The Glen Club heads top 10 places to play in Chicago

By GolfPublisher Staff, Staff Report

The Second City is full of more superb golf courses than Moe Norman has balls in his shag bag. There are more than 200 public layouts in the Chicagoland area, but we made the task of choosing your next Windy City tee time a little easier by narrowing the list down to the top 10.

And because some of you will be making your way to Chicago this coming summer to get a glimpse of the world's best at the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields, we thought you might want to know the best places to put a peg in the ground when all that spectating gets your playing juices flowing.

Let's get right to it. Here are "Chicago's Top 10 Golf Courses for 2002" ranked in order and based on conditions, design, cost, and playability.

The Glen Club - Glenview, Ill.; Kemper Lakes Golf Course - Long Grove, Ill.; Dubsdread at Cog Hill - Lemont, Ill.; Cantigny Golf and Tennis - Wheaton, Ill.; Harborside International - Chicago; Pine Meadows Golf Club - Mundelein, Ill.; Heritage Bluffs Golf Course - Channahon, Ill.; Prairie Landing Golf Club - West Chicago, Ill.; Orchard Valley Golf Course - Aurora, Ill.; Ruffled Feathers Golf Club - Lemont, Ill.

The Glen Club: This is Tom Fazio's masterpiece in transformation. The Glen Club sits on the site of the former Glenview Naval Air Station where Fazio magically moved tons of dirt turning a flat, uninspiring piece of land into acres of rolling hills, lakes, and creeks. The Glen Club is now the new home of the Illinois Open and will host the Nationwide Tour's LaSalle Bank Chicago Open in 2003. Cost - $110-$135. Phone: (847) 724-7272

Kemper Lakes: This is a true test, but it's also quite fair. Water? You bet. But the layout also includes tree-lined fairways, rolling hills and quick greens. Plus, the finish is magnificent. The par-3 17th over water and the almost island fairway on the par-4 18th are the best challenges on the golf course. Cost - $135. Phone: (847) 320-3450

Dubsdread: The big boys from the PGA Tour play Dubsdread every year in the Western Open and every year they praise the golf course. It sits in the hilly, southwestern Chicago suburb of Lemont at the Cog Hill Country Club along with three other courses at the facility. Dubsdread is the best and most challenging. Bunkers galore and not a home or roadway in sight. Cost - $125-$135. Phone: (630) 257-5872

Cantigny Golf and Tennis: This may be the prettiest golf course in Chicago. It sits in the middle of the unspoiled estate of the former publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Colonel Robert R. McCormick. There are three nine-hole courses at the facility making for a number of 18-hole combinations and for one of the best "walks in the park" any golfer could experience. Cost - $80-$95. Phone: (630) 668-3323

Harborside International: This place used to be a dump - literally. The 500 acres along Lake Calumet on Chicago's industrial South Side were loaded with concrete debris, sludge and industrial trash. But architects Tim and Dick Nugent had a vision of turning the land into a marvelous golf facility complete with two 18-hole layouts, the best practice area in the city, and a scrumptious four-star restaurant. This is truly a links-style layout with only about five trees on the entire property. Cost - $70-$80. Phone: (312) 782-7837

Pine Meadow Golf Club: Towering evergreens and hardwood trees accent this north suburban design allowing the golfer to feel alone on each fairway and creating one of the most naturally pristine golf experiences in the Midwest. The golf shop and grill are nothing to write home about, but the golf course deserves volumes. Cost - $76-$92. Phone: (847) 566-4653

Heritage Bluffs: This may be the Chicago area's best municipal golf course. Heritage Bluffs starts out as a mounded, links-style design, but quickly moves into heavily wooded terrain - dramatic land with rocky ridges, elevation changes and pine forests. The coolest hole is the finish. The 18th starts from a tucked-away tee box above a pond that sends you into a narrow fairway surrounded by natural rock formations leading to a green protected by steep, rugged hills. And all this for a reasonable price. Cost - $32-$44. Phone: (815) 467-7888

