Veenker is the Iowa State owned golf course located just north of the university in Ames. Veenker has a leg up on most public courses in central Iowa in that the driving range has covered and heated hitting bays to allow for year round practice. Throw in a couple putting greens and area for other short game work and it is a good place to fine tune your game.
2916 Veenker Drive, Ames
Par 72, 6543 yards, 72.2 rating, 125 slope
To break down Veenker I like to break it up into two sections. The holes east of Squaw Creek and the holes west of it. The holes on the east side are pretty straight forward, they are also spread out throughout the round to give you some good birdie chances at various parts of the round. The holes on the west side, or holes that go over the creek are the ones that will make or break your round.
There you will find lots of elevation changes and a number of shots that will require a thoughtful & strategic approach. If it is your first time at Veenker it is wise to go with someone who has played the course before to help you navigate your way around knowing when to layup or understanding the trouble areas ahead.
Adding on to that note, there is a good chance you won’t use your driver as much here. I typically use my driver on nearly ever hole that isn’t a Par 3 at most courses. But here the driver sits in the bag on most of the Par 4s and one Par 5.
If you are planning a trip to the course it is a good idea to check out the events calendar. Ames/Iowa State host many events throughout the summer including the Iowa Games, Iowa Masters and Des Moines Corporate Games, the course will be closed to the public several times for these events in addition to normal course tournaments.
Since it is the Iowa State course, students can get pretty good deals on golf in a variety of ways that best suits them. That includes single month memberships for those lazy summer months in town. For the rest of us the green fees are still decent, maxing out at $34 for 18 on the weekend.
Post round eats
A town with 35,000 college kids provides many good dining options, here are two you should check out. West Street Deli sits just on the edge of campus and has long been a staple for students. "Basic" sandwiches here are anything but basic with a variety of breads, meats and toppings to customize the sandwich to your liking. If you are looking for more than just deli meat there are a wide variety of specialty sandwiches to satisfy your needs.
If you are looking for more of a sports bar setting then Es Tas Sports Bar in Campustown is a must. Es Tas is known for their fried tacos, which is what you should get, but have a variety of other bar food as well. To help wash down the tacos Es Tas has a large variety of beer and other drinks.