69° Clear, Wind N 8
Pictures at bottom of post
I’ve been anticipating playing this course for 8-10 months. I’ve been communicating with Susie and Warren Harshman since last fall. When I saw the video that Bobby Brown (Dynamic Discs) shared from their outing there when it was only 9 holes the anticipation grew even more.
Before I get into the course, I must thank Warren and Susie Harshman for their vision and commitment to creating an incredible course. Thanks also goes out to Shawn Taylor, who is responsible for the course design and a lot more I’m sure. Also to Chris Carathers who helped me out the day before we played.
Let me preface my comments by saying a few things. First, anyone’s evaluation of a course is very subjective. Second, this course is not finished yet. I don’t anticipate it being finished for several months based on comments by the owners. One major reason is a large pavilion being built between the course and the main building. It is two months or so from being finished for a wedding already scheduled. Their time and effort is being used to complete that structure before continuing with the course.
It has very nice 10’-12’ tee pads and white Dynamic Discs Veteran baskets with a flag on top of each. When we played, there were no tee signs and there was no map. (I have created a map that is close enough to accurate that it should help. I emailed a copy to the owners and I have a copy in my database that can be downloaded) That said, we were fairly successful at finding our way around. We did have to go back and find holes 5 and 6. The course being mowed within the past week or two was instrumental. On the creek portions that would be hard to cross, they have placed large limestone rock as stepping stones with a permanent plan to install wooden bridges.
The owner’s plans for this course are still in a bit of flux as it is on private property. I do know the course will be open to anyone staying at their Bed and Breakfast. It will probably be available for tournaments/events and it will probably be a Pay2Play course for the public. While Pay2Play is still somewhat new in Kansas, my belief is that players will pay to play a course that is well maintained, challenging and beautiful. I expressed this view to the owners when they asked. Cost is still kind of a fickle thing and quite subjective. I know that I would pay to play this course again.
Some of you reading this will want to play it sooner than later. I will tell you that walking up will be a waste of time. If you want to play, get a group together and call to make arrangements. This allows the owners to consider your request knowing what other kind of activity is already scheduled for their property.
Playing in a group also offers you the ability to do two things that helped us: walk ahead and spot the basket, have a spotter for discs being thrown. Both of those helped us be more successful and save quite a bit of time looking for discs. Also, bring a retriever of some kind. While a number of the creek situations allow you to walk in and grab your disc, there are some deeper pools you may not want to go into. Last, but not least, I left my Delta Cart in the car. It is not cart friendly and I carried my NutSac instead and glad I did!
Now, on to the course! As we walked around the new pavilion towards tee 1, we were all taken in by the view. We were up high looking out into the distance. The Flint Hills are gorgeous. We walked up to the first tee, set our bags down and just took a few minutes looking down the hill and across the creek into the course and the anticipation built! At that moment we set aside all our other planned courses for the day and decided we wouldn’t hurry through this one! We were struck numerous times as we walked the course just how beautiful it was. The designer’s use of natural features is very good. The creek winds through the property a lot and comes into play a lot. It is a fairly good mix of open and technical holes. Elevation is definitely in play. This kind of elevation, not real gradual, is a bit unique for most Kansas courses. All the baskets are anchored in limestone. One is on the side of a bluff with limestone steps up to it. Most of the creek areas we crossed held clear water. We only saw one, but it was a 4’-5’ bull snake. While we did spot some poison ivy we all came back unscathed even though we wandered off the fairway quite a bit! Ok, enough of this, let’s get into the course. (Consider my length guesses with some caution.)
You’re standing high on the edge of hill looking north down to a creek with large, mature trees and an open meadow. At the bottom of the hill we found a drop zone, full size tee pad, for creek problems or lost discs. While we had heard the basket was across the creek and to the left we had trouble spotting it at first. We just hadn’t looked far enough. It was found it all the way through the meadow and tucked under some trees close to the creek. It is left of straight, but not a lot. Throwing a disc off an elevated tee at trees whose tops are level with you is exhilarating in my book. The plan is to clear the creek and the trees and then have an open shot to the basket. It is long. (Look to the right before you cross the creek and you’ll see basket 9 halfway up the ridge.)
To get to the second tee you’ll need to backtrack south along the creek a bit and you’ll see some stones to cross on. Then, it’s back north a bit and around the trees. The tee is up a bit while the fairway drops down and back up again. It is around 250’. The fairway bends to the left and on that side are thick trees. On the right side are trees as well and what you can’t tell is the creek bank drops straight down 30’-40’ there. Trees also occupy the fairway.
As you come out of the trees to the west, you’ll see tee pad 3 and lots of sky! This hole is much more wide open and there is some distance to it. Looking at the basket to the north, it appears the ground slopes down a bit when you get close to it and it does. There is a clump of 3-4 trees just to the right and in front of the basket. Further to the right it appears the ground slopes off to the tree line. It does, but that slope is actually a 50’ drop off into the creek. (In the DD video you can see this drop with 2 discs clearly in a shallow creek.) You’ll want to stay center or left in the fairway! When you get to the basket you’ll find the creek about 15-20 feet behind it.
