You're Getting Older, Time To Mature
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When you see the big Army Corps of Engineers course sign in the parking lot, you know this is going to be a great ride. 1-9 and 10-18 loop right back to the parking lot so a mid-round break is an option.
Everything is in great condition. Tee signs are quality, tees are plenty big and most have benches, and the baskets are in excellent shape. Shame they chose green since... you know, grass and trees and such.
The setting of this course is nice. A nice lake to look over from a few holes, and plenty of elevation jumps. Campers and boaters will be your only company... that and whatever the weird radio tower cult is by hole 16.
Getting into the holes themselves, most combine two or three challenges but the heavily wooded holes are the highlights. Hole 2 is a long tunnel to a tricky green; 3 is blind around a long corner; 4 is a low ceiling for the first 150ft, comes out into the open, and then the elevation goes up 10 ft at about a 60° angle and has some of the pins up there (tee shot placement is huge for those two longer pins;) and 5 plays back down the elevation drop and is a very thin fairway for the next 450' to the far pin. These holes stand out over the rest of the round as some of the best designed.
But that's not to say the rest of the holes are boring! Most of them combine two or three challenges in a great way. 7 has a low ceiling off the tee before having a tree to beat in the middle of the fairway, 13 is a decently long hill with OB threatening the forehand player, 15 is long and then hides a deceptively good tunnel green (although I am going to complain about that hole in a minute) and 17 has some sneakily good pin spots.
A few other well-designed holes: 6 is a nice, long downhill with tricky pin spots for only having 8ish trees on the fairway. 8 is a long hole that tempts you to really air it out, but the wind off the lake might change your plans.
Cons: Getting this out of the way early, I've heard the course has gone uncared for to the point that it's unplayable. I didn't have this problem on my trip, but it may be something to ask the locals about before making the drive out there.
My bigger complaint is that some of the holes that used to be more open no longer are due to some trees growing up. Hole 11 seems like it was a nice, challenging tunnel which is now overgrown and the only line is over the top. The same goes for hole 18 which is just 11 in reverse, 7's mid-fairway tree has gotten a bit out of control, and 12 seems like it used to have more space to work with than it does now. This isn't a prevailing issue, but it takes away from what would be some great holes. With more aged trees comes more need of trimming!
Holes 10, and 14-17. They are all long, open, board flat fairways with decent greens (apart from 16), but the issue of them being so long and so wide open off the tee makes it seem like they're only here to inflate the course distance. 10 has a nice standard wooded green, while 15 you have to get to the mouth of the tree tunnel (475ft away) to make whichever green it's on, 14 is behind a wall of trees 400ft down, and 17 has several varied spots. Hole 16 is really the worst one, with just a 25' wide, 350' long mowed strip between you and the green. It really is the worst hole on the course. The similarities and blandness of these holes take away from the overall course.
When some if not all pin spots are blind on most holes, there really needs to be a marker for which pin position each hole is set in.
A little bit of the navigation is a pain. From 6 to 7 you have to walk down the road you're about to play right back past, and 7 to 8 is the same way. 10 has you come a decent way back up the fairway to tee off on 11. There's not that many of these issues, but they were so big that they were worth noting.
Each hole has 4 pin spots, but some of them had 3ft high grass around them. It just shows a bit of laziness on the part of the maintenance crew which might made me start noticing some of the other issues I mentioned in the second paragraph.
Other Thoughts: With all the complaints you just read, you might think I hate this course. I don't, but it has the potential to be far, far better than it currently is. The distance bombers, that's fine if it must be kept, just clean out the head-high prairie grass bordering the fairways. Most of the other issues (lines being overgrown, pin spot markers) could be solved with a couple days devoted to cleaning up the course. If I lived closer I'd be dying to help since there is the potential for an incredible course here.
Definitely plan to visit Bloomington Lake if you're in the Lawrence area. It's a nice, secluded getaway, and it offers some great disc golf. Just make sure you won't be swimming in grass fairways before you drive out there.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course has a lot of potential. The holes themselves are mostly all well designed and the teepees and signs are "unique" but overall pretty alright.
