Know your skill level before playing
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Park is located in a residential neighborhood on a major road between Tampa and Clearwater, so it's not too hard to get to.
Course amenities are good; three tee pads per hole (some of these throw from the same pad but change the par of the hole) and three pin positions on most holes, so the course is not the same every time you play.
You do need every shot in your bag; there are a few sidearm friendly holes and even some overhand opportunities.
Water is not present on every hole and the hazards are avoidable for the most part.
The first tee is located right by the park restrooms and other amenities.
The large baseball field is open all the time and is a great spot for fieldwork.
The tee pads are nice and large, good for many run up styles and have a textured surface to help with slipping.
The on course navigation is pretty good; next tee signs under the baskets as well as signs to show the routes to the different tee pads.
The course is mostly segregated from the rest of the park so pedestrian holdups shouldn't be too big a problem, save for on the walking trail that winds through the park and runs between holes 7 through 15.
Cons: No dedicated warm up area.
Flooding is a major problem here after any kind of rain; the fairways of many holes will hold water and holes 12 and 17 are located in areas that are swampy most of the time and the mud can be like wet concrete.
The red tee for #1 is off limits and the basket is in a new, very short position on the left; presumably, the city needs to put up a fence in front of the row of houses to keep people from throwing into their yards.
The rough in many places is oppressive - especially on holes 2-6 - and any disc off the fairway by more than a few feet is probably gone, and if you go in you will come out with cuts and scrapes.
What water hazards there are - especially the ditches on 1, 2, 7, 16, and 18 - are extremely murky and deceptively deep; even just on the edge, your disc will vanish completely.
The course does not return to the parking lot at all during the round and there are no on-course restrooms or water fountains and few benches.
This course is a hike; easily at least a three-mile walk, so this may be a con for some.
The "crossroads" can be a bit confusing if you don't see the sign beside the trail after 6.
Because of the way the course holds water, foot brushes are an absolute necessity here and there are none. Bugs are a huge problem during the summer too, so you'll need Off. There's not much shade on the course either; bring an umbrella or a sun hat.
Each time I played here the grass was too thick for rollers and that's a problem given how long the course is.
Other Thoughts: If you're playing here for the first time, even if you think you're good, play the shortest tees first; you'll need to get the feel of this place.
If you're playing with others, you need to spot each other, especially on the first 6 holes; the rough is borderline unfair in some places.
You really need to know your skill level before you try the long tees here; 2-6 will make you want to leave if you're not good enough.
You will lose discs here and you won't lose them in water, and sometimes even a good shot is punished; you need a strong mental game to battle this place.
The gold tees are truly pro level; again, you've been warned.
Overall, this is a good course. The design is thoughtful and makes you throw a lot of different shots, but play the tees that represent your skill level. Some improvements could bring my rating up further. It's not a "go out of the way to play" course for me because of my skill, but if you've got the arm you'll have fun here.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Each hole has its own thing going on. Multiple tee pads. Great use of water hazards. Really enjoyed our rounds. Just a ton of fun to shoot here.
Cons: Small parking lot. Not for beginners.
Other Thoughts: Definitely in my Top 10. PLAY THIS COURSE!!
2 of 14 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (4.165 Rating) A long challenging championship style course. This course is a one of a kind for the region it's in.
- CHALLENGING - Far and away, the Gold tees here are the most challenging set of holes out any course in the entire Tampa Bay region, (I've played them all). I feel that the gold tees at Oldsmar are a good 5 to 6 throws tougher to course par, than the blue tees at area course Cypress Point. Oldsmar starts out with a welcoming and nearly wide open par 4. Sitting at 590 feet from the gold tees, players that can throw 400, should be able to have a good look at birdie. Water does run down the left side of hole (1), but there's ample bail-out space right. Then hole (2)... a very intimidating 444 foot par 3 with water running down the entire left side. You guessed it, I bailed "right" into the woods. The beat down continues onto holes (3) and (4), which appears to be jungle paths cut by a machete. Then onto hole (5), a 25 foot wide, 835 foot par 5. This all culminates to one of the courses signature throws. Hole (6) plays along Tarpon Channel for the first 550 feet from the Gold tees and then doglegs left for the last 100 feet or so. Thankfully after (6) there's a run of holes to boost up your confidence level. Holes (7) thru (11), albeit long for the region, are all holes with moderately wide lanes to feel confident to just let it rip. Get your birdies here because 5 of last 7 holes won't give them up easily.
- SHOT SELECTION - This course will require the use of every disc in the bag. I personally play Oldsmar 60% RHBH and the other 40% flicks. Numerous drives will need some scouting on first play despite the excellent and accurate tee signs. Several drives require both a precision launch angle and properly executed trajectory to make it clean to the basket or to the landing zone. Some shots will need to just be air-mailed, and others will need to be laser guided bombs. If I had to find something missing it would be a forced over the top shot.
