Another hot Friday afternoon takes me to Billy Caldwell Golf Course in Chicago, located approximately 10 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The course is part of the Forest Preserve Golf courses, which operates ten golf courses throughout Chicagoland, two of which are nine hole courses. Billy Caldwell is one of the Forest Preserve’s nine hole courses (the other is Meadowlark Golf Course in Hinsdale, Illinois).

The course measures in at 3,108 yards from the back tees, with eight par-4 holes and one par-3 hole. Water hazards touch two holes, the 5th hole (a 317 yard par-4) and the 7th hole (a 376 yard par-4). The edge of the water hazard on the 5th hole starts at about 130 yards from the green, but is only about 30 yards long. Both the tee box and the green for the 5th hole sit on top of a small hill, so it’s tempting to try to drive the green. If you’re a long hitter, feel free to try to go for the green, otherwise, just lay up to avoid hitting the water hazard.

I felt the course was very similar to the other Forest Preserve course I’ve played (actually, the first course in Chicago I played): Chick Evans Golf Course. The fairways were pretty flat and open, and are surrounded by tall trees. Only the 5th and 6th (a 149 yard par-3) holes have some hills to them. The grass for the rough was not much taller than the grass for the fairways, and there were a couple patches of dead grass on some of the fairways. The greens are maintained pretty well, and didn’t feel to fast or slow.

I started the round by myself, but quickly partnered up with a twosome behind me, thanks to a slow twosome in front of me. It turned out the twosome behind me was the assistant manager for the course, Nick, and his friend Dennis. They were both very nice and laid-back, and Nick was pretty helpful in assisting me on where to hit my shots, since he knew the course like the back of his hand. Nick actually told me he’s working on becoming a PGA Professional. Good luck to him.

I had another mediocre round. My drives were random, my iron shots were random, and my putting was random, but, all-in-all, I think it was good round. I got a par on two holes, the 3rd hole (a 293 yard par-4) and the 9th hole (a 390 yard par-4).

Actually, the 9th hole was the best for me. My drive went about 250 yards, and my second shot landed about 10 feet from the hole. At this point, I felt confident I could knock another goal off my list by making a birdie on a par-4. Unfortunately, no one was there to watch; Nick and Dennis left after the 8th hole. Still, I tried my hardest to make the putt, but ended up missing it, coming up short by five inches! Gah!

I ended up shooting a 50, which was 15 over par (and still on track to breaking 100). I 1-putted one time and 3-putted two times. Not too bad for a hot day in Chicago (with the heat index up in the 100’s). And, because of the heat, I probably lost 10 pounds along the way. Hooray!

Billy Caldwell Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 2,941 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 35
Course rating/slope: 68.0/112 (white tee boxes)
My score: 50 (15 over par)

Billy Caldwell Golf Course
6150 N. Caldwell Ave.
Chicago, IL 60646