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: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,824 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.8 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 142 from the farthest tees * Five tee options
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.
It's rare to witness a moment of silence at J&A Tap, where the air is constantly filled with the tinkle of clinking glasses full of craft beer and the melodies of live musicians and possibly melodious karaoke singers. On warm summer days, whistles and cheers waft in from lively volleyball games taking place out on the pub's two sandy courts. And in the kitchen, there's always the sizzle of grills and the hiss of frying pans as chefs whip up housemade burgers, crispy seafood, and sausage-speckled pizzas.