5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is an absolutely beautiful course. A huge variation of hills and distances. A few hard doglegs and tunnels throughout, but there's a lot more wide open play.
Brand new tee signs are nice, but not hugely necessary as the pin is almost always easy to see from the tee.
Finding the next tee is a cakewalk due to the amount of people who've worn a path from one pin to. A great feature of a well-planned course.
Two practice baskets! One is a Mach3 and one is a MachX like the rest of the course.
Only one hole is disturbed by a walking path, and that should be cleared easily on your drive.
No hill is misused. No hill is ignored. Every single hill is used, and in the best possible way. You'll be using a lot of control on one downhill, then putting all the power you've got behind the huge uphill on the next hole.
1 and 12 have a long basket in play at all times which are both really fun.
You'll be tested if you're going for par, but just coming out and playing is an absolute delight.
Cons: Drainage is an issue. You'll still run into some puddles for two or three days after a rain.
Incredibly busy course. Saturday mornings you just won't want to go.
Baskets don't get moved very often.
No bathrooms, just a portapotty.
A few holes have high potential for your drive to dive down a cliff, or down onto the next fairway. Searching on the sides of those fairways can take a while, but you'll usually find it.
There's many who will say this is the best course in Kansas City. It's in the top three for sure, but it has a few missing parts.
Pretty much every pin could be called a par 3. I can think of one par 4 off the top of my head.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the best courses to play in Kansas City. There's a few drawbacks, but overall it's a phenomenal course. The hills will make your shins scream in pain around hole 13. Avoid going on Thursdays as the league varies what time it starts. Holes 1 and 14 are especially memorable (though my favorite is hole 9). With a few par 4 pins added in and a good set of bathrooms this would easily be a 5-disc review.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
New signs, same amazing design
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fantastic in every regard. Every hole provides a different challenge, with drop-offs in various directions, various lines, and every elevation change imaginable. The trees are old, mature, and impossible to throw over, which forces even the most powerful arms to take the traditional routes.
This course has received some love recently - there are pretty new Mach X baskets and, finally, new tee signs. There are 2-4 pins on every hole, and also two extra-long baskets that you can play to for a longer hole (holes 1 and 12). Those pins give the course a ton of variety and make there virtually no need for alternate tees. Most of the time, some pins open up lines that would be otherwise impractical.
Most holes offer multiple lines, especially depending on pin placements. Hole 12 is a good RHBH roller hole, hole 9 has numerous possibilities, and even on a lot of upshots, there's danger because of rollaway potential or tricky stances. Some lines are shots that are difficult to find on other courses; on hole 7, you're squeezing your disc between the hill and a low ceiling, and a few pin placements force you to manage speed to not blow by the basket going downhill.
There's out of bounds in play on several holes and adds to difficulty and risk-reward potential. For beginner players, just play everything in bounds - this course is difficult enough already. For everyone else, the roads add death putts and potential for aggressive shots that will punish you if you miss your line.
Rollaways are common if the angle of your disc doesn't match the hillside, which can be punishing. This can be a con for new players, but it really keeps you honest on ~70-foot upshots, which would be routine on flat ground. Drives that would be commonplace for advanced players will be tricky due to discs speeding past baskets and tough putts that will be produced by hills or OB.
Cons: There's a bike trail that winds its way through some of the course. In my experience, there are not many people on it, but it does come into play on around four holes, depending on pin placements.
The only thing missing to make this a truly world-class course is more par 4's and 5's. A couple of long pins can be par 4, but in reality, it's a par 3 course.
Can get muddy after rain. There are also a few steep hills off the fairways (mainly, holes 3-5) where lost discs are possibilities. Watch any discs going that way. Fortunately, the first row of trees usually stops anything coming in.
Other Thoughts: This course is not for the faint of heart at all. The hills will get to you instantly, so bring plenty of water.
It's amazing this course has survived for so long and is still so amazing, despite trees and limbs that have fallen down in the last 10 years. The original designers did a fantastic job.
