By Scott Taylor | @Taylor_Sports
The Joliet Park District features three courses, one of which (Wedgewood) we reviewed last year.
This year we decided to review Inwood Golf Course, located on Rt. 52 and Essington Road. I consider the course the middle course of the three. Wedgewood is much longer, while the other course, Woodruff, is much shorter. Wedgewood is much more open, while Woodruff is much tighter. That makes Inwood more like a middle of the road course.
While it plays tighter than Wedgewood, there is still a lot of room to spray the ball around and that room helped lead me to my career best round when we played. Despite just hitting one fairway (the first), I was still able to hit eight greens with open space and light rough.
The course is a great starter course, but at the same time, is a great course for more skilled golfers to play if they want to see how low they can score.
The cost for 18 holes during the week is $33 for nonresidents ($49 with a cart) and $39 on the weekend ($55 with cart). For full residents, 18 holes with a cart goes from $38 to $43.
I have played the course several times in my life, but the greens when we played them a few weeks ago were faster than I have ever seen them. The course was in pretty good shape throughout, better than some other park district courses we have played.
From the tips, the first hole plays at 396 yards and is a dogleg right. That is followed by a 327-yard second hole, which features an island green. The drive is tricky as you want to either stay left of the fairway to avoid hitting over the trees, or play far enough to the right of the fairway to hit over the trees, but play a longer shot.
The third hole is a straight 518-yard par-5, but has a very tight fairway leading to the green with a large tree to the left. The fourth hole is a par-3 that plays 183 yards and is a tough up-and-down if you miss right.
Next is the fifth hole, at 394 yards that plays straight. The sixth hole is a dogleg left at 358 yards. Trees guard the dogleg, making it hard to cut off distance, while the fairway curves around 100 yards to the pin, making a long drive go through the fairway.
The seventh hole is 146 yards over water and that is followed by a 502-yard par-5, which is reachable in two, but also has a tight driving area and green. The ninth hole is a slight dogleg left at 362 yards.
The back nine plays at just 35 strokes with three par-3s in the first five holes. The 10th hole is a 195-yard par-3 where you have to play over a bunker in front of the green. The 11th hole is a 500-yard par-5 that doglegs left and is reachable in two if you can carry the creek, which takes a longer drive the farther left you hit you hit your drive.
No. 12 is 175 yards, while 13 is 541 yards and doglegs right. You have to play back over the creek while it doglegs, making the second shot a difficult layup. The green is also tight with trees and bunkers in the way.
The 14th hole is the final par-3 at 173 yards as you play back over the creek again. The 15th is 396 yards and goes back over the creek in front of the green. It is a dogleg left that is covered with trees to the left, making it a long approach if on the fairway.
Hole 16 is a sharp dogleg left at 366 yards and almost requires an iron or fairway wood off the tee, unless you want to risk going through/over the trees. The 17th doglegs right and at 353 yards, can lead to a short approach with not much trouble stopping you from carrying the dogleg. The final hole is a straightaway, 295-yard hole, which makes you want to crush your drive near the green and is a definite birdie chance, although you are shooting into a small green.
While this course may not have a lot of trouble, it isn’t as easy as one might think. A bad shot can get you stuck in the woods for a few more shots. The greens are also fairly small for the most part, making iron play crucial. Overall, this is always a fun course to play.