LONG, Challenging Course!
Pros: -VERY challenging!
-Huge tee pads
-Very very nice signs
-Every type of shot (tunnels, backhands, rollers, forehands, skips, etc)
-Good use of water, woods, and elevation changes
-Very easy to find
-Very easy to navigate
-Both bomber and technical holes
Cons: -Holes 1 and 18 (see below)
-Very open, allows for lots of wind
-Fairly easy to lose a disc at some point in the round
Other Thoughts: I played the course on a very windy and cold day so my impression of the course may get better as I play it in the future on nicer days. My review of the course is from the Pro tees prospective, as I only played one round and didn't play the Am tees.
Hole 1 is a very short boring, almost pointless hole right off of the parking lot. To me, it looks like it could be extended an additional 100 feet or so to make it a little more fun and enjoyable.
Hole 18 is an extremely long, hilly par 5 at the end of the course that almost seems pointless to me. It plays 900+ feet from the longest tee and most arms are going to barely be able to make par, if even a bogey. I feel as if they could make this single hole into two holes and add some more holes on the way back to the parking lot to reduce the huge walk you have from the 18th basket, back to your vehicle.
Overall my visit was a great one, I enjoyed the entire round, other then when my Champion Destroyer was swallowed by the pond on hole 18 thanks to the very strong wind. I do, however recommend that you visit Pickard Park on a less windy day!
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Big park course
Pros: The course plays through a large scenic park. There are rolling hills throughout with a couple steeper hills. Lots of spots on the course have pleasant views of the park and surrounding area, and despite the city park feel around the beginning of the course you get a more secluded vibe in the middle of the round.
There is plenty of length here, several chances to stretch out your arm and throw longer drives. There are some reachable holes, especially from the shorter tees, so it doesn't get too repetitive that way. The wooded holes offer a few tighter lines to hit, and you will need some level of line shaping ability to score well and get to several of the protected pin locations.
The pond comes into play on a few shots, offering a couple risky pin positions and a hole that makes you decide if you want to go for the green off the tee with a water carry or play for the safe par. The amenities here are solid, with good signs and nice concrete pads. The short and long tees make the course a little more accessible for different levels of players.
Cons: There are a lot of long straight shots, you can throw the same disc for a lot of the holes and that gets a bit old. The course is pretty open for my tastes, with little trouble on most drives and only limited trouble around some of the pins. Long prairie grass comes into play at times, and that's not my favorite obstacle on a disc golf course. It adds frustration and loses plastic without really changing the next shot after a shanked drive.
Other Thoughts: This course would be a bit long for most beginners, I could see that getting a little frustrating for shorter armed players. More experienced throwers will enjoy the chances to open up and throw some drives. This is a fun and scenic course even if it doesn't put much of a premium on accuracy and line shaping.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 28 Not
Pros: nice variety of holes.................................................................................................................................................
Cons: best for pros.................................................................................................................................................
Other Thoughts: ......................................................................................................................................................
2 of 30 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Good signage, well maintained park, good baskets, great layout minus 1-3. the course was a lot of fun great for golfing. Lots of placement shots which is what golf is about i love long holes.
Cons: The first couple of holes could be better when compared to the rest of course. Out in the middle of nowhere.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course, too bad it was almost lose your disc dark when i played through 18 the best hole awesome green. If you are in des moines area and have a chance should play
2 of 15 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome Park Course
Pros: Maintenance: This course was well groomed. The city parks department must cut the grass regularly. Their efforts show in the immaculate fairways at Pickard Park.
Elevation: Even though this is Iowa, the course designers here did an excellent job of utilizing the elevation with which they had to work.
Water: Water comes into play on a number of holes here. Each time it is used very effectively, most often as the basket is placed on the side of a pond with water to the right and a tree or trees to the left. This causes the RHBH player to play there shot over the water and use the fade to bring it back to the shore as the left is blocked by trees. This is used on #5 and #18. There is also a meandering creek that protects the back of the green on a hole toward the middle of the course.
Variety: Elevation, shot-shape and distance are all varied extremely well throughout this course. No two holes are even remotely similar. There are some really long holes as well as some potential ace runs. If you are a moderately skilled player like myself, there are opportunities for birdies...but you better take them when you see them.
Cons: Pickard does not loop back to the parking lot at any point during the round. As hot as it gets in the summer, coupled with the relatively "open" course makes a mid-round pit-stop almost a necessity. There is also no drinking water available on the course once you start your round. In short, bring a lot of water...you will need it.
