Great Course - Questionable Lay Out
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Some of the funnest holes I have ever played in my life.
-Makes you use every shot in your arsenal to shot well.
-So many holes that played close or over the water.
Cons: The floe from hole to hole was really the only bad part about this course. It took me a half hour to find 5's teepad and then another half hour to figure out where the heck the pin was.
Took me about 20 minutes to find 21's teepad.
I played at 8am and even at that time there were people walking all over the course.
Other Thoughts: Loved playing this course. It took me 3 hours to play it by myself with no one else on the course because of the lack of signage to direct you to the next hole. Other than that it is a must play for anybody.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Be Prepared Or Be Eaten Alive
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: --5 star course strictly when critiquing the individual holes
--Some of the most challenging disc golf you will ever play
--Signature holes all over the course. Probably 10 different holes that are among the best I have ever played.
--Despite being so long, it never feels like it is long just for the sake of being long. There are well defined ideal landing areas on the par 4 and par 5 holes
--The lake that this course is centered around is beautiful, and combined with the elevation changes it will make you stop and stare often
Cons: --The rough is incredibly punishing here...far too much so. And I don't mean just in terms of challenge, but rather it is painful due to thorns and frustrating due to lost discs. If your accuracy is off, you will have a long day
--Course design is odd in some spots. Bring a map.
--Safety issues. This is the reason I docked a half star from the score. Holes 10-11 play right through a picnic area which is ridiculous. A couple other holes play near areas where people like to sit. I would recommend playing very early on days where the weather is great.
--Hole 5 pro pad is pointing in the wrong direction and a hill prevents a sideways run up. If you want to cut across the lake at all you will only get a one step throw, and the distance is too long for most people to clear without a full runup.
Other Thoughts: The first time I played this course it was probably the least amount of fun I have ever had playing disc golf. I lost a ton of discs in the lake, I had cuts and scrapes all over me from the rough, I scored like crap, I felt like crap, I was worn out and mentally beat down. I swore I wouldn't go back for a long time.
However, in the back of my mind I knew I needed to give it another shot. I prepared myself this time. I stocked up on used throwaway discs, I am in better shape physically, and I mentally prepared myself the entire week leading up to my round. Despite shooting a very bad score again, I had a blast and actually wanted to play a second round despite the fact that we just spent 3 hours tackling this 24 hole, 2 mile long monster.
If you aren't a highly skilled golfer, please heed my warning: you can't come here unprepared and expect to have a good time. I ran across another golfer today playing this course for the first time, and ran across him again in the parking lot after he had quit on hole 5. This is not an abnormal occurance...there are lots of people in the Quad Cities who will not play this course due to the difficulty, and I understand their pain because I felt the same thing after my first time.
But alas...I have survived my second trip and am incredibly anxious to be able to play it again. The holes are just too magnificent in design, beauty, challenge, fun, and sheer audacity.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course challenges every part of your game. It has four legitimate par 5 holes (5,13,15,18) and each of these offers different types of challenges on the tee and from the fairway. There are water carries, landing zones sloped into water or deep rough, and terrain that leads to unpredictably swirling winds. Also there are several par 4 holes (3,12,14,20,21,23,24) and a couple of tweeners that most players will be happy to get a 3 on (1,8,16).
This leaves 10 par3 holes, and these include big hyzers (2,7,9,22), tight technical tunnel shots (10,11,17), narrow landing zones (7,16,17,19), rollaway greens (2,4,9,19,22), water carries (2,19), and general mayhem of all types.
There is a great balance of righty-lefty friendly holes, and you will definitely need your forehand, anhyzer, and turnover skills on this course. Although most holes have some elevation change, there are also a few flat holes, and the course is well-balanced between wooded and open. Some of the rough is very punishing, but the fairways are beautifully manicured.
Several of the holes are breathtaking when you step up to the tee, either because of the aesthetics or because of the heartpounding anticipation of throwing 300ft over water with a stiff swirling head or crosswind (the forced water carries offer shorter bailout zones).
The course is very long, but someone who can throw 270-300 and keep it in the fairway can score well. With the punishing rough, lots of OB (pavement and water), and sometimes grueling conditions, it is easy to get frustrated and lose focus. I've seen some big-armed players end up with big scores in this way.
I like exercise and I prefer to feel like I've had a workout after disc golf. West Lake never disappoints on that criterion.
Cons: There are a couple of minor cons which keep me from giving it a 5.
One is the fact that the toughest water hazard tee shots are mostly favoring RHBH throws. This is minor though, being balanced by numerous left-to-right shots either from the tee or fairway drive (3,12,14,15,16,21,24), although the hazards on those are not as punishing.
