Tournament Club of Iowa: A Premier Golfing Destination In Polk City, Iowa

By Jeff Wendel






Tournament Club of Iowa stands as a beacon for golf enthusiasts seeking an exceptional and challenging golfing experience. An Arnold Palmer Signature Design, TCI is renowned for its meticulously designed course, state-of-the-art facilities, and commitment to providing a premier golfing destination. The Tournament Club of Iowa has earned its place as a must-visit for visiting golfers. TCI is an easy drive from Minnesota south on Interstate 35.

Designed by the acclaimed Arnold Palmer Design Company, the Tournament Club of Iowa opened its doors in 2003. Palmer’s vision was to create a course that seamlessly integrated with the natural surroundings while providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels. The resulting design by golf course architect Erik Larsen was an 18-hole championship course that spans over 7,000 yards, featuring rolling hills, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that add both beauty and complexity to each hole. 

Creative Problem Solving

General Manager/Director of Golf Stephen Kahler, PGA faced some significant challenges when Kahler Golf began operating TCI in 2020. First, unlike most midwestern golf courses the 9th hole did not come back to the clubhouse. Second, the restaurant and banquet area occupied the same space making it impossible to accommodate dining and bar business when hosting an outing or event.

TCI began working again with the original golf course architect Erik Larsen and shaper Jim Felten on creating a systematic gameplan to address the course rotation issue. The ultimate solution was to add another hole coming back to the clubhouse. However, that would take time and money. So, the short-term, most cost effective, solution at the time was to flip the nines. Although Kahler Golf did not love the idea, because the original rotation provided some of the best finishing holes in Iowa, the pros outweighed the cons. Therefore, in May of 2021, the nines were temporarily reversed. Then over the last two years, a new hole has been built, becoming the new #9. The par 4 #7 and par 3 #8 were combined to make a new par 5. The new par 3 #9 is a fabulous par 3 that returns to the clubhouse. The new holes will be introduced in Spring of 2024 and the course will be returned to the original rotation. The goal was to make the changes while preserving the original design as much as possible.

A major clubhouse renovation was necessary and is now complete. The new design provides separate space for the restaurant and banquet area and a permanent location for two aboutGolf simulators which will now be available year-round. Kahler’s focus on a friendly and welcoming staff make the Tournament Club of Iowa the pinnacle of destination golf.

The Tournament Club of Iowa is located just North of the Des Moines-West Des Moines metropolitan area and just West of Ankeny. The area has a wide variety of lodging options, from Historic Hotels to many new modern inns and lodges.

The Tournament Club of Iowa stands as a testament to the dedication of Arnold Palmer in creating a golf course that not only challenges players but also celebrates the beauty of the natural surroundings. With its championship-caliber course and top-notch facilities, the Tournament Club of Iowa has rightfully earned its reputation as a premier golfing destination in Iowa. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a novice looking to experience golf at its finest, the Tournament Club of Iowa promises an unforgettable and rewarding journey on the fairways.