6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I have only played one other course that was as good as this course. Lots of variety. Unbelievable use of the elevation. I like how the water is used for the holes. Only one hole do you throw over the pond, while the rest are tucked in where you have to place the Disc well or your going to get wet but if you play smart it's not hard to stay dry if you are a beginner. So many of the holes are so good that you should see them yourself in person. A lot of big holes with fair fairways. Good variety of downhill and uphill and right turning and left turning shots. Large parking lot with bathrooms. Large quiet park designed primarily for disc golf. Nice bridge and walkways. Two tee pads on each hole. Course map at entrance. Good tee signs. Really liked holes 3,4,5,6,8,9, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 16, and 18. None of the holes were bad! Trash cans at convenient locations. Very clean, I only found one piece of trash and threw it away. (Your welcome!)
Cons: Long course, long enough that I would give advantage to bombers. If you only played long tee pads would be tough to beat a bomber here. Although it does have very punishing roughs if you don't land in fairway but the fairways are pretty big. It's a workout and a lot of distance to cover and hills to walk up. You don't get close to the parking lot really until you are done playing. If you were to get hurt or wanted to have someone meet you, you will be a long way from the parking lot in no time. I got a little turned around at the fork in the path after Hole 12 but was able to figure it out since I took a picture of the map in the parking lot. A sign pointing to 13 would be nice, and there might be one, I could have missed it.
Other Thoughts: Don't be fooled by the first two holes....every hole after those are breath taking! A course that you should pack accordingly, allot proper time for. I would drive VERY far out of the way to play this course if it wasn't on my normal route. If you have time I would put this course on top of my list to play in the Des Moines area. Actually this is right up there with the best course that I have ever played. This is a must play for anyone that lives in a nearby state.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
My Favorite Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pickard Park is a superbly designed course in a beautiful large city park. It challenges top level players as well as allows room for newer players to throw hard and learn. Disclaimer: I attended Simpson College, and used to play here a ton. Pickard is the course where I first fell in love with disc golf.
-Very few holes demand the exact same shot as previous holes. Almost all holes provide a unique challenge. #1 and #2 are basic hyzers, but beyond that, every hole is different.
-Very well maintained course, particularly the expansive fairways. The cut grass fairways give the illusion that this could be a ball golf course. Well maintained expansive fairways and rolling hills make for a picturesque course.
-Course offers professional level length. Multiple holes where most players likely throw 2 or more full powered shots including holes #10 and #18. # 10 forces players to throw an accurate shot off of the tee before going down a long downhill towards the basket, which is tucked beyond the creek. #18 Long is all of 966 ft with some uphill to start.
-Excellent use of natural OB. Almost the entire course is lined with thick woods/rough. Players are punished for bad shots by having a tough lie for their next lie. This is how disc golf is intended to be played.
-Besides the woods, there are some holes where the creek and pond come into play. #4 has the lake behind downhill green. #5 carries over the water from the long tee, and threatens from the short. #8 has a treacherous green with the creek behind the basket. #14 positions the creek almost in the middle of the hole, forcing players to either try to throw a risky shot over the creek or lay up to it before approaching the pin. #16 plays downhill with the creek once again threatening behind the pin.
- With the above in mind, the par 4's and 5's feel like true par 4's and 5's. #6 and #8 could potentially fall into the weird par 3.5 area, but are very difficult to score a 2 on without having 500ft of power or a long throw in. They are reasonable par 4's.
-Various creative challenges including fairways that pinch off, elevation change, technical lines, and the aforementioned water holes.
-Elevation: #3 plays along a side hill that slopes towards steep woods. #7 plays through a somewhat narrow gap off the tee and up a steep uphill. #8 throws way downhill but has the creek deep and OB road off to the left. #9 plays up a ridiculously steep uphill off the long tee. #10 incorporates a downhill second shot. #11 places the pin behind a tree with a very steep downhill behind the pin. #14 has the closest thing to a cliff you'll find in central Iowa. The steep bank provides a natural obstacle and a downhill approach to the pin. #15 long tee throws uphill before flattening out. #16 carries way downhill in the woods with the creek on the right and behind the pin. #18 long plays uphill with rolling hill throughout.
-#10 and #14 are both excellent "disc golf holes." I have described both of them above. Them along with super long #18 to finish form the courses most memorable holes.
-Amenities are decent from the course start. Plenty of room for parking. Bathrooms and water fountains available near parking lot.
-Map near start of course. Course flow is mostly intuitive.
-Teepads are paved and flat.
-Long tees are incredibly challenging, but the shorts are not stupid easy, either. Short tees remove some the course length, but maintain most of the course's technicality.
-Signage clear and accurate.
-Locals are generally friendly and helpful because Iowa.
