Meadowridge Golf Course's nine-hole par 3 course and expansive driving range appeal to club-wielding neophytes as well as veterans looking to improve their short game without getting blocked by an enormous clown mouth. Today's deal is valid for tee times for two at any time—though rates change after 10 a.m.—and includes a cart rental. Club swingers can also opt to visit Meadowridge's driving range and take advantage of 60 driving stations perched atop real grass and mats that gaze longingly onto the 320-yard expanse in front of them. Armed with a bucket of 100 balls, sphere-crushing patrons can bombard more than 25 targets, precisely place sand shots from the safety of a protected bunker, test putting skills on a four-degree, 24'x75' practice zone, and challenge other guests to golf-tee-juggling contests.
The stately trees and blue grass fairways that line Cedar Rapids Twin Pines Golf Course have been flourishing since 1962, when the first golfers walked the course’s emerald alleyways. Eighteen scenic holes invite greenhorns to green-jacket holders to dig up divots while aiming their dimpled orbs around a quartet of ponds. Hole five presents a sharp dogleg left with a water hazard nestled in the crook of its elbow, forcing golfers to either tee off with masterful precision or keep the fairways lush with a steady stream of tears. Before facing the course’s unforgiving, undulating fairways or the tree-framed putting green of hole eight, players can warm up at any of the driving range’s 20 hitting stations. After a successful round, golfers can drop into the clubhouse to cool off hot putting hands with a frosty beverage and tell old war stories of facing off against rifle-wielding regiments with only their 9-iron.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 5,932 yards from the farthest set of tees * Course rating of 67.8 from the farthest set of tees * Slope rating of 107 from the farthest set of tees * See the scorecard
Cleaved through 600 woodland acres of stately white oaks, Amana Colonies Golf Course twists and turns over 6,824 yards of dramatically sloped terrain. Throughout the round, glassy ponds, burbling streams, and trees wielding catcher's mitts await ill-struck orbs, as golfers contend with elevation changes that complicate the distance of each shot and create many down- and uphill lies. A preround stint at the course's driving range would be advisable before taking to the relatively difficult course, as the hardest-rated hole awaits golfers at the second tee. As stick-flickers cruise to each well-struck drive, they can glimpse panoramic views of the hilly Iowa countryside over the tops of cresting fairways or through sudden breaks in the dense tree lines. The round may also bring stick-flickers in contact with area wildlife, such as deer, various waterfowl, and golf cart-squirrel cross-breeds.
After their pin-hunting expedition, aces can retreat to Amana Colonies' hilltop bar and restaurant, where crisp local beers slake parched mouths and hearty grill fare refuels weary muscles. Once duly refreshed, guests can meander to the pro shop for a snazzy golf shirt or new clubs to replace ones eaten by the neighborhood sword swallower.
Course at a Glance:
The men’s league at Belle Plaine Country Club is no joke: its member roster boasts 112 players. As course manager Mike Coffman points out, “It’s an impressive number for a small town"—and a testament to the course’s charms. Its bluegrass fairways have become a lively gathering place for the community. The pines, elms, and oaks dotting the fairways have flourished for more than 80 years, during which time they've been nourished by a steady diet of misaimed balls and frustrated golfers’ tears. Two-time PGA champion Lonnie Nielsen, who grew up playing on the course, can still occasionally be seen teeing off here.
The course challenges players with tricky water hazards, and balls have to strap on their crampons and take out their rock picks to ascend the eighth hole’s elevated green. After a day spent on the fairways or at the driving range and practice putting green, players can unwind with a slice of pizza or a hamburger at the snack bar.
Course at a Glance:
At Fruitzen Frozen Yogurt, taste buds entwine with frozen yogurt rich in live active cultures. Made with real yogurt instead of a powder mix, their froyo provides a healthy alternative and comes in flavors such as white chocolate mousse and sea salt caramel pretzel, with 12 nonfat and low-fat options, including no sugar added options, and a non-dairy sorbert, and a variety of toppings, including fresh strawberries, raspberries and pineapple.
Designed by five-time PGA Tour tournament winner D.A. Weibring, Stone Creek Golf Course features nine holes of immaculate greenery that earned it a spot on Golf Digest’s 2010 list of The 25 Best Nine-Hole Courses in America. The course’s fairways arch over rolling, parkland terrain as they filter toward greens that unnerve putting strokes with slick surfaces, subtle slopes, and shape-shifting holes. A coterie of 18 bunkers hugs the course’s fairways and green fringes, and water hazards appear on four holes. A two-floor clubhouse awaits at the end of the emerald circuit, where clubbers can drink in light refreshments and views of the course.
Heralded by the Iowa Golf Association as the best nine-hole course in the state, the course at Cardinal Hills Golf & Swim guides players over more than 60 feet of elevation changes in hot pursuit of small, quick greens. The course first opened in 1916 and bears reminders of its almost century-old history with ancient trees that frame many of the holes and elderly squirrels that still refer to theirs as the "Greatest Generation." A large creek meanders along the western edge of the grounds, flowing through the fairway of the third hole and forcing players to carry their tee shot over it on the par 3 second hole.
Course at a Glance: