The Great Divide
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Minor Smith and Southwood Park combine to host 9 holes of disc golf together. 5 at Minor Smith and 4 a few blocks away at Southwood. It is an unusual setup, but there are some fun holes that are worth checking out.
Both parks are clean and well kept. The grass carpets most areas densely. The tees have signs posted with the hole number, distance and a brief description. The baskets are nice white Dynamic targets.
The first hole is a good starter that us uphill, with only one small tree to get around in front of the basket at the top of the hill. Hole 2 is a really cool hill to hill shot with a bit of a tunnel as you exit the tee box. A legit par 4, but 3 is not too hard if you get through the tunnel. 3 is a short one that runs downhill gently to the pin, and drops off more steeply behind it. 4 is a fun drive that plays from the top of a hill, over a fenced basketball court and the drainage channel running behind it. It has an open line straight to the hole, but there are trees to the right side. The distance makes it hard to get a disc directly from A to B, especially in the wind. 5 plays along the bottom with the ravine to the left. There is one large main tree mid fairway taking the center line, and others blocking the left. The basket is not far from the ditch, which was shallow but not dry when I nearly wound up in it.
After the move to the back 4 Southwood, hole 6 is under canopy of mature trees across flat ground. 7 tees under a large tree into the opening up a hill, with another big tree protecting the pin. 8 is long and across open grass that is fairly level, with a basket tucked beneath a line of trees at the edge of the park. 9 is a really cool closer. Down hill with a fairway perfectly framed by tree branches with you get too far left or right. If you hit the flat bottom a good skip can take you to the pin. It's marked as a par 4, and I got the great skip off the drive to set up an eagle. Nice way to finish, even if it may be a generous par.
Cons: The tees are natural, and will be muddy after rain. Some baskets are set very near the following tee.
There are other parts of the park that might interfere with play. The walking trail is to the left of the fairway on 2. Clearing the basketball court on 4 is a bit weird, and the walking path crosses directly in front of the basket if you clear the courts. 6 has a playground right of the fairway. 9 has tennis courts to the right.
Other Thoughts: The overall level of play on this 2 park layout is fairly good for a nine hole course, but some other facilities may mean waiting for people to move along or skipping holes. I love holes 2, 4, and 9.
I scored a 27, 3 under the posted par. Birdies on holes 2 and 3, a bogie on 5 and the eagle 2 on the finishing hole. Enjoyed the course. It's not exactly must play but good if you catch it while not busy.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
The two shall become one course
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course features a variety of shot shapes, elevation, and choices between multiple lines. There are uphill holes, downhill holes, sometimes trouble to either side of the fairway, and several low ceilings. The tee signs are easy to find, and while the tees are natural, I didn't miss a better surface.
The three par 4's are all pretty fun. While they are certainly on the easy side to be labeled par 4 especially holes 4 and 9, they are some of the better holes on the course.
Even with little room to work with, this course manages to get some decent length into several holes. In addition to the par 4's hole 8 is also decently long and will take a powerful shot to get there in one. If you play sidewalks OB, they add a pretty decent challenge to hole 5, which has the path on the right and the creek and treeline on the left, and still offers left-to-right and right-to-left holes.
Cons: The course is split between two parks. If they were directly across the street from each other, I wouldn't care. But it's around a two-thirds mile to walk or drive, and it involves crossing a rather busy four-lane road. I fail to see how this can legitimately be labeled as one single course, not two courses that both have fewer than nine holes and happen to be near each other.
Safety is abysmal. Every single hole, except hole 3, plays near or over walking/biking paths, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, backyards, and even over the road into Southwood Park. If it was once or twice, I would understand. But constantly, you must be watching to see if anyone is near, and quite often, you won't be able to tell and will just be throwing and hoping no one is near.
The worst is hole 4, which plays over - yes, I mean over, a basketball court. The tee is elevated so it doesn't take a powerful shot to get over, but even the light poles get in the way. In my opinion, even just one person on the court would make that hole unplayable. It's possibly the worst DG hole I've ever played. There is a sign saying the court is not for public use, but the basketball hoops are still there.
The point is, whoever designed this course seemed to have no regard for the inevitable clashes of Disc Golf and everything else, and assumed that everyone will perfectly be on the lookout for each other; this is clearly not the case, and the design of the course is just a disaster waiting to happen.
Other Thoughts: There was certainly room to make nine okay holes between these two parks and, for the most part, avoid the other park functions. The hillside of hole nine could have been used more, as well as the hilltop around hole 3. Sure they would have been shorter holes and not as exciting, but when a course introduces so many safety concerns, there's really no excuse. Are there few enough non-discers that it's mostly not a problem? I don't know, but whichever is the case, significant parts of both parks (either paths, or the course itself) need to be taken out to make sure the Disc Golfers stay away from everyone else, and vise-versa.
But, it is true that this course has some decent holes and isn't a bad one to come play if you have a little extra time and you know there won't be many others. If you only make one of the two halves, you won't be missing much - I would recommend Southwood above Minor Smith, even though it only has four holes.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Pretty fly for a 9-hole
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Bright yellow poles hold up the tee signs. Easy to find from the previous basket. Said tee signs are as informative as can be for not having a map on them.
