You Will Meet Your Waterloo
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The tee signs are excellent and it is a large and beautiful park.
There are some really great holes among the first 9, including a chance for the lefty hyzer to skip down a slope into water on #4 (I took a high route to the left that brought pavement into play).
The course really takes off in the middle portion at around hole 11, which crosses a sliver of river to a guarded green. That is nothing compared to the long 12th, which features an even more guarded upshot to a tiny green. You then move onto a slice of land that extends into the river, with dense tree cover and sandy, eroded ground. This is far and away the most challenging and interesting portion of the course, extending to hole #17, and it is like nothing I've seen anywhere (still need to get to Cape Henlopen).
Cons: It all falls apart after the 18th. Every hole, except for the 21st, is long, open and completely boring. It seems a rather pointless exercise in distance competition. There is a unique and beautiful course from #s 11-17, and a few of the first 10 holes are truly great. It would make far more sense to eliminate the last 9 holes--there is some issue with this being a multi-use park with small children present in that area--and to perhaps restructure the first 10 slightly (and the 18th is fine).
Other Thoughts: I think this could be a really great 4.0-4.5 rated course if it were simply 18 holes and if those holes were built around the amazing interior of the course that already exists.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Test Your Grit!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -27 Holes!
-Nice tee signs
-Provides a very tough challenge to players of all skill levels
-Tests every type of shot in your arsenal
-Tee pads are very nice and grippy
-Beautiful use of landscape to provide challenge, well designed
-Made to test both your distance bombs and short game
-Middle 9 holes are in a sort of serene "wooded beach" area, Absolutely beautiful and very peaceful view of the Cedar River
-Baskets are all in very nice shape
-Grass was in good condition and had been mowed
-Lots of parking
-Easy to find
-Lots of trash cans
-Easy to find the next hole
-Not a whole lot of potential to lose a disc
Cons: -Very trashy. Lots of trash laying around, especially around and in the pond on the front 9.
-Located in exchange park, a common place for parents and children to play allowing pedestrians and park go'ers to get in the way at times.
-I don't remember any restrooms (I may be wrong)
-Can get very windy at times when approaching the river
-Not meant for a quick round, took me the best of an hour and a half, almost two hours, by myself, to finish a round of 27 holes.
Other Thoughts: My visit to Exchange Park was a fun one! It was very quiet when I got there about mid day and it was only me and a few other families enjoying the park, me, being the only one disc golfing at the time. My favorite part of the course is the middle 9 holes (Holes 10-18) They go back into a part of the park where the trees are very dense and it makes for some tough lines and difficult shots! The ground is covered with sand instead of dirt because of the proximity of the area to the edge of the river. It's a very cool site to see.
My favorite hole, Hole 3, is a par 4-pro/6-am, that plays a lay up shot (or two) to the edge of a big pond, then you have to throw between a large willow and a large oak to the other side of the pond, totaling up to be about 750ish feet. Very clever design and a fun one at that!
I recommend stopping by Exchange Park if you are in the area, bring plenty of water, as it is over 2 miles of hiking while playing, and a LOT of throwing. Very fun atmosphere and I plan to come back in the near future to play!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Longest Holes in the Cedar Valley
1 Helpful / 1 Not
> 27 holes!
> Good variety. There are woods to explore, tree branches to shoot under, ponds/rivers to avoid, etc.
> I love the middle 9. Playing on sand while in the woods is an interesting experience
> Longest holes in the cedar valley.
> Well maintained. Not a lot of trash lying around.
> Excellent signage.
> Concrete Tees. Tees are flat so you don't have standing water.
> Good scenery. The course is next to the baseball diamond, skatepark, and softball fields. Often there are people having picnics in the shelters so watch your throws.
> The pond is pretty nasty at times. There is dead fish and goose poop everywhere.
> The pond has taken 2 of my discs so far. You have to be cautious when throwing around it (or over it if you are daring enough). Bring your disc fishing pole if you have one.
> The final 9 holes are pretty straight forward, not as much variation as the first 18.
One of my favorite courses to play in the cedar valley (ties with Deerwood). Exchange Park is a challenging course with plenty of variation to keep things interesting.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The Loo's Best
5 Helpful / 0 Not
- Concrete tee pads. Tees are level and grippy, which comes in handy on days like I played the course when it's wet and rainy.
- Outstanding layout. The first 9 incorporates all facets of your game and the park really well, giving you elevation changes (however slight), water shots, ace runs and long bombs. The middle 9 tests your accuracy in the woods with very technical, often precarious lines near the river. The finishing 9 allows you to work on and/or showcase your distance in straight shots in an open field. Truly a very interesting 27 holes.
- Really decent amenities around the park with baseball/softball fields, a skatepark, basketball courts, etc. Kids and non-disc golfers will have no trouble finding something that interests them while you play your round.
- Decent equipment. The baskets seem a little dated -- Mach IIs, I believe they are -- but they catch well and have held up nicely in the often flooded Cedar Valley. Signage is adequate as well, providing both easy navigation and suggested pars for both pro and amateur players.
- Cool locals. Met up with Nate (aka "namar" on DGCR), the local course wizard who was kind enough to show me the lines and even trade DGCR tags. Told me about the leagues around Black Hawk County and the annual tournament in July. Almost makes a brother want to plan another trip back to the old hometown in the warmer months. Almost.
- Not a lot of trash cans around, which accounts for the garbage strewn around the course. This is a great park -- the best park in Waterloo, IMHO -- and is worth keeping clean. More trash cans available along the disc golf course would help in that regard.
- Goose poo. Everywhere. Watch your step.
- No topless Hooters girls frolicking along the #8 fairway.
Being born and raised in Waterloo, I joined the Navy to get out of Iowa because there was nothing to do. Took me 20 years after high school to get into disc golf and when I finally did I was introduced to the game in North Carolina, a state some consider is arguably the "Mecca" of disc golf.
Now that I'm a full-blown, four-alarm neurotic addict of the Game of Plastic, I can't believe what my hometown had available for me that I never took advantage of. Spent a good chunk of my adolescence at Exchange Park and never knew this was here....to MY detriment. Having cut my disc golf teeth at Castle Hayne I was skeptical that Exchange would live up to its DGCR rating, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is an absolutely outstanding course that any golfer (regardless of ability) should instantly love. It's got just about everything you could want in a course. If you're planning a trip to or through Waterloo, do yourself a favor and check out Exchange Park. It's even made this die-hard Waterloo expatriate start to re-evaluate his opinion of his home state. In short, Exchange Park is well worth the stop out of your way.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Favorite hometown course!
- 27 holes on a huge space
- great mix of long & short holes
- a few unique hole layouts
- middle 9 (island) is wooded and runs along the river
- hole #3 (pond) & #19 (frankenstein) both 600ft+
- teepads all in good condition
- decently scenic
- recently renovated shelters
- lots of parking
- right across the street from Riverfront Stadium (great for catching a baseball game after a round or 2 in the summer)
Cons: no major cons
- not much elevation is the only downside to round play
- the city will sometimes go a couple weeks without mowing
- geese do get annoying & are very messy near the pond area
- hole #4 basket has some chains missing
- some holes are missing signs
- sometimes trash will find its way around the course from other areas of the park
- flooding occurs occasionally
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
best in town
Pros: -27 holes laid out in a trio of 9-hole loops
-nice big concrete pads, baskets are all in pretty good shape
-nice teepad signs with useful info
-lots of room to air it out, especially on the final 9
-layout is pretty big, but flows well from hole to hole
Cons: -goose shiz EVERYWHERE, don't wear new shoes or bring a new towel
-the final 9 can get repetitive, but only if you're not throwing well!
-flood-ravaged course seems to change every year or two
Other Thoughts: This course is laid out so one can play 9, 18 or all 27 holes and end up reasonably close to your starting point. The front 9 play park-style, with caution required around the bike/jogging paths and the disc-eating pond. The middle 9 (island) offers some serious birdie potential if you can keep your lines tight, as it plays almost entirely in the trees. The final 9 is wiiiiiide open, and where the big arms will make up some strokes as most holes are in the 350-400ft range.
The best variety in town is found at Exchange, with places to use most discs in your bag and most throws you have. If you're just stopping through and have time for 1 round, it should be here.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
favorite course in town
Pros: 27 holes with lots of variation
lots of long holes to really work on distance, and allows for big make up shots if drive isn't accurate.
island give lots of wooded challenge and back 9 is a great opportunity to make up a few stokes.
Cons: pond and river are big disk eaters so need to play cautiously in some areas.
biggest complaint is no elevation changes, its a very flat course.
Other Thoughts: as my title says, my favorite course in town. biggest variety avail on one course. and the hazards will keep you one your toes for a few holes. for those with distance the pond is definitely clearable, but those with shorter drives are best laying up left and possibly taking a bogie if worried about disk loss
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
A little bit of everything
Pros: I played this course in the winter, and it's beautiful, so I can only imagine how nice it will be when it warms up. The 27 holes offer a variety of shots and scenes. Hole #3-#5 include a large pond in play. Holes #11-#17 are in the woods and involve a few shots along the scenic river. These wooded holes are also sandy, which is a nice change from most courses. I recommend this course to ANY disc golf fan. You will be glad you played it, and you will likely return.
Cons: Not much elevation change. The amateur par is a little lenient.
Other Thoughts: Every tee pad notes the par for amateurs and pros. There are a lot of par 4's and 5's... and even a par 6.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Easy to follow course if you have never played it. Good signs. Nice long holes with good obstacles. Very fun and clean tricky course.
Cons: Pretty much flat the whole way through except for a handful of holes.
Other Thoughts: Will definitely play again.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Waterloo Exchange Park
Pros: -There are 27 holes with good tees, signs, and baskets.
-The middle 9 holes are interesting and in the woods and along the river.
-It is a good clean park with good obstacles.
Cons: -The course lacks change in elevation therefore every hole is the same and gets boring.
-If the river got any higher then the middle 9 would probably flood and that is the best part of the course.
-There are many holes that either follow the river or a pond and therefore there are many chances to throw a disc in a water hazard.
Other Thoughts: Good for a short trip to play but overall it is not a spectacular course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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