Golf Destination: Greater Chicago (IL)

Featuring some of the top private golf courses in the country, Chicago also boasts some really good public options that are spread across the greater metropolitan area.

“Greater Chicago” is pretty vast for our purposes, stretching as far north as the Wisconsin/Illinois border (for Shepherds Crook and ThunderHawk – 1 hour from downtown Chicago) and as far west as Sugar Grove (Black Sheep – 54 minutes from downtown), which I’d consider to be valid distances to drive if visiting the area for golf.

Anyone intending to play golf in the Chicago area needs to be prepared to drive, either way, as there are few options to play within the city limits and the only course near downtown is Harborside International with its Port and Starboard courses.’s most recently published articles on Chicago-area golf:

Medinah Country Club, Course 1 (IL): Medinah’s Best Golf Course?

My favorite of the three courses at Medinah Country Club, Course 1 features great design, terrific routing and the best of all worlds: A lot of wide, forgiving fairways with strategic playability, great par 3’s and 5’s and a little bit of tree-lined parkland style thrown in for good measure.

Black Sheep Golf Club (IL): A Slice of Heaven in Sugar Grove

One of the top 100 overall golf courses in the country, Black Sheep Golf Club outside of Chicago, Illinois, is a men’s only private club with a fantastic logo and an even better golf course.

Boasting 27 holes of linksy David Esler designed golf, owner Vince Solano has successfully developed an out-of-this-world-good golf experience with…

Mistwood Golf Club (IL)

The journey of Mistwood Golf Club over the past 20 years has been well documented and for good reason: This is a fantastic public golf destination and an incredibly well run operation. The first thing you’ll notice at Mistwood is its facilities. The bag drop is just outside the pro shop, downstairs from their Scottish-style…

Medinah CC Course 2: The Unveiling (IL)

An introduction to Rees Jones’s newly renovated Course 2 at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago, IL.

A wonderful media day experience with Rees Jones and the accommodating staff of Medinah CC on May 24, 2017.

This trend-setting new course is set to debut in Summer, 2017.

Golf Course Review: The Chicago Highlands Club (IL)

Packers vs. Bears. Brewers vs. Cubs. Badgers vs. Fighting Illini. Tollways and terrible traffic vs. free highways and backroads. Wisconsin and Illinois folks don’t always get along, but we do all love golf. For the past twenty years, golf writers from Wisconsin have contested golf writers from Illinois in the annual “Writer’s Cup,” a 27-hole…

Golf Course Review: Harborside International Portside (IL)

Harborside International, Portside Course Rankings: GolfWeek: #14 Illinois public Designer: Dick Nugent (1996) With two highly renowned courses, each on GolfWeek’s top 15 in the state of Illinois list, Harborside International provides a fantastic links golfing experience. I had the pleasure of playing their Port course, which is rated as Illinois’ fifteenth rated course you…

Taking Advantage of Aeration at ThunderHawk (IL)

As all of my golf buddies know, maybe my favorite course within an hour of the Milwaukee area is ThunderHawk, located within minutes of the Wisconsin/Illinois border in Beach Park. It seems like every time I have the opportunity to play ThunderHawk, it is either early Spring or late Fall, so being a little earlier…

Golf Course Review: Shepherd’s Crook (IL)

Shepherd’s Crook first got on my radar last year when it was named GolfWeek’s 13th best municipal golf course in the country, one spot behind its neighbor, ThunderHawk, and 22 spots above Washington County Golf Course in Hartford, Wisconsin. I have been intrigued to check it out, to say the least.   Just across the…

Golf Course Review: ThunderHawk (IL)

Just across the Wisconsin/Illinois border is a fantastic Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course that over the past two years has been rated as a top twelve municipal course in the country, ThunderHawk.   To those who know it, ThunderHawk is the best kept secret in the Milwaukee/Chicago area. The question is: How do golf enthusiasts…