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.
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 * 18-hole, par-71 course * Total length of 7,178 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 75.0 from the back tees * Slope of 138 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Click here to view the scorecard
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: * Nine-hole, par 27 course * Total length of 1,124 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
The rolling Missouri countryside serves as the backdrop for Eagle Springs Golf Course, where players test their swings across a 27-hole golf complex. A par 72 when played from the back tees, Eagle Springs' 18-hole course stretches across 6,549 yards of undulating fairways, tricky sand-trap placements, and relatively large, hard-to-read greens. Though it has a predominantly parkland-style layout, ponds come into play on five holes, keeping golfers on their toes and tempting underused caddies to dive after balls in hopes of earning respect. Eagle Springs' nine-hole, par 3 course invites golfers to hone their short-game skills across a 1,270-yard layout.
Views of the course abound from the Clubhouse Restaurant, which serves a full lunch and dinner menu. For golfers hoping to snag a bite at the turn, a snack bar provides fairway smoothies and snacks including danishes, muffins, hot dogs, and egg sandwiches.
Championship Course at a Glance:
Since 1931, golfers have been hacking out divots and splashing golf balls into water at architect Robert Foulis's St. Louis masterwork, Ruth Park Golf Course. That, of course, was always the esteemed Scotsman's plan, though he may never have envisioned players continuing to play his 9-hole course almost 100 years in the future, at least without hovercrafts. Golfers can enjoy the abundant natural surroundings that frame the Zoysia grass tees, fairways, and bent grass greens. Before or after rounds, players can make use of the grass tees and 25 hitting mats at the driving range, which conveniently stays lit after dusk for some late night practice sessions.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 35 course * Total length of 3,023 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 34.1 from the back tees * Course slope of 115 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Creve Coeur Golf Course showcases a relatively short 3,050-yard nine-hole course, but presents challenges in the form of strategically places stone-lined ponds. The course offers its manicured landscape as a canvas for beginners to discover the joys of golf and seasoned veterans to hone their skills. Its layout demands accuracy and deft course management to avoid disaster throughout, which often includes becoming careless with shot choice or running out of non-exploding golf balls.