Like painting a portrait or fixing a computer, completing a round of golf is always more impressive when it’s done in the pouring rain. Enjoy equally impressive fair-weathered fores with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a round of 18-hole golf for two including cart rental at The Links at Carillion in Plainfield (up to a $100 value). This deal is valid at any time Monday–Friday and anytime after noon on Saturday and Sunday.
Featured in Golf Digest as one of the best courses on Route 66, The Links at Carillion consists of 27 impeccably maintained holes spread across three distinct nine-hole courses. Golfers can choose to play any two of the courses. With diversely shaped bent-grass fairways, undulating greens, and five sets of tees, each course presents unique challenges to all levels of golfers. The White Course's generous fairways entice aggressive tee shots, but particularly ill-struck drives are likely to practice swan dives into encroaching water hazards that come into play on six holes. The ninth hole is nicknamed The Gauntlet, a tricky par 5 with water seemingly everywhere on the initial drive, with multiple high-risk, high-reward shot options along the slight dogleg left peninsula. On the Red Course, duffers encounter two dogleg right holes and plenty of short par 3s and 4s, which favor shot placement over exhaustive drives from far-reaching mannequin legs. Deep bunkers pepper the Blue Course, making pinpoint approaches a high premium throughout the round, as the course's slick, subtle breaks and heckling flagsticks offer enough difficulties to give even the greatest green gurus a case of the yips.
Golfers can grab a postround drink or meal at The Links Grille, featuring an extensive bar and savory grill fare. With a driving range, a separate chipping/putting green, and a full pro shop, duffers can practice power putts or pick up a golf glove to replace the worn-out oven mitt.
The Links at Carillon
In 2005, Golf Digest named The Links at Carillon among the best courses on Route 66—the highway artery that connects Chicago to L.A. and has famously served as inspiration for uncountable odes to middle-American life. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the facility's three nine-hole sides are named the Red course, the White course, and the Blue course. Each enfolds golfers in a test that demands such all-American traits as creativity (on diversely shaped bent-grass fairways), concentration (on undulant greens), and stick-to-itiveness (necessary to locate one's golf ball among the thousands of Easter eggs littering each lake bed).
Then again, it might just be happenstance. After all, each course adheres firmly to the links style of golf course design, a mode of landscape architecture that owes more to the Scottish lowlands than to Oklahoma's Dust Bowls. Hallmarks of such courses include few trees, deep bunkers, and lots of water—features with which golfers become intimately familiar as they string any combination of sides together for full 18-hole rounds.
21200 S Carillon Dr.
Plainfield, Illinois 60544-2101