Calumet Country Club

Calumet Country Club – Played October 2016

  • Rankings: None of the four lists
  • Location: 175th Street & Western Avenue, Homewood, Illinois
  • Year: 1917
  • Architect: Donald Ross
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Blue: 6,619 yards, Par 71, 72.5 Rating/134 Slope
  • White: 6,326 yards, Par 71, 71.1 Rating/131 Slope (Men’s), 77.1 Rating/142 Slope (Women’s)
  • Silver: 5,534 yards, Par 71, 67.5 Rating/121 Slope (Men’s), 72.7 Rating/133 Slope (Women’s)
  • Red: 5,015 yards, Par 72, 65.1 Rating/115 Slope (Men’s), 69.8 Rating/126 Slope (Women’s)

I was lucky to play another private club in the Chicagoland area for my final round of my October trip.  Mark, my friend from GolfMatch, was hosting an outing at his club and invited me to play in it.  I was happy to say yes and meet some fellow GolfMatchers.

Designed by the legendary Donald Ross, the course has hosted many important events such as the 1924 Western Open and 1945 Chicago Victory Open.  The latter served as one of 11 straight won by Byron Nelson in his epic streak.

The course is not overly long, but as a par 71 it plays longer than the yardage.  For our event we played the tips.

Hole 1 – 390 yards – Par 4

The first hole presents a wide fairway, but is a little tricky because of the angle it sits to the tee.  The trees up the right side can cause some trouble if your drive leaks that way.

cmet-1-1I was a little wayward with my drive, but here is the angle from the left side of the hole.

cmet-1-2The green has more slope than you can see in the photo below.

cmet-1-3Hole 2 – 191 yards – Par 3

This flat hole is no easy ride.  The terrain makes depth perception difficult.  The front bunker is ready to gobble up any short shots.

cmet-2-1

cmet-2-2Hole 3 – 423 yards – Par 4

This dogleg left is on the longer side.  A draw over the left bunker is the ideal play.  A creek runs up the right and is in play.

cmet-3-1The second shot plays a bit more uphill than it appears.

cmet-3-2Below is a look at the green.

cmet-3-3Hole 4 – 410 yards – Par 4

This is a daunting tee shot with trees all up the left side and a creek on the right.  You need a solid shot since the hole is over 400 yards.  Drawers need to be aware of the large tree on the right just past the tee.

cmet-4-1The approach is a pretty one with the green framed by sand.

cmet-4-2The green has some great undulation on the edges.

cmet-4-3Hole 5 – 439 yards – Par 4

For a course that is not overly long this is our third hole over 400 yards.  If you have a power fade now is the time to use it.  The creek really shouldn’t be in play.

cmet-5-1The hole flattens out for the approach shot.  The green is wide open in the front to accept longer shots running into the green.

cmet-5-2

cmet-5-3Hole 6 – 551 yards – Par 5

This hole is tight off the tee and long.  With the fairway width it will be difficult to get home in two.

cmet-6-1I didn’t get a photo of the second shot, but the third is seen below.  The green is pretty open as the bunker you can see is not very close.

cmet-6-2Here is a ground level view of the putting surface.

cmet-6-3Hole 7 – 407 yards – Par 4

This one is a dogleg left.  The landing area is pinched in by trees.  Once past those you are smooth sailing to the green.

cmet-7-1It’s a little blurry, but here is the approach shot.

cmet-7-2Hole 8 – 166 yards – Par 3

I didn’t get a photo of this hole, but it was a fun hole with a green on the smaller side.  Precision is demanded off the tee.

Hole 9 – 517 yards – Par 5

This is a fun hole.  There is a creek crossing the fairway, but it shouldn’t be in play.  A straight shot will run through the short stuff into the row of trees.  The hole doglegs quite hard to the right.

cmet-9-1Below is a look at the tee markers with the club logo.

cmet-9-2Here is a look at the hole from the fairway.  You can barely make out the green in the distance.

cmet-9-3You can see the famous Ross turtle shell greens a bit in this one.

cmet-9-4Hole 10 – 485 yards – Par 5

Back to back par fives and this one gives you a birdie opportunity for sure.  With a drive in play it is most likely reachable.

cmet-10-1The second shot is not easy however.  The green is guarded by sand and plenty of trees that will affect an offline shot.

cmet-10-2

cmet-10-3Here is a look at the putting surface.

cmet-10-4Hole 11 – 210 yards – Par 3

This is a superb, but difficult hole.  You have a little bit of dry land so it is not all carry.  The green is large since the tee shot it long.  It is fair, but stern.  Long of the green is not where you want to miss either.

cmet-11-1A view of the green.