League night is Thursday evenings in the summer and is one of the most popular leagues in Kansas City. If you want a quick round, come sometime else.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Iconic designation well deserved
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Course has been reviewed so many times it shows how well loved and venerated it is. It deserves every kudo for grandiose shots (9/10), condition of grasslands (8/10), mix of risk and reward (7/10), and multitude of shot shapes (9/10).
Coming from Colorado this has as much elevation change as our big mountain courses (a LOT more oxygen available tho).
Good map at the start - take a picture of it for navigation (see Cons)
Excellent newish baskets.
Rewards the longer arms (350+) but us ordinary mortals can find a few birdies too.
Really requires delicate landings on side/up hills on half the holes.
I played on July 4th mid-afternoon and had the whole course to myself due to earlier rain shower. Was still very playable after rain due to good grass. Only four holes had dicey mud footing near the basket.
Cons: I don't remember a single tee box sign that was readable. They have nice big metal numbers, but the images and details were all roached out so yardage etc. unavailable.
Other Thoughts: Really worth the effort to get here. It was surreal to play on a stellar empty course on a summer holiday. Not a breath of wind and the sun was hidden behind clouds - sort of like the DG rapture happened. Guess that's a round to cherish.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Impressed this out-of-towner
Pros: I had the great luck of being in town the day after Water Works hosted the 2018 Master's Worlds. As one would expect based on that, the course was in absolutely amazing shape. But even if the fairways hadn't all been perfectly manicured, and even if the basket placements hadn't been in their most challenging placements, this still would be a 5* course in my book.
Water Works has great use of elevation changes, which require you to execute a wide variety of shots. The scenery is awesome, giving a unique mix of views of forestry, the Missouri River, and downtown KC. The holes are very memorable and no two are alike. There are some absolute bomber holes, some long and technical holes, and even a couple ace runs. Added bonus: the hilliness really makes a round here a decent cardio workout. It felt a lot like going on a hike, which is awesome. This is absolutely a destination course.
Cons: I honestly don't have any real negatives. We had no difficulty finding teepads, but due to some temporary baskets for Masters Worlds we did have a hard time identifying the correct basket a couple times. The locals were happy to help out though, and that was clearly just a temporary issue since the signage is great for identifying all the permanent basket locations. Pace of play is typically a big factor in my enjoyment level, but we were the first to tee off at around 6:45am so I really can't speak to how backed up the course may or may not get. Yeah, no real gripes. If you're reading this, just play it!
Other Thoughts: I can't imagine how a park style course could be better than Water Works. It's perfect. If you are in KC for a day or two this is a must-play.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Everything you'd expect and more
Pros: The famous Water Works is a well laid out course that uses the never ending elevation and abundance of mature trees to challenge every level of player. The course in the short position is only 5,175 ft and in the long position is 6,630. That distance seems very pedestrian compared to the nearby Blue Valley Park, which is 9,297 ft and 11,220 ft respectively. Yet due to the elevation at Water Works you will get more work than a typical course of its distance. It'd be nice if there were an elevation factor to measure a course by. Or maybe there is and I just don't know about it. All that to say, the elevation is a big part of what makes Water Works special. Included in the benefit of the elevation are the views of the Missouri River, the city, the skyline, and the park, which is very nice.
The first hole is special, since you are throwing down into a dell with the basket placed that day on the right slope. This day, however, was exceptionally special. I walked up to the tee, which had 6 people on it (welcome to Water Works, a local favorite!) and the first thing I hear is chains and a 14 year old raising both of his hands over his head. He just aced the 508 ft hole down the hill. Then I threw down the hill and parked my shot. So that was a nice introduction to Water Works for me. The next day a guy aced the first hole at Rosedale Down Under in front of me and I'm thinking, what's with these Kansas City players!
The tee pads, signs, and baskets were all nice, as to be expected at such a highly rated course.
