Go For the Gold!
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Concrete tees for most (missing on #8 and #11)
-Very varied terrain, used well
-Favorite is #8, float down for a birdie
-Dual tees on majority give access to multiple skill levels
-Park upkeep was good
Cons: -Working over the kame 3 times is exhausting for old, out of shape guy *raises hand*
-Walking path in play on #1, #12 Gold
-#9 is a totally blind shot over the kame
Other Thoughts: Okoboji Gold DGC is located in Kenue Park in the western part of Okoboji, IA. The area is more known for the "Iowa Great Lakes" for all kinds of tourist and recreational opportunities. While the park is only about half a mile from West Lake Okoboji, there is no sight of it here, even from on top. The eastern part of the park has a 30ish foot high kame that the course works over twice and up and down the western face two times. The course starts "easy" with the first 5 holes under 325' (240' from White) each. There is a Mando on #2 that really only comes into play on the right from the Gold tee. #6 starts 2 boomer holes at 665'. #7 extends that to 935' (710' from White). Now the kame comes into play. A gorgeous shot from the top down the other side for #8. A totally blind shot over the kame for #9. #10 and #11 play up and down the west side. The finish for #13 is up the kame and #14 tees back down the west side. The last 4 play back in the meadow area to finish back up toward the bathrooms. There is a walking trail that comes into play on #1 and #12 Gold, but otherwise the course is to itself. The variation on length and terrain add to the difficulty and excitement. The rough on the flatter holes was knee to thigh high on this June afternoon, but I found my wayward discs just fine. There are even a few benches for us old guys to rest a moment. This course will test several aspects of your game, from some tight shots, to boomers, to accurate floaters. There was a little bit of swampiness around the #5 tee, but no water is in play on the course. The tee signs are just hole # and distance, could use an upgrade. Stop just south of here to ride the oldest wood roller coaster west of the Mississippi in Arnold's Park, or enjoy many other lake activities to make a trip of it . An enjoyable course that I will play again, when in the area.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Okoboji Gold Hot and Cold
Pros: The gold layout in Okoboji is a fun course. It has holes that go from one end of the spectrum to the other. Long and open holes across flat stretches prairie grass, and the short runs up, down and over the top a tall mound with steep slopes that runs through mature trees.
The holes that are somewhere in between also present a nice challenge while staying entertaining and showing a variety of looks. Weather it's trees or tall grass, there are usually well defined fairways with changes in shape and distance. It seemed like the shorter the distance the more trees that are in play, but there are good lines that are playable for all of them.
The chances to make birdies are there, even from the long tees, but you have to execute a good mix of shots well. On the flip side, if you are unable to keep it in the fairway or avoid hitting the trees too much, strokes can add up quickly.
The equipment is solid all around. Most holes have two tees, both concrete. There are also good signs with the hole number, distance and par. The baskets are all in good shape, and marked with the number on top. The layout is easy to follow, but there is a good course map next to the first hole in case you need it. The park is clean and has restrooms on site.
The first two holes are both good examples of needing to make the correct throw to stay out of the long rough. The fairways are kind of left to right and getting off line could mean kicking around, searching for plastic. At hole 6, it opens up and gets long. There are no trees until you get near the basket, which is on a slight hill. It's a par 4, so birdie is not out of the question. Hole 7 is even longer, a par 5. The fairway is mostly open but the basket is under tall trees a long way from the tee.
Holes 8-11 play on and around the steep sided mound of glacial debris that was deposited there a long time before the first discs begin to fly in North America. 8 plays from the top of the hill to the flat at the bottom, and only a couple of trees stand near the pin to get in the way of a birdie. 9 tees off at the bottom, and you have to clear the crest of the hill and make it down the back side about halfway to reach the basket. Hole 10 and 11 are both short and wooded, 10 climbs the hill and 11 descends.
12 and 13 are another pair of longer holes, playing as par 4's from the long tees. They're both basically flat with plenty of trees in play and some more of the tall grass rough. I also liked 17, teeing around a couple of mature trees, and downhill just enough so you can't see the basket.
Cons: Losing a disc in the rough is not hard to do. I lost my first drive to the left side of hole 1. The rough there was even taller than the rest. Stomped around in the grass and thistles for 20 minutes and never found it. I did find two others.
High winds are not uncommon here I would guess, but conditions were ideal the day I was there. This would make things even trickier. Beginners could have a bit of frustration.
Picnic tables and dumpsters by the parking area, but no benches or trashcans on the course.
Other Thoughts: Okoboji Gold is a really fun course. Great design that utilizes the landscape very well. Aside from water, it has a little bit of everything. Not sure that I would call it championship level, but most experienced players will enjoy this course, I think.
