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”

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The Harvester Golf Club

The Harvester Golf Club – Played September 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #46, Golf Magazine Public #57
  • Location: 833 Foster Drive, Rhodes, Iowa
  • Year: 2000
  • Architect: Keith Foster
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,365 yards, Par 72, 76.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Blue: 6,840 yards, Par 72, 73.1 Rating/132 Slope
  • White: 6,430 yards, Par 72, 70.8 Rating/128 Slope
  • Red: 5,180 yards, Par 72, 68.9 Rating/120 Slope

The next weekend after my trip to Oklahoma and Kansas I was on my way to Iowa.  I wasn’t going to see cornfields or the Field of Dreams site.  As usual, I was in the area to sample some great golf.

I was getting to play with some friends I made on GolfMatch, the social golf app I have written about previously.  It was great to have a group to play here.  It would have been sad to drive all the way to Iowa and get paired with some bozos.  This is the biggest benefit of using the app, so check it out if you haven’t already.

I couldn’t find a great deal of history about the course.  This Keith Foster design was opened at the dawn of the new millennium.  There is more elevation change than I would have expected for Iowa.  Quite frankly the course is stunning and incredibly enjoyable.

The course has a simply elegant clubhouse and an expansive driving range, which can be seen below.  It has all the facilities you could ask for. Continue reading “The Harvester Golf Club”

Taconic Golf Club

Taconic Golf Club – Played July 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Magazine Public #39
  • Location: 19 Meacham Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Year: 1927, 2009 (Restoration)
  • Architects: Wayne Stiles & John Van Kleek (Original), Gil Hanse (Restoration)
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 6,808 yards, Par 71, 73.5 Rating/136 Slope
  • Gold: 6,410 yards, Par 71, 72.1 Rating/127 Slope
  • Purple: 5,826 yards, Par 71, 69.4 Rating/122 Slope (Men’s), 74.8 Rating/130 Slope (Women’s)
  • White: 5,143 yards, Par 71, 66.6 Rating/116 Slope (Men’s), 71.4 Rating/122 Slope (Women’s)

Well after my day at Boston Golf Club I was off to western Massachusetts and Taconic Golf Club.  It’s funny because after playing my first Gil Hanse course, I arrived here where Hanse performed an extensive renovation in 2008-2009.  I had never really been to this part of the state.  The location of this track is very near to New York state and I spent most of my drive from New Hampshire in Vermont.  It took about three hours, but I had my multiple podcasts to keep me entertained.  Shout out to Shane Bacon, Michael Collins, and Jason Sobel.

Let’s get into a little background.  According to the course website, the story goes that the course was started by “three men with three tomato cans” in 1896.  Their names were Doughty, Ide, and Gale and they set up three tomato cans in the ground on Weston Athletic Field which is next to the present day 18th fairway.  A few more men joined and weeks later the first real course was planned out as a seven-holer.  By 1897, they had expanded to nine holes and converted a residential house to a clubhouse that lasted until 1955.  The course was then expanded to 18 holes in 1928 through gifts to Williams College.

Continue reading “Taconic Golf Club”

The Links at Spanish Bay

The Links at Spanish Bay – Played June 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #60, Golf Magazine Public #42
  • Location: 2700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, California
  • Year: 1987
  • Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Sandy Tatum, & Tom Watson
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Blue: 6,821 yards, Par 72, 74.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Gold: 6,422 yards, Par 72, 72.1 Rating/136 Slope
  • White: 6,043 yards, Par 72, 70.4 Rating/128 Slope
  • Red: 5,332 yards, Par 72, 72.7 Rating/128 Slope

6:10 AM?  That was my question when I was booking the tee time.  I said early, but I didn’t know tee times went that early.  They certainly don’t at home.  But hey, I figured I would be first off and get a quick round by myself.  Well guess what?  I did both, but I was not by myself.  As a great stroke of luck I was paired with two guys from the Chicagoland area.  They were gregarious and fun to play with.  We played very quickly as well.  That is a combination you cannot beat.

The first leg of my second California sojourn brought me to The Links at Spanish Bay.  The course is somewhat overlooked while in this area, but that is a grave mistake.  The course is in excellent condition and has some of the best conditioned greens at the resort.

