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The Preserve on Rathbun Lake Golf Course

Golf Course Overview: The Preserve on Rathbun Lake Golf Course

Insights From An Insider With Darin L. Fisher, PGA Director of Golf/Head Golf Professional

By Brian Weis

Local and traveling golfers love to research courses before playing them, whether it is to gain some local knowledge or to set an expectation before their upcoming round. Below is an interview with Darin L. Fisher who shares some valuable insight about the property, its most talked about holes and the signature dish/drink to consume at the 19th hole.

Provide a brief description of the golf course/property, the terrain and best times of the year to play.
Beautiful setting, outstanding golf course, incredible price for the caliber of golf course you'll experience!

The Preserve is consistently rated in the top 5 in most reputable publications for Iowa's best public golf courses.

Links style layout with 5 sets of tees is enjoyable for all ages and skill levels. Bent grass tees, fairways, and greens with GPS enabled golf carts. Audubon Certified Sanctuary Golf course

Any tips on playing and reading the greens?
The golf course can play from 5,200 - 7,000 yards and bunkers are well positioned to catch errant tee balls so choose the right tee markers for your skill level. The fairways are generous however most are lined with prairie grass so driver may not always be the prudent play. Greens are receptive and quick with subtle breaks. Our local knowledge says "When in doubt under-read the break and play it firm". Five par 3's all using different clubs will test your mid to short iron game! The views are great - don't forget to take them in!

Starting on hole #1, are there any tips to get your round off on the right foot?
With back to back par 5's to start you can really get your round going OR you can dig yourself a big hole. Use the terrain with a sligt draw on #1 to get some extra roll and a shot at the green in two. A second shot missed short and right will still give you a chance at 4. A well positioned drive off #2 will have an iron in hand for your second and a shot at the "big bird". Take note of where the pin is located and make sure your miss doesn't leave you short sided if you want a chance at birdie.

What is your favorite par 5, and how would you recommend playing it?
Par 5 - #5 is our signature hole and a relatively easy par 5 if played with patience. At only 505 and a steep downhill tee shot driver is an option but the fairway narrows significantly at that distance. I feel a fairway wood or hybrid will easily cross the penalty area and leave you with a hybrid up the hill to an accessible green. The 2nd shot plays uphill 12 yards and noting where the pin is will dictate what side of the green to favor on your 2nd. A great shot gives you a great chance at eagle, the proper miss still leaves the potential for birdie!

What is your favorite par 3, and how would you recommend playing it?
#13 - Par 3 - (214 Black tees) A very picturesque backdrop, the hole plays about 7-8 yards downhill (from all tees) to a very wide green complex. Any S, SW, or W winds are often blocked by the woods behind the green so choosing the right club to navigate both elements is essential and making sure you successfully clear the hazard that guards the front of the green.

In your opinion, what is the hardest hole and do you have any tips on playing it?
#16 - Par 4 - 476 (Black Tees) Our longest par 4 often played into a SW wind making the hole feel even longer. With a split fairway at 280 off the tee you have options.. GO right and have a much shorter 2nd that will be a blind shot up a small rise OR GO left and have a longer 2nd shot but a clear view at the pin. 4, 5, & 6 irons are often pulled for the 2nd shot into this green that is well guarded by bunkers short and right. I would stay to the left off the tee and your 2nd (or 3rd) will have unimpeded access to the front of the green.

As a golfer plays the final three holes, is there a chance for salvation? (any tips on closing out the round?)
#16 (Par 4) and #17 (par 3) are strong holes so par is a good score on both. #18 has potential for a birdie with a well placed tee ball. This 535 yard par 5 is reachable in 2 for the longer hitters and has a split fairway from 150 in for those laying up for a strategic 3rd shot. Pay close attention to the hole location so your layup is on the correct side of the fairway. The front and right sides of the green are guarded by deep bunkers that make an up and down difficult. Some false edges back right and back left will catch a shot that is too long and add some stress to your pitch.

Contact Course
The Preserve on Rathbun Lake Golf Course
12633 Resort Drive
Moravia, Iowa, 52571

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Revised: 03/03/2021 - Article Viewed 14,308 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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