Briggs Woods Golf Course – Make History In Hamilton County, Iowa
By E. Nolan
There are 22 public recreation areas in Hamilton County, Iowa, managed by the Hamilton County Conservation Board, with tons of open, green acreage for you to explore. One of those is Briggs Woods Park and golf course with 18 greens for you to explore. Add in the state public hunting wildlife areas and river accesses, the public ground covers over 6,000 acres gorgeously scattered around the Boone River in North Central Iowa. This is a beautiful part of the state if you enjoy the outdoor life. And that beauty is further amplified by a massive fun factor if you enjoy golf.
GOLF: People come from all over to golf here. Brian Lammers, the Executive Director of Hamilton County Conservation says, “Briggs Woods is easy to get to. Just two miles south of Webster City, near Fort Dodge (12 miles off I35), we’re a straight shot east from Sioux City, west from Waterloo/Cedar Falls, north from Ames and Des Moines and a straight shot south from Albert Lea and Mason City.” The golf course is known for being thrill-filled, loaded with elevation changes and packed with tight squeezed fairways between trees and water bodies. “It’s an amazingly beautiful property to play golf on,” Brian adds, “for the beginner, the good player, the family outing or golf buddy trip.”
CABINS: Golf groups come to Briggs Woods not just for the high-value fun on the course, but for the high-octane fun that can be had off the course, as play-cations convert easily into stay-cations with their seven cabins at Briggs Woods. One 8-person cabin, with lake and forest views, sells out quickly in season (May-October) at roughly $150 a night, ($25 per person for eight golfers) two, 13 and 15-person cabins book even quicker for bigger golf groups, conferences and wedding parties at only $250 a night (less than $20 per golfer) and four 4-person cabins fly at only $60 a night. Thinking about that makes you start counting your friends and looking at your calendar, doesn’t it – to see if you can round up 4, 8 or 12 guys for a couple nights.
Hotels are an option, too, with their popular golf packages that start at $135 and include a one night stay at a hotel and two unlimited days of golf with cart. Or just come for the day, where you can play at ridiculously low $21 (weekday) and $25 (weekend) rates. All of this makes their claim as “Iowa’s Greatest Golf Value” worth investigating.
CONFERENCE CENTER: Golf groups don’t have to stay, of course, to take advantage of the fun, and you can bring a whole lot more than 8 to 12 guys/girls. The brand new, state-of-the-art Briggs Woods Conference Center is a full-service venue that can accommodate golf, corporate and wedding/party groups up to 400 people, adjacent the golf course.
RECREATION: People come to Briggs Woods to eat, drink and get married… to swim, camp, hike, fish, canoe, picnic and hang out with friends and family. It is a popular vacation destination for Iowans and southern Minnesotans because of all the space and entertainment options. Every one of those activities is its own draw, but Briggs Woods Golf Course is both a draw and a slice (of heaven).
BRIGGS WOODS GOLF COURSE: If scenery is what you seek, the 6,500-yard Par 72 course overlooks the serene Boone River Valley. Accuracy off the tee leads players to well-maintained fairways and large smooth greens. A lack of accuracy lets you see a different side of the beauty, behind tall arching trees on the front nine and from the bottom of ponds and creek beds on the back. The front nine is set up to let you work your way into your game. Incredibly score-friendly, it’s not uncommon to make it to the 9th tee close to (or at) even par.
That’s where you need to start paying attention. Just when you think the course might be too easy (dangerous words), or too free of hazards, hole 9 brings water into play and your mind… and it messes with your head the rest of the way. There are some great golf holes on the back nine – holes 10-12 are my favorites on the course, and holes 14-16 balance out the pars and birdies on your scorecard. I was 3-under on that trio… three under water.
The course has been here for over 40 years, but every year golfers stumble across it in disbelief – not sure how they could have missed for so long a place with so much diverse playability, scenery, challenge and fun. Go to mycountyparks.com/County/Hamilton.aspx and click “Hamilton” for more golf, cabin and conference center information and photos.