- UNIQUENESS - Oldsmar DGC is among the most unique course I've played in Florida. Overall I've rate it 9th out of the 283 courses I've played as of this review. The first thing I'll point out is the two 800 foot holes, a rarity for the region. There is a par 5, a bunch of 4's, and the par 3's vary from 240 to 570 feet from the Gold tees. There are dogleg's in both direction. There are placement and bomb-it par 4's. There are some pocket shots, windows shots and a bunch of well defined, moderate to tight tunnel plays. A beautiful raised basket placement on (8). There are some exhilarating and terrifying water clears, parallel water plays and hooking water lines. Really the only missing element is elevation. Sorry elevation fans, this is coastal South Florida.
- TEES - They are some of the best I've ever seen. They are the trapezoid style allowing for the arcing run-up throwing style. You'll need it too, with a couple Par 3's well over 500 feet long from the gold tees. Also Note, many of the tees incorporate a foul line into the pad. It's a three foot concrete extension and has the word "Foul Line" embedded into the concrete.
- MULTIPLE TEES - I typically write about extra tees under Character, but I felt the need to specifically point our this great feature at Oldsmar. There are 13 holes with three tees pads and four holes with two pads. They are the standard PDGA names as well; Gold, White and Red, with Gold being the most challenging. The Blue tees are played from the gold pads but with an adjusted par.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - Piling on the benefit of multiple tees. Oldsmar was clearly designed from the onset to be a championship style course. However, with the inclusion of several tees at each hole, it makes Oldsmar available to most skill and arm strength levels. Most of the fairways widths are more than fair for newer recreational skills with the exception of maybe holes (3), (4) and (12). Recreation players should enjoy the reds, and intermediate players should enjoy the whites. Yet advanced and even pro players will have a wonderful new beast to try to conquer. Beginners however should stay clear of this course. There are just too many unforgiving water hazards. Although, beginners could try the 9 hole loop (7 thru 15), for a more forgiving layout.
- SPACING - Very good hole spacing. With perhaps an exception on holes (7), (8) and (9) It would have to be borderline intentional to put a disc into another fairway.
- CHAINS - The baskets are brand spanking new and they are Innova DISCatchers, among my favorite styles of baskets.
- NAVIGATION - Excellent as long as you know how to read a map. I have heard complaints that players have not been able to find (10) and (12) but am baffled at how that can be. The course map is very accurate, take a picture. There's a really neat navigational sign "the crossroads" at the junction of (7), (9) and (16) tees called
- CHARACTER - Course amenities and extras are well above average but falls short compared to the top courses in the area in a few aspects. With the course being as long as it is, it would have nice to have more seating at the shorter tees. The gold tees have seating at every hole yet it probably occupies less than 5 percent of the course usage. It would have been nice to leave a few gold tees bare and provide a few for the little guy. It would also be nice that if over time that this course would start to populating some bag tables or hangers to stow a bag off the ground. Finally, the course also needs a community board and a practice basket area.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Above average. Although Oldsmar DGC has heeled from the construction scars it's just not as elegant as the top area courses. I would not consider this course anywhere near the beauty of Picnic or Cliff, and a bit behind Taylor and Tocobaga as well. I feel the beauty falls into the next tier of beautiful courses like Cypress and USF. There are some ditches in play at Oldsmar. The channel water views pale in comparison to Taylor's and Picnic's water edge views. Also a few of the park building are aging a bit.
Cons: Oldsmar is an excellent course top to bottom even at its young age. Even so, there are a couple preferential issues that come along when making courses of this caliber and a couple site issues.
- ELEVATION - Perhaps the biggest drawback of most South Florida courses, is the non-availability of elevation. Oldsmar unfortunately with its location along the Tarpon Channel, is unable to break this trend. The designer however, does appears to have done the best they could with what was available and this will only be clear after you play this course. I'll give a few examples, Gold tee (2) plays off a 10 foot high ridge. (14's) basket is positioned at the top of a 10 foot bluff. Hole (18s) back tee plays off an elevated surface.
- FORGIVENESS - If you play the Gold/Blue tees here, you either better be able to throw over 450/400 on demand or be able to throw precise time and time again. I consider five or six holes to be heavily wooded tight fairways, with one or two them being boarder-line poke and hope shots. The rough is pretty brutal on six or seven hole with lots of scraggly Brazilian pepper trees defining the fairway. In addition, don't miss left on (1), (2) and (18), some of nastiest water I've seen. Obviously also don't miss right on (6), or wave it good bye, and don't miss long on (7). Water is lurking 30 feet past the basket.
