Our plans were to check out a few golf courses in the Dubuque area, visit JoQuilter’s Fabric Shop in Bellevue, Iowa, and enjoy the fourth of July fireworks along the river at Dubuque’s Lock & Dam. We arrived early on Thursday morning at the Grant River Recreation Area by Potosi figuring we’d be able to get one of the 26 non-reserveable campsites. That’s when our plans first started going south! All 26 non-reserveable campsites were occupied and all of the rest of the sites reserved for the upcoming holiday weekend. So plan B was to boondock somewhere or perhaps camp at the Mississippi Palisades park near Savannah. Having postponed lodging decisions we proceeded to our next item on our itinerary – golfing.
We found the Bunker Hill Golf Course off Grandview Avenue up on the hill. It is a municipal golf course with good maintenance and quite reasonable prices, including a senior rate. It cost me $27.25 to play 18 holes with a cart (weekday rate). It’s a scenic course, largely open except for a few more heavily wooded holes, and quite playable. Low handicap golfers will find the course too short and thus not challenging enough, but I enjoyed the opportunity to reach the greens in regulation more often!
After golfing we had an opportunity to sample the Dubuque Star Restaurant and its outdoor cafe on the second floor of the restored Star Brewery building along Dubuque’s riverfront. It was a beautiful early evening and the view from the cafe idyllic. A bonus was the food was quite tasty and the wait service excellent. Jo overheard another couple commenting that this was the fifth time they’ve eaten at the Star and that every time they come to Dubuque they always include a visit to the restaurant.
The next day, Friday July 2nd, we traveled across the river to East Dubuque to play the Lacoma Golf Course. A huge golfing facility. One 18 hole course, two 9 holes courses, and a 9 hole Par 3 course. We played the 9 hole Red Course and the 9 hole Gold Course. The Red was Lacoma’s first course. It is similar to Bunker Hill’s layout. Open fairways, semi-wooded, and shorter than average length even from the back tees. However the greens were a little trickier; I had a few three putts. The Gold Course was a quite different experience. It was longer by 250 yards, but the more significant differences are narrower fairways, more heavily wooded, and dramatic terrain changes. Several scenic vistas. Some of the holes reminded me of Marquette’s Greywalls Course – teeing off a hundred feet above the fairway with woods below and on both sides, then once in the fairway the green is a hundred feet above you. No flat greens either and the pin placement wasn’t kind to a putt that went wide. But for all the challenges I’d say the Gold Course was fair and playable (if you don’t mind losing a few golf balls :-)). The only downside of my Lacoma experience was I strained or pulled something in my pelvis. I popped 4 Ibuprofen’s and another pain pill I had with me so I was able to finish the round. Later it was evident the pain and discomfort were getting worse and we decided better pack up and head for home.
So we missed the fireworks and the air show on Saturday and were unable to take that side trip to Bellevue. I hope to return to Lacoma to play their other courses and work in that visit to Bellevue and its quilt shop.