Woods + Sand = Fun Times
13 Helpful / 0 Not
+ Two sets of teepads per hole
+ Most holes have an A and a B pin(Innova Discatchers) that get changed up by the local club often.
+ Benches on most of the holes.
+ Good mix of tightly wooded and open. All the holes bring in the trees one way or another.
+ Course flow is pretty easy. With the style of the terrain and how much the course gets played/loved its pretty easy to navigate without the help of a course map. The course is beaten down well so you can easily find your way around.
+ Hole Variety. This course will test all of your skills. Those who have an extremely rounded game will have a big advantage out here. There are a lot of holes that require you to hit a tunnel and then will bring you out right or left. I loved this course for this. You need to be able to hit a line with a forehand and a backhand if you want to score well. There is also a good variety of hole lengths. There are a few long par 3's and 4's and a shorter(debatable) par 5 from the long tees. I used about 90% of the discs in my bag for this course. Bring your A game.
+ Local love. I had the pleasure of playing a league round here and you could tell instantly that the people that play this course, love this course. There were multiple people helping move baskets and cleaning up the course before league started and they were adding more holes the week prior.
- Teepads. This is no surprise from me. There are carpet short pads and turf long pads. Neither teeing surface is great or overly terrible. They are serviceable but not ideal. The carpet short pads are pretty flush to the ground but are slicker than the turf long pads. The turf long pads are slightly elevated, so for me they are a bit clunky and hard to get a run up on. For those that are shorter this might not be an issue but being a tall person, some of the pads are aren't long enough for me to start my run up on the tee pad and the lip of the raised pads causes issues. I understand that it makes sense to have them raised a bit to keep some of the sand off of the tees but it takes the playability down a bit. With proper footwear, a modified run up and about 70% power, the tees gripped just fine for me. If the course had concrete tees, I would have rated it a half point higher at 4.0
- Teesigns are serviceable but could use an upgrade. The give you a general direction of the pin and hole lengths but not much else. They are simple and cheap but do the job. Its only a con because I think they could use an upgrade
I loved this course for a lot of reasons. The course is fair and challenging. The scenery is beautiful. The people were great. Overall, you're going to have a good time here. The two courses that Ocala has are just great and it would be hard to pick between the two. I would suggest that if you are in the area that you should stop either here or at Greenway. Both courses are better than the others in the area and are the most fun to play in my opinion. I will be coming back to this course.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: What a great layout of a course. We drove 3 hours to play the course. The pro pads were really good artificial turf. Lots of benches to sit on around the course. Played greenway in the morning and really thought this course was a better lay. A lot of technical shots here.
The baskets are in good shape. The island green was really cool.
Good to see a disc return box.
Cons: Short Pads: Let's just say they are not good at all. When you can find them. They are Poorly marked. As someone coming to play this course for the first time. We had no idea where the short pads were located on each hole. When you find them, good luck. The pads are just very bad old carpet that is not even and dangerous to throw off of. I would suggest if you are coming to play here that you throw in front of the tees on the grass. There were several times we threw from the long pads because we didn't know where the short pad was located. A good example I believe was 17. We could not find the short pads until after we teed off and made it io our throws and saw the short pad tucked up in the woods.
Basket Locations: We had no idea where the baskets were located. So we spent a lot of time walking down the fairway to locate the baskets. I would suggest that someone set up the layout in UDisc by how the baskets are set up. For example, look at Tom Brown in Tallahassee. They have 4 different setups in UDisc for each layout. Also whoever did the layout in UDisc drew them as straight lines.
Water: I did not find a water faucet anywhere. SO be sure to bring your hydration of choice.
There are several of the hole signs that need to be replaced. I would also suggest that the hole signs at the long pads show the short tees on it so everyone knows where the short tee is located.
Other Thoughts: We will be back one day again. Even though it is a 3 hr drive. We really liked the layout.
Would also be nice to have a place to do warm-up throws.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Seriously one of my FAVs
Pros: Great layouts, maintained, multi basket locations(that get moved) Short pads and long pads.
Cons: Only in heavy rain times can this place give some issues due to water. The water recedes very fast
Other Thoughts: Well worth the travel from anywhere. locals love it even more!
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
My favorite tough course
Pros: Ever play a course that eats you up but you still love it? That is Sawmill for me. I've played this course 30+ times since I first discovered it a few years ago while visiting my parents. Dad and I play it regularly, and love the layout, challenges, dual basket placements, and overall scenery and experience. Challenging shots are to be had all over and a complete arsenal of throws comes in very handy here. It is very well maintained, with new tee pads recently installed, a reworked layout to improve the flow, and a challenging design for my mediocre at best game. Lol. All in all, I love the Mil.
