Local weather report at the start of my round: 36 degrees, cloudy, and cold. I really drove 1,000 miles from Colorado to play Cedardell Golf Club today? I’m the first (and only) golfer on the course to start the day. Am I crazy? This course better be worth it. Flash forward 1hr and 30 minutes to the end of my round. Weather report: 39 degrees, cold, cloudy, and now it’s windy. Still the only golfer on the course but as I finish, a brave foursome of members is heading out. Here is what happened during the three degrees of warmup during my round.
Frost is gone and Robin, the General Manager, gives me the “all clear” sign to let it rip at Hole #1. And let ‘er rip I did! This is an excellent hole to start your round unless you have that big banana slice. A dense tree line guards the right side of this straight, wide fairway. If you find those trees, maybe it’s time to go back to the clubhouse for another cup of coffee! The green has more bumps than a Rocky Mountain ski slope. What I’m saying is they are not flat!
Hole #2 is a slight dogleg left of 387 yards from the white tees. It’s amazing and rewarding when you find the fairway on your first two drives of the day, but disappointing to only score bogeys. If it had snowed last night, I could have used this green as a mogul run. Loving this course so far. Hole #3 is another par 4 where you don’t want your slice to rear its ugly head. Watch out for the bunker to the right at about 100 yards. A nice hole and my first par of the day.
I need a refund on my new draw-biased driver. My slight fade (not draw) left me about one foot from the abyss (BIG drop to water below) on the right and with trees blocking my approach to the green. An ugly double bogey was placed on my scorecard at Hole #4. You need to carry a ditch/creek on the par 3 fifth hole. My shot looked good when it left the clubface but started to fade and landed in the right green-side bunker. Extraction from the sand went well but two putts for bogey spoiled this hole.
Normalcy has returned at Hole #6. Drive to middle of the fairway; approach shot found the green; two putts for par – this game is easy! Hole #7 – nothing like finding the front of the green on a par 3 then three putting for bogey. Oh, these devilish greens!
And the fun continues at the diabolical, uphill par 4 eighth hole that does not have a level lie anywhere on the fairway. The flag was at the front of the green today, so I was able to locate the direction of the green over the crest of the hill. If it was in the back, I’m not so sure. This green is small but also one of the only flattish ones on the course. Hole #9 mirrors the first hole only a little longer. Let me make a correction. It’s actually over 100 yards longer and plays to a par 5.
Ace: Robin’s words to me as I left the clubhouse were, “this is a hidden gem – you’ll love it”. My words as I entered the clubhouse after my round, “this IS a hidden gem – I loved it!” There is a very tranquil setting among the trees and river between holes #3 and #4. But between those two holes you pass the tee box for hole #8. Pay attention to the signage and you will be guided to the correct destination.
I also liked the small attention to details. There was plenty of water (but I needed hot chocolate today); a number of porta potties were present and this senior golfer needed the one at #6; and the staff was very welcoming and attentive. The $10 I paid today was a crazy deal even for this cold October morning. I did drive 1,000 miles from Colorado, but it was to attend a college homecoming in Aurora, IL. The half hour drive from Aurora to Plano was well worth it to play Cedardell Golf Club.
14264 South Hale Street, Plano, IL 60545; 630-552-3242; www.cedardellgolfclub.com