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Kansas City, MO

Cliff Drive

3.615(based on 33 reviews)
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13 0
Pevio
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.1 years 190 played 120 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Come Drive to the Cliff 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 28, 2021 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Cliff Drive is a fantastic course with lots of fantastic features. Despite being in the middle of the city, it feels pretty secluded, with few other park features in the area and treelines blocking views of the city. At Kessler Park, you'll be throwing a lot of drives near a lot of cliffs… hopefully your disc doesn't go down a cliff.

There are now 22 holes, with plans for 2 more (see the course map). There's an official 18-hole layout, with options for several more holes if you want a longer round. The regular 18-hole layout was changed from a few years ago: old hole 12 is removed, and old holes 14 and 15 are combined as hole 14. In addition, several new pins have been installed in the last year. As a result, the course has a lot more variety and challenge while still keeping the original alignment of the best holes. The tee pads and baskets of the removed holes still exist, so there are lots of options.

In addition to the extra holes, there are extra baskets all over the place. There are approximately 34 baskets on the property, including the extra holes, practice basket, and around nine holes with two baskets each. The "official" basket is the grey one with the flag, while the others are red or blue and less decorated. You can play whichever pin you want or flip a disc to decide. I usually play the longer option unless I'm not sure the long basket actually exists, or if it's a pin I don't like (such as hole 12).

The wooded holes here are absolutely amazing. Roughly speaking, 1-9 and 18 are the wooded ones, and some of them are some of the most unique holes in the area while still being completely fair and challenging. Here are some highlights: Hole 4 is uphill with a curving fairway following a literal cliff, holes 2 and 5 play way downhill into a valley with a tunnel shot, and hole 18 is a down-and-up dogleg right. Hole 7 is an epic tunnel shot that plays through a funnel like a half-pipe. It has a long basket that would be an epic par 4, but it's overgrown so it's unplayable right now.

The open holes still have some decent variety. Since the minor course redesign, all the open holes have some hills or extreme distance to work with. Several pin placements are really precarious: hole 14's basket is under a tree whose branches block a lot of shots coming in, hole 16's long pin is on an island formed by roads, and hole 17's long pin can produce some rollaways.

The "epic value" on this course seems to be better than any other. Especially on the wooded holes, the extreme elevation makes for tons of excitement even if you're throwing off the fairway. Most of the time, there are stairs to help you navigate the hills. It is absolutely mind-blowing that holes this cool can exist anywhere and still make sense, instead of being complete gimmicks. Hole 9 has one basket placement hanging off the side of a cliff and has two completely different lines to get there.

Several of the par 4 holes are super challenging and unique. Hole 16, the island hole is one of them and is super downhill, so there are opportunities for massive shots off the tee, but with OB danger to the left and trees to the right. You can lay up for the par or go for the green in two. Hole 13 is the longest "air it out" hole, but 11 is also open and plays steadily uphill to several basket placements. Holes 9 and 18, in long pins, are fun too, but also have cool shorter placements.

Cons:

There. Are. No. Tee. Signs. There used to be, but they weren't maintained and got out of date when the new holes came in. With the abundance of tees and baskets, this is a big problem, and not even the newest map can fix the issues; come with someone who has played the course before. There are a few temporary signs on some holes, but not enough to mean anything. Even just the hole number can go a long way toward helping first-timers be confident they're at the right place. I believe there are plans for new signs in the future.

This course is in a rough part of town, so some pretty sketchy stuff goes on sometimes. Avoid this place after dark. I normally like quieter courses because it means I can play faster, but this is one course I want to have lots of other Disc Golfers at, because having more people makes place safer. Trash gets dumped at the course frequently and is difficult to clean up. In the woods, weeds aren't kept at bay very well in the summer.

An old reservoir comes into play on holes 12 and 15 and is super annoying. It's technically possible to retrieve discs out of, but it's dangerous, slow, and makes for a dumb challenge. Those two holes are easily the worst holes on the course. It has a fence around it, so there's a bit of a barrier, but it gets windy up there and discs will do crazy things.

The wooded holes become near-unplayable if there has been any rain recently, since several hills get muddy easily. There are stairs or tree roots that help, but they only go so far. And when your disc inevitably goes off the fairway, good luck. Speaking of fairways, the rough can be really nasty, especially during the summer. It's not impossible to avoid, but like all courses, anyone without multiple rounds of experience won't know what the best lines are and will find themselves searching for discs annoyingly often. Hole 2 eats up discs especially often, as can kicking or rolling down hills on 3, 7, and 10, not to mention over the fence into the reservoir itself.

