Honey Creek Resort at Rathbun Lake
About Honey Creek Resort at Rathbun LakeThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources manages both Honey Creek Resort’s lodge and cottages and the surrounding 850-acre Honey Creek State Park, which offers camping, cabins, heated shower facilities, trails and a boat ramp on Rathbun Lake, the state’s second-largest lake. Honey Creek Resort features the Buccaneer Bay indoor water park, a restaurant and The Preserve at Rathbun Lake golf course. The marina is home to a boat launch, fishing pier and 40 boat slips. Watercraft rentals, including canoes, kayaks, jet skis, paddle boats, fishing boats and pontoons, are available. An Activities Building hosts weekend educational programs and activities - guided hikes, live animals, campfire stories and nature-inspired games and crafts.
Golf courses at Honey Creek Resort at Rathbun Lake
Images from Honey Creek Resort at Rathbun Lake
Hadn't played the course in 10 years so didn't remember much about it. Glad I played it again. Pace of play is perfect for any type of golfer. Average lenght helps the pace but also your score. Most of the par 5's could be reached in 2 with above average shots. Played 2 days in a row and 2 different set of tees. Bentgrass fairways are average considering hasn't rained in weeks. Greens were really nice. Putted true and have good speed. Keep it in the fairway but if it is windy....watch out. Course will get you. Worth the drive.
The course had a nice fair layout and the greens were true. The sand traps were lacking sand and were wet / muddy. The staff was unhelpful and did little to promote golf as a good experience.
Greens are fast but not hard. Fairways are green and we'll maintained. Best course in area.
Perfect day, perfect golf experience
Played The Preserve for the 8th time today. Drove down from Des Moines to play an early tee time by myself, and what a great time I had!
After warming up on the range, I hit the course. The Preserve starts with back-to-back par-5s, and three par-5s in the first five holes. Some won't like that, but for me, it removes any semblance of pressure. Hit your tee shot, play your second to inside 100 yards and play some easy approaches. By the time you reach the 5th, you're warmed up and ready to go for the green in two.
My round today was magical. Playing from the middle tees, I went around the front in even-par 36, and the back in 34. Of course, golf is much easier when you're on your own and not waiting, and it certainly doesn't hurt that the course conditions and weather were simply perfect -- 75 degrees with light wind when my round ended. But when you play your very best, you know the course suits you well, and this course certainly does for me.
As I mentioned, this is the 8th time I've played here, and I've grown to love this course more every time. If it's your first time, pay close attention to the GPS and maps ... and stay away from the prairie grass outside the primary rough. You'll lose your ball for sure. But good shots are rewarded here, so hit 'em straight and enjoy the solitude. There are exactly three buildings you can see from anywhere on the course ... the clubhouse, a maintenance garage, and one home. That's it. Beyond that, you're on the prairie in Iowa.
The third: A beautiful downhill par-3 that plays anywhere from 117 from the red tees to 243 from the tips. The drop is probably 50-60 feet, so you can play less club. Choose your tee box well ... it's easy to lose a ball here.
The fifth: A fun par-5 that's reachable in two. Downhill tee shot for the first 230 yards, then uphill the rest of the way to the hole. It's not only a drop-dead beautiful view, it's a FUN par-5.
The twelfth: Another downhill par-3 that gives you perhaps the best view of many great views on the course. Plays 210 from the tips and drops probably 60 feet to an enormously wide but fairly shallow putting surface that can be a challenge to hit because of the distance control required. Really fun par-3.
The thirteenth: I love this par-5. Why? Because I nearly holed my third shot today, a pitch from 57 yards, leaving me a tap-in birdie.
The sixteenth: A challenging uphill par-4 that plays 470 from the tips and has a large bunker right in the middle of the widest fairway on the course. Carry your shot straight over the bunker, and you're left with maybe 130 to the green. Go left or right of the bunker, and your approach is much longer. Very cool risk-reward par-4.
Course conditions today were absolutely amazing. Bentgrass tees, fairways and greens, all in pristine condition, give you the impression that you're playing at a much more expensive venue. Greens roll very true and moderately fast, maybe 10 or 11, so they're fun to putt. There are lots of elevation changes and interesting shots, along with some truly great views. You just can't go wrong here. Highly recommended.
Nice rolling links
Course was fun and challenging. Gps wasn't working on our cart and yardage markers we're hard to find. Would play again otherwise.
Fun layout but.....
The layout is fun and challenging enough but the course conditions left a lot to be desired. Needs TLC to be a great course and to be worth the value.
Very nice experience
Course is a very nice challenge. If you don't hit the ball decently straight, this is not a course for you. The prairie comes into play on almost every hole if you are off the beaten path and you won't find your ball. Greens were very nice and fairly fast. Fairways had some spotty areas, but not horrible.
Great challenge, and excellent greens
The course had some turf damage due to pests, otherwise it was in fantastic condition and played like a championship track. Will definitely return again!
Course is worth the drive.
Course is beautiful and links like layout very close to a 5. The grass conditions are good considering hot, dry weather. The rough swallows balls and would be improved by thinning out but fairways are quite generous. Traps could use a little work but overall this is a challenging course that is fair and playable. It is probably overlooked given location but well worth the drive. Would get more play if in metro area.
The course layout itself was exceptional, but the course was in very poor shape. Only the greens were well kept. Both fairways and tees had plenty of weeds and dead spots. The 2-3 gentlemen behind the golf desk were friendly and helpful. Great Pro shop.
Our experience however with the food counter was not very good. I don't think she wanted to be there. It was even a busy day.
All and all we would not recommend a drive down.
Third time playing this course in the past three months and have enjoyed it every time. Pace of play is always great and I mostly play as a single, but other players don't mind letting you play through. The staff are very friendly and the pro shop is well stocked. The snack bar has a good selection of various items. The heat and lack of rain recently has taken a slight toll on the grass - but the condition is in great shape considering the lack of rain.
Very nice course
It was a challenge. it was in good shape and were rewarded for good shot. Greens were fast and true. Enjoyed the scenery.
Absolutely a Hidden Gem
I golfed this course early in the morning, and they had recently had a lot of rain. Part of the course was under water, but the staff had already designated travel routes so that you still have 18 holes of quality golf. The course is absolutely beautiful for Southern Iowa. The staff was very friendly and the guys on the mower were very happy to be working there. That says a lot about a golf course. The views from the tee on almost every hole are spectacular. Greens role true, and GPS in cart gives exact distance to green and hazards. It was definitely worth the 250 mile drive for me.
The Preserve is one of the best conditioned and well run courses I've played in many years. They are literally in the middle of nowhere, so not many people know about it. It was ranked the #5 public course in all of Iowa in 2012. If you find yourself with time to kill in central Iowa, you must check this place out.