Mistwood Golf Course
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Mistwood golf course in the Chicagoland area is the sister course of a course by the same name at Lake Ann, Missouri. Both courses are built as playable for the masses with tee boxes for the scratch golfer to the beginner.
A wonderful clubhouse, lodge and a great practice facility along with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, complements both courses. The management takes amazing pride in detail and grooming making Mistwood a great course to bring a camera and take a shot or two.
The course lies on farm and wasteland, making views of the outer perimeter of the property breathtaking. The clubhouse, parking lot and practice area sit out of the way from the course, keeping all extra traffic out of the view of players. To hide the clubhouse and practice range from the course even more, Hearn placed trees and shrubbery around the perimeter of the range's tee box and greens and around the tee boxes that butt against high traffic areas.
Each hole is sprinkled with mounds and ridges never giving players a flat surface to take shots into slick greens. To enhance the uneven lies, Hearn hid small pot bunkers throughout the course to tease golfers into a false comfort zone. Another tease is in the length of the course. While Mistwood measures a short 6,700 yards, it boasts five of the toughest holes in the area.
Water comes into play on more than half the holes and not the ones that get golfers in a ton of trouble. On the first tee box, players get a great view of what is in store for them. A large swinging dogleg to the left, a drive needs to find the tiny flat land on the left side of this 420-yard par-4.
If players can't find a flat lie for their approach, a mid iron into this slick green takes on a whole new difficultly level. With a small hidden bunker protecting the right side of the putting surface, a high number is surprisingly easy on this relatively tame hole.
The "you got to be kidding me" hole on the front side is the par-5 fifth hole. This 566-yard awe-inspiring golf hole has every feature that Hearn focused on in designing this golf course. The drive looks upon Lake Britta down the right side and toward a group of bunkers centered in the middle of the fairway.
The fairway is split in the middle by these bunkers with the left side being the easier route. Any drive down the right side at about 250 yards is in great position. The second shot will flirt even more with the water as the terrain leans toward the hazard.
The third shot is a catch-22 with the ball on the left side leaving a longer shot, but a ball on the right has to go over the water and wide bunker. A great job here is putting for birdie while most golfers will attempt to stay dry and be satisfied with a par or even bogie.
The ninth hole is of the same silk of the fifth. This 567-yard par-5 runs along a narrow body of water that separates the hole from the practice range. Like the fifth hole, golfers have an option of going directly over the water or making the hole longer and going out to the left. The difference on this hole is that the landing area is much wider on the drive and the fairway traps do not come into play for most players.
The second shot also is a midiron with a much bigger landing area than the fifth hole while the third shot is straight away to a very inviting green. While this hole is treacherous, it plays much easier than the fifth.
The best par-3 on the course is the 194-yard par-3 14th. While the back tees take players over water to a thin green, the front tees are a straight on shot with water down the left side. Besides the lake that comes into play up to the green, the great aspect of this hole is the ridge that works its way around the back of the putting surface.
If golfers go long or right off the tee the next shot will be an awkward chip looking down at the pin. Along with the gallery-like backdrop, the hole also has a precarious trap that somehow finds a lot of short shots.
The 15th hole is the other "you got to be kidding me" hole on the course. While on the tee box even the most confident golfers will get a little nervous as the hole makes its way around the lake making the drive all carry to a mound-laden fairway. Drives of anywhere between 250 and 300 yards will set up the hole nicely as the fairway narrows into the green. If players can stay down the right side of the hole, getting a proud par on this piece of danger will not be tough.
All in all Mistwood golf course is a treat in waiting and worth the hour trip southwest of the city. With a bunch of courses cropping up around this part of Chicagoland, Mistwood tends not to get as much talk as it should. This is a good thing as the golf course is less played and its easier to get a tee time on this gem.