The driving range is a place for golfers to practice their sport with maximum force, much like baseball players taking pitches in a batting cage or chess players honing strategies on a board full of queens. Take a full swing with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a punch card for 10 large buckets of range balls at Old Orchard Country Club in Mt. Prospect (a $75 value).
Old Orchard Country Club is tucked behind a wall of thick, mature trees that ensconce guests in a serene golfscape highlighted by a well-manicured driving range and scenic 18-hole course. Golfers can warm-up drivers and stretch-out irons while pelting practice balls down a range bound to the rear by a small creek that doubles as a practice water hazard and stage for tadpoles to rehearse future roles as eventual princes. The range is maintained by a diligent ball collector and hugged to the right by a rolling fairway that prompts range balls to dream of one day being promoted to a tournament ball, and one day retiring on a mini golf course.
Old Orchard Country Club
Old Orchard Country Club came into existence in 1932, when the Wickersham family purchased the land and began to manicure it. Over the decades, the club became such a community staple that the Prospect Heights Park District bought it in 1999, with a promise to provide the same level of country-club service to the general public. The park district's landscapers maintain the golf course's gently rolling, narrow fairways, which shoot and snake between trees and numerous traps. The course features lots of dangerous water, with hazards between the golfer and the hole on at least nine occasions. The ninth hole—a par 5—bends right around the forest, only to reveal a longer stretch of fairway hemmed in by triple water hazards leading to an equally narrow green. The 17th hole also presents a challenge, with the fairway bisected by a wide river, making the safest shot a long drive straight to the green, which sits framed by a pair of sand bunkers.
Course at a Glance:
- 18-hole, par 70 course
- Total length of 6,119 yards from the back tees
- Three sets of tees per hole
700 W Rand Rd.
Mount Prospect, Illinois 60056