Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
South Course (1984)
18th hole / 406 Yards / Par-4
Architect: Roger Packard
Located in the far northwest corner of Illinois is the 63-hole complex — Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. The facility is situated on rolling terrain that belies the generally flat topography associated with much of Illinois. The South, which runs through a wooded valley, provides a serious challenge and much of that is tied to the fact that water comes into play on 11 of the 18 holes. Being able to marry accuracy and distance consistently is a constant theme when playing the South Course.
The closing hole provides a worthy culmination — both as a scenic delight and a testing challenge.
The 18th commences from an elevated tee — the clubhouse occupying the far background — with the green located just in front of it. Numerous decisions need to be weighed carefully before hitting one’s tee shot. The hole plunges into a valley area bracketed by water hazards on both sides. There’s also a creek which runs perpendicular to the line of play and requires a carry of 285 yards to safely cross it.
Key choices must be made — you can opt for either an aggressive or conservative game plan. Those successfully crossing the creek will be left with a short pitch shot uphill to the putting surface. Those deciding to land before the creek will be left with a far longer approach.
Gauging the distance is also a vexing issue to overcome. Often times golfers will simply pull a club and not realize that the uphill target requires anywhere from 1-2 clubs more than normal.
The green is flanked by four bunkers — two to each side. The 5,990 square foot target is narrower towards the front than the back. There’s also quite a bit of tilt to the green from back to front and when the pin is placed in the front third the demands on the approach shot intensify significantly.
Ending the day with a par or even birdie can certainly make for a joyous 19th hole. But, be especially aware, the 18th at Eagle Ridge’s South Course does not treat wayward shots with anything other than swift and certain justice.
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