Since 1964, Terrace Hills Golf Course has invited golfers of all abilities to send balls soaring between the trees lining each of its 18 fairways. Though relatively short at 6,421 yards from the back tees, plenty of hazards lurk throughout the terrain, ready to spoil any oncomer's overconfidence. Water confronts play on eight of the holes, including holes 3, 4, 12, and 13, where a stream snakes its way through the course and enervates golfers by forcing them to play "Marco Polo" with lost balls. Terrace Hills promises golfers a free round on their next visit if their rounds take longer than 4.5 hours when they have tee times on weekdays before 2 p.m. and weekends or holidays.
Course at a Glance:
After selling his farm-equipment business in 1972, Dale W. Brady sought the counsel of his three sons to determine what should be done with the 200-acre plot of land originally used for testing out his new products. The three resolved to turn their land into a golf course. After a test green survived the winter and they earned the blessing of the region’s lawn-mower king, son Tom devised a layout from an aerial drawing and the team set to work, sculpting the rugged earth and opening the course in August 1973. A family-run enterprise ever since, the course bobs and weaves over 6,224 yards of rolling terrain that feature sparse tree lines, water hazards in play on five holes, and scenic views of the verdant landscape.
Since its relatively humble beginnings, Toad Valley Golf Course has grown to include a full-length driving range and the Field of Greens Mini Links, an 18-hole miniature-golf course that challenges players with realistic putting surfaces, including bunkers, water hazards, and contoured greens. The range’s grass tees offer practice on an organic surface similar to course conditions, and the putting surfaces emulate the tricky slopes of real greens and even include rough, sand traps, and water features that add to the scenery and allow putters to bob for wayward golf balls.
Course at a Glance:
Erv Wagner began shooting arrows at insolent targets in 1956, and since then he has earned a national title and maintained active membership in the National Field Archery Association, the Iowa Bow Hunter Association, and Mid-Iowa Archers. He passed down his love of outdoor sport to his son, and together they run Archery Field & Sports. They outfit first-time archers with the appropriate gear before granting tailored instruction at group or private lessons. Guests can test their aim at a 45-yard indoor range or inhale Mother Nature's fresh breath while shooting at a 20-target outdoor range. Those in need of a little more color can square off against opponents and drab blades of grass at the outdoor paintball field. Their pro shop dispenses the necessary paintballs, along with archery and hunting supplies.
Matt White cinches his uniform with a fourth-degree black belt in tae kwon do, heads down to one of Triumph Martial Arts' three locations, and dishes up a fist-full of knowledge earned over 25 years of mat-slapping training. Recognized by the American Tae Kwon Do Association as the Regional Instructor of the Year in 2008 and 2011, Mr. White takes pride in combative victory and from passing those skills on.
In keeping with the Association's instructional format, Mr. White and his battery of four instructors teach the martial art and philosophy of tae kwon do to kids and adults. Tiny Tigers sessions reach out to students as young as 4 years old, teaching them important values such as helping around the house, excelling at schoolwork, and how to survive a wildebeest stampede. Students as old as 55 have started with no experience, going on to successfully earn their black belts.
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park sprawls over 80 acres of fields and slopes buzzing with a variety of year-round activities, from go-karts and bumper boats to downhill sledding. The team puts together two 5K races throughout the year: the Mud Run and Beer Run. During these meticulously constructed events, Sleepy Hollow will pit runners against manmade obstacles and natural obstacles.
Being an Iowa-based company, Sleepy Hollow supports more than 300 groups annually, providing funding for causes ranging from local schools to cancer research. The park also serves as the permanent residence of the annual Des Moines Renaissance Faire and Haunted Scream Park.
Originally sculpted into the Knoxville hillside in 1922 using teams of horses, slip scrapers, and dynamite, Pine Knolls Country Club's semiprivate course gently rises and falls across nine holes of rolling parkland terrain. The course still retains the same basic design of the prototype, featuring relatively open fairways and two ponds that come into play on four holes, placing a premium on confident strokes or 9-irons that double as snorkels. The country club also invites midsummer revelry with a swimming pool, a stately clubhouse with a full-service bar, and speedo-clad golf carts.