love the front nine, not sure about the back
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Baskets are in great condition, and the tees are concrete and huge. The tees also have an interesting shaping, supposed to represent the shape of the hole. 10/10
The elevation changes here are extreme, the course is definitely in the top three (along with Water Works and Swope) of hilliest courses I've played. There is also a lot of variety in elevation patterns from hole to hole. 10/10
Lots of obstacles combine with the elevation and length to make every hole challenging. I like that there is a combination of individual trees as obstacles to force shot shapes and forested areas to make large areas where your misses can't go. 9/10
There's a great variety of openness on shots. A few holes are wide open and very long, while many are more wooded. Most holes have obstacles on either the drive or the approach which is nice because you can have open drives to bomb away while not having any boring holes. 9/10
There are many ways to play several of the holes (example: should I go around or under this tree). Holes 3, 4, and 5 are great examples of this early on and it continues throughout. I like that this course makes the player think. 9/10
There are some holes that require a certain shot path, or at least heavily encourage it. This requires players to throw every shot to be successful. 8/10
Course maintenance is pretty good. The grass is mowed, every hole has benches and signs. The reason I'm taking some off is that the baskets on the back nine almost all have the wrong numbers AND flags on them, it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to fix this. 7/10
Benches and lots of shade is good. There are water fountains and bathrooms somewhat close to the first tee, but there isn't really anywhere to grab some along the way without going a little while out of the way and with how long of a course this is there really should be more water fountains. After nine isn't too bad to go back to the start, but it's still a hike. 6/10
Cons: Navigation of the holes themselves is pretty good on the front nine, there are flags on the baskets with the correct numbers. On the back nine, it's very confusing because none of the baskets have the correct numbers. tee 10 goes to basket that says 11, 16 goes to a flag that says 18. I'm really not sure about 11-14, I found four baskets and three tees. I think maybe 12 and 14 shared a tee. There was a sign that said 12, with a 14 in spraypaint. 15 and 16 were a bit tricky but I think I figured them out. There was a mystery basket that could be seen from the 15 tee, I couldn't find a tee that seemed to go for it, but I found a total of 21 baskets... This is WITH a map, so I can't imagine how frustrating it would be without one. (see update) 2/10 overall.
Navigation between holes is about the same. Pretty easy on the front nine with arrows that said next tee on the signs, but as mentioned above the back nine is tough even with the signs. 3/10
This course does not provide a challenge for all levels, You need to be at least an intermediate player if you want to do well, and even then it would still be tough. If you're a beginner don't come here unless it's to play the "junior" course. There are a few shorter tees interspersed through the long course, but they're even more confusing than the long course tees, so I don't see any point in bothering with them. 2/10
There isn't much variety in the distances. Most of the shorter holes are uphill while the even longer than long ones are downhill. There are a couple exceptions, with 2 and 11 being ONLY 500 feet, but overall every hole is pretty long. 3/10
Discs aren't the easiest to find. There are lots of blind shots with some fairly heavily forested areas. Plus the extreme hills make it very possible for discs to end up nowhere near where they land, which makes it very hard when you can't see them land anyway. 3/10
Alternate hole positions aren't great, most holes do have one, but it doesn't really change the feel of the holes. Most holes just play the same but with one extra shot (and 1 higher par). Both times I've been every hole was in the same position. 4/10
Other Thoughts: Without a doubt the most difficult course I have ever played, and most of the holes weren't even in the longer options.
Uniquely long, especially in how consistently long pretty much every hole is. I think there are about four holes that were par 3's and all the rest were 4 or more.
The first time I played here I only played the front nine and the short course because it was 108 degrees and I loved it. I came back with a map to play the whole thing but even with a map I couldn't figure out a few holes.
I finally figured out the navigation on this course. The problem is that there are actually two courses set up at the same time that share most of the tees and baskets. Many of the holes have two baskets on them, with one to use if play the "short" configuration (which is still longer than any course in the KC area) and the other to play the "long" configuration, which is about 11000ft. I played this course recently and it is currently set up in the long positions, but you can still play the short positions (though currently the basket for hole 14 is missing). In the future the first hole can tell you whether the course is set up to be long or short. If the first basket you see has a flag on it, it is set up short, if not and there is a flag on the basket over the hill past the playground, it is set up long.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring water, oxygen, and an ATV.
Pros: The elevation changes here are dramatic and, at times, a little tough to believe. The only courses I've played with more are in the Rockies, and even at 8000 feet elevation, they left me less worn out than Blue Valley.
I will give this course credit for being pretty unique: it's unlikely you've played a course quite like this before. The combination of length and elevation changes mean you'll really have to think out the sequence of shots (and given how out of breath you will be, you'll have time to think it out!). Baskets are often on inclines (always a plus for me). While the course isn't heavily wooded, it is far from wide open. There are only a few holes where you can grip and rip; usually you'll need to decide on your line and hit it. Failure to do so could leave you with a brutal uphill shot that is tougher than your tee shot.
The tee signs have large cut-out numbers on top so that it is easy to identify the tee from a distance. Pay attention. I made the mistake after hole 2 of walking up the hill to the tee pad only to find out it was for hole 8. You can't waste your energy here.
I like the oddly shaped tee pads, and it seemed like there was always plenty of room for a run up from virtually any direction.
Cons: The biggest con is that the course is way, way too long. I am all for having an epic hole or three, and there is something to be said for creating a hole where you have to execute four great shots to get into putting range. But you can only have so many of those before mortals will lose interest. They have begun to install alternate, shorter baskets (they are red baskets to differentiate from the regular grey positions). I played every short position, and the course was still brutal. Holes 17 and 18 left me light-headed and a little annoyed; these were holes that only Avery Jenkins would love (there is a reason he has the course record here), and not a satisfying way to finish a course
The fairways were well mowed and looked very nice. But I spent 30 minutes of my 2 hour, 30 minute round looking for discs, often in the taller grass. This really sucks the life out of you.
This course can be a little frustrating to navigate the first time, as you'll often throw your drive and still not be within sight of the hole.
I love the tee signs that are found at nearly every KC area course, but for some reason there is a different design at Blue Valley, and it's not nearly as good. They showed the pin location(s) and distances, but they were very elementary.
Finally, this place is in a rough neighborhood (you hear that a lot about various KC neighborhoods, but this one felt worse than Swope or Cliff Drive). The disc golf parking lot seemed fine, but other lots in the park seemed a little sketchy. I knew I'd need some water before playing and ended up driving around for over 20 minutes before finding a gas station. Come prepared.
Other Thoughts: I can't emphasize enough what a terrific piece of land this is for disc golf. I just feel like it was not designed as well as it could have been. I have talked to a couple local pros who almost never play here because it's too long. If Open level players find this course too much, then who exactly is the course serving? I saw only two other players there. There is a great need for shorter positions on nearly every hole. Multiple baskets are an option (not a cheap one, I know), or just use the long positions for tournaments.
I was really enjoying this course for the first 7 or 8 holes, and it is that potential that the designers should try to capture. There is a great course waiting to emerge from the peaks and valleys.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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