Johnston, IA

Lew Clarkson Park

3.255(based on 2 reviews)
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Lew Clarkson Park reviews

15 0
Experience: 4 played 4 reviews
3.50 star(s)

A gem of a short course.

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:May 14, 2023 Played the course:5+ times


Johnston tends to do things right, and this is a great example. This course fills a niche for those that want a quick game. The location is convenient for a lot of areas. It's a mostly wooded course that could be completed over a lunch hour with a friend in about forty minutes. (Try that at Walnut Woods or a trip to the East Side.)

The tees, holes, and signage are all nice. The combination of woods, stream, and Beaver Creek are all scenic. There's some challenging shots too.


Mud in the spring. Given the new course construction, wooded area, and grasses not established yet, consider wearing old shoes if there has been recent rains.

Number seven is right behind the ball field fences, so you may want to keep an eye out for home runs over the fence. Also, spectators walk and even sit on hole seven.

Hole nine is trickier than it seems. You will have to go around the obstacle of trees in the middle of the fairway. If you go right, the edge of the creek is closer than it seems, which sends even experienced players into the water.

You may not know where you are after completing hole nine the first time. Just keep going straight on the walk in between the ball fields on the sidewalk, and you'll end up at the parking lot again. (Signage here would help.) This area is circus of activity if a game is going on.

Other Thoughts:

It's a great, nine hole course in a convenient location.
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14 0
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 8.8 years 325 played 248 reviews
3.00 star(s)

A 9 where there are not many

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 5, 2023 Played the course:5+ times


-Concrete tees
-Decent baskets
-Mix of technical / open
-Quick round


-Basic signage (hole, distance, odd arrow of line...sort of)
-Can get busy
-#7 works along the back of 2 softball fields
-Long walk back from #9 to where you parked near #1

Other Thoughts:

Lew Clarkson Park hosts a good DGC in the southern part of Johnston, IA. The majority of this park is 4 softball fields, but the course winds through some woods and behind a couple of these fields. There is a small stream to work around (sometimes dry) on #1, #2 and #6. #3 and #4 are more open. #5 is a sharp right turn just before the basket (although going through the trees before the leaves have filled in works, too). There have been issues with #7 as it works along the back of two of the softball fields. I haven't had problems, but there are already stories of parents using the #7 tee pad to set up their camping chairs to watch games. A little courtesy goes both ways on that one. #8 finishes back in trees and #9 is along a larger stream, so stay left, but there is a decent fairway to accomplish that. There are many courses in the Des Moines area, but really, not many 9ers. This fills a bit of a hole in that stance. It's not overly taxing on length (at just under 2300') and playable for many skill levels. There is quite a walk back to the parking near #1. I have heard rumblings about filling this up to 18, not sure that's needed here. If you're there on a weekend, especially with games going on, you'll probably have to deal with #7 or skip it altogether. Other than that, it's a great 9er to get in a quick round in an evening. I'll definitely be playing again.
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