Heavily Wooded Jewel
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.484 Rating) I was surprised by this course, in a good way
- SHOT SHAPING - The tee shot experience on this course is exhilarating. I found myself running up several fairways only to pause for a moment and brainstorm on how I was going to attack it. Discs will need to be on a precise line to make the basket in many instances. Lots of very tight fairways, with only one with no discernible angle to the basket, (15) see cons. In all, I'd the give this part of the design a thumbs up.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - I played six courses over a two day period in the Orlando and Melbourne area and I found Palm Bay Regional to be visually the most beautiful. Palms line fairways like that of courses located in pine forests. Plus you'll also see the pine lined fairway on this course as well. There are a few water holes too, (5, 11 and 12), with (12) having the water feature just beyond the basket, and the basket is framed by two palms. IMO, it's the signature hole on the course.
- CHALLENGING - The back tees on this course are going to be very difficult to score low. Yes, many of the holes are on the short side, but they are constricting enough to challenge upper advanced and low tier pros. I could see a 950 rated player struggling to crack par from the back tees. I personally shot +1 from the shorts as a 900 rated player and I thought I played well.
- UNIQUENESS - The overall uniqueness is above average, and it scored a 3 out of 5 in my matrix scoring system. To start, the holes finish in a near even mix of all three ways, straight, left and right. In addition the finish angles vary from abrupt pockets to sweeping angles. There are numerous tight tunnel fairways, several blind shots, a parallel water play on (5), and a risk reward water clear on (11). You will also have a couple opportunities to grip-it and rip-it as well. The biggest missing item at Palm Bay Regional is elevation, see cons. Also missing is a par 4, par 5, and a true open hole.
- SPACING - Excellent hole spacing. Three players on my card and we never strayed onto an adjacent fairway.
- CHILL AREAS - Lots of secluded areas along the layout and with seating at about half of the holes.
Cons: I have a few concerns with this course but overall its solid.
- FORGIVENESS - Palm Bay Regional course will test the placement of your shots and your temperament. Being off your mark by a few feet sometimes isn't good enough. In addition, if/when you a hit tree, the resulting punishment is sometimes more than one throw. I had a nice drive on (4) but it took a horrible ricochet 200 feet down fairway and I had to pitch out away from the basket. In addition, the course is littered with Sabal Palms and they will steal your disc if you land on top. You must keep your drive low on this course.
- POKE AND HOPE - I'm not a big fan of this type of hole. There is for sure one on (15), but there are also a few borderline ones on (3 4, 9 and 12) with just the smallest of discernible angles to the basket. It would be a benefit to the course and take down just a few more pines or palms on these holes.
- PALMETTO BUSHES - As with a bunch of courses in Florida, this course has some palmetto bush patches, I think holes (6,7, and 8) had the most extensive outbreaks. Keep an eye on you disc on these holes, cause you'll want to limit the amount of patches you search. You'll be rewarded with a few cuts at each patch.
- TEES - They are carpet but thankfully about the smoothest surface you could hope for on this material. I happened to run into the course designer as I was finishing my round and he expressed his hope to have concrete tees in place by the end of the year. We shall see.
- CHARACTER - Average. In addition to sub-par tees, there are lots of other missing items that you'd see at an established course. No course map, limited hole signage, no practice basket, no bag hangers, and no restrooms. There is however a few shelters nearby, perfect for the summertime pop-up thunderstorm, and there are mostly shaded tees with several benches and a few picnic tables.
- ELEVATION - Really none to speak of. I know that this is typically for Florida, but this course is flat for even Florida standards. No hole changes even 10 feet in elevation and probably only a handful exceed 5 feet.
- NAVIGATION - I was lucky enough to have a guide on my first time playing here, but I've played enough courses to know that this one's going to be tricky in a few spots being a wooded course and all. I made a map of my findings and posted it under the files/link tab. In addition, the hole signage is not adequate for this style of course.
Other Thoughts: I also played Wickham and Covenant the day I hit this course. Hands down Palm Bay Regional was my favorite of the three. This course is not for everyone and beginners should definitely stay clear of this course. If you like spacious fairways to coddle you, you won't find it here. However, if you enjoy the thrill of staring down your tee shot in hopes that the disc will miss a gauntlet of obstacles in its path, then you'll love Palm Bay Regional.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is an ambitious design, with dual teepads and some longer, multi-shot holes. There is a good variety of different lengths and hole shapes. It's located in a nice park with good amenities and a safe feel. The course has its own area in the park, which is really nice. Some really cool pin locations under giant trees.
Cons: The #1 thing ... most holes had invalid fairways, which I'll define as having a realistic flight path from the teepad to the basket. On some holes it seemed like this was due to regrowth of vegetation that now blocks all throwing lanes ... but on multiple holes, there was no good line. The front 9 felt like one of those courses that's designed without cutting down any trees, when many need to be cut to make a decent course. Tight is good, but punitively tight, or throw and hope is not. Playing well here often required as much luck as skill because of the lines. This could be fixed with a chainsaw and more clearing.
Most holes were blind and required walking up the fairway. There is no signage on the back 9 of the course or anything indicating the distances. Most of the carpet teepads gripped well, but some were as slick as ice.