The second is the picnic area on 10,11, which can make those two holes unplayable during summer weekend afternoons. But they are not the signature holes by any means, and skipping from 9 to 12 is not a bad course flow, so a 22-hole course here is still phenomenal.
Despite these minor cons I would say this course tops all 5 of the DGCR top 40 that I have played to date.
Other Thoughts: The course is best played early in the morning or on weekdays, when the other park users are not as common. I like to play early in the morning, and when given some courtesy, the other park users tend to be friendly and curious about disc golf, so I don't count this as a con.
Also, the park doesn't allow swimming for discs, so if you can't reach it from shore, it is gone. Also not a con in my opinion.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
I'm torn on this course
Pros: -The course is gorgeous with all the amenities and it is a very well manicured park.
-The tee signs are fantastic as well and look really nice.
-There is a lot of variety but even so it gets repetitive*, I'll go into that on the cons.
-Easy to find, right off major highways
-Great use of elevation and water hazards on **some of the holes
-Dual Chain DiscCatchers with a practice basket near the parking lot by hole 1
-The course ends and begins in the same area
-There are plenty of unique holes to make you remember this course if you ever play it.
Cons: -I've got a few complaints and in my opinion, design errors on this that makes it a 4.5(I almost gave it a 4). Some of the holes just seemed too long, now I don't mind distance, but distance for the sake of difficulty just doesn't work for me. I prefer a good shot to be rewarded, not just long throws into the open and then you pick up your disc and throw again. Even hole 13, it looked pretty but was rather boring. I think the hole would have been much cooler if the basket was placed around the big concrete abutments. It would make people want to be more daring in the drives and approaches rather than just a few safe shots and you are at the basket (I took a 4 from pro pad just by playing safe).
*I felt like I either threw long and straight or a hyzer out and around something. My teebirds got worked a lot as well as a few faster overstable discs but no real turnovers or any technical shot unless I was just trying to get out of the rough.
** The water usage just seemed to get repetetive. You either threw a hyzer over it, or you had water behind it to scare you when you putt. A few holes are cool, but after a while it gets to be just monotonous.
Hole 5, the pro pad is ridiculous. The angle of the pad and lack of runup space to the left so that you can go out and over the water is just poor design. Forcing me to throw a certain direction didn't make me too happy.
-Starting at hole 6, there are picnic tables in the fairways and around the holes, I can see this being a problem in the afternoon on nice summer days.
Other Thoughts: Despite my complaints, it was a very fun course. I like for courses to mix a few technical holes in there but you can only work with what you have, and they did well with West Lake. It will challenge you if you aren't a very consistent player.
-It's long, pepare to walk. A lot.
-Bring water, there is concession stands at the beach but you will still need to carry.
-Bring backup discs
-My best advice I can give in playing this course is to play smart. Take your twos and threes where you can, settle for your 4's and 5's if you are unsure whether to go for it. Check for placement spots, sometimes you don't need to rip it down the fairway 400', lay up 300 so you can drive again in the open area then putt/upshot-putt.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Shadowy Waves at Dawn
Pros: Yeah, Phenomenal, that about sums it up. I was on the fence between 4.5 and 5 for this one, some minor design flaws kept it from being the "best of the best"
Amenities. Shelter, trails, bathroom, picnic areas, beach area and fishing opportunities.
Camping. On site camping available in season for $12-20.
Well Manicured. Clean, well maintained park with mowed fairways, sporadic trash cans, and a regular maintenance crew to keep things top notch.
Access. Very near the freeway (in fact you can watch traffic most of the round) for easy access. It is part of the Quad Cities Disc golf mecca, a great DG destination area.
Variety. This course shines in this category, Nearly every type of variety you can imagine exists, every shot in your bag could probably have a use here, when I look at my bag at the end of a round and realize that I threw every single disc, I know it has been a good round. I won't even begin to list the different types of shots, just know that if you expect it to be included in a top notch course, it's probably here.
Distance. This course varies from long to longer, don't expect many ace runs, most holes birdies are extremely rewarding, and several that you'll have to work hard to achieve a 3, on some holes I walked away satisfied with a 5.
Water. Yeah, lots of it, and I felt it was used very well. A couple holes cross the lake, many play along side and even a couple along the dike with water on both sides of the fairway.
Elevation, a few of the holes have major elevation changes that comes into play very well.
Signs. Each tee had a sign showing #, distance for both tees (I don't recall seeing reference to a third set of tees that other users have mentioned, maybe I'm just blind?), and a rough map of the hole (*see cons).
Tees. Dual concrete teepads were mostly level and in good condition.