Lots of parking and camping available in the park is a big plus. I traveled to this course with a 30 foot camper and access was very easy.
Baskets were in very good condition and many of them had flags which helped with wind calls.
Cons: This course has been completely neglected by the local dg community and parks department. As of June 1, the grass had not been cut at all. It is June (summer aka peak season), there is no excuse for knee high grass. I literally pulled over 30 ticks off of my legs on the front 9....and i skipped hole 7 because the entire hole had not been mowed at all and i pulled 3 ticks off of me from the road to the tepid (about 10 feet). This was extremely disappointing.
The tee signs are really nice but half the time you have to walk around the corner to see what they actually say. Whoever installed these signs was not experienced enough to be trusted with that task.
Course flow was terrible. There are several transitions that don't make any sense and there are no signs or markers to help you navigate the course. On top of that, you guessed it, all of the transition paths were overgrown and a huge pain to walk.
Other Thoughts: This course has tons of potential and could be a 4+ star course IF it was taken care of. In my opinion the parks department should be ashamed of this courses current state. This place is an embarrassment to the disc golf scene which in this part of the country is usually pretty good. If you want to play a quality course in Kansas drive to KC or Emporia and save yourself some serious frustration.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Terrific design with great variety - wooded, open, elevation, length. The wooded holes require technical shots, but there is a reasonable fairway for each basket position. There are roads (low speed campground access paths more accurately) running through the course, but the design minimizes the interference issues.
4 pin positions for each hole means this course can be different every time you play it.
New concrete tee pads that are long enough and shaped to give the space and angle you need for all the pin positions and every throwing style.
A nice bench at every tee (I think)
Excellent new baskets
Excellent parking and facilities
Excellent signage and information about the holes. I loved the elevation information for the T-pads and for each of the 4 pin positions.
Beautiful views of the lake
You have the course to yourself
Cons: Maintenance. The heavily wooded holes 2-5 had 8" long grass in the fairway and the rough was thick and 18" deep. It looked as though the fairways had actually been recently mowed, just the mower isn't set to cut it short enough since the area is fairly rugged. In fairness, I played mid-summer when this issue is its worst. Count on spending some extra time searching for your discs. Also, there were some low hanging branches that blocked the designed fairways. Some targeted pruning would help tremendously.
With 4 basket positions for each hole, there is tremendous flexibility to the course design. The downside is that when you are playing the course for the first time (or even for the first time in a while) you have to walk halfway down the fairway to try to find which position the basket is in - especially true for 2-5. So having lots of pin position options is actually a drawback for your first round.
Other Thoughts: I look forward to playing this course again in the fall or winter when the overgrown grass isn't an issue. The course is a 4 to 4.5 except for the maintenance issues.
It would be really helpful to know the basket position at each tee. Cedar Hill Park in Nashville has a clever way of indicating which (of 4) positions the basket is in that could be used here. Another thought - short of saying they are all in the same color position would be posting a notice at the sign near hole 1 like, "Odds in white, Evens in yellow" or "front 9 in blue, back 9 in red"
I played the course on a calm, sunny Sunday afternoon: perfect time and conditions for DG and no one else was there. The course is somewhat remote, so this is understandable. But I found it well worth the time to get there and I will definitely return.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great mix of long and short. Wooded and open. Narrow, technical and bomber holes. Some major elevations and some flat.Has some of everything. Fantastic variety.
Nice big pads. Love the shape. Ice Cream Cone shaped.
Cons: length of grass. No markings for the next hole. a bit confusing at times without a map. No where near the worst I've see though.
Don't get fooled by the marker colors. They don't correspond to the tee signs.
Other Thoughts: I found this to be a great course. Very surprised at how good it was. Actually, how fun it was. I recommend this and think it is a great sister course to the Lake Perry course. Both CoE maintained.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great pads, benches, and baskets.
