No fun, my babe. No fun.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Railroad Park is a mostly undeveloped 33-acre park that is locked in by the South end of the Monarch-Chesterfield Levee to the East, North and West, and railroad tracks to the South. In the center of the park there is a largely open area with a scattering of trees, and that is where the disc golf course lives.
The design is geared toward recreational players, with five holes under 200’ and 15 of the holes under 250’. The site is board flat, really no elevation comes into play. There are tee signs listing the distance, and the tees are short, boxed in areas filled with gravel. The baskets are Latitude 64° ProBasket and there is one pin placement per hole.
Given the limitations of no holes in the woods and no elevation, about all you can do is try to set up tees and/or baskets in a way that will reward you if you can get that turnover/flick shot going. This course does manage to do that; there are several “lefty privilege” shots where the smart play is the finesse touch turnover.
Cons: Fun factor is a very subjective thing, but IMO this course is no fun. Like at all. I like disc golf and I appreciate recreational courses, so I really tried to like this course but…this course is just boring. Like really, really, boring. Like “If this was the only course near me, I wouldn’t play disc golf” boring. The site is so flat and so open that the course just really does not deliver any fun.
The flow is OK once you play the course, but the holes are close together and the tee signs in a lot of cases were oriented so you couldn’t see which tee you were walking to until you walked past the sign. It leads to some issues such as leaving 6’s basket and wandering back to the tee for hole 3 before finding the tee for 7. Once you get to 7’s tee you realize how you were supposed to get there (which would keep you from wandering around and getting in the way of people trying to play hole 3) but my first time around I was in the way of people playing other holes a lot. It’s a byproduct of the flat/lightly wooded site; you can see baskets and tees literally everywhere so it’s easy to head to the wrong one.
Holes 11-15 shoot back and forth in a pretty small area; they are all putter shots so from an experienced disc golfer standpoint they seem fine. We all know that beginners are going to be flailing high-speed drivers at those shots, which gives me some safety concerns. There seemed to be enough room to move two of those shots out and spread the remaining three out.
The course itself is difficult to get to. The parking lot is for the trail, and makes you walk away from the course before you start walking to the course. The walk to the course was a lot longer than your average parking lot to course trek (my app had us at 0.4 miles from the car to the course). Once you get to the path down the embankment, that thing is steep. You take a long walk across the levee, take a treacherous path down an embankment and back up into the course, and walk directly into two baskets. One is a practice basket, the other is 18’s basket. If you don’t know anything about the course and walk in, you can quickly end up in the way of people throwing at 18.
The issue with 18's basket could be easily fixed because 18 in the context of this course is stupid. There are three holes over 250’. Hole 3 is 284’. Hole 4 is 359’. Hole 18 is 559’ for no reason. The basket should be 100’ short of where it is and the tee 50’ up from where it is; I can see a 400ish foot ending shot. 559’ on a course like this dumb. The course is so mind-numbingly boring that no one who can throw a 300’ drive is going to bother playing this course, so you are just going to torture new/recreational players with a needlessly long hole.
The tees are just bad; boxes of gravel always end up washed out messes. Even at the young age of this course, they are uneven and hard to throw from. I teed off from the side to stay off them; from the look of the ground there, I wasn’t the only one.
The site has a bad mosquito issue, when it rains or when the sun starts to set you should have a plan or not be in this park. There is also not a lot of shade, so sunscreen and water are necessary.
Other Thoughts: The Missouri Greenway has a trail head parking lot that de facto serves the park, so there is ample parking but no real indication that you are at anything called Railroad Park when you get there. There are currently no directional signs to get you to the course.
There is a TON of heavily wooded property in the park that would be much better suited for a disc golf course than the land they are using but given the course designer I’m confident that the restrictions against using that land was made by the City. I don’t think any qualified course designer would have passed up a chance to tuck some holes up into the woods. It gives the site some potential; you could rework the course so that holes 2-3-4 were tucked into the woods on the West side of the park, rework the design to take advantage of the freed up space, tuck a couple more holes in on the East side of the park and Voilà!; you have some variety and can move the holes in the open area away from each other. Maybe after a few years, the City will warm up to the idea that they have a bad course with bad tees and be open to trying to fix those problems. Maybe.
