Archive for August 2013

I’m really hoping to make a round at this course an annual affair. About this time last year, I got a chance to play Crystal Tree Golf and Country Club, a course that is somewhat important to me (I got married next to the tee boxes of the first hole). Luckily enough, our host for the round, John, had such a good time last year that he invited me, Mike, and Chuck back for another round, and we gratefully obliged.

Crystal Tree is located in Orland Park, Illinois, approximately 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. The course opened in 1989 and was designed by the world-renowned Robert Trent Jones, Jr, who also designed Prairie Landing Golf Club in West Chicago, Illinois, and ThunderHawk Golf Club in Beach Park, Illinois. In the mid 2000′s, a new 55,000 square foot clubhouse was built, and the holes were renumbered to accommodate for the new clubhouse.

The course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,810 yards from the back tees. There are five sets of tees: the back Gold tees, the 6,405 yard Silver tees, the 6,003 yard White tees, the 5,578 yard Blue tees, and the 5,248 yard forward Red tees. The course weaves its way around the Crystal Tree neighborhood, resulting in a course layout where two fairways are rarely next to each other. Overall, this is a fairly hilly course, but the rolling fairways are generally wide and open, and are surrounded by large trees or the houses that are part of the neighborhood. The design and layout of the fairways is what makes this course so beautiful. Water touches nine of the holes, three of which you’ll need to carry your tee shot or your approach shot over if played safely. Large bunkers are found on every hole, either near the greens, near the fairways, or both. The challenging, undulating greens are generally pretty deep and narrow.

I’d like to say I improved my score this year, but that’s not the case. Much like my previous rounds, I kept the driver and fairway wood in the bag again throughout the round, and hit nearly all of my tee shots with my hybrid. My tee shots were still pretty inconsistent, but I was generally hitting straighter shots. The same goes when hitting off the fairway with my hybrid; sometimes the shot would be really good, other times it would be really bad. My iron shots were decent, but I lacked accuracy and typically pushed right. I was still chunking my wedge shots. This could be related to the “no practice swings” routine with my irons, so I’ll probably start making practice swings again. My putting was the most annoying of the entire round, because I found myself barely missing my putts to the left on many occasions.

I shot a 107 for the round (35 over par, 53 on the front nine, 54 on the back nine). This consisted of one par, four bogeys, eight double bogeys, and all others worse. I 1-putted four times and 3-putted three times, and had five sand shots and four penalty shots. I really should work on my driver more, because only teeing off with my hybrid on these longer courses are not helping my score, especially on the par-5 holes.

As for the others in my group, Mike shot a 108 and Chuck shot a 115. In our side game of Wolf (which we heavily modified for our group), Mike won with 11 points, I made 9 points, and Chuck made 8 points. As the Wolf, Mike was 3-for-5, I was 2-for-4, and Chuck was 3-for-9.

Crystal Tree Golf and Country Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,405 yards (silver tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 72.0/136 (silver tee boxes)
My score: 107 (35 over par)

Crystal Tree Golf and Country Club
10700 W. 153rd St.
Orland Park, IL 60462

The Village Links of Glen Ellyn – 18-hole Course

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 30, 2013 in Courses 0 Comments

So I’m behind on my blog posts, but I am at least still golfing. A couple months ago, Susie and I, along with a couple of her friends, played a round at The Village Links of Glen Ellyn. The course, which is located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is approximately 26 miles west of downtown Chicago. You’ll find two courses here: an 18-hole course and a 9-hole course. For this round, we played the 18-hole course.

The course was opened in 1967 as a 18-hole course. In 1975, another 9 holes (called the “Link-Up Nine”) were added on, and had a completely different entrance. In 1977, the “Link-Up Nine” and the back nine of the 18-hole course combined to make the 18-hole you see today, while the original front nine became the 9-hole course. In 2003, the 18-hole course was renovated, which resulted in a renumbering of holes, and an increase in length to 7,208 yards.

The course actually has a lot more history than that, though. In 1980, the course hosted the qualifying rounds for the Western Open, and continued to host for nearly every year up to 2006, when the Western Open turned into the BMW Championship that we are all familiar with today.

The 18-hole course features the standard four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 7,208 yards from the back tees. There are five sets of tees: the back Black tees, the 6,770 yard Blue tees, the 6,382 yard White tees, the 6,004 Gold tees, and the 5,439 yard forward Red tees. This is not a true “links-style” course, but rather it’s a standard traditional course. The fairways have a great design that nearly require “target golf” on your shots; you’ll need to be precise with your accuracy and distance in order to avoid a water hazard or a bunker. Overall, though, the fairways are generally open, flat, and straight. Water hazards touch 14 of the holes, including the 18th hole (a 422 yard par-4) where the fairway wraps around a small pond, requiring you to make a decision where to place your tee shot. If you play your shots correctly, you’ll only need to carry water over two or three hazards, depending on which tee box you are playing. Bunkers are found on every hole, either near the landing area of the fairways, around the green, or both. The greens are fairly large with some challenging breaks, and played a little slow during my round.

I felt like I played a decent round, but I know I could have scored better. My tee shots were a bit random, but still mostly pushing right. Similar to my previous rounds, I teed off mostly with my fairway wood or my hybrid. Since I was struggling to keep my tee shots consistent on the back nine, I did pull out the driver for two holes, and had a couple decent tee shots. My iron shots were generally good, and I wasn’t chunking the ball nearly as often. I tried the same routine of not making any practice swings, and it seemed to help. Adversely, I was chunking my shots with my wedges, which got really annoying throughout the round.  My putting was also pretty bad. I think if my wedge shots and my putting was better, I would have easily shot in the low 90’s.

I ended up shooting a 102 (30 over par, 49 on the front nine, 53 on the back nine), which consisted of one par, eight bogeys, five double bogeys, and all others worse. I 1-putted once and 3-putted four times, along with three sand shots and two penalty shots. I really need to work on making my tee shots more accurate, using the driver more, and chunking less with my irons.

The Village Links of Glen Ellyn – 18-hole Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,382 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 71.2/130 (white tee boxes)
My score: 102 (30 over par)

The Village Links of Glen Ellyn
485 Winchell Way
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

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