Over the weekend, I gathered with a some of my friends and played a round at Klein Creek Golf Club. Klein Creek is located in Winfield, Illinois, which is located approximately 25 miles west of downtown Chicago. The course, which opened in 1994, was designed by Dick Nugent (who also designed Seven Bridges Golf Club and both courses at Harborside International Golf Center).

The course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,701 yards from the back tees. The fairways are mostly straight, flat, and surrounded by medium-sized trees or rolling hills. There’s a lot of water on this course. Water touches 15 holes, but you only need to carry over three of them (possibly more if you play from the back tees). Bunkers are found on every hole, either in the form of a small sand trap, or an expansive “beach” (similar to the bunkers you can find at Harborside). The greens are average in size with challenging breaks. When we played the round, it rained the night before, so a couple of the bunkers were filled with water, and the greens were pretty soft. The greens also didn’t look to be in the best shape (they looked kind of “patchy”).

The course weaves its way around a subdivision, which is typical of many courses in the Chicagoland area. This course is different, though, because on most of the holes, the houses line the left side of the fairway, and the water touches the ride side of the fairway. Also, the houses sit slightly farther back from the fairway, giving you a little more room if you pull your shot.

Two notable holes… The first is the 9th hole (a 453 yard par-4 dogleg right), which is “rated as the most challenging ninth hole in Chicago”, where you must carry a small pond on your second shot if your tee shot is less than 250 yards or so. The second is the 17th hole (a 192 yard par-3), where you must carry a small body of water to the green, which is completely surrounded by sand, and bordered by water on the right side. All-in-all, this is a really nice course that will provide challenges for all levels of play.

I’ll quickly touch on a couple things about this course that I didn’t like… First of all, the course is a little difficult to find. The subdivision it wraps around doesn’t sit off of a major roadway, and the road to the clubhouse doesn’t hit the major roadway at a traffic light (luckily, you can still find your way to the course from the road that does intersect at the traffic light). So when you are heading to the course, be on the lookout for the correct road to turn on. Second, the rangers on duty were a little aggressive, probably the most aggressive I’ve seen. A couple times throughout the round, we were approached by a ranger and asked to speed up our play, and we were definitely staying on pace (probably playing faster than average). I also overheard that a ranger asked a couple of my friends to skip a hole, which was completely unnecessary. When all was said and done, we ended finishing the round in about 4.5 hours, which is an average pace for a par 72 course. Lastly, there are very few trash cans and water coolers throughout the course. This makes no sense to me. These are two things that you can normally find on any public golf course. Luckily, the beverage cart came around often.

As I mention at the beginning of the post, I played this round with a couple friends. Actually, I played this round with seven friends (see the scores below), all gathered for my bachelor party. We were, of course, broken into two groups of four, and I further broke everyone down into 2-man teams for a friendly competition. We played a 2-man total stroke play bramble (shamble), which actually sped play up even more. The teams were formed based on skill level, which evened the teams out. Further, the playing the round as a bramble (where the best drive is selected as the second shot) allowed the scores to stay relatively low.

I felt like I played a decent round; not the best round, but not the worst. My drives were a little random, and I didn’t feel like they were staying as straight as they have in the past. I was still slicing a couple times, and not pulling to the left as much, which makes me think I wasn’t turning my hands over during the swing. I think we used about 50% of my tee shots as the next shot. My iron shots were mediocre, as were my approach and chip shots. Nothing really stands out them as being good or bad. My putting as random also. I 1-putted three times and 3-putted three times.

I ended up shooting a 100 for the round (28 over par), but I’m marking this score down as a scramble, even though I played a lot of my own shots. If this was a standard round, I probably would have shot in the 110’s. My teammate, David (my best man), shot a 106, making our team score 206. The other teams were: Eddy and Adam, who shot a 98 and 97, respectively, for a team score of 195, Markus and Kevin, who shot a 79 and 113, respectively, for a team score of 192, and Trent and Tunwa, who shot a 73 and 107, respectively, for a team score of 180. (Yes. Trent shot a 73. He said he was sinking all of his putts.)

Klein Creek Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,579 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 67.2/122 (white tee boxes)
My score: 100 (28 over par)

Klein Creek Golf Club
1N333 Pleasant Hill Road
Winfield, IL 60190