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