GARLAND GOLF COURSE REVIEW - Swampfire Golf Club
Michigan Golf Course Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.