11 Helpful / 1 Not
From the Dark to the Light
Pros: Front and Back 9: I really enjoyed that the front and back have different personalities. The front plays through a large grove of mature trees. The holes were not that long, but trees provide ample protection for most baskets. The back 9 is longer and more open. There are not as many trees, but the challenge lies in distance. In short, on the front the course tests your ability to hit your lines. The back tests your ability crush your drives. Also, the design loops back to the parking lot after hole #9, so you can use the port-a-pottie or reload on snacks and water if you brought extras.
Maintenance: The back 9 was well maniucured. I think it is safe to assume that it is mowed frequently. Areas on the back 9 where trees were in play (#15 and #16) were well cleared out underneath, making it easy to locate discs. The front-9 probably doesn't require as much effort as grass doesn't grow as quickly under the canopy.
Elevation: As I am writing my reviews of these courses, I have come to a major conclusion. Designers in central Iowa really know how to use what little elevation they are provided. Ewing Park is no different. There may only be moderate elevation changes on most holes, but the course uses it effectively.
Cons: Flow: The walk between #17 and #18 is really strange. If you don't know which way to go, you could get lost because after #17 you are a long way from the parking lot...and a long way from #18. I remember walking through the area and thinking 'this would have been a great place for a couple of holes. I don't know if the arboretum is a "no disc" zone, but this area would have been in my design if possible.
Boring for advanced players: While I am your general intermediate, moderately-skilled disc golfer, I found this course enjoyable. An advanced player would be bored here. A professional is likely to shoot -15 or better. Hole #10 is a long hole, but it is downhill and open...not really challenging. #18 is a long hole as well, but the fairway is massive and there is little trouble on each side. While the course is cool for me, I understand that most on this site are better players than me. They would likely find this course to be nice but lacking challenge.
Bactracking #11: After playing Hole #11, you have to backtrack the entire fairway to get to number #12 which tees off from almost the same spot, but in the opposite direction. Very strange.
Other Thoughts: Ewing Park is a very good course for an intermediate player like myself. There are enough challenges in the way of length and mature trees to prevent me from shooting incredibly low. However, I could see myself going -6 or better on this course in a best-case scenario. This is what leads me to believe that the challenge may not be great for advanced players...because I'm simply not good enough to shoot this score on a truly challenging course.
The front 9 is played under a canopy of mature trees. Even at 4:00 in the afternoon, it was fairly dark in the shade and protected us well from the heat. These holes were fairly short and many birdies could be had on the front. The back 9 is mostly open and out from the canopy. Hole #10 opens the back with a long downhill "bomber" hole. There is more length on the back, but it offers much less trouble in the form of trees. In short, both halves use different challenges, but neither really utilizes both at the same time.
This park looks to be almost totally set aside for disc golf other than the arboretum. Therefore there are very few non-DG park users.
Don't get into your drive too much on hole #1 or you will be in the road. (a busy road at that) I found out the hard way as did another of our crew. At least no cars were hit. That would have been awkward.
If you are in Des Moines, definitely check out Ewing Park. In most places, disc golf is an afterthought and that is if people have even heard of it. The Des Moines visitor's guide listed disc golf as one of its fun, recreational activities in the brochure. I thought that was interesting and unique.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
One of the better ones in the area
Pros: Well maintained, good tee pads and baskets, beautiful scenery and views, decent mix of shot types, very challenging
Cons: Some baskets are hard or impossible to see from the tee pad, some of the signs can be deceiving and b/c they do move the baskets around you can't just "memorize" the course, some shots are little too long for my taste but maybe my drive is just weak
Other Thoughts: A nice challenge, I've never shot even or under here. Even from short tees I still clock in a +5-7, I realize that is relative but you can play this course 100 times and not completely master it, great course for experienced players looking for a challenge,
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Long and diverse
Pros: Great tees and baskets. Good signs, multiple possible placements. Different pins and tees make for very different shots.
Pretty well maintained. Good variety of shots needed, everything from short plinko type tree holes, to 800 foot open bombers.
Pretty holes, lots of nice trees and such all around.
Cons: Poor layout (this seems to be a common theme in my Iowa reviews) some spots where the course just doesn't flow well. Signs don't display where the pin is so you have to still hunt it down, especially obnoxious on longer holes. Appeared to have been mowed not that long ago, but grass was still pretty long.
Other Thoughts: I think this was the best of the Des Moines courses that I played last weekend. It really is a nice course, but you need to bring a big arm, and a bunch of water. Not as many memorable holes as Walnut Ridge, but more overall quality and while the layout still isn't great and has some long walks (17 to 18 I'm looking in your direction here) it is much better than Walnut Ridge.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun for all!
Pros: Ewing is a well-manicured and mature 18 hole course. The hole design is very good with a lot of diversity- woods/open, long/short, left/straight/right, elevation/flat, and some road o.b. Navigation was fairly simple and flow was natural (for 16 holes*). The course consists of two 9-hole loops coming back to the car after 9 and 18. The front 9 plays through a more wooded area and the holes offer choices on the tee with more than one path to the basket around all the mature trees. The back is more open and has the longer holes, but shot placement is still important. By the end of the round you will be forced to throw a wide variety of shots of all lengths.
Each hole has 2 huge tees (pro and am), 2 signs (one per tee), and the baskets are in great shape (with 3 possible locations that appear to get moved often as we saw a guy moving them as we played). The 2 tees are quite diverse, primarily in length, but I really felt like the shorter tees did a great job of not detracting anything from the course as they were still challenging and still put most obstacles in play. The long tees are just that, adding a substantial amount of distance on many holes. (It is possible that the shorts are the originals and the longs were added later.)
