On Sunday, before a storm rolled through the area, I managed to squeeze in an early morning round with Adam at Hickory Hills Golf Club in Hickory Hills, Illinois. The course is located approximately 20 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. Opening in 1915, Hickory Hills features two courses: the South course, a 18-hole championship course, and the North course, a 9-hole executive course (which is just long enough to count for the project). For this round, Adam and I played the South course.
The South course of Hickory Hills consists of five par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 71 at a length of 6,018 yards from the back tees. There are actually only two sets of tees (the men’s white tees and the women’s red tees), and the width of the tee boxes are very large. The fairways are hilly, open, straight, and surrounded by large trees. Water touches four holes, mostly down the right side of the fairway. You’ll only need to carry a small patch of water on the 7th hole, a 172 yard par-3. Sand traps are found on only four holes, and only near the greens. The greens are fairly large with decent slopes and challenging breaks.
Throughout the round, Adam and I had to deal with dense fog and light rain. For most of the round, you couldn’t see more than 200 yards in front of you. The fairways were pretty wet, the grass was a little higher than normal, and the speed of the greens were random. Other than that, the course looked to be in great condition.
Surprisingly, the fog and rain didn’t hurt my game. I actually played pretty well. I tried something different with my grip during my drives, and, for the most part, my drives seemed to straighten up. I managed to hit over half of the fairways throughout the round, which is something that is not common of me to do. My iron shots were OK. The high, wet grass gave me some issues in some areas, but overall, I was pretty happy with my iron shots. I felt my approach shots and chips were good too. I’ve definitely seen them improve over the last couple of rounds. My putting was random, as expected since the greens were wet. I 1-putted two times and 3-putted six times (mostly on the front nine). I did manage to 1-putt for par from the fringe about 30 feet out from the hole on the 6th hole, a 451 yard par-5. Anytime I can make par on a par-5, I’m happy.
I ended up shooting a 101, which was 30 over par (52 on the front nine, 49 on the back nine), and Adam shot a 109. This was my best round of the season, and my best round ever on a full 18-hole course (I did shoot a 101 when I played the 9-hole Fountain Hills course twice). Throughout the round, I made three pars, five bogeys, six double-bogeys, and four others, including two 4-overs. I was really hoping to hit a goal for the year by shooting four pars in one round. I ended up making bogey on the last three holes, so I was pretty close. Obviously, I could have broken 100 if it wasn’t for a penalty or a couple of duffs. Once again, it’s just a matter of time.
Hickory Hills Golf Club – South Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,018 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 71
Course rating/slope: 67.9 / 116 (white tee boxes)
My score: 101 (30 over par)
Adam’s score: 109 (38 over par)