Play Hole 18 Long, If You Dare
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.108 Rating) A challenging layout with a good amount of hole variety.
- CHALLENGING - I was surprised by the difficulty of the back tees. Much more wooded than the neighboring Parkside course. Several of these wooded holes are over 350 feet from the back tees and they will definitely make an advanced player prove their game. Lots of shot shaping is required and also a couple basket placements will require around a 450 foot bomb.
- UNIQUENESS - For a par 54, one of the more diversified layouts I've played. Several water plays including both a water clear (18) and parallel creek plays on (3), (11) and (12). There are several tunnel shots and a few well defined pockets to hit as well. Several challenging blind basket placements, but also a couple straight up gunning for the chains shots.
- ELEVATION FOR SOUTH FLORIDA - For a course this far south in Florida, a surprising number of plays where elevation is a factor. Holes (1), (11), (13), (14) and (17) all have around 15 feet of change along the hole. It's very rare to have this much elevation change around here. I realize that this would be considered flat most anywhere else, but for the Orlando area I'd say it the course with the most elevation changes.
- SIGNATURE HOLE - Easily hole (18). An island green surrounded by water and connected by a small path. I have a feeling that many people skip this hole due to the difficulty of the shot. I personally waited for 5 minutes to throw before sadly skipping it as the group in front of me was searching for their disc. I suggest carrying a floater or a throw away disc to alleviate the aggravation of losing a favorite disc.
- CHARACTER - A bunch of bonus items that you'd expect from an established course. To start, a nice updated course map near the beginning of the layout. Practice basket, restrooms and drinking fountain all next to the parking area. Nine extra tees and lots of multiple basket placements. A few benches and ample shade on many of the tee boxes. On the down side, the hole signage could really use an updating and I would have liked to have seen a handful of additional benches. Some of the concrete tees were not in great shape or a bit too short. Lastly, I read on some earlier review comments about there being a pro shop on site. It was either closed during my round or it's no longer in service.
- NAVIGATION - I didn't have too much trouble with the updated course map that I snapped a picture of. I think the course is cart friendly as well.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - With nine extra tees I feel that the North course can appeal to wide swath of players. Definitely not beginner friendly or championship difficult, but all the players in between should be able to the throw a fair and challenging round.
- CHILL AREAS - Although only a few tees have benches, they are tucked away and are great places to sit back, relax and observe nature.
- LOCATION - 36 holes on site to allow for an extended disc golf afternoon.
Cons: Overall a solid course, but short of the appeal of the courses located at River City and Bill Frederick.
- LOOSE DISC OPPS - Hole (18) is a disc give away. Also if the creek water level is up, Holes (3), (11) and (12) all have the ability to claim your disc.
- HOLE 8 - IMO a flawed hole. A near impossible 90 degree short left deep pocketing shot. Overgrowth is dense all around the basket. The tee shot forces all shots to be low due to the low hanging branches just in front of the tee box. A smart play is a straight and precisely distanced 200 foot tee shot. This will leave a 4 foot wide and 50 foot long pathway shot to the basket.
- DISCONTINUITY - Two 500 foot walks between holes. Hole (12) to (13) and Hole (16) to (17).
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - This course is only for beginners who want to lose the one or two disc they own. Too much water and too many narrow fairway to hit. If you are new to the sport, I would suggest the UCF course or Airport Lakes.
- TIME WAITING - The course was getting pretty good use on the Saturday that I showed up. But probably on a more applicable annoying level was the number people strolling along layout oblivious to the fact that people are throwing discs around. I had to skip both (13) and (14) as a couple of sunbathers decided to sprawl out in the middle of the paralleling fairways
- TIME PLAY - This par 54 took me a surprisingly long time to play solo, almost 90 minutes. Figure a group of four will run at least 2 1/2 hours or longer.
- TRASH - During my round the creek that runs along (11) and (12) looked absolutely horrible close up due to all the litter. It's sad to have what could be such a wonderful element, flip to an eyesore. Hole (6) tee appeared to be an homeless encampment and had trash everywhere as well.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Due to the trash, the overall beauty of the course was a slight detractor to my rating of the course. The a few wooded holes and (18) were very appealing however.
