Cedar Pointe Golf Course?s 18-hole layout unfurls across 6,647 yards of pristine fairways cleaved into a landscape of mature trees and rough-side waterways. The course eases golfers into the round with eight relatively straightforward holes before testing swings at the ninth hole, where tee shots must clear a pond on their multishot journey to a windswept flagstick 543 yards in the distance. The intervening water at the end of the front nine foretells an upsurge in aquatic obstacles in the course?s second act, where a slender pond runs between the 12th and 13th holes and two ponds loom menacingly at the junction of the 10th, 11th, and 18th holes, tempting many hydrophobic golf balls to forge doctor?s notes allowing them to stay in the dry bag. An adjacent driving range prepares players and gun-shy three-woods before the round, and a revamped clubhouse and bar await just beyond the 18th green, where pin-hunting posses can recap their round over a frothy beverage.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,647 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 71.1 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 120 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Cleaved through the bucolic terrain of Ledges State Park, Honey Creek Golf Club?s 18-hole course bounds over contoured terrain amid prairieland flora and mature tree lines. The challenging par 71 starts fast, with water in play on four holes on the front nine, including a forced carry on the second tee that will punish shaky swings and drivers that forgot to stretch before the round. Multiple dog-leg holes cater to players who can work their drives both ways, helping them find the bentgrass fairways and avoid the arbors and brambly prairie grass of the rough. A difficult layout for those teeing up from the back tees, the course features five tee options to make the round surmountable for players of any ability.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 71 course
Length of 6,805 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 70.5 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 131 from the farthest tees
Five tee options
Link to scorecard
When golfers step onto River Valley Golf Course?s newly renovated facility, they can expect to see an emerald sweep of the Raccoon River Valley, as it unfurls before them. Taking cues from that tranquility, they gracefully arc their balls over the gently doglegging fairway, avoiding the creek hugging the hole to the left. Careful second shots pop up into the sky before landing on the wide green and setting up eagle putts. With the shots sunk, golfers continue on across the remaining 17 fairways, dodging ponds on 3 holes and skirting 25 bunkers speckled throughout.
This incorporation of the landscape takes center stage on the par 3 12th. There, a partial-island green formed by a pond that almost envelops a peninsula tests accuracy. Players can take the risk overshooting the drive, play it safe by chipping on in two, or let the strategic decision overwhelm them until they?re curled up on the ground. But to help prepare for all situations, the River Valley practice facility presents golfers with a greenside practice bunker and a 300-yard range.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,684 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72 from the back tees * Course slope of 124 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Countryside Golf Course's 18-hole layout rolls across 6,366 yards of the Iowa countryside, but it's the first 574 yards that immediately catch golfers' attention. The course challenges players from the moment they stake their tree slivers into the soil of the first tee box, where they look out onto the course's hardest-rated hole: a 574-yard par 5 that doglegs to the right towards a green guarded by sand and water on either side. The difficult opener sets the tone for the rest of the course, where water comes into play on seven holes—six on the front nine—and all but one hole features at least one greenside bunker.
After their round, players who have not spoiled their appetite by grazing on the course's lush bent grass can head toward the clubhouse for a post-round meal or drink. At the wooden u-shaped bar, guests can crack open a beer and refuel with hot dogs and sandwiches.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole course * Bent grass fairways and greens * Length of 6,366 yards from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Link to scorecard
West Grand Golf houses a golf-practice center, an accolade-garnering mini-golf course, and a traditional driving range where Groupon-holders can use their buckets of balls during multiple visits. The well-designed practice center helps golfers tweak their short games on large putting and chipping greens surrounded by sand bunkers that devour misfired dimpled balls and rogue cacti. Thanks to the laser-measured target greens, clubheads can test how far and accurately they can tee off on a variety of even and uneven tees nestled in fairway- and sand-based conditions. West Grand Golf also illuminates the expansive range with stadium lighting, perfect for those who enjoy practicing before bedtime or members of the PGA tour's vampire league.
Since opening in 2002, the course at Legacy Golf Club has collected a litany of regional and national awards thanks to an ingenious layout envisioned by Jeffrey D. Brauer, who claims a ranking in Golf Inc.’s 2010 list of the world’s highest-value course architects. Each player that tees up on the first hole peers into the abyss of Mr. Brauer’s delicate design, relying on precise control to avoid the Kentucky bluegrass roughs and water hazards that come into play on 14 holes¬—including all 9 on the back side. Those who succeed enjoy luxuriant lies on the bentgrass fairways, and earn the best chance of shooting the par of 72, not counting the illegal practice of using the club as a baseball bat. En route, they must slay the par 4 2nd hole, a downhill screamer with a dramatic approach over a 5-acre lake, as well as the par 3 14th and 17th holes, where matters are complicated by swirling winds. Before hanging up their golf gloves for the day, players must clear a final high hurdle in the 611-yard par 5 18th hole, where a large amphitheater-style green funnels well-placed approaches and echoes shouts of “Fore!”
Class A PGA Professional Rob Randall heads up Legacy Golf Club’s golf school, having claimed much recognition for his instructional prowess. He brings expertise earned over more than 20 years and some 20,000 golf lessons to his lessons at the practice facility, where bentgrass tees, six target greens, and TaylorMade practice balls lend veracity to practicing swings and juggling-based intimidation tactics.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,199 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 74.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 137 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard