By David Markham
Work began in mid-October on construction of a previously-announced new disc golf course at Lexington Lake Park.
Superintendent of Parks and Golf Courses Bill Maasen recently hired local course designer Scott Reek, who previously designed and helped construct disc golf courses at Heritage and Big Bull Creek parks.
“He started at Lexington Lake Park where Northwest Regional Park Manager Monte Fiegel and LLP Senior Park Worker Ted Ketchem are helping Scott see where the holes are going to be placed,” Maasen said.
The new course will be located on LLP’s east side in an under-utilized area, and a new parking area for 12 to 15 cars will also be part of this project. Even though the new course will have only nine holes, Maasen recently purchased 20 baskets.
“It’s a nine-hole course that will have two baskets at each hole,” he explained. “You could play the front basket on the first time around, and then the back basket on the second time around. So it’s nine holes with 18 baskets and two practice baskets.”
Tentative plans call for completing the LLP course no later than Memorial Day 2023, after which Reek would switch over to working on planned expansion of the 18 existing disc golf holes at Shawnee Mission to four nine-hole courses. This would include three championship-length courses, and a fourth, shorter course, for beginners.
Currently, the 18-hole course at SMP begins with three holes in the Walnut Grove area, and the remainder of the course is located inside the loop to the north created by West 79th Street and West 80th Terrace. The expansion and reconfiguration would create two sets of nine-hole courses south of the loop, and two sets to the north within the loop.
Courses to the south would include the “Art Nine” in the Walnut Grove area, and would tentatively incorporate public art and be a beginner course with shorter fairways. The “Ridge Nine” will be to the east with more typical longer fairways. Courses to the north within the loop would include the “Prairie Nine” to the east where there is wide-open spaces and views of the nearby prairie, and The “Grove Nine” to the west where there are more trees.”
Maasen said Reek would work on the “Art Nine” first, with construction beginning in the spring, and then move to the Ridge Nine. It is hoped the SMP course expansion can be completed by late summer.
He noted that while ordering baskets for LLP, he also purchased nine baskets for SMP’s “Art Nine” course, thanks for a money donation from a local individual.
“We are optimistic that next year we can get at least nine more holes, maybe 18 more holes done in Shawnee Mission Park,” Maasen said. “But that “Ridge Nine” requires only six more holes technically, but it also requires three more holes for the eastern portion of the course.”
The addition of the LLP course and changes to the SMP’s existing course are being made in response to user responses to a public survey about disc golf courses the Parks & Golf Courses Division conducted earlier this year. In separate questions, about 95% of respondents liked the plans for the Shawnee Mission and Lexington Lake courses as presented in the survey.
See more information about JCPRD's current disc golf courses.