Rough schule: This is one of my big pet peeves. The rough is supposed to be punishing. This is definitely the case at Pickard Park. However, at least clear some of the brush out around the fairways. We spent probably an hour looking for discs at this course, most of which were about 2-3 feet off the fairway. One of our four even lost a disc that looked as if it landed in the fairway. After coming over the hil and looking at where it should have been, it could have been no further than 5 feet off the faiway...and we never found it. Again, rough is there for a challenge, but it makes for a cumbersome roundd when you are looking for 10 minutes for any throw that skips off the fairway. It wouldn't take much work with a weed-eater to rectify this situation.
Hole #18/Flow: Hole #18 does not fit this course. I don't mind having a long hole. I understand that in tourneys, this hole is important because someone could make up a couple of strokes on the final hole. However, the flow leaves you so far away from the parking lot after #17, that #18 has to be long simply to get you back to he parking lot. It has a tricky pin placement by the water, but other than that hole #18 is just boring.
Other Thoughts: Pickard Park is the home of an excellent disc golf course. There are a number of great holes here. Be prepared for a long round as you will likely be looking for a few errant shots,and the course is long. Make sure to stay hydrated as the course seems like a strenuous walk due to length and hilly terrain...or maybe I was just really out of shape when we played here. (It was pushing 100 degrees that day)
If you happen to be in the Des Moines area, make the 30 minute drive south to Indianola and pley this excellent course. It is a fantastic course and worth driving slightly out of the way to play. Give yourself plenty of time and enjoy the terrain. It is a beautiful area. At many public parks, disc golf courses are relegated to the land that simply cannot be used for anything else. Pickard Park breaks this mold. This land is excellent for disc golf and the course is well-suited for the terrain.
Additionally, I lost a disc on this course and was called back two days later by the guy who found it. I add this because there are some really classy people in this area who play disc golf. I travel and play quite often and have found that people in other areas of the country call numbers on found discs much more often than they do in Tennessee. Kudos to the Iowa disc golf scene for encouraging player courtesy.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Very nice, very LOOOONNNNNGGGG
Pros: Excellent baskets and tee pads, good mix of shots, definite pro level challenge as the average distance is probably 450-500 feet on each hole with the monster coming on 18 at 950ish feet, every type of obstacle,
Cons: Long, I've only played it once but I remember I was ready for the round to end, can take a while to play, lots of chances to lose a disc,
Other Thoughts: I definitely want to play this one again sometime, it's one of the "crown jewels" of central Iowa among the disc golf community so I suppose I should play it more than once, solid course
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pickard is a scenic and challenging course set in a nice park just a short drive south of Des Moines. The land given for the course is extremely generous and includes open and wooded areas, a pond, a creek, and lots of elevation. The course has 2 sets of tees with nice signs at both and good baskets.
Hole design is interesting, challenging, and diverse. Hole length is quite diverse ranging from deuce chances to legit pars of greater than 3. You will need to throw shots up, down, level and left, right, straight. Basket placement is the real strength of this course. Many of the holes require a carefully planned and executed tee shot to give yourself a chance at par. Poor tee shots may not find the punishing rough, but may still cost you a shot if you find yourself approaching from the wrong angle.
The park itself is well-kept and appeared to be very safe. Parking was abundant. Near the parking area were restrooms and a picnic pavilion.
Cons: The fairway grass was green and full and pretty, but it needed mowed badly the day I played.
For some- the rough was super thick making it hard to find discs and providing a good chance to lose one.
I did not enjoy #18- super, super long (even from the shorts) for being the final hole. The design did not seem well thought out at this point realizing that there was only 1 hole left to get back to the car. The basket placement was great by the pond, but the hole just seemed long for long's sake. This could have easily been made 2 solid holes, and then to avoid the long walk back to the parking lot there could have been another 1 or 2 holes added for 21 total holes. Or maybe just eliminate #1, which was pretty boring or could be made a practice area. Just a thought, but others may love 18.
This course can get really hot in the summer. There was very little shade, it does not come back to the car until after 18, and the walk after 18 was very long to get back to the car and needed a sign because we ended up taking the wrong trail.
Other Thoughts: We saw a snake on one hole by the creek. In fact, my friend actually put his bag down on it unknowingly and when he reached for his disc he kind of freaked out!
Overall, this is an excellent course that has a lot to offer to players of all skill levels. Advanced players should enjoy playing here, especially from the longer tees. However, the shorter tees provide a good test as well. If you are near Des Moines this course is definitely worth the easy drive out of town.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the pit stop
Pros: A quick search of the courses in Iowa gave me several options for "best course in the country" types. I don't have time to try them all, at least not any time soon, so I just picked one blindly that was mostly on my way to New Orleans. Pickard Park had favorable reviews, sounded challenging, and overall fit what I was looking for. I wasn't disappointed, it was definitely a challenge, the course started quite easy, with the first 11 holes or so being wide open and straight forward with the only obstacle being an occasional tree and a pond. The last 7 holes kicked my ass, but for the most part, it was awesome.
