A Fantastic and Unique Disc Golf Experience
19 Helpful / 0 Not
- Excellent variety throughout the course with just about every type of fairway shape or type and constantly interesting greens.
- Outstanding amenities with just about everything you could want during a disc golf round (and probably multiple things you didn't know you wanted).
- The three sets of tees allow for anyone to be challenged and make the course enjoyable for a decently wide range of skill levels.
- Tee signs still not in place as of 5/18/2023, though we were told they were only a few weeks away.
- A few areas of slightly confusing navigation, but again, additional signage is coming soon.
- Cost. Easily the most expensive round of disc golf Iíve played.
Other Thoughts: Eagles Crossing is a singular course in the disc golf world. Even at such a young age it has developed a unique notoriety. I donít think I have ever had a course jump up my wish list so quickly with the actual golf being a secondary reason. The vast amount of money put into the course, the drama with the big money skins events, the sculptures, the goal of challenging the top professionals, and all the other grand plans for the complex generated more buzzz than any other course I can remember. With all of that at the top of my mind, I arrived at Eagles Crossing expecting an over-the-top experience from the amenities and course dressing, but wasnít sure if the quality of golf would live up to the rest of it all. For me, at least, it did.
When you check in at the pro-shop for your tee-time you are given a rundown of the course and the caddy guide which is filled out for you with the current pin locations. The caddy guide also goes over the various irritating or dangerous flora and fauna you may encounter during your round. Gnats were the only thing we had issue with during our visit in mid May, but they were heavy only around the lower lying areas of the driving range and Hole 1. We opted to rent a golf cart which was washed for us while we made use of the excellent practice putting green and driving range. The cart rental was expensive at $60 for 4-hours but, for a once-a-year at most trip, I thought it was worth it. The cart was the most comfortable Iíve driven, saved us a lot of energy navigating the various hills, and Iíd wager our play time could easily have gone up from ~3 hours to ~4 without it.
This place really has a feel unlike any other course. The meticulous landscaping, water features, and at times odd variety of statues provide a unique vibe that feels at once both posh and kitschy. The large color coded tee pads are excellent and the baskets caught well, if not my favorite. And all of this is just the wrapper on top of what is actually an incredibly well designed, fun, and challenging course. My brother and I played the White tees and as ~930 rated players it felt like a great fit for our skill levels. The gaps you need to hit and water carries you need to cross are tough but not oppressive, and feel great when you execute. There are a few locations where the OB felt slightly too tight or unnecessary, but the fairways were generous enough on the whole. That said, getting off the fairway early can easily spell double bogey or worse on many holes. The Blue tees obviously challenge even the top professionals with tighter gaps and big distance required. The red tees looked to be a good fit for those with less distance or accuracy, but I would likely caution against playing this track if you are less than about 850 rated.
With two to four pin locations on every hole, your experience can vary quite a bit on each visit. I donít know how frequently they change up the basket locations on each hole, but some are significantly different, and a few seemed to have a position that was superior to the others. In general though, all pin positions were great and many have significant roll away potential with landing angle and speed being very important. I feel like I threw a pretty good balance of forehands and backhands during my round, and there is a great variety of fairway shapes and types, the round never felt stale. The length of the course meant I leaned more heavily on distance and fairway drivers, but I definitely made good use of most of my bag.
Navigation was usually seamless, but there were a couple of more tricky spots (9 to 10 and 13 to 14 notably). The provided caddy guide and forewarning of the confusing locations during check-in meant we were never stumped for long. Tee signs and bit more directional signage would completely alleviate these minor issues and are apparently weeks away from installation. The second course on site is currently undergoing play testing and will be open before long as well. It will purportedly have a more rugged feel and be more heavily wooded to compliment the current track. There are some additional activities you can do as part of your greens fee, including fishing. You can easily spend an entire day here, especially once the second course is open, which you will likely want to do as it is a bit of a trek from anywhere.
This was the most expensive round of disc golf I have ever played. Discussing value is an interesting proposition, as I preferred my round at the (relatively) nearby Harmony Bends a few days later, which was free. However, this is a singular experience and not something most people are likely to do with any frequency. I felt the cost was worth it, and will definitely make an effort to come back and play the second course in the future. Eagles Crossing jumped up into my personal top 5 courses played and is easily deserving of its Best of the Best status.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Donít Double-Cross the Eagle
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Eagles Crossing has so much going for it. From the immaculate color-coded tees and pristine maintenance, tight lines but also some big bombers, pretty much every amenity you could dream of, plus all the ones you didnít dream of, to epicness all around, this place is incredible. I could spend all day gushing about this course, so letís get to the important parts.
Most holes are par 4. This is excellent, because they all have good design, and good par 4ís are generally the best holes in Disc Golf. They play as true two-shot holes (except a few red tees), and there are lots of options on them, with how aggressive you want to be, which line you want to take, and how you want your disc to land. Some holes have a defined landing zone, while on others you just want lots of distance and avoid any out of bounds.
This course utilizes extra pin placements nicely. They only change the par on hole 13, but they change the strategy in subtle ways, or make you come at the pin a little differently. In most cases, the tee shot requires basically the same type of line, but you may want to carry or fade slightly differently. I especially like hole 2, where you might have an upshot over the water, but fade left or right depending on the pins.
The usage of the three tees is mostly excellent as well. Each tee setting gives its own challenges, appropriate for its color, and you can have fun playing all of them. The blue and white tees usually arenít too different, but thereís often an awkward hill or a tight gap that the blue tee has but the white tee doesnít. In addition, most of the tees, especially the blues, are built up, with rock walls, crushed rock or mulch, and benches. In case I hadnít mentioned it already, the amenities here are amazing.
Oh, you want to know about the fairway shapes? Yeah, we can talk about that. From the uphill finish on 5, to the water shots you can try throwing over onÖ most holes, to the standard tunnel shot on 10, downhill technical shots on 3, 8 and 11, several islands, and soft doglegs on 3, 5, and 9, this course has so much variety that it doesnít even need alternate tees and pins. The water hazards from literally 8 different ponds add a lot of challenges and options. If youíre a little scared of them, feel free to play the shorter tees, which remove a lot of the teeth from the course.
