Over the weekend, Suzie and I headed to Arlington Lakes Golf Club in Arlington Heights, Illinois, located approximately 25 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Arlington Lakes is owned and operated by the Arlington Heights Park District, which also runs Nickol Knoll Golf Club, an 9-hole executive par-3 course. Opened in 1979, the course was designed by Garrett D. Gill, who also designed the 18-hole course at Village Links of Glen Ellyn, as well as many other courses throughout the Midwest.
The course features six par-3 and two par-5 holes for a total par of 68 at a length of 5,401 yards from the back tees. There are three sets of tees: the back Blue tees, the 5,018 yard White tees, and the 4,650 forward Red tees. The rolling fairways are generally straight and surrounded by small- and medium-sized trees. There are many fairways that feel really narrow, either due to water hazards or a fenced out-of-bounds area. While there are no doglegs, you do need to be accurate with your shots due to the water and bunkers that touch the holes. Water touches 14 of the holes, four of which you’ll need to carry your shot over one (or two) of the lakes from which the course gets it’s name. Though in my opinion, the course should be renamed to “Arlington Bunkers Golf Club” (I know… it doesn’t sound as good). You’ll find bunkers on every hole, though mostly surrounding the green, and they looked in good condition. According to their website, the course is home to 106 bunkers, and I feel that’s a true statement. The undulating greens are fairly challenging, and played at about an average speed.
I felt I played an average round. My drives were not as good as they should, but I was getting decent distance, even if I did push my tee shot. I still need to work on the accuracy with my iron shots, but at least I’m getting good distance. I had a better short game compared to last week, which really helped me set up my putts. Sand shots in the bunkers did contribute a good chunk to my score. I should probably start practicing those shots also. My putting was about average, but I somehow kept my 3-putts to a minimum. I ended up with three 1-putts and only one 3-putt.
I shot a 98 for the round (30 over par, 47 on the front nine, 51 on the back nine). This consisted of three pars, seven bogeys, three double bogeys, and all others worse. I actually played a pretty good front nine aside from the two par 3 holes where I shot three over. I also had nine sand shots and four penalty shots.
I was actually surprised at this course. It ended up being tougher than I thought going into the round. The bunkers and the narrow fairways really contribute to making this course challenging, even with it’s shorter-than-average length and a par of 68.
Arlington Lakes Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,018 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 68
Course rating/slope: 63.7/108 (white tee boxes)
My score: 98 (30 over par)
The first round for the 2013 golf season takes me to Mt. Prospect Golf Club in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, approximately 23 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The club is the only golf course that belongs to the Mt. Prospect Park District. The course was originally built as a private course when it opened in 1929.
The course features four par-3 and three par-5 holes for a total par of 71 at a length of 6,309 yards from the back tees. There are four sets of tees: the back Blue tees, the 5,923 yard White tees, the 5,307 yard Golf tees, and the 5,028 yard forward Red tees. The course is a traditional parkland style course that you’ll often find throughout Chicago. The fairways are generally open and straight, formed from rolling hills and surround by medium- and large-sized trees. You’ll find doglegs on the 5th and 10th holes (both 354 yard par-4′s), the 13th hole (a 277 yard par-4), the 17th hole (a 478 yard par-5), and the 18th hole (a 377 yard par-4). Water touches eleven of the holes, all of which you’ll need to carry your shot over the water, though they are mostly just small streams or creeks. Bunkers are found on every hole, either near the fairway, near the green, or both. The bunkers could use a bit of work, or at least some filtering of the large clumps (or maybe they were rocks). The greens are average size and offered some challenging putts throughout the round. The greens felt generally soft for my round, though that could have been due to some recent rain. A notable green is the 7th hole (a 170 yard par-3) where a steep hill cuts through the green and requires you to be accurate with your shots and putts in order to avoid a difficult uphill putt.
For the first round of the season, I feel like I played pretty well. I didn’t get to practice much during the winter break, so I was thinking I was going to be a bit rusty. I felt like I had some pretty good drives, and it seemed like I was getting good distance, even if I pushed or sliced. My shots with my hybrid felt really nice. I think this year will be the season where I start to get really comfortable with my fairway wood and hybrid shots. I had good iron shots with decent accuracy, though I left many of them short. My short game was bad; I left many wedge shots short. My putting was decent. The greens were a little bumpy and needed some work, but it still is early in the season, so that might improve.
