Archive for August 2009

Square Links Golf Course

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 25, 2009 in Courses 0 Comments

Over the weekend, I had some free time to knock a 9-hole course off of the list, so I played at Square Links Golf Course in Frankfort, Illinois. Square Links, located approximately 30 miles southwest of Chicago, is part of the Frankfort Square Park District. The park district purchased the course, which was previous known as Hickory Creek Golf Course, in 2002. Some places also refer to the course as “Frankfort Square Links Golf Course” or “Frankfort Square Golf Course”.

Technically, Square Links Golf Course is a short course, consisting of mostly par-3 holes and only two par-4 holes, but there are actually 10 holes at this course which makes a total of 1,749 yards from the back (blue) tees. The 10th hole actually comes at the beginning… at hole 1A. After a bit of research, I found out that holes 1A and 1 used to be combined into a 354 yard par-4, which made the course a 1,801 yard par-30.

The course wraps around a driving range and is bordered by subdivisions on 3 sides. The course is fairly flat, except for hole 1A, which lets you tee off higher than the green. Two ponds and other water hazards effect six of the holes, and sand traps touch only two holes.

I ended up going to Square Links by myself (I couldn’t find anyone in short notice), but since the course was pretty busy, they placed me in a group with three sophomores from a nearby high school. They were nice teenagers that knew how to play and were out just for fun, which didn’t make the round so bad. But, unfortunately, I didn’t play so well this round. I had some difficulty keeping my shots straight, and I ended up dropping some shots into the water hazards. My approach shots were random; sometimes good, sometimes bad. My putting was consistently OK. I 2-putted 9 times, and 3-putted 1 time. I ended up shooting a 52 (20 over par).

Overall, this is a nice course. They have a wide range of distances on the par-3 holes; one that measures in at 195 yards (and feels like a par-4) and another measuring in a 116 yards (and feels like you can putt the ball from the tee box).

I should mention that Square Links also has an 18-hole natural grass putting course, which is something I haven’t seen yet.

Square Links Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 1,749 yards
Course par: 32
Course rating/slope:  n/a
My score: 52 (20 over par)

Square Links Golf Course
7861 W. St. Francis Road
Frankfort, IL 60423

Cherry Valley Golf Course [Field Trip]

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 24, 2009 in Field Trips 0 Comments

Before taking my annual mini-vacation to Alabama, I met up with David to play a quick round at Cherry Valley Golf Course in New Albany, Indiana. Cherry Valley Golf Course is approximately 7 miles northwest of downtown Louisville, Kentucky, across the river on the Indiana side. The course was originally built in 1932 as Cherry Valley Golf Course, renamed in 1966 to “Fuzzy Zoeller Par 3″, then switched back to its original name in 1985.

From the back tees (blue), Cherry Valley is slightly longer than a 9-hole short course, but when David and I played, they only had the white tees out, which measured in at 1,417 yards. The course consists of only two par-4 holes, with the rest being par-3’s. The name of the course pretty much describes the layout. The course sits in a valley in the west side of New Albany (it’s almost hard to believe there’s a golf course there), with a creek running along it’s east side. Water hazards affect only the 1st and 8th hole, and trees affect holes 6-9.

This course can actually be fairly challenging for a short course. On some of the holes, you tee off higher than the green, forcing you to be accurate on your shots. On other holes, some trees block your way, so you either have to hit around them or go over top of them. The creek on left of holes 6-8 hugs the fairway pretty closely.

When we started the round, there was a single teeing off before us. David and I decided to join him. His name was James; an older gentleman who seemed like he was a regular at Cherry Valley. Throughout the round, he was giving pointers to David on his stroke (his shots were going all over the place) and his tips ended up being pretty helpful. (David did eventually confess he needs to hit the driving range more often.)

As for me, I feel like I played a decent round. I started off OK, then consistently shot mediocre throughout the rest of the round. My drives on the two par-4 holes were really bad, but my iron shots were OK. My putting, on the other hand, was on target. I 1-putted 4 times and 2-putted 3 times.

But what made my round was the 7th hole. A 110 yard par-3 with tree branches between the tee box and the green. On the first shot, I ended up placing the ball about 6 feet behind the pin, then 1-putted it in for my first par-3 birdie! (I didn’t do a birdie dance, but James did give me a fist-bump.) Although this does not cross a 2009 goal off of the list, it does make me pretty happy. Looking back at previous rounds, I’ve had many opportunities to get a par-4 birdie, yet my poor putting prevented me from getting it. With my putting improving, it’s only a matter of time.

I ended up shooting a 43 (14 over par), and David shot a 47 (18 over par). I don’t know how James did, but I imagine he did better than David and I. I should note, because it was an awesome shot, that James sank a 30 foot putt on the 9th hole. Pretty impressive.

