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ldchristopher

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  1. Possibly closed out the season at White Hawk today. Played Black to Grey. The course was in surprisingly rough shape. Chewed tee boxes and slow greens that hadn’t been touched since I played there two weeks ago on Black. More chewed boxes and heavily sanded greens on Grey. I played well. Shot -1 on Black with a birdie on 9 and even on Grey with birdies on 1 and 8 and bogies on 4 and 9 for a 71. It helped that I hit 13 greens and got up and down from both green side bunkers I was in. The weather was very good for early December. Bear and I both had too many layers on. With the sun out the whole round the mock turtleneck was unnecessary.
  2. That’s your loss. Lost Marsh is a GEM. It said so on this very site. I remember that round vividly. It sucked. It was my 100th round of the year and I dumped two tee shots into the water on the first hole. Some might blame bad swings or horrendous weather. I blame the cart. I almost never take one to begin with and haven’t been in once since.
  3. Cart golf in the cold looks awful. At Skanctuary last week the group in front of us was in carts and they were all wrapped up in blankets holding coffee with both hands. Just looked miserable. Give me a mock turtleneck, golf fleece, thick socks and FJ rain gloves and I’m fine. That’ll be my attire tomorrow (with pants…that probably goes without saying though).
  4. I joined Bear for a round at Skanctuary this morning. He was in Lisle so the trek to the South suburbs was only about a 20 minute drive. The greens were all frozen and temps never got above about 25 degrees. However, with no wind and some off-and-on sun, it was pretty pleasant. We've both played in much worse weather. Conditioning at the Skank wasn't great but it was a touch better than what Mountain King described a couple of weeks ago. I've played that place in Winter enough to know which greens can be hit directly into, which I should roll approaches onto, and which I'll need to rely on my wedge game. It's not very hard but it does have some spots where people can get too aggressive and, at least during Winter, get themselves in some trouble. We caught up to a foursome on 8 who were taking their sweet time on every shot so we finished 8 then skipped to 11 and completed the round by playing 10 then 9. I ended up shooting 38 on the back and 35 on the front after chipping in for bird on the last hole. Good finish to possibly the last round of the year, though as DP4 said, temps look playable next week.
  5. Marengo Ridge this morning with Bear. The key at that course is to get out before the fivesomes in carts tee off. They were right behind us on the first tee but, even though tee times don’t mean much there, we were still the first ones out. Ended up playing in 2:45. The group behind us was on 12 or 13 as we finished. Like I said, get out before the fivesomes. It was a pretty windy round, though Marengo Ridge is laid out so that every hole is either straight downwind or has the breeze right in players’ faces. I hit the ball pretty well and got my driver figured out. I ended up shooting a 75 with three bogies (9, 10 and 15). The greens were really slow and sanded and some greens had been punched while others hadn’t. However, from tee to green it was in pretty good shape and fairways were quite firm.
  6. When the temps get too high, too many people are out. Give me mid 40’s and dry. Just gotta layer up.
  7. I got in another round at White Hawk today. Went Black to Red since they had just punched Grey and Silver. The greens for Black and Red were in the process of healing but still had some visible punch marks and had been sanded. They were rolling at about a 9 on Black and 10 on Red and were smooth enough. Tee to green the course was in stellar shape. There were some wet spots but overall nothing major to complain about. They keep all four nines there in good shape. The weather cooperated with no rain until I was already done. During the round it was in the mid 40’s with some sun and a light breeze. Perfect Fall golf weather. I had the place to myself and the guy in the pro shop said I could choose whatever combo I wanted. Ball striking was very good, with 11 fairways and 15 greens. I birdied 3 and 4 on Red and bogied 6 Red and 7 Black for an even par 72. Got to 70 rounds this year after only 55 last year. Hopefully I get in a couple more but the weather looks iffy.
  8. I actually don’t mind the overall layout. It’s not hard but it’s got some tricky par 5’s and, in general, prairie style courses like that don’t lend themselves to long rounds and lots of waiting around. Pace shouldn’t be an issue in theory at a place like that. It’s another place that could use a combo tee (from 6300 to 6900 seems a stretch) but I only play it when it’s frozen so the ball gets plenty of roll.
  9. Not gonna lie. Was not expecting to read any posts about Chip Beck today. Though not a lot of people can say they shot a 59 on a par 72 and had an ace on a par 4.
  10. Skanctuary is just open too much. It probably shouldn’t be a year round facility yet is and it gets a ton of play during the Spring, Summer and Fall. Far more than the maintenance budget can keep up with. I haven’t played Skanctuary all season and will likely pass until everything goes dormant and the rates drop to $20 for all you can play. Cheap Winter rates is what that place is good for. Nothing else.