Cons: The fairways had not been recently mowed in many spots (not too horrible, but not as good as it could have been). The restroom was a port-a-pottie.
Even though I really enjoyed this course, there are some design issues that are really holding it back:
-The road is majorly in play on hole #1, playing downhill, cars have a good chance of getting hit with some force. There is also a walking trail throughout much of the back and many holes play along or over it so be aware.
-There are several holes on the front that are close together and feel a little cramped. #11 to #12 is pretty stupid because you have to backtrack the entire hole to get to 12's tee (which is essentially back-to-back with 11's tee.)
-There was an abnormally long walk from #17 to #18 and then back to the car. I thought #17 was one of the weaker holes and it plays away from the direction of the car at the far corner of the park. (Hello! Only 1 hole left to get back!) Then you have to walk a long ways through the most beautiful section of the park (the arboretum) to get to #18's tee, which is hard to find anyways. Then #18 is super long... It seems after 15, the course should begin back and have 16,17,18 play through the arboretum which just screams "put disc golf holes here!"
Other Thoughts: Ewing can be really fun for players of all levels- it offers the usual challenges without being too frustrating and there is very little chance to lose discs. Though not too difficult for them, experienced players can still enjoy the shorter tees, or they have the option to play the longs.
I personally really enjoyed playing this course and recommend it to anyone. It does lack that "epic" factor I generally reserve for 4.0-5.0 ratings, and it does have some design flaws, however I still give Ewing a strong 3.5 (Very Good) to me, but I understand why many others have rated it higher than that.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Many ways to play each hole, with three baskets, and two tee pads at each hole. Course looks very beautiful.
Cons: Course design leaves something left to be desired. It seemed like there is a lot of wasted space. Especially between 17 and 18.
Other Thoughts: Overall It's a good course to play on. I would definitely play it again, but I just think they could have done more with it than what they did. I like courses that use the space, creatively, and functionally as well.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
In my top 5
Pros: - very well thought out tees and pins
- a challenge on every hole
- well paced, good mix of shots
- seems to be fairly clean
- an awesome bomber hole viewable from the parking lot
Cons: - new players may find the course too challenging
- the road is a bit close on a couple holes, a bad tree bounce could result in a smashed window
Other Thoughts: First, let me say that I played the course in the early spring, so the trees weren't full yet.
This course instantly made my top 5, and is a better course than Pickard Park. Ewing doesn't have a single hole that is impossible, but only has a couple sure birdies. The challenge of the course is consistent and manageable without any extremes (easy or hard). Some of the lines are really thoughtful, especially when you play the paths as OB. Again, thoughtful and technical, not difficulty without fun.
I do wish the long and short tees were marked as such. Each tee has a very nice card showing pin positions, but it fails to mention which tee you are at. I don't think this would be an issue on a second playing however. Just print the map, it is fairly well made.
I drove from Minneapolis to play Ewing and Pickard and Ewing made the trip for me. I would say any course I am willing to drive 4 hours for is a good one!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -It is in a very nice looking clean park
-multiple tees and pin locations for each hole
-very easy to navigate with really good signes
-fantastic first 9 holes. They use the elevation well and play though a wooded area but leaves plenty of room for throwing lanes.
-especially the front 9 has alot of interesting throws
-good ues of distance, there are open and very long holes but also some shorter skill shots
-its open enough where you do not lose discs but still wooded enough where there are some challenging shots
Cons: -The back 9 get a little long especially from the back tees
-the walk between 17 and 18 is very long and may be confusing if you had never been there before
Other Thoughts: This course would be good for all skill levels.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Two nice concrete pads for each hole
-Easy to navigate, especially with a map
-Very nice park, nice surrounding neighborhood
-Very clean with garbage cans and port-o-potties at the parking lot
-Front 9 wooded holes are pretty excellent
-Back 9 has some very long stuff
-Cool basket placements, 3 placement variety
Cons: Elevation changes are not great, but the course works with the terrain very well. It feels like a little bit of a longer walk, and some holes are very long (I think 18 was 720' and had trees surrounding). But great course and worth the trip.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth traveling to, a great course. The front 9 is awesome. Its a very balanced course with a lot of variety. Drove out from Colorado, and I wish it was closer.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
very nice course in the city
Pros: nice mix of short/tight and long/bomber holes with beautiful wild life. I saw some deer and met some locals, If I had more time they suggested II should play the other 2 courses in town. I had fun and nearly lost a disc or two which is always interesting.
Cons: The length of fairways where the most challenging part of the course. The mud was bad when playing across the field lowlands (not great drainage).
Other Thoughts: If our in Iowa near Des Moines you should play it.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Aesthetically beautiful. Elevation changes. Fun shots on every hole. Very challenging. Several par 4's to go with some really challenging par 3's.
Front nine you are looking at some tighter wooded shots (espeically hole 2). The holes are shorter, mostly under 350', with the exception of a couple par 4's. Not too much OB to worry about.
Back nine you get more into the open. Hole 10 you are bombing straight downhill on a 700+' hole. There are several par 4's on the backside, but its not just grip and rip. Some OB with the road at the bottom of the park comes into play and you need to place your shots. 17 and 18 are super long holes coming back to the parking lot. 18 perhaps a Par 5. You need to be able to throw for distance to score well out here. For the very top pros, scores of under 50 are hot. Anything under 54 is very very good. For an advanced amateur, shooting under 60 is great golf.
Awesome pine trees make for a fair course with fantasically designed fairways. Huge air shots, huge rollers, forehands, anhyzers, this course has it all! Extremely well manicured park make playing here an enjoyable disc golf experience. Baskets catch awesome and tees are great.
Cons: None. This is one of my favs.
Other Thoughts: If you have time to play 1 course in Des Moines, hit Ewing Park!
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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