Marengo Ridge Golf Club, which began as a modest nine-hole course, endured a 25-year gap before taking full advantage of the surrounding landscape's diverse terrain and expanding into a sprawling 18-hole course. Course architect William James Spear broke ground on the front nine in 1963, designating a large, renovated cow barn as the first clubhouse and cleaving nine holes through densely wooded hills. This layout proved sufficient until a late ‘80s spike in the local caddy population—and business boom—made the addition of a back nine desirable. Construction began in 1988 and, two years later, a new nine-hole track opened for play, presenting golfers with a profound shift in scenery, as this layout was built on an expanse of open farmland. The old clubhouse lasted for three more years, but the awkward location and argyle-wearing cattle called for the construction of a new clubhouse to match the new 18-hole golf club.
Today, golfers enjoy the diverse layout of the 18-hole course from the first hole, the longest par 4 on the course, to the last, a par 5 severe dogleg right. Water enters play on nine holes, including on the first six, creating the potential for an extending water break for thirsty golf carts.
Course at a Glance:
Shoes clack on a sprung wooden floor as a dozen pointed toes hop in time to flute and fiddle. These shoes belong to the talented feet of children participating in traditional Irish dance classes at Mayer School of Irish Dance. During lessons, instructors focus on performance quality technique to help perfect posture, taps, and kicks. Classes range in skill level from new beginners to Pre-Oireachtas, which is by invitation only. For a more social style of dancing, Mayer School also runs Irish set dance classes, during which partners complete intricate patterns to mimic the way sheep dance on Irish hillsides.
Formed by a group of Judson University playmakers more than a decade ago, GreenRoom Productions delights showgoers with full seasons of musicals, plays, improv, and original sketch comedy. GreenRoom's signature 90-minute Unscripted Improv Show employs its side-splitters to mine the audience for laugh-affirming anecdotes before transforming them into hilarious, family-friendly narratives devoid of plodding preshow speeches from scarf-ensconced authors. Each improv show boasts competing teams, improvised songs, and audience participation for those foolish enough to look performers in the eyes. Live music soundtracks the evening and patrons can fill laugh lairs with vittles and drinks from the on-site concession stand.
An after-school-arts -education program for youngsters aged 4–18, CYT Chicago culminates each of its three yearly sessions with a host of musical productions. This October–December, CYT will be hosting the following classical productions throughout the area:
Colored paint pellets slice the air and splatter on the rough bark of large oaks and every once in a while on the back of an enemy. During paintball play, shouts and laughter reverberate through the forest canopy as the thudding of footsteps cuts through thick underbrush. Players on the 12 outdoor fields at Operation Paintball engage rival teams during bouts of capture the flag and last-man-standing shootouts, hoping to earn victory for their mates and impress Mom one more time. The Mother Earth field's tall trees stand between natural bunkers, the Speedball concept field boasts a circle of broken wooden picket fences surrounding a central bunker, and wooded slopes take over the Yellow, Blue, and Candy fields. Staffers prepare guests to safely skirmish by providing masks, secure goggles, and padded vests, each of which has helped to contribute to the facility's perfect safety record.
Marengo Ridge's congenial director of instruction and the coach of more than 3,000 lessons, Greg Baresel prioritizes fun as well as golf fundamentals to develop consistent, powerful swings. Baresel's relaxed coaching style and custom improvement plans have helped to banish embarrassing bogies from the games and noses of beginner and professional athletes. After fleshing out goals, bodies and minds focus on the three graces of golf—grip, stance, and alignment—to lay a foundation for future par chasing. Finely tuned positions promote coordination and sidestep swing flaws, and budding kinesthesia fosters insight into correcting errant club paths or safely picking up bindles. Hone a newly acquired swing on the course's driving range ($5 for 50 balls; not included in this Groupon) or indoors in the event of weather.