World-class golf courses such as Augusta National, Pine Valley, Shinnecock Hills G.C., Pebble Beach and Cypress Point Club are worth the trip, just to experience them. Yet many Chicagoland courses are considered to be some of the best in the United States. Premiere resorts such as Cog Hill, The Glen Club and Harborside offer an oasis of beauty, luscious greens and rolling terrain. Our comprehensive list features the elite courses in Illinois that have distinguished themselves as top courses for leading golfers across the country.
Butler National Golf Club - 2616 York Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523, (630) 990-3333
Located 10 miles west of Chicago, Butler National Golf Club is a private club exclusively for members and their guests. Designed by George and Tom Fazio, this 18-hole golf club measures 7,335 yards from the longest tees and features three sets of tees for diverse skill levels. Butler National has been noted as one of the most difficult tracks in the United States.
Cog Hill Golf and Country Club - 12294 Archer Avenue, Lemont, Illinois 60639, (630) 257 – 5872
Home of the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, Cog Hill Golf and Country Club is ranked highly by Golf Week (rated #1 in Illinois courses), Golf Digest (4-stars) and Golf Magazine (ranked among the top 100 courses in the United States). While there are 4 courses at Cog Hill, #4 – “Dubsdread” is world-renowned. Tiger Woods won the 2007 BMW Championship on Course No. 4, where he surpassed the scoring record, clearing his 60th PGA Tour victory. Located 30 miles southwest of Chicago, Cog Hill is a public golfing venue. It is encouraged to contact the club in advance before showing up to play.
The Glen Club - 2901 West Lake Avenue, Glenview, IL 60026, (847) 724-7272
Previously a Naval Air Base, the land was transformed into an 18-hole course designed by Tom Fazio, which tests the skill of every golfer. The 18th hole features strategically placed bunkers and 2 water features, which creates quite a lasting impression of The Glen Club.
Harborside International Golf Center -11001 South Doty Avenue East, Chicago, IL 60628, (312) 782-7837
Situated 20 miles south of downtown Chicago lies Harborside International Golf Center, a public golfing venue with two extraordinary courses designed by Dick Nugent. Golfers who play at Harborside revel in championship Scottish link style traditional golf. Both, Port & Starboard courses at Harborside were rated #11 and #13 in Golf Week’s 2011 “Best Courses you can play per state”. Harborside International Golf Center offers spectacular views of Chicago’s skyline, the finest amenities available, first-class country club style service along with chiseled fairways and elevated greens.
Kemper Lakes – 24000 N. Old McHenry Road, Kildeer, IL 60047, (847) 320-3450
The 18-hole, par 72, 7,217-yard course offers private club members the chance to play in the shadows of some of the world’s greatest golfers- Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin and Payne Stewart.
Medinah Country Club - Medinah Road, Medinah, IL 60157, (630) 773-1700
Host of the 2012 Ryder Cup, Medinah is a members-only private club. Located just four miles northeast of Bloomingdale, Medinah Country Club boasts 54 holes and three courses. Course #1, designed by Tom Bendelow, is rated “15th best in Illinois”, according to their homepage. Golfers who play on course #2 will enjoy a leisurely, pleasurable round. Course #3 was designed by Tom Bendelow and updated by Rees Jones in 2003.
North Shore Country Club – 1340 Glenview Road, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1200
The original golf course, designed by C.H. Alison, was recently redesigned with functional and infrastructure improvements and the national, award-winning project preserved its historical features. If you are ready for a challenge, North Shore Country Club is identified as one of the Midwest’s outstanding tests of golf skill.
Olympia Fields – 2800 Country Club Drive, Olympia Fields, IL 60461
Located 28 miles south of Chicago, the private golf club for members and their guests is rich in golf history and tradition. Olympia Fields hosted the U.S. Open in 2003 and is proud to host the 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, as well as the 2015 United States Amateur Championship. Olympia Fields features two 18-hole courses. The North Course is a hidden gem in the United States and has ranked consistently in “America’s top 50 courses” by Golf Week and Golf Digest.
Rich Harvest Farms – 7 South 771 Dugan Road, Sugar Grove, IL 60554
Named in “The Rolex World’s Top 1,000 Golf Courses” and #58 in “2011/2012 America’s Top 100″ by Golf Digest, Rich Harvest Farms was first designed as a six-hole golf course that could be played as 18 holes. The original six holes were designed by Jerry Rich, who modeled it after Augusta National Golf Course. Architect Greg Martin was then brought in to build a proper course. The now exceptional nine-out, nine-back course formation is a par 72 design with hills, lakes, lagoons and a creek. The topography around Rich Harvest Farms provides a world-class experience to all of their private members.
Shoreacres Country Club – 1601 Shoreacres Road, Lake Bluff, IL, 60044, (847) 234-1470
Shoreacres Country Club is a private country club located 25 miles north of Chicago. The secret for success on this course is accuracy. The heavily-bunkered, challenging course includes narrow tree-lined fairways, ravines and creeks for a truly unique golf experience.
Skokie Country Club – 500 Washington Avenue, Glencoe, IL, 60022, (847) 835-5835
Situated 10 miles north of downtown Chicago, Skokie Country Club features 6,913 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The 11th hole bends twice (first in one direction, then another), which is also known as a double dogleg, and the par-5 hole is the most remarkable on the course. The private, member exclusive club sits on along a brook, with a heavily bunkered fairway.
ThunderHawk Golf Club – 39700 N Lewis Avenue, Beach Park, IL 60099, (847) 968-4295
Located one hour from downtown Chicago, the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course is situated on 228 acres of forest, marsh and prairie. ZAGAT calls Thunderhawk one of “America’s Top Golf Courses” and Golf Week named ThunderHawk along the “10 best municipal courses in the United States” in 2009. ThunderHawk Golf Club is Illinois’s first public course to achieve the Audubon Signature Certification.
Jamie Glickstein is an Integrated Marketing Associate with Otherwise Incorporated.