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BLACKHAWK TRACE at Indian Lakes Resort 630-529-0200 

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Chiago Golf Course Review

04-Blackhawk Trace at Indian Lakes Resort

Blackhawk Trace at Indian lakes Resort is the beneficiary of a complete facelift that not only places the course with the elite upscale designs in the Chicago area - but also earned the property the privilege of hosting the 2004 Hooters NGA Tour. Golfers from all over the country descended upon the resort from 4/06-09 to participate in this championship on the organization's developmental tour, with a top first place prize of $24,000 going to the winner. The layout was in absolutely perfect condition, with changes in design and aesthetics (especially involving switching over to bent grass putting surfaces, tees and fairways) providing players with a great golf environment


Blackhawk Trace at Indian Lakes Resort

Indian Lakes is a premier Chicago golf destination, featuring unique accommodations and amenities befitting a top notch property. A pro shop and an extensive new practice facility area compliments a great range of resort facilities and amenities - too long of a list to mention here.  For a great cache of photos plus text outlining what this resort has to offer, visit our Resort Listing page, with a link to the Indian Lakes Website, by clicking here.

The fleet of golf carts at Blackhawk Trace provides contoured seating and a comfortable ride, with weather covers on the back to protect clubs when rain descends. Unlike conventional carts, there is efficient storage space for balls and personal items in the "dash", and bags are form fitted into ridged compartments, preventing them from sliding around (especially helpful for single drivers). Some sprinkler heads are marked on the fairways, but the Uplink GPS that is standard on all golf carts provides all the info one needs with hole diagrams and yardages measured to the pin, and also to and over the frequent traps and hazards.

Blackhawk Trace at Indian Lakes Resort

Four sets of tees provide a variety of challenges, with the tips playing to 6919 yards with a 133 slope rating. The Gold tees measure a playable 6448/129 slope, the Whites 5770 with a 122 slope for men and 128 for women, and the forward sets play to 4992 with a slope rating of 119. We have no idea what this course looked like prior to renovation - but we can tell you that the bunkering here is about as dramatic as it gets. Fairway traps are positioned strategically so as to make golfers think about shot placement off the tee. The green side bunkers are intricately shaped and sometimes daunting in nature. Though the course is not lacking for trees and vegetation - the doglegs here are most often defined by sand... The result is a course that is beautiful aesthetically, and challenging in nature. It is resort golf with a punch. A unique touch is provided by the thick strands of rough that line the outside of many of the bunkers, which will make some players wish they did land in the sand.  An additional characteristic is that most of the greens are raised, with the sand traps and collection areas creating some tricky up and downs. The fairways are quite generous and exquisitely manicured. Avoid the bunkers and you should score well here.

Blackhawk Trace at Indian Lakes Resort

The opening hole provides an ample fairway with a sand bunker on the right coming into play about 160 yards from the putting complex, which also features traps on either side. Number two presents a beautiful fairway, with the right bunker in play 235 out, and one on the left posing problems near the 200 yard marker. Water comes into play on the left about 170 away, and the greenside bunkering is quite dramatic. Three doglegs to the right near the deep fairway traps, and demands an approach that takes the pin placement into account, as the green is ridged down the center. Water is in play short and right of the green on the par three 4th, with sand on the left short and long. The fairway on five is generous - but the incredibly well bunkered green complex creates some challenge. Another pond comes into play about 200 yards away, and the fairway narrows from 130 in with a row of traps on that side on hole number 6 - which is the layout's # 1 handicap. An extremely well bunkered par three on 7 is followed by a score-able four par with an ample fairway impeded by a water hazard along the right about 120 out. Number nine is a tough par - as it doglegs left past a formidable trap on that side. Long hitters have a chance of clearing the left edge and shortening this hole - if they can carry their drive past the landing area about 215 yards from the green. All other should play it safe to the right center of the fairway.

Blackhawk Trace at Indian Lakes Resort

The back side is pretty symmetrical in distance with the front, and opens with a score-able par four with plenty of room greenside. Again - the trick is to avoid the fairway traps off the tee. Eleven is not overly long for a par five, but snakes to the right and back to the left again, to - you guessed it - a putting complex featuring some challenging bunkers. There is plenty of room left center on the fairway of the short par four 12th, which features an uphill approach that demands 1/2 to 1 clubs more. "Bunker City" follows... this par three features an island of green surrounded by enough sand to create one of the world's finer beaches...A sand hazard lurks on the right about 270 yards out on the par five 14th. The second shot here should be able to navigate the fairway traps on either side, leaving an uphill approach to a putting surface that drops off steeply on both sides. Fifteen begins with perhaps the tightest tee shot of the round with a lake short left and bunkers deep right. For long hitters, the tee shot must carry inside the 120 yard area to land safely beyond the water hazard. Right center is the safe play here. The fairway on 16 is tree lined, and a long tee shot landing past the 100 yard marker is necessary to clear the bunker on the left. The hole doglegs left from here, to an elevated and bunker fronted green complex. The seventeenth is a good example of a par three that is completely defined by the sand bunkers that surround it. Miss the green here and mounding plus collection areas will make an up and down par a tough proposition. The ample fairway on 18 nonetheless presents sand traps on either side, with a gorgeous view of the resort in the background. The approach is uphill, with some room for error long.

Blackhawk Trace at Indian Lakes Resort

Golfers will find Blackhawk Trace to be a fun and challenging place to play. The terrain is mildly rolling, but most shots will be hit from fairly flat lies on the fairways. With this beautiful 27 hole championship course, an 18-hole miniature course, swimming and workout facilities, a variety of dining options - plus great event facilities - Indian Lakes is a great choice for a quick holiday or extended stay. For more info on Blackhawk Trace and a link to their website, visit their informational page on our Chicago Golf Course listing section by clicking here.

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