Best Muni Golf: Illinois Tops the Chart

Harborside International Golf Center, Chicago IL

When most of us think about Illinois golf, images of Medinah Country Club, the U.S Open and the Ryder Cup come immediately to mind. Or Tiger winning 5 times at Cog Hill (Western Open—1997, 1999 and 2003, BMW—2007 and 2009).

What you may not know, however, is that Illinois is #1 when it comes to public municipal golf. Of the 146 Muni courses in the Illinois, 65 received a GolfDay Rating of 80 or higher, and 11 received a rating above 90.

The GolfDay Rating

The GolfDay Rating is based on a variety of criteria, including the stature of the architect who did the original design, updates that have been done since the course was built, USGA Course and Slope Ratings, current local and national rankings by Golf Digest, Golfweek, and Links Magazine (as well as other authoritative sources), the quality and diversity of practice facilities, general course conditioning, and current course reviews.

Consideration is also given for facilities that offer junior golf programs, a golf academy or golf leagues. Resort ratings also include a factor for the variety of courses located at the property, as well as the quality of accommodations. The GolfDay Rating is structured on the same basis as a test score—from 0 to 100. Over 90 is outstanding, 80–89 is very good and 70-79 is above average.

The Highlands of Elgin, IL

The Top 11

  • Harborside International Golf Center, Chicago
    Holes: 36
    2 Eighteen Hole Courses (Port/Starboard)
    Architect: Dick Nugent
    USGA Course/Slope Rating
    Port: 74.6/137
    Starboard: 74.5/134
    Practice Facilities: Expansive Grass Driving Range with Targets, Wedge Range, Putting and Chipping Greens with Bunkers and Golf Academy.
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 98.9
  • The Highlands of Elgin, Elgin
    Holes: 18
    Website
    Architect: Larry Packard/Dick Nugent/Ken Killian/Keith Foster/Arthur Schaupeter
    USGA Course/Slope Rating: 73.7/139
    Practice Facilities: Lighted Grass Driving Range with Targets, Putting and Chipping Greens with Bunker and Indoor Golf Simulator.
    GolfDay Rating: 98.8
Thunderhawk Golf Club, Beach Park IL
  • Thunderhawk Golf Club, Beach Park
    Holes: 18
    Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
    USGA Course/Slope Rating: 74.2/141
    Practice Facilities: Grass Driving Range, Putting and Chipping Greens with Bunker.
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 93.9
  • Arrowhead Golf Club, Wheaton
    Holes: 27
    3 Nine Hole Courses: East/West/South
    Architect: Stanley Pelchar/David Gill/Greg Martin
    USGA Course/Slope Rating
    East:    36.4/133
    West:   36.2/133
    South: 36.5/135
    Practice Facilities: Driving Range, Putting and Chipping Greens with Bunkers (3).
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 92.3
  • Schaumburg Golf Club & Academy, Schaumburg
    Holes: 27
    Architect: Bob Lohman
    USGA Course/Slope Rating:
    Tournament: 35.5/129
    Baer: 35.5/126
    Player’s: 34.8/128
    Practice Facilities: Driving Range with Targets (Grass Saturday and Sunday, Mats Monday through Friday), Putting Chipping Greens. Learning Center with Indoor Golf Simulators (3).
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 91.9
Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course, Zion IL
  • Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course, Zion
    Holes: 18
    Architect: Keith Foster/Kevin Hargrave
    USGA Course/Slope Rating: 72.1/130
    Practice Facilities: Putting and Chipping Green.
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 91.2
  • Mount Prospect Golf Club, Mount Prospect
    Holes: 18
    Architect: Davis Esler
    USGA Course/Slope Rating: 70.3/135
    Practice Facilities: Grass Driving Range with Targets Greens, Wedge Range, Putting and Chipping Greens with Bunker.
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 91.0
Mt. Prospect Golf Club, IL
  • Sunset Valley Golf Club, Highland Park
    Holes: 18
    Architect: Dick Nugent/Ken Killian/Bob Lohman
    USGA Course/Slope Rating: 72.2/134
    Practice Facilities: Warm Up Nets, Putting and Chipping Green.
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 90.9
  • Glencoe Golf Club, Glencoe
    Holes: 18
    Architect: Dick Nugent/Ken Killian/Bob Lohman
    USGA Course/Slope Rating: 72.3/133
    Practice Facilities: Grass Driving Range with Targets, Putting and Chipping Greens.
    Website
    GolfDay Rating: 90.7
Fox Bend Golf Course, Oswego, IL

The Top 50 Muni’s in Illinois

With so many great municipal courses to play, the folks in Illinois are fortunate indeed.

And if you are visiting the Prairie State, it won’t be hard to find a great track without breaking the bank!

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