9 Helpful / 0 Not
Love the Distance, Hate the Openness
Pros: Lawson is a well kept up course with good amenities all around once you're off the gravel road. By the parking lot, there's a picnic shelter and a practice basket. Tee pads, signs, and baskets are in good shape, and there are two tee pads and/or two baskets on several holes, and they usually change up the course in a pretty good way. There are also a few holes with alternate pins, but with all the distance, it doesn't matter much.
The holes are long, so be prepared for a lot of drives, no matter how strong your arm is. Most of these have the teepad or basket guarded by some trees, making you think about nearly every shot. On all but a couple drives, there is some danger to get into, and the location of the danger varies from hole to hole. And because some holes play slightly up or down (or on hole 3 have short trees you throw over), the angle of your disc in the air is important and can make a big impact on the distance of your shot.
While the course is largely open, it does utilize some of the wooded areas pretty well. Holes 10 and 18 end in a wooded cove, hole 6 plays from one clump of trees to another, and holes 11 and 16 offer several lines to the basket. On some holes, the long tee has some immediate trees, but the short tee plays just in front of them or to the side or something, making initial tunnel shots easier. Alternatively, the short basket might be located just in front of the last tunnel shot.
Hole 2. Normally, individual holes don't deserve more than a sentence or so, but this is an exception because it is SO AMAZING. There are two tees and two baskets, and if you play long-long, it's a 1000+ foot par 5, with some light elevation change, tight fairway, but also wide landing zones. There are safe and aggressive options no matter where you're throwing from. It is by far the standout of the course and one of the best holes I've ever played.
Cons: Lots of holes are way too open. A few have a couple of trees off the tee, then the fairway is open. Holes 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, and 14 all suffer from this. While a lot of them have something challenging, it's not enough for them to be good holes. Even if there was just one or two fully-grown trees on the sides of a few fairways, it would completely block certain shots and make the course way better.
The course tried to stick to the trees as much as possible, but it means a lot of walking between holes. Sometimes, it's unclear which direction you're going, so bring a map or take a picture of the (very helpful) map by the parking lot. Generally, if you can see a teepad, it's the right one to go to even if it's on the horizon. Basically, be prepared for a lot of walking. In addition, the technical shots sometimes produced not great results. I'm okay with the triple mando gate on hole 9, but I don't like the dogleg left on 7 or the dogleg right on 17. Finally, hole 18 has problems. It's just a short right-turning skip shot, but it doesn't feel natural at all. It would be great if the teepad was pushed back, but then it would interfere with the previous hole.
A walking path comes into play a few times, and it's sometimes hard to see if there's anyone there. On hole 12, the path is the fairway. On the other holes, playing the path OB is the right call.
While the signage is good, it doesn't indicate the existence of multiple basket placements very well. If you don't know which holes have two baskets, it's okay to just play to the first basket you see. And because several holes are really long, distance perception on the signs is difficult.
Other Thoughts: The lake itself basically never comes into play. Maybe a disc or two has gone in on holes 2 or 7, but it would take a pretty wild shot. I personally don't think it would have added much to the course, but it does add to the scenery.
There's a pond near the practice basket that could have been turned into one or two good holes that could have replaced a few of the open shots. There are also some opportunities for OB lines to simulate rough and force certain shots on holes like 4 and 8, but that obviously won't matter on a casual round. There's a railroad track behind holes 6 and 8 that prevents the course from cutting into, or probably even playing near, one of the treelines. I also think some of the woods to the left of hole 3 and various areas on the back nine could have been utilized better.
I'm really glad I made the trek out here. While I don't think this course has an amazing design, it's certainly a fun play and is one I would come to regularly if I lived closer. Some holes are boring, but others are really good. Unfortunately, even with a redesign, I feel there's not enough here to make a championship level course. But there's certainly a lot of challenge that will test players of all skill levels.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Really good tee signs. Some holes have two tees. And all the tees are decent size.
Good quality DisCatchers. Even the practice basket is in good shape, and some holes have two baskets, the long one is red. This is also the case on the signs.
Front half of the course is long, back half is technical(ish). The back half is the highlight of the course, with several holes with huge elevation changes (10, 16, 17). Some other holes have very unique shapes or tree lines (6, 18)
Most of the good holes have doglegs. Hole 2 has a 1,000ft long pin which has 3 lanes to use, and then the basket is around a dogleg.
