The last round for me during this long Memorial Day weekend was at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago, Illinois, approximately 33 miles west of downtown Chicago. St. Andrews features two 18-hole championship courses: the St. Andrews #1 course, a 6,920 yard par 71 course, and the Joe Jemsek (Lakewood) course, a 6,770 yard par 72 course that was built in 1929. For this round, I played the St. Andrews #1 Course, which was designed and built in 1926 by John McGregor of the Chicago Golf Club.

The course features four par-3 and three par-5 holes for a total par 71 at a length of 6,920 yards from the back tees. The rolling fairways are generally open and surrounded by large trees. You’ll find slight dogleg lefts on the 1st hole (a 351 yard par-4) and the 5th hole (a 402 yard par-4), and slight dogleg rights on the 16th hole (a 445 yard par-4) and the 18th hole (a 404 yard par-4). All of the par-3 holes are more than 170 yards from the back tees, while the par-5 holes average around 500 yards from the back tees. Water touches four of the holes, but really only come into play on the 18th hole, where a pushed or sliced tee shot will surely find the water. You won’t have to carry water for any of your shots. Bunkers are found on all holes except the 18th and the 12th (a 237 yard par-3), either near the fairway, the green, or both. The large undulating greens are challenging for all levels of play, and played about average speed.

For this round, I met up with Trent, who I haven’t seen or golfed with in almost a year, as well as John and Uziar, the same two Windy City Golf League flight members from my round at Fox Run.

I played a really poor round. I wish I could say something a little more positive about how I played, but everything about my game during this round seemed to be the worst it’s been in a while. I had many issues with my tee shots, both with my driver and my irons. Throughout the round, I really only had two good tee shots: on the first hole, which ended up in the sand, and on the last hole, which ended up in the water. All other tee shots in between were either mishit, pushed right into a tree, or sliced into another fairway. By the back nine, I was mentally begging myself for a good tee shot. This obviously led me to a lot of recovery shots with my fairway wood or my hybrid, which sometimes pulled through a decent shot and other times were poor. My iron shots were generally made with poor impact, and didn’t have the distance or accuracy as I expected. My wedge shots were very random, either leaving me way short or way long. And my putting was all over the place. What went wrong? Well, I definitely think I was overpowering my shots. And after a couple bad shots, it took a toll on my mental game, which just led to more bad shots.

I ended up shooting a 117 for the round (46 over par, 59 on the front nine, 58 on the back nine). This consisted of three bogeys and all others worse. I didn’t have any 1-putts, 3-putted eight times and 4-putted once. I really don’t think this was a difficult course. I just played really badly. John, who also had some troubles along the way, though not as bad as me, ended up shooting a 109. Uziar shot a 92, and I’m starting to think he doesn’t belong in our league flight (Trent agreed with me).

Normally, a round like this would warrant a future redemption round, but I don’t really see that happening this year. If I don’t have a good reason to replay this course, I’m not going to replay it. Like I said, I don’t think this is bad course, I just played really badly.

Before I end this post, I’m should also mention (because Trent would mention it otherwise) that we believe the ranger(s) on the course made a bad decision that directly effected our game. Prior to teeing off on the first hole, the starter specifically told us about the cart path from the 8th to the 9th hole. The issue is that many people incorrectly follow the cart path going away from the green of the 8th hole. Doing so would take you to the tee box of the 13th hole instead of the 9th hole. For sure, some foursome ahead of us did just that. To get them back on the correct hole, the ranger put them in front of another foursome ahead of us, which greatly slowed down the pace of the back nine. We calculated that for the front nine, we finished in around two hours. After the turn, it took us an hour just to get through the 12th hole. Did the ranger make the correct decision? Who’s to say… but the fact remains that by doing so, he slowed down many people who were on the correct pace. Overall, it made for a very frustrating back nine.

St. Andrews Golf & Country Club – St. Andrews #1 Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,418 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 71
Course rating/slope: 70.2/120 (white tee boxes)
My score: 117 (46 over par)

St. Andrews Golf & Country Club
2241 Route 59
West Chicago, IL 60185