Shoulda Used More Concrete!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My first ever played course in Florida plays almost entirely under a canopy of Live Oaks thus providing a lovely shaded experience for those hot Florida days. The disc golf course at GT Bray is wedged in between the canal on one side (but holes 14-16 so play on the other side of the canal) and the dog park on the opposite side. The course plays at a recreational level with many holes playing between 200-300'. Only # 18 is under 200' at 186'. I think # 6 is the only hole over 400' but it was probably my least favorite hole as it's wide open.
The course has the brand new but old school fiberglass signs. You know, the ones that teens love to break the fiberglass on. These were mounted before all the information was placed on them. They have the hole # but not the par or distance. Some kind soul has neatly written the distance on the side of the sign. Thank you, kind soul. The tee pads are rubber mats which are mostly not level, not dangerously so but not ideal either. Water tends to puddle on them.
The baskets are brand new orange DGA models. They're very pretty and most have a wooden next arrow tied underneath which helped with the navigation.
The trees provide most of the obstacles here. You will hit, at least, a few trees during your round. The course is flat. My favorite hole was probably # 11. It's 300' and requires a slight hyser. There is a chain link fence on your left the entire way but what makes the hole unique is the basket placement. The basket sits on a small hill with a cool rock formation just behind it.
Cons: Many of the tee signs and a couple of baskets are loose. Some of the tee signs are loose enough to spin around in a circle. A couple baskets including # 11 are not secured well. A little more concrete would help and so would some kind of cross piece under the ground to keep the signs from twisting.
The wooden next tee arrows are very helpful but some of the plastic ties securing them have been broken and a couple of the arrows have been broken. Next arrow signs cut out of sheet metal hold up well and can securely held on with wire. A few of the arrows are missing, as well.
The rubber pads are fine when level but not so good when they're as bumpy as these are.
I didn't care much for # 6. It's 420' across an open expanse of lawn.
Other Thoughts: The course design is solid, recreational solid. I liked it. What I found lacking was the actual bones and installation. I am not a fan of the fiberglass signs. They don't hold up well. I've seen them on many courses all over the country and they are invariably broke. Actually, I'm surprised they're still available for purchase. There are so many better options out there. The tee pads need leveling. And the next arrows are a wonderful idea but they're are getting trashed. You need arrows that are more vandal proof. I enjoyed my round here even though I threw like a girl and putted like a kindergartner. I just don't think GT Bray DGC can hold off the vandals.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Way better than the reviews make it seem
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Good mix of wide open, wooded, and tight.
A nice mix of short and long.
Makes you keep your lines.
Cons: Hole 11 is hard not to lose a disc if you don't have a good forehand or turnover game. My dad does not and he lost a Crave in the closed dog park. He didn't feel like hopping the fence, and it could have been catastrophic if it was open and a German Shepard got it.
Hole 6 doesn't have a tee sign.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The trees! As soon as you pull into the park you notice how awesome the trees are here. There are so many natural tunnel shots just waiting for discs! There is a good deal of parking around the course but not too many spots near the dedicated for hole 1 parking area (more on this in Cons.) And while I didn't use them apparently there are bathroom facilities and plenty of pavilion space for sitting throughout part of the course.
There are some fun shots here although I felt like there were a lot around the same distance and mainly RHBH lines. Pretty good use of the land in avoiding pathways and pedestrians which is always a good thing.
Cons: I parked in the parking area which is no where near hole 1. You have to pass through the center of the park to get to hole 1. I'd highly recommend figuring out a different configuration or adding a short hole and making the current hole 1 into #2. I enjoyed 1-5 but I would really look into changing 6-10. There are some amazingly perfect fairways here that just aren't being utilized. Hole 11 seems like the only hole that could be unsafe but I was unable to find the tee for this one. It does have the potential to be the signature hole but it also could be dangerous. 12-13 both throw over a driveway and could be done differently. 14 was another odd line like 7 but 15 was awesome. I was recommended to skip 17 and 18 and when I went over there I could see why since there was a soccer goal in the way. Definitely needs to be reworked there
Obviously lack of tees and signage is a con but I think in this case it's good since you're not committed to these pin locations. Adding these alone would jump the course up to 2.5 or 3.
