The Glen Club: Chicago's Nationally Ranked Resort

By Chris Saunders, Contributor

GLENVIEW, IL - You'll have a hard time believing that you're in the suburbs of Chicago when you unload your bags to play this nationally recognized resort. The Glen Club was recently ranked No. 61 in Golf Magazine's "Top Courses You Can Play" and the course is no stranger to high accolades.

Just a little over a year old, The Glen Club was named amongst the top ten "New You Can Play for 2001" by Golf Magazine. Not too shabby for a course that is situated on the former grounds of the Glenview Naval Air Base, and carved between two airport runways that saw less traffic than the cart paths that run through the new development.

The naval base was shut down in 1993 by the orders of then President Bill Clinton, and the abandoned land was sold to the highest bidders. Kemper Sports Management purchased 195-acres of the over 1,000 acres that was auctioned off when the base shut the doors. Kemper turned to famed golf architect Tom Fazio to help design the course.

A reported $27 million was put into this massive project that features an 18-hole, 7,149 yard challenging par 72 golf course and a 48,000 square foot state-of-the-art clubhouse that greets you when you arrive on the grounds. The upscale clubhouse cost a whopping $10 million to construct, and offers golfers and corporate clients luxurious guest accommodations and plush banquet facilities that rival private facilities. The 3,300 square-foot ballroom is the main attraction. The venue features 23-foot ceilings, elegant chandeliers and seating for over 200.

Director of Corporate Sales, Will Kernahan, feels that the club offers golfers much more than an outstanding golf facility.

"The course is in a great location. It is easy to access from the city. You can get the whole package here. Food, quality clubhouse, guest accommodations and a caliber of golf that is unmatched in this area."

It is hard to argue with the amenities, but they do come with a hefty price tag. You can expect to pay $110 for 18 holes Monday through Thursday, and $135 per round on the weekends. The price does not include a cart, which is an additional $15. While you're shelling out the big bucks, you can spend another $35 to add a caddie to your foursome. However, the resort does encourage local golfers to take advantage of the facility and offers a 25% discount on green fees for Glenview residents.

If you're looking for a bargain, you might be better off with a package deal. Golf packages are priced from $250 per person per night and include a clubhouse room in the resort's hotel, continental breakfast, round of golf, unlimited use of the driving range and short game area.

After you've spent some time relaxing in the overwhelming clubhouse, you'll be ready to see what awaits you on the course. You won't be disappointed when you arrive at the first tee. Native grasslands, that you'll want to do whatever it takes to avoid, surround this breathtaking 559-yard par 5 hole. You shouldn't have any problem dropping your first shot in the large fairway. You'll have to take the large bunker on the right side into consideration on your second shot. From there you're off to the green that is surrounding by modest evergreens.

The 408-yard hole No. 2 won't give you too many problems if you employ a well-placed drive that stays right, away from the left bunker. Enjoy the view from the cart as you arrive at the 469-yard par 4 third. Nestled in the valley, this hole features an elevated green and plenty of large pines that can cause challenging shots.

Hole No. 4 gives you an opportunity to pick up a stroke, and enjoy the breathtaking view, on this reasonable 156-yard par 3. This hole is just a warm up for the remaining par 3's that are considered some of the most difficult holes on the course.

"All of the par 3's are spectacular," says Corporate Sales Director Will Kernahan. "We get the most comments from guests on our par 3's."

Your first major challenge of the round will come at the par 4 No. 8. The elevated tee will give you a fantastic view of the entire course. The dogleg left won't let you get away with a wayward drive. If you're on the money off the tee-your work is far from over. Four bunkers await you between the landing area and the green.

"I believe No. 8 is our signature hole," says Kernahan. "It is a short downhill par 4 with a narrow fairway, a stream along the left side and a severe green. The tee box is visually stimulating, there is nothing as beautiful in the Chicago area."

You'll close out the front nine with a long 217-yard par 3. The green is surrounded by trees, and prepares you for the two remaining par 3s at No. 11 and No. 17 that play 218-yards and 204-yards respectively.

"The 11th hole is also a par 3 that plays between 180-190 yards," says Kernahan. "With the wind blowing and water, the hole can be quite challenging."

When you arrive at the tee on No. 13, you'll need to start taking the water into consideration. Four of the last six holes are wet, and errant shots can cost you valuable strokes. The 369-yard dogleg right gives you a large landing area if you stay to the left, with bunkers and trees lining the right side.

You'll close out your golfing experience in dramatic fashion on No. 18. The hole plays longer than any hole on the course at 589-yards. The elevated tee will give you a good look at the pond that you'll need to carry if you want to score well on this hole. You can birdie this hole if you stay out of the bunkers and don't get too greedy. According to Will Kernahan, the 18th will leave a lasting impression.

"No. 18 is phenomenal. The hole is also very challenging, but it is the best finishing hole in Chicago."

The Essentials

The Glen Club
2901 West Lake Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025
Phone: (847) 724-7272


The course is four miles off of I-94 North on Lake Avenue (west). It is also accessible from Waukegan Road.

Chris Saunders, Contributor

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