Swan Lake logoSwan Lake Resort in Plymouth has been named the 2018 Indiana Course of the Year by the Indiana Golf Course Owners Association.  The award was presented at the 2017 Golf Business Conference on November 16th at The Hawthorns Golf Club in Carmel to Swan Lake General Manager, Kevin Smith and Director of Golf, Chad Hutsell by Scott Reckord and Mike Grimm of Kenney Outdoor Solutions.

The Course of the Year Award is an INGCOA program to honor a member demonstrating:exceptional quality of course; exceptional quality of ownership and management; outstanding contribution to the community; significant contribution to the game of golf in area markets and a model operation for peers. 

As the Indiana Course of the Year, Swan Lake Resort was been submitted as an entry for National Course of the Year for which they were selected as the finalist for the Midwest Region.  They will then compete against 3 other regional winning courses from across the country for the overall award which will be announced in February in San Antonio at the National Golf Business Conference.   The prestigious award was bestowed on an Indiana Course for the first time this past year when The Pete Dye Course at French Lick came away with the 2017 National Title.

Swan Lake Resort is relaxed and unobtrusive, while being artfully nestled over 500 acres of northern Indiana countryside.  The impressive 36-hole facility is complete with a Golf Academy, a well-appointed Conference Center, and a variety of dining and lodging options.

The high quality playing standards at Swan Lake Resort begins with the right people with the right vision and attitude, not to mention experience.  Mike Gann, Golf Course Superintendent has been at Swan Lake for 25 years which is only slightly longer than Assistant Golf Course Superintendent Dave Pentelow who has been with the course for 24 years.

Current owners, Richard Klingler and his wife Pauline, have long been in the recreation business from the time they created and were the proud owners of Holiday Rambler.  They continue to have an impact on the recreation business through their involvement at Swan Lake Resort. From the time they took ownership in the early 2000’s, they began the transformation to make Swan Lake Resort the destination it is today.  From the new clubhouse, conference center and restaurant to multiple other upgrades throughout the property, they have invested in the future of not just the resort, but the employees that call Swan Lake Resort home.

The Klingler’s Daughter, Pam Smith, is the President of the Resort. Along with her husband Kevin, who is the General Manager , they round out the ownership team that provides the leadership, support and resources on a daily basis which allow the staff to provide a first class experience to every guest that visits Swan Lake Resort.  Swan Lake is proud to draw Events and Stay & Play guests from a large area, but is also dedicated to their local play from the surrounding 6 counties.  They are also generous supporters of the United Way among many other local charities.

Committed to the future of the game, Swan Lake supports numerous youth golf programs such as the Marshall County Junior Golf Tour, Middle and High School golf in Plymouth and Walkerton as well as others and the Ancilla College men’s’ and women’s golf teams.

Swan Lake Resort started from very humble beginnings by Roy Swanson in the summer of 1965 when he had the idea to build some golf holes for his family.  Mr. Swanson had a successful poultry operation and while attending a business convention in DeKalb, IL, he experienced golf for the first time at the 3-hole lighted Wagon Wheel Golf Course in nearby Rockford.  He caught the proverbial “golf bug” and was hooked.  Talk of building one to three holes quickly ensued along with applying for permitting to use his land for recreational use.  The following year saw work begun on the three holes.

At one point, Mr. Swanson dug a pond and hit an underground spring that soon became a lake.  Thus, the name Swan Lake was born.  The first 3-holes were finished in August 1966 while the first full 9 holes were under construction.  27 holes were finished in 1969 and Swan Lake Resort was officially open for business.  Eventually there were 36 regulation holes, 5 executive holes and 9 par three holes at its peak.  Along the way lodging was constructed and The Academy at Swan Lake Resort came to life primarily focused as a Junior Academy in the beginning.  Eventually the Academy morphed into a very busy adult focused program that was one of the first of its kind and largest in the Midwest.  Fast forward to 2000 when current owner Richard Klingler purchased Swan Lake Resort from the Swanson family.  Swan Lake Resort looks forward to a great 2018 as they move towards our 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2019.


The Indiana Golf Course Owners Association’s purpose is to promote the growth of golf and safeguard the common business interests of the golf course industry in Indiana and its golf-related operations.  Indiana is one of 36 chapters affiliated with the National Golf Course Owners Association.