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Fort Madison, IA

Rodeo Park - Pioneer Trail

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3.645(based on 7 reviews)
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Rodeo Park - Pioneer Trail reviews

1 2
Experience: 14 years 8 played 8 reviews
2.00 star(s)

Overgrown Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 3, 2013 Played the course:once


-signs made it easy to navigate from hole to hole
-doesn't lack a challenge in this thick wooded course


-The start of the course is not well marked at all, it's hidden behind ball field.
-Signs didn't mark what par each hole was
-Fields were not mowed so made walking hole #2 horrible in tall grass (easy to lose disc)

Other Thoughts:

Just not well kept in general. Needs overall better markings. Not for the new player either since it's all in thick woods with lots of obstacles.
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5 0
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 21.2 years 250 played 34 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Little of everything 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 17, 2012 Played the course:5+ times


-Uses a variety of shots. About 4 holes where you can air it out and many that cut thru the trees. A couple of uphill holes and a couple of downhill holes.
-The brush and the tall grass are now bearable. When the course was first built, I used to only play the course in the spring or fall, but now they cut the grass shorter on hole 8 (no longer 2 feet) and much of the weeds in the woods are less dense, probably because of use.
-I love how the creek is used. Usually its just a trickle so there is no worries about losing a disc, but it will run heavy after a lot of rain. Erosion has created taller walls you may have to throw over.
-If you like endurance courses, this would be a pro. Some hills are quite steep.
-Option to make it a 36 hole course
-Bad shots are punished in the woods


-Signs could be better. I think the one for hole one is gone, if so its right behind the shelter house, look for the concrete pad. Basket is in the skinny trees to the right edge of the tree line. Orange post shows where there is an opening.
-Wouldn't recommend playing it if it is wet or muddy
-Blind shots are fun if you know what to look for, but could be frustrating to first timers.
-Beware of poison ivy

Other Thoughts:

-Hole 4 is a blind shot that follows the path which doglegs right. Don't be afraid to cut thru the woods because even if u hit a tree you may still roll down. Beware if you overthrow the path behind the hole. Not fun to look for a disc.
-Like the other course, you wont be able to play half the holes during rodeo (Labor Day weekend thru the following Sunday).
-With the new bypass, the course is easier to get to (don't have to drive through town!!) Just take the rodeo park exit.
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3 1
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.1 years 40 played 39 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Quite surprised 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 11, 2010 Played the course:once


Concrete tee pads. Much needed benches around course to sit down on and recover, not take a break but recover, from some of the holes with extreme elevation changes. Another great DG park on same grounds.

Several holes that throw with and across the creek. Mix of open and wooded holes. Great use of natural elevation. Great challenge, even on some of the more open holes, the distances and terrain still make par a challenge. Many holes start out tight, then open up, then several just the opposite. Lots of blind and protected pins.

Another course where a multitude of throws will be reflected in your score. If you can accurately throw left to right, right to left, and so on, you'll have a chance for some descent scores.


Signs. Really would have made a huge difference in the "feel" of the course. I managed navigation ok, but I had to review back to this website and the photos on my blackberry several times to make sure I was throwing the correct hole.

I didn't appreciate the long grassy fairway on hole 8, I like the shot, but all the thick knee to waist high grass isn't fun to look for discs in.

Maintenance on the open holes seems fine, but not as good in the wooded areas. It looks like some storms washed out the bridges, it wasn't impossible to get around, but the bridges would have been a plus.

Other Thoughts:

I had some difficulty finding where to start on hole 1. I couldn't find the basket, even when I was a few feet away, I still couldn't see it. Once I got going, I had a blast. It will really wear you out though. This course teases you with the first few holes, but once you get in, wow, you're in for a challenge and a work out at the same time. This is not a family friendly course.

I don't recommend taking youngsters along, as there are many steep hills and a creek to cross. You will get dirty and muddy after a rain. Hole 14 is so steep, that even with steps, there is a rope to assist you. At first I thought that's dumb, but after about 5 to 10 steps, I found out why that's there and yes I used it. That is definitely a hole that you don't want to miss your putt at the top and have to walk all the way back down and start over.

There are a few deuceable holes, but most will fight you back on your way to get par. For reference: I think the wooded holes on this course are very similar to the wooded holes on Camden 2 in Milan, Ill. When playing it I almost felt I was there, but C2 didn't have as many open holes.
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6 0
Experience: 44.2 years 136 played 15 reviews
3.50 star(s)

awesome course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 3, 2010 Played the course:5+ times


every shot in your bag is needed for this golf course. in and out of woods, up and down hills, always wind next to the river on this sometimes hard but fair course. next to the older 18 hole course called rodeo scenic which is completly different than pioneer. 2 good courses in a small town like this, you cant beat it.


there have been times when the grass is 2 feet tall in areas on this course making you have to look fairly hard for the disc sometimes.. but lately it seems that hasnt been an issue.

