Shoal Creek stands out among public courses, not only in Kansas City but statewide. It is still rated the second best public course in Missouri by Golfweek’s America’s Best You Can Play.
Why does Shoal Creek get such accolades? Assistant Pro Rhett Fregoe came up with some answers pretty quickly.
“Maintenance is one reason it rates so high,” he said. “We are always in good shape – the fairways, greens, everything. You can’t beat it, especially for a public course.”
The design of the course also distinguishes Shoal Creek, he said. “It’s a mixture of different layouts, basically,” Fregoe said. “A few holes are links style, a few are more traditional, and some are tree-lined.” As an added feature and to help players navigate the course, Shoal Creek has GPS systems on all carts. Another plus at Shoal Creek, Fregoe said, is the large clubhouse and attentive staff.
Location also works in Shoal Creek’s favor. Under 15 minutes from the airport and with plenty of hotels in the area, Shoal Creek draws a lot of business travelers, Fregoe said. Besides air travelers, many players come from Iowa and Minnesota, especially in the early spring and fall when weather to the north is not as golf-friendly as in Kansas City. For travelers of all kinds, the course has stay and play packages with some Northland hotels.
Overall, Shoal Creek offers players a private course experience on a public venue according to Shoal Creek General Manager Brett Plymell. Shoal Creek is owned by the Kansas City Missouri Department of Parks and Recreation and managed privately by KemperSports.
Playing to a par 71, Shoal Creek, is 6,983 from the back tees and 6,363 from the middle, with respective course ratings of 73.9 and 70.8. It has a lofty 139 slope rating from the back and 127 from the middle. From the forward tees, the course plays at 5,571 yards, has a 66.5 course rating and 116 slope.
The opening five holes are the toughest stretch on the course before giving way to an easier 6 through 16. Then, the par-3 17th requires a tee shot over Shoal Creek while 18 is a 464-yard dogleg par 4. Throughout, Shoal Creek has zoysia fairways and bent grass greens, maintained by Duane Sander, course superintendent since the course opened.
Club pros offer lessons, either on the practice tee or in a nine-hole round. The course also has junior clinics and a PGA Tour Academy camp in June and July. The pro shop is fully stocked with apparel and equipment and it custom fits clubs. For several years, Shoal Creek has hosted the Kansas City Amateur tournament.
The clubhouse features a fireplace, dining area and lounge, locker rooms and exemplary service. The clubhouse is well known for its ability to host events and is booked for 30 to 40 wedding events every year. Receptions can make use of three different rooms in the clubhouse, including a banquet hall that seats 250 people. Couples who want to also marry at the course can do so. The ceremony seating is usually set up on the driving range in front of the clubhouse, offering an open setting with great views.
The clubhouse also hosts many parties for birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and other occasions. The course has periodic wine-tastings, with hors d’oeuvres, and features one of the more fun weekly events on Taco Tuesdays.
More information about the course, its amenities and tee times are available on its website, www.ShoalCreekGolf.com. The course is located at 8905 N. Shoal Creek Parkway in Kansas City. The phone number is 816-407-7242.