I have been golfing for over 30 years. 18 years ago when I started at State Farm I started to really get serious and into golf. I was working 6:00 – 14:15, and golfing 5 or 6 days a week at Illinois State University Golf Course. Back in the day as an alumni my season pass was only $280 a year. I played there from 1997 – 2000 over 100 rounds a season! Then the course was closed for a redesign. When it reopened they dramatically raised their rates. I was recruited to join up with a group of guys that all had Bloomington City Passes. The City pass is good for unlimited golf at all three Bloomington City courses. I have been a city pass holder since 2001.
I have played as many as 123 rounds in one season by my average is around 80 rounds a year. Simple math, 17 seasons, 80 rounds per, 4 par threes per round equals 5440 chances at a hole in one.
I have NEVER had a hole in one. Most of my golfing buddies have 2 or 3. I thought I would share some of my favorite par three holes and thoughts about them.
Lets start with my home course Prairie Vista.
#5, plays 120 – 145 yards. The tee box is elevated and the green has a steep ridge cutting the green into 2 different levels. If you end up on the wrong level or miss the green it is easy to make a bogey. Par is a good score. There are some really juicy pin locations when the pin is down front. I have witnessed 3 holes in one here. Brad V, Mike N, and Kai K.
#8 is a huge green. The green is 38 yards deep. The hole can play anywhere from 145 to 190. Seems like the wind always plays an important part of your club selection. The entire green breaks towards the corner closest to the cart path. #12, the hardest of the par threes on this course. Located in the far corner of the course and it is unprotected from the wind. The holes plays 150 – 190 depending on which tees are used.
Center normal tees:
#15 shortest and easiest of the par 3’s on the course. I watched Stacy Miller from ISU women’s golf team make a hole in one here.
#18, originally a Par 4 and the best finishing hole in McLean County, but now being played as a par 3 until the neighborhood law suit is settled. The boys state and some tournaments are still allowed to play it as a 4, but we are playing it as a 140 – 155 yard par 3. Green slopes hard from left to right towards the water. Birdies can be had if you are brave enough to get between the pin and the water to leave an uphill putt. I play to the center of the green an let the slope take the ball towards the pin.
Most of my golf is split between Prairie Vista and The Den. The Den is the nicer of the two courses but much tougher. The Den at Fox Creek is a Arnold Palmer Signature design.
The easiest of the par threes is #4. It plays 130 – 160 yards and is down hill into a green that is guarded with water front and three bunkers long. Both Brad V and Tim K have had holes in ones here. I witnessed Tim’s!
Next is #8 with is the toughest playing usually 200 + into a sliver of a green guarded by 2 large bunkers and not worthy of a photo.
#13 is the second highest point in McLean county and plays downhill at least one club. 175 – 200 yards.
Many a solid rounds have gone south on the last par three #17. 160 – 190 yards all carry over water. 3 is a great score.
Which brings me to Weibring Golf Course at Illinois State University.
#4 plays 150 – 185 and is a tough green to hold.
#11 is all carry over water and plays 145 – 186. You can make par from left of the green but not from the water. Greg P has aced this one. I was on the course but not in his group.
#17 is the signature hole. I have came close here a couple times. Yardage is 135 – 175.
Other Par threes that I like are #17 at Ironwood and # 4 and #13 at Crestwicke. I have not played them lately with a camera.
So bottom line you want me in your group because I have seen a lot of holes in one, and never had one. Maybe someday.
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