Cons: None to speak of.
Other Thoughts: I play it as often as I can when I'm in town.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Mixture of wooded/ open shots
Pros: Love the natural woods atmosphere.
Wide open shots with many wooded, low canopy shots included.
Island hole is difficult and challenging
Course has been maintained by club wonderfully
Well designed for smooth flow.
Cons: Some places give carts a rough roll, tho mostly cart friendly
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Sawmill - Strong Course
Pros: Sawmill is one of the newer courses ( 2016 ) in Northern Central Florida in Ocala , about 120 miles from the Georgia border and close to I-75 . On the site of an old Lumbermill , this 20 hole course sits by itself , so the only people you should see here at Half Mile Creek Park are other disc golfers . This course has a small parking lot and primitive amenities . I will talk about it in cons . The course sits to the right of the entrance . Walking down the path , there is a practice basket on your left , then first tee in front . The baskets are Discatchers . The signage are plastic coated and are on wood sticks , and there are carpet bases for many of the tees , where others have dirt in wood frames . I am assuming that they are pouring concrete soon. There are plenty of next tee signs to help you navigate the course , and they do a good job ( still print a map , beforehand ) . You will have half shade and half sun here . Plenty of partially wooded , to wooded and then , open holes . There seems to be plenty of righty and lefty shots here . Benches are present on many of the holes . What I like most is the course design itself . It boasts multiple pin positions and 2 tees per hole . There are a couple of holes with landing zones , and will make you work for pars . Sawmill will not only challenge you physically , but mentally as well . The course is easy on the pegs because of it's flatness . The only elevation is a central area of the course where several holes meet that has a small basin in it . Disc Risk is medium to low . There are some high weed patches on a few of the holes , but most have been kept in check ( hopefully by the nearby Ocala club ) , and there is no water . Several holes caught my eye on this course . I liked #13 which is an island hole shot that goes over the basing to a roped off section with the basket in it and some woods behind it . a couple of holes have some great tunnel shots .#5 has it's basket sitting in a small crater . #1 is a good starter hole ( 309' ) , a tight tunnel . The course will jump around in length after that , ranging from a short 214' to 643' #2 . Challenging ? Yes . Fun ? Oh yeah . Even though the finishing hole on 20 was short ( 214' ) , you had to throw a mando under a bent arching tree ( one of 2 of these trees on the course ) The course was a slow play for me , 70+ minutes for the 20 holes . 4 might take 2 1/2 + . Nice thing is that I was on the course on Saturday afternoon ad never saw anyone . Signature hole : #2 , a 643' ( 471 from the shorter tees ) , with a boulder about halfway to the hole , guarding a doorway shot back into the woods , to the basket protected by trees and a low ceiling .
Cons: #1 Course equipment . Being a quality course , I expected better than frames and carpet for tees . The signage needs to be permanent , preferably with something on it to tell you which pin position the basket is in so you don't have to walk halfway up the fairway to see the basket , along with directional signs on the course ( black/white paper ) . #2 Parking . The lot area , and you notice I didn't say parking lot , is a small circle that you can easily miss driving along the road , that is not only dirt and sand , but the most uneven piece of land with oles and rocks jutting out from it . the divots here might have more elevation than a chunk of the course . I don't know what this course is like after a rain , or if the basin fills , but it looks like it could be a mess . Not sure . A Port O let near the parking lot would help , too .
Other Thoughts: This course could be just around the corner as being one of the best courses in Florida . Already 20 good holes with plenty of variety . I would definitely play this course a lot if I lived near the Ocala area . Couple this course and nearby Ocala Greenway , and you have a great half day of disc golf . I want to come down in a couple of years and see where this course stands . Thank You , Ocala parks and Rec for letting me play your course . My Recommendation : Newbies and families might want to play somewhere else . Casuals , intermediates , pros should love this course . it is not a destination course , but since Florida is such a vacation state , I would find it hard for travelers driving down I-75 to miss this Ocala course . PLAY IT !!!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful, challenging course!
Pros: Great variety of shot shot shapes.Multiple, challenging pin placements.Beautiful, unique scenery. Accurate signage makes this course a breeze to navigate.
Cons: Water was being held in retention areas, and the only way to cross was a few sketchy cinder blocks. The option existed to go around the retention area, but not without interfering with other holes. I have heard that the club plans on addressing this issue soon with the installation of bridges.Some of the carpet tees were a little uneven. I have heard that the club is planning on installing more permanent teepads.
Played course the next day. All water gone in retention areas. Played great!
