Glencoe Golf Club: A Touch of History in Illinois

By Brendan O'Brien, Contributor

Glencoe, Ill. - Glencoe Golf Club is a traditional golf club that has not changed much since it opened in 1921. While this is good for the historian, it doesn’t necessarily work well for the player in today’s game.

The facility includes a grass driving range, which only allows the use of irons, one practice green and a putting surface. A proshop is available while lessons are provided.

The course is covered by large oaks and willow trees with long rough and wide fairways. Out-of-bounds comes into play down most fairways with water on five holes. Length is the key with most of the tee shots being wide open and the large greens. There are three tee boxes for every level of player.

Most of these traits come into play within the first three holes. The first hole on the course is long slight dogleg to the right which works uphill to a large green. A long drive down the left side will be in perfect position on this 382 yard hole.

With traps protecting both fronts of this raised green, players will be able to take an extra club and fire away at the stick. A good opening hole to get out the kinks and grab an early par from the course.

The next hole is another in which the tee shot asks players to fire away. A downhill, wide open drive that can get in trouble either on the right with out-of-bounds and large dense trees on the left.

A par-5 measuring 505, this hole is a typical driver, mid iron to the third shot. Coming into this green is much easier on the left side than right since there is a scary, large trap on the right. This green is faster than the first and can be tough if not on the correct side.

The third measures only 329 yards, it is wide open to the green with a decorative bunker on the right side which doesn’t come into play even with an average drive. The second shot is to a elevated green with water on the left. The green is slick and is split into three parts. If not on the right level it is a sure three-putt making this hole a tough par.

The next two holes are short par-4s with large greens protected by bunkers in the front. The sixth hole owns the toughest approach on the course. The hole is 350 yards in length with water on the right side about 280 from the tee.

On a good drive this pond will be in-between the golfer and the small, tight green. A bunker in the back catches all bail out shot to the left. If the pin is in front, water is less than twenty yards for the hole, making club selection of up-most importance. If players can stay dry and get on in regulation a par is easy.

The eighth hole is the most beautiful on the course. A par-4 measuring 321 yards is another wide-open tee shot. A couple of bunkers within the fairway once again do not come into play but are good to aim over.

The approach is to a raised green with a bunch of large aged willows behind it. The long small green tends not to hold hot shots which drop down in the back.

The 10th hole is another typical straight long par-4 at Glencoe Golf Club. The 11th hole is a sharp dogleg to the right. Measuring only 346 yards, most long hitters will drive through this fairway. The bend is tough to cut over with a low drive so the best option is to take out a long iron on the tee and play safe.

The green is thin and long and slopes back to the fairway. If the pin is in front, a low punch shot will run off the fairway and up to the green. With the pin in the back of this uphill sloping green it is at least an extra club.

The 15th hole is the toughest on the course. Being only 154 yards it is an easy hole on the score card but on the tee players will have a hard mid iron this slick green.

Water runs down the left side of this hole and comes into play with the pin stuck in the front left. A large bunker protects the right side, making golfers pay for bail-out shots to either side.

The 17th hole is the easiest par-5 on the course. A dogleg to the left can cut over the small trees on the bend. In the late afternoon this fairway tend to becomes fast making a long drive even longer. The next shot is a bland long iron.

The approach is to a green protected in the front by two bunkers on the right and a bunker on the left. A bunker in the back will catch any making this hole perfect for extremely long players to go for it in two. The green is flat and tends to be forgiving.

The course ends with another par-5. This feature plays right into the fact that length wins out at Glencoe Golf Club. A straight hole measuring 536 yards, it can be reached in two for large hitters off the tee.

Bunkers come into play on the second shot lay-ups at about 100 years from the green. Two large bunkers in the back of the green will catch a fairway wood that is green-side in two.

Both are great finishing holes for long hitters who need to catch up on strokes. It is ironic however that the driving range does not allow driver to be practice with. Suggested is if the driver is not working by the third hole then long irons should be taken off the tee.

The facility is located in the suburb of Glencoe, 30 minutes north of the city. It is accessible from both Green Bay Road and Highway 94.

Glencoe Golf Club
621 Westley Rd.

Brendan O'Brien, Contributor

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