Good design, but still not there
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Earhart features great variety in distance, elevation, fairway shape, and tee options. With multiple pins and tees, this course can be anywhere from a pitch-and-putt to a real bomber. It feels like it's off the beaten path, with nothing besides Disc Golf and nature anywhere around the course.
Assuming you play the blue or white tees, the ones that actually have concrete tees, there are a variety of different tee shots, especially considering the abundance of pin placements. The wooded holes. 3-11, force lots of different lines while still being open enough that you can get creative. Some of these are long enough that many players will need to disc up but still hit a fairly tight, but still reachable, gap in the middle of the fairway.
The lake provides a really nice challenge and adds to the scenery on 12-14. The long pin on 14, playing around the lake, gives some really challenging risk-reward potential, especially the difficult footing you might have on your second shot, playing on a downslope towards the lake. I would like to see 13 have a long pin closed to 14's tee, but that would have put it in the way of a picnic table or two.
In long positions, or playing from long tee pads, there's some opportunity for some really long and exciting par 4's. In addition to 14, hole 2 is a long downhill shot, as is 15, and hole 8 provides several options as you weave through some scattered trees.
Cons: No tee signs, and this is a problem here more than other places. Walking onto a teepad, I was never certain if I was on the right hole, since there are so many tees around. I never even tried to find the gold or red tees, since some of the posts that mark them seem to have disappeared. On some holes, I just played from the first tee pad I saw, and I didn't always find the other one. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I'm just saying they may be hard to find.
The course starts and ends poorly. Holes 15-18 and 1-2 are rather open, and while they have some elevation, it's not extreme enough to produce good holes. A few trees around 16, 17, and 1 are desperately used to try to make the holes interesting, and while it was about as good as a result could be for that land, it's still not great.
The lake drains into a creek that runs near holes 3, 4, 7, and 11, and really dampens those holes, literally and figuratively. It's not a good challenge but will make discs annoying to retrieve. I'm sure some people have not realized how thick the grass and weeds there are and how much water is there until their disc went in. In addition, the ground around those holes can be rather soggy.
Some of the long tees seem to have been added purely for added distance and don't make the hole any better; in fact, they sometimes make the holes a lot worse by reducing the amount of skill per shot involved. But given how hard it is to find the gold tees (I'm judging based on the map), I'll assume it won't affect much. I quite like where I think the gold tees are on some holes, as they make the easier holes a good bit harder (6, 8, 9, 11), but on other holes, it's just distance for no reason (3, 15, 18, probably some more).
The geese seem to enjoy the tee pads around the lake. Fishermen seem to enjoy the fairways of 14 and 15.
Other Thoughts: Signage is obviously what this course needs, and then better maintenance on a few holes. I think the design is good enough to be an excellent course, but the amenities just aren't there right now. Adding signage would also be a good opportunity to reevaluate the gold tee pads, and hopefully move some around or eliminate some. Making those concrete would help my rating for this course as well.
Several holes play around roads or paths. It's not a problem because there's not much traffic, but it is slightly annoying sometimes. However, it does produce some opportunity for some interesting OB lines and possibly a few island greens.
Even though I'm not giving this course a very high rating, it's still a good place to come play and certainly challenges a variety of skill sets. And with the tee pad options, it is accessible for a lot of people. I look forward to coming back when improvements have been made so I can up my rating a notch or two.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
The bare essentials
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is laid out around a small lake, and has a variety of holes, some of which are wide-open bombers, and others which are wooded but fair, with well-defined fairways, and a few which play along the lake. Each hole has permanent teepads for short (white) and long (blue), with the promise of a further set of gold teepads in the planning stages. Every hole has multiple basket positions available. The baskets are DD Veterans and catch well.
There is quite a bit of elevation for this part of the country, and it is used to effect on nearly every hole. The few holes which lack elevation have an abundance of trees.
It is quite an ambitious project, with great potential.
Cons: At this date (early September, 2019) there are yet no tee signs, which is a huge problem, particularly given the multiple tee pads and basket positions, as well as the prairie grass which carpets the non-wooded holes. (When the grass is taller than one's ankles, the slab teepads are obscured from sight unless you know exactly where to look for them, or are approaching them from a higher elevation.) There is no information kiosk or map sign. There are no trash cans. There are no benches. A few of the most wide-open holes are nearly devoid of trees or terrain features, aside from elevation.
The sum of the construction so far is just nineteen baskets (one practice basket) and 36 slabs of concrete. The lack of amenities knock the course down a full point from 3.0 (good) to just 2.0.
Other Thoughts: With the addition of tee signs, benches, and trash cans this could become a much more approachable and friendly course for all sorts of disc golfers.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
May Encounter Turbulence at Earhart
Pros: Earhart DGC in Atchison is in a pretty cool park with a small lake. The International Forest of Friendship is worth taking a look at. Trees from all parts of the nation and many from other parts of the world share a home in this park. A one acre earth portrait of Amelia Earhart is on display also. I didn't notice it when I visited, but the arial course map displays it nicely. It is to the left of the white tee for hole 15.
The course itself is going to be versatile, with four sets of tees and multiple pin locations on each hole. I played the blue tees, most of which had concrete pads. Now concrete is installed on all blue and white boxes, and the red and gold tees have been marked with stakes. Every hole also has at least two pin positions, and there are a few holes that have three.
The challenges of the landscape are varied well. There is a bit light to moderate elevation change in places. A couple of holes play on the waters edge. Mature trees keep the lines interesting, especially in the center of the course, where population density makes the lines quite a bit tighter. Roads run alongside some holes, if you're strict about interpreting OB rules. There is a mando in play from the longer tees on 12. The wind is another factor that can become very difficult to play, especially on the more open and longer holes.
I tend to like the holes that have a few more trees and constricted lines. This kicks in around hole 4 and stays consistently through 10. 12, 13 and 14 are all near the water, but have some room to play it conservatively. 14 does have a dogleg that you can cut over the lake a bit if you're ok with the risk.
Cons: The tee pads hadn't all been poured at the time, and signage was incomplete, but the course install is in progress. If you aren't paying attention to the markers on the pins that point to the next tee, it is possible to skip a hole or two after you get past hole number four. Installation should be finished this summer, and I am not taking away points for this.
There are some holes that play alongside roads, but I wouldn't think the traffic is ever very heavy. You may have to look out for an occasional fisherman on the shore of the water holes when the weather warms.
Other Thoughts: The challenge of this course can be wide ranging, depending on what set of tees you choose to play. Gold tee layout will add massive distance for the pro level players, or red tees shorten things up to make it more enjoyable to a less experienced player.
It was a cold winter here, and I didn't get to play any new courses in 2019 until visiting Earhart near the end of March. The day I finally made it out the wind was blowing fiercely. I battled it all day and struggled to make pars. Final score was 76 (17 over par) and I made zero birdies.
The rainfall in the region has been heavy through the spring, and like many other courses around here, it will take some time to dry out. Water levels in the lakes are near record highs, I would guess Wornock Lake is no exception.
I am looking forward to making another trip to Atchison so I can see Earhart DGC in its finalized state. There is another good 18 hole course and a nice 9 hole course nearby at Jackson Park, so this is a good day trip if you are nearby. Once the rain slows and the grass drys out I will be making the drive again.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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