16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Situated between the Kansas City Southern rail line and the Kansas River sits a course nestled in and around the massive riverside trees. Tunnels to navigate and trees to avoid are the main features of the course.
There are two baskets off of each tee. The first set are numbered 1-9, and the second (and mostly shorter) set are numbered 10-18 to encourage a second playthrough. All the baskets are still in very good condition and the DGA number pucks on top are clearly visible.
The average distance the first set of 9 is right around 375. Helps the course to stand out from most 9-hole park courses.
The tunnel holes are the highlight of the course. 4/13 play down a 10ft wide tunnel all the way to the pin, the long pin (4) is 30ft around a small dogleg at the end of the tunnel while 13 is just before the dogleg, and the same goes for 5/14, but that one is a bit wider and shorter. 7 is the other tunnel, it has the lowest ceiling of them all, but is also the shortest of the tunnels (right about 220ft), but 16 is in a different direction completely.
The variation in the pins of 2/11, 7/16, and 9/18 keeps this course from feeling like just 9 holes with two baskets, those three split left and right and require very different shot shapes. 7/16 are actually two completely separate fairways! However...
Cons: The other 6 basket sets are extremely similar, either playing slightly around a dogleg or just adding distance to the hole. No extra spice is added, just an extra pin spot and a difference in distance. This doesn't do much to help the "this is an 18-hole course" narrative.
Dirt/clay tees that turn to mud easily and stay that way for a while. Along with this, some par listings would be nice (8 and 12 are definitely par 4s and there's a few others that could make the list).
The rough is very rough. And I hear the "just stay on the fairway" crowd gathering now, but these tunnels are tight, you try staying on the fairway! In any case, lost discs are not just possible here, they're likely. Also, the Kansas prairie grass in the summer looks to be very good at swallowing discs,
Along with the similarity, many holes have nothing but air in the way. 6/15 have the right side guarded, but the left is wide open, while 1/10 and 3/12 are the opposite. 8/17 has trees about 50ft off the tee and nothing else in the way except the basket of 8 is 10ft into the trees 500ft away. At least it isn't all one shot type.
Other Thoughts: Overall, Riverfront has a great course that I wouldn't classify as a full 18, but if we're judging it as a 9, it's a very solid 9. It holds replay value with the tunnel shots and dual baskets per fairway, and the distance required caters more to the experienced player.
With some concrete tees and maybe a few new pin spots this course would reach new heights. It's a very good choice if you have some time to get out of Lawrence proper, but not a necessity to play.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Too Easy? Try it in the Snow
Pros: The ground at Riverfront Park was 50% covered with snow on my first trip. I thought I would get out and give it a try anyway, since cold and wind had subsided a bit. It was still only 37 degrees, but I had cabin fever after several consecutive days of much colder weather than I am used to.
The dirt tee pads were not in bad shape, and even the couple of them that still had snow were not to slick or muddy to use. Since this course consists of 9 holes with 2 baskets each, I figured it would play fast enough to avoid frostbite. There was not any problems with the baskets.
The park is right along the river bank on the edge of town, true to its name. Land is inside the levee, very flat and playing through some pretty dense growth on 4 holes, with the remainder being more open skirting the edges of the trees, sometimes with pins tucked in the fringes.
Hole 2/11 was nice, I liked 11 pretty well. Open 75% of the way there, with a 75' corridor between two lines of mature trees as you approach the basket.
Hole 4/13 is where you get into technical lines through lots of tree limbs. Hole 5/14 is a similar feel.
There is a canal to the left of the fairway on hole 6/15 that was full of water, and heavy rough to the right. It was the only really dangerous hole, because it is on a slope that could take a rolling disc into the drink. However, photos on the DGCR page and Google earth both appear to be totally dry, so water may not always be in play.
7/16 take you to opposite sides of a brushy patch, 7 to the right turning left, and 16 to the left turning right as woods give way to a grassy field. 8/17 are long, crossing the grass to the edge of the trees on the other end.
I thought 9/18 was the best hole/combo on the course, with more than one gap through a good amount of trees creating a low ceiling. The best combination that felt like 2 distinctly different holes, and both of them fun drives, and 9 is longer and in a more protected position in the trees, so it can be a difficult approach
Cons: 18 holes sharing 9 fairways is not ideal obviously, but it does give you the option of making two loops, or playing them simultaneously, as I did. Inevitably, I went at the back nine targets first for some reason.
It can lead to very similar drives for each of the holes that share space, most notably on 1/10 and 3/12, where there is nothing but open space to the right, encouraging your biggest hyzer bomb if you prefer the RHBH, which I do.
There are tee signs, but they are not the best. Usually, if you can't see the pins from the tee, it doesn't take a long walk from the tee to spot them.
Other Thoughts: A nice little park, with a decent disc golf course. Not exactly remarkable, but there are some fun shots. I will probably be back from time to time, since I moved nearby recently, and will want something different from the area favorites eventually.
If you are traveling to the area and want the best, play Centennial, or make the short drive to Longview DGC or Bloomington DGC. For a change of pace from those, or learning the game, there is nothing wrong with checking Riverfront Park out. Just don't get your expectations too high.
