14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course has two different personalities for each loop of 9 holes. The front 9 plays through rolling elevation with mature trees and scattered brush. Many of the holes have some elevation, nothing drastic but enough to add some challenge and variety. You'll have to hit a variety of lines to score well on this part of the course, and there are enough trees and brush to punish errant shots.
The back 9 plays in a more open area with a little bigger elevation changes. Hole 10 is a fun empty your bag shot down a large hill, and a few other holes have enough elevation to really change how the hole plays. This part of the course is more about distance and shot placement, with less technical and much longer holes.
There is a lot of variety here, and that's enhanced by dual concrete tees each with their own signage. The long and short tees make a big difference on some of the holes, changing the line and sometimes adding an extra turn or pinch point. There are 3 pin positions per hole, all notated on the signs at both tees, adding to the variety of shots here.
Cons: With no marker on the signs for which pin positions are currently in use, there is some scouting and guessing necessary to know where to shoot. On the blind holes, even locals would have to check it out the first time through to know which placement the pin was in. There are a couple awkward transitions between holes, the worst one is from 17 to 18 with a really long walk that's not marked at all and 18's tee is tucked behind brush so it's not easy to spot from a distance.
The back 9 is pretty open for my tastes, it doesn't really force a lot of interesting line shaping. The big hill is cool on 10, but it seemed like more could have been done with that elevation on the back 9. A major road is in play on a couple holes, taking away from the seclusion of the course and adding a potential safety issue.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find the course a little long, but very approachable from the short tees. There is some rough but not enough to lose discs in and generally not of the frustrating sort. More experienced players will find some nice challenges along with some easy birdies, the longer open holes at the end are a fun chance to open up and rip some big drives.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Nice course, On a very nice day!
Pros: this course is pretty well thought out. I loved 10, u can let some discs really fly! good baskets and forgiving chains. decent technical holes in the front nine. pretty well maintained.
Cons: on one of the first few holes you have to be careful of overthrows near the basket as there is a major road about 20 feet behind it. you easily walk the length of another nice hole when trying to find hole 18 from hole 17. why not expand both and tighten that up?
Other Thoughts: This is a good course to play when you want variety in the DSM area. this and Grandview make for an excellent day of Frolfing!
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
From the Dark to the Light
Pros: Front and Back 9: I really enjoyed that the front and back have different personalities. The front plays through a large grove of mature trees. The holes were not that long, but trees provide ample protection for most baskets. The back 9 is longer and more open. There are not as many trees, but the challenge lies in distance. In short, on the front the course tests your ability to hit your lines. The back tests your ability crush your drives. Also, the design loops back to the parking lot after hole #9, so you can use the port-a-pottie or reload on snacks and water if you brought extras.
Maintenance: The back 9 was well maniucured. I think it is safe to assume that it is mowed frequently. Areas on the back 9 where trees were in play (#15 and #16) were well cleared out underneath, making it easy to locate discs. The front-9 probably doesn't require as much effort as grass doesn't grow as quickly under the canopy.
Elevation: As I am writing my reviews of these courses, I have come to a major conclusion. Designers in central Iowa really know how to use what little elevation they are provided. Ewing Park is no different. There may only be moderate elevation changes on most holes, but the course uses it effectively.
Cons: Flow: The walk between #17 and #18 is really strange. If you don't know which way to go, you could get lost because after #17 you are a long way from the parking lot...and a long way from #18. I remember walking through the area and thinking 'this would have been a great place for a couple of holes. I don't know if the arboretum is a "no disc" zone, but this area would have been in my design if possible.
Boring for advanced players: While I am your general intermediate, moderately-skilled disc golfer, I found this course enjoyable. An advanced player would be bored here. A professional is likely to shoot -15 or better. Hole #10 is a long hole, but it is downhill and open...not really challenging. #18 is a long hole as well, but the fairway is massive and there is little trouble on each side. While the course is cool for me, I understand that most on this site are better players than me. They would likely find this course to be nice but lacking challenge.
Bactracking #11: After playing Hole #11, you have to backtrack the entire fairway to get to number #12 which tees off from almost the same spot, but in the opposite direction. Very strange.
Other Thoughts: Ewing Park is a very good course for an intermediate player like myself. There are enough challenges in the way of length and mature trees to prevent me from shooting incredibly low. However, I could see myself going -6 or better on this course in a best-case scenario. This is what leads me to believe that the challenge may not be great for advanced players...because I'm simply not good enough to shoot this score on a truly challenging course.
The front 9 is played under a canopy of mature trees. Even at 4:00 in the afternoon, it was fairly dark in the shade and protected us well from the heat. These holes were fairly short and many birdies could be had on the front. The back 9 is mostly open and out from the canopy. Hole #10 opens the back with a long downhill "bomber" hole. There is more length on the back, but it offers much less trouble in the form of trees. In short, both halves use different challenges, but neither really utilizes both at the same time.
This park looks to be almost totally set aside for disc golf other than the arboretum. Therefore there are very few non-DG park users.
Don't get into your drive too much on hole #1 or you will be in the road. (a busy road at that) I found out the hard way as did another of our crew. At least no cars were hit. That would have been awkward.
