10 public golf courses in the suburbs to keep your game going into fall
Suburban golfers don't have to belong to private clubs to enjoy some of Illinois' top courses.
This sampling of great public courses offers golfers from Lake County to Will County an opportunity to tackle some challenging layouts.
401 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg
Originally built in 1928, this 27-hole track was purchased by the Schaumburg Park District in 1989 and redesigned by architect Bob Lohmann. According to the club's website, it features bentgrass tees, fairways and greens, undulating terrain and generous playing conditions that allow for the course to be played from 6,097 to 6,700 yards. For tee times, call (847) 885-9000.
26W151 Butterfield Road, Wheaton
Built in the 1920s and renamed Arrowhead Golf Club in 1929 for the many Native American artifacts discovered during construction, this 27-hole course was ranked No. 6 on Golf Advisor's list of Top 25 public courses in Illinois in 2019. The Wheaton Park District purchased the property in 1982. The East Course was renovated in 1990. The South Course followed suit a few years later. The West Course, added to the original layout in 1967, was renovated in 2001. For tee times, call (630) 653-5800
27W270 Mack Road, Wheaton
This 27-hole course built in 1989 features three 9-hole segments -- Woodside, Lakeside and Hillside -- nestled among rolling hills and mature trees. Accuracy off the tee helps navigate two streams, 12 lakes, challenging bunker placement and elevation changes. Ranked No. 3 on Golf Advisor's Top 25 public courses in Illinois in 2019, Cantigny has hosted the Illinois Amateur Championship and multiple USGA qualifiers. For tee times, call (630) 668-8463.
2325 Longest Drive, West Chicago.
This 18-hole prairie links style course has drawn high marks since its 1995 debut. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed, par-72, 6,950-yard layout was rated 4.5 stars by Golf Digest. Even scratch golfers will be challenged by a diverse array of holes that require prudent use of nearly every club. Tee times spread 10 minutes apart dictate a relaxed pace of play. For tee times, call (630) 208-7600.
351 N. Green Bay Road, Zion
This is as far north as one can play golf in Illinois; the north end of this links-style course borders Wisconsin. Built in 1999, rolling fairways and severe plateaus characterize the Keith Foster design. Undulating bentgrass greens put extra value on accurate approach shots. Holes 7 and 9 have split fairways. Located three miles east of Lake Michigan, the par-71 layout plays longer than 6,827 yards on days the wind blows off the lake. For tee times, call (847) 872-2080
1700 W. Renwick Road, Romeoville.
Every aspect of this club was upgraded over a nine-year span ending in 2016. The course itself was re-imagined over two years. The par-72 Ray Hearn redesign resulted in Mistwood being named Golf Magazine's "Best Renovation You Can Play" in 2013. It features 20 St. Andrew's-style sod-wall bunkers, a standard feature of Scottish and Irish courses. The 27,000-square-foot clubhouse opened in 2016. For tee times, call (815) 254-3333.
900 Wood Dale Road, Addison
Architect Greg Martin's 2016-17 redesign transformed 27 holes into the Preserve at Oak Meadows, an environmentally conscious 18-hole course. Tees, fairways and greens were elevated and water was rerouted to mitigate stormwaters from Salt Creek that for years plagued the DuPage County Forest Preserve-owned facility. The revised 6,651-yard, par-72 course offers long sightlines. It was awarded 2018 Renovation of the Year by Golf Inc. A new clubhouse under construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2021 season. For tee times, call (630) 595-0071.
1400 Poplar Creek Drive, Hoffman Estates
This park district-owned course received a facelift in 2011, when 15 of 18 holes underwent renovation. The par-70, 6,500-yard layout offers "picturesque, tree lined and immaculate conditions from No. 1 tee to No. 18 green, a perfect blend of bark and benevolence," boasts the club's website. For tee times, call (847) 884-0219.
1000 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling
Built in 1925 by Thomas Bendelow, this 18-hole course was renovated by Bob Lohmann in 2002. Accuracy off the tee matters on the final hole of the par-72, 6,610-yard track; water lines each side of the landing area. GolfNow says patrons can expect "deep pot bunkers lined with fescue grasses, generous rolling greens and undulating bentgrass fairways." For tee times, call (847) 465-2300.
25657 West Highway 60, Grayslake.
Since it opened in 1999, architect Arthur Hills' 18-hole design is listed routinely among Golfweek Magazine's Top 10 State-By-State "Courses You Can Play." The par-72, 7,124-yard layout features bentgrass fairways and greens, 65,000 mature pines and oaks, rolling hills, wetlands and wildlife. Stonewall Orchard "has those unique, natural qualities often associated with golf in the Carolinas," the club's website says. For tee times, call (847) 740-4890.