Other Thoughts:

Because of the many holes and baskets, there are several variations available. You can play a "rain course" that includes 12A (between 12 and 13), 13A and 13B (between 13 and 14), and split 14 into two holes. That will give you the ability to remove 4-7 and possibly even a few others that become dangerous during and after rain. You can also split holes 11 and 18 into multiple holes or even make a 27-hole layout.

There isn't much in the way of amenities here, but I don't think that's a big deal. There's an oddly placed drinking fountain near the tee of 16 that I'm not 100% sure still works. There's no official parking lot near hole 1, but you can park on the side of the road pretty much anywhere and no one will complain.

This is one of the few courses I've played that can't improve from a redesign. That's not because the land is trash, it's because the holes here are just so good and cleaning out that long pin on 7 will make it even better. Signage is the main thing this course needs now, so once that's fixed, I might be giving this place a 4.5 rating. At that point, a few of the open holes (and maybe the litter and overall sketchiness of the park) will be the only thing keeping this course from a 5.

This course is truly a great course. It still has its drawbacks but is one of my favorites. Come during the day, preferably with someone who's been here before, and enjoy a super grueling round. It will be worth your time.
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15 0
Surge5
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 9.9 years 170 played 169 reviews
4.00 star(s)

My favorite in KC, but not the best. 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Dec 10, 2020 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Elevation change. All the elevation change.

Practice basket.

Baskets are regularly changed.

Tons of options. There are more than 30 baskets on the course, and at least 21 tee pads.

Front 9 are the most technical fun in the city. 10-17 offer a lot more open shots with several bomber opportunities, and 18 is pure joy in hole form.

Excellent views of downtown KC on 13. The reservoir you play around had some excellent graffiti art... just hope you dont have to go in to get your disc.

Cons:

Trash. 1, 2, and 18 regularly get trash dumped in their fairways. There's an excellent group of guys that try to stop this but some things can't be avoided.

Navigation. Most of the front 9 has obvious paths to the next tee, but the back 9 have some very frustrating issues. 11 and 17 cross paths. 11 has 3 pins, 13 has 2 pins. Going from 16 to 17 can be hard. Basically, have a map, and play the extra holes if you want.

There's an unused hole that presents some real lost disc danger. It used to be hole 12, and is still playable, but if you go too far right, kiss your disc goodbye down a 200' cliff. (Cliff Drive, get it?)

The front 9 are almost unplayable when it's been rained on. The erosion is super bad. Definitely just make up some of your own tees and play the back 9 if it's wet.

11 to 15 can get... a little dull. There's just not a lot of variety, but I won't lie, just playing purely for distance on 13 can be really fun.

Unless you're a runner, your calves are going to HURT after a round here. Lots of up and down walking in general, especially in between holes.

Lots of lost disc opportunity on the front 9.

No tee signs.

The company you'll have on the course is... interesting. For the most part, leave them alone and they'll leave you alone.

Other Thoughts:

Gosh I love this course. Holes 3 to 9 are just pure joy to play. There's a ton of safari opportunity. Tournaments can be organized on just the top half if there's been rain, and I've personally mapped and played out a 27 hole round with a buddy. The scenery is excellent, with a super cool reservoir to poke around in if you have the time. It's not a high traffic course, so don't expect to get slowed down by groups. It needs some work, but the baskets and tee pads are excellent. It's also being maintained incredibly well for the amount of trash that gets dumped on it. I get so much joy out of this course that it gets an extra 0.5 out of me. I'll stop gushing now, but go play this course... as long as it's dry!
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12 1
The Valkyrie Kid
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 46.1 years 1562 played 1507 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Sorry, I Just Can’t Get Past The Amount Of Garbage Strewn About! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 9, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

Kessler Park is large, with delicious hilly terrain coupled with a nice contrast of the wooded, hilly front nine and the more open but still hilly back nine. The front nine is much more technical and treacherous while the back nine plays much longer with some wonderful long downhills.

The tee pads are always extra long, the baskets are Mach II's with an extended PVC pipe with a red flag. This really helps spotting them, especially in the more densely wooded front nine. But the signs are cheesy temporary ones which gives only the hole #, no distance.

Navigation is tricky and sometimes totally confusing. After playing # 10, I walked across the park road and played, what I thought was # 11, which is what the tee sign says, only to discover I was throwing to the # 16 basket. The on-line map is much clearer here. But I still have no idea where or how to get to 17 and 18.

Signature hole? There are lots of possibles but I think I'll go with # 2. It plays across a gorge, then down and finally back up to the top of the hill again. I could really have loved it if was a prettier setting not just dirt, erosion and littered with garbage.

Cons:

Serious erosion problems on the front nine. Steps would help in places but I think this course probably suffers from over playing. In other parts of the country (Minnesota) several of these holes would be shut down and given time to regenerate.

