The Hawkeye State of Iowa sits in the Midwest Region of the United States and Des Moines is both its capital and largest city. The Mississippi River delineates Iowa’s eastern border with Nebraska and the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers forms the boundary with Wisconsin and Illinois on its western flank. Back in 1846, Iowa was the 29th state to be admitted to the Union and since then – barring the odd Civil War, Depression and World War – it has never looked back.

The Iowa Golf Association has been serving male golfers in the state since 1900 and it currently provides governance to registered members in 170 clubs. The ladies equivalent, the Iowa Women’s Golf Association, was formed in 1927 though, interestingly, female golfers had been playing tournaments in conjunction with the men’s state events since 1902.

Two Golden Age layouts deserve special mention and they are William Langford’s Wakonda Club in Des Moines and C.H. Alison’s Davenport Country Club in Pleasant Valley. Completed in 1922 and 1924 respectively, they’ve not been immune to alteration down the years but they’re still well worth trying to befriend a member in order to get a game. Of a more recent vintage, Pete Dye’s North and South layouts at Des Moines Country Club and the Tom Fazio-designed course at Glen Oaks Country Club are excellent modern courses whilst Keith Foster’s new millennium creation at Harvester is widely recognised as the best in state – what’s more, it’s a public access track that allows daily fee play.

Our Iowa Best In State Rankings were last updated in June 2016. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Iowa


1st Iowa - Best in Area

The Harvester Golf Club opened in 2000 and it’s perhaps architect Keith Foster’s finest original creation.


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Description: The Harvester Golf Club opened in 2000 and it’s perhaps architect Keith Foster’s finest original creation. Rating: 5 out of 6


2nd Iowa - Best in Area

Site of the US Amateur Championship in 1963, the course at the Wakonda Club was set out on a somewhat constricted parcel of land by William Langford in 1922...


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Spirit Hollow

3rd Iowa - Best in Area

Spirit Hollow Golf Course lies four and half miles south of Burlington and its fairways are laid out in two circuits, with the front nine routed around a residential development.


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Des Moines (South)

4th Iowa - Best in Area

The South course is one of two challenging Pete Dye-designed layouts at Des Moines Golf & Country Club, it's where the US Senior Open was held in 1999...


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Glen Oaks

5th Iowa - Best in Area

Venue of the Principal Charity Classic on the PGA Champions Tour, the course at Glen Oaks Country Club is a 1994 Tom Fazio design that’s laid out within a residential development to the west of Des Moines.


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Blue Top Ridge at Riverside

6th Iowa - Best in Area

The Blue Top Ridge course at the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort is a Rees Jones design that debuted in 2009. Holes are laid out on the floodplain of the meandering Iowa River with several fairways routed around man-made lakes.


7th Iowa - Best in Area

A CH Alison design from 1924, the course at Davenport Country Club was remodelled by Bob Lohman in 2000 when he created a new 1st hole and realigned the 9th, moving the green close to Conduit Creek.


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Tournament Club of Iowa

8th Iowa - Best in Area

Situated between Saylorville Lake and Big Creek State Park, the course at the Tournament Club of Iowa is an Arnold Palmer layout that brings water into play at more than half the holes on the card.

Preserve on Rathbun Lake

9th Iowa - Best in Area

Developed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Preserve on Rathbun Lake golf course lies within the 800-acre Honey Creek Resort State Park and it’s a Herfort-Norby design that first opened its doors to golfers in 2008.

Hunters Ridge

10th Iowa - Best in Area

Set out around a residential development to the northeast of Cedar Rapids, Hunters Ridge Golf Course comprises two contrasting nines. The outward half is pretty straightforward but water hazards and wetland areas contribute to a far tougher back nine.