The state of Iowa has some excellent golf courses that the public can enjoy. No matter where you want to play golf in Iowa, you’re almost sure to find a well-kept course where you can play a round and then enjoy some refreshments in a relaxed restaurant or clubhouse.
What are some of the top places you might want to try the next time you grab your clubs?
1. Blue Top Ridge Golf Course
Built in the grounds of the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, this classy golf course has a total distance of more than 7,400 yards over the 18 holes. Among the highlights are the spectacular views of a couple of rivers and some man-made likes as you play. The course covers a variety of terrain and is suitable for golfers of all levels.
You’ll need to be smartly dressed to play here, with any type of denim banned. Men are asked to wear golf shirts, with collars or mock necks, and slacks or golf shorts. Female players should wear a golf shirt together with their choice of golf shorts, golf skirts, or slacks. Daily rates start at $60 for twilight sessions, with practice balls, club washing, and a cart with GPS all included in the rates.
There’s also a golf shop that has hours that vary according to the different seasons. If you don’t have your own clubs, you can hire a set for $35 or $45, depending upon whether you plan to play 9 or 18 holes. If you just want to use the practice range this costs $23.
The coolest and most refreshing cocktails are available right in our Clock Garden Café. Stop by before, during, or after your round for a drink. #BlueTopRidge #RiversideCasino #EliteCasinoResorts #Iowa #Golf pic.twitter.com/fg4Y5FXHxE
— bluetopridge (@bluetopridge) August 27, 2022
2. Spirit Hollow Golf Course
This championship golf course in Burlington was rated by Golfweek as the very best course you can play in Iowa. Away from the course, you can enjoy spending time in their excellent accommodation, with lodge and cabin-style options. The cabins have 4 bedrooms and accommodate as many as 8 players in them.
They have casual dining on offer here, at the Lambo eatery, and there’s also the Shankopotamus Golf Academy. You can practice until midnight using the golf academy, which is powered by Toptracer Range. They use the same sort of technology that you’ve probably seen used on TV coverage of major golf tournaments, letting you see your performance on every shot.
As for that restaurant mentioned earlier, it’s got room for 180 diners and there are 47 big-screen TVs that usually show big sporting events on them.
It's a good weekend to get in those first few rounds of the 2022 golf season. pic.twitter.com/CZn2pueJei
— Spirit Hollow GC (@SpiritHollow) March 31, 2022
3. The Legacy Golf Club
Located to the south of Des Moines, this is one of the top golf courses in central Iowa. Created by Matt Fanning and their family at the start of the century, the Legacy Golf Club provides a classic setting with bentgrass fairways and lush Kentucky bluegrass rough. It also includes a comprehensive practice facility and an indoor learning center.
You need to head to Norwalk to play here, where you’ll find a GPS cart with Bluetooth speakers waiting to take you around the 18 holes. The front 9 holes are par 35 and the back 9 add up to par 37, with water hazards and bunkers all the way round the course.
The first hole is a fairly simple par 4, while the second hole cranks up the difficulty and it is also a par 4. As for the 18th, it’s a long, challenging par 5. Once you’ve played your round, the dining room has a selection of snacks and drinks to enjoy while you relax.
Thank you to our entire divot crew for spending their day filling and replacing divots on the fairways and tees.#neverending#pleaserepair. pic.twitter.com/pVqV8XDcgo
— The Legacy Golf Club (@LegacyGolfClub) July 11, 2022
4. Tournament Club Of Iowa
If you want to play 18 holes of an Arnold Palmer Signature Course, this place in Polk City is your only option in Iowa. It was created in 2003 on over 500 acres in the area between Big Creek Dam and Saylorville Lake. This outstanding location has a fascinating mixture of terrain that provides players with deep ravines and a mixture of uphill and downhill slopes to deal with.
The Copper Oak Restaurant here has a variety of seasonal menus throughout the year, with an eye-catching brunch menu including the hole-in-one burger and Palmer’s pancakes. They offer a venue for special events such as weddings. The simulators are available until 9 pm and cost $40 plus tax per hour on each one, regardless of the number of players using it.
Just what you have been waiting for – 2018 IGA Championship & @USGA Qualifying Schedule announced: https://t.co/1H4YNdJe5u @SpiritHollow will host 94th Iowa Women's Amateur, @TCIowa to host 116th Iowa Amateur. pic.twitter.com/murwfumPtf
— Iowa Golf Assn (@IowaGolfAssn) November 15, 2017
5. Amana Colonies Golf Club
Located in Eastern Iowa, the Amana Colonies Golf Club is frequently ranked among the top courses in the state. The play and stay options here make it a terrific option if you want to explore this historic part of Iowa while enjoying your favorite sport. Facilities include the 2,200-square-foot clubhouses and a lakeside barn that can be hired for special events.
The 18-hole course was opened in 1989 and has been designed to incorporate the natural features of over 500 acres. The landscape is mainly made up of white oak trees and attractive forests, broken up by streams and ponds.
Choose from 5 different tee placements, making the course anywhere from 5,228 up to 6,824 yards.
Planning a wedding or corporate event in 2016? Look no further than the Amana Colonies Golf and Event Center! pic.twitter.com/yXiX2tndey
— Amana Colonies Golf (@ACGC) October 8, 2015
6. Otter Creek Golf Course
Designed by Paul Miller, the Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny is widely regarded as one of the best public golf courses in Iowa. It’s a par 71, with dozens of bunkers and almost 20 ponds to get past. The driving range has excellent practice turf and is a great place to limber up for a round.
Once you’ve played, the Tin Cup Bar and Grille is where you can grab a few drinks or something to eat. Their menu includes casual dining favorites such as pizza, sandwiches, and burgers. You can also get golf lessons at this course, with their popular buddy program allowing you to learn alongside a friend for a special price.
Holes cut out at Otter Creek 🦦⛳️
Iowa golf is upon us! pic.twitter.com/mxTRlpMhp5
— Colby Creger (@colby_creger) March 21, 2022
7. Bent Tree Golf Course
Council Bluffs in Iowa is the setting for this fine golf course that runs for over 7,000 yards. Part of the Omaha metropolitan area, it’s suitable for golfers of all experience levels and gives them a unique experience on a course filled with bentgrass fairways and rolling terrain.
You can choose from five different tee placements, to suit your skill level. Pro golf instruction is offered at Bent Tree, while you can also rent the place for special events. 18-hole events have a starting price of $65 per player, while 9-hole events start at $35, with carts and driving range access included in their tournament package.
— Coach Wanderscheid (@NWander1) May 22, 2017
8. Stone Creek Golf Club
This is regarded as one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the country, with rolling terrain and fast greens. There’s a total of 18 bunkers running alongside the fairways and several of the holes have water hazards on them too. Public rates start at $23 for a round, although you’ll need to add on the cart fees if you want to use one.
You’ll also buy your tokens for the driving range separately, so it’s worth working out the overall budget before booking. Off the course, there’s a two-floor clubhouse with great views as well as the chance to grab something to drink.
Check their website for the currently available public tee times as well as the process for hiring them for a special event.
— Iowa PGA Section (@iowapga) August 1, 2022
9. Waveland Golf Course
This course in Des Moines is said to be the oldest municipal golf course located to the west of the Mississippi. In fact, people have been playing rounds of golf here for well over a century. The 18-hole layout has a classic feel to it, with a lot of slopes due to the fact that it’s built across wooded hillsides with a collection of mature trees on them.
At about 6,500 yards, it isn’t the longest course in the state but it requires a great deal of accuracy. Fast greens make life difficult, while The Tunnel is the nickname given to the tough 3rd hole where trees and a water hazard create a challenging scenario for players to deal with.
A vintage clubhouse adds to the elegance and also offers a great place to get refreshments after playing.
Capped off a Bendelow bender of a weekend at Waveland GC. The “oldest municipal golf course west of the Mississippi” provides a perfect place for public play in the heart of Des Moines. My back and arteries need a break after 18 and another day at the Iowa State Fair. pic.twitter.com/i3j4QAqyuO
— Jared Luebe (@JDLuebe) August 15, 2022
10. Finkbine Golf Course
This course was built in Iowa City on land that had been donated to the University of Iowa by W.O. Finkbine. The 18 holes are spread over 200 acres and this is where the collegiate golf teams from the University play, but it’s also open to the public. Season passes are also available to members of the public as well as university students., with prices running from $1,500 up to $3,300 for a family season pass.
Their restaurant is called Bump’s and that’s in honor of Chalmers “Bump” Elliott, who was the University of Iowa’s athletics director for more than 2 decades. This is a casual dining spot with interesting options and a comfortable feel to it.
It’s located in the Nagle Family Clubhouse, which is where you’ll also find locker space and cart storage.
*TWILIGHT RATE STARTS AT 2 PM ON MONDAYS*
Plenty of tee times available this afternoon. Highs just touching 80… PERFECT afternoon for golf! Book tee times online at https://t.co/QbmXNFT2OE or call the golf shop at 319-335-9246.#Finkbine #FinkbineGolf #TroonGolf #TwilightGolf pic.twitter.com/TOTijBrNkC
— Finkbine Golf Course (@FinkbineGolf) August 8, 2022
These are some of the best public golf courses in Iowa and you should give them a try the next time you want to play a round without having to go too far.
Either if you are an avid golfer, a casual one, or a beginner willing to try your first shot at this sport, Iowa offers the best facilities for all kinds of players. Plus, if you love golf you can also head to ClutchBet sportsbook and look for golf events to bet on!