4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great baskets permanently and uniquely set into limestone anchors.
Tee pads upgraded from to long, concrete pads
Tee signs are a 5.0. Easy to read, understand. Very clear.
Design overachieves and creates a great course out of seemingly very little land. It does get a bit tight in a few areas, but even with a 90 person tournament it wasn't too much of a problem.
Could use some benches but I'm told they are coming.
Bonus items - starts flat, then goes 'nuclear' in the woods. Very significant water, elevation, tight lines.
Amazing pyramid green as mentioned elsewhere.
Improved hole 16 late spring 2017.
Limited RV connections. Restrooms, water available. City council / mayor are strong supporters of the course.
Cons: No cons regarding equipment.
Some foliage is still encroaching, but the course is still very green. It will get worked in with time.
No benches - yet.
Wooded holes are unplayable after significant rain.
Other Thoughts: Starts out fairly average, then goes nuts in the woods. Uses natural OBs (gravel, baseball fences) very well. Highly recommend going out of your way to play this one.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Small Town Beauty
2 Helpful / 1 Not
•Great mix of shots. You will want your full bag, because you never know what you're going to need.
•Awesome teepads, signs, and baskets.
• Well manicured
• Creative and fun layout
Cons: • Can be a bit messy, if not flooded, after a good rain
• Nearby Bathrooms are hit or miss
Other Thoughts: This course is flat out fun. Sure it's challenging, but in a way that demands respect for the course design.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Swopes Park didn't give me the first impression of an excellent course. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. By the time I was done playing the round, a healthy respect for the course had been instilled within me.
Initially upon entering the parking lot I saw the practice baskets and the first couple of holes, and it looked like it was jammed into a limited amount of room too near the park entry, playground, ball fields and streets.
This is the first course I have played with baskets from Dynamic, I liked them. There are concrete tee pads that are longer than I am used to, but maybe a little narrower too. The tee signs and directional signs are very good, and in the right spots. Navigation of the layout is not hard to follow. I thought the large rocks that anchor many of the baskets, display the tee signs, and make up the tiers of the pyramid on 14 were very cool.
There are multiple practice baskets with white rims, and a large tractor tire mounted in front of one, that mimics the old football throwing accuracy practice method. I thought that was cool and original. A few trash cans along the way, and bathrooms on site.
The first few holes are ok, but they all offer very similar looks, with flat terrain with a few trees, and the main challenge is to fight the wind and stay in bounds. Don't get me wrong, they can get you for some extra shots if you aren't on point (they got me for a penalty and some two putt bogeys). But once you make the turn into the woods at hole 5 it gets a lot better fast.
You will begin to see the elevation changes, tee shots over water, and heavy woods with limbs taking up a lot of airspace. 5 eases you into the chaos, then 6 slaps you in the face with a gnarly look off the tee. There is a short run to the edge of the stream, and then a good stretch over the water, with steep banks to the left and heavy trees on the right. Pin is left side surrounded by mature trees. A layup to the leading edge of the water would be a good strategy, as it is a very difficult flex shot to drive over the water. You have a better shot to make par with less chance of a knock down or roll into the water. I tested my luck and payed with a bogey 5, but I stayed dry at least, but was lucky to cling to the edge of the hill on my second shot.
Hole 8 is another tough par 4 that has lots of branches and a funky fairway requiring great precision to hit and get any distance.
9 is a fun shorter hole downhill off the tee, through the trees to a pin that is protected by trees in front, and backed by water. I thought I nailed the drive, but it brushed a tiny limb deflected just far enough left to leave a big tree between me and the target on a 25 foot putt.
10 and 11 are back into the open spaces, giving you a chance to catch your breath before the perilous hole 12. It has a narrow fairway running along the ridge of a ravine to the left. Heavy trees line most of the right side. The ravine sits 15 feet under the fairway, and it is very steep, with some water, lots of trees, and a couple of antique automobiles. My drive was knocked down and went towards the ditch, but somehow clung to the edge halfway down. I was slipping and sliding down, grabbing for tree roots, and pushing a small landslide of dirt and one large rock that appeared to be a good foothold. Be careful on that sucker.
