The Big Course in Waterloo
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -27 Holes
-Lots of interest on sections of the course (see cons)
-Flow is decent
-Nice views of the Cedar River
Cons: -Sections can get repetitive (especially #18-27)
-Middle 7 can get flooded
-Lots of geese around pond (#3 and #4) and their excrement
-Walking path in play on several holes
-Not much for benches / trashcans
-Only one tee pad per hole but different pars
Other Thoughts: Waterloo Exchange Park DGC plays a tad NW of Downtown Waterloo, IA. A full 27 holes makes it the longest in the state. The course really breaks down to a 10-7-10. The first 10 are an above average park course with a few trees to work around and a large pond to carry (#3) or stay left of (#4). I have seen people swimming for discs all 3 times I've played. A walking path comes into play on a few holes, but the sight lines are good to avoid the pedestrians. The middle 7 are the gem of this course.Out on Robinson Crusoe Island, the terrain is sandy, most of the holes have water in play and there are lots of trees/vegetation to work around. If the river gets up, these become unplayable, but definitely the best of the course. The last 10 are long for a typical park course, but not very imaginative. The are mostly straight with little elevation change and few trees. The walking path comes back into play on a few of these holes as well. A large park that the course utilizes to a great extent, but does play away from most other park activities other than the walking path. The pars are set as 2 different ranges from the same tee pad (eg. Hole #3, 745', Par 6 Am, Par 4 Pro). I would rather see multiple tees. There are also only single pin locations. Second tee pads would add to the rating for me as would some addition of benches and trashcans. This is a long course with little elevation, so it is the distance alone that gets a little taxing, especially for the novice. It take a while for a round, but make time, take a couple of discs you don't mind drinking a little water and enjoy. I will play again.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Great True 27 hole course
Pros: All 27 holes have a cement tee pad. 24 of the holes have a tee sign with hole map, that also shows direction to the next tee pad.
All baskets were durable and in great shape.
Holes vary from 200ft (only 4 holes under 300 on the course) to 750ft!
Navigation was very easy and the park is well maintained!
Cons: There was a little overlap on a few of the holes (hole 1 and 10 tee of in near the same spot, little things like that). The last seven play back and forth across the same grassy area, so wach for discs!
Lots of holes right along walking trails (that play as OB)
So much goose poop around holes 3&4.
Not many trash cans along the way lead to a lot of litter and beer cans, especially in the middle 9.
So much unavoidable sand to walk through on holes 10-16.
Other Thoughts: Definitely a course for your more advanced crowd! Definitely the best course and most unique in the cedar valley! Highly recommended you check it out!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Best course in Waterloo area
Pros: - Excellent signage
- Concrete pads, all in good condition
- 27 total holes
- First 9 are pretty good, several where water is a factor, multiple lines available on most.
- Middle 9 are easily the highlight of course, several demand one particular shape (good to have at least a few holes like that on a course - force a BH or FH from everyone)
- Final 9 are okay, but straightforward
Cons: No design, equipment or course-specific negatives, but a couple things to pass along:
- Some ground maintenance was still in-process (probably flooding damage) when we played, made for some detours or muddy shoes. Not the course's fault, but still impacts play.
- Lots of Canada geese, so be aware (respectful) especially if any young ones around. Just a caution thing, can't control the birds.
Other Thoughts: This is easily the best course in the Waterloo area that we hit on this day trip (about 65 miles away for us). I would make the drive to come back and play this again (along with Deer Park). Those two courses were good fun and worth 2 hours of driving.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is set up in a very nice, multiuse park along the cedar river. There are 27 holes here. There are very nice and level concrete tee pads on all holes. The flow of the course is actually very intuitive and flows pretty seamlessly from one hole to the next. The tee signs here are very well done with the hole number, distance and a pretty solid hole layout. These are really solid metal signs that will and have held up great over time and through rough weather. The baskets are Mach III's that are in pretty good shape, not great, but catch just fine. The course is almost completely flat but water comes into play on a lot of holes. Both the pond and the river need to be accounted for when shot selecting. The course is free to play which is always nice.
Cons: As mentioned earlier, the last nine holes feel kind of tacked on after the fact. It almost feels and really could be played as an entirely separate course. In my opinion the more holes the better, but worth mentioning. A walking trail runs throughout the course so you need to be aware of walkers and bikers. I enjoy water carries as much as anyone but all the holes around the pond are covered in goose poop. This gets annoying to say the least. Not the courses fault but again, worth mentioning.
