3 Helpful / 0 Not
Conversation area + DG Course don't mix
Pros: Secluded country park, located a couple miles down a gravel road off the highway. Very nice playground, open shelter house with picnic tables. Large barn (not sure what is inside), basketball hoop on paving. Porta-potty on site.
Course map on sign next to barn (I took a cell pic for reference if needed later) Nice tee signs with good information (layout and distance). Tee pads were a good size with a good surface texture on them.
Good pin placement throughout course. Several blind pins, sometimes around corners, sometimes behind shrubs and or trees.
Course ends where you started, no excess walking. Course flow isn't too bad, I didn't have any issues finding next tee.
Cons: I know the area has had some rain lately, but there were quite a few areas of standing water. Fairways were too narrow (this is not a skill based comment either, see thoughts below), and lined with prairie grass in most cases. Area is flat, no elevation to speak of. Tree over the tee on 7, was actually into throwing area, it was like throwing out from the rough.
Baskets in the most part were off the ground, but a few of them were leaning. #1 tee sign was missing the sign (post was there) and the course sign - map was laying on the ground, either broken or rotted.
Though probably not needed, I didn't see any trashcans or benches throughout course, but most of that can wait till you finish your round.
"Bridge" to 8 was missing.
Other Thoughts: A couple of holes that I liked. Hole 1 does really pull you in. It's a 294' slight left to right, pin is tucked just past a grouping of bushes and a tree. Hole 2 has a couple of trees that you have to throw between about 30' from the tee, but you want your disc to finish again to the right.
When doing reviews, I don't take skill into account, if the course is too hard for my skill level and I post a high score, it isn't the courses fault, however:
No fun factor here at all other than hole 1 and 2. Everything past that the fairways were so tight and the prairie grass along them was too tall. I had a bad throw on 2 (an open hole) that was my fault and I lost a disc, not the courses fault. As I was looking for the disc, one of my daughters said "wow dad, that grass is taller than you", for reference, I'm 6'5". 8 was completely unplayable, though I managed by throwing out towards another fairway, playing up that one then coming back in.
With that said, I don't see this course being beginner friendly, especially those with only a few discs. I don't feel that the course does Eleanor Denning any justice for donating her land. On the other side, I do understand that the course is a donated conservation area and probably can't cut any more of the grass or food plots down, but with the amount of area available, the two don't work together very well. I wanted to lean towards a half of a disc, but since this is a conservation area and donated land, I'll give a full disc. I most likely will not be making a trip back to this course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice tee pads and signs. Never busy. Great location.
Cons: Narrow fairways, very tall rough, bugs from he!! Very easy to lose a disc. Baskets in odd positions (ground level?).
Other Thoughts: This was probably the most miserable disc golf experience I have ever had. First off, it was a very hot, humid day with temps in the high 90's and we showed up to play in early afternoon as we were in route to a graduation party. Hole one was the bait, you think "wow, cool course out here in the middle of nowhere" then the fairways narrow down to a channel cut between prairie grasses as tall as my wife. Tree limbs seem to reach out and swat your disc in mid flight sending it as far into the rough as it can go. The horse flies and mosquitoes were so bad I had to tie a t-shirt around my head to try and ward them off. We spent far more time looking for discs and swatting at flies than actually throwing discs. I have never walked off a course, but came very close here, thank God it's only nine holes! If you come to play bring bug spray, a weed whacker, Prozac, anti itch cream for the prairie grass and plenty of expendable discs.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Back 40 Nine Holer.
Pros: -This is a nice 9 hole "RECREATIONAL" course.
-Excellent course for beginners and casual players, yet it also offers enough of a challenge that regular players should enjoy this course as well.
-Good signs and concrete tees
-Course Map next to Red Barn
-Trees, shrubs and brush make for strategic shots on each hole.
-A creek bed that winds through #8 offers an interesting placement challenge.
-Good Pin Placement.
-Plays quick, for those who might be on a schedule.
-This course had a good fun factor for me, If I had time I would have played it twice.
-Look for signs along Hwy 218 for the "Denning Conservation Area", Turn accordingly, and it's a short drive down the gravel road.
-This course was balanced with, Distance shots, tight wooded shots, Doglegs, and a water shot over a winding creek.
-The course does not play near the playground area.
Cons: -Even though it's not hard to find this course, it's still off the beaten path.
-The Rough is extremely deep and tall. This mixed with blind basket approaches makes one really consider your line and play extremely conservative.
-As of May 29th 2014 Basket 9 was missing and looked as though it's been missing for some time.
-The 8th Fairway is inaccessible and unplayable. It's overgrown and the bridge is missing.
-Not much variance in the terrain, mostly flat.
Other Thoughts: I returned to this course 4 years after my last visit. This course was not as fun to play on my second visit. The fairways appeared to be well maintained and recently mowed, but the rough was some of the worst I've ever seen. A disc could easily be swallowed up in the rough. The course has potential, but it appears someone has lost interest in the up keep.
The only playable holes are 1-7. #8 plays on the other side of a creek. The bridge has collapsed, and there is no way to get a mower on that side. (That I could see) #8's fairway was an unplayable jungle. Which brings me to #9. It's a +400ft carry over a field of tall grass. ...but the basket is missing. I'm not sure if it was stolen, or if it fell over and was just never replaced. Either way, it's gone.
In its current state, it's not worth visiting. I hope they fix this course up and get it back into a playable state. It's still small, but it used to be fun to play. ...for a small 9 hole rec course.
The Address for your GPS:
1640 130th Street
Houghton, Ia 52631
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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