I did have a rotten score, +10 (69), only one birdie that came on hole 1. If nothing else I will come back to see what I can do when there is no snow. I know I can do better than that.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
looking for a reason...
Pros: a bit different than the majority of courses around, ya know, being mostly wooded holes n all. pretty good signs along the way.
Cons: terrible map at the beginning. the two basket locations off each tee are hardly any different....its just a nine hole course really....dont pretend to be 18. no benches. no trash cans.
Other Thoughts: needs more to make it interesting- needs a place to air one out- needs a gimmick hole- hanging basket, or in-ground basket- or basket in a tree- needs a hole to make an ace run on. looking for a reason to go back- didnt find one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Lost but Liked
Pros: Flat and plenty of trees and shrubs which I find challenging. Not used much so no waiting and usually kept up well weather permitting.
Cons: Lots of places to lose discs during the summer if you are off target. Lots of mosquitos. Only a few fairways where I can try for distance. Can be muddy if there is a rainy period.
Other Thoughts: I like this course I guess because it is convenient and challenging for this beginner. I use an insect repellent usually. The tees are pack dirt. I consider this a short course but my worst scores are here. Some holes I have figured out and it feels good watching the disc snake through the trees. Other holes are full of growls and ricochets. Still fun though.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Fall over summer.
Pros: Plenty of different length holes. Awesome giant cottonwood trees to cast shade but not get in the way. There is a pretty awesome wind break thanks to the bridge and trees.
Cons: We went after a rain shower and the mosquitos were out of control.
Other Thoughts: We lost a disc in the tall grass for a little bit and had a rabbit scare the hell out of us while we looked.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Took Me Longer To Find The Course Than It Did To Play It!
Pros: Both my trusty GPS and Google Maps on my phone couldn't lead me to Riverfront Park. My GPS lead me miles from here and then my phone guided me right by the park entrance and took me on a scenic 5 mile drive on some dirt roads down by the river somewhere. I had given up finding the park when I happened to be driving by and noticed the park sign. Found it by chance!
The course plays two basket off each of the 9 natural tee pads. I was lazy and so played two drives off each pad, completing my 18 hole round in half the time and more importantly, half the energy expended. It was a long day of discing, 5 courses played including Water Works!
The two baskets idea seems to work pretty well. I would like to see it in action in a tournament setting.
Some of the holes are long, as in boringly long # 12.
The next tee signs on every basket were a huge help with me playing course for the first time solo. Thank you for those helpful signs.
But then I agree with the bigreddog that it wasn't always clear which basket was which off the tee. How are you to know which is 7 or 16?
I did like final hole ( 9 & 18) which forces you to make a decision on which route to take.
Cons: The tee pads don't seem to bother anyone else but I think they're an issue. Some of them have been extended out for 10-15 feet in front. This could easily be an issue come tournament time. How difficult would it be to simply bury a front board. Since you only have 9 tee pads. Buy nine 4" x 4"s and bury them so each tee box has a front border. Problem solved.
I thought it was really disgusting to see a pile of cans by a couple of the tee pads. Guys, if there's no garbage can there, it's sure as hell not a dumping site. Pack them out yourselves!
I played the course in October so the grass was not tall.
Other Thoughts: I give this course a great big average rating. The two holes per teepad idea is unique and seems to be working. There were some creative, challenging holes, for sure. Nice variety of length, nice variety of open versus technical. There just wasn't any holes that I got real excited about and the park wasn't all that visually appealing. Flat river bottom property never fails to leave me unimpressed. Plus I couldn't find the damn park in the first place!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -I did enjoy the two basket from one tee as no one else was around and I could tee off to each one from the same spot.
-More variety in shots as opposed to Centennial
-Well marked with signage
Cons: -The rough is rough. You are going to want to avoid it at all cost. Disc eating Juniper/Cedar trees, nettles, poison ivy, tall grass, etc.
-I found quite a bit of stagnate standing water around the course, looks to be more a clay soil with minimal drainage.
-The absolute worst part of the course are the mosquitoes. The second day I played they descended upon me like a plague, a thick black cloud around me mercilessly feeding. I only made it to hole 4 before aborting. They laughed at my feeble attempts to ward them off with deet spray, Im thinking a flame thrower would be in order next time and in a 2 for 1 take care of some of the rough....
-Im sure if it were more crowded I could see the sharing of 2 holes to 1 pad being an issue.
Other Thoughts: Id really love to come back and play this at a time where I dont have to worry about mosquitoes, enjoying the course. With low traffic on the course you could play two holes from one teebox and get in that much more discing.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Massive trees.
Tons of shade
Gets mowed often.
A pristine river view.
Nettles can make it interesting.
Nettles can be dam itchy.
Other Thoughts: Best course in Lawrence, hands down.
Clay teepads are a nice change.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I really enjoy this course. It does not require the longest throws but it does require accurate ones.
- Fun holes that never get old and are always challenging for almost any skill lever.
- Easy to follow the layout once you have played once.
- Holes are not far apart with a few exceptions.
- Quality baskets and decent quality tee boxes.