The par 5ís are also epic, all being very long and challenging. 18 is arguably the signature hole of the course, playing over 2 ponds and having the pyramid finish. Holes 3 and 4 give all kinds of options for how to play, with rollers, skip shots, sweeping hyzers, and laser beams all being viable choices. Hole 10 is the tunnel shot, and not only does it reward throwing straight, but the sideslopes push most discs back into the fairway, so you can throw aggressively and still be reasonably certain you wonít throw off the fairway. The course design here is fantastic, in case that wasnít already obvious.
Cons: Yes, even a place like this can have cons. The only real issue is that the open holes are a little bland. These are holes 1 and 15, and while they involve some real challenge, itís not great. Hole 15 is an island green, which is fine except that there are a lot of island greens already, including 2 of the other par 3ís.
Although a lot of the various pin placements are great, around half of the holes have one pin that is clearly the best one, like a wall right by the water and especially the pyramid on 18. Playing other pins can be a bit of a downer, but itís not a real problem since every hole has at least one excellent pin.
The red tees are rather easy and force you to walk down a lot of the main fairways. On a few holes, the red tee is the drop zone for the longer ones, where youíre supposed to have a relatively easy up and down.
Itís possible the OB lines are a little tight. I played in strong winds, so my view may be a bit skewed, but I think most of the holes are challenging enough without OB stakes on every hole. Also, holes 14 and 17 cross a gravel road that plays as an OB river, which doesnít make sense at all. That said, there are plenty of risk/reward options here, that wouldnít mean as much without OB danger.
Other Thoughts: Iím perfectly happy to list this course among other ďbest of the bestĒ courses, but I think it isnít perfect. Itís almost perfect, and the few flaws it has are small enough that they donít cause real problems. There arenít any real ways to improve the course though, other than tee signs with are already planned. Thereís also another course planned, down the hill from 4 and 5.
Thereís a small surprise awaiting you on one of the holes here. I wonít spoil what it is or where it is because it really is a surprise (no jump scares, donít worry). In addition, the various animal statues, giant rocking chair, massive picnic patios, and other weird but cool amenities add a nice touch. Itís incredible that someone would not only come up with all these ideas of things for a Disc Golf course, but actually implement them.
There arenít any tee signs at the moment, but you get a really helpful caddy book when you check in. It does an adequate job replacing the signs, and the only clunky navigation spot is finding the tee of 14.
Just come play this course already. Itís truly in the middle of nowhere and is really expensive, so I understand if itís inconvenient for a lot of people, but itís really worth the time and money and is super rewarding.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
The Eagle Has Landed
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Does this course really need an introduction?† It's supposed to be the greatest disc golf course in the world.† Your expectations will be met, if not exceeded.
The holes were re-numbered in the spring of 2023.† What was 1-4 are now 15-18, 5-9 are now 10-14, and 10-18 are now 1-9.† Makes a little more sense with the routing and ends up on the cake green.
There's all kinds of other stuff on-site to do, but I'm going to stick with the disc golf.† The pro shop is well stocked.† Not a complete array of companies, but enough to get you by.† After you check in they will give you a caddie book telling you which pin each hole is in and a hole map with distances for each, as well as the rules for each hole.† Golf carts are available, but $60 is a little pricey if you're able to walk that long.† The lady who checked us in was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable about the course.
The course presentation is just about flawless.† Rocks surround a mulch bed around most of the tees.† A few red tees were just concrete in the grass, but I believe all the blues and whites were mulched.† There are three concrete tees on every single hole, most of which change the hole significantly. White stakes mark out OB (which surrounds just about every hole except 10) and island greens use yellow stakes.† Blue stakes are for drop zones after you go OB (and you'll surely be using at least one).† The in-between of the holes is cared for just as well as the course (or better in some cases, 11 to 12 with a staircase built into the side of a hill).† Baskets are Gateway Titans.† While not the best baskets on the market, these are very fair and they each have a flag on top to help determine the wind.
The difficulty from the blue tees is appropriate for the best in the world.† We (myself and kp_1024) took on both the blue and red layouts at the same time since there were no tee times booked for three hours after ours.† Red was still a very tough course due to all the OB and some tricky tee spots, and blue... well, I'm not going to tell you my score form the blues.† But it gave me the blues.
Onto the actual play, the heavily wooded holes (3-5, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17) are going to test if you have fairway driver levels of accuracy with your distance drivers, having to somehow weave lines through 300 to 400ft of trees before getting to the landing zone.† Hole 5 has the tightest gaps, and also has a fairway that thins out halfway down after you round the corner.† Throughout all this, there's always a fair line through the woods (or over the water) It's just very important that you hit it.
In the open, OB is your main enemy.† You can air out that big drive on holes 1, 2, 7, 9, and 16 but without control you're likely to trickle over the OB line or into the water.† Add to this the island greens on 8, 11, and 15 and you'll be racking up the OB strokes quickly.
Tough gaps off the tee all over the course.† Some are pretty easy like 9, 16, and 17; some are very tight, like 5 and 13, and some are far away, like 7 and 17.† They all require confidence in being able to hit a gap and still get 375+ out of your distance drivers.† And why not throw in some water carries after piercing the gaps on 3, 8, and 16?† Or how about water near the green of 2, 14, and 15?† Or the massive water carries on 7 and 18 (which both have safe bailout options)?† Water adds another element to the already crazy challenge.
There's tough greens throughout.† The mound green on 1, steep slopes on 5, 12, 13, or the unique rock greens on 15 and 16 (middle), or trying to access 10's up and to the right or 13's long pins through a small gap on your second shot.† And of course the 5-tier cake green on 18.† It was a good change to put that as the last hole.