Other Thoughts: I very much enjoyed this layout over the Parkside layout. The North layout has a few glaring flaws, but there are a lot of positives as well. I've played all of the Orlando area courses and I have the North course rated 5th behind Bill Frederick's T1 and T2, and both of the River City courses. Not a destination course like the before mentioned courses, but definitely a must play at least once if you live within an hour of the Orlando area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
More technical than parkside, but needs work
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I thought some of the holes were challenging. Even some elevation in there on a few holes.
Cons: The tee signs and other signs to help you know where to go next are almost unusable. I stopped looking at them entirely by the end of the round. If you get off the fairways on some of the more wooded holes, you are in for some real trouble. Sticker bushes, dank boggy puddles abound. Very poor mowing job.
Other Thoughts: If the signage improved and the mowing was more consistent, I would likely give this a 3.5 or 4. As is, I do not see how the rating should be higher than a 2.5.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The Better Of The Two?
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The second of two courses at this park is more scenic but also more harder than its little brother. The wooded holes are gorgeous, with a wide variety of tree types, and with an almost arboretum-like feel to it. The course is long and very challenging, especially with the pins in the longest positions.
This course is more secluded than the other course here, with far fewer sidewalks/roads to deal with.
Nice risk/reward hole at 18.
The course has some minor elevation changes on it.
The splattered pine tree (and path around it) were very cool.
Cons: The tee signs are a bit of a mess. Sometimes helpful, sometimes not so much. Definitely, needs new tee signs.
The concrete tee pads are small and with some in bad shape. The course could also benefit from some new tees.
The navigation is a little tricky for first-timers. There are a few next tee signs, but some of the more difficult transitions didn't have any signs at all.
Other Thoughts: Very pretty course, but also very hard IMO. The other course here is probably better for newer players, and probably has a higher fun factor for rec level players than this one.
We played it for the first time on a hot summer day after playing the other course here first, and this course whooped our asses. The grass was tall and the fire ants were frisky, but we still had a good time here.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
More than a little dissapointed
Pros: It's free! Clubhouse shop, hole 2 is well done, and 6 (I think) along the fence with a heavily wooded basket is a true disc golf hole
Cons: At one time this course may have been great but it is unkept, overgrown, signs are inaccurate, the navigation is nowhere to be seen, hole 11 is under construction but nowhere is that mentioned and no basket either. I fail to see the high ratings. Who plays 18? You need a flawless tee shot and have a short landing area to boot. What a disappointing course
Other Thoughts: I wouldn't play this course again unless changes are made
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Free park with restrooms & pro shop by parking area. Tends to not be as busy as the parkside course. Long & short tees. Different than the parkside course with more wooded holes and ends with 12 - 18 on the manacured grass and some elevation on the hills. Signature hole 18 with island landing to finish.
Cons: signs are very old & navigation gets tricky in spots. The baseball field was added after the course and cramped things a bit by 6 & 11 if field is in use.
Other Thoughts: Fun mix of long open holes and long light woods with water to finish.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
The Bigger of the two Brothers.
Pros: - Located in the massive and gorgeous Gordon Barnett Park in Orlando.
- The park itself has all sorts to offer, bmx, recreation areas, ball golf putting green and driving range (I used the driving range to warm up, the nets caught the discs perfectly.)
- Baskets are all in good condition.
- Tee-Pads are all in good condition.
- The hole diversity is second to none; each hole has a million different ways to reach the pin creating a very interesting experience when playing in a group.
- The course diversity is also very good; each hole presents its own unique challenge with hazards, O.B, deep rough and tree lines. There is no getting bored here.
- Multiple pin placements on some holes.
- Amateur pads on most holes; playing from these pads produces an entirely different course and creating a totally different experience.
- Beautiful wildlife throughout the entire course.
