The Best of Iowa’s Disc Golf Courses
Home to over 300 disc golf courses, some of which are nationally ranked, and nearly 100 disc golf tournaments, some claim that Iowa is the amateur disc golf capital of the world. This inexpensive hobby has taken over much of the state and its parks, offering a free recreational activity and a good excuse to explore some scenic vistas.
1. Wildcat Bluff
Recognized as one of the top 50 courses in the world, Urbana’s tough 21-hole disc golf course challenges players with a variety of obstacles. With tightly wooded fairways, a variety of elevation and long layouts, Wildcat Bluff is a challenge for even advanced players.
2. Walnut Ridge Recreation Area
Known as one of the best courses in the state, Walnut Ridge’s 18 holes offer a fun challenge for players of all skill levels. With a mix of open and wooded holes, large tee pads and a great balance of left to right and right to left shots, players are encouraged to bring their A-game. Sitting next to Saylorville Lake, players can also enjoy scenic views of the water and a stroll through a well-manicured park.
3. Sunnyside Disc Golf Course
This quaint, peaceful park offers some of the best “empty your bag” disc golfing in the state. This 18-hole course features a variety of wide open fairways and holes closely wooded by mature trees, moderate distances, lots of elevation and a creek that comes into play.
4. West Lake Park
With water, extreme wind and elevation, this long and challenging 24-hole course will test any players’ skill. Though more commonly seen as an advanced course, many holes include a pro and amateur tee pad for all skill levels to enjoy, but be sure everyone brings their A-game.
5. Pickard Park
Home to a variety of disc golf tournaments each year, Pickard Park provides a challenging but scenic course for amateur players. Featuring rolling hills, ponds and creeks and a long hike around a beautiful property, this 18-hole course is sure to top your list. Despite being a technical course with lots of trees, each hole includes a pro and amateur tee pad for all skill levels to enjoy.
6. Peninsula Park
Take a break from the hills with this flat but technical 18-hole course. With dual tee pads and dual pin locations for each hole, players can traverse a variety of wooded and open holes with scenic river views on three sides.
7. Stable Run Disc Golf Course
Situated next to the Iowa State University’s campus in Ames, this 18-hole course is very friendly for all skill levels. Each hole features two color coded baskets and tee pads, allowing players to pick from four shot options and distances. All shots are heavily forested with some open fairways.
8. Grandview Park
This popular metro course challenges players of all levels with its mature trees, gradual dips and hills and long shots. Though some holes include amateur tee pads, most shots range from 300 to 400 feet. Grandview Park is also heavily populated by children and families on the playground as well as walkers and runners, so guests should play with caution.
9. Forest City Disc Golf Course
With 21 holes spread throughout two city parks divided by the Winnebago River, Forest City’s disc golf course offers a variety of terrain. Along with the river and ponds, the course also features a swinging bridge with scenic views of the water. Most holes include two tee pads, elevation and trees.
10. Maytag Park
Located in the beautiful Maytag Park, this 18-hole course winds around an amphitheater, bike trails and swimming pool. Players can expect mostly long and open, hilly shots with some trees and brush. A local disc golf league takes this course over on Thursday nights, so plan accordingly.
11. Sugar Bottom Rec. Area
With beautiful views ofthe Coralville Reservoir, this 18-hole course also features a mix of wooded and open holes of varying lengths on beautiful rolling terrain. Each hole has multiple pins, offering new shots for returning players. Guests can also enjoy nearby recreational opportunities such as a swimming beach and nearby hiking and biking trails.
12. Treasure Cove
Nestled among the Loess Hills, this 18-hole course offers great scenery and shots. With an even mix of short, medium and long holes with two tees for each hole, wooded and open fairways and some elevation change, this is a great course for players of all skill levels. Treasure Cove also offers fun and unique basket placements, such as baskets set in coves cut into the bluffs.
13. Ewing Park
What started as an arboretum soon turned into a popular metro park. Along with paved and dirt trails, Ewing also has one of the best disc golf courses in the state and is a popular spot for tournaments. Featuring long shots, hills, wide open greenery and plenty of trees and rough on each hole, this course is a great challenge for advanced players.
14. Waterloo Exchange Park
Located next to the Cedar River near downtown Waterloo, this long and scenic course features a variety of technical forest and water shots, offering the ultimate challenge for skilled players. Players will find themselves throwing for 27 holes over creeks, ponds and next to the river as well as down narrow and heavily wooded fairways.
15. Chautauqua Park
Known by locals as a very unforgiving course, Fairfield’s disc golf course challenges players with its great use of elevation, technical shots and large trees. Each hole features a good mix of open and narrow fairways. The course was recently updated with new signs and tee pads and the park is well maintained to offer the best experience for all players.
16. West Floyd Park
With shots ranging from 200 to 500 feet long, West Floyd’s course offers a comfortable challenge for all skill levels. The park features mostly open shots with a few wooded holes, slight changes in elvation and some water that comes into play. Future additions are in the works for the course, including some alternate tee pads and the addition of more trees.
17. Big Creek State Park
Located in the beautiful Big Creek State Park, this course offers a relaxing experience for players of all levels. Featuring mostly short shots with two tee pads for each hole, players can also expect a course carved out among trees and tall grasses with slight elevation changes and tight fairways. .
18. Joe Sheldon Park
Situated in a peaceful park that borders the Des Moines River , this course is known for its technical shots, elevation changes and abundance of trees. Though a full 18 holes, most of the holes are under 300 feet, making this a quick course for experienced players.
19. High Point/Bertram Disc Golf Course
Disc golfers can find another quick play at Bertram’s course, whose 9 holes are all under 300 feet. A great course for beginners, most shots are in wide open grass fields with some trees acting as minor obstacles.
20. Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course at Kenue Park
Located in Kenue Park, this championship course includes pro and amateur tees for all skill levels on each hole. The course offers a good mix of shot lengths and winds through a well maintained mature oak savanna with rolling terrain that’s mostly wooded. Glacial debris offers a unique obstacle for many holes throughout the course.