Old but solid
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Overall, quite well designed, with very little repetition.
Fairways run downhill, level, down then up, along a contour line, you name it - unless "it" is uphill. Some greens also have noticeable elevation and/or trees. There are a few open holes, but not too many, some tunnel shots, some "dodge the tree trunks" fairways, and a nice balance of right and left-curving doglegs; overall, the course demands a variety of shots. The mando(s, depending on tee choice) feel(s) tactful rather than contrived. Multiple pin positions on about half of the holes, and a few feature two tees. Hand-painted tee signs at each tee. Very scenic location, even in winter, and the winters tend to be relatively mild (hey, it's Alabama).
Cons: Not quite too short, but it does leave one wanting an excuse to go throw something hard afterward; the lack of uphill shots does not help.
The nominal line of play on hole 3 runs slightly to the right of an OB parking lot, then hooks left to the basket right past the lot. The potential for doinking a parked car was somewhat nerve-wracking as a new player. (There is also a forehand line straight over the parking lot, but it essentially relies upon an absence of cars.)
The short pin position for 14 is atop a roughly 2 foot tall block, which is fine (read: bane of my existence, but that's a personal problem), but that block is made of disc-chewing concrete, which can make approaches painful.
While a few tee pads are concrete, a majority are carpet, and some have had tree roots slowly rise up under them, creating bumps. Also, moss happens.
Next tee signs could help; while the layout is fairly compact, where to look isn't always obvious.
Climbing gear may be needed for retrieving lost discs; while actually hitting the lake would require a serious overthrow, several holes on that side of the park feature a long, moderately steep, and nearly always slick hillside, and if you somehow actually put one into the ravine to the left of 18, finding enough traction to climb back up is a major challenge.
Holy kudzu, Batman! (again, it's Alabama)
Other Thoughts: The baskets are handmade and of a certain age, and have some quirks to deal with: fewer, more vertical chains than modern designs, without real give up at the top; sloped sides to the baskets, causing discs to sometimes spin around and out; and the occasional crooked assembly/installation. That said, they are an interesting part of the history. They also are not locked in place as of writing, meaning that pin positions can (and magically do) change on anyone's whim, unless they're laid out for an upcoming event. On a side note of only mild potential relevance, they are actually quite good at catching big lids, that having been the intended functionality.
Tee signs are likewise an interesting part of the history: they were painted by hand, and the "maps" are not exactly beautifully detailed, but they don't have any serious errors, and do include distances, which is more than I can say for many newer courses.
A few holes play close to each other, but I've never seen any issues because of it. The small exception to that statement comes at holes 13 and 14. If 13 is in its right-hand position (and it usually is), 14 is played from a tee past 13's basket, at the top of the hill. If 13 is in its left-hand position, 14 has to be played from an alternate tee partway down the hill to avoid crossed fairways; that tee is theoretically only meant to be played with 14 in its longest pin position (ALL the way down the hill, near the shore). Confused yet?
Holes 2, 3, 7, 12 (look across the main road from the parking lot way to your right as you walk down 11), and 16 have "pro" tees in addition to the regular set. Hole 14 has an upper and a lower tee (see above), and hole 15 has a ladies' tee.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Going Old School
Pros: Veteran's Memorial Park is a good course in a beautiful park. I liked the rustic looking baskets from the early days of disc golf. The holes are fun and use multiple shot shapes from the tee box. A couple of long holes, a couple of wooded holes, and a couple with a bit of elevation change. Long and short tees and different pin placement on many holes.
Cons: Natural tee boxes were sort of rough in places. The signs left something to be desired, and flow from hole to hole was interrupted once or twice during my first and only round.
Other Thoughts: All in all, I would recommend playing this course if you have the opportunity. Not the best, but a worthwhile play. You can feel the disc golf history here.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Historic Old Course, Fun Round
Pros: Really good layout and use of land/elevation on the majority of the holes. There are a variety of holes here, ranging from short & technical, to long & open. However, big arms aren't at a big advantage here; the guys who are accurate and have good distance control have a good chance to shoot a solid score. The location is pretty sweet too. The course sits very close to the lake, and atop some of the hills offers some nice views and vistas. When I was there, the park was clean and there weren't too many people around the course. Most traffic stayed up near the tennis courts and ball fields. There are also several pavilions along the course, and a few restroom areas. There are multiple pin locations, and Pro & Am pads on some holes.
Cons: Some of the tee pads are in dire need of repair. A few have erroded to the point that roots are present on the pad, a few that have carpet tended to be pretty slick, and one of the concrete pads was basically smooth, so any moisture and I bet that things is slipppperrryyy. The signage was a bit outdated too, and it would be nice to have a course map posted at the main board. A few holes run fairly close together which could be an issue in a big tourny, but certainly not anything major.
Other Thoughts: Overall, a solid disc golf course, but needs some work to really shine. Signage is outdated and many of the tees need major renovations, and there is a mixture of concrete, carpet, and dirt pads. Having consistent pads throughout would greatly add to the course. I purposely didn't add the homemade baskets to the Pros or Cons; mainly, because I respect the history of the course and understand the sentiment toward the baskets. However, new baskets really would make this course much better. There's a good bit of variety from a few longer open holes, to shorter technical holes. Bottom line, I thouroughly enjoyed playing the course, but if it was mine, there are quite a few updates I would make. If you are in or around Florence, you must stop by and play this course, as it certainly is special.
Favorite Holes: 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 17
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As one of the oldest courses in the world Veteran's memorial in Florence is a very well designed course. It has a good mix of open and wooded holes with many short and one or two longer holes. Accuracy is the key on this course. For new players this is an ideal course to learn the game on as most of the holes are fairly short. For advanced a pro players low scores are possible but not a given for two reasons. The first is the utilization of elevation changes on the greens, the second is the fact that the course poses the first Headrick designed baskets (in a hand made fashion. Ask one of the locals to give you the story behind it) which provide for the dreaded "Florence Scoop"
Cons: The only real cons I have for this course are the baskets which provide for some serious spit outs and ridiculous scoop outs. You'll just have to play to really get a feel for them. Also some of the tees and pins are very close together, which during a tournament can provide a slight issue but nothing too bad. Many of the tee pads are carpet which works great as long as there hasn't been rain recently in which case they get extremely muddy and slick.
Other Thoughts: Simply because its one of the oldest courses around I highly suggest everyone try and play this course if you're in north Alabama. The SFC (Shoals Frisbee Club) does a great job of keeping the course in good condition.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.