Great Challenge Course
Pros: Great variety of holes. You start out in the open to warm up, but then you're test with tough wood shots. Playing this course also feels like you're hiking and away from civilization at times.
Cons: The signs all point to one tee and two cages but it was the opposite. Confusing if you're trying to keep track of par. Also, I played alone and got lost twice. There is quite a distance between holes. It would be nice if each basket had some sort of indication of where to walk for the next hole.
Other Thoughts: Great course. I recommend the first time playing you take a friend as you will lose your disc quite often and helps to have someone watching it. Plan for about 60-90 minutes to play this course.
Always worth a play
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - There is certainly a fantastic variety of holes here. Some very open (1, 2, 3, 7), some tight and/or wooded (4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18), and some nice mixtures including large mature trees (5, 6, 8, 13, 16). Also, a hole that tees from the woods ending open (6), and a few that tee from the clearings, but lead you to a basket sheltered by timber (5, 13, 17).
- Many times, I like courses whose order mixes up hole types, to always keep you on your toes. However, I do enjoy the run of 9 - 15 on this course being tighter and more technical (save for #13). It changes your mindset for the whole middle third of the course.
- #12 is a wonderful wooded dogleg with plenty of challenge. From the long tees, the first and largest challenge is the window you have to hit 100 feet off the tee. Two younger, but tall trees that obviously take quite a beating.
- #15 is my signature hole. If you were to look up "tunnel shot" in the glossary of the "Disc Golfer's Guide to Everything," there would just be pictures of this hole. It's like the road through the woods that Little Red Riding Hood probably took to Grandma's house: narrow (20-30 feet?), completely covered overhead by tree branches, and on a big swooping curve where you can't see farther around the bend than 200 ft or so. And it's LONG - 555 ft from the Pro tees, 365 from the Rec. A manageable hole, but one where you must make the decision whether to plod along at 150 ft/throw, or take your risks and put some power behind it. Strong, accurate throws are heavily rewarded here. Safe, shorter, but straight throws might get you par, if you're perfect. Love it. Unfortunately, it looks as though, like most other holes, only one pin placement is in. The old B placement added another 65 feet, but the area of that pin is slightly overgrown now.
- #17 is on a hillside that slopes left to right, leading you from the open, deep down 150 feet into the woods towards the pin. Having to stage a 250 ft drive somewhere in the clearing for a look at the pin makes for a great hole design. The hole also gives you two choices, either going wide around a large tree to approach the layup spot, or going straight through a smaller (but very manageable) gap between the tree and the dense thicket to your right.
- Restrooms located in a few places along the course, plus water in even more places. Ample parking, and a practice basket right there.
- Scorecards/Maps at Tee #1. Grab one, you'll need the map.
- Very large, wedged concrete tee pads at both sets of tees. Very nice. The Rec tees on this course, so far as I can tell, just reduce distance and make the holes a little easier, and more approachable (i.e. they don't create wholly different line, just reduce difficulty). However, there are a few obstacles or windows to be managed on a few Pro tees that don't affect the Rec tees. Mostly on the wooded holes (e.g. 4, 6, 9, 12, 15).
- Park benches here and there, trash cans available. Could probably use some more, as I saw small garbage piles around some tee signs where there were no receptacles. At least the litterers are courteous enough to make their messes neat.
Cons: - There are two pins listed for every hole, but they are not used. In fact, I don't think I ever saw the 2nd post hole on any of the holes, indicating that this course is set as-is. The heavily compacted soil around quite a few of the pins solidified my hypothesis. This is probably fine, as many of the placements just look like they increased distance.
- As I mentioned in the 'pros' above, 1-3 are mostly open, and they sure don't do the course justice after looking back at a round. Of course starting with these three is better than having them in the middle or the end of the round, and they do give you a warmup chance, of sorts. Just a little out of place.
- It's been mentioned, but navigation on this course is not easy. There are signs here and there, but if you didn't grab a map, you'll be searching. There are some long jaunts between holes too, namely 3-4 and 15-16. When you look at the map, the course flow at least makes sense, and they did well in ordering the course, but that still doesn't make it easy. I've played the course a few times now, and even I walked the wrong way out of #18 trying to get back to the parking lot.
- Not a lot of elevation on this course, for what it's worth. 5, 6, 7, and the hill you have to drive over on #13 host about all there is on the course.
- Not a huge fan of #9, for nothing more than it's a pain in the rear. It's a similar layout/line/distance to #15, only mirrored. However, rather than being in the woods, it's cut through a thicket, which is much too dense. You won't take chances here, and even then you could be searching for a disc, and getting cut up trying to retrieve it, let alone throw from your lie. Reminds me of the parts of Big Creek State Park in nearby Polk City that I dislike. Also, the area around the Pro tee is perpetually wet or flooded, and stagnant. It's a prime mosquito breeding ground.
Other Thoughts: - I'll mention the signage here, as it is sufficient. They are nice signs, with good info and layouts. However, since there are no longer A & B pin placements, having them listed on the sign can be confusing. There are also a few blind holes where pin indication would have been useful.
- Wonderful course, a must-play in the area. There are some skill requirements for a few holes that may discourage newer players on this course in some of the wooded holes. Also, the sheer length of a few of the holes, both wooded and open, may be discouraging. From the long tees, this course is certainly no slouch.
- Some of the above may be due to the highly demanding course par. You can tell it was designed with high caliber players in mind, and individual hole pars have been assigned as such.
(EDIT): Not until posting this review did I truly realize how long it was! I hope it's all useful information!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Not as great as its said to be
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Very nice and challenging course. Spacious layout, variety of holes, multiple tees.
Cons: Difficult to navigate at times.
Other Thoughts: This course is regarded as being the country club of disc golf in the Des Moines area. It is a nice course, but I don't think it quit lives up to that reputation. Holes provide different shots and challenges, but the course can be difficult to navigate.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
WORTH THE DRIVE
Pros: Easy parking, well mowed, free course maps, clean toilets (not porta-johns, but real facilities). Easy walking. Decent signage. Great variety of shots from the first 3 (they were warm ups really with nothing too interesting) to wooded "tunnel" shots, both short and very long drives. Pro and recreational pads are always nice. The last hole and the parking lot for the first are very close so it keeps the walk back to the car short.
Cons: Better scout the nets before you throw on some holes. The baskets are not labeled (I see this elsewhere too). Why not label the baskets with large numbers? It would lessen the time it takes to play if we could see them. There should be more "next hole, this way" signs since there is such a long walk between some of the baskets and the following tee pad.
Other Thoughts: Someone could coach the cross country athletes not to throw their clothes all over the warm up net and area. We played anyway just standing over their equipment and clothing that was tossed over the ground like the rapture had just occurred and they got the idea. Generally they were pretty respectful folks after that.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a sprawling park with a mixture of open and wooded areas. There are a handful of open holes that include some chances to air out longer drives and put a premium on shot placement. The rest of the course is wooded, with a nice mix of more open and very tight fairways.
There is enough rough in the woods that you'll pay for missing your line, though not so thick that we had any trouble finding wayward shots. You'll need a pretty strong set of line shaping skills to be successful here, there's a mix of hole shapes and lengths that keeps you on your toes.
There are two tees per hole, and they're well designed to add a different look at many of the holes. There are different angles and pinch points from many of the long tees and they add length as well. The signage is decent if inconsistent. The park is groomed nicely, all the open areas were mowed and the wooded fairways were well kept.
Cons: Some of the open holes felt a little like filler shots, no real obstacles and no interesting elevation changes. Navigation is a bit messy here, especially with some missing signs. There are some long walks and areas where several trails cross in the woods with no indicator of the correct path to the next hole. Make sure to print a map or pull it up on your phone. We found lots of poison ivy even late in the season, in the late spring or summer I'm guessing it gets pretty thick out there.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed the long tees here, they add challenge and length without feeling like they're just added on behind the shorts. Experienced players will find a nice balance of different tests here. Beginners will find the shorts approachable, the rough can be a bit daunting but it's not as thick as it initially looks. A few of the longer holes are still long from the short tees, but not frustratingly so. I highly recommend a stop here if you're in the area.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Design - The course design, other than the flow, makes great use of the elevation and includes hyzer shots, anny shots, long holes, short holes, wooded, open, tunnel shots... you name it it has it.
Signs, tees - the signs are the same type used at Grandview, very informative and aesthetically pleasing. There are two tees per hole and they are in great shape.
Amenities - the park has nice restrooms that are spaced around the park, as well as plentiful parking. A large shelter works great for a tournament central.
Cons: Flow - the biggest drawback to this course is its flow. It is almost as if the course operates in chunks and you have to do quite a bit of walking and back-tracking between holes. It would be very difficult to find your way around the course without a map or a guide.
Location - The course is located outside of town and is kind of far away from food,drink etc. Just a minor inconvenience.
Other Thoughts: The park is beautiful as it is located next to a giant lake and has cliffs, ravines, and some water that you have to deal with. Walnut Ridge is a very complete course and will test golfers of all skill levels.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: AWESOME! This course had it huge park lots of space. Holes for everything. At 500ft hole in the woods with a 50ft fairway dead straight. Teepads great, signs great, you new where to go except for 3-4 but i figured it out. Amazing course design.
Cons: The walk from 3-4. Sometimes park was closed but your a disc golfer so figure it out.
Other Thoughts: I played course with the con in action and i was by myself huge park, i fell in love with disc golf all over again. This course is great!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
A little over hyped in my opinion
Pros: Good baskets and tee pads, nice mix of shot types, pro level 18 hole course,
Cons: Some of the layout is a little goofy, I've only played once but I was glad I was with people who knew where they were going.
Other Thoughts: Based on what I was hearing about this course and it's own self righteous description as the "country club of disc golf" I had high expectations, overall this is just you're average 18 hole course that has enough long shots and challenging hole layouts to be considered a "pro" course, I guess to me it didn't really live up to the hype but it is a solid course overall
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Great holes crappy layout
Pros: Great holes. Up down, left right, ba start :)
Seriously though, the only thing this course doesn't have is a water hazard, you will use every shot in your bag (some of them like the right turn you will use a lot).
Nice teepads, great signs. Multiple placements for holes.
Cons: Layout is horseshit. There are like 3 spots where you are walking for 5 minutes between holes. That right there takes a star off for me, that much separation takes you out of the mindset of playing, it really is a buzzkill.
While waiting for the rest of my group I saw multiple groups of people just skip the first 3 holes and start on hole 4 because the first 3 are nothing really special, and there is a long walk between 3 and 4.
Overly punishing rough. If you are less than 10 feet from the fairway you should be able to get it back there with a shot. The super dense rough puts a huge premium on accuracy, but is overly punishing in that if you get in there is no way to save a 3. You cannot get out in one shot even just straight out and hope to hole an approach.
Nothing on the signs to tell you where the pin is. Frustrating to have to go look for the pin when everything else was so well done. This seems to be an Iowa thing as 3 of the courses we played this weekend did the same thing, and it was hellla frustrating.
Other Thoughts: A better layout that didn't have so much extra walking and this is a 4 star course no question. A water hazard of some kind and something on the signs showing what the pin positions are. 5 stars. This was a fun course to play despite the flaws, but I would not make a special trip back to play here.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great variety of shots, some long and some short with a mix of wooded and open areas. Very challenging in some spots, but the challenge is just enough to make it fun and keep you coming back. I played while it was raining, but even before it started raining, traffic on the course was low.
Cons: Can be confusing if you haven't played the course before, signage is not the greatest.
Other Thoughts: Some of the wooded areas can be unforgiving so do your best to stay on the fairway or you could spend quite a bit of time looking for discs. Steep cliff of the right side of #3. Not much elevation change on most holes, which can be bad or good, however you want to look at it.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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