Big thanks first to Matt Monczka for putting me up for the night! Fellow former Michigander.
I got attacked by fire ants today at Floral Park, just walking down hole #3 and suddenly my whole left shoulder and neck and hand start flaring up and I'm like WT* is going on. Since I'm not used to this, I really didn't know and when I saw the ants I freaked out. Had to take my shirt and hat off and throw the bag down. Still had them on me for 6 holes. I don't know where they came from or how they were so stealthy, but they sure do decide to all bite at the same time. This course is riddled with fire ants, have to side step every couple steps and hard to find a safe place to put your bag down. They really sting and leave nasty little welts, I got about 25 bites. One more attack and I'm outta here.
Tomorrow is Crystal River- Red Hawk (Player's Cup), Brooksville and maybe Lutz. Then I have family I've never met in Tampa Bay to stay with a few nights, so i may use that to rest/play Clearwater courses again.
Live Oak, Fl- Spirit of the Suwanee:A creation of another Michigan transplant. Florida: when you get sick of Michigan this is where you move. When you get sick of fire ants and hurricanes, you go back. Long and tight, no open or grassy holes. Carved out of a jungle with a brushhog much like Bandemer. Fairways cleared wide enough to be able to get off a shot in most cases, yet entirely tight and demanding accuracy and sometimes power, with many holes nearing and over 500'. The rough isn't too thick, not likely to lose a disc or anything, but off fairway is trouble. Most holes require a placement drive then an upshot or series of upshots. Dual tees, some cement now and most carpet, signs, map. Will test your abilities and tolerance threshold. Par is 63, but could be higher realistically, it had no par-5's but I thought 2 maybe even 3 holes could be a par 5, at least in new semi rough shape. Small but widespread, unavoidable, poison ivy on 3-4 holes. Fair tight woods, not unrealistic or based on luck. Gives you room to work the shot often, but several forced must hit tight little line holes.
*Gainesville, FL- Northside:* Already played it in 2006, and unlike then Double G didn't pop up from his backyard and recognize me. I played it again today because I had to fill my time and there are no other new to me courses around, and it's one of the best in the state. Flat of course, several water hazards like a big over water shot to finish, a RHBH 350' to clear water or throw left into woods to avoid water but lose ground and have obstacles in the way. Well manicured clean course, no rough, yet gets very tight among stands of tall pines. Dual tees on some holes, cement, well marked with great signs. Provides long just reachable holes with tight lines, a few wide open, and a few short straight shots. Several tricky holes where you need to roll or throw something unusual to land near the pin. Kind of tough to find, I remember what it looks like- but directions could be written better and the park may be easy to pass by.
Inverness, Fl- Whispering Pines:Wow. It's too tight to describe. Just imagine 200' holes that you only wish you could get halfway there, because not only are they 5' wide, but they turn sharp or have a tree 'right in that one spot that blocks you from throwing the perfect shot', and baskets blocked by trees too. It takes way more luck than skill. Seems either too new, unfinished, or they just weren't allowed to cut more trees- there's no way it was meant to be like this. Has some man-made steep berm elevation. One hole sets up for a sidearm roller because the basket is in a sinkhole like formation, just roll it up over the first hillside and it'll land within 20' guaranteed. You won't lose a disc, but you will beat yours up so that it's like the equivalent of destroying a disc. Top 1% in terms of how tight it is. Once you find #1, it's easy to figure out. Carpet tees. No open shots, very short. Just a weird experience overall, once you accept it as is it's ok to play just don't expect anything to be a clean shot, levels the playing field.
Floral City, FL- Floral:Beware of fire ants. Dual, cement tees, well marked (but a next tee indicator would be handy several times like for #2, which is backtracking and behind a shuffleboard coart. Well manicured, golf course like park grounds, with some small hills, large and small trees, and a walking trail OB in play often. Trees are dripping with spanish moss. No water hazard. Loops back after front 9. Many low ceiling skip or roller opportunities, rollers just do not stop like in Pheonix AZ so plan for that when they begin to turn over. Two 600' par 4's. Many long reachable but tough shots requiring finesse and a bit of power. Scenic, almost perfect, one of the top courses in the state. Just the fire ants make it so you gotta be careful about your bag, where you stop, and you can't just stand around, unless you like stinging welts all over. I've been told they usually spray, and they're not always so bad, so maybe next time they won't be. Great course even w/ ants.