- TIME PLAY - This course is beast for the area and thus it's really going to eat up your afternoon. I think your average group of four advanced players will spend 3 hours or more on the gold layout. A bunch of ams playing the whites might be able run a round in 2 1/2 hours. There are a couple opportunities to skip holes. For example, going from (6) to (9) and thus skipping (7) and (8). There is also a nice opportunity to play just 9 holes as well. (1) thru (6) and then (16) thru (18) or playing the (7) thru (15) loop.
- WAITING - Lots of park patrons using park for other reasons. I have had to stop for walkers, joggers, and dog-walkers on all 3 of my rounds. There's one prominent pathway dicing though the layout but it really only comes into play a few times, so it's a minor issue.
- DRAINAGE - Like similar area courses Coachman and Cypress, Oldsmar does not take to rain very well. The course will begin to flood in areas during the summer rainy season. Holes (12 and 17) have temporary placements when seasonal floods make the normal placements unusable.
Other Thoughts: Oldsmar is the most thought provoking course I've played in Tampa Bay Area. The course will beat you down, lift you back up, then beat you down again. Its only at the very end, that the course repents a bit and gives you a tempting risk reward birdie run. Other than maybe Jack Mclean in Tally, the Gold tees are right up there with the most challenging courses I've played in Florida. If you're the type of player looking for difficulty and length, this course will be your best bet in the area.
- PERSONAL NOTE - Trevor (Course Designer) contacted me in February 2017 to review his course design as it was just about to start going into the ground. We met and spoke numerous times afterwards, bouncing off ideas with one another. I think Trevor designed and delivered a wonderful course. His resourcefulness in developing this course, such as seeking out talented individuals like Chuck Kennedy and others for advise, solidified his vision for this layout. He then took this vision and prior knowledge and executed the build to near perfection. It was pretty cool honor to see a course of this caliber during development, and I personally learned several things that you just don't see or will understand by playing a completed course.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Tampa Area Must Play
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Oldsmar is quickly becoming one of my favorite Tampa area courses. Multiple sets of nice tee pads make the course accessible to all skill levels. Nice tee signs etc. Great views of Tampa Bay and real water hazards. Nice mix of hole lengths and open/wooded holes. The only thing really missing, of course, is elevation, which is hard to come by in coastal Florida. The course does a good job of balancing fun vs challenge. The course is very highly maintained.
Cons: The course can be a little wet in spots during the rainy season. Seems like they are trying to work on making it better though.
More of a warning than a con, there are some walking/biking trails winding through the course. The course is in a popular park and you may have to wait to throw as non-throwers wander by.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that I am going to enjoy playing over and over. I think that I might have given it a 4.25 as I prefer it over some of the other Tampa area courses that I have at 4 discs.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Scenic and Challenging Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Oldsmar DGC is located at the top of Old Tampa Bay where Lake Tarpon drains into the northern point of Safety Harbor and is easily accessible from Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. The course is laid out on a well manicured park with a mix of central Florida trees such as bald cypress, pines, palms, mangroves, and oaks. The elevation of Oldsmar is essentially flat and the winds coming off the large canal can be tricky as they tend to swirl year round. The natural, scenic beauty makes the Oldsmar course a treasure.
The heart of the course is pretty wide open but there is a paved and well used pedestrian and bike trail meandering through it. Winding through the course is a residential drainage ditch which presents a water hazard for holes #1, #2, #7, and #16. The holes on the outer edge of the course are situated in a tidal marsh habitat and bordered by mangroves and swamp areas.
There are a few fifty foot plus ear trees in the middle of the course which challenges the player to either choose a low throw off the tee or to try a precise shot through the spreading canopy. Most of the fairways are well defined and some even tree lined. The outer holes are challenging with narrow fairways and hard to see hanging limbs. If your throw misses the fairway and ends up in the rough you will need to search through thick Brazilian pepper, saw palmetto, and brush to find it. Since this is a new course, the Brazilian pepper is thickly tangled and it can be definite jail trying to get out. All of the baskets are well guarded by trees and a couple of holes have water directly behind them providing for death putts.
Cons: These are not necessarily con but are only a couple of things to watch for. The drainage ditches are filled with floating algae and makes it hard to see a mis-thrown disc from the embankment. Be careful when wading in to retrieve a disc because some spots have soft mud and even though shallow you can sink up to mid chest. Also, it is easy to lose a disc in the Brazilian pepper canopy if it lands on top because it is difficult to spot from below. Finally, this course is going to have a few puddles in the low lying areas after heavy showers. Holes #12 and #17 will remain wet during the rainy season but the baskets are supposed to be moved up to drier placements in those conditions. And on hole #5 the fairway will have a surface runoff that has low areas and probably meaning wet shoes.
Other Thoughts: Overall, the course has made excellent use of real estate and you can use all the discs in your bag with plenty of chances to throw backhand, forehand, tomahawks, thumbers, and grenades. With red, white, blue (?), and gold tees there are challenges for all skill levels. You definitely want to put Oldsmar DGC on your Wish List.
4 of 4 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.