Where do I go?
Pros: - Hilly
Cons: - Navigation is difficult
- Tees are small and uneven
- There seems to be a basket missing
Other Thoughts: The course is in an area of Swan Lake State Park adjacent to the campground and bordered by the lake itself. It's a very scenic place, which is the best thing the course has going for it.
Unfortunately, much of the potential of the course is tempered by the lack of tee signs, so it's difficult to find the tees unless you have a course map (they aren't available at the course) or a local player to guide you (I didn't see anyone else playing when I was here).
Tees are constructed of concrete square pavers set into the ground. After several seasons, the pavers have become uneven and shifted away from each other, so footing is not much better than throwing from dirt.
The baskets are in decent enough shape. However, their number plates have been painted bright orange, presumably to make them more visible to the tee. The problem is that the paint covers the actual numbers on the plates, so you sometimes don't know if you are throwing to the correct basket. This was an issue where, on #7, I think I threw to #8's basket, but I'm not exactly sure, because while the tee points directly to the basket, the course map indicates it's where #8 should be. I never did find the #7 basket that is shown on the course map.
In summary, this could be a very good course. However, there are issues that need to be addressed to improve playability.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Course Has Potential
Pros: -Nice baskets
-Good elevation changes
-Nice scenery with the lake and trees around. The trees are big and mature. The holes had mostly open shots under these bigger trees but a few were more wooded.
-The state park has a buffalo near hole 1
-Lots of aces and birdies
Cons: -Finding hole one was a problem and navigation was never great. There were often large gaps between a basket and the next tee. People don't play here often so there are no paths worn in and there were no signs either.
-Isn't the longest, I think I can reach every hole in one.
-There is no signage at all. With the elevation, it was hard to know how far or short as basket was and it would have been helpful to have the tee signs point to next tee as well.
-I wasn't a fan of the tees themselves. They weren't nearly big enough and could cause problems as time passes. I could see them becoming pretty uneven.
-This course like nearly all of Iowa's state parks could be a great course but do to lack of experience, interest, and whatever else, it will remain mediocre. They have the land here to do something special. Come on Iowa State Parks!
Other Thoughts: It wasn't a bad round and my ratings are often heavily influenced by signage or lack thereof. It makes a round so much easier if you know where you are going the whole time. I think (in my humble opinion) that the other ratings might be inflated. The course may have potential to be a top notch 9 holer but right now is not. Even so, this park is the place to play for miles around. I'll get around to reviewing the course in Carroll soon.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
A Good Course With Potential
Pros: A very fun course that's located in the southwest peninsula region of Swan Lake, as well as having terrific views of the lake while playing.
The course is pretty new (built in 2011) with the tee area being unique in having pavers instead of the usual concrete and asphalt.
Most of the 9 holes are long with the exception of the 6th hole, which is a little over 100 ft.; but the course is big and long enough to have a 1-hour worth of game.
Cons: There are a few problems with the course, but should be easily fixed in no time if they decide to improve on the Swan Lake DGC:
1. Course needs signs: When my Dad and I got to the 6th hole, it took us several minutes to find/scout a good chunk of the course until I finally located the tee for the 6th hole (which is behind the 5th hole's basket). Also, when I scouted Swan Lake Park the first time to see where the course is located, I had some difficulty until I finally found it by seeing the baskets and tees. So it would be nice if the park had some signs where the course is located in the park.
2. Tees need to be expanded: It was a great idea that they used pavers for the tees and gives the course a unique identity. However, they should have made the tees a bit larger. The pavers are laid-out in 6 rows (length) and two columns (width), so they need to expand it both width and length wise to possibly 9-12 rows and 3-5 columns.
3. Course could have 9 more holes: Although the Swan Lake DGC is pretty awesome to play with only 9 holes, the park is quite big enough to add 9 more holes. If they do add 9 more, a potential location could be in the southern part of the park around where the Buffaloes are, or possibly west of the course where there's more open areas with plenty of trees and hills.
Other Thoughts: The Swan Lake DGC is a pretty fun course to play on a regular basis and possesses great potential if the above improvements are made. It's really not a one-time-and-done-type of course, you'll be coming back to this course more and more and have the opportunity to see a terrific view of Swan Lake.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Great little 9 hole
Pros: Very fun round!
You will have to use your whole bag to score well here.
There is a good variety in length. Most every hole is reachable in one with a good drive, including a few ace runs as well.
Good elevation change, both up and down; as well as some valley shots over the numerous ravines on the course.
The park is altogether kept very well, and the tee pads are in good shape.
Cons: The course is new (i think) and as such is severely lacking any sort of signage. Once you get onto the first tee you can probably find your way around the course with little trouble, but finding that first tee was a pain.
None of the tees have signs marking them, you simply need to look for the brick pavement on the ground. A simple 'next tee' arrow could be a quick navigation solution.
These lack of signs also means that your left figure out the distance and layout of each hole. They are short enough that you can judge the distances without much trouble, but it would still be nice to have the signs.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is DEFINITELY the place to play in Carrol. Would be nice to add some alternate tees so one could play a round of 18 without the addition of spendy baskets would be a nice option, but they definitely have the land to add a proper back 9.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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