8 Helpful / 1 Not
West Lake is a Grind
Pros: Variety: West Lake has a little bit of everything. There are some predominantly open hills and other holes with tighter fairways. There is also a solid variety in hole length. This is a huge plus in my book.
Memorable holes: As many reviewers have already noted, there are a number of holes at West Lake that are fantastic holes. My personal favorite was Hole #5. With windy conditions, this is a pretty daunting tee shot. I also liked #2 and #23.
Fairway maintenance: I designate "fairway" here (see cons below) because the fairways were well manicured. The landscaping around the course (sparse trees) was very nice as well.
Overall design: I mentioned the variety earlier, but the design of the holes was really good on 80-90% of the holes. There were a few multi-shot holes, at least for a 300-320' thrower like myself. Definitely not a drive-putt course.
Score differential: I like courses that provide ample opportunities for scoring variance. There are some courses that you play and you know if you play it again 100 times you will likely be within 4 or 5 strokes 99% of the time. West Lake is the exact opposite. I could see myself shooting under par...and I could see myself shooting way over par if I was struggling off the tee.
Cons: Navigation and Signage: Usually if signs are present, it is a plus in my book. However, the signs need to be accurate and give the player a general idea of the hole. At least twice we threw our drives only to find that the pin was in a different area than we thought. On hole #7, the layout and sign indicate an anhyzer across the valley. After throwing what I thought was a great shot that would leave me a putt, we all realized that the hole was actually a hyzer, and the member of our foursome who threw the worst shot (intended anhyzer but flexed out hard) ended up with the better scoring chance. We could have re-teed, but it turned out to be no big deal as we all carded 3s. This happened again on hole #9, but we caught it immediately after our drives. The sign indicates a straight shot, but the hole is actuallya fairly strong hyzer. Hole #20 was impossible to find, so we ended up walking down its fairway from the parking lot. Who knew that you should backtrack down a blind fairway (#19) in order to get to the next hole. Definite design flaw here.
Off-fairway maintenance: I agree that errant shots should be punished. However, I also believe they should be able to be located unless they were attrocious. I believe it was Hole #12 where there is a narrowly mowed fairway with a treeline down the right side, thick rough down the left, and a wall of trees about 280 feet away with a 10' wide gap to hit that opens up to the pin close to the water. The pin location was great, but the tall grass bordering on the lefft of the fairway needed to be mowed. Most players are going to hit that gap less than 20% of the time. The hole could be played by rec players as a hyzer into where the high grass is now, followed by another hyzer to get through the gap. This grass was high to the point that finding discs was difficult, and the wall of trees was dense and thick and probably collects 90% of the shots where the player goes for it. I actually hit the gap, but I probably wouldn't hit it regularly. We spent at least 15 minutes looking for a couple of discs on this hole alone. The next hole (levee hole) really only allows you to use half of the levee. If someone would weed-eat the left side of the levee, an errant shot over there would still be punished with a severe uphill 2nd shot and possible water trouble on the left. However, the player is essentially forced to manuever along the right side of the levee only. This could be fresutrating for some players.
Proximity to other park activities: as with any multi-use park course, there are going to be some issues with other users. On this course there are picnic tables, parking lots, playgrounds, and ballfields that could possibly come into play. On a crowded day, play with discretion.
Other Thoughts: West Lake Park has a lot of things going for it. The design is worthy of a "phenomenal" designation. However, there are a few cons that detract from its score, in my opinion. I settled on a 4.0 for excellent. It gets docked .25 each in my book for navigation issues, ease of play. By ease of play, I don't mean lack of challenge. I mean that you have to search for discs in many places that are slightly errant and you have to monitor the whereabouts of other park users. These factors alone caused us to take about 45 minutes longer to finish the round than we should have. There are also a couple of long walks, to and from the "levee loop".
While I have read a lot of reviews that said this was an uber-challenging course, I simply did not find this to be the case. (except for #20...which was just a ridiculous hole) It was a good challenge, but I wouldn't put it in the top 20 hardest courses I've played...and I have only played about 110 or so. This is a course that I definitely feel like I could get close to par with only a few rounds. I think it gives the perception of difficulty because it is 24 holes, mostly in the open, and on a hot day the elements can really wear you down. This makes it a grind, but not necessarily difficult.
