Don’t Hit the Ball Straight on No. 5 at Prairie Landing

By Ray Brewer, Contributor

WEST CHICAGO, Ill. - Every golf course has a signature hole that tests the skill, patience and strategy of a golfer.

One of the best parts about golfing different courses is getting the chance to play each club's special hole.

Even though all of the holes are designed differently, some of the same philosophies can be used in attacking the hole - especially hitting the ball straight.

At Prairie Landing in west Chicago, the hitting the ball straight game plan won't work on their signature hole - No.5

In fact, if your drive goes down the middle on the fifth, you will need to bring your scuba gear.

Here are the details of this odd, signature hole.

THE HOLE: It's a par-4, 406 from the back tees with several different options in getting to the green.

THE LAYOUT: The fifth includes a spilt fairway with a stream that runs through the middle of the hole - the stream runs from the tee box to the green. The golfer has to decide to go right (the "safe" route) or go left and attempt to make a 230-yard shot onto the green over a bunker.

Either way, going to the middle will equal headaches and a trip to the golf bag for a new ball.

THE STRATEGY: Pick your poison when attacking this hole.

"It's up to the players," says Prairie Landing assistant pro Jim Larson. "It is safer to play to the right. The harder shot onto the green is from the left."

If you go to the right, Larson recommends you use an iron or wood to tee off, then a five or six iron to get onto the green.

If you go to the left, Larson warns that you will have to hit your driver 230 yards on the tee shot. Once the first shot has cleared the bunker, a nine iron or pitching wedge will get you to the green.

Another factor in figuring out how to play this hole is wind - which can blow either way on any given day.

THE AVERAGE GOLFER: "The average golfer should go to the right and not worry about getting on in two," Larson said. "If you are not confident in hitting a long drive, then play it safe. Just try to stay out of the water. A bogey would be a good score on this hole."

Larson continues, "If you don't make it easier, you can get a big number. Go to the right, take your five and get out of there."

DRESS CODE: No tank tops or jeans. Slacks preferred.
SEASON: No set dates.
TEE TIMES: Accepted 14 days in advance
PHONE NUMBER: (630) 208-7600

Ray Brewer, Contributor

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