With its abundance of farmland, forests, rolling hills and wetlands, Illinois makes for a wonderful golfing backdrop, with the state home to a wide number of enticing courses.
Bordering Indiana in the east and the Mississippi River in the west, the so-called “Prairie State” of Illinois is blessed with eye-catching scenery. For golfing fans, Illinois offers that captivating mix of courses that are both highly playable and easy on the eye. Here are 10 of the most charming golf courses you’ll find across the state.
Cog Hill Golf & Country Club
Located some 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club is home to four courses, with the most popular being the world-renowned No.4 course known as ‘Dubsdread’. A natural-style championship course, its tight landing areas suits players with a tidy and accurate driving game, while its large, undulating and heavily bunkered greens add to the challenge by putting pressure on your approach play. The year-round facility also features a driving range, a learning centre, two golf shops, and a restaurant with patio seating.
Archer Avenue, Palos Park
Mistwood Golf Club
Mistwood Golf Club is one of the most-talked-about Chicago area golf destinations just a short drive from both of the city’s major airports. It features 18 pristine holes, each designed by award-winning architect Raymond Hearn, along with a 5,000-square-foot state-of-the-art golf and training facility equipped with Toptracer Range, the Scottish-inspired McWethy’s Tavern and Great Hall banquet facility, all combining to truly make Mistwood one of the best golf courses anywhere in Illinois.
West Renwick Road, Romeoville
Chicago Golf Club
Founded way back in 1892, the members-only Chicago Golf Club was the first 18-hole course in America, designed by the grandfather of American golf course architecture, Charles Blair Macdonald. Today it is one of the country’s most exclusive golf clubs, with a rich history, a spectacular layout and views, and one of the best opening holes in Illinois. Other highlights include the 12th hole, a 465 yard uphill straightaway hole with strategically placed fairway bunkers and stunning vistas off the tee. Amenities include a locker room adorned with golf memorabilia from the club’s history and a grill restaurant.
Warrenville Road, Wheaton
The Glen Club
Located at the former site of the Glenview Naval Air Station, The Glen Club sits at the heart of a 195-acre refuge that features rolling terrain, dramatic elevation changes, tranquil lakes, meandering streams and stunning vistas, including the Chicago skyline in the distance. From the classic perched greens undercut by bunkers to the awesome peninsula greens menaced by water, the course will test any golfer’s mettle, while the finishing 18th hole, complete with two water features, is one of the most picturesque in the country. A majestic 48,000 square foot clubhouse features superb dining, and there’s also luxurious accommodation, a grand ballroom and corporate amenities.
West Lake Avenue, Glenview
Canyata Golf Club
Perched just outside the quintessential American farm town of Marshall, Ill., Canyata Golf Club features a 7,200-yard course moulded from the rugged and rolling farmland of east central Illinois. Boasting wide bent grass fairways and large bent grass greens, all set against a backdrop of picturesque lakes, rocky ravines and soaring woods, the course combines challenging playing conditions with splendid scenery. There’s also a clubhouse with locker rooms and a pro shop, as well as a driving and practice range.
East 2150 Road, Marshall
Positioned in Lake Bluff on Chicago’s north shore, Shoreacre’s unique and challenging course has several eye-catching ravines and creeks. Designed by Seth Raynor, narrow tree lined fairways and large, fast greens make accuracy more important than length, while the acclaimed stretch from the 10th to the 15th hole is regarded as one of the finest you’ll find anywhere. On-site amenities include a clubhouse with a pro shop, restaurant and bar, plus a practice and driving range.
601 Shore Acres Road, Lake Bluff
Orchard Valley Golf Course
Situated in the city of Aurora west of Chicago, Orchard Valley Golf Course is home to a an acclaimed 18-hole championship course. Featuring four sets of tees and well-groomed fairways, the beautiful course offers terrific views and a challenge to all skill levels. The club also has a fully functional restaurant serving up classic American BBQ, along with cocktails, beers, wine, and small-batch spirits. The clubhouse has a pro shop and a restaurant and bar, and there’s also a driving range and putting green.
West Illinois Avenue, Aurora
WeaverRidge Golf Club
Nestled in the city of Peoria in central Illinois, WeaverRidge Golf Club offers a superb course that was the brainchild of famed golf architect partners Hurdzan-Fry. Set within rolling hills and forested valleys, and surrounded by the beautiful homes of WeaverRidge Estates, its generous fairways, dramatic elevations and expansive greens deliver a well-rounded playing experience. A choice of five sets of tees allows golfers of all skill levels to pick their own challenge. The club also has exceptional practice facilities, as well as a clubhouse complete with upscale restaurant and well stocked pro shop.
North Weaverridge Boulevard, Peoria
Thunderhawk Golf Club
Opened in 1999, Thunderhawk Golf Club is one of Illinois’ newest golf destinations and has quickly become recognised as one of the finest public golf courses anywhere in the Midwest region. Nestled on 241 acres of beautiful forest, marsh, and prairie, if offers scenic vistas and some of the most generous fairways you will find anywhere, with each hole was carefully designed to offer a unique challenge but with excellent playability. Players can also loosen up at the 10-acre learning centre, with its 40-station driving range, chipping and putting greens, and practice bunkers.
Lewis Avenue, Beach Park
Stone Creek at Stone Creek
Set within a resort community with lodgings and a restaurant, and directly next to Shawnee National Forest, Keller’s Crossing is home to a championship course that offers challenging play and swash-buckling views of its natural surroundings. With its rolling hills and vistas over the Giant City ravine, the course features four sets of tees to cater for different skill levels As well as its dining and accommodation offerings, the venue also has a pro shop. Stay and play packages are available, and golfers under 17 go free.
Stone Creek Drive, Makanda