Baskets. Disccatchers all existed and were in good shape.
Scenery. Besides having a great view of the freeway, the course itself is beautiful with great views of the lake,
Map/scoredard. Provided at the kiosk as you enter the park (make sure you grab one, it will be helpful).
Not crowded. I don't know this from firsthand knowledge, but have heard some of the talk of locals that the location and overall challenge of this course typically keeps away the riffraff, expect that most players out here are serious about their game, the crowds tend to stick to the city courses.
Memorable Holes. Some of my favorites were 13, a monster along the dike, 18 a huge technical hole through the trees, and 19 a beauty across the lake with a very small landing area.
Cons: Strenuous. Obviously isn't necessarily a con, just letting you know that you should be prepared before you tackle this one. Eat a good breakfast, carry plenty of water and snacks with you, and unless you're in great shape don't plan too many other courses the same day as this one (I was definitely worked trying to fit in 3 courses besides this one in a day).
Along with that, you'll be away from the vehicle for a good jaunt (make sure you bring everything with you) after hole 17 though you're never far from the car.
Other user areas. A couple holes cross or come near the road, be wary of pedestrians or traffic. One hole plays directly through the middle of what appears to be a picnic area, doesn't seem like a very smart hole if anybody is picnicking. And watch out for fishermen, since most of the lake shore is used, it's likely that you will encounter some people fishing.
Hole 5 tee pad seems to pointing 90* in the wrong direction, I want to throw a long bomb out over the lake, not layup onto the dike. Maybe the pad had washed away, or they're assuming most players won't want to take the risk? I was able to get a runup, but wasn't perfect.
Navigation. Make sure you get a map at the start, I would have been lost without it, some simple signage would definitely help out here.
Tee signage. The rough map was hardly helpful in determining what was going on, some improvement here would help determine hole layout and eliminate walking every hole beforehand to figure it out.
Lost Plastic. Yeah, I suppose it's possible to lose plastic on any course, but if "throwaway" or floater discs is your thing, stock up for this one. Or play in winter!
Not Beginner Friendly. The short tees don't help alleviate much of the frustration factor or water hazards, I imagine that a beginner at this course would be spending entire paychecks on plastic.
Other Thoughts: If you like what you've read, do not miss this one. Drive hours out of your way for it, make it a destination course, it is a priority on your list of things to do in life, well that's my opinion anyway. Along with the other courses in the area, a great long weekend of discing is to be had.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in the QCA
Pros: A huge multiuse lake park with many other activities available: Camping, fishing, swimming, paddle boat rental, playgrounds, and etc. Very beautiful park. Tree's marked through area identified for Children's Forest activities (tree identifying). Because of the courses multiuse, it is always maintained. Two gentleman were mowing when we were throwing on hole 2, they parked off to the side and waited for us to finish, they didn't have to but they did. That's worth noting.
PRO CALIBER COURSE!! This course will definitely challenge you.
Multiple tees. Nice looking signs with good information. Concrete tee pads, for both pro and am. 24 holes. Lots of water holes. Elevation usage is great here. You won't be throwing straight up any ravines, but the usage of the land works well with the course. Blind pin placement, some due to elevation, some being down and around tree lined corridors. Lots of trees within park add to the difficulty of landing a shot correctly, sometimes a tree's canopy will punish you from getting your drives a bit high. There are some shorter holes to help keep the score going in the right direction, but those aren't gimmies either.
Due to the difficulty and length of the course, I think this is one of the lesser played parks in the QCA.
Cons: There really aren't many cons to note, but I will note a few minor things that come to mind.
The walk after finishing 19 over to 20 is odd, not sure if there is an actual trail through the rough, but we ended up walking back through part of 19 fairways. Same thing from 21 to 22.
Picnic areas on 10 and 11, though not an issue when I played, I could really see that as an issue on a weekend per say.
Other Thoughts: A few holes that really stuck out to me and were really fun: Hole 2 was a fantastic shot over a little water cove, into a tight opening as there is rough on the left and water on the right. Play it short, you're in the water, too long and you're in the water. 5 and 13 over the dam is unbelievable. I ended up playing from the am tees, and 5 was still brutal, with water on your right and trees on your left, the pin is also located near water so be careful on your upshot.
As others have stated, the elevation changes here are never ending. Most of the time you're either walking up or down a hill, it will take its toll by the end of your round. I slept like a baby that night.
With this courses beauty and epic holes, this truly is one of Iowa's best. As the word gets out, more and more people will have an opportunity to play this course, and I am sure that pro's, am, and rec's won't be disappointed.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
IN MY PERSONAL TOP 15!!!! Down with Flip
Pros: 1) Very nice signs with distances of both tees and Hole #. Made from recycled plastic so the only thing that will damage these is vandalism.