Cons: Navigation was not that clear since there are not signs for the next tee and it was not intuitive to me. I was fortunate that I was able to join two locals and they led me through the course with ease. But I wondered if I would have gotten lost without their help in many places. I even asked them several times how someone new to the course was supposed to figure out the paths they were taking and they concurred that it's hard the first time if you don't have help.
Because it's a nice park there are pedestrians we share the park with. In such a nice course we disc golfers sometimes think we have it all to ourselves but this is not a dedicated course. So be careful and watch out for people. Also watch out for cars that enter areas where plastic flies.
Other Thoughts: Water Works was my first of four courses in Kansas City. With its reputation and rating you would be remiss to miss this place.
In my Rosedale Park Down Under review I listed a quote from Ace Mason I saw on a Kansas City website, "I love people who love this game." I had never heard of Ace, but I discovered that he designed this legendary Water Works course in 1997 and is a 2016 inductee into the PDGA hall of fame. How's that for a piece of disc golf history in the Kansas City area!
This is the 100th review of Water Works on dgcr. I hope there is something here you found helpful, but it's hard when everything has been so thoroughly and well reviewed by so many reviewers and Trusted Reviewers who did a good job. It makes me wonder whether i should even write a review for such a historical course if it's in the triple digits. Well, if I get some thumbs up that's the answer.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This was everything I hoped it would be. Hole 1 was an excellent start to a very fun round. I was concerned I would need some help navigating but it was very straight forward on finding the next hole throughout the park.
The length of the course was a bit challenging to me but not insurmountable. The elevation also made this fun on a number of holes and really getting to air it out a bit. Teepads, signage, baskets, etc were all in good shape as was the park itself.
Locals were very helpful, allowing me to play through and were nice enough to answer a few questions about navigation, although that largely was unnecessary.
The fairways and greens were challenging. You really had to think about how your disc was going to land to avoid roll aways down the hills. This forces you to think through your backhand/forehand options if you are playing fairly conservative.
I really didn't find many birdie opportunities. If I had another 50 feet on my drive several more of these would have opened up.
The ambience of the park is nice as well. It isn't really busy, at least when I played it, and it has an incredible view out beyond the park.
Cons: It is hard to call this a con but it is about all I can come up with...get ready to do some walking. The length of the course paired with the elevation changes make for quite a bit of walking. It was all very enjoyable and the park was maintained well enough for this to seem more like an adventure than drudgery.
It seems like it can get pretty windy, even on a day that wouldn't seem that way in general. I imagine this could get tricky but also provides you one more thing to practice that many courses cannot provide - driving and putting with high winds.
Other Thoughts: If you are new to this park hole 1 is by the circle drive in the park. You will see the course map located near 1's tee. Once you get hole 1 the rest is pretty intuitive.
If you are in the area definitely play this course. I only had time to play a handful of courses and was very glad I got to finally play this challenging, beautiful and fun course!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: variety of shots both long and far. the photos don't do this coarse justice great elevation change.
tee pads with good grip
Cons: long long grass I think some one forgot to pay the bill.
yardage seems off on quiet a few holes
0 of 14 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Water Works KC
Pros: Well maintained. Great use of elevation. Multiple pin placements for every hole. Friendly locals (the ones I met). Concrete tee pads. Tee signs with distances on every hole.
Cons: With 4 pin placements for each hole it can be a little difficult to navigate the first time playing. Wish there was something to let you know which placement the pin was in.
Other Thoughts: I havent played that many courses but Water Works is my favorite to date and probably will be for a LONG time.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Elevation: Its got the Works
Pros: Water Works is a well-executed, scenic course that's a joy to play.
Variety: Very good. Most holes were somewhat to very open with very well-placed trees to make you shape some sort of shot to work around them, without necessarily forcing a specific line. Just enough wooded holes that require a tight line to provide nicely balanced feel overall, and a nice range of distances. Rotating pin placements (3 on most holes) looked like they are different enough to make this course well-worth replaying should you come back to the area repeatedly over a period of time.
