FIRST TIME ON LIST

Elmcrest Country Club claims its first title in the Best Golf Course category this year — a surprise win backed not only by the club’s well-conditioned par-70 course, but its extensive Golf Learning Center.

The 18-hole course in northeast Cedar Rapids is known for its well-groomed condition, and for hitting the sweet spot in difficulty that makes it fun for beginners but challenging enough for veteran golfers.

What’s most unique about Elmcrest’s approach to golf, however, is its Golf Learning Center, which enables players to work on their game year-around. Rated in the Top 50 nationally by the Golf Range Association of America, the center includes a driving range, wedge range, target greens, practice putting greens and practice bunkers.

The center’s Dave Engle Memorial Cabin is an indoor/outdoor player development facility with four-camera video, Trackman and GC2 technology for helping golfers improve their stroke mechanics. GC2 measures ball characteristics and launch, while Trackman measures flight length, spin and other characteristics.

– Dave DeWitte

1st Runner Up: Finkbine Golf Course

2nd Runner Up: Cedar Rapids Country Club