Walking north of basket 3 down across the creek and back up again, tee 4 is to your right under a mulberry tree which can make it a little messy. Stop, look up and admire the hole before you throw. It’s on the short side, but the elevation change (80’) will add some distance. It sets up on a limestone rock ridge. Beautiful!
This tee is northeast from the basket up onto the open grassy tabletop area. You can’t see the tee pad until you’re right about on it. This is a wide open hole but any wind comes into play. The basket is located on the left corner of this area and the ground drops off behind and to the left of it. It is a bit elevated in some limestone rocks with a bushy shrub on the backside. Do a 360 and look around while you’re up here!
When leaving the basket, walk SW down to the next level. You’ll see the tee on this ridge. The fairway follows the ridge around to the right and the basket is short of tee 7, which is on top of the ridge. (You can see this tee to the south of basket 4) There is a large tree at the corner where the ridge bends. The fairway has a bit of width but the ground drops off big to the left. If your disc gets away from you to the left, it’s a hike down and back up. It is possible to go to the right of the tree and straight at the basket but it is a blind shot.
Go north from the basket to tee 7 up on top of the ridge. From here you’ll look to the west. The basket is aligned pretty straight with the tee pad. You’ll see a grove of trees and a pond. The basket is probably another 60’-70’ beyond the pond/trees on an island of native grass. The drop from tee to basket is probably 100’-120’.
On your way down the hill from tee 7 you’ll see the tee pad for 8 on your left. It’s across the creek and a slight dog leg right. There is a big shrubby tree right in the middle of fairway. You can go around it to the left or right. The basket is tucked back by the creek. There is a pile of dead tree parts a ways off the right side of the basket.
Walking left of the basket, follow the little path and you’ll find the tee for hole 9. This is a long hole that will dogleg left after the creek. You’ll be throwing out into the open meadow area which is shared with hole 1. After your first throw, pick your opening through the trees and get across the creek. Once you’re across, follow the area between the creek and ridge. You’ll see the basket at the top of about 8 limestone steps on your right up the side of the ridge.
East of 9 basket, across the creek, is a shorter hole. You throw out from under trees into an open area. The basket is tucked up against a limestone wall on the left. A large tree branch has fallen through the wall behind the basket and created a corner for it to be tucked into.
This tee is straight past basket 10, but you’ll have to go around the tree to the right, back left across a muddy stream to the tee. It is a bit elevated compared to the basket which is straight across the creek. The ground slopes down to the creek and back up again. There are plenty of trees and if you look you can find a path through them. The other option would be to lay up down to the right before the creek.
Tee 12 is just east of basket 11. It is short, downhill to the creek and back up to the basket on the other side. The basket is up in the trees. You can lay up and stay dry or take a chance at getting through the trees and across the creek with your drive.
Going east of basket 12 you’ll find tee 13. This is a dogleg right after you get close to the creek. The basket is tucked up against a tree not real far past the creek.
It’s a bit of a walk straight south from basket 13 to tee box 14. It is in the open and facing NNE following the tree line. (You’ll see another tee pad at a 90 degree angle pointing up a hill – tee 16) This hole is pretty wide open with a huge pile of dead tree parts along the right side of the fairway and the basket up against the tree line with a large dead limb behind it that has broken of a tree next to the basket.
This hole runs parallel to 14 except it is up in the trees. The tee is just past 14 basket and to the left. The fairway runs inside the trees and slopes from right to left. It’s a tunnel shot, not real long, with a little fade to the left to the basket.
Walk out of the trees to the south and you’ll find tee 16. It is the one you saw when teeing on 14. The fairway is an obvious path straight up the hill and then it bends right. If you look to the right, up through the trees, you can see the basket. It’s a risk/reward hole. You can try to get to it through the trees for a shot at birdie. Obviously it could also cost you several strokes if you don’t get through. If you take the fairway, you will want to land up where it bends to the right. After that bend it’s another 40’ up and the basket is at about a 90° angle into the trees.
Come back out of the trees and head uphill. Tee 17 is along the path and along a wall of rock just shy of the top of the ridge. The fairway runs along and below the ridge to left. You can follow the fairway around the rock ridge with the risk of going down the hill if you don’t make it or you get a bad bounce of a rock. It’s also possible to go straight over the ridge to the basket which is tucked into a rock nitch just shy of the top. It’s probably the more difficult route
Continue on the path to tee 18. The fairway continues to bend around the rock ridge to the left similar to 17. Here you will be throwing into an open area with the basket again tucked up into the rock at the top of the ridge. You don’t want to lose your disc out to the left because it is all down hill.
Once you’ve holed out, it’s time to climb up and out of the course. If you’re like us, you’ll be tempted, as you see tee pad 1, to go back and just stand there and admire the beauty of a course you’ve just enjoyed immensely! We did.