The art and sculptures throughout the course don't add a whole lot for me, but maybe they will for you.† Although, I'm still confused as to why there's a massive statue of the Buddha sitting way off to the right of 11's green on top of a 30ft high... concrete thing with nothing else around.
The tunnels are the toughest part of the course for me.† 4's 250-footer off the tee is just a taste.† Hole 10 is about 700ft down a 12ft wide tunnel, with the greens set up and to the right.† Then comes Hole 11.† From the back tees it's a 400ft downhill down a 15ft wide gap with a ceiling, with the island green being about 50ft deep.† It's extremely tough to get right.† Trust and believe I went to the drop zone.
Cons: For the quality of the rest of the course, holes 6 and 15 are a bit simplistic.† 6 is a tough gap off the long tees, but once you're through that it's just a long, right-finishing shot.† 15 is an island green that doesn't accomplish much since it's downhill and wide open.
A couple routing issues.† The long walk from 9 to 10.† It's unavoidable, but also noticeable.† Also from 13 we went to 16's tee without seeing 14.† Might be best to have a sign pointing to 14.† That walk does put you in the line of fire from 16's tee, but that tee is so far uphill that it's not very dangerous.
Some of the white tees done make much of a difference from the blue tees shot shape-wise.† Just making a landing zone a little easier to reach by knocking 75ft off the distance.
A few of the red tees should have their par decreased in comparison to the blue/white.† 3 red is the most blatant one (a par 4 that was easily deuced during our round), but several others are on the fringes of needing to go one lower.
Other Thoughts: A round is $37.† Is that a lot?† Yes.† But if there was ever a course that should cost that much it's this one.
The course has a lot of little quirks that won't be obvious on the first playthrough and will harm your score with OB so near the greens.† This issue would go away after a round or two, but that would get expensive....
Look at the length of my Pros compared to my Cons.† Of course this course was always getting a 5.0.† The red course will put the skills of even the best amateurs to the sword, and the blues... are fun to see how close to par you can get.
This is absolutely the greatest course I've played.† I could probably write ten more paragraphs about what this course does right but I'd start to bore you after a while.† I wouldn't call it my personal favorite (that's Wilderness) or even the "best" (that's Harmony Bends).† But the difficulty and quality - not to mention the maintenance, uniqueness, and extra things thrown in - cements it as the greatest course I've ever played. I can confirm Eagles Crossing should be a bucket list item for every disc golfer on the planet.† Just make sure you use that caddie book.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Quite the Experience
26 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hands down end of discussion the best amenities I've ever seen on a course. Incredible pro shop that not only has discs, has fishing gear, tons of drinks, snacks, etc. Was blown away. The cart rental was a great feature and they had blue tooth speakers in them. Also, making a tee time was very easy with the ability to book on a website. They also had Wifi throughout the course, a map / caddy guide included with greens fees and not to mention the incredible driving range.
I loved the 9 in and 9 out part of the course. It's a physical work out and the break to get a Gatorade and a snack after 9 was very welcome.
The course was professionally manicured and had some incredible views throughout the property.
If you want a challenge, this is the course for you. I'm a 950-960 player and from the blue tees, can not see myself ever shooting par.
The feature I was most amazed with was the dyed concrete. I've played 170 courses and probably walked 60 more that I never played, and I've never seen dyed tees. It was so easy to quickly tell which tee was what. Brilliant idea.
Cons: Biggest con, by far, is the "middle of no where" factor. This course might redefine that.
Also, the par 3 design, IMHO, was not good. Too many man made island greens which lead to some artificial score increased. Sure, play shorter tees, but that's not the point. Hole 16 was a brilliantly designed natural island / peninsula which makes the non-natural island theme of the par 3s even more questionable. And then, the finishing hole is an island green par 4. Just waaaaay overuse of that design feature.
I was also surprised there were not distance markers in fairways on the non par 3s. With range finders, this wasn't a big deal. But you would think if you can afford massive elephant statues, you would put these on the property.
Other Thoughts: It's a must play. I don't think I would ever want to compete on this course in a tournament due to the island green theme of the par 3s, but it's an incredible experience that any disc golfer should take up.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Masterpiece in Progress
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Eagles Crossing has raised the bar on disc golf course design. The level of engineering and heavy work put into installing this course is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere. The construction of retaining walls, ponds, terracing, stairways and paths feels like a disc golf version of the Great Pyramids or Machu Picchu. OK, it's not on that grand scale, but it's still impressive. Amenities are outstanding, and esoteric flare is fun. A pro shop with all of the gear you could need, as well as ice, refreshments and snacks is useful on a journey like this. The giant sculptures include a crocodile, a gorilla and dinosaurs. Look both ways before you enter the railroad crossing. There is a roomy driving range and several practice baskets. The caddie book presented as you pay admission is fantastic. Each hole has a page with a great map giving specs for each tee and pin combination, as well as the full course map and scorecard.
The course is epic, with plenty of elevation change and water to contend with. There are many wooded holes and a handful that are more open. OB is a constant hazard. Some of the difficulty can be mitigated if you want to play from the shortest red tees, but it's still a very challenging track. Tee boxes are oversized, and dyed according to the color coding. The middle white tees and long blues add significant chunks of distance, requiring spot to spot strategic throws. Titan pro model baskets are very cool. The array of pin locations vary the shot shaping greatly as well on most holes.
The Cake, Train Wreck and Buddha's Perch may be the iconic 3 hole run (holes 4, 5 and 6), but several others stand out as well. Hole 7 from the blue tee is tempting and intimidating as it gets. The blue tee looks through trees downhill to a pond with the green on the opposite side. You like the big downhill drives? Several flavors to sample here. 1 is open with water lurking by the pin. 6 has an open line with heavy trees to either side and a bit of a ceiling, and water lurking near the pin. 17 exits the blue tee through a narrow gap between trees, and if you fall short of the pin, water is lurking.
