Archive for May 2010



Silver Lake Country Club – South Course

Posted by cjsharp1 on May 24, 2010 in Courses 0 Comments

To finish off the weekend, Adam and I went to Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Illinois. Silver Lake is approximately 30 miles southwest of Chicago. The club consists of three courses: two 18-hole championship courses (the North and the South) and one 9-hole executive course (Rolling Hills). The North course is the longer of the two 18-hole courses, measuring at 6,826 yards from the back tees for a par of 72. The South course measures in at 6,337 yards from the back tees for a par of 70. For this round, Adam and I played the South course.

The South course is the “sportier” of the two courses. The fairways are shorter and narrower, with more water hazards and bunkers. It consists of four par-5 and six par-3 holes, including a 200+ yard par-3 9th hole over a larger body of water. From the tee box, you’d think you’re teeing off on a par-4 hole. (I ended up teeing off with my driver, and placing the ball 10-20 yards behind the green.) Water hazards touch ten of the holes.

We chose Silver Lake thanks to a deal found on Groupon.com, which offered the standard $61 rate (with cart) for only $27. Not a bad deal at all, and in fact, I heard that so many of the $27 coupons were sold that they sold out in near record time. With that type of demand, you could imagine how busy the course was. Adam and I got paired up with another twosome for the round; two middle-aged gentlemen, Russell and Brandon, who knew each other since they were in high school. Luckily, they weren’t too much better than Adam and I, so they didn’t have to wait on us too much throughout the round.

Unfortunately, I continued to play bad. In fact, I think everyone played bad. Only one par was posted between the four of us, which was surprising because it seemed Russell and Brandon played much better than us. The best that Adam could do is bogey, while the best that I could do was double bogey. Near the back-9, it was a task for all of us to make par on a hole. We tried not to say anything to each other if someone was on track to make par; we didn’t want to jinx each other. Finally, around the 14th hole, Russell made par on a par-4 hole (and made some money on the side from Brandon). Our round ended up taking around five hours, thanks to a couple foursomes in front of us that looked like they were having just as bad of a day as we were having.

Like I said, I continued to play bad. The first hole for me was completely terrible. It started with a bad drive, continued with me still topping the ball with my irons, and then 3-putting. On the 3rd hole, my drives started to warm up and go straighter. I tried to rely on my drives to get me as close to the hole as I could. In fact, I ended up out-driving Russell, Brandon, and Adam on a lot of the holes (which is something I originally thought I wouldn’t be able to do). I did have a couple opportunities to hit with my new #3 hybrid and #3 fairway wood (which I purchased the night before), and I had some better luck with the fairway wood.

I ended up shooting a 137, which was, once again, my worst round ever (but consistent with my round at Broken Arrow). I 2-putted 8 times, and worse the other times. Adam shot a 113, which was a pretty bad score for him, but he got to use the “first round of the season” excuse. I’ll let that slide.

Silver Lake Country Club – Scores & Stats
South course length: 5,948 yards (white tee boxes)
South course par: 70
South course rating/slope: 68.3/116 (white tee boxes)
My score: 137 (67 over par)
Adam’s score: 113 (43 over par)

Silver Lake Country Club
14700 S. 82nd Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60462

Broken Arrow Golf Club – North/South Course

Posted by cjsharp1 on May 20, 2010 in Courses 0 Comments

Finally! The first round of the 2010 season, and the first round with my new clubs. This was something I was looking forward to, mainly because I was interested in seeing how (or even if) my game would change. For the first round of the season, I went with Mike, his brother Matt, and their friend Frank to Broken Arrow Golf Club.

Broken Arrow Golf Club is located in Lockport, Illinois, which is approximately 25 miles southeast of Chicago. The golf club consists of three 9-hole, par-36 courses: the South course, the East course, and the North course, as well as a 9-hole links-style short course, appropriately called the West course. According to Broken Arrow’s website, the East course is the most challenging, the North course is the most scenic, and the South course has the most “landmarks of this historic farm”. Of the three courses, the North course is the longest course, measuring in 3,558 yards from the back tees. The North course also has two flags on each hole: a red flag for a shorter game and a blue flag for a longer game. All three courses consist of two par-3 and two par-5 holes, and offer a good amount of rolling hills and small trees surrounding the fairways, along with the standard water hazards and sand traps. For this round, we played the North and the South courses.

Broken Arrow is a difficult course… plain and simple. Although, from my standpoint (being a noob), a difficult course to me could be an easy course to a more experienced player, but I feel confident in saying this is a difficult course because the people I played with also had some trouble. Mike is a decent player, shooting consistently in the 90’s, and Frank is even better than that, shooting in the 80’s. They both had trouble with this course, shooting a 102 and a 97, respectively. Matt played better than me, shooting a 129. Ouch! I ended up shooting a 136… my worst round ever.

Looking at the course slopes and ratings, the numbers help prove that Broken Arrow is, indeed, a difficult course. The North course is a 71.0/128 from the white tees (the closest tees for men), and the South course is a 71.4/129. That’s the close to highest that I’ve played on so far. So, looking at the final outcome of this round doesn’t make me feel so bad, since the numbers show the difficulty.

