@ Iwen, You Win, We All Win
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Iwen North is a bit of a meat grinder, unless you really have control of all your faculties. Zigging and zagging along the river bends, it tests your skills hole after hole. I played a poor round there, but would gladly return to give it a second effort, along with a third, fourth and a fifth.
It is very challenging. Par 62, so you know there will be lots of long holes. Many of them have fairways that are well populated with trees, creating some super narrow gaps in places, as well as a couple of mandos. Tall prairie grass and deep brush on the river banks make for tough hazards. The risk of throwing one into the river is very real on multiple holes. There are also good changes in elevation on several holes in the middle section of the course.
Technical shots are a constant, with distance usually necessary. I did not fair well, and took more than my share of bogies, double bogies, and worse on hole 10. Zero birdies were had, though I did have a peek at one or two, just couldn't convert by making the putts.
The river is scenic and the park is nicely maintained. The baskets are not all matching, but they work well, and the concrete tees are more than adequate. There are a couple of trash cans along the way.
I liked almost all of the holes and enjoyed the change of looks several times throughout. Some tight wooded lines, longer drives with dogleg turns, up and down hills. The blending of these elements and difficulty navigating them is fun and challenging.
Holes 1 and 2 are heavily wooded and flat. 3 is more open and features the first slope sides as you approach the pin. 4 is shorter, once again through some pretty dense trees with low ceiling. 5 features a beautiful view of the river, and is where the larger elevation changes begin, throwing downhill a bit and swinging left into the pocket in the trees that hides the basket. 6 has a similar feel to the terrain on 5, but it is shorter with a mando that requires a line drive through a gap. 7 is long and traverses hilly grass smattered with mature trees. 8 is even longer, and opens all the way up as it crosses a wide open fairway with tall grass lining both sides. The front nine ends with a RHBH hyzer throw over grass, trees to the left and tall grass rough to the right.
Hole 10 is long and very woodsy, with a sharp dogleg and working up hill. 11 is shorter and more open, downhill and a basket backed by the river. 12 has multiple tees, but either way is long, and has quite a few trees to avoid as you go up and down the slopes. 13 is dangerous, being long and right next to the river, with clusters of trees to avoid. The same goes for hole 14 tacking on a little more length. 15 drives slightly downhill through a really tight gap between two thick stands of trees, fading left to the pin. 16 also has a very narrow window to drive from the box, but it is longer and steeply uphill. 17 has fewer trees, throwing high to low, and lots of airspace compared to the last two holes. 18 is one last monster, over flat ground with less trees that will take two hard throws to even get near the pin.
Cons: Iwen North is not for everyone. It is very long and is a high degree of difficulty. I felt lucky not to lose any discs. I was very close on hole 14, had to stomp around in 5' brush on the riverbank for a while. Not recommended for those learning to play the game.
Printing a map is an excellent idea. The layout is pretty crazy, and it overlaps with the South course sharing land near the parking lot. Even with the map I struggled to discern the transitions at times. The pads have numbered posts, but the signs could be much better. Some holes play alongside another hole going the opposite way, making throwing toward other groups a possibility. Trails and sidewalks may also be in range at times.
Other Thoughts: While this course exceptional, is does have some flaws. I had a hard time deciding between rating it a 4 or 4.5. Despite the strange layout, and being confined to a compact space, I really enjoyed it. The Frolfware buckets with yellow rims are killer, though not every hole is equipped with them. I would like to see the North and South united to form a more perfect course, with around 21 holes total.
I shot a pitiful 13 over par (75), and wish I'd had more time to replay it and attempt to post a more respectable score. My excuse is seeing a concert in Nebraska the night before, traveling a thousand miles, sleeping in my truck and playing two other courses that day morning. I seriously considered skipping the South course, but you know I couldn't do that.
There are other courses I have yet to play remaining in the Fargo/Moorehead area. I will be looking for any excuse to come back and maybe I'll get my chance to revisit Iwen. It would be worth it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Design flaws and safety concerns...
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: After playing my round, I needed a bit to refocus my mind on the pro's for this course. First off, the land they had to work with is actually very good for a river bottom type area. They definitely make good use of the varying topography of the area.
The teepads are pretty good. The baskets, while a mix of a couple manufacturers, are just fine. I wasn't sure about the yellow topped baskets, but they caught all my putts.
Cons: Now...the con's started mounting when I stepped up to the first couple of tee shots. The term "fair-way" I think was lost on the designer. A lot of shots get blocked out by having too many clusters of trees very close together. If you're a master of forehand rollers, you'd probably kill this course.
The flow of the holes isn't all that intuitive, even though they have arrows on the baskets pointing in the general vicinity of the next hole. ** Be sure to take a pic of the course map in the parking lot before you start to play**
The bike path towards the middle part of the course comes into play on a handful of holes. A few times I had to wait to throw so park goers could use the path. Throwing right alongside or over a public path is a big safety concern and can be the reason a course gets pulled.
There's a few holes out there that I have to really wonder what the designer was thinking. There are really good fair-ways out there that aren't getting used. Too many holes that put the players in danger of getting hit by other players as well. If this course were busy, you'd need a helmet in order to not worry about taking a disc to the dome.
Other Thoughts: The land they have could make for a fantastic course, but unfortunately the designer falls short in actual course design skills. The flow isn't good. The term "fair-way" gets lost on a handful of holes. There's safety concerns with holes playing across bike paths and such. I shot what felt like a boring round(53) because so many holes were in the shot and a half range. Throw a drive, half attempted upshot because I'm 100 ft out and then a putt usually from within 10 ft. A redesign of this course could really yield a fantastic 18.
** Also, I'd get rid of the Iwen north/south idea and just have it be a normal 18 hole flow.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very challenging, very technical, long course that will challenge you at every turn. Whoever designed this course is a sadist. Trees as mandos at many tees, long holes, nothing easy but wow is this course fun. I've not played a course quite like this. Tee pads are great and flat. Interesting course in that there is a route to every basket if you can throw it. This course will test you and your disc selection. I played the course with my son and we both used every disc in our bags. If you have the chance, do it. You'll like it.
Cons: Signage is funky and it's really tough to figure out the first 4 holes. Iwen North and Iwen South share baskets and it makes it hard to figure out what is what. The sight lines are bad and i don't like throwing to baskets i can't see. Crazy long with multiple holes over 500 feet and one almost 800. It's not a quick round.
Other Thoughts: Played this once but was here dropping my son off for a college job. I'll never get to play here again and that is a shame. If you are in the area you need to step up and play this course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Best course in Fargo
Pros: Long course. Good mix of open and wooded shots. Usually well maintained. Provides an excellent challenge due to its length and multiple technical shots.
Cons: Not great for beginners due to extensive length of some holes. Easy to lose discs in the river.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun in Fargo
Pros: Great teepads
Grass mowed nicely
Good mix of par 4s and par 3s
Course map by hole 1
Serene park right on the river
Cons: Long grass (rough) can be miserable
Layout is a little confusing at times
Holes too close to other teepads
Lack of airspace on several holes
No park sign at the road to let you know where to turn
I would not play after a rain. Lots of dirt areas mostly on paths that would make for a lot of mud.
Other Thoughts: What a great little park! I came in with relatively low expectations and I left with a smile on my face.
The holes were really well designed. I enjoyed the mixture of long and short, open and woods, easy and tough holes including several quality par 4's.
The water actually never really came into play on the course. Looking at the map it is daunting but the water is usually in your line of sight but not the flight path of the disc. There is usually enough long grass to catch your disc before it would get to the water. The holes which had baskets very near the water were either short or a par 4 where my upshot was short so it really showed some thought went into the design.
I loved hole 8 (long straight windy par 4 with long grass on either side) but I hated having to look in the long grass for 10 minutes for my disc. I loved lots of the holes actually and lots of the split route options. The overall design is wonderful.
The layout is a bit roaming. If I hadn't taken a picture of the course map with my phone I am sure I would have never played the holes in the right order. It's not a bad layout, just some signs are needed to point new players in the right direction.
I'm not sure what kind of baskets are used on this course. They almost seem like a homemade knockoff of innova discatcher pros. They caught fine and looked fine so no complaints.
There were several holes that seemed like the biggest challenge was just that no limbs had been cut and there was no airspace to get a disc cleanly where you wanted to throw it. Unless you kept your disc 5 feet or less off the ground. Other areas seemed like limbs just hadn't been trimmed in since before winter maybe because limbs were hanging down onto a teepad on one hole and weeds were growing up 4 feet in front of another (both limiting routes you could throw).
Overall the only hole I didn't like was 15. There was a tiny gap off the tee (which I kind of like) but the shape of the hole after the gap didn't make much sense. There was no real airspace to get a disc to the basket that I could tell.
The biggest problem with the course though is that there are way too many areas where a basket is way too close to a teepad or throwing lane of another hole. Safety should always be the #1 priority and there are too many examples of teepads in the putting areas of other baskets. There are a few blind shots as well and these cross into other holes which is extremely dangerous. I never want to leave the course with a broken nose or even worse having hurt someone else accidentally. Individually the holes were really well designed, but the course as a whole seemed like an afterthought.
I will be back to play this course again. It's definitely worth your time if you are in the area.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
A Hidden Treasure
Pros: Full map of the course in the parking lot.
Large cement tee pads.
Wide variety of holes.
The evelation changes that are available is used very well.
The course is spaced out nicely so running into other groups is uncommon.
Each hole is designed to be a challenge. Not many gimmies on this course.