Per the course website, the intention of the designers was to hearken back to the Scottish roots of the game in links golf.  With sandy soil running along the coast the course does a pretty good job.  To further the connection a bagpiper closes each day.  The other goal of the course was environmental preservation.  There are many protected areas throughout the course with free drops allowed.

The scenery and experience at Spanish Bay is top notch.  Let’s get into it!

Continue reading “The Links at Spanish Bay”

Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster)

Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #84, Golf Magazine Public #100
  • Location: 4400 N.W. 87th Avenue, Miami, Florida
  • Year: 1961, 2014 (Update)
  • Architect: Dick Wilson (Original), Gil Hanse (Update)
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,590 yards, Par 72, 77.4 Rating/146 Slope
  • Gold: 7,034 yards, Par 72, 75.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Blue: 6,698 yards, Par 72, 73.5 Rating/139 Slope
  • White: 6,334 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/139 Slope
  • Red: 5,463 yards, Par 72, 72.9 Rating/138 Slope

The final course of this trip was to be The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral.  The course is now the former host of the WGC Cadillac Championship on the PGA Tour.  It has been around since the 1960’s, but had lot some of its original luster.  I wasn’t really sure where this property was located from watching on TV.  I was surprised to learn that it is in a pretty industrial area with a lot of business around it.  Then you make a few turns and boom you are there.  It is also very close to the Miami airport.

The firebrand Donald Trump bought the property a few years ago and The Blue Monster underwent a complete redesign from Gil Hanse.  The property also has 54 other holes as well as the Jim McLean Golf School and a hotel.  I can’t really go into much on the hotel since I didn’t stay there, but I can show you some pictures of what surrounds the course.  Below is the clubhouse, understated right? Continue reading “Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster)”

World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)

World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #76, Golf Magazine Public #19
  • Location: 17590 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Brooksville, Florida
  • Year: 1993
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Yellow: 7,237 yards, Par 71, 75.3 Rating/133 Slope
  • Black: 6,817 yards, Par 71, 72.5 Rating/131 Slope
  • Green: 6,316 yards, Par 71, 70.2 Rating/125 Slope
  • White: 5,891 yards, Par 71, 68.5 Rating/118 Slope
  • Orange: 4,983 yards, Par 71, 68.4 Rating/114 Slope

We had a little longer drive from Palm Coast to Brooksville.  I will say that I didn’t expect to find much in this town as I had heard it was in the middle of nowhere.  While it was certainly not a metropolis, there were plenty of places to eat on the main drag.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Let’s go over some of the history of this complex.  Opened in 1993 by the World Woods Corporation, the land it sits on was purchased from Florida Crush Stone, Punta Gorda Isles and several privately held properties.

The name came from the ideal of providing world class golf to the masses.  This includes a massive practice facility with a 23 acre, circular range, 36 hole putting course, an iron range, and more putting greens. Continue reading “World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)”

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #83, Golf Magazine Public #75
  • Location: 200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, Florida
  • Year: 2000
  • Architect: Jack Nicklaus
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,201 yards, Par 72, 75.5 Rating/144 Slope
  • Gold: 6,723 yards, Par 72, 73.8 Rating/141 Slope
  • Blue: 6,371 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/135 Slope
  • White: 5,811 yards, Par 72, 69.0 Rating/126 Slope (Men), 74.2 Rating, 135 Slope (Women)
  • Red: 5,115 yards, Par 72, 70.3 Rating/132 Slope

After a short drive down from Sea Island and a good night’s sleep it was off to the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach.  This is another resort course, but if you book through teeoff.com you can gain access.

As you will see from the pictures this course stays true to the ocean in its name with six holes along the water.  It is always interesting for me to play courses designed by Nicklaus.  He was a fader of the ball and a lot of times that shows up in his work.  For me, a definite hooker, his courses can be very challenging.  I was interested to see how this one would go.

The course has received plenty of accolades as evidenced by the photo below.  They have also received praise from Conde Nast Traveler, Golf For Women, Golf Magazine, Golfweek, and Links Magazine. Continue reading “The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort”