Expat’s Guide to the Best Golf Courses in Chicagoland
If you’re new to the Chicago area and looking for a fun, safe, and socially distanced outdoor activity, why not consider golf? Chicago features an excellent range of courses to suit every player. Author Jordan Fulller recommends these courses to spend a couple of hours at and to get some exercise.
By Jordan Fuller
New to Chicago? Welcome! If you’re looking for exciting, outdoor things to do, why not consider spending some time on one of our many spectacular golf courses?
It’s the perfect way to get your fill of nature while remaining socially distanced. Here are the top public golf courses you should definitely spend a few hours at.
Famous for Hall of Fame: The Glen Club
This luxury public golf course isn’t just famous for the sport. It’s also home to the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. If you’re a golf fan who’s living in the Illinois area, it’s well worth playing a round or two at.
The 195-acre Tom Fazio-designed course is an exciting course. Players will have to contend with a variety of water hazards, with water coming into play on half of the holes. Strategically-placed bunkers and native grass roughs make every hole interesting.
The signature 4th hole is always a challenge due to unpredictable winds and an elevation change from the tee to the hole.
Links-Style Golfing Paradise: Mistwood Golf Club
Mistwood Golf Club was renovated in 2011 to 2013, and stands as one of the best links-style courses around. Scottish-style sod wall bunkers are strategically placed throughout the course, and 6 of the 18 holes come right up to the water’s edge.
Players of all levels will be challenged by the 8th hole, aptly named “Royal Split”. Drive down the right hand side of the fairway for a chance to hit the green in 2 shots. But Loch St. James runs right along the fairway, making it a high-risk shot. Or, play it safe to the left.
27 Holes of Perfect Golf: Cantigny Golf Club
Golfers will love the choice this course offers. With 27 holes split into three nines, you can decide exactly what kind of game you wish to play on the day. You can choose to play the Woodside and Hillside courses, or Hillside and Lakeside.
Whichever course you choose, it will take you on a journey through botanical gardens, part national park, and undulating greens.
The signature hole, number 9 on the Lakeside course, is probably one of the most challenging. The 410-yard par-4 will require a golfer to play strategically and accurately. It features a sloping front-to-back green which is almost completely surrounded by water.
VIP Golfing Experience: Ruffled Feathers Golf Course
This golf course is open to the public, but golfers can expect a private golfing experience. The course is a challenge from hole number 1. Golfers will need to put thought into their shots, as they’ll have to deal with blind fairways, 100-yard carries over water, and tricky doglegs.
The 155-yard, par-3 11th hols is their signature hole. It features a 100-yard carry to the green, with little margin for error as it’s surrounded by water.
Even though this course is challenging, multiple tees on each hole give every player a fair chance, regardless of skill level.
The People’s Choice: Cog Hills
Golfers will fall in love with this club, as the four full 18-hole courses offer something for every skill level.
If you’re looking to play a challenging and exciting 18 holes, choose the Dubsdread course. It’s hosted numerous PGA and USGA tournaments and will test even the most confident golfer’s game.
The Ravines course is unique and will require accuracy and concentration to avoid falling prey to the canyons that hide on almost half of the holes. It also features a 19th hole, a short but tricky par-3, to finish off in style.
Courses number 1 and 3 cater to every golfer, from amateur to pro.
A Luxury, Private Experience: Bunker Hill Farms
Playing a round of golf at Bunker Hill Farms is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It would be perfect for a golfing vacation, as only guests are allowed to play the 18-hole, par-72 course.
This bucket-list golf course is by invitation only. The Domek family, owners of the course, do a lot of charity work and offer a high-calibre golfing experience by auction to raise funds for charity.
You get to set the pace of play and get waited on hand and foot by professional caddies. The course sees fewer than 250 rounds played on it each year, which means it’s always in pristine condition.
If playing this spectacular course is something you’d be interested in, keep an eye on auction sites as experiences come up periodically.
(Author Jordan Fuller is the main editor at GolfInfluence.com and has been golfing since he was a child and has had the fortune to play on some of the best courses across the country and internationally. He shares golfing knowledge, tips, tricks, and equipment reviews at GolfInfluence.com. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Expat’s Guide to the Best Golf Courses in Chicagoland - October 29, 2021