The 10 golf courses that comprise Forest Preserve Golf guide players on a tee-to-green tour of the greater Chicagoland area, offering an insightful glimpse into the city’s culture and history. Burnham Woods, for example, takes its name from the legendary architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham, credited with designing the city’s structural layout and its manmade river of mustard. The Chick Evans course is named after the first player to win both the US Open and US Amateur, who would later go on to found the popular Evans Scholarship for caddies. With each course densely forested, golfers walk among the area’s natural wonders, as the Highland Woods course perches upon the highest point in Cook County and the Little Calumet River winds through the River Oaks course. With the exception of the 9-hole Billy Caldwell and Meadowlark courses, all are full-length 18-hole tracks.
Cleaved through 66 acres of emerald forest, the course at Alsip Park District's Fountain Hills Golf Club challenges players to control their shots down narrow fairways and avoid the bounty of sand traps strewn throughout. Golfers navigate the Bob Lohmann–designed course aboard carts equipped with GPS navigation systems, which help determine a lie's distance to the green or how many strokes it would take to make par into a moon crater. On the first hole, golfers must split a narrow fairway from the tee and keep their golf balls away from the out-of-bounds regions that run alongside, where errant golf balls flaunt hedonistic lifestyles with lethargic naps in the rough.
The practice center at Fountain Hills encompasses a lighted driving range with 30 hitting stations and a short-game practice area with a putting and chipping green. On the range, swingers have the option of hitting off a synthetic mat or real grass.
Course at a Glance:
Fountain Hills Golf Club's rates fluctuate throughout the day and week.
Go-karts roar across the racetrack, bumper boats collide, and the cracking sound of confined home runs rings out from batting cages. This multisensory symphony fills the landscaped grounds of Fun Time Square, where attraction after attraction beckons visitors of all ages to kiddie train rides, 18 holes of mini golf, and the blinking lights of pinball machines in the onsite arcade. More intense thrills unfold at a paintball field, where abandoned cars, inflated cover, and war-torn art teachers guard players from enemy paint.
Brunswick Zone has been a trusted name in recreational pin pulverizing for more than a century, providing good times to patrons across the country. Friends and families season afternoons with a pleasant peppering of strikes, spares, and easygoing gutter balls under classic bowling conditions, or take the next bold step in ball-hurling evolution and engage in a round of cosmic bowling, where dancing lights, thumping tunes, and black-lit gear light up the full sensorium. At XL locations, game rooms beckon with nimble joystick workouts on classic and modern arcade games.
Founded in 1901 and given a facelift by prolific course architect Donald Ross two decades later, Ravisloe Country Club's 18-hole, par 70 course cleaves through tree-lines and sandtraps for a challenging, 6,321-yard layout. Golfers should spend extra time at the driving range or golf-cart-lifting area to prepare for the round: they'll face the course's most difficult hole at the second tee box. A 535-yard par-five, number two threads a narrow fairway through mounded rough, fairway bunkers, and trees. The same hazards pop up again throughout the layout, which also features water hazards on three holes.
The ancient course is not the only feature that speaks to Ravisloe's rich history. The Club's Spanish Mission-style architecture winds the clock back to the 1920s—when it was constructed—with stucco walls and a roof constructed of adobe shingles.
A stately, English Tudor–style clubhouse greets guests from its perch overlooking Stony Creek Golf Course, a 5,004-yard, par-65 fairway chain that connects over rolling, tree-lined terrain. A stone-lined creek forms a watery wishbone across the relatively short course, adding a scenic sense of continuity as golfers hit their way across nine par-3s, eight par-4s, and one 518-yard, par-5. The course shares its grassy hillocks with a fully lighted practice facility featuring a driving range—which offers the option of hitting from synthetic turf or real grass—and a miniature golf course occupied by fountains and waterfalls. After a day at the links, guests can unwind at the clubhouse bar and grill, where immense windows look over the course and a covered patio provides an area for spectating games of bean bags, horseshoes, or ping pong.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-65 course * Length of 5,004 yards * Course rating of 62.5 * Slope rating of 103 * Three sets of tee markers available * Scorecard