Sculpted into the rolling hills of western Illinois, Clinton Hill Golf Course’s undulating fairways flow into large, challenging greens across two distinct, nine-hole layouts. Mature arbors pepper the landscape, threatening the autonomy of airborne balls while providing scenic, shady plots in which golfers can pause to gawk at the layout’s lush greenery and herbivorous golf carts grazing on native grasses. A longer layout and a higher concentration of bunkers supply the bulk of the difficulty on the front nine, and water hazards await at seven holes on the course’s back nine, placing a high demand on confident swings and deft club selection. Those looking for new gear can peruse Clinton Hill’s pro shop, which peddles golfletic apparel and accessories from the game’s top brands. After a round of aggressive pin-hunting, players can retreat to Clinton Hill Bar and Grill, where guests can enjoy live sporting events on one of several TVs or revive sleepy golf bags with an icy beverage.
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course offers golfers of all skill levels swing-testing challenges in the form of 18 championship-style holes. The par 71 course dons 6,513 yards of zoysia fairways, fescue roughs, bent-grass greens, and cart-powered course traversing. As different as day- and night-sun tanning, the first nine holes adventurously take golfers through tiger-free woods while the back nine contest clubs with links-style layouts. Each hole offers four tee options, ideal for varying skill levels or four-armed mutant-phenoms.
With the Gateway Arch towering in the background, Gateway National Golf Links tests players with 18 holes of rolling links and lush green pastures. Tall grasses, lakes, and soaring cottonwoods fill in the rest of the landscape, with stone bridges and raised boardwalks leading the way from one hole to the next. Several of the holes offer views of downtown St. Louis, including on hole three, where golfers can see the skyline and the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge in the distance. Before taking on the challenges of the course, visitors can get some practice swings in at Gateway National's various practice facilities, highlighted by a spacious putting green and a driving range.
Course at a Glance
Stonebridge Golf Club challenges and entertains beginners and old pros alike with its picturesque rolling hills, changes in elevation, and tree-lined fairways. Before embarking on their 18-hole journey, players may practice on the expansive practice and chipping greens to perfect their wedgework, putts, and celebratory shimmies. Meticulously manicured bent-grass tees serve as launch pads for sky-bound balls, and verdant bermuda grass clings to the fairways. The par 72 course ensures golfers have a chance to employ every club in their arsenal, from the pitching wedge to the 3-wood to the rarely used Gatling driver. A golf cart helps players zoom from hole to hole with motorized grace and efficiency, rather than wasting precious minutes saddling, mounting, and cajoling surly bactrian golf camels. Although food and equipment are not covered by today's Groupon, Stonebridge is also home to a pro shop and Putter's Bar and Grill, making it easy for golfers and their bags to stay well-fed.
Named St. Louis’s Best Driving Range by the Riverfront Times in 2007, Family Golf & Learning Center earns praise as an encouraging environment in which golfers of all levels can hone their games. The lighted range boosts golfers with a second story of hitting stations stacked on top of the first that offers a bird’s-eye view, if that bird is sitting on the head of a giraffe. The range also features both real zoysia-grass tees as well as artificial-turf tees, and it stays open year-round thanks to heaters that prevent golf clubs’ handles from developing frostbite.
Once thoroughly limbered up, golfers can tee off on the par 3 course, where a maximum hole length of 160 yards allows for practice with short strokes and putting. Should self-improvement reach a plateau, the center’s instructors stand ready to help players make further strides through onsite lessons.
Course at a Glance:
Normandie Golf Club was built in 1901 according to the St. Andrews style, lending it a historic feel with unique routing and challenging, classic play. The par-71 course stretches across a bit more than 6,500 yards of hill-to-valley patterns. Elevated tees and greens on holes 7, 8, and 9 typify the Foulis layout, especially the par-5 right dogleg on hole 7 and the par-56 hedge maze on hole 13. Pinpoint accuracy is demanded by hole 12’s short downhill par 3, while the two-tiered green on the tame-looking 14th hole has deceived pro golfing legends such as Babe Didrikson and just plain legends such as Babe Ruth and Dizzy Dean, who both insisted on using bats instead of clubs. Unlike them, however, golfers can avoid distractions by zooming between holes on one of the course’s carts, and warm up on the driving range with a bucket of balls.