GT Bray DGC
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -decent use of the land available to map out 18 holes
-relatively simple navigation, assuming one prints the map available on the DGCR site
-fair but challenging lines on most holes
-brand new baskets w/highly visible orange collars
-very low likelihood of losing a disc during a round
Cons: -rubber tee pads are almost all in need of leveling; concrete would improve this issue
-holes are mostly on the short side (>300 feet), so little chance to really open up
-plastic tee signs have not fared well as this course is in a multi-use park...and they do not give any beta on the holes aside from distance
-there are a few holes where other park guests could be in play due to the layout of the course
Other Thoughts: In town visiting my snowbird mother, and I am stoked that there is finally a legit 18 hole course in Bradenton. Wasn't sure what to expect after reading the recent reviews, but I played there this weekend and there were quite a few groups moving through the course. I agree with the general consensus that concrete tees & improved signs would take this course much closer to a 4 rating; regardless, I have enjoyed getting to know this course and look forward to seeing it evolve!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Gee, Tees Were Bad
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Lots of trees, without a lot of brush to lose a disc in. The course is in a grassy city park, with lots of mature trees that will punish a bad shot, but generally give you a chance to recover and save par after a bad tee shot.
-Good shot variety. I didn't feel like I was throwing the same shot over and over, with some strait shots, hyzers, and anhyzers throughout the round. That said, I do feel like the course favored right hand backhand throwers over lefties.
-Lots of birdie opportunities. For me as an intermediate player who can generally throw 325ish without much trouble, it felt like I had a chance at a deuce on most of the holes, without the course feeling stupid easy either. There was also still a few chances for me to unload and throw full power.
Cons: -The biggest knock against the course was the equipment. The tee pads were rubber mats, most of which were not on level ground. At least a third of the holes had puddles on the mat, even though it had been two days since the last rain. Some of the mats had sand on them which made them slippery, but I think they would generally be fine if they were level, or laid on a crushed gravel bed that could control the erosion better.
The tee signs were terrible and badly need to be upgraded. No map on the sign, and hand written distances. The sign posts also weren't set properly in the ground with concrete, so a few posts were pulled out of the ground and a few others would spin freely in the ground. I'll also say that a few of the signs were positioned in the wrong spot, too close to the end of the pad, such that they interfered with my follow through (as a RHBH thrower, although LHBHs might have had a couple complaints too).
The baskets were fine, although some of the next tee arrows were missing or loose. That said, we didn't have much issue finding the next tee based off of our first guess.
Other Thoughts: The course layout is fine and makes for a fun round, and this has potential to be a 3.5 to 4.0 rated course...if it wasn't for poor tee pads/tee signs. It's a new course, so I'm hopeful the club or park can find the money to finish the course the right way with better pads and tee signs, in which case I'll up my rating.¬¬
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Shoulda Used More Concrete!
6 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 do 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.
6 of 6 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.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.375 Rating) (RE-EVALUATED) GT Bray has had several layout tweaks since my initial review so I took a second look at the numbers based on the recent reviews and new photos posted in February 2018.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Definitely the one thing that hasn't changed on this course since my initial review is the beauty. The course is positioned mostly under a live oak canopy that's draped with tranquil looking Spanish moss. The course most closely resembles the look of nearby regional course Northeast Coachman, but I think GT Bray is clearly a more picturesque example. My favorite hole is (11). Although the line is a hazard being blind, it has a neat basket placement around some limestone boulders.
- CHALLENGING - About average now. There were several holes over 400 feet on my first play but that now appears to only occur once on hole (6). The course is now a bit of a tweener between rec level and intermediate. Intermediate players should finish a couple under while rec players will finish a few over.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - Considering the challenge factor noted above, the difficulty is ideal for a large swath of players. I could see advanced players and beginners enjoying themselves out here.
- PARK AMENITIES - Some really nice park bonus items not related to disc golf. Solid restroom facilities and a drinking fountain. Several well built shelters with picnic tables that are perfect for an end of round hangout. There's also a dog park.
- UNIQUENESS - About average but pretty good for a par 54. What I personally liked best was the variation of the tree coverage. Although mostly moderately wooded, at least a couple shots would be labeled as heavily wooded, lighted wooded and open as well. Fairway lines twist left and right and a few also finish straight. Water comes into play on (5) and in grip-lock situations on (6). The biggest missing item is elevation (see cons) but that's not really a surprise for this part of Florida.
- SHOT SHAPING - Lots
Cons: GT Bray has been in the ground for over a year and a half as of this revision and the necessary capital improvements still haven't come.
- NAVIGATION - It wasn't the greatest for my initial review and it still isn't. I don't get the point of buying horrible cheep signs that go into disrepair within months. Probably cost them 3 to 4 hundred bucks and now it has to be done again. It appears that all the arrows below the basket are beginning to fall apart now too. Solution, painted or taped spoke. It costs like $5.
- DISCONTINUITY - There's a sizable gap after hole (13) and then again after (16). Be sure and have the latest printed map from DGCR.
- CHARACTER - In addition to poor signage and navigation. The course still doesn't have many other basics as well. No course map on site yet and none of the recent reviews mention seating either. Not everyone has a Zuca, so a bench or two would be welcome. No multi tees, alternate baskets or a practice basket yet.
- TEES - Rubber mats... sure and upgrade from my visit when they were all-natural, but not much of one. Rarely in my travels have I ever seen them installed correctly. Perkerson in Atlanta is shining example of rubber tees done right.
- WALKING PATHS - There are plenty of walking paths that run along this layout. Players really need to be cognizant of their surrounding before throwing.
- ELEVATION - The initial layout had holes (17) and (18) in a different location where elevation was the most prominent in the park. With those holes now relocated, the most any one hole changes is maybe 10 feet.
Other Thoughts: Like I said in my initial review post, this course has so much potential as the holes themselves are really nice. Proper navigation, signage and tees gets GT Bray up to a 3 level. Toss in another set of tees for advanced players, some alternate baskets and some seating and this course becomes a 3.5.
- TIME PLAY - GT Bray takes an average amount of time to play. Figure 1 1/2 to 2 hours for a group of four players. Solos should be able to knock it out in just under an hour.
7 of 7 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
7 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.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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