Blackhawk Trace

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When I get bargains I get fired up. When friends get bargains and pass them on to me free of charge, I get even more fired up. This happened this summer at Blackhawk Trace. My buddy bought some You Swoop coupons for two-for-one rounds so we played the Highland/Woodland set a couple of times for $45 on a few Saturdays this season. Wow, what a deal.

Also this summer, I played a non-coupon round on Island/Highland during post 4pm twilight for $59. Wow, what a rip-off. I say that for affect, this is a great golf course and an awesome facility, but that weekday twilight round for $59 was priced out of market I think.

Let’s ground ourselves a little bit. If you still think of this as the Indian Lakes Resort, you need to start doing some re-thinking. They brought in Rick Jacobson about a decade ago and he undertook a huge renovation. I never played the old 36 hole version, but it had a poor enough reputation that I stayed away. Jacobson removed nine holes, added a practice range, and reconfigured a bunch of stuff. The resultant 27 hole facility is first class.

If you have the choice, Highland/Woodland is the best option. Highland being the coolest nine with a slight edge over Woodland. Pictured at the top of this post is the fourth hole on Highland. It’s a great, challenging short  par three with a beautiful view over the lake of the approach to the par five sixth hole. I love lakeside holes where you can see another lakeside hole off in the distance. I’m not sure what sensory notes this hits, but it always makes things memorable for me.

Woodland has the awesome par four sixth, which is one of my favorite par fours in Chicagoland. It’s a dogleg left that wraps around a lake with three nicely placed bunkers in the landing area that can be used as targets depending on how much risk you want to take off the tee box. It’s starts with an elevated tee and ends on elevated green, making a short hole seem shorter for only a few moments until you are hit with daunting second shot into a well-guarded green.

Now the Island nine has a lot of promise, but I found it lacking in conditioning, a little cramped, and with only one memorable hole. However, it’s a really memorable hole, the par three eighth. Check it out:

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It’s a pretty intimidating island green that scared me into taking an extra club. It’s enough to salvage the nine but I still walked off the ninth a little disappointed after playing the other two.

It’s a great golf course. The clubhouse is a little dated, but I’ve only heard people say good things about the food. And the price, it’s a little over-priced unless you have a coupon. That $89 prime time rate with cart puts it up with the big boys and I’m not sure it holds up. It can’t really compete with a nice muni course like Village Links and I’m even comfortable paying $6 more at a high-end muni like Harborside.

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more coupons this winter. Here are my scores this year at Blackhawk Trace.

Scorecard for Highland/Woodland:

Blackhawk Trace Woodland Highland 120819 600px

Scorecard for Island/Highland:

Blackhawk Trace Island/Highland 2012-08-22 600px

Scorecard for Highland/Woodland

Blackhawk Trace Highland/Woodland 20129022 x600