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GARLAND GOLF COURSE REVIEW - Swampfire Golf Club
(989-786-2211)

To visit this course's website click here.

Michigan Golf Course Review

Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort

Resort information:

Garland Resort in Lewiston is one of the Midwest's top golf resorts, and affords golf buffs the opportunity to play 4 championship caliber golf courses, all conveniently located on one property. These include the upscale Fountains - one of Michigan's best, as well as the Swampfire, Monarch and Reflections. All four courses are serviced by one clubhouse, which features a wonderfully stocked pro shop, restaurant & lounge, with a wide variety of lodging adjacent to the courses. Swimming pools, saunas, whirlpools, a workout facility and other recreational activities are available on property. For detailed information on the resort accommodations and amenities including a link to the Garland web site, visit our page for Garland Resort by clicking here.

Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort
Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort

Visitors will find a spacious grass & mat driving range with target areas, plus two enormous practice greens for putting and chipping - one near the range and the other  conveniently located near the center of the resort. A good variety of instructional programs and lessons are available, and can be set up through the pro shop. Golfers playing multiple rounds can pick up a quick burger or sandwich at the outdoor grill between rounds. There also is ample seating indoors at Tamaracks. Downstairs from the pro shop are locker facilities with showers for men and women.

Swampfire Golf Club Review

Swampfire is a gorgeous golf course featuring manicured fairways sculpted by pine and hardwood forests, that lead to large, mildly undulating and mostly raised putting complexes. This is one of Garland's tightest layouts, demanding both distance and accuracy off the tee. Water hazards, many of them formidable, are also present on 15 of the 18 holes. At 6854 yards, the Champion tees play to a 141 slope and demand the best from experienced golfers. With a 139 slope (6422 yards) the blue tees are not much easier, and with a slope of 136 ( 6108 yards) average golfers will be challenged to score their handicap. The toughest portions of the hazards are mostly taken out of play from the forward tee areas.

Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort
Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort

On course golfers will be pleased with the simple fairway marking system, as red, white and blue stakes are readily visible on both sides of the fairways. Cart paths are also marked, as well as some sprinkler heads. The day's hole locations are indicated on the pin placement sheets that are provided for on the carts...be sure your cart has one before teeing off.

Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort
Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort

The opening hole begins with an ample fairway with a water hazard that crosses about 140 yards from the green. The second shot turns slightly right, to a putting surface that is crowned on 3 sides. Number two has water in play along the right all the way to the green and also to the far left of the cart path off the tee. BE WARY on the approach, as the pond on the right creeps into the landing area just before the green. This is one of the most demanding iron shots of the day, and is deserving of your utmost attention. The par three 3rd is a beauty that is all carry over water, to a back to front sloped putting surface, with plenty of room long. The tee shot on four presents a short carry over another hazard, with lakes bordering the fairway on both sides. This is another extremely tricky approach...be sure to stay to the right, aiming towards the bunkers on that side on the approach. To the left and in front of the green is a water hazard that is not immediately visible. Anything landing short of the green in the center or left is gone! You might want to take a minute to drive up near the green complex to see what you are dealing with, before you hit...  Similar to number three. The par three 5th is all carry. The slope in front of the green will guide balls hit short into the hazard here. The horseshoe shaped tee area is quite unique, rotating boxes and providing different vantage points daily. The wide fairway on 6 is well bunkered along the right, with a pond in play about 100 yards out. This hazard continues to the left and behind the elevated green complex. Hole number seven is a tight, tree lined par four which invites a tee shot that splits the fairway traps on either side. The fairway on eight is more generous, though a 80 yard long bunker lines the left side. A water hazard crosses about 100 yards away.  The closing hole on the front mimics the other par threes on the front, as it is all carry with a considerable slope in front that will reject balls hit short.

Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort
Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort

The back side plays a little longer, and begins with a medium range par five that features a water hazard on the left about 250 yards out. The place to be on this dogleg left is right of center. After a nice tranquil drive through the woods, the eleventh tee welcomes you to a pretty par three, that plays longer than the advertised yardage. There is plenty of room short and around the green here. A tee shot that splits the fairway bunkers will leave advantageous positioning to approach the putting complex on the long, dogleg left par four 12th . The second shot is uphill to a green well protected by bunkers in front. Thirteen turns to the left past the 150 yard marker, and it is possible to drive it through the fairway here. Stay to the left of center and the approach to a raised green becomes more manageable. The generous fairway on 14 ends near the 220 area, as a water hazard crosses. Land it on the short grass and this hole is very score-able, as there are no bunkers to deal with. It is possible to cut the dogleg right 15th, for those that can drive to within the 150 yard area along the right off the tee. The crowned putting surface slopes off in front and to the left of this mid range four par. Aim towards the tall pine deep of the fairway on the pretty par four 16th. The ideal landing area is between 80-120 yards away, leaving a wedge approach over water to green protected by a huge sand trap in front. The par three 17th is the course's number 18 handicap, and presents plenty of room short of and around the putting surface. Like the rest of the par threes on the Swampfire, this hole seems to play longer than the published yardage.  The course closes with a tee shot over water to a wide fairway that narrows on the approach. The green is a slightly raised and slopes from back to front.

Swampfire Golf Club at Garland Golf Resort

As the slope indicates, Swampfire is a good challenge, and perhaps the toughest of the layouts at this resort. Doglegs, water hazards, bunkers and Fairways defined by mature forest - this course has it all. Prior course knowledge - or at least a quick study of the yardage guide (cost $1.50 in the pro shop) will help...especially on the second and fourth holes. We had the opportunity to spend two nights at Garland, played all four courses, practice facilities, enjoyed the pool areas, restaurants and lounge, and highly recommend this place to anyone who has never had the opportunity to visit. The amenities and service are great.

Visit our information page for the Swampfire course by clicking here.

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