Emporia, KS 
Riley's DGC Share

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Private Gem

2-4    4/24/2023   5/25/2023
Review By: rodneytravis33
Played: 101  Reviewed: 22  Exp: 3.9 Years
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Private Course owned and designed by Derek Riley on a small but well utilized piece of property right off I-35. Lightly wooded, well maintained, with some thick punishing underbrush that should not come into play unless you are far off on your lines.

2) Permanent Veteran baskets in excellent shape, turf tee pads in like new condition, excellent Dynamic Discs made tee signs with all relevant hole info, photo, OB information and lines. Multiple tee pad and pin locations on some holes. Owner has definitely put in work to improve the course in many facets since the first time I played here.

3) Excellent usage of what this small property offers. Lightly wooded and the design takes advantage of every tree it can. Small narrow creek used for OB line on several holes and help define hole shapes. Subtle elevation changes coupled with sharp forced angles from the tee create a unique challenge despite the lack of a ton of distance holes.

4) Every hole feels moderately challenging and not gimmicky like most 9 hole courses. They each present you with at least two routes to get to the basket, utilize natural OB well, and pose the question to you of how you want to attack the hole. Your success depends completely on your choice and ability to execute, and I love that in course design.

5) Every hole has it's own identity and is memorable for different reasons #1) Open bomber Par 3 with gradually tighter OB left and right the closer you get to the basket #2) Low Ceiling 300+ Par 3 down a wide tunnel with OB right and trees left. #3) Blind downhill par 3 either left or right around tightly clustered trees to a highly elevated basket #4) Island green over creek with trees off the tee that force either a spike hyzer or huge turner through one of the gaps #5) Very short chip shot over a pond to a tiny sloped green with an OB fence long and right #6) Short technical hole tucked behind a wall of trees that makes you choose under or over to get close #7) A short Mail slot hole with a tiny 3 foot gap up the middle late, or a get lucky spike hyzer over the top #8) A medium length hole that asks you to skip the disc into a protected green around a corner to get a putt #9) Decent length par 3 with tight OB road right and pond OB left that drops a ton of elevation to a sloped towards the pond green.

6) The Kansas winds make this course much more difficult than it would be in most other areas in the country and definitely helps this course rate better as the course designer stated the hole directions were intentionally built into and across the prevailing wind directions, doing it's best to avoid giving you a tail wind throughout.

7) I played a tournament round here in 2022 when we made the trip down for DDO and shot my personal highest rated round ever (993) while playing on the same card with Derek, the course owner. He was such a nice and passionate guy whom you could really tell loved everything about disc golf and just wanted to provide the best course he could.

8) Definitely a course where control and being able to match the slope of the ground when landing is a must, rather than being able to overpower each hole with distance. I watched so many high rated players shoot poorly and complain about the course because it ate their lunch trying to "out-throw" the hole design.

9) Ample parking and a practice basket that features several variations of elevation to putt from which is a treat most courses don't provide.
Cons: 1) Very small piece of land with 9 holes squeezed onto it, so there will be crowded holes with a chance to get overlap from people playing other holes

2) There is a few water hazards and the OB fence separating the property from I-35 is pretty overgrown on the interstate side so losing a disc is a real possibility here for errant throws.

3) Not a big arm course and probably won't be liked by players who rely on out throwing people to gain strokes. Definitely a hit the correct gap with the correct disc on the correct angle and make your putt course.

4) Not a destination course and is very outshined by other more polished courses in the Emporia area.
Other Thoughts: This course is a Hidden Gem among the multiple Rare Earth Stones in and surrounding Emporia. It is easy to over look. However, the owner is amazing, the course was extremely fun to play, and our entire group listed this course as the most fun we had the entire week and a half we were at Emporia for DDO. We loved it so much, we added it to our regular rotation each year we come back and removed Olpe Lake in its place. This is a must play if you are in Emporia for a while, after the big gems of course, and there is nothing wrong with having fun, enjoying the views, and just trying something different when playing disc golf on a trip with friends. This course is something different, and it doesn't try to act like a championship course, which is why I rate this course as Excellent.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

Some decent challenge

1    8/29/2020   1/3/2021
Review By: kp_1024
Played: 151  Reviewed: 91  Exp: 11.1 Years
This review was updated on 6/6/2021
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Riley's DGC is a pretty solid course with permanent baskets, simple navigation, and a good variety of distances and shot shapes. There are a few tricky greens, one water shot, and at least some challenge at every turn.

This course manages to create pretty good challenge with not a lot of distance or elevation. Every hole has something interesting about it, and even if you don't have a lot of power, there are plenty of birdie opportunities. Even for advanced players, wind, OB, and creative shot shapes will keep you on your toes.

A few holes are true standouts. Hole 2 might seem like a regular tunnel shot, but there's plenty of room to do an S-curve, no matter how you throw, and there's one tree in the middle of the fairway to miss. Hole 7 is fun because you're throwing over water, but it's only about 50 feet to reach land. Hole 9 has little room for error, and even has the basket on the side of a hill.
Cons: The course is right by I-35, and while the interstate itself doesn't come into play, the fence beside it is a factor on holes 4-6. It's hard to climb, and the foliage on the other side is really thick. If your disc goes over, you're probably not getting it back.

Obviously, the course was squeezed into a small piece of land, but the result wasn't great a couple of times. Hole 6, the water shot, is really short and has a tiny fairway squished between the water and the interstate fence. Hole 8 is also short with a really small gap and an awkward line to go over the trees. A road comes into play on holes 1 and 9.

A few holes left a lot to be desired. Holes 1 and 5 don't have a lot going for them, being way too open, and hole 4 has a really odd gap off the tee. On holes 1, 4, and 9, tall grass/woods forms OB on the left side, and while it is a challenge, it's not super fun to play.

Tee pads are grass and can easily be muddy or slippery. But if they're marked properly, they're easy to find.
Other Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about hole 3. There are left and right lines to get to the basket, and it's a really unique hole, but it is odd in some ways. You have to walk basically all the way to the green to see the basket.

While some holes are really strange, they do provide some uniqueness to this course, and they're still challenging holes for the most part and aren't plain ridiculousness.

This course is on private land, so as the course info suggests, contact Derek Riley if you want to come play. This can be an awkward course to fit into a day, especially with so many other good courses in the area, but if you're looking for something new, this is a good one to come check out.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.

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