Sports Complex. I call this a pro because the facilities at the beginning are top notch, plenty of parking, even with a softball game going on, bathrooms, a picnic pavilion, dumpster, everything you might expect from a top notch city park sports complex. Though there was people all over the place, none of them really came across the disc golf course, and the occasional cheering was a seemingly invisible crowd watching me sink that birdie putt on 5.
Starting Kiosk. To start off there's a beautiful map (I might suggest taking a cell phone picture of it to help along the way), score cards (at least a mailbox to store score cards in, it was empty when I was there) a practice basket is tucked away behind the pavilion.
Signage. Every hole has a sign at each tee box, with yardage, a map of the hole, and an arrow to the next tee.
Tees. Beautiful cement tee pads on each hole, most have a long and a short tee, one hole has only one tee, and hole 18 has three to choose from. Some of the tee pads are cracked or at a slight angle, but mostly I can't complain one bit about them.
Variety of Holes. In reading reviews regarding this course, I had expected to be entirely wooded after the first 3 holes, this was not the case. About the first 11 holes are mostly wide open, water comes into play, and some of the baskets are tucked into the trees to create slight doglegs. Most of the holes are LONG, I have a big arm and didn't have trouble reaching most of the baskets in 2, but some of the holes are completely ridiculous, hole 18 was a b*tch and a half, it would have been perfect at about half as long. So, in all I appreciated the variety and challenge the holes offered, in my opinion the length could be cut down on a couple holes.
Garbage Cans Every other hole or so had a garbage can, litter was basically nonexistent, and a full dumpster is located in the parking lot.
Lack of People. Are you serious? A beautiful course like this and I am the only person on the course, on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon! I'll take it, but really there should be more people out enjoying this place.
Cons: Length. I suppose I can't really complain, I could have played the short tees. But I have big arm and I found some of the holes completely ridiculous, If I can't reach the basket in two, I can only imagine what it would be like to have a short arm and be playing here.
Beware of Quicksand. Yeah, quicksand, I've come across it in the desert before, I didn't expect to see it in southern Iowa, but there it was. I lost my second throw (hole 11 I think) in the creek, eventually I did find it, had a heck of a time getting to it in - ended up stepping on what looked like a solid sandy/gravel bar in the stream, wasn't solid, ended up ankle deep in sandy muddy crap that flowed into my shoe and made the rest of the holes slightly miserable.
Lost Discs I'm lucky to have the best disc locater money can buy (my dog Forest), he never lets a disc escape. So I didn't lose any, but on nearly every hole I was struggling to find my disc in the long grass, or it disappeared into the trees. Keep an eye on those discs - if I played here more often I'm sure I'd lose several, either in the pond, long grass, or in the woods.
Other Thoughts: A great course, a great challenge. It chewed me up, digested me a bit, vomited a little in its mouth, and then spit me back out in several pieces, I found myself swearing on several holes, and jumping in victory on many others as my risk/reward chance payed off brilliantly. I would suggest going out of your way for this one, it's definitely worth a play. I'm not so sure I'd want to play twice in one day though, I was worked after one round. Check it out if you're in the area!
Today, I'll go with the signature number 5. After getting slapped in the face by hole 4 (my Katana sailed about 150 feet too far, way past the basket - was worried I'd kissed it goodbye, but no, I was in the fairway for hole 5, across the pond from the basket), my heart was pumping when I approached the tee for hole 5. It's a beautiful hole, with an incredible view from the tee, and a 400 some foot bomb over the pond to the basket behind a small inlet. So the question is, do I lay up, do I keep it left, or do I go for the hero shot, I chose the hero shot - a 400 some foot rip out over the pond, a beautiful S-curve, swings and dives about 20 feet from the basket - Thank you Wraith! I was nervous for a moment, but it was a wonderful birdie.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Off The Beaten Path
Pros: This town is not real close to any major towns. However, this course is just what the doctor ordered. This course has long, short, left, right, some elevation, variance in distance, water, some light woods, OB, and a few good pin placements. The risk/reward holes were a real challenge. The par settings are not too bad at this course. Some were really long, but they tried to build some balance. There is a good Message Board, great tee signs, concrete tee pads, bathrooms, trashcans, drinking fountain, and parking lot.
Cons: I despise 3 to 5 feet tall grass rough, because it slows play down with little challenge added. This course has quite a bit of this. The early holes were a little boring and missing the long tee pads, but you could find the location intended. There does seem to be many straight shot driving holes. There is some variety here, but you could feel the "throw straight" feel here.
Other Thoughts: The fun factor here was average for me. It seemed a bit like continuous long bombs for the most part. I will say this was a good course for the area. So if you are close by, I would stop here for sure.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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