Prairie Grass Pit
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 holes with some OB danger all around. The satellite image tee signs are surprisingly helpful in navigating the course as they have the other tee locations marked if they are in the image (e.g. 5's tee by 4's basket).
A lot of really good holes on the back half of this course. 14 is a nice uphill challenge with trees within 15' of the pin that will punish you for going long. 15 is a true 2-shot hole with a looming tree on the right side of the fairway about halfway down. 16 is a huge hyzer (which should be a par 3) , and then 17 is a short blind hole with a thin gap off the tee and finishing a bit right. I wish there were more inspired holes like this around the lake, but the only other one with decent challenge was hole 7. A 250' downhill with the pin tucked behind a tree with a real large crown.
Several shorter layouts can be made since 1-3, 4-10, and 11-18 all loop back to the start. This also means that the baskets of 3 and 18 can be used for putting practice before your round.
A very quiet area. There may be a few fishermen, but it's unlikely you'll bother them.
Cons: The rough is horrible. It's probably not as big an issue for the beginning of the year, but in September a lot of it was chest-high and thick. It borders both sides of ten holes, while on one side of a further four. Searching is bad enough, but along with it is the thorns all over and the reed canary grass near the water that will rip you to shreds if you get your leg against it. If you go in the reeds... you're going to have a bad time.
So many uninspired holes. 1-3 are all just mowed strips of land, 4-6 have a little water danger but aren't too much to worry about (except for the murder reeds on 4), and the rest are just filler to move you to the next area of the course (8, 10, 18).
There are no tee pads, which leads to the tee area getting a little marshy. The baskets aren't that great, but are still better than a Veteran. Hole 11's basket has been badly vandalized.
Navigation is a lot easier due to the signs, but some of those signs have alternate tees which are nowhere to be found on the course.
Hole 13. The undefined tee areas make this hole either a ridiculously sharp dogleg, or a straightforward ace run based on where you choose to tee from.
Other Thoughts: There's a lot of land that isn't used, and that's a shame. There's some elevation, some really great two-shot shapes that could be made... and it's all just... prairie grass. A redesign to remove holes 4-8 and make some real tough holes around the 1-2-3 loop and in the woods south of 13 would improve this place a lot.
Is this worth driving out to from KC or Topeka? Unless you just want to check it off your list, then no. Running the pin risks having to search for your disc for 20 minutes, but laying up just isn't as fun, now is it?
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Autumn Afternoon on Baldwin City Lake
Pros: The course set up at Baldwin City Lake is fairly decent. 18 holes, with tee signs, and some interesting throws. Water in play once in a while, and one basket under a metal gazebo. Hole 12 was a nice dogleg right that veered into the woods.
The tees are unimproved, but not too rutted or lumpy. The baskets are ok, and each hole has one. Tee signs are not bad, and the layout flows pretty well. Overall par 57 with three par 4 holes.
Much of the course is pretty open, and several holes have cut grass fairways and long rough surrounding them. A few mature trees help break up the lines and protect some of the baskets.
Cons: I played here on Thanksgiving, and right off the bat some redneck was upset that I parked in the lot closest to the first hole. Had to put down his Bud Light and load up his dogs, guess it was a little too much.
This park has a lake, and fishermen may just be fishing the bank where you are trying to land a drive. I did lose one disc in the water with a rotten drive on hole 8.
Not a bad 18, but not a great one either. There is not a lot to work with but they did a pretty good job with what is available. Concrete tees would be a nice addition, along with a few benches and trashcans. A map could be handy as well, print one or put it on the phone.
Other Thoughts: Baldwin City Lake is not a bad course in combination with one or two others on a road trip. I hit it after Kanza Park DGC in nearby Ottawa. The park itself and the gear were not as nicely kept, but it did have a bit more personality.
The water shots were not crazy risky, but brought in an element of danger. Gazebo basket at hole 10 was a putt I should have made but didn't, not even with two tries. I was 7 over par at 64. Made birdies on holes 7 and 16. I had a six, two fives with a penalty stroke for OB, and two bogey fours on my card. The wind wasn't terrible, and I really could have played a lot better. Maybe one of these days I will go back for another shot at this one. Then again, there are still a lot of unplayed courses on my wish list. We'll see how it goes.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good signage has been installed.
Score card/maps near Hole 1.
Actually very interesting shot selection.
Has a Portapoty.
If they took care of the cons, this could be a 3.5 easily.
Cons: When this was first installed over a year ago, the installation was kind of a slow progression. However, it seemed like the upkeep has stalled out. Hole 3's basket could be ripped out of the ground as it is very loose. The baskets themselves are not the greatest - an off brand made in southern Kansas. Due to poor installation, the height of the baskets, from top of the basket to the chain apparatus, varies from hole to hole.
The biggest disappointment is the tall grass fairways of Holes 1-3, 11, 13-16, Not only are the fairways too narrow, but they are getting even narrower. Particularly holes 14-16, they are not mowing them as wide as they were when the course was first installed, and even then they needed to be wider yet. Hole 12 originally had a tunnel shot through the woods to an open green. The tunnel has grown shut.
No running water.
Other Thoughts: I'm hoping the city steps up the upkeep of this course. If they don't, I probably won't be back.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Maple Leaf Fest
Pros: These pictures and other reviews are quite deceiving -- there is signage, multiple tees, no missing baskets, etc. This course is for real.
Cons: Oblivious fishermen.
Someone stole the donkey statue on hole 17.
Other Thoughts: Worth it!
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course offers a variety of shots like uphill and downhill, short and long, and also has tall grass rough to keep you honest.
There are a few dog leg holes as well.
Slight elevation changes are present here and the shots over the lake give you just enough risk reward challenge. This course will test a variety of your skills.
Cons: No signage, benches, or trashcans. In the summer it will get hot out here because there isn't much shade. The wind will surely be a factor here because many of the holes are open.
There is a threat of losing a disc on a few holes, especially the water shots, and in the tall grass rough.
There aren't any other amenities here besides the lake, so prepare accordingly. This course can be a bit confusing for the first time player so printing a map would be helpful.
Other Thoughts: This is a solid play that is off the beaten path a bit. The addition of tee pads and especially signage would make this course a bit better. Signage would be extremely helpful to those visiting for the first time. The shots are here and the wind will add to the challenge of your round. If you are in the area its worth the stop.
***It appears according to 2 new reviews of this course that signage has been added. This is a good thing and if I could bump up my review .25 a disc I would. I don't think signage would make a .5 disc difference so I will be leaving my rating at 3.0****
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Baldwin City Lake
Pros: Good mix of par 3 and 4s. Fun, short over water shots. Fairly easy to navigate if you have played there at lease once. hole 3 basket has been replaced and hold 18 is no longer bent.
Cons: very tight fairways, tee pads aren't marked clearly. a lot of overgrown grass. could use more mowing and clearing of a few tunnels shots. a few baskets chains are crossed and not lined up properly.
Other Thoughts: With the addition of signage it helps with on the spot par info and rough tee pad/pin location (tees still need improvement. this however seems pointless due to the poor up keep of the course. would love to see more tlc here.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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