In conclusion, West Lake is an "excellent" course. I can't in good faith give it a score higher than that. It was definitely worth the stop on our trip. After playing some of the supposed best courses in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on this trip, I must admit that I feel that some of the better courses in this region have inflated scores. West Lake is definitely an "excellent" course, but it has too many issues to be considered "phenomenal", and is not even close to "the best of the best". However, if you are in the area, it is definitely worth playing. I wouldn't plan a specific trip to play this course alone, but I hear the Quad Cities has a fair amount of courses so there could be plenty to keep you busy on a weekend trip. If you go that route, definitely include West Lake Park.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: West Lake is a very scenic 24-hole championship caliber course. It is spread throughout a large piece of land bordering the lake for much of it. Not only are the views of the lake nice, but the lake comes into play on a substantial number of holes. The lush, grassy fairways were freshly mowed. There were 2 sets of concrete tees giving not only more length but different angles, usually more challenging. Many holes required careful planning of where to place your tee shots in order to avoid trouble while still giving you a shot at par. There are several memorable holes here, many involving water (2, 5, 13, 19 stood out to me).
The holes for the most part offer a great deal of variety- a) over water, to water, and no water, b) varied distances ranging from birdie chances to feeling good about a 4, c) holes that had options and others that mandated a specific line, and d) changing elevation of up or down on almost every hole.
Everyone we encountered were very nice. (For example, on hole 2 which plays over the cove of water we had to literally throw over a fishing boat, talk about pressure! But they wanted to watch us, and then they helped us to locate our discs once we got over to the other side of the lake!!)
There was a generous paved parking lot with restrooms and a picnic pavilion. There are also things like camping and a swimming beach very close by.
Cons: Navigation and flow in spots (I recommend using a map)- the long walks through the woods to and from the levee (4-5, 13-14) needed some signs to point down the correct path; backtracking in the fairway from 19-20 and 21-22 (in fact we never found 20, we played it last by walking it backwards); and 20 (if you can find it) is also the first chance you have to get back to your car and restrooms, but by then the round is almost over, so be sure to carry lots of water as it is a long hike with little shade.
Also for first timers, on a couple holes we threw in wrong direction/at wrong basket- the tee signs just weren't clear enough (7 and 9) and were somewhat misleading.
Other park activities- things in play on a lot of the holes include the road, picnic tables, grills, cars in parking lots, the campground, and a whole lot of bank fisherman on the lake holes (which is often). There was also a Take-Me-Fishing seminar the day we played and they had taken over holes 10 and 11.
Overall the hole design is good, but there began to be a repetitive feel off the tee- long and straight is about all you need. The course tended to heavily favor RHBH. I only remember two shots (approach on 3 and 24) that really required a left to right line.
*You will lose discs on this course- there are just too many water holes for most people to come out with what you came in with! Be prepared mentally and bring extra discs. Also the rough is very dense in the summer and you can easily lose discs that way too.
Other Thoughts: West Lake is a really solid course that will test even the pros. But there is just too many cons for me to rate it near a 5.0. As others have said, this course is very difficult and is not intended to be played by beginners, even from the shorter tees. This is a course where you will take a beating and probably lose some discs, therefore it has the potential to be more stressful than fun. If this is what you are seeking then you should definitely come here and play, however, I would personally not want to play here everyday if I lived here, and beginners, recreational players, and families will want to find a different course to play.
7 of 7 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.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a massive park, with lots of space to work with. Almost no other park activities to worry about, just park users really. Decent elevation changes, mostly rolling hills as opposed to big slopes.
- The obvious feature that sticks out in this park is the large amount of water to contend with, in the form of multiple large lakes. There are holes with water on the left, water on the right, water to the left and right, water behind the basket, and a water-only fairway. This provides for very striking risk-reward situations, in many different ways. While there is usually a "safe" landing zone, it is either sandwiched between two bodies of water, or one body of water and some thick rough. Plenty of downhill shots towards the water as well, these require near pinpoint accuracy to get close enough to putt without shooting past.
- Good amount of holes that are clear of the water as well, or far enough away, to relax a little and be more aggressive. These usually have rolling hills, up, down, and side-to-side, with plenty of mature trees to get around. The terrain here is pretty uniform, especially near the front and the back, but the holes are pretty unique and do not get stale. And, there is always the threat of a rollaway towards the drink, either from a poor landing angle or an unlucky tree hit.
- Course is rounded out well with some holes in denser forest. One of these is a nice uphill tunnel shot, that narrows more as it gets near the top, with dense rough on all sides. Another is a downhill tunnel shot, which is a lot more forgiving. Most other holes border this rough-filled area, requiring some line shaping to stay clear.
- Lots of extra OB on the "easier" holes to keep things interesting. While I usually am not a big fan of this, just for the fact that it is man-made road/parking blocks, it does add good challenge to otherwise straightforward holes.
- Hole #5
- Great teepads, baskets, and signs. Navigation is a bit tricky, studying the map or getting a scorecard is a very good idea the first time through.
Cons: - A few holes lack the excitement and pizazz of all the others, but in that way become fresh. After getting hammered by a few of the beasts on this course, a nice ace run or safe fairway is a welcome treat.
