Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kaposia Park Disc Golf course - South St. Paul, MN

I don’t do a ton of disc golf course reviews on here, but sometimes disc golf courses need some love too. Especially when they’re worth mentioning. Before I moved up to Minnesota, I heard about Kaposia. I was fortunate enough to play here a few times before I moved up here, thanks to some tournaments and the gracious nature of M.Giant, who didn’t mind driving me a half hour across the Twin Cities in various snow storms when I drove up for a visit from Illinois. I’m now really happy to say I live about a mile from the course and it remains one of my favorites in the area.

Just this year, the city decided to make this a pay-to-play course, which I’m hoping will end up being a good thing for the course. Sometimes, this is a fun killer since our free sport suddenly costs more than two Gatorades to play now. (Sad that we think in those terms, but it’s true.) And it’s not cheap either. It’s five dollars for a day pass or $40 for yearly pass ($30 for South St. Paul residents). That’s more expensive than a lot of places I’ve played, but sometimes, you just have to suck it up.

Fortunately, they’ve been putting some work into the course, which is always nice. The course used to be played as a 27-hole course for tournaments (mainly the Minnesota Majestic – one of the best in the country). And for a while, they pulled a lot of the “back” baskets due to some serious elements of danger involved in the cliff faces and hills back there. So it got slimmed down to 18 (and still is in the winter, as far as I can tell). But during the warm months (yes, Minnesota does have those), it is a 24-hole course with an amazing mix of hole lengths and challenges. There is some water, there are some hills, there are some tunnel shots, there are some wide open shots, there are some lefty-friendly shots, there are some 500+ ft holes, there are some finesse holes, there are multiple pin placements, there are some landscaped greens, and there are some ace runs. This course truly has everything.
The first few are out in the relative open (a couple of mature oaks to navigate),and then you delve into the woods. A wooded tee on Hole 8 leads out to an open fairway and then you’re right back in the deep woods.
Once you get to hole 16, you may need a guide to hit up the back holes. You turn left from the basket and go down the ravine a LONG way to the bottom. Then you basically play back UP the ravine around the backside of the course. Be ready for some extreme elevation back here, but you’ll be glad you played these holes. You eventually wrap back around behind the parking lot and finish up near the practice basket and payment shed.

I rarely play well at this course, but I’m always glad I come here. There aren’t a ton of places to lose discs at here, especially with a spotter or two on an occasional densely tree’d hole. But there are lots of places to add strokes if you don’t hit your line or have an unfriendly kick.

This is one of the best courses in Minnesota, if not the Midwest. I’m hoping this pay to play thing works out and they put some work into this course. It doesn’t need much, since it’s designed extremely well. Maybe the city is thinking it will cut down on traffic there and then they can keep up with maintenance (it was formerly a very busy course). I’m not sure that’s the right approach, but you have to have a plan of some sort, I guess. That being said, I’ll keep playing here. And if you get there early enough in the morning, you don’t have to pay the man – just some helpful advice…

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