The litter problem is seriously bad on the wooded front nine. There are bags of people's trash dumped in places and the disc golfers are obviously throwing their cans where ever. This course needs the local club to step and do some serious cleanup. Maybe have a tournament where each player is given a small trash bag and you're allowed to deduct one stroke when you return your trash bag filled?

Temporary signs.

Navigation issues.

Other Thoughts:

Kessler Park DGC is an enigmatic course. On one hand it sits in a wonderful park with great terrain for a course, the elevation is so perfect for a disc golf course. The course is long, challenging and well designed. Then on the other hand, you have some serious erosion issues coupled with an even more garbage and litter problem. It saddens me to see this lovely park used as a dumping ground for people's trash. After playing a few Kansas City area courses in this wet and damp weather, I've arrived at the determination that every exposed dirt patch in every park should be covered in wood chips. To accomplish this, park officials just need to cut down and chip every tree In the greater Kansas City metro area.
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10 0
bigreddog
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.3 years 198 played 63 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Tale of 2 courses 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 7, 2018 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Ample concrete pads, solid baskets. 10/10

Amount/Use of elevation 9/10. There's a lot of elevation change on this course, especially on the front 9 through the woods. The back 9 has large elevation changes on some holes but they are more gradual slopes, there is still good variety though.

Use of obstacles 8/10. This course does an amazing job using the available obstacles on the front 9. On the back 9 they didn't have a lot to work with. It feels like they could have been a little more creative with the few trees in the open.

Decisionmaking 8/10. Many technical holes have multiple routes for how to play them, and the road comes into play on some of the more open holes which makes you think about your shot.

Alternate basket positions 8/10. Almost every hole has at least one alternate position, and most of them change the hole pretty significantly, especially on the wooded holes.

Variety of distances 7/10. Just looking at distances on the holes it looks like this course should be 10/10 in this category, there are several holes over 500' and several holes under 300'. The reason I didn't is that all of the open holes are on the long side while all of the short holes are the more technical ones, and this also means the short holes are all grouped together and there are several long holes in a row down the stretch, so it doesn't feel as varied as it is. The course underwent a minor redesign in spring 2018 that removed all 3 of the shorter holes on the back 9 (combining two into another massive hole and removing the other completely).

Variety of openness 7/10. There is a good mix of openness, the only reason I'm knocking this one is that the technical holes are all bunched at the start and the open holes at the end rather than being interspersed throughout.

Cons:

Disc finding 3/10. The chances of losing a disc here is high for a course without a water hazard. There are lots of blind shots in wooded areas on steep slopes with a possibility for rollaways. A couple holes on the back there's a chance of throwing into the municipal reservoir, especially on a windy day.

Challenging all levels 3/10. This is definitely not a course to bring beginners to, even when set short. Advanced players will probably find the back 9 pretty boring.

Comfort 3/10. The course is extremely hilly and somewhat treacherous on the front 9, especially off the fairway. The back 9 is very long without much shade. No benches on the course, there is a water fountain before the hole 16 tee that wouldn't be too far out of the way after 11.

Course maintenance 4/10. Grass is usually well mowed. However, multiple tee signs have been damaged or stolen. Lots of trash in the wooded areas despite a few trash cans being present.

Navigation 5/10. There is a map on the bulletin board, but there are some long walks between holes that aren't intuitive. Once you find the tee most holes are fairly straightforward but there are a lot of blind shots first time players will want to walk ahead to see (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18).

Variety of shot paths 5/10. There are five holes that require left to right (4, 7, 9, 16, and 18) and three that require right to left (10, 11, and 15). 11 and 15 are very similar holes, hyzer around the reservoir. All of the left to rights except one are on the technical holes, while all of the right to lefts are on open holes. Would be nice to have more of a mix of these.

Other Thoughts:

Challenge 8/10. The technical holes will challenge any players accuracy, while the open holes the primary challenge is distance and control in the wind

This course underwent a minor redesign this year, adding two new technical holes at the start. While the new holes are cool, it caused the 3 open holes on the back 9 to be removed/combined, so to me the open holes are more boring now as they are essentially all long. There are now 6 mostly open holes in a row over 400 feet, and 4 of them play over 600'. it was nice before to have more of a variety of distances on these holes. Several holes could be pretty treacherous to walk through, especially the 2 new holes which don't have any vegetation coming in on the fairways yet. For this reason it's definitely a course to avoid after recent rains. Hole 1 is a rolled ankle waiting to happen, definitely needs a leveled out path to walk. The park also isn't in the nicest area, be wary on some of the open holes near the road.
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9 0
Upshawt1979
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 21.1 years 551 played 429 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Nice Flash Amongst the Trash 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Feb 12, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Kessler Park is a good disc golf course, that is not easy. 18 holes, and a number of them feature lots of elevation change and/or trees.

