A "Tree"cherously fun remodeled course
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I first played Schroeder 6 years ago when my daughter's beau wanted a suitable venue to ask for permission to marry her. Fast forward to today and both Schroeder Park and my daughter's family (now with 4 kids) have grown up!!
So now, Schroeder is a full 18 hole course. The additional 9 holes are all wooded holes, 7 added in the woods to the left side and 2 more in the woods on the right.
Elevation comes into play on a majority of the tee shots. Many of the newer holes are throwing from the top of a hill to a basket on top of the next hill.
There are dual pin placements available on each hole, though the signs seem to reflect only the distance to the shorter placement.
Distance will not be an issue at all, as accuracy is the challenge at this course. Longest hole was #13 at 337 feet.
Holes of note:
#4 When standing on tee pad look directly LEFT up the hill, to the new #4 basket placement. (If you look at the basket straight ahead up the hill at about 1 o'clock, you are now looking at #10)
#6 Blind throw straight ahead. Basket sits about 30 feet past a drop off which is about 145 feet out. (There is currently no flag or marker on the basket to give a sense of where it is.) Definitely a risk/ reward opportunity.
#9 Another straight ahead placement, but a column of 6 trees about 20 feet apart stare you in the face.
#13 Longest hole on course has a post with a mando left to keep you away from basket #1 area.
#18 is the old #9 which is the tough dogleg left up the hill with just enough tree protection to cause you to think through your shot selection.
Cons: There needs to be a new course map posted, both at the park and on the site. While navigation wasn't atrocious, it would have been made very easy with an up to date map.
New tee pads were grass mats on packed dirt. Firm enough, but some bad angles, #7 comes to mind. Pad was angled down, when an uphill throw across a ravine was needed.
Wooded fairways were pretty unforgiving if you hit a tree closer to the tee than the basket as there were still more trees to navigate. (Not sure if this is a con to all players!)
Hopefully not a long term con, but a large tree fell across fairway 14 about 40 feet in front of the basket. From the looks of the leaves, it has been down for a couple of months. Same scenario, not as large a tree, on 15's fairway.
Other Thoughts: This 60+ y/o player got lots of exercise navigating through forest hills and trees on this course. Despite the excessive number of trees that my discs were attracted to, I enjoyed the time spent there playing.
I will have to take my now son-in law back here to commemorate that day when he asked to be a part of my family. He has grown up as has Schroeder Park!!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
An Old School 9 Turned Wooded 18 That Provides A Fun Round For All Skill Levels
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Paul A. Schroeder Park is an 18-hole recreational course that combines more open park style holes with tight, tricky wooded lines. This formerly 9-hole course is among the oldest in the area, and provides a nice mix of difficulty and shot requirements for the large number of golfers that it regularly sees.
Location of Schroeder is just off Manchester Rd. near Rt. 141, up the hill on Old Meramec Station Rd. The park entrance will be on the right, and the disc golf course is on the other side of the hill of the pavilion next to Parks and Rec building that is at the end of the parking lot. This section of Manchester Rd. can get very congested which can make getting to this course a bit of a pain, but on the upside, the level of use of this road means there are plenty of gas and food options nearby if you need them. Folks looking for multiple courses in a day can easily pair Schroeder with other West County courses like Logan, Railroad, or Bluebird, or the courses to the south such as Watson Trail, Unger, or Sunset Lakes.
Park Amenities are robust at Schroeder. In addition to disc golf, the park is host to baseball diamonds, a basketball court, sand volleyball, tennis courts, and trails. There is also an aquatic complex on site, along with pavilions that are rentable. Overall, this park gets plenty of traffic, and there are consistently events or pool hours taking place throughout the day.
Course Equipment has seen some updates to go along with the recent expansion. All of the baskets on site are DISCatchers, many of which are brand new. While some aren't hiding the fact that they are older, they all are still in great shape. There's also a practice basket by hole 1 that provides plenty of space for warming up. The original holes in use have large concrete tees, with the new wooded holes each having turf. The old fiberglass signs have been replaced with laminated signs that show the hole number, par, distance, and the direction of the next hole from the basket. There's also a sign at hole one that mentions UDisc, which kind of makes up for the lack of a course map or having hole layout graphics on the tee signs. Nine of the holes are also designated as rec holes, for those who want to play an easier 9-hole course and avoid most of the tight wooded fairways; most of the old holes make up this track.
Course Design at Schroeder takes the original 9-hole that had a relatively low difficulty level and adds tight wooded holes that make for a more intermediate level experience. While adding difficulty, the new holes also keep the short nature the original design had, with none of the new holes exceeding 300ft. This makes for layout that is still accessible to players that don't have as much power in their drives and provides an opportunity for newer folks that are comfortable on the original holes to test their accuracy in the woods.
Shot-Shaping requires players at Schroeder to be able to put their drives on a variety of angles. Though the holes overall are short, there is a wide mix of holes that require right and left turning shots. While there are no hard doglegs on the course, there are holes like 8 and 13 where a right ending drive is the way to go, while other holes like 4, 5, and 15 are favorable to left ending drives. Other holes like hole 14 offer a RHBH flex line with the updated pin placement, while other holes like 1 and 3 provide options for RH backhand or forehand drives off the tee. Overall, there's something for everyone here.