I would love to play this course again. My only round from the long tees ended with a 63, 3 over par. There were definitely missed putts and poorly played shots that leave my lots of room for improvement.
It is a bit out of the way, but I am glad I included it on this trip. If you are able to get there for a round, I would recommend you do so. The course has a great and unusual combination of hole styles and terrain.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Best Course in NW Iowa
Pros: Course has some serious length to it. 600+ #6 and 900+ #7 back to back is a fun combination.
With the length, placement still matters. #6, for example, plays straight for several hundred feet before an S-Turn of sorts towards the basket.
Good mix of wooded and open holes. The aforementioned "long holes" allow for players to open up and throw Max Distance. #10 and #11 are good examples of shorter holes that require players to throw a good technical shot to card a birdie.
Great use of elevation. #8 challenges players with a VERY downhill 225 ft placement shot. #9 returns back up this same hill and finishes on the other side. #10 works back up the hill again before #11 finishes down the hill for the last time. Creative use of one large piece of terrain for several holes. Iowa is generally a very flat place, so I was pleased to play the rolling hills on this course.
Beautiful location. Park is clean and the Fairways are well maintained.
Course signage is accurate and reflective of hole layout. I recommend taking a picture of the course map for reference prior to teeing off to help with course navigation as there isn't much in the way of next tee signs.
Excellent cement teepads.
Baskets were in good condition.
Cons: Very long rough. A half cut near the edge of the fairway could result in fewer lost discs. I did not lose one, but my younger brother who was playing with me did. We watched where it went in, and still couldn't find it due to the height of the grass.
Long grass off the fairway includes poison ivy, thistles, and other brush that will cut you up. I finished the round with cut up legs and poison ivy. Fairways are wide enough to be fair, but throwing off the fairway is punishing beyond just having a difficult next shot.
Because of the course's length and deep rough, I do not recommend this course for beginners. My younger brother has not played a ton of disc golf, and we had to locate his disc in the tall grass at least once per hole. I imagine this could be a very frustrating experience for an inexperienced player.
For the most part course flow was intuitive, but the walk from #3 to #4 was tricky. Even with the course map we did some extra walking before finally locating the tee.
#8 and I believe #11 both make use of short teepads. Instead of a teepad there was simply a line on the sidewalk. It worked, but was an annoying change after having thrown on perfect teepads for the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: I only played the course once, from the Gold Tees. My comments are only pertinent to that set of teepads.
The course is near the nature center and also a bike path. We encountered several walkers throughout the course of our round. Please be courteous and represent the course well when you encounter non-players on the course.
All in all, a great course, and the best in NW Iowa
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
in my top 3
Pros: -mowed beautifully wide fairways
-visually appealing course, flowers everywhere and rolling hills
-teepads are quite good
-requires a moderate arm at minimum. beginners will struggle, but this course will get you good fast if played a lot.
-very good variety of holes
lots of elevation change, lots of trees
Cons: -plan on losing a disc, the rough is very pretty, but borderline stupid length.
-baskets are merely decent. nothing special
-lots of bikers, walkers
Other Thoughts: this is easy, this course is great! very fun, very well cared for and well worth playing. destination course. pros would likely eat this course up. i got very lucky and caught a wind free weekend, but i could see this course being a nightmare on windy days. as fun as they come.
take a picture of the map at the first hole if you do not want to get lost.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Had High Hopes. Was Disappointed.
Pros: - Beautiful park and location
- Bathrooms on site and easily accessible
- Map at beginning of the course
- Great baskets and pads
- Clearly marked holes from distance
- Well maintained fairways
- Free Parking
Cons: - This park is half a wild grass park
- Sections in timber are difficult and narrow
- Basket placement is sometimes questionable
Other Thoughts: Really wanted this course to be a 4 to 4.5 star for all the good things it has going for it. Sad that the designers couldn't make a pure disk golf course. The wild grass makes it IMPOSSIBLE to find disks. Spent more than half of my time playing 2 rounds here looking for disks and chest high grass. would be much easier to play in the spring or fall depending on what park maintenance does with the grass at that time of year. Lost 2 disks on this course and learned not to play my favorite disks on a new course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
a beauty in the prairie and oak savannah
Pros: Among courses that lack water hazards, this is one of the finest I've played. The high prairie vegetation bordering the fairways serves the role of hazard pretty well. The variety is excellent, with every elevation change (and there are many) contributing differently to the hole design. The course maintenance and mowing was awesome (the pics here on DGCR don't do it justice, it is manicured). If you're in the area, this is a must-play.
The first few holes are sparsely wooded with a few trees creating a well-defined line to hit, and challenging. These are fun par 3 holes reachable with a solid drive for most intermediate or advanced players, a great way to start the round, not requiring max D straight out of the car.