The concrete tees are huge, and the baskets are fairly good. There is a practice basket, and 2 baskets on the 10th hole, as well as on the 18th. Most of the pins were in the long position on my first round, making it a long one.

There are some very steep drop offs near a couple of the fairways, that can send a bad throw or a bounce off of a tree a long way down into thick rough. It was heavy in February, it must be a jungle in July. I was lucky to avoid it on two occasions, at hole 2 and hole 12. I didn't lose any plastic, but didn't save par, either.

The back 9 is more open, and traverses grass covered hills, with some very long holes when the baskets are in the long pins. A bit more potential to go OB also, as the road and the empty, fenced off reservoir are very nearby some parts.

Cons:

The lack of tee signs and very little directional help is frustrating. There is a map by the practice basket, and hole 8 did have a sign at the box. Other than that, you get nothing.

The litter is disgusting. You could fill up 50 large trash bags and still have some work to do, in my estimation. Warden, bring out the chain gang, or offenders that were sentenced to community service. Maybe a Cub Scout troop could earn some badges. It is a mess. Not likely to stay clean even if it was picked up, which is a bummer.

There was a woman parked on hole 12, right under a No Parking sign, in a spot the put her car at high risk of being hit by a disc. In an effort to avoid that, I nearly went rolling off of trash mountain. Also a funky smell wafted across that side of the park, not totally foul, but there are other scents I would have preferred.

Other Thoughts:

A high quality course that could be even better. Worth a visit to say the least. I am new to the area, and still have plenty of new courses to play here, but I will be back for sure.

The signs probably were ruined by some of the same vandals and vagrants who carelessly tossed the trash that was strewn everywhere. Would like to see some improvements in these areas, but I won't hold my breath. All the same, I did enjoy the round. Glad I snapped a photo of the map before setting out, it is not hard to get lost without one.

The first round here I scored no birdies, finishing with a 68. It could have been worse, but I liked the tough wooded holes on the front 9, and consistent ups and downs. The hills will give you a workout, and may be a bit much for anyone who has poor knees or hips, or just bad balance. My old dog managed to do it without too much trouble, but I would not want to try it after the rain.
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4 1
Balzac
Experience: 22.2 years 94 played 13 reviews
2.50 star(s)

A Tale of Two Courses 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 7, 2016 Played the course:once

Pros:

- This course gives you both heavily wooded, technical holes as well as some that are pretty much wide open
- Lots of elevation
- Concrete tee pads generally in good condition
- At one of the highest points in the city, some nice views can be had around the course. The second half of the course also winds around an old reservoir that is interesting (empty now, overgrown, covered in graffiti).

Cons:

- Most holes missing a sign. There is a faded, wrinkled map at the course but it can be tricky to navigate if you don't have someone to guide you.
- Trash everywhere; apparently this is the place to go do whip-its because the little canisters were all over the course. There were also a good number of people just sitting in their cars along the road looking shady (I know this is vague and judgmental, but to be sure they were not out there working on Boy Scout merit badges).
- Lots of overgrown vegetation around the course, although shouldn't be a huge problem if you're able to stay on the fairways

Other Thoughts:

I played after it had rained a fair amount recently, and the first 6 or so holes had me slipping and sliding up and down very muddy hills. It would be better to play after a dry spell.
There is a lot of contrast from the beginning holes to the end - again from very wooded to wide open. I can appreciate both, but on the day I was playing I was definitely relieved when it opened up and I was no longer scared to slip and fall 30 feet down a hill.
Historically this is not in one of the nicer areas of Kansas City. I never felt unsafe at this course, but let's say you are playing a round with a young child and want to avoid a homeless person sleeping on a tee pad, there are many other courses around to choose from.
Overall, this course was ok. I enjoyed playing it (as I do most courses - you wouldn't be looking at this site if you didn't enjoy most rounds of DG), but I won't be making any extra effort to make it back to this course.
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1 9
NewDGer
Experience: 1 played 1 reviews
1.50 star(s)

NewDGer 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 4, 2016 Played the course:once

Pros:

The Tee boxes. They were large and had plenty of room for most types of run-ups or approaches. There were also benches at most of the tee boxes which was nice to see.

Cons:

There were not any directional signs or signage to help you around the course or to guide you to the next tee. The vast majority of tee pads didn't have signs to tell you what tee pad you were on. Since there were some longer walks to get to the next tee box finding the next tee box was, most of the time, time consuming and frustrating. Hole #6 had the first tee pad sign that we ran across. There was an abundance of trash, empty liquor bottles and broken glass scattered throughout the course. It looked like someone started a bonfire in the fairway of hole #8.

