By Scott Taylor
Typically when we go out to review courses, the courses are ones I have never played.
That wasn’t the case when I reviewed Wedgewood Golf Course in Joliet. I call it my home course as I have been playing it since I was 12 years old and I play it multiple times a year.
Part of the reason why I play it so often is it is five minutes from my house. Another is the great rates, especially for residents. Finally, the course is always in good shape, the pace of play is quick and there is a good combination of challenging and potentially easy holes.
The course does play long, at 6,836 yards from the blue and 6,519 from the white, but it does play quick as well, from tee to green and also the rough.
The first hole is a straightforward par-3 that plays over a bunker in the front left of the green. The second hole is a brutally tough par-5. It plays 545 from the white tees and doglegs right with a forest of trees on both sides of the fairway. It bends back to the left a bit at a sharply sloped green from back to front.
If that hole, the No. 3 ranked handicap doesn’t sound hard enough, the next hole is the No. 1 ranked handicap. It is 386 yards from the white tees and has a bunch of trees to the right and a river to the left with trees surrounding the river. There also is a bunker guarding another sloped green.
The fourth hole doesn’t get much easier as it plays 209 from the blue tees and 172 from the white. It is another sloped green with a bunker in the front left and more trees on both sides to make a bad shot more punishable.
A short par-4 is next and it is more wide open, giving you a nice break, unless you drive it into the fairway bunker. The sixth hole also is one of the easier ones at just 486 yards for a par-5, but it is virtually impossible to stay on the green in two as there is a bunker guarding the front of the green. A bailout left sets up an up-and-down for birdie.
The seventh is a 422-yard par-4, which is tough with water that comes into play on the left. That water must be hit over on the ensuing 146-yard par-3. The front nine finishes with a par-4 where water can come into play on the right off the tee and on your approach if you didn’t carry it past the water on the drive.
The back nine has always seemed slightly easier to me overall, but it doesn’t have as many good scoring opportunities.
No. 10 is a pretty simple par-4, but it is still hard to score well on it. The 11th hole is a 491-yard par-5 that is very similar to No. 6 except for some water to the left and a slight dogleg left. A fairway bunker comes into play as well.
The 12th hole also has a fairway bunker that can make it a difficult hole, if a 425-yard hole isn’t hard enough. That is followed by a 230-yard par-3 from the blue tees and 213 yards from the white tees. With trees and out of bounds left, this hole is quite the challenge.
The 14th hole is short enough to attack, but long drives can end up in the water, especially if you hit it right of the fairway. Your approach is then over water.
The 15th hole is a slightly shorter version of No. 2, with trees lining both sides of the fairway. A tight, uphill shot makes No. 16 a tough hole, not to mention it plays over 400 yards as well.
The 17th is a short par-3 over water, while the 18th hole is a straight par-4 with fairway bunkers that definitely come into play.
The daily fees for Wedgewood are $49 on weekdays and $55 on weekends, with good discounts for residents. They also run solid deals, such as $29 with a cart for 18 holes before 8 am at some times.
Sometimes people are hesitant with park district courses, but that shouldn’t be the case here. If you are looking to play a true round of golf without breaking the bank, Wedgewood should be a place you consider.