Best in Tuscaloosa
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is one of, if not THE best-designed course I've ever played. Makes full use of an amazing piece of land. Lots of elevation changes, lots of different shot shapes required. Depending on where the pins are placed, you'll need every shot in your arsenal and some distance to boot.
3 pin placements per hole, each varied and interesting. 1 concrete tee and 2 carpet tees per hole, that provide vastly different experiences. Plenty of signage -- each tee has a clear (and hand-painted) map with all pin positions, and each basket has signs pointing you to the next tee.
Heavily wooded for the most part, but fair. There are multiple ways to attack each pin position. The woods offer plenty of shade, which is a godsend in Alabama summers.
Course drains extremely well -- aside from the creek/ravine which is in play on holes 11-13 becoming a bit more treacherous, there's hardly any water on the course even after heavy rainfall.
Cons: There's a good deal of vandalism on this course -- thankfully the signage isn't disrupted much, but the benches on the back 9 especially are torn up.
The white and black tee pads are well-positioned, but the carpet pads are in rough shape and extremely slick.
Holes 11-13 play across a steep ravine / creek, and there's no good way to get across and back. The few footpads in the water are super dodgy, dangerous and are submerged after rainfall, and the only "bridge" across is a giant fallen tree that's very slick when wet and rotting quickly.
The rough out here is THICK, and encroaches into the fairway. Lots of underbrush, lots of vines, lots of thorns... But it is a wooded course.
For the most part, the disc golf course is separate from other parts of the park, but occasionally you'll run into some oblivious parkgoers walking around the course.
Other Thoughts: This is BY FAR my favorite course in Tuscaloosa and at this point the best I've played in Alabama. It's absolutely worth a trip to play it.
HOWEVER! Between the ravine, the thick and vine-covered underbrush, and the slick gravel-coated hillside, this course can be treacherous. I actually broke my arm out here in 2016 trying to fetch a disc. Take care!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 15 of the 18 holes have a designed fairway for you to execute a throw. The luck factor is always fun with obstacles. Make no mistake, Bowers has an obstacle here, there, everywhere. That being said, it's got that fun factor inviting you to execute that one perfect throw or yell duh-oh!! After hole 3, there are clear hiking paths to help you find the next tee. I had no problem navigating this course the first time. Three pin locations that are rotated monthly. Amazing how they managed to get concrete for one set of tees on the course. Good use of elevation to give us a couple downhill throws.
Good mix of lefty and righty throws. Some of the pin favors the lefty backhand or righty forehand throwers but still enough room for you to try and nail the line.
Cons: Hole 2 and 3 may share the same fairway with errant throws. Some of the baskets cannot be easily seen from the concrete tee. The alternate tees (carpet) have some serious wear and tear. I can understand that it's difficult to bring the equipment and pour concrete inside the jungle. The weeds grow something fierce during summer months and require at least a chainsaw twice a week. Chainsaw experts wanted!!
Other Thoughts: Has an older school feel with 17 of the 18 holes (hole 2 through 18) being ace runs for the advanced 300 feet and stronger throwers but if you cant shape the designated shot, you are going to be scrambling
I cant give it a 5 star due to no par 4's on the course but this course has the f-u-n factor that keeps me coming back for more.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -18 holes
-3 sets of tee pads
-One set is concrete, other two are carpet
-3 basket locations for each hole
-Front three holes are more out in the open with some distance, while the rest of the course is very wooded and quiet challenging.
-Gorgeous course in the late fall through early spring months.
-Benches on most holes
-Lots of shade
-So many different ways to play each hole due to the multiple basket setups and tee pad locations
-This course uses its elevation to the max, while also utilizing the creek that runs through three holes
-Course has had some facelifts due to bad Tuscaloosa weather knocking over some trees.
Cons: -Poison Ivy flares up in the summer months.
-Course requires a lot of maintenance in the summer months, sometimes it gets overgrown with weeds and brush.
-A few of the short pads need replacing dude to wear and tear.
Other Thoughts: Wear a pair of high socks and bring a jug of water and this course is a fun time. Practice basket close to first tee but far enough away not to distract players. Used to be my home course so I'm somewhat bias but I was very truthful in my review. Waited until I had played more than 20 courses to write a true review for this course. Couldn't ask for a better set of locals that you will meet out on the course at all times. It's well worth the travel to play this tight, challenging frisbee trail.
True rating is about a 4.25 in my book but that's not an option on here so I rounded.
It's not an IDGC and its not a hippodrome but when maintained, you won't find a course with as much diversity, challenge, as well as scoring opportunities.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Signature Alabama Woods Course
Pros: 3 tee pads
3 pin positions
Easy access from interstate
Great use of Elevation
Cons: Few alternate tees need new carpet
Lacking in Par 4's & Par 5's
Other Thoughts: One of the best pieces of terrain in Alabama.