2) I enjoyed this course at dawn, noone was to be found except a bunch of jet black squirrels and one guy fishing down by Hole #22. It was a nice way to wake up after a long day of playing. I played a disc from both tees the whole way through and was beat by the end of the round, but I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the wildlife.
3) Water comes into play as forced carried or lateral hazards running alongside the holes on multiple holes: 2, 4, 5, 13, 14, 19, 21, 22, 23. I hate risking losing discs (and I threw into the water 3 times and was able to recover them all), but I do enjoy trying to execute the shot.
4) Elevation is used tremendously well. There are downhillers that play 50-100' short of what they would on flat ground. There are uphillers that play much longer than their listed distance. There are some that follow the side slopes, and traverse some rolling hills. There are very few shots that are on dead flat ground on the entire course.
5) Practice Basket is available for warming up putts before your round. I just jumped right in to the DG and putted very well BTW, but it is always nice to have one designated practice basket.
6) Variety on this course is tremendous. There are all sorts of obstacles to avoid including the water, individual trees, buckthorn and natural area, tall grass, big concrete structures (#5, 13). You need to move your disc around different directions and throw dead straight at time. I love this sort of challenge to come up with your best possible chance to throw it close. I like having to mke decisions.
7) The park is filled with things to do, places to walk, boats to rent, camprgrounds to stay in, etc etc etc. It simply has everything at your disposal if you want it to. I go for the DG not the other amenities but it is always nice to have a place like this in such a massive well used park.
8) Multiple sets of tees really throws this course into overdrive if you want. I shot a 76 from the shorts and a 91 from the longs. The difference between the tees is more than just one extra throw however as there is more risk/reward decisions to think about. It isn't like the back tee is simply 150-250' straight back. Often times there is more of a forced carry, there may be extra trees in your way to knock you down, etc etc etc. Playing two sets of tees is virtually like playing 2 different courses because your drives from the back will probably not be right where the forward tee would be. You may be short of the forward tee still and be left with a much more difficult shot, or you may get an extra 50-100' past the short tee and it changes all the angles.
9) Well designed on this immense property. They certainly did a good job because of the amount of variety that is available on this course. There is very little danger between holes except perhaps the fairways of #5 and 13 running up the same 60' elevated plateau. Drives from either tee could easily end up crossing paths with other disc golfers or other discs being thrown from the opposite holes tees. Imagine a mid air collission with two discs, both end up in the water because they got on edge and rolled down into the water.
10) Garbage cans seemed to be plentiful but not necessarily with teepads, more just scattered throughout the park.
11) Someone else said there were bathrooms available, but I didnt even notice I guess because I just used the woods. Sorry for not paying attention but I will take them on their word and include it in my review for completeness.
Cons: 1) Wondering why the basket area on #11 isn't mowed at all. It probably helps people more than it hurts because the discs running in hot will not skip they will simply get tangled in the talled prairie grass. And since there is only 15-20' of tall grass between the tee and basket, you likely will be saved inside the circle from a driver skipping way away.
2) Picnic area on #10 and 11 is in a bad spot. The benches are fairly spread out and there are grills in this area too, so if there is a picnic happening they are at risk of flying discs and likely unaware that they are in the middle of the disc golf course.
3) Road OB in a few spots is also a possible danger area for the cars.
4) Distances seemed correct with the teepads, but I wasn't sure on the tee signs if I understood this correctly. There were two concrete tees (on almost every hole), but there are 3 sets of tees listed. Not once did I see any sort of plaques, or in ground markers for a third set of tees, so i am not sure if this is for the future possibly, or if I simply missed seeing any of the thirs set of tees.
4) Some directionals could be helpful in a few areas of the course. Some of the paths that are cut through the woods simply need an arrow and a Hole # on them so new people know where they are supposed to go. Overall it wasn't devestatingly difficult to figure out, but for $20-30 they would easily have marked a few areas that could be confusing.
5) Not really beginner friendly without a really short third set of tees to aoid the water areas (but there stillw ould be water in play in a few places even with another shortened tee).
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course and because I came into it knowing it was difficult and well appreciated, I played a disc from both tees. Man was I tired after 1 round. It took me 2 hours to play a disc from both sets of tees. I just couldn't pass up the 10,000 or so feet of the back tees.
