The first round for the 2013 golf season takes me to Mt. Prospect Golf Club in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, approximately 23 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The club is the only golf course that belongs to the Mt. Prospect Park District. The course was originally built as a private course when it opened in 1929.
The course features four par-3 and three par-5 holes for a total par of 71 at a length of 6,309 yards from the back tees. There are four sets of tees: the back Blue tees, the 5,923 yard White tees, the 5,307 yard Golf tees, and the 5,028 yard forward Red tees. The course is a traditional parkland style course that you’ll often find throughout Chicago. The fairways are generally open and straight, formed from rolling hills and surround by medium- and large-sized trees. You’ll find doglegs on the 5th and 10th holes (both 354 yard par-4’s), the 13th hole (a 277 yard par-4), the 17th hole (a 478 yard par-5), and the 18th hole (a 377 yard par-4). Water touches eleven of the holes, all of which you’ll need to carry your shot over the water, though they are mostly just small streams or creeks. Bunkers are found on every hole, either near the fairway, near the green, or both. The bunkers could use a bit of work, or at least some filtering of the large clumps (or maybe they were rocks). The greens are average size and offered some challenging putts throughout the round. The greens felt generally soft for my round, though that could have been due to some recent rain. A notable green is the 7th hole (a 170 yard par-3) where a steep hill cuts through the green and requires you to be accurate with your shots and putts in order to avoid a difficult uphill putt.
For the first round of the season, I feel like I played pretty well. I didn’t get to practice much during the winter break, so I was thinking I was going to be a bit rusty. I felt like I had some pretty good drives, and it seemed like I was getting good distance, even if I pushed or sliced. My shots with my hybrid felt really nice. I think this year will be the season where I start to get really comfortable with my fairway wood and hybrid shots. I had good iron shots with decent accuracy, though I left many of them short. My short game was bad; I left many wedge shots short. My putting was decent. The greens were a little bumpy and needed some work, but it still is early in the season, so that might improve.
I ended up with a 102 (31 over par, 52 on the front nine, 50 on the back nine). This consisted of two pars, six bogeys, five double bogeys, and all others worse. I had two 1-putts and four 3-putts, along with five sand shots and two penalties. I really want to work on eliminating penalty shots this season. I know if I can do that, and keep 3-putts to a minimum, I should be able to break 90.
Mt. Prospect Golf Club – Scores & Stats
Course length: 5,923 yards (white tee boxes)
Course par: 71
Course rating/slope: 69.3 / 125 (white tee boxes)
My score: 102 (31 over par)