July 22, 2017
|A Quick Spring Golf Escape: Ames, IA|
By Matt RandallAmes, Iowa is the perfect destination for an early spring escape. An easy three-hour drive from the Twin Cities, Ames has fantastic golf courses which make this destination perfect for a golf weekend getaway. Here's a quick snapshot of what we would consider the perfect weekend getaway for you and your favorite foursome.
Get up early, pick up some breakfast and coffee, and hit the road. Make sure to include an extra sweatshirt, some light gloves (just in case), and a change of socks if it rains. And, don't forget, just because you let "Gary" come along for the trip, it doesn't mean he can bring the Barry Manilow for the trip down...bring along some good road trip music.
First golf stop: Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. Located a driver and wedge away from Jack Trice Stadium, Coldwater should be the first point of entry on any golf trip to Central Iowa.
Host of the 2007 Iowa Senior Amateur, and the 2008 USGA Mid-AM and Publinks Qualifiers, this Tripp Davis designed course built in 2002, is a links inspired course that provides one of the most interesting and unique layouts in the area. Situated in the Squaw Creek River valley, Coldwater's par 71, 6800 yard layout will surely provide you and your group with great memories.
While most people equate links courses with Scottish golf, the one thing that you can't provide in the Midwest is the sea, as clubhouse manager Matt Randall explains, "A lot of people even ask what a links course is, and why would we want to build this type of course in Ames. Simple answer is, we think it provides the most fun of any course that you could hope to play. There aren't any trees, no big hills or blind shots, just great golf laid right out in front you."
With the pitching and rolling fairways, the huge bunkers guarding against errant shots, and the wispy native grasses bordering each hole, what appears to be a simple little golf course turns into something entirely different. Architect Tripp Davis, a national champion golfer at the University of Oklahoma, and still one of the nation's top amateur competitors made sure that each shot had to be well thought out and considered.
"Our hope," says Randall, "is that we can provide golfers with a fun course to play, that provides them with some great memories. So many times, you go out with your buddies to play a round of golf, and you can't remember the great times you had, because it was just another round of golf. That won't happen at Coldwater."
We agree, Coldwater Golf Links exceeds expectations for its golf course as well as it's service, and for those reasons, we too are sure that you will remember your experience at Coldwater.
Following your round of golf, now it's time to fill those empty stomachs and find a place to sleep for the night, making sure that "Gary" gets his own room.Ames has some of the best restaurants for a town of it's size. You won't miss by eating at any of the following hangouts (see sidebar), and you will be surprised at how great it really is!
Wake up "Gary." After a long night of putting up with his snoring, you now know why his wife is so cranky all the time. It's time to jump back in the car and head east.
We are on the lookout for Iowa's #1 ranked golf course, The Harvester. The Harvester, located 20 miles west of Ames sits amongst some of the Midwest's most beautiful landscape. The Keith Foster designed course has been ranked #1 in Iowa by Golfweek and Golf Digest, and is ranked #21 of Americas 100 greatest public courses by Golf Digest.
The course weaves through some of the best land that could be conceived for a golf course, and provides one of the best challenges of golf that you can find. The host of the 105th Iowa Amateur, and numerous other USGA qualifying events, The Harvester is a must play while in Central Iowa.
The eleventh hole, known as The Sickle, is the architect's favorite on the course. The Sickle is a flat piece of ground, surrounded by natural wetlands. It looks simple from the tee, but the hole is set up on angles. The bunkers are cut well into the slope. While it looks easy, this hole is sure to give you a run for your money.
After hitting the 19th hole for a few beers at the course, stay around for a great meal at The Harvester. Their made-from-scratch onion rings are definitely worth a try. Once you've finished up, head back to Ames for another night on the town.
Sunday grab some breakfast and hit the road back to the northland.
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