Golf Hole of the Week: No. 3 at Pottawatomie Golf Course

The third hole is the drawing card for many visiting golfers playing for the first time at St. Charles Park District’s Pottawatomie Golf Course, a challenging nine-hole layout along the banks of the Fox River just a couple blocks north of downtown.

That’s because the 345-yard par 4 hole features the first island green designed by pioneer golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. He designed the course in 1939 and later became known for the feature.

While many courses often utilize island greens that are par 3s, the fact that the shot to the green comes on the second shot makes No. 3 at Pottawatomie unique, said head pro Ron Skubisz.

“The same group will actually have four different shots to the green,” he said.

“The tee shot is more important on this hole than people think. It only calls for a drive between 180 and 200 yards, but the distance for your second shot over the Fox River depends on how far left or right your tee shot went.

“The distance over the water to the island green is only 85 yards, but what makes this shot so tough is that it is all carry to the green and the further right you go off the tee, the longer carry you will have.

“Hitting the green on this hole is an accomplishment. If you make par, congratulations.”

The course was the final phase of Pottawatomie Park’s Works Project Administration (WPA) development project.

Updates that included installation of an irrigation system (1976), reconstruction of the greens (1987) and course improvements (2000-06) have maintained the integrity of Jones’ layout while keeping the facility up-to-date.

Initially, rounds were 25 cents and 15 cents more on Sundays. They’re still a bargain and the course traditionally has 40,000 rounds of play each year.

Rick Armstrong

Pottawatomie Golf Course

Where: 845 N. 2nd Ave., St. Charles

To reserve tee time: 630-584-8356

Website: www.pottawatomiegc.com

Head professional: Ron Skubisz

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