-Lightly played for such a great course. I've never seen it truly busy except for when Des Moines Leagues come over and during tournaments. Very rarely will you have to wait on other players.
Cons: -Next tee signs may be helpful in one or two places for players unfamiliar to the course.
-Though the course is well maintained, there are large patches of poison ivy in the rough, most notably near the fence line on #8 and #10.
-For such a long course, there is not much in the way of benches for respite.
-Could use a couple more trash cans along the course. That being said, the course usually does not have much trash on it.
Other Thoughts: Pickard Park is the best public park disc golf course that I know of. Pickard feels like a well kept secret, which is nice because traffic is low, but a bummer because such an excellent course deserves to played more often by more golfers. If you are in central Iowa, swing by Pickard! You won't be disappointed!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Pickard Park: The Long Tees Or Bust!
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Fantastic Pro tier course! Two sets of tees, one may be shorter, but is not necessarily easier. This review is geared toward the long tees.
-I'm rewriting what is already been spoken, but every tee was carefully considered and laid out to offer up the Maximum challenge. It's as if every hole was designed with a purpose. Some don't like the opening holes, but I consider them confidence builders or warm up holes. You're gonna need that confidence when you step up to the long tee water carry on hole 5.
-This course is a challenging course, and was designed for the seasoned player. It doesn't cater to the occasional player or the new player. Newer players will get frustrated! *** see cons for the flip to this coin
-Is not a "Par 3" only course (The short tees may be more conducive to the "Par 3 only" type of scoring. I did not play the shorts). The long tees have legit Par 4's and Par 5's. Which means, you need to strategize a second shot placement for some of your approach shots. You'll also be required to be accurate at long distances. The rough can and will punish an errant shot.
-Double Dog legs, throwing over the crest of a blind hill, Downhill shots with guarded baskets, overshooting some of the downhill runs, will punish you as well. As I said, Pickard forces you to play smarter. Cannon shots may get you down the fairway, but if you lack control you could end up worse off than before you started.
- Clean, well maintained course and park, with ample parking. A Players Board at the start. Great Signage, with distances and signs at both tee locations.
-Is segregated from the rest of the park, so park pedestrian traffic should be minimal
-Navigation was fairly easy to follow, a few small hiccups, but nothing that couldn't be figured out
-Physically enduring. You will be traversing all kinds of terrain! You will be climbing hills, and walking in the woods.
Cons: -*** Heres the flip side to my coin. First, I think players need courses like this. Courses that are hard and challenging. Above an average players head. (We need our Bethpage type courses) However... This is the only course in Indianola. There is nothing for newer players in the immediate vicinity.
-You'll want to bring a portable stool. There wasn't a lot of places to stop and take a break. You will need to stop and rest occasionally.
-I seen it mentioned as a con in other reviews, and I found it to be very true. You will use the same discs, and carry the similar type of straight forward shot here. My drives alternated between my Champ Sidewinder and My Lucid Escape (However, this means you could consider a smaller pack as opposed to lugging a heavy backpack through the course. Make sure you have room for liquids)
fwiw... I did throw a Teebird on 5 and my Boss on 15.
-The course plays out and back, you won't have a chance to stop at your vehicle.
-Once you've finished, it's an extremely long uphill walk back to your car
Other Thoughts: I've had Pickard Park in my wish list for years! I finally gave myself a trip to Pickard as a Birthday Present! (Happy Birthday to me! :) ) It did not disappoint! I'm going to make this suggestion! PLAY FROM THE LONG TEES!! The long tees were definitely above my play grade, but I was determined! I didn't come here expecting to have a great score, I came here to experience this legendary course! I may not have been a contender for best score, but I had a great time making it happen! I did surprise myself on a few holes!
It's definitely not for the newer or inexperienced player, it will frustrate those with a shorter arm! However, it will give a newer player something to aspire to. You'll definitely want to bring snacks and extra liquids! In the summer, it will get hot and you will be a long way from your vehicle! Plan accordingly!
Pickard Park is in Good Company with the other Iowa Courses, such as Camden II, West Lake and Wildcat Bluff! It's definitely a destination course and worth every bit of the drive! I drove from Mount Pleasant, and would do it again in a heartbeat!
I'll leave you with this nugget, for when you play Pickard. As Patrick McCormick said in his 2nd book "Discs and Zen", when asked "How can I throw farther?" his response was "Play from the Long Tees." So I emplore you, unless you just started, Play Pickard from the long tees and enjoy the journey!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Open with just enough trees to make for challenging holes.
-Multiple concrete Tees on each hole with nice tee signs on each hole.
-Generally a very long course, with plenty of elevation.
-Holes 4, 5, and 18 all have play by a pond.
-Surprisingly quiet, typically only a couple other people are on course. Play goes very fast for the length of the course.
-My personal favorites would be 5 over the pond (blind shot, pond not in view) and the approach on 10.
Cons: -Hole 16 and 17 are the only deeply wooded holes.
-Some holes get somewhat repetitive, throwing 300+ straight off the tee, then throwing at a basket surrounded by trees.
-18 is best played from the middle tee,(Somewhat like 10) the short tee's best line is the through by the rough. The long seems a bit too long and more of a trip back to the parking lot.
Other Thoughts: -This is a great course to learn how to throw the same disc, you will be throwing it on many holes.
-If you are not into wooded courses (I'm personally not) I would recommend coming to Pickard Park In Indianola.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: -long open tees
-baskets in good condition and new signs
-water hazards and many obstacles
-trash cans ever other tee
Other Thoughts: -hole 18 is 800+ ft
-Great course and not much attention or people playing it :(
1 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 15 Not
best course ive played so far
Pros: My favorite course so far. Good mixture of shots and elevations. Long holes are managable and difficult. And short holes are difficult. A couple of good wooded holes. Love the rediculousness of the 900 footer. Fantastic! World class course. Not for beginners. Very nicely kept park as well.
Cons: Love everything about this course. Thats all
Other Thoughts: Very highly recommended. Bring multiples of your go to discs the little lake pond thing has eaten up a couple of mine
1 of 16 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: This course has everything. There is water that comes into play, elevation, wooded holes, and LONG holes. It's been mowed every time I played it.
Cons: The woods are very thick and eat discs. I don't knock points off for this because it's part of the game.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the best in the State of Iowa and should be played if your coming through.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
An absolute Iowa masterpiece
Pros: Probably the most complete layout I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Pickard has everything. Disc golf dedicated land, multiple tees with great distance variation, a nicely jumbled mix of long and short holes, tall grass rough, dense trees, tucked pins, forced layups, several risk/reward opportunities, water hazards, unforgiving woods, uphill, downhill (sometimes in the same hole), even some ace runs from the short tees. True Par 4 and 5 holes. Terrific signage showing the hole layout at both tee boxes. Its in small town Iowa, so you can count on there not being a lot of traffic.
Cons: Probably not the best course to bring your kids or newbies to. Even the short layout here is challenging. Only a single pin position on each hole. Plenty of places to lose a disc, so I'd recommend using a spotter. Hole #1 is a tad dangerous with the parking lot in the line of fire. On the woodsier holes, the Chainstars do blend into the scenery a bit, and I wish they could be made more prominent with color or flags on top.
Other Thoughts: I thought long and hard before doling out the '5' here, my first in the 66 courses I've reviewed. I was impressed by Pickard when I played it on my recent trip, but wanted to get a couple of the gem Twin Cities courses (Bryant Lake & Blue Ribbon Pines) under my belt to test as a comparison, to see which of the three stacked up best, and while I enjoyed them all, Pickard IMO, made me think about my shot selection the best, and punished me for mistakes. I've heard the legend of this course for a number of years now, and have played the Des Moines area courses on several occasions, but due to Pickard's out of the way location, never made my way down to Indianola to play it. I'm glad I finally made the trip.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
The Best of the Best
Pros: How do I begin to describe the beauty of playing disc golf in Pickard Park...Lets start by reminding folks it was designed by the Woman's World Champion Julianna Korver...Trust me when I tell you she knows how to design a top notch course...
The flow of the course is what stands out to me when I try to compare this place to other courses I've played...It starts out with an opportunity to warm up your arm with two should be birdie holes...Then the course starts stretching out, a trend you'll find on a number of holes out here...
The flow moves from short, position type shots to longer par 4's and 5's in places...this constant stretching and shrinking really keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking about each shot...There are no real gimmies out here (hole 2 is possibly the only one)
Hole 14 stands out in my mind as the most picturesque hole on the course...looking down the fairway to a basket tucked into the woods and behind a ravine is hard to describe...but once you step up to the tee pad you'll know what I'm trying to describe...There are plenty of other places for photo ops out there but this is one hole I'll never forget...
Amenities are top notch
Huge course with variety of shots
Gorgeous Iowa prairie and rolling hills
Never very busy as its about 25 minutes from Des Moines
Cons: NONE WHATSOEVER
(no smoking in the park but that's only a con if you smoke)
Other Thoughts: Play it if your ever in the area...you will not regret the decision...and bring plenty of water in the summertime...I think there may be a spigot or two out there but water will keep you moving up and down the hills
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 8 Not
Best of the best
Pros: This course has everything.
- Cement tee pads
- Multiple tee pads
- Drinking fountains
- Short holes
- Long holes
- Par 3's, 4's & 5's
- Water holes
Cons: Nothing takes away from this course. Definitely a must play course in Iowa
Other Thoughts: After my first time playing this course, I couldn't wait to play it again. It is truly a tester of a course.
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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