Water works offers elevation and terrain variation that is extremely rare in any major metropolitan area. A course like this has also had countless hours put in by primarily volunteers from the disc golf community, and is going to be defended quite vigorously. This course was not thrown on a bare piece of land, it was a wooded side of an enormous hill that a lot of people have put in YEARS of work out there. There may be poison ivy there, but there is poison ivy/oak/sumac almost every where. It thrives in this climate, and anywhere worth a dam to put a course on is gonna have some. It is a well maintained property that has multiple pin placements on every hole that a lot of people take for granted. I started playing in a town with one course and one setting for every hole. We got it pretty good around here.
That course wasn't so bad then. Now, with its loss of trees, it has become much weaker, just like a lot of kc courses including waterworks.
maurice is correct. sunlight is poison ivy's only natural enemy. though it can still exist in direct sunlight, it tends to be shorter, drier, and more easily choked out by native grasses. wooded courses offer more challenges, shade, and wind block and tend to be enjoyed by more disc golfers than their wide open, windy, non-shaded counterparts. personally, i like the challenge of both. poison ivy can be controlled in wooded areas with lots of expensive chemicals, i.e. young park but very few disc golf courses have these kind of resources and i believe its an improper waste of money. poison ivy is a natural part of the missouri and kansas ecosystems by providing food and shelter to many species of birds, insects, and animals, some too which are poisonous.
there are precautions we can take as disc golfers to co-exist with these poisonous plants and animals to avoid removing them from their habitat. no matter if your favorite or most hated course is smithville, rosey, young, waterworks, legacy, cliff drive, prairie center, all have poison ivy near fairways that even a decent shot can land in. that's part of the sport we love and many other outdoor activities. slant is right, those that can't handle that should stay on the couch. many other industries including farmers, parks departments, and golf courses are looking at similar issues right now. they are weighing not only the economic impact of pesticides and herbicides, but also the environmental impact as well.