Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicago Golf Trip - Take Off

Yes, yes, yes. I know I haven't finished the Michigan trip blogging so I'm now two golf trips behind. But, I'm not paid to blog so it'll have to do.

Thank you, American Airlines, for the farewar. With my gold status on the line, getting the extra trips in is important and I’ve been checking for deals. $125 roundtrip from DFW to ORD: done! One specifically for a golf trip (I’ve never played in the area where I was born!). A second in October for a trip to see Anna, Lily and Clara play soccer (more on that in a bit). Tom’s in. Mark’s in. I’m in. Since Mark has the connections in Chicago, he’s in charge of where we play and where we stay.
A week before we head to Chicago, we don’t really know where we’re playing or staying. But, we know that golf will be involved. Find out that it’s rather difficult in Chicago to find a place on the weekend (or weekday) that will let a woman play (at all, or before noon, or on Sunday). We thought we were on Butler National (really? Wikepedia and everything I’ve heard said: no women allowed on property). I call up to Butler and ask Skip (he answered the phone) if women were allowed to play Butler. “You need to ask a member that question.” “So,” I said, “I have to ask a member if women are allowed to play Butler?” Yes.” We took that as a resounding NO! But, we know we’re going to play Naperville Country Club first -- right near my sister, so I tell her we should have dinner on Saturday.

Note to Butler, etc.: I do not have a problem with all male only clubs. I have a problem that I can't play them. But I'm good with the idea. Just jealous because I want to try them out. If you have an opening, my info is on my blog. To those of you who think that this is just "wrong" -- they are privately owned and members can do what they want. If they don't want me as a woman to play, fine. If they don't want people named Tom to play, fine. I'm just jealous!

Later in the week, we find out that staying downtown is going to be way too expensive. Allison helps out with some geography. Mark comes through with Marriott in Lisle -- pretty central location so we’re set. Tom and Mark are getting in before me. I catch the 545 am flight on Saturday, getting in at 800 am. They’ll pick me up and we’ll head to the club. Upgraded, so I’m happy. Land, meet up with them and get my stuff. Well, American calls me and tells me to check with the baggage service department about my luggage. Since I have my clothes, but no clubs, this doesn’t look good. Happily, they are on a flight that gets in at 931 am -- and the do. We just hang out at the airport until then. --- It was funny that when I was walking to baggage claim, Tom marches right by me and I have to call his name twice. With the loss of my hair, he didn’t recognize me.
Naperville Country Club ( . Founded in 1921. Two years ago it was redone. Blogs say that it’s “snobby.” But, we’ll be in good company so who cares, right? David joins us as our member when we pull into the club. Ladies Locker Room is nice (this isn’t always the case), grab lunch, warm up (greens putting fast and smooth -- and Naperville has one of the NICEST and COOLEST practice areas. It’s so picturesque with its strategic bunkers and trees and greens to hit at). A couple talks to us on the range, saying we’ll have a great time (that doesn’t seem snobby). Then off we go. David starts off with 2 birdies and a par -- and then asks us if we want to play a game. Hell, yes! Only, since it’s late -- who gets David? Since I’m the scorer, I went Carts, Drivers, Others -- meaning Mark got David. Turned out to be OK because Tom birdied 5 and I birdied 6 for the tie.
I didn’t bring my camera on this trip, but I stole some pictures off the web that just don’t do the course justice -- and if you go to their website ( they have a cool interactive map, just doesn't show enough of the practice area). Naperville Country Club is in GREAT conditions. The greens are tricky, but Chris, our forecaddy, and David are helpful in telling us where to go (and not go). Chris tells us about the false fronts that you definitely want to hit past (as Tom and Mark found out on hole # when they landed on the green only to have their balls roll all the way back.
After we played, we grabbed a drink with David. Tom was the big winner (go figure), Mark won a $1, and David and I payed up. But, I did birdie 17 (a par 3 that has gunk all around the front, left and back -- with a bunker on the right -- and from my tees, playing 170). The couple on the driving range talk it up to us. Find out that Lisa comes to Dallas quite a bit, so I give her my card -- maybe golf, or dinner. They give us info for playing Cantigny on Monday. We’ll call on Sunday on our way to golf.
Then, off to dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill ( in Naperville with Allison and Robert. Naperville Arts Fest ( is on this weekend. And, Cog Hill’s down the street where the BMW Championship is being played. AND, NASCAR is in town! Get there -- haven’t seen Al and Robert in about a year, I think. It’s hard to find the time to visit all of the family (and hard for Al to do the same -- along with there being five of them). So, it’s good to see them, even if only for dinner. Tom and Mark can’t get over how much we sound alike. Look alike. And then, gesture and say things alike. I know that we’re sisters and similar, but having two people who have known me for years (and put up with me on the golf course) it was funny. Al’s telling me about Clara scoring four goals today in soccer (she says she plays like I did), and Lily scored one goal. Can’t wait to see them in a few weeks. Maybe there will be time on Sunday. Ted’s is a good place for dinner -- I had a bison burger with blackberry jam, bacon, jalepenos and cheese with a fried egg -- the combo is great.

Say goodbye, head to bed to get up early for golf in the morning.

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