To finish off the weekend, I drove all the way down to Crete, Illinois, but only to be turned away at Lincoln Oaks Golf Course because of a large golf outing. So instead, I drove north about 15 minutes to Glenwoodie Golf Club in Glenwood, Illinois, where I found a nearly empty golf course. Located approximately 25 miles from Chicago, Glenwoodie is the only golf course that is owned and operated by the Village of Glenwood.

Maybe the golf course was empty because it was after 3pm on a Sunday. Maybe it was empty because it was still fairly hot and humid. Maybe it was empty because of the large amount of rain that was dumped on the city, which forced the golf course to forgo renting their golf carts for the day. I’d put the blame on all of those, because honestly, who wants to walk 18 soggy holes on a Sunday afternoon in 90 degree weather?

Glenwoodie had a couple things working against them. First, it rained so much over the weekend that many areas of Chicago flooded. This didn’t help the course, because water pooled up in many areas of the fairway. So to prevent the grass from being destroyed by the golf cart, they decided to allow walking only. To make matters worse, their cart paths are not 100% paved. The cart paths are only fully paved around some of the greens and tee boxes. Outside of these areas, the cart paths are either a mixture of gravel and asphalt, or just a path of dead, beaten-down grass. Secondly, the location of the golf course seemed to be in a less-frequented, industrial area. Directly south of the course is a railway yard, and more south than that is a ground transportation hub for FedEx.

Luckily though, it seems that Glenwoodie is working to make things better. During my round, I walked by a lot of heavy machinery and areas under construction on the golf course. It did look like they are building paved cart paths in some of the areas, while in other areas it appeared they are shaping land for sand traps.

I actually had rather high expectations for Glenwoodie, mainly because I’ve had a lot of people over the last year or so ask me if I’ve played it. What I found is that Glenwoodie is just another golf course that is suitable for all levels of golfers. I felt the course was distinctively broken into two sides: the fairly-easy front nine, and the challenging back nine.

The fairways on the front nine are pretty open, flat, and straight. Water hazards touch two of the holes, including the 3rd hole, a 184 yard par-3 that requires a good amount of  distance control and accuracy to prevent the ball landing in the water in front of the green and the sand trap behind the green. Sand traps come into play on all holes, either along the fairway or near the green (although, as mentioned earlier, many seem to be under construction).

The holes on the back nine are random. Five of the holes are open and straight, while the other four work their way along small valley and a creek. All four holes that incorporate the creek required you to cross the whole valley, either by shooting across the valley or by laying up in a small area in the valley. Water hazards touch five of the holes, and sand traps are utilized the same way as the front nine.

The whole course consists of four par-3 and four par-5 holes, adding up to a length of 6,715 yards from the “Championship Tees”. For all holes, the greens are pretty big, but also have some large, challenging breaks in them.

Considering the condition of the course and the weather, I played pretty well. My drives were solid, but not always straight. I did play some more with my 3 wood and 3 hybrid, and I realized I need to work on accuracy when playing with those clubs off the fairway. My irons were decent, but still not the best. And my putting was, once again, pretty random. I 1-putted four times and 3-putted three times.

I actually shot my best round: 104. I made par four times, including the 1st and 9th holes (start strong, finish strong), as well as the 11th and 12th holes (a par-4 and par-3, respectively, that both incorporated the valley and the creek). Outside of that, I shot bogey once, and double-bogey or worse on all others.

Glenwoodie Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,425 yards (regular tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 70.2/118 (regular tee boxes)
My score: 104 (32 over par)

Glenwoodie Golf Club
19301 State Street
Glenwood, IL 60425