The constant threat of water isn't just for the downhill bombs. There is an uphill water carry on hole 4 if you buzz the fountain in the second pond. Hole 2, 9, and 16 can have a lot of water's edge in play. The majority of holes offer some risk of plastic flying into water. You are strongly urged to mark all discs with a name and number, as they make a diligent effort to return any that are submerged and immediately out of reach.
Cons: I would say cost, but the $20 I payed to play are clearly being put to good use. Price tag is up there with 3 other private courses I have played.
The course is still not finished. There were plenty of people maintaining grass, roads and contouring and fine tuning some aspects of the landscape. They're always aware of guests and good about finding an out of the way spot to park while you play through. Signs were not posted at every tee, but the caddie book does provide all the info you would need, and some tee signs have been added since my visit. I don't think we got the insert that indicated current pin locations, and it would have been super helpful on several of the blind holes. A few more benches sprinkled in would be ok with me, too.
Other Thoughts: It is a HIKE. We brought along a large crew of 9, and it took over 5 hours to complete the 18. The OB ate us up. Wind was blowing hard through the first 11 holes. There were double and triple circle 9's, 10's and 11's on the score cards. Next time I will be with 2 or 3 other players at most and hope for a calm breeze.
Par is 70 on any layout, but I was close to triple digits. 8 penalty strokes. Scored a 9, an 8 and threes 7's. Only managed 5 pars and zero birdies. Embarrassing showing for me, and none of my friends fared much better. We mixed tees quite a bit. Next time I will stick to all white or blue and have a better idea of what is in store for me. I must have redemption.
I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of Eagles Crossing. What has been put in place is unrivaled in some aspects. The tweaks and finishing touches are icing on The Cake. It was designated to the "favorites" on DGCR right away. The best course I've played? I don't think so, but it is top tier for certain and still getting better.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Eagles Crossing (EX) - EXhilarating, EXhausting & EXtravagant
31 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: EXceptional course offers epic EXperience EXceeding EXpectations.
+ EXtraordinary vision and EXecution of an elite course design
+ EXpertly designed for EXperienced/professional players
+ EXciting atmosphere for playing disc golf
+ EXpansive layout through beautifully landscaped grounds
+ EXacting OB creates challenging island greens and island fairways
+ EXemplary concrete tee pads color-coded and appropriately sized to match red/white/blue difficulty
+ EXtraneous statuary and decorations add a whimsical touch
+ EXtremely enthusiastic owner with high hopes and deep pockets
Cons: EXtravagant features EXtract an EXacting cost.
- EXcessively demanding shots requiring consistent accuracy and/or distance
- EXhausting to walk and throw lengthy layout spread over moderately hilly terrain (11,000+ ft. blue tees; 9,000+ ft. white tees; 7,000+ ft. red tees)
- EXpensive greens fees ($27 - $35 depending on day/time)
Eagles Crossing lies 70 miles west of St. Louis amidst farmland in rural Northeast Missouri. This private property covers 380 acres of rolling hills, open prairies and wooded expanses with an 18-hole championship caliber course centrally located to incorporate all of those natural features. Other amenities onsite include hiking trails, stocked fishing ponds, a pro shop with restroom, portable toilets on the course and rental cabins for overnight stays. The course is currently open, though some areas of construction remain to be completed according to staff.
eagles - birds of prey with powerful wings and keen eyesight
crossing - traversing or traveling across
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Eagles Crossing - challenging flight for birdie hunters aka disc golfers testing power and precision traveling across fields, ponds and woods traversing imposing course
Eagles Crossing presents itself as a secluded, destination course comparable to a scenic and roving county park but with beautifully landscaped features of an affluent city park such as stone retaining walls, decorative stone tee pad areas, attractive ponds, a large water fountain plus spectacular signature elements like the massive "Cake" green with its visually arresting pyramid formed by round terraces. The grounds are kept tidy and groomed with lush grass fairways that even extend through woods to greens featuring Gateway Titan baskets. Roughs are usually defined by tall grasses and thick foliage. Out of bounds areas marked by wooden stakes typically consist of overgrown vegetation; dense woodlands (often on steep hillsides); water hazards plus stark, crushed stone vehicle pathways. The layout meanders across undulating fields; reaches into recesses of tall, shady woodlands; ascends and descends sloping hills; serpentines around frequent, risky water hazards (when not outright forcing throws over the water) and bounds onto island landings in dramatic fashion.
Everything about this expansive course aims to impress. The 25' tall pergola entryway that greets visitors as they enter reinforces that expectation. Then a mile and a half secluded drive through woods builds anticipation leading to giddy excitement at recognizing the awesome "Cake" green as the course comes into view. After a visit to the well stocked pro shop, players take to the course to behold picturesque views intended to excite and intimidate in equal proportions on almost every tee. Playing the course reveals the ambitious forethought built into its design along with appreciative attention to detail that combines to extoll the professionalism of its creation and upkeep. Playing Eagles Crossing makes for a most enjoyable and memorable round.
Eagles Crossing extravagantly creates an exciting atmosphere filled with exhilarating disc golf. While the course's difficult and appealing setting enthralls, other elements in support of play or even extraneous to play add a bit of fun and whimsy to elevate enjoyment, literally and figuratively. The course plays extremely long on a very demanding and exhausting layout catering to experienced or professional levels of play. The short red tees are short only in comparison to the white and blue tees: consider the red tees as already long, the whites even longer and the blues as obnoxiously long. There are scant opportunities to relax and no easy pars to allow one to catch one's breath on this course. This expert design requires constant focus, attention, power and accuracy throughout play. Still, the holes seem fair and rewarding in relation to their extreme challenge.
Additional stellar elements worth mentioning: alternate pin settings on every hole, well proportioned tee boxes with colored cement to match the tee positions, defined island fairway landing zones as well as island greens, pleasing landscaping from tee to green and even beyond the course, courteous and helpful staff, plentiful practice baskets and a grand driving range. Less than stellar considerations worth mentioning: steep greens fees (reservation for tee times recommended), no tee signs (caddie book provided instead), lack of adequate seating near tees to rest between holes and occasional rough patches of stony walkways (notably along entire length of hole #5).
