A public course complete with tree-lined fairways and pristine greens, Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course challenges paired players with a set of 18 holes as well-rounded as the dimpled spheres that speckle its ridges. Captain your cart over an expansive range of well-manicured landscapes dotted with majestic woodlands and enough sand and water hazards to evoke a horror-movie set at an island resort. This par 72 course strikes an exceptionally balanced level of difficulty, appealing to seasoned swingers as well as active younger players with freshly acquired driver's licenses.
Designed in 1926 by Leonard MaComber, the nine holes of Cedardell Golf Club's par 70 course sit among lush, tree-lined fairways and well-kept greens. On weekdays (a $24 value/person with cart) or weekends (a $27 value/person with cart), golfers can sail their carts over fresh-cut fairways, following the fair winds that guide voyagers to their wayward shots, then playfully toss successive attempts straight into the sun. After playing a round, golfers can realize the peerless putts and crisp chips of their dreams on the course's practice green. Two players can use one Groupon per round, or groups of four can use two.
The kinetic whoosh of powerful swings welcomes patrons to Bogies Indoor Golf Club, which fosters year-round golf training with its professional staff, constructive lessons, and Full Swing golf simulators. Guests can defy seasonal conditions with midwinter rounds at 1 of more than 60 virtual courses, which convincingly emulate the coastal gusts of St. Andrews' Old Course, the unforgiving fairways of Pinehurst No. 2, and the displaced sunbathers of Pebble Beach. Outside the immersive realm of the course simulators, plush seating and a gallery of high-definition TVs keep patrons tethered to their cozy reality in a full-service restaurant that keeps appetites at bay.
The 18-hole, par 72 Fox Bend Golf Course spans 6,890 yards of kempt fairways and rolling greens to form a well-maintained grassy monolith that has played host to three Illinois Opens and a 2010 USGA qualifier. Throughout the lush links, mature trees frame short-grass corridors peppered with a total of 34 sand traps and frequent water hazards that complicate each spheroid's passage onto slick, boldly contoured greens. Take a virtual course tour to begin preparing for the 175-yard shot needed to clear the par 3 15th's deep bunker fortifications while still landing the ball on the hole's relatively shallow green. Hone your fairway wood game to set up an eagle putt on Fox Bend's signature par-5 fifth hole, where bold duffers reckon with a watery ravine that sits right in front of the green and subsists on the souls of mishit orbs.
Designed by course architect Dick Nugent, the acclaimed Aldeen Golf Course ushers club-toting clientele into a 7,131-yard grassy valhalla stretching across bucolic fairways and exceptionally maintained greens. Five sets of tees temper the difficulty of this lengthy and relatively challenging course, which requires astute club selection to adjust for subtle elevation changes, sound course management to cope with 62 treacherous sand bunkers, and one philologist to converse with the hillpeople living amid the well-mounded rough. Encroaching water hazards rear their hydraulic heads on a dozen holes including the signature par 3 eighth, where duffers clamber over a replica of the storied Swilcan Bridge of St. Andrews lore to access an island green that would make even the boldest of John Daly impressionists nostalgic for the predictability of putt-putt windmills. Loop the verdant links the old-fashioned, foot-intensive way with today’s first option, or enlist a trustworthy cart to tote a bag and golf mate with today’s second option.