The 10 Best Golf Courses in Iowa – Rated By Real Players

Iowa is home to over 440 golf courses throughout the state and offers diversity at a good cost to stay and play.

Whatever your preference of style, Iowa will not be found wanting.

Selecting the 10 best courses in Iowa is not an easy task, but those selected will bring a challenge and enjoyment.

This task has been eased with a collaboration with TheGrint, our favorite mobile app that helps golfers track their handicap and stats. They have collected golf course reviews from millions of real golf rounds from real golfers.

Ranking in order 1 to 10

  1. Spirit Hollow Golf Club | Spirit Hollow
  2. Amana Colonies Golf Club | Amana
  3. Wakonda Club | Wakonda
  4. Blue Top Ridge Golf Club
  5. Tournament Club of Iowa
  6. Saddleback Ridge Golf Club
  7. Finkbine Golf Club
  8. Prairie Links Golf & Events Centre
  9. Bent Tree Golf Club | Bent Tree
  10. The Meadows Golf Club | Meadows

1. Spirit Hollow Golf Club | Spirit Hollow

spirit-hollow-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Burlington, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,901 meters off the Tips and 4,619 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 97.7
Fun Rating: 99.2
Shape Rating: 96.3

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Spirit Hollow is one of those golf courses that have a fair number of outstanding holes to consider as the “signature hole”. The opportunity to attack the par 4s and 5s take my vote for the best on the track.

A parkland course with thousands of trees lining the fairways and 11 holes incorporating water, will test even the best golfer.

A good strategy is required.

The holes are stunning and diverse and call for the use of every shot and club in the bag, irrespective of the tee used.

2. Amana Colonies Golf Club | Amana

amana-colonies-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Amana, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,238 meters off the Tips and 5,305 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 95.1
Fun Rating: 95.6
Shape Rating: 94.7

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 382-meter par 4 10th is deemed by many to be the signature hole.

This par 4 plays downhill off the tee to a dogleg left tree-lined fairway, and then climbs uphill to a well-protected bunker green complex.

Don’t be short on the uphill approach.

A fun course with elevation changes and sloping fairways, that will require accurate and some knock-down shots to keep the scorecard under control.

The contoured greens are difficult but the strategy is to play the approach shots to the center of the green.

3. Wakonda Club | Wakonda

wakonda-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,316 meters off the Tips and 5,682 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 94.4
Fun Rating: 95.6
Shape Rating: 93.1

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 158-meter par 3 17th is the signature hole. It plays across water to a green complex surrounded by bunkers.

Select the correct club from the tee.

A course for the golfer that likes to hit the “big dog” off the tee on every par 4 and 5.

Wide-open fairways, that have a fair amount of slope and elevation, will test the 2nd shot for accuracy and precision.

Most greens are protected by bunkers, but this track will be enjoyed by all skill levels.

4. Blue Top Ridge Golf Club

blue-top-ridge-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Riverside, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,804 meters from the Tips and 5,242 meters from the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 92.3
Fun Rating: 94
Shape Rating: 90.7

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The shot index 1 7th hole is a 562-meter par 5 that requires carry over water off the tee and is a dogleg right. Bunkers on either side of the fairway lurk to catch the errant drive.

The layup shot 2nd also requires precision to avoid another 3 bunkers lying in wait.

Now attack the large undulating green.

A great hole for long hitters.

Huge elevation changes, strategic bunkering, and large undulating greens make for a challenging and rewarding layout.

The front 9 is easier, but the back 9 is exceptional and the strategy is to keep the ball in the fairway.

Hitting the green in regulation will help you maintain a good card.

5. Tournament Club of Iowa

tournament-club-of-iowa

  • Site Link
  • Location: Polk City, Iowa.
  • Par: 71
  • Length: 6,438 meters off the Tips and 5,624 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 91.5
Fun Rating: 93.5
Shape Rating: 89.5

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Arnold Palmer excelled in this design and it was difficult to establish a signature hole.

The front nine requires control on shots while the back 9 opens up a bit for the guys who want to smack the driver.

Plenty of water around.

Big Creek flows through this Arnold Palmer designed layout, with a few man-made lakes incorporated to add to the challenge.

Bunkers well-placed for the mis-hit shot, and wooded areas lurk on the fairway edges.

A great mix of downhill and uphill shots and carries over deep ravines, will test all skill levels.

