Finishing out the weekend of golf, I journeyed to Naperbrook Golf Course in Plainfield, Illinois, approximately 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. Naperbrook is part of the Naperville Park District, which also operates Springbrook Golf Course in Naperville. The course opened in 1991, and was designed by Roger Packard, who also designed many courses in Illinois, including Prairie Bluff Golf Club, Oak Brook Golf Club, and all 27 holes of Cantigny Golf Course.
The course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,677 yards from the back tees. For my round, I played on the white tees, which dropped the length down to 5,942 yards. The course is designed as a “links-style” course, so the fairways are flat and wide, with small rolling hills, a few trees, and thick grass along the sides. The fairways are mostly straight, with the exception of the 3rd hole (a 550 yard par-5) and the 17th hole (a 354 yard par-4) which are dogleg rights. Water hazards touch 12 of the holes, none of which you’ll absolutely need to carry over (how you play the hole will determine if you’ll need to shoot over water). Bunkers are found on every hole, either near the fairway, near the green, or both. The greens are of average size or slightly smaller, with challenging breaks and pin positions. The greens played a little fast during my round.
Susie joined me for this round, and we initially had the intention to play another course after this round. Though when we arrived at the course, the tee times were backed up due to a frost delay. On top of that, it looked like they were holding a tournament or large outing, so there were a lot of people waiting to tee off. Instead of delaying our start, the course managers started Susie and I on the back nine. Playing the back nine first was nice, because we only had a twosome in front of us, and there was no one behind us for at least two or three holes. When we finished the back nine, we checked in with the starter, who told us there was a 15-20 minute wait (we knew this would happen, because one of the course rangers told us a couple times during the back nine). So we got to take a little break and grab lunch. While we were eating, the course manager found us and offered to buy us lunch, which was a really nice gesture, but at this point we had already paid and finished eating. Nearly one hour later, the starter got us fit in to an open tee time. We played the front nine with another twosome, Ron and Martha (husband/wife). Near the end of the front nine, I mentioned to Susie that we should play the back nine again, since there wasn’t time to play another 18 at another course. At the turn, we talked to the course manager, and got the go-ahead to play the back nine again.
The troubles of my two previous round were still present in this round, as expected. I didn’t have any consistency at all with my drives. Some holes I’d push right, then follow up the next drive with a straight shot, but then only to slice it on the next hole. I could definitely feel that something is different with my back swing, possibly due to improper grip. My irons still gave me troubles, and I already know what I need to work on to fix that. I started using my 3 hybrid more, which is one club I’ve been avoiding ever since I added it to my bag, and it surprisingly didn’t give me any major issues. As expected, my short game was decent, which is starting to be one of the things I can count on to keep my scores somewhat low. My putting was random but generally better than the previous round. I 1-putted four times and only 3-putted once throughout the 27 holes.
I ended up shooting a 106 for the round (34 over par, 52 on the front nine, 54 on the back nine). This score consisted of three pars, four bogeys, four double bogeys, and all others worse. For the back nine replay, I shot a 54 again, but the scores on each hole were pretty different. This score consisted of two bogeys, five double bogeys, and two triple bogeys.
This round ends the weekend of golf (since Sunday was Easter). I ended up played 63 holes of in two days, and knocked off three new courses. Due to other plans, I won’t be playing for the next three weeks, then at the end of the break, the Windy City Golf League starts its season. I’m hoping this little break will give me a chance to go to the driving range and try to figure out what is going on with my drives and iron shots. I really need things to improve, or at least get back to the way things were. I hate feeling uncomfortable with my swing, and it messes tremendously with my mental game. The only way it’s going to get better is to practice, practice, and practice some more.
Naperbrook Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,942 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 68.6/120 (white tee boxes)
My score: 106 (34 over par)
Replay score: 54 (back nine)