Best Golf Courses in illinois

The pride of the town of Bolingbrook is Bolingbrook Golf Club.

Spread out on a large piece of land, Bolingbrook isn’t the typical tree lined course you find in the Upper Midwest.  Instead, its open design lets you see forever. 

You can’t exactly bomb and gouge out here though.  Penal rough and plentiful water hazards are the course’s defense. 

In the summer, the greens are known for being firm and fast so make sure you play for a big first bounce on your approach shots. 

If you play a round out here in the afternoon, expect the wind to blow.  Downwind holes will play short but holes into the wind require an extra club or two.

 

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Annbriar Golf Course

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For the past 27 years, Annbriar Golf Club has been a focal point in the small town of Waterloo, Illinois.

Built on the site of an old family farm and named for Ann Nobbe who tragically lost her life in a car accident, Annbriar is steeped in history and tradition. 

The course’s design is straightforward, but never boring.  Subtle humps and bumps, twists and turns, dictate that players have to control their shots and work the ball both directions to play well.

If you’re looking to get out of the crowds in St. Louis, Annbriar is the perfect escape only a short drive away.  It’s quiet, slower pace of life provides a most tranquil setting for a round of golf.

 

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Blackstone Golf Club

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One of the Chicago area’s most underrated public facilities is Blackstone Golf Club. 

Even though it’s located in suburbia, you’d never know it based on the course’s natural setting and over 26 acres of protected wetlands. 

Designed by Bob Lohman, the course is known for its strategically placed fairway and greenside bunkers that can wreak a score in a hurry. 

Always in beautiful shape and a treat to play, Blackstone is a favorite of the locals and a great value all at once.

 

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El Paso Golf Club

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Readers in Illinois might be mad at me for letting the cat out of the bag about what they call one of the state’s best kept secrets… We’re talking about El Paso Golf Club.

One of the oldest clubs in the area, El Paso isn’t long.  However, its fairways are narrow and greens small. 

The key around this course is to stay patient.  You might be tempted to hit driver and knock it up as close to the green as you can but, your chances are better playing the course how it was meant to be played.  Take what it gives you and you’ll have a fun day.

The staff at El Paso Golf Club are notorious for their warm and welcoming hospitality. 

If I’m ever in the area, I’ll be sure and put this track on my list.

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Lake Carroll Golf Course

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If you happen to find yourself in the northwest part of the state, make sure to spend some time in Lanark.  I’m told the town is wonderful.  The people are friendly and there’s lots to do.

One of those activities is playing a round of golf at Lake Carroll. 

The fairways are tight at Lake Carroll with plenty of water hazards and bunkers.  If you do happen to venture offline, it’s probably best to take your medicine as the overhanging trees prevent you from advancing the ball too far. 

Once you get to the greens, pay extra attention.  They have a reputation for having subtle breaks that can be difficult to read.

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PrairieView Golf Club

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Built on a centuries old prairie where bison once roamed free, PrairieView Golf Club is one of the best public tracks in the region.

You’ll find a mix of narrow tree lined holes that demand accuracy from the tee, and a number of holes that are out in the open and have a links feel.

When you play a round at PrairieView, you won’t feel hurried.  The atmosphere is laid back and the staff welcoming.

If you only have a couple hours to kill, take full advantage of the 15-acre practice facility.  That’s a lot of space!

And how about $38 for 18 holes, cart included? Sounds pretty good to me.

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Prairie Landing Golf Club

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Just a short drive from downtown Chicago, you’ll find Prairie Landing Golf Club. 

Surrounded by native wetlands, Prairie Landing looks wide open at first glance.  Sure, the fairways are generous.  However, you don’t want to go too far offline unless you have a set of waders.

This is a big golf course with several forced carries, large features, and undulating greens. 

The Robert Trent Jones Jr. design is well kept and considered one of the best public courses in the Chicago area.  It’s not hard to see why.

 

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Stonewall Orchard Golf Club

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Stonewall Orchard was designed by the iconic architect, Arthur Mills.

Over 65,000 native pine and oak trees dot this property that is a mix of forest and wetlands.

The golf is right in front of you but that doesn’t make it easy.  It can play quite long from all the way back and the greens are challenging. 

The good news is that multiple sets of tees allow you to find a length that fits your game. 

Amenities are plentiful and first-rate at this facility.  Banquet facilities can host upward of 175 guests and the restaurant is touted for its full menu of local fresh fare.  If you play on a Friday, be sure to check out the fish fry.

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Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course

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Shepherd’s Crook is located in the town of Zion.  Designed by Keith Foster, the course opened for play in 1999. 

The design itself reflects many characteristics of 1920’s and 1930’s architecture.  A true links course, golfers have compared Shepherd’s Crook to the likes of Ballybunion and Waterville.

Always the vision to create a course that returned golfers to the past, Shepherd’s Crook doesn’t disappoint.

When you play out here, expect to get the occasional funky bounce – that’s how links golf is.  Oh, be sure to bring a few extra balls as well as tall fescue and water hazards loom around every turn. 

If you’re looking for a round that deviates from the norm, check out Shepherd’s Crook.

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TPC Deer Run

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There’s nothing quite like playing where the Pros play.  You get that chance at TPC Deer Run.  As the name would suggest, this is John Deer tractor country.  Hence why the John Deer classic is held here every summer.

A true shot maker’s course, TPC Deer Run is target golf at its finest.  Rolling hills, plentiful bunkers, and lots of water mean your tee-to-green game has to be on point.

It’s easy to see that the staff and community of Silvis take a tremendous amount of pride in the course.  Locals love to play it and it’s always in tip-top shape.

What’s even better is that a round here isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg.  In fact, it’s one of the cheapest TPC courses in the country.

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Bolingbrook Golf Club

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The pride of the town of Bolingbrook is Bolingbrook Golf Club.

Spread out on a large piece of land, Bolingbrook isn’t the typical tree lined course you find in the Upper Midwest.  Instead, its open design lets you see forever. 

You can’t exactly bomb and gouge out here though.  Penal rough and plentiful water hazards are the course’s defense. 

In the summer, the greens are known for being firm and fast so make sure you play for a big first bounce on your approach shots. 

If you play a round out here in the afternoon, expect the wind to blow.  Downwind holes will play short but holes into the wind require an extra club or two.

Conclusion

I never thought of Illinois as a state with great golf.  Boy, was I ever wrong?  After hearing from so many of our readers, it’s more than clear that the state is home to some of the best, most affordable golf in the country.

I can’t wait to get back.  Sure, I hope to find some pheasants, but more importantly, I’m bringing my clubs.

If you have suggestions or additional insight to golf in Illinois, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

  

Paul Liberatore
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Founder of Golfers Authority

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