Update Me, Parks Board!
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Big is an apt description of this course. At over 8,000ft, itís the longest course in Topeka, and deserves some more care and work from the city.
Elevation (yes, thereís elevation in Kansas) is used well where it can be found on the course. Downhill bombers on 2, 5, and 18 are contrasted by challenging uphills on 1, 4, and 17 but itís the more subtle rises and falls that make this course. The pins tucked right after the land slopes downhill on 10 and 11 and the forced uphill tee shots on 3, 8, and 12 set up a far more challenging round that youíd assume is coming with the lack of trees.
But when there are treesÖ look out. 12 is an odd hole, a par 4 with evergreens and hedges placed in just the right spots to make your second shot a challenge. 13 has trees on the left for the last 400ft of the hole, favoring the righty backhand for your second shot. But 14 is my favorite challenge, a gap to get off the tee, but a ceiling to stay under to approach the pin, itís a very tough deuce. Add to this the tree placement on 2, right where youíd want a good drive to land, and 5 with a double dogleg right-left in the first 200ft off the tee, then three 100ft tall oaks to get around/under to snag a 3, or even the basket of 1, pocketed just into the trees after a 400ft uphill drive, the challenge is there and itís tough.
Some more added challenge with raised pins on 4 and 10. These could have been added a few more places and felt right at home.
Maintenance in this large disc-golf-specific area of the park was excellent. Edges were set to the course, but in between those it was good to go.
Cons: Even with the added challenges, some of the wide open holes are best left unmentioned. An evergreen or two here and there, but 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11 all have very little going for them besides a bit of elevation. 7ís basket is right under a tree so thatís a nice feature, but thatís a lot of holes in the ďmehĒ category.
Hole 17. Out of the woods, a sharp dogleg right, then back into the woods, all on a big uphill, itís just not great and a near-impossible deuce. Thereís a difference between a tough deuce and an impossible one.
The fairways of 13, 14, and 15 are very close together. 16ís left line also plays close to the basket of 9. Just a section of the course thatís pushed into a corner while keeping the holes good
The tees are marked by wee pink utility flags that can be quite tough to spot from the previous basket if theyíre far enough away (e.g. 7 to 8). A map or the app that must not be named are essential if itís your first time.
Some of the basket placements are lacking. 2, 6, 9, and 16 are all just out in the open. Along with this, the Chainstar baskets are showing their age. A few more years and itíll be replacement time. Hopefully they get the new Chainstar Pros.
Other Thoughts: Birdies are tough to come by without a cannon of an arm, with ten par 3ís over 350ft this is a course that could benefit from Pro and Rec pars.
This course needs tees and signs. It would instantly push my rating half a disc higher, and having concrete to get some grip on the ground as you tee would no doubt be helpful on those long par 3s. But after 14 years, I fear that will never happen.
Only two holes are under 300ft. Up to you if thatís a pro or a con, but know that this course is a commitment to finish.
Depsite all the criticisms I leveled at this course, it still stands up on its own. If you like long holes, and some difficult trees to beat, this is the place for you. In my book itís the best course Topeka has to offer. Get some tees in the ground and itís an instant 4.0.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Biggest Shunga I Ever Did See
Pros: Big Shunga will give you plenty of chances to throw for maximum distance. It's an 18 hole layout, and there are a few very long holes. Par is 59, and I was not close to shooting par. A birdie or two isn't out of the question, but they eluded me on this particular morning.
The park is really nice, and besides a walking path, a couple of trash cans and a few birdhouses there isn't much else except for those 18 disc golf baskets. There are some densely wooded areas and a bit of tall grass, but most of the park is grass with trees spread about sporadically. There is elevation change, significant on a couple of holes, but usually in the moderate to gentle range.
