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Lee's Summit, MO

Howard Park

35(based on 5 reviews)
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11 0
jjw4ucm
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11 years 39 played 32 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Solid counterpart to Legacy

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 4, 2024 Played the course:once

Pros:

Gorgeous piece of property with the DG area nicely situated in its own area.

Tee pads are nice and grippy, with baskets in great shape.

Multiple pin positions are available; most of the pins were in short when I played, but it's nice that the course included them. Some of the longer baskets are pretty cool and unique.

The technical practice you can get out here is excellent. This course's big brother (Legacy) is my former home course and I love it, but it really doesn't have a lot of these types of tight shots to help you work on your game. It's a great compliment and gives you a chance to practice which is great.

As a 9-hole course, you can't expect a ton of variety; however, there was enough right-to-left/left-to-right variation to keep things interesting and engaging.

The course did a great job not playing too close to itself, which is always a risk on these packed-in, tight 9-hole courses.

Signs don't show the layout, but it's not really needed out here either - most of the holes are short and visible from the teepad.

Cons:

The navigation can be a little dodgy at times, which is odd for such a short course. We had the uDisc app which helped a ton, but I would've been wandering a couple times without it.

There truly are zero open shots out here - you have to be very accurate and hit your lines, or you'll land in the trees somewhere. Just be aware.

There's really not a lot of elevation out here - mostly flat through the trees.

Other Thoughts:

This course is a fantastic counterpart to Legacy Park, my former home course and personal favorite in the area. Legacy is great, but there really aren't many tight/technical shots out there. Pair a first round at Legacy with a second (half) round at Howard, and get the best of both worlds.

This course opened only after I had moved away, but I was delighted to see LS got a second course. I had fun playing and look forward to returning again and again when I visit. I wouldn't come out of my way to play here necessarily, but if you're playing Legacy, it's an easy hop over and a great compliment.
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9 0
bigreddog
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.3 years 200 played 63 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Solid Technical Practice 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 30, 2021 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Decisionmaking 10/10 - The thing that stands out about this course is that it really makes you think about what shot to throw. After the first two holes, there are no holes that have a clear, best line to take to the basket (though it's worth noting that a couple of holes really have NO consistent path to the basket).

Maintenance 10/10 - The course is very clean and the grass is always well mowed. There are bathrooms and a water fountain (though these have been closed due to covid so far) near the parking lot. Everything is in good shape.

Hole Navigation 8/10 - Once you've made it to the tees it's generally easy to tell where the basket is. A couple holes are blind and you have to walk up the path a bit to see them, but being through the woods gives you a good idea. There aren't tee signs so you'll have to guess on distances. They have posts installed that I'm assuming will have tee eventually.

Finding Discs 8/10 - You're probably not going to lose a disc here (unless you kick right on hole 3) since there isn't much brush. You are fairly likely to have to get a disc out of the creek at some point, but there aren't any spots where it's wide/deep enough that you can't get it.

Variety of Shot Paths 7/10 - There are a good number of holes (especially for a 9-hole course) that go different directions. The reason I'm not rating this higher is they're clustered together. The two holes that go left to right are 6 and 7, while 1, 2, 4, and 9 go right to left, so you pretty much go out with right to left and come back with left to right (with some straight mixed in).

Comfort 7/10 - There's a lot of shade and it's always well mowed. Will definitely be muddy after it rains, and there are a couple spots where you'll need to be careful crossing the creek since there are just rocks to step across, not bridges.

Cons:

No alternate hole positions 0/10

Course Navigation 2/10 - It's surprisingly tough to find the next hole for such a small course. There are multiple times you have to walk a decent distance and there are multiple paths to take from the basket with no way to tell which is correct. The tees also just have posts to mark them that can be tough to see through the trees.

Tees/Baskets 4/10 - The baskets are in good shape, but the tees are just dirt or mud depending on how recently it rained. Being in the woods they stay muddy longer than you'd expect.

Variety of Distances 4/10 - Hole 1 is by far the shortest, Hole 2 is technically the longest at 330' slightly uphill, hole 9 plays longer since it's more uphill and has an overhang. Holes 3-8 all feel about the same 200-250'

Elevation 4/10 - There isn't very much elevation present, but there is some good variety with it at least. Holes 2 and 9 are uphill, while 1, 7, and 8 are downhill.

Challenging all Levels 4/10 - Beginners will be frustrated by how technical some holes are and will be playing pinball, but the course is short enough that it won't be TOO miserable. Advanced players will be able to get some technical putter/mid practice, but that's about it. Definitely not the course to go to if you're looking to challenge yourself.

Variety of Openness 5/10 - In general the course is wooded, but there are definitely holes that are more technical than others. 3, 6, and 8 are esepcially wooded, while 2, 4, and 9 give you a little bit more breathing room.