But honestly, I can’t lay much blame on one single thing that made this round bad for me. Aside from it being a difficult course, I didn’t play very well at all. When using my irons, I wasn’t making solid contact with the ball, and I topped the ball a lot (probably from the same reasons as before). I can say though that my drives have gotten better. I feel like I’m making good contact with the ball, and I’m not slicing as much (it’s more of a slight push now). I’m starting to get fairly confident with my drives. I didn’t get to keep track of my putting, but I don’t think it was that good.

Of all of this, one good thing did happen. On the 4th hole of the North course, a par-5, I sank a lucky shot from about 100 yards out with my 9-iron. The green was a bit elevated from where I hit the ball, so I didn’t initially see if it went in the hole or past the green. After I hit the shot, I said to Mike “I think my ball when behind the green or in the hole.” Mike said “It didn’t go in the hole. Stuff like that doesn’t happen”. Ha! I proved him wrong, and laughed at him after I picked up my ball out of the hole and showed it to him while he was searching for his ball in the tall grass next to the green. Stuff like that does happen, but it’s mostly because of a bit of luck! I ended up getting par on that hole, and it was my only par during the round. The best I could do after that was a bogey on the par-3 4th hole of the South course.

Like I said, I ended up shooting a 136, which is 64 over par. Not a good score at all, but I’m willing to forget about it because it was my first round of the season, I had new clubs, and I didn’t play with a fairway wood. The round took about 5 hours, thanks to a bit of traffic in front of us.

So from here, I know I have things to work on. First, I need to get a fairway wood and possibly a hybrid (I’m thinking a #3 for each). I also need to work on not topping the ball and making better contact with the ball, and I think a lesson or two from someone who knows what they are doing might help with that.

Broken Arrow Golf Club – Scores & Stats
North course length: 3,375 yards (blue tee boxes)
North course par: 36
South course length: 3,288 yards (blue tee boxes)
South course par: 36
North to South course rating/slope: 72.6/131 (blue tee boxes)
My score: 136 (64 over par, 64 on North, 72 on South)
Mike’s score: 102 (30 over par, 51 on North, 51 on South)
Matt’s score: 129 (57 over par, 64 on North, 65 on South)
Franks’s score: 97 (25 over par, 49 on North, 48 on South)

Broken Arrow Golf Club
16325 West Broken Arrow Drive
Lockport, IL 60441

Getting a new set of golf clubs was my first goal of the 2010 season. My first set of golf clubs (the set I received for my birthday in 2008) were OK… good enough for a brand new golfer trying to learn how to hit a ball, but as I played more and practiced more, I felt like a new set of clubs could help my game. Also, when I played the rounds, I tended to only use my driver, my putter, and my even-numbered irons (on top of that, my 6-iron was starting to split). I never had much luck with my fairway woods or my other irons, so I just stayed away from them.

So I started my search for new clubs, and it turned out to be a pretty short search. First, I was limited by a budget, and for my budget, there’s not much out there. I wanted to get a set of clubs that could last me a couple of years. I knew there was a couple brands I wanted to stay away from, and a couple brands I wanted to try out.

I decided to check out a couple sets of clubs at Golfsmith in Downers Grove, and I took Adam and Beth along for the ride (Adam was also looking into new clubs). I chose this location because it recently re-opened with an indoor driving range, a swing analysis system, and a custom fitting studio. They also charge a very cheap fee for golf fitting: $20, unless you buy a club from them, then it’s free. The prices for golf fittings is one thing that turned me away from purchasing from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Sports Authority, which both charge up near $80. I knew I wanted clubs and I knew I should get fitted, so I figured it would be best to get them at the same place.

Once we got to Golfsmith, one of their employees directed us to look around and find a couple of iron sets to try out. They had a pretty decent selection… if you aren’t on a budget. For my budget, I had 3-4 sets of clubs to choose from: a set from Callaway, a set from TaylorMade, and two sets from Lynx (Golfsmith’s house brand). I tried out the sets from TaylorMade and Lynx, and decided to go with the set from TaylorMade: TaylorMade Burner Plus. The Burner Plus irons are a bit longer than normal, which should help out my game, where I tend to top the ball a lot.

I also tried out the matching drivers from TaylorMade and Lynx. The both felt pretty good (for a noob), but I also ended up going with the TaylorMade: TaylorMade Burner.

As far as the hybrids and fairway woods, I decided to wait to purchase those, but I’ll probably end up getting a Burner 3 wood and a Burner Rescue 3 hybrid. And for my putter, I like the one I have now, so I’m just going to use that.

After I decided on my irons and my driver, the only other information that was needed from the guy helping us was my arm length, and then we were done. That’s it!

Really? That’s it? I kinda expected more out of this. I expected more of a custom fitting, which would leave me with a set of clubs that’s perfect for my height, arm length, play style, strengths, weaknesses, and so on. But it turns out that while I was testing the clubs, the guy helping me found out all he needed to know: I was a noob that needed a regular flex shaft. Fair enough, I guess. Maybe once I actually have a game then I’ll need clubs that are actually fitted to me.

So I’m pretty happy with my clubs, even if my budget was stretched a little bit. Of course, two days later, I see that Sports Authority has a sale on the exact same driver I bought. So I called up Golfsmith, and put their 115% Low Price Guarantee to the test. It only took about 15-20 minutes to get everything sorted out, and they told me I would get a refund for the difference, plus an extra 15%. A couple days later, I got $25 deposited back into my account. Nice!

So I’m all set for the new season, minus my hybrid and my fairway wood, but it’ll get me started.

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