The white baskets stand out well against the hills.
The challenges are varied. Uphill on 1, having the basket on the brink of a steep drop off on 3, hole 5 has the danger of a creek on the forehand line, nice tree challenge on 6 and 7, and 9 finishes it off with an obstructed downhill bomber. It's a nice mix.
Cons: Obviously, it's split between two parks, however this isn't as big of an issue as it would seem since the drive is only 3 minutes long.
Throwing over the basketball court on 4 is tough for weaker arms, but that can be avoided by going around either side of it.
Holes 4 and 9 are listed as par 4s... they aren't. Hole 2 is a good true par 4 though.
Other Thoughts: This is a solid 9 hole course. The mix of unique holes is really nice, and apart from hole 8, there's some sort of obstacle that can mess up your par run. There are drawbacks of course, but Minorwood is definitely worth being on your rotation or adding onto a trip!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Kudos to City of Raytown Parks & Rec
Pros: +easy, intuitive layout going from one hole to the next
+nice tee signs with hole descriptions (only missing a map)
+well designed. the holes made great use of the available space
+small creek offering water hazards and some hills offering elevation made for lots of fun
+well maintained multi-use city park
Cons: -no concrete tee pads
-for 9 holes you have to travel between two parks that sit about half mile apart
-small parks with several other activities could make for slow rounds on busy days
-no course map which would greatly help to inform players of the two park system
Other Thoughts: I have played other small city park courses before and this course is one of the best out there. The trouble going between two parks for only 9 holes is offset by the diversity of challenges and layout of the course.
This course will never be a championship 18 hole course and it doesn't need to be. These two parks have basketball courts, tennis courts, walking trails, playgrounds, and a disc golf course. The city wouldn't want this to be the best course in around because other activities would have to go. But the city did a great job making this a course they can and should be proud of.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Small city course
Pros: The course offers a wide variety of throwing lines. As it plays around the outer rim of the two parks, there are numerous holes where you have very narrow shots and others where you have all the space in the world.
I like that this course is compact and does not require much effort to get from hole to hole. The next tee pad for a basket is generally less than 30-50 feet away. The ability to practice inside a low ceiling tree line directly next to an open field to practice high and wide shots makes this course my staple practice course. The baskets were strategically placed in a way that this would not be simply a putt approach course.
Cons: Obviously being split between two parks is not ideal but they are not all that far from one another.
There isn't any concrete tee pads unfortunately.
Plays through different parts of the walking trail which is difficult when families are walking and small kids are around.
Other Thoughts: If playing during the summer months, absolutely bring bug spray. I made that mistake the first go through and my ankles regretted it.
I spoke with a parks and rec worker today and he said that if people like the course and play it, then in the future there is the possibility of expanding it with more tee pads or possibly more baskets. So I hope this review does some good in promoting this new addition in the KC area.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Course Split Between 2 Parks
Pros: -Newer course with new tee signs
-Good amount of elevation change
-Great use of parks' layouts
-Holes are fairly long for small parks. When I first heard about the course, I was expecting 150-200ft each, rather than averaging ~315ft
-Navigation from hole to hole is very easy with bright yellow tee-signs visible from all around the park
Cons: -No course map
-No hole maps on tees
-Players have to get back in the car and drive between holes 5 and 6
-Throwing over tennis courts on hole 4
-Playground right next to fairway for hole 6
-Could end up throwing into someone's backyard on holes 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9. Though to do this on some would take a really wonky throw.
-Walking trails near most of the holes so could be dangerous on a busy day
Other Thoughts: Overall, I am glad they put this course in but I wish it had been there when I still lived in the area. The major downside to this course is having to travel to a second park to play the last 4 holes. If it were all in one park, I would give it closer to a 4.5 rating.
Minor-Smith Park Holes 1 - 5
#1 - shortest hole at 225ft but it plays straight up a very steep hill. The only tree in the way was cut down years ago.
#2 - longest hole at 447ft and plays through a valley right next to fairly thick brush separating the park from a residential area
#3 - short hole across a field but be careful because there is a very steep drop-off immediately behind the basket. Also note a fairly overgrown tree in the path between tee and basket
#4 - downhill hole that drives straight over tennis courts. If you can't throw that far, its quite easy to play down between the courts and then over the creek to the hole or head right around the north court and then across the creek to the basket
#5 - flat hole that plays along a creek with a few trees in the direct line between tee and basket
Southwood Park Holes 6 - 9
To get here from Minor-Smith Park, head back up to Raytown Road, turn right and then left onto 80th terrace. Go down 80th terrace until Arlington and turn left. Park entrance will be on the left.
#6 - plays between a creek on the left and a playground on the right. There are also some backyards that run right up to the edge of the creek.
#7 - plays uphill across the park-entrance road with a few trees on the right side of the fairway. When I played the tree right next to the tee was overgrown almost forcing you to squat down when driving up the hill
#8 - flat hole across a field with a few trees surrounding the basket. There is a walking trail that passes through the hole but is rarely used.
#9 - huge downhill right after the tee that plays to a basket in a section of grass surrounded by a walking path. Quite a few trees but easily avoidable
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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