6 Helpful / 0 Not
Good, but a bit repetitive
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.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
A little cramped and monotonous
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.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pretty Good Course
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.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun in the Sun
Pros: Multiple Tee boxes and chain positions. Always kept clean and mowed. Great signs at Tee Boxes. There's nice hills and trees with great technical shots. Some nice big rocks placed in nice spots. A beautiful park with plenty of parking
Cons: The park isn't very big so there's a lot of back and forth but I don't think it's that big of a deal. Just don't throw too far to the left or right or you might cross into someone elses game.
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite parks even though you go back and forth a lot.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Swope Park, WTF
Pros: The park is full of mature trees. Nice long concrete tee pads.
Many of the holes have medium elevation change. The park is mowed and groomed.
Cons: Myself and three close friends played this course. We have played most courses in the KC area. This was our first time playing this course. Thumbs Down!
We played at 8am on Memorial Day and the course was missing two baskets. (not sure if they were stolen)
Finding a few of tee pads was challenging. The course is not marked very well or laid out with good flow.
That is why I will only give this course a 2 rating.
Other Thoughts: We all agreed, We would not return to this course.
KC has too many great courses to choose from!
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Much better than expected
Pros: The course plays in, around, and mostly over a valley that winds its way through the corner of this massive park. Tee pads are concrete, the signs are descriptive, and navigation is not difficult. There are three or four positions on nearly every hole. The longer positions look like they would make this course a real beast. The course was mostly set up in short and medium positions when I played, generally in the 250-400 foot range.
This course is very scenic. The trees are tall and older, so you'll typically be throwing around trunks rather than through the branches. The many hills are surprisingly landscaped with some nice stone retaining walls and rocks lining the wetland areas that serve as OB sections of the course (they weren't all that wet when I played).
Most of the holes have you throw from one hill to a basket on another hill. I can't say I got tired of this formula. The course more than maintained my interest.
Cons: In the positions I played, very good players might not be challenged like they will at other courses in the area. Birdie opportunities are plentiful. If you can throw 250 feet straight, you won't have too much trouble shooting around 54. If you have a controllable forehand or consistent turnover shot, you could probably shred the course.
The biggest con is probably the neighborhood. I didn't feel unsafe at all while playing, but I did stop at a nearby gas station before the round, and I probably would not do that again! Still, for being in a rough part of town, the course was surprisingly clean and un-vandalized.
Other Thoughts: There aren't many places where you could end up with a really rough second shot. Your bad drives probably won't be punished too harshly, and that could be a pro or con depending on your viewpoint.
Given the things I'd heard about Swope, I expected something far worse than what I got. There are some parks you come upon and think, "This course was made for disc golf." I felt that way about Water Works, and I felt that way about Swope. Add some more elevation and make the valleys a bit deeper, and I don't think Swope is that far off from its more storied counterpart. I'm looking forward to my next visit.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
One of KC's Best
Pros: Beautiful course with a huge valley and rolling hills. The elevation changes are extreme compared to most courses. This course will test your body and game! Very well designed and requires a variety of shots. This is one of the few courses you'll find that offers the technical difficulty without much risk of loosing a disc, very little rough. Excellent tee-pads, signs, and baskets. Not very difficult to navigate. Course is clean and very well maintained.
Cons: No restrooms. Not a good place for night rounds!!!
The neighboring parks department fence is a hazard and they get upset if you walk around to get your disc. Your better off going inside and then waiting for them to escort you.
Other Thoughts: The neighborhood really isn't bad during the day. Lots of other players. Drive in from I-435 on Gregory towards the Zoo, and you'll have a nice scenic drive. If your from out of town, most players start with hole 2 right next to the parking lot and then finish with hole 1 back by the parking lot.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -1st off, its pretty much only a disc golf course which is always a plus
-Signs are probably the best I've ever seen due to the metal cut out numbers that are on top of the sign. This is huge for me because you can see what hole the tee is for from afar. Also full color signs with distance and all the usual goods
-Baskets are in good shape
-very good use of the land including boulder lined ditches that are used as an OB obstacle
-Lots of elevation changes; every throw is probably either up or down hill, but not to an extreme or unpleasant degree
-Some signature holes IMO (1, 9, 13) (also depends on basket position)
-Color coded flags on baskets to signal placement is very nice
-Plenty of distance to air shots out and some smaller technical shots too
-I personally like city park type courses
Cons: -Tee pad on 1 is worn badly
-Some tight fairways on the first 4-5 holes, front 9 is tight in general
-One hole that plays right next to traffic
-Couple throws aimed towards parking lot
-Bathrooms are basically busted to absolute hell
-Shot lines are fairly straight (not always a con)
Other Thoughts: For me, this course is tragically underrated. I've only played it just today but it struck me very well and I think it gives Water Works a run for it's money. They are very similar and Swope likely has less people on the course on avg.
As for the "bad part of town" argument, I think thats what drives the rating down here. Yes the area to the West is run down looking, but Swope is in a huge park that is right down the street from the KC Zoo, and next door to a parks department facility. I'm sure some sketchy shit goes down here but that stuff happens at dg courses in good locations too.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Good, but not the best in KC
Pros: - The maps at this course, as every other KC area course, are second to none. They show each pin location with very detailed accuracy.
- There are a few holes that have multiple tee pads which help out when you are in a group with beginners. The more advanced golfers can throw from the long tees (especially on hole 13) and the new players can move up to throw at the shorter tees. Although some of the long tees are pretty tough, it just makes the course that much tougher and, in my opinion, better.
- The holes here are changed quite frequently. While not all of the holes are changed at once, there are almost always 2 or 3 holes that are moved regularly.
- As with all the other courses in the area (Water Works, Rosedale, Blue Valley), Kansas City disc golf is so unique and some of the best in the country in my opinion. When this course is set up on the Gold Tees (2009 Worlds set up and KC Wide Open), it can be on of the most difficult courses in the country.
-There are several practice baskets and a "pro Shop" near the first hole that is used for big tournaments. It is never open during casual rounds (not that I've seen), but is still a cool feature.
Cons: - The front 9 is very very very VERY repetitive. You play the first 8 holes by basically throwing one way over a valley, then throwing back over the same valley. Holes 1-4 are all in the same valley and is not something I like to see in a course.
- Some of the holes have practice baskets set up in random locations, which can make your aiming very difficult and also cause you to have to throw near other people, which is never good.
- Not a fault of the course, but once it starts to get dark, you should immediately leave the park. This is not in the best area of Kansas City, and multiple crimes have been committed in Swope Park and it is better to just avoid getting in any trouble all together.
- A lot of the holes are quite simple. Just avoid 1 or 2 trees, throw about 350 feet, and you can easily birdie a lot of the holes. This is a huge con for me as I like to have a lot of different types of holes at a course. Not just a drive/putt type course.
Other Thoughts: Although this course isn't nearly as good as some of the courses in the area(Water Works being by the far the best), it is still a very fun round of golf. You can finish an entire 18 round with a 4 people in about 2 hours, which is quite quick for most courses. If you are in KCMO for 1 day, go play Water Works. But if you are visiting the area for several days, check this course out. Or just come out for the KC Wide Open and watch some of the best players in the world struggle on the Gold Course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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