Beautiful Design, Fun Course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The layout of the course was extremely intuitive. The course has a lot of variation in elevations with a handful of ACE opportunities, and almost every hole has a line for solid Birdie chances if played correctly.
I think that playing this course for the first time in late fall was actually the best time to get on it because I could imagine that there would be a lot of weedy overgrowth and mosquitos near some of the creeks during July/August. But today, it was great- other than just a little bit muddy in a few areas- but we just had two solid days of rain, so that was expected.
Cons: #13 was kind of swampy, and the walk up the hill to #16 was really muddy due to someone allowing the water run from the park faucet... but that has nothing to do with the course, just a mistake made by someone playing.
Other Thoughts: This course was pretty, I had a great time playing it today- even though we barely had light by the time we hit #17. People at this course were great!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Shootin good in the hood!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pretty views! Swope Park is really gorgeous and I loved playing in the fall colors here.
There's a lot of elevation here, and it's generally used very well on most of the holes.
As KC's oldest course, I think it's neat to see where the game has come from as opposed to what newer courses play like today.
The OB areas, trees, and fairways are all used well and create a clear sense of direction with the course. I was never left wandering around looking for the next tee and the signs with the numbers on top are a nice touch.
Speaking of signs, they're in good condition generally. A few holes have multiple tee pads and they really help make the course suitable for all skill levels.
This is a DG exclusive area; I didn't see any dog walkers, picnics, or the like wandering around.
The holes from 12-16 are the best on the course, in my opinion. There is a good amount of risk and reward involved with the trees, maintenance fence, and other various OB areas.
Baskets and tee pads are in good shape. The course was mowed well and I didn't see any broken limbs or other maintenance-related issues.
There's a pro shop here, although it was closed when I got there. Also features a lost disc return, which I thought was a nice touch.
Plenty of parking, bathrooms nearby as well.
Cons: Packed in waaay too tight! Super easy to throw into the other fairways. Swope Park is gigantic so I'm not sure why they decided to shoehorn the course into such a small area. 12-16 are much better in this regard but I could see this getting really irritating when the park is busy.
The first several holes are basically you throwing over a small valley, back and forth and back and forth. The different OB areas help keep it somewhat interesting, but it felt a bit repetitive and left something to be desired.
There isn't a big variety of shots to take at this course overall. There really isn't a hole that stood out to me as being really cool or interesting; they kind of blend together and that's just not good.
The excessive switchbacking keeps you from really enjoying the nature/scenery part of playing. Again, this is just one guy's opinion so you might not care at all, but I didn't care for this.
If you are new to KC or passing through -- this park is unfortunately in a very BAD part of town. The park itself is generally okay during the day; it's the surrounding neighborhood that's truly horrendous, so I'd highly suggest you not venture out looking for a convenience store or anything nearby just to be safe.
Other Thoughts: This course is pretty easy to get to from any part of the metro. It's a few miles south of the stadiums. Take 435 to Gregory Blvd and head west. Keep following Gregory and there's a sign for it on the right after about a mile or so.
The packed-in nature of this course really limited its potential and the enjoyment factor for me. I much prefer the courses that play with a natural progression between them, almost like a trail, rather than switchbacking on themselves. The scenery here is pretty but it's basically the same the whole time -- if you don't care about this and can avoid ending up in the other fairways, you'll probably like this course better than I did.
I didn't ding the rating because of the neighborhood, but I did list it in the cons to make you aware just in case that sort of thing makes you squeamish. I grew up in KC, know the area's reputation, and decided it was a worthwhile play anyway and you probably will too.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Clean, Solid Course with a lot of Elevation
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Swope Park is a very large park located near the KC zoo and has a golf course, fishing lakes, and seemingly other activities on site. The nice thing is that the section of the park the disc golf course is on is dedicated just to the course itself. There is plenty of parking and a porta-john located near the first tee. There is also a nice-looking pro shop, but it wasn't open open the Friday afternoon I played there. The park setting is very nice, and it does have a country club atmosphere to it. The grass is mowed very low and there was limited trash with trash cans for every hole, as well as benches for every hole. Navigation is very easy, as big numbers sit on top of the tee signs, numbered flags sit on top of the baskets, and the courses flows well from one hole to the next. You won't do any extra walking from one hole to the next here.
Nice, accurate tee signs showing you O.B., pars, pin positions, and lengths to the different baskets. The concrete tees are in great shape and are a very comfortable length and width. There are multiple tees on maybe 2/3 of the holes, but some just have one tee. Three pin positions give very different looks and give a nice variety. Baskets are Mach 3's that are in great shape.
Elevation is the main test of skills here, although it's not as extreme as Water Works. Most holes offer across-the-valley type shots from one hilltop to another, with many trees to contend with. The multiple trees give you many different lines to choose from, and there is a great mix of hyzer, anhyzer, and straight shots. Most shots are in this form, but there are a few (12, 13, 16, and 17) that are pretty flat shots. O.B. is present on many of the holes in the form of the road and a little marsh area that is utilized on a bunch of holes. I liked that a lot as it added to the technical aspect, and bridges are placed if you need to walk through the marsh area. Pin positions are well thought out as well, often on a steep slope or placed behind trees. Hole lengths are pretty steady, but there are longer distances on some of the later holes.
