3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1) Like a lot of Des Moines courses, it is long. I like throwing drivers off the tee and I did so on every hole except one. Deuces are hard to come by and feel earned.
2) Two sets of tees, so the course can be played by players with wildly varying levels of skill.
3) The course seldom takes away your best shot. There are, of course, holes that go left to right and holes that go right to left, but the turns weren't so extreme to force me away from my backhand.
4) clean and well-maintained (really important in Iowa!)
5) It is an unusually long and challenging course to be right smack in the middle of the city.
I'm guessing that if I lived in Des Moines, this would be the main course that I would play; it is conveniently located,it gives the arm a workout, and you don't have to worry about losing discs.
Cons: 1)Lack of a map: Each tee sign shows the location of the next tee, but forget to look and you will often times have a hard time figuring out which direction to go. While navigation isn't bad, there are a couple places where it is not intuitive.
2)Inaccurate tee signs: this drove me nuts. I'm guessing some alternate pin placements were put in after the signs were installed, but it makes things exceptionally confusing on blind holes. Several times I thought I had made a great shot only to find that the basket was either in the other direction or further away than the sign indicated. A course map would fix all of this.
3)No memorable holes. Lots of decent ones, but none that I feel the overwhelming urge to play again. The front nine in particular was not very distinctive.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth playing, but 4 stars is a bit much in my opinion. It felt like a typical city course with a little extra length and difficulty. I feel that it is the weakest of the 4-star rated DSM area courses (with Pickard clearly the best)
And I can't stress this enough: it would be exceptionally helpful to put in a course map with accurate distances and pin placements!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Challenging shots.
First 9 holes are through thin, wooded areas that are really fun to play.
Course has both open and wooded holes for any type of player.
Cons: Not the courses fault, but the mosquitoes are terrible!
Some holes were muddy which was a little annoying, but was expected because of lots of rain
Other Thoughts: I will continue to play this course for years to come! Very fun course and takes long enough to play where you can really enjoy the sport.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Different Not Always Better?!?!?
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Good variety of shots in approach, distance, and elevation.
Cons: This used to be my favorite course in Des Moines, but I hate the changes to #2 and #3.
Pars need to be noted!
There needs to be something to direct you to the next pad...just played in Wisconsin and the course spray painted the chain to let you know which way to walk...that would help.
It would also be nice if there was a way to mark basket position on blind tee shot holes.
Crowded more times than not, but that's what you get at a decent course.
Other Thoughts: Still worth playing but could be SSSOOO much better with some simple changes. Looks like they are working on it, so maybe it will get to where it needs to be.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: There were tee signs that helped you find the basket and the next hole's tee pad. Large variety of shots. The front nine is heavily wooded with some really cool tunnel shots. Then the back nine is totally different and open and the last two holes were both 650+ feet. A lot of the holes used the trees really well and has very cool layouts like a tunnel across a street into a backboard of trees for the whole.
Cons: Not too many. We had trouble finding one or two of the wholes even with the tee signs because there were some many trees. The front nine could get really frustrating with all the trees.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Love this course. It was 1 of the first courses i ever played. And ive always liked it. Hole 10 is fun to try to rip on discs and empty your bag. Rest of the course is challenging and tech. All around good course
Cons: Not a lot of bad things to say. Not a big fan of some of the new placements. Especially on hole 4
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Challenge - Ewing offers a great challenge to both the experienced and new golfer. The long tees are very long and force you to navigate through trees, wide open space, small gaps, and over shrubbery/bushes.
Tees/Signs - There are two concrete tees per hole with a tee sign at each. The signs are in great shape and do a good job of displaying the hole info. Many tee boxes have retaining walls around them along with mulch to help with erosion issues.
Design - The course is very large and uses a large section of the park. There is a good amount of elevation as well as some moderately wooded areas. The design flows very well and takes advantage of the landscape.
Location - Ewing is located in Des Moines and is close to food, beverages, hotels, etc. It is easy to find off the interstate and has a good overall location.
Cons: Restrooms - limited restroom facilities in this section of the park
Other Thoughts: Overall I thought that Ewing is a fantastic course that provides a great challenge. The long tees are very tough but are fun to play. The shorts offer a relaxing round. I would highly recommend Ewing park for a fun round of golf!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Well above average
Pros: This course is pro caliber. There are more than a couple holes that stretched out 600'-700'. The course also provides a good variety of holes. There are A and B pads for every hole, so you can go through and play two different games (although the B pads were consistently longer). The course is half wooded, half open. There are a number of uphill, over the hill, and downhill bombs. There are some short (<280') tight shots.
Cons: This course only lacks water as far as amenities. Unfortunately this course is very well known, so it was packed when I went (April 1st). This is one of the more exhausting courses to complete. It's very long and very hilly. #18 was hard to find. It's a long walk from #17, toward hole #1, past the long, uniform row of bushes. The bushes were flowering purple. We just allowed the locals behind us to play through, and we followed them to the #18 teepad.
Other Thoughts: The best elevation change I've ever seen in a course
2 of 3 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.
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