Owner Philip Samuels enlisted course designer David McCormick to assist in constructing what Philip hopes will become "the best disc golf course in the world" worthy of hosting premier events in the sport. Construction began in August 2020, and the course opened for play in late 2021. A second wooded course is reportedly in the works elsewhere on the property. A stake in the fairway on hole #15 marks the spot where Scott Stokely threw a forehand shot from his knee to eventually birdie the hole and win the BIG MONEY OTB Tour Skins #59. Blue stakes on either side of the fairway on hole #18 recreate the "Holy Shot" James Conrad threw at the 2021 PDGA World Championship by marking 252' distance to the basket.
(The original layout described below has been rearranged as of Spring 2023. The new layout follows holes #10-18 as front nine and #5-9 then #1-4 as back nine.)
Gentle downhill slopes on the first two holes quickly introduce players to the abundant and picturesque ponds on this course. Hole #1 starts with a defined island green plus potential death putt abutting a reedy water hazard while #2 drives over one pond and beside another to island fairways under the silent, watchful gaze of an African Safari menagerie. Hole #3 next curves uphill through trees to prepare for signature hole #4 which impressively crosses two ponds at different levels en route to its iconic, tiered "Cake" green. Hole #5, the longest of the course at its farthest pin setting, tunnels a country mile down a sunken railroad bed and threatens to make a "Train Wreck" out of scores. The next two drives both throw to defined island greens: hole #6 aka "Buddha's Perch" drops steeply past trees toward a meditative creek bank; and hole #7 carries across a pond to a scenic, stone-walled grass landing above the water. Hole #8 revisits lightly wooded environs, and hole #9 edges around yet another pond and past trees to conclude the front nine.
The landscape unfolds for fairways to lengthen and widen on the back nine which contains five of the six longest holes of the course. Stately hole #10 airs out beside the driving range into an open field with a winding, defined fairway. Hole #11 transitions from the pastoral field to inviting woods and ends at an uphill green beside a pond. Trees shade almost the entirety of the next three holes with #12 driving far uphill, #13 covering the second greatest distance on the course and lengthy dogleg #14 thrilling with its downhill and uphill travel through this moderately wooded section. Hole #15 exits the woods mid-fairway only to curve and then return back beneath trees protecting the green. Lovely hole #16, especially in the setting sun, flirts with a fairway water carry off the tee to reach a pondside green. Downhill hole #17 passes over a low ditch to land inside a defined island green. Final hole #18 doglegs around a koi pond featuring a prominent stone waterfall to finish uphill upon an elevated green ringed by a stone circle.
31 of 31 people found this review helpful.
31 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Unlike most courses, I think the list of "pros" has to start with the amenities. There is an on-site pro shop that is a combination disc store (regular retail and rare discs), outdoor equipment outfitter store, and convenience store with more variety of snack and beverage options than most anywhere you have stopped for gasoline in the last few months. Also available: 7 lb. or 20 lb. bags of ice.
There is a driving range with full-size concrete tee pads and distance markers, plus a putting area with several baskets that match the on-course baskets, including one that is elevated. The driving range runs parallel to hole ten and the putting area is near the parking area and the tee for hole one. It makes sense for the way I like to warm up (though I did not use the driving range before my casual round).
Large signage directs players to park near the pro shop for check-in. At check-in, players receive a printed caddie book with an intro to the property, course map, and individual full-page hole maps, with distances to each pin location from each tee pad. There is an insert in the back with a score card showing the current pin position for each hole. (I registered for a tee time through an online system that sent me email reminders ahead of time.) After check-in, players are asked to move to the main parking area, which includes port-a-potties and trash cans. It is convenient to hole one's tee and hole eighteen's basket.
The rockwork around tee pads and pins stands out and makes everything look very professional. This includes retaining walls on the ponds near baskets, occasional rocks with baskets planted in them, the "cake" hole's pin area, and a waterfall that adds character to hole eighteen.
There are port-a-johns located in several places throughout the course. (Btw, the one I used appeared to have been serviced very recently.) There are also at least three large picnic areas with multiple picnic tables and trash cans that are near tee boxes on elevated "overlook" locations.
The tee pads are very large and level. (At one point I heard a plane overhead and wondered if the pilot might be circling for a landing on one of them.) They are color-coded, Blue, White, and Red (though white is just the regular color of the concrete). Every hole has three tee pads and three or four pin positions, with the exception of hole 6, a short island hole with only two pin positions.
The alternate pin positions are not just longer or shorter, several are very different. Hole 12, for example, has a fairway split and the last 200 feet or so Y off in different directions, with pin locations A and B on the left and C and D on the right.
Gateway Titan baskets. They seemed to catch well and were, of course, in great shape.
The total par is 70. There are only 6 par 3 holes. That means there are 12 "two shot" or "three shot" holes that require accurate drives to hit landing zones to set up subsequent shots. I like that kind of golf. If it isn't the kind of golf you like to play, you won't like this course, even from the short tees.
Significant elevation changes on most holes. Pin positions that offer danger of OB, disc loss, or rollaway on most holes. Fair lines to throw throughout, though some of them are tight. There is definitely a sensation of being in a rather open space, but having to throw tight woods shots on many holes. The manicured green grass throughout the property adds to this, as does the presence of so many bodies of water. Several holes offer the option to throw out over the water to avoid having to hit a line through the woods, or vice versa. Despite these commonalities, the holes offer a lot of variety. Each hole does seem to have its own personality. I played the course once and I can remember all of the holes.
The course maintenance is top notch. The grass was mowed in all the right places and everything looked pristine. The idea is that many top courses are only in peak shape when the big pro tournament is coming to town, but this one will be kept like this at all times so everyone can experience it the same way.
