Water's Edge Golf Club's championship-style golf course flaunts bent-grass greens and fairways lined with canopy-grown trees along 18 challenging holes of picturesque greenery. Measuring 6,904 yards from the back tees and 5,332 yards from the forward tees, the playable holes allow golfers of all skill levels to enjoy engaging in a round or flirting with eligible sand traps. Jump into a golf cart to drive, chip, and putt your way across natural grasses, protected wetlands, and dense forest thickets for two rounds on the beautiful par 72 course. Sitting on the banks of the Cal-Sag Channel, the club is located 30 minutes outside of downtown Chicago, allowing players a peaceful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city and the ball-guzzling potholes that frequently spoil games played on Wacker Drive.
Cleaved through 66 acres of emerald forest, the course at Alsip Park District's Fountain Hills Golf Club challenges players to control their shots down narrow fairways and avoid the bounty of sand traps strewn throughout. Golfers navigate the Bob Lohmann–designed course aboard carts equipped with GPS navigation systems, which help determine a lie's distance to the green or how many strokes it would take to make par into a moon crater. On the first hole, golfers must split a narrow fairway from the tee and keep their golf balls away from the out-of-bounds regions that run alongside, where errant golf balls flaunt hedonistic lifestyles with lethargic naps in the rough.
The practice center at Fountain Hills encompasses a lighted driving range with 30 hitting stations and a short-game practice area with a putting and chipping green. On the range, swingers have the option of hitting off a synthetic mat or real grass.
Course at a Glance:
Fountain Hills Golf Club's rates fluctuate throughout the day and week.
A stately, English Tudor–style clubhouse greets guests from its perch overlooking Stony Creek Golf Course, a 5,004-yard, par-65 fairway chain that connects over rolling, tree-lined terrain. A stone-lined creek forms a watery wishbone across the relatively short course, adding a scenic sense of continuity as golfers hit their way across nine par-3s, eight par-4s, and one 518-yard, par-5. The course shares its grassy hillocks with a fully lighted practice facility featuring a driving range—which offers the option of hitting from synthetic turf or real grass—and a miniature golf course occupied by fountains and waterfalls. After a day at the links, guests can unwind at the clubhouse bar and grill, where immense windows look over the course and a covered patio provides an area for spectating games of bean bags, horseshoes, or ping pong.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-65 course * Length of 5,004 yards * Course rating of 62.5 * Slope rating of 103 * Three sets of tee markers available * Scorecard
A stable of 14 golf simulators lines the walls of Indoor Golf Links of America’s sleek facility, enveloping an open space that feels more like a lively sports bar than a posh country club. Each simulator occupies its own private stall with an adjacent sitting area and a table, where duffers can tend to succulent burgers, piping-hot pizzas, and drinks from the full-service bar a safe distance from whizzing golf balls and 6-irons that have a reputation for covertly unscrewing saltshakers. The simulators’ immense screens whisk duffers to digital reconstructions of legendary courses, allowing them to brave the coastal crags of Pebble Beach or the charging koala bears of Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Golfers struggling with their pendulous form can improve wrist movements at the foosball table, pinpoint precision during a round of shuffleboard, or live vicariously through the professional athletes broadcast on one of the studio’s 16 big-screen TVs.
If the sun is shining, then the Hickory Hills Golf Club's greens are open. The club welcomes players 365 days a year to drive through the more than 7,400 total yards of fairways that make up their 18-hole championship and 9-hole executive courses. Golfers drive carts along a chain of manicured links that date back to 1915, the year the seedlings from Woodrow Wilson's "Plant-a-Golf Course" program began sprouting flagpoles.
Courses at a Glance
Championship Course * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 5,928 yards * Course rating of 67.9 from the back tees * Course slope of 116 from the back tees
Executive Course * 9-hole, par 30 course * Total length of 1,560 yards from the back tees
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.