Golf with friends is the best kind of bonding. There's nothing like being out in the open air, hearing the wind blow through the beautiful old trees lining the fairways, and refusing to grant your compadres a mulligan. The satisfaction of a well-played hole is amplified by the amusement you get from your partner's three-shot spectacle in the woodsy rough. Today's Groupon gets you and a friend 18 holes with cart at River Oaks Golf Course for $40 (up to a $88 value, depending on the day you go). Your Groupon is good for any time Monday through Friday and after noon on weekends.
Designed in 1960 by John Ellis, the Tuckaway Golf Club course is located 40 miles from downtown and features 6,225 yards of greens, fairways, and sand traps. Though only one par 5 exists on the front nine, the back nine challenges players to make up for lost scoring opportunities with three par 5s and cups not covered with cellophane. Gently sloping fairways bob and weave through beautifully forested acreage, bending around majestic pines and stately oak trees and opening up onto small greens. Prior to tee times, players can practice their hacks on the driving range's 20 grass tees or work on greenside feel at the chipping and pitching green.
Course at a Glance: Par: 72 Length: 6,225 yards Rating: 69.7 Slope: 117
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:
Putt-Putt Fun Center woos club wielders with pintsize golf challenges, video arcades, and snack stands. Savvy putters can contest 18 challenging holes and three courses with their iron legs, coaxing balls into holes with golf claps and trails of breadcrumbs. Between games, guests vie for prizes at the video arcade and guzzle soda-fountain suds or practice faux swordfights with tall cups of frozen treats from the snackatorium.
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.
The Pete Dye Golf Trail links seven courses throughput Indiana and reaches its northern terminus at the 18-hole Mystic Hills Golf Club, a challenging course set amongst wetlands and woodlands, presenting elements of links and parkland layouts. Here, the golf course design skills that made Pete Dye a household name manifest through fairways rolling through native prairie grasses and sand bunkers standing sentry to each green—difficult obstacles for golfers accustomed to only hitting into fairways with bumpers. Furthermore, players should be wary of getting too comfortable with playing the links-style front nine, as the back nine presents a more traditional layout stocked with trees and other organic hazards.
Course at a Glance: