Glen Oaks Country Club is a private golf club located in the gated Glen Oaks community of West Des Moines. As one of the top country clubs in Iowa it offers a luxurious experience every step of the way. From top notch dining to a great wedding facility to an outstanding aquatic center and of course on of the top rated golf courses in the state. Glen Oaks is an experience, not just a golf club.
TCI has been one of the best public golf courses in Central Iowa since it opened in 2003. The course has the designation of being the only Arnold Palmer Signature Course in Iowa. TCI is located on the far northwest side of the Des Moines metro
1000 Tradition Drive, Polk City
Par 71, 7041 yards, 73.5 rating, 139 slope
TCI provides a high end golf course feel but at a rate not much higher than most courses in the area. The course is almost always in great playing condition and offers all of the challenges you can expect from a top ranked course.
While the fairways aren't too narrow, if you miss them by much you will usually be in a heavily wooded area or in some tall fescue. If you are spraying shots around this course the penalty strokes will start adding up.
The course layout provides a nice mix of different angles and elevations from tee to fairway to green. The course requires smart play and strategy, not just grabbing the driver on every Par 4 and swinging away. I also like that the scorecard includes blended tees to offer more opportunities for playing the course best suited for each person.
There are two negatives for me. First is the Par 3's feel the same. If you play from the Palmer tees the distances on Par 3s are 170, 164, 170, 182 & 188. While several offer a variety of elevation changes and different challenges around the green, I prefer having a wide variety of yardages. The other being the 9th green is not located near the clubhouse. There are bathrooms and food usually available between the 9th and 10th hole, but if you are only playing 9 holes you need to walk/drive back up the 1st fairway to reach the clubhouse.
TCI offers a fantastic practice area to get you ready for the round. The driving range is expansive and offers great views of the course while the putting green provides conditions that will match what you see on the course. Both are also located right between the clubhouse and the first hole, which is a huge plus.
The clubhouse at TCI offers a look and feel that would more resemble a private club. A well stocked pro shop, banquet facility, outdoor patio and a restaurant that stands out on its own help to make this a complete facility that goes well beyond just golf.
Beaver Creek provides 27 holes of golf in the northwest portion of the Des Moines metro.
Des Moines Golf & Country Club is the premier golf facility in Iowa. Having two of the best golf courses, Golf Digest ranked the courses #2 & #3 on their most recent Iowa course list, on the same property sets it apart from the other top golf courses in the state. Expansive practice facilities and and multiple putting greens are just added bonuses. Des Moines Golf is an all around elite Country Club and comes with a matching price tag to experience all the amenities and social activities the club offers.
Located in the southwest side of the Twin Cities metro, Stonebrooke is a good option when visiting popular destinations Valley Fair and Mystic Lake Casino. Stonebrooke is a great course that is almost always in good condition and provides a unique layout. And compared to the courses close to Stonebrooke it is also a great value.
Homewood Golf Course in Ames is a pretty standard short muni course, offering very affordable golf on a easy to manage layout. The mostly flat and open terrain is very welcoming for kids and golfers new to the game. While the course is a Par 34, the yardage is well below a "standard" course.
Located across the street from the main course on the north side of Des Moines, The Executive 9 at Woodland Hills is one of the newest courses you will find in central Iowa. The mostly Par 3 layout provides a great venue for kids and beginners to get some on course experience without the difficulty and sometimes stress that comes with starting out on a packed regulation course.
Waveland is the most centrally located golf course in the Des Moines metro, located on I-235 a short distance from downtown. The central location makes Waveland easily accessible to anybody in the metro and a good option for anybody visiting Des Moines and looking to get in a quick round.
Willow Creek is located near the Des Moines Airport, just into West Des Moines. It is one of the few courses in the Des Moines metro with more than 18 holes, allowing you to mix it up each time you visit. The course location is one of the best if coming from downtown Des Moines.
Home to the Principal Charity Classic the Wakonda Club provides the right mix of Country Club experience with old Des Moines golf experience. Wakonda is about 70 years older than Glen Oaks, and almost 50 years older than the current Des Moines Country Club courses.
Wakonda has big hills, big trees and big fairways. While there is little danger of water or OB, the elevation changes and uneven lies you come across are enough to deal with.
Wakonda was #5 on a recent Golf Digest list of best courses in Iowa.
Some of the early holes are a little forgetful, and is part of the reason not many people venture to them during the PCC. The first hole that sticks out for me is #5, which is also the first Par 5. While not overly long, the tee shot landing area is pretty elevated from the tee box. For the longest hitters if you can get over that hill and catch the down slope you with have a mid-iron into the green for your second shot. The green has two tiers and is deep, finding yourself on the wrong tier will make for a difficult two putt.