Another short relief on hole 13, and then you come to the monumental 14th hole. OB road to the left, and baseball field to the right, with the basket on top of a pyramid of massive slabs of rock that has to be close to 15' above the ground. A flag pole flies Old Glory at the pinnacle, a thing of beauty.
15 is a long par 3, and I went OB twice, to put one more dagger through my scorecard. My only birdie was on 16, I called my shot to the dog, and made the putt to salve to wounds, and finished with pars on 17 and 18.
Cons: Some buildings, base ball fields, and roads near holes that could be crowded if other events are going on. There appeared to be a function that day, and the parking lot was filling up fast as I played 17, with cars parked close to the fairway.
Mud might be bad after rain near the water, there was a little when I visited, but it was not a major issue.
Other Thoughts: Swope Park has enough really fun holes to garner my respect. Even the less challenging holes have OB all around usually. With the wind, they can still be really tough also.
Played here on a New Years weekend trip to Emporia, and I was really glad I did. It turned out to be one of the favorites of the 5 courses played. If you decide to check out the scene, don't overlook this one.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Bring all your shots!
Pros: This course will fool you. The first four pins look so easy. They'll give you extra strokes, though.
The trick is to stay inbounds. All roads and the grass on the other side of the roads are OB and there are lots of roads.
After you navigate the first four pins you get the option of throwing through a tunnel, up a creek to the fifth pin. The alternate tee (the only alternate tee on the course) eliminates the need to throw up the creek and gets you out of the tunnel shot.
Then you go into pins six through nine. Six is one of the course's two par fours. You'll need every one of those throws. The first shot is to a gravel bar about 100' from the tee; then about 100' straight up the creek to a nice flat landing area (if you make it). All that remains then is to throw through the forest and up the bank to the basket. I've parred this pin once (I'm a senior grand master, the par got me pretty excited).
Then you progress to pin seven. You get to drive from an elevated tee, out of a small opening onto a narrow fairway with OB on the right and trees and brush on the left. Lovely. This pin has not been good to me.
Pin eight is in the woods and is the course's second par four. My first shot is a hyzer down the hill. If I make the corner then I'm looking up the hill at the pin set on a green about the size of an F-150 pickup's bed and surrounded by brush and trees. There is a small opening. Good luck! I have parred this pin but it usually costs me a bogey and a double is not unusual.
Number nine is doable. A nice elevated tee shot down to the creek with, again, a narrow fairway through the woods to a pin set on the bank of the creek. Go long and you're OB and probably wet. I've birdied this pin. Had to say that. I've also double bogeyed it.
Six through nine will rattle you. I've had the misfortune to have played it when it was wet. Lots of mud. It was much nicer after it dried out. Six through nine are unplayable when the river is flooding.
Take some deep breaths and go back across the creek for pin 10, a nice open shot across an open fairway to a few mature trees. The pin is up the hill out of the creek bottom.
Pin 11 is back across the same area you just covered to pin 10. There are some mature trees in the fairway. There are good lines to the pin, though.
Pin 12 is a beast. There's a high, long pile of old asphalt with trees growing out of it with a ditch on the left. The fairway is very narrow. I have started throwing to the right of the asphalt and trees and going around the whole mess. I have yet to par the pin. I imagine my strategy would be eliminated in tournament play. However, according to the pin map, going to the right is not OB.
13 has a mando which keeps you right. There's also an OB road. The pin is very parable (parrable?)
14 is the signature pin on the course. The pin sets on top of a huge stone pyramid. The pin is on an anhyzer line for my RHBH throw. The ball field is OB as is the road.
15 has a lot of road OB.
16 has a ditch to the left, other than that it's very birdieable.
17 has the same ditch on the left and a barn on the right. Very playable.
18 plays back into the park. Beware of the OB road behind the basket.
This course will test you. My best effort to date is a plus-seven. I will do better, I hope.
Cons: The only down side to this course is the flood problem. Take some insect repellent.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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