cmet-11-2Hole 12 – 367 yards – Par 4

I liked this tricky little hole.  There is OB right and the water comes into play on the second shot.  A fairway wood is a smart play from this tee.

cmet-12-1The picturesque second shot is seen below.

cmet-12-2Hole 13 – 431 yards – Par 4

Can you say hallway?  Look at this beast!  It’s not quite as tight as it looks since it opens up once you get past the trees.  The hole doglegs to the right and plays uphill. Great hole.

cmet-13-1

cmet-13-2Hole 14 – 213 yards – Par 3

This is my favorite hole on the course and probably the most difficult.  It plays all the way uphill and was of the most sloping greens you will find.  Most of the bunkers are just visual intimidation, but you need a very well-struck shot to hold the green.  And that is only half the battle.  You can easily putt right off of the green.

cmet-14-1

cmet-14-2Hole 15 – 419 yards – Par 4

This hole bends to the right and favors a long fade off the tee.  Draws will tend to run through the fairway.

cmet-15-1The second shot plays a little shorter due to the downhill slope.  The green is open in front which gives you options for how you want to play the shot.

cmet-15-2The green is slightly raised so any shots played short will need to be running to get on the putting surface.  It is not a very large green.

cmet-15-3Hole 16 – 349 yards – Par 4

This is one of the shorter holes and is not overly difficult off the tee.  Take enough to hit it about 225 and you will be in prime position.

cmet-16-1The approach must deal with some sand so no running your shot up here.  It should be a short approach though making this one a definite birdie opportunity.

cmet-16-2Another view.

cmet-16-3Hole 17 – 163 yards – Par 3

A solid, if unspectacular hole.  A mid-iron is all you need here, but definitely must hit the green.

cmet-17-1

cmet-17-2Here is a look at the green.

cmet-17-3Check out the flags at CCC below.

cmet-17-4Hole 18 – 488 yards – Par 5

There is no wide open fairway for your last drive of the day.  You better be hitting it straight.  Due to the length you could take less than driver and still get home in two.

cmet-18-1The second plays all the way up the hill back to the clubhouse.  Indifferent shots won’t make it all the way and anything left or right most likely will end up in a bunker.

cmet-18-2

cmet-18-3Once on the green you are faced with a putting surface that slopes back to front. There are plenty of makeable putts, however.

cmet-18-4Calumet is a gem in my opinion.  It’s old-school, but quite difficult.  Getting to play it in October was a treat.  It was in prime condition and I had a great group to enjoy the round with.  If you find a way onto the course definitely accept the offer.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Brooks Was Here

Huge congrats to Brooks Koepka on winning the 2017 US Open!  He seized control in the home stretch and had a masterful performance.  That makes seven straight first-time winners in the major championships.  I was admittedly pulling for Rickie or JT, but I’m good with this outcome.

I think another big story was the golf course.  What did everyone think?  Personally, I don’t want to see -16 win the US Open.  I don’t want to protect Old Man Par at any cost, but I also don’t want to see it turn out like any other tournament.  That is what it felt like to me today, just another PGA Tour event.  I believe a few factors contributed to that.  The fairways were overly wide for a US Open, the course played soft, and barely anyone had played the course since October allowing for perfect greens.

Players had very little concern about putting and could go at a lot of pins.  Overall it was a fun tournament and I am happy for Brooks.  I’m not sure Erin Hills gets another shot at hosting, but I hope it gets to with firm conditions.  That would be the true measure of a very interesting course I hope to play very soon.

2017 US Open Preview

In 2017 the US Open makes its way to a new course.  Erin Hills will make its debut this week and it is sure to get people talking.  I haven’t played the course yet, but the pictures and reviews make it seem quite demanding.  It will be a different test for the tour pros.

I like to see the majors go to new venues and get some freshness in the rotations.  I know Jack Nicklaus may not agree after his recent comments, but I think it can get boring if the US Open is at Winged Foot or Oakmont every year.  Those courses have their place in the rota for a reason and should stay there, but some new tracks are good once in a while. Continue reading “2017 US Open Preview”

White Deer Run Golf Club

White Deer Run Golf Club – Played October 2016

  • Rankings: None of the four lists
  • Location: 250 West Gregg’s Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL
  • Year: 1998
  • Architect: Dick & Tim Nugent
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,149 yards, Par 72, 74.5 Rating/148 Slope
  • Gold: 6,816 yards, Par 72, 72.9 Rating/144 Slope
  • Blue: 6,484 yards, Par 72, 71.4 Rating/140 Slope
  • White: 6,039 yards, Par 72, 69.4 Rating/135 Slope (Men’s), 75.4 Rating/135 Slope (Women’s)
  • Red: 5,028 yards, Par 72, 69.8 Rating/123 Slope

After my morning round, I was left scrambling a little bit to figure out an afternoon tee time.  Luckily, I was able to get in contact with Mike, who I played with at Spanish Bay back in June.  I was happy to play with Mike again since he is a fun guy to tee it up with and he keeps the mood light.  We met up to play and zipped around the course.

