Stony Creek Golf Course's modest 18-hole length of 5,004 yards from the blue tees might give the impression that Oak Lawn’s par-65 course can be had rather easily.
But after taking a quick glance out to the narrow fairways from any of Stony Creek’s tee boxes, you might want to reconsider your original opinion.
“Seeing that it’s a slightly smaller golf course, the fairways are similar to when they have the U.S. Open, where the fairways are 25-30 yards wide," said Tim Scott, Stony Creek’s Greens Superintendent. “That’s where all our fairways are at. Everybody’s getting a feeling of, 'Well, you have to hit the ball off the tee in the U.S. Open because there’s not as much area to spray the ball left and right.' ”
Stony Creek Golf Course was designed by Carl Getz in the mid-1980s to accompany the large practice facility and driving range that already was constructed on the site. The course opened in 1994, at a time when the game of golf was experiencing sizeable growth in participation.
In the past 17 years, the look at Stony Creek hasn’t changed much in terms of the course layout, but the staff has made the course more challenging.
“What we’ve been doing is constantly adding trees in different areas and landscaping,” Scott said. “We’ve added over 200 more trees to the golf course to fill in areas that we felt were needed.”
Stony Creek tends to feature large, undulating greens that often give golfers trouble. Scott says a lot of players will hit the green in regulation only to three-putt and settle for bogey.
The 10th hole at Stony Creek is the only par-5 on the course, but from the back tees it plays a hefty 518 yards. Even the long hitters will have difficulty hitting the green in two. Stony Creek features eight par-3s that range from 118 to 210 yards off the back tees. This gives golfers plenty of opportunities to hit a number of different iron shots.
Stony Creek attracts a variety of golfers, including seniors and those looking to get in a round after work. The course's junior golf program is buoyed by the presence of several high schools, including Oak Lawn and Richards, that use the practice facility.
“These (shorter) courses are supposed to be more popular for beginning golfers, so it’s been good in that sense,” Scott said.
COMING FRIDAY: Log on at 6 a.m. Friday to view a video demonstration of how to play the toughest hole at Stony Creek.