It’s not very often you can play a round of golf in Chicago near the end of November, at least, not without needing to wear a heavy jacket. Taking advantage of the cool weather, I headed to the southern suburbs of Chicago to Deer Creek Golf Club. Deer Creek is located in University Park, Illinois, approximately 35 miles south of downtown Chicago, which is really close to the southern edge of the project circle. The course opened in 1975, and was designed by E. Lawrence Packard, who designed or remodeled many courses throughout the United States in the 1960’s and 1970’s, along with a couple courses in Egypt and Guatemala.

The course features the standard four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,905 yards from the back ‘black’ tees. There are five sets of tees in total, including the ‘blue’ tees at 6,391 yards, the ‘white’ tees at 6,001 yards, the ‘gold’ tees at 5,302 yards, and the ‘green’ tees at 5,112 yards. The fairways are generally straight, open, and flat, surrounded by medium sized trees that give the course the standard traditional layout look that you see at many courses throughout Chicago. You’ll encounter two dogleg holes the round: the 7th hole (a 541 yard par-5) that doglegs left, and the 18th hole (a 402 yard par-4) that doglegs right, both of which dogleg around water hazards. Water hazards touch six holes in total, and you’ll only need to carry over water on two holes (if you play your shots right), both of which are par-3’s. Bunkers are found throughout the course, both near the fairways and near the greens. The greens are of average size and difficulty, and also seemed to be of average speed.

For this round, I was joined by Drew, my cousin-in-law that just turned 18. His golf game reminds me a lot of my golf game when I first started out: a beginner in every aspect of the game, who really wants to improve and learn the how to golf. I’m hoping he’ll be joining me for more rounds next season.

I actually didn’t play too badly, considering I haven’t played or practiced in nearly a month and I almost put my clubs in storage. My drives started out pretty well, suffered around the turn, then improved at the end of the back nine. I had the most issues on my tees shots with my mid and long irons. I just could get comfortable with the swing. On the fairways, my irons were a bit better, but I lacked on distance. My short game was pretty good, but I know I could improve more with accuracy. My putting was somewhat random but generally decent.

I ended up shooting a 101 (29 over par, 50 on the front nine, 51 on the back nine). This consisted of one par, eight bogeys, and all others worse. I 1-putted twice and 3-putted four times, and I had five sand shots and three penalty shots. This round is about how I play on average, so not too bad considering the couple of weeks off. And who knows… with weather like this, maybe I’ll get in another round before the end of the year.

Deer Creek Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,001 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 69.0/120 (white tee boxes)
My score: 101 (29 over par)

Deer Creek Golf Club
25055 S. Western Ave.
University Park, IL 60484