The distance was the main challenge to me on a lot of the holes. Even if I made a good drive, the second shot was not a layup to an easy par. A couple of the holes mixed in elevation nicely, along with large trees to eat up some airspace. I liked holes 2, 3, and 5 a lot on the front 9. They mixed all of these elements nicely with varied proportions. 2 is long and downhill (800 foot par 4), and there are a couple of trees that sit in the fairway as you near the pin. 3 is not that long, but it has a hard dogleg right with trees that make a window at the turn and a little bit of a dip in the terrain midway. 5 was my favorite hole on the course, a 633 foot par 4. It has a big drop after a tee shot from the top of the hill. The box has a corridor of thick trees and brush on either side in front of it for the first 35 or 40 feet. Leaving the tree tunnel the fairway descends the hill and turns to the right. You need to get right to avoid heavy rough at the bottom of the hill. If you make the turn correctly and get to the bottom, there are still a few big old trees to weave between as you cross the slightly sloped approach to the pin.
The back 9 has some good holes as well, my favorites were 12 and 17. 12 runs along the walking path on the edge of the park (684 feet par 4), and it is fairly flat. The fairway has clusters of trees to either side about halfway, and as you near the pin the tree branches come together in a thick canopy and lower the ceiling. 17 is the counter to hole 5. It is a 385' par 3 and uphill at a steep pitch. The tee is coming out of a tunnel of heavy brush and trees, and opens up as you climb the hill. The pin is tucked in behind a few trees and large bushes, in a spot that is not easily accessible if you're coming from the wrong angle.
There are a few holes that are good with enough trees to be interesting, like 13-15. Some are good because the basket is near a dicey area of rough, like 1, 6, and 11. A couple are mostly wide open and bland, but still have a tree or two, or distance and a little contour to the ground. Hole 10 has a tall pole and the basket is 5 feet up.
Cons: There is no obvious tees, no signs, and some of the baskets have the wrong number on them. Look at the pictures, they give a decent idea of where you need to start each hole. If you go in with no map and no guide, you will leave confused and frustrated. The map has a few trees that are not there any more, several were cut down in the area where the baskets for holes 7 and 9, and the tee for 10 are.
The entrance to the park is even tucked in a spot you can easily overlook. The parking lot is in the middle of two office complexes, and there is a large boulder near the path to hole 1.
Other Thoughts: Big Shunga is fun, but I wasted a lot of time studying the map, walking around and guessing where I should tee off from. Signs would make it so much easier to navigate, and concrete pads might push my rating up to a 4.
I think this had been a temporary course in the past, but the baskets are firmly set in place now. Surely worth checking out if you visit Topeka. If Lake Shawnee and Crestview had a really tough baby it would be named Big Shunga.
I shot a 66, with no birdies. I was mostly able to stay out of the heavy rough, but my mid range game was not setting me up with easy putts. I made par on the long ones, but two putted for bogeys on some of the par 3 holes. Maybe I'll go back and try again now that I'm slightly familiar with the layout.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is huge, challenging and vastly wide open through rolling hills. It is located in a good area on the South side of town. It is in the middle of the city, however, as soon as you start on holes 1-2 you forget you are in the middle of the city because the huge park instantly seems isolated in green wonder. From the grass to the hills to the trees this is simply a beautiful piece of land for disc golf.
The elevation changes and hole distance changes are of a wide variety and make for a completely unique and different hole on all 18 of these challenging holes.
Due to the fact that it is temporary, it is never crowded and I have often been there when no one else was.
Cons: Navigation is awful. Signs are not there nor are tee pads, trashcans or restrooms due to the fact it is temporary. However, if you are on your own for the first time you will have major trouble trying to navigate this course. Tees are marked with little orange flags but right now two very different locations are marked #10 and a few cannot be found at all.
Other Thoughts: Even if you can't navigate through all of the holes here, if it is up, you must go at least check it out and play as many holes as you can. This course is beautiful, isolated, and extremely challenging and fun!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Nice GOLF Course
Pros: Awesome park, Difficulty is excellent, extreme elevation changes, Lots of Fun
Cons: Temporary, natural teepads, temporary baskets but still decent baskets
Other Thoughts: This course is a favorite of mine definitely makes the Mighty Shunga a nice tournament. This course will help seperate the field not just for distance but how you have to use your distance gotta think smart
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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