A couple weeks ago, Susie suggested that we play a couple 9-hole rounds to knock some more courses off the list. So taking this advice, we set up two 9-hole rounds back-to-back. The first course we played was River Bend Golf Club in Lisle, Illinois, located approximately 25 miles west of downtown Chicago. River Bend opened in 1993, and is the golf course course that is part of the Lisle Park District.

The course features two par-3 and two par-5 holes for a total par of 36 at a length of 3,238 yards from the back tees. There are three sets of tees: the back blue tees, the middle white tees (3,011 yards), and the forward red tees (2,667 yards). In my opinion, River Bend is a really pretty course. The fairways are straight and mostly open, surrounded by trees and small rolling hills. The water hazards on the course cut into some of the fairways, turning some of the holes into target golf. Water hazards touch seven of the holes, four of which you’ll need to carry over either on your tees shot or your way to the green. Tall reeds and cottontails surround a majority of the water hazards, giving them a marshland look. Large, well-maintained bunkers are found on seven of the holes, mostly next to the greens. The undulating greens are large, and felt very soft and slow for my round.

I felt like I had a good round. My tee shots were not always the best, as well as any of my shots with my fairway wood or my hybrid, but I made up for those poor shots with my irons. I played really well with my irons, especially my mid and short irons. With those irons, I was making solid contact with good accuracy and great distance. The par-3 holes were especially good for me, where I hit the green on both of the tee shots (on the 128 yard 5th and the 160 yard 9th). My putting could have been better. The slow greens left many of my putts short, and I ended up 3-putting for bogey many times.

On the 9th tee box, we were greeted by Bill from Tee It Up Fore Charity, who was giving away prizes for people who hit the green on their tee shot (as long as you donate to their charity, of course). I was playing well with my irons, so Susie put $10 on the line for my tee shot (I also forgot my wallet). Since my tee shot hit the green, I won a sleeve of golf balls, which I promptly handed over the Susie.

I ended up shooting a 49 for the round (13 over par), which consisted of one par, six bogeys, and all others worse.  I 1-putted once and 3-putted four times, and finished the round with one sand shot and three penalties (water hazards). So, it was a decent round with a score that remains consistent with my previous rounds.

Before I finish, the only thing that bothered me about my round at this course was that the grounds maintenance crew was very much present during most of our round. They were driving around dragging water hoses, not stopping or waiting for people to tee off, and turning on the sprinklers on the fairways. This isn’t a huge deal, but you would think this work would have been done earlier in the morning or during the week, not during the peak weekend tee times.

River Bend Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 3,011 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 36
Course rating/slope: 68.8/119 (white tee boxes)
My score: 49 (13 over par)

River Bend Golf Club
5900 S. Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532