My trip began at a course ranked in all of the various Top 100 Public courses list, The Harvester Golf Club in Rhodes, Iowa. The Harvester was a great place to start my trip and I was very impressed by the course. Keith Foster does great work renovating other people's courses, but this original design may be his best. The property features great topography with elevation changes that do not feel as dramatic as you think they should be. If you put The Harvester in California or Florida it would easily be ranked in the top 25 public courses in the country every year, but because it is located 30 minutes Northeast of Des Moines it will never get the attention it deserves.
|2nd Hole. I know it's not a great photo, but I holed out for Eagle on this hole, 120 yard wedge, didn't see it go in.|
|5th & 9th Holes|
The OB is pretty severe on the 11th Hole. The goats on the other side of the fence were very friendly. Golfers must feed them quite a bit because they ran over to me as soon as I got near the fence.
|16th & 17th Holes|
|Double Island Green 13th Hole|
Davenport Blog Post
Day four of the trip began with a sizable detour to the Chicago area to play Old Elm Club in Highland Park, Illinois. Old Elm was designed by Harry Colt and built by Donald Ross. Drew Rogers recently did an excellent renovation that recaptured the Colt feel. The routing of the course hasn't changed one bit since it was built. Old Elm is a Men's club and I know people are divided about the issue. I will say that the vibe at Old Elm is one of the coolest I have ever seen. They have a ping pong table in the golf shop. Why? Because they can. The locker room is old fashioned and sensible and every single person you run into is laid back and friendly.
The last day of the trip began with the only Tom Fazio course in the state of Iowa, Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. Glen Oaks is in the middle of making improvements to the course but even with a few temporary holes, it was still a very enjoyable course.
|4th and 5th Holes|
The last round on the trip was the Langford & Moreau designed Wakonda Club. Wakonda is a classic course that is fun to play and could really benefit from a proper restoration. Tree removal, bunker restoration and green expansion could make this course one of the best. The course hosts the Senior Tour in May which is why you will see bleachers in some of the photos.