Illinois has a wealth of great public golf courses. Take a golfing vacation and discover the best places to golf in Illinois.
Harborside International’s quirky city golf courses were designed by Dick Nugent to bring the great Scottish tradition of seaside links golf to Chicago. Sure, our sea is a great lake, but this fascinating course, built on a former landfill and scoured by the winds from Lake Michigan, is often compared to the iconic public golf courses of Scotland. Minutes from Chicago’s Loop, Harborside offers two courses, Port and Starboard, a driving range and practice facility.
Cog Hill Golf and Country Club sits southwest of Chicago in the Des Plaines River Valley. There are four courses at Cog Hill, but the reason you’re going is to play the infamous No. 4 course nicknamed Dubsdread, so called because rookie golfers (dubs) dread playing this difficult course.
Golf course architect Joe Jemsek was called the patriarch of public golf. His vision was to create a private-club experience for public golfers. He succeeded with this course, opened in 1964, and recently renovated by Rees Jones. Heavily bunkered undulating greens test the skills of the wiliest player. Come and test your game on this great American public golf course.
The 18-hole golf course at the Glen Club in Glenview is designed by Tom Fazio. An old naval air base has been beautifully transformed into an exciting golf course with rolling berms and picturesque vistas of prairie grass, lakes and streams. The course features dramatic elevation changes up to 40-feet, astonishing when you remember that the original site was crisscrossed with runways and flat as a pancake.
Stonewall Orchard Golf Club in Grayslake is designed by acclaimed golf course architect Arthur Hills. It’s a beautiful course, with rolling hills, abundant mature trees, wetlands and wildlife, including some assertive sand cranes! A public course with a relaxed country club feel, golfers rate Stonewall Orchard one of the top golf courses in the Chicago area.
The course offers a challenge to golfers of all skill levels, including forced carries, water hazards and bunkers. Reviews rate it as one of the more testing course layouts in Illinois. The view from the veranda with a drink in hand after a round is magnificent.
Set amid the rolling hills of northwestern Illinois, Eagle Ridge has four golf courses. Their jewel is the multi award-winning General, an 18-hole, par 72 course with over 250 feet of elevation changes throughout.
Eagle Ridge offers a wide range of places to stay, three restaurants, a spa and fitness center with indoor/outdoor pool, sauna and steam room. If you fancy a break from golfing, you’re perfectly situated to enjoy outdoor activities including, miles of biking, hiking and horseback riding trails, as well as tennis, hot air balloon rides, boating and fishing on Lake Galena.
The Links set the standard in southern Illinois for a great golf experience with family-friendly green fees. Designed by internationally-renowned golf course architect Steve Smyers, Kokopelli has been recognized by Golf Week Magazine as a top course in Illinois. The Links is the perfect walking course—just make sure you don’t have to stroll through too many of the bunkers that guard the fairways and greens.
Overlooking 18,000-acre Rend Lake, this 27-hole course is part of a recreation complex that includes dining and lodging options. Five sets of tees make this course extremely playable for all levels.