Cons: -Said to be in a pretty rough neighborhood, and it appeared that way. However, I parked on the main street with a car-load of stuff and had no problems. Playing in daylight is probably safe with how many people come here.
-Which brings me to my second con, this course was pretty crowded when I played. Since the course plays a lot of back and forth across the park, there is a good chance of someone's disc winding up in your fairway. The holes play way too close together.
-The general type of hole presented here is indeed my favorite. That said, at least 2/3 of the holes are this way, not offering much variety. I probably enjoyed this more than most since I love these type of holes, but I can see many being bored with this repetition.
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed my round at Swope Park, and I really liked the elevation challenge and the many different line options on every hole. It took me slightly less than an hour to play by myself, so it isn't a long, grueling course. Very fun with minimal chance to lose discs because of the maintenance. Located only minutes away from the Dynamic Discs store, Water Works, Rosedale Park, and a handful of KS courses puts this course in a great location. I recommend hitting this course up if you are looking to play a few courses in KC for the first time. I was happy I did.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very well manicured when we played - the grass had just been mowed and from what I could tell this is well maintained due to the size of the park.
Nice elevation changes between holes, nothing too hilly, but enough to make it interesting.
Holes are very well marked and very easy to get from one pin to the next tee pad. I know that is very annoying especially when playing 18 holes or more.
We played in the morning on a week day so wasn't too crowded, but I imagine there is quite a bit of people out here during the week.
Cons: Although it's located in the heart of the park, the surrounding neighborhoods are a little sketchy, but felt very safe during the day time.
With the close proximity of the holes, there are definitely times where if it were busier you may have to watch for an errant throw.
Other Thoughts: Not really a lot to complain about, this park may not have the difficulty of Water Works, but still a great course to play on a semi-regular basis. The front 9 is definitely easier, but the back 9 can give a few challenges with the tight pin locations. Definitely a must play for any regular disc golfer.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Great, fun course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well maintained course with sweet, challenging elevation changes everywhere.
Benches and markers everywhere give a nice flow to the course and places to relax if there's a wait.
Cons: Maybe a few longer holes would have been nice but course is excellent as it is.
Other Thoughts: Played here in the 2009 World's. Kansas City probably has the best collection of DG courses in the world and this is one of the main reasons why.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Nice open course with some fun shots. Nice set up with fun long shots across small valleys. Some friendly people around
Cons: A little confusing where the next tee box is on a couple holes
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course and would play it again next time i am in kcmo
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Good, but a bit repetitive
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is one of the if not the best groomed courses I have ever played. Probably second best behind Water Works, but still amazing. All five times I've been there the grass has been very well manicured (except the O.B. areas which aren't supposed to be) and make the course very scenic. Benches and signs on every hole, and a pro shop with lost disc return. Phenomenal course maintenance. 10/10
Baskets are in great condition, tees are concrete. 10/10
Many of the holes come back to the same area since they run alongside each other. For example, The tees for 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 are all pretty close together, and signs with large numbers on top make it easy to tell from a distance what holes it is. Down and back may not be as interesting of a layout, but it makes navigation between holes very intuitive and simple even without a map. The only tricky spot is finding the 14th tee from the 13th basket, but you should see be able to see where the 14th tee is from the 12th tee. 10/10
Navigation on the holes themselves is pretty easy too since you can figure out pretty soon the holes run back and forth so you know right away about where they go. All of the baskets have flags on them with large numbers that can be seen from a distance, and every tee has a sign that shows all of the possible basket positions. The only problem is that sometimes the holes are tucked right behind trees, making them difficult to find in some cases depending on where the basket is (hole 6, 7, 15, 17), but still 9/10
This course has multiple tees on several holes, which really helps it with giving all levels of players a fun and challenging experience. I still wish more courses would do this, we don't all throw the same distance. 8/10
Most holes holes have three or four possible hole positions, and every hole has at least two. Most holes have either a big difference in length (especially hole 1, 4, 13, and 15 are extreme) or in angle (especially hole 5, 7 and 12), which helps make the course fun to play frequently. 8/10
Running water is present, but not until the 15th hole, so stock up before. No bathrooms I've found, and it's very hilly, but there are benches on every hole and lots of shade which still makes it a pretty comfortable round overall. 7/10
There are quite a few obstacles and they are used pretty well, they help keep the holes fresh despite most having the same elevation patterns. Hole 12 has a fence on the left that is definitely in play and presents a unique obstacle I've never seen anywhere else. 7/10
There's a pretty good variety of openness on shots, holes like 1, 5, and 11 are pretty tight, while 3, 4, 13, and 16 are pretty wide open. Most other holes are moderately open, and have a good mix of some tighter on the drives and others on the approaches. 7/10
There are several holes where there is more than one way to play the hole, which helps force the player to make decisions instead of just having simple straightforward shots. 7/10
At the same time some holes require certain shot paths (depending on basket position) to do well, which helps bring in some risk reward and also helps challenge players to throw every shot in the bag. 6/10
This course has a ton of elevation present (10/10) but...