Other Thoughts:

The front nine holes were mostly technical holes with a lot of elevation changes to deal with. They are very challenging holes that put a premium on shot placement. There are different lines to play, but if you don't hit your intended line there is a price to pay. That price is higher scores and the possibility of loosing a disc.This was appealing to me as I don't get to play those types of holes often. The back nine holes opens up and was easier to play from a technical stand point. I am from out of town and play as many new courses as I can when traveling. I really would not recommend this course to anyone. It was disappointing.
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3 0
jasonrigler
Experience: 11.6 years 120 played 15 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Winter Wonderland 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 15, 2014 Played the course:once

Pros:

Front 9. Character. Views. Brilliant in the winter. Challenging.

Cons:

The unusual traffic in the park can be unnerving. It a shame people dump trash on the course. Maybe not the best course to take a very casual player.

Other Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this course. The layout I played was full of sharp rights on the front. I have a decent sidearm and a great turnover but these angles really made me think through laying up or placing shots or being creative. I played on a lovely day in December . I can only imagine how tight the lines are in Spring/summer. You can't just walk up to this course and chuck it, it will engage your brain. I liked the control required on the front 9 and the distance needed on the back 9. The back 9 is open but with lot's of risk reward with basket placement and the wind can be a factor. I struggled a little on the front because I played the angles aggressively. I had a few OB on the back 9 for the same reason. I am rhbh and drive 370. I think i shot +1. I could have been more conservative and scored better but I really wanted to take on the challenges this course has to offer.
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9 0
jjw4ucm
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11 years 39 played 32 reviews
3.50 star(s)

That reservoir looks hungry for discs! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 30, 2014 Played the course:once

Pros:

Great course layout! Although the back 9 can get slightly repetitive, I was happy to have a break after playing the heavily wooded, hilly front 9. I don't think it got overly repetitive or boring at all.

First 9 have lots of fun technical shots. The elevation changes here are crazy and lots of fun to play around.

Gorgeous view of downtown KC from the park. This is a very pretty park, and it's also quite large.

Baskets all in place and in good condition. Multiple pin positions abound.

Concrete tees are in good shape, and the "wedge" angle tells you where you're throwing, which isn't always apparent (more on that to follow).

The hills in this park are used perfectly and there is a great amount of variety in shots here, especially in the front 9.

Not overly crowded, and not a lot of non-DGers out either.

Cons:

Course was not maintained well at all when we played in late August. Trash and broken glass everywhere. Knee-high grass abounded, which meant there really weren't fairways per se on most of the back 9. It's bad when the tee pads are basically just slabs of concrete surrounded by tall grass.

Signage was nice when present (and it did tell you where to look for the next tee), but unfortunately many of them have been stolen or were otherwise not present. There are a few areas where navigation is not intuitive. Take a picture of the map with your phone, it's a life-saver.

Not to beat a dead horse, and I didn't really dock my rating for this, but this neighborhood around this course is bad. Probably marginally better than Swope, but I would NOT play here anywhere close to dark.

While I don't find the back 9 objectionable, I do believe they leave a slight something to be desired after seeing what the front 9 was. I don't really see any way they could have blended it any better and it wasn't a huge deal, but I see the point here.

Lots of OB roads throughout, and the road thru the park does get some use so you have to be semi-careful.

Other Thoughts:

This course is in Old Northeast, fairly close to the Kansas City Museum. I got here by taking Independence Avenue (24 Highway) east from downtown, then turning left on Wabash and going the whole way into the park.

This is a great course, in my opinion. The front 9 were incredible and very memorable. The back 9 were average -- not horrible or boring, but just nothing I would drive this far into a very questionable part of town to play.

However, all things told, this course was well worth the play. Just keep your head on a swivel and enjoy the round. I wrestled between a 3.5 and a 4 on this course. At the end of the day, for the uniqueness of the experience, I think it's definitely worth a play.

However, I do have to dock a little bit for the ambience. Trash can absolutely be picked up and signage replaced, but when you can't even find 11's tee pad for 10 minutes because of the knee-high grass and there's a shady-looking dude in an Escalade just chilling with his car running right by the basket for 10...well, yeah, it DOES take something away from the game. I say this as a suburbanite -- many of you might not feel that way. But, if you're a fellow suburbanite, you know what to expect.

Again, I think this course is awesome, it was a blast, and absolutely worth the drive in from very suburban Lee's Summit. Give it a go! I would love to play here again and re-review if the grass has been mowed and trash somewhat picked up.
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7 1
chaddyboy_2000
Experience: 23.1 years 24 played 9 reviews
3.00 star(s)

A tale of two courses. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 17, 2014 Played the course:once

Pros:

The front nine! Very interesting shots through wooded areas with a fair amount of elevation change. Nice and interesting pin placements that make for challenging shots that require a good amount of precision.