You can play the North and South courses together as 27 holes.
Cons: Holes 1,2,4,10,15 can get very sloppy from the mud.
The parking lot should be bigger for both fishers and disc golfers.
Certain holes should have signs leading you to the next tee.
Not made for the novice haha.
Other Thoughts: For such a long course, perhaps a water fountain somewhere around holes 7,8, or 12 would be a good thing.
Overall this course is a favorite of mine and I enjoy playing every hole! If you're thinking about checking this course out, go ahead and do it!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Very fun
-Pretty Easy to follow
-Right in the wilderness
-Nice run down the river.
-Hole variety and challenging.
-Teepads are marked and good.
Cons: -Beginners may throw a lot as the course is pretty long.
-A couple spots were hard to follow to the next hole
Other Thoughts: One of the best courses I have played so far. I really liked the way it played and the pace. There were nice long runs and a few shorter ones too. I brought someone who was brand new and she didn't have as great of a time because she was throwing so much.
The scenery and the quiet really made this a fun and relaxing course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Bring Your "A" Game
Pros: The most challenging course in the area
Most baskets (except those originally a part of Iwen South) are in great shape
Extensive fairways are kept in good shape.
Good use of elevation for the area
Cons: Signage seems incomplete and and sometimes confusing with the shared North/South tees. (poles exist, and someone pencilled in hole numbers on them)
Challenge is a bit intense for newer players, very long holes
Several opportunities to lose discs to the river
Other Thoughts: Wow! This course is GREAT! navigation can a bit confusing the first few times, but all the poles do have the tee numbers hand-written on them, and I'll bring a sharpie next time I play. The holes are very long, with lots of trees, so be ready for both distance and precision on your drives. A few holes are downright sadistic in this regard (15 & 16 especially). I played Iwen South & North back to back and had a GREAT afternoon of disc golf, definitely on of my favorite courses, yet most people don't even seem to know about it.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: * Very challenging course, the hardest in the Fargo/Moorhead area.
* Never busy, because it is harder and further away from the colleges and such, I have never been stuck behind a group.
* Lots of variety, you will need every disc in your bag to do a round here. Holes vary from short tunnel shots through the woods, to wide open 700 ft shots.
*Excellent use of elevation, Fargo doesn't have many hills so it is nice to use the few that are in this park.
* The course makes you think, it makes you look for different routes through the trees and makes you try shots you would have never thought you needed.
Cons: * Like every course in the area, it is in the flood zone, making spring golf pretty tough.
* The course can eat up some discs, with both water and long grass in play on quite a few holes. It helps to have a spotter.
* Some mud, 5 or 6 holes can be pretty muddy after rain, but a lot of the course is grass unlike other courses in the area.
Other Thoughts: * Thank you to Fargo Parks for helping make this course a possibility, it is an excellent addition to the Fargo/Moorhead area and I know the disc golf community enjoys it.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Championship level DG in FM
Pros: PLEASE PARK IN THE LOT NEXT TO THE BOAT LAUNCH.
- Very nice teeboxes / baskets (Frolfware)
- Relatively protected from winds.
- Very few muddy areas after rain. Most of the course is nice grass.
- Some woodchipping around baskets
- Wide variety of shots required. You'll use your bag here.
- Great challenge, distance and use of elevation.
- Chance to lose discs on several holes mostly due to tall grass/thick brush. Using a spotter is highly recommended on some of the blind shots and especially hole 8.
- Sheer distance and challenge of the course might be off-putting to novice/casual players.
- Park is also a popular place to launch boats on the Red River, lots of trucks with trailers in the small parking lot
- Flood prone in early season
Other Thoughts: ------------------------------
My review is from the perspective of a RHBH thrower.
Hole 1 and Hole 2 start out using part of the shorter course.
Hole 1 - Same as Hole 3 of the South course. From the tee its a relatively simple R to L shot into an open area that plays towards the right into a basket protected by some large trees.
Hole 2 - Kind of combines hole 4 and 5 of the South course into a complete beast of a hole. It might be weird for some folks the first time through without knowing the intended layout.
From the tee... 2 or 3 options present. Laser straight shot down a tunnel of trees, take the right hand side and skip around the tunnel or aim for the area around basket 4 on the South course. The first two options should leave you in an open area near the tee of Hole 5 of the South course. From this point a sweeping anhyzer is needed to carry into a small gap towards the basket which is, again, tucked in among some trees. The other option will leave you under a canopy of trees near basket 4 of the South course with a narrow gap through trees to the intended target.
All 3 options seem to be viable ways to get a look at birdy and, if nothing else, get out alive with a par.
Hole 3 - This is where North Iwen really gets to stretch its legs and starts moving north around the oxbow in the Red River. Nothing too tricky on this one, just a nice long hole with minor danger to the right hand side of the fairway. Basket sits on a green that slopes off steeply on the north side.
