13 Beautiful Golf Courses to Play in Illinois

© MabelAmber/Pixabay
© MabelAmber/Pixabay
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

Butler National Golf Club, Oak Brook


Butler National was designed by former tour player George Fazio to be a championship course, and it hosted the Western Open tournament from its opening in 1974 until 1990. It has been ranked as high as 21st in the country.

Butler National Golf Club, 2616 York Rd., Oak Brook, IL., U.S.A., +1 630 990 3333

The Glen Club, Glenview


Designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio, golfing at The Glen Club is a picturesque and spectacular experience. Across 75 acres of prairie grass, its 18 holes offer dramatic elevation changes, tricky terrain, and flowing streams and lakes to avoid.

The Glen Club, 2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL., U.S.A., +1 847 724 7272

A beautiful start to the holiday weekend #golfisgreat

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Course Three at Medinah Country Club, Medinah


Northwest of Chicago, Medinah Country Club proudly says of its Course Three that, “even the best players in the world find this course demanding.” It has hosted three Western Opens, three U.S. Opens, two P.G.A. Championships and the 2012 Ryder Cup.

Course Three at Medinah Country Club, 6N001 Medinah Rd., Medinah, IL., U.S.A., +1 630 773 1700

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

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

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North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club, Olympia Fields


The famed North Course at Olympia Fields has hosted many top level tournaments, including the 1961 P.G.A. Championship and the 2003 U.S. Open, and will host the 2017 K.P.M.G. Women’s P.G.A. Championship. It’s a famously demanding and challenging course, with bunkers, water hazards, or trees to watch out for.

North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club, 2800 Country Club Dr., Olympia Fields, IL., U.S.A., +1 708 748 0495

Thunderhawk Golf Club, Beach Park

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Public 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.
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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