  11. I’ve seen some truly terrible golf swings in my life, some by me and many, many more by random people. However, this gem just happened a couple of weeks ago so the play-by-play is fresh in my mind. My friend and I were playing Crane’s Landing in Lincolnshire outside of Chicago. Cranes is one of those courses that had enough space for 12 holes yet managed to cram in 18 and, like most mid-tier publics in the area, it attracts all sorts of golfers. We got to the 7th hole, which is a 494-yard par 5 and the group in front of us was still teeing off. The last guy in the foursome stepped up, took some absolutely monstrous cuts and teed the ball up really high. Clearly he was thinking he could get there in two. His actual swing was steeeeeeep. So steep that he hit way behind the ball, creating a pretty deep divot. He also didn’t make any contact with the actual ball and it fell straight down into his divot.
  12. My friend and I played Fire Ridge and Washington County yesterday. We didn’t get a drop of rain while it poured all day in Chicago but there were high winds pretty much the whole round with occasional gale gusts. The greens at Fire Ridge were running much faster than we expected. They must have stayed dry over night because they were able to get out and roll them. They were stimping at 11 or 11.5. Washington County was stellar as always but I think Fire Ridge is more difficult. The greens at Washington County were running at about 10 and with the fescue cut down it felt even more open than usual. Of course, that just made the winds feel that much stronger. Both are such easy walks as well. It’s nice to see other walkers. Chicago is just all cart golfers these days even though it might be the flattest terrain in the country. Pair of 75’s.
  13. Bear and I played where the rain wasn't today. That meant going north to Fire Ridge and Washington County. They got some precipitation up there over the past week but nothing like what this area has had and last night it was dry. We were expecting consistent, high winds but we weren't banking on fast greens. Fire Ridge had them running at an 11 or 11.5. Given the weather conditions, the quick greens added an extra level of difficulty, since downwind approach shots were difficult to hold. Overall, I was really impressed and the color in the leaves made for some excellent-looking holes. It's weird; after not playing Fire Ridge for years despite going up to Washington County 2-3 times per year over the last 5-6 years, we've now played FR 3 times in the past 2 months. I've been hitting mostly 3 wood off the tee lately so I just lofted down to 13 degrees and hit that club all day. I'll figure the driver out in the off-season but there's minimal difference in the end result and far more control. No birdies (not really scoring conditions today) but I finished with a 75, including even par on the back. Washington County had a jammed tee sheet but mostly empty parking lot. Permanent times have made getting on there difficult and it's eliminated the early times. Of course, we got stuck behind a foursome who didn't let us play through at any point. Watching them was odd. Two guys were playing like their pants were on fire and they were desperate to play as fast as possible. One guy was at a fairly leisurely pace while the fourth was dragging the whole round. He was consistently 100-150 yards behind the other four. Anyway, Washington County was great. That's never a surprise. I love that course and it's killed me to not play there yet this year. The greens were not at the tempo that Fire Ridge was at but they were stimping at a 10. The wind, however, while a hassle at Fire Ridge, was brutal. The Weather Channel warned of gale winds being likely and they weren't wrong. Consistent 20-25 mph winds with 35-40 mph gusts were no joke. Despite the breeze I hit 14 greens including 8/9 on the front and the last four to close en route to another 75.
  14. It's been a stressful school year so far. I've had lots of IEPs to start the year and lost a prep period to cover for a co-worker who was out on FMLA. Anyway, I needed some comedy in my life. Do I even need to tell people where I played? LOST MARSH BABY!!! Despite the cold morning temps I decided to play from the tips since putting up a low score is fun and all from the silver tees but it plays so short. The tips, on the other hand, play what's listed on the card. No big deal on the front, since, despite the gimmickry, it's under 3300 yards. I've played there enough to know pretty much exactly what club to hit on every shot. However, the back has some length at 3500 yards. The breeze was a nasty crosswind on the first five holes but for most others it was either in my face or at my back. There were deer hoofs on at least 8 or 9 greens and they were stimping at maybe 6. I'm guessing if they rolled the greens tighter and cut them shorter the deer hoof marks wouldn't be so noticeable. Alas, Lost Marsh goes the shag carpet route. I birdied 7 and bogied 2, 3, 11, 17 and 18 for a 76. Two people are building homes right off the 7th hole. I guess the owner is under the impression everyone who plays Lost Marsh is good. A glance at the radar meant driving straight East to try and get in a round before the rain got too heavy so I played Blackthorn. It was nice overall, the greens were excellent (the 10/10.5 pace felt like 13 after Lost Marsh), and it's well-taken care of. It's basically a hillier Aberdeen, which makes sense because both have the same architect and are woodlands/parkland layouts. However, Aberdeen doesn't have any throwaway holes and Blackthorn, for as nice as it was on most holes, had some very vanilla short 4's. The par 3's were all very good and the 5's were aesthetically stellar but lacking in difficulty. I'll definitely play it again in the future but I'm more intrigued by the Warren course. Just need to set aside my anti-ND bias (fun fact: Notre Dame is one of only two FBS schools currently under NCAA sanctions - cut to people feverishly clutching pearls). Anyway, I had a lot of makable birdie putts but couldn't cash in. Just burnt edges all day. I bogied 17 but then got it right back on 18 by getting to a shortish par 5 in 2. 72.
  15. Yep. Played Starboard. Forgot to mention which 18.
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