas about using the pool though, it's strictly for the property owners in the community.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Looking for elevation in Florida? It's here

2-4    9/17/2017   10/4/2016
Review By: wellsbranch250
Played: 326  Reviewed: 312  Exp: 4.9 Years
This review was updated on 10/22/2017
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: (3.567 Rating) (REVISED - replayed September 2017) The Bear hosts the biggest elevated shot in all of Florida.
- ELEVATION - Some of the best elevation changes in Florida and the most elevated shot in all of Florida. (102 Florida courses played as of this revision.) Hole (11) easily the signature hole on this course with the tee shot looking out over Lake Compass. It's a 50 foot down shot. I have had friends mention to me that the temporary course Throw Down the Mountain just north of Tampa has greater down shots, but disagrees.
- UNIQUENESS - In addition to the elevation, The Bear has a really great variety in hole types. A good mix of wooded and open holes. Sweeping right shots and a 90 degree hooking left shot on (8). There are ace runs but yet also insanely difficult holes like hole (12) which is a 430 bullet shot with a row of live oaks on the right and Lake Compass on the left. I have only rated four courses in Florida with a greater hole type diversity; New World, Tom Brown, Oldsmar and T2.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - The second most beautiful courses I've played west of Tally after Anderson Pond in Niceville. Several charming views of Lake Compass along the layout. The wooded holes are natural growth rather than the pine tree rows you'll sometimes see. A few rolling meadow shots as well. The only drawbacks I can for see is the backdrop view of an RV or two on a couple holes, but this really only applies on holes (1) and (3).
- CHALLENGING - Above average. I've shot from both the front (7 tees only) and the back tees and I see the back tee set-up difficult enough to please advanced players. I figure a 950 rated player will average 3 or 4 down here. The front tee set-up will be perfect for players in the 800 to 900 range. Several holes offer up really nice shop shaping opportunities and I personally threw every disc in my bag here. Although there are some tight windows to hit among the wooded holes, they are all fair IMO. The closeness of the water on (11, 12) is gut checking awesomeness, more than fair being 30 feet from shore. (This will vary with lake level. Lake levels are highest during the rainy summer months)
- TEES - Some of best tees in Florida west of Tallahassee. Long and wide. However two issues with these tees. One, is the surface maintenance. On both of my visits here, numerous tees were covered with pine needles and a couple had sand issues. The other issue is that a few of the tees are protruding well out of the ground and a big follow through could lead to a wipe-out.
- SCORE CARD WITH MAP - You'll get a really nice scorecard with map with admission. All the distances and par information you'll need is on the card.
- CHARACTER - In addition to the nice tees and scorecard, a bunch of other niceties as well. Great benches at every tee area and a Practice basket. There is a club house where you can purchase snacks and drinks, and there is a restroom. I have also read on other reviews that there are a few disc golf items for sale as well but I hadn't seen where on either of my visits. If there was one thing the course really needs, its brooms at the tees.
- NAVIGATION - With the map this course is easy peasy to traverse. I'll also add that bringing a disc golf cart here should work just fine.
Cons: A couple flaws but overall a great course.
- SIGNAGE - The signage only shows hole distance but it's probably adequate considering that you'll get a great course map (see pros) I do question the placement of the one tee sign per hole at the front tee. If playing the back tees, you may have to check the front tee sign and then turn around and head back to the back tee.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - Hole (18) is a head scratcher with the ball golf driving range along the left side. However, in my two visits here, no one has ever occupied the range. Side note on hole (18). It's too short and too open to be labeled a par 5 (770/540 feet). My noodle arm had no problem making a 4 from the back tees.
- LOCATION - Kind of in the middle of nowhere. My friends in Freeport routinely post car pool drives over to this course with it being an hour's drive away. I could see Panama City residents also making this one hour drive several times a year as well. The course is located about 15 minutes south from I10's exit 130.
- PAY TO PLAY - $5 plus tax to play. Well worth it in my opinion.
- CHAINS - Not the heaviest set of chains. Mach New 2's. You'll lose a shot or two per round compared to DISCatchers or other similar type baskets.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Not the best beginners course due to the length, water and several tight wooded holes. You'll want to have 50 to 100 rounds under your belt before venturing here.
Other Thoughts: Personally my favorite layout in Florida west of Tallahassee (19 courses) and I would call it a destination course considering the lack of great courses nearby. IMO you'd have to venture to Tally to the east and to Pensacola or even Mobile to the west to find a better course along the I10 corridor.
- HOLE 15 TEE- On my initial review I had mentioned no playable tee shot line to the basket from the back tees. It was fixed on my return visit and it is now among my favorite tee shots here.
- TIME PLAY - Average, neither a con or pro. Figure 2 1/2 hours for a four sum.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.

 Out of the way flawed gem

1    8/17/2016   8/19/2016
Review By: cgprush
Played: 4  Reviewed: 2
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - many holes have short and long tees
- variety of holes from short and tight to long and open
- good use of elevation changes
- plenty of shade
- bathrooms!
- driving range and practice basket by club house
Cons: - tee signs are by short tees only; long tees have none
- long tee on #15 is useless, skip it
- "pro shop" only has a few starter bags for sale, no discs, shirts, towels, etc.
Other Thoughts: This is a very nice course with a couple of quirky holes. It's a long drive from anywhere to get there. The course, the recreation area it's in, and the surrounding community seems slightly run down and on a general slow decline. Bring plenty of towels and water in the summer. Well worth playing if you're in the area.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 challenging but fun

1    7/10/2016   7/10/2016
Played: 36  Reviewed: 34  Exp: 10 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Has a clubhouse
great variety of holes
well maintained
tee boxes
easy to follow course
camping and cabin rental nearbye
Cons: 5 dollar play all day fee
little tight at times can lose a disc
bushy thistles can cut skin
many spiders in tree before you go in
some advanced tee boxes just plain stupid
driving range next to 18
Other Thoughts: great course...challenging but fun....staff at clubhouse very friendly...highly recommend to play.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 scenic challenge

2-4    4/8/2015   4/9/2015
Review By: marquesd
Played: 88  Reviewed: 2  Exp: 5.2 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: New tee pads and baskets
Good mix of technical and distance holes
Scenic and serene surroundings
Benches at most holes
Very helpful and courteous staff
Well maintained
Cons: Some tee pads need shoring up so that there is no drop off
Some tee pads still have wood casing which could cause one to trip
Other Thoughts: Although off the beaten path, it is the best course in the Panama City area. It costs 5 dollars for all day play but that 5 dollars would have included the breakfast bar had we been hungry. A few holes are close to a ball golf driving range, but it is obvious this is not a ball golf destination and we did not see a single person hitting golf balls in the 3 hours we were there. I think it would be a good tournament course with its amenities including a restaurant

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 Overall Satisfied

1    8/31/2014   9/2/2014
Review By: tailorholley
Played: 76  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 4.9 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are some incredible views
Some longer holes with some shorter holes
A lot of good shot shaping
Tee pads are nice and large. Best tee pads I've ever played on.
Disc catcher baskets...always a plus.

Cons: Pay $5 and course isn't really well kept.
Holes close to the water are way over grown
Holes in the woods need weed eating
There isn't any cover from the driving range but odds are no one is going to be on it. Place is pretty low key
Other Thoughts: All in all I was impressed with this course bc the layout was challenging with a good mix of distances. There were some very scenic holes and the course wasn't in the worst shape I had ever seen. It has the potential to be an amazing course if the pay for play would drop to $1-2 and they would keep the course cut. I will definitely be back when I'm in the area

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 Little Lizards!

2-4    7/23/2013   8/1/2013
Review By: sstieg
Played: 114  Reviewed: 4  Exp: 11.6 Years
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Great/friendly staff!
-All concrete tees
-Various terrains, environments, and many unique holes
-Good baskets
-Not hard to navigate with the map on the back of the score card that you get when you pay.
-Snacks and restaurant available
-Little lizards everywhere, I'll take them anytime over snakes. I just wished they would have posed for a picture. Fast little suckers
Cons: -Only about 8 long tees
-Cost $5 plus tax
-last 2 holes located by the golf driving range and there is no protection from flying golf balls from errant shots.
-tee pads are not flush with the ground and have drop offs on the front of the bad when following through
-mosquitos were heavy on 3 holes after the lake holes.
-wooded holes could still use some trimming, but they were very playable. It is a new course after all.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course, but it could be much better! I was on vacation for the week in Panama City Beach and the courses offered there, Joe Moody and Under the Oaks, just aren't enough. This course gave me the disc golf fix I needed to get through the week. The drive was only about an hour long and the traffic was not a problem. The course took about 1.5 hours to play for the two of us. We played the 2 rounds, short tees and then the long tees (well, the ones that had them). I wish the course offered some longer holes, but it was still very fun to play. I read somewhere that this was a "championship course" and I don't think that is the case. I shot a 50 and a 55 respectively, but if they make more long tees for every hole, it very well could be. I really loved the long tees on hole 4 and 12. If I come back to Panama City for a whole week, I would make the trip again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

