5-20-07 Rolling Knolls 18 Holes of Horror

Last Thursday at approximately 3:30 pm, Chris called me and said that he got out of work unexpectedly early because some dumb lady hit his work truck. He wanted to play nine but, alas, I was at work.

And broke.

He said that he did not have to work this Saturday, and that it might be the last weekend he would have Saturday off. He wanted to try and play Saturday, but unfortunately, Saturday was no good for me. Sunday, though, we would both be out at his parent’s house in Streamwood and decided to try it then.

After packing up the wife and kiddo, we hit the road. The skies were foreboding here in Palatine, but everything in the direction we were headed in looked bright and clear. Fantastic. I would have for my first chance to golf in a couple weeks to get rained out.

When we got to Streamwood, the skies were bright and clear. And raining. Puddles everywhere. What the fuck? The rain had all but stopped, but it was pretty wet and I was not sure if Chris was going to want to get out there still.

Luckily, though, after waiting an hour for it to dry up a bit, Chris and I did get out there and teed off at about 4:30. The rain had rendered things a little soggy, but the course drained and played pretty well. The greens were completely manic after the rain, ranging from billiard table fast to shag carpet slow, but the greens at the Torture Chamber are always brutal.

Also brutal was the rate at which I lost golf balls. If I had not found 4 balls that other people lost throughout my round, I would have been screwed. I lost every ball in my bag and three of the four that I found. At one point, I lost two x-out balls, one a bright yellow and one a lady’s ball.

knolls-11th.jpg
The 11th hole is a 77 yard par 3 with an elevated green that cost me 2 balls and 4 penalty strokes.

If I had not taken any drops, it would have dropped my score by 11 strokes, and I would have finished with a 99.

Yeah.

In addition to the numerous drops I took, my ball managed to find every pine cone, sprinkler cover, cart path, tree branch and landscaping edge that it could. I didn’t get any breaks and I didn’t play well. Luckily, though, I had a lot of fun and I appreciate Chris footing the bill (twilight rate is $17 for all 18 holes!). He even got a cart, which insured we would get to play all 18 before sundown. We finished up in 3 hours flat. More importantly that the time, though, is the fact that we did not have to navigate the rolling terrain on foot, which is just as challenging as the golf itself.

One of the bright spots for me was the fact that I really like the sand wedge and putter I picked out of the dumpster of our apartments last week. I wasn’t dumpster diving or anything, just taking out the poo-poo diapers and there were 4 clubs rubber-banded together sticking out. I grabbed em and it turned out to be two drivers, a SW and Spaulding “cash-in” putter, a la the old Billy Baroo from Caddyshack, which I brought with primarily for laughs but had some success with on the back 9. The sand wedge is some off-name (American Tour, I think), but it is a blade-style wedge, as opposed to me Wilson oversize which does not allow me to get under the ball well enough on fast lies and is too big to cut through the thick stuff. Sure I am losing 10 or 20 yards, but the added control is well worth it.

I still have trouble getting the distance I need with my SW, though. It should be a 100 yard club and I am not comfortable trying to hit it more than 50 or 60. I cannot figure out why, but I just cannot poke it out there far enough with my 52 or 56 degree clubs.

knolls-14th.jpg
The 14th is a gorgeous 273 yard par 4, with an elevated green well guarded by bunkers. My lousy camera phone does not do this beautiful view justice.

As you can see by the picture of the 14th, this course puts a premium on hitting the ball straight off of the tee, which I did only one time all day. The tree-lined fairways give you a small window to work with. I’ve also realized another little quirk about this course that makes it tricky. Of the nine par fours on this course, only three of them feature a green you can see (or at least aim at) from the tee box. The first, eighth and fourteenth are the only holes you can either see the pin or somewhat accurately judge the location of the green on. I have been playing this course for about 10 years, so I have a pretty safe idea of where to place my shots, but actually placing them is a different deal altogether due to the hills and trees.

This course is always a test, and more often than not, it is a test that I fail.

We have negative money this month, so the only way I will be golfing any time soon is if someone else is paying again.

Anyone with money wanna go golfing???

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out
Yardage 240 332 195 438 337 279 210 214 78 2323
Par 4 4 3 5 4 4 3 4 3 34
Chris 8 8 4 9 8 7 5 5 4 58
Me 6 9 6 6 8 6 4 6 6 57
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Yardage 282 77 127 221 273 238 89 159 179 1645 3968
Par 4 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 31 65
Chris 6 6 7 7 8 8 5 7 6 60 118
Me 10 7 5 6 5 7 4 3 6 53 110
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About Anthony

Husband of one, father of one. Two cats, one dog, a bike, and some fishing poles. I do nothing well.
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