The isolated setting. This is a big "pro" for me, but others might not agree. You are off the interstate, then off the 55 mph two-lane road, then off the 35 mph two-lane road with no stripe that is just about to turn into a gravel road, then you turn and drive a mile and a half through the trees down a one-lane gravel road to find this place. The sights and sounds of wildlife abound and if you hear machinery, it is connected to Eagles Crossing or it's a rare plane coming near (perhaps thinking the tee pads are runways).
The statuary and other random items throughout the course add something to the ambiance, though I guess I can't say exactly what. (Yes, I did sit in the giant rocking chair. No, I did not pretend to get eaten by the giant alligator or try to climb an elephant. Yes, I did take a photo of the "railroad crossing.")
Cons: There are great signs welcoming you to the property, leading you to check-in, to park, etc. But there are no signs on the course whatsoever! There is a caddie book, which each player will receive at check-in, I have no doubt, but you can't just look down and read the distance and see the map on each tee box, you must pull out the caddie book. (The course pro also warned me not to trust any disc-themed apps for a map.) The same is true for getting to the next hole. There are color-coded spokes on the baskets to direct to the next hole, but no "next tee" arrows near the baskets or along the route and no tee sign up ahead to spot from a distance. I played part of the back nine in the rain and my caddie book and my patience with this were wearing thin. I asked after my round and I was told that they have not yet decided what to do about tee signs.
The par for each hole is not listed on the hole info page for any of the holes, but only on the scorecard insert in the back. Not a big deal, but I thought it was weird.
The blue tee for hole 2 throws almost over the blue tee for hole 9, though from fairly high above it. An early tree kick could put players there in danger. In a tournament situation, I think players would take care not to have both of those areas being used at the same time.
There are very few benches anywhere on the course, despite the (at least) three large picnic areas, which are not right next to any tee pads. On such a long and hilly course, I would have appreciated an occasional bench.
Other Thoughts: The course is very long. I only threw from blue and white pads, but the reds may be manageable for new or young players.
There are some very long walks between holes. This is more true for those playing the shorter tee pads. Overall, this place is large and there will be a lot of walking up and down hills.
$25 is the cost to play. I am generally dedicated to the idea of not including fees as a "con," but this must be noted. I think for most this will be a "destination course" experience and we will see what the market will bear in these days of bear markets.
I must mention all the island greens and OB stakes. I did not mind it as much as I thought I would and I don't think it is a big "con." There were a couple of holes where I would have preferred not to have them, but most places the stakes are next to the road or next to a drop-off. It certainly adds to the strategy required to play some of the open holes. When faced with the choice, I threw the line where a tree kick would send my disc past some stakes rather than the line where a kick might send it into a pond.
To sum up, course signage would be nice, but I was handed a caddie book with all the info I could want about the holes and more. I was actively looking to find fault with this place and I found very little. This course may be a sign of things to come, our "destiny" as a sport. The remoteness of the property means it should not suffer the fate of some other private courses I have known, which were sold for housing development when the property got valuable. Driving past cornfields on my way, I couldn't help but think, "If you build it, they will come" may have been the mantra of this new-to-the-sport course owner. This is not my "favorite" course, but there is no doubt it is well-designed and the amenities are over-the-top. I very much enjoyed my time there and so will you, if you like the kind of disc golf I like!
31 of 31 people found this review helpful.
"An Amusement Park For Disc Golf"
35 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Eagles Crossing is a private, championship caliber 18-hole course outside Hawk Point, Missouri. You may have heard of this new-for-2021 course from the GK Pro Skins match held there earlier in the year, or from Simon Lizotte or Eagle McMahon, both of whom have given this course high praise online. The owner's goal for this course is for it to be the best disc golf course in the world. While that's a tall task, one thing I can say about the course is that it's truly something special, and that videos on Youtube can't do it justice.
Located outside of the St. Louis metro area, this course is north of I-70 between Truxton and Hawk Point, between St. Louis and Columbia. GPS will seem like it is leading you in the middle of nowhere (it kind of is) until you reach the bold pergola entrance. From there, a long straight driveway will take you to the property, with "The Cake" being the first thing that welcomes you to the course. If you need gas, stop while you're by the highway. If you forgot snacks or drinks, the pro shop has you covered, though it's a little pricey.
Amenities are plentiful across the almost 400 acres of land the property takes up. In addition to disc golf, Eagles Crossing has 9 stocked lakes for catch and release fishing, outdoor games, plenty of hiking trails, Polaris rentals, and gardens. There are supplies for fishing and other activities at the store on-site. In addition to a round of disc golf, the fee to play the course also grants you access for the day to fish and hike. On-site housing is also in the works, with some cabin space in place and more on the way.
Course Equipment is still in progress, but what is in place is fantastic. Each hole has three large tee pads that are literally color coded, erasing any confusion about which tee pad you are at. The baskets are new Gateway Titans. Signage is limited to a single sign at each blue tee with a hole layout and distances from each tee; I have to imagine signage is on the list of things that will be done in the near future. Near the store and parking area, you'll find several baskets that can be used for putting practice. Next to the fairway of hole 10, you will also find a long driving range that looks like it has room for even the biggest of crushers. When I came for my round, they had a large area leveled off, which will be the teeing off area for the driving range. Update: The tees for the driving range are complete, with 6 separate concrete tees and benches to choose from. While signage currently leaves some to be desired, each person who plays the course can get a caddie book, which has all of the information about each hole you could ask for.
Course Design at Eagles Crossing leaves nothing off the table, utilizing as much opportunity as it can from the land it's on while also using some impressive added infrastructure to take things to another level. Dave McCormack mentioned that this course was his first opportunity to really place everything exactly where he wanted on a project, and the result is some very fun shots and challenges.
Shot Shaping is very well rounded on this course. As a RHBH player that only forehands when needed, I used every disc in my bag on this course. There's a good mix of left or right shaped fairways or gaps on this course, with some holes requiring multiple drives that may utilize different shapes. If you aren't good at making discs end both right and left, your weaknesses will be shown here.