 Tons of Potential

1    7/25/2013   7/25/2013
Review By: DiscKey
Played: 80  Reviewed: 5  Exp: 9.5 Years
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great area (camping, lake, cabins, restaurant)
Friendly people
Tee boxes
Easily navigated (basket paint to next tee)
Cons: Baskets(chains) will be some spit-outs
Too many short holes 8 or 9 of them under 260'
No water kegs on course
Don't really transition back to parking area after hole 2
Other Thoughts: This land has a ton of potential to be an excellent course! The shots are there, just need to be lengthened by 80-150', especially on the short holes. Course par from the long pads is maybe 56..... Only two holes that are true par 4's (15 and 18) and 15 is well.... You'll see. Tee pads are great, good lengths on holes that need a little further run up..... Some of them need to be shored up so the my don't crack from being undermined.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 A great Bear

1    6/22/2013   6/23/2013
Review By: flyingdisc
Played: 18  Reviewed: 17  Exp: 7.5 Years
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Nice area
-Variety of shots for both skilled and am's
-Office and snack bar
-Friendly staff
-A lot to offer at course location
-New benches, concrete tee pads, and tee signs at every hole
-Pro and Am tee pads at some holes
-Numerous disc golf courses within an hour drive in three directions
-Water, trees, and elevation all come into play
-Map and scorecards at office
-Practice basket
Cons: -$5 to play
-Little off the beaten path
- Not much disc golf supplies
-No large map of the course
Other Thoughts: Let me say at this writing I have been playing for two years. With that I thoroughly enjoyed playing this brand new course. Off of Hwy 231 between Panama City and I-10 you will find Compass Lake. A nice lakeside community with a new disc golf course. Along with disc golf the area offers boat rentals, a pavilion for cookouts, a ball golf driving range, and we even saw some horseback riders. Very friendly staff who is very excited about getting their name in the disc golf community. At the office they do have a snack bar, disc golf sets for players who may have forgotten their discs, maps and scorecards for the course.
1st three holes are good warm up holes. From hole 4 on you need to be warmed up as you get into the first wooded area of the course. One of the great things about this course is that it plays in and out of the woods. Water comes into play on only two holes, in the middle of the course, but fulfills a desire for more water hazards. Each hole has new everything: Baskets, tee signs, benches, and some of the largest concrete tee pads I have ever played on which is really nice. Directions for next hole are fairly easy as each basket has orange paint to mark the direction of the next tee pad. This comes in handy, but the office also provides scorecards with maps. Hole 11 is really cool as you are throwing towards the lake from about 300' with the basket around 20' from the lake! As you may want to launch a disc on this one, be careful and take into consideration the wind coming off the lake that you really don't notice until it lifts your disc and you have more glide time. Lot of fun though. The course offers both hyzer and anhyzer shots in the woods on short and long holes. Plenty of open shots mixed in as well and with the elevation make for a fun course.
Played both Pro and Am tees and somehow did better playing the pro tees. Scorecards are still very new at this point and some holes may have a par 4 that don't really need it, so we played all 3's except for hole 18. One of the guys who played with us brought a disc golf cart.......said never again. Only bathroom I remember was at the office. No water coolers on course however they do sell water for $.50 per bottle. While I do really enjoy the Bear the $5 all day play fee is the most I have seen. Practice basket located behind office on the left side. Course opens at 8 a.m. but check with the office for hours as I believe they are different on Sundays.
Overall a really fun course for both the beginner and advanced player. Will definitely be playing here as much as I can.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

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