too much distraction
8 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: The main pro is there is more than 18 holes and concrete tee pads for both pro and amateur. I typically enjoy longer courses and courses with water hazards. There are a few super long holes. Hey, I don't mind thick rough either.
Cons: Well to start off this course goes right thru a multipurpose park which greatly interferes with the course. I am reviewing this course in particular because I found it unacceptable that I had so many holes interrupted bu other people enjoying the park. This park is highly overrated and my friends and I were thoroughly disappointed that so many holes were unplayable because the course went thru a park with so many other people making the course unplayable. I personally enjoy a course with a challenge but when so many holes are unplayable because of other people enjoying the park I find that unacceptable. I also do not want to hear the excuse that it is not busy during the week because that is unreasonable for people that have a job or are from out of town. I also was extremely disappointed with the lack of signage. There were no signs to direct from hole to hole and my group wasted considerable time attempting to find the next hole.
Other Thoughts: If you would like to play a championship level gold course this is not the one to play. I played this course while on a long road trip thru multiple states and I had the opportunity to play many other gold level courses with long distances that were far superior. Just because a course is long does make it a champion level course. There are some fun holes on this course but to have so many holes that become unplayable because of other park users is unacceptable. I would love to give this course a higher rating but putting a long, difficult course thru a busy park that makes the course not fully playable deserves a low rating. If you don't believe me look at the other championship/gold level courses I have already played.
8 of 20 people found this review helpful.
West Lake Son!
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: 24 hole dynamic layout set a lonf side a large lake. provides you witht he need for every shot and disc in your bag. One of my favorite courses to lay and a must see/play if you are in the area!
Cons: Baskets are a little rusty and could use some tlc.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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.
Stunningly Difficult, Maddening Safety Issues
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Let me begin by saying that West Lake Park is the most difficult course I have ever played. Waay tougher than Lemon Lake Gold, Leviathan, Idlewild, Charlotte's Web, et al. West Lake Park will push you down, skin your knees up, call you Sally, take your lunch money, and make you feel BAD about it in a general sort of way.
- The course plays through a pretty park. Plenty of open grassy park-style golf interspersed with extremely tight, wooded, technical golf. Then, on top of that add a ridiculously high number of very challenging water holes, many with fairly long carries and less-than-stellar safety routes.
- Elevation. Nothing spectacular here in terms of loss or gain, but plenty of slight to moderate elevation used very well.
- A wide selection of hole types with good balance between right and left turning holes. There are uphill wooded bombs (#20 long is the most punishingly tight hole I've ever played), 850'+ holes that force long water carries to score well (#5 long), shorter water carries (#'s 2, 5 short), an elevated causeway with water on both sides (#'s 5 and 13), et al. A massive downhill bomb is about the only thing missing here.
- Amenities: no complaints here. Good signs, tees, and baskets.
Cons: - West Lake Park is a busy, multi-use park. Picnic benches, grills, walking paths, sunbathers, fishermen, and more are competing with the disc golf course for space. I've never seen so many benches in the middle of fairways on such a highly rated course. Our round was a nightmare of waiting, throwing meekly around people, avoiding the better water carries due to having to bail out to safety zones in order to not risk hitting fishermen, etc. Not fun, not safe.
- Punishing. I've played several Gold level courses that allow lesser players (like myself) to keep up with better players by way of hitting defined landing zones, keeping on the fairway, and making putts. That sort of golf does not exist here. The premium is on big arms, almost exclusively, which gets really old after a while. The short tees DO alleviate this issue to some degree, but overall this is the least forgiving gold course I've played. Some might see this as a pro, I get it.
- The flow is awkward in a couple of places. #'s 5 and 13 share the narrow raised isthmus that divides the two lakes. A decent drive from #5 longs SHOULD be able to hit the water carry and avoid the causeway, but if fishermen are at the landing zone players are forced to take the causeway, creating a conflict with #13 which plays back along the isthmus.
Other Thoughts: - I wanted to like West Lake Park. I really did. There are some amazing holes out here and the difficulty level is pretty stunning (generally in a good way); however, fighting the non-disc golf masses on, like, every other hole got old really fast, especially when it took away some of the best shots and the best holes. Until some safety concerns are alleviated (at least remove the picnic benches from the freakin' fairways, geez!) I cannot rate West Lake higher than a 4 disc rating.
12 of 13 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.
West Lake Park
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -24 holes, most of which have 2 tees.
-located in a very well kept park
-lots of change in elevation and holes with different distances
-The campground it is located at is very nice so it is a very good place to make a weekend out of.
Cons: -water is in play on many of the holes so if you don't want to lose a disc bring one that floats
-the course is very difficult, many of the reviews said how hard it was and I really didn't believe them until I got here.
But these are really the only bad things I could think of about the course and in many ways they aren't even bad.
Other Thoughts: The campground is first come first serve so if you are planning on staying get there early to make sure you get a spot!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: great, difficult shots- lots of variety and serious risk/reward- go for long hero drives on many of these holes at great peril of losing your disc!
scenic views in the park on the summer evening i was there.