Elevation is also a big factor at Schroeder. The first hole starts you off with a downhill drive that can punish those who don't judge the elevation drop properly. From there, plenty of holes offer uphill drives (4, 5, 15, 18), downhill drives (1, 6, 10, 14), and valleys to throw over (3, 11, 16).
Difficulty level is a mix at Schroeder, and I think the folks in charge of the course have found a good way to expand who the course caters to. There is a rec-9 option for newer players or folks that like the old layout, with just a couple of holes replaced due to either the old hole 4 being retired or to help with flow. The newer holes require more accuracy than the original course did, making the full 18-hole track more intermediate level. The woods will keep less accurate players from scoring well, but the woods aren't as thick as they appear, making errant drives relatively easy to find on more holes.
Cons: Course Equipment may very well still be in progress with the new design, but there are some downsides with the update as it stands. The signage is a step up from the fiberglass signs that were really showing their age, but more permanent signs with additional information would really elevate the course quality. Some of the pins are hard or impossible to see from the tees, so graphics would be great. It also looks like multiple pin placements are being put in on each hole, so a way to show which pin is in use will also be a great touch. The turf tee pads are a nice touch for the new holes, but the hilly nature of the new holes makes for turf pads that are almost universally slanted and not level. The wooded holes are in tight hilly areas, so it's a tough setting to get a level piece of land set up. The being said, I recommend doing practice run ups to see what part of the tee pad you're comfortable planting on. Hopefully this is something the folks in charge of the course can work on and improve.
Navigation, kind of going with signage, can be improved as well. The transitions and routes from one pin to the next tee are not always clear, with the transitions between holes 3, 4, and 5 coming to mind. There are next tee directions on the tee signs themselves, but some of these feel either inaccurate or confusing to interpret. Next tee directions by the pins themselves would be a major step up. A course map at hole 1 would also be a good addition. My philosophy is a brand-new player should be able to walk up to a course and navigate it with ease without UDisc, and I don't think that's quite the case at Schroeder.
Crowdedness can be a factor at this course, as it regularly gets a lot of traffic. If this doesn't sound ideal to you, I'd recommend a different course.
Safety and Fairway Overlap comes to mind in a few spots. Holes 1 and 13 are original hole designs that still play very close to each other. There is a dogleg on 13 requiring you to go around the green of 1, but it's still close enough that drives can land by 1's basket while others are putting out. 10's fairway also has folks throw in the direction of 11's tee pad; there's a net set up which is a good touch, but I feel like this can still be a hazard. The pins of 13 and 17 are also close enough that folks might either have a drive land close to the other hole, or may throw to the wrong basket in confusion (not like that happened to me though...)
Course Design overall is very fun here, but it remains a short course. If you want to bust out distance drivers, this is not the course for you. Also, the recreational 9 option is still a great option available, but holes 15 and 16 (rec 7 and 8) are a little difficult and don't really match the skill level of the other 7 holes in this option.
Other Thoughts: The original 9-hole course at Schroeder Park was the first course designed by Gateway Disc Sports, though Gateway's website says Dave McCormack's actual first course design dates back to the 70's. Innova and Discraft are credited with donations for the original course, and both Gateway and the St. Louis Disc Golf Club are credited with the design. All in all, there is a lot of groups and history tied to this piece of disc golf history.
An 18-hole course at Schroeder has been an idea that has been around for a long time, but various obstacles have kept it from being a reality until now. Past disc golfer behavior and NIMBY neighbors have threatened the existence of this course multiple times over the years, but the expansion to 18-holes indicates that this course is here to stay.
This is great to see given the love this course gets. Go to this course on any decently nice day and you're likely to see a mix of experienced players, local middle or high schoolers, and families playing here. I consistently see a wider mix of demographics on this course than just about any course I have played; this was true when my course count was 77 at the time of my review of the original design, and it's true now that my course number is 125. There's a regular Tuesday evening league as well that gets plenty of folks to come out consistently.
All in all, this course continues to be an asset to the local disc golf scene. It's not a course that is going to blow experienced folks away, and there aren't many holes here that you will be talking about long after a round here. That being said, I wouldn't overlook Schroeder. Its recreational track is still a great option for newer players, while intermediate and advanced players will find fun challenges in the new wooded holes. Work is being continuously done on this course to fine tune it; the wooded holes are tight but are more open this summer than they were this past December when there weren't any leaves blocking your view. This is a course that will only get more polished overtime, and some minor improvements to equipment and maintenance will make for a higher rating if they happen.
Are there plenty of other options in St. Louis I'd recommend to visitors before Schroeder? Sure. But there are few courses in St. Louis that can match the range of players this course caters to. What this course is missing in difficulty and distance, it more than makes up for in fun-factor. Don't sleep on Schroeder Park, because this course was and continues to be a hidden little gem for the local disc golf scene. If you want a fun chill round of old-school or short wooded golf, Schroeder is hard to beat.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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