Just an excellent set of 9 holes well laid out in some great terrain.

Cons:

The back nine! Pretty much wide open, except for some out of bounds areas that are more frustrating than fun. One shot goes right along a road, where if people are parked on the side of it are right in your flight path. You have to play it safe just so you don't hit someone's car. Another couple holes follow a fence line where if you are inaccurate, you're not going to retrieve the disc as there's a 6' fence with a 20' drop on the other side of it into what looks to be some sort of abandoned water detention area.

The back nine also is just plain uninteresting, consisting of nearly all pretty wide open long shots, most of which are flat. There are some cool giant trees, but that's about the only high point.

The course also suffers from vandalism/neglect, as there is garbage everywhere, and many of the tee signs are either missing or laying on the ground. It's a bit tough to find your way to the next tee some times (we never did find the tee to 11, and just played it from the 10 pin).

Other Thoughts:

My rating is mostly about the fun of playing the course rather than the condition, as garbage can always be picked up and signage replaced, but the course layout is what I care about. Once you know a course, despite the signage (or lack of it), you can still have fun playing a well designed course.

It would actually be a great course if the front and back nines could have been mixed together. A wooded shot, an open shot, a wooded shot, an open shot, etc. However, as is, you play this really fun and interesting front nine, and then get dumped into this barren and bland back nine. I'd still go just to play the front nine though, as I really had fun on that portion of the course. If I could just rate the front nine, it would get a 4.5, but the back nine is closer to a 1.5 for me.

For those worried about the area, don't worry! No, that part of town isn't great, particularly after dark. But the park is fine in the daylight. I suppose if you're from a nice suburb, the drive in might intimidate you a little, but it's no big deal.

As a bonus, Pigwich is just north of the park, so do yourself a favor and grab yourself a sandwich afterward! It's a real hidden gem of the area.
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3 1
ustenido
Experience: 11.1 years 30 played 12 reviews
2.50 star(s)

mixed review 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:May 24, 2014 Played the course:once

Pros:

Elevation Change is fantastic. Fairways are decemtly maintained.

Cons:

Lots of OB roads on back 9. Poison Ivy everywhere on front 9.
I had a hard time finding hole 3. There are no directional signs.
Trash everywere, and almost all signs on the back 9 are missing.
Lots of overgrowth around the tee box. Im a guy who wants a clean shot off the pad. Nothing bothers me more than an overhanging branch of the box, or a tree that obstructs the fairway wihin 50' of the pad. Im sure that is great for locals, but give us a break!

Other Thoughts:

The back 9 was uninterresting, & the front 9 was a bit wild. You can lose a disc easily in the rough. And the fairways have oversprouted with foliage thatcauses a lot of ricoches off branches that are not visible from your throwing spot. I also think the distances are skewed to birds eye, which makes it difficult to make a shot when several holes dogleg.
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2 1
Hockeydoc2112
Experience: 18 played 13 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Challenging but fun course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 7, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Great use of elevation changes, wooded and open holes. Several holes made you really think about the shot, angle, speed etc of your drive selection.

Cons:

When it rains - as it did in the 2009 World's - some pathways can become treacherous. Some ropes could have been useful to avoid steep, slick treks.

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 reasons why.
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2 0
Clumsy Fumbles
Experience: 19.1 years 8 played 5 reviews
4.00 star(s)

On Top Of The Hill 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 6, 2012 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Has a great variety of technical and long open holes. The front 9 is where the technical shots are and these are mainly in the woods. The back 9 is where the nice long open holes are. Holes have nice long Tee boxes. Not busy at all. Only seen 1 other person playing when I've been there.

Cons:

Noticed a lot of trash laying around but not in your way. There isn't much when it comes to parking though. People park on the side of the road since there is only really one spot to park and its not very big. Make sure to use the bathroom beforehand since there is no bathrooms.

Other Thoughts:

Neighborhoods not as bad as it looks. It's worth playing if your in the area.
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5 0
astomps
Experience: 12.9 years 76 played 42 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Feb 26, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

-front 9 is very scenic and has challenging technical shots.
-park is on a very nice piece of property
-tee pads are very large
-good chances to air it out
-lots of elevation
-it shows that a lot of work has been put into this park when you look at reviews on here from 2009 and before

Cons:

-parking situation is terrible. too many chances to hit a car or have your car hit
-lots of chances to lose a disc between the fenced in area in the middle or down the side of the cliffs
-lots of trash in the woods
-other people using the park and being oblivious to DG players a strong possibility
-maybe too open on the back 9

Other Thoughts:

this place to me is like a more spread out and open version of Water Works. When I played it, there were some people who basically just parked either in front of a hole or 25 feet from the pin (non DGers) This was just stupid and forces people to throw way out of the way. I would not recommend playing this course if there are a lot of non-DG people around but its a very nice course if its empty.

