Archive for August 2011

Tuckaway Golf Club

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 19, 2011 in Courses 2 Comments

I wrapped up the golfing weekend by traveling down to Tuckaway Golf Club in Crete, Illinois. Tuckaway Golf Club, located approximately 35 miles south of downtown Chicago, is one of the farthest south courses in my project. The course opened in 1960.

The course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 70 at a length of 6,192 yards from the back tees. The fairways are flat for some holes and very hilly for other holes. On the 1st hole (a 365 yard par-4), you tee off going downhill, then approach the green going uphill. Also, on some of the holes, you tee off blindly, either not able to see the landing area in the fairway, or the pin on the green. The 4th hole (a 378 yard dogleg right par-4) is notable because you tee off going uphill, and you’re not able to see the landing area, or even the group in front of you. There is a bell positioned at the bend that the group in front of you will (hopefully) ring to let you know it’s safe to tee off (throughout the front nine, you’ll occasionally hear the bell). About half of the holes, mostly on the front nine, are slight doglegs. Water hazards are near three holes, but only really touch the right side of the 17th hole (a 494 yard par-5). Bunkers are sparse (just five holes) and are only near the greens. The greens are of average size, and contain some challenging breaks. Most of the challenge in this course comes from the hills.

As a side note, be careful when driving to the course. Tuckaway’s driving range and practice area sits right next to the road, and there is no netting to stop errant hooked balls.

I played this round with Susie, and similar to my round at Ravisoe Country Club, we had to deal with some rain. Luckily it was pretty sporatic with no lightening, so we were able to play through the round without needing to seek shelter.

I wish my score more closely reflected how I felt I played. My driving was actually a lot better than my two previous rounds. Over half of my tee shots with my driver hit the fairway, which is not common for me. If I didn’t hit the fairway, it just pushed right, instead of slicing. I think the reason for this was because I was trying to focus on proper weight transfer and hitting through my tee shots. I did have some trouble with my irons. For some reason, I’m starting to hit them right a lot. Knowing anything, I’m probably not hitting through my iron shots (I guess I can only be good at one thing at a time). Luckily, my approach and chip shots were decent. I feel like I’m starting to get consistent with those shots. My putting was OK; I had a lot of putts that should have gone in but didn’t. I could have probably broken 100 if my putting was better (if the ball actually went into the hole). I ended up 1-putting once and 3-putting five times.

I ended up shooting a 108 (36 over par, 53 on the front nine, 55 on the back nine). This consisted of six bogeys and a lot of double and triple bogeys.

So I finished the weekend shooting three similar rounds: 110 at Glendale Lakes, 106 at Ravisloe, and 108 at Tuckaway. I wish my scores were a little lower, but at least I was somewhat consistent.

Tuckaway Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,037 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 69.0/115 (white tee boxes)
My score: 108 (36 over par)

Tuckaway Golf Club
27641 South Stoney Island Avenue
Crete, IL 60417

Ravisloe Country Club

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 18, 2011 in Courses 0 Comments

Right after my round at Glendale Lakes Golf Club, I headed down to Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood, Illinois, located approximately 25 miles south of downtown Chicago. Ravisloe Country Club was established in 1901 as a private course. The course was renovated and redesigned between 1917 and 1919 by Donald Ross, who also designed the popular Beverly Country Club in Chicago, as well as many other courses through the United States. In 2008, the course closed its doors and was put up for sale. The property was almost turned into land for a subdivision, until the new owner stepped in and purchased the course, then made it a public course, in 2009.

The course features five par-3 and three par-5 holes for a total par of 70 at a length of 6,321 yards from the back tees. The course just has two sets of tees. The rolling fairways are surrounded by large trees, as you can expect from a course that has been around for over 100 years. The fairways are relatively straight, but they are deceiving due to the placement of fairway bunkers. Accuracy off the tee is essential land your shot in the fairway, and driving the ball far may not be a good choice in some situations. Bunkers are found on every hole, both near the fairways and the greens, and they are very deep, nearly resembling pot bunkers you’ll find on “links-style” courses. The bunkers provide a lot of the difficulty of the course, since they are strategically placed in fairways and protect the greens on nearly every hole. Water only comes into play on three holes, all of which you need to carry over it. On the 7th hole (a 203 yard par-3), you’ll carry over a small pond to the green, while on the 14th hole (a 410 yard par-4) and 15th hole (a 146 yard par-3), you’ll carry over a small creek on your tee shot. The greens are of average size and are fairly challenging, as you can expect.

I personally think Ravisloe is a great course. The fairways, bunkers, and greens seemed to be in good condition, although when we played, the greens were somewhat hard and fast. The layout of the course and the positioning of the bunkers, along with the rolling hills of the fairways, just makes this course look really nice. On top of that, the clubhouse is beautiful, and its architecture is that of a Spanish-style building. I’m glad the new owner made the course public, so people can get out and see what a great course they have.

I started this round with Dirk, then Ryann later joined us for the back nine. The round took a little longer than we expected, due to some sporadic weather that passed over us. Dirk and I finished five holes before we headed to the clubhouse, and stayed there until the inclement weather passed, about a 30 minute break. Then at the tee box of the 13th hole, we sought shelter from the rain for another 30 minutes. After this break, the rain let up slightly and sunset was less than 90 minutes away, so Dirk, Ryann and I played the last six holes at a faster pace. We ended up finishing the last six holes in around 45 minutes.

So as you can guess, this wasn’t a normal round for me, and it would be hard to accurately gauge how I played. I can say that, for the most part, I feel like I played better this round than my morning round at Glendale Lakes. My drives were pretty random, but I think I was starting to pick back up some of the things I needed to do to make them go straight. One thought I tried to keep in mind was proper shifting of my weight, and hitting through the ball. I only really heavily sliced my drive maybe once or twice; all other drives were just a push or a pull. My iron shots were pretty random too, and they only got worse once I sped up my play for the last six holes. I thought my wedge play was decent, and my putting was pretty good throughout the whole round, even before and after the rain hit and started slowing down the greens. I 1-putted four times and 3-putted once.

I shot a 106 for the round (36 over par, 50 on the front nine, 56 on the back nine). I did manage to make par on just the 4th hole (a 181 yard par-3). Other than that, I made four bogeys and a lot of double and triple bogeys. Dirk shot a 64 on the front nine, and stopped keeping score when Ryann joined us. Ryann, of course, played as awesome as ever. Honestly, I think I walked away from this one with a better score than what I should have. I somehow avoided all bunkers except for one, and in that one, I got out of it in a fashion that made me look like I was a scratch golfer. So, all-in-all, it was a decent round at a beautiful course to end a day of golfing.

Ravisloe Country Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,321 yards (back tee boxes)
Course par: 70
Course rating/slope: 70.8/127 (back tee boxes)
My score: 106 (36 over par)

Ravisloe Country Club
18231 South Park Avenue
Homewood, IL 60430

CBS Chicago’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards 2011

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 17, 2011 in News 0 Comments

I’ve been nominated in the Sports category of CBS Chicago’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards! Thanks to all my golfing friends for nominating me.

Click here to vote for me!

I don’t ask for much, but if you could, please take a moment to vote for “I’m a golf noob” in the Sports category. Voting is open between August 16th and September 9th, and you can vote once per day, so keep voting!

While you are there, check out the other categories and vote for the blogs that you enjoy.

Update: Unfortunately, I didn’t win. There’s always next year though!

Glendale Lakes Golf Club

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 15, 2011 in Courses 2 Comments

It’s the start of another golfing weekend, and I have a nice lineup of courses to play. I started the weekend at Glendale Lakes Golf Club in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Glendale Lakes, which opened in 1987, is located approximately 25 miles west of downtown Chicago.

The course features five par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 71 at a length of 6,186 yards from the back tees. The rolling fairways are surrounded by small hills and medium-sized trees. The course in general can be described as “target golf”, where as all your shots need to be precisely hit at a certain distance and direction in order to stay in the fairways and to make par. Instead of one long fairway, each hole is instead made up of patches of fairway, so it is not uncommon to find taller grass (rough) 50-100 yards from the hole in the middle of the fairway. The fairways are also narrow in some cases, mostly due to the water hazards that touch them, making the target golfing even more difficult. Water hazards touch 11 of the holes, mostly along the right side of the fairways (houses are found along the left side of the fairways). If you play your shots right, you only need to carry the water once, on the 3rd hole (a 174 yard par-3). The fairways sit pretty closely to the water. Bunkers are found on almost all holes, mostly near the greens. The greens are pretty challenging, formed from constant slopes and random breaks.

Honestly, the course itself and its surroundings are beautiful, and it has a lot of potential to be a top notch course, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s properly maintained. Nearly all the fairways had an area marked out or roped off as under repair, with patches of grass that looked sunburned, and the greens felt really soft and lumpy (the grass on the greens seemed high to me). During my round, they were also testing a new drainage system on the 2nd hole (a 503 yard par-5), so they moved the tee box up nearly 300 yards, turning it into a short par-4 or a long par-3 (we made it a par-4, because it was still a dogleg right with a tree blocking the right side). Most of the bunkers seemed to be in good condition, but there were a couple that looked like they needed some work.

I played this round with Susie, Markus (my co-worker) and Patrick (a friend of Markus). Both Markus and Patrick are pretty good, probably with handicaps in the low 10’s, but even they had difficulty with the course.

So as you could imagine, I had a lot of difficutly. I started the round using my driver, but quickly realized that sticking with the driver was probably not the best idea. I had troubles slicing again, or hitting the ball thin and low. I ended up switching to my fairway wood many times, which needed work anyway, and that helped a little. If anything, it made my tee shot a little shorter and contained, which allowed me to hit some fairways. I was also having trouble with my irons, either chunking them, hitting them thin, or slicing them right. My wedge play was pretty good, which was nice, and my putting was random due to the quality and speed of the greens. I 1-putted twice and 3-putted five times.

I ended up shooting a 110 for the round, which was 40 over par (par 70 due to the work on the 2nd hole; 50 on the front nine, 60 on the back). Even though I had a difficult round, I did somehow make a birdie on the 4th hole (a 295 yard par-4) and a par on the 6th hole (a 139 yard par-3). Outside of those, I made 3 bogeys and all others worse than that. I can’t really say too much from here. The course was difficult for me, and my play just made it more difficult. All I can do is learn from my mistakes and move on to the next round in this golfing weekend.

Glendale Lakes Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,898 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 70 (originally 71)
Course rating/slope: 68.6/122 (white tee boxes)
My score: 110 (40 over par)

Glendale Lakes Golf Club
1550 President Street
Glendale Heights, IL 60139

Stony Creek Golf Course

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 8, 2011 in Courses 0 Comments

Wrapping up the weekend, I played a quick round at Stony Creek Golf Course in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Stony Creek, located approximately 20 miles southwest from downtown Chicago, is the only golf course that is a part of Oak Lawn Park District. The course, which opened in 1984, also offers an outdoor driving range with targets, indoor range & golf simulator, and a miniature golf course.

Stony Creek features eight par-3 and one par-5 holes for a total par of 65 at a length of 5,004 yards from the back tees. The fairways are mostly open and formed from rolling hills, with many of the holes surrounded by tall trees. Water hazards touch just three of the holes, but on all three holes, you’ll need to carry the hazard, which is in form of a 20 yard creek that cuts through the fairway. Bunkers are found on all holes, mostly near the greens, and a appear to be kept in good condition. The greens are pretty large, but have challenging slopes and breaks.

For this round, I went alone, but got paired up with two older guys, Ralph and Gary, who knew each other since high school. They were a unique pair, to say the least, and it made the round interesting.

I didn’t play too very well this round. My drives were all over the place, barely stayed straight throughout the whole round, as were my tee shots on the par-3 holes. I had a lot of troubles with my iron shots, and ended up mishitting many of them. I think I was leaning back during the swing, or just trying to overpower the shots. The water hazards gave me some issues too. The area you had to hit through to carry over the water was fairly narrow, so not hitting straight definitely made this worse. Lastly, I had a lot of issues with putting. I could have been rushing my putting a bit, but the greens were still fairly challenging. I 1-putted twice and 3-putted nine times.

I ended up shooting a 98 for the round (33 over par), which really doesn’t sound like a horrible score, but considering all of the par-3’s and the length of the course, it should have been much lower. I just had a lot of problems in areas of my game where I’ve recently seen some improvement. I’m thinking (hoping) that this was just a one-round thing, and that I’ll be back to normal for my next round.

Stony Creek Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 4,424 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 65
Course rating/slope: 60.9/96 (white tee boxes)
My score: 98 (33 over par)

Stony Creek Golf Course
5850 West 103rd Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

What’s CGN?

I'm a golf noob. Living in Chicago.
Playing every course in Chicagoland.
There's a lot.

Donate to CGN