Until then, for me Railroad Park sits just above Meadowridge and T.R. Hughes so far as courses in the St. Louis area go. Meadowridge and T.R. Hughes are both really, really bad, so being just above them is not good. There are other “bad” area courses like Citizens Park and Arnold City Park that are a lot more fun than Railroad Park, which makes it really hard to rate this course any higher than I rated those courses.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
A Beginner-Level Course That Provides A Great Option For Families And Newer Players
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Railroad Park is a short and open 18-hole course designed for new and novice players. The design of this course makes for a great option for learning the game, while having a surprising variety of lines that more skills players will enjoy as well.
Location of Railroad Park is behind the main line of shops in Chesterfield off I-64, between Edison Rd. and, well, a railroad. The park is hidden away behind a line of trees but is accessible from the greenway next to it. Park at the Missouri Greenway lot, and then head east on the greenway along the levee. You'll soon see what looks like a concrete spillway that leads to an opening in the tree line; that's walk through and you're at hole 1. The line of shops and restaurants you'll see when heading to this course has just about every restaurant chain you could ask for, along with gas stations. For course bagging, this course isn't too far from a variety of options, especially the west St. Louis County options like Logan, Schroeder, and Bluebird.
Course Equipment looks to still be in progress, but there is a good amount in place currently. The baskets are Lat64 branded, and the yellow really pops. This may be my first experience with Lat64 baskets, but they catch great. The tee pads are elevated boxes filled with gravel. There's also a practice basket at the entrance of the course right next to the hole 1 tee pad.
Course Design is strongly catered towards newer players, but despite the openness of the property, there is a good amount of variety in terms of what shot shaping will be required of you to get close to the pin off the tee. The course makes the most out of the spotty tree coverage throughout the field to maximize the potential of an 18-hole course at this site.
Shot-shaping was the part of this course that surprised me the most by far. I wasn't expecting to see a lot of variety at this course, but I ended up using just about every putter and midrange in my bag. There are plenty of holes where a RHBH hyzer will be the most comfortable shot, but there are arguably more shots that end to the right that will favor RHFH or LHBH dominant players. Holes 1, 11, and 16 are the holes that play closest to the surrounding woods and rough, and they all curve to the left. Other holes on property, such as 3 and 8, have RHBH flex lines based on the placement of trees in the fairway. This mix of fairway shapes really provide the challenge of throwing different shots while also providing plenty of holes where you can comfortably go with your preferred shot type. There are also a surprising number of tunnel shots given the openness of the course, as many fairways utilize low branches on the large trees in the field to challenge you to keep your drive low.
Distances at Railroad are short, which pairs well with the intended level of difficulty. Most holes are under 300, with holes 4 and 18 being the exceptions. These two holes have pars of 4 and 5 respectively though, keeping them in line with the other holes in terms of difficulty.
Difficulty Level definitely caters to brand new and novice players. This is a course that will provide a good level of difficulty to anyone new to the game that want to work on shot shaping at shorter distances before graduating to longer courses. Intermediate players and up will find this course to be a fun ace-run filled course where they can see how far below par they can get. As an intermediate player, I still found this course to be a lot of fun despite the difficulty level.
Cons: Course Equipment leaves something to be desired. The signage is not on site yet, requiring UDisc to navigate the course since many tees and baskets are close enough to each other to make things confusing. Some of the tee boxes have numbering on them, though not all do. Hopefully with signage, flow becomes a lot clearer. The tee boxes also are not my favorite, as they are elevated boxes filled with gravel. The boxes are on the shorter side, and while most of the holes are short, it can still make your run up awkward. The gravel is also not the best option out there. I played this course between rain showers, and the gravel tees had plenty of puddles, making the grass on either side of the boxes preferable to throw from. I imagine I'd feel this way on a dry day as well. Update: Temp signage is in place, which while not perfect should help with any potential confusion with the layout.
