KCFDC Courses > Shawnee Mission

SMPDGC installation in progress - help needed - event on July 22nd

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Shawnee Mission Park Disc Golf Course is well on its way to becoming a reality. We have received final board approval to begin installation effective immediately. This is a very exciting time for everyone who has had the vision of playing disc golf at SMP, as it was the location of the inaugural Kansas City Wide Open 25 years ago.

The course will be implemented in a phased approach. The first phase is installation of the baskets, which is where we are at right now. The  JoCo parks department has agreed upon purchase of Mach III baskets, which we are very pleased with. The parks dept. will help auger the holes where we need them. The KCFDC has agreed to be the primary resource in getting the concrete poured for basket bases. We will need help from club members getting this accomplished. At that point in time we will have a concrete date for setting the baskets and announce the opening of the course.

The second phase will not be approached until at the earliest next year, when tee pad and bench installation will proceed. At this point we need to battle test the design and flow of the course.

So there are still a few outstanding issues before we get to that point. First is course preparation which is currently underway. I will be out at the park on weekend mornings trimming and shaping the fairways until the course is in shape. If you would like to help me out I’ve got a few of the clubs power tools to get things done. If you’re interested in helping leave me your contact information though a message here or call me at 816.678.4468. Under NO circumstances should anyone do any "maintenance" on their own, as I have explicit instructions from the park manager on what is able to be done.

Secondly there will be an Ad Hoc event at the park on Sunday July 22nd at 10am. I want to give everyone a chance to play the course before we set the pins so that any feedback can be considered. We have already had a number of experienced players go through the course and given recommendations which have helped shape the course already, so I think we will have a lot of fun getting a glimpse of what is to come. 

The plan is to get people to bring out individual baskets and set up a temp course, so if you can bring a basket (especially metal ones) come out between 9 and 9:30am and we will set up your basket on the course. We will run as many holes as we have baskets for and then move the baskets to the remainder of holes complete the round. This is not a league, it does not cost anything, just a chance to show your support for the new course.

See you at the park!


Dan Weinert:


--- Quote from: Shawnee on July 13, 2007, 11:33:38 AM ---concrete date
--- End quote ---

Great job getting your course approved!  Can't wait to see it; I've never even been to that park.

Some questions about the design...

Will it be designed for the blue skill level (950 rated) or another?  Are multiple tee pads in the plans for another skill level?  (Always best to think early on that one).  Will the par / scoring average be around 54 or a different number?

One thing you could do at your event is keep scores from the target skill level.  See how well each hole does with producing different scores.  If a hole doesn't produce enough scoring variation, a little shorter, longer, or especially trickier could help.  On more open holes, producing 3 different scores (birdie, par, bogey) isn't really possible; in that case 2 scores is better than just 1.  If you have the terrain/foliage you should go for 3 scores when you can.

Hope the event goes well and you get some good feedback!

Thanks! Its been a lot of fun being involved in the process.

The design started with getting to know the land really well, being there at different times of day, year, weather conditions ect.  Playing terrain forward/backward, finding out what makes interesting holes. Some holes just stand out because the terrain is so good or it logically flows, so you start from there and draft ideas, hundreds of them. Go out play it and revise it. Have people come out and play it and get feedback and revise some more.

The course has been designed with many factors in mind and is very extensible, through a design principle where the implementation takes into consideration current needs as well as future growth. Individual hole configurations can allow for modification while minimizing impact to overall course flow. Multiple Tee pads are a possibility on some of the holes, those considerations will be addressed as we prepare for 09' Worlds.

I foresee definite configurations in an A. B. C. placement system. On the short side the course will be able to play around 6000', tilting the course could allow for a length between 8000-9000'. There will be much diversity in shot types. A fair balance of holes with hyser/anhyser, uphill/downhill, wide/narrow, ceiling, natural and man made OB, ect.. 

Initially we will start with one placement per hole. Though we can install a challenging layout, we would be better served to start by setting up a configuration that is more inviting for the moderate to beginning level players. I think we will get a lot of new people trying the sport for the first time at SMP. We will be highly visible and the curiosity factor will be a big draw.That being said it will take some restraint on my behalf from implementing more challenging configurations. Longer is not always better but can be very exciting given the proper design considerations. If I had to compare the concept to anything locally I would point to Swope vs. Swope Gold. However, SMP will be flexible within its basic course layout vs. creating new holes. 

The combination of these configurations will of course produce different ranges of scoring distribution. Having that flexibility will contribute to the courses ability to host a variety of player groups. If the course is in a Short A. placement I would expect to shoot several stokes under par as a decent player. In C. setting I would think closer to 60 would be good, in moderate B. positions I would consider this a par 54 course. Baselines for rating the course can be extrapolated by setting all baskets in alike configuration.

And while its not the sole determining factor in a holes success, I do agree that score variation on a majority of the holes is a desirable outcome. There will be quite a few birdie opportunities and some long 3s that will be easily bogeyed in a moderate setting. The opportunity to optimize these parameters has been fully considered and will continue to be adjusted as we get more experience with a variety of players on the course.


Wow.  Sounds very well thought through.  Every bit will be very appreciated with the end result.

Natural / man made OB sounds great and should improve the character and score distribution of the holes.  Considering the balance of hole distances and fairway shapes is also a very good move.  There aren't a lot of courses with really good balance.

Something else that is missing from most courses out there is challenging greens.  Putting the basket behind some trees creates a controlled upshot, which also emphasizes more the placement of the drive.  This is mostly for holes not quite reachable from the tee.  Another thing that can make the green harder is elevation drops around the basket.  Planting and growing trees can take a while if you don't already have them, but a load of dirt can be pretty easy to do.

Sounds like this course is going to be another huge success for KC.  Wish I could come to your event.  I'll be in Beloit for the KS State Championship.


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