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.

Our host was a very good golfer who played the old Hooters Tour back in the day. He suggested we play the “plates”, which run about 7,100 yards. The weather was cool and breezy. I was thinking it would be a tough day for this short-knocker. It actually turned out to be an incredibly fun round even though it was one of the longer courses I’ve played.  Let’s get into it!

Hole 5 – 179 yards – Par 3

This is quite a hole to start the photos. The first four holes are solid and difficult, but this one is the prettiest of the first five. The shot is not as long as the photo makes it appear, but on a cold, windy day you need a solid shot to clear the water.

bn-5-1

bn-5-2Once on the green you can have some extremely long putts depending on the accuracy of your tee shot.

bn-5-3Hole 6 – 438 yards – Par 4

Long and straight is what you need off this tee. The best shot shape is a draw to set yourself up in the left side of the fairway to attack the green.

bn-6-1You will notice throughout the photos that Butler National is all out in front of you. The shots are hard, but not tricky. This is a prime example.

bn-6-2

bn-6-3Hole 7 – 600 yards – Par 5

That’s right, 600 yards! This will be a three-shot hole for people not named Dustin, Bubba, or Rory. The hole moves to the right severely and you have to account for water most of the way.

bn-7-1At the bend the hazard comes into focus.

bn-7-2The water follows you for most of the hole. Add to the challenge the small green surrounded by bunkers.

bn-7-3

bn-7-4Hole 8 – 179 yards – Par 3

This is one of the more picturesque holes on the course. The meandering stream and long grass provide a nice frame for this green. Don’t let the surroundings fool you though because a solid shot is required to stay dry.

bn-8-1

bn-8-2Hole 9 – 431 yards – Par 4

The front side finisher is one of the most demanding holes from the tee I have played. It requires a long and very straight drive. Any miscue will have you in the vicious rough and trees.

bn-9-1The approach shot plays slightly uphill to the green resting in front of the clubhouse.

bn-9-2

bn-9-3Hole 10 – 387 yards – Par 4

I didn’t snap a photo from the tee, but the shot is quite a bit downhill. The green is fronted by a creek and a bunker lurks just off the back side.

bn-10-1Hole 11 – 176 yards – Par 3

This hole isn’t flashy, but it sure is solid. Club selection is imperative to avoid the deep bunkers short of the green. If you get too handsy and hook one the water is waiting to swallow your ball.

bn-11-1The green is quite narrow and sits at an angle to the tee.

bn-11-2Hole 12 – 471 yards – Par 4

This hole is a no-nonsense beast.  It’s long and requires solid shots to get a par.  Pull the big dog out for this one.

bn-12-1To make the hole even more difficult the second shot is uphill.  The green is guarded by a deep bunker to the left.

bn-12-2

bn-12-3Hole 13 – 170 yards – Par 3

The safe spot here is short of the green, but that is about the only place to miss. Water is on the front-left, left, and back of the green. Aim small, miss small.

bn-13-1Hole 14 – 386 yards – Par 4

This is one of my favorite holes on the property.  It is all risk/reward.  You can go as far as you want left, but the carry becomes immense.  The safer shot to the right will leave you with a longer approach all over water.

bn-14-1

bn-14-2Hole 15 – 585 yards – Par 5

This tee shot strikes fear in yours truly. My hook shot does not play well here. So I put one over the left fence into the corporate parking lot of McDonald’s. I’n NOT loving it!

The hole is a brute and after the tee shot doglegs almost 90 degrees to the right.

bn-15-1The difficulty is not done after the drive. You play down and back up the hill. It is important to miss the deep bunkers all around so you can have a chance at birdie or par.

bn-15-2I will say the green is probably the easiest part of this treacherous hole.

bn-15-3

bn-15-4Hole 16 – 375 yards – Par 4

This hole gives you a good birdie opportunity after some of the monsters before it. The bunker you see is definitely in play.  A safe shot is a three wood out to the left of the sand.

bn-16-1The approach is downhill and with this pin quite inviting.  You can slightly see the ridge that bisects the green.

bn-16-2

bn-16-3Hole 17 – 443 yards – Par 4

After that short respite it is back to the brutes.  This long hole is pretty open off the tee.  Sure there are bunkers and rough but the playable surface is quite wide.

bn-17-1The green is open in the front, but you will be testing your bunker play if your direction is off.

bn-17-2Hole 18 – 464 yards – Par 4

Butler is not going to let you off the hook easily with the last hole.  Water to the right and trees all up the left makes this a difficult tee shot.

bn-18-1The approach is no easier.  It plays over water and anything left is dead.  Add to that the fact that you will probably have a long iron in your hand and par is a worthy goal.

bn-18-2It may have seemed like I was having a bad time the way I described some of the holes, but I hope you didn’t take it that way.  Butler is a really difficult golf course for sure, but it is also extremely fair.  Good shots are rewarded and bad ones are punished.  I like that in a course.  Add to it that we had a great foursome and I really enjoyed my day.  I didn’t shoot my lowest score ever, but I loved the club.  The course is a must play if you can find a way while in Chicago!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s