Spotlight

Indian Boundary Golf Course

Quickie golf rounds in Chicago: Perfect courses for golfers on the go in the Windy City

You can't call yourself a golfer if you haven't tried to sneak in a round between client calls. Thing is, there are a lot of cities that are not the best choices for conducting the art of what one might call "squeeze-in" golf. However, Chicago -- one of the nation's most active business-convention towns -- might be the best place in America for both sealing the deal AND sinking a putt. Here's your one, two, three strategy for getting it done.
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Lake of the Woods Golf Course - hole 15

Where to play and what to do in Champaign-Urbana

While Champaign-Urbana has a bit of a reputation for being stuck out in the middle of farm fields, the past 10 years have brought a boom in quality restaurants brewpubs and entertainment venues. There's also a decent selection of sporty, fun, accessible and affordable golf courses in the area. So if you're heading to an Illini game or to visit your kid at the University of Illinois, Kiel Christianson has some suggestions on how to make the most of your trip.
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Prairie Landing Golf Club

Planes, trains and rolling terrains at Prairie Landing Golf Club in West Chicago

Prairie Landing Golf Club is laid out on the rolling land next to a small airport in DuPage County, 40 miles west of Chicago. Also, as you move through this layout, you can't miss the train tracks that run the perimeter of the course, reminiscent of some of the great links courses in Scotland. What the planes and trains do is add quaintness to a sprawling complex of remarkably interesting holes, tricky greens and a practice facility that is one of the best anywhere in the area.
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Illinois Golf Destinations

  • St. Louis

    Sure, St. Louis is in Missouri, but this border city is close enough to Illinois that five southern Illinois counties make up the Metro East suburbs of St. Louis. Golfers have a lot to choose from here, including Emerald Greens Golf Course, Gateway National, and Stonewolf Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus design.

    Lockhaven Country Club in Godfrey is situated on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. The golf course sprawls across wooded hills that provide a scenic and secluded environment. It has a classic design that favors strategy over strength.
    Stonewolf Golf Club is one of only four courses designed by Jack Nicklaus in Illinois and Missouri and it is also one of his only public access designs. Nicklaus created a shotmaker's layout with a variety of different holes. He also incorporated his signature style of bunkering, which you'll remember for their shape, design, and placement.
    The 18-hole Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1997. Designed by William Ebeler, Acorns Golf Links measures 6701 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 125 and a 72.3 USGA rating. The course features 5 sets of tees for different skill levels.
  • Peoria

    It speaks volumes about your city when it has become a metaphor for wholesome Americana. Just a few hours from Chicago, Peoria is full of small-town charm and Midwestern flavor packed into a suddenly bustling metropolis. Naturally, golfers have plenty of options here, including standouts Quail Meadows Golf Course and WeaverRidge G.C.

    The 18-hole Parkview Golf Course in Pekin, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1920. Designed by Fritz Woll, Parkview Golf Course measures 6002 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 102 and a 66.4 USGA rating. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Lick Creek Golf Course in Pekin, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1976. Designed by Larry Packard, Lick Creek Golf Course measures 6909 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 128 and a 72.
    The 18-hole Quail Meadows Golf Course in Washington, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1970. Quail Meadows Golf Course measures 6956 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 124 and a 72.9 USGA rating. The course features 4 sets of tees for different skill levels.
  • Southern Illinois

    Golfers itching for an early-season escape or an out-of-the-way vacation will find several other surprises in "down-state" Illinois. In addition to a 12-month golf season, the courses here have in common incredible value, and friendly Southern-style service you just won't find in and around big cities.

    Gateway National Golf Club is the top public golf course in St. Louis. The course sprawls across gently rolling pasturelands crossed with ribbons of tall native grasses and sprinkled with mature cottonwood trees. There are also several sparkling lakes that dot the course, providing challenges on several holes.
    The Orchards Golf Club in Belleville offers an 18-hole championship course designed by Belleville native and former Masters winner Bob Goalby. With four sets of tees, the course appeals to a wide range of skill levels. The golf course has an interesting and diverse mix of holes, with the seventh through the 14th being a particularly notable stretch.
    Far Oaks Golf Club in Caseyville has a unique layout with a front nine that is designed in a Scottish-links style and a back nine that plays through rolling woodlands. The links holes are framed with native prairie grasses and wildflowers while mature oak trees line the fairways on the back nine.
  • Springfield-Decatur

    Springfield, Illinois is where Abraham Lincoln made his name as a lawyer and politician, and it's where he lies at rest today. Not only does Springfield claim this most revered of native sons, it also boasts (along with nearby Decatur) a bevy of excellent public-access golf courses and lots to do off the course as well.

    The 18-hole Scovill Golf Club in Decatur, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1922. Designed by Dick Nugent, Scovill Golf Club measures 5895 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 119 and a 67.8 USGA rating. The course features 4 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Oak Terrace Golf Course in Pana, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1991. Oak Terrace Golf Course measures 6375 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 112 and a 70.1 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Red Tail Run Golf Club in Decatur, IL is a public golf course that opened in 2006. Red Tail Run Golf Club was designed by Raymond Floyd.
  • Galena

    Located on the banks of the Galena River, Galena boasts rolling hills, scenic roads, historic charm and a quaint, old-fashioned Main Street. The city also offers 10 beautiful golf courses within a 20-mile radius including the award-winning Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa and Galena Golf Club.

    Situated just outside of Galena, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa offers three 18-hole championship courses and one nine-hole course that are nestled amongst rolling, wooded hills. The General, North, and South Courses are the championship layouts while the East Course is the nine-hole course. The East is not long at 2,648 yards but don't underestimate its level of difficulty.
    The 18-hole Lake Carroll Golf Course in Lanark, IL is a semi-private golf course. Lake Carroll Golf Course measures 6418 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 126 and a 71.2 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Galena Golf Club in Galena, IL is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1925. Galena Golf Club measures 6613 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 128 and a 72.6 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
  • Bloomington-Normal

    Golfers in Bloomington-Normal are abnormally blessed with affordable, quality golf, along with a host of other entertainment options. You can't hardly swing a rusty sand wedge without hitting a great course at a great price. Standouts here include Weibring Golf Club, home of the Illinois State Redbirds; The Den at Fox Creek, probably the lowest priced Arnold Palmer design anywhere; Highland Park; Ironwood; and Prairie Vista.

    The 18-hole El Paso Golf Club in El Paso, IL is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1920. Designed by William J. Spear, El Paso Golf Club measures 6052 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 122 and a 70.
    The 18-hole Snag Creek Golf Course in Washburn, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1965. Designed by Maynard Christ, Snag Creek Golf Course measures 6300 yards from the longest tees. The course features 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Fairlakes Golf Course in Secor, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1988. Fairlakes Golf Course measures 5207 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 102 and a 66.4 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
  • Champaign-Urbana

    Champaign-Urbana or Urbana-Champaign? Locals just call it Chambana. Whatever you call it, bargain-priced yet quality golf courses abound. The University of Illinois Orange and Blue courses are home of the perennial Big 10 powerhouse men's team. Stone Creek in Urbana is the most expensive in the area, but also the best groomed. Other area standouts include Brookhill and Willow Pond in Rantoul; Lake of the Woods in Mahomet; RailSide in Gibson City; and Ironhorse in Tuscola.

    The 18-hole Harrison Park Golf Course in Danville, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1929. Harrison Park Golf Course measures 6148 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 119 and a 69.3 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 9-hole Legends of Champaign in Champaign, IL is a public golf course that opened in 2008. Legends of Champaign measures 1489 yards from the longest tees. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Turtle Run Golf Club in Danville, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1970. Designed by William J. Spear, Turtle Run Golf Club measures 6771 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 127 and a 72.
  • Chicago

    It's a special town that shares the love of Frank Sinatra, the Blues Brothers and Michael Jordan, but Chicago is just that: special. From Wrigley Field to the Lincoln Park Zoo to the Navy Pier, the Windy City offers something for the entire family. Golfers will have a blast in Chicago, with its abundance and diversity of public golf courses.

    Klein Creek Golf Club sprawls across acres of rolling prairieland in the western suburbs of Chicago. Trees frame the layout's gentle doglegs and tall prairie grasses border the fairways. It is a golf course that offers both beautiful scenery and a challenging round.
    Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont is conveniently situated just a half hour outside downtown Chicago. Pete Dye and his son P.B. collaborated to design the course, making it the only Dye design in the Chicago area. A well thought-out strategy will be greatly rewarded on this challenging layout and bad shots made without any thought will be severely punished.
    Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, Ill. is ideally situated for a scenic round of golf. The diverse landscape flows seamlessly from lush wetlands to native prairies covered with colorful wildflowers. The layout also winds across a 100-year-old sage meadow and through forests of mature hardwoods, which serve as a home to an abundance of wildlife.
  • Quad Cities

    Looking for a "sure bet" on a Midwest destination? You might want to roll the dice on The Quad Cities – Moline and Rock Island, Ill., and Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. Standout golf courses include the TPC at Deere Run, Emeis Municipal Golf Course, Byron Hills, Highland Park C.C., and Glynn's Creek.

    The 18-hole Indian Bluff Golf Course in Milan, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1920. Indian Bluff Golf Course measures 5700 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 111 and a 66.7 USGA rating. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    Fyre Lake Golf Club boasts the only Nicklaus Design golf course in the Quad Cities. Water, grass, and sand were seamlessly combined to create a diverse and challenging course. The layout features winding fairways that snake their way through mature hardwoods and the lush emerald greens contrast beautifully with the lakefront setting.
    The 18-hole Golfmohr Golf Course in East Moline, IL is a public golf course that opened in 1965. Designed by Ted Locke, Golfmohr Golf Course measures 6855 yards from the longest tees. The course features 5 sets of tees for different skill levels.