I played 8 courses on my way from Milwaukee to Davenport the day before I started my day here. I went on to play both Camden's and realized at that point I needed a break. i was drenched in sweat from head to toe and so was my carseeat in between courses. I ended up needing about 2 hours after the three course to just rest in the hotel AC and went back out to play 2 more courses. What a way to start day two of my marathon! Anyways I loved it but am so glad I went at dawn. The park opens at 6 which is nice. Noone was in my way, and I only saw 3 or 4 people the entire round and none were disc golfing which is sacriligious for a sunday morning if you ask me, I dont care what denomination you are. Sunday mornings are for DG.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
A fun tough challenge
Pros: The course plays through a beautiful hilly park with heavy woods, nice elevation changes and lots of great water hazards. The elevation makes for some tough uphill shots, and some just as tough downhill holes. The woods make for tough punishment on errant drives, and will often cost at least a stroke for missing your line. I've never played a course with so many water hazards, and every one is different. There are holes with water on one side, holes playing across a narrow dam with drops to the water on both sides, and holes that require a water carry off the tee. This makes for some awesome risk/reward decisions.
There is an awesome variety here, with a couple shorter holes to give you a little break, some reachable but longer holes, and a few long ripper holes that tempt you to throw a big drive but punish poor execution. There is also a great variety of hole shapes, you'll need to throw every shot you have if you want to score well here. There are some tightly wooded holes, and some more open park style holes, but not too many that really feel wide open or boring.
There are dual concrete tee pads that are large and well textured. The short tees make it a more approachable course for players other than the top pros, but are still challenging and interesting and don't lose the feeling of the course. There is good signage with distances from both pads, and there isn't too much question of where to throw.
Cons: There are several areas on the course that come into conflict with picnic areas and park roads that can make for some safety issues and some waits for fairways to clear. Several of the water holes are apparently favorite fishing spots as well, so you might have to avoid some fishermen who aren't interested in watching for shots headed their way.
There are lots of blind holes, and the tee signs aren't descriptive enough to always know where to throw and will need to do some extra walking and possibly some spotting. There are a couple places on the course where navigation is not at all obvious, some next tee signs would be a huge help here.
Other Thoughts: This is a fantastic course, and will challenge any level of player. There is tons of variety and risk here making for a lot of shots that make you really think about what to do. Newer players will find the course a little tough and punishing, and are likely to lose some plastic. More experienced players will find the short tees challenging and the longs downright tough, and will be tested to hit all kinds of different lines. This is the best of a nice collection of courses in the area, and definitely worth a trip.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Sick, sick course
Pros: What a ridiculous course - literally the hardest course I have ever played (which includes Idlewild, Highbridge Gold, etc). The course has so much variety, and extreme water and elevation. There's no question about it - this course is only for excellent players. If you are an amateur then this course will spit you out. Holes 5 and 13 go across the damn and offer some of the most challenging and daunting disc golf shots imaginable. The second shots to both 5 and 13 (from the pro tees, which I would advise only playing if you can afford to lose plastic - but if you can afford it, then do it) are so awesome. 350 to 400 foot shots to a small sliver land guarded by water. Hole 18 is just sick - 800 feet dogleg left through a tight tunnel. If it was a hundred feet farther I would rate it a par 6. Hole 19 is one of the signature holes, as you have to throw over a lake to a 15 foot wide island. Holes 20 and 21 are two of the hardest back to back holes I have ever played - hole 20 is an uphill 550 feet dagger through the woods, and hole 21 is a 650 foot downhill dogleg right, with a scary second shot. The green is 90 degrees to the right at the bottom of the hill, bordered by the lake. I have only discussed a few of the holes at this course - if not for a few cons which I will address, this course would be a top five course.
Cons: It wasn't a con for me, but this course isn't even hard - it's impossible. You will lose discs. I played with a friend of mine and we lost five discs in the water and 2 more were thrown into the water and retrieved (beautiful Hydra). The only con I have is that two of the holes were completely unplayable when we were there. The fairways on two of the holes went right through picnic areas with grills, tables, etc, and made the holes basically unplayable. Also, holes 9-11 seemed to be just tossed into the design. They seeme to be easy filler holes - however, that wasn't such a bad thing because the rest of the course was so epically awesome.
Other Thoughts: Having 24 holes is a definite plus, but there were a few holes that seemed to be out of place with the rest of the course. The only thing keeping this course from a 5 rating are the two holes that were unplayable because the fairways went straight through picnic areas. Besides that issue, this course is simply epic.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
I'm not good enough to play this.
Pros: Very hard course. Lots and Lots of water. Very well laid out.
Cons: I'm not nearly good enough to play this course consistenty.
Other Thoughts: Make sure you bring extra discs to this course. This may be the toughest course in the Quad Cities.
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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