Another weekend of golf takes me to St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago, Illinois, approximately 33 miles west of downtown Chicago. St. Andrews features two 18-hole championship courses: the St. Andrews #1 course, a 6,920 yard par 71 course that was built in 1926, and the Joe Jemsek (Lakewood) course, a 6,770 yard par 72 course that was built in 1929. For this round, I played the Joe Jemsek (Lakewood) Course, which was formerly known as the Lakewood Course, and renamed later, after the PGA Pro that purchased the golf course in 1939. Joe Jemsek also purchased Chicago’s popular Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in 1951.
The Joe Jemsek (Lakewood) course features four par-3 and four par-5 holes for a total par of 72 at a length of 6,770 yards from the back tees. If you play from the back tees, all of the par-3 holes are 200 yards or more. The fairways are mostly open and straight, formed from rolling hills and surrounded by large trees. Water hazards touch six of the holes, two of which you’ll have to carry over, including the 17th hole (a 552 yard par-5) which features a small pond in front of the green. Bunkers are found on 17 of the 18 holes, both near the fairways and the greens. The greens are of average size, but have some consistent slopes and challenging breaks. I felt like I was putting uphill many times.
I played this round by myself, and somehow finished the round very quickly. Thanks to a little bit of rain and the cool weather, the course was nearly empty. Throughout the round, I only passed one twosome, and didn’t see many more people during the round. I ended finishing the round about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
And somehow, I played pretty well. My drives were pretty random and inconsistent, but I was getting some decent distance. I think my recovery shots helped me out the most during the round, usually setting my 3rd shot up for an easy wedge shot. Since the holes were longer than average, I got to hit with my fairway wood a lot, which was really nice. I’m slowly getting better with my fairway wood, and it’s definitely helping me lower my score. I felt my wedge shots were pretty good, but I still think I could use a bit of work on getting more accurate distance. My putting was good, though I should have practiced a bit beforehand. The greens were pretty slow due to the rain, and along with always putting uphill, I was leaving a lot of putts short. I 1-putted twice and 3-putted twice.
I shot a 96 for the round (24 over par, 47 on the front nine, 49 on the back nine). This consisted of two pars, eight bogeys, and eight double bogeys. Yup… another round without hitting any triple bogeys or worse, so I’m pretty happy with this round.
St. Andrews Golf & Country Club – Joe Jemsek (Lakewood) Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,358 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 70.1 / 118 (white tee boxes)
My score: 96 (24 over par)