4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Talk about a nice surprise in small town Iowa! This town had small town Iowa written all over it. It had the awesome small town pizza place (Georgino's...check it out) a cow pasture next to the course (literally ten feet off of the fairway of number 6) and everything else that screams small town Iowa.
For such a small town I was really impressed with how nice the course was. Here are my pros:
1) You can tell the course gets some nice love and attention. For being in such a small town 30 minutes outside of Des Moines it was groomed very well.
2) Design: The design of the course was awesome, save for a few holes. See below. The design really flowed well and was a lot of fun.
3) Navigation: It was super easy to get around this course. We didn't get lost once and found every tee very easily. Navigation is huge for me and this course is a solid A for navigation.
4) Signature Holes: This course had two really memorable holes, the ones you lay awake at night thinking about. The ones where you want to throw multiple discs. This course had two awesome downhill holes (12 and 17). 12 was a little longer (it played probably 400 feet) while 17 was shorter and played shorter (it probably played 340 feet). Both were significantly downhill and had very open fairways so the only obstacle was really judging the distance correctly. This didn't take away from these holes at all. These holes were a joy to throw. Hole 12 was even more interesting in that there is a little path that makes the green into an island and if you play a tournament there you play it as an island green. Pretty fun!
5) Beauty: The park was very scenic and beautiful. Like a lot of Central Iowa, the course was set in a park with nice rolling hills. This really made for some great views.
6) Elevation: I love a course with elevation and this course is not lacking for it. I can only count 3 holes that did not have some kind of elevation. Elevation really adds a lot to the design of a disc golf course and it was evident here.
7) Fun Factor: This course was a lot of fun. The course only really had one wooded hole and the rest were more open (though the rough was pretty gnarly...more on that below). This made the course quite a bit of fun. A lot of courses force you to grind your way through the round but this course offers some easy holes and some fun holes and that really compliments the par 4's nicely.
8) Other: The park also had a great park pool that was located right next to the parking lot for the disc golf course. Is there anything better than playing disc golf in 90 degree Iowa heat and then jumping into the pool? No. No there is not.
Favorite hole not mentioned above: Hole 14 was probably the best designed hole on the course, in my opinion. That may sound silly considering its so short, but the design was perfect. Its a short downhill shot with the basket directly behind a v-shaped tree. Its downhill all the way, including the green area, and so most shots are probably going to go long unless you want to get "cute" with it and try to finagle something up there. This is a great hole because even though its short the typical shot is going to go long unless you want to take a risk and try to go easy on it which could bring in some of the branches or trees on the hole. Case in point...during a tournament I 3'd this hole both times after going long about 30 feet both rounds. My drive both rounds literally went right under the basket (both were ace runs) and so that's a great hole.
Cons: I rated this course a 3.5 rating, which is considered Very Good. I would strongly consider a 4.0 rating if a few of these cons were taken care of:
1) The baskets were single chain baskets that did not catch well. During a tournament that I recently played at the course I witnessed multiple dead center spitouts. That's no fun. Upgrading these baskets would go a long way to making this course more enjoyable.
2) Many of the holes were missing tee signs. Fortunately the number was engraved on the concrete so you know you were playing the right hole but a lot of times you were simply guessing on the distance.
3) The course did have a few holes that I didn't personally like. Hole 4 was a little confusing. It was a 180 foot, flat hole with no obstacles besides the rough. The walk between hole 3 and hole 4 was about 250 feet and there looked to be some nice areas for a teepad for hole 4. Instead you walked down the hill into the flat area and played a very easy hole. Case in point: During a tournament round on the cards I was on, we had ten scores on that hole and had 10 deuces. Its a throwaway hole but oh well. Also I was not a fan of hole 11. Its a 370 foot, sharply uphill par 3. Its really a tweener hole, as a deuce is very unlikely while a 4 is probably not going to happen for a good player. I would have maybe tried to make the hole shorter or longer to either make it a true par 3 or a true par 4.