I ended up with a 102 (31 over par, 52 on the front nine, 50 on the back nine). This consisted of two pars, six bogeys, five double bogeys, and all others worse. I had two 1-putts and four 3-putts, along with five sand shots and two penalties. I really want to work on eliminating penalty shots this season. I know if I can do that, and keep 3-putts to a minimum, I should be able to break 90.
Mt. Prospect Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,923 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 71
Course rating/slope: 69.3/125 (white tee boxes)
My score: 102 (31 over par)
Golf season is upon us, so it’s time to set the goals for 2013. Here they are:
For technical goals:
Let the season begin!
Let’s get right to it… On to my year in review for the 2012 golf season.
According to my statistics on oobgolf.com (based on the last 20 scores):
These statistics, with the exception of the fairways hit and average putts per hole, are an improvement over the 2011 golf season.
For the more technical goals (based on the last 20 scores):
The 2012 golf season was equally as productive as the 2011 golf season. 30 rounds played, with 23 new courses completed… I’m pretty happy with that. Much like 2011, I didn’t think I would get to play that often in 2012. A couple open weekends gave me the opportunity to play more rounds than normal. As of right now, I’m a little under halfway done with the project. If I keep this pace, I should be able to complete the project in 4-5 years.
As far as my game, I still think my drives are getting better and straighter, but I still want to get a bit more distance out of them. At least I’m starting to see more distance out of my irons. Maybe this year I’ll focus a little more on my short game and try to eliminate those 3-putts.
And just how I ended the last two years in review, I really want to say ‘Thank You!’ to all who are following my progress, and joining me along the way.
A round of golf in December doesn’t come too often in this part of the country, especially if you want to play without needing to wear a thick coat. This round, though, wasn’t in the Chicagoland area, but instead in Louisville, Kentucky at Glenmary Country Club (funny enough though, the temperatures turned out to be better in Chicago that particular weekend). Glenmary is located approximately 15 miles southwest of downtown Louisville. The course was designed by John Addington, and opened in 1990.
The course features three par-3 and three par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,540 yards from the back tees. There are four sets of tees: the back Black tees, the White tees that drops to the length to 6,050 yards, the Gold tees that drops the length to 5,493 yards, and the forward Red tees that drops the length to 5,093 yards. The course weaves its way throughout the Glenmary neighborhood, which is a fairly hilly community with a lot of large trees. The fairways are generally straight, formed from rolling hills and surrounded by large trees. Water touches ten of the holes, mostly on the front nine. You’ll need to carry over water many times, either on your tee shot or on your way to the green, though mostly just are just small creeks. The largest water hazard you’ll find is small pond in front of the tee box the 10th hole, where a straight tee shot over 150 yards will safely find the fairway. Bunkers are found on all holes, either near the fairways, near the greens, or both, and they generally seemed in good condition, given the circumstances of a late Fall round. The greens are of average size and difficulty (though it’s hard to accurately comment on greens this time of the year).
I really liked this course. The layout and difficulty of the holes kept the whole round fun and interesting, and the environment around the course is beautiful. I do wish I got to play this in the summer. The only thing that really bothered me with this course is the condition of the cart paths, which were very rough in some areas.
My round went fairly smoothly and I was pretty happy how it turned out. My drives were really good throughout the round, with only a couple of slight pushes or pulls. I think I was expecting to play worse than I did, so actually making straight and accurate shots was nice. My iron shots were about average, as was my short game with my wedges. My putting was random throughout, but it was difficult to stay consistent considering the green condition and weather (some light rain started halfway through the round).
I finished the round with a 95 (23 over par, 48 on the front nine, 47 on the back nine). This consisted of three pars, eight bogeys, six double bogeys, and a triple bogey. I had six 1-putts and four 3-putts, along with four sand shots and three penalties.
This round marks the end of my 2012 golf season, which actually turned out to be a decent season for the project and my golf game. I feel like I ended the season on a good note, and I’m hoping I can start the 2013 season right were I left off.
Glenmary Country Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,050 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 70.0/128 (white tee boxes)
My score: 95 (23 over par)