The lake is a very nice setting to have a course go around.
Cons: The distance between the holes on the front 9 is laughable. You MUST pay attention to the tee sign that points you to the next basket, and even then you may not find the tee for a while. The worst offenders are 1 to 2, 3 to 4, and 5 to 6. Most of the time you'll just follow the walking trail around the lake, but even then some tees are far off the path (4 and 6). Luckily the back 9 isn't hard to navigate.
On top of all that, hole 9 to 10 is a quarter-mile walk. It goes right down the walking path... but the first sign you see is for hole 12.
Many holes are wide open with little elevation. 1, 4, 5, 7 (with dogleg), 8, 13, and 15 are all open with almost no challenge. Some of the longer red baskets are stuffed into the trees, but the gold baskets are all in the open and present almost no challenge.
Other Thoughts: If you're playing this course, it should be the first/only one you play. The amount of walking is massive and the elevation on the back 9 only wears you down faster.
The hype I had heard for this "really big course" wasn't lived up to with design flaws and long, bland holes. Really not a fan of this course, but I'll give it another try at some point since it does have some unique challenges on the back 9.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Nice DISCatcher baskets
-Nice tee signs
Cons: -Hole three plays close to a campground which throwing a big hyzer over is a bit risky
-Thick rough, but did not lose any discs (just pay close attention)
Other Thoughts: It is very apparent somebody/ a group really took the time to design a fantastic course. Has all the little things that make a course great, and still provides some very challenging, but fun golf.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Lawson is Luxurious
Pros: Lawson Lake is a great course, and decked out all the way around. 18 holes, several with dual tees and a few with dual baskets as well. Both sets of tees have nice tees signs and concrete pads. The baskets are Innova Discatchers with gold rims, and the holes with dual pins have a longer red basket.
Fairways are all grassy, with plush lawn and few bare spots. There are fairways that are mowed shorter in the center, with thicker grass to either side. Also paths between baskets are cut shorter in between several of the holes. The spring is just turning it all green, so the difference wasn't too drastic. Heavy rain two nights before had left some mud, but conditions were good considering. The front 9 are longer and mostly pretty open, and the back 9 are not as long with several wooded holes. Most of the holes with alternate tees and pins are on the front 9. There is a small lake that the course circles around, but water is not a huge risk. Elevation change is not a major factor usually, but there is some. Hole 1 is at the top of a hill. Holes 10 and 17 feature nice downhill play and 16 is a steep uphill.
Hole 7 has a mando at the corner of a sharp dogleg left. Hole 9 has a massive triple mando in the form of a wall that is fenced except for a window directly in front of the basket. The woods create some tight lines in places, and hole 11 is a good intro. A right to left bend with plenty of trees to get in the way and a creek at the bottom of the left side. 17 isn't very long, but the drive is a tricky shot that has to bend right down a steep drop in between many trees.
Cons: It's a long drive from the city, about an hour from JoCo suburbs. Dirt road for a couple of miles on the way in.
The wind can be brutal. We played during a very gusty day. Some of the rough is very thick, and I stomped around some thorny brush to retrieve a couple of discs. Long walks between a couple of holes, and transitions can be tricky. Mainly 2 to 3, 4 to 5, and a long one from 9 to 10. Get a copy of the map to carry with you. Hole 18 has a straight on view of the 10th basket, don't go for it. The correct basket is short and to the right. I almost hit a black ace throwing at the wrong target.
Other Thoughts: This is a marvelous course, and it is set up very well. I love the use of the land. If it wasn't so windy it would have been perfect. There are versatile holes to add more difficulty, or make it more playable when the conditions are not ideal. We played the short tees and gold baskets. Still isn't super easy, but there are decent chances for birdies here and there.
In the short/short layout we played, par is 59. I shot a 67, with 3 birdies and several bogies. I also rolled one into the creek on 12 and had to take a penalty for the triple bogey. I was surprisingly only 1 over on the front even with the wind. The branches on the back 9 got me pretty good. I will definitely be back to try again, and maybe I'll benefit from calmer conditions.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Very clean. Baskets brand new. Good Mixture of par 3, 4 and 5's. Unique obstacles. Beautiful view around the lake.
Cons: Next hole isn't marked very well. A lot of walking space between holes too
Other Thoughts: My favorite course in the KC area. No graffiti or anything either
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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