Use of Obstacles 5/10 - It was hard to rate this category, because a few of the holes use the obstacles very well. However, there are two holes that just feel like a waste of space with no route to the basket: Hole 5 and especially hole 7, which are why I'm putting this as a con. The cedar tree on hole 5 could be trimmed up a bit so give an actual route to the basket so you don't have to choose between laying up with a hyzer putter or throwing a spike and hoping you get lucky crashing through the trees at the pin. Hole 7 just doesn't really give any route at all, not sure what they were thinking with this one. Maybe you could get lucky with the perfect roller but even then you'd probably end up in the creek at the end.

Other Thoughts:

More precise rating - 2.589
Overall Challenge 3/10

This course is perfect if it hasn't rained in awhile and you're looking for somewhere to practice hitting tight lines and want to play in less than an 45 minutes. Not a place to go out of your way for, but nice for locals. I lived within walking distance of this course for about a year and I came over several times.

It's still pretty new, so I'm hoping they'll install some more amenities like tee signs and pads. A course map or something at the basket with an arrow pointing toward the next tee would help too. If these things were done I would definitely rate it a 3. These things along with doing a little work on hole 5 and a lot of work on hole 7 could move it even higher.
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9 0
Upshawt1979
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 21.1 years 551 played 429 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Howard the Chuck 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 20, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

Howard Park is a nice nine, with natural tee pads marked with numbered posts and Discatcher baskets. Fairways are cut out of the woods, and mostly bare aside from the winter leaves littering the ground, and the grass as you exit on the last hole. The park is multi use, but the disc golf portion carved out of the woods, and is pretty well off the beaten path.

If you don't enjoy wooded fairways you should skip this one. Most lanes are sizable enough to stay clean, but stray trees stand here and there and some lines are quite crowded. A stream runs through the center, and is in play at times. Missing a throw in certain places will mean you're facing a tough recovery. Distance is not crazy long, only one hole exceeds 300' and a couple of others are a touch under.

This one is tough for new players due to the multitude of trees. A good challenge for the recreational guys or gals. The first two holes are good warm ups. 1 is a bit downhill and short, a bit of right to left. A putter can do the job but don't overthrow, the creek is just behind the pin. There was water, and visibility is not good. Hole 2 is slightly uphill, also right to left. It is more than twice the length of the first hole, at 329'. A well placed drive and nice skip could get you close, but I put too much hyzer and came up left and well short. 3 might be the prettiest hole, see the pic. I like the little tunnel shot with a mid range or putter, and this one does it nicely. Dead center of the fairway, the basket is framed by trunks posted up on both sides. The creek is a factor, along with the handful of trees that create the snug run from A to B.

I didn't know what to do with hole 4, it made me wish I had a better sidearm. It's tough for RHBH, but does have the airspace to get good distance. A row of bushy evergreens on the right side hide the bucket. 5 has a couple of obstacles that require either good precision or a bit of luck to pass by with one throw. A line drive with little or no fade, about 260' is what it takes. Hole 6 is left to right, and not too hard of a bend. Short and sweet, unless you miss to the right. I don't recall much water, but the pin is in a bit of a valley with a minor drop in elevation. Hole 7 is similar to hole 6 in spirit, with a lot more teeth. The turn to the right is much more lefty friendly if you throw backhand. The inside of the curve is lined with trees on the edge of the creek, and it is a steepish drop of several feet. Probably the worst place to get wet.

Hole 8 is a kinder version of 3. Longer, but with a less crowded route to the pin and a very gradual decline in elevation. It does cross the creek on the approach, but it's at a shallow point without much risk. Hole 9 might be the most open throw from the tee, but there is a window and you need to be turning left after passing through. The pin is on the only grassy portion of the course, you'll walk past it on the way to the first tee. The approach is directly over a depression with a drain that was dry on the day I played, but looks like it could be squishy after storms.

I liked the balance of this layout. It is fair for both right and left handers. Has a couple of putter throws and some where you need to wind up. The fairways border on unfair in a couple of places but don't cross the line. As far as 9 holes go, this one is almost as groovy as can be.

Cons:

Improvements on equipment would be really nice. Concrete tees would be my first upgrade, followed by signage. The path was hard for me to find going from hole 2 to 3, I walked down a deer trail into tall grass for a ways before realizing I shoulda made a left. One or two directional cues could be helpful. I was told there is a map on a competing DG website, maybe I will bootleg it and post it on this page at some point.

Stream crossings can be slippery when wet. There are stumps, rocks and crude steps carved out in places, but the short legged and clumsy tread carefully. It was a bit muddy when I visited, and my girl needed a hand to stabilize her at a couple of points.

Other Thoughts:

I did enjoy this course quite a bit, it reminded me of some of the courses I played while living in the Augusta area with the woodsy setting. We went to try out a brewery (Smoke in Lee's Summit, it's excellent) and played Recreation Park in Raymore first. Howard Park only has half as many holes, but I would play it twice before visiting Raymore, unless you are looking to notch multiple new ones.

Unless there were another nine holes added, I couldn't go over a rating of 3, but I liked this one all the same. I don't really penalize for natural tees and lack of signs like I should, the soul shines through here. Mud was limited to the creek's banks, and never interfered with my play. I will have to return in the spring and try it out with leaves on the trees. I bet it is significantly brighter in May, though perhaps a bit more added challenge.

