For the past six months, a few disc golf buddies and I had been discussing a weekend road trip out to the west coast of Florida to play the great courses out there, but could never find a weekend that we were all available. Until this past weekend, when we left early Saturday morning and made our first stop in Clearwater at Cliff Stephens Park. One of the guys was just there the weekend before for a tournament, but it was my first time in 2 years there. Always one of my favorite Florida courses, we had a blast playing the tough but beautiful 21-hole course, and it was actually a bit of let-down when we played the next course at NE Coachman Park, just down the road from Cliff. We then played another one of my favorites at Taylor Park in Largo. Since we were making such good time, we squeezed in a fun round next at Youth Park in Pinellas Park before concluding our first day at Maximo Park in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, the signature hole #18 was pulled since it was located on an Indian burial ground, but I did get to enjoy a gorgeous sunset before we made our way south to Sarasota, where we settled in for the night.
Sunday morning began at the course at North Watertower Park, which I’ve played more than any other course on the west coast. We next hit the Lakeview Park course, also in Sarasota. This course is a love-it-or-hate-it course, and while I love it and played my best round of the weekend there, a couple of the guys were not too crazy about their first time (and probably last time too) there. The next course at Pinebrook Park in Venice was a brand new course to all of us, and I was hoping it would be a fun 9-holer. And indeed it was, as we got in 3 rounds there, with several near hole-in- ones. Our last stop on our trip was at the course in Port Charlotte at North Port Charlotte Regional Park. Easily my worst round of the trip, it was still a great way to end our weekend excursion, where we got in 9 different courses. We’ve already planned our next golfing trip to the Orlando-Gainesville area in December.