I'd guess half of the holes had major vegetation growing inside the circle -- like a mass of palmettos 10 feet from the basket. Numerous holes also had massive vegetation in play on the fairways and I spent a lot of time looking for my disc.
Major water issues. I don't think this is normal, but when I played, many of the holes had standing water from 2" to 4" deep covering all or part of the hole.
Other Thoughts: I'm scratching my head at the high recent ratings, I just don't see it. I'm not knocking the course for the standing water issue, mostly for the lack of fairways, or the shape of them. The course needs some serious pruning and tree removal to become enjoyable. Currently, every hole felt like a lost disc waiting to happen. I played in the middle of the day on a sunny, not hot Tuesday and didn't see anyone else playing the course the entire time.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -18 holes. Two very different 9 hole loops.
-Design and Variety. Course design is top notch. The variety here is amazing. You have short/long, left/right and tight/open holes. Three water holes, lots of technical wooded holes, and several interesting greens. The course flow is good. Lots of next tee signs where needed.
-Brand new Baskets. Catch great.
-Pro/Am pads. Blue/Red. Long/Short. They did a great job of making these routes differ in challenge. Reds make for a much more friendly round. Blues offer a challenge for anyone.
-Decent signage. Nicely leveled carpet pads.
-Lots of benches. Very nice restrooms by the dog park.
-Drainage is good. Course is dry when others are flooded.
Cons: -Slippery pads. I actually prefer the carpet for wear and tear on shoes and legs. But when wet they can be slick.
-Trash. Only 3 cans on the course.
Other Thoughts: This is easily the best course in the area and among the best in Florida. The Original 9 is one of the most diverse 9 hole layouts I've played. The Palm Course is aptly named and provides challenging tunnel shots and a beautiful water hole. A dedicated group has put in a lot of work and it shows. This course is difficult but still lots of fun. Shooting par or better here is a very good round. Come get some PBR! It will help your game.
UPDATE(1 Year): This course just keeps getting better. The local club has continued the great work. The Palm Course now has pavers with hole numbers and distance. First time visitors will still have to walk many holes to find the basket. But this is the case with most courses even if they have detailed signage. During Summer/Rainy/Hurricane Season course maintenance becomes difficult. As with most Florida courses not set in a wide open field the rough will be extra rough.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A nice mix of long & not so long holes, require a variety of "golf" shots. Good use of the variety of trees. Some slight elevation changes which are rare on most Florida courses. The parking being across the street from the course gives a nice secluded feel to the course.
Cons: Carpet tee pads can be a little slippery when wet, and there are ants to be avoided.
Other Thoughts: Nice park in a growing community, near a high school. The locals are very friendly, clean restrooms near the course. Looking forward to the next 9 holes being completed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A gem in the rough
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Tight holes that require very specific golf shots
-Great shot variety and distance variety
-Pads are fairly even
-A and B pads for most holes
-Nice bathrooms not too far from the course
-Some cool spots to stop and sit
Cons: -Some pretty dense bushes to lose discs in
-Pretty far out in the middle of nowhere
Other Thoughts: Update:
This course is now 18 holes! Most holes have multiple pads and all the pads are very flat with nice carpeting which may be preferable to cement for some people.
What a great course. It truly challenges. This is a course where shooting par is an accomplishment, just like in ball golf. It has two par 4s including a 600+ foot water hole.
There is no clear dominant shot required so throwing both forehand and backhand is a real bonus.
Many risk/reward opportunities. Water on some of the holes. The only thing it really lacks is elevation changes, but hey, welcome to Florida. I would say this course is unlikely to ever be a perfect 5 in my book, however I think my final review is going to be a 4.5
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course descriptions states that a back nine is in the works. I didn't see any sign of it, but if the second nine here is as good as the first, this has a chance to the be the best coastal course between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale. A lot of it still has a raw feel, like it was freshly cut out of the woods, probably because it was cut out of the woods not too long ago. The nine holes features a sweet variety of fairways widths, from tight and wooded, Carolina-style, to a nice generous road-width path through light forest, to couple of wide open routes with scattered obstacles to throw around. There is also good variety in hole length, with holes ranging from two hundred feet to over five hundred.
The first hole traverses a generous path for over three hundred feet and then finished with a guarded basket on the left. The second is a real chance to air it out, with several routes around some central rough and long basket just beyond a small ridge. The next two holes are much more densely wooded and much shorter. They are fun punch-through-the-gap type holes. 5 provides another chance to air it out, this time by letting the disc hang over the pond before hyzering back to safety. Great hole which is made better by the clear shallow water. 6 and 8 bring back that terrain that was featured in the beginning but with some shorter holes while 7 is a bit longer and sports an interesting left finish.
Cons: It still is a bit rough and as of now, is only nine holes. Add another nine, throw some finishing touches on the whole thing and this will be a really good course. I have few complaints considering the stage of development and really I liked throwing all nine holes. Easily navigated, a few of the holes feature that rough characteristic of the area but it isn't as bad as elsewhere. I don't think they are on the way to a world-class course, but they will likely have one that's well worth the six miles from the highway.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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