Cherry Valley Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 1,417 yards
Course par: 29
Course rating/slope: 35.5/113 (white tee boxes)
My score: 43 (14 over par)
David’s score: 47 (18 over par)

Cherry Valley Golf Course
600 Cherry Street
New Albany, IN 47150

Streamwood Oaks Golf Club

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 13, 2009 in Courses 0 Comments

It’s the beginning of August and I’m just now getting to play a course that counts for the goal. Andy and I played a quick nine at Streamwood Oaks Golf Club in Streamwood, Illinois, which is approximately 30 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Streamwood Oaks is a part of the Village of Streamwood, and was opened in 1990. Our golf fees, with the cart, ended up being $25 per person.

Streamwood Oaks is a nine-hole regulation course that consists of two par-3 and two par-5 holes. Two of the holes, the first (a par-4) and the fourth (a par-5), are both slight dogleg right. Every hole features some type of water hazard, and six of the holes have sand traps. The par-3 eighth hole requires accuracy, due to the pond and sand traps directly in front and behind the green.

I loved this course. The layout is great and the course is beautiful. Since it is part of the Village of Streamwood, the course sits in between a couple of subdivisions, but the boundary between the golf course and the houses are divided by trees, so it makes it feel like you’re not surrounded by houses.

As far as how I played… I did OK, but I could have done a lot better. I started shakey, which isn’t uncommon, and at the par-5 fourth hole, I completely melted down (which was unfortunate because I had a great first shot with the driver and second shot with the 3 wood). I started getting better after than. On two holes, back-to-back, I had an opportunity for a birdie, but 3-putted into bogeys. Throughout the round, I 3-putted six times (but I did sink a 20 foot putt to mark my only 1-putt of the round). As for Andy, he had a little trouble keeping the ball near the fairway. He’s a lefty who tends to hook, and the trees that bordered the subdivision were always on the left, so he occasionally had to shoot from the trees. He 1-putted one time and 2-putted five times.

As I said before, I really liked this course. It’s a great nine hole that is challenging, yet worth the price. I would definitely come back to this one for another round.

Streamwood Oaks Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 3,435 yards
Course par: 36
Course rating/slope: 69.6/120 (white tee boxes)
My score: 61 (25 over par)
Andy’s score: 56 (20 over par)

Streamwood Oaks Golf Club
565 Madison Drive
Streamwood, IL 60107

Plymouth Rock Golf Course [Field Trip]

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 11, 2009 in Field Trips 0 Comments

Plymouth Rock Golf CourseTo take advantage of a really nice Saturday morning in northern Indiana, Beth’s cousin, Dirk, and I played a round at Plymouth Rock Golf Course in Plymouth, Indiana. Located approximately 30 miles south of South Bend, Indiana, Plymouth Rock Golf Course was opened in 1977 by it’s owner and manager, Robert Booth. The weekend rate, with a cart, ended up being $25.

Plymouth Rock has a pretty nice layout, with the front nine and back nine split equally in the middle by a small driving range. The front nine, which is fairly open and has a few trees bordering the holes, consists of two par-3 and two par-5 holes (both of the par-5 holes are 90 degree doglegs). The back nine, which is surrounded by heavy trees, also consists of two par-3 and two par-5 holes. Water hazards touch seven of the holes, while small sand traps are scattered on random holes. The course, as we played it, was fairly nice, although it seemed it was not maintained that well. Nearly all of the water hazards were stagnant, and the sand traps looked like they needed more care. Also, the grass bordering many of the holes was very high. I ended up losing a lot of balls in the high grass.

It didn’t help that we started on the back nine. Throughout the back nine, I must have lost about 6-8 balls in the woods and the high grass. I didn’t play that well at all (except for the 16th hole, where I shot par), although I did notice I am getting a lot more confident with my drives and my even-numbered irons. I didn’t play that well on the front nine either (but, once again, I did shoot par on one hole). Dirk played about the same as me, even shooting par on two holes. His 3 and 5 wood shots were pretty impressive, which is something I need to start working on.

I ended up shooting a 111 (39 over par) and Dirk shot a 115 (43 over par). I 1-putted one time and 2-putted 11 times. I’m starting to get more comfortable selecting clubs based on the distance to the hole. I think I can start shaving some strokes when I get more comfortable with my 3 wood and 5 wood.

Plymouth Rock Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,156 yards
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 68.3/112 (white tee boxes)
My score: 111 (39 over par)
Dirk’s score: 115 (43 over par)

Plymouth Rock Golf Course
12641 7B Road
Plymouth, IN 46563

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