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The little-known secret of the Quad-Cities area is there are dozens of long, green, lush and challenging golf courses, cheap! Here is where to stay, where to play, and what to do afterward.
Golf Digest even knows a great thing when they see it!
With a four-star ranking, this course is a local and pro favorite. For $17.50 on the weekdays, or $26.50 on the weekends, you can shoot from your choice of FIVE tee boxes, all beautifully maintained.
You are in real countryside... the last time I played, we spotted more than a few deer.
19251 290th Street, Long Grove, Iowa
563-328-3284 for tee times
For a mere $18, you can play a round on a 5,735 yard, mature course with hills, trees, ponds and a creek to keep you on your toes. The fairways are bluegrass and the greenskeepers are on the ball!
Don't miss out, also, on Davenport's other challenging 18-hole public course: Emeis (6507 yards, par 72, beautifully maintained, and good hill practice.)
3000 E. Locust Street
563-326-7824 for tee times
Get to the course early for a fabulous breakfast from the grill... eggs anyway you like 'em! Or just wait for the beer cart to pass by! This is real American golf, with all the facilities, and none of the fuss.
When they say hills, they mean it!
Warm up at the driving range, or just head out on the course. A 20-spot gets you 18-holes on this 6,518 yard beauty.
2999 Middle Road
563-332-8296 for tee times.
Looking for a fantastic warm-up? Classic Heartland golf? Grab a homemade "Byron Rite" and a soda from the snack bar and head out.
This is one of my favorite courses. A family-run establishment, it is as relaxed and friendly as English courses are snobby and uptight. The fairways are wide and forgiving, but the water and sand hazards will give you a run for your money.
Real, honest, friendly golf. $20 for 18.
23316 94th Avenue North, Port Byron, Illinois
309-523-2664 for tee times
Home to the John Deere Classic every summer, this is where you go to really test your game. 18 holes will set you back upwards of $75 (peanuts compared to Arizona prices!) but this is truly a championship course, where South African Jonathan Byrd shot 23 birds to take a $4.1 million purse in 2007. See if you can hone your skills to beat that!
Time to take a break. After the 19th hole, you are going to need some nourishment.
Well, there is ice cream, and then, my friends, there is Whitey's.
This is the place I dream about, with malts, shakes, sundaes and just a plain old dish of Rocky Road that makes summer summer. My favorite is a Chocolate Butterfinger Malt, with extra Butterfinger. My dad's is a Black Cherry shake (with real black cherries!), and my Mom always goes for a Turtle Sundae. But you call the shots, with whatever flavor and whatever topping you want. Don't eat to much for dinner... or better yet, just skip dinner and eat here!
Lots of locations, including in Bettendorf (Middle Road, not far from Palmer Hills), Davenport (West Locust Street) and Moline (41st Street)
For classic burgers, the best wings and an ice cold beer, this is a hometown original grill and sports bar. The service is friendly, the food is great, and the popcorn is free! Eat it from an old oil can!
305 E 35th St, Davenport
Think you can handle hot chili? Well, have I got the place for you.
Ross' Restaurant (just below the Abbey, conveniently) has some of the spiciest chili around. Don't say I didn't warn you.
It's your own fault if you are eating at chain restaurants in this area! Ross' can top them all! This is classic, old-school, truck-stop, greasy-spoon food, with the waitresses to match. The cinammon rolls are the size of your head. The coleslaw is divine. You could eat here everyday for $6 and not duplicate or be dissatisfied.
430 14th St, Bettendorf
Got a craving for Mexican? Skip the run for the border and head up Brady Street to this fantastic spot. From Tacos de Carne Asada to the Lunch Menu specials, this place is delicious, friendly, fast, and reasonable. And if good a tequila reposado tempts you, the bar has it aplenty!
3852 North Brady Street, Davenport (corner of Brady Street and Kimberly Road)
Feeling lucky? Love to play poker? This charming riverboat casino gets a thumbs up from my parents and will from you too. Limit Hold Em Poker tables open at 10 a.m. til 2 a.m. most days, or just peruse the bevy of penny and nickel slots and black jack tables, 24 hours a day. It's cozy and still a haven for smokers. Hotel conveninetly attached for the more hardcore.
For a one-of-a-kind hotel, book your stay at the Abbey, a former convent converted into a four-star bed and breakfast. With a stunning view of the river and an outdoor pool for the hotter days, you'll hardly know you are in the Heartland.
Located in the heart of downtown Davenport, this old world hotel has bags of charm, is connected with the casino, and is filled with lots of Iowa staff members: friendly, cheerful and helpful.
Good location for a little apres-golf gambling, or a walk along the beautiful Mississippi.
A great website I've found, with all the info, is Allgolfqc.com. Get all the details on courses in the area, and pick and choose for yourself: from the Olathea to TPC Deere Run, you can golf here for weeks, and never get bored.