4) Rough: The rough was rough. We are talking rough as in "I want to go home" rough. Rough as in the worst first date possible rough. Rough as in you'd rather hear someone scratch a chalkboard for a half hour than go in the rough. The rough was a literal disc eater. This rough eats disc for breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and desert. Over two rounds a buddy of mine and I lost 4 discs (we are both rated 980). Two were returned because we were playing a tournament with over 90 players and other players were undoubtedly looking for discs in the rough. We heard of many disc casualties that day. Spotters are recommended on holes 2, 3, 6, 9 and 11. Hole 7 is a short hole with a ravine splitting the tee pad and the green. DO NOT go in this ravine. Its a 20 foot drop to a conglomerate mess of concrete blocks, pipes, rocks, thorns and everything else you can think of. Its like Mordor but worse. Don't throw your disc down there. There are so many crevices and spots to lose your disc down there.
Other Thoughts: Don't let the cons take anything away from this course: the actual course is a 4.0 in my opinion. Between the baskets, tee signs and brutal rough I felt like I should ease the rating to a 3.5. This course is right off of the interstate and well worth the trip. Its only a few minutes from Interstate 80.
NOTE: The bugs were really bad the day we played. Bring bug spray!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
So close to a 4.0
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Convenient parking, right next to the school, Hole #1 starts right there, and #18 ends right there as well.
- Good tee pads, with the number stamped in. Always helpful.
- Nice bright orange baskets with blue poles (school colors I assume). Signs show two pin locations for many holes.
- GREAT use of the land - most used with the sole purpose of disc golf. That's always awesome.
- Quite a few holes play along a deep creek/drainage area. Makes for some very cool shots, and challenge.
- #3 - 6 play on some undulating ground with a few big farm-field trees as obstacles. Very nice, aside from the amount of rough (see cons).
- In general, some nice wooden bridges and walking paths between holes. I played when it was quite soggy, and only had one muddy spot at #7.
- Speaking of, #7 is SICK. Shoots over the creek, uphill, with only a very small shot window between two trees about 150 feet out. Maybe a 20 foot gap? Really no other options, aside from laying up with a 100 foot flick. One of the coolest (and hardest) holes on the course. Hitting a tree puts you 20 feet down into the creek.
- #11 a blind, up and over the hill shot. Listed at 370, plays more like a par 4.
- #12 a huge par 3 bomb, straight down the hill. I played the shorter pin placement, which was to the left. Fine, but the fun one would have been in the straight away position.
Cons: - Signs missing from many tee pads.
- #2 was built right along some private property and is real close. No trespassing signs indicate that way too many discs make it over the fence line into the farmyard.
- #15 plays along that same creek, but essentially with a park road as your entire fairway, until about 200 feet out. Which is fine, but the sign lists the road as OB. Which is fine, but with the creek on the left, you then must play right…with puts #16 tee directly in play. I doubt anyone plays the road as OB. Just a bit funky.
- I played early in the year, with the prairie grass short and lying down. I can see this being a VERY frustrating course with the grass tall. I had a hard enough time with the amount that was there, lying down. I honestly don't know that I'll want to play this course mid-summer if the grass is high. Especially #9, which is completely blind over the hill, with a teeny tiny mowed path for a fairway. Almost knocks my rating down 0.25 itself.
- Probably the worst thing for me on this course was getting to #17, a super long bomber that I could see coming up…only for the basket to be completely missing. What a bummer.
- On #18, they are pouring the foundations for something essentially right in front of the tee pad. I don't know if it's for horseshoes, or for some statues, or what. But it will be an issue for any RHFH drivers, and most left handed players, BH or FH. I hope it's not anything taller than a couple feet.
Other Thoughts: - This is probably better than a 3.5 course, but it's just not a 4.0. Not with a missing basket, no signs, and the rough. Course layout is great though, with some really neat holes. I hope to visit again sometime, with the course in tip-top shape, and hope to increase my rating.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is a fun course in a sprawling park. Most of the holes bring elevation into play, with some big downhill bombers where you'll want to empty your bag and some long tough uphills. You really have to think about how the hills and elevation will affect disc flight to be successful here. A few pins are on slopes and offer tricky rollaway potential.
