A Friday off work marks the start of a holiday weekend for many, and the start of a golfing weekend for me. This weekend starts at Salt Creek Golf Club in Wood Dale, Illinois, located approximately 25 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Salt Creek opened in 1956, and is the only golf course that is part of the Wood Dale Park District. The course sits next to and shares the parking lot with TopGolf Chicago.
Salt Creek is an executive course that features nine par-3 and nine par-4 holes for a total par of 63 at a length of 3,946 yards from the back tees. The course is laid out and [sometimes poorly] marked as two 9-hole courses, the White Course and the Blue Course, with the Blue Course wrapping around the outside of the White Course. Cart paths near tee boxes and greens are made of wood chip mulch, and finding your way to the next tee boxes can sometimes be difficult or confusing. The fairways are flat, open, and straight, surrounded by large trees and an occasional power line transmission tower (only on the Blue Course). The longest hole on the course is the 4th hole of the Blue Course, a 381 par-4 with a 60 yard long waste bunker down the right side of the fairway and a patch of “grounds under repair” on the left side of the fairway. Water hazards touch five of the holes, including around the green of the 8th hole (a 262 yard par-4) which they label as an island green, though the amount of water you must carry over is less than 10 feet. Where present, water hazards sit very close to the greens, so you’ll want to make sure your tee shots or approach shots are accurate. Bunkers are located near the greens on all but four holes, and were looked to be kept in good condition. Greens are fairly large and flat, and played pretty slow during my round.
When we played, it seemed like a lot of other golfers where just playing nine holes, and even more golfers just walked the course. If playing just nine holes is common, your tee time will not always start on the same course. An effect of this is that people playing the full 18 could possibly interfere with other tee times. So if you’re making the turn, account for the possibility of the starter needing to fit you in to other open the tee time slots.
Markus joined me for this opening round of the long weekend. This round at Salt Creek was meant to be a warm-up for the next round of the day. Since there was so many par-3’s and short par-4’s, it gave us an opportunity to work a little more on our irons, without completely wearing us out for the next round.
We started the round on the White Course, which is the shorter of the two courses at 1,795 yards. My tee shots were pretty random throughout the 18, but overall I felt I played better on the front nine than on the back nine. I couldn’t seem to keep any of my iron tee shots straight. Throughout the round, I only managed to get three of my drives to hit the fairway. There’s probably many issues at play with my swing: overpowering my shot, not properly turning my upper body, not shifting my weight, not fully following through… the list could go on. On top of that, my back swing didn’t feel as smooth as it has in the past. Luckily, my short game was much better, and I attribute it to keeping my strokes in the double digits. As I mentioned before, the greens were slow, so I ended up leaving a lot of my putts short (better short for easy putts than rolling long for risky putts).
I shot an 84 for the round (remember, par 63 course), putting me 21 over par. I shot a 38 on the White Course (like I said, I played better on the front nine) and 46 on the Blue Course. This consisted of one birdie, three pars, eight bogeys, and all others worse. I 1-putted three times (all on the front nine) and 3-putted three times (all on the back nine). Markus ended up shooting around 10 over par (he had a better back nine).
So that ends the first round of the weekend. Time to move on to the next!
Salt Creek Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 3,946 yards (back tee boxes)
Course par: 63
Course rating/slope: 59.0 / 92 (back tee boxes)
My score: 84 (21 over par)