Des Moines Golf and Country Club dates back to 1897, when 9-hole course was laid out by Warren Dickinson, one of the founding members. A few years later, the club secured a twenty-year lease on land to the north of its original premises and Tom Bendelow was called in to design the new layout.
When this lease expired, the club relocated again, moving to the 147-acre Ashworth Estate on the west side of Des Moines. Unfortunately, the imminent arrival of an interstate highway in the mid-1960s forced the club’s final move to Dallas County, where two 18-hole layouts were fashioned.
Both courses were designed by Pete Dye, with the North opening in 1968 and the South following a year later. The club has since hosted the US Senior Open in 1999 and the Solheim Cup in 2017, with a composite course (featuring nine holes from each course) used for the more recent event, which Pete Dye and Tim Liddy renovated in 2014.
In The American Private Golf Club
Guide, author Daniel Wexler says “the present facility is
headlined (but only just) by the slightly longer North course, a
challenging layout which could easily have its par lowered two shots
for major competition. Though its aesthetic offers few hints of Dye,
it does feature some strong holes, particularly early in the back
I was lucky to get an opportunity to come play 36 holes at Des Moines Golf and Country Club recently and thoroughly enjoyed the day. First thing to mention is that the club has around 830 members and you instantly feel this with the very large parking lot and the amount of people you see around the property. Either due to this, or maybe because of this, the club is run like a well oiled machine and feels a little bit like a "factory of golf".
We played the South Course first, which is a great course in its own right, but is less interesting in my opinion. We then played the North Course in the afternoon, and after starting with a few "boring" holes, the course really opened itself up to us towards the end of the front nine and then basically from the 7th hole onwards provides great hole after great hole after great hole. My favorite stretch of holes is 7-8-9-10-11-12 as they use the natural undulation of the property and some small lakes very well to provide really high quality strategic holes.
Everything about Des Moines Golf and Country Club is class and quality and definitely worth the visit.