This is a huge park too btw, neighborhood argument for KC argument is so tired and mostly irrelevant.
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2 0
djschnabel
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 27.5 years 253 played 27 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Yes, play it 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 23, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

Great signage. The KC disc golf signs here and at Water Works are fantastic. Great tee boxes, stamped concrete, plenty of size. I love the fact that it's like two courses on one, Tight (not too tight) and technical, with advanced player length, and then open and bomber holes on the back 8. I hadn't seen the type of painted pipes in place of alternate tee positions before, and I love it!!! This set up is common in Kansas City, and I plan on mentioning it to a few designers in the MPLS area.

Cons:

Some holes have two baskets set up, and for new to the course players, we ended up playing to a short basket when we could have played to longer ones, but since we didn't know for sure, we kept with our original shots. Garbage. WTH KC? It looked like a less desirable area, but we weren't too worried about playing there.

Other Thoughts:

We loved our trip to KC to play the area courses. I told my wife if she wanted to move, KC would be acceptable for us. I plan on bringing the multiple pin position set up to the attention of MN course designers. It was easy (for the most part) to determine what hole and in what position the pin was in. I was shocked at the amount of litter in KC, here, at Water Works, and up top and down under in Roseville. I talked to a Missourian later in the week, and as it seems to be common in Missouri courses, I'd love to come back next summer and see that a local group had adopted a park to keep it clean(er).
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11 0
Hector Chain
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.1 years 222 played 191 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 10, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

This is really a tale of two halves. The first half of the course is wooded with big elevation changes, and the holes are a generally in the 200-400 foot range. I loved every one of these holes. You really see the "cliff" in Cliff Drive. The fairways were not unreasonably tight, but if you don't have a good drive that lands in the fairway, you have no shot at par.

The second half is mostly open and much longer, in the 400-800 foot range. More on those below.

Every hole has a concrete tee pad, and there are numerous pin positions on almost every hole (I think #9 only has one). The tee signs are very good, showing the various locations and distances. It was usually easy to narrow it down as to which location was being used because the short ones are obviously supposed to be visible from the tee.

Cons:

Navigation here wasn't great. I had to pull up the map on my phone about every other hole to figure out which way to go. The back 9 is a little easier to navigate but a lot less interesting to play. Very few trees come into play. The challenge is mostly posed by the distance of the holes, and the OB areas (if you play the roads as OB, which is obviously the intent). There is some elevation on the back 9 (not nearly as much as the front 9), and the baskets are placed on slopes for challenging putting.

Some holes have alternate hole locations in use in addition to regular baskets. As a first timer, this was kind of confusing. But if I were a regular, I would definitely appreciate the opportunity for some variety on a couple holes.

Other Thoughts:

I think this probably makes a good tournament course. The front 9 gives the edge to accurate, technical players, and the back 9 gives the big arms a chance to make up some ground. That said, I like wooded, technical courses with lots of elevation changes, and I wish more of the course was like the front 9. I'd give the front half a 4 and the back half a 2.5 or 3.

By the way, I didn't think the neighborhood was as bad as other reviews indicated, and I certainly didn't feel unsafe in the park. Keep in mind that many great disc golf courses are not in the best parts of town, and for good reason. Do you want lots of dog walkers, joggers, playground enthusiasts, and picnickers wandering through your course? Me neither. We'll keep this little gem to ourselves.
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9 0
jbradley266
Experience: 14.1 years 53 played 3 reviews
4.50 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 30, 2011 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

- The best front nine I've ever played.
- A huge variety of shots
- Excellent use of elevation and wooded area.
- Challenging but not overly difficult
- A freaking basket hanging from the side of a rock.

Cons:

- Not in the best neighborhood

Other Thoughts:

I feel like this should be the best course or at least one of the best in the city/area. It has something for everyone, tight technical holes, extreme elevation changes, long wide open holes, just the right amount lefty and righty holes and a freaking basket hanging off the side of a rock. If this course was in any other part of the city it would be right up there.


It may not be the best course for beginners to start with. The better I get the more that enjoy playing this course, it's not easy but not insanely difficult, I'm looking at you Blue Valley. Just the right amount of challenge. I have to admit that the back nine (really #11 - #18) isn't all that much fun for me; not because of the course but because of my weenie arm. I did lose a disc (almost two) in the old municipal reservoir that I was fond of so that's probably peppering my opinion. But with that out of the way, I really love the front nine. Control and finesse is the name of the game and every hole has something interesting about it. The use of elevation and the woods is spectacular and oh...did I mention that there is a freaking basket hanging off the side of a rock on #8. It's the best front nine I have played so far and each time I play it seems to get better.


However, every time I play there I find myself wondering, "Where is everyone, why isn't this course crowded?" This course is better than most of the more popular courses that are always crowded, I'm looking at you Rosedale. But then I'm quickly reminded when I run into a load of trash some dumped or an unwanted pet someone left or come across a homeless couple living directly behind #2's basket, seriously right behind it. I had to lay up in order to keep my disc out of their bedroom, which was probably the right shot anyways. In all fairness someone has been showing this course some love lately because when I was there last it was super clean; maybe the couple living on #2 is also cleaning it up. I haven't even mentioned the suspect neighborhood you have drive through to get there but it's probably not the worst, here's looking at you Swope. I think that you can feel a little cornered and there's not much traffic. There always seems to be some creepy guy living in his car by #12, right about in range of my driver. I just consider it as an obstacle and laid up, avoiding the creepy guy "trap" if you will. It may also suffer some from being too close to Water Works a slightly better, more balanced, and safer course. I think the thing that really holds this course back is that it's a scary place to go and play which is a shame because this course is one of the best in the city.
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4 3
cpaquette
Experience: 16.8 years 42 played 41 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Glad I got to experience this course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 30, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Several holes present an opportunity to use just about every shot imaginable. The holes up top offer a little elevation change, but the lower course was quite memorable and very technical forcing you to break out your best to thread one through the trees. Most holes seemed to be at or above the 300ft mark which is a refreshing change from a lot of other courses better suited for beginners.

Cons:

I really don't have much to say that would take away from the great experience I had here. Perhaps the only thing I would caution is there are a few holes which I felt that pedestrians came into play and delayed teeing off as I don't like throwing at or near people.

Other Thoughts:

Bring bug spray.
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1 3
dehammer
Experience: 15.1 years 9 played 1 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Windy course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 30, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

A good mix of woods and long open drives. It is a different layout that other courses. Great views over the river and the new bridge. Very long, new concrete tee pads.

Cons:

Bad section of town. extremely windy, use heavy discs. Can loose disc in old retaining ponds ringed with wrought iron fence. It is dry, though. Needs better course markings.

Other Thoughts:

Will definitely play this again, on next visit to KC.
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9 1
Hamilton
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.2 years 55 played 49 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Jekyll and Hyde 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 24, 2010 Played the course:once

Pros:

Very different personality with wooded technical holes on the front nine, and open field/park-type holes on the back nine.

Nice, solid Mach baskets and very good concrete tees. Lots of different elements incorporated in the design such as elevation change, trees, and even a fenced off area at the top of the hill that I would guess you don't want to have to retrieve a disc from. The map on here is pretty accurate and makes navigation a snap.

My memorable holes:
1 - Right of the bat you have a technical, wooded hole with elevation change and distance. If you can thread your drive through the trees and get a lucky upshot, you can lay up for a three
2 - Tunnel shot downhill that looks fairly simple, but looks can be deceiving.
5 - Throwing uphill with trees all around. This would be a thrilling deuce if you could hit it.
8 - Throw out from some trees next to a cliff, then one of the baskets is hanging on chain, very cool.
12 - Hard, steep drop-off on the right, don't let your drive go there like I did. After about an hour of billy-goating I finally found it. BE CAREFUL!
13 - LOOOOONG hole. You can really stretch out and let it fly on this one.
14 - Sloping down left to right, and pretty long. You can go out right with a big hyzer and let it fade back it...if you have the distance. I, sadly, did not, and went right into the tree.
17 - Big downhill drive. Difficult to hug the road on the right and keeping it from going too far left for a long upshot.

Cons:

Although the map on here is pretty decent, I still struggled finding a couple of the holes in the woods on the front nine. There are also no hole distances or layouts, so on several holes I had to walk them first and make sure I was throwing to the correct basket, and to even see where the basket was.

There are also no bathrooms, road parking, no bathrooms, and no indication of where hole one is. I had to drive around the loop a couple times before I located hole one's tee, since the map on here does not show where it is now.

Other Thoughts:

This was a good, fun challenge, with just a few course-amenity type shortcomings. The DG here is excellent in spite of my 3.5 rating. With a little improvement in navigation, I could see this being a 4. Significant park upgrades would be required to make it higher than that though.

If you're in the KC area, this is a definite stop you should make. I would be careful though as it seems like this part of town is not the best. Also plan ahead and make sure you don't have to use the bathroom during your round.
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