13 Beautiful Golf Courses to Play in Illinois

© MabelAmber/Pixabay
© MabelAmber/Pixabay
Photo of Tim Marklew
29 July 2017

On Golf Digest’s 2017 rundown of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, the state of Illinois had a very respectable seven entries, including one in the top 15, which is also believed to be America’s first 18-hole golf course. With a mix of members’ clubs and public courses, these are 13 of Illinois’ most beautiful, historic, and challenging courses.

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Lemont


Containing one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club is 30 miles southwest of Chicago and actually boasts four separate courses (course No.4 being the one to make the list). Course No.4 has long been nicknamed “Dubsdread,” derived from the idea that a “dub,” or poor golfer, should beware.

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, 12294 Archer Ave., Lemont, IL., U.S.A., +1 630 257 5872

Cog Hill Golf Club | © Dan Perry/Flickr

Cog Hill Golf Club | © Dan Perry/Flickr

Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton


Believed to be the oldest 18-hole golf course in North America, Chicago Golf Club was created by C.B. Macdonald in 1894, becoming one of the five founding clubs of the United States Golf Association. It was remodeled in 1923, but it remains a historic and timeless course. Golf Digest ranked it the 14th best in the country in 2017.

Chicago Golf Club, 25W253 Warrenville Rd., Wheaton, IL., U.S.A., +1 630 668 2000

T.P.C. Deere Run, Silvis


Alongside the Rock River on the Iowa border, the T.P.C. Deere Run course promises, “a true test of shot-making skill.” Host of the John Deere Classic, the only P.G.A. Tour event in the region, it’s a course that’s been enjoyed by, and challenged, some of golf’s greatest players. Tee times can be booked online, with discounts available for those willing to book early.

T.P.C. Deere Run, 3100 Heather Knoll, Silvis, IL., U.S.A., +1 309 796 6000

Canyata Golf Club, Marshall


Initially conceived as a three-hole golf course on a section of a family farm near the Indiana border, Canyata Golf Club has wide bent grass fairways, excellent bunkering and large undulating greens. Chances of playing the course are slim though, as membership is restricted to those invited to join by owner Gerald Forsythe.

Canyata Golf Club, 18240 E. 2150th Rd., Marshall, IL., U.S.A., +1 217 891 6028

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena


Near Galena in northwest Illinois, the Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa has four championship golf courses. The North Course was completed in 1977, followed by the South in 1984, East in 1991 and finally The General, the centerpiece course and undoubtedly one of the best public golf courses in Illinois, in 1997.

Shoreacres, Lake Bluff


Designed by legendary golf course architect Seth Raynor in 1919, Shoreacres uses the interesting topography of its lakeside location to make for an exciting round of golf. Ravines, plateaus, and creeks all become part of the challenge. Enjoy beautiful lake views from the clubhouse after.

Shoreacres, 1601 Shore Acres Rd., Lake Bluff, IL., U.S.A., +1 847 234 1470

Orchard Valley, Aurora


Consistently ranked among the best in the Chicagoland area, the 18-hole, 6,800-yard, par-72 course at Orchard Valley caters for all skill levels. They even have GolfBoards, a mix between a golf cart and skateboard, surely the coolest way to get from one hole to the next.

Orchard Valley, 2411 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora, IL., U.S.A., +1 630 907 0500

Another great look at a beautiful fall day on the course #golf #orchardvalley #fall 📷: @cintiaz

A post shared by Orchard Valley Golf Course (@orchardvalleygc) on

Thunderhawk Golf Club, Beach Park

Sports Center

In Beach Park near the Wisconsin border, the awesomely-named Thunderhawk Golf Club is a relatively new course, only opening in 1999. But it was designed by noted golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., and in its short existence it’s been praised by Golf Digest, Golfweek and Golf Magazine. It offers a good balance between playability and challenges.

WeaverRidge Golf Club, Peoria


The course at WeaverRidge Golf Club in Peoria in central Illinois was laid out by famed golf architect partners Hurdzan-Fry, offering generous fairways and large greens for a well-rounded overall experience. It has been named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Play by Golf Digest. Tee times can be arranged up to two weeks in advance.

WeaverRidge Golf Club, 5100 N. Weaverridge Blvd., Peoria, IL., U.S.A., +1 309 691 3344

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