There is nice length variety, especially with some playing longer or shorter than their measured length due to the hills. The holes that play through the more wooded area offer some nice line shaping challenges, and a few others have enough mature trees in the fairway to have similar challenges. The rough lining many of the fairways adds an element of risk if you miss your shot placement, you can easily add strokes in the ravines and thick brush in some areas.
Cons: There are some areas with long grass rough, I'm not a big fan of that as an obstacle on disc golf courses. It adds time and frustration without adding much challenge to your next shot if you end up off the fairway. This is worst on a couple blind holes with prairie grass in the landing zones, making spotters a necessity if you don't want to be searching. Too many of the holes feel pretty open for my tastes, the elevation is a lot of fun but I like to have to hit tighter fairways and more defined lines than what this course offers for the most part.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find the rough and the creeks a bit daunting, and there is some length here. More experienced players will find some nice challenges and will definitely enjoy the couple downhill bombs. This course isn't one I would play all the time, but it's a fun stop that I would recommend if you're in the area.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: what a nice suprise...large concrete tee pads, with the number of the holes inprinted in them. really good use of elevation. some good length is required to make birdies. for a course that resides behind a high school, this was great. bright orange and blue baskets. good flow and some challenging wooded holes too
Cons: there was quite a bit of trash through out the course. the wind could make for a tough round .the baskets were single chains but still did the job
Other Thoughts: the first two holes were great, baskets on hillsides. holes 12 and 17 were downhill bombs, there were some legit par 4 holes here, i would suggest this course to any one lokking for a course outside the des moines area
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Worth a shot, worth the drive.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Mando Pros:
Nice, poured tee pads
Big, informative signs, the ones that were left.
Hole variety, layout, flow is where this course shines. At Lewis there is a good deal of hole and shot variety, which I, incidentally, find important and enjoyable in a disc golf experience.
Here's how a typical round might play out.
The round starts with a few holes that at first glance look like sleepers, but the elevation, OB, psych-out water hazard extreme OB (that's a ravine behind and around the pin of 4!) of the first four holes may have you wondering,
"What else am I going to have to throw through to make it out of this alive?!?"
A better question would be, "What am I NOT going to have to throw through?!?"
I hope you're warmed up by this point because the party's just starting!
Prepare for blind shots on 9 and 11. Seriously, spot each other, you WILL save time!
Get ready for MASSIVE down hill bombs on holes 12 and 17.
You'll need a great drive to par on a few stretched out, uphill holes: 5, 6, 13, 16 and 18.
And don't forget to bring your short game for holes 7, 8, 10 and 14.
They will test your accuracy, shot selection, disc choice and cool headedness with their tight lines and technical curves. Hole 15 is rather straight forward.
I think this course is just missing the "throw over the body of water" shot to have the full gamut.
Parking is good.
Port-o-john by hole 12.
I think I remember a trash can or two…
And it feels like this course is underplayed. Its always pretty clean and I only ever see a few high school aged kids out there (the course is near a school, though).
So what's missing?
Cons: Some of the signs, for starters!
One time I played a round and hole 10 wasn't mowed, oops, no fairway! See pics.
The following aren't Cons but you should know:
Be prepared for tall grass, tight OB lines w/ barbed wire fences, trees and bugs.
The groups I've played with here have contributed 3 discs to the property, so pay attention and spots your shots!
Some who don't like to travel too far may feel it's a bit out of the way of the DSM metro area to justify the drive to Colfax.
It is definitely worth a try, however!
Other Thoughts: A few missing signs aren't enough for me to bring this rating down too much,
especially when accompanied by such variety in hole length, elevation, distance and strategy.
As far as I'm concerned, Lewis Park is one of the hidden gems of central IA, as rough, underplayed and out of the way as it may be.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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