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.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Chainstar baskets and tees in good condition; Concrete tees are in between the pro and am tees and have great signage including distances and diagrams. Other tee pads are carpet, possible covered in pine straw. There are also benches at several tees. Current pin position is indicated on the big sign next to tee 1 which also has a map posted to it if you forget yours (take a pic w/ your phone).
- Course has a decent flow, though depending on pin position you may or may not see the basket from the tee.
- 18 ends reasonably close to 1, no long hike back to the car here.
-Elevation and changes in that elevation - check.
-Variation of hole distances-check.
Cons: - The day I played my biggest complaint was spider webs. Not the big orbweaver webs, but small, fine webs. More of an annoyance than con.
- We couldn't find the regular tee for 12. The pro tee was daunting and proceeded to a bridge over the creek that was blocked off by fallen brush. Upon a quick search all we could find was the AM tee, so I played from there.
- Amenities are far from anywhere on the course but 1 & 18. Unless of course you live in the apartments that adjoin the property mid-course.
Other Thoughts: I played in late September and the course was pretty well maintained. Any course w/ 15 holes in the woods is going to have some brush but as long as you don't totally shank your shot you'll find your disc quickly if you go off the fairway.
The legendary poison ivy I read about seemed pretty mild. I went off-fairway quite a few times and didn't have an issue.
As it was a Saturday during football season and a home game at that, there was no one on the course.
Be mindful of the pebbles/stones on some of the hillsides. It'd be easy to slip on them and ruin a good time. I have to say this place is pretty sick.
The use of elevation both up and down coupled with the clever use of foliage/trees and a variety of shots needed is simply great. I imagine after big rains the creek could become more of a hazard but the day I played it was more of a novelty than anything. Very scenic course. Bowers has a lot of things going on though, depending on the time of day/time of year, so I can imagine it's not always as empty and serene as when I played.
There are many other reviews for the course that touch on issues I haven't just for brevity's sake.
Finally, and this is nit-picky, despite how awesome it may seem, it's a little one dimensional in the sense that the only open/bomb shots are 1-3, and even then, 2 & 3 aren't THAT open. 15 straight shots in the woods can get monotonous after a while, even if most of them are high quality. I haven't played the other courses in the area but I hope at least one of them has the opposite ratio of woody/precision as this one in order to restore balance.
3 of 3 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.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Good Wooded Course
Pros: This is a super fun course. The first three holes are wide open and fairly easy, but holes 4-18 are all in the woods with very tight fairways and lots of elevation change. Tough pin placements and tricky approaches.
Cons: There are multiple pin placements and multiple tees. This was slightly problematic as the current pin placement was not identified on the map, so I had to walk some of the fairways to spot the pin on blind drives. Other than that, the course was very easy to navigate and super fun to play.
0 of 3 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.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
A Floridians Take . . .
Pros: - Big parking lot; I'd find it hard to not find a spot ever.
- Practice basket is set away from normal golf traffic; I like that because then you don't have to worry about being thrown on.
- Course flows very easily from hole to hole; the tee pad for the next hole is usually in sight from the previous basket.
- Some really wonderful use of elevation.
- Course really demands a bag full of diverse shots; every shot is required to complete this course.
- Course is very difficult. Very Risk and Reward based, must have perfect control of drives to pipe it right down the extremely tight fairways this course has.
- No real chance to lose a disc, water does not come into play too much, and when it does it is a very shallow stream.
Cons: - You have a relatively good chance of twisting an ankle on the Teriann; a complaint from somebody who is from Flat Florida.
- The black (Carpet) tee pads are VERY slick. Good chance of slipping on them.
- No real signature hole. During my time here I didn't have one hole that really stood out as the "Postcard" kind of hole for the course.
- Hole 18 is nothing special; I like courses that leave you with a strong, signature hole right at the end. Hole 18 blends right in to hole 16 and 17.
Other Thoughts: - Played this course for the Alabama Slammer, this was my first time playing disc golf outside of the state of Florida. Very different type of golf with heavy woods and a good amount of elevation. This course instantly became one of my favorite courses I have ever played and one of the more difficult i have ever played.
- I would road trip for this course again; the course is wonderful, the people of Tuscaloosa are wonderful, just a great all around experience.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Versatile, challenging course
Pros: With three tees and three pin positions on each whole, the course has a ton of versatility. The addition of cement pads on the middle tees was terrific. The course makes great use of its varied terrain as well.
Cons: The course is so heavily wooded that course maintenance is a constant issue. This issue is made more challenging by all the additional acreage added by the various tee and pin positions. It would be nice to see the other tees be replaced with concrete.
Other Thoughts: Alabama summers are too damn hot.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -3 Tees & 3 Pin Locations per hole
-Benches & trashcans at numerous holes
-Nice Variety of shots
-Good use of elevation
-Park drains well; very little standing water on the course
-Pretty, clean & well maintained park
-Restrooms are very clean and located near #5 & #18
Cons: -It appears the basket locations aren't changed very often
-The holes are a little close together, making the course feel a little cramped at times
-Black (long) & White (short) tees do not have concrete tee pad like the Red ones do
Other Thoughts: This is an excellent course for all skill levels. There are big differences between the throws required at the Black, Red & White tees, not just more or less distance.
One of two great DGC's in Tuscaloosa... worth the trip!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Needs a hair cut
Pros: What a great design. I think this course had an excellent use of the natural elevation. Signage was very good. Although mostly wooded, the 3 or so open holes give you the opportunity to air it out. Fairways were "fair" for the most part. Holes 10 and 18 were my favorite and could be very scenic. Bowers will test your entire bag. One of the later holes has a pin placement right along the creek. Thats a great location to encourage stroke management. I played right after a rain and the course appeared to drain well. Tee pads were very nice. I loved the river polished stones everywhere. There were benches on all the holes. This is a great place to play.
Cons: I had a number of issues with the course. I thikn the design and layout was a 4* but the maintenance was at 2*. The course was like your kids hair after a 3 month summer camp. The fairways were overgrown with 3' tall grass and sapplings. It wasn't "thick" but it really took away from my experience. A number of the holes were really closing in and I think somewhere between 14-16 one of the holes will soon be lost to kudzu.
There is a tee on 12 to no where, it is so over grown off the pad that I couldn't see the fairway. I ended up playing the short.
For most holes I couldnt determine what pin placement the basket was in from the sign. A simple peg or screw system would work. Edit* apparently if they are in "A" they are all in A and I missed this notification at the start of the course. So keep this in mind.
A number of the baskets appeared to be in new locations. Many of these were way too close to trees and bushes, leaving little to no putting surface/green.
The benches are made from 2 4x4's planted in the ground with a 2x10 across them. There was no supporting cross beam, so the bench top wiggles and more and more nails and screws are needed. A number of these have popped up so watch when you sit down. A simple 2x4 brace across the bottom of the bench top that spans the legs would eliminate this issue. There was a lot of trash on this course, I noticed a couple trashcans, but 2 of these were dumped out right at the tee pad.
Other Thoughts: ** I have updated my review from a 3 to a 4 after being informed that a number of the issues have been addressed.** I left the comments but have change the review.
I enjoyed this course but left dissappointed, holes 4-18 had some extreme potential.
4 of 5 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.