Getting To Know: Shepherd's Crook Golf Course
An Insightful Interview With Ken Whitmore, Head Golf Professional
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Ken Whitmore who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Return to the roots of golf at Shepherd's Crook, the Zion Park District owned and operated layout that offers a passage back to golf's heritage.
Opened in August, 1999 Shepherd's Crook has earned rave reviews as a course that is both challenging and exciting to play. Designed by Keith Foster, who has designed some of the most interesting courses built in the last 10 years, is a links-style course that creates a feeling of playing Ireland's Ballybunion or Waterville courses. Shepherd's Crook's design reflects the golden era of golf course architecture of the 1920's and 30's with bentgrass fairways, tees, and greens.
"Shepherd's Crook is routed with classic and strategic design principles that cut features naturally to the terrain. The vision of Shepherd's Crook returns golfers to the game's past" (Keith Foster, Architect for Shepherd's Crook Golf Course).
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Shepherd's Crook is a very distinct style course. It's plays fair to the average golfer with wide fairways. Layout is very good. It is a must play if you are in the area.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Trying to keep the ball in the middle of the fairway because high fescue surrounds a lot of the property.
Any recent changes to the golf course? Or any upcoming changes?
We hired a new ground superintendent a year ago and he's done a lot of work with the Greens to improve them. If you have not been here in awhile you will be impressed with the greens.
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
"Rated 5 Stars" (Chicagoland Golf Magazine)
"100 Best Fairways" (Golf for Women Magazine)
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Hole #9 Snake Bite.
The closing par 5 plays out of a chute of trees to the open fairway. From the landing area you've got three options: Play right of the center fairway bunker for the easier second shot, but you'll be looking at three greenside bunkers for a difficult third. Play left of the center fairway bunker for the more difficult second shot and the green opens up beautifully to receive the third. Kill it over the bunker and go for the green in two. Beware of false fronts on this green.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
Hole #18 Devil's Ditch.
The long road home is a double dogleg par 5. Get your ball between the fairway bunkers and you've got a chance to carry the ditch on your second shot. If not, play for position to the landing area short of the ditch while watching the bunkers left. Long ball hitters - kill your tee ball over the left of the two right fairway bunkers, hit the downslope and run. The perched and devilish green is now vulnerable. Beware though, two false fronts.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
The locals rave about our cheese burgers.
Back Tee Stats
Shepherd's Crook Golf Course 351 North Green Bay Road Zion, IL, 60099 (847) 872-2080
Revised: 04/26/2019 - Article Viewed 13,926 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler
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