Multiple restrooms on course.
Fairly easy to navigate.
Four pin placements on every hole. Great variety. I don't think any of the short pins are over 400 ft and I'm not sure that any of the longs are under 400 ft.
Cons: No next tee information. Generally if you walk to the longest placement you will see the next tee. The exception is #2. It is in the woods directly across the road from the short pin.
Other Thoughts: The park is close enough to Lawrence that you can see the KU campus while playing. Typical Corp of Engineers quality. Good bridges and everything is top notch. Some fairly open holes but most have trees or OB in play, especially with the longer settings. All pins were in the shortest or next to shortest spots on this day and the wind was 20 or less so it played pretty easy. It would be a different animal in longs on a windier day! Even as a shorter arm I think I would like the long set up too. The holes do reward distance but when you near the longer pins it looks like shot placement is very important as well. Not as epic as Longview North of Lawrence mostly due to the terrain. This course is mostly flat and more open. The tick situation may be better here as the front plays near an RV campground and it is not as woody. I can't imagine there could be more ticks than Longview!!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Large tee pads. Benches at several holes. Great use of land, with many obstacles. Good mix of dogleg right and left. Tee signs don't get any better that the ones they have. Well maintained. A really fun course!
Cons: Some directional signs to the next tee would be great. The UDisc app is a great tool to find where you need to be. Most holes are set to the long pins. Would be nice to get a mix. Me and long holes don't get along well. Lol.
Other Thoughts: Congrats to the designer(s) and all the hard working folks that got this course in. A huge congrats to the Corp of Engineers, for seeing the importance of disc golf to the community.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Still in Bloom
Pros: Bloomington DGC has really great concrete tees with benches being installed on all (they may be finished since I visited). There are also good tee signs and top of the line baskets, equipped with flags to help identify wind direction and strength, which will be very useful. Multiple spots for pins at each hole for a different look now and then.
The lay of the land is open to lightly wooded for much of the course, with moderate changes in elevation, scattered mature trees and lots of grass coverage on the majority of the fairways. Holes 2-5 do take a swing closer to the water, where there is much heavier tree growth, and more tightly restricted options from the tee as a result.
Distance is one of the main obstacles to overcome, with several fairly long holes. There was a moderate to strong wind on the day I chose to play, and it really compounds the difficulty.
My favorite holes were 2, 3, 4, and 5 through the more densely wooded portion, and 11 and 18, the holes that played across the creek on the back nine. The bridge construction that was in progress on each of these water crossings impressed me a lot. They were among the most sturdy I have ever seen on a disc golf course.
Cons: I missed the transition from hole 1 to 2, and wound up going back to find it, playing the lakeside loop of holes 2, 3, 4, and 5 after 18. When you finish hole 1, cross the road, and turn to the right, hole 2 is not too deep in the trees, going toward the water.
Kansas wind can carry some discs, and added a few strokes to my round. A lot of the course is exposed with little protection. Nature hatin' on me. It's ok, I can deal with it occasionally.
Other Thoughts: Bloomington is getting the best equipment, and I give a salute to those responsible for it's installation. I liked the course really well, and think it maximized the lands potential.
I wish I had payed more attention to the signs, I can't remember if they were all posted when I played, I think they were. Not sure what par is, but I did not have any 2's on my scorecard. I would guess it to be in the high 50's to low 60's range, and I left with a 68.
I will return to see the finished product soon, and see if I can get a little more info to put on the site for you all. Whoever dropped the Clif Bar on hole 1, I owe you one. It didn't look like it had been tampered with or sitting for a long time. I was so hungry and took a chance. Right on time with no ill effects. Thanks to the disc gods and whoever lost their snack that week.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
TOP 5 in KS
Pros: Amazing layout, great pads, views are incredible, and the elevation comes in to play on quite a few holes. They're putting benches at every tee pad as well. Someone has put a lot of effort into this course, and it shows. Multiple pin placements too, to keep everything fresh.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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