Cons: The elevation is not used very well, a vast majority of the holes follow the same pattern, downhill off the tee, and back uphill to the basket. I personally really like this pattern so it doesn't bother me too much, but it would be nice to have some variety. The first 11 holes literally all do this same thing, and most have about the same severity of slopes as well. 2/10
There isn't a very big variety in distances. The alternate holes help some, but it seems like most holes are in the same spots (usually shorter ones) most of the time based on five plays. This gives many holes the same look and feel even though the obstacles are really pretty different. 3/10
Most holes are down and back, running right along each other which makes the holes kind of run together even more, only a few really stand out when you look back at a round. The views are scenic, it would be cool if the holes were more spread out and we could see more, there just isn't enough room in the park.
Discs aren't hard to find as long as you don't throw it in the O.B., but it's very in play a lot and on a couple holes it's hard to see exactly where in it a disc lands. When you do throw it in the OB it can be very difficult and uncomfortable to find it. Also, the fence on the left of hole 12 is fine since there's a hole to crawl under, but the fence behind (only in play in the longest hole position) doesn't have an easy (or legal) way to get to discs that ride an updraft into the wind and sail over. 4/10
Other Thoughts: Overall Difficulty: Front tees - 5, Back tees - 7
I really like the use of the rocks as borders to the O.B. to help prevent at least some discs from bouncing or rolling into the hazard, especially since most are at the bottom of a hill it seems like a lot of decent shots could hit out of the O.B and get a bad bounce or unluckily start rolling into it.
Pretty short but hilly overall with lots of chances for birdies and a few for aces (especially from the shorter tees), adds some excitement.
Love the alternate tees, wish more holes had them and more courses would build them.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
A little cramped and monotonous
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Course flows fairly well
- A practice basket
- Lots of trees and elevation
- Multiple pin placements
- Cool tee signs
Cons: - Holes are pretty close together
- A lot of the same type of shot
Other Thoughts: The course is located in a large regional park in sort of a leftover patch of land near the maintenance garage. You can see a large portion of the course from the road, as the course is packed in pretty tight. The surprising thing about the course is that you have to walk past quite a few holes to get to the first tee, which is right next to a small shack containing the course's clubhouse. The clubhouse has a nice little gathering area with a deck, from which you can view much of the course.
The course has several pin placements on each hole using an ingenious system of color-coded anchors. Each placement is indicated with its respective distance on the tee sign. Unfortunately, if the pin is not visible from the tee, it's difficult to tell which placement it's in as there is nothing on the sign to tell you where it is currently. While I appreciate having a variety of pin locations, it would better serve a wider set of skill levels to have multiple *tees* instead.
The tees are concrete, which are starting to show wear, but still quite functional (hey, they're concrete tees). A bit of erosion around each tee, as you would expect from a popular course.
The front 9 of the course features a lot of "back and forth" holes (Hole 1 goes out, Hole 2 comes back parallel, Hole 3 goes back again parallel to 2, etc...). There are quite a few holes that throw across a small valley to the other side, through some trees; so many that it starts to get monotonous. The only variation is the length of each and maybe the shape, depending on the placement, but they pretty much all look the same. There are a few holes that stand out, such as the two-shot #13, but the bulk of the holes are forgettable.
One safety issue is #4, which runs along the street and parking lot for the course. Would be very easy to shank one over into the cars parked along the side.
Check out the custom tee signs in the media section. They are the high point of the course.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Pretty Good Course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pretty clean course, mowed grass, good signage (including a directional sign on the main access street), "rough" is pretty insignificant (unless you shank one completely off the course).
You have your basic annie shot, your basic hyzer shot, your basic uphill shot, your basic downhill shot, your basic cross-canyon (well, gully) shot, and so forth. Good place to practice your line-shaping.
Cons: The main "con" I have with this course is that despite the cleanliness of the course, most of the holes pretty much follow the same formula. They're all about the same length, they all offer about the same amount of elevation change one way or another, they all have about the same amount of trees and/or rough to deal with.
No holes on this course could be called signature - none, imo, are sufficiently distinctive to be called unique. If you can drive 350 accurately and can avoid trees as a matter of course, scoring in the -12 range should be easy for you. For the rest of us, Swope is an absolutely superb practice course.
Other Thoughts: Cool silhouettes of the hole numbers sitting on top of the tee signs - makes them easy to spot when you're looking around after holing out, makes it hard to wander off onto the wrong tee.
Some reviewers have commented on the quality of the neighborhood - both times I was there there were enough people playing to make what's outside the course irrelevant.
Is this a destination course? No, probably not. What it is is a solid mid-level course where you and your buddies can go and shoot a good round of disc golf. Nothing special, nothing bad, just a good solid course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very nice course overall. It's landscaped around the course nicely and all the tee maps are good. Nice mix of open and slightly wooded holes.
Cons: Not much for distance on this course. Parked cars come into play if you aren't the most accurate on two or three holes.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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