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.
As patio umbrellas shield a row of tables from the summer sun, rows of thick, green trees—or perhaps thousands of patio umbrellas—outline the horizon, looming past the undulating fairways and greens of Coyote Run Golf Course. Here at Wiley's Grill, golfers can rest their weary legs after a hot afternoon on the links or even during the winter, warming up on cups of turkey chili and craft beer next to the indoor fireplace. While enjoying an Angus burger or plate of tangy glazed salmon, patrons can watch TVs broadcasting Chicago sports before honing their skills on the indoor golf simulator.
Rated 3.5 stars by Golf Digest, Deer Creek challenges links lovers with a picturesque championship course peppered with natural beauty and par-inhibiting hazards. A practice club membership bestows a body of benefits on golfers, including unlimited practice balls on the driving range, helpful for straightening out hooks, evening out slices, and knocking the rust off wrought-iron wedges. Practice club members also enjoy defined hours—after 5:30 p.m. every day and before 7 a.m. on weekdays—during which they can access the club and its green ballways astride a motorized golf buggy for a mere $12. The 18-hole course has four tees for varying skill levels and is rigorously maintained, allowing golfers to lavish between-shot attention on the course's seven scenic lakes, beautiful bent-grass greens, and 55 ball-seducing bunkers. The course is noted for its huge variety of wildflowers, perfect for a taking a calming, post-bogey sniff or presenting a bouquet to a certain special putter. All memberships last until the end of 2011.
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.
Odyssey Sweet Spot lets players unwind with cold beverages, sizzling pub fare, and a lineup of crisp high-definition TVs that funnel sporting events throughout the tavern. As bartenders sling drink specials, full table-size shuffleboard and Golden Tee 2014 arcade games allow players to enjoy the game of golf while still giving misbehaving 9-irons the silent treatment.
Lincoln Oaks Golf Course challenges long- and short-gamers who navigate its 6,186 yards of bentgrass fairways and relatively small greens. Built in 1927, Lincoln Oaks stood as one of four original courses at the Lincolnshire Country Club, resplendent with a layout designed by renowned course architect Tom Bendelow, who also lent his fairway-carving skills to all three courses at Medinah Country Club and his own immaculate backyard. Since then, it has gone public and undergone extensive renovations, including new cart paths and reshaped tees and fairways. The site of a PGA Tour event in the 1960s, the course has hosted U.S. Open Qualifying Tournaments throughout the years as well as multiple golf cart drag races. Before taking to the links, clubbers can spruce up swing mechanics at Lincoln Oaks' range and practice facility.
Located approximately 35 minutes from downtown, Lincoln Oaks is a convenient cruise away from the urban bustle. Upon completing their round, duffers can kick back in the comfort of Oaks Bar and Grill, where icy beverages, piping-hot pub fare, and three flat-screen televisions caddy your cravings for post-putting leisure time without badgering you about your botched lay-up.
Course at a Glance: