In the midst of a record heat wave in the Chicagoland area, where else would you find me but at a golf course. This weekend, Susie and I headed west to Settler’s Hill Golf Course in Batavia, Illinois, located approximately 34 miles west of downtown Chicago. The course is part of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, along with two other golf courses: Deer Valley Golf Course and Hughes Creek Golf Course. The course opened in 1988, and was designed by Bob Lohmann, who has designed or renovated many courses in the area. Settler’s Hill is the farthest west golf course in this project, sitting less than a mile from the 35 miles radius line.

The course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,630 yards from the back tees. Moving up to the next tees, the length drops to 6,223 yards. The course feels like a mix between a prairie-style course and a traditional course. On some of the holes, there are no trees and just thick grass, while on other holes, large trees line the sides of the fairways. The fairways are very hilly, with some areas where you might think your cart is not going to make it up the path. Most notably, there are two par-3 holes (the 141 yard 4th and the 165 yard 16th) where the tee box much, much higher than the green, and you’ll likely need to move down a club or two for your tee shot. With the combination of hills and the unique layout of the holes, most of your shots will feel like target golf. Water touches ten of the holes, five of which you’ll need to carry over on your tee shot or on your way to the greens. Deep bunkers are found on 15 of the holes, mostly near the greens, and looked in good condition. The undulating greens offered some challenging putts. You’ll definitely want warm up on the practice green; the greens are not as hilly as the practice green, but it’ll prepare you for what is to come.

I thought this was a pretty fun course, but it lacked some of the basic amenities that other courses offer. There are no shelters or full bathrooms along the course (just a solo portable restroom near the 6th and 8th hole). We didn’t find any water fountains or water dispensers along the way, which would have been nice in this hot weather. Luckily, the snack cart came often enough with plenty of drinks and ice. Lastly, the cart paths could use a bit of work, both to make this more smooth and easier to understand the path to the next hole.

Our round actually took long time to complete, thanks to a thunderstorm that rolled through when we were finishing the 5th hole (which so happens to be the farthest hole from the clubhouse). We ended up driving all the way back to the clubhouse to seek shelter. The storm knocked out the clubhouse’s power, and paused our round for over an hour. After the storm, we made our way back to the 6th hole, and continued our round. We started the round at 10:37am and finished at 5:20pm.

I actually played pretty well, and I think I play better on a wet course. Much like my previous round, I only pulled out my driver for my tee shots six times throughout the round (mostly on the par 5’s), with other times preferring my fairway wood. Even though my tee shots with my fairway wood were not always the best, I still felt more comfortable and confident with those shots. I felt my iron shots were pretty good, and I think the wet grass helped make them better after the storm rolled though. My wedge shots were decent, though I know they could have been better on distance. My putting was a bit random, but I’ll blame the difficulty of the greens on that.

I ended up shooting a 101 for the round (29 over par, 48 on the front nine, 53 on the back nine), which is one of my better rounds for the year. This broke down into four pars, four bogeys, and all others worse. I 1-putted four times and 3-putted four times. A good chunk of my score were penalty shots. I really need to figure out a way to cut back on those.

Settler’s Hill Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,223 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 70.4/127 (white tee boxes)
My score: 101 (29 over par)

Settler’s Hill Golf Course
919 E. Fabyan Parkway
Batavia, IL 60510