- The signature finishing hole to end all signature finishing holes. 315 feet from a shaded Tee-Pad over a gorgeous pond with a fountain onto an Island green that is only 40 or so feet in diameter. Basket sits on the short side of the island under a large tree. A perfect shot is needed to make it on the island.
- Pro shop located on grounds.
Cons: - The Tee-signs are borderline terrible in my opinion. They are not very accurate, dingy and look like they have been there for a while.
- Course can become a little difficult to navigate; the back 9 is nearly impossible without a map or a local.
- Almost certainty that you will lose something out here; whether it be a disc or your mind, something is getting lost.
Other Thoughts: - This course is Top 3 favorites and Top 3 difficulty.
- Another great course in Orlando, the new mecca of disc golf.
- In my opinion, the playing experience on this course is better than the Park side course, but at what point do we say if its not broke don't fix it.
- Definitely take a day trip for this course, just make sure you either have a map or a local.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
The Superior Experience.
Pros: Of the two courses at Barnett Park, this is clearly the superior experience.
It starts out very similarly, with a few holes in the park proper. It's on hole 3 where it starts to get interesting. That's where the course heads into the woods, with a number of narrow fairways, punishing rough, and risk/reward shots.
With the exception of 6, 3 through 11 are all very fun holes. My favorite was 8 where he basket is tucked into a nook of woods to the left of the fairway requiring good distance control to properly set up a chance at birdie. 11 is wide open, but the tee is nicely set up on a small bluff looking over a small creek.
Even 12 is almost a good hole. It runs along the aforementioned creek and you can run a nice forehand shot over the creek and fade it toward the basket. If only the football field was not directly to the right of the fairway.
While the end run of holes is less than stellar, the final hole is close to a great hole. It's an island green, that should give you the option of going for it off the tee or throwing along the lake and crossing a smaller stretch of water for a bogey. But the tree on the island has long, thick branches that hang out over the water and will knock down most shots approaching the green from the tee, right into the water.
It also stays a lot drier than Parkside. There was much more rain in the days preceding my round than in the days before I played Parkside, but the North course was dry with the exception of 15-17. And on 15, you can walk around, and hopefully shoot over the drenched area.
Additionally, while there are a few holes that abut the housing at the edge of the park, it is not a problem as it is on 17 Parkside, which may be the worst hole I've ever played.
Cons: There are a few factors that keep it from being the 3.5-level course that it should be. The most significant of these is navigation. Too many of the holes here, especially in the beginning and head section end with the player scratching their head, wondering where the next tee is. I downloaded a map and was still confused on a few occasions.
The worst offender is the 16 to 17 transition, which wasn't even represented accurately on the map. I walked around a tennis court and then past the 15 tee to find it eventually. It's a bit odd.
There's also a few long gaps between holes. The one where you have to walk between the fence and the woods for a longtime? That's not great, but could be improved by a next tee sign after the long walk. I wouldn't have minded a longer walk between 5 and 7 if it allowed for the removal of the terrible hole 6. Not only does that one run along a fence, the hole 7 tee is essentially halfway down the fairway.
Between the transitions and a few extraneous holes, there is room for improvement here.
The other issue is the tee signs, which are inconsistent. Some, while old, are descriptive and even indicate which location the tee is in. Others are worn out or fail to indicate water, such as the small pond right before the 16 basket.
Other Thoughts: It's got some some problems but there are some interesting, challenging holes here. Much more so than the Parkside course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenge in the woods
Pros: * Challenging lines in the woods with unique (6 and 8) holes.
* Multiple pads and pin positions
* Excellent shot variation from extremely tight lines on the front, to a more wide open back.
* Definitive signature holes with 6, 8, and of course 18
* Reasonable distance variety especially on the back nine.
* Front nine is quite shady and does give a break from summer heat.
* Pro shop with decent disc selection is on site.
* Bathrooms and water fountains on site with water fountains before 15 by the playground.
* Course is a real challenge. These are not 225 ft wooded holes. It plays quite long off the back.
* Prepare to use your whole bag, lots of different lines to be played.
Cons: * Sometimes the navigation and walking was odd. After hole 12, you have to walk around a football field and across the street to continue, and there are other holes that are tough to find. You will walk a lot for your 18.
* I had mixed feelings about hole 8. It seems like a spike hyzer hole, but there is a low ceiling with no real cut through. I would like to spend some time just playing that hole to see if I can figure out what I missed. Not really a con, but it was confusing at first.
Other Thoughts: After playing parkside, this was a real change. The holes in the woods were long and precise, and the open ones still had gaps to play. I really appreciated 13 to 18 and the differences they offered. And hole 18....What a sight. 315 ft to an island is quite the shot. You can leave your round thrilled or with the one that got away. I played a star eagle to the middle of the island and left loving this course. I wonder if I would have felt differently had I found the water? I'm sure I'll find out one day in the future. But, don't let the challenges of this course turn you off. There is basketball, mini golf green, hiking, fishing, and playgrounds to also enjoy. the fact that there is as challenging a course as northside is just icing on a tasty cake. Please take the trip and enjoy!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Tricky course with novel shots
Pros: Tricky and plenty long from the back tees. Some tee shots require odd angles or touch, especially number 8 and number 18.
Cons: Take plenty of water because it can get brutally hot in the summer. Also, sometimes it's difficult to find the next tee box. Grab a map at the pro shop.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Decent Community Park Course
Pros: Gordon Barnett Park was very easy to get to and sits in a well maintained community park. There are a vairety of fairways available at this course, from open holes, to fairways dotted with trees, to tighter holes surrounded by dense vegetation. Where available, this course makes good use of elevation and water OB and forces some thought regarding your throw. The fairways at the North course feature many different playing surfaces including sand, grass, and combinations in between. Hole #15 is one standout as it features a gradually inclining fairway with a sparse wall of trees midway through the hole. The trees aren't so close as to make it impossible to get a throw through, but the head game played by these trees is much more challenging. The real piece de resistance is hole #18. This hole requires a precision drive across a pond to a true island green, surrounded by water OB on all sides. It's both a beautiful hole and quite challenging.
Another way that variety is factored into this course is with multiple tees and a moving basket. The multiple tees give you different playing options each time you play and the moving pin position gives you entirely different playing options over time.
The hand-crafted tee signs were helpful in seeing the fairway shape, expected lines, distance, and par.
Other park ammenities are available onsite (bathrooms, picnic tables, etc.).
Cons: Saftey is a concern in heavily-used parks and this course plays close to several other public areas, increasing the chances of an innocent bystander being injured by an "off" throw.
Despite having multiple tees, there wasn't much variation in hole length and no indicator to show which position the basket was in. Additionally, there were a few blind baskets where the entire length of the fairway would need to be traversed to determine the basket location/position. Hole #8 didn't make much sense as there was no real fairway or direct line to the basket. Even an "up and over" shot was limited due to long-hanging branches. Hole #6 is tricky as the fairway borders a fence. A turned over drive on this hole spells trouble as there are risks and dangers involved with hopping a fence to get your disc.
Navigation was a little off at times. In one instance, a long walk around a football field was required to get to the next tee. In other instances, the next tee isn't too obvious and a confusing walk can ensue.
Holes on the fringes of the park weren't all that well maintained and had high grass and other dense foliage surrounding the fairway.
Other Thoughts: As parks go, the complex at Gordon Barnett Park is amazing and includes BMX, paintball (yeah, paintball), playgrounds, a gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball fields, golf greens, and on and on. Given all these ammenities, it's no surprise that you'd find not one, but two disc golf courses on site.
The other course onsite (Parkside) seemed to be a slight notch above the North course with the North course rating hovering juat above 3.25. That said, there just doesn't seem to be enough noteworthy holes or course attributes to pull the North course up to 3.5, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I would still recommend this course to anyone that is in the Orlando area and is looking for a place to throw. Granted, the Turkey Lake courses aren't too far down the road, but with two decent courses in one spot Gordon Barnett Park is an option to consider while in central FL.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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