By Scott Taylor
Our most recent golfing expedition took us near the DuPage Airport at Prairie Landing Golf Club.
The course is in a relatively open area, which makes it windier than your average course and with it a links-style course that can make it very difficult even on an average-wind day.
It features fast greens and a tough layout with several water hazards to go along with the fescue grass in some places.
The slopes prove the difficulty as the tournament tees play 6,950 yards with a 139 slope and the championship tees play 6,572 yards with a 135 slope. We played from the blue tees, which were difficult enough, playing 6,092 yards with a 129 slope.
The course starts with a short (292 from blue), but not easy hole and a rare picturesque hole to start a golf course. It plays over water on the right side, but there is room to the left to bypass the water. The green plays downhill over a ravine that you don’t see from the fairway. There was a tough spot of green that was blocked off with a cone.
The second hole is also a short one at 310 yards, but plays fairly tight and has an elevated fairway with bunkers guarding drives just off the fairway.
After a par-3, the fourth hole is a 495-yard par five, which has water that sticks out into the fairway on the right on your layup shot.
That is followed by the signature hole and one of the hardest holes I have ever played, the par-4 fifth hole at 350 yards. It takes a strong drive, especially from the back tees, to clear the creek that runs throughout the hole, on the left side. Even from the blue tees you need a straight drive and clear 180 yards in the air. You can aim for the right side of the fairway but that lengthens the hole and you approach shot has to carry to the green over the creek. Even playing left and clearing the water on the tee shot still has a dangerous approach shot as the creek comes into play on the right.
The sixth hole was a bit disappointing because the green was a little beat up, but regardless is a three-putt possibility if you are on the wrong side of the green.
The seventh hole is a 525-yard par-5 that has a creek down the left side of the hole and the eighth hole has the creek down the right side. The nine finishes with a 385-yard par-4 that has a lake to the right of the green.
The back nine starts with a 500-yard straight par-5 with big a big fairway but bunkers that can get you in trouble. A short par-4 is next where a layup off the tee is needed with a hazard running through the fairway 100 yards out of the green. There is also water on the right of the green, making this a true shot-maker’s hole.
At 195 yards from the blue tees and 218 from the tournament tees, the 12th hole is a most difficult par-3, especially playing into the wind, which was the case when we played. To make it harder, there is a forest on the left and the tee shot has to be carried over water.
The 13th is another par-5 and the third shot has to carry water again and it makes it very difficult to go for the green in two. That is followed by a second par-3 on the back side and a breather of a hole, the par-4 15th.
The closing stretch features the longest par-4, a 185-yard par-3 and a 525-yard par-5, a daunting closing stretch. The par-5 has water to the left of the green and a bunker to the right. When the pin is in the front of the green and you land in the bunker, a long bunker shot can land you in the water.
Overall, this was a fun course to play. It is one of the more difficult courses you will see in the area and plays longer than advertised. The one problem with the course is the pace of play. They allow for 4.5 hour rounds, which means if you are a fast player, you will be waiting a lot, as we did. I’m still under the belief that rounds should take no longer than four hours.
Weekday rates are $67 before 3 p.m. and $47 after, while weekend rates begin at $84 before going down throughout the day. The prices are average with comparable courses in the area, making this a solid option to play, especially if you are looking for a challenge.