Hole #8: GolfScout's Take
The penultimate hole at Billy Caldwell Golf Course is my nemesis, often spoiling a previously promising round. 8 is a demanding dogleg right with OB on the left and a tiny ridge on the right that demands a precision drive toward the port side of the short grass. The fairway narrows considerably in the exact spot you want to play from.
If you've successfully delivered your ordnance to the preferred landing area, you are now faced with a short iron into the green; take dead aim. But maintain focus, as several obstacles await your arrival. The flat green is a welcome sight, but its diminutive size thwarts all but the most accurate offerings. Furthermore, the hearty North Branch of the Chicago River carves through the westernmost edge of the property. The damp environs birthed by the tributary not only result in a green that performs differently from the other 8 on the course, but spawns a phalanx of hungry mosquitoes eager to steal your focus.
Finally, if one successfully navigates all the previous tests, he or she is left with one last potential challenge. The Metra train tracks run adjacent to the green; passing trains distract an already taxed golfer at their breaking point. Occasionally, a stopped train provides an impromptu gallery of curious commuting wage-earners, enhancing the spectacle of the legendary 8th hole at Billy Caldwell.
Golfers achieving a par can depart the 8th green proud to have survived one of the toughest tests in Chicagoland golf.