Distances also include a little bit of everything here. Depending on the tees you pick, you are looking at anywhere between 7,000 and 11,300 feet in total distance. This will include holes as short as between 300 to 300 feet from the reds and whites, to multiple holes over 700 feet from the whites and blues. Every hole with a par above 3 has been designed to require multiple shots, and you can get a good idea of ideal landing zones as you play the course. While some of the distances are long even from the reds, the pars and tee locations are located in a way to make par or birdies gettable if the tee you throw from matches you skill level.
Elevation always adds a lot to a course when utilized well, and it certainly is at Eagles Crossing. There are plenty of holes with either uphill or downhill shots that really add to the challenge and design of each hole. Holes 2, 6, and 17 comes to mind as very fun downhill holes, while holes like 3, 9, and 15 have an uphill factor for at least part of the fairway as well. The rest of the holes are a mix between valleys, rolling hills, or flat fairways, making for a course with a little bit of everything.
Difficulty is something that some folks may be wondering about with this course, as I believe it has gotten a reputation for being quite difficult. While the course is quite challenging, I found it to be quite accessible. The three tee pads genuinely provide three different levels of difficulty. Speaking as someone who is rated 880 but can easily hit between 900 and 940 rounds when I don't elect to get overheated at tournaments in St. Louis in July, I felt that the red tees were very accessible and possible to shoot under par on. The white tees bump up the difficulty significantly while taking some spice out of riskier water carries or other shots, and the blues are really designed for pro level play. My friends and I played a mix of tees depending on comfort level from hole to hole, and I think there was a noticeable trend between what tee we played and how we did on that hole.
Highlights are hard to narrow down on this course, as most of the holes either were spectacular in shot shape and design, and/or were very aesthetically pleasing. Hole 4 must be mentioned, known as The Cake. Two water carries that lead to a 5-tiered green, making it very risky to run a long putt. I loved hole 5, known as The Trainwreck. From the blue tees, you throw down onto what used to be an old train track, and then try to get up and down one of the longest wooded tunnels you'll find anywhere for your par. Holes 2, 6, 7, 14, and 17 also stood out to me for various reasons. Overall, though, 90% of the holes on this course would be statement holes on most other courses.
Beauty and Environment also really stood out to me at Eagles Crossing. This course is truly in the middle of nowhere, USA, and uses a mix of hills, open fields, and surrounding woods. The course was genuinely as fun to look at as it was to play. Add in some extra features like the animals on 2, the rocking chair near hole 8, and the Buddha on 6, as well as the fountain next to the cake that welcomes you to the property, and it really makes for a unique environment to chuck plastic in.
Work in Progress - as mentioned, this course is still technically under construction. Most of the holes are good to go, but you will notice areas that are still being worked on. It looks like they are fine tuning some spots around hole 12 currently, and the driving range is also being redone completely. That being said, none of this effected our round last weekend, and it's ridiculous to think that this course is going to continue to improve.
Pay-To-Play - something that wasn't a con for me, but understandably could be for others. This course costs $25 to play. Update: 2022 prices are $27 for weekdays and $35 for weekends. I know some other private courses like Flip City and Maple Hill are less than this to play, and I have only noticed a larger fee so far on some private courses in Colorado. I'm of the opinion that it's a private course and the owner can elect to charge what he wants. That being said, this fee will likely keep this course to an every-so-often type of course for many, myself included. Then again, that may be their intent with this fee as well. Between upkeep, keeping the store stocked, and other factors, it's clear this course gets a lot of love by the owner, and I found the fee to be worth it.
Difficulty - while the closer tees do make this course more accessible, it's still a very hard course. 1000 rated from the blue tees is over par. Did I find this course to be very fun? Yes. Did I get wrecked on the scorecard? Yes. I think the difficulty and challenge that many of the hole have here is part of what makes this course so much fun to play. All the island holes, all of the water carries, all of the OB...it all makes for a round that really feels like a tournament round of golf, and all of these factors really give this course a championship - level feel. That said, it is a difficult course, and I'd advise new players to get skills up to a certain level before trying this course. Either knowing your skill level or what you are in for when you select a certain tee will help greatly when it comes to enjoying a round of golf here.
Other Thoughts: Phillip Samuels, the owner of Eagles Crossing, is not a disc golfer. He is just a guy who owns a bunch of property outside Hawk Point, found disc golf online, and felt like his land could make for a great course. From what I have heard and read, it sounds like he went to Dave McCormack, essentially gave a blank check, and said "design the best disc golf course you'll find anywhere so we can host worlds." And his goal is to host worlds, as well as other high-profile tournaments, and soon.
When my friends and I left before dawn to make out 8:45 tee time, we didn't know what we were in for. We knew the course was beautiful. We also knew it was challenging. But I don't think we were anticipating the kind of experience we got. Even when calling to book a tee time a couple weeks prior, this course had a different vibe to it. And checking in to a disc golf course before your round really added to the experience in a way. Getting a caddy book as well as a rundown of the course before playing did as well. And as we made our way through the course, every hole felt very intentional, between the decorative factors, the hole designs, and the flow of the course as a whole. The creators of this course wanted to make it feel like a disc golf destination designed specifically for disc golf, and they achieved that.
I think one of the best things about disc golf is how accessible it is from a monetary standpoint. I think having so many courses free to play in public places and being able to play with as little as one $8 base-plastic mold is great. At the same time, it was really fun to be able to experience something like Eagles Crossing, a course that has a regular golf vibe to it in some ways, such as the tee times and the level of upkeep. We all have those local courses near us that don't get mowed regularly (looking at you, Willmore), or don't get as much love as we'd like them to get. It's cool to be able to have a place like this where you know the folks in charge are going to make sure it's always good to go.
The goal that Phillip and Dave had for this course was for it to be the best in the world. Does it achieve that? I don't know. I've only played 112 courses thus far, including only a couple that make the top 25 on this site. I think the design of Eagles Crossing is top notch, and I think the amenities, customer service, and overall experience is fantastic. Do I like this course more than Idlewild or Harmony Bends? I don't know about that, and it's honestly hard to compare for multiple reasons. But it's up there for sure. Will this course remain a 5-star course as I continue to bag courses? It may or may not, but it'll be a while before it gets knocked out of that discussion for me.