Other Thoughts:

it will take you a little longer the 1st time you play since the signs arent so great and on the blind holes you need to know exactly where the pin is. play both courses side by side you wont be disappointed.and more courses just 20 minutes from ft. madison, north and south.
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9 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19.7 years 131 played 110 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Break out the Hiking gear 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 16, 2013 Played the course:2-4 times


This course is a course that will separate the men from the boys.
-Varying terrain and ecological elements
sometimes you're deep in the woods, sometimes you're in a field. Sometimes you are climbing/hiking up and down very steep hills! As well as playing in a rugged creek bed, at the bottom of these hills. Spectacular scenery!
-Painted neonish baskets, which can be easily seen. As they need to be on this course.
-Cement Tee Boxes
-Very challenging course physically and strategically. I like that!
- Gives the option of playing the "Scenic Drive at Rodeo Park" course, to make it a 36 hole course.
- There is a rope to help you climb up one of the hills.
- Use of different strategies on different holes.
- Very good use of the terrain! I felt like Indiana Jones at one point.
-Just about every type of strategy shot you can think of, balanced out with some nice distance holes.


2 Cons which I felt would have made a tremendous difference. The first thing is "First time frustration". The navigation will be brutal if this is your first trip. The signs need to be updated! Some signs are blank with no map, others had a vague map layout. There were a couple times we had to restart the hole because it looked like the map was telling us the basket was in one place, when it was really in another.
Pin Placement- Although I love a challenge, maybe I'll feel different the next time I play this course. The baskets were in locations that were hard to find, because you had to assume the placement using vague maps! After trekking up and down these hills, and discovering that the basket was not where you thought it was gets irritating after while. Remember the Rope statement from above? If the maps were more accurate, I probably wouldn't have been as irritated with the pin placement.

Other Thoughts:

First and foremost, the person that said you need to be in shape for this course was accurate! You will be doing A LOT of hill climbing and climbing over downed trees. Count on it! Think of this course as Disc Golf hiking! It would behoove you to wear hiking shoes.
If you can hook up with a local and/or someone that knows the course, by all means do it. This course can be rough for a first timer with no help and bad maps. Trust me!

Here is a little tip to remember: Hole number 4, (the first one that goes into the woods) you'll see the path that goes down the hill. The basket is not along the path. As you look down the path, the basket is to the right of the trail. If the trail is 12 o clock, then the basket is between 1 and 2 o clock, through the woods. To see it you have to go to the bottom of the hill, and look back. It's hidden! Plus it's a long walk up and down that hill, just to find the basket. If they improve the signage, then the pin placement wouldn't be that much of a problem. I would say that is making the difference between a 4 star and 4.5. ...possibly a 5. But not knowing where you are going gets VERY frustrating and reduces the fun factor!

UPDATE:January 27, 2010 I just got done playing 9 of the18 holes on this course for the second time. (I had to squeeze in a round) I had a blast playing it, and it wasn't hard to navigate on the second time having played it before. I'm trying to figure out how to work in another trip to this course. I wish they would put in a course map, because it would help. As well as having all the footage posted on the signs. On my return trip I knew where I was going, and I knew where the baskets were. This made the course much more enjoyable!

TIP:07/2013 If you are playing the 36 hole round, but would like to shorten it a bit, once you finish 5, follow the creek up a bit and you'll find the 12th teepad. I accidentally stumbled across this little shortcut.
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7 0
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 24.2 years 76 played 23 reviews
4.00 star(s)

This hidden gem could use some love 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 8, 2007 Played the course:once


This was a very fun and very challenging course for me. It had a good mix of wooded holes, and long open drives when going through the course. The elevation changes and tight holes that you have to maneuver the disc through just makes the course memorable. The blind tee shots make for a pro as well as a con. There are many things to this course that I really liked:
-Tight Fairways
-Massive Elevation changes in tight settings
-Water Hazards
-Open to closed shots, as well as the other way around

Most holes had at least one of these fun assets to them. The holes were a good mix of long and short throws, doglegs and straight shots.


Despite the praise I've given in Pros, there are definite cons. This course has a very very unforgiving rough, and the signage is bad. I played a tourney with people that knew the layout so I got around fine, but I can see a person that is new to the course getting lost. The blind tee shots are a ton of fun, but it slows down play when someone new to the course has to walk up and find the basket on a majority of wooded holes.

-Slow play due to layout

Other Thoughts:

If this course were given the proper love and attention, I think it could easily make a 4.5 star course, but as of last time I was there in late summer of 2007, the signage and maintenance needed quite a bit of work.

I was tempted to put the following as a con, but it's what makes the course fun.

-Any person that isn't very physically fit will have a hard time getting around the course

This course is a hike as well as a disc golf course, but it should not be a con, just a warning.
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9 1
Keokuk Discer
Experience: 18.2 years 53 played 22 reviews
4.00 star(s)

A Hike in the Woods 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jun 28, 2009 Played the course:5+ times


This is considered a professional course in the area. It is set mainly in the woods and except for about 4 holes, that's where you will be for most of the time. There is a lot of elevation change and it is used to good effect. This course will definately reward good players and punish bad ones. There are concrete tee pads are at each tee and there is an area right after hole 12 that you can cross over and play Scenic Drive then return to finish Pioneer for a total of 36 holes in one day. Some holes have a bench to rest on and it is needed after some of the holes.


If you are not familiar with the course, the layout can be a little confusing and tee areas not well marked. The wind comes into play on holes 2 and 8 more often than not.

Other Thoughts:

This is not a course for beginners or anyone that is not is good health. Being placed in a dense woods, it takes every trick you have to shoot under par consistantly. Be careful because a creek comes into play on at least three of the holes.
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