Water, old growth trees and varied elevation make this course one of the best in the state. Work has been done to clear overgrown areas but more could be done to provide more options from the tees. Lack of Onsite pro shop and par 4 & 5's are the only things lacking to make this course a 5 star.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was extremely well put together.with clearly marked holes and signs pointing towards the next tee. Compared to some of the other parks where it is entirely likely to miss a hole, this hike through the woods lacks any path confusion
A beautiful hiking trip through the woods of Bowers Park with truly picturesque surroundings. The creeks were presenting a water hazard on a few holes but they were not disc guzzlers.
Fantastic replay value! The baskets are cycling through a three position rotation and this time through I was shooting on C position. Combine this with the fact that there are three tee offs and you find yourself with a course that can present 9 possible routes!
One of my favorite holes that I played on and to date my most favorite hole yet is Hole 18. An amazing shot downhill and then uphill, (or just straight across the ravine if your a professional I'd wager), to extend this 250+ ft. beauty.
A lot of the holes required some maximum arch with precise shots, bending through a dense copse of trees. This requires some real finesse and I find it as a novice to be one of the more challenging and rewarding experiences thus far.
Cons: Wear long pants. If you like taking the long route to save a favorite disc or just OCD like me and try to salvage all your discs, you will need pants traversing the woods. Stickers and poison ivy are abundant through the trail!
Basket color. The baskets for the most part were grey and silver or very dark blue that made it difficult to see when against a backdrop of green foliage. I would suggest yellow to the groundskeepers if there is ever an opportunity to upgrade baskets.
The only real other fault that I could find with this place would be that it is so far from New Orleans! Man I wish I could play this course every weekend! A great time!
Other Thoughts: This will be the third park that I have played since I started about a month ago. The other two mainly being Lafreniere and City Park in Louisiana. There is little room for imagination and as a novice I found myself appreciating both the mid range disc and sacrificing on power for more control.
Truly a great course! If your ever driving through Tuscaloosa you should stop on by!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Underrated Amazing Course
Pros: This is one of the best courses I've ever played; only DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz, CA has been better.
Excellent use of Multiple Tee pads
Excellent use of Multiple Basket placements
These combine to make the course extremely challenging or good for beginners
A variety of throws are needed
A variety of distances and use of elevation
Isolated and only used for disc golf
Excellent signage, always a "next tee" sign
Nice course flow that is easy to follow, albeit a lot of walking is required
Cons: 37th street did not have sign (its the first light)
I don't mind, but the woods frame every basket so that you really have no "choice" of throw, you either make the one window/alley or you don't.
One hole was pure luck because of all the trees, and the first 3 baskets are nothing to brag about.
Other Thoughts: The first 3 baskets are really a warm-up. I liked the fact that few trash cans were out there, it gave the course more of a natural-hike sort of feel. The carpet tee pads are not that bad... The creek crossing are not that bad, you may have to backtrack a little to use the nice, fresh-wood bridges.
If you are passing through on I-59/20, you should play this underrated and amazing course.
This is a quality course done right with a lot of thought - excellent job!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is awesome. The baskets are in good condition. There are 3 pin placements for every hole with 3 tees for every hole. Every regular tee has a nice wooden tee sign, showing the flight path, distance, the other tees, and the pin placements. The message board at the start of hole 1 tells what places the pin positions are in. The regular tees have a mix of carpet pads and mats.
Design wise, this course is excellent. The first 3 holes are mostly open, with enough trees on holes 2 & 3 to force an accurate shot. Then you start into the woods to take on 15 holes with lots of trees, great elevation change, great shot variety, distance variety, and lots of shule that will test your physical skills as well as your mental skills. The regular tees will challenge pro caliber players and the shorter tees allow newer players to also enjoy the course.
Cons: Even from the short tees, this course can be a disc eater if you do not stay in the fairway, so be sure to keep an eye on any errant shots. The short and long tees are natural only, which can get slick/muddy when it rains, but I know the club is working to add carpet pads as they can afford it.
The carpet pads with more fluff worked fine, but the mats and the other carpet pads would collect massive amounts of dirt, which made it very slick to throw on even in good weater conditions, at least for me. A couple of these pads had brooms, but unless you carried one around with you (like I did my 2nd round), it is not enough. This is only a minor complaint, but it is difficult to enjoy playing an awesome hole when you slip on tee and shank your drive.
Other Thoughts: Before playing this course, I had heard good things, but it is truly a gem of a course. The only thing holding this course back from getting 5 stars from me are the lack of good tee pads and the fact that it is an all par 3 course. It is a personal opinion of mine that a course has to have pro level par 4s and 5s in order for me to give it 5 stars, because those kind of holes bring in the strategy element of disc golf that is completely untapped by the majority of courses. However, this will not stop me from bragging about this course any time soon. I look forward to playing this course again, as well as playing it during the warmer months when the shule gets even thicker and to see how much tighter the fairways will become.
As it plays now, the regular tees seem to be set up for gold level players. Shooting par from those tees (at least in C positions, which is all I have played, but possibly others) is very close to a 1000 rated round. Close enough that I think it is safe to say SSA = 54.
The local club seems to be growing and putting in a lot of work on this course. Hopefully as they can afford it, they will improve the tee pads, as well as adding tee pads to the long and short tees. I highly recommend playing this course if you are ever in the area.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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