Fyre Lake Golf Club
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Fyre Lake Golf Club
Fyre Lake Golf Club's entry sign promises that something special lies ahead. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Images
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 1
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 1
The back tees on the first hole of Fyre Lake Golf Club are actually situated at the end of one of the club's practice greens. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 3
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 3
The 424-yard third hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club plays downhill to a peninsula green that feels almost impossible to hit from back in the fairway. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 6
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 6
The sixth green at Fyre Lake Golf Club, like many of the greens here, is surrounded by mounds and bunkers. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 8
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 8
The eighth hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club is a 181-yard par 3 protected by water. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 11
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 11
The 416-yard 11th hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club requires a precise approach shot. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 13
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 13
The green of the signature 13th hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club shares the island with the back tees for the 14th hole. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 15 tee
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 15 tee
The tee shot at the 372-yard 15th hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club must be placed between water left, hills right, fairway bunkers and a borderline unfair tree just off the tee box. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 15 green
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 15 green
The approach at the 15th at Fyre Lake Golf Club must carry water and land between more water and gnarly rough. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 12
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 12
The 190-yard 12th hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club feels more like a 220-yard par 3 as you're staring at the green across a ravine from the tee box. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 18
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Fyre Lake Golf Club - hole 18
The closing hole at Fyre Lake Golf Club is a 424-yard cape hole that tempts you to try to cut off part of the lake. (Here's a tip: If the wind is into you, don't even try!) Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor

Fyre Lake Golf Club: The newest Nicklaus course in Illinois is open for business

It's been a long, strange journey, but Fyre Lake Golf Club in Sherrard, just outside the Quad Cities, is open for business.

Although ground was actually broken for the Nicklaus Design course several years ago, ownership woes and a historic national economic collapse delayed the opening until April 2013. The course even sat fallow for a few years, finished but closed to play.

The unique layout may have struggled to come to fruition, but it will not have any trouble capturing players' attention and imagination. At just 6,505 yards from the tips -- and an apparently underwhelming 5,945 yards from the regular members' tees -- length is not the primary defense. Rather, uneven lies, tucked greens guarded by the lake, deceiving yardages and ever-present prevailing winds conspire to make Fyre Lake Golf Club feel about 500 yards longer that it says on the scorecard.

Amenities are also coming online, including a large practice area, lessons and leagues. The clubhouse is still temporary, but nevertheless offers a great view of the course from its deck.

Oh, and if you have an "in" with a local homeowner, you might be able to hook one of the 50-plus-inch muskies that cruise the waters of Fyre Lake. There might even be more fish in the narrow but deep lake than there are golf balls -- for now.

Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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Fyre Lake Golf Club: The newest Nicklaus course in Illinois is open for business
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