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.

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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”

Flint Hills National Golf Club

Flint Hills National Golf Club – Played September 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest #72
  • Location: 1 Flint Hills National Drive, Andover, Kansas
  • Year: 1997
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Private
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Tournament: 7,080 yards, Par 71, 75.4 Rating/144 Slope
  • Combo: 6,654 yards, Par 71, 72.9 Rating/141 Slope
  • National: 6,425 yards, Par 71, 71.8 Rating/135 Slope
  • Combo: 6,133 yards, Par 71, 70.7 Rating/133 Slope
  • Member: 5,855 yards, Par 71, 70.2 Rating/131 Slope

The second course on our short jaunt to Okalhoma and Kansas was Flint Hills National Golf Club.  This club is located just outside of Wichita and was about just under a four hour drive from Tulsa.

The club was started by Tom Devlin, who built his wealth with the company Rent-A-Center.  He eventually built a clubhouse entirely of logs that came from Yellowstone.  The wood was charred in a fire from the 1980’s and I am glad they were able to put to use.  The club has hosted numerous large events and has received plenty of accolades for its 18 holes.  The popularity of the club was evident the day I played as a titan of industry was playing with an LPGA player in the group behind us.  This was my first time encountering a security detail on a golf course so that was interesting.

Below are a few photos around and of the clubhouse. Continue reading “Flint Hills National Golf Club”