I’m attending a wedding in Des Moines in September and am hoping to have a free afternoon for golf. Where Should I play?
The couple tying the knot chose a good time to do it—Iowa’s climate in September is ideal, with temperatures dropping into the seventies and the humidity of the prairie summer beginning to fade. If you can get on, the venerable Wakonda Club (515-285-4962, wakondaclub.com) is the place to play. In the 1920s, William Langford and Theodore Moreau built some of the Midwest’s boldest courses, and Wakonda is one of the finest examples of their style.
The star of the public scene is The Harvester ($64–$89; 641-227-4653, harvestergolf.com), a Keith Foster course half an hour northeast of Des Moines. It’s a beautifully shaped modern layout with a great mix of holes, from strategic puzzlers like the par-four eleventh, a fine take on the Cape hole, to do-or-die challenges like the shot to the peninsula green of the par-three seventeenth.
If you’re pressed for time, consider playing Jeff Brauer’s design at The Legacy ($25–$50; 515-287-7885, thelegacygolfclub.com), only five minutes from Des Moines International Airport. Like the Harvester, it sits on nicely rolling property and boasts plenty of action around the greens. Overall, a good solid heartland value.