Then the course moves to some open bomber holes that have some excellent use of elevation change, a long downhill run from the tee, then gradually climbing again to the basket. The design of holes 6 (665ft par 4) and 7 (935ft par 5) really rewards 450ft driving distance in order to get partway up the hill. A good 380ft drive still leaves you in the low area of the hole, making that 2nd drive up the hill so much more challenging.
Next is a series of par 3 holes with very significant elevation changes. It's a nice workout climbing up and down. Hole 9 was especially interesting, sharply uphill, then sharply downhill on the approach, not sure I've ever played a hole with both uphill and downhill quite this dramatic on the same hole.
Finally there are several holes that are long par 3s or short par 4s set in beautiful oak savannah as noted in the course description. Oak savannah is an ancient native Iowa ecosystem that has mostly disappeared due to agriculture and development, and I really enjoyed seeing this nice preserve. The elevation changes here are not quite as severe as the previous set of holes, but the elevation is used differently and complements the rest of the course well.
Cons: You're playing across a well-traveled biking/walking path on two holes. One of them has poor visibility and it's good to have a spotter check for bikes. I was afraid one might appear just as I threw.
Hole 2 needs a wider mow near the basket, the only hole where I had any complaint about the mowing. The landing zone is really narrow, which would be OK if you can see it from the tee, but its blind -- better send a spotter on this one.
Other Thoughts: Some sign distances seemed off, as if newer tee pads had been added later, after the original design: From the gold tee, hole 3 is about 380 ft, and hole 5 is about 260. Also, elevation change of 6 and 7 are incorrectly listed here, they are downhill off the tee and uphill to the basket. These are minor issues, doesn't detract from my rating.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
+ Lots of variety in distances.
+ Surprising amount of elevation.
+ Multiple tees for most holes.
+ Variety in holes, 900+ feet to 150 feet technical holes.
+ Course map at the parking lot.
+ Restrooms in a central spot where many holes come together.
+ Well maintained.
+ Big teepads.
- Lots of trees but getting off the fairway is not punishing enough.
- Distance markers but no graphics on the tee signs.
- Not really any risk/reward type holes.
- Layout is mildly confusing if you didn't check the map!
Other Thoughts: This is a classic disc golf course. Long par 5s with some potential trouble. Par 4s that take 2 good shots to get to the green. Par 3s that can be trouble and "should get" par3s as well. Holes have multiple routes for drives. Course also lacks a signature hole. Maybe hole 6 is this after a slew of par 3s and stepping up to a 665 footer with a drop in elevation followed by back up a hill with some guardian bushes.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: This is a challenging course with varying shots. You have a nice mix of very long open holes and shorter wooded holes. White and Gold tees for different skill levels. Well maintained.
Cons: Only con is the lack of tee signs. Which I know is in the works.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area. This is a must play.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun, challenging course!
Pros: -Nice baskets!
-fun for players of all skill levels
-requires a wide range of shots
-grass well kept and fairways are very nice!
-provides closed in technical holes as well as open bomb shots
-very friendly environment
-challenging but not too terribly hard
-two tee pads for nearly every hole
-pads are painted with par and distance
-lots of fun holes with elevation changes, hyzer shots, trees, tunnel shots and many many more
-overall a very fun and well kept course!
Cons: -easy to lose discs.
-signs could use some updating
-awfully open on the west side of course allowing for heavy amounts of wind
-QR code on course map seems to be broken or not working anymore
Other Thoughts: Overall, it's a very very nice course. Very well kept and the design had a lot of thought put into it. If you're in the area, definitely worth a stop to play a round or two. Or three. Maybe four....
Also, if anyone's in the area, hole six has a lost tie dye champion Valkyrie in the grass to the right about 250 feet down the fairway. If you find it, I'm offering an award. Thanks!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I have been waiting for a true disc golf course at the lakes for many years. Okoboji Gold was worth the long wait. If is fantastic! It provides the locals are friendly and helpful. There are good facilities there and easy parking . The locals are friendly and helpful.As an advanced player I found the course challenging and visually Beautiful. A young fawn followed me around my first day there. I have been vacationing or living at the lakes all of my life and now I will get here more often. I will definitely bring more discs in the future. Congratulations Dickinson County, you now have a world class disc golf course to enjoy.
Big shout out to the designer, the maintenance guys, and those responsible for getting this fantastic course installed here in Northern Iowa.
Cons: The only con I can think of is the tall grass flanking most of the fairways. I would list the lack of cement pads as a con however local sources informed me that new pads are going in very soon.
Other Thoughts: There is no doubt that this is a destination course. Local sources told me that the installation of Okoboji Gold has caused a sudden boom in the number of disc golfers in this area. And that my friends is what it is all about. Okoboji Gold is truly an exceptional disc golf course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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