- A major bonus would be some designated drop zones here and there. Just nit-picking; it would be good to see, not at all necessary.
- After playing on a nice summer day, the conflicts with the other park users are much more apparent. A few holes, like #13 and #14, play very close to a pavilion, and holes #10 and #11 by a picnic area.
Other Thoughts: - Welcome to some championship level disc golf, especially from the pro tees. Apart from a few "easy" holes, almost every shot, from the tee to the bucket, has to be executed nearly perfectly. Great use of water as a hazard; combined with a few trees and some dense rough, it really makes shot placement a big deal. No need to rely on super-tight fairways or impossible lines at this course (although there are some).
- Some 18+ hole courses get a little old, or some of the holes feel tacked on, not here. Great variety makes every hole matter.
13 of 13 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.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
One of Iowa's top courses
Pros: -2 sets of tee's
-Concrete Boxes, Excellent signs w/maps. *fyi Whether it's from this site, or the course website, get a map. This will help with navigation issues.
-The course navigates nicely around the park, with the exception of a couple of holes. (Map recommended. See Links/Files tab)
-Great use of the terrain and the Dam:
-Steep hills, up and down, that play in and around the woods. As well as having a spectacular drive off the side of the Dam. (#5 see picture)
-Bathrooms located throughout the course, as well as trash cans
-Shelters, which will offer a nice place to take a break. Don't underestimate the fact that you will probably need one.
-Designed for regular players to professionals. West Lake could be very rough on the beginning player, it's not beginner friendly. ...or even beginner accommodating! Since there are a number of beginner friendly courses in the Quad City area, I am fine with this being a tougher course. Bring on the challenge!
-Plenty of hazards that will require a lengthy carry over water. (Bring discs that you are willing to part with. Note the plural)
-Three of the advance tee's have a distance of 800+ feet and one that is 780ft.
-The rec tee's should not to be confused for amateur tee's. They require hefty distance drives, and strategic approaches. They also carry a risk on the water shots.
-West Lake is an endurance course that will have you traversing up and down some big hills. You will want to bring plenty of liquid, and possibly an energy snack of some kind.
-West Lake is a destination course and will take 3-4 hours to complete. If you plan on playing other courses, consider the time and energy it will take to play here. You will be tired after playing here.
-The scenery here is spectacular. You will be playing around the lake, and along hillsides. You may want to bring a camera.
Cons: I know I'm repeating what has already been said, but one downside is that the course is not segregated from the other park goers. It plays near shelters, a ball field and common areas where gatherings are being held. You could find yourself playing a mando around a family reunion. The flip side to this, is that West Lake is in an area where Disc Golf is well recognized. So the people here know what's going on. ...for the most part.
This downside may not seem like much, and it's really circumstantial. The Tee Markers are only located near the long tee's. I played here during the winter and the short tee's were hidden under the snow and nearly impossible to locate. That meant we had to play from the long tee's in winter apparel. Needless to say, it was a rough game.
Other Thoughts: UPDATE REGARDING RATING BUMP: After playing Idlewild, I realized that there are similarities in the cons. Albeit West Lake has more interactions with Park Goers, Idlewild is not exempt from this interaction either. This course is a top notch course. The layout here is immense, and the challenge is extreme. This course is worthy of a 5 disc rating.
What a phenomenal course! You will want to be adequately prepared for this course. You may want to break out some hiking shoes, because you will be trekking up and down steep hills. ...quite frequently! You will also want to bring some food and plenty of liquids. It took me and a friend just over 4 hours to play here. So you may want to plan accordingly, if you are planning on hitting multiple courses in the QC area. West Lake is out of town aways, and I didn't pass many places to "grab a bite" on the way in.
At West Lake you will be required to throw a variety of shots, with various approaches. Water is also a factor on many a hole, so approach with care. West Lake has a wide variety of shots, from narrow timber shots to wide open hillside. The last 6 holes will absolutely push your stamina, as you will walk up a steep hill, and right back down, then back up again, and so on. I was physically exhausted when I finished West Lake.
Do not discount the recreational tee. It's doesn't mean beginner, it still carries a hefty challenge. Both tee's, advanced and recreational, have lengthy drives and require a strategic approach. In some cases validating the old saying "It's all about the second shot". West Lake will not disappoint, but it will challenge you physically and mentally. There are a few hillside drives, that will give you the opportunity to "Air it out, and let it fly".
FWIW to those that will play from the rec tee's: Take a disc you don't care about, and drive from the #5 Pro tee, which throws off the top of the dam. (again, see the pics) There is a chance you will lose the disc, but it is worth risking a disc to watch it fly like that!
10 of 10 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.
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