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.
1401 Glen Oaks Drive, West Des Moines
Par 71, 6898 yards, 74.4 rating, 140 slope
The course is a Tom Fazio design and offers various challenges every step of the way. The front 9 is where you can be aggressive as it offers a lot of wide open holes and is not all that long at only 3219 yards from the tips. Though the par 3s are long (203 & 213 from the tips) and have plenty of water to deal with. The front 9 is finished off with a shorter Par 5 that offers breathtaking views of the club house.
After a strong start you need to hold on throughout the back 9. Even from the second to back set of tees the back 9 plays to almost 3500 yards. Holes 13 and hole 14 play around a lake and can usually make or break your round. #13 is the shortest par 4 on the back 9 at 407 from the tips, but the lake cuts into the fairway and requires a high levels of accuracy if you use a driver. Or you can take something less off the tee and leave yourself a long iron into a green well protected by the lake and bunkers. Then hole 14 is a 229 yard hole that requires all carry on the tee shot as it is over the lake. Even from the 2nd set of tees it is still 201 yards.
The course has plenty of bunkers to contend with on every hole. The greens are large in size and offer plenty of ridges and multiple levels on a green. The greens are quick, usually rolling around an 11 or higher, and make any long putt an adventure. Glen Oaks is certainly a test, even for the best golfers. During the 2018 US Open qualifying at Glen Oaks only 4 players were under par.
As a private club it means most don't get ample opportunities to play the course, so if you get the chance make sure you take advantage. One of the easier ways is when the Iowa Golf Association holds a member play day there, which usually happens only once every few years.