I played poorly, missing birdie putts on holes 1 and 5, and one was a real chump shot. Bogies on holes 3, 6, and a double bogus on 7 humbled me. It isn't out of the question by any means, but I would feel like I had a good round if I finished bogey free here. Control is key in a few spots. This is a good addition to the scene, and fills a void in this small part of the metro area.
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11 0
Pevio
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.2 years 190 played 120 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Fun and unique 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 24, 2021 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Howard Park is a short, wooded course with many tight lines and punishment for shots that leave the fairways. It has a variety of right-to-left and left-to-right holes, and slight elevation change on most holes, though it's not severe very much. As a place to practice shot shaping on relatively short holes, this is a good place to go.

The park seems like there was significant work done to make the place Disc Golf friendly. The trees and bushes that were cut down to make room for the course have been turned into mulch which is spread throughout many fairways. This helps prevent weeds overgrowing everything. There's also some stairs to help cross the creek a couple of times.

Despite being a short nine-holer, this course does a good job punishing shots. Every hole has some line that you can hit, but if you miss, you could be racking up score even on a 230' hole. A lot of holes here remind me of a longer, still heavily wooded course that might be found on a world-class course and will be attacked by the best players. So if you aren't a professional and you want to feel good about yourself when you pure the gap on some of the tight lines, this is a good place to go.

Not every hole is a straight shot. In fact, only holes 3 and 8 are absolutely straight, and the rest curve slightly. A few curve significantly, and the course balances left-turning and right-turning pretty well.

There's regular park activity away from the course. There are bathrooms, good parking, and it's in a good part of town.

Cons:

Most holes don't feel very creative - someone chopped down a bunch of bushes and stuck in a basket. There's an over-the-top line on at least one hole that makes that hole unexciting and also creates opportunities for lost discs. Hole 7 is a very odd shape, finishing right but having no clear gap to hit. Even then, anything that gets to the corner will have a putt, so that hole doesn't reward good shots well. That said, removing one or two trees on that hole would probably fix it.

Navigation is poor. From many baskets, there's at least one path that could lead to another tee pad, and the tees themselves are only easy to see because they're concrete now. The alternate pins, while adding a lot of variety, are a little confusing when you just can't see the basket from the tee.

While the course was dry when I was there, it can clearly become a problem after rains, especially on the holes that don't currently have mulch laid down. You're crossing the creek many times, and the higher the creek, the more annoying it will be. Erosion is likely to become a problem on some of the muddier spots.

There's not much variety in hole distance. Other than 2 and 9, every hole felt like about the same amount of power was required to reach the pin, the only difference being the shape of the shot. They're also two of the only holes that have significant elevation change.

Other Thoughts:

A walking/biking path comes through the course on hole 8, but it's pretty easy to avoid. The other attractions at the park also make it a good place for families, and do a good job staying away from the course.

Compared to other courses in the area, Howard has some significant advantages, but the poor tees and lack of good signage prevent a higher rating for me. And if that does happen, it will be a good opportunity to reevaluate where exactly the trees should be positioned. This course can certainly get better, namely by altering a few holes slightly and adding those amenities, so if they ever come, I may be upping my rating a bit.
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12 0
Surge5
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 9.9 years 170 played 170 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Excellent 9 holes 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jan 22, 2021 Played the course:once

Pros:

An all wooded course hidden in the back of a quiet park in Lee's Summit. Each shot is challenging and almost always forces some finesse rather than raw power. Combine that with some harsh doglegs (2, 6, 7, 9) and you have one of the best 9-hole courses in the KC metro.

The creek running through these woods is used expertly. On 1, 6, and 7 you'll be in it if you get over-zealous on running a putt, and on 3 and 8 it runs right across the fairway and adds a little bit of elevation change (up on 3, down on 8)

Nice new DisCatchers on every hole, and hole 9 can be used as a practice basket.

Log bridges have been added to help with crossing the creek in between holes 2/3 and 7/8.

Cons:

Areas of the rough are almost not worth searching in. Hole 1, 4, and 6 are the main offenders.

Navigation is hard even when you've been here a few times. 2-4 and 7-9 can all be a bit confusing even when staring at a map. This isn't helped by the fact that the tees are marked by 4x4 posts in the ground which blend in really well to the wooded course.

The tee areas are very rough and don't have a specific marking, leaving it up to the player on where to tee from. Some more mulch would be nice.

This place takes a long time to dry out after a rain.

Holes 1 and 4 don't hold up in comparison to the rest of the course. Maybe some new pin spots can be added in the future.

Other Thoughts:

I had more fun playing here than I have on several of the local 18-hole courses. It's full of small/medium size gaps and several doglegs. The creek is used incredibly well to up the difficulty even more!

My main concern is if it's not tended to the creekside erosion will end up forcing even newer bridges to be installed. Regardless, get out and make a few laps at Howard. Beginners won't get too frustrated, but experienced players won't be grabbing every birdie out there.
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