6. Saddleback Ridge Golf Club

saddleback-ridge-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Solon, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,047 meters off the Tips and 5,112 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 91.3
Fun Rating: 92.8
Shape Rating: 89.8

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – No nominated signature hole found on this track, but the diversity of challenges on all the holes, require the golfer to play each hole as the signature.

Saddleback Ridge Golf Club is a fairly wide-open layout that has a links-type feel as you move through the course.

Rolling hills and ponds are featured and wind can create havoc with the scorecard.

Good strategy and knock-down shots into the green are the plays and a good putting-touch is required on the tricky greens.

7. Finkbine Golf Club

finkbine-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,569 meters off the Tips and 5,186 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 91
Fun Rating: 92.6
Shape Rating: 89.4

5 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 215-meter par 3 13th is the signature hole and a picturesque setting.

Plays downhill over water and the player has the option of 2 greens to fire at. The shorter version is still challenging and club selection the key to staying dry.

Finkbine is a shot-makers layout and the par 4s and 5s are challenging yet enjoyable.

The rough is rather penal, so accuracy off the tee is essential.

Stay below the hole on the undulating, lightning-quick greens, to avoid 3 putts.

The flat-stick could be the savior or the villain after the round.

8. Prairie Links Golf & Events Centre

prarie-links-golf

  • Site Link
  • Location: Waverley, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 5,937 meters off the Tips and 4,754 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 90.7
Fun Rating: 92
Shape Rating: 89.3

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Debate over the signature hole is divided. The 481-meter par 5 15th is a contender, but the accolade goes to the very short, 139-meter par 3 8th hole.

Plays from a raised tee down to the green with water in the front and a bunker on either side.

If you enjoy links golf, then this course will test your nerve and ability to strategize your way around to a good score.

Wide fairways, allowing the golfer to rip the driver, but always consider bunker positioning on the hole in play. Huge shaped bunkers protect greens and fairways everywhere.

Select the holes you wish to attack and go for it.

Ride a Finn Cycle for a new “caddy” experience.

9. Bent Tree Golf Club | Bent Tree

bent-tree-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Council Bluff, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,071 meters off the Tips and 5,268 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 89.5
Fun Rating: 92.9
Shape Rating: 86.1

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Bent Tree has 2 signature holes: the 169-meter par 3 3rd which plays over water, to a steep front sloped green. A huge bunker protects the front.

The 467-meter par 5 9th is a real challenge. Water left, right and in the middle of the fairway, that has a double dogleg to contend with.

The 3 -tiered green will require a precision approach to avoid a 3 putt.

A scenic golf course that has retained its natural beauty, with wooded areas, streams, and lakes that abound with birds and wildlife.

The tree-lined fairways and expansive greens, make this walkable layout, a pleasure to play.

A good putter’s delight.

10. The Meadows Golf Club | Meadows

the-meadows-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,101 meters off the Tips and 4,436 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 89
Fun Rating: 89.3
Shape Rating: 88.7

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 193-meter par 3 8th is the signature hole and plays over water to an extremely sloped green, well protected by bunkers.

Select the correct club and position the tee shot for a 2 putt par.

Nestled in Rocky Mountain foothills, this beautiful links-style course is suitable for all skill levels to enjoy.

Wide fairways encourage the brave player to let the “big dog” out and attack the par 4s and 5s.

Walk the course to take in the stunning surroundings.

Other Courses Outside the Top 10

1. Honey Creek Golf Club | Honey Creek

honey-creek-golf-club

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 88.9
Fun Rating: 91.1
Shape Rating: 86.7

A target-style course that may suit the more accomplished golfer, but still allows for the average golfer to enjoy the outing.

2. Legacy Golf Club

legacy-golf-club

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 88.5
Fun Rating: 90.3
Shape Rating: 86.6

Rolling hills are a feature of this public golf course, which is highly rated by all who play here.

A course for all skill levels.

3. Brown Deer Golf Club

brown-deer-golf-club

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 88.1
Fun Rating: 92
Shape Rating: 84.3

Surrounded by the natural landscape, and a stream that meanders through the course, the stunning vistas are accompanied by a challenging layout.

Worth a visit if in the territory.

Final Thoughts

Wow, what a magnificent choice of golf courses to play when in Iowa.

Walking some of the tracks will add to the scenic value of the round.

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