Lincolnshire Marriott Resort Golf Club: A Great Place to Play and Stay in Chicago

By Brendan O'Brien, Contributor

Lincolnshire IL - Marriott's Lincolnshire Resort Golf Club offers everything business travelers would need in a golf facility. Located in the village of Lincolnshire, about 45 minutes north of downtown Chicago, it is a fine place to host outings, treat clients or just play a round or two with friends.

The golf course sits next to the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, a 390-room hotel and meeting center. Along with the course, the hotel offers many great amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, racquet and tennis courts and a fully equipped health club. Dining options at the resort are abundant, with the King's Wharf offering a great Sunday brunch, to the Tack room that serves sandwiches and evening appetizers.

Marriott also has the facilities to host large business meetings and banquets. The grounds include more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space, four tents, two ballrooms and 21 conference rooms.

And of course Marriott Lincolnshire also has golf. The course, opened in 1975, sits next to the Des Plaines River. The water, along with a dense wooded area, makes for natural hazards and scenic views. George Fazio, along with Ken Killian and Dick Nugent, designed a fun yet challenging course that any level of golfer could enjoy. The length of the course is dependent on the tee box the player chooses. The tips play close to 6,400 yards while the middle tees play close to 6,000 yards. The neatest feature of the course is that the bridges are made out of old boxcars.

"One of the unique features on the course are the boxcars." Said Mark Ophoven, Director of Golf at Marriott. "I am exploring the possibility of restoring them and making them an integral part of the atmosphere."

The course begins with five, straight par-4s ranging between 310 and 370 yards. On paper, these holes look easy, but the game is not played on paper. Most players will try to get as close to the green as possible off the tee but the experienced player will take a much more conservative route to the goal. Most of the trouble on these holes comes into play at about 280 yards, so the best play is long to mid range irons from the tee box. Water is seen on four of the first five holes but does not come into play if played wisely.

"On the front nine, a decent player is hitting driver or 3-wood, wedge on virtually every hole," said Ophoven.

The greens on these holes are large and inviting but tend to be hard. So the key to these greens and most on the course is to take a lofted club and hit to the front of the putting surface. Anything hit hard into the green will slide off, leaving many tough downhill chips to save par. Most golfers will smile through the first hour of the round and be ready to take on the rest of the course.

The sixth and seventh holes are great previews to the much tougher back nine. Six is a short iron par-3 with water way to the right. The wind is the key element on this 117-yard hole. If it is gusting, it becomes a monster. The green is deep and inviting with a bunker cut in the left front. If the pin is stuck behind the trap and the wind blowing, then middle of the green is the smart move for the par.

The seventh hole is one of the most intimidating on the course with a large pond down the right side and in front of the tee box. But like its predecessors, the short 481-yard par-5 asks players to hit a long iron off the tee. Any tee shot between the two fairway bunkers makes for an easy second shot, while long hitters off the tee and in the middle of the fairway will be able to get home in two. The bunkers that flank the large green are the only obstacle that will need to be addressed when navigating the approach shot. For most golfers this is a definite birdie chance.

The back nine is a much different golfer course. "They are completely different," says Ophoven, "It is night and day in my opinion."

Three of the first four holes are par-4s averaging 415 yards. These holes are all driver, midiron with water coming into play on two of the three.

"The 13th is the hardest hole on the course," says Ophoven. "I can't ever hit it far enough right (on the dogleg right). It is the climax hole of the course, but 10 and 11 are also tough."

The 12th-hole is the odd man out. This 175-yard hole is the longest par-3 on the course. Water is viewable on the tee box to the right but does not come into play with anything relatively straight. A small green side bunker catches plenty of its shares of wayward tee shots.

It is tough for players to over-club themselves so the best advance is to take a extra iron and swing easy to the center of the huge green.

The last hole on the course might be the toughest for all levels of golfers. A long par-4, 441-yards, has water on both sides of the fairway, which comes into play at 230 yards off the tee. So you should either hit an iron off the tee and leave yourself a monster of a second shot or hit a straight driver or get wet.

If the plan is to be short off the tee, the best place to be is left of the two fairway bunkers on the right side. This will leave golfers with 220 yards to the green. The putting surface is guarded well with a small bunker on the left side. If a birdie is needed on this hole, the approach needs to be real close as the green slopes alot.

What separates the Marriott's Lincolnshire Resort from the rest of the fine places to play in the area is the fact that traveling golfers have a quick walk back and forth from their hotel room and the golf course.

With very few, if any, golf courses in the area associated with hotels, along with the tremendous service and grounds, this should be on the top of your list of places to play and stay in Chicago.

Lincolnshire Marriott Resort Golf Club
10 Marriott Drive
Lincolnshire Il, 60069
Phone: (847)634-5935

Brendan O'Brien, Contributor

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