If you are in Des Moines, definitely check out Ewing Park. In most places, disc golf is an afterthought and that is if people have even heard of it. The Des Moines visitor's guide listed disc golf as one of its fun, recreational activities in the brochure. I thought that was interesting and unique.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
One of the better ones in the area
Pros: Well maintained, good tee pads and baskets, beautiful scenery and views, decent mix of shot types, very challenging
Cons: Some baskets are hard or impossible to see from the tee pad, some of the signs can be deceiving and b/c they do move the baskets around you can't just "memorize" the course, some shots are little too long for my taste but maybe my drive is just weak
Other Thoughts: A nice challenge, I've never shot even or under here. Even from short tees I still clock in a +5-7, I realize that is relative but you can play this course 100 times and not completely master it, great course for experienced players looking for a challenge,
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Long and diverse
Pros: Great tees and baskets. Good signs, multiple possible placements. Different pins and tees make for very different shots.
Pretty well maintained. Good variety of shots needed, everything from short plinko type tree holes, to 800 foot open bombers.
Pretty holes, lots of nice trees and such all around.
Cons: Poor layout (this seems to be a common theme in my Iowa reviews) some spots where the course just doesn't flow well. Signs don't display where the pin is so you have to still hunt it down, especially obnoxious on longer holes. Appeared to have been mowed not that long ago, but grass was still pretty long.
Other Thoughts: I think this was the best of the Des Moines courses that I played last weekend. It really is a nice course, but you need to bring a big arm, and a bunch of water. Not as many memorable holes as Walnut Ridge, but more overall quality and while the layout still isn't great and has some long walks (17 to 18 I'm looking in your direction here) it is much better than Walnut Ridge.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun for all!
Pros: Ewing is a well-manicured and mature 18 hole course. The hole design is very good with a lot of diversity- woods/open, long/short, left/straight/right, elevation/flat, and some road o.b. Navigation was fairly simple and flow was natural (for 16 holes*). The course consists of two 9-hole loops coming back to the car after 9 and 18. The front 9 plays through a more wooded area and the holes offer choices on the tee with more than one path to the basket around all the mature trees. The back is more open and has the longer holes, but shot placement is still important. By the end of the round you will be forced to throw a wide variety of shots of all lengths.
Each hole has 2 huge tees (pro and am), 2 signs (one per tee), and the baskets are in great shape (with 3 possible locations that appear to get moved often as we saw a guy moving them as we played). The 2 tees are quite diverse, primarily in length, but I really felt like the shorter tees did a great job of not detracting anything from the course as they were still challenging and still put most obstacles in play. The long tees are just that, adding a substantial amount of distance on many holes. (It is possible that the shorts are the originals and the longs were added later.)
Cons: The fairways had not been recently mowed in many spots (not too horrible, but not as good as it could have been). The restroom was a port-a-pottie.
Even though I really enjoyed this course, there are some design issues that are really holding it back:
-The road is majorly in play on hole #1, playing downhill, cars have a good chance of getting hit with some force. There is also a walking trail throughout much of the back and many holes play along or over it so be aware.
-There are several holes on the front that are close together and feel a little cramped. #11 to #12 is pretty stupid because you have to backtrack the entire hole to get to 12's tee (which is essentially back-to-back with 11's tee.)
-There was an abnormally long walk from #17 to #18 and then back to the car. I thought #17 was one of the weaker holes and it plays away from the direction of the car at the far corner of the park. (Hello! Only 1 hole left to get back!) Then you have to walk a long ways through the most beautiful section of the park (the arboretum) to get to #18's tee, which is hard to find anyways. Then #18 is super long... It seems after 15, the course should begin back and have 16,17,18 play through the arboretum which just screams "put disc golf holes here!"
Other Thoughts: Ewing can be really fun for players of all levels- it offers the usual challenges without being too frustrating and there is very little chance to lose discs. Though not too difficult for them, experienced players can still enjoy the shorter tees, or they have the option to play the longs.
I personally really enjoyed playing this course and recommend it to anyone. It does lack that "epic" factor I generally reserve for 4.0-5.0 ratings, and it does have some design flaws, however I still give Ewing a strong 3.5 (Very Good) to me, but I understand why many others have rated it higher than that.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
Bring your walking shoes!
Pros: First few holes are nicely wooded with large trees. Very nice tee signs on nearly every hole with multiple teepads and pin locations. Teepads are nice large cement, no plorblems with these. Fairly easy to navigate. Baskets were in good shape. Lots of longer holes that will give you arm a workout.
Cons: Long course! Some of the holes were rather long and they use that as an eay way to add to the challenge of the holes. Some walking required between the holes, especially between 17 and 18. After 17, after looking around for a while I just gave up and headed back to the car and after a while I ran into 18. I just bring your big arm here and let them rip. I feel that on most of the holes as long as you throw a good drive, then par or birdies are reasonable. Most of the fairways are open, up to the last 50-100 feet of the hole then it will tighten up with trees. Therefore your upshot is the more technical throw, rather then your drive.
Other Thoughts: The first 5 holes really excitied me. Large trees with more skill than just power required. Look at the pictures of the first holes and you will see large trees making a nice canopy over the fairway. More technical shots are required on these. However, after that the course really opens up and just seems kind of boring. Long holes where you just let it rip. Some trees do appear on a few of the back 9 holes that add some interest. Want to throw big then come here, looking for technical shots, then probably go elsewhere.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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