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.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: This course has everything. There is water that comes into play, elevation, wooded holes, and LONG holes. It's been mowed every time I played it.
Cons: The woods are very thick and eat discs. I don't knock points off for this because it's part of the game.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the best in the State of Iowa and should be played if your coming through.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Nice long course
Pros: Excellent course for long distance accurate drives. Lots of ups and downs wide open fairways. Very fun to play.
Other Thoughts: Played course on a very windy 15-25 mph and cool 52 degrees day. Still one of my favorite courses ever played.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
is this heaven? no its pickard
Pros: great course in a nice big park... two pads for almost every hole. good variety of left to right uphill,and down hill shots. elevation was used to its fullest, and water holes.... good par 4 and 5 holes, i played the longs and felt this was the better layout for the overall course
Cons: not enough trashcans, the coures dint loop back to the lot til the end.
Other Thoughts: this is my top course to play when in the des moines area. great design and beauty are seen throughout the course. loved it cant wait to get back
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
The Gem of Des Moines
Pros: Great risk and reward; Great selection of shots
Good mix of long and short - open and wooded - You get to shoot over water!
The layout good; there's never a walk from hole to hole that seems reeeeally too far
Signage is good - Teepads are good - Baskets are great
Fun use of elevation on many holes.
Cons: The OB and rough can be thick in places.
It was pretty wind the day I played and it made a few holes really challenging.
I didn't have to go into the water, thank God, which was very scummy.
I'm not sure of the chances of pulling a shot out of there.
Other Thoughts: I wish I would've known just how many blind shots there are here,
you really need to spot your shot carefully.
There were many times when I had no idea where I was supposed to throw.
This course plays pretty well in the fall.
I ended up in tall grass and woods plenty and found my wayward throws pretty quickly.
Having played Blue Ribbon Pines and the Highbridge Complex I can comfortably rate this course as highly as I did.
There isn't a better disc golf experience in the DSM area.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Very long tees and good baskets
-good variety off shots (up hill and down hill)
-good variety of open and wooded holes
-long and challenging holes with a mix of easier shorter holes
-multiple tees so that it can be played by people with all skill levels
-there were some really fun holes because the layout was really well done
-score cards and maps by the hole one tee
Cons: -the holes around the pond leave the pond in play (It is a very gross looking pond and I would never want to go swimming there)
-The course was a little too long and I think that it would have benefited from having more short skill shots.
-many holes that the only obstilces are weeds which open up all sorts of opportunities to lose a disc and only make the course more frusturating
Other Thoughts: If you play from the pro tees all day then this course becomes a little long and the end starts to drag out. But overall this is a very good course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
An absolute Iowa masterpiece
Pros: Probably the most complete layout I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Pickard has everything. Disc golf dedicated land, multiple tees with great distance variation, a nicely jumbled mix of long and short holes, tall grass rough, dense trees, tucked pins, forced layups, several risk/reward opportunities, water hazards, unforgiving woods, uphill, downhill (sometimes in the same hole), even some ace runs from the short tees. True Par 4 and 5 holes. Terrific signage showing the hole layout at both tee boxes. Its in small town Iowa, so you can count on there not being a lot of traffic.
Cons: Probably not the best course to bring your kids or newbies to. Even the short layout here is challenging. Only a single pin position on each hole. Plenty of places to lose a disc, so I'd recommend using a spotter. Hole #1 is a tad dangerous with the parking lot in the line of fire. On the woodsier holes, the Chainstars do blend into the scenery a bit, and I wish they could be made more prominent with color or flags on top.
Other Thoughts: I thought long and hard before doling out the '5' here, my first in the 66 courses I've reviewed. I was impressed by Pickard when I played it on my recent trip, but wanted to get a couple of the gem Twin Cities courses (Bryant Lake & Blue Ribbon Pines) under my belt to test as a comparison, to see which of the three stacked up best, and while I enjoyed them all, Pickard IMO, made me think about my shot selection the best, and punished me for mistakes. I've heard the legend of this course for a number of years now, and have played the Des Moines area courses on several occasions, but due to Pickard's out of the way location, never made my way down to Indianola to play it. I'm glad I finally made the trip.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
The Best of the Best
Pros: How do I begin to describe the beauty of playing disc golf in Pickard Park...Lets start by reminding folks it was designed by the Woman's World Champion Julianna Korver...Trust me when I tell you she knows how to design a top notch course...
The flow of the course is what stands out to me when I try to compare this place to other courses I've played...It starts out with an opportunity to warm up your arm with two should be birdie holes...Then the course starts stretching out, a trend you'll find on a number of holes out here...
The flow moves from short, position type shots to longer par 4's and 5's in places...this constant stretching and shrinking really keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking about each shot...There are no real gimmies out here (hole 2 is possibly the only one)
Hole 14 stands out in my mind as the most picturesque hole on the course...looking down the fairway to a basket tucked into the woods and behind a ravine is hard to describe...but once you step up to the tee pad you'll know what I'm trying to describe...There are plenty of other places for photo ops out there but this is one hole I'll never forget...
Amenities are top notch
Huge course with variety of shots
Gorgeous Iowa prairie and rolling hills
Never very busy as its about 25 minutes from Des Moines
Cons: NONE WHATSOEVER
(no smoking in the park but that's only a con if you smoke)
Other Thoughts: Play it if your ever in the area...you will not regret the decision...and bring plenty of water in the summertime...I think there may be a spigot or two out there but water will keep you moving up and down the hills
6 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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in Central Iowa
Pros: Beautiful Course.
Very long course, yet most holes provide good risk/reward scenarios (Not a grip 'n' rip course).
From the short tees the course becomes accessible to beginners and "smaller" arms.
Restrooms/Water at the beginning.
Good course map at the beginning.
Phenomenal use of land, elevation, water, etc.
Holds a secluded feel for most of the course.
Cons: Parking lot is very close to the first hole's fairway (I've seen cars hit before).
The pond looks fairly nasty from time to time (usually near hole 18, not hole 5).
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area, I highly recommend this course (more so than Ewing or Walnut Ridge). It is long, and you should count on it being that way when you get there. This course is huge, but there are more than enough technical shots to balance it out. The quality of this course outshines any of the cons.
Get a map from the Links/Files section, just in case.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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