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To anyone planning a FL disc golf tour, going south of Sarasota before heading to Miami is not necessary in my opinion. These 5 courses in SW Florida can be skipped and you won't miss much.

It got up into the 80's today, ridiculous.

North Ft. Myers, FL- North Ft. Myers Community:Note: About half the course IS decent. Sadly half is not. Way too many fairway-less (and I mean with NO fairway, just a forest of palmettos to throw over, with 1 hole forcing you to go over a blind wall of them, no other options, and have to land on the out-of-sight green 300' away, or lose a disc for sure) and insanely demanding tunnels that punish every slightly bad shot with a kick off into think jungle making it hard to find your disc or play out to the fairway. One hole was so absurd, I wasn't sure it was the right basket and almost skipped it (the hole, not the shot). It shoots over a fence on the left, with a lightpost in the middle, tall wall of rough on the right. Almost no room to squeeze a normal air shot straight, have to throw high turnover. If you go left, you can go over fence, or in a swamp full of thick rough or the lake if you go long and left. The basket is on a thin fairway, with heavy rough on the right. It just begs to be skipped. If you value your discs, do not play here. Creepy homeless man sleeping on #14. Tees are marked, but to find most holes you must walk up, and a few times it's tough to figure out where next. Directory stated "1st tee to right of road", and I guess that means if you are leaving the park, because it's left of the road as you enter and from the parking lot it tells you to park in, so I'll fix that. Not the worst course of the day by far, but pretty darn miserable.

Ft. Myers, FL- Florida Gulf Coast University:Snakes! I have tentatively identified the 2nd large snake I almost stepped on here as an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. The 1st is likely a Black Racer, non-venomous. I got no picture of it's head but it's mostly black.

This is the worst course I've played in Florida, and the worst college course I've ever played. I doubt it was designed by a disc golfer. The first 5 holes play along the beach (of a man made lake, not the ocean) and are by the dorms. Both beach and dorms sort of in play. Sun-bathing co-eds as well, which may be the only reason to play here, just play a 5-hole loop repetitively. Without the map, which was available and is online, it would not be possible to navigate beyond the 5th hole. Dirt tees. Chainstar baskets- the one thing which may make it a 1/2 star rating instead of a 0 star. I won't go into detail about how bad the woods holes are. Just imagine no shot, dense and dangerous rough on all sides, blind sharp turns and throws forced over walls of crap. Wear jeans, bring a snake bite kit, and throw orange plastic only. The real problem is that it makes disc golf look bad and cheap. If you took someone there for their first round, they make think this sport is a joke or not have fun playing. It does not reward skill, and is really bad for learning on due to tight rough. Being a college course, that's not what is needed.
Bonita Springs- Bonita Springs Recreational Center:The one realistic course of the day. Yet somewhat tough to figure out- due to an 18 hole layout on 9 baskets. I threw to the wrong basket on #2 and didn't know. Then again on #3. I now think I know what I was supposed to do, but it's a bit late ain't it. Tee signs missing or don't show the hole. Many water hazards, circles a pond and one long shot over with trees to hit on the way down. Well maintained. Long and tough, nothing really out of reach, but mostly 350-400' power drives through tight lines and near water. My golden retriever is not that easy to use, but it did save an Xcal. One you know the layout or if you get a guide, it's the one to play in this area if any. Even though listed as 9 holes and you'd think it's not the one to play, it is. Lots of old people around this area, it should be called "Boniva Springs".

Ft. Myers Beach, FL- Bay Oaks:Impossible to safely play all holes. #8-16 closed until after 2pm weekdays, runs right up to a school and way too close to a playground, tennis court, parked cars, fence line, buildings. I nearly hit guys playing tennis when the wind picked up a shot I was trying to play safely. Basically jammed into the leftover pieces of land through a small park, on an island between a bay and the ocean. #2 nearly forces and overhand shot over a tall fence. Another hole is 100' straight then 100' right at 90 degrees around a fence, with the basket too close to kids playing. Other holes play by gazebos, schoolhouse windows. Should have a japan style 150 class limit rule in effect, and hopefully people take caution when the park is active. Fairways criss cross like mad, and some tees are less than 10 feet from baskets. Some baskets re-used, not quite 18 baskets. Map online. This course probably shouldn't have gone in a park like this it's just not safe or often even useable. I'm surprised the parks OK'ed this.

Tomorrow: Long drive to Miami and Hialeah in the morning. Ft. Lauderdale the next day.

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Comment by Jamie 'gr8rocshot' Ruane on October 31, 2008 at 11:24pm
Looks like nothing spectacular worth the road trip over there to Ft Meyers area anytime soon.


Florida does have 3 temperate zones, the most distinct between South and Central Florida. 80 is normal for this time of year down there.


Amelia has promise...there are some nice water holes there. It is rough on discs though...you'll find that out...rather quickly.
Comment by Jamie 'gr8rocshot' Ruane on October 31, 2008 at 10:23pm
Nice Diamondback...how big was he? Don't be suprised if you spot a large Iguana or 2 hanging out in the brush and watch for exotic birds when you get over to those Miami courses. They have Python watch too down there....lol.
Comment by denny ritner on October 31, 2008 at 10:20pm
Those comments on the Amelia park might be right, but then again the course may have changed, possibly multiple times since then. That "course" has been "re-designed" about 10 times and has never been well marked. Too bad, it's not that bad a piece a property, aside from a ton of trash on the ground and homeless people living in the woods.
Comment by skinner on October 31, 2008 at 8:01pm
Oh yeah...when you get to either hole 13,14 or 14 on that Hileah track and from the tee you are throwing towards the road that is outside the park (probably the furthest hole from the parking area)...the basket is hidden behind some trees up on a huge coral rock near the road (there are huge coral rocks that border the park that keep cars from entering the park after hours...I presume). You might want to scout that hole...of course when I played the track this basket placement might have been in a long position...I don't know for sure...there could be alternate basket placements at this track and the basket might be in the open when you play the track tomorrow...good luck!

Again, have fun!
Comment by skinner on October 31, 2008 at 7:45pm
I played the Hileah track this past summer...looking forward to your review. When I was there only one entrance was open into that park (even though there is another entrence right by the DG track). Anyway, if you don't see baskets right away...drive until you are nearly out of the park.

My quick review (and this is from my memory)...the first 9-11 holes have tight fairways in the jungle (one basket on top of a cypress stump...well, I think it was a cypress stump), the holes that follow are in the open along a lake (which looked real nasty to get into...it was real clear, but looked real mushy on the bottom) and then across the park road and then after a few holes plays along another lake (the track kinda does a figure-8-walk in this area)...I didn't play 17 and 18 (it was getting dark and we had dinner plans). I think 18 is back in the in the Jungle near hole 1.

I didn't get a chance to play the Miami tracks (the two in that one park in south Miami).

I was told (when we were in Key West) that there is a private track in the Keys around mile marker 50-60 something...I really wanted to play there, but could not find it...with your DG connections you might. Of course, it is a longgggg-slowwwww drive on the Overseas Highway.

Have fun!
Comment by Kyle Jacob Smalling on October 31, 2008 at 7:31pm
Sounds like a rough day dude

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