I felt like I could play this course with very few discs since it really lulled me into a low line fairway mode and I feel like there could be some changes to really open this course up a lot. Add a couple RHFH/LHBH shots and try to mix up he distances.
(SPECIFICALLY FOR COURSE DESIGNER For example, near 6's teepad along the levee to 8's basket makes a perfect risk reward throw over the creek and puts that great swooping tree into play. Moving 6's basket and putting a short hole back to where 6's current tee would then allow you to use this perfect tunnel back towards where 7's current basket is. As is, 7's shot is pretty awkward even though I had a nice shot on it. I would definitely make 11 a short ace run hole. There are too many blind spots for kids to run out otherwise, and there were 4 kids in the area when I played it. I would figure a better way to do 12-13 since both of those shoot over the driveway to the dog park. I liked the holes but I would just reconsider the placements and perhaps use the length along the road to 12 and maybe add a short hole in there as well. 15 was one of my favorite holes and really used the trees and land to the fullest. I skipped 17-18 due to a soccer net in the way. I'd rethink those holes. Perhaps just move them and add them somewhere else. There is room for a great but short end hole behind the horseshoe area going towards 17. Definitely need to add more LHBH/RHFH shots.
Other Thoughts: I really felt like I got into a fairway driver funk playing this course, all of the holes seemed to be similar distances. While the land might not give you much room for par 4's and 5's, I do feel like there could be some changes to add some distance to some and making a couple of shorter holes as well.
There really is a lot of potential here and you have the bones for a really nice course. A nice job of avoiding problem areas for sure. A few tweaks and you are looking at a solid 3.5 course.
I look forward to playing here again once everything is finished and revisiting the review.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
So Much Potential
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Lots of great holes to shoot at. There is really only a couple of gimme holes. most players will have to use all their shot types.
- Amazing shade to protect from the Florida sun. only a couple of holes are out in the elements.
- Great park amenities including bathroom and drinking fountain. lots of other rec activities. (also a con) as there were a bunch pokemon zombies walking in the park.
- Some elevation changes which is not common for Florida. you can tell the designer put some thought into it as it was used where it was available.
- the raw beauty of the course is better than average. many of the holes (8 of them) are positioned under a forest of live oaks, very similar to NE Coachman in Clearwater Florida.
- the course will be challenging for advanced players. initial guess is that -4 (par 54) will get you a 1000 rating.
Cons: - Navigation is pretty bad. (I uploaded a rough map to DGCR based on the summer 2016 layout) you will get lost if you come here by yourself. It appears from prior reviews that hole direction ques were not present. they are at every hole basket now.
- tees are marked by orange flags. they are missing at hole 11 and 14. Hole 11 box is defined by wood sticks laid horizontal. From 10 basket head to the path which is to the left and straight ahead. continue down the path for about 500 feet. tee box is on the left. for 14 tee. head south from 13 basket. cross road and then bridge. tee box is on left side after tree clearing and basket direction is to the east.
- The course layout from hole to hole is less than to be desired. hole 1 is a bit of a walk to get to and would require a half page of writing on how to get to. a quick description is the north central part of the park along a 4' high chain link fence. direction of basket is northish. in addition hole 18 finished in the middle of nowhere.
- being a newer course, it is missing all of the disc golf course pampering items. missing items include, sitting areas, bag holders, concrete tees, signage, course map and chill areas.
Other Thoughts: - This course has so much potential as the holes themselves are great. After signage gets installed along with concrete tee boxes, and perhaps a numbering reconfiguration. this course should be at 3.5 stars. add in alt baskets and multiple tee pads with sitting, tables, and a course map, it may even be a 4 to 4.5.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Lots of Potential
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a gorgeous park with lots of land, trees, and bathrooms. The course plays big because it is big!
There are new baskets, lots and lots of trees, several discernible alleys that create a great mix of shots (including rollers - hammers might be a little tight, but still doable). A nice touch that means a lot, each basket has a small arrow underneath pointing you to the next hole - attention to detail with only one minor flaw - you can't find the next tee. I would like to note that the course designer(s) were cognizant of not playing towards shelter houses, play areas, or bathrooms - while this seems to be common sense, I have played courses where this was not the case. They do however have a basket too close to an amphitheater however. With some tweaking and re-numbering this can be a viable destination for beginners to intermediates - pro's may like more challenge. Still and all this course has the bones and the baskets to be a great course.
