Golfers in Iowa may enjoy the state's varied landscapes, as many courses take use of the state's abundant natural beauty. Iowa is home to more than 440 golf courses. The variety of excellent public golf courses is remarkable. Here is a list of the best 10 golf courses in Iowa, so you can plan your next visit there.
10. Tournament Club of Iowa
Arnold Palmer was responsible for the creation of the tournament club of lois course, which can be found between Saylorville Lake and Big Creek State Park. Arnold Palmer included water hazards on more than half of the holes on this course. Below the major creek dam, the land is subdivided into three valleys that are all linked by a series of bridges. The land also has the flowing waters of Big Creek and a few sizable man-made lakes. The design is where TCI falls short of perfection. There are several long distances between greens and tees, making the course unsuitable for walking.
9. Blue Top Ridge At Riverside
Reese Jones designed the Blue Top Ridge course for the riverfront casino and golf resort, which opened in 2009. The fairways are built out on the floodplain of the winding lower river, and the hulls are routed around artificial lakes. The first three holes of the front nine are played on flat grassland, and then the fourth hole is played in a river valley. The back nine, in contrast, plays on a ridge high above the hotel. One particularly memorable hole is the 615-yard, par-5 seventh that doglegs right over water to the green and has a stroke index rating of 1. The 665-yard, par-5 eighth hole on the back nine is longer, but this one is still quite a challenge.
8. Spirit Hollow Golf Course
Burlington Spirit Hollow Golf Course occupies a former 400-acre cattle ranch in the Mississippi River valley. Owner Randy Weingart had a vision for the golf facility he purchased in 1991, which was located about 10 minutes southwest of downtown Burlington and near to the Southeast Regional Airport, and he enlisted the help of architect Rick Jacobson to make that vision a reality. The first nine holes of the course run through a suburban neighborhood, while the second nine are set between rocky outcroppings, towering oak trees, and gushing streams. Both nines of the fairways have challenging par fours that are designated as the course's toughest holes.
7. Glen Oaks Country Club
Located in a suburban neighborhood to the west of Des Moines, the Tom Fazio–designed course at Glen Oaks Country Club has played home to the PGA Tour Champions Circuit's most prestigious charity event from 2006 through 2012. The club decided in 2016 to undergo a major renovation, which started that year and was finished the next. The club has erected new cart paths, improved all bunkers, and removed trees in an effort to maximize the number of trees on the course. The fourth hole was redesigned from the ground up, and a stone bridge was constructed across the 18th to make it an even more memorable conclusion to the course.
6. North at Des Moines Golf & Country Club
North-Western Des Moines One of the club's founders, Warren Dickinson, designed the original nine holes in 1897. Afterwards, the club leased some property to the north of its previous location for 20 years and brought in architect Tom Bendelow to come up with a plan for the new building. After its previous lease was up, the club relocated to the 147-acre Ashworth estate in west Des Moines. Although the present facility lacks the die aesthetic, it does have several lovely holes, especially in the opening half of the back nine, and its demanding layout may benefit from a two-shot decrease in par for major competition.
5. Wakonda Club, Des Moines
Located less than a mile north of Des Moines International Airport, the Wakonda Club's course was created by William Langford in 1922 on a very small piece of land. It's currently a par 72 course that's been extended to a little under 7,000 yards. The club has played home to the Western Amateur since 1947 and the U.S. Amateur since 1963. Additionally, the Principal Charity Classic, a PGA Tour Champions tournament, has been played here annually since 2013. The course is set on a rolling piece of terrain that plays to the strengths of William Langford's signature deep bunkering and elevated, deeply shaped greens. Daniel Wechsler, author of the American Private Golf Club Guide, takes credit for a large chunk of the course's difficulty.
4. South at Des Moines Golf & Country Club
The North Course, which Pete Dye first created in 1967 and subsequently updated in 2016, had a major renovation in 2016. While the course as a whole remains demanding with the recent alterations, the opening four holes are particularly testing due to the presence of water on each of them. Following hole No. 5, the course opens up a little, since there are no more water hazards until Hole No. 9. There are three enjoyable par 4s to open the back nine, then a challenging stretch of lengthier par 4s, two challenging par 3s, and two enjoyable par 5s. It's not easy, yet the course never seems unfair. Every hole has an opportunity to score par or perhaps a birdie, but if you start out on the wrong foot, it will be tough to get back into the game.
3. Cedar Rapids Country Club
Cedar Rapids Country Club, established in 1904, commissioned Tom Bendelow, who built 600 courses in 35 years. Donald Ross was recruited in 1914 to build the course from nine to 18 holes on the club's 170 acres. Ross's only Louisiana course was Cedar Rapids. In his new 18-hole design, Ross kept the Bendelow first and ninth holes, making the former the 18th. The clubhouse is atop the property's highest point, and the course descends to a stream valley below. The front 9 is hillier, whereas the back 9 is near Indian Creek and lower.
2. Davenport Country Club
Hugh Allison, while in charge of the colt and ellison design office in Detroit in the early 1920s, created the almost century-old course at davenport. Aside from a 2000 renovation by Bob Loman, who added a new first hole and repositioned the ninth green closer to Conway Creek, nothing has changed since then. Davenport is situated on a mountainous piece of land where waterways are an important factor on a number of the holes. The back nine holes are among the finest in Iowa, and the course as a whole is one of the most beautiful I've seen. The signature hole, number 16, is a beautiful par 4 that offers breathtaking views of Spencer Creek and the surrounding area from a high tee.
1. Harvester Golf Club
Since its opening in 2000, many have regarded the Harvester Golf Club as one of architect Keith Foster's finest works of unique design. Foster's mission was to create timeless and lasting art in Iowa, which is 25 miles northeast of Des Moines, and he has done just that. Compared to some of the most famous courses in the world, the harvester is relatively new, but it delivers quite a punch. If you play from the right tees, the Front is a forgiving course on which to post a respectable score. The back nine is challenging but rewarding; there isn't a single weak hole on the course, and by the time you reach the last three, you'll be well delighted. The number 17 Incredible par 3 has a green guarded by bunkers and water.