Prairie Landing Golf Club: This Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design is one of the best risk-reward layouts in the Chicago area. Jones sculpted the terrain to produce challenge and beauty in a mixture of prairie links and parkland style architecture. The fairways and greens are always in super shape at Prairie Landing and the practice facility is magnificent. It includes a bent grass range, short game area with target greens, and three regulation practice holes. Cost - $68-$90. Phone: (630) 208-7600

Orchard Valley Golf Club: The price at Orchard Valley used to be outrageously low. Then the word caught on how good a golf course it is, and the prices went up. But still it's a decent value for a very playable golf course. Orchard Valley also has one of the best pro shops in the business. If they don't have it, you can't get it. Cost - $48-$55. Phone: (630) 907-0500

Ruffled Feathers Golf Club: When Ruffled first opened in 1992, critics loved the design, but thought it was just too hard. Since then the superintendents have soften the rough, cut some of the more penal prairie grass and made the place a lot more playable. The most memorable hole is the 11th - the island green par-3. You knew there had to be one since the course is a collaboration of Pete Dye and his son P.B. Dye. Cost - $89-$125. Phone: (630) 257-1000

Golf Courses & Features

Playing nine doesn't have to mean wimping out on real golf
Golf just west of Chicago shouldn't just be ignored
Favorite Chicago-area golf courses are flourishing after renovations
Ironhorse Golf Club in Tuscola is East- central Illinois' ‘new' upscale public course
Stone Creek in a class by itself in Champaign-Urbana
Champaign-Urbana: More than meets the eye
The early bird's best bets for early-season golf in Chicago
More than just hoops: U of Illinois scores with golf courses
SMT Golf: Swing Hard, You Might Hit Something
So you want to design your own golf course?
Chicago-area offers some great golf as autumn arrives
Ugly duckling Thunderbird Country Club turns into a swan with Makray Memorial
Need a good round? Try these Chicago-area courses to break 80
Cantigny Youth Links is not your father's golf course
Remoteness, odd layout add to mystique of The Bourne
Village Links of Glen Ellyn gets good marks from regular golfers after $5 million renovation
Hend-Co Hills Golf Club is where Open champ learned to play
Whispering ThunderHawk is music to Illinois golfers' ears
Waiting for the call
Chicago's best par-3s have it all - beware!
Woods prepares for U.S. Open, Western Open; insists he'll 'play great golf again'
Some pricey places are really a rip-off
Legendary Chicago Amateur tournament turns 100 this summer
Annika goes for three-peat in Chicago
The Glen Club heads top 10 places to play in Chicago
Big Run Golf Club
Going inside the private, male-only Black Sheep Golf Club
Carillon Golf Club
Cinder Ridge Golf Course
Harborside International Golf Center proves you can turn trash into a treasure
Mistwood Golf Course
Old Orchard Country Club: Plenty of Tests at Every Waiting Turn in Illinois
The Arboretum Club
The Glen Club: Chicago's Nationally Ranked Resort
Whisper Creek Golf Course
White Deer Run Golf Club
The Glen Club heads top 10 places to play in Chicago
Scratch that itch: Fantasy golf can be the cure for the winter golf blues
Chicago Bears QB Chris Chandler is nuts about golf
Big changes come to old Chicago favorites
Best Value Golf Courses in Illinois
FAQ for Chicago and Illinois
Fazio's ace in the hole is quite a Wise guy
On the Links with Atlanta Hawks Coach Lon Kruger
Winter Golf in Chicago Worth a Second Look
This Fearsome Foursome Will Keep You Coming Back to Illinois
Annbriar Golf Course in Waterloo: An Unforgettable Golf Story
Bolingbrook Golf Club puts this town on the map
U.S. Open puts focus on Chicago golf
He's the world's best golfer, and he's not Tiger Woods

GolfPublisher Staff, Staff Report


Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment