Cooper Arnold is correct - This is the hardest course in the "accepted" Kansas City Area. I would go so far as to claim that it rivals many top ten courses in any region of the country.
Take I 70 West to the HWY 24 exit in Lawrence. Go north and follow HWY 24 to Perry, KS. Turn Right on Ferguson Road. You will twist and turn for 8 miles or so. Turn LEFT on 89th street. 89th slowly bends left into Hamilton Road. Stay on Hamilton for a mile or two and you will see the baskets and then the parking lot.
The Course: Presently set in the "Championship" level settings. Par... 60 plus. There are a few natural "2s" in this setting - Very few. The lucky soul may throw one in from distance, or find a prayer line and give themselves a chance, but to be honest, not many people will be that lucky.
And... to offset the typical doubt which surrounds my reviews of courses, today Joe Hesting (tick magnet) - a much better player than myself - played this course with us. He had already played the course so he knew what he was getting himself into during his second round. He dueced one hole (Hole 15). He was using a new putter for the second round and possibly could have dueced other holes, but it wasn't to be. That said, let the review begin.
The first impression: This is Flip City in Kansas. It's almost identical with a few minor differences. Flip City is actually more wide open. Flip City is a man's backyard at his house. Flip City has more duece chances. In time, there may be more dueces, but lines will need to open up.
It's still rough around the edges, and some of the basket placements are somewhat arbitrary and not necessarily cruel enough to match the nature of this course. There are only two holes where putting is dangerous, the rest of the placements are too safe - in my opinion.
A lot - and I mean close to a bajillion hours - of work has been put into this course to make it look good. The pads are in. Most of fairways are for the most part, defined. There are well-made bridges installed. Benches. One or two trash cans. The baskets are in and the course is as Cooper described. It's tough. Every hole has either an extreme elevation change, a tunnel, a valley, water, distance or all of the them at the same time. Every uphill shot is a tunnel shot and turns blindly. Every time you drive these holes, getting half way up the hill only gets you half way to the hole.
Most shots are blind and judging distance to the baskets is tough. Again, the course is presently set in the Championship settings; it's early in the year; the trees haven't filled out and the grass is low, so in a few months, this course is going to be even tougher (if the baskets stay where they are). Leaves will make this course darker, cast more shadows, and lines you can see now will be swallowed up by the shadows. Go play it now if you want to score in the 60's. Add ten strokes with full foliage.
The grounds are rough. There are a lot of burn piles scattered about (easily over 75) but time will erase them. There are rock piles, rock walls, and rocky cliffs - All of which concern me. Not because of disc health, but because I hate snakes and they will be an issue. They also make getting around a pain as you have to climb over most of them or play off of them. Most of the fairways will get stomped down but there are still some trees which will need cutting down to make some of the holes more playable. There are a ridiculous amount of trees. Several holes have no line whatsoever. I will let you pass your own judgement on this issue, but I didn't see them. It's not that I haven't seen holes where the lines are tiny (think Blue Spring's Young Park) but they are typically shorter holes and don't require a full drive - this course requires full drives. I will say that if you can throw thumbers you will be in heaven out here. Going up and over is going to cut strokes off your score. Even with the leaves, there are lines in the sky for the lucky few.
You will also need every single disc you have in the bag. This isn't a driver-putter course. There is a need for overstable, understable, and stable in driver, midrange and putter. You will need them all. You have shots that go straight up hill 300 feet blind to the left, or blind to the right. You have down hill bombers that must travel 400 feet through a generous tunnel. There are short holes, long holes, high risk birdie holes which also have safer routes.
Traditionally, if you mess up your drive on a course you can save par and you're not penalized for the miscue. Here, if you mess up your drive, add a stroke or two. Very rarely will a mess up be rewarded. You will need to hit your line.
I would now like to say that the main issue I have with the course "at this time" is that the course needs FEWER trees. Hole 2 is perfect the way it is, but holes 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 17 and 18 will need some grooming to make them more playable. Hole 12 is presently a legit par 5 or 6 with the number of trees. A few less and it's a four.
The rest of the course... I am going to leave to you to discover. It's beautiful out there and it will only get better.
The basic info you will need to know:
* It's not for beginners (in these settings). Pros will score in the 60's so a new player will easily score in the 80's or better. Don't be discouraged, it's worth it to see it.
* It will take two plus hours the first round, more if you miss the lines.
* It's not quite ready for carts, though you could do it. You will have to carry the cart at times. Not comfortably.
* There are no clear walking paths between holes, or ON a few holes so you will have to plow through some rough to get around. This is a problem on the holes where you have to walk downhill. If you have bad knees, ankles, etc. take your time.
* There are ticks out.
* You will be required to climb down, around and up rocky hillsides.
* There is a sneaky creek and a pond which will swallow your disc. (hole 16's pin is ten feet from a creek you can't see until you're at the basket)
* Some of the tee pads are near baskets or fairways for other holes, keep your eyes open.
* From some teepads you will see two or more baskets.
Here is some helpful information:
On Hole 1, the basket is to the right behind the pines.
On Hole 2, it's a long tunnel.
(next pad - turn around, behind you to the left)
On Hole 3, it's up hill to the far, far left. It's a par 5 - that far.
On Hole 4, it's straight ahead, there is a teeny weeny line. One will eventually have to be carved out of the woods.
On Hole 5, it's a downhill crusher. Empty the bag.
On Hole 6, it's uphill to the left. Half way up the hill is half way to the basket.
On Hole 7, it's across the ravine. Again, no real line.
On Hole 8, it's the basket to the left. There are three you can see, but play the one to the far left.
On Hole 9, it's downhill to the right. There are two "lines" - a narrow tunnel to the right; and a straight ahead line which is safer but eliminates any chance of a birdie. But yes, the basket is to to the right. The basket straight off the pad is the practice basket but should be the pin.
On Hole 10, it's to the right. (hint: not as far as it looks)
On Hole 11, it's uphill to the left.
On Hole 12, it's downhill to the right. FAR, far away. Just go for it. When you get up to your drive you will see the basket 400 feet away in a clearing past the trees. Yeah, it's that one. Again, no line here.
On Hole 13, it's a dogleg to the right. Straight for 300 then sharp right for another 200.
The next pad is next to 16's pad. 14 is the one to the right.
On Hole 14, it's straight ahead on the far side of the ravine. Thumber's Paradise.
On Hole 15, it's across the pond to the left.
Next pad is above the pin, up the hill by 14's pad.
On Hole 16, it's downhill and to the extreme left at the end of the field by the road. New lines will need to be made. Empty the bag.
On Hole 17, it's to the left, across the creek by the road. The vines will be an issue.
On Hole 18, it's straight ahead and then to the left in the field by the parking lot.
I think this is a great course and again, only time will tell how it will hold up. It will need grooming and attention to make it more manageable, but I have a feeling that's going to happen really soon.
I have pictures I will post for each hole as soon as I figure out how to do that.