The 10 Best Public Golf Courses in Iowa!

On a beautiful day, there’s nothing quite as great as teeing up for a round of golf. In Iowa, you’ll find an abundance of courses waiting to be played. Whether you are looking for a first-class experience found at places like the Harvester Golf Club in Rhodes, or you’re searching for a more affordable option like the Bos Landen Golf Course of Pella, then these 10 best public golf courses in Iowa might be right for you. 

1. The Harvester Golf Course, Rhodes, IA

Consistently landing as the No. 1 rated golf course in Iowa, and recognized as one of the best golf courses in the nation, the Harvester delivers big on every aspect of the golfing experience. Featuring 18 well-crafted and expertly manicured holes surrounded by scenic rural landscapes, as well as luxurious accommodations for a weekend pursuit, it’s best to reserve your overnight stay and tee-times now, because they do fill up quickly. With a nearly cemented reputation as the best golf course in Iowa, experience for yourself what makes the Harvester Golf Course an amazing place to play.  

2. Golf at the Preserve at Rathbun Lake, Moravia, IA

Operating as a state-owned public golf course, the Preserve at Rathbun Lake is part of the larger Honey Creek Resort State Park, and offers a scenic surrounding to admire between long drives and big putts. With 18-holes to explore, all operating at a championship level, the Preserve provides a memorable golfing experience through it’s challenging course and lush surroundings. Another popular place to play in Iowa, advanced tee-times are always recommended at this first-class golfing resort.

3. Spirit Hollow Golf Course, Burlington, IA

Situated squarely in the Mississippi River Valley, Spirit Hollow Golf Course is a nationally recognized, championship-level golf course that invites all members of the community and all skill levels to explore the game of golf on its scenic course. Featuring many ups and downs, short greens and a few inevitable out-of-bounds shots, the fun doesn’t stop once the 18th hole is completed at Spirit Hollow. A great way to finish the day at this Burlington golfing hotspot is to have a meal at the connected LAMBO’s Grill, which serves up the fresh food as you review the scorecard. 

4. Amana Colonies Golf Club, Amana, IA

Framed by the rolling hillsides and friendly community of the Amana Colonies, the Amana Colonies Golf Club features 18 holes that each offer its own special landscape to admire. Consistently ranked as a top course in the state of Iowa, it’s not just the scenic surroundings and expertly designed holes that make the Amana Colonies a great public course. It’s the whole experience. Whether it’s the connected overnight accommodations or the surrounding Amana Colonies waiting to be explored, it’s much more than just the pure golfing experience that makes the Amana Colonies Golf Club worth visiting.

5. Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny, IA

With over 40 bunkers, 17 ponds, and plenty of tall grass and mounds surrounding each hole, not many golfers leave the Otter Creek Golf Course with every ball they came in with. But searching for an out-of-bounds shot isn’t too bad at this acclaimed public course in Iowa, because it gives you the little extra reason to further enjoy the scenic surroundings of each well-manicured hole. With weekend rates falling somewhere in the $50 range for 18 holes, not only is Otter Creek one of the best public courses in the state, but it’s also one of the most affordable. 

6. Blue Top Ridge, Riverside, IA

Designed by Rees Jones, whose other golf course accolades includes seven U.S. Open courses, five PGA courses and three Ryder Cup sites, it’s easy to feel like a pro when teeing off at the Blue Top Ridge Golf Course. Connected and operated by the Riverside Casino & Resort, this scenic location surrounded by two rivers can provide a weekend full of fun in combination with the resort style accommodations and constant events on the schedule. Even if you’re not a gambler, it’s a pretty safe bet that the Blue Top Ridge Golf Course will be a great 18-hole experience for all levels of players.  

7. The Falls at Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort, Larchwood, IA

Featuring a uniquely landscaped 18 holes of golf that you won’t find anywhere else in the state, the Falls at Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort will have you taking just a little extra time to step off the green to enjoy the surroundings. Located just minutes away from the South Dakota border, The Falls ranks up high as one of the best golf courses on the western side of the state. Thanks to its many overnight accommodations and full-service amenities also offered by this resort and casino, it can be a true weekend getaway that will keep you engaged and entertained the entire time. 

8. Tournament Club of Iowa, Polk City, IA

Serving as the only Arnold Palmer Signature Course in Iowa, you can not only expect to be challenged at the Tournament Club of Iowa, but you can expect to experience some of the best ball play in the Midwest. Featuring rolling hills, dramatic bluffs and the ever-present water of Big Creek, the Tournament Club of Iowa also operates a fantastic club house which can provide a first-class dining experience after your round. Open to public play, corporate events and championship level tournaments, you can expect to find golfers of all skill levels hitting the Tournament Club of Iowa links on any given day of the season. 

9. Bos Landen Golf Club, Pella, IA

The city of Pella is already blessed with landscapes that can’t be beat, and when you add a golf course into the mix, it provides 18 holes that you’ll never forget. With five tee-pads for every hole of this championship level golf course, all skill levels and driver distances can enjoy the course, and with weekend rates coming in at under $50, the Bos Landen Golf Club is one of the most affordable, first-class resorts in Iowa. Book your tee-time today and see for yourself why this Pella public course is one of the best in Iowa.

10. Waveland Golf Course, Des Moines, IA

Featuring rolling hillsides and well-manicured greens, the Waveland Golf Course of Des Moines is the oldest municipal course west of the Mississippi River. Over that time, alongside the changing community of the capital city, the Waveland Golf Course has matured itself into a great golfing experience. You can expect to hit a few trees at Waveland, unless you’re extremely accurate, and you can also expect to enjoy all 18 holes regardless of where your ball lands at this Des Moines staple public course.

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