6 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent wooded course
Pros: 1. Conveniently located right off the interstate
2. Multiple tee pads/baskets
3. Ideal amount of elevation change
4. Requires a full variety of throws
5. Concrete tee pads (though still in the making as of 12/26/12)
6. Well maintained
7. Beautiful piece of property with some water holes
Cons: 1. Has but one restroom which can only be accessed on holes 4 and 18
2. Back/short tees poorly thought out, all with carpet tee pads and some having trees blocking the hole
3. Not enough trash cans, plenty of soda cans and beer bottles to be found throughout the course
4. Too many trees on some holes, including 5, 8, and 11, where you just throw randomly and hope for the best
Other Thoughts: This course is an absolute beauty, and I feel that holes 10-13 are some of the best holes you will ever see. All four are downhill, with water in play on each except 10; nevertheless, 10 is my all-time favorite hole, where you throw about 50 feet downhill over a ravine--absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the next 5 holes are a painful trudge uphill to get back where you started, so be in shape before you play (at least there are plenty benches on the course!).
The baskets can be difficult to see for a first timer, which is why I wished they would have flags on top, but no biggie; they have decent signs for each basket location.
And if you decide to visit bowers, I suggest you play the middle tees. It seems as though the course were designed specifically for them. The front and back tees are off the beaten path and are still hard to find even when I've played here dozens of times. They will often have trees directly in front of the tee pad and look as though they were essentially thrown in random places throughout the course. I bet these tees will remain carpet for the rest of their lives. As I stated earlier, the concrete tee pads for the middle tees are a work in progress, with the first 9 holes being completed (perfectly so far), and I hope the tees will be finished by summer.
Speaking of summer, if you play here during the hot months of June, July, and August, be sure to bring plenty of water and bug spray, and wear long pants, because there are plenty of thorns and poison ivy. Also, watch out for snakes! I've seen too many water moccasins in the creek already.
Anyway, I think this course deserves a solid 4 stars because it offers an excellent combination of beauty and variety, while still challenging players of all skill levels. To make this course 5 stars would require concrete tee pads for all three tees on every hole, more cleared fairways, more trash cans, and possibly basket-holders for the more "indulgent". Other than that, Bowers park is an excellent course, and is a must-play for any disc golfer in Alabama.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great wooded holes! Loved throwing over the ravines, and nice hike. Found the next holes easy with the markers supplied.
Cons: First couple of holes not much to talk about but gave a good warm up for the woods.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
As Good As It Gets in the Woods
1. Great, memorable holes with loads of character.
2. Beautiful wooded hike.
3. 3 pin placements and 3 tees per hole.
4. Obvious signs of improvement in progress.
1. Restroom was out of order when I played.
2. Difficult to see baskets in some places.
Other Thoughts: Other Thoughts:
I loved this wooded course. I played it in November with my 3 kids (15, 13 & 12) to almost no complaining for a pretty long-hiking course. I think that's because it was just beautiful to hike. It had a great variety of terrain and each hole gave you a new "look". I thought that the design was very well thought out. There are several memorable holes that are among the best I've ever played. . I've played some courses that were better maintained but very few with as much character.
There's good use of elevation, variety of shot types and differing distances. There are legitimate risk/reward decisions to be made on many holes. There are a couple of ravine holes with undergrowth to be avoided beneath. The creek also comes into play on several holes and is used to full effect. On one hole, you play across and then alongside the creek to a basket tucked into a cluster of trees.
I didn't find many poke-and-hope holes at this course, and I've played too much disc golf at wooded courses where that was the main feature throughout. The tightest one was the pinball wizard (and that's kind of the point). You've got to have some shots to play from the long tees for sure, but my kids had a great time playing from the shorts.
I think the course would be much improved by putting some large neon flags on top of each basket like I've seen at other courses. We probably spent too much time looking for them throughout, but it's obvious that there's still a lot of work being done out there. There were pallets of concrete under tarps and other signs of construction throughout.
We played on a wet day after a good rain and didn't have much problem with mud. There are now a lot of concrete tee pads (mostly for the middle tees I think) and there are solid bridges for the creek crossings. I played the longs for the most part and the kids played the shorts. We didn't have too much trouble finding our way to any of them.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: *Pretty cool tee signs
*3 tee boxes for each hole
*Many pin positions
Cons: *Did not stick to one pin position for all holes
*3 holes in open to 15 in woods
*ill conceived long tee box shots
*throw and hope for the best for many holes
*Needs next tee direction signs
Other Thoughts: This is a good to very good course (at best). If rated higher, then that person hasn't been to quality courses. I live in Birmingham and there are at least 3 better courses merely in the Birmingham area to choose from. If you want a good wooded course then just go to Inverness (indigo) or trussville instead
1 of 6 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.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fun course for most levels of players.
Multiple tees offer differing lengths and/or challenges for different levels of players. There is a true difference between the pro tees, the regular tees, and the am tees on most holes.
Multiple Pin locations change play severely. I went out and played on Oct 31 when pins were at location "A" and finished at +8. The next day, I arrived to see that pins had changed to "C" and proceeded to stop keeping score because I was doing so poorly.
Friendly locals (mostly college students)
Fun to hike around.
Varied shots, open shot on 1, lightly wooded on 2 and 3, then heavily wooded for the remainder. Water comes into play.
Good variation between FH and BH throws.
Good distance variety.
Good use of elevation.
New bridges for creek crossing in most wanted locations.
Cons: One creek crossing point needs to be improved (though it'd be really hard to build a bridge there).
Signage could be better (tee signs and course navigation).
Mud is an issue after it rains.
LOTS of underbrush/fallen leaves. Not hard to lose a disc if you throw out of the fairway.
Might be too much of a hike for some people, but I thoroughly enjoy it.
Other Thoughts: Located in a park with multiple Gazebos, playgrounds, baseball fields, and a pool. Plenty of entertainment for any non-golfers you may travel with.
Really fun course with great holes, though none are signature, I thoroughly enjoy 9 (uphill shot over a very large fallen tree), 10 (big downhill shot), and 13 (downhill shot over the creek). 13 in pin position "C" is a ~400ft anhyzer shot (for RHBH throwers).
If you're driving down 59/20, you should DEFINITELY stop by for a round.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
1. Variety of shots required (or recommended)
2. Variety of distances (from the 200's to 300+)
3. Excellent use of elevation
4. Situated in a nice park, but doesn't interfere with other park activities
5. Restroom facilities are good
6. Multiple pads
7. Multiple basket placement
8. Good signage (including "Next Tee" signs)
1. Carpet tee pads ( I prefer concrete )
2. Limited garbage cans on course
3. Creek crossings are less than ideal
Other Thoughts: Overall I thought this course was excellent! In fact, I played 4 courses in the Birmingham / Tuscaloosa area, and Bower's Park was definitely the best. The overall flow of the course is great; it's fairly easy to find your way along the well worn paths in the woods. The rolling hills are nice, and there was (for me) just the right mix of open throws with wooded obstacles. There's a nice variety of throwing uphill, downhill, and over valleys. Water does come in play, but it's only a shallow creek (at least it was when I was there, could get high water in the spring or rainy season, I suppose). I played the long tees except for 1 hole, where I got "lost" and threw from one of the alternates (I later backtracked and found the long tee box without difficulty). There happened to be nobody else out there when I was playing - Saturday morning on an Alabama football game day, so I found the park to be very peaceful. My only suggestions would be to improve the creek crossings, add some trash receptacles at a few of the tee boxes, and chip away at putting in concrete tee pads. Overall, I had a great experience and wouldn't hesitate to play this park again!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course feels cared for. The extra-large carpet tees are flat and solid. The baskets are all in good shape. Each hole has multiple tees and pins. Major elevation changes, OB water in gullies that criss-cross the course, and shots that let your discs soar over valleys make for a series of just great shots. The first few fairways are mostly open. The rest cut through tall pines with minimal underbrush.
Quality signs, benches, bridges, and landscaping steps are everywhere you need them. Each tee has a broom to clear it off. Course navigation is easy, and it has good flow. Fairways use the landscape and trees to great effect, it's a pretty course with beautifully framed shots. Restrooms are near the first tee, and water is not far off. The course is easy to locate, and other park facilities do not interfere with it. It's just a great course.
Cons: I'm guessing this is a bitch to play in the rain. It was a little crowded. Some of the alternate tees are not immediately obvious. The tees aren't concrete.
Other Thoughts: Even though the course is mostly wooded, the fairways are long and wide enough to let you air out some discs.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The course is minutes off of the interstate. The course has good baskets that catch well. It is located in a very pretty park that seems to be well maintained. I did not notice very much trash. Ran into a local fellow on the first tee and he asked me to join up with him and was very friendly. Easy to get to the next tee pad.
Cons: The biggest problems I had with the course were poor tee pads, too much luck involved for my tastes, bad bridges or a lack there of and not knowing where the baskets were.
The tee pads are carpeted and very slick. I fell hard on the 3rd hole and completely shanked my drive. After hole 3 too many of the holes seemed like a poke and hope for me. Some of the holes were hard to play because of the bridge issue. Many of the baskets were not identifiable from the tee pad which is ok but it would be nice to have something letting you know what position it is in.
Other Thoughts: There were multiple basket locations on every hole. The local I played with told me most were in the C position other that the ones that the locks were stuck on. Of all the positions C seemed like the worst, almost like they just put them there to put them there to say there were multiples. I might have liked it a little better if it was laid out in the other positions which seemed like they were the originals and had better defined fairways. I also expected more based on the previous reviews. I have played some courses that really were 4 star courses and this course is no where near the same caliber as those. Had it not been for the extremely nice local I probably would have been even more frustrated.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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