Other Thoughts: This was a pretty fun course. The peninsula holes were pretty unique and memorable. The first 18 holes are quite enjoyable but the last nine seem to be filler holes. This is definitely worth a stop if you're anywhere near here. Even if you're short on time, you can play any number of holes and still be pretty close to the parking lot.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
You Will Meet Your Waterloo
Pros: The tee signs are excellent and it is a large and beautiful park.
There are some really great holes among the first 9, including a chance for the lefty hyzer to skip down a slope into water on #4 (I took a high route to the left that brought pavement into play).
The course really takes off in the middle portion at around hole 11, which crosses a sliver of river to a guarded green. That is nothing compared to the long 12th, which features an even more guarded upshot to a tiny green. You then move onto a slice of land that extends into the river, with dense tree cover and sandy, eroded ground. This is far and away the most challenging and interesting portion of the course, extending to hole #17, and it is like nothing I've seen anywhere (still need to get to Cape Henlopen).
Cons: It all falls apart after the 18th. Every hole, except for the 21st, is long, open and completely boring. It seems a rather pointless exercise in distance competition. There is a unique and beautiful course from #s 11-17, and a few of the first 10 holes are truly great. It would make far more sense to eliminate the last 9 holes--there is some issue with this being a multi-use park with small children present in that area--and to perhaps restructure the first 10 slightly (and the 18th is fine).
Other Thoughts: I think this could be a really great 4.0-4.5 rated course if it were simply 18 holes and if those holes were built around the amazing interior of the course that already exists.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Test Your Grit!
Pros: -27 Holes!
-Nice tee signs
-Provides a very tough challenge to players of all skill levels
-Tests every type of shot in your arsenal
-Tee pads are very nice and grippy
-Beautiful use of landscape to provide challenge, well designed
-Made to test both your distance bombs and short game
-Middle 9 holes are in a sort of serene "wooded beach" area, Absolutely beautiful and very peaceful view of the Cedar River
-Baskets are all in very nice shape
-Grass was in good condition and had been mowed
-Lots of parking
-Easy to find
-Lots of trash cans
-Easy to find the next hole
-Not a whole lot of potential to lose a disc
Cons: -Very trashy. Lots of trash laying around, especially around and in the pond on the front 9.
-Located in exchange park, a common place for parents and children to play allowing pedestrians and park go'ers to get in the way at times.
-I don't remember any restrooms (I may be wrong)
-Can get very windy at times when approaching the river
-Not meant for a quick round, took me the best of an hour and a half, almost two hours, by myself, to finish a round of 27 holes.
Other Thoughts: My visit to Exchange Park was a fun one! It was very quiet when I got there about mid day and it was only me and a few other families enjoying the park, me, being the only one disc golfing at the time. My favorite part of the course is the middle 9 holes (Holes 10-18) They go back into a part of the park where the trees are very dense and it makes for some tough lines and difficult shots! The ground is covered with sand instead of dirt because of the proximity of the area to the edge of the river. It's a very cool site to see.
My favorite hole, Hole 3, is a par 4-pro/6-am, that plays a lay up shot (or two) to the edge of a big pond, then you have to throw between a large willow and a large oak to the other side of the pond, totaling up to be about 750ish feet. Very clever design and a fun one at that!
I recommend stopping by Exchange Park if you are in the area, bring plenty of water, as it is over 2 miles of hiking while playing, and a LOT of throwing. Very fun atmosphere and I plan to come back in the near future to play!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Longest Holes in the Cedar Valley
> 27 holes!
> Good variety. There are woods to explore, tree branches to shoot under, ponds/rivers to avoid, etc.
> I love the middle 9. Playing on sand while in the woods is an interesting experience
> Longest holes in the cedar valley.
> Well maintained. Not a lot of trash lying around.
> Excellent signage.
> Concrete Tees. Tees are flat so you don't have standing water.
> Good scenery. The course is next to the baseball diamond, skatepark, and softball fields. Often there are people having picnics in the shelters so watch your throws.
> The pond is pretty nasty at times. There is dead fish and goose poop everywhere.
> The pond has taken 2 of my discs so far. You have to be cautious when throwing around it (or over it if you are daring enough). Bring your disc fishing pole if you have one.
> The final 9 holes are pretty straight forward, not as much variation as the first 18.
One of my favorite courses to play in the cedar valley (ties with Deerwood). Exchange Park is a challenging course with plenty of variation to keep things interesting.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
The Loo's Best
- Concrete tee pads. Tees are level and grippy, which comes in handy on days like I played the course when it's wet and rainy.
- Outstanding layout. The first 9 incorporates all facets of your game and the park really well, giving you elevation changes (however slight), water shots, ace runs and long bombs. The middle 9 tests your accuracy in the woods with very technical, often precarious lines near the river. The finishing 9 allows you to work on and/or showcase your distance in straight shots in an open field. Truly a very interesting 27 holes.
- Really decent amenities around the park with baseball/softball fields, a skatepark, basketball courts, etc. Kids and non-disc golfers will have no trouble finding something that interests them while you play your round.
- Decent equipment. The baskets seem a little dated -- Mach IIs, I believe they are -- but they catch well and have held up nicely in the often flooded Cedar Valley. Signage is adequate as well, providing both easy navigation and suggested pars for both pro and amateur players.
- Cool locals. Met up with Nate (aka "namar" on DGCR), the local course wizard who was kind enough to show me the lines and even trade DGCR tags. Told me about the leagues around Black Hawk County and the annual tournament in July. Almost makes a brother want to plan another trip back to the old hometown in the warmer months. Almost.
- Not a lot of trash cans around, which accounts for the garbage strewn around the course. This is a great park -- the best park in Waterloo, IMHO -- and is worth keeping clean. More trash cans available along the disc golf course would help in that regard.
- Goose poo. Everywhere. Watch your step.
- No topless Hooters girls frolicking along the #8 fairway.
Being born and raised in Waterloo, I joined the Navy to get out of Iowa because there was nothing to do. Took me 20 years after high school to get into disc golf and when I finally did I was introduced to the game in North Carolina, a state some consider is arguably the "Mecca" of disc golf.
Now that I'm a full-blown, four-alarm neurotic addict of the Game of Plastic, I can't believe what my hometown had available for me that I never took advantage of. Spent a good chunk of my adolescence at Exchange Park and never knew this was here....to MY detriment. Having cut my disc golf teeth at Castle Hayne I was skeptical that Exchange would live up to its DGCR rating, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is an absolutely outstanding course that any golfer (regardless of ability) should instantly love. It's got just about everything you could want in a course. If you're planning a trip to or through Waterloo, do yourself a favor and check out Exchange Park. It's even made this die-hard Waterloo expatriate start to re-evaluate his opinion of his home state. In short, Exchange Park is well worth the stop out of your way.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Favorite hometown course!
- 27 holes on a huge space
- great mix of long & short holes
- a few unique hole layouts
- middle 9 (island) is wooded and runs along the river
- hole #3 (pond) & #19 (frankenstein) both 600ft+
- teepads all in good condition
- decently scenic
- recently renovated shelters
- lots of parking
- right across the street from Riverfront Stadium (great for catching a baseball game after a round or 2 in the summer)
Cons: no major cons
- not much elevation is the only downside to round play
- the city will sometimes go a couple weeks without mowing
- geese do get annoying & are very messy near the pond area
- hole #4 basket has some chains missing
- some holes are missing signs
- sometimes trash will find its way around the course from other areas of the park
- flooding occurs occasionally
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
best in town
Pros: -27 holes laid out in a trio of 9-hole loops
-nice big concrete pads, baskets are all in pretty good shape
-nice teepad signs with useful info
-lots of room to air it out, especially on the final 9
-layout is pretty big, but flows well from hole to hole
Cons: -goose shiz EVERYWHERE, don't wear new shoes or bring a new towel
-the final 9 can get repetitive, but only if you're not throwing well!
-flood-ravaged course seems to change every year or two
Other Thoughts: This course is laid out so one can play 9, 18 or all 27 holes and end up reasonably close to your starting point. The front 9 play park-style, with caution required around the bike/jogging paths and the disc-eating pond. The middle 9 (island) offers some serious birdie potential if you can keep your lines tight, as it plays almost entirely in the trees. The final 9 is wiiiiiide open, and where the big arms will make up some strokes as most holes are in the 350-400ft range.
The best variety in town is found at Exchange, with places to use most discs in your bag and most throws you have. If you're just stopping through and have time for 1 round, it should be here.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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