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Number of holes at Burnham Woods Golf Course equals this hole

In late afternoon, shadows fall across this hole's, stone, yardage sign.
In late afternoon, shadows fall across this hole's, stone, yardage sign.
© 2013 Vernon Brookins

Those who are familiar with golf know that golf courses either have nine holes or 18 holes. Burnham Woods Golf Course is a full size golf course, so it has 18 holes. This article is about the 18th hole. (Burnham Woods Golf Course is at 14201 S. Burnham Avenue in Burnham, Ill.)

The 18th hole is par five, but not the longest, par five hole on this course. (The fourth hole is the longest, par five hole—544 yards.) From the rear, Blue teeing ground, the average distance to the putting green is 535 yards. Five hundred twenty-five yards is the average distance from the middle, White teeing ground. From the front, Red teeing ground, the average distance is 498 yards. Having a #2, course hole handicap, this hole is the second most difficult hole at Burnham Woods.

This hole’s fairways point northwest. (Yes, it has two.) A swale divides the fairways; a swale which is usually invisible since the first fairway slopes upward. The second fairway is longer than the first. Both fairways are wide. The first fairway has a consistent, wide width, but the second fairway becomes much narrower as it nears the putting green. Closely-spaced trees are on both sides of the fairways.

Since the swale is approximately 250 yards from the rear teeing ground, powerful golfers driving from the rear teeing ground should drive no farther than 230 yards so as not to roll or fly their golf balls into the swale. When this swale has standing water, it is usually impossible to hit balls out of it. Even when it is dry, it is still steep; golfers who manage to contact balls in this mess should not expect their balls to travel forward more than 30 feet.

The putting green is medium size and oval. It slopes downward back-to-front. On this green golfers may have difficult putts.