Hole 4 - Smack dab in the middle of the woods (well a small grove of trees). Very technical straight, albeit short, shot.
Hole 5 - Bit of a walk to the north west from the hole 4 basket but shouldn't be too hard to find. RHBH throwers will need to sneak a late fading shot under a little window of trees. From there you kind of need to hook around some trees to a basket that is relatively protected up in a grove of trees.
The view from this tee box over the river is noteworthy. Very nice design.
Hole 6 - Relatively short and technical hole. Laser straight shot under a massive tree that bends across the fairway from left to right. The gap is pretty small and the basket sits tucked under a low ceiling of trees protected by a large patch of brush.
Hole 7 - Great spot for a hyzer flip type of shot. Need something that can carry straight enough to hit a very forgiving gap but then heads towards the right into another fairway area. The basket sits at the back corner of the grove of trees, right by the paved roadway.
Hole 8 - Wide open ~690ft hole with a narrow fairway mowed through a massive field of waist high grass, thorns, weeds, etc. This type of grass LOVES TO EAT YOUR DISCS. Watch very closely if you have an errant shot, its definitely worth having somebody up in the fairway to get an accurate bead on where your disc headed into the tall stuff. Tons of time can be saved by having somebody spotting.
Other than that, 8 is a downright straightforward hole. Massive drive. Massive upshot into a basket that is tucked into some trees.
I believe the tall grass will be played as OB during tournament play. Something worth noting.
Hole 9 - Pretty straight forward hole. Drive out of the woods, across a bit more of that waist-high grass shared with hole 9 and hyzer into a basket tucked along the treeline.
Hole 10 - Very technical anhyzer line through dense forest. Accuracy is absolutely paramount here. The rough is brutal and sometimes you'd be better served to just chip out 10 feet to the fairway and have a cleaner look.
Hole 11 - 200ish ft shot through a 15ft gap, up over a hill and down to a basket that sits right on the edge of the Red River. This hole SHOULD be relatively easy. Longer putts have a bit of added anxiety due to the river lurking in the background.
Hole 12A - Tee shot requires you to clear a bit of a hill and place your drive along the left hand side of the fairway above. From there a laser of a fairway drive plays into the basket which sits in front of a small grove of trees along a slight slope.
Hole 12B - The shot off the tee should be pretty straight ahead (again, careful to avoid thick rough on the left hand side of the fairway) to place yourself in the fairway and have a decent 2nd shot into the same basket that is on a bit of a slope, tucked next to some trees.
Hole 13 - Blind drive wraps around the left side of a pine tree and down into a relatively open fairway area. From there its probably 250 through more trees to another basket that is sitting precariously close to the Red River. The angle of approach is such that errant hyzers will be eaten alive by the river. The putting isn't as scary as hole 11.
IMO this is one of the most challenging holes on the course currently.
Hole 14 - Relatively open hole with (again) danger on the left side of the fairway in the form of the Red River. The drive is pretty straight forward with the exception of a tree that kind of forms a little canopy you need to drive under or flex a shot around. With good placement off the tee the 2nd shot should be a nice fairway driver towards the basket which sits near the left-hand edge of a grove of trees. Really the drive from the tee is the only shot that feels 'risky' on this hole. Only due to the risk of a disc fading back too early and off the left hand side of the fairway.
A nicely executed roller could be absolutely amazing on this hole.
Hole 15 - The teebox faces directly into a grove of trees and the gap that one must hit to get through can't be any wider than ~5 feet. If you can clear the gap and pop out to the right a bit, its a pretty standard hyzer into the basket.
Hole 16 - Nice little hyzer upshot out of a grove of trees and up a slope. Gaining maybe 20 vertical feet in the process. Basket is out in the open. The elevation is definitely deceiving but the real challenge on this one comes from just getting your drive out of the gap near the teebox.
Hole 17 - Nice midrange shot from an elevated teebox, through some trees and branches, across a relatively open space and down to the basket near another clump of trees.
Hole 18 - This is where North Iwen hooks back up with the short course. Hole 18 pretty much combines hole 6 & 7 of the short course into a nice, long, finisher. Another narrow gap sits right in front of the tee, but once you are past it, the rest of the hole is pretty open and straightforward.
Overall this course is a gem. Fargo really doesn't have much more elevation to offer and this course does a fine job of using every bit available. The layout is 100% challenging. Novice players might not have the best time. The distance will feel very long compared to any of the other FM courses. You will be punished for errant shots (but nothing too brutal... except that grass on Hole 8). Every shot in your bag will be utilized to get through this round. Very fun!
All in all, Iwen is a park that has come a long way from when it was first built. The underbrush on all holes has been cleaned up nicely and has resulted in a challenging and technical 9 plus this new championship level 18 hole course.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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