90 days of disc golf: The courses that formed our opinion.

At every tournament we have met at least one person who claims that they can throw a buzzz 400 feet. And in each and every case these players have ended up on the bottom half of the field at the end of the weekend. Where did all of those 400 foot buzzz shots go? I mention this because when we ask someone we don’t know to recommend a really challenging course we MUST play – something we have to see – distance is the first “challenge” they think of. They don’t think of tunnel shots, or elevation, or mind twisting, faith bending shots, or a view, it’s always distance. 

Distance is the measure by which most disc golfers evaluate talent, but in almost every case distance is the least valuable commodity to a disc golfer. Being able to putt consistently from twenty to thirty feet is far more impressive than someone who can crush a drive 450 feet. Being able to throw 250 feet straight (or in the direction you intended) would be second. Distance though awe-inspiring, does little for your overall game. I’m not 100% sure of this, but I think there has only been one World Champion who was also at one time the distance champion – Avery Jenkins. Again, there could be others but you get my point. Distance is not what makes a disc golfer a great player. (And, in case you were wondering, the year Avery won his title, Manabu Kajiyama won the distance challenge. Manabu is about half the size of Avery)

When we ask for a course, who we ask is very important. I would like to say that there is a universal stereotype for a well-traveled, well-seasoned, well-informed player, but there isn’t one. The most common player we encountered on the road was a guy with a small starter bag, with maybe five DX discs in it – all over-stable. Generally speaking, this is the standard image of the beginner player, but if you have ever met Todd Henry you know a man with a starter bag and a few beat up DX discs can be a real bad-ass. So it’s important to ask more than just one person. Gather a few recommendations before you drive across town looking for the course. It’s important to remember that No ONE person is the authority on disc golf, disc golf courses, or what you might consider “a great course.” 

These are the courses that we played either by tournament play or by recommendation. I think it’s important to point out that the time of year we played these courses, where the pins were set, and which order we played them in, all affected our opinion of each course as we played them. For example: We were set to play Z Boaz in Fort Worth, TX on Superbowl weekend when four inches of snow fell and essentially closed down all of Texas. The same is true for Emporia, Kansas and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. 

These are not all of the great courses in each particular area, and I’m sure we overlooked many, many courses, but the road map to disc golf excellence hasn’t been written yet, so we made do with what we had. There are better courses still out there to be played…

DALLAS, TX:
LL Woods
Lewisville Lake
WICHITA, KS:
Herman Hill
Oak Park
HAYS, KS:
Frontier Park
PAWHUSKA, OK:
The Lodge
EMPORIA, KS:
Jones Park (east and west)
Peter Pan
TOPEKA, KS:
Lake Shawnee
Crestview
Mighty Shunga (tournament only)
TULSA, OK:
Haikey Creek
Hunter Park
Dovillo
BlackHawk
Chandler Park
McClure
DES MOINES, IA:
Pickard
Walnut Ridge
Big Creek
Grandview
Ewing
LAMONI, IA:
J&B Rolling Hills
MARSHALL, MO:
Indian Foothills
JEFFERSON CITY, MO:
Joseph Miller
JOPLIN, MO:
McClelland Park
COLUMBIA, MO:
Albert Oakland
Indian Hills
ST. LOUIS, MO:
Endicott
Rock Springs
Sioux Passage
Jefferson Barracks
Creve Couer
Quail Ridge
LITTLE ROCK, AR:
Burns Park (blue and red)
SHREVEPORT, LA:
Ford Park
Clyde Fant
BELLEVISTA, AR
Belle Vista
FT. SMITH, AR:
Ben Geren
Bell Park
RUSSELLVILLE, AR:
Russellville
BOWLING GREEN, KY:
Bowling Green Tech
Phil Moore
Basil Griffin
Preston Miller
Lover’s Lane
Kereiakes
Hobson Grove
Ephram White
ALBION, MI:
Victory Park
BATTLE CREEK, MI:
Cold Brook
MILFORD, MI:
Toboggan
Black Locust
DETROIT, MI:
Cass Benton
ANN ARBOR, MI:
Hudson Mills 
KALAMAZOO, MI:
Oshtemo
MADISON, WI:
Hiestand
EVANSVILLE, IN:
Mesker
CROWN POINT, IN:
Lemon Lake Complex (Red, Blue, Gold)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN:
Hyland
Blue Ribbon Pines
Kaposia
Bryant Lake
ROCKFORD, IL:
Anna Page
SPRINGFIELD, IL:
Lincoln Park
JOILET, IL:
West park
PEORIA, IL:
McNaughton Park
Bradley
Northwood
OMAHA, NE:
Seymour Smith
SIOUX FALLS, SD:
Tuthill Park
GRAND FORKS, ND:
Lincoln Park
WINNIPEG, MN:
Happyland
SASKATOON, SK:
Diefenbaker 
GLENDIVE, MT:
Makoshika
BILLINGS, MT:
Diamond X
MISSOULA, MT:
Pattee Canyon
POST FALLS, ID:
Corbin Park
Cherry Hill
Farragut
SPOKANE, WA
Highbridge
Downriver
SEATTLE, WA
Ft. Steilacoom
SeaTac
Lakewood
Lake Fennwick
White River
PORTLAND, OR:
Pier Park
Milo McIver
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Golden Gate
SANTA CRUZ, CA
DeLaVeaga
WILSONVILLE, CA
Pinto Lake
MONTERREY, CA
Ryan Ranch
Oaks
LOS ANGELES, CA
Oak Grove
La Mirada
Huntington Beach
PHOENIX, AZ
Fountain Hills
SANTA FE, NM
Arroyo Chamiso
LAS VEGAS, NV
Sunset
SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Creekside
ROCK SPRINGS, WY
Rock Springs
DENVER, CO
Johnny Roberts

…many were left behind, but we’re not done yet.

 

How could I forget…

GREATER METRO AREA – KANSAS CITY, MO:
Blue Valley
Smithville Lake
Prairie Center
Wyco
Rosedale
Swope
Pleasant Hill
William Yates
Old Pike
Shawnee Mission
Thornfield
Ted’s Dread
Legacy
California Trail
Blue Springs
Cliff Drive
Waterworks
Parkville
Blue Valley west High School
Centennial 
Riverfront
Pomona Lake
Melvern Lake
Atchison
St. Joseph

 

And now…

MEMPHIS, TN
Shelby Farms
TUPELO, MS
Veteran’s Park
BIRMINGHAM, AL
George Ward 
ATLANTA, GA
Rosewood at Redan
AUGUSTA, GA
IDGC
      Hendrick
      Jackson
      Warner
ROCK HILL, SC
Winthrop Lake Course
Winthrop Gold Minus the rope, and the pressure.
CHARLOTTE, NC
Renaissance
Hornet’s Nest
Charlotte’s Web
Nevin
Reedy
KNOXVILLE, TN
Morningside 
NASHVILLE, TN
Seven Oaks
Cedar Hill
PADUCAH, KY
Stewart Nelson

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