Roll Call “Chicago” (Part 1)

There are so many iconic courses in the area, we should talk about them. Maybe even play them when it stops Polar Vortexing in April.

I’ve golfed here most my life and never knew the gem that is the Skokie Country Club, I mostly stayed a bit more north but last year I had a chance play it and wow. If you have the chance, do it.

On the more public side of things I really like Foster’s Shepard’s Crook up by Zion, GolfNow usually has some good deals for it which doesn’t hurt but the course always seems to be in decent shape and is a lot of fun to play, I like it better than neighboring Thunderhawk tbh.

Any hidden gems that we need to check out?

On a side note: I was researching the Chicago Golf Club and it mentions its early roots in Lake Forest, I assume it’s covered with houses now but does anyone know where that original track was?


I live in the city and try to get out once a week when weather permits. I don’t think I played a single course twice last year. Lots of gems, but man is it difficult to have to drive 45min-1.5hr to play good golf in this city.


Lots of solid options, but Ravisloe is one I always head back to. And yeah, driving an hour from downtown to play a 5.5 hour round can be less than ideal for sure.


Lincoln Park resident right here. I definitely recommend straying from the north burbs to play public golf. There’s good stuff up there, but you get better value and, in my opinion, better courses in the southern and western burbs. Go to Ravisloe in Homewood — probably the best public course in the whole area. I also like the No. 2 course (Ravines) at Cog Hill in Lemont. Village Links of Glen Ellyn is solid. Old Oak in Homer Glen is also a nice track. There are a bunch of worthy tracks out there.

I would definitely be interested in playing with some of the NLU brethren once the courses start firing up the mowers. But, due to work and family stuff, I tend to play dawn patrol rounds midweek. Not sure if that will fly with the typical NLU’er.


Played Ravisloe late last year after seeing @djpie recommend it on twitter (or maybe it was @thefriedegg). That place was green complex porn and super affordable for the area. Plus I grew up playing on a Donald Ross in SE Michigan so I felt at home. Excited to try Mt Prospect this year which I believe was recommended in the same tweet.


I was able to get on Rich Harvest a few summers ago, that was a treat.

Played out of Crystal Lake country club before we started having babies for about 5 years. Now I play whenever I can get the chance (which isn’t all that often).

As far as Northwest public golf goes Foxford Hills is a deal for what you get. Stonewall orchard is good. Makray Memorial is alright but overpriced. Palatine hills is my favorite bring-a-12-pack course.


Mt. Prospect is good, they totally redid it a few years ago. IMO they tricked it up just a touch too much. It was fun as it was before the reno.

Great thread. Enjoy Ravisloe quite a bit. Mistwood, Big Run, Seven Bridges, and Cantigny also come to mind as solid courses less than $120 that don’t run into pacing issues (at least in my experience).

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I go to Harborside regularly and the quality + amenities (GPS carts, giant range, etc) are tough to beat for a public course @ $90-100

Schaumburg Golf Club is a really great deal for the price (under $75 on the weekend).

Just discovered Stonewall Orchard up north which was great.

Cantagny is beautiful.

Need to check out Ravisloe apparently.

I’m in Logan Square and try to get out every week when weather allows. Ravisloe is my favorite public in the city and suburbs. From downtown, only Harborside is easier/quicker to get to.

I actually quite like Orchard Valley out in North Aurora. Has a few holes that I don’t really care for, but is well conditioned and usually decently priced. Also really enjoy the Highlands of Elgin and Shepherd’s Crook, a couple of Keith Foster courses. Bowes Creek in Elgin is pretty good too, but overpriced.

There are a few places that I try to avoid, simply because I think they are so massively overpriced.

Would love to get some sort of group together.

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Lincoln Park golfer here. Great to see a squad on the Refuge. My thoughts on 312 golf-scene:

-Typically have better luck with traffic going south, so Ravisloe and Harborside have been the go-to options.

-Haven’t gotten out on Mt. Prospect but have heard really good things.

-Lost Marsh can be a good option if you have that men-in-black device that keeps you from remembering the first 6 holes or so (what a cluster)!

-Also, don’t sleep on an early morning weekday 9 on Sydney Marovitz. Terrain is as flat as can be, but the conditioning has really improved over the years and it’s a full size track

Fortunate enough to have some good friends at clubs so I bounce around those a lot (racking up favors that I have to be creative to pay back), but probably play the bulk of my public golf early morning on Ravi, Harborside, Marovitz. Would be great to hear about other options and second the idea of getting a group together!

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Andy posts on here and lives in the area I am sure he can elaborate.

I live In Bartlett, Play most of my golf at Highlands of Elgin, Bowes Creek, Bartlett Hills. Around here I pretty much only play first off on the weekends. I have been fortunate enough to play some really good stuff in recent years. Almost all of it has been away from home. I play Highlands of Elgin a lot. I have play Shep Crook once, enjoyed it. I played Thund Hawk it was good as well. Blackstone in Marengo is one of my favorite courses not everyone knows about.

Didn’t they play the Mens NCAA at Skokie this year? Skokie has such an interesting design pedigree. The course looked excellent on tv, so much strategy, has to be a blast to play regularly.

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Completely agree with your assessment of Marovitz, @Wheel. I try to get out there for super early midweek rounds as much as I can. It’s really a decent track, all things considered. It’s tough to beat walking into the office by 9:30am and having already played 9 holes.


I’ve actually noticed the last couple years how much better Sydney Marovitz has looked (save for the dirt bunkers). Its not a bad deal if you have the time or can catch a day where 9 isnt going to take you 3.5 hours.

Super early midweek is the only option at Marovitz. You can easily finish in less than 2 hours. I won’t go near that place on weekends.

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Lincoln Park golfer here… It’s already been stated (by a number of people), but go play Ravisloe. It’s a really solid course, and the best value in Chicago public golf.

How late in the year can you play in the Chicago area?

I’m heading over from the UK in late October to watch the Bears and would like to get a game. Would need to be a place where we could hire clubs.

Any course recommendations? Would need to be within an Uber from downtown.

Late October is usually doable, but it might be pretty damn chilly. If you’re looking to Uber from downtown I would recommend Harborside. It’s relatively close to the city, and is generally in pretty good shape (although I haven’t seen it since the renovation/bunker removal project).

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Would second Harborside. Probably the best option given the situation

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I like Harborside, but for the price there are much more enjoyable courses in Chicagoland. Personally liked Thunderhawk, Cantigny, Stonewall Orchard, etc more than Harborside. Now, granted, you save a solid 30-45 min driving so the convenience might warrant the price. I did get to play there on Labor Day for $49 so look out for deals around holiday weekends this year.

Given the amount of people in the city it shouldn’t be too difficult to get some foursomes together. Hell, at this rate we could probably do a mini-outing…