Cons: Okay - there are many. I will try to be gentle and some of my complaints are rooted in personal preference, some safety, and others common sense.
Lets do the Alpha and Omega thing first. Hole One starts about as far from parking and civilization as you could possibly begin. Right in the middle of the back side of the course. Hole 18 ends far from civilization and no where close to either parking or hole one. The best courses I have played Hole One is close to parking and Hole 18 ends close to parking (or hole One). This just makes sense - convenience is good, you get out and you want to get going, so of course you expect hole One to be right in front of you. This also has to do with a Disc Golf Board to post notices, lost and found and recent articles. Not to mention people wanting to embrace the sport but are reluctant will not be persuaded by hunting for the beginning hole.
Next, not all holes have flags marking the intended tee. I basically invoked the 5 minute rule and triangulation. I found the yellow arrow under the baskets and followed it to a spot where I could see the number plate on the next basket and stopped. I have no idea if this is where I was to throw from, but got tired of searching for the mowed up remains of Home Depot markers. Spray paint on the ground might be a better solution for tee boxes. So this course suffers from the usual start-up problems all new courses have - I just hope that they seek out some locals with that expertise and listen to them. Holes that throw across active (used) streets like Hole 12 should be avoided - I don't care if it is lightly used. The Description lists 15 - 18 on the other side of the bridge - not exactly, 14 - 18 are over there. The yellow arrow on 13 might say "over bridge", that would be helpful. 14 plays okay then 15. A long (probably 600 ft) shot along a very busy street (51st street). Nubes and intermediates might really crank on this and let loose a monster hyser while going for distance - a disc will probably go out into traffic - this is dangerous. Just angle the basket farther to the right than where it sits now. 16 has no tee. Then tee of 17 starts way down a path and over a hill - how would you know? Straight in front of 17 about 150 ft is a basket behind a tree - it's right there! So you throw it and lands two feet from the basket, viola, it's 18!!! Hole 17 is a dog leg right. You can see this when you get almost to your errant shot. Then 18 plays back atop a canal. The day I played it there were soccer goals between the tee and basket. Now I'm all for a challenge, but come on, so I moved it. Then walked clear back down 17 over the bridge and back to my car. My Fit Bit was working over time and I logged my 10k steps that day.
Other Thoughts: I spent so much time walking around looking for the tee that people were stopping me and asking me if I was playing Pokeman? "No, I'm looking for the tee that is supposed to be there".
There are no mando's- this course could be shaped and made more interesting with a couple of mando's. Crossing active streets and walking paths should be strictly avoided at all costs! Playing alongside a very busy street isn't an if a disc goes into traffic, but a when a disc goes into traffic - it will happen, so it is best to avoid it from the get-go. Disc golf should be an urban friendly sport - all people need to see is the baskets, not discs flying at them on roadways!
Great courses have alternate pin settings and alternate tees - even if they aren't there now, there should be a plan for options and expansion. Hole 11 leaves no options - it crowds tee 12 and starts at a walking path - it should be rethought and redesigned.
The course could easily be renumbered with One starting near parking. Me personally, I would crowd two more holes into the rest of the course some where and get rid of 17 - 18.If 16 became 18 you are right there at the walking bridge heading for your car. There is plenty of space for two more holes. I see this course optimistically - they have a chance right now to effect those changes that will make it a really great course from a so-so course. Actually I loved Hole 10 - signature hole!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Updates and Improvements
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Bradenton finally gets a "real" course! It features a good mix of open and wooded holes and a nice variety of hole distances. The course has gone through a slight redesign which helps greatly with the navigation and finding hole 1. The tees have numbered signs now so you know where to throw from.
Nice orange coated baskets with hole #'s clearly visible on top. Tees are still grass, but concrete probably coming.
Nice coastal Florida style course with large trees and cool foliage. Plenty of shade, except a few open holes. Pavillions, benches, restrooms, and several other park activities.
Cons: Multi-use park with nonthrowers moving about on the course, and sidewalks that wind through the course.
Other Thoughts: This course is improving and getting easier to play. Right now it's a solid everyday course and the potential is here for a higher rating in the future.
6 of 7 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.