White Deer Run is a fun track even though it may not be too flashy.  It is in a residential area that is a relatively flat piece of land, but the holes have variety.  I also found the greens to run very smoothly.  For the green fee I paid I thought the course conditioning was very good.  Check out the slideshow below to see the course from start to finish.  Some of my favorite holes were 4, 9, 11, and 15.

Another fun tidbit is that Top 100 teacher Todd Sones is based here.  You can come play a nice course, but also get the highest quality teaching while you are here.  The course also features a restaurant on site.  While I didn’t eat there it did look to be quite good.

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The Glen Club

The Glen Club – Played October 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Magazine Public #72
  • Location: 2901 West Lake Avenue, Glenview, Illinois
  • Year: 2001
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Gold: 7,186 yards, Par 72, 75.4 Rating/142 Slope
  • Blue: 6,727 yards, Par 72, 72.8 Rating/135 Slope
  • Silver: 6,062 yards, Par 72, 70.2 Rating/128 Slope (Men’s), 76.1 Rating/138 Slope (Women’s)
  • Red: 5,324 yards, Par 72, 72.0 Rating/129 Slope

I needed a good night’s sleep after playing Butler National.  Luckily, I got it and was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for The Glen Club the next morning.  It was chilly, but I can brave a little cold for a great golf course.

The Glen Club has an interesting story regarding its construction.  It used to be a Naval Air Base with a total difference in elevation a whopping three feet.  It is not like that now!  There are some holes with 40 feet of elevation change.  Tom Fazio was a perfect choice to sculpt the land.

The club features a hotel and other amenities right on the property just outside of Chicago.  It is a great piece of property.  I was happy to play the course a few days before the Cubs won the World Series.  They were flying the W in the parking lot for sure! Continue reading “The Glen Club”

Thoughts on Northern Michigan

I wanted to take a quick minute to get my thoughts down about my most recent excursion.  We got back from Northern Michigan this past Saturday night after a long drive.  I like driving because it gives me time to think and spend time with the wife.

During that drive I contemplated just how good Northern Michigan golf really is.  It reminded me a lot of New Hampshire, which made it extra special to me due to my family connections.  The golf was super fun and different at each course.  From old school tracks like Boyne Highlands Resort (Heather) to newer courses like Forest Dunes and Arcadia Bluffs there is something for everyone.  The scenery was spectacular along the lake that due to it’s size looks more like an ocean.  Lakeside golf is awesome!

We stayed in the charming town of Petoskey and I can highly recommend it.  There is plenty to do and the surrounding food spots were great.  Michigan has a craft brewery culture and it was excellent.  I have plenty of food recommendations if you need them!

Another tip I will mention relates to when to visit.  Since we were there in May, you might have some cold temperatures.  You will be ok if you pack accordingly, which is easier if you’re driving.  Additionally, May is black fly season so you should probably bring some bug spray.  We only encountered them at certain spots, but they could be overwhelming at times.  Thank God they don’t bite!

All in all the trip was really fun.  We love to see places we have never been and Michigan fits the bill.  Their slogan of Pure Michigan rang true the entire time.

Butler National Golf Club

Butler National Golf Club – Played October 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #50
  • Location: 2616 S. York Road, Oak Brook, Illinois
  • Year: 1974
  • Architect: George & Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Walking Only, Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Butler: 7,523 yards, Par 71, 78.4 Rating/155 Slope
  • Tournament: 7,005 yards, Par 71, 75.5 Rating/149 Slope
  • Member: 6,718 yards, Par 71, 74.2 Rating/146 Slope
  • Combo: 6,500 yards, Par 71, 73.2 Rating/144 Slope
  • Founders: 6,267 yards, Par 71, 72.1 Rating/140 Slope

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much research on this club. Their website is sparse on information. What I do know is that they hosted the Western Open for a number of years. I can attest that the difficulty of the course is immense and well-suited to stand up to the professionals.

The clubhouse was awesome and quite large. I was met by an employee of the club immediately upon arrival and he guided me to my locker. I was well taken care of by the staff all day.

My member host asked that I wait until we got away from the clubhouse to take pictures. I obviously respected his wishes and started snapping photos once we got to the fifth hole. If you want to see photos of the first four holes check out golftripper.com for Steve’s tour of the course. Continue reading “Butler National Golf Club”