Cons: the tee signs are beautiful, but given the odd layout of the course, i'm very surprised that they don't point towards the next tees.
course plays near picnic tables on several holes, and since some of the pins are blind, you need to walk ahead and check for pedestrians to avoid hitting people- i had a sick drive on 2 that landed 10 ft from the pin, and also 10 ft from a couple making out on the lakeshore. woops
the rough was too rough for me to really enjoy myself- i was able to keep my disc out of the water, which i was very happy about, but on all the holes near the woods, the forest/prairie grass was so thick that shots which went in there were nearly impossible to find. losing discs or having to spend unreasonably long amounts of time to find them sucks all the fun out of the game for me, especially when it's not my fault: 10 feet off the fairway should not be an hour of searching or a lost disc...
Other Thoughts: this is a nice, well maintained park that i imagine has the resources to do some clearing of the woods to make this course more user- friendly- the course is way challenging enough without the disc-eating rough. for now, i imagine late winter/early spring being the best time to play here.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
The Real Deal
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: It is with great excitement that I am giving West Lake Park my second ever 5.0 rating (the other one being to Idlewild).
Although it chewed me up and spit me out, there are a bajillion reasons that I felt West Lake was worthy of this rating:
*Scenery is this course's strongest feature. The holes here are beautiful. Huge hills with fairways lined in trees and a tiny basket visible several hundred feet away (often right in front of a beautiful lake).
*Challenge... This was one of the most challenging courses I have ever played. That being said, the holes here were fair; each one presented me with an acheivable line that I had to hit (even a few ace opportunities). Water comes into play on about half of the holes, and on almost all of the others the distances and lines are challenging enough to force a variety of shots.
*Isolation... Although there are lots of things to do in this massive park, the course is sprawled out over quite a large area, so it didn't seem too congested.
*Ammenities... Great signage and teepads (see below for my comment on some of these)
Cons: This rating was given under the assumption that the teepad for hole 20 is usually there... might have buried in dirt when i was there? not sure.
Other Thoughts: *While walking the fairways of West Lake, I felt as though I was truly embarking on an epic journey. Afterwards I was completely dead, but felt accomplished.
*Make sure you bring a few discs that you don't mind losing in water... i had three go in while i was there, was only able to get one back
*There is camping here if you want and the park in general is VAST! I doubt that I saw even half of it.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
NOT &@%#ING AROUND
Pros: If I were to rate this course on holes alone, it would receive a 5.0 hands down. These were the most breathtaking shots I have ever seen! Some combination of length, elevation, wind, and water (or all 4) comes into play on EVERY hole.
1 is a massive downhill shot with plenty of natural obstacles - the biggest being the hill behind the pin, running down into the lake. 2 is a manageable but challenging shot over a cove with the pin on the far side of the water. 3 and 4 play through some picnic areas and back towards the water. 5 is a rediculous bomb over the other side of the lake with the pin placement along the shore. I loved 9 through 11, zig-zagging across two undulating hills. 12 sends you back toward the lake, and 13 is an unbelievable lie across a thin strip of elevated fairway with trecherous cliffs down to the water on either side. 14 - 18 take you back to your car, leaving the last six as a players choice should you have the stamina left.
Beautiful signage on every hole. Concrete pro and am tees with extremely varying placements were outstanding. I hate when the pro tee is just simply another 100 feet directly behind the am. This is definitely not the case here. Trash cans throughout the course keep it clean and the park itself is very well maintained. It is a busy park, but the course was deserted (I'm guessing because of the difficulty factor).
Cons: While the holes are phenomenal, the layout of the course is bad. The first two holes make sense, as do the next two, but then there is a really long walk through the woods with no directions to the next tee. 5-13 play along the back end of the park, with 14's tee sending you back where 4 ended. It was confusing playing through and was very frustrating to navigate at times.
Hole 5's am tee was really hard to locate. Hole 8 is horribly designed, playing up an old truck trail with a very narrow fairway and blind pin. Some holes play very close to picnic tables and pavilions, which were densely populated on this Sunday afternoon.
The difficulty of these holes border on masochism, and it is really difficult to keep your cool. The possibility of lost plastic is more of a certainty on holes like 5 and 13. And unless you are spot on with every 4 out of 5 shots, keeping score becomes pointless. The only respite from the daunting pace is the 9 - 11 holes, all birdie-able.
Other Thoughts: This is the hardest course I have ever played. Let me repeat that: THIS IS THE HARDEST COURSE I HAVE EVER PLAYED. Harder than Kensington's Toboggan course, which is on the tour. I was unprepared even though I expected a challenge and read all the previous reviews.
It borders on insanity. Difficult shot after shot really wore me down. This combined with the poor course layout and lost plastic really made this course hard to love. It didn't help that it was 97 degrees out and as muggy as New Orleans in August. BRING FLUIDS AND PACE YOURSELF.
I can understand why no one else was playing through. With all of the great courses in the QC area, this one really weeds out the average player and caters to the avid. I definitely recommend experiencing this course for yourself, but I don't think I'll be back any time soon.
I had a really tough time rating this course. Every time I thought about it I had different reactions. I'm settling on 4 because the holes are the best I've played and despite the difficulty I cannot overlook the audacity and brilliance of the design. If the course layout was easier to navigate, it would eliminate a lot of the frustration and let you enjoy your round a bit more. Make no mistake - West Lake Park is NOT &@%#ING AROUND!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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