Other Thoughts: This course was absolutely beautiful. With an old abandoned building (Sawmill?) on a couple of the holes, it gave the illusion of playing disc golf in Jurassic Park! The course offered a variety of shots from highly technical par 3's to par 4's that requires you to hit a specific landing zone, and even an island hole. The course designer did an excellent job incorporating natural elements and nothing feels gimmicky. The rough was punishing and the fairways were fair. It appears that there is a lot of buzz surrounding this course and the improvements that have been made, and those still to come. The entire course is very well marked and the signage is accurate. If you are in the Ocala area this is a 'must play' course!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great, challenging course
Pros: I played here while visiting a friend in Orlando.
- Course was in very good shape
- Great mix of wooded and open holes
- Internediate level shots from white tees, the blue tees looked challenging
- The scenery and nature in this course is beautiful!
- Great signs -- not once was I unsure of where the basket or next hole was
Cons: I have nothing to complain about -- I would have more to say if I had played more than once.
Other Thoughts: If I'm ever back in Orlando, I will be playing this course again!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.342 Rating) As Sawmill develops, it will start to challenge Greenway as the best course in the area.
- CHALLENGING - The two sets of tees will offer a good challenge to a wide swath of skill levels. The back tees are great for advanced players and the front tees are great for rec and intermediate level players. Risk reward lines are present on several holes. Not as much as the shot shaping at Ocala Greenway, but close. A few holes will also require a nice bomb down the fairway. I want to say that I used every disc in my bag for this one.
- UNIQUENESS - Overall the hole type variety is a bit above average. Several nice tunnel plays with some movement. Two hole have a low bridge (downed tree) optional mando (8 and 11). Holes bend in both directional in what seemed to me to be an equal amount. In addition there are a couple double bender lines. There's an improv island hole on (13), which will tick you off when you land within the ropes only to see it trickle out and draw a penalty. My favorite hole personally was hole (2), which had a nice sized limestone outcrop sitting in the middle of the fairway. As for missing items, no elevation, no water and no par 5.
- CHARACTER - Several disc golf extras already for its young age. Benches already at a majority of the holes. Adequate signage and numerous directional cues along the layout. There are multiple tees and basket locations. There is a picnic table nearby after finishing up your round as well. The next step for sawmill will be pouring concrete tees
- NAVIGATION - Surprisingly really good. As stated above, directional arrows all over the place between holes. Holes signage indicates next tee direction and baskets for other holes are generally not in view from tee. If I could add one thing, I'd professionally update the signage beyond black and white letter sized paper sheets and add a course map.
- CHILL AREAS - They are everywhere. A fully secluded layout with numerous benches along the layout. I kind of wish I was in a group and could have relaxed at a few tees on this one.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Above average but not blow me away looks. Mostly a fully wooded layout with several well done fairway designs. The lack of water and elevation features very much impacted my personal beauty rating for Sawmill. I scored it a 3.5 out of 5.
Cons: No issues of substance, Sawmill is a well done course.
- FORGIVENESS - Not as demanding as nearby Ocala Greenway but close. Several tight but fair lanes to the basket. Ricochets in the wrong direction will be quite punishing in many instances. I had a couple occurrences where my second throw had no angle anywhere near the basket. Having no water in play helps a bit but leaving a disc behind is still a real possibility due to the overgrowth.
- TEES - Less than ideal carpet tees. That stated, for what they are currently, among the most level and intact set of carpet tees I've ever played on. So not a total loss.
- ELEVATION - The least amount of elevation changes of the three courses in the Ocala area. I think only one hole approaches 10 feet in elevation change.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Not very kind for beginners. I could also see newer recreational players also not liking this course as well if they don't like heavy to moderately wooded technical courses. Beginners are best served to stick with the Preserve on the north side of town.
- TIME PLAY - Even though I was the only sole throwing upon arrival, Sawmill still took me over an hour to play. Plus I ran between many throws. Figure a group of four skilled players will spend over 2 1/2 hours to complete this one.
- PARKING - Sandy and pitted everywhere. They really don't get much worse. This stated, it makes just about no impact on my rating for a course, but I wouldn't bring a low riding car out here.
Other Thoughts: Has the potential to climb to its current rating, but I feel its current rating number is a bit generous for its young state. I currently have Sawmill ranked at number 20 out of my 101 played Florida courses as of this review. (Note I have Ocala Greenway at 16th) Concrete tees would be big boost to Sawmill's rating.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very challenging course. Well laid out fairways. And very easy to navigate
Cons: Just like anywhere in Florida bugs can be a problem not not enuff to make in unenjouyable
Other Thoughts: Was completly enjoyable day of Disc golf with my son and we look forward to next week
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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