Elevation: Excellent. The course's defining feature, nicely utilized in a variety of ways throughout; gullies, uphill, downhill, sloped greens, over mild peaks. A few holes play flat (3-6) if you stay in the fairway, but drop off sharply along one side of the fairway, so that newb-hyzers or flippy shots escaping the fairway will likely require you throw uphill through the trees/brush lining the fairway to recover.
Challenge: Excellent. Wonderfully challenging without being intimidating. High marks for being challenging enough to keep advanced players on their toes without blowing rec players completely out of the water (difficultly can change greatly based where pins are placed any given day). Splendid use of the abundant elevation makes you think about approaches and long putts from a technical standpoint. Features a few holes where being able to bomb is an asset, but noodle arms can still score well if they have good control. Whether you can throw 250 or 450, how you handle approaches and long putts on the varying terrain will likely be the biggest factor in determining your score. Giving shots a chance at the basket while minimizing the likelihood of rollaways is the name of the game.
Equipment: Very Good. Concrete tees and baskets were in fine condition. Good signage makes it obvious if you went the right or wrong tee, and shows all pin locations with distances. Red and yellow flags on baskets assist in finding the current placement. Flags also give an indication what the wind is doing at that end of the fairway, and appeared to be color coded to match the red and yellow pin placements (didn't see any blue flags, but I can't recall if any of the baskets were in the blue position).
Routing/Nav: Reasonably good. There are a few less than intuitive transitions, but no major issues. I found the map helpful (but not a necessity), and there should be enough local traffic to help you if you get confused.
Fun Factor: Excellent. If you don't like playing here, I have no clue what you're looking for.
Memorable Holes: Starts out with a hole that's as majestic as it is appealing. I really liked #13 (particularly with the dicey pin placement it was in when I played), and the view from 14's tee, (with the water tower and Missouri River in the back ground) should provide inspiration to rip a great drive.
Cart Friendly: Yes. Very hilly (but not rugged) terrain may make it tough at times, but no worse than a fully loaded backpack/tourney bag.
Cons: Not that much to complain about - here's what I noticed:
A few spots where a disc could easily end up in the road or hit a car/pedestrian. Caution is warranted, but you could usually see what's going on around you and wait for the trouble to pass.
Could use a couple of holes that require a big, sweeping hyzer or annie line (this could be quite dependent on basket locations any given day)
Tee signs don't indicate the current pin placement - had to walk a few fairways to spot the flag. Not a big deal, but quickly becomes a drag on such hilly terrain (especially if it's your 3rd round of the day in a town with lot of courses worth playing).
Parking is limited for a course that gets this much traffic.
Other Thoughts: Wind is likely to be a factor more often than not - really places a premium on disc selection and shot execution. Can be exacerbated by the ever-present elevation; shots blown off line could easily find you slugging your way back uphill, piling up strokes quickly. You'll be rewarded for keeping it low and flat when/where appropriate.
A very pretty, park-style course that doesn't necessarily feel like your typical park-style course, Water Works appears to be aging quite gracefully, albeit with some obvious erosion in a few spots (not that bad really, considering the traffic this course sees). Without doubt, a truly excellent course, Water Works is a must play if you're in the area, and Destination Worthy IMO. I'd place just a notch below some of the more phenomenal courses I've played - Would give it a 4.25 if I could, but I can't. Nonetheless, if you hit KC and miss out on this gem, it's your loss.
Conveniently located near downtown KC, and pretty close to Kauffmann Stadium. Play a round in the morning, grab a bite, then catch your favorite team playing the Royals a great stadium.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Great Hills and Trees
Pros: Downhill shots, great opportunity to go hiking up and down, beautiful views from the top.
Cons: One hole (#13) punishes you for not being able to throw 350 ft. Seems to favor the 350 foot thrower a little too much. Lack of two-drive holes.
Other Thoughts: I wish I lived near this course.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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