Course Flow and Design checks the boxes that the designers had in mind, but there are just a couple spots that that came to mind as potential cons. The holes with baskets closer to the rough and woods like 1, 11, and 16 can punish bad throws more than a beginner course perhaps should, as the rough and wood lines can be pretty thick in this park. Hole 18's pin is also pretty close to the practice basket, though this is the only hole that comes to mind when it comes to a tee or pin being close to another hole to the point that I think it could be a problem on a busy day.
Park Amenities are virtually non-existent, as calling this a park feels misleading in its current state. There aren't any bathrooms or anything else that disc golf shares this land with currently, except for one trash can by the start of the course.
Course Difficulty serves who it intends to, but many more skilled players might find themselves getting bored at this course. If you're an intermediate or advanced player and looking for a challenging course, most other courses in St. Louis will be a better option than this one.
Accessibility is also an issue given that the most convenient parking lot for the course is a quarter mile down the greenway (closer to .4 miles if you don't climb the levee as a shortcut). It's hard to see where a better parking lot option would go given the land surrounding the park, so this is likely to stay this way.
Bugs - While they weren't bad when I played, I have heard consistent complaints about mosquitos and other bugs at this park after rain. I suggest bringing bug spray to this course unless it's the off season, as this has been a consistent complaint on local pages.
Other Thoughts: Chesterfield's parks and rec website lists this park as "under development", so it'll be interesting to see if other things are added to this park. Disc golf currently takes up the vast majority of the field part of the park, so it's hard to see what else will reasonably fit in this plot of land unless the disc golf course is redesigned later on. Time will tell if any of those possibilities become a reality.
Overall, this is a fantastic beginner level course, making it a great addition to the St. Louis area. I can't think of another course nearby that combines the level of skill required to hit the intended lines of each fairway with the lack of opportunities to lose a disc that Railroad has, other than perhaps Laurel Park in St. Peters or T. R. Hughes in O'Fallon (check my review to see how I feel about this course. It's not positive). Railroad is a great option to introduce family and friends to the game and can make for a very quick round for more experienced players with not a lot of time to play. My friend and I were able to knock this course out in under an hour in rainy conditions with ease, and if I was solo, I think this course would play at or under 40 minutes.
If you're a newer player in the area, this is a great option that I recommend checking out. There are many other St. Louis courses I'd recommend before this one to course baggers, but if you are looking for an easily accessible course driving along 64, this one is hard to beat. Railroad is a great beginner option for the area, and hopefully it continues to improve overtime.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Nice course for upshot practice & beginners!
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great course for beginners with low probability of losing discs (as long as you're careful on the few holes that border the edge of the field).
Doesn't get a lot of traffic, so perfect to sneak in a quick round.
Nice, new Lat64 baskets.
Course is still developing and new features being added.
Cons: Teepads are gravel, pretty small & slightly elevated. Luckily, the holes (in general) aren't very long, so it's less of an issue.
Udisc has the course location correct, but you will need to park at the Greenway parking lot ~1/4 mile West and walk the Greenway to the entrance to the course.
No signage or other course amenities (water, bathroom, etc.) (You'll need Udisc to find your way around.)
Very little shade.
Other Thoughts: I'm not sure if this is a DIY course or not, but it definitely has that feel. I wouldn't call it a destination course, but it's great for practice and beginners.
The holes are all in a flat, open field with typically only one or two trees as obstacles, or one side bordered by thick rough. However, it does make good use of low ceilings (both in the fairway and near the baskets) and wind can definitely be an issue.
The woods that border the course are thick. You'll want to avoid that on those holes that run parallel to the edges of the field. Other than that, not much worry of losing a disc.
The teepads are small, constructed of 4x4 wood frames with a pea gravel surface, and slightly elevated. Luckily, most of the holes are pretty short, so lack of run up and the loose surface is manageable. The teepads are a new addition, so I'm hopeful that more features (like signage) are in the future.
As long as you're prepared (because you're going to be away from your car with no access to water or bathrooms), have Udisc running, and take the course for what it is (a practice course), you're likely to have a good time. And because it doesn't get a lot of play, you can generally knock out a round as quick as you care to move.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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