Harvester Course Reaps Attention

A PGA Tour event may be in the offing for the Harvester Tournament Course in Harvester, Iowa. Thatís what developer Dickson Jensen envisions for his new championship venue. Jensen purchased 2,100 acres of rolling hills and farmland 25 minutes southwest of Des Moines in 1998, and promptly began development of the first of perhaps three courses on the site.

The Tournament Courseís front nine opened last July and the back nine this past September. From the tips, Harvester stretches 7,240 yards (7,340 yards from the professional tees) and winds through natural wetlands, dense woodlands and rolling hills. A 110-foot elevation change offers wide valleys, unexpected territorial vistas, and a 60-acre lake. In all, 300 acres were used for the course, with a mere 110 acres used for golf and the rest left undisturbed in its natural state.

Architect Keith Foster designed the course. Among Fosterís many design credits are helping to rebuild the greens at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Last year, he was hired by the USGA to prepare Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 2001 U.S. Open.

Construction on a four-level clubhouse is scheduled to commence this spring. Interiors of the structure, which has an Iowa farm motif, include two restaurants, meeting rooms and a large banquet area for up to 500 people. Outside is a state-of-the-art practice facility with a double-ended, 300-yard-long driving range, elevated tees, target greens, and practice chipping greens and bunkers. Harvester is the new home course for the Iowa State University menís and womenís golf teams.

There are plans for two more 18-hole at Harvester, one of which will be semiprivate. The next layout will be a dunes-style course and may be ready for play in 2002. The third course will be a Scottish-style links. Also in the plans are up to 700 single- and multi-family townhouses by the time the third course opens. For a Harvester tee time, call 641/227-4653.