As the golf season is coming to a close, I’m trying to squeeze in a couple more rounds. So over the weekend, I played a round at Villa Olivia Country Club in Barlett, Illinois, which is approximately 30 miles northwest of Chicago. The course opened in 1926 on the estate named after the original owner’s daughter. In 1968, the new owners opened a small ski facility for the winter months.

The course features four par-3 and five par-5 holes for a total par of 73 at a length of 6,510 yards from the back tees. The fairways on the front nine are mostly flat, while the fairways on the back nine traverse the ski hill (in other words, sometimes pretty hilly and pretty steep). All of the holes are fairly straight and open, and are surrounded by large trees. The course weaves its way through the local subdivision, which backs up very closely to the course in some areas. A drive that pushes/slices to the right on the 17th hole, a 402 yard par-4, will surely go out of bounds and hit a house. Water touches seven of the holes and sand traps are sparsely scattered throughout the fairways and near greens. The greens are random in size and mostly contain some interesting breaks.

I played this round with Susie, a member of the Chicago Co-Ed Golf Meetup Group. I joined this group to meet more golfers in the Chicagoland area, which will hopefully make this project more enjoyable (not saying I don’t enjoy this…). Susie has been playing about as long as me, and has taken a love to the sport. She’s been playing a lot of golf recently, and has gotten pretty good in a short period of time. Her shots are very straight and accurate, but lack some power and distance, which is something she’ll learn over time.

As for my shots, I’m still all over the place. My drives were mostly right, like always, but I think that was because I wasn’t focusing on the swing I learned during my lessons. The good thing though is that all of my drives had some distance. I did have some trouble teeing off with my irons on the par-3 holes, and I think that was because I was overpowering my shot. My irons were decent, but lacked loft. I think I know how to fix that. My putting was mostly decent, but I did have a couple 3-putts because of the breaks. I’m also still trying to get used to my new putter. I 1-putted five times and 3-putted five times.

For the round, I shot a 116. which broke down into one par, two bogeys, and a bunch of double bogeys or worse. Susie shot a 117, which included a birdie on the 2nd hole, a 345 yard par-4, then a 12 on the 3rd hole, a 420 yard par-4. To say the least, Susie had some odd luck during her round.

I think I really need to start focusing on figuring out how to get rid of the slice on my drives. I sometimes felt uncomfortable playing this round, since a lot of the fairways have houses on the right side. The last thing I wanted to do is hit a house and/or break a window. Plus, it’ll help get my score down, so I can hopefully break 100.

Villa Olivia Country Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,205 (white tee boxes)
Course par: 73
Course rating/slope: 70.1/122 (white tee boxes)
My score: 116 (43 over par)

Villa Olivia Country Club
1401 W Lake Street
Bartlett, IL 60103