You may be wondering if this course is worth adding to the bucket list, or worth traveling to and paying $25 to play. That's a fair thing to debate. My recommendation? Take a chance on it and give it a go. I'm willing to bet that, at the very least, you have a very fun round here. Because while it's debatable if it's the best in the world, it's an undeniably special course and addition to the disc golf scene....
September 2022 Update: I have had the opportunity to play this course for a second time, and progress is continuing to be made on it. There are more benches throughout the course now, with most holes now having at least one at each tee pad. We also noticed larger patios with tables and seating throughout the course, such as around holes 7 and 15, clearly with spectators in mind. A lot of the tee pads have additional landscaping around them, with plans for the rest to be completed soon. Some tee pads still have wood around them, but they hardly feel like they are under construction. There are no dirt areas like last year, with the driving range looking complete now and hole 12 looking polished. We noticed some small adjustments to the course design as well, such as 18's green being more of an island and some island greens being a slightly different shape.
The fees to play the course have gone up, now $27 for weekdays and $35 for weekends as of September 2022. I have wondered to myself how I want to consider pay-to-play in reviews, and I think I've concluded that it doesn't factor into my rating but will affect whether or not I consider it worth checking out. This course is around an hour from me, a distance I'm happy to make for a course I really like, but the fees will keep this to a 1 or 2 time-a-year thing for me, which I think is similar to what the owner has in mind.
Eagles is still under construction, but really doesn't feel like it. Once they have completed landscaping and fine tuning, permanent signage will go in (the caddie books are a nice touch in the meantime). Once this course is complete, they do have another course in the works, which is already planned out. The second course will explore the woods and creeks on property more than the original 18, and will not have the same polished look to it, providing a "yin and yang" vibe according to the employee checking folks in. A second course will really make this into a full day experience. I hope they don't add too much to the price when there's an option to play 2 courses, but time will tell.
This course is firmly 3rd in my personal top courses list behind Idlewild and Harmony Bends. It really is a fun experience and makes for a nice day of disc golf. Do I want this type of course to be the new normal for disc golf? Absolutely not; one of disc golf's greatest attributes is how accessible it is physically and monetarily. Am I happy courses like this are around to provide something different? Absolutely yes, I am.
Keep an eye out for more coverage of this course. It will be hosting a large skins tournament next month that it looks like GK Pro will be filming, and the folks in charge want to be a part of the national tour, something they were very confident about achieving sooner rather than later.
35 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Eagle is correct, it's the best
29 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The entire course. Amazing that this "work in progress" is already arguably the best disc gold course in the world. Go watch the GK Pro skins match on YouTube and the review writes itself. It's incredible
HUGE Concrete pads, 3 of them per hole
Blue - if you can reliably throw controllable 450 power then enjoy these. If not...whelp, good luck. This is 1000+ rated player pads
White - shooting par from the White pads rates about 975-980...nuts. These pads offer my favorite mix of difficulty
Red - Very similar to the short pads at Harmony Bends in difficulty vs say the Blue pads. A good player should be able to grab many birdies from these.
Design. Saying this is Dave McCormack's best design is easy. Nothing has been overlooked in terms of pin placement, pad placement, trees in play, water in play, even the height of OB. Keep in mind, this is NEW Course. unbelievable. All shots required to score. danger everywhere, OB everywhere, distinct landing zones for less aggressive players on longer holes along with aggressive options.
Scenery. Mature forest with mowed fairways, beautiful water features, cool accent pieces, the rockwork around so many pins. 10/10
Pro Shop. a staffed shop on site with plenty of snacks, discs and other items. No need to stop off at a Walmart, everything you needs is at the course.
Lodging available. This place has lodging available and they are currently building more. Again, nothing like this in disc golf.
Driving Range. On site with baskets starting at 200 feet out to 400feet, grass mowed out to 500 feet it looks like. The land for the driving range is going to be regraded I'm told to level off where you stand to throw. Nothing is going overlooked here.
Lake drainage. When I was there they had drained one of the lakes to pull discs and return them....awesome.
The whole experience from entering the property to checking in at the clubhouse to playing the round is a dream.
Cons: Personally I hope the price drops to $20 and they offer an annual membership otherwise it can get pricey to throw here.
The Baskets... They are Gateway Titan baskets. I don't mind them but I think this course deserves the best. IMO that's Chainstar Pro
The Tee signs. no topography, only at the Blue pads, very small, no elevation info. These will surely be replaced with proper tee signs with QR codes that link to the Drone flyovers..
Other Thoughts: It's $25 to play.. yep $25 and worth every penny. This is a total disc golf destination. The heavy industrial equipment on site to build, maintain and who knows what else in the future is staggering. This property is being molded for disc golf perfection. The owner seems to have one goal in mind, make the best course ever and attract the best players and the best tournament. Everything here is over the top.
A solo round from either the Blue or White tees is 2+hours minimum. A card of 4.... double it. Just walking the course is over 4.5 miles.
Is it the best course I've ever played. For championship quality. yes.
Would I make any changes? I think some of the OB is a bit overkill. especially on a course that's already punishing but I also realize this course is designed to be challenging for touring pros if you play from the blues.
I played from the white pads and grabbed 5 birdies on the day. Holes 5, 7, 8, 13, 17. I took par and bogeys (or worse) on others. I only cared about the birdies as I celebrated those; and this was from the White pads. From the Blue pads I can only see holes 1, 7, 8 and 17 being birdie-able for me on a good day. The rest might be but would take me throwing and putting as well as I possibly could, and no wind, and it being November or March when its not too cold and the leaves are off the trees! so basically unlikely.
Is it my favorite course. No, that's still Wildcat Bluff in Iowa (currently Top20 worldwide on this site so I picked a good one, haha)
29 of 30 people found this review helpful.
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