- Adequate parking, a port-a-potty, and some trash cans.
Cons: - Course is littered with empty beer cans. I have been drinking on a course before but this one is extra bad due to them never emptying the trash cans.
- I have never had an issue with the bugs but I can see how it could be an issue for some. I have come in contact with poison ivy here but, let's be honest, most DGC's with any type of wooded holes have it.
- Can get congested with only have 9 holes but I have never personally experienced this issue either. I have experienced people doing drugs (pot) but this is Lawrence so I am not totally shocked and it did not bother me.
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses that I have played because it combines a few longer holes with many short technical holes. There is water but it is just a creek that discs are easy to get out of. For the most part, the fairways are well mowed. Honestly, my only true complaint is that the trash cans are never emptied. If you are in Lawrence, go here instead of the other course if you enjoy a more scenic course instead of just open fields.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Good change of pace from Centennial
Pros: Navigation between the holes is very easy, every basket has a sign attached to the post telling you where to go for the next tee, plus the grass is more mowed down on that path. 10/10
There's a great variety of openness on shots, as several holes are narrow roads through trees, while several others are pretty wide open, and there are some in between. 9/10
Great variety of distances on holes. Because there are two baskets from every tee, most of the tees (all of the treed ones since there's nowhere else to go) have one shorter and one longer basket, so there's a variety by necessity. 9/10
This course uses obstacles pretty well, and there are a ton present. I don't really like the waist high grass, but it does add to the challenge (the most recent time the waist high grass was gone except for hole 3/12, which made it much more enjoyable). No hole is completely void of obstacles, with either one or both sides being tree-lined. 7/10
Navigation on the holes themselves is unique. Tee signs are present, but provide minimal information, just telling you which two holes that tee is for (not telling you which is which). It's easy to tell where the holes go because you can see where the fairways/trails through the trees go. The reason I say it's unique though is that there are two baskets from each tee, so it's easy to see both baskets (or tell about where on treed holes) . The problem is that there is no way to tell from the tee which basket is which. For example, on the 2/11 tee, you can clearly see both baskets, but you don't know which is 2 and which is 11. It's not important as long as you remember which you play the first time through and play the other the second time through, but due to the confusion I'm dropping it to an 8/10.
Baskets are decent, a few are kind of tilted but not too bad. 7/10
Many holes require a certain shot path to be successful, so that's good. There isn't a huge variety of this though since it's all the same shots twice, but it still does a good job of making players throw every shot in the bag. 6/10
Cons: No alternate hole positions (unless you're playing it as a 9 hole course where you can pick...) 0/10
Not much elevation present, almost every hole is completely flat. There is an interesting valley on holes 6 and 15 that comes into play that brings it to a 2/10
Discs can be very difficult to find, especially with the waist high grass. (this is the only course I've ever lost a disc on) The woods don't help much either, although they are thinner due to the drought. I'm hoping they keep the waist high grass mowed down, but I'm not optimistic. 2/10
Course maintenance is... I'm not sure. Both times the fairways have been mowed, I'm not sure if the waist high grass was there because of neglect or by design. No benches, no water fountains, no bathrooms I could find. 3/10
Tees are made of packed down rocky dirt, like a baseball field, some are beginning to be eroded and they're a little if you have a big run up like me. There are only nine tees to 18 baskets, so that's kind of weird, but I guess it works because of the limited space. 2/10
The first time I played this course was the second most uncomfortable round I have played in six months (Cambridge Park still takes the cake), the waist high grass was manageable on the open holes, but it was in the forested areas too and was full of razor leaf crap and poison ivy, and it was nearly impossible to avoid it as the fairways were only about 10 feet wide in most places. It just seemed a bit unfair. This most recent time it was gone and in the forested areas it was more dried out, so I'll say 3/10 for overall comfort during the round.
There isn't much decisionmaking required, as most of the holes are pretty straightforward. 9 and 18 are exceptions, with obstacles right in the middle that force players to pick a way around. I guess you could make the argument that some of the treed holes require a decision between playing safe and aggressive, but I'm saying 3/10 overall
Definitely not a beginner course, this was the second course I ever played (first was centennial park) and I was still a beginner and I hated it because of the treed holes. I swore I'd never go back but now that I'm better I think it's okay. Not good for challenging all levels, but does help to learn control. 3/10
Other Thoughts: I go to school at KU so there aren't too many courses nearby. This was only the second course I ever played. When I first started I mostly only played Centennial Park, which I definitely like better, but I'm glad I found another course in Lawrence that's a different style and good for some variety.
This is one of the most unforgiving courses I've played, there are so many shots where you can miss your spot by three feet and end up bouncing off a tree and being deep in the woods and need to take a shot just to get out.
Only having nine tees makes just playing one round fairly repetitive, there are a couple holes with different feels (2/11, 7/16, 9/18), but most of them are the same.
9 and 18 are two pretty cool holes, I like the obstacle in the middle that makes for an interesting decision.
To me this course is a 2 when the waist high grass is present, and a 2.5 when it isn't. Both of the two most recent times it was gone, so I'm giving it a 2.5, but if it comes back I won't hesitate to change it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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