Van Meter, IA 
Johnson Park DGC Share
Uploaded By: yearofrolling Hole #1 (Taken 5/2010)
3 / 135ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #1 Tee & Sign

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Reviews: 10
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Hilly Little Recreational Couse Packs A Punch!

1    8/10/2016   8/13/2016
Review By: The Valkyrie Kid
Played: 1167  Reviewed: 1115  Exp: 39.4 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Johnson Park in the Des Moines suburb of Van Meter is a small, very hill city park. This hilly terrain makes for an excellent vehicle to house the disc golf course here. With the short lengths (only # 9 is
longer tthan 200'), one would think this would be a great beginner course. However, I see it's niche as a fun, little pitch and putt for rec players with a little experience. I think the semi-narrow fairways and thick, tall rough would not be condusive to players just learning to control their discs. This course bring nothing but frustration for beginners.

The course has the basic course rules sign, the old school fiberglass tee signs and Mach III baskets. The course uses grass for tee pads but the apparent lack of use has left the tee pad areas in good shape, no ugly ruts, etc.

ACE runs are possible on every hole starting with the simple little 135' # 1 which requires just a simple, little hyser. I thought # 7 was a classic, short hole, just 100', but straight up a steep little hill. And then the only hole with any distance, # 9, is 425' down a small hill. It just takes about a 200' drive to clear the tall grass and weeds on the first half of the hole before reaching the open fairway part of the hole.
Cons: Some players will, no doubt, be frustrated with the very deep and thick areas just off some fairways.

Short distances are not challenging. Think, short distances equal short ACE runs.

Grass tee pads.
Other Thoughts: As everyone agrees, Johnson Park DGC, is just a great little throw. The design is good with fun, creative little holes. This is the type of course, that if I lived close, I could imagine showing up everyday chasing those ACEs.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Worth the trip

1    7/28/2016   7/28/2016
Review By: Jmsbomer
Played: 49  Reviewed: 5  Exp: 22.4 Years
This review was updated on 7/30/2016
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I thought this course was underrated by previous reviewers. Here is my pros.
You can carry 5 discs and manage the course.
I like the narrow fairways and the very high ROUGH. No poison oak that I could see.
One hole is only 100 feet. But if u throw a putter and it goes hyzer on you, it lands down the hill for a 35 foot birdie putt.
Very clean. Porta potty close by. Some holes could have some challenging winds to factor in.
Easy pars for newbies while more experienced players can try and rack up birdies.
Cons: Some of the holes can be tricky to find. Hole 8 tee pad close to play ground. If the park is busy that could be a pain.
Someone needs to trim back some of the trees that are close to the baskets. I like to be challenged, but I feel if u park your tee shot within 20 feet of the basket you should not have to mess with low hanging branches that could interfer with the flight of your disc.
Other Thoughts: I think they did great job in the design of the course with what they had to work with. Some smaller cities in states outside Iowa would live to have course like this!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

 Packed with Fun

1    8/30/2014   8/30/2014
Review By: Dsjoats
Played: 144  Reviewed: 14  Exp: 3.4 Years
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Easy to navigate.
Lots of Ace runs.
Great use of hills and trees.
The course designer built a very fun course in a very small space.
Not crowded.
Cons: #7 was a little hard to find.
No concrete tee boxes.
Other Thoughts: This is a very short course, but I would not consider it beginner friendly as the fairways are narrow and the rough is very long. If you live close by, consider yourself lucky as this is a nifty little course that is fun to play.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  Course for beginners

5+    7/26/2013   7/30/2013
Review By: davo
Played: 1  Reviewed: 1
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Short course if you're restricted on time
-Being a hometown boy from there, I go there the most because it's close
-Hard to lose discs as long as you have a little bit of control
-Not incredibly long holes so you don't necessarily strain your arm
-Baskets are easy to find
-Boards have been put in the ground to determine where tees are
-Fun and very relaxing to play with one or two people
-Hole 5 makes you be careful with and work on your approach
-Not usually very busy
-Houses are out of range of being hit
Cons: -Isn't mowed except for fairways
-Can be tiring going up and down the hills
-Holes 3 and 9 can be easily thrown into the pasture next door
-Only hole nine really allows you to work on your distance drives
Other Thoughts: This is a great course to just go and practice at. I may be a bit biased towards it being from there, but there's no doubt that it is a quality course that is definitely worth the trip.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 Short but fun

1    6/7/2012   6/13/2012
Review By: mndiscg
Played: 365  Reviewed: 358  Exp: 9.4 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Many chances for an ace. 8 holes out of 9 to be exact.
-Nice baskets
-Signage is decent and lets you know how short the holes really are.
-Elevation can make this course difficult if you overshoot on a failed ace run
-Great for beginners or a quick practice round for veteran players. It is a great course to practice up and downhill approaches. Can be played in about 20 minutes.
-Bathroom near parking lot
-Probably not busy, this course looks pretty good. If it were used a lot I could see erosion being a problem.
-Nicely mowed and upkept. Good, clean city park atmosphere.
-You probably won't lose a disc here.
Cons: -Natural tees, you don't need much of a run up on most holes though so it doesn't matter too much.
-Very short
-Not too many obstacles on most holes
-Layout could be a little better. You kind of do a figure 8 type of motion with the holes. It could be worse though.
Other Thoughts: This course may not be the best designed or have the best extras around the course but it does have a lot of ace runs and elevation. Those are both something that I enjoy in a course. If you come to Van Meter expecting to use your Bob Feller type arm then keep it in the bag until hole number 9. Even that one is downhill so 425 feet doesn't seem so long. I would stop off I80 to play this course. It is nothing too special as evidenced by my 2.5 disc rating but it does have a different feel from most disc golf courses. It could probably even be played as a mini course.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 Great Beginner Course

5+    7/9/2012   7/14/2011
Review By: firebird33
Played: 11  Reviewed: 3
This review was updated on 7/9/2012
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Great beginners course
-Well marked out and mapped
-Perfect to work on your pitch and putt
-Well mowed on the fairway
-Clean facility
-Perfectly mapped out on the little space available
-They have put up flags orange flags now to represent teebox's on hole 3,4,5,6, and 7 that are further back is known as the "men's tee"
-Can go through this course more then once in a hour for 18 holes
-All different types of shots now with the new men's tees
Cons: -On holes 2,3,4,7, and 8 there is little room for error, otherwise you are searching the weeds for your disc
-It is a little to small of a course
-They don't mow except on the fairway.
-Some holes you may throw and have to look in a pasture
Other Thoughts: The course is a fun course to go to and measure the skills of your pitch and putt. Plus with the courses in Adel and Waukee it is a good to put confidence in your game. Would like to see the weeds get mowed down more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

 Perfect way to kill 45 minutes

1    5/26/2010   5/26/2010
Review By: dustbuster232000
Played: 30  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 17.4 Years
Pros: Interesting layout, quick and clean. Good place to start kids playing. Good elevation changes. If park is empty you can make up some great shots.
Cons: No defined tee box's
Other Thoughts: Even just a half buried four by four would be enough for a tee box.

 good, short DGC

1    5/25/2010   5/25/2010
Review By: yearofrolling
Played: 81  Reviewed: 17  Exp: 20.4 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fun use of elevation changes (holes 3,4,6,7).
Good use of trees (1,2,3,8).
Nice baskets (DGA Mach 3).
Grass tees in good shape (low traffic).
Adequate sinage.
Classic Iowa scenery.
Well maintained; mowed, no garbage.
Great landscaping and bridges.
Lots of benches and sheltered picnic tables.
Water fountain and portable toilet.
Cons: Dedicated tee-off areas would be nice, but I see why they left them out.
A Course map would be nice but the flow is pretty intuitive.
Some players will not be challenged by the lack of distance.
Other Thoughts: I'm not going to complain about location of this course or the length.
For the small space allotted, I think this course is quite good.
In the past few weeks I've played Prairie City DGC, Crivaro Park, Dallas Center's Eagle DGC and now Johnson Park in Van Meter. I liked Johnson Park the best.
The neighborhood kids that grow up playing this course will be putting 200' approach shots right up to the basket; and that's where the game is won.
If the holes were double (or sometimes triple) the length that they are this course would attract all kinds of attention because of its mindful and creative layout, good use of trees and elevation and nice scenery.
There's no reason not to try this course if you're driving through the area, unless you really need to unleash your driver on every hole.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.


2-4    8/14/2009   8/17/2009
Review By: jdggna
Played: 23  Reviewed: 13  Exp: 11.6 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: An easy, non-daunting course for people who haven't played before.
You can work on your short game.
Quick play time for a short round.
Water, benches, and a port-a-potty are on site.
Cons: Extremely short. Most holes are 200 feet or less.
Almost all holes are straight lines to the pin.
Won't keep people entertained if they've played other courses.
Other Thoughts: This course is a pitch 'n' putt. First time I played it I brought my putter and mid. After that, just the putter. I finished the course in 15 minutes last time I played it.
Currently there are no tees poured, but they are marked. The grass hasn't been mowed well yet either, though it isn't very long.

If long tees get placed I'll be updating this. It has potential to be a 2-3 disc course if it gets updated/redone.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Beginner Course

5+    8/12/2009   8/13/2009
Review By: Airfishey
Played: 87  Reviewed: 11  Exp: 12.4 Years
This review was updated on 6/27/2017
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A good course to teach somebody what disc golf is and how to play.
-Extremely hard to lose a disc.
-Can be played in 20 minutes
-Signs show pin distance and where the next tee is.
-Drinking fountain/spicket on site
-Small shelter in park
-Talk of adding pro-tees is circulating.
-Makes good use of the small park with lots of elevation change.
Cons: -There is only 1 hole thats 300+ feet and thats hole 9 at 400-some feet.
-Not very difficult for people who've played disc golf even a few times.
Other Thoughts: This is a pitch and putt course. Most players will be able to use a putter and midrange for 8 out of the 9 holes. Hole 9 is over 400 feet. There is a good amount of elevation change. There is a walking path that goes around the small pond. Long tee signs will be going in soon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

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