Eagle Bend: A golf bargain worth experiencing
Trees, river provide challenges aplenty
Lawrence Editor's Note: With the warm weather here the Eudora News introduces its summer golf guide. For your enjoyment, we will introduce a different course each week.
Let's face it, if you had to choose between spending the day in the office or on the golf course, the latter would likely get the nod nine times out of 10.
A bad day on the golf course is often times better than a good day in the office.
But a good day on a nice golf course is priceless.
In the first of a summerlong series, The Eudora News chose Eagle Bend, a relative newcomer, as its featured golf course for the week.
Eagle Bend opened its doors three seasons ago and has shown constant improvement to the point that it will host the American Junior Golf Association's girls championships later this month.
The 54-hole tournament will feature 99 of the top junior female golfers in the world.
With thousands of courses to choose from nationwide, AJGA's choice of Eagle Bend speaks volumes for the course. Eagle Bend is also the first golf course owned and operated by the city's Parks and Recreation Department, Lawrence and its civic leaders.
The city received the land by leasing 1,500 acres, located just east of Clinton Lake, from the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a recreational environment much needed by the growing Lawrence community.
Eagle Bend is designed along the Old Wakarusa River channel and is located below the Clinton reservoir dam.
The American Bald Eagle is indigenous to the area and played a large part in the naming of the course.
The design of the course paid close attention to the natural habitat of the land. For example, the first six holes of the course feature virtually no trees, while the final 12 holes take a golfer through some heavily wooded areas that create beautiful surroundings, not to mention a true challenge for golfers of every skill level.
The course's two signature holes can be found late in your round. Holes No. 16 and No. 17 offer contrasting ventures.
Hole No. 16 is 560-yard, par-5 with a split fairway. A grove of trees sits between the two fairways.
Choosing the left fairway cuts some of the yardage off a golfer's distance to the green, but trees to the left could make for a difficult second shot toward the green.
Choosing the right fairway makes the hole truly a 560-yarder, but just guarantees a golfer an unobstructed second shot. The average golfer will have a hard time getting to the green in two shots so the right-side fairway is usually the smarter - safer - play.
Hole No. 17 is an elevated 165-yard, par-3 that might be as scenic a hole as there is in the area.
The river channel cuts across the entire front side of the green. The foliage creates a shady and scenic picture of a hole, which sits atop a hill. It is beautiful, but no easy hole. The distance reads 165 yards and it plays every bit of it - sometimes longer, depending on the wind.
It all makes for an enjoyable and affordable day on the golf course. With the escalating price of golf in this area, Eagle Bend would have to be mentioned as one of the top golf bargains in the Kansas City metro area.
The green fees Monday through Thursday are $15. Fridays through Sunday (and holidays) are $17.50. Golf cart rental is $11 per player.