I’m a bit behind on this post, but last month I headed over to Calumet City, Illinois to play a round at River Oak Golf Course. River Oaks, located approximately 20 miles south of downtown Chicago, is part of the Forest Preserve Golf courses, which operates ten golf courses throughout Chicagoland (including Joe Louis, Chick Evans, Billy Caldwell, and Indian Boundary, four other courses I have played so far). Like all other Forest Preserve Golf courses, River Oaks is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. I played this round with Adam, Markus, and Ola, a mutual friend of Markus and I.

The course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 5,982 yards from the back tees. The fairways are mostly flat, open, and straight, and are surrounded either by large trees or water hazards. Only three of the holes are notable doglegs, all of which dogleg left: the 2nd hole (a 319 yard par-4) that doglegs around a water hazard, the 5th hole (a 389 yard par-4) and the 15th hole (491 yard par-5) that both dogleg around the tree line. Water hazards, according to their website, come into play on 14 of the holes, but during the round it seemed like they only came into play on eight or so holes. You only need to carry water once, on the 12th hole (a 309 yard par-4). The water hazards narrow the fairway severely near the green on the 2nd hole and the 8th hole (a 447 yard par-5), which makes those holes a little challenging for your approach shots. Bunkers are found on all holes, and, according to their website, they boast “58 strategically placed sand traps throughout the course”. Like most other Forest Preserve courses, the sand traps are not always in the best condition. The greens are of average size and difficulty, yet I did notice the pin placement during my round was consistently in challenging places (mostly right next to the edge of the green).

This felt like another average round to me. My drives were pretty random, but mostly pushed or sliced right. I somehow stayed out of the water on most of the holes. I only had issues with the water hazard on the 18th hole (a 376 yard par-4). There were a couple of holes where my tee shot was great, but my approach shot was bad. On the 7th hole (a 307 yard par-4), my drive was straight and long, but my approach shot sailed over the green and stopped next to a fence, and I ended up shooting a triple bogey. I had many opportunities to turn a good tee shot into a good score. My putting was random also, which didn’t help either. I 1-putted four times and 3-putted seven times.

I shot a 109 for the round (37 over par, 54 on the front nine, 55 on the back nine), which consisted of six bogeys, seven double bogeys, and all others worse. It’s not my best round but it’s not my worst round; It’s about average for how I’ve been recently been playing. I think I need to just figure out a couple things with my approach shots in order to get them straighter, and focus a little more on my putting, and I should be able to get my scores to where I want them.

River Oaks Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,811 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 68.2/117